VPN Proxy Service – Explained and Reviewed
VPNs and proxies – the two major tools for privacy surfing online. There seems to be a bit of confusion among users of these two technologies, and many times the terms get mixed up. Looking for a VPN proxy service? Let me clear this up.
Proxies and VPNs are not the same thing. There are some services that offer both options, but they are in fact two different types of technologies.
Virtual private networks
These are a private network of servers. Your information is encrypted and sent through a VPN tunnel, so there are two layers of security. One, your private data is put in a format that only you and the private network can decode. Two, the coded information is sent through a private tunnel to which only you and the network have a key to. Three, you computer is assigned a certificate of authenticity that proves you are you, which means that impersonating you online through your IP address is impossible.
VPNs work with your entire device, meaning that software and apps are also tunneled and encrypted. VoIP, games, chat programs, download apps, streaming sites – they all work with VPNs. You are also assigned an ‘anonymous IP address’, which means you can choose the location of your new identity online. The location of the VPN server will determine this identity. You can choose dynamic or static IPs.
There are several types of proxies but the ones that concern private surfing are called anonymous proxies. There are many definitions and styles, including open proxies and web based proxies which you will probably be most familiar with.
Open proxies are often found on a ‘list’ where locations, IP addresses, and port numbers are listed online. They are used in combination with your regular internet browser to set your manual proxy settings and reroute your browser traffic through the proxy server.
Web based proxies work much like open proxies except the proxy server and portal are chosen automatically. It’s just a website with a browser bar to type the URL you wan to go to. Both open proxies and web based proxy only reroute your BROWSER traffic through a proxy server.
Proxies are best used from a reliable source because using a proxy server from an unknown may present a security risk to your private data. Because you’re sharing an IP with someone, you are essentially giving them access to your private data. Premium proxies may be a good choice for those who want a proxy service without the security risk.
The advantage of using a web based proxy is that it requires no installation and no configuration. One proxy service can be used for your phone, you computer, and even public devices (library, work, school) where installation of software may not be an option.
Recommended VPN Proxy Service
VPN services and proxy services are often separated. However, Hide My Ass offers both. In fact, their web based proxy is free, and they also offer a free list of open proxy servers (not owned by HMA, so use with caution).
Their ProVPN service does come with a monthly fee attached to it, but $6.55 per month is less than 1/2 the price of other services. This is a very popular VPN service. It comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, so try it out for a month and see if you like it.
For those looking for a pure proxy service, with premium, private proxy servers in The US, UK, and Europe SecuriTales is recommended. They have many good reviews, and I also recommend their services.
If you’re looking for broader device support than HMA, you can try 12VPN. It can handle a wide range of internet devices including PS3, Xbox, Apple TV, Nokia phones, and others that most other VPN services don’t offer support for.