Friday, August 3, 2012

Choosing Between VPN and Web Proxies

As a business grows, it might expand to multiple shops or offices across the country and around the world. To keep things running efficiently, the people working in those locations need a fast, secure and reliable way to share information across computer networks. This is where the Virtual Private Networks come in, or what we commonly call as VPN’s.

 A VPN is a private network that uses a public network (usually the Internet) to connect remote sites or users together. The VPN uses "virtual" connections routed through the Internet from the business's private network to the remote site or employee and makes sure that it reaches its destination safe from threats like data hijackers, packet sniffers, etc. A virtual private network can be contrasted with an expensive system of owned or leased lines that can only be used by one organization. The goal of a VPN is to provide the organization with the same capabilities, but at a much lower cost. An interesting function of VPN’s is that it allows its users to anonymously access sites which are blocked or restricted to the country they are in. It is effective in countries like China where censorship was highly implemented thus the popularity of China VPN.

On the other hand, web proxies act as an intermediary, relaying requests for connection to a webpage, file, or service on the Internet. The location of the proxy server could be physically anywhere in the world. The recipient of the request will only see the request for connection coming from the proxy server. The recipient will not know that you were the source of the original request.

To determine which is better, listed below are the advantages and disadvantages of using VPN’s or web proxies:

1. Anonymizes and encrypts all communications over the internet
1. There is a cost to high data speeds
1. Many free solutions
1. Provides little or no encryption at all
2. Wireless hotspot protection
2. There is a growing source of VPN services, but not all are trustworthy
2. Anonymizes web browsing
2. Connection speed with free proxy servers is slow
3. Subject to the quality of the supplier, high connection speed
3. Most types of VPNs require a software installation
3. Unlocks geographic restrictions
3. Plenty of free solutions require software installs, and or display intrusive ads to pay for the running of the service

Today, the Internet is more accessible than ever before, and Internet service providers (ISPs) continue to develop faster and more reliable services at lower costs than leased lines. The choice to make therefore lies on the user himself. Whether it be VPN’s or web proxy, all that matters is on who you trust and on what applies to your needs the most. Just make sure that you carefully consider all of the important factors before you buy VPN service.

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