If you are reading this, you may have a big question on your mind like: “Can I use a VPN with proxy server together in one setup?” To give you a straight answer: “Yes, you can!” And there are certain cases when combining the two technologies is justified regardless of the operating system. It will add another layer of security and anonymity to your internet connection and avoid leaking your IP address to the VPN provider that you will be using.
In this Guide we will take a deeper look at the two types of IP concealing technologies and describe various use cases of when you can employ a VPN coupled with a proxy safely.
But before that, let’s recap the basics behind a VPN and a proxy to make the advantages of both tools clearer. You may know that a VPN and proxy together service the same market but what exactly is different between the two.
VPN and Proxy Definitions
VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service meant to create a secure connection to the Internet from your device. Like a proxy it alters your IP for accessing remote servers, but unlike a proxy server it encrypts all the web traffic from your system.
With VPNs you are allowed to access otherwise restricted websites and platforms. For example, you can get an IP to override a geographical restriction and watch streaming content from various locations.
Proxy or proxy server is a technology that acts as a gateway to the Internet. It also replaces your IP with another one – just like a VPN – but does so on the browser-level without encrypting a tunnel for all the data coming from or to your machine.
Proxies are widely used not only for accessing geo restricted sites but for marketing and sales purposes. You can use them for lead building on social media, or for scraping information on search engines. Proxies are also used for powering bots for copping sneakers online and a lot more. We have published a range of articles on ‘how to use proxy’, so you are welcome to go through our blog or menu above to find your case.
Similarities Between VPN and Proxy
Both VPN and proxy are used to hide the IP address of your system acting as intermediaries between your system and the target website. And, although sometimes you can use VPN as proxy, they operate differently (and we will cover that later). Although, from the user’s perspective it can be perceived as a primary function that makes these two similar.
Free and Paid options
If you are serious about the information that you are transferring or receiving from remote connections, you have to seriously consider paid services when it relates both to a VPN or a proxy.
Yes, free proxies and VPNs can be easily found but once you start using them extensively your personal data will be at risk. You will have no guarantees over your sensitive data and instead have tons of ads.
If your business depends on proxies or VPNs, a paid solution will ensure reliability and performance in each use case from video streaming to data scraping online.
Difference Between VPN and Proxy
Number of IPs
The key difference in VPN vs proxy lies in the idea that with VPN you get just one IP for each country or connection, whereas when you buy proxies, normally you want to have a plan with a few dozens of IPs for your missions.
Yes, sometimes it is possible to have another IP assigned to your VPN but it is rarely the case. And some proxies, like rotating or backconnect, are based around the idea of engaging a new IP for each connection you establish with a target site.
Proxies are protocol based and with HTTP or HTTPS proxies you will be able to alter your IP and system’s parameters only for your web browser traffic (whereas with SOCKS proxies, you can do it with a specific application running this protocol).
And VPNs will establish a secure tunnel with encrypted outgoing and incoming traffic. This includes all traffic generated by your system, not only browser or app based.
Anonymity and Security
While proxies will provide anonymity to your system by altering the IP, they are not meant to ensure security of your system the way a VPN does. With a VPN connection your traffic will be going through an encrypted tunnel and no one will be able to access it. On the downside, this traffic will be available to the VPN provider and if they keep all your logs the security of the service is jeopardized.
Why Use VPN and Proxy Together?
While you can see the differences between the technologies now, you may see that these two can be complementary in some cases.
If you need extra security during your scraping, you will benefit from using both proxies and VPN on a single machine. And below we will tell you how to use VPN and proxy together.
It may sound obvious, but you can buy proxies and combine them with a VPN as you see fit. You can fine tune the proxy settings in your browser or scraping bots and engage them once you need it. A VPN is normally a standalone application, which you can download and launch at a push of a button.
Also, you should keep in mind that a VPN can significantly slow down your internet channel. This is the consequence of data encryption in the tunnel. So, using VPN and proxy together during peak hours may result in readjusting your mission’s timing.
With ScrapeBox, for instance, it may significantly slow down your connection without any benefit in extra anonymity. So, if you plan on using a proxy with a VPN together but you don’t need extra security, it is recommended to keep your VPN off while running ScrapeBox with private proxies on board.
On the other hand, with torrents you might want to turn the proxies off and use a VPN instead.
How to Use VPN and Proxy at the Same Time?
Now, if you ask yourself: “How do I use a VPN and proxy at the same time?” First, let’s consider why you can and should use VPNs and proxies simultaneously.
Some VPNs come with a set of proxies and you will be able to run them right from the app. In case you have a separate set of proxies, it is still possible to run them with a VPN.
Using VPN and proxy at the same time adds extra protection to your connection. So, if you use a set of proxies with ScrapeBox and you want to add a layer of security to the system, you can hide the IPs with your VPN (e.g. Private Internet Access). This is justified when your proxies fail for some reason and your original IP can be exposed. In this event a VPN can cover up the whole operation and provide the required anonymity and security.
You can also do VPN and proxy combining to boost your connection security while using VPNs with SOCKS5 proxies. This setup is famous for providing protection against cyber attacks (involving various types of malware).
Do I Need Both Proxy and VPN Together?
For most of the use cases you don’t need to use both VPN and proxies. Especially, if your VPN comes integrated with proxies or you need access to streaming video. Using both will significantly slow down the connection and may result in buffering.
Also, having both a quality set of proxies and a good VPN can be rather costly and you just need to keep this in mind as well.
While it is quite possible to use a bundle of a VPN and proxy combined, it is worth taking into account such factors as connection speed and extra costs that will be involved with such a setup.
The increased security that you will gain in the process has to be justified and you can decide for yourself if the benefits of using VPN and proxy together outweigh the downsides.
Consider PrivateProxy Services
It may not sound obvious but PrivateProxy can support you on both sides of the market. We supply high performing proxies both for private application and to be used inside VPN services.
If you have any questions on using VPN vs proxy or on how to use proxy servers, our account managers will be able to guide you through the process of selecting the right IPs to be used for your particular use case. And once you buy VPN proxy or other IPs from us, we will be ready round-the-clock to assist you in using our servers successfully.
So, if you have a concern over compatibility of your VPN with our proxies, let us know via the chat box below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please read our Documentation if you have questions that are not listed below.
What are the advantages of using both a proxy and a VPN together?
The main advantage of using a VPN and a proxy bundle lies in having a more secure connection. In this case you will be able to alter your original IP and system fingerprints as well as have an encrypted tunnel for data transfer.
Can I use a proxy and a VPN together to improve security?
Yes, in some cases when your system’s security is your utmost concern you can use a VPN together with your proxies. It will reduce the risk of malware or other types of intrusion from the outside to the minimum.
Is it safe to use VPN and proxy together?
Absolutely. It will increase the security aspects of your Internet connection. However, such a setup can be expensive and using a VPN can significantly slow down the speed of your Internet connection.
How can I set up and use VPN and proxy together?
To use a VPN together with proxies you will need to install proxies into your scraper or browser and turn on your VPN while running the proxies. But be aware that a VPN normally comes as a separate app and can slow down the speed of your connection.
When should VPN and proxy be used together?
In use cases when you want to provide better security to your system and want to encrypt all outgoing and incoming traffic, you should use a VPN together with proxies. This will also help to reduce the possibility of any outside intrusion into the system by hackers or malware.
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