What Is The Difference Between Tor, VPN, and Proxy?

When you surf the web, do you want to have the freedom to see whatever you want to see on the web with absolute privacy and security? Then Tor, VPN, and Proxy are the three services that will help you do this like a pro.

They all will allow you to access anything on the web while concealing the IP address of your device. However, all of these three are quite different in serving different purposes.

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So, if you are confused about choosing the best one among Tor Vs VPN Vs Proxy then this post is personalized to you. We will cover everything about Tor, VPN, and Proxy and tell you their key feature sets, pros, and cons, so you can easily choose the best one as per your needs.

So let us get started with each one of these one-by-one-

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tor, VPN, and Proxy

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A) What is Tor? Advantages of Tor

  • If you are looking for anonymity on the web then Tor would be the right pick for you. It will work by letting your internet connection bounce off several nodes or relays that are run by volunteers.
  • The Onion Router or Tor allows you to browse the web anonymously. You will have a decentralized system that will enable you to connect with the help of a network of relays without using any direct connection.
  • Opting for this method will let your IP address stay hidden from the sites you browse through by bouncing your internet connection from one server to another server randomly by losing their trail.
  • People choose Tor because of its ability to set up so easily. Plus, it is also free to use as well.

Disadvantages of Tor

  • Tor does encrypt your data in relay nodes; the last relay in the chain can be compromised.
  • It can also slow down your browsing speed, as your data in Tor relays through different hops. Many government agencies still use Tor, as it was designed in conjunction with the U.S., and that is why many government players are also watchful of Tor.
  • Free proxies include issues like malware, inconsistent uptime, and slow speeds.

B) What is a VPN? Advantages of VPN

  • VPN or Virtual Private Network is a remote server that lets you connect to the internet by allowing you to appear from some other location.
  • When it comes to the privacy aspect, VPN is one of the most popular services that offer a secure connection.
  • In VPN, your PC will create an encrypted virtual tunnel to the VPN server. All your web traffics will go through this encrypted tunnel to keep your privacy and data stay say. VPN is top-notch in covering your internet traffic, social apps, games, and so forth.
  • So, you can use VPN for concealing your IP address from the web services you use, plus it is also useful in changing your real-world location.

Disadvantages of VPN

  • In some of the cases, few VPN providers may see your web traffic. VPNs are also costly in comparison to both of the other options.
  • Even in the cases when a government agency asks the VPN service to reveal logs, your privacy would be exposed.
  • Implementation of server randomization and load balancing should be done properly, so you connect with different VPN servers each time.

C) What is a Proxy? Advantages of Proxy

  • A proxy is useful in directing your traffic through another computer instead rather than your own PC.
  • By using a proxy server, you will get an intermediary between your web browser and the internet. In the process, first, your browser will connect to the proxy that will further connect your browser to the internet.
  • Hence, for other sites and internet services, your proxy would be your identity on the web. The proxy will hide your actual IP address.
  • In case you want to bypass the basic content filters then proxies are the best options for you.
  • For different low-stakes online activities that demand a unique IP for a location, or for unblocking content that is not accessible in your region, proxies can for sure be a good solution for you.

Disadvantages of Proxy

  • Proxies are mainly designed to protect the traffic via browser, and not all your internet traffic.
  • Besides, free proxies comprise many other drawbacks such as inconsistent uptime, malware, and slow speeds. SOCKS, HTTP, and HTTPS protocols are used in Proxies in which HTTP and SOCKS offer no encryption, plus with HTTPS, you just get the same level of encryption as any of the SSL websites.
  • That is why, in some of the cases, it can be unsuitable for your privacy and security concerns. You will also be required to configure it separately for each of the applications.

Analysis of Tor Vs Proxy Vs VPN on Different Grounds

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Now, as you are well aware of Tor, Proxy, and VPN, the next thing that you will be confusing you is which one to choose. Here, we are going to do a thorough analysis of all three on different grounds, so you can opt for the one that best fits with your needs. So, let us get started right away-

a) Privacy

Proxies include HTTPS encryption to the site you go through on the web, so anyone trying to go through your browser history will only find gibberish. While on the other hand, with a VPN, others will see your IP address as the one assigned by the VPN server. However, trackers, cookies can be tracked despite having a VPN.

Though they can see your VPN traffic, they won’t b able to peek inside. That is why; it is suggested to opt for a VPN that does not keep your logs. You should also choose a VPN play which is dedicated to privacy.

Now comes the Tor whose top priority is your privacy. It will obscure IP address like a pro. Political dissidents, whistleblowers, and cybercriminals opt Tor for hiding their identity. However, you have to configure Tor correctly. All in all, the best option for your privacy can be Tor that is connected through a VPN for hiding your IP address.

b) Speed

In case you are looking for speed, then Proxy cannot be the right option for you. Many paid proxies do offer reliable streaming, but still, they are prone to disconnections, and hence, its speed faces many issues and downtime.

VPNs are considered top-notch in offering good speed, so you can stream videos with ease as well. Choosing a server located closer to you will help you in getting the best speed. The auto-connect feature of a VPN will also help you in getting good speed. On the ground of speed, Tor is the slowest among the three. Therefore, the winner in this category is the VPN.

c) Security

With Proxy, you get the same level of security as you get from HTTPS websites. When it comes to security, Proxy is considered the weakest one. With VPN, the hacker will find unreadable, fully encrypted data while intercepting your connection. VPNs can even protect you on the unsecured public Wi-Fi networks as well.

Tor also safeguards your traffic from prying eyes quite adeptly. The exit node of Tor is quite vulnerable that is why it comes second the VPN when it comes to security. Now, if you want to compare Tor Vs Proxy Vs VPN on the ground of security, the sure-shot winner is VPN.

d) Simplicity

The comparative analysis of Tor Vs Proxy Vs VPN on the ground of simplicity is also quite interesting. When it comes to easy setup and web surfing, Proxies are considered the most effective one.

VPN is also not very difficult to set-up but when the comparison is done with Proxy, VPN comes in the second position. Installation and implementation of Tor are considered a little onerous in comparison to Proxy and VPN.

e) Mobile Compatibility

When it comes to Proxies, you need to apply them on a per-application basis. You can still find some of the apps that ignore your proxy. With VPNs, you get the best in class mobile compatibility. You can find VPNs on Android as well as iOS. You just need to do some manual adjustments to let your VPN work flawlessly on mobile devices.

Now, with Tor, you will only get an Android application, so iOS users will not be able to access it on mobile devices. So, all in all, VPN is again a sure-shot winner on the ground of mobile compatibility as well.

In addition to these grounds, you can also analyze Tor Vs Proxy Vs VPN on some other grounds as well. For instance when it comes to legality, Proxy is the winner, and for streaming, VPN is the winner.

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Final Thoughts about Tor Vs Proxy Vs VPN!

On the concluding note, we hope our analysis of Tor Vs Proxy Vs VPN would have helped you in choosing the right one for you. However, in most of the cases, VPN is considered the most preferred choices by the users.

VPNs are the best option for you that will work flawlessly all the times from anywhere with the best level of protection as well. But, you can connect VPN via a Tor which is will be quite effective for anonymity. You can also for Proxies as a fast and low-cost solution for effective IP masking.

Do you agree with our analysis of Tor Vs Proxy Vs VPN? What features are you expecting from these services? Update us with your views in the comment section below.


About Author

Pramod Kumar I'm Pramod Kumar Yaduvanshi, creator and editor in chief of PCMobitech. I mostly write about Computer, Smartphone, VPN, Security related articles and tips & tricks etc. Follow me on: Twitter.


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