Free web proxy is considered to be an alternative to VPN, especially for those who want to hide their IP address without having to subscribe to any premium VPN service. However, is a free web proxy the same as virtual private network? This is the simple question that you might ask, but the answer is that they are not the same. There are certain differences that make these hide IP tools to have their own advantages and disadvantages. Of course, it is quite easy to find free web proxy online, as well as a good virtual private network service, but you have to understand how they work so that you don’t confuse them with each other.

In short, free web proxy is not the same as VPN, and they are not interchangeable. They have their own functions, and they offer their own features. However, the goal of these two security tools is pretty much the same, which is to help you stay anonymous online. Here are 5 key differences between VPN and free web proxy:

1. Simple IP Masking Vs. Full Online Privacy Protection

When you use a free web proxy, you actually assign a different IP address to your browser. When a web proxy is available, you simply add that proxy in your browser settings. Once the proxy is applied, you will be able to browse the internet using the new proxy IP address, allowing you to browse anonymously. However, this is the extent that a free web proxy will allow you to do.

VPN provides the full online privacy protection, not just a simple IP address that you can assign to your browser. With a VPN software, you will be able to protect your whole device with the private IP address that can mask your online presence, as well as give you lots of other features, such as added security encryption, bypassing internet restrictions, protection against hackers, and so on.

2. Applied To Browser Vs. Applied To The Whole Device

A free web proxy can be applied only on your browser by accessing your browser settings. So, for instance, if you use Firefox, then you can go to Settings and apply the new proxy in the Privacy option. Once applied, only your Firefox browser can get the benefit of that proxy, unless you are assigning the proxy for other browsers as well. So, if you want to browse anonymously using that proxy address, you need to use the browser where the proxy is applied to it.

The virtual private network, on the other hand, will apply the new IP address to your whole device, not just to your browser. Once the software is installed, your computer will automatically connect to the private server. It means that whether you are using Firefox, Skype, Outlook, Dropbox, or any other software, you are connecting using the private IP address of your VPN.

3. Basic Encryption Vs. Advanced Encryption System

The free web proxy provides a simple way to mask your IP address, without any additional features. Even if your connection is encrypted, it only provides the basic encryption system for that IP address. The goal is just to hide your IP address while browsing, without any additional features like protection for your banking or financial transactions.

The private connection, on the other hand, provides you the advanced encryption system for your internet connection. It means that when you use a VPN, all the data transmissions are automatically protected using a very strong encryption. This encryption system allows you to protect your device from hackers and other online threats. Some VPN service providers even provide military-grade encryption for their private network.

4. Manual Server Switching Vs. Integrated Server Switching

The way to use the free web proxy is to find the IP address that is currently available for you to use. Once you’ve found it, you can assign the IP address to your browser, so that you can browse the internet using the assigned IP address. However, if you want to switch to a different server or IP address, you have to do it manually, by looking for the new available address and assign it to your browser.

The VPN works differently. The server switching process is integrated into the VPN software, meaning that you don’t need to enter the new IP address manually every time you want to switch to a different server. You just need to choose the server location, and then you are automatically using the new server without much hassles.

5. Limited Browsing Features Vs. Fully-Featured Browsing

Sometimes, a free web proxy can be used to bypass various internet restrictions, but the browsing features are usually limited. Usually, the free web proxy will allow you only to use it for light browsing. You cannot use the proxy for financial transactions, streaming, or performing any activity that might use too much data. Moreover, it has a slow connection speed as well.

With a VPN, you will be able to use the private IP address to browse anything online, just like using your regular connection. You can use it for financial transactions, online banking, video streaming, and so on. It will even give you the additional security features, such as firewall protection, anonymity, privacy, total internet freedom, encryption, and so on.

Those are the 5 key differences between VPN and free web proxy. Now that you’ve understood the difference between the two, it is recommended for you to check out more about VPN, since it will allow you not just to hide your IP address, but to protect your online activity as well.