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VPN vs Proxy vs Smart DNS: What is the difference?

Protect anonymity online and circumvent regional content restrictions one of the most requested things on the Internet that is becoming increasingly accessible and equally dangerous. There are numerous services that you can use to keep your online identity hidden and to access blocked content in the region; the most important VPN, Smart DNS and Proxy. But what exactly are these services? How do they work? And when should you choose one over the other? If you are asking yourself all (or all) of these questions, read on to find out differences between VPNs, proxies and Smart DNS :

What is VPN, Smart DNS and Proxy

  • A VPN or a virtual private network basically creates a private network accessible on the Internet (public network). It allows users to communicate as if they were directly connected on the private network, when they are, in fact, able to communicate on the Internet. VPNs are widely used by companies that need to allow to remote employees to access the private network and are also used as a method to obtain secure and encrypted access to the Internet.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

  • Smart DNS a server specifically configured to redirect users to a proxy server. Unlike VPNs, which forward all Internet traffic through their tunnels, Smart DNS forwards only very specific traffic . All the rest of the traffic authorized to travel through the Internet as it would do without a Smart DNS, VPN or Proxy server. Therefore, SmartDNS servers are mainly used for access online streaming websites which limit their content to specific countries. In these cases, the Smart DNS server causes the website to think that the user is accessing the website from a suitable location.
  • A proxy server, basically used for maintain anonymity on a network . Every Web request sent is first forwarded to the Proxy server, which then transmits it to the server for which it was designed. This causes the recipient server to think that the Proxy server has sent the original request, thus maintaining the anonymous user. When the server responds to the proxy, it sends the response to the user.

Differences between VPN, Smart DNS and Proxy

VPN vs Smart DNS

VPN and Smart DNS services are often used for similar purposes, such as access to content with geographical limitations, however, the way in which both these systems work fundamentally different:

  • A VPN sends all your internet traffic through a tunnel that has the purpose of masking your IP address, while Smart DNS usually addresses only the traffic that is connected to the determination of your geographical position.
  • While VPN provides encryption traffic and hides your IP address; Smart DNS not does none of these.
  • A VPN uses a tunnel to make it appear as if you were accessing the Internet from a different location. Smart DNS, on the other hand, uses a different method. Change your DNS to deceive websites thinking that you are accessing them from a different location, often the one that falls under their list of "suitable locations" to access them.
  • Smart DNS is often faster than the VPN, because, unlike the VPN, it is not necessary to route data through a remote server.

VPN vs Proxy

VPN and Proxy, both appear as if you were accessing the Internet from a different location than you actually are. However, this is all there between the similarities between the two. There are also some differences:

  • A proxy as a man-in-the-middle . The computer sends the data to the Proxy and forwards it to the Internet, acting as if it were the source of the request. The VPN, on the other hand, works at the system level and captures all network traffic and routes it through the VPN tunnel.
  • Proxies simply hide your IP address, do not provide any kind of encryption. The VPN, on the other hand, encrypts your Internet traffic and communicates with the Internet.
  • Since the proxies do not encode any data and simply change the IP address that is shown to the websites, rather easy for someone to browse between your data, and not even too difficult to find out your true identity. More often, proxies do not remove any identifying information from the network, except to change the IP address. A VPN, on the other hand, heavily encrypts the traffic from your computer, which makes it very secure and therefore prevents someone from snooping. If you are using a VPN (a good one), not even your ISP will be able to take a look at your traffic. The same cannot be said for a Proxy.
  • However, since proxies do not encrypt any data, the very low overload and the minimum latency. A VPN, on the other hand, has a lot of overhead, due to the processing power required to encrypt the data. Usually it also introduces a lot of latency in the connection. This is simply the cost you have to pay for a reliable VPN.

Smart DNS vs Proxy

On their face, the two services may seem similar, but they are very different. Here are some of the important differences between Smart DNS and Proxy:

  • A proxy hides your IP and replaces it with your own IP address, so websites don't know who is actually trying to access the data. Smart DNS does nothing of the kind. Simply deceive the websites so that you think you come from a position that is suitable for accessing their data.
  • Smart DNS can simultaneously unlock the main websites from a number of different countries, as it does not depend on changing the IP address. A Proxy, however, can only unlock access to a single country at a time.
  • Smart DNS also has a higher speed compared to Proxy. This happens because Smart DNS does nothing but hide traffic related to your geographical location, allowing the rest of the traffic to flow normally.

VPN, Smart DNS or Proxy: when to use What

By now, you must have understood quite well how these three services differ from one another. However, they are still very similar and the choice of the service you want to use completely on you. So how do you decide which of these three things to use when? Well, some common uses that fit into each of these services are shown below:

Because you should use the proxy

A proxy the method less sure of all three. It just hides your IP and can't really protect you from being identified by anyone trying to join the network. You can use Proxy in situations where it is sufficient make the website a different system every time . For example, if you play a game where you get points to rank the game server on a website and want to do it multiple times. You can use a Proxy to make the website believe that a different computer is accessing each time. This can easily fool most websites that set restrictions like the number of ratings you can post every day.

Basically, proxies must be used only for activities where no security is required . Therefore, it is not advisable to use a proxy to remain anonymous while accessing the Internet from a coffee shop.

Because it is necessary to use Smart DNS

Smart DNS the best option to use in situations where you simply want to access websites with geographical limitations maximum speed possible . Therefore, you can use Smart DNS to access popular online streaming websites that are not yet available in your country. Furthermore, if you want to access more websites, where each is limited to another country, it is likely that a Smart DNS is the best solution, as can unblock access to several countries at the same time .

Smart DNS simply simplifies the website in thinking of accessing it from a position that is suitable for accessing its content. However, Smart DNS does not offer any kind of encryption and it is not advisable to use it when a secure Internet connection is required.

Because you should use VPN

The VPN is the heaviest option for processor and bandwidth intensive use. However, too the safest . As long as you use a VPN from a reliable VPN provider, you can be sure that your internet traffic will not be snoopied. Even your ISP cannot see what you are doing on the internet. This high security is the strength of VPN. Therefore, necessary use VPN services when necessary to maintain the highest level of security while browsing. VPNs must absolutely be used when you are access the Internet from a public Wi-Fi network, like that of your own bar or hotel.

A VPN can circumvent most restrictions imposed on websites, both by website developers and by your government. VPN lets you freely access the Internet without worrying about being spied on by your ISP, your government or a middle-man. If someone checks in, they will only be able to see the encrypted data flowing through the connection.

The best VPN, Smart DNS and proxy services

The only problem with using services like VPN, Proxy and Smart DNS, to find a reliable provider. While there are many providers that offer these services, how do you figure out which one is the best? So, here are some of the best VPN, Smart DNS and Proxy services you can use:

VPN services

  • TunnelBear one of the best VPN services. They even have a great free level of their service, which offers you 500 MB of free data every month : a limit that you can increase by tweeting on the TunnelBear handle on Twitter. TunnelBear has a very competitive price and I highly recommend trying it out.

Download TunnelBear (free, plans start at $ 3, 33 per month); (Available for Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS)

  • ExpressVPN another truly exceptional VPN service that you can try. They include unlimited data with any of their plans, and while they offer no free level, you get one 30 day money back guarantee, so there is nothing wrong with trying.

Download ExpressVPN (Plans start at $ 8, 32 a month); (Available for Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS)

Smart DNS Services

  • Smart DNS Proxy a great option to use if you want to use Smart DNS to access content with geographic restrictions on your system. They offer plans to competitive prices for their service and support over 300 websites and services. They have available a test option, so you can definitely check it out.

Visit the Smart DNS website (14 day free trial, plans start at $ 2, 07 per month); (Available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Smart TV and game consoles)

  • CactusVPN another website that offers Smart DNS services. They have a 7-day trial period when you have access to all the premium features, after which you will have to pay to continue using their service.

Visit the CactusVPN website (7 days free trial, $ 4, 99 per month); (Available for Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS)

Proxy services

There are many websites that offer proxy servers that you can use to access websites that are otherwise inaccessible in your region. You can use 4everproxy or dontfilterus to access geolocated websites from a proxy server.

Use VPN, Smart DNS or Proxy to freely access the Internet

Depending on your needs and the type of service you want to access, you can now choose between VPN, Smart DNS or Proxy to unlock content with geographical restrictions. You can use VPNs to make sure that your internet traffic is encrypted and that nobody can see the websites you are accessing on the web. However, since VPNs are inherently slower, if all you want to access an online streaming website, you need to use Smart DNS instead. At the end of the day, completely up to you, to use the service that you think is best suited to your applications.

As always, we would like to hear from you about VPN, Smart DNS and Proxy. Tell us about your favorite VPN and Smart DNS providers, in the comments section below.