Privacy Issues? Anonymous VPN service vs. Proxy Server

Internet privacy has over the recent past been a main concern in this digital era. The information age has brought a lot of advantages to us by sharing information quickly and easily but also another detrimental risk has arisen. How do I protect the information that I am sharing? Large organisations have been brought to their knees (literally) just because some data got into the wrong hands.

How does information get into the wrong hands? First, we need to look at how computers connect in a network. This may be by using proxy servers or VPN (virtual private networks) services. What are these? A proxy server is a server that interfaces/acts as a connecting point between machines in a network cloud i.e. accepts incoming traffic and forwards it to the required destination. When a web server receives a request, the request seems as though it has come from a proxy server rather than the particular machine. A proxy server is identified by their ID.

Proxy servers can be categorised into these main types, HTTP, filtering and SOCKS proxies. HTTP are basically used for HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) traffic while filtering proxies are used to deny access to certain websites i.e. most schools restrict access to social sites during class hours and SOCKS are used to tunnel various kinds of traffic e.g. ftp and messenger.

In terms of privacy, proxy servers are not the best since a third party can hack and keep listening to every bit of information sent between the client and server. Now this is where anonymous VPN come in. a VPN is a network layered onto a computer network and uses a public network i.e. internet. It is mostly used by companies to protect employee’s privacy and data when they are accessing it away from the company’s network.

The data in an anonymous UK VPN is wrapped up in the network traffic hence appears just as another traffic stream. The data is encrypted by security algorithms and a reliable connection is established through tunneling. A VPN extends graphic connectivity between individuals and their organisations, reduce costs and travelling costs that would have been incurred by employees, also access blocked sites.

VPN networks can be classified as either remote access or site-to-site. Remote access allows individual computers to access a network while site-to-site connects two networks together such as when employees are in geographically separate offices to share a virtual network.

Before choosing on any UK VPN service provider, one should consider the costs, countries that they will be able to get a connection and the speeds that can be achieved by the provider. Some service providers have upgraded in that there software’s are able to detect malicious and spam websites just to protect you from being left vulnerable.

Do you conduct any of these activities? Shop online using your credit card, share sensitive info e.g. passwords, work where there is location-based internet censorship, visit blocked sites? If the answer is yes to any of these options then anonymous VPN is the way to go since it offers complete secure web anonymity.