Anyone surfing the Internet these days, unprotected and unsecured, is to blame. After all, you don’t leave the door wide open when you leave your apartment, and a sign with the inscription “Open Day” hangs next to it, do you? On the contrary: you pull the door firmly into the lock and turn the key.
Only when it comes to the Internet things are often different: Unsecured WLAN networks, unencrypted data streams and inadequately protected hotspots are the most cordial invitations to data theft, WLAN misuse and the like. And that’s exactly why you need a solution: To secure your data, to protect your anonymity and thus close your digital front door.
All that remains is the question: What is the best way to protect yourself?
You will surely have heard the term “VPN” before or even got to know it in detail. If not, you should definitely read this article before you consider the two alternatives. But no matter where you are at the moment – the fact is: You have to keep your data safe and your anonymity safe. And that’s perfectly legitimate: Since Edward Snowden reported on the interception practices of American secret services, securing digital communications has become more and more a real need in everyday life.
Frequent censorship in countries such as China can also become a problem: Blocked websites, unaccessible content and monitored Internet connections are not exactly what you want for your everyday web life, are they? But of course there are already solutions to this problem. In fact, you even have three ways to bypass Internet censorship and make yourself anonymous: Through a VPN connection, a Tor network or a proxy server.
So far, so good. But what is a VPN, a Tor network, or a proxy server anyway? And which of these technologies is most suitable for you? Or should you even use a combination? All these questions will be dealt with in this article and we will find the most suitable solution for you.
Short overview: What are the characteristics of VPN, Tor and Proxy?
VPN, Tor and Proxy are encryption technologies that make you anonymous while surfing and disguise your true identity in the form of your IP address. But not every one of the three variants anonymizes you in the same or the best possible way. So before you can find the best method for you, you should know which technology has which advantages and disadvantages.
The VPN technology
A good and competent VPN provider enables you to surf anonymously and securely from anywhere in the world. With such a service data security and anonymity are the first priority. You can find out which VPN services come into question here in our big VPN test report.
The VPN technology also eliminates geo-blocking so that you can access content that is not actually available in your country. One disadvantage of VPNs is that depending on the provider, there may be a loss of speed. Of course, this has a special effect on the streaming of Netflix & Co., so that some providers have a longer loading time.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a VPN provider that guarantees fast streaming despite a VPN connection, take a look at the best Netflix-compatible VPN services. Overall, VPN is the safest way to protect your data and maintain your anonymity.
A Tor connection encrypts your Internet connection in a similar way to a VPN, but is considered somewhat less secure. We’ll take a closer look at what this is all about later. The system itself is based on open source technology and was first released in 2002. The purpose of Tor is to make your connection data anonymous on the web. To use Tor, you need an extra Tor browser, which you can download free of charge from the web.
But be careful: Tor should provide for your anonymity in the net, but fights occasionally like VPN with the one or other reduction of your Internet speed.
Proxy is the easiest and fastest way to get a different identity on the Internet. Proxy like Tor and VPN can also remove geo-blocking and make blocked content accessible to you. However, Proxy does not offer you any data security like a VPN service. Proxy simply gives you a different IP address and forwards you under that one to your controlled websites. You will therefore only be given a cover so that third parties will not be able to recognize you by your IP address. However, your data stream is still unencrypted and not secured.