Proxy, Antidetect Browser, and VPN are all tools that can be used to protect your privacy and security online. However, they each have different strengths and weaknesses.
Most web services on the Internet keep a tab on their users by tracking them. With the data obtained, they are able to enforce geo-restrictions and geo-targeting, keep spammers blocked from accessing their platforms, and ensure censorship clauses by government agencies. While this might not be seen as entirely bad, web users are always at risk. And if you are a marketer, you will know how this is bad for your business.
Fortunately, there is a fix for this, and this depends on your target site, specific project requirement, and how much you are ready to accept failure. When it comes to evading tracking, there are 3 options available to you — Proxies, VPN software, and antidetect browsers. Each of these has tasks they are meant for, but there are instances where you will need a combination of two of these. In this comparison article, we will take a look at proxies Vs. antidetect browsers, Vs. VPNs. In the end, you will know which is the best for your use case.
Brief Overview of Proxies, Antidetect Browsers, and VPN
|Masks your IP address
|Masks your IP address, browser fingerprint, and other identifying information
|Masks your IP address, encrypts your traffic, and allows you to connect to the internet from a different location
|Multi-accounting, web scraping, and other tasks that require anonymity
|Privacy, security, and bypassing geo-blocks
The trio (Proxy, antidetect browser, and VPN) are all tools that protect you from web tracking by making you anonymous. However, they defer in the way they get this done.
- Price: Proxies can range in price from free to hundreds of dollars per month.
- Platforms: Proxies are available for most major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- Features: Proxies typically offer a limited set of features, such as masking your IP address and changing your location.
- Security: Proxies offer a low level of security. They do not encrypt your traffic, making it possible for websites and other third parties to track your activity.
- Speed: Proxies can slow down your internet connection. This is because your traffic is routed through an intermediary server.
- Best for: Everyday browsing. Proxies are a good option for users who want to hide their IP address and change their location. However, they are not a good option for users who need a high level of security or speed.
Otherwise known as proxy servers, proxies are concerned majorly with your IP address. They act as intermediaries between your computer and web servers on the Internet. By using them, your real IP address is masked with a different one, thereby making it difficult for wen services to trace web requests to you via your IP address. To use proxies, all you need is the proxy address/host, port, username, and password — no installation is required. Proxies are configured and work on an application level. For you to use them on a system wide-level, you will need to use specialized such as Proxifier.
- Price: VPNs can range in price from $5 to $50 per month.
- Platforms: VPNs are available for most major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- Features: VPNs typically offer a wide range of features, such as masking your IP address, encrypting your traffic, and allowing you to connect to the internet from a different location.
- Security: VPNs offer a high level of security. They encrypt your traffic and route it through a server in a different location, making it difficult for your ISP, government, and other third parties to track your online activity.
- Speed: VPNs can slow down your internet connection. This is because your traffic is routed through an intermediary server.
- Best for: Privacy, security, and bypassing geo-blocks. VPNs are a good option for users who need a high level of security and privacy. They can also be used to bypass geo-blocks, which are restrictions that prevent you from accessing certain websites or services in certain locations.
Just like proxies, VPN software are also meant to mask your real IP address with a different one. However, you do not have the liberty of changing your IP address too frequently as you can with VPN software. VPN requires you to have them installed on your device and work at a system level, forcing all web traffic via its VPN server where your IP address is masked. One advantage VPNs have over proxies is their support for encryption. They need to be installed, and some do have support for a kill switch which cuts off your Internet connection once the VPN stop working.
- Price: Antidetect browsers can range in price from $10 to $50 per month.
- Platforms: Antidetect browsers are available for most major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- Features: Antidetect browsers typically offer a wide range of features, such as masking your IP address, browser fingerprint, and other identifying information.
- Security: Antidetect browsers offer a medium level of security. They encrypt your traffic and mask your browser fingerprint, making it difficult for websites and other third parties to track your activity.
- Speed: Antidetect browsers can slow down your internet connection. This is because your traffic is routed through an intermediary server.
- Best for: Multi-accounting, web scraping, and other tasks that require anonymity. Antidetect browsers are a good option for users who need a high level of security and anonymity. However, they can be expensive and slow down your internet connection.
Antidetect browsers are somehow different from proxies and VPNs. While proxies and VPNs help you mask your IP address, antidetect browsers are concerned with protecting you against browser fingerprinting. It turns out that websites use more than IP addresses to track and identify users. Some websites will use your device and browser parameters that are difficult to tweak to identify you. Once a web service does this, proxies and VPNs lose their power and even if you use them, you will surely get discovered and blocked.
Proxies and VPN: Old Methods of Resisting Web Tracking
In the past, all you need to manage multiple accounts, circumvent restrictions, and unblock websites are proxies and VPN. With your IP address changed and cookies deleted, you become new to the websites you visit. This is because, at that time, web services only use IP addresses, cookies, and a few other pointers to identify and track users. In recent times, many users of proxies and VPNs are finding it difficult to carry out their tasks online as they keep getting detected and banned. For the untrained eyes, the proxy or VPN provider is weak.
However, this is not the case. These technologies have been made in the past where IP addresses are the main pointers used by web services to track users. Websites nowadays make use of other details including your device and browser parameters which VPNs and proxies do not have control over. This means that while a VPN or proxy server will keep your IP address hidden, websites can still get identifiable information about you from your browser which will then be used for identifying and tracking your activities.
This is done by getting details of your device and browser such as fonts, plugin, user agent, location, timezone, and even generating noise, drawing graphics using canvas, and other methods. These details are then put together to generate a hash which is then used as your browser fingerprint. The more unique your browser fingerprint is, the higher the chances of it being used to track you. Unfortunately, most users are even more unique than they think. And the more you try to resist browser fingerprinting, the more unique you become. This is why proxies and VPNs are failing at keeping you anonymous.
Antidetect Browsers: The Tools for Preventing Browser Fingerprinting
Development in browser fingerprinting technology has made proxies and VPNs less effective. But that does not mean there is nothing you can do about it. With an antidetect browser, you can have full control of the browser fingerprint generated and sent to websites you visit. This gives you some level of power and control that make you evade detection. Most antidetect browsers do not try to resist browser fingerprinting as that will make them even unique as stated earlier. Instead, they generate generic browser fingerprints for you that make you less unique and thus, hidden in the crowd.
Most of the antidetect browsers including Multilogin, GoLogin, AdsPower, and Kameleo do have support for creating multiple browser profiles. Each of the browser profiles will have a new browser environment with its own cookies, local storage, and cache. The browser fingerprints are also different, making it possible for you to manage multiple accounts. It is important you know that antidetect browsers do not function in isolation. If you need to create multiple browser profiles using them, you will need to use proxies so as to give each browser profile a unique IP address.
Antidetect browsers are increasingly being in web automation too. Websites use browser fingerprinting to identify bots such as web scrapers using their behavior and browser fingerprint. Antidetect browsers are just like regular browsers and as such, provide local APIs which you can use together with Selenium or Puppeteer to automate them.
Proxy Vs Antidetect Browser Vs VPN: When Should You Use them?
From the above, you can see that proxies and VPNs are meant only for masking one real IP address. This has its advantages as it helps you unblock web services that ban you, access the Internet from a different location virtually by using an IP address from such location, giving you access to their localized content, as well as maintaining the privacy of your IP address. To make some distinction, VPN software is used mostly for personal usage to mask IP addresses and unblock websites. We recommend ExpressVPN as they are arguably the best option put there.
For automation such as web scraping and other tasks that need you to change IP addresses too frequently, proxies are used. Proxies are also used for managing multiple accounts. Proxies are majorly used by marketers. Many client software used by marketers have support for proxies or use them under the hood. Our recommended proxy provider for most use cases is Smartproxy.
Antidetect browsers are meant mostly for managing multiple accounts. Most web services, including Facebook, Instagram, Fiverr, LinkedIn, and all of the popular web services do not allow users to manage more than one account. If you try doing so, your browser fingerprint will be used to track you down even if you use proxies. If you try using proxies to manage multiple accounts and your account keeps getting blocked, it is time to start using an antidetect browser. But antidetect browsers do not work alone for managing multiple accounts — they require proxies too. I recommend the GoLogin antidetect browser and residential proxies from Smartproxy.
If you are a regular Internet user looking to unblock a website or access services such as Netflix from another country, VPN software is what you need, and I recommend ExpressVPN.
For marketer looking to automate your tasks online or want to manage a few multiple accounts, I will recommend proxies and Smartproxy has got some of the best residential proxies for you.
If your multiple accounts keep getting blocked, it means the web service is using browser fingerprinting to identify your accounts and as such, you should use antidetect browsers which I recommend GoLogin as a cost-effective option.
Frequently asked questions about Proxy, Antidetect Browser, and VPN:
What is a proxy?
A proxy is a server that acts as an intermediary between your computer and the internet. When you use a proxy, your computer sends its requests to the proxy server, which then forwards those requests to the intended website. This masks your IP address, making it difficult for websites to track your activity.
What is an antidetect browser?
An antidetect browser is a type of browser that is designed to mask your browser fingerprint. Your browser fingerprint is a unique combination of settings and features that can be used to identify your computer. Antidetect browsers use a variety of techniques to mask your browser fingerprint, making it difficult for websites to track your activity.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a service that encrypts your traffic and routes it through a server in a different location. This makes it difficult for your ISP, government, and other third parties to track your online activity. VPNs can also be used to bypass geo-blocks, which are restrictions that prevent you from accessing certain websites or services in certain locations.
What are the benefits of using a proxy, antidetect browser, or VPN?
There are many benefits to using a proxy, antidetect browser, or VPN. These tools can help you to:
- Protect your privacy: By masking your IP address and encrypting your traffic, proxies, antidetect browsers, and VPNs can help to protect your privacy online. This can be especially important if you are using public Wi-Fi or if you are concerned about government surveillance.
- Bypass geo-blocks: Proxies, antidetect browsers, and VPNs can be used to bypass geo-blocks, which are restrictions that prevent you from accessing certain websites or services in certain locations. This can be useful if you are trying to access a website that is blocked in your country or if you are trying to watch a video that is only available in a different country.
- Access content that is blocked at work or school: Proxies, antidetect browsers, and VPNs can be used to access content that is blocked at work or school. This can be useful if you are trying to access a website that is blocked by your employer’s firewall or if you are trying to watch a video that is blocked by your school’s network.
What are the drawbacks of using a proxy, antidetect browser, or VPN?
There are a few drawbacks to using a proxy, antidetect browser, or VPN. These tools can:
- Slow down your internet connection: Proxies, antidetect browsers, and VPNs can slow down your internet connection. This is because your traffic is routed through an intermediary server.
- Be expensive: Proxies, antidetect browsers, and VPNs can be expensive. The cost of these tools varies depending on the features that are offered.
- Be illegal in some countries: In some countries, it is illegal to use a proxy, antidetect browser, or VPN. If you are planning to use one of these tools, it is important to check the laws in your country first.
Which tool is right for me?
The best tool for you will depend on your individual needs and requirements. If you are looking for a simple and affordable way to protect your privacy, then a proxy may be a good option. If you need a more comprehensive solution that can mask your browser fingerprint and encrypt your traffic, then an antidetect browser or VPN may be a better choice.