Streaming services are excellent sources of entertainment. However, like game developers, they tend to be very controlling with their content. Often they restrict their services to certain locations and use geo-blocking to lock out other regions, which necessitates the use of methods to overcome geo-blocking. Both VPNs and proxies are excellent methods to use in this case, but it’s not just enough for the service to bypass geo-blocking. So, what are the differences between a proxy and a VPN and which is better? First, we must look at what is needed for streaming.
Necessity for streaming
One of the core reasons any user would need a VPN or proxy to use for streaming is to bypass geo-blocking restrictions. These are network blocks that restrict access to the service to a specific geographical location, thereby blocking out access from outside the selected location. The VPN or proxy of choice must, therefore, have a functioning server located within the select location and provide you with access to the said server.
Security and privacy
As you might know, it is illegal to circumvent the network restrictions placed by most streaming services. While there may be ways to access the content without breaking the law, it is much safer to remain completely anonymous. Additionally, there is reason to be concerned about hackers targeting your account to gain access to your personal and financial details. Both network security and privacy are, therefore, a priority when streaming blocked content.
Network speed and stability
It is most frustrating to stream something and have to deal with lags. To avoid such unfortunate incidences, it is necessary that either the VPN or proxy includes a feature that allows for a boost in speed and to stabilize the network. A fluctuating network is just as irritating as a slow connection. The service of choice, therefore, needs to ensure that both are at peak performance to allow for seamless streaming.
Most streaming services are aware of the tricks people use to bypass their restrictions. As such, they have instituted restrictions that can identify and block VPN and proxy access. Nevertheless, since there are thousands of VPNs and proxies available, it is impossible to block them all. Your choice of either VPN or proxy should, therefore, be designed in such a way that it is still compatible with the streaming service in question.
A VPN is an excellent choice when looking to unblock websites. Aside from that, it provides a high level of security and privacy. This is made possible by routing encrypted network traffic via an encrypted network tunnel. Moreover, you get the option to select servers from different locations around the world. The number of servers available is determined by the VPN service of choice with some offering as many as over 1500 servers across as many as 94 countries.
Much like the VPN, a proxy is a great way of unblocking network restrictions. Proxies work in much the same way as the VPN when it comes to circumventing network restrictions. Through the use of a proxy server, you make your network traffic to appear as though originating from the location of the server and not from your actual location.
Of the two, the best choice for streaming would be the VPN. A proxy server might allow the user to overcome geo-blocking but it lacks in the other featured necessities. First, it does not encrypt your data, meaning that any network traffic can be used to track and identify you, but a VPN provides for comprehensive and encrypted network security and anonymity. The second critical limitation is that a proxy provides access to only one location, while a single VPN provides access to hundreds of server locations across multiple countries.
Proxies can be used to boost your network speeds, but they cannot eliminate latency or stabilize your connection as with the VPN, which is yet another limiting factor. Most importantly, it is easier to identify and block out a proxy than a VPN, which makes compatibility a problem when using proxies for streaming.