VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s a technology that performs two main functions:
- Encrypts all your network traffic, protecting your data from spies and censors.
- Gives your computer a new network address (IP address), which can also be in a different country than your physical location. This is useful when you’d like to browse the Internet as if you’re based in a different country, such as when you’re based in a country with censorship and want to browse freely as if you’re in your home country.
The terms “VPN” and “VPN Proxy” are interchangeable. The word “Proxy” simply clarifies that the VPN forwards your network traffic. The VPN acts as a proxy funneling your network traffic from your computer, through the VPN servers, then on to its ultimate destination.
However, if you see the word “proxy” without “VPN” nearby, make sure you know what you’re getting:
So why would anyone need a VPN proxy? See here for our list of top reasons to get a VPN.