Photo by Kevin Paster
VPN is widely used for remote network access across businesses. It deciphers as a virtual private network. You can already see from the name that it is used for a private connection that is more secured and encrypted in a way that no one could access the data that is shared inside this network.
At the same time, the market is not slumbering. Numerous alternatives have been developed in recent years and even before. That’s mainly due to major flaws that a VPN has.
While more things are going online these days, the importance of cybersecurity only grows bigger. For some important things to do, like automation software, VPN is simply not sufficient anymore. There has never been a better time to discover the alternative for VPN that keeps your information secure. For many important tasks, like automation software, VPN is simply not sufficient anymore.
What does a VPN do?
VPN works as an intermediary server that operates instead of your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Usually, your ISP gives you an IP address that is used to connect to the internet through a network that ISP provides. Your ISP can see all your traffic.
If someone wants to restrict your access to a certain site, they only need to block your IP address. Sometimes governments apply these blocks by having agreements with ISPs that they will block your access to certain content.
A VPN gives you a new IP address and encrypts your traffic in a way that allows you to surf the internet without exposing your traffic and data to your ISP. If your VPN has an IP address that indicates a different country, neither government nor your ISP can do anything to block your access based on your location.
A major flaw of the VPN
VPNs don’t have a wide variety of IP addresses and most of them are well-known to big websites. Additionally, if you or another client of the same VPN gets blocked, that’s the end.
That is the main reason why you need an alternative. For instance, if you are using bots, they will need multiple IPs that will help them stay unnoticed and unblocked. If they work under your new IP address provided by the VPN, after it gets blocked, you will not be able to use your bots anymore.
Moreover, a VPN will not mask your bot activity because they need to change their IP address frequently for them to remain anonymous. If they work under the same IP for a longer period, their traffic leaves traces that indicate abnormal speed. It makes them vulnerable.
Even without using bots, VPN provides only a one-time solution that stops working the same moment you get blocked once again.
Which alternative avoids these flaws?
Probably the best VPN alternative are proxy servers. They work in pretty much the same manner as a VPN. They change your IP address and let you stay anonymous while surfing the internet. Your real IP address is disguised, and only a proxy provider can see it, while any outside server can’t see who you are and can’t block you.
Proxies can be distinguished among similar services because they provide multiple IP addresses that can rotate on demand or after preset periods of their usage. Additionally, they provide the highest possible anonymity.
You can not only conceal your identity and leave no trace of your activity under the same IP address since your IP changes so fast that it’s impossible to notice any irregularities if there are some. Even if someone tries to block you, your IP address changes the next moment, and you can continue working without any losses.
Several other alternatives
Many other VPN alternatives make up most of the drawbacks that a VPN has. However, they can’t trump proxies, for the latter have the most benefits that others lack. There are some good examples.
* Smart DNS
A smart Domain Name Server can conceal your location by rerouting your data through another network. It works well for accessing geo-restricted content. It’s also better than a VPN to the effect that it doesn’t route all your traffic, including background, contrary to a VPN, and that significantly increases your speed and makes your traffic more secure in terms of not leaving the ability to compromise all of it.
However, a DNS can’t be trusted to always encrypt your traffic. That’s a significant security flaw. More importantly, a DNS doesn’t change your IP address. It only changes your information about the location that is indicated by the IP address. Of course, it’s more secure than not using anything at all. But your IP address is exposed and can be blocked.
If you end up blocked, you can’t do anything about it unless you change your IP address.
* Tor Browser
Tor Browser lets you change your IP address. Each time you access the internet with a different IP address that is based on the last node (a computer run by a volunteer). Multiple nodes like this are used in a long chain.
Your activity through a longer period will be scattered around these nodes, and you will remain anonymous.
It has three major flaws. First, using so many nodes in your browsing will slow your speed down. Second, it will change your IP address so often that you will not build up any short-term traffic history under it, and they might seem suspicious for their record of being constantly used by different users. That might attract unwanted attention. But more importantly, it’s a volunteer-based solution so it’s not as reliable and prone to going down.
It seems that the best VPN alternative is a proxy server. It allows you to maintain anonymity and avoid blocks and geo-restrictions without having to rely on anonymous volunteers, risking working with unencrypted traffic, or exposing your IP address that can be easily blocked.
It makes up the biggest drawback of a VPN, namely, that it provides a single IP address for all the users of the same network. A proxy can provide multiple IP addresses that can change any time and be used without leaving traces of your activity that would attract unwanted attention. Any block that might occur will be dismissed under new IP addresses.