Residential Proxy Versus Residential VPN

2 min

It’s the same old question but we are getting a bit more specific. By now, we know the differences between a VPN and a proxy; we covered it back in 2021. To recap that article, a proxy works at an application level and merely swaps your IP address with another. A virtual private network (VPN), on the other hand, both swaps your IP address and encrypts your traffic. This provides better protection to your connections as compared to a proxy.

But how exactly do their functions and benefits change when you make them residential? What are the core differences between a residential proxy and a residential VPN?

Let’s find out.

What is a Residential Proxy?

A residential proxy is a system that replaces your IP address with another residential one. Compared to general proxies, a residential proxy uses a residential IP address. That is the chief difference and it has additional benefits.

Such a proxy then allows you to not only hide your tracks on the web but also bypass regional restrictions on websites. For example, if you use a regular proxy, you will most likely be barred from visiting certain sites. This happens because those sites have possibly blacklisted that proxy IP address. This is the case with most freely available proxies. To get some utility out of a proxy today, you will need to pay up.

However, in the case of a residential proxy, your connection will be routed via another residential IP address. Such an IP address is registered to a physical location (a residence). It is therefore not in the purview of many websites’ blacklists, which makes browsing smoother and safer. 

What is a Residential VPN?

residential VPN is just like any other VPN with the added advantage of a residential IP address. It swaps your IP address with a true residential one and encrypts your connection. Compared to a proxy, a residential VPN is a more secure way to browse the web. 

In addition to encryption, another major benefit of a residential VPN is that it is device-based. When you switch on the VPN on your computer, all your applications will connect to the web via the VPN. In comparison, a proxy has to be set up manually for each application.

Comparison: Residential Proxy Versus Residential VPN

When you compare a residential proxy and VPN, the differences only lie in the operating principle, as you will find in the table below.

Residential Proxy

Residential VPN

Uses a residential IP address as a proxy

Uses a residential IP address and encryption

Needs manual implementation for each application

Single install covers all applications in a device

Only masks your IP address

Masks your IP address and encrypts your web traffic

Does not provide any protection from snooping

Encrypted communication prevents snooping


Free VPNs exist

The benefits provided by a residential VPN outweigh that of a residential proxy. Nonetheless, residential proxies are still used for specific applications such as accessing a geoblocked site. It makes sense for users who don’t worry about their privacy. It then all comes down to what your needs are. If you are a personal user who wants to stay safe while surfing the web, we recommend getting a residential VPN. Explore TuxlerVPN’s features today.

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