phone locking, protection against hackersProtecting your privacy and data should be your number one priority every time you go online.

Unfortunately, many people don’t think about it. This is why data belonging to millions of people are stolen every year by criminals on the internet.

To keep your data safe you need to start thinking of the best solution when online amongst VPN vs TOR vs Proxy vs Firewall.

Why Protect Your Privacy and Personal Data Online?

Many people tend to believe that criminals on the internet only target large multinationals and rich individuals. This is far from the truth. The reality is that you can be a victim of cybercrimes. If you are still not convinced then here are some of the reasons you need to consider investing in a good cybersecurity solution for yourself.

Protect yourself from Hackers

According to the Clark School of the University of Maryland, a hacker attack happens every 39 seconds and about one in every three Americans is a victim of hacking every year.  This means that there are more than 100 million hacking cases every year in the United States of America alone.

This should let you know that you are not safe. It does not matter where you live or your social-economic status you can still be a victim of hackers. Whereas a few hackers target specific individuals or entities there are a lot of hackers on the internet who hack computers indiscriminately and yours can be their next. Using Tor or VPN server or any other solution can help you escape hacking attempts and keep your data safe.

Protect your business from potential attacks

According to Fundera, 43% of all cyber-attacks target small businesses and 60% of these small businesses go out of business in under six months as a result of the damage caused by the cyber attack.

If you are in business you never know when you will be a target of a cyber-attack. Therefore you need to take measures to ensure that you don’t fall, victim, as this can be a costly experience.

Check the reasons why you need a business VPN

Protect your Customers

If you are in business then it is your responsibility to protect your customers’ data.  It has been estimated that data breaches cost small and medium-size businesses proximately $3.9 million a year while the cost shoots to $116 million for publicly traded companies. These are astronomical costs that can ruin your business. In addition, your business will suffer irreparable reputational damages.

To ensure that you protect yourself and your business from losses that may arise from cyber-related security breaches you need to take steps to protect yourself when online. The most important steps to take involve investing in solutions to protect your computers from attacks. There are many options from proxy servers, firewalls, VPNs to the TOR browsers. To make the right choice you need to know what each represents. To help you let’s look at each of these options:

Proxy Server

What is a Proxy?

A proxy server can be a computer system or server application that acts as a go-between between your computers. When your computer is connecting to a proxy server everything you do on the internet has to pass through the server. The server then protects you by hiding your computer’s IP address. This makes it impossible for hackers to target your computer in particular.

Besides, it checks for every file coming to your computer and blocks all harmful files.  This way you can use the internet freely without having to worry about being a victim of cybercrime.

Proxy and VPN comparison, how it works graphic

How does Proxy Work?

Each computing device on the internet is a signed an Internet Protocol (IP) Address.  This makes it easy for the devices to communicate with one another. Criminals on the internet explore these IP addresses to target individual computers and computer systems.

To protect internet users from such criminals, the proxy servers are designed to modify the IP addresses of computers they are deployed to protect thus making it impossible for online criminals to target such computers. This is done by ensuring that every interaction with the internet by the said computers goes through the proxy servers. This way the proxy servers search the internet on behalf of the said computers and then transfer the results to the right computer.

The proxy servers are also designed with a program that filter and inspect every data received from the internet to make sure that no harmful programs get to the computers being protected. This makes sure that you remain safe while online from both targeted attacks and common malware.

Learn how to protect yourself from hackers


TOR onion logo design

What is TOR?

TOR is the short form of The Onion Router. This is an awesome technology that allows you to browse the internet anonymously without any risk of being tracked or hacked. It comes in form of an internet browser that you can install on your computer and then use to browse the internet every single day.

Once you use the TOR internet browser to connect to the internet your computer is stripped of all its identification information such as the IP address. This allows you to search the internet freely without anyone being able to trace your device. This makes it impossible for hackers to track your device and thus impossible to be hacked. Besides, the browser monitors and blocks harmful websites and pieces of software on the internet thus protecting all its users from harm.

How TOR works

When you connect to the internet via the Tor Browser all your web traffic is routed through the Tor Network. This is simply a series of nodes and relays designed to give you three layers of protection from any harmful material on the internet.

Once you search for something on the internet, your query will go through an entry node that strips it of your computer’s identity. The query then bounces through a series of relays that check to make sure that the data you receive in return is safe. The relays also encrypt your query for maximum security. The query then passes through the exit note to the open internet where the required information is sourced. Once done the results of your query follows the same path to your computer. This makes sure that you remain not just anonymous but safe when browsing the internet.


What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) as the name suggests is a superficial network that gives anonymity and ensures your privacy when online.   The VPN does this by hiding your IP address so that you can browse the internet in anonymity. 

VPN also provides secure connections that make sure that you are free from cyber attacks. Most importantly VPN encrypts your searches to make sure that you remain secure while on the internet.

How VPN works

instruction infographic about how VPN works, scheme

When you connect to the internet through a VPN what you do is simply connect to one of the servers provided by your VPN provider. Here is where the magic of keeping you safe and secure online happens. First, your computer’s IP address is replaced with a new address provided by the server. Next, all your communications on the internet are encrypted to make sure no one can intercept and understand what you are doing.

This does two things: it allows you to browse the internet anonymously and makes sure that your information is protected from cybercriminals. In addition, by assigning you a new IP address the VPN helps bypass any IP address-based restrictions and thus allowing you the freedom to browse any website on the internet.

Check the rating of VPNs for Windows and Mac


What is a Firewall?

Firewall bricks graphic

A firewall is a security network designed to monitor traffic to and from a given device or network of devices and determine what to block and what to let in.

It simply acts as a security guard at your gate vetting every visitor to determine those to let in and those rn away. This is one of the most important first lines of defense that many businesses across the world employ in their defense against cybercrimes. 

A Firewall is therefore an important barrier that you can use to secure your computers from data security breaches. In addition, it can be used to monitor and control the usage of the internet in your home or business to protect your children or workers from harmful sites.

How a Firewall works

how firewall works graphic scheme

A Firewall on your internet connection act like a screen that filters out the unwanted traffic and only lets in the wanted.  This means that when you employ a Firewall as a security solution, all your traffic to and from the World Wide Web has to pass through it.

The firewall uses a set of rules filter and establishes which traffic to let past and which one to stop. It stops harmful websites and software. It can also be set to prevent people on the network from accessing certain websites or content on the internet.

VPN vs TOR vs Proxy vs Firewall: Full Comparison

Now that you are thinking about protecting your computer from cybercriminals, you have three options: Tor, Firewall and Proxy. Of these three what will you choose? This is of course not easy, all these three options have excellent features that make each of them not just attractive but a good candidate when considering your security and privacy when online.

To help you make the right choice lets how these three options compare when measured against a number of parameters as follows:


Slow internet connection, speed test graphic

We live in an age where high internet streaming is essential. You want to play high stake online games, attend a virtual conference, and stream videos from YouTube. You can’t do all that without high-speed internet. The problem is that most internet security solutions may reduce your internet speed to some degree.

Take Tor, for example, to ensure that you remain anonymous when online, Tor bounces your traffic over several nodes and relays before leaving it to the world wide web. This can significantly slow down your internet speed. However, for your data safety when online, this is a small price you must be willing to pay.

Proxies are fast and easy to use for simple tasks. But can be slow for complex tasks. If you want to stream live events or test some online software, you may discover your device becomes a little slow. This makes proxies not the best choice when speed is of the greatest importance to you.

Many of the VPNs on the market emphasized your internet speed. As a result, many VPNs have invested in technology that makes them faster while at the same time make sure that your data remains data.


password protection on a laptop, app for saving passwords

Privacy is one of the most important reasons why people start to consider online security. Proxies are designed to hide your IP address thus ensuring your privacy. It is important to remember that not all proxies are the same.  Transparent proxies don’t hide your IP address while anonymous proxies do. What more, all proxies are designed to let the rest of the internet know that you are using a proxy server. This somehow lowers your security.

VPNs are more robust when it comes to your privacy. First, you get a unique IP address every time you use it. This makes it impossible for anyone to track you on the internet. VPNs also encrypt your data making your remain private while online. The only problem though is that VPNs don’t block cookies and other tracking software already installed on your computer.  Besides, VPN providers have access to all your data. These two can be a source of a privacy breach.

Tor is the number choice of people who seek the highest anonymity levels such as political dissidents, whistleblowers, and many other groups who have privacy as their chief concern. This is because Tor bounces your traffic across several nodes which each not assigning the traffic a new IP address. This makes it impossible for anyone to trace you. The only problem is that if you don’t set it up properly you may leak your IP address. For maximum privacy, it is always recommended you use a combination of Tor and VPN.


https safe DNS protocol for browsing the webSecurity is closely related to privacy. If you share personal data which a friend,  the data may still be intercepted on the open internet even if you may be browsing the internet anonymously. The intercepted data can reveal a lot about you and may be used by criminals to harm you.

You, therefore, need to make sure that your data is safe at all times. Most proxies don’t encrypt your data which still leaves you vulnerable when sharing files on the open internet. Make sure you choose a proxy that will encrypt your data.

All VPNs encrypt your files. This means that even if a hacker indiscriminately targeted files online, they will end up with some unreadable data.

Although Tor is known more for routing your traffic, it also encrypts all your traffic. This makes you secure when browsing the internet.

Mobile Compatibility

public wifi in a cafe, online security and privacy

Today more and more people are using their smartphones and other small handheld devices. If you are such an internet user, you want to have an option that is compatible with your device of choice.

Proxies are used on a per-application basis. What this means is that some apps on your smartphone are not designed to work with proxies and may ignore them altogether. This can cause security vulnerability.

Tor for mobile is designed as an Android app. What this means that if you prefer a different operating system on your devices such as iOS or even windows then you may not be able to use Tor on those devices. This can be a huge security risk.

Most popular VPNs are available on all major operating systems. This means that you can use your best VPN even if you switch from an iOS device to an Android one. This makes using VPNs a better option.


Project management and time management software for freelancers

The method you use to protect yourself from cybercriminals should be easy to use. This way you don’t have problems with settings or even using your device.  Tor is the easiest to use. It is a browser just like the browser you are using to access and read this content.  All you need is to install it on your device and use it to access the internet.

 Proxies are also easy to set up and use. This makes them an easy option for someone who does not want a new browser. VPNs are also easy to use although you may have to learn a few things to use them properly. All in all, you should way other factors such as security to determine if ease of use is worth the cost elsewhere.

Best VPNs

There are different VPNs that you can use. Some of the best VPNs to consider using right now include:

1. ExpressVPN

This is one of the best VPNs out there right now. It is fast, secure, and comes with easy to configure privacy features.

This makes sure you remain safe and secure when online while giving some freedom to make personal choices on how to be seen online. A majority of its user rates it as very reliable.

Read ExpressVPN full review.

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2. NordVPN

This is perhaps the most known VPN in the industry and the reason for this is because over the years it has cemented its reputation as one of the best VPN on the market.

It is fast, easy to use, and comes with many great features that are designed to give you the best user experience.

Read NordVPN full review.

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3. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost comes loaded with many great features to make being secure online easy.

It is easy to use and offer a host of top features to make sure that your data is secure at all time and you remain private at all times when on the open internet.

Read CyberGhost full review.

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4. IPVanish VPN

IPvanish is another popular VPN provider. It gives you access to more than 1500 servers which ensures that you have the best internet speeds. It also has great customer services and offers you many other great features that add up to its great user interface.

Read IPVanish full review.

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5. Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN

The private Internet Access VPN has been considered one of the best VPNs in the world over the past several years. This is because it is a dedicated service that is designed to offer the very best to the customers. It has servers in over sixty locations making it easy to handle requests from anywhere in the world. It is easy to use and offers maximum security to your data.

Read the PIA full review.

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* Which is better VPN or proxy?

To decide which is better you have to know how each one works. A VPN encrypts all traffic from your device and hides your IP address allowing you to avoid hackers and government surveillance. A proxy serves on the other hand only hide your IP address allowing you to browse the internet anonymously. If you want more features than a hidden IP address then a VPN is the better option for you.

* Is Tor as good as a VPN?

Both Tor and VPN are designed to make sure that you browse the internet anonymously. However, Tor is just a browser and therefore tends to be slow and may prevent you from accessing certain websites.

* Is a VPN the same as a proxy?

A VPN is a virtual network that hides your IP address and encrypts your web traffic to make sure that you remain safe while online. A proxy on the other hand is simply an application that reroutes your traffic so that your actual identity is hidden.

* How is proxy different from the firewall?

You get a hint of the difference between these two systems from their names. ‘Proxy’ is an English word for the power to act on the behalf of someone else. A proxy server is simply an application that acts on your behalf when it comes to accessing the internet. It simply reroutes your traffic thereby replacing your device’s identity with its own.

The word firewall, on the other hand, is made from two words ‘fire’ and ‘wall’ which together means a wall of fire. This simply describes what a firewall does. It acts as a wall of fire between your computer and the internet.  Every traffic to and from your device has to pass through it. Only the safe ones are left to pass the rest are blocked.