3 Great Alternatives to Using a VPN: Want to access region-restricted websites or videos? Interested in enhancing your privacy and security? VPNs are not the only option available to you…
You’ve almost certainly heard of Virtual Private Networks (VPN). A VPN is ideal for people looking to increase their surfing security by concealing their IP address and encrypting their device’s connection to a public Wi-Fi network. It’s also useful for viewing movies and television series on popular streaming services that you might not have access to otherwise, as well as other geo-restricted websites.
But VPNs aren’t flawless. They may occasionally provide unreliable connections, prevent you from accessing specific websites, and may even sell your data to third parties.
Great Alternatives to Using a VPN
Therefore, what are the most economical and effective VPN alternatives?
1. Smart DNS
SmartDNS is an excellent tool that enables you to visit websites that are normally geographically restricted in your area. This service utilizes your Domain Name Server (DNS) and functions similarly to a proxy server, which routes your internet traffic through a remote server in order to conceal your IP address and location.
However, unlike a proxy server, SmartDNS does not redirect all of your internet traffic. Rather than that, it mostly forwards your DNS queries to its external servers. DNS requests are made by a user’s device to a server. Unlike proxies, however, SmartDNS does not conceal your IP address.
In practice, what does this mean?
Essentially, SmartDNS can modify the location of your device, allowing you to access geo-restricted material.
Due to the lack of encryption, SmartDNS can typically provide a significantly faster connection speed than a VPN. This is ideal for streaming videos, gaming, or working online without experiencing continual buffering.
Additionally, you can prevent being restricted by particular websites by utilizing SmartDNS. Numerous websites trace your IP back to the VPN’s server and subsequently deny you access as a result of your IP concealment. That is why, while connected to a VPN, you may be unable to view some content. You can circumvent this obstacle with SmartDNS.
However, it’s critical to remember that this is not the ideal answer for people trying to improve their online security. SmartDNS does not mask or encrypt your IP address or data. It’s an excellent alternative for people seeking sole access to geo-restricted websites and information, but not for those seeking increased security and privacy.
2. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
Access (ZTNA) with tick and lock logos
Zero Trust Network Access, or ZTNA, entails facilitating access to data and applications within a network via a third party. These emphasize security and privacy, requiring users to authenticate their identity or job in order to gain access to information and applications.
This type of technology essentially delivers the same functionality as a VPN and operates on a zero-trust basis. ZTNAs are more appropriate for large organizations with a large number of users, as they prevent fraudsters from entering a whole network, as their verification is limited in scope.
Therefore, if an attacker has already gained access to a network, zero-trust security means they face additional barriers before gaining access to other regions.
When someone uses ZTNA, they are granted access via an encrypted tunnel, which conceals their IP address, just like when they use a VPN.
3. A Proxy Server
Prior to the widespread adoption of VPNs, proxy servers were the primary method by which internet users could conceal their IP addresses and remain protected online.
Between you and the internet, proxy servers work as intermediaries or gateways. The server is assigned its own IP address, which is used to accept internet traffic. Thus, if someone attempts to discover your IP address while you are using this intermediate, they will only discover the proxy server’s address. Proxies are comparable to VPNs in this regard.
However, there are several critical distinctions between proxies and VPNs. To begin, proxy servers do not secure your internet connection in the same way that a VPN does.
Second, VPNs operate at the OS level, whereas proxies operate at the application level. This means that VPNs encrypt the traffic of every program connected to the internet that you use, whereas proxies cannot.
Proxy servers are therefore ideal for low-risk situations such as accessing geo-restricted web resources and content. They are, however, not the ideal solution for delivering a highly secure manner of web browsing.
Additionally, the cache data used by proxies enables them to recall sensitive information, such as passwords, which is another critical point to consider, for better or worse.
The majority of proxy servers, on the other hand, are completely free to use, in contrast to the majority of trustworthy VPNs, which nearly invariably charge users a monthly price. Of course, you can find savings on VPNs, but they frequently need you to sign extremely long-term contracts.
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If you want to mask your IP address for free and access websites that are otherwise restricted in your place of residence, proxy servers are an excellent alternative to VPNs.
However, some users opt for private proxy servers, which do come at a cost. Public proxies are vulnerable to cyberattacks, which might result in subpar connection performance during peak times when a large number of users attempt to utilize the proxy server. Depending on the purpose for which you intend to use a proxy, you may be better off with a private server.
There are already a plethora of proxy servers to choose from, including Bright Data, Oxylabs, and Scraper API. Check the reviews before you begin using one, as there are a number of proxies out there that simply do not work as advertised and result in subpar connection performance.
VPNs Are Beneficial, But They Are Not The Only Option
While we can all agree that VPNs have their place in a variety of different situations, they are not the only way to access geo-restricted content, conceal your IP address, and increase security. The solutions above provide comparable features at a lesser or no cost!
So far we have been able to discuss 3 Great Alternatives to Using a VPN. So therefore Consider these services before making a long-term investment in a VPN subscription.