VPN vs. Proxy
You may have heard of the new built-in feature presented in the recent update of WhatsApp, the ability to add proxies, and thus having the option of bypassing restrictions in countries where WhatsApp is blocked, like the UAE. It can make a lot of difference like WhatsApp blocked calls may be unblocked all of a sudden, and surely chat features would work nicely. But there are major concerns that come along with it. Questions of safety, quality of connection and speed, and general functionality are raised. Where are we supposed to get these, for free, and is it okay to use free ones? Another relevant issue would be, is it any substitute for a good, reliable VPN? There are inherent differences between a VPN and a proxy server, which can only matter to the need or usage. It also differs from country to country so there’s a whole other aspect to it. Here we try to clarify many points, while briefly comparing the two bypassing methods.
The UAE and the Internet Situation
The UAE, alongside a handful of other countries, consisting mostly of the Persian Gulf nations like Qatar and Iran, and others such as China is a place where WhatsApp and other VoIP apps are blocked. In countries like the UAE, this has a mixture of political and financial reasons. The political facet might be too wicked to guess, but the financial reasons are more obvious. Since the major telecom companies are government-owned in the UAE, such as Etisalat, it is only natural(not fair though) that they won’t tolerate any sort of competition, especially one that is free and may seriously run their telecom businesses to the ground. Hence the complete ban on the VoIP services that the governments don’t own a piece of and can’t control, like WhatsApp, Skype, and FaceTime.
The results of this ban can’t be overstated, many ex-pats may be disconnected from family and friends entirely, and so would any foreigner visiting the UAE. It can literally mean losing money for anyone using WhatsApp to run a business remotely. A very popular method to bypass restrictions is a Virtual Private Network or a VPN. This is of course exacerbeted by the limuts on streaming in UAE, so Netflix and hulu are restricted too, as are gaming services like Roblox in UAE.
Now with the recent update released by WhatsApp, you can bypass restrictions. One can use another tool called a proxy to unblock WhatsApp. Next, we delve deeper into this and compare the two methods.
VPN vs Proxy
- What’s a Proxy?
To put it simply, a proxy is an intermediary computer(somewhere else) that acts as a go-between, between you and the website you’re trying to reach, a gateway when you connect to the internet, so your connection is masked somehow. What it does ultimately, is change your IP, thus hiding your real IP address. A proxy does this while you’re using a specific app or are on a specific website.
This is useful for bypassing internet restrictions since it’s not your device but the proxy that’s trying to reach the desired content, and the proxy isn’t restricted. But there resides its Achilles heel: the the UAE government could just block that server, and you have to go in search of another. Also, free proxies, being publicly released, have so many users that the quality of the internet is diminished considerably, so you may be able to use it to text-chat on WhatsApp, but not make a smooth call.
- What’s a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network changes your IP, and like a proxy, reroutes your internet traffic through a server remotely. But it does it for every online activity on your device and isn’t limited to an app or a website. Another thing that it does, and far exceeds a proxy’s capabilities, is encryption of your data, which means your online activity will be completely private, even from your ISP(Internet Service Provider). This also means that if you use a reliable VPN, your data will be safe from all eavesdroppers, the government, and hackers. Take a look at our blogs on the legality of VPN use in the UAE:
- Can you get caught using a VPN in UAE
- What are the legal implications of using a VPN in the UAE what you need to know
- Is VPN allowed in UAE
- Is there a VPN fine in UAE
- Well? VPN or Proxy?
It should be obvious by now that a VPN has many more uses and qualities than a proxy server. In direct comparison, all a proxy does is change your IP and reroute your traffic only for a website or app, but a VPN does a total rerouting of your internet traffic in everything on your device, OS-level. Besides, a proxy doesn’t encrypt your data, so your data is not as safe as with a VPN. A VPN also does a lot for your internet quality, and your WhatsApp call won’t suffer any poor connection with a good VPN. So we strongly recommend a VPN instead of a proxy, but not any VPN. You must know why every UAE resident needs a VPN and here you can learn how to choose the right VPN for your needs in UAE. It is a fact that to have a VPN in UAE is a must not a nice-to-have, and here’s the best one.
We don’t claim this to be the ultimate guide to using a VPN in the UAE, but it touches on a few points. Though a discussion in its own right, here we introduce you to a VPN that works in UAE, answer the question which VPN is the best VPN in UAE, and give you the top VPN for use in UAE. What MenaVPN offers is what a the UAE resident needs: anti-filtration and unblocking strength, high speed, immaculate security, and reliable support. It’s got great ratings, high speed connection, great support team, and offers perfect privacy being 100% in accord with European Union privacy policies, being based in the Netherlands. It also offers a 7-day free trial, and it’s money-back guaranteed. Download it now and be amazed how easy the internet restrictions can be gotten around!