Proxy vs. VPN: What's different?

What's the difference between a proxy and a VPN?

A proxy and a VPN (Virtual Private Network) serve as intermediaries in your Internet connection, rerouting your traffic and changing your IP address. However, they differ in terms of how they operate and the level of privacy, security, and functionality they offer. More specifically, a proxy server is a lighter, application-specific tool better suited for quick tasks like simple IP masking and is often used to bypass IP bans or geo-restrictions on some websites. Whereas, a VPN is ideal for users seeking privacy and security as it encrypts all data traffic from your device. A VPN can be used to protect you from hackers and snoops on public networks. Also please note it may slow down your internet connection more than a proxy.

Why does it matter when collecting web data?

Using a proxy allows you to access the Internet from an IP address in a different location, which can help avoid geo-restrictions or IP-based blocking. It can be particularly beneficial for accessing content or data that is restricted to users from certain countries. Let's say you're based in South Korea and trying to scrape data from a website based in Canada. If this is the case, you might be blocked by a website that doesn't restrict access outside the country to content or services and not be able to scrape data. To tackle this, you can change your IP address to another one outside the range of blocked IPs using a proxy server. After setting up a proxy, your request on the Internet (e.g. requests to gather data) will be routed to the proxy, which will get the response from the web server and forward the data to your computer’s browser using a different IP address.

How to set up a proxy in Listly

Once you upgrade your plan, you can access all advanced features in Listly, including proxy settings.

Are you on a free plan? No worries, you can still add a proxy setting by contact the Listly team on the Pricing page or filling out this contact form!