A VPN comes with numerous benefits for privacy and security, including traffic encryption and IP masking. This gives you better privacy online, protecting against tracking and internet restrictions.
Similarly to VPN, a proxy hides your real IP address and allows you to browse more freely.
But the primary user’s curiosity may be: can I use VPN and proxy together? Would that do anything or is it overkill?
Read on to see why using VPN and proxy together is beneficial and how to do it, step-by-step.
Can you use a proxy and VPN at the same time?
Yes. The two tools work well together and won’t interfere with each other’s performance.
Moreover, even though VPNs and proxies are similar, they’re not the same, and using them together can further improve your privacy online.
Essentially, what will happen is that your connection will be routed through two servers instead of one.
Do I need a VPN and a proxy at the same time?
In most cases no. You would need to use VPN and proxy together only if you want a backup for your connection.
When you connect to a proxy, your real IP address will be hidden. Then, if you also use a VPN over proxy, the proxy’s IP will also be hidden, and your traffic will be encrypted.
This will make it very hard for anyone to trace your online activity back to you, even if one of the connections (VPN or proxy) fails or has vulnerabilities.
However, good VPNs have built-in security features that get rid of most vulnerabilities without a proxy. If you were to pick the better option for security, go for a VPN.
To get the best of both worlds you can use a VPN with proxy settings.
How to use VPN and proxy at the same time
1. Use a VPN client with a built-in proxy
- Sign up for a VPN subscription plan (we recommend PIA).
- Download and install PIA on your PC.
- Right-click PIA’s systray icon.
- Go to Settings > Proxy.
- Choose Shadowsocks, click Configure, and pick a location.
- Or, select SOCKS5 Proxy and specify the Server IP address, Port, User, and Password if required.
- Left-click PIA’s systray icon.
- Press the big power button to connect.
If you’re interested in SOCKS5, discover how to set up a PIA SOCKS5 proxy the right way.
Connecting to a VPN with integrated proxy support is the best way to use a VPN and a proxy simultaneously.
We used Private Internet Access in our example above because it’s the best VPN with a built-in proxy, offering support for Shadowsocks and SOCKS5.
PIA supports OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols, 256-bit military-grade encryption, native port forwarding, a kill switch, split-tunneling mode, and exclusive DNS.
Private Internet AccessSet up this leading VPN on your PC to easily use it with a proxy together to avoid all online threats.
2. Tweak proxy settings in Firefox
- Get a VPN browser addon for Firefox using PIA).
- Install the PIA browser extension for Firefox.
- Go to Firefox Settings.
- In the General tab, go to Network Settings.
- Click Settings.
- Choose the proxy type and configure settings.
- Connect to a VPN server.
Using a proxy server at the browser level differs from the previous method because it only protects your browser traffic.
Any other Internet-enabled applications will be excluded from the proxy and VPN protection.
3. Modify the VPN Proxy settings in Windows
- Set up a manual VPN connection on Windows.
- Right-click Start and go to Network Connections > VPN.
- Select your VPN connection and click Advanced options.
- Scroll down to VPN proxy settings.
- Select from Automatically detect settings, Use setup script, and Manual setup.
- Enter the required information and click Apply.
- Connect to the VPN.
If you don’t have a VPN client or if it doesn’t have native proxy support, the next best thing is to manually set up the proxy settings on the Windows VPN connection.
Keep in mind that it’s a different setting than configuring a global proxy server on Windows.
You can also set up SOCKS5 proxy on Windows using Internet Options.
Can you use a VPN and SOCKS5 at the same time?
Any user should be able to use VPN software and proxy SOCKS5 at the same time. This security matter is beneficial to guard your network connection from various cyber threats.
Using them together is recommended if you need to protect your PC all around from any type of malware or phishing attack.
In this case, we recommend using Private Internet Access to easily use and support both Shadowsocks and SOCKS5 proxy.
Is SOCKS5 better than VPN?
The honest answer to this query is no. It’s actually the opposite because a SOCKS5 proxy can have downsides compared with professional VPNs.
You have different advantages using premium VPN software instead of SOCKS5 protocols. For instance, they deliver faster network connections or data traffic encryption to better secure you online.
Does proxy override VPN?
Short answer, yes. You are able to utilize your VPN connection to bypass proxy servers. However, you don’t have to choose a proxy over your VPN to benefit from both.
Additionally, it’s possible to set up a VPN through a proxy if you require to access the web using a proxy server connection.
Does a VPN bypass a proxy?
Yes. A VPN can bypass network proxy servers, allowing you to access the web freely, without restrictions.
Network proxies are usually used by public WiFi admins as a means to block access to certain websites. It’s generally used in schools, cafes, hotels, or office networks.
Consequently, when you try to access a blocked website, the proxy will redirect you to a different page instead.
A VPN can put a stop to this because once you connect, you will no longer be accessing the internet directly through that network, but through the VPN server.
This will get rid of the restriction and allow you to bypass the proxy. Nobody managing the network will know what you do online.
To sum up, you can use a VPN and proxy together to add an extra layer of anonymity to your network connection. Just keep in mind that you need a stable Internet connection.
For instance, you can use a VPN client with an integrated proxy server since it’s the easiest way to make changes later.
In addition, some users may wonder if a VPN is better than a proxy. The answer is yes because a proxy masks your IP and redirects your traffic to another server, but a VPN changes your IP and also encrypts your data to protect it from hackers.
Did you manage to set up a VPN with proxy simultaneously? What method did you use? Let us know in the comment section below.