In your research for torrenting anonymously, you probably came across two main solutions: a proxy and a VPN. Let's take a look at the differences them. Which one is more appropriate to download torrent files with total anonymity?
Let's start with the one thing they have in common: Both replace your real IP with a fake one. But the main difference between a proxy and a VPN is the fact that a proxy doesn’t encrypt your entire connection. You can only choose one application to be encrypted at the time, like uTorrent. On the other hand, the VPN encrypts everything. In our opinion, this makes all the difference.
Imagine you are using a proxy, encrypting only the traffic from your BitTorrent client. Your IP will be masked when downloading with a proxy BUT nothing else will. This reduces privacy and increases the risk of being exposed.
Example: When you download a file, the first thing you do is going to a torrent site to start the download. If your proxy is encrypting your BitTorrent traffic only, then you are visible on a torrent website. You will open a specific page for a torrent, initiate the download while you are exposed. “Monitoring sharks” track your activity in torrent pages as well. They will see that you were visiting torrent sites.
Although the BitTorrent traffic was encrypted, they can see the amount of downloaded data. That amount of data will match the size of the torrent file. It will be very easy for them to “connect the dots” and figure out what you were doing. From that moment it will be much easier to track you.
Which One is the Fastest?
It's true that a proxy doesn't have as much impact on the connection speed as the VPN. But it's worth to have a deeper look and understand why this happens. The encryption of the proxy is not as high and secure as the VPN's and, therefore, doesn't influence the speed as much. In other words, the proxy only protects one application, and the level of encryption is lower. This doesn't consume as many resources.
VPN providers with proxies
You will find some VPN providers that also have their own proxies, at no additional cost. This is interesting because you can make your level of protection higher by using both methods simultaneously. But still, we want to make clear that a good VPN does not need to be used with a proxy. The VPN will provide anonymity by itself, and it doesn't need any other methods.
A VPN is better than a proxy in every way. It encrypts all your activity, it has a higher level of encryption and it has many more available servers. On average, a proxy is a bit cheaper, but for such a minimal difference, it’s not worth compromising your anonymity. There are very affordable VPNs that do a great job, some of them cost the same or even less than a proxy.