- A proxy server changes your IP address and redirects your network traffic to another server. A VPN does that and also encrypts your data to protect it from eavesdroppers.
- You don't really need to use a VPN and a proxy at the same time for privacy and security unless you receive specific proxy instructions from your system administrator.
- To set up a VPN and a proxy simultaneously, you can use a VPN client that has native proxy support. It's the easiest and most convenient solution.
- It's also possible to configure proxy settings on Windows 10 without installing anything else. Or, you can set up a proxy on Firefox for browsing only.
A VPN comes with numerous benefits, such as privacy and security.
But if you want to become more anonymous online and hide your true identity even from your VPN provider, then you can use a VPN and proxy server together.
By redirecting your proxy connection to a VPN server, you will hide your true IP with a proxy, and the proxy’s IP with a VPN.
This way, you gain two layers of online anonymity.
Wait, aren’t VPN and proxy the same?
Although they work similarly, VPNs and proxies are not the same. A lot of computer users and Google itself often fails to tell them apart.
Both hide your IP address to protect your genuine identity over the Internet. However, this doesn’t automatically ensure privacy and security.
If you use a proxy server to change your IP, it won’t also encrypt your data.
That means that a hacker is capable of intercepting your network traffic to get hold of your email account credentials or banking details, for example.
However, a VPN not only spoofs your IP address but also encrypts everything that flows in and out of your computer.
In case of a man-in-the-middle attack, a cyber-criminal won’t be able to decipher your data even if it manages to acquire it.
Do I need a VPN and a proxy?
In most cases, no, you won’t need a VPN and a proxy at the same time.
If you equip your computer with a premium VPN that has a zero-logging policy, you should be able to connect to a wide range of VPN servers and regularly swap your IP address.
Nevertheless, if you want to raise your anonymity level, it’s possible to reroute your VPN connection through a proxy server.
How can I use VPN and proxy together?
A VPN client with 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 PIA SOCKS5 proxy the right way.
Connecting to a VPN with integrated proxy support is the best way to use both 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.
More about PIA:
- +3,300 VPN servers in 48 countries
- No logs or leaks
- 10 simultaneous connections
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee (no free trial)
Private Internet AccessSet up PIA on your PC to easily use a VPN and a proxy together.
Firefox proxy settings
- Get a VPN browser addon for Firefox (we recommend 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 is different 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.
Windows 10 proxy settings
- Set up a manual VPN connection on Windows 10
- 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 10 VPN connection.
Keep in mind that it’s a different setting than configuring a global proxy server on Windows 10.
You can also set up SOCKS5 proxy on Windows 10 using Internet Options.
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 this case, we recommend using Private Internet Access (buy here). It’s easy to use and supports both Shadowsocks and SOCKS5 proxy.
Alternatively, you can configure proxy settings in Mozilla Firefox or Windows 10.
Did you manage to set up a VPN with proxy simultaneously? What method did you use? Let us know in the comment section below.
FAQ: Learn more about VPN and proxy
- Can two VPNs work together?
Yes, but it’s rare. You can have two VPN apps installed, connect to a VPN server in one app, and then connect to another VPN server in the other app without disrupting the first connection. But it’s more reliable to use a service that supports multi-hop VPN connections, like NordVPN.
- Is VPN better than proxy?
Yes, a VPN is better than a proxy. A proxy masks your IP and redirects your traffic to another server. A VPN changes your IP and also encrypts your data to protect it from hackers.
- Do I need proxy if I have VPN?
Not really, since a VPN can already do what a proxy does. If you’re looking for a solution to protect your online privacy, a VPN is enough.