What is the difference between a VPN extension and a VPN App? – GISuser.com

What is the difference between a VPN extension and a VPN App? – GISuser.com

So you have decided to use a VPN service. Great decision! This technology will increase your online privacy, security and will also give you a chance to access blocked web content. Regardless of the reasons, the question is: what should you use? Read below about the two possible solutions and which one to pick.

VPN application

This method involves downloading, installing, and running a dedicated program. Those are usually small, user-friendly apps that you can hide in the system tray so that they quietly run in the background. Examples of such VPNs are standalone apps for Windows and iOS from Tuxlervpn as well as many other providers. Specific configuration possibilities vary depending on the product. The most basic setting is a location to connect to. Typically, you will be presented with a list of regions available (countries and/or cities) which the service provider supplies. More detailed options include launching at system startup, choosing the server location automatically, and auto-connecting, which could depend on how trusted the network you’re trying to connect to is. Some apps provide more for advanced users, like:

  • typing the server address and port number manually,
  • choosing a VPN protocol and encryption method,
  • excluding specific applications from connecting via VPN tunnel.


More often than not, in order to utilize the full potential of the VPN connection, you will need to use paid software. After all, running a worldwide network of servers is a costly task. It is probably a good investment, as it provides higher throughput and reliability. 

VPN extension

The second option is a browser add-on. The advantage over the former one is usually a simpler installation. All you have to do is enter the extension store and find the one supplied by your chosen VPN provider. Now, remember that each add-on is created separately for every browser by its developer. Not every solution is implemented in all the major browsers, so be sure to check the availability if you switch between them. Simplicity is a principle of many extensions, so they typically offer fewer configuration options than the standalone versions. Such add-ons are also mostly free of charge, but sometimes they actually come with a hidden price. They could display intrusive advertisements and sell your personal browsing history and location. 

Which VPN solution should I choose?

Modern web browsers are often capable of performing multiple tasks at once and integrating numerous applications. If this describes your case, then a VPN extension is the proper choice. It secures your online activity and changes your apparent geographical location. Many extensions aim for maximum simplicity, which could be an advantage, too. However, they are limited to the browser only. On the other hand, you could connect to the Internet with more apps: an email client, file sharing program, online chat, or a game. Then it would be simpler to cover all the network connections from your device with a VPN handled by a standalone program.  

If you are still hesitating about which choice to make, then you should probably go with the application. It gives system-wide connection protection, which gives you more security, especially when using untrusted networks. In case you use the Internet out of the browser only occasionally, you are still secured. Regardless of the choice, VPN brings more privacy protection to your online activities.

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Source: https://gisuser.com/2021/12/what-is-the-difference-between-a-vpn-extension-and-a-vpn-app/