VPN v/s SSH – Which one to Choose


Online security is of the essence these days. If you are surfing online without proper precautions, you might lose every inch of your data to an unknown individual. It can be risky to go online without safety, and network security sits on top of these precautions. 

To protect yourself from online attacks like data theft, phishing, cyber-attacks, etc., you must ensure that your connection is encrypted and can not be bypassed. This is because most hacks and data theft happen over an insecure network.

The easiest way to secure your network is to use a VPN before connecting to the internet. However, there are other alternatives to that as well. One such alternative is Secure Shell, popularly known as SSH. 

Since quality VPN clients usually cost more than setting up an SSH, users tend to focus more on the latter. Making that decision without learning how a VPN differs from an SSH can be foolish. In this post, let us take a look at both of these ways to secure your network. How are they different, and which one is more secure? 

Without further ado, let’s get started!

What is a VPN?

You may be familiar with the concept of VPN. Virtual Private Network works as a shield that keeps away data-hogging websites. It creates a tunnel between your PC and the internet through which you can share data while keeping your personal information encrypted. 

Any data that a website can yield via your IP address or network information can be easily protected with the help of a VPN. 

The best example of a perfect VPN client is Systweak VPN. The client offers various features, enabling you to secure your internet connection. Some of these features include – 

  1. Military-Grade Encryption
  2. Hundreds of Exclusive Servers 
  3. Kill-Switch 

systweak vpn
To experience a perfectly balanced VPN, try the Systweak VPN client today! A VPN is a great way to keep yourself anonymous. Also, using a VPN allows you to access websites unavailable in your region for any reason. It can be said that a VPN is a complete package when it comes to network encryption and security.

Pros of Using a VPN – 

  • You need not set up or code anything; simply use a VPN client, and you are ready. 
  • A VPN offers protection throughout your surfing experience. This means everything you do online, voluntarily or involuntarily, is protected by a VPN tunnel.
  • Allows you to change your location to access geo-blocked websites. 

Cons of using a VPN – 

  • It is a paid solution, and with so much competition, it becomes challenging to identify the best option. 
  • A VPN might lower your internet speed than usual as it reroutes your connection through a different server. 

What is SSH?

Secure Shell, commonly known as SSH, is a useful tool for system administrators. It mainly enables users to access remote devices over a secure network. It is used when you want to establish a connection between your PC and a remote server. Usually, it is used by data administrators to move important files from one computer to another.

When protecting data with SSH, it uses multiple methods such as encryption, password protection, and public-key authentication. The method is completely secure; however, it is less convenient to use. That is because you have to set up the entire SSH on your own, which takes networking knowledge and a lot of time. 

Pros of Using an SSH

  • It is a pocket-friendly solution and can be a great addition to the security of your network while interacting with remote devices and servers.
  • Offers strong encryption that prevents DNS leaks easily.
  • If you want to set up a security protocol from scratch, SSH is simpler than a VPN. 

Cons of Using an SSH

  • You must set up individual SSH servers for individual applications as it only supports the app. 
  • Unable to encrypt incoming Internet traffic

How is a VPN Different From SSH

Ideally, VPN and SSH are network tunnels that ensure no data is lost during transmission. However, the primary difference lies in the origin of the work that they are used for. 

Secure Shell connection connects with a peer remotely to access its data, perform actions on it, and run commands. It is used to ensure that when an administrator is working with remote devices, the security of the file remains intact and untraceable. 

Not to mention, setting up an SSH connection is a complex process. It is done manually, which can be a nightmare for users. When it comes to a VPN connection, the setup process hardly takes a few minutes, as all you have to do is download a VPN client and establish a connection. 

If we talk about the basic difference between VPN and SSH, it can be defined as – 

“A VPN tunnel encrypts your entire network, while an SSH tunnel is established between two entities, your PC and a remote server. Anything other than the remote server is unprotected in the case of SSH. When connected to a VPN, your PC is secure from every website you visit.”

Which is More Secure? Here’s Your Answer!

Now that you are familiar with both VPN and SSH, it is time we dissect their abilities in terms of security and usability. You might have an idea of their security. 

It would not be wrong to say that both have excellent security features regarding encryption and network security. The only difference lies in the use cases. Of course, a VPN has an edge over SSH as it offers a complete security solution on a single click. 

We recommend you go for a VPN if you plan to use it for your personal computer, as it is more convenient and offers perfect security solutions. Given all the information about these two, let us know which one you would pick if you had a choice. Thanks for reading, good luck!

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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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