VPN changes your IP on the entire device, proxy only where you configure it. For my work, I chose the proxy service proxywhite.com. So far, I'm happy with everything.
I can add to the above answers that you need to choose based on the task that you have.
The speed will depend on the quality of services of the provider providing both VPN and proxy.
High-quality proxies are possible purchase here: https://proxywhite.com/
The account is fresh, gentlemen, but this is Roskomnadzor taking advice! Apparently the guys, after unsuccessful attempts to block TG, did find out that there is such a thing, VPN.
We disagree, comrades, you shouldn't help the foe.
Ok, on your fingers. It's not about encryption. Proxy can also encrypt (and vpn, theoretically, can be unencrypted). The fact is that VPN is the transport layer, and the proxy is the application layer.
When you establish a VPN connection, it's as if you plugged another network card into your computer and the wire from it goes directly to the server you connected to. All network packets generated by your operating system are sent to recipients according to the routing tables, and now there is one more entry in these tables - “everything that I don’t know what to do with, throw on the vpn server”. I am describing the situation by default; in practice, various complex scenarios can be implemented there. Previously, there was only one such entry in the table - “everything that I don’t know where to put, throw it to the router”, now there is one more and it is usually more priority. That is, now all your traffic, which used to go to the router and he sent it to the Internet, will go to the VPN server. Through a router, of course, but this is beyond the computer's worries. And already the vpn server will send requests to the network on its own behalf, receive responses and throw them back. Once again, all traffic. Any browser, any messenger, any program that wants to go online. And there will be exceptions, if any, not at the level of individual applications, but at the level of IP addresses, which you have entered in the routing table so that everything goes past the VPN.
And what about the proxy? Yes, the same, in fact, but the proxy is limited to the application for which it is configured. Browser, for example. By telegram. Another messenger. In the extreme case, you can prescribe a proxy in the system settings, but what are these settings? Browser settings, they will only apply to IE and those browsers (and possibly some other applications) for which these settings are the authority - that is, not to all. And everything outside of these settings will also go online in the usual way.
I don't know if there will be a difference in the speed of work if we test proxies and vnp servers of the same performance in laboratory conditions. But in practice, everyone will decide the individual characteristics of a particular service - they can sell you a fast proxy, or they can sell a slow VPN.
Who is faster? Good question, of course. In general, I will say this, if you do not want to go into much detail, then a VPN is better suited for surfing the Internet, but it is more expensive, and if for some specific services or programs, then, no doubt, proxies will show themselves much better here, only you need to take good proxies, the main thing here is not to skimp, as with a VPN, I personally take on proxys.io, the prices of course will certainly scare you a little, perhaps, but do not be alarmed, they justify themselves by all 200%! In this case, as I said, the main thing is not to skimp, because from the slow Internet and bad proxies, health clearly will not be better, nerves are not restored!
Proxy technology provides a connection at the so-called "application layer" (or "application layer"), and VPN - at the "network layer", which is more voluminous, complex and includes the "application". This main difference does not allow you to "bypass" the VPN connection - all, and not single applications (as in the case of Proxy) are forced to connect through the VPN.
The second important aspect is the forced encryption of traffic using SSL certificates. If vigilant system administrators or attackers try to "spy" the transmitted traffic, then they will only be able to intercept garbage, which is too tough for both of them to decrypt (decryption can only be done by a VPN server, on whose resources the key for the certificate is stored under increased protection) ... Some opponents of VPN technology note that encryption increases the transmitted traffic, and accordingly the transmission losses increase. However, it is not. New VPN solutions using special libraries allow compressing the transmitted data, so that in the end the losses are practically not noticeable.