SOCKS Proxy Primer: What Is SOCKs5 and Why Should You …
co-authored by Darshan S. Mulimath, Megha B. Sasidhar, and Ashiq Khader
In computer networks, a proxy or proxy server is a computer that sits between you and the server. It acts as a gateway between a local network and a large-scale network, such as the internet.
A proxy server works by intercepting connections between sender and receiver. All incoming data enters through one port and is forwarded to the rest of the network via another port.
Aside from traffic forwarding, proxy servers provide security by hiding the actual IP address of a server. They also have caching mechanisms that store requested resources to improve performance. A proxy server can encrypt your data so it is unreadable in transit and block access to certain webpages based on IP address.
Now that we have a general sense of how a proxy works, let’s zoom in on a specific type of proxy — SOCKS — and, specifically, the SOCKs5 variant.
What Is a SOCKS Proxy?
SOCKS, which stands for Socket Secure, is a network protocol that facilitates communication with servers through a firewall by routing network traffic to the actual server on behalf of a client. SOCKS is designed to route any type of traffic generated by any protocol or program.
A SOCKS proxy server creates a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection to another server behind the firewall on the client’s behalf, then exchanges network packets between the client and the actual server. The SOCKS proxy server doesn’t interpret the network traffic between client and server in any way; it is often used because clients are behind a firewall and are not permitted to establish TCP connections to outside servers unless they do it through the SOCKS proxy server. Therefore, a SOCKS proxy relays a user’s TCP and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) session over firewall.
SOCKS is a layer 5 protocol, and it doesn’t care about anything below that layer in the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model — meaning you can’t use it to tunnel protocols operating below layer 5. This includes things such as ping, Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), etc. From a security perspective, it won’t allow an attacker to perform scans using tools such as Nmap if they are scanning based on half-open connections because it works at layer 5.
Since SOCKS sits at layer 5, between SSL (layer 7) and TCP/UDP (layer 4), it can handle several request types, including HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP and FTP. As a result, SOCKS can be used for email, web browsing, peer-to-peer sharing, file transfers and more.
Other proxies built for specific protocols at layer 7, such as an HTTP proxy that is used to interpret and forward HTTP or HTTPS traffic between client and server, are often referred to as application proxies.
There are only two versions: SOCKS4 and SOCKs5. The main differences between SOCKs5 and SOCKS4 are:
SOCKS4 doesn’t support authentication, while SOCKs5 supports a variety of authentication methods; and
SOCKS4 doesn’t support UDP proxies, while SOCKs5 does.
A SOCKs5 proxy is more secure because it establishes a full TCP connection with authentication and uses the Secure Shell (SSH) encrypted tunneling method to relay the traffic.
Why You Should Adopt SOCKs5
Below are four key benefits to using a SOCKs5 proxy with SSH tunneling.
1. Access Back-End Services Behind a Firewall
Usually, a cluster is hosted in the cloud behind a firewall to minimize potential security vulnerabilities. There are two ways to access any backend services that are running inside a cluster, and each has its limitations:
Expose backend services to public (and accept the associated security risk); or
Whitelist the client or user’s IP to allow traffic to backend services (this is not the right solution for when a user’s IP changes, however).
A SOCKs5 proxy with dynamic port forwarding using SSH can be an alternative to the two undesirable options above. An administrator or developer could access any backend services within a cluster that is hosted in the cloud behind a firewall for debugging, monitoring and administrating from a public network without exposing the backend service ports or whitelisting specific IPs.
Let’s look at a use case. For security reasons, the administration or monitoring application APIs or web user interface (UI) ports for monitoring Hadoop cluster are closed by default when hosted on the cloud. To access these APIs or web UIs, you can use SSH dynamic port forwarding to master or edge a node cluster, since the master node will have a public IP and run SSH services by default, which is exposed so the user can connect from outside.
For another example, say you’re working with a virtual private cloud (VPC). You can deploy a bastion host to securely access remote instances within a VPC by limiting their access to the outside world. You can access the bastion host from the outside world, and only port 22 (SSH) is opened. Using SSH dynamic port forwarding (SOCKs5 proxy), you can access the remote instances that are running in the VPC.
2. No Special Setup Required
SOCKs5 doesn’t require special setup, as long as you have SSH access to either the Edge node or gateway of a cluster. Therefore, users such as administrators and developers can access back-end resources behind the firewall using an SSH tunnel without requiring a virtual private network (VPN).
3. No Third-Party Public or Free Proxy Server in Your Deployments
Since a SOCKs5 proxy routes all kinds of TCP and UDP traffic to their respective service through SSH tunneling, no layer 7 application-related special proxies are required for each service to route application requests.
4. Fewer Errors, Better Performance
Unlike other application proxies, SOCKs5 does not rewrite data packets. It just relays the traffic between devices. Therefore, it is less prone to errors, and performance increases automatically.
How Does SOCKs5 Work in Practice?
Any CISO wouldn’t jump at the chance to embrace the benefits listed above. But what does a SOCKs5 proxy look like in the context of an enterprise security strategy? Where do security leaders begin when implementing SOCKs5 in their environment? Below are some key steps to help you get started.
Setting Up a SOCKs5 Proxy Connection
To SOCKSify an IT environment, the client application must have the capacity to support the SOCKs5 protocol. The syntax below is based on the SSH client on Linux; it shows how to create a SOCKs5 proxy server running on your local computer and then authenticate to the Edge node of a cluster or gateway hosted on cloud that routes traffic to the servers inside the cluster:
$ ssh -D 30001 [email protected] -C -f -N (password: xyz; or
$ ssh -i /path/to/private_key -D 30001 [email protected] -C -f -N
The above command starts the SOCKs5 server and binds to port 30001, then connects to Edge Node, Master Node or Gateway Node over the SSH tunnel hosted on the cloud.
The options used in the above command do the following:
D 30001 tells SSH to create a SOCKs5 server on port 30001 on the client computer.
C compresses data before sending.
N means “Do not execute a remote command. ” This is useful for simply forwarding ports (protocol version 2 only).
F requests SSH to go to the background just before command execution.
Accessing the Endpoints Using the SOCKs5 Protocol
Once a SOCKs5 proxy is created, configure your clients to access the internal services of the cluster. To keep it simple, we use a command line URL (cURL) that supports the SOCKs5 protocol. Other methods such as using a web browser require some additional setup and configurations.
The below cURL command shows how to access one of the HTTPS application endpoints listening on port 8000 behind a firewall using the SOCKs5 proxy over the SSH tunnel created above:
curl -x socks5hlocalhost:30001 -v -k -X GET EdgeNodeSSHserverIP:8000
The above cURL tool connects to port 30001 on localhost. Upon receiving a HTTP GET request on port 30001 from the cURL, the SSH client sends the same request via SSH tunnel to the SSH server.
The remote SSH server handles the request and passes the request to a back-end service listening at port 8000. The response is sent back to the client over the same SSH tunnel to the client’s SOCKs5 proxy. The proxy relays the response to the cURL, which displays the response.
Once you have created a SOCKs5 proxy using the SSH dynamic port forwarding method, you can also use the netcat utility to test the TCP connection. As shown below, a TCP connection test is made for back-end services listening at port 8443 with the SOCKs5 proxy:
ncat –proxy 127. 0. 1:30001 –proxy-type socks5 EdgeNodeSSHserverIP 8443 -nv
A SOCKs5 proxy is a lightweight, general-purpose proxy that sits at layer 5 of the OSI model and uses a tunneling method. It supports various types of traffic generated by protocols, such as HTTP, SMTP and FTP. SOCKs5 is faster than a VPN and easy to use. Since the proxy uses a tunneling method, public cloud users can access resources behind the firewall using SOCKs5 over a secured tunnel such as SSH.
What is SOCKS5 & 5 Best SOCKS5 VPNs in 2021 – ProPrivacy
Like a VPN, a SOCKS5 proxy is an effective way to bypass internet blocks. Some VPN providers include a SOCKS5 proxy in their service because it can provide location spoofing with faster speeds than a VPN. A SOCKS5 proxy does not provide the added privacy benefits you get with a full VPN connection. However, depending on your needs, a SOCKS5 proxy can be a useful extra feature. In this article, we have pinpointed the best VPNs with a SOCKS5 proxy. These SOCKS5 VPN services will provide you with a full premium VPN in addition to a SOCKS5 proxy you can use any time you want. What is SOCKS5? SOCKS stands for Socket Secure and it is an internet protocol commonly used to create a proxy. SOCKS proxies are often used by consumers sitting behind a firewall who need to be able to bypass it to establish a TCP connection with an outside server. You can find more information on this later in the guide. A SOCKS5 proxy is massively useful when it comes to accessing restricted, censored, or geo-blocked content. That is why we have listed the best VPNs with a free SOCKS5 proxy bolted on to the service. More details can be found below, but if you’re in a hurry, here is a quick look at our best SOCKS5 VPN providers: NordVPN – A VPN provider with a good reputation. They have great SOCKS5 Proxy which can easily be used with a torrent client of your choice. Private Internet Access – A very secure VPN service with a SOCKS5 proxy. It’s easy to set up to SOCKS5 proxy via their client control panel. IPVanish – A fantastic VPN service that offers a SOCKS5 proxy free with their VPN. They have plenty of SOCKS5 servers based in over 70 countries. – Has outstanding privacy features. They integrate their SOCKS5 proxy with their VPN to improve you security. Windscribe – Offers a free VPN service, however their SOCKS5 proxy is only available on their premium plans. It’s easy to use and set up. Our main consideration when compiling this list was to find reliable VPNs that include a SOCKS5 proxy with their service. That said, we also made sure only to recommend well-rounded services that also offer: Quick speeds Robust privacy features Good encryption Geo-unblocking capabilities The best VPNs for SOCKS5 – In-depth Analysis Here are the best VPNs with SOCKS5. If you need more information on these or any other services, check out our detailed VPN reviews. NordVPN is a reliable VPN that provides security, privacy. They have really useful guides on how to combine your torrent client with their SOCKS5 Proxy service. Pricing From $4. 13 – $11. 95 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix iPlayer Amazon Prime Hulu
NordVPN is a veteran of the VPN industry and has more than earned its reputation for reliability. It has excellent apps for all platforms that are easy to use, whether you’re a tech wizard or a total newbie. NordVPN has a watertight zero-logs policy, great customer care, and a SOCKS5 proxy included within the subscription. I think NordVPN is one of the best services out there when it comes to providing top-notch features and access to sites like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. Plus, a subscription won’t break the bank! You can even try this VPN for yourself without risking your money by using its 30-day money-back guarantee. Tried and tested security NordVPN is based in Panama, which is great in terms of privacy as it’s far beyond the reach of EU and US jurisdictions. You’ll also be getting access to some of the rarer VPN features, like double-hop encryption and VPN through Tor. NordVPN does come with all the essentials, though, so don’t worry – AES 256-bit encryption keeps your data out of the hands of snoopers and a kill-switch will prevent your original IP address from leaking in the event that your VPN connection drops out. I also like that NordVPN implements OpenVPN and WireGuard encryption, which are two standout protocols. Another huge plus for NordVPN in our books is the fact that the service has invited an auditing firm to comb through its zero-logs policy. We like seeing this sort of accountability and transparency from VPNs, and multi-factor authentication is another, very welcome, bonus. You’ll want to opt-in for this to keep your account extra secure. A free world wide web There are NordVPN servers dotted all over the globe in over 70 countries, and they’re all lightning-fast! You’ll be able to stream in HD and download torrents or files in a blink. However, for those who want to spoof their IP with the fastest possible speeds available – a SOCKS5 proxy is also included within the subscription. The list of streaming services that NordVPN can unblock goes on and on. Whether you’re a Netflix fiend or a fan of UK TV on BBC iPlayer, you’ll have a world of content to browse through. Plus, NordVPN comes with its very own SmartDNS feature if you prefer to stream via your smart TV! Just remember that this service does not offer any encryption itself. Affordable quality Because of its stellar reputation and popularity, you might think that NordVPN is a pricey provider that only a handful can afford. Subscription prices are very modest, however, especially when you consider how many features you’re getting access to. NordVPN will even banish ads and trackers from your browsing sessions so you can surf securely! NordVPN is also compatible with all platforms; Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Linux included. Up to 6 simultaneous connections are permitted at any one time, and a customer service team is available 24/7, via live chat or email support. Private Internet Access is a trusted VPN with a SOCKS5 proxy that’s easy to set up and incredibly secure – using a separate username and password to your VPN client. Pricing From $2. 08 – $9. 95 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix iPlayer Amazon Prime Hulu
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based provider that’s a long-standing favorite of Reddit users. The VPN is also a solid all-rounder that has all the features you’ll need to stay secure online and keep your details private, and it has even proven its zero-logs policy in court on numerous occasions. As with most premium providers, you can try PIA before you buy, with a 30-day money-back guarantee. An ever-growing network With PIA, you’ll have access to super-fast servers in 78 countries, which is more than enough to geo-hop across the globe and check out content that’d otherwise be restricted. Plus, PIA can unblock sought after services like Netflix US and Hulu. As you might’ve guessed, PIA does have a “domestic focus” in the US, so if you’re outside the States and want to keep up with sports, shows, and news from the U. S of A, then PIA is perfectly positioned. Streaming is a dream with PIA, too. When tested, I didn’t have any trouble with buffering streams or low-quality images. The service is seriously fast, and can also handle online gaming and any VoIP calls you need to make. ISP throttling will also become a thing of the past with PIA, a service that also doesn’t impose its own bandwidth or data restrictions. Cross-platform compatibility PIA is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS devices, and users get up to 10 simultaneous connections to play with – which is pretty generous. These clients look fresh and come fully featured with all broad spread of tools. PIA will even remove those annoying ads from your browsing sessions, as well as any trackers trying to snoop on you. If at any point you need help setting up or troubleshooting an issue, you can field your questions to the PIA customer service team. They’re available 24/7 via live chat and boast a full 10 years of industry experience, so you’re bound to find a solution. Stay covered I’m glad to say that OpenVPN encryption is available throughout, and users also get a high level of granular control over the strength of that protection – though this might be too techy for casual users. You’ll also benefit from a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation (stealth), port forwarding, split tunneling, and a SOCKS5 proxy. This makes PIA one of the better stocked services on the market, and a great pick for anyone really looking to put their privacy first. One less-than-great point to consider is that PIA is based in the US. This isn’t ideal, as the United States is infamous for its use of gag orders and warrants, which could force a VPN to hand over user info and data logs. Fortunately, PIA’s no-logs claim means that there’d be no information to hand over even if it was served a warrant. IPVanish is a US-based VPN with an excellent SOCKS5 Proxy. They have an extension proxy server list including servers in the UK, USA, UAE and many more countries. Pricing From $3. 20 – $10. 99 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix Amazon Prime Hulu
IPVanish easily claims a spot in our top five, as it’s a well-known and well-trusted VPN service ideal for gaining online privacy and hopping geo-restrictions. Best of all, IPVanish has a reliable SOCKS5 proxy that you can access and control in the member’s area of its website. Anyone with an IPVanish subscription can use this SOCKS5 proxy without paying an extra penny, too! I also like that IPVanish provides excellent setup guides for accessing and using the SOCKS proxy, either inside of torrent clients or browsers. Security-focused As you’d expect from a VPN of its caliber, IPVanish abides by a strong no-logs policy – though the fact that the service is based in the United States might make some prospective users wary. In brighter news, OpenVPN encryption ensures that your browsing sessions are kept secure, whether you’re using the VPN at home or whether you’re on the go and relying on public Wi-Fi hotspots. I’m also pleased to see that IPVanish offers WireGuard, which hasn’t been around for as long as OpenVPN, and therefore hasn’t been tested as extensively, but it’s a protocol that’s lightweight, quick, and super secure, and very much the way of the future. Additionally, it’s great to see that IPVanish also comes with DNS leak protection and a kill-switch, which is vitally important for anyone who’ll be torrenting. Unblock the world With more than 1, 900 servers in over 75 locations, IPVanish is an excellent choice for anyone looking to unblock restricted, censored, or geo-blocked content. Users should have no trouble unblocking in-demand American streaming services, as well as Netflix US. However, because IPVanish does not officially support other Netflix libraries, we can’t say for certain that you’ll be able to access them. IPVanish likewise cannot access BBC iPlayer. When I was testing IPVanish, I found that the service was surprisingly fast and more than capable of handling HD streaming. In addition, video calling is a breeze and torrenting is permitted on specified, dedicated servers. The SOCKS5 proxy also makes it possible to torrent safely and with even better speeds, as well as access any stubborn services that the VPN can’t reach without it. Real value for money With IPVanish, users get a robust VPN service that is available for all platforms – you can even install it on your router. And, if you need help at any point, you can get in touch with the IPVanish customer service via live chat and phone, 24/7. Thus, this is a superb all-rounder VPN with a SOCKS5 proxy for those who need it. Finally, the cost of a subscription is extremely competitive, which makes it well worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee. I’d like to see IPVanish accept cryptocurrency payments one day in the future, but all in all, I’d recommend giving the service a test drive. integrate their secure VPN with a SOCKS5 proxy which helps you to maintain your internet speeds whilst gaining privacy online. 43 – $12. 95 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix iPlayer Amazon Prime Hulu
comes packed with advanced VPN apps for all platforms and a wide spread of features. It’s also one of the best VPNs in the world that also provides a SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting or getting around firewalls. puts a focus on quality and privacy, which is why it snags a place in our top five – plus, consumers always have good things to say about the service! For privacy advocates Right away, I was reassured by the fact that is based in Malaysia, a country beyond the reach of invasive jurisdictions (like the UK and US), and with no mandatory data retention laws that’d force the VPN to keep logs. This is a win for user privacy! ‘s no-logs policy has also been audited by an independent analyst, so you can rest assured that nobody is keeping tabs on what you do online. To further bulk up its privacy offering, protects users from IPv6 leaks and runs its very own DNS on each server. Users also get their pick of a number of solid protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard, which are two of our favorites. A kill-switch also keeps your sensitive information from leaking if your VPN connection drops, and I was glad to see that this kill-switch is enabled from the moment you download the software until (or unless) you switch it off yourself. A multi-hop double VPN feature is a nice addition, too, as it encrypts your traffic twice, for maximum privacy. Server selection has a broad network of VPN servers, with over 2, 000 to choose from in more than 75 worldwide locations. All of these servers are managed by the team, so there’s no risk of outsiders getting involved where they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, struggles to unblock some of the most in-demand streaming services – though sites like Netflix do work incredibly hard to keep VPNs at bay, so it’s a constantly evolving game of cat and mouse, anyway. That being said, we were unable to access Netflix US, and other users have reported similar difficulties when trying to browse Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer. If you’re an avid streamer who needs reliable access to these services, you might be better off looking elsewhere. Pay your way is widely available for any platform you can imagine, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Browser extensions are also available for Chrome and Firefox users, and you can install the VPN on your router if you have the compatible firmware. offers 10 simultaneous connections, which is just what I like to see, and will be enough to cover all of your important devices. You’ll also be spoiled for choice when it actually comes to paying for your subscription, too. The service allows credit card and PayPal payments and even accepts cryptocurrency. This is a more secure way of paying, though bear in mind that it’s not totally anonymous, as will always know your original IP address. Windscribe provide a SOCKS5 proxy on their premium plan. It’s easy to set up using the SOCKS5 Profile generator on their website. 00 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix
Plenty of people are familiar with Windscribe thanks to its limited free subscription plan that anyone can test without forking over any cash. This is great, and well worth checking out, but if you need a SOCKS5 proxy, you’ll also need a premium subscription. Fortunately, a Windscribe subscription is well worth investing in. The VPN abides by a no-logs policy and provides strong OpenVPN encryption, a kill-switch, and DNS leak protection. That means you can trust it to give you digital privacy both at home and on public Wi-Fi. This VPN is also great for unblocking international content or for bypassing local censorship. Feature rich Windscribe also has some of the most intuitive and useful VPN tools on the market, all designed to enhance your digital security – like R. O. B. E. R. T. This tool can be used to block ads and trackers, malicious domains, and IPs, to make your browsing experience more secure. You can select from a variety of block lists or create custom lists of your own. I also liked seeing a split tunneling feature, which gives you the ability to decide which applications route to the internet through the VPN and which don’t. In terms of security, Windscribe puts together a very solid package. AES 256-bit encryption is used alongside various secure protocols, like OpenVPN and WireGuard. Instead of a kill-switch, Windscribe utilizes a firewall, which prevents leaks by blocking all connectivity outside the VPN tunnel. Browse global content The Windscribe server network is dotted across the globe in a few odd locations, but coverage in 63 countries and 110 cities is nothing to be sniffed at. Users should have no trouble bypassing geo-restrictions or spoofing their location. When I tested the service and tried to access Netflix, I found that it was particularly good at getting into the US library, although my success levels did vary here and there. If accessing content like this is your main concern, you might want to check out a more reliable option. Also, Windscribe just isn’t the fastest VPN on the market – though it certainly isn’t slow, seeing as it’s still in the top 20 fastest VPNs. So, you should still be able to stream and HD and torrent without issue. In fact, Windscribe’s port forwarding feature should help any torrenting endeavors considerably. Cover your bases Windscribe prides itself on having clean, minimalist clients that are easy to use and intuitive even for beginners. You can install the VPN on any Windows, Mac, iOS, Android or Linux device, and even check out Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. These extensions even come with some exclusive features of their own, like Double Hop (which encrypts your traffic twice) and ad blocking (which prevents trackers from keeping tabs on your activity). Overall, it’s an excellent VPN that is great for gaining privacy and accessing content. You can test it thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee and even pay for a subscription with Bitcoin! What is a SOCKS5 proxy? A SOCKS proxy is a bolt-on feature that some VPNs provide to their users to allow them to engage in location spoofing. Like other proxies, a SOCKS5 proxy works by allowing you to conceal your IP address from online services. This lets you pretend to be in a different location and allows you to bypass localized blocks and restrictions. By using a SOCKS proxy, anybody can bypass IP blocks when their IP has been blacklisted from an online service. It can also be a useful workaround when a VPN’s IP addresses have been blocked by an online service, by offering a secondary method for accessing that service. SOCKS5 is the latest version of the SOCKS protocol. It can send data via UDP (in addition to TCP). This means it can provide a highly reliable and efficient connection. It can also proxy data from a large cross-section of request types, including HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP, and FTP. This flexibility is what makes SOCKS5 useful, because it can easily be used for email, web browsing, peer-to-peer file sharing, file transfers, VoIP, and more. A SOCKS5 proxy using UDP is highly desirable because it can provide extremely fast speeds. This makes it valuable for people who want high-speed IP spoofing. On the other hand, a SOCKS5 proxy provides no encryption. This means your traffic can still be monitored by your ISP or the government. As a result, it is important to remember that you do not get the privacy you get with a full VPN connection when you use a SOCKS5 proxy. SOCKS5 vs VPN – what’s the difference? VPNs and SOCKS5 both function as a proxy that can be used to conceal your real IP address from online services. However, this is where the similarity largely ends – because a SOCKS5 proxy does not provide other benefits that you get with a VPN. A VPN creates a securely encrypted tunnel between the VPN client (application) and the proxy (VPN) server. This gives you online privacy and data security – in addition to the location spoofing functionality you get with a SOCKS5 proxy. The benefit of a VPN is that you can conceal your online browsing habits from your ISP, the government, and local network administrators in workplaces, schools, and public Wi-Fi networks. The encryption provided by the VPN stops anybody from accessing your data and tracking your online habits. However, it also causes some slowing of internet speeds, which is why some people prefer to use a SOCKS5 proxy. If you require IP spoofing without the need for internet privacy (to connect to a gaming server in another country, for example) – you may be happy using a SOCKS5 proxy. However, if you intend to access restricted torrent sites to download movies (or to engage in other online activities that you would prefer to do in private); you will need to stick to using a VPN with its added encryption. What are the pros and cons of a SOCKS5 proxies? SOCKS5 proxy services are really useful services, however, there are also some drawbacks with using them. In this guide, we look at both the pros and cons so you can make a more informed decision. Pros of SOCKS5 proxies SOCKS5 offers three main benefits over other proxies out there: The greatest benefit of a SOCKS5 proxy is its ability to process an almost unlimited number of request types. This allows it to be used for VoIP, HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP, and FTP. Unlike other proxies, SOCKS5 does not rewrite data packet headers. This improves efficiency by making it less likely that there will be mis-routing or mislabeling issues. Finally, SOCKS5 proxies can be set up with one of the following authentication methods: Username/password authentication in which the user must provide their credentials to access the proxy server GSS-API authentication in which both the user and the server use authentication to verify the user’s identity Cons of SOCKS5 proxies However, there are also a number of disadvantages to consider before you use a SOCKS5 proxy. SOCKS5 proxies are not encrypted. The performance benefits you get with a SOCKS5 proxy (and the added security you get when password/username authentication is implemented, as is the case with most SOCKS5 proxies provided by VPNs) is counterbalanced by a loss of privacy and security. Similarly, SOCKS5 packet headers contain metadata that can identify you, which is why anybody who requires online privacy is strongly advised to use a full VPN connection rather than a SOCKS5 proxy. A proxy will conceal your original IP address, but that address will still be visible to your proxy provider – which is why it’s important to ensure you’re using a reliable service that won’t collect and sell any sensitive data or expose you to cyberattacks. Should I use a SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting? Some people use a SOCKS5 proxy to gain added security when downloading peer-to-peer using a torrent client. The great thing about torrenting with a SOCKS5 proxy is that it is extremely easy to set up from within your torrent client itself. A SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting improves your security by concealing your real IP address from the swarm (all the peers seeding or leeching the torrent). This provides security against exposure to a malevolent peer who may attempt to scan your IP address for open ports; which could potentially allow you to be victimized. Although the security benefit (IP concealment) provided by a SOCKS5 proxy is useful, it is important to remember that it is not as effective as a VPN tunnel. Like a SOCKS5 proxy, a VPN conceals your real IP address from the peers you connect to. However, a VPN also encrypts your data so that all your downloads are private and cannot be detected by your ISP. This ensures that your ISP and the government are never able to identify the torrent services you use, the seeds you leech from, and the content you download. If you intend to torrent online and you want to do it securely, a SOCKS5 proxy will provide better security than nothing at all. And a SOCKS5 proxy will usually provide more bandwidth and better speeds. However, unless you live in a country where copyright piracy is tolerated, it is generally recommended that you use a VPN rather than a SOCKS5 proxy. How to connect to a SOCKS5 proxy Unlike a VPN, which ensures that all your internet traffic is always tunneled via the VPN server, a SOCKS5 proxy must be set up inside your browser or torrent client. This means that the SOCKS5 proxy will only ever ‘spoof’ your location inside that software; rather than for your entire computer or mobile device. If you want to connect to your VPN’s SOCKS5 proxy, it will be necessary to set up that connection manually either in your torrent client or browser. The best way to achieve this is to contact your VPN for a setup guide, which will include how to set up your SOCKS5 authentication on its website. If you are a Firefox user, the easiest way to set up a SOCKS5 proxy is by using the third party extension FoxyProxy: Download and install the FoxyProxy Standard add-on from the FireFox Add-ons page. Click on the FoxyProxy icon that appears in the toolbar in the top right of your Firefox browser. Choose Options from the drop-down menu. You will now be redirected to a webpage. Select Use proxy Default for all URLs from the drop-down menu in the middle of the screen. Next, click the Add button on the top left of the screen. Now, click Edit and add the details for your VPN SOCKS5 proxy. (You will need to get the server address, port number, username, and password from your VPN’s website. ) Finally, turn on the slider next to Send DNS through SOCKS5 proxy and click Save. Now check your IP address by clicking What’s My IP in the left-hand menu. Your IP address should appear in the location of your VPN’s SOCKS5 proxy server. Can I use a free SOCKS5 Proxy? In 2021 it has become almost impossible to find a reliable and trustworthy SOCKS5 proxy that you can use for free. Thus, if you do want to make use of a SOCKS5 proxy, we strongly recommend that you purchase a VPN subscription. By paying for a VPN, you will gain access to both the full VPN tunnel and the SOCKS5 proxy. This gives you the flexibility to gain privacy (both at home and on public Wi-Fi) and to perform IP spoofing whenever you need to. With a VPN and SOCKS5 proxy in your quiver, you will be able to bypass restrictions and gain unprecedented levels of privacy online. This is why a VPN subscription is by far the best way to use a secure SOCKS5 proxy. Admittedly, you can find lists of free proxy addresses online. Those lists provide you with all the information you need to connect, including the proxy type (SOCKS4, SOCKS5, HTTP, HTTPS, etc) the IP address, the port, where it’s located, and the type of server it is. It’s true that you could use one of these free proxy addresses. However, remember that it’s impossible to know who’s running those free proxies, and your data could be at risk. In fact, the reality is that the lists of free proxy IPs found online are extremely dangerous to use. Unfortunately, these proxies are almost always hacked machines or honeypots designed to spy on you. They’re primarily leveraged to engage in Man-in-the-Middle attacks and to engage in cyberattacks on their users by doing things like SSL stripping or injecting code into your session to hijack your browser. For this reason, it is vital that you stick to using a SOCKS5 proxy provided by a legitimate, trustworthy VPN provider with a no-logs VPN policy. This will allow you to spoof your location and unblock online services without fear of cyberattacks or data theft. Conclusion A SOCKS5 proxy is a useful tool that many internet users want, and it can be a superb additional tool if you like to torrent. If you want to have access to both a VPN and a SOCKS5 proxy, the best option is to subscribe to a respected VPN service that also includes a SOCKS5 proxy. A number of leading VPNs now provide a SOCKS5 proxy for their users at no additional cost. Best of all, anybody who uses this SOCKS5 proxy will know that their connection is secure, and is being routed to god knows where! It is important to remember that a SOCKS5 proxy does not provide encryption, so if you want to gain strong levels of online privacy and security you should always stick to using a VPN. But, if you are confident that a SOCKS5 proxy is what you need, then the VPNs recommended in this guide will have what you need! NordVPN – A VPN provider with a good reputation. It’s easy to use and set up.
What are the benefits of SOCKS5 proxy? | NordVPN
ContentsWhat is SOCKS5 proxy? SOCKS5 proxy servers benefits1. Gets you around internet blocks2. Faster and more reliable connection3. Fewer errors and improved overall performance4. Better performance on P2P platformsSOCKS5 vs HTTP proxyShould you use SOCKS5 with a VPN? Should you use a free proxy? What is SOCKS5 proxy? SOCKS5 is the latest and most up-to-date SOCKS protocol. It is an improved version of SOCKS, an internet protocol that routes packets between a server and a client using a proxy server. SOCKS5 has enhanced security and offers three types of authentication methods: Null authentication – No authentication required to connect to a proxy;Username/password authentication – You need to provide login details to connect to a proxy;GSS-API authentication – Both you and the server use authentication methods at the operating system level to verify your does it work? Your traffic is routed through a proxy server that generates an arbitrary IP address before you reach your destination. Technically speaking, SOCKS5 (the latest version) uses proxy servers to form User Datagram Protocol (UDP) or Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections through arbitrary IP your IP is 1. 1. 1 and your traffic is routed through a SOCKS Proxy with the IP 2. 2. 2, the destination server (the website) will think that the request came from the latter. The website cannot see your original IP address. This helps you hide your location, but it doesn’t mean that your traffic is secure. Contrary to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), proxies do not encrypt your traffic – it’s still out in the open and anyone can snoop on what you are is no such thing as an 100% anonymous SOCKS5 proxy server, because it’s impossible to be truly anonymous online. You can get close to it by being aware of what you do online, what services and security tools you use and how it all impacts your privacy. But no single proxy, VPN, or encrypted messaging app will make you ’s little chance you’ll be able to use streaming services that are not available in your country by connecting through a proxy. However, if you only want to change your virtual location and bypass simple geo-blocks, you can find a SOCKS5 proxy list online and try your luck. Check our brief video about SOCKS5 a SOCKS5 proxy better than a VPN? SOCKS5 is not as secure or as fast as a VPN. It’s easy to confuse a SOCKS5 proxy with a VPN, but there are curcial differences. Like most proxies, SOCKS5 won’t encrypt your data, and will lower internet speed and reover, SOCKS is quite detectable, so it most likely won’t get you around national firewalls. Due to this fact you need to enhance its security with a VPN. A good VPN, on the other hand, will encrypt your data as it travels from your device to the VPN server, ensuring that nobody can view it at any point on its journey. With a service like NordVPN, you can still get around internet restrictions and protect your IP address, but you’ll do so with genuine privacy and lightning fast internet speeds. Upgrade your privacy with high-quality VPN CKS5 proxy servers benefitsHere are 4 strong reasons to use SOCKS proxies:1. Gets you around internet blocksSince proxy servers act as relays between your device and the internet, they can easily help you bypass internet blocks. For example, if your IP was blacklisted by a certain website (or you use a VPN and its servers IPs were blacklisted) you can route your traffic through a SOCKS5 proxy and so bypass this block. However, it won’t help you to circumvent national firewalls in the way that a VPN will, as most of them use deep packet inspection (DPI). This means that your traffic is blocked by your ISP and before it reaches the website. Faster and more reliable connectionUnlike its predecessors, which only used TCP protocol, SOCKS5 proxy servers can use UDP protocol, ensuring a reliable connection and efficient TCP internet protocol forms a connection between a client and a server, making sure that all the packets arrive from one side to the other. It requires fitting the content into a fixed format so that it can be transferred easily. UDP, on the other hand, doesn’t focus on whether all packets from the client or server reach the other side and whether they are transferred in the same order. UDP doesn’t waste time converting data packets into a stream of fixed packets. Therefore, with these UDP at hand, SOCKS5 can offer faster speeds and a reliable connection. 3. Fewer errors and improved overall performanceMany other proxies rewrite data packet headers. Because of this, there’s a high chance of misrouting or mislabelling that data. SOCKS5 proxy servers do not rewrite data packet headers, so there is a lower chance for errors. Since there are far fewer errors, the performance automatically improves. However, this comes at a cost of your privacy and security as packet headers contain your personal information and can be easily identified. 4. Better performance on P2P platformsSOCKS5 is faster than other proxies because it transfers smaller data packets. Therefore, it offers faster download speeds, which is why many users use it to connect to P2P sharing websites and CKS5 vs HTTP proxyUnlike HTTP proxies, which can only interpret and work with HTTP and HTTPS webpages, SOCKS5 proxies can work with any proxies are high-level proxies usually designed for a specific protocol. While this means you get better connection speeds, they’re not nearly as flexible and secure as SOCKS proxies. SOCKS proxies are low-level proxies that can handle any program or protocol and any traffic without you use SOCKS5 with a VPN? The main difference between proxies and VPNs is that VPNs encrypt your traffic and proxies don’t. VPNs provide more stable connections while proxy connections drop more are few reasons to use both together, so your best bet is to choose the right tool for the job. Fortunately, NordVPN’s servers also support SOCKS5 connections. For full instructions on how to use SOCKS5 proxy on different platforms, visit our tutorial page. Should you use a free proxy? Because of their low overhead, proxy services aren’t expensive to run, but they still come with costs. Therefore, free proxies, like free VPNs, should be avoided. Here’s why:Poor performance. Free proxies will have less support personnel and may have less configuration options or slower infrastructure. All of this can make them slower and less secure. They might also reduce their speeds or turn off features in an effort to make you a paying ivacy issues. If you’re not paying for the service, you aren’t the customer. Free proxies can monitor user traffic and sell that data to third parties or serve ads. This means replacing ads on websites you love (thereby cutting into their revenue) or introducing new ads that weren’t there best bet is a premium proxy service, which will offer the best speeds, support, and security. Fortunately, when you buy NordVPN, you can also use some of our servers as SOCKS5 proxies. With all of our other features, you can easily switch between maximum security, maximum speed, or the best of both secure and flexible service offers tons of options, including SOCKS5. Try it with our risk-free money-back guarantee for 30 days!
Emily Green is a content writer who loves to investigate the latest internet privacy and security news. She thrives on looking for solutions to problems and sharing her knowledge with NordVPN readers and customers.
Frequently Asked Questions about socks services
What is SOCKS5 and how do you use it?
SOCKS is commonly used as a network firewall, allowing hosts behind a SOCKS server to gain full access to the Internet while preventing unauthorized access from the Internet to hosts inside the firewall. … In a SOCKS configuration, instead of accessing the origin server directly, the proxy goes through a SOCKS server.
What is a SOCKS firewall?
The best VPNs for SOCKS5 – In-depth AnalysisNordVPN. www.nordvpn.com. NordVPN is a reliable VPN that provides security, privacy. … Private Internet Access. www.privateinternetaccess.com. … IPVanish. www.ipvanish.com. … Hide.me. www.hide.me. … Windscribe. Windscribe provide a SOCKS5 proxy on their premium plan.Sep 29, 2021
What is the best proxy for SOCKS5?
Like most proxies, SOCKS5 won’t encrypt your data, and will lower internet speed and stability. Moreover, SOCKS is quite detectable, so it most likely won’t get you around national firewalls.