SOCKS5 Proxy Protocol is the last version of the SOCKS internet protocol. It is an extension of the SOCKS4 protocol. SOCKS is the internet protocol that switches data packets between client and server through a proxy server. Socket Secure (SOCKS) works in the 5th layer that is the session layer of the OSI model, a middle layer between the presentation layer and the transport layer.
However, SOCKS proxies are wrongly thought an option or similar to VPN which may cause privacy leak. In this article, I will tell you how SOCKS5 proxy is different from a VPN. Like HTTP, SOCKS is also an internet protocol but offers an extra degree of anonymity. The client is connected to a server through a proxy server which hides your IP address in the process. The host’s server doesn’t identify your physical location. Furthermore, SOCKS doesn’t provide encryption so data may be tracked by government surveillance or hackers.
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How it’s better than SOCKS4?
As you know SOCKS5 is the heir of SOCKS4. However, SOCKS4 is a lot more successful proxy protocol but it has some flaws. Those checks are relieved by SOCKS5 to some extent. Features that are added in SOCKS5 are as following.
- Carries both TCP & UDP transfer
- It offers many Authentication Mechanisms.
- Supports Internet Protocol version IPv6
- Way faster internet speed
How SOCKS5 Proxy Protocol Works?
When you connect to a web server, traffic goes through a firewall on the router or ISP. A SOCKS5 proxy routes the traffic through its a proxy server. The proxy server assigns you an IP address that looks like you are browsing from a different location. Proxies don’t encrypt data like VPN, as a result, you may browse even faster. This is because they need not re-write header data.
Although it doesn’t manage encryption, SOCKS5 offers a method of authentication. Even more, it provides a handshake between the user and client-server.
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Why use a SOCKS5 Proxy?
- One of the main use is to bypass internet censorship
- Access restricted content
- Access services, which are limited to certain countries
- While torrenting, with SOCKS5 you may get higher downloading speed
- Faster P2P downloads
- To hide your physical location
SOCKS5 or VPN, Which is Better?
VPNs of course, are above SOCKS5 proxies. As far as privacy is concerned, VPNs are more secure than proxies. But it’s not like that VPN is always better than proxies. They have their own limitations. Consequently, many good VPNs are bundled with a SOCKS5 proxy protocol.
However, proxies have their own space. when you want to access blocked content by changing your server location with no worry for privacy. Proxies come in handy to do so. They don’t require separate software, you just need to configure an IP address in your device and there you go. You can find a proxy server in almost every country in the world. The great thing is that they often are free of charge. Above all, proxies are way faster than VPNs.
Let’s Combine SOCKS5 & VPN
Proxy can’t do what a VPN can and VPNs are unable to provide speed as fast as a proxy can. Both have their own limitations. But wait, What is that we can combine them into one? Many VPN service providers are now starting merging them into one product. Like 911 VPN with SOCKS5 proxy and Private Internet Access are in the top list. Using both a VPN and a SOCKS5 proxy is really helpful.
Using both in a bundle, proxy usually results in increasing privacy, if it supports your VPN provider. You will not see any speed boost if a VPN is already connected. Instead, the benefit comes as a safety net. If your VPN cuts out and the Kill-Switch fails, you still have some basic protection from SOCKS5 proxy. Using both creates an extra barrier for entry.
Popular VPNs with SOCKS5 proxy
- Private Internet Access having 3300+ servers in 45 countries offer plans as low as 3.33$ per month.
- 911 VPN is especially for SOCKS5 proxies. They provide 150 proxy balances for a lifetime.
- Express VPN has a huge global network in 94 countries at 160 locations.
- IPvanish with 1400+ servers at 75 locations offers plans as low as 6.49$ per month.
- Nord VPN offer plans starting from 3.49$ per month