First question that comes to your mind when you hear ‘SOCKS5 Proxy’ is: What does this abbreviation really stand for? And the answer here is simple: Socket Secure. But what is it really in a plain language? Well, to put it simply, it is an updated Internet protocol that allows two devices on the Net communicate through a third device. In our case, such a device is a SOCKS5 server. In this article we will cover some technical intricacies of this proxy protocol, discuss the use cases of such proxies and present you with a list of our Top SOCKS5 Proxies selection from the industry.
What Is a SOCKS5 Proxy?
So, as we mentioned, a SOCKS5 proxy is a proxy that runs on this very protocol. It can be a residential proxy or a datacenter proxy depending on the method of origination. Unlike an HTTP proxy that works with web traffic only, SOCKS5 can handle any traffic and can be successfully used for streaming, gaming and torrenting applications. Plus, with SOCKS5 you have various methods of authentications possible, and not just username and password. Another great benefit of SOCKS5 IPs is that they support IPv6 types of addresses with access to any website regardless the type of IP. This makes such proxies a great choice for highly secure and advanced proxy-based missions. But, there are some drawbacks as well that we will cover later on.
Main Use Cases of SOCKS5 Proxy Servers
As for the main areas of application of SOCKS5 proxies, here we will have the following use cases where they perform the best:
1. Web scraping. Such proxies are good at accessing any website for data extraction and information gathering.
2. Shielding your original IP. Again, a usual and proper case, where SOCKS allows you to protect your original Internet address at a very high level of efficiency.
3. Streaming content. SOCKS5 proxies are your first choice when it comes to accessing platforms with geo restrictions such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
4. Gaming websites. Gamers all around the world really appreciate the high performance of SOCKS5 proxies due to improved ping and overall game performance.
5. Torrents. Finally, SOCKS5 are very common when it comes to torrenting traffic through them. This is helpful for downloading and uploading files in an anonymous and secure fashion.
In all cases, the main advantage of SOCKS5 proxies would be handling all kinds of data with high levels of anonymity and fast performance. While, the main downside: lack of compatibility with some applications and, generally, a higher price tag.
The Best SOCKS5 Proxy Providers
And now, here is our selection of the top providers with the best SOCKS5 proxies on the market. Again, we have studied the opinions of regular proxy users, open-source data and listed the providers randomly without giving any rating points to determine the ‘winners’ in this category of proxies.
PrivateProxy has what it takes in its arsenal to supply you with one of the best proxies on SOCKS5 protocol. The provider does not offer an ultrawide network of IPs but it takes good care of its customers who order residential and datacenter IPs. We have the usual range of use cases from e-commerce scraping to reputation intelligence and lead generation that are all properly documented and near-to-perfect tech support to promptly solve all of your issues with swapping or setting up your servers.
The company continuously works on improving the performance of its proxies. Whenever there is a drop in response or success rate, PrivateProxy will be there to address it momentarily. The prices for such an individual approach in support and variety of geo locations of residential proxies on SOCKS5 are rather modest. A datacenter proxy package starts from $9 a month with an instant activation and unlimited threads. And a residential proxy plan starts from $5 a month with 1 free swap.
Another great feature of PrivateProxy is its dashboard that lets you track all the stats on the SOCKS5 proxies and monitor the use of the IPs. Here, you will also get your instant access to a whole range of APIs supporting all the topical languages to make the integrations with all of the up-to-date apps and bots. Also, PrivateProxy offers its own proprietary rotation mechanism to provide fast datacenter rotating proxies to its customers with a need of automated IP substitution for each request.
Summary: Highly responsive SOCKS5 proxy provider with an easy-to-use system for IP handling and outstanding tech support.
With Oxylabs you definitely will be in safe hands when it comes to selecting one of the best SOCKS5 proxies in the industry. You can get a set of datacenter or residential IPs supporting UDP/TCP protocols from a vast network of over 100 million IPs. If you need proxies for intensive scraping, the company is also willing to provide you with a rotating mechanism for its IPs.
Oxylabs is big and it shows when it comes to customer care. Although the company claims to be an all-in-one shop for all types of proxy users, you will see that it will be a much better choice for experienced proxy buyers with corporate budgets to support them.
But once you reach a certain size in terms of project scaling requirements, you will have no problem with growing your missions with over 2 million IPs to choose from. The subnets of the provider are scattered around 188 areas globally and the EU residential IPs alone count over 100K addresses.
The plans for residential SOCKS5 proxies start from $15 per GB, and the datacenter IPs go for $180 per month and more.
Summary: Provider with one of the best private proxies on SOCKS5, ideal for large enterprise projects.
3. Bright Data
Bright Data is yet another big name in the industry that will not leave you disappointed with the quality of its SOCKS5 proxies. First, you have not only the regular residential and datacenter IPs here, but also a good selection of ISP and mobile proxies. And the size of the provider’s pools are second only to Oxylabs and the selection of IPs for your mission is highly optimized for regular online users.
As for the quality of the proxies from Bright Data, both testers and users report very remarkable and satisfactory figures for success rates of IPs and their response time. And the pricing can appear a bit on the expensive side for those who buy just a few proxies ($0.8 for a DC proxy and around $10 per GB for a residential IP).
Apart from proxies, Bright Data has a variety of tools that any corporate proxy client would love to have in their toolkit. First you have a fully-fledged scraping solution called Scraping Browser, then a Web Scraper IDE and a SERP API. All of the tools are well-documented and closely coupled with the well performing proxies from the company.
Summary: One of the giants in the proxy business perfect for corporate users with appetite for good IPs and high-quality proxy-based solutions.
With Smartproxy you will always be able to secure your share of the most advanced SOCKS5 IPs from the locations of choice. It is one of the leaders in providing SOCKS5 proxies in terms of the size of the network and the level of proxy management automation.
The total number of residential, mobile and datacenter IPs that will be available to choose from account for over 65 million IPs. They all are SOCKS5 proxies, which means that all the relevant demanded data transfer protocols are supported: TCP, FTP, UDP and SMTP. The performance and the level of anonymity of these proxies make them even better than VPNs (like ExpressVPN or NordVPN) for similar tasks.
As for the pricing, the policy of Smartproxy is to keep its plans within the affordable range. The rates for residential SOCKS5 proxies start from $14 a month (for 2GB of traffic), and the dedicated datacenter IPs go for $7.5 a month (for 3 IPs).
So, if you want to stay anonymous, bypass firewalls safely and properly shield your original IP address, Smartproxy would be a great provider to consider.
Summary: Reliable proxy provider with an awesome selection of SOCKS5 IPs and award-winning customer support.
Webshare offers a great geographic coverage with its IPs and a state-of-the-art dashboard for proxy self-service. Among the company offerings you will find the SOCKS5-based proxies from residential, ISP (static residential proxies) and datacenter pools.
The residential proxy locations cover up to 195 countries and include over 60 million of IPs in the network to select from. The price for such proxies start from $4.5 per GB of traffic.
The datacenter and ISP proxies are in a very affordable price range, while being one of the best fast SOCKS5 proxies in the market. The price can drop down to $0.05 per IP depending on the volume of your order. The static residential proxies go for as low as $0.22 per IP with Webshare.
Founded in 2018 in California, Webshare is considered a newcomer to the market but it has already established a good name in the business. It boasts over 10,000 active customers with some big names from the Fortune 500 list.
Summary: One of the top SOCKS5 proxy providers with excellent self-service functionality of IP management.
SOAX is a middle-range proxy provider from the United Kingdom that can boast over one thousand happy clients and growing numbers for market growth. With staff located in 19 countries this newcomer in the proxy industry demonstrates very impressive tech support for its customers and ensures high productivity of its servers.
In the SOCKS5 category of proxy servers SOAX has residential, datacenter and mobile IPs from over 100 counties. The ISP proxies (or static residential proxies) from this provider are available from the United States only. This qualifies the company as the owner of a medium-size network of SOCKS5 proxies compared to the giants like Oxylabs and Bright Data.
The company offers its own IP rotation mechanism for scraping and other use cases. And, you can monitor and control your proxy package easily from the interface of your user’s dashboard. All of the proxies are priced in a more affordable range than the top names (at about $6.6 per GB) but still some novice users find these proxies a bit expensive considering the lack of pay-as-you-go plans.
Summary: An ambitious newcomer in the proxy world with impressive pools of SOCKS5 proxies and delicate customer care.
Infatica is also not so old and well-established. The company has over three years of experience in the industry and it is trying its best to win its share of the SOCKS5 proxy market. With staff working around-the-clock from all over the World it is a good example of a fully-distributed proxy provider.
The usual use cases of Infatica’s proxies include online audience and lead research, testing apps and websites, preventing cyberattacks and more. The ethical approach promoted by the company shows explicit interest in implementing ‘know your customer’ practices to eliminate the malicious use of its proxies.
Infatica offers datacenter and residential IPs mainly to business users. So, when you are ready to spend a significant budget on a pool of good SOCKS5 proxies, you are likely to benefit from affordable rates and individual live tech support from the provider.
As for the prices, the pay-as-you-go plans don’t exist and you can start from 5 US-based IPs for $15 (for Datacenter proxies), and $96 for 8 GB of traffic (for Residential IPs).
Summary: Young and bold player in the proxy arena with well-performing SOCKS5 proxies primarily for corporate users.
IPRoyal comes into the niche where the big players are not so comfortably present: small users with needs for SOCKS5 proxies available through pay-as-you-go payment option plans.
The provider comes into the market with the usual variety of SOCKS5 proxies from datacenter and ISP to residential and mobile that fit snugly into the affordable proxy category, which is especially topical for the regular novice users out there.
Also, you can have rotating proxies made available from IPRoyal and an IP selection mechanism on the dashboard for fast IP filtering. The quality of the proxies is acceptable for regular users with slightly lower response rate numbers compared to the market leaders presented in this top list.
So, if you are a small online business owner or a SEO agency with irregular IP loads, you will definitely benefit from the pay-as-you-go plans for good SOCKS5 proxies without any monthly charges to your account.
Summary: A fairly good choice for SME proxy users with diligent tech support and convenient payment plans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please read our Documentation if you have questions that are not listed below.
How is SOCKS5 proxy different from other proxies?
First of all, unlike an HTTP(S) proxy, a SOCKS5 proxy supports a whole variety of protocols (SMTP, UDP, FTP) and not just HTTP. Secondly, it can utilize traffic encryption for higher data security and, thirdly, it operates at high speeds and can handle high-load data bandwidth.
What are the main advantages of SOCKS5 proxies?
The main advantage of a SOCKS5 proxy is its flexibility, that comes from the essence of its data transfer protocol (Secure Socket). Since it is fast and can support P2P traffic, and also video and audio traffic with UDP protocol, these proxies became the number one choice for gaming, video streaming and various data scraping applications.
What makes the providers in the list stand out from the crowd of other SOCKS5 proxy providers?
Some of the providers in the list got selected for offering the widest neworks of SOCKS5 proxies available in the market, and some demonstrate very clever proxy-based solutions for all types of clients: big or small. In all cases, the companies here are a great pick when it comes to choosing a diligent proxy provider for a long-term fruitful partnership.
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