What is a SOCKS5 Proxy Server and Why You Should Use It [Complete Guide]
Gleb Lepeshkin
Gleb Lepeshkin Published: 2021/10/21

In this guide to SOCKS5 proxy we will cover the details of functionality and features of SOCKS5 Proxy Server. We will answer the question “what are SOCKS5 proxies?” and describe the most common use cases of this particular type of proxy protocol, underlining its benefits over using VPNs and other types of proxies.

SOCKS5 (or SOCKet Secure version 5) essentially acts like a mediator between you (the source) and the destination server (website or application). It intercepts all the traffic and protects it against exposure. During this process SOCKS5 proxy replaces the IP of the source with its own IP and forwards the requests to the destination using its own IP.

There are two main benefits that you have while using the SOCKS5 proxy: one is that you gain total anonymity while being online, and two – you can easily bypass geo-restrictions of the target by selecting a proxy from the pool of IPs of offshore data-centers supplying the proxies for some select territories.

What Is a SOCKs5 Proxy?

Let’s start with the SOCKS5 proxy definition. This type of proxy operates on the SOCKS network protocol to tunnel traffic through a server. This protocol uses TCP or UDP connections to set up improved client-server applications. With SOCKS it is possible to handle any type of traffic (TCP or UDP) generated by any application through a proxy server.

So, what does it take to create a SOCKS5 proxy? SOCKS5 applies layer 5 of the OSI model in its work. And, since it operates between layers 7 and TCP connection/UDP (4), it is possible to handle various types of requests, including HTTP, FTP, SMTP, etc., as well as applications like P2P, web browsing, email and others.

When You Should Use SOCKS5 Proxy: Key Use Cases

Now let’s consider the most common use cases where this type of proxy is really justified. 

In case you are wondering how to use SOCKS5 proxy if you are an individual user, SOCKS proxy can be a well-balanced solution of speed and anonymity. It can handle transfer of non-sensitive data at high speeds such as P2P, streaming, etc. It will also serve you well in bypassing geo-restrictions (on TV streaming services) or censorship (from large networks or governments). 

If you want to know how to use SOCKS5 as a corporate or business solution, this proxy can be a great way to connect remotely to internal networks and help bypass firewalls (with authentication). Other areas of application include data scraping, SEO campaigns, Social Media Marketing, and more.

Below we consider some of the most common use cases of SOCKS5 proxies.

Bypassing Internet Filters and Network Restrictions

Any Internet restriction setup by governments, schools or businesses can be successfully overridden using proxies. The same can be said about firewalls between the source and destination, which will unlikely detect the presence of such a proxy and will allow traffic to pass through.

Although you can use a SOCKS5 proxy server safely here, you should keep in mind that some firewalls apply layer 7 (L7) traffic detection and will be able to spot proxy activity by identifying the packet destination.

Unblocking Geo-restricted Content

Another way to use a SOCKS5 proxy is to gain access to geo-restricted content. A geo-restriction can be imposed by a service like Netflix to limit the access to it from destinations outside of the allowed geography. For example, you can watch only Netflix UK if you are located in Great Britain and cannot access other locales of the service. Using the SOCKS5 protocol it is possible to override this limitation and gain access to such websites with defined geo-restrictions and blacklists. Such servers can be a good solution when used as proxies for bots inside third-party software tools as well.

Connecting Remotely to Local Networks

Another area of application for such proxies is granting remote access to internal networks. This requires setting up a proxy with authentication to help users from the internet gain access to the internal network.  

And if you happen to need SOCKS5 encryption while using SOCKS5 protocol proxies, you can use special tools like OpenSSH that enable encrypted connections with this type of proxies.  

Web Scraping and SEO 

These servers are perfect for tasks like web scraping and SEO campaigns. They will let you scrape data while avoiding detection and bypassing all types of anti-data-scraping technology to produce fast and error-free results.

And although it is possible to organize scraping using an http proxy, with SOCKS5 proxy you will be able to scrape data from TCP or UDP connections. Such proxies allow for scraping video streams, VoIP calls, etc.

SOCKs5 Proxy vs Other Proxies: What’s the Difference

We can certainly say that SOCKS proxies have been built to address the issues present in the older Internet protocols such as HTTP. This means that with these proxies you get better functionality and security when it comes to deploying proxies.

In the table below we give you a quick comparison of SOCKS5 to HTTP proxies:

Type of ProxySOCKS5HTTP
Level of Security Generally enhanced and better securityConcentrated on data transfer with medium security protection
Protocols supportedVarious types of protocols supported (TCP and UDP)Supports only HTTP protocols
Mode of transferDoes not read data when transferring it posing less risk to data transferReads data before sending and after receiving posing certain risk to the information
SpeedFaster and reliable proxySlower and less reliable

Benefits of a SOCKs5 Proxy

So what are the most obvious and topical advantages that SOCKS5 proxies grant to a user?

Higher download and upload speeds

The speed can be one of the key advantages while using these proxies. It is particularly obvious when the proxies are used for data transfers using torrents and P2P services. This becomes possible due to full implementation of UDP. So speed and overall better performance that’s what makes these proxies a perfect choice for scraping missions.

Greater security when coupled with VPN

So what is a SOCKS5 vpn proxy? When you use your servers in a combination with a VPN you grant yourself a double guarantee on security. So, when you get interrupted due to a problem with VPN, you will still have your proxy to ensure security using UDP and the TCP protocol will take it from there once you have the connection reestablished using the VPN. This way a SOCKS5 vpn proxy can help you maintain a safe connection continuously.

Extra security without header rewriting

These proxies do not rewrite headers of data packets because they do not need it from the security perspective. So, unlike traditional proxies that still do that, our proxies demonstrate better efficiency and performance. If you want to learn more about proxy anonymity, please read this article answering the question of “What is an anonymous proxy”.

Better combination of protocols 

Also, such proxies are unique in combining the benefits of TCP and UDP protocols. Where TCP is a protocol that is more focused on the quality of data transmission and UDP is all about high speed and performance, the secure protocol combines them both making the final solution both fast and reliable. 

Reliable Services from PrivateProxy

We at PrivateProxy.me have established a reputation of a reliable proxy supplier across all use cases and scenarios. We are proud to supply you with the best proxies meeting the highest market requirements. Please consult your account manager to secure your pool of proxies for seamless data scraping operations. 

Final Thoughts

As we demonstrated in this guide to SOCKS5 proxies, with this kind of proxies you are on a safe side during critical internet harvesting missions thanks to its benefits such as improved security, enhanced performance and zero limitations over other types of proxies out there.

You will be able to overcome anti-scraping hurdles at high speed and with great reliability. After all this is exactly what you all expect from this type of proxy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our Documentation if you have questions that are not listed below.

  • Where can I find SOCKS5 proxy server?

    So, if you are wondering how to get SOCKS5 proxies, you can obtain them directly from us. We provide proxies from our pool to our regular customers based on their requests and use case scenarios. If you want to buy a SOCKS5 proxy, please feel free to contact your account manager to learn more information on what proxies are right for you.

  • Are SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies the same?

    These are two types of proxies available out there. SOCKS5 is generally more secure and faster than a regular HTTP proxy and can be used coupled with a VPN for more critical operations.

  • What does the SOCKS5 proxy server do?

    Just like any proxy server, this proxy enables operations like web scraping and crawling, hiding your real IP for the destination website. SOCKS5 operates on modern protocols (like TCP and UDP) and is faster and more reliable than a regular HTTP proxy for various types of operations.

  • Is a SOCKS5 proxy server safe?

    If you decide to buy a SOCKS5 proxy server, it is definitely a safe choice for most data scraping and crawling operations related to the present search engines, e-commerce sites and other types of web services. We test SOCKS5 proxies before handing them to you for operation, so you can be absolutely confident in the quality of such proxies. Carefully follow Windows SOCKS5 setting requirements (or MacOS settings, depending on your OS) and you will be ready to deploy such proxies in no time.

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