What are SOCKS5 Proxies?

SOCKS5 proxies are the latest proxy protocol. If that means nothing to you right now, that’s cool. By the time we’re done here, you’ll know exactly what foot to put your proxies on.

(Pause for eye roll)

I figure we’d start with what proxies are and then move through a few standard protocols like HTTP.

Then I’ll drop the SOCKS on you.

Warm out of the dryer.

What’s a proxy?

A proxy is an intermediary between your computer (or mobile) and the internet. Some people call it an IP mask, which is a beauty metaphor.

Your personal device’s IP address is like your actual, fleshy face. A proxy is a mask, like in Phantom of the Opera.

Your face is still under the mask, making faces and saying things, but everyone else sees only the mask. So when you access the internet, you can do all the things you usually would do, but everyone else sees the proxy’s IP address instead of your real one.

Masks come in handy for all sorts of mischief. But also for practical and business-y things like data intelligence, eCommerce, marketing, and streaming movies, of course.

There are all sorts of proxies. While some are good, some are not. The whole categorization of proxy types would make this article a little top-heavy so that you can read all about it here.

What are internet protocols?

Internet protocols are different schemes to enable connection, communication, and data transfer between two servers on a network. In other words, they kind of work like languages that allow different parts of the internet to interact with each other.

You probably recognize the HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, that we often use to communicate with web pages. HTTPS is pretty much the same, but you’ll notice an extra S at the end. That stands for secure – HTTP with SSL encryption.

HTTP happens at the application layer of the internet protocol conceptual map. HTTP communication is like a verbal conversation with rules about words and stuff.

SOCKS is another internet protocol, but the data passes through the transport layer. The transport layer communicates everything in raw form. You get the verbal conversation like with HTTP, but it’s not written in symbols. You also get all the colors and form, but without a map.

It’s all just boxed up for transport.

I believe that traffic agnostic is the proper term for its behavior because it doesn’t care to know what’s in the box.

SOCKS proxies?

The traffic agnostic nature of SOCKS proxies makes them ideal for streaming, video games, video calls, or anything that requires moving a bunch of data.

And your feet won’t get chilly while you chat with G-ma.

How do SOCKS proxies work?

The SOCK part comes from the word ‘socket,’ like an electric outlet. The pluralizing S on SOCKS once again is to say that it’s secure. So the SOCKS proxies provide a safe plugin between two parties.

In other words, SOCKS proxies establish Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections between two servers that can securely pass information to each other.

What’s a SOCKS5 proxy?

SOCKS5 was not the first of the SOCKS. There’s a pair of them.

Jordan Davis to Gamecocks...

Before 5, there was SOCKS4, and before that…well, there’s no version 1, 2, or 3.


SOCKS4 vs SOCKS5 Proxies

Contrary to popular belief, ‘SOCKS4 proxies’ is not a movement to bring awareness to proxies that have poor circulation.

SOCKS4 proxies are a little out of style now, but they operate similarly to SOCKS5 proxies.

These are the main differences between the two:

  • SOCKS4 proxies can only work with IPv4 IP addresses, and SOCKS5 proxies add support for IPv6 IP addresses as well.
  • SOCKS4 proxies do not have any authentication methods, and SOCKS5 proxies have three!

Null authentication – No authentication required to connect;

Username/password authentication – You need to provide login details to connect;

GSS-API authentication – Both you and the server use authentication methods at the operating system level to verify your identity.

  • SOCKS5 proxies also support remote DNS queries and are compatible with both TCP and the User Datagram Protocol (UPD).

HTTP vs SOCKS5 proxies

As I mentioned earlier, HTTP proxies use a specific protocol to communicate from one application to another. SOCKS5 proxies are much more flexible in this regard because they handle any traffic.

You can set a login password on the user-end of both types, but only SOCKS5 proxies offer authentication on both ends.

Simply put, SOCKS5 proxies can say “everything you can do, I can do better” to HTTP proxies and be spot on.

Benefits of SOCKS5 Proxies

We all know that proxies allow you to browse the web from any location in the world, but let’s look at the benefits unique to SOCKS5 proxies.

SOCKS5 are all-in-one proxies

SOCKS5 proxies don’t need to mess around with labels so that you can use them for literally anything.

Some of the most common uses include video streaming on platforms like Twitch, video conferencing, and apparently, they’re really useful for a credit card scam called carding. (Please don’t)

SOCKS5 and the Metaverse

In the near future, I would think that SOCKS5 proxies will be a crucial part of accessing the metaverse. Copious streams of data will need to move around in real-time to create environments that change – like in real life.

Faster, reliable connections

SOCKS5 proxies can use the UDP protocol, which doesn’t need to convert any of the data packets. Therefore it doesn’t waste time making conversations. It just sends data as is.

Fewer Errors

TCP protocol, on the other hand, operates at the application layer and has to compress the content into a fixed format. Not only does this take longer, but errors can happen during the conversion process.

SOCKS5 proxies don’t need to make these alterations, so they naturally prevent data miswrites on the other end.

Better performance on P2P platforms

Many users use SOCKS5 proxies to connect to P2P platforms because they have faster download speeds, fewer errors, and you only have to set up the connection one time.

Should you use free SOCKS5 proxies?

SOCKS5 proxies aren’t cheap, yet you can find free ones lying around the net. What gives?

While cheap SOCKS5 proxies may not be dangerous, they won’t perform well. Even if they claim to be exclusive, SOCKS5 proxies are well known to be shared with many other users. On top of that, it’s unlikely they have the capital for support or maintenance teams, making them dangerous after all.

Free SOCKS proxies, on the other hand – you should avoid them at all costs. There could be several different traps set, like a man-in-the-middle.

So where should you get your SOCKS5 proxies?

I think I know someone who can help you out.

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