Learn about the SOCKS5 proxies, an internet protocol for obfuscating your internet traffic.
For most people around the world, the modern internet is no longer a safe place where you can freely browse websites and access services without possible blocks or attacks. It's possible that bad actors and state actors are watching your activities, so protecting your internet activity is critical. As a result, many safety precautions must be taken to protect your traffic from oversight. One popular type of solution are SOCKS proxies, which we will go into more detail on by answering the following questions:
• What is SOCKS5?
• How does a SOCKS5 proxy work?
• Why would you use SOCKS5 proxy?
• What to use: SOCKS proxies, VPNs, or both?
By the end we'll also provide a brief guide on how to setup SOCKS5 proxy, so read on to learn more.
Socket Secure (SOCKS) is an Internet protocol, which routes network packets between a server and a client through a proxy server. It provides authentication, where only authorized users can access the server. The packets of information are transferred through a proxy server that generates an arbitrary IP address before the information reaches its destination. For example, for a source, IP address 10.0.0.1, the traffic will be routed through a SOCKS proxy server with IP address 18.104.22.168, and the destination website will assume that the request has come from IP address 22.214.171.124, and it will never know the original IP address of your machine. This means that your traffic transmission is anonymous.
Unlike Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), SOCKS proxies don’t provide encryption. This means users don’t have dependable privacy and aren’t safe from attacks on public WiFi. However, this lack of encryption provides some benefits. The main one is speed. A SOCKS proxy doesn’t need resources to encrypt traffic and has far less overhead, so it’s usually faster than a VPN. The security of a SOCKS proxy also depends on its version. Most modern proxies use either SOCKS4 or SOCKS5 to protect users, and there are some fundamental differences between both versions. As you would expect from a lesser version, SOCKS4 has fewer features rather than SOCKS5, moreover, SOCKS5 supports IPv6 and Domain Name Server (DNS) lookups.
SOCKS5 operates at the fifth layer of the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model, i.e., the higher levels of the OSI model. Below SSL, which sits on the seventh application layer, and above TCP and UDP protocols, which work at the fourth layer (transport layer). SOCKS5 can handle various request types, such as HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP, and FTP. As a result, SOCKS5 can be used for email, web browsing, peer-to-peer, and most typical consumer web applications. The most important feature is that you'll be able to go about your normal business in a moderately anonymous way. When you connect to a website, the traffic usually runs through a firewall on your router or by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). A SOCKS5 proxy routes your data through its proxy server, creating a path through the network’s firewall, so your local machine is assigned an IP address, which makes it look like you’re browsing from a different location and protects your identity.
You may be wondering why you even need SOCKS5. One common example is when your ISP blocks access to movie streaming websites, or if you want to access services that are limited to certain countries. For example, Netflix changes their library based on the country where you are visiting from. By using SOCKS5 proxy, you will be able to overcome most typical blocks, as this will let you access your preferred websites and apps. Moreover, SOCKS5 can be useful on restricted networks, such as your company network or your schools’ connections, that are often monitored and block access to social media, games, and anything else that isn’t relevant to the scope of the business. On the other hand, you can use SOCKS5 in your home networks, as it can provide fast download speeds while adding a layer of protection against actors attempting to monitor your connection. It is worth noting that SOCKS5 doesn’t offer the same protection as a VPN, but it’s better than nothing.
When it comes to privacy and security protection, VPNs are a great option. They are superior to a SOCKS5 proxy in almost every way. Other than speed, VPNs do everything SOCKS5 does and more. However, VPN subscriptions can be more expensive and require extra setup to run. In some situations, a proxy is the more economical option. When it comes to accessing content with geographic restrictions, a SOCKS5 proxy is great because you can easily spoof a different location. You can find a proxy from almost every country, but beware of when a proxy is free of charge. That typically means the proxy service is re-selling your internet history to advertisers and market research firms.
VPNs will provide the same IP spoofing benefit, but they typically come from a provider who has put considerable thought into the safety and privacy of its users. On top of that VPNs encrypt your traffic, while proxies just give you anonymity. Also, VPNs provide a more stable and sometimes dedicated connection, while proxy connections might drop often. To get the best of both worlds, we recommend a service like SatoshiVPN which provides the encryption and reliable connections that come with a VPN, but with the fast speeds that come with a proxy.
You're in luck because SatoshiVPN is a SOCKS5-based proxy-VPN hybrid service. We install the open source SOCKS5 proxy, Outline, on a private server for your exclusive use. This gives you the speed that comes with a SOCKS proxy while also being supported by the resources of a dedicated server to encrypt your traffic and provide a dedicated connection for extensive use. Here's how to get started:
And now, enjoy your happy and safe browsing.