What are SOCKS5 Proxies Used For

What are SOCKS5 Proxies Used For?

Internet security for your business while running on an online platform requires you to install measures to ward off malware. Similarly, for your business to harness the benefit of web crawling and scraping, you need authenticated IP protocol to access protected servers.
SOCKS5 proxy is a server that connects and allows sending of data through a firewall to a client or an actual server. It is an internet protocol that enables a device to send network packets to another device using a third device. This article will be a quick recap on the topic, but if you would like to dig deeper – read more on socks5 from the professionals.
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Understanding SOCKS5 proxy

A SOCKS5 proxy enables a user to bypass a network’s firewall. Besides firewalls, dangers such as surveillance and attacks lurk on the internet. These situations require anonymity and safety measures as precautionary interventions.
Socket Secure or SOCKS proxies solve those problems by transmitting traffic via a third party server and through TCP which assigns the user a new IP address. The new IP address assigned protects the user’s identity by creating the impression that you’re browsing from a different location and web hosts can’t trace the physical location of the user’s server.

VPN and SOCKS5 proxies

Although SOCKS5 proxies and VPNs provide anonymity, they do not serve the same purpose. Choosing a VPN over SOCKS5 proxies is a risky option since it creates a false sense of security in the integrity of online operations involved.
However, VPN holds some advantages. They provide encryption which filters out government surveillance and attacks from public WiFi. They run on many applications which make them ideal for safe and regular browsing and for programs that require quick transfers such as games.
On the other hand, lack of encryption increases browsing speed for the SOCKS5 proxy since it doesn’t need to encrypt traffic. Since SOCKS5 supports domain resolution, the user can use a URL instead of an IP address which also reduces errors since you don’t need to re-write data for the header.
Understanding SOCKS5 proxy

Security concerns with SOCKS5 proxies

A user would worry that the lack of encryption in SOCKS5 would mean a possible compromise in the level of security on the internet.
Fortunately, SOCKS5 has authentication methods in place. The process requires a user to send a connection request to the server identifying the authentication methods it can handle.
Most of the time the correct password and username combination is sufficient as authentication. The server analyses the options and picks one, but if none of them is acceptable it responds with a failure message. If the server finds an acceptable method, it links the user with the server after accepting the connection request from the user.
Such measures provide security against malicious intents by limiting users who can access the server. Other methods of authentication include IANA options and Generic Security Services Application Program Interface (GSSAPI)

VPNs or SOCKS5 proxies – which way?

Both VPNs and SOCKS5 proxies have advantages and drawbacks regarding ease of use, cost implications, and security. The advantages of SOCKS5 proxies include:

  • They are cheap to set up and maintain
  • They can change locations and bypass geographical restrictions
  • They conceal your identity from other web servers
  • The majority don’t use JavaScript or cookies that track a user using several IPs from the same browser
  • It enables fast downloads without attracting restrictions from copyright holders
  • It’s compatible with most programs and traffic unlike HTTP proxies
  • It circumvents internet blocks since it can change your IP address
  • It performs well on P2P platforms and websites

SOCKS5 has its drawbacks such as the inability to hide other information besides IP address that would expose your identity.
This often happens when you use it to access censored content. Any organization authorized to access your data streams such as the government or ISP can snoop on your activities and data.
Furthermore, the lack of encryption characteristic of SOCKS5 proxies exposes your business to attackers on WiFi hotspots who can access and interpret your data.
It increases exposure to hackers who prowl websites that have no SSL encryption which compromises information and passwords. The protection against damage and losses to your business arising from such a data breach lies in a VPN.

Using VPN and SOCKS5 proxy simultaneously

Although VPNs seem like the way to go, they don’t come cheap and they deter your speed online, unlike the SOCKS5. As a business owner, you could opt to switch between the two depending on the internet needs at hand, but what about using both simultaneously?
Your decision on which way to go depends on the nature of data you procure or dispense in your business. Investing in both options significantly enhances your security online due to the presence of the VPN.
However, the VPN cuts down on server speed, therefore, diminishing the expected benefits of the combination.
Procuring a well-configured SOCKS5 VPN proxy that has no logs remains the optimal option because if the VPN fails, the SOCKS5 VPN proxy takes over and shields you from a security breach.
Nevertheless, if you deal with sensitive data operations, a combination of a VPN and the SOCKS5 proxy works best.

Application of SOCKS5 proxies in day to day activities

Streaming websites and live calls utilize SOCKS5 proxies. Businesses and organizations that provide such services use proxies in websites that transmit data using User Datagram Protocol (UDP) to transfer data to the user in the course of a UDP activity.
Unfortunately, SOCKS5 proxies ease connection to prohibited data as seen in torrent streaming. Using the proxies helps your business monitor and curtail copyright infringements.
Socks allow heavy traffic scraping such as video streaming and scraping on sites like Netflix and BitTorrent and on location-specific websites BBC iPlayer.
It allows you to access information without the requisite licenses and permissions required by a platform. Setting up and configuring SOCKS5 is an easy process even for non-techies. Besides, some providers offer it for free as an add-on.
In conclusion, choosing SOCKS5 proxies allows you to address your business and even personal web crawling and scraping needs without compromising on speed, accuracy, security, and privacy of your online activities and data involved.

Adam Smith
Adam currently Head of content marketing at TopTechyTips, after having previously spent over five years on Digital Marketing and Content Editor. Prior to his work as a reporter, Adam worked in I.T. across a number of industries, including Digital Marketing, Article Writing, Tech Reviews and more.