What Is SOCKS Proxy And How To Use It – Proxy servers work by tapping the connection between the sender and the recipient. All incoming data goes through one port and is forwarded to the rest of the network via another port. In addition to traffic forwarding, proxy servers provide security by hiding the real IP address of the server.
What Is SOCKS Proxy And How To Use It 2023
Proxy servers can encrypt your data so that it cannot be read in transit and block access to certain web pages based on IP addresses. Actually, proxies also have certain types such as SOCKS which is short for “SOCKET”. Let’s talk about this SOCKS Proxy and why it is often used.
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What is SOCKS/SOCKS5 Proxy?
SOCKS Proxy is typically used by installing it as a browser extension or configuring a torrent client to use a VPN provider’s proxy server. SOCKS Proxy works by channeling your traffic through a proxy server, which then forwards the information to its intended destination. The SOCKS protocol achieves this by first establishing a TCP connection with the proxy server. Then, your computer can send data to a proxy server, which then forwards the data to its destination.
For example, let’s say you want to visit a website that is hosted in another country. The website blocks anyone connecting from abroad. To get around this, you can use a SOCKS proxy located within the host country.
When you connect to a website through your proxy, the website sees the IP address of the proxy server, not yours. Since the server is in the host country, the website sends data to the proxy server, which then sends the data to you.
How Is It Different From A Regular Proxy Server?
You’ve probably seen it on the internet, websites that offer free proxy servers to circumvent geoblocks or hide your identity. These are called “HTTP proxies” because they use the HTTP protocol. So, what is the difference between an HTTP proxy and a SOCKS proxy?
SOCKS Proxy Works With More Protocols
For one, HTTP proxy servers only work with the HTTP protocol. Unlike the case with SOCKS. It can interoperate with many protocols, which also happens to include HTTP. In computer science terms, many call them “low-level” SOCKS proxies and “high-level” HTTP proxies. This level refers to how specialized the software is. The higher the level, the more specialized the software. As an example, let’s take the language of the world. If we look at the “levels” that make up French, we can categorize them like this:
Planet Earth Languages> Asian Languages> Indonesian
In this case, the “high-level domain” is Indonesian. This is a special category for every language on Planet Earth. Someone who specializes in Indonesian can only speak Indonesian, similarly, HTTP proxies can only interact with the HTTP protocol.
“Low-end”, on the other hand, has a wider application. The SOCKS protocol is like someone who understands all Asian languages. It is unspecialized and can handle many more protocols, including HTTP. This is similar to someone who knows every language in Asia, including Indonesian. As a result, SOCKS is best for handling other protocols such as POP for email.
SOCKS Proxy Skirt Around Firewall
Because SOCKS uses TCP to connect to the server, it doesn’t have to go through the same route as HTTP traffic. Thus, if there is a firewall monitoring the HTTP port, SOCKS can handle it even if it is using HTTP. This is great for browsing restricted content without a firewall blocking websites.
HTTP Proxies Handle HTTP Requests Better
However, the special nature of HTTP proxies is not all bad. HTTP proxies can process incoming HTTP data better than SOCKS proxies. This is because HTTP proxies specialize in one protocol, so they are armed with more tools for HTTP processing than SOCKS proxies.
For example, if you want to scrape the internet for a specific page, a SOCKS proxy is not the idea. It doesn’t have any special tools for managing pages when they go down the line, which means you’ll end up with a pile of irrelevant web pages. HTTP proxies, however, do have tools for web scraping. You can instruct it to search for specific web pages and it will only provide those that meet the requirements.
What is SOCKS5?
If you do a cursory search of the SOCKS server, you will see the term “SOCKS5” appear. The number 5, in the end, is just the version number for the SOCKS protocol, just like we have Windows 7, 8, and 10. At the time of writing, SOCKS5 is the latest version of the SOCKS protocol. It improves SOCKS4 by supporting UDP as well as TCP and offers more authentication methods. It is also faster than SOCKS4. SOCKS5 could one day be replaced with technologies like Shadowsocks.
How to Use SOCKS5 Proxy
If any of this sounds like something you guys want to try, setting up a SOCKS5 proxy isn’t that hard. To get started, you need a server to act as your proxy. You can set up your own, or you can find a free SOCKS5 proxy to use. If you guys can’t use the server, why not try the Spys One SOCKS5 proxy list for some ideas?
Once you have a paid or free SOCKS proxy, you have to enter the details into the program to use it. Nowadays, most modern browsers allow you to enter the details of the proxy server to use. Also, operating systems like Windows 10 receive the proxy address and redirect all data sent to it.
After setting up the server, try running it by loading a web page. Not all proxy servers will work, so if your server fails to connect, try another server or double-check the proxy settings. If the web page loads, go to WhatIsMyIPAddress and see if the IP and country match the proxy server you are connecting to. If so, you guys are surfing on SOCKS5!
SOCKS5 Free Proxy: FoxyProxy Add-On
A good place to start with a free SOCKS proxy is using the FoxyProxy Add-on for Firefox Browser. FoxyProxy is 100% free. Apart from that, you can also configure a SOCKS5 proxy if you sign up for a VPN service that includes a proxy as part of a free trial subscription.
Download: FoxyProxy Firefox Add-On (Free)
Free SOCKS5 VPN Provider
Another way is to use a VPN service that offers a proxy as an option. To get a proxy for free, simply sign up for a free trial subscription. For example, CactusVPN and Windscribe VPN both offer a free trial version of their VPN service.
Download: Windscribe Chrome Extension (Free)
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HTTP proxies are the most commonly used proxy servers, but SOCKS5 does have its advantages. They can handle more protocols and get around firewalls, making them a valuable tool for someone who wants privacy without a lot of work.
A practical application of proxy technology that is completely free and requires no installation is proxy search engines. Proxy search engines run all search queries through proxies which can keep your personal information out of the hands of criminals and snoopers.
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