What Are the Benefits of SOCKS5 Proxy?
If you’re looking for an alternative to VPNs, SOCKS5 proxies are an excellent option.
What is the SOCKS5 proxy?
Secure Socket is a layer 5 network protocol, which concerns itself with the Session Layer of the OSI model. This layer pertains to the communications that occur between a server and its client. It routes packets of information and data between two ends through the use of a proxy server.
In this way, proxies are a sort of gateway between local networks and their servers on the internet. As opposed to Virtual Private Networks, proxies do not have the ability to encrypt any data that is sent or received. This means that your data is up for grabs by any onlookers, unwanted third parties, or even hackers.
Due to the fundamental lack of encryption, it is impossible for a SOCKS5 proxy server to be fully anonymous. It does get close, though, but that depends on the user’s discretion and additional efforts. By being aware of internet service providers, the security tools available on your device, and one’s own usage of the services available to them. All of these things, together, can impact one’s privacy and the extent of its security.
Types of SOCKS5 proxy Authentication
When your traffic goes through a proxy tunnel, your privacy is enhanced and improved. SOCKS5 proxy has better security features than most other protocols, such as TCP. It offers three different types of methods for authentication:
- Null Authentication: It gives the convenience of forgoing authentication to ensure connectivity.
- Username/password authentication: This means that you will need to use your own login details to be able to connect to any proxy.
- GSS-API authentication: It indicates that both the user and the server must use authentication methods for identity verification at the level of the operating system.
As opposed to other proxy providers, SOCKS5 deals with smaller information packets. This means that there is a smaller margin of error, which is further minimized because it also does not rewrite any bit of the data packet. All transmissions conducted through this proxy will be at an enhanced speed as all data will be guaranteed by a processor with the same proxy.
How Does a SOCKS5 Proxy Work?
SOCKS5 works by routing your traffic through a proxy server. This server generates an arbitrary IP address that masks your real IP address when you’re using web services. This is done most typically through User Datagram Protocol (UDP), but similar results can also be achieved through Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).
In the first instance, the client requests a connection with their list of supported authentication methods. When this request is received, the server analyses the means of authentication and selects the one that is the best fit. In the scenario that the server is unable to accept any of the presented authentication methods, the connection will not be successful.
Once the connection is established, the client can send information packets over to the server. This is only possible if the server is successful in the earlier authentication stage.
Benefits of Using a SOCKS5 Proxy
Since it is a layer five protocol, it doesn’t have anything to do with the layers below it in the OSI model. It can also handle a variety of traffic, which makes it ideal for web browsing, peer-to-peer sharing, and more. SOCKS5 is also the most advanced and secure version of the protocol as it supports both TCP and UDP proxies.
1. Unblocks content and apps
If your IP address is restricted from accessing a website, you can use a SOCKS5 proxy to help you regain access. This won’t work for content that is geographically restricted by the use of national firewalls. National firewalls work with Deep Packet Inspection that prohibits a connection through your Internet Service Provider which can’t be manoeuvered around by a proxy.
2. High-Speed Connectivity
Since SOCKS5 proxy servers are advanced enough to make use of UDP protocol, a reliable connection is easily available. UDP doesn’t focus on the order of packets, instead, it just delivers the content in a manner that is as streamlined as possible. This guarantees faster speeds and high reliability.
3. Highly Optimized Performance
While other routers rewrite the headers of data packets, SOCKS5 doesn’t. This prevents any other proxies rewrite data packet headers. Because of this, there’s a high chance of that data becoming misrouted or mislabelled. This allows for improvements in performance speeds as a result of fewer errors.
4. Ideally for P2P platforms
As SOCKS5 transfers smaller packets of information, it offers download speeds that are faster than all other proxies. This makes it perfect for users who frequently make use of P2P sharing services.
SOCKS5 proxy vs VPN?
SOCKS5 doesn’t offer the same level of security or high speeds that VPNs do. This is because a VPN can encrypt your traffic by connecting to a private server, which changes your IP address which is different from your actual one. Due to the existence of the VPN’s server , you will have faster vpn speeds on a more stable connection.
And because of the change in your perceived IP address, you will also be better protected because you will be anonymous. This, on top of the encryption services, will ensure that you have one of the most secure browsing experiences available on the market.
SOCKS is also more detectable than a VPN, as it can’t bypass national firewalls. VPNs, on the other hand, are renowned for being effective at accessing geo-restricted content.
Surprisingly, Astrill VPN offers the possibility to connect to a SOCKS5 proxy, designed to create an additional layer of security. So if you are using Astrill VPN for torrenting, then you can easily use the SOCKS proxy offered by Astrill for faster speed and better security.
How to set up a SOCKS5 proxy on Windows?
One of the simplest ways of using a SOCKS5 proxy on your desktop or laptop is by installing Astrill VPN on Windows. However, if you are looking for a manual setup without installing the VPN client, then follow these steps:
- Head over to the Network & Internet tab from your Settings
- Go to the ‘Proxy’ option
- Set up a SOCKS5 Proxy Server
Alternatively, you can also:
- Head over to the Network & Internet tab through your Control Panel
- Select ‘Internet Settings’
- Then, select ‘Connections’
- Click on ‘LAN Settings’ to then select your desired proxy server
How to set up Socks 5 proxy on iPhone?
Since iPhones come with a fully integrated security system with iOS, you would need to install Astrill VPN on your iPhone first. If that is inaccessible to you, then you will have to configure your iOS browser to integrate SOCKS5 into your browsing experience.
This setup is for the Firefox Browser.
- Type ‘about: config’ in the address bar
- Search for ‘network.proxy.socks’ in the address bar
- Enter your SOCKS5 proxy server’s unique IP address
- Verify your IP address using an IP locational website to confirm your connection
How to set up SOCKS5 Proxy on Android?
Androids also come with a security system, but customizations to heighten privacy are also available to users. This guide follows the settings for Firefox Browser.
- In the Firefox Browser application, click on the three dots in the corner
- Head over to the ‘Add-ons’ icon
- You are now in the Firefox extensions shop. Click the Plus icon next to ‘FoxyProxy Standard Extension’
- After activating the FoxyProxy Extension, click on it
- Head over to the ‘Settings’ through the menu
- Go to the ‘Preferences’ tab, and add this information:
Proxy Name: (if needed)
DNS name or proxy IP address
Username: IP SOCKS5 username
Password: IP SOCKS5 Password
- Tap the ‘Send DNS over SOCKS5 Proxy’ option from the menu and click ‘Save’
- Select ‘SOCKS5’ and then ‘Turn Off (Use Firefox Settings)’
- To ensure proper connectivity, head over to an IP locational website and ensure everything is in order.
- You can then confirm that you’ve utilized the SSH dynamic port to create a SOCKS5 connection.
- To test this connection, use the NETCAT platform.
Even though SOCKS5 proxies can not provide any means of data encryption, it is still a better security measure than no security measure as it still masks your IP address. As concerns about digital privacy and online safety rapidly increase, staying secure while being connected to the internet is no longer a precaution, it is a necessity.
Author: Arsalan Rathore
Arsalan Rathore is a tech geek who loves to pen down his thoughts and views on cybersecurity, technology innovation, entertainment, and social issues. He likes sharing his thoughts about the emerging tech trends in the market and also loves discussing online privacy issues.