You want to scrape the web. Or collect consumer sentiment data from your overseas customers. Or, check if your social media campaign is yielding the desired results. Which proxy do you use? Can SOCKS5 be the solution to all your needs? While a SOCKS5 proxy can help you gather data, it’s not ideal for all use cases.
Here’s how this proxy type stacks up against other proxies.
What Are SOCKS5 Proxies?
A SOCKS5 proxy allows you to hide your IP address from destination servers, which may be websites or other online resources. The SOCKS5 protocol has three authentication methods:
- Null: In this method, you do not need any authentication to connect to the proxy.
- Username: You need a username and password to connect.
- GSS-API: You and your server use mutual authentication for the connection.
A SOCKS5 proxy uses the proxy server to route network packets between the server and the client. In doing so, it bypasses access blockages and geo-restrictions. Suppose your IP address is 22.214.171.124. When you use a SOCKS5 proxy to route traffic, the destination server will see the proxy’s IP address. Let’s say it’s 126.96.36.199. So, the destination server cannot see your IP address or location. Some notable benefits of a SOCKS5 proxy are:
- Bypassing online restrictions and blocks
- Better performance than SOCKS4 proxies
- Compatibility with multiple devices and applications
- Improved IP protection
The SOCKS5 proxy server is the successor to the SOCKS4. They both differ in their support for protocols and authentication methods. While SOCKS4 only supports the SOCKS protocol, SOCKS5 supports TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol).
Consequently, it’s more versatile and secure than the SOCKS4. SOCKS4 also lacks authentication methods, a notable feature of SOCKS5 proxies.
How Do SOCKS5 Proxies Compare To Others?
Before you choose a proxy, it’s important to compare its functionality, performance, and security to other proxies. Here’s how SOCKS5 proxies stack up against other proxy types.
1. HTTP vs. SOCKS5
The main differences between SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies are their level of functionality and underlying protocols. SOCKS (Socket Secure) operates at a lower level to establish a server-client connection. Meanwhile, HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) operates at a higher OSI model level. Here’s how both these proxies compare in different aspects:
- Traffic Handling: HTTP proxies only handle HTTP traffic, making them optimal for web traffic routing. Meanwhile, SOCKS5 proxies can handle TCP and UDP traffic types. They also support DNS lookup.
- Authentication: HTTP proxies authenticate connections using IP addresses. The lack of username and password authentication makes them less secure than SOCKS5 proxies.
- Functionality: SOCKS5 proxies are more functional since they have advanced features, like DNS resolution and UDP connections. HTTP proxies focus more on web traffic, making them suitable for caching, content filtering, and web scraping.
- Integrations: While HTTP proxies can connect with almost any tool, SOCKS5 is limited in its integration.
2. HTTPS vs. SOCKS5
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer) proxies have the same level of functionality and protocol as HTTP but are more secure. The added security is due to the digital certificate that validates the web server’s identity. When compared to SOCKS5, HTTPS proxies do much better in terms of security.
While SOCKS5 does not have tunnel encryption, HTTPS proxies add a layer of security between the destination server and the client. As for performance, HTTPS proxies have decent load speeds. But SOCKS5 is faster, making it suitable for transferring data or downloading media.
Uses Cases For SOCKS5 And Other Proxies
Although SOCKS5 proxies have many use cases, they cannot be your universal choice. Here are some use cases and the right proxies for them.
1. Web Scraping
Image source: crawlnow.com
When web scraping, opt for HTTP or HTTPS proxies over SOCKS5. These proxies can read and interpret the network traffic. They are less likely to compromise on data security and are vigilant about suspicious activity. Suppose you want to scrape an Amazon seller’s store.
HTTP proxies will allow you to interpret the e-commerce data even before it saves into your computer. That saves you the trouble of manual interpretation. On the contrary, SOCKS5 proxies cannot interpret network traffic or infiltrate data.
2. Bypassing Geo-Restrictions
SOCKS5 proxies are the superior choice in this regard. They have authentication methods to identify the user’s IP address and allow them to bypass geo-restrictions.
3. Downloading Large Files
SOCKS5 may provide faster speeds, but they’re not the best for downloading large files or using torrents. Opt for HTTP proxies in this case, as they avoid throttling.
4. Sneaker Copping
SOCKS5 proxies help in sneaker copping and price comparisons because they let you simulate different locations. You can access sites in different countries to find available stocks and the best prices.
SOCKS5 proxies stack quite impressively against other types of proxies. What they lack in terms of encryption, they compensate for in authentication methods and speeds.
Make sure you consider your use case and requirements before purchasing SOCKS5 proxies.