Today we’ll tell you what is a SOCKS5 proxy and what are its benefits. One of the factors that Internet users value most is keeping their privacy safe. For this reason, protecting our data and information from cybercriminals is essential. However, we also want to be able to surf anonymously and not have our information collected by various organizations and Internet providers. For this reason, and to avoid geographical blocking, the use of VPNs has grown considerably. However, to achieve these objectives we can use other equally effective alternatives such as the SOCKS5 proxy, which we will discuss in detail below.
Before starting with the main topic, we are going to clarify a couple of concepts that will help us to better understand the final concept. Therefore, we are going to define proxy server and SOCKS, so that when we get to the SOCKS5 proxy, we will have things clearer.
What is a proxy server?
A proxy server can be defined as a server, program, or device that acts as an intermediary in the resource requests made by a client A to another server C. A typical example is when machine A requests C. The way to do this is through a request to B that will transfer the request to C so that the latter will not know that the original request came from A. Then, the response will also pass through B, which is the proxy and will be offered to user A, who made the request.
This is a diagram showing how a proxy works:
Among the advantages of proxy server controls, since they can restrict the rights of users. Also, the speed, since it can cache and save a response for when another user requests it. Let’s not forget anonymity, since it allows us to connect anonymously to an external resource without having to reveal our IP.
What is SOCKS?
SOCKS is an Internet protocol that will allow client-server applications to transparently use the services of a network firewall. An example could be users behind a firewall who need to access servers outside the firewall. The solution to use to connect would be to use a SOCKS proxy server.
It should also be noted that this protocol has gone through different versions. In that sense, the latest SOCKS5 supports UDP, allows the SOCKS server to resolve hostnames for the SOCKS client, and IPv6.
What is a SOCKS5 proxy?
A SOCKS5 proxy could be defined as a technology that routes our connection through a remote proxy server. It will do so by using the SOCKS Internet protocol in its version 5, which is the latest version. The way the SOCKS5 proxy works is by hiding our real IP address, hiding our physical location, and preventing third parties from tracking our Internet activities.
One important thing to note is that it is not as secure in terms of protection as VPNs. Nevertheless, the SOCKS5 proxy offers some important advantages and could be an interesting service in many situations.
The way in which we could connect to such a server would be by using one of these three methods:
- No authentication: We would not need any identification to use the proxy.
- User/password identification: We will have to provide our credentials to connect to the proxy.
- GSS-API identification: In this case, both we and the server will use identification tools at the operating system level to verify our identity.
Regarding the way the SOCKS5 proxy works, it will redirect our connection through a proxy server that will generate an arbitrary IP before we reach our destination page. To do this it will use either the UDP or TCP protocol. An important consideration is that there is no 100% anonymous and secure SOCKS5 proxy server. However, you can come close, if you take sufficient precautions with your activities.
Benefits of using SOCKS5 proxy servers
As for the benefits that could bring us the use of proxy servers of this type we have:
- It allows us to bypass Internet blockages. For example, if our IP is blocked on a platform, by using a different IP we will avoid this blockage.
- Faster and more reliable connections than their predecessors, since SOCKS5 proxies can use the UDP protocol.
- They can allow us to view censored or geographically blocked content.
- Masking our IP makes knowing and stealing our information a more difficult task for cybercriminals.
- It improves anonymity and accidental privacy leaks.
Finally, using a SOCKS5 proxy can improve our privacy as long as it is private. This is because, when it is a free proxy, the product can be us. Thus, our data may be sold or we may receive personalized advertising.