To some, following protocol is a waking nightmare, but to me, my rule-adhering heart is a sucker for a set of guidelines. I live for roadmaps and rule books. In fact, I have never played a game without an extensive look into how to play and why the game is played in a certain way. It might be an obsessive trait to have but it is effective. Call it overly cautious all you want, but in my mind, it is strategic. And strategy will get you in far less trouble than entering into a new situation blind.
Just like my physical presence in this world, I keep a tight grasp on my online life. I do not like to jump into websites or web browsers without all the facts regarding your protection and online security. There are too many variables and too many web users to take unnecessary risks while on a device. Proxies help me to do this with much success. And SOCKS proxies allow me a greater understanding of the protocol I am using and why I am using it.
How does this fit in with the topic at hand? Glad you asked. In this blog, I am going to take you through what SOCKS proxies are, differences between this kind of proxy and others, and discuss where to find the best proxy for your needs. By the end of this blog, I am willing to bet you will love following protocol just as much as I do. But let’s not waste any more time, time to dive right in.
Table of Contents
Let’s Discuss The SOCKS Proxy Protocol
Before we talk about SOCKS proxies. We need to discuss where the SOCKS proxy gets its name and the different proxies you might come across when discussing SOCKS. To start, SOCKS proxies use a web protocol called SOCKS. A web protocol is a way for different parts of the internet to communicate with other parts. SOCKS, or Socket Secure, is a network protocol that offers communication from a client to a server through a proxy server. The latest version, SOCKS5, supports authentication given by a proxy provider and is often thought to be even more secure than the previous version known as SOCKS4.
Now while SOCKS is the most important protocol to discuss for our purposes here today, it is also important to note two other protocols: HTTP and HTTPS. HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is a connectionless text-based protocol that sends requests from clients to web servers. HTTP proxies are built for the HTTP protocol. The HTTP protocol has specific functions like the ability to understand the traffic that is coming over a TCP, or Transmission Control Protocol, Connection. For this reason, HTTP proxies are incredibly popular tools for browsing the web.
The last protocol I want to discuss is HTTPS. While similar to HTTP, HTTPS is secured, and HTTP is not. This means that information coming and going is encrypted and therefore your connection is more secure than an HTTP connection. For this reason, you can probably gather how an HTTPS proxy can keep you safe and secure while online.
All of the information above is incredibly important to remember when discussing proxies. While you might not care a great deal about protocols just yet, understanding the means of communication between different corners of the internet will make your online experience streamlined and stress-free. In terms of protocols, I have only just scratched the surface, but before you buy your own proxy, you might want to know even more about the differences between SOCKS and HTTP. If so, take a look at our blog here!
What Are SOCKS proxies?
Now that we have a better understanding of where SOCKS proxies come from, I want to talk about the actual proxy and what it does. Think of a proxy as your gateway to the internet. Every single device that you own bears a unique identifier called an IP address. This IP address can be seen and tracked by whatever websites you visit. While not horrible on the surface, using your own IP address limits your ability to get around the internet. SOCKS proxies solve this problem by shielding your old IP address with a new one. It is kind of like covering a wall with a fresh coat of paint, the old paint still exists but just hides below the surface. In addition to hiding your old IP address, proxies intercept the communication between the sender and the intended receiver. This means all your communication is funneled through the proxy, a proxy that is able to protect your identity.
Another key benefit to using a proxy is the ability to bypass geographic restrictions placed on websites. Proxy providers offer a wide variety of geographical locations to choose from. Say you want to access websites in the United States but are unavailable in your current location. Rather than writing up a change of address card, you need only buy a SOCKS5 proxy with a proxy server located in the US. Proxies grant you access to parts of the internet you might otherwise not be able to access, all while keeping your original IP address hidden and your identity safe.
Differences Between SOCKS Proxy and SOCKS5 Proxy
Earlier I mentioned the difference between the standard SOCKS proxy and SOCKS5 proxies. But I want to dive into this discussion a little bit further. SOCKS5 proxies have three different types of authentication methods: null, username:password, and USS-API. As you might be able to guess, the variety that comes with three different types of authentication offers enhanced security while browsing the web.
Getting the updated version of SOCKS will help with a few different things. First, additional security happens from authentication because it establishes a full TCP connection and uses the Secure Shell (SSH) encrypted tunneling method in order to send traffic through. In addition to this, a SOCKS5 proxy is able to bypass any internet blocks. While not a fun thought to have, IP addresses do get blocked by websites on occasion. While frustrating at first, if this does indeed happen to you, routing the internet traffic through a proxy can unblock the site. You can not go wrong with as much security as possible while bouncing between different websites and possibly different web browsers. Understanding the differences between the standard version and the updated version of SOCKS will help minimize any confusion while purchasing and setting up your proxy.
Should I Use a SOCKS Private Proxy?
Now, the big question: should you use a dedicated SOCKS5 proxy. With so many different kinds of proxies out there, it can be difficult to comprehend which one is right for you and which one will leave you in the dust. Before I go through different reasons for buying SOCKS proxies. I want to define a more specific type of proxy: dedicated. A dedicated proxy is a proxy that is used by you and you alone. Unlike shared proxies, dedicated proxies can only be accessed by one person, thus creating a more secure connection between you and the internet. I am bringing this up because much of what I am going to discuss below relates back to, or is safer, using a private proxy.
First, this proxy has the capability of accessing back-end services behind a firewall. Rather than exposing backend services to the public or whitelisting the client in order to allow traffic in, a SOCKS5 private proxy (with dynamic port forwarding using SSH) can be employed. This is a much simpler solution if you are looking to access any backend services that are running inside a cluster.
Second, a SOCKS5 proxy does not require a special or complicated set up in order to use the tool. In addition to this, because this kind of proxy routes TCP and UDP, User Datagram Protocol, traffic through SSH tunneling, no layer 7 application-related special proxies are required in order to use the proxy itself. This allows for a speedier, more reliable connection. Plus, these proxies transfer small data packets, which allows for a shorter downloading time.
Last, the proxy is not limited to the traffic within that protocol. While HTTP proxies are only able to interpret information that comes from HTTP AND HTTPS websites, our lovely SOCKS5 proxies can work directly with any traffic arriving from any protocol. As an added bonus, these proxies do not rewrite data packet headers. By not rewriting headers as other proxies do, performance speeds increase and the chance for errors significantly decreases.
Where to Find the Best SOCKS Proxy
Now that we have talked through what SOCKS proxies are, it is time to discuss the best proxies available and where you can find them. Choose a paid proxy provider that values high-quality proxies at low prices. Here at Blazing SEO, we know a thing or two about quality proxies and we are here to help you find the best proxy for your needs. Not only do we offer proxies in 13 different countries and nineteen US cities, but we also have proxies that are specific to items you like to shop for online. When you buy a proxy from us, you will be able to choose the number of proxies you need and the duration with which to keep the proxy. We offer SOCKS authorization, making your life a whole lot easier. Best of all, our customer service team is ready and available to answer any and all of your questions about SOCKS proxies, setting them up, and how to use them. With Blazing SEO on your side, you will be on your way to browsing the internet anonymously and bypassing internet restrictions. Want to get started right away? Take a look at our proxy checker video, which helps new users understand the proxy checker dashboard.
As you can tell, I am a stickler for following a set of steps laid out before me. The more I adhere to those steps, the more I am able to use technology correctly and without major glitches. Internet protocols make me giddy to my core. Not only do they show us mere humans how the internet works on a basic level, but they also map out rules of communication. This kind of communication offers a framework for the proxies we discussed today. The greater the knowledge we have of these protocols, the better off we will be when using SOCKS proxies. Biggest tip of all, do not get swindled into setting up a free proxy on your device. While initially enticing, free proxies are less secure and far less reliable than paid proxies. With the help of proxy providers like Blazing SEO, you will be all set up to use SOCKS proxies on your device. Anonymity online pairs perfectly with additional security and the knowledge that you are getting a glimpse into all the internet has to offer you. Trust us to do the tough job of building proxies for you. You need only rely on us to present you with the best SOCKS proxy out there.