If you spend any time looking at proxies, you’ll notice there are two main types out there. You can choose between secure socket (SOCKS) proxies and hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) proxies.
In order to understand one, you must also understand the other. In other words, you must know what an HTTP proxy is in order to truly understand what a SOCKS proxy is.
First, though, you need to understand the HTTP protocol. Then, you’ll be ready to look at the proxies.
HTTP – The Standard Online Protocol
When you browse the web, you’ll notice that sites have “HTTP” in the web browser. That means the sites use the HTTP protocol.
You are so used to seeing the HTTP before the web address that you probably don’t even notice it anymore. You don’t even realize it’s there because you see it dozens of times a day, every day.
The HTTP protocol operates with a client-server model that focuses on requests and responses. What constitutes the client, and what constitutes the server? While that can vary, the client is almost always the web browser. For instance, when you use a web browser, that browser is the client. The web browser sends out information, which is referred to as an HTTP request. The HTTP request is sent in the form of a URL.
In this scenario, the server is either an application or another system that receives the information. The server responds to the information with a package of resources that are in HTTP format. This information goes back to the client.
That sounds really complicated, but you can look at this much more simply. HTTP protocol allows you to browse the web. Websites use this protocol to communicate with servers so they can view websites.
While this model usually just consists of a client and a server, you can add something else into the mix, as well. If you want to browse anonymously, you can also use a proxy.
As you know by now, you have two main choices for this. You can use an HTTP or SOCKS proxy. Let’s look at how these two options compare.
HTTP vs. SOCKS Proxy Functionality
HTTP proxies are built for the HTTP protocol. The HTTP protocol has specific functions, and these proxies take those functions into account. That is why these proxies are so popular on the web. They are built for the HTTP protocol, so it makes sense to use them when browsing the web. It’s like buying shoes. You buy shoes that were built for feet, just like you buy proxies that are built for the web.
Actually, it’s not quite that simple. SOCKS proxies are not built with the HTTP protocol in mind, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used on the web. They are more general in nature and are actually considered to be lower-level proxies. However, they have a clear advantage. They are not tied to a specific port of network protocol. That gives users some flexibility.
How They Differ Regarding Security
Securing is a big issue any time you’re using a proxy. You want something that is secure, so your identity and information are safe. That’s one of the main reasons you use a proxy, after all. You want to be secure and anonymous online.
It might surprise you, but HTTP proxies aren’t as secure as SOCKS proxies are, and it all comes down to how these proxies see the data. HTTP proxies can actually read the data that is being passed between the client and server. That means the data can be recorded. These proxies are smart in nature, so they can keep records of everything you do online.
There is an exception to this rule. Some HTTP proxies support the connect method. This allows the proxies to establish what is referred to as a tunnel connection. The connection is secure, safe, and untraceable. Proxies that support this method are HTTPS proxies.
Unlike HTTP proxies, SOCKS proxies are not able to understand data. These proxies don’t know what is being passed from the client to the server and vice versa, and that makes the connection secure. Like HTTPS proxies, SOCKS proxies use the tunneling method.
While all SOCKS proxies are secure, you can get more security by going with SOCKS5. This is the recent version of SOCKS, and it is even more score than the other option, which is SOCKS4. Most people can get the security they need out of either version, though, so don’t stress out about the version of SOCKS you’re running.
Now, you’re probably wondering if you should be afraid of HTTP proxies. This is where choosing a legitimate proxy company really comes into play. You want to choose a company that puts your privacy first. Then, you can use any type of proxy with confidence, knowing that the company isn’t storing all your data.
Speed is important with proxies. You want a fast connection so you can browse data, watch movies, and more, so you need to be mindful of the speed of the connection.
First, it’s important to understand that HTTP proxies come in three variations, and the variation you choose greatly impacts the speed.
Public proxies are the slowest of the three. You don’t pay anything to use these proxies, but there is a reason for this. They are so slow that you’ll dream of the days of the dialup connection. That’ll seem speedy by comparison. You will be sharing bandwidth with thousands of people, so you can expect a sluggish connection at best. You might not even be able to get on at all.
There, there are shared private proxies, also known as dedicated proxies. You will share these with a couple of the people. They are much faster than free proxies, but they aren’t as fast as the third option.
Finally, you have dedicated private proxies. You are the only person who gets these HTTP proxies, so they are the fastest of them all. While there is some lag with these proxies, they do a good job of mimicking a normal internet connection. In fact, you might not even notice they’re slower than your normal connection.
Now let’s look at SOCKS proxies. When people want to know what a SOCKS proxy is, they often want to know if it is as fast as HTTP proxies.
In some cases, socks proxies can be a little bit faster than dedicated proxies. That is especially true if you need to download or transfer a lot of data. It comes down to the coding. Socks proxies are simpler, and since they don’t have as much code, they can transfer and download data faster.
Keep in mind that it’s just a slight speed difference, though, and one you might not even notice. Speed shouldn’t be a deal breaker when choosing between the proxies. Instead, you should look at the proxy company. Companies actually have a lot to do with how fast HTTP and SOCKS proxies are. Go with a company that has speedy proxies so you can get the best results.
Proxies and Tools
You also need to think about the tools you use when choosing proxies. Most tools work with HTTP proxies, so that is a benefit if you plan to use various tools. Some tools also work with SOCKS proxies, though, so don’t rule SOCKS proxies out if you intend to use tools. You just need to do your homework before you buy proxies. That way, you will be certain to choose proxies that are compatible with the tools you use.
Let’s look at some tools that work with both protocols.
Marketers love using ScrapeBox. The tool lets them scrape the web, download videos, check links, and so much more. It’s one of these tools that let you do a little bit of everything online, so lots of marketers rely on it.
It is also highly versatile when it comes to proxies. You can use it with both SOCKS proxies and HTTP proxies. You can even use it with the new SOCKS5 proxies. If you intend to use ScrapeBox, get the proxy of your choice and get to scraping. You won’t have any problem getting started with this tool.
Xrumer might not be as popular as ScrapeBox, but it’s right up there. This tool also works with both types of proxies. You can use it to place ads and links across the internet, regardless of the type of proxy you use. It fills in forms for you, so you can get the links you want in a fraction of the time. If you want to build a strong online presence quickly, consider using this tool. You will likely be pleased with your results.
These are just a couple of your options. Just keep in mind that you should check with a company before using the tool to make sure it works with the proxy of your choice. Again, if you’re using an HTTP proxy, you shouldn’t have a problem. However, if you’re using a SOCKS4 or SOCKS5 proxy, you need to do some research to make sure the proxies and tools are compatible. Otherwise, you might end up wasting your money and your time.
Which Proxy Is Right for You?
HTTP and SOCKS proxies are both good options. It comes down to personal preference and what you want to do with the proxy. If you want to use a tool that doesn’t work with SOCKS proxies, you know that HTTP proxies are right for you. On the other hand, if you intend to download a lot of information at one time, you might want to go with a SOCKS proxy. You will benefit from the increased speed, so you can download more information in less time.
Ask yourself what you want out of your proxies, and then pick some up. Just remember to go with paid proxies instead of free ones. The price might be right with the free proxies, but they’re slow and not secure. That makes them a bust for anyone who needs proxies. You need something fast, reliable, and secure, so paid proxies are the way to go.