SOCKS5 Proxy – What, Why, And How

Being safe while browsing the internet is something we all dream of. However, it’s not happening and is a tough deed to pull off as one attack occurs every 39 seconds and more than 2,000 in a day.

It’s not like we have a lack of security tools. There are ample of them. But the issue is that ordinary people aren’t aware of them. They remain accessible only to technically sound souls. SOCKS5 proxy is one such tool. Unless you’re a tech whiz, you might know what wonders it can do for you and how it can keep you safe in the world of cyber vulnerabilities.

Well, this guide is here for you. It explains every crucial aspect of the SOCKS5 proxy that a layman should get familiar with. It’s going to be a long yet fruitful read. So, fasten your seat belt.

Let’s begin with the basic meaning of a SOCKS5 proxy so that you’re able to understand what is SOCKS5 proxy.

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SOCKS5 proxy

SOCKS5 Proxy – Meaning and Significance

It’s nothing but a SOCKS5 protocol-based proxy server. Now, if you don’t know what a proxy server is, here is a quick overview. It’s a server that acts as a mediator between a client and a network. It sits between these two. So, when a user sends any query to the internet, instead of reaching directly to a website server, it first reaches a proxy server.

Now, after receiving the request, a proxy server removes crucial information and replaces the real IP address with a fake IP address. This modified response is forwarded to a website server. The server receives it and provides feedback to the proxy server. The proxy server then filters the response and checks for any malicious links. This filtered and safe response is then forwarded to the client/user.

This way, a safe internet connection is established. In a SOCKS5 proxy, the at-work communication protocol is SOCKS5 protocol in both the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) forms. It’s a way ahead of other sorts of ordinary proxies because of its ability to transfer the data even to a server that is hidden behind a firewall and ensure that data transmission between an end-server and a client is completed for sure.

There is one trait that sets it apart from its counterparts: its ability to forward the traffic without decoding it. So, if you use a firewall and are not permitted to establish a TCP connection beyond the firewall, then you must use a SOCKS5 proxy, and it will make sure that a safe connection reaches you.

Ultimately, it supports safe and secure access to the internet without breaking any law.

Is SOCKS5 Legal?

As far as legality is concerned, using a SOCKS5 proxy isn’t a crime as long as you’re not involved in activities like conducting an attack, accessing copyright material, and stealing others’ data. So, make sure you’re not involved in any of it.

The usage of SOCKS5 is promoted in countries where cyber security risks are high. Even if you belong to a place that is not on the radar of cybercriminals, its use is recommended as it keeps your online presence secure.

That’s not the only benefit that you’ll enjoy with a quality SOCKS5 proxy. It brings a lot to the table. Have a look at its key benefits in the next section.


Now that you are well aware of what is a socks5 proxy, let us tell you how it will be advantageous for you:

  • Bypass the IP address blocking and access restricted access

As mentioned above, the SOCKS5 proxy replaces the actual IP address and provides clients with a fake one. Now, this is no less than a boon if you’re facing severe geo-restrictions or heavy internet censorship. Geo-restrictions or internet censorship are possible with IP address tracking.

Applications/websites/platforms that impose these two will use the IP address to identify the user and then will provide accessibility. For instance, if you belong to Germany and want to access Games of Thrones in your Disney+ subscriptions, then you won’t be able to do that as it’s not available in your region (learn about getting access to your favorite shows on Disney+ here).

But, when the real IP address is hidden, and you have the freedom to connect with the servers of remote locations, you can bypass these geo-restrictions. Get a SOCKS5 proxy server that has servers in the US and connect to it. Now, your German IP addresses will be replaced with US IP addresses. Access a Disney+ subscription, and it will identify you as a US user and provide access to Games of Thrones. Voila!

It works similarly when accessing blocked games, websites, and other content.

  • Various transport protocols

We have already told you that SOCKS5 supports both TCP and UDP connections for data transportation. Now, both these connections have different purposes. For instance, TCP is useful when one has to make sure that there is no speed drip and the connection is maintained from beginning to end. UDP, on the other hand, is very fast and is the best choice to make when huge data transmission in a quick time is required. So, users have options to pick from.

  • More freedom

When the SOCKS5 proxy is at work, users feel more liberal as it supports all sorts of traffic types and is compatible with all the leading protocols. This amazing compatibility is possible because of the low-level structure. Hence, you don’t have to be network-specific while using SOCKS5 proxies.

  • Fewer odds of mislabeling

During its course of action, the SOCKS5 proxy doesn’t indulge in data header rewriting. When the header remains untouched, the possibilities of mislabeled and misrouted data are very low.

  • Better speed

SOCKS5 proxy is less speed slowdown. When you’re planning to use a proxy, understand that you will certainly face a speed dip as traffic is filtered. But, this is very minute in the case of SOCKS5, as it transports the data into a very small packet. When data is in the form of a small packet, it travels fast. This is why it’s suitable for activities like streaming and P2P file sharing. In a short time, you can transfer huge data amounts.

How Does SOCKS5 Proxy Work?

After a basic understanding of the SOCKS5 proxy and its significance, it’s time to get familiar with its modus-operandi. It all starts with transporting data over the network using tunneling protocols To make this happen swiftly, the SOCKS5 proxy doesn’t carry the entire transportable data at once. Instead, it carries only a fraction of the data in the form of small data packets.

Once all the data packets reach their allotted destinations, they all are reassembled. Now, tunneling starts that is useful for firewall bypassing, connection building, and offering support for an unsupported protocol for a network.  Both TCP and UDP connections are allowed for tunneling.

In addition, SOCKS5 provides SSH support for tunneling. This ensures safe remote data transmission. This proxy remains functional at the OSI model’s layer 5. This is the session layer and is capable of handling more protocols at a time. This is why SOCKS5 proxies accept many protocols, which is not the case with other proxies. It makes this proxy work with a wide range of networks.


When you’re trying to bring the SOCKS5 proxy into action, you need to understand that there is one more version of the SOCKS protocol, and it is SOCKS4. So, having an understanding of key differences is crucial.

It’s obvious that SOCKS4 is an earlier version and came into being before SOCKS5.  It only supports TCP connection and lacks authentication, along with an encryption facility. Hence, it’s considered a bit unsecured as compared to SOCKS5.

To fill the gaps that SOCKS4 created, soon SOCKS4a was created. It was better than SOCKS4 but wasn’t the best. With this version, clients were allowed to specify the domain name in place of the IP address.

Then came the SOCKS5 version, which was the best of all. It supported both the TCP and UDP connection. Even though it doesn’t offer encryption on its own, it was flexible enough to let third-party encryption and authentication work. Hence, it’s more security concerns. It also supports IPv6 and DNS.

When authentication with SOCKS5 is concerned, it’s possible in three ways.

The first one is null authentication, which means no authentication is required for using a SOCKS5 proxy. Then comes user name and password-based authentication, which is the most common. In this type, the end-user is supposed to enter the credentials to access a SOCKS5 server.

Lastly, you have GSS-API authentication that involves user identity verification by both the client and server side at the OS level.

SOCKS5 Proxy v/s VPN

If you take cyber security seriously, then you already know that many security experts swear by the efficacy of SOCKS5 proxies and VPNs, as they both work great in keeping the data protected.

But they are not the same, and it’s very crucial to understand the basic difference between these two. So, let’s get started.


Encryption is the first key differentiating factor between the SOCKS5 proxy and VPN. SOCKS5 offers authentication, while VPN offers both authentication and encryption. There is no encrypted tunnel in a SOCKS proxy server because of this, its security profile is a little bit weak.

VPN also sits between a client and server and filters the data. But, it will make every traffic pass from an encrypted tunnel that strengthens data.


When compared at the speed front, the SOCKS5 proxy is usually better performing as there is no encrypted tunnel. Also, data is transmitted in a small packet. VPN will have a little more speed slowdown.

Server coverage

Mostly, the SOCKS5 proxy server will have limited server coverage. VPNs of the best kinds cover the entire world with its server. Hence, you’ll have more flexibility in server selection and IP addresses.

Even though SOCKS5 proxy servers and VPNs are different from each other, they both can be used together. It’s not that one has to pick only one out of these two. In fact, you can use both of them together. But, it could be a little bit complicated as the manual configuration has to be done.

However, there are certain VPNs that offer SOCKS5 proxy server support. With such an option, your security will be way too advanced.

Set-up Guide – How to Configure SOCKS5 Proxy On Diverse Devices?

By now, we assume that you have earned a basic understanding of SOCKS5 proxies and are excited to use them for a secure internet connection. Hence, we present you a crisp SOCKS 5 proxy set-up guide that will help you install it on various devices and resolve all your queries related to ‘how to set up socks5 proxy and how to use it.’

Set up SOCKS5 Proxy on macOS

mac black and white iconmac-os-logo-light

If you’re using a laptop/PC that runs macOS, then you’ll have no trouble completing its setup. All you need to do is open the System Preferences > Network > Advanced > Proxies.

Once the list of proxies is available, select SOCKS5 proxy from it and enter the proxy details, enter the details and click on OK.

Set up SOCKS5 Proxy on Windows


Windows is one of the most preferred OS for laptops/PCs and is SOCKS5 compatible. In Windows 10, you can start the SOCKS5 setup by going to Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy.

In the Proxy section, On the Use Proxy Server, enter the SOCKS5 proxy server details and save them. The set-up is complete.

For older versions, you have to take another way. Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Internet Options > Connections “tab” > LAN Settings > Proxy server. Click on Use a Proxy Server option, enter the address and port details, save them, and set-up is done.

Set up SOCKS5 Proxy on Router

router + modem


If the SOCKS5 proxy service provider is compatible with the router, then you can easily set up it on this device and provide the entire internet connection. However, very few SOCKS5 proxy service providers have the option to support routers.

Here are the basic steps that you need to follow for this setup:

  1. Connect to the router, use a data-driven device to access the internet, and find out the IP address. Copy the IP address and enter it into the browser’s address bar.
  2. Go to the Admin section of the router installed using the data-driven device, and find the WAN settings. In this section, look for the DNS server and adjust its settings by disabling the ‘connect to DNS server automatically’ option and entering the DNS server address manually. The DNS server address should be the one you access by entering the IP address of the router.
  3. After successfully entering the IP address of the DNS server, save the changes and reboot the router once. Start it once again, and the SOCKS5 proxy set-up is complete.

Set up SOCKS5 Proxy on Chrome

chome logo

As long as you have proxy IP and port details of the SOCKS5 proxy, the set-up is child’s play. Go to Settings > Advanced > System > Open Proxy Setting. Look for SOCKS Proxy and check the box. Now, enter the proxy IP and port details in the space. Click Ok and then Apply. The configuration is complete.

Set up SOCKS5 Proxy on Firefox

firefox logo

If you’re wondering how to use SOCKS5 proxy Firefox, then you’ll be glad to know that SOCKS5 Proxy can be easily configured on the Firefox browser. Open the browser and go to Network Proxy Setting > Settings > Connection Settings > Enable Manual Proxy Configuration. In this section, enter the IP address and port details. Click on Ok and save changes. The setup is done.

Set up SOCKS5 Proxy on uTorrent

uTorrent logo

If you’re very much into torrent file download or P2P file sharing, then you’ve to learn about configuring a SOCKS5 proxy on the torrent client. As uTorrent is one of the most famous torrent clients, we will explain the setup in this regard.

First, you need to go to Preferences > Connection > Proxy Server. Enter the type of proxy as SOCKS5 proxy and provide the proxy and port details. Click on Apply and then on OK. The setup is finished.

Types of Proxies

SOCKS5 is not the only kind of proxy that we have today. We have various other types as well. Let’s have a detailed comparison of all these kinds of proxies.

Different proxies based on protocol

Proxies are categorized as per the type of protocol they are using. Based on these differentiating factors, the three key proxies are HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS5.

We already know what SOCKS5 is. Let’s learn about the other two.

HTTP proxy uses HTTP or HyperText Transfer Protocol to establish a connection between the client and the server. As HTTP is the most commonly used protocol, it’s very common to find an HTTP proxy.

HTTPS proxy is an extra secured version of HTTP as it’s backed with SSL encryption. This is why it’s most commonly used in operations like credit card processing, login/password, and online transaction.

These two proxies, when compared with SOCKS5, tend to outperform at the security level as encryption and secure connections are provided. Sadly, SOCKS5 lacks both of these things. But, SOCKS5 outperforms these two when it comes to flexibility. SOCKS5 proxy is compatible with almost all types of connections and protocol types. So, you’ll have more freedom with SOCKS5.



SOCKS5 Proxy

HTTP Proxy






Operative Layer (of OSI model)









Lacks standard tunnel encryption.

Adds an extra layer of security

Adds SSL encryption to make the connection extra secure

Different proxies based on source

SOCKS5 proxies and many other proxies are further divided into two categories as per the origin source. These two categories are data center and residential SOCKS5 proxies.

Datacenter SOCKS5 proxies are constructed in a data center and are known for blazing speed. Because of this, they are recommended for activities like streaming or gaming. However, it’s easy to spot them. So, if your intention behind using a SOCKS5 proxy is to do web scraping, then it’s better not to take the help of a data center SOCKS5 proxy, as many websites easily identify them and block them instantly.

Residential SOCKS5 proxies are the ones that originate at ISP. They seem more practical and genuine. This is why they are perfect for web scraping.

As they seem more authentic, the odds of being blocked or banned are very less. They are limited in number. Hence, it comes at a high cost.


Datacenter SOCKS5 Proxy 

Residential SOCKS5 Proxy 


Less secure as encryption is not there

Secure than datacenter SOCKS5 proxy as encryption can be added


Easy to track and spot. Hence, you might face blocking.

As they are linked with authorized sources and mimic human behavior. So, blocking isn’t going to happen. 


Doesn’t belong to real devices. Linked with bots

Belongs to real-time mobiles and data-driven devices. Hence, it seems more genuine.

Different proxies based on rotation

SOCKS5 proxies are further divided into two categories as per the way it keeps the IP address.

The first category is rotating proxy. Rotating SOCKS5 proxies change IP addresses very frequently, after every 30 minutes. This is done to make sure that no website can find out that you’re using a proxy. It helps you maintain your anonymity and privacy.

But, this does not always work well as a constant IP address mimics a bot-like behavior and has a high chance of blocking.

The next category is a static SOCKS5 proxy that provides a dedicated IP address that remains linked to use as long as you want. It won’t change frequently. They are useful when you must maintain the same identity for a long time and have a real online presence.




Activities possible

Gaming, tormenting, and streaming

Web scraping and streaming


Limited IP addresses only a few service providers are offering this

A wide range of IP addresses are offered

Key Use Cases Of SOCKS5 Proxy

After comparing all the key types of proxies, one thing is clear: SOCKS5 is powerful and highly flexible. This makes it suitable for various actions. Here are some of the key use cases of the SOCKS5 proxy.

Gaming, streaming, and torrenting

If you’re someone who is extensively involved in activities like gaming, torrenting (torrent proxies), and streaming, then go with the SOCKS5 proxy as this server is capable of processing huge data easily by breaking heavy traffic into small packets. So, you’ll have better speed and performance with this one.

Overcome the internet censorship and geo-restriction

We have already explained above that SOCKS5, and other proxies are able to hide the IP address, which is fundamental to geo-restrictions and internet censorship. So, if you want to access geo-blocked content, then try the SOCKS5 proxy. With its help, you can even unblock the content if it’s hidden behind a firewall.

Secure remote connection on local networks

Try the SOCKS5 proxy if you’ve to establish a secure connection on local networks, as this proxy is flexible enough to combine authentication and encryption via third-party applications.

Web scraping

Seeing the deeper penetration of data in business-related operations, it’s almost certain to conclude that you would need to perform secure web scraping. With web scraping, it’s easy to churn out result-driven value from unstructured data.

It’s done with the help of bots that filter a huge amount of data. Even though web scraping is possible with HTTPS proxy, experts recommend using SOCKS5 proxy as it can scrape the data on TCP and UDP connections. Because of this feature, it’s easy to scrap the data even from live-streaming videos. This type of data scraping isn’t possible with any other kind of proxy.

Save money on subscription-based services

Subscription-based services have diverse pricing. For instance, the per-month subscription to Netflix is $1.42 in India, while the same subscription costs $2.66 for Kenyan citizens. This price difference is because of many reasons, which will be discussed another day.

But, with a SOCKS5 proxy, you can get the IP address of the desired location and save a huge deal of money.

How To Get A SOCKS5 Proxy?

As the use of SOCKS5 proxies is highly recommended, many service providers have started offering this security solution. However, one must have to remain extra vigil while picking up a SOCKS5 proxy server. This abundance can be a serious headache.

Here is a quick list of a few factors that should be kept in mind while selecting a SOCKS5 proxy provider:

Connection quality

Connection quality matters the most. Hence, it should be the top selection criterion. Generally, the speed of the SOCKS5 proxy is high because data is transferred in a small data packet. Still, you should pay attention to the connection quality. Make sure that the servers are strategically deployed and all the speed optimized.

Customization facility

Customization is the need of the hour as it helps a user to make a solution work according to the need of the hour. End-users must be provided with facilities such as various transport layers, connection types, and server selection. A service provider that offers endless customization brings the best ROI.

Check the pool size

The next factor to consider in selecting a proxy server is the pool size. The connection pool size is what decides the performance of a proxy server. The bigger the pool size, the more requests a proxy server can handle simultaneously without reducing the speed or connection quality.

User interface

Of course, the user interface should be the prime selection criterion. If an app is too complex or cumbersome, then you won’t be able to make the most out of it. Also, such a solution won’t be a fit for every sort of user. The user interface should be a breeze to handle.


Price matters. There is no point in selecting a service provider that is way out of your spending capacity. The best option is the one that offers quality features at an affordable cost. Set a budget first and keep your hunt around it.

Refer to a detailed SOCKS5 proxy list

There are many platforms that offer detailed proxy SOCKS5 comparisons. They assess every crucial aspect from close and with an expert review. With such a list, it’s easy to make a decision.

Are Free SOCKS5 Proxies Useful?

While you’re searching for SOCKS5 proxies, it’s obvious to come across some free options. We won’t blame you if you have thought of trying them because we all love free stuff. But, the free proxy is not something that you try just like that.

As it handles your IP address, it’s very crucial to lay faith only in a trusted service provider. Most of the free proxies lack security and encryption. Hence, your data isn’t saved. In fact, some of the free SOCKS5 proxy websites are not even actual sites.

It’s just a dummy platform created to lure people. Such sites are heavily infected and malware-filled. Accessing them will lead to certain harm to the device and visitor.

Also, free proxies are shared proxies. We all know that shared proxies are used by many at a time and have no control over who is accessing them. It’s also very difficult to find out whether they are banned. Using a banned proxy will create further trouble for you. So, it’s better to avoid the free SOCKS5 free option.

The server coverage is also very limited. All in all, SOCKS5 proxy free is nothing but a headache. So, it’s better to use the free version of a trusted SOCKS5 proxy service provider. This way, you can save money while enjoying trusted servers only.

Final Say

Regarding securing the internet, there is no excuse to make it, as this is a non-negotiable topic. If you’ve got a zest to make the internet secure, there are ample options offered to you, and the SOCKS5 proxy is one of the most trusted ones. Suitable for all sorts of networks, the SOCKS5 proxy is a hard pass. However, the various types of proxies and abundance of service providers can confuse a future SOCKS5 proxy user.

This post highlights all the key aspects that should be considered while selecting a SOCKS5 proxy server. We hope that it sufficed its purpose well. So, if you haven’t started using a SOCKS5 proxy server, start today.

You will find these articles useful as well:


What should a user do if a torrent proxy is not working?

If a torrent proxy isn’t working then the best way to resolve this issue is to reconnect it by configuring it once again. If the proxy server you’re using is compatible with the torrent client then you’ll have hassles in using it. But, if you’re still facing troubles then you need to connect with the service provider.

Should you use a free proxy?