SOCKS5 vs. HTTP Proxies: Differences, Benefits, and Uses

Online privacy and anonymity are now more important than ever. Every day we hear news about large data breaches of IT companies leading to the exposure of sensitive business and personal data. All the major social networks have been breached as well.

At the same time, we are discovering just how much big companies are tracking everyone’s move and extracting our data. One of the best options is to protect yourself, or your organization from these things is to use private proxies.

More specifically, the SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies are very reliable and flexible in terms of providing anonymity online. Here’s what you need to know about them.

The Question of Proxies

Proxy servers are a gateway between a computer and the internet. Depending on the company policy, the current needs, and the use case, proxies can give different levels of privacy, security, and functionality. At the same time, it also depends on the type of proxy that’s being used.

When using a proxy, all of the traffic goes through the server from the computer to the web address. Additionally, the request also goes back through that server, along with all the data from the web.

Every computer has an IP address – the digital address of every device. A proxy is a computer that has its own IP address, and when using it, your real IP won’t show. It can also encrypt the data you are receiving and switch IP according to your needs.

HTTP

An HTTP proxy server has two main roles. It can be used as an HTTP client and a server for caching, management, and security. HTTP routes all the user’s requests from the computer to the web browser and the internet.

In the process, it caches all the data received from the internet. HTTP proxies are the most popular proxy servers because they offer a high level of security, but they are also limited to connections that use the HTTP protocol only.

Benefits

HTTP proxies offer great security. Admins in control of the servers can spot malicious sites and addresses and block access before any damage has been done. When visiting websites using an HTTP proxy, the proxy’s IP will be shown instead of your own.

It ensures anonymity and protects from any attacks related to IP addresses. The HTTP proxy server also catches all of the commonly used sites. It makes opening those sites a lot faster, and you can have them available at all times. In the end, HTTP proxies can also grant access to restricted sites by bypassing your IP block.

Use cases

Even though HTTP proxies are limited to this protocol only, they have a wide range of applications. First of all, these proxies understand TCP connection traffic. They can receive direct requests from applications using an HTTP protocol.

They also understand data, which is why these servers are very convenient for web scraping. It can recognize relevant data and avoid collecting data that isn’t necessary.

SOCKS5

Socket Secure or SOCKS network protocol establishes communications with servers using a firewall. They route traffic to a server by the client’s request. These proxy servers can route any kind of traffic generated by a program or other protocol.

SOCKS5 is the latest edition of this protocol. It uses servers to form TCP or UDP connections while using an arbitrary IP address.

Benefits

SOCKS5 proxies can easily help you bypass various online blocks. It routes traffic through the proxy when making online requests. However, if the block is on the national level made by the ISP, this proxy can’t bypass it. SOCKS5 can handle any kind of traffic and offer lots of flexibility. If you are searching for reliable providers, Oxylabs offers socks5 proxy that matches all your needs.

Since SOCKS uses the UDP protocol, the connections are more reliable and efficient. It also offers faster downloads making it convenient for all kinds of P2P platforms. SOCKS 5 also has various authentication methods and supports UDP proxies.

Use cases

SOCKS5 is at layer 5, making it ideal for handling different types of requests such as FTP, SMTP, HTTPS, HTTP, and so on. That’s why it’s very useful for transferring files, P2P sharing, browsing the web, and email sharing.

HTTP vs SOCKS5

HTTP uses the protocol vital for acquiring information over the web. SOCKS doesn’t use this, and it’s used for general purposes. HTTPS proxies can also read data. It’s good for data mining and scraping, but it also means that someone can see the data you are receiving.

SOCKS doesn’t read data, meaning that nobody else can read it online. SOCKS is very fast regardless of the setup, but public HTTP proxies can be slow. Even the private ones will have reduced performance. However, HTTPS can connect with all programs or tools, while SOCKS is limited to a specific set of tools.

Conclusion

When it comes to these two proxies, there is no good or bad. It all depends on what your needs are. Set up your requirements and see which one of these fits your goals better.