Most of us know the privacy dangers that exist online. Given the vastly increasing number of internet users (3.4 billion and growing, according to Internet Live Stats) as well as the increase in public wifi hotspots (423 million according to FierceWireless), it should come as no surprise that internet security is a growing concern.
Just look at how important internet security has become in the 2016 presidential election cycle. Unsecured email servers. Leaked documents. Private conversations released to the public for all the world to see. The simple truth is, as long you’re using the internet, you’re vulnerable. Unless, of course, you’re using highly secured network access or you’re accessing websites and data online through secured encryption methods.
What Is Socks5 Proxy?
Socket Secure (SOCKS) is a protocol used for proxy servers. According to Wikipedia:
“Socket Secure (SOCKS) is an Internet protocol that exchanges network packets between a client and server through a proxy server. Practically, a SOCKS server proxies TCP connection to an arbitrary IP address, and provides a means for UDP packets to be forwarded.“
There are more versions of Socks web proxies available but Socks5 is its extension which is considered to be the most flexible server protocol because it can’t differentiate network traffic types (FTP for torrent files, HTTP for web browsing, SMTP for email, etc.).
In simple words, a Socks proxy works as a bridge between your device and the Internet. In this way, all the traffic generated while using this proxy server can’t be associated with your real IP.
An important thing to mention is that Socks5 is popular among users who don’t require a high level of security and don’t want to connect securely. In other words, the Socks5 proxy server will change your real IP but will not encrypt your traffic.
Encryption methods: HTTPS is great, except when it isn’t
Some aspects to online encryption and data security are taken care of for you. That’s because most websites have a vested interest in preventing hackers from grabbing your data. Data breaches are a growing problem and an extremely expensive one at that. Yahoo is currently in the midst of playing the damage control game after 500 million accounts were stolen. With the average cost of a data breach now somewhere along the lines of $4 million, or around $154 to $158 per account, Yahoo could be looking at data breach with a potential cost to the company in the billions of dollars. Ouch. Here’s to hoping they purchased a good cyber liability insurance policy.
Most websites are not secure. In fact, only around 25 percent utilize the site-level security standard HTTPS encryption. Websites with HTTPS encryption typically utilize Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. This creates a secure connection between your computer and the website’s hosting servers. Once connected, the data transfers between your computer and the website’s servers are encrypted. The information is scrambled, as is typical of encryption methods, with the data unscrambled using secure keys on both ends. It’s pretty easy to identify when a website is using HTTPS as well. Just look to the website address:
Even Google uses encryption methods for its search engine. But don’t be fooled. Although HTTPS encryption is far more secure than the encryption-lacking HTTP protocol, it’s far from an end-all security method. Anyone snooping in on your online activity or the website’s servers can still see what you’re viewing and steal data or your identity. On a similar note, as wonderful as HTTPS encryption is, it does not hide your location. Someone can still identify who you are through your IP address, and connect that to publically available information. HTTPS is a good, secure method to help ensure your data isn’t stolen during the transfer process, but it’s not securing your identity online and it’s not keeping your data wholly private.
The tried and true virtual private network (VPN)
Virtual private networks (VPNs) are perhaps the most common method for securely connecting, downloading, and surfing online. All computers that use internet connections are part of a larger, shared network. If you connect to the internet through your internet service provider, the ISP assigns your computer a unique IP address and sends you on your merry way through their network, connecting you to the rest of the web. Monitoring your activity is a very simple matter for both the ISP and any governments or government organizations that have access to the ISP’s data. Virtual private networks, however, create a secure tunnel between you and a private server. You connect online through your ISP as usual, but you then connect securely and directly to a specific server.
SOCKS5 PROXY VS. HTTP PROXY.
The most common protocol on the internet is the HTTPS, the secure extension of the HTTP protocol (HyperText Transfer Protocol).
As the name suggests, the HTTP proxies work together with the HTTP protocol, while sending data over the internet.
An HTTP proxy features built-in encryption and is a good solution for unblocking specific geo-blocked content, but the proxy connection doesn’t work so well with other protocols.
Compared to the HTTP proxies, the Socks5 works well with different protocols. Also, the SOCKS server does not interpret the traffic between a device and the server in any way. This is the reason why is a good solution for clients behind a firewall who can’t establish TCP connections to servers outside the firewall.
SOCKS5 VS. VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is gaining a lot of well-deserved attention these days.
The VPN provides a secure way to keep users internet connections safe. To be more specific, the VPN technology will add a layer of encryption to your internet connection while surfing the web. In more simple words, a VPN will pass all your data via a VPN server, before transmitting your request to the internet. In this way all your data is encrypted, your connection is secured, and your real IP is hidden.
This technique prevents your ISP from being able to see in plain text your online activities, including the websites you open and any data you send and receive so, we can conclude that a VPN will highly contribute to your online privacy and security.
If you’re wondering when to use a VPN connection, the answer is ALWAYS, no matter if you’re connecting to public or private networks.
SO, WHAT’S BETTER? SOCKS5 OR A VPN?
A VPN changes your IP address and also creates a secure tunnel between you and the VPN server. All the applications from the computer are using the encrypted tunnel when the VPN is connected.
Socks5 changes your IP address and is faster than VPN, but doesn’t encrypt the traffic. Only selected applications are using Socks5 (browsers, torrent apps).
When it comes to downloading torrents, both solutions are helping you but, in this case, the VPN is the winner because it encrypts your connection. Also, a VPN should provide your P2P servers, so you can download torrents in a legal manner.