SOCKS vs HTTP Proxy
Today, in 2019, it is becoming increasingly important to keep the confidentiality of personal data on the Internet. We live in the era when information about us is collected from everywhere - and unfortunately, we have been used to it. Spammers, fraudsters, the state with its ‘Big Brother’. Is it possible to somehow protect ourselves against this total control? Yes, it is.
There are a lot of solutions. VPN services, anonymizers, private browsers solve one or another specific task. However, such solutions as a proxy for social networks, HTTP-proxy, SOCKS provide a wider functionality.
SOCKS protocol: what is it?
The SOCKS protocol (whether SOCKS 4 or SOCKS 5) is the connection method currently used by default, when we are talking about a proxy for social networks - it does not matter whether we are talking about a proxy vk, a proxy Facebook or something else. When you run the SOCKS protocol, the TCP connection of your device occurs with a third-party server. As a result, SOCKS ensures the encryption and confidentiality of all the data that you transmit to the Network.
The main advantage of the SOCKS protocol is that it makes a TCP connection without circumventing your basic firewall protection. You do not need to “get rid of protection services” that you have in your operating system to use a proxy for social networks with the SOCKS protocol. On the contrary, such a proxy for social networks itself has additional protection - a firewall. In addition, the so-called penetrating data is excluded in the connection via the SOCKS protocol. It doesn’t matter which protocol is used by the network- POP3, HTTP or other.
Proxy users have a great choice today. The SOCKS 4 protocol is the most affordable proxy used by default. For ordinary tasks, it is more than enough. But if you are not an average user, and your tasks require a special level of protection - use SOCKS 5. The SOCKS 5 protocol offers advanced authentication and additional connection protection, which completely hides your activity on the Net from everyone.
HTTP proxy: what is it?
Undoubtedly, SOCKS 4 and SOCKS 5 proxy are gaining popularity. But the most common format is HTTP proxy. Although, HTTP proxies can work only within the HTTP protocol, they have their advantages. Especially, if you have to work with a variety of HTTP interfaces. Yes, it is technically possible to use the same SOCKS 4 or SOCKS 5, but using the HTTP proxy is much more practical and convenient.
Why is it so? The thing is that SOCKS and HTTP proxies cannot compete in principle, since they act differently. HTTP proxies require much less data to process information, so the “efficiency” of the HTTP proxy is on a very high level. Among other things, this means that the HTTP proxy will not overload your Internet connection. Of course, the speed will decrease with any encryption, but HTTP proxies are very effective in this case, compared to SOCKS or other solutions.
Besides, it is important to mention one more moment. In addition to the HTTP proxy, which is a basic solution for security and encryption, there is also an HTTPS proxy. It must be used when you work with money. It doesn't matter at what level: you can be a bank manager or just doing shopping online. For any interaction of the money and the Web, it is much better to use HTTPS proxies than HTTP proxies.
Choose the appropriate protocol according to your goals and objectives while using the Internet.
As we have said, HTTP proxies and SOCKS are not competitors. They are colleagues. Depending on your tasks, you can choose a more suitable protocol, and get an appropriate level of traffic protection and privacy.
HTTP proxies and HTTPS proxies with built-in encryption: benefits
Any data that you transmit to the Network is completely encrypted and anonymous. In addition, your ISP does not see your network activity, when you use HTTP proxies or HTTPS proxies. You can download movies from torrents, browse any sites you want (and not just those that you have been allowed to visit by state censorship on the Internet), communicate with friends or colleagues in any instant messengers and social networks. Your activity on the Internet will not be opened to intruders, spammers and state censorship.
Paid and free proxies
As in the case of VPN, there are free proxies and premium ones. Moreover, while using ‘free’ versions, you don’t know from where such services get money for maintenance. They usually keep logs of users - and even if their task is purely technical (not spying), this clearly does not increase your security level. Moreover: it is unknown which company or even government service launches such a proxy. Yes, yes, “Big Brother” can easily track you that way. And yet, in addition to the “watchful eye of the state”, you can have problems with attackers. In both cases, your traffic won’t be encrypted, it will be directly read. It doesn’t make sense to hack your connection, when attackers can make it easier and give you a connection that will monitor all your activity.
But, fortunately, it rather an exception rather than an rule. Even so: this is a risk that needs to be considered. Most HTTP proxies and HTTPS proxies that have been on the market for a long time and have a lot of positive reviews are still ‘real’, they value their reputation enough and do not do such things. A good free proxy server provides the user with detailed instructions on how to properly configure the proxy, so that it not only works, but works optimally for your tasks on the Internet.
The HTTP proxy has one major drawback. It is clear from the name of this service. HTTP proxy interacts with HTTP data. And you may need, for example, to transfer data via POP3, TCP, UDP, or some other protocol. Of course, this is all can be solved by right configuration or additional security features, but it isn’t very convenient.
SOCKS 5 is deprived of such a problem - you can use any protocols without additional efforts. For example, it is very convenient when you work with torrent bits, and you need to connect to many peers. SOCKS will easily solve this problem, since this protocol initially involves working with torrents. Setting up a SOCKS proxy server allows you to make a convenient configuration for this task. Moreover, if you work with torrents using SOCKS, then you no longer have to share your channel or other network resources with other people. Yes, such an approach slightly contradicts one of the fundamental ideas of the torrent, but speaking frankly, this won’t upset you.
When you use SOCKS proxy servers, you can be sure that no one will overwrite the data packet headers, there will be no errors in routing or marking packets - the use of SOCKS increases the stability of the connection. And since the SOCKS protocol reduces the number of errors, the download speed directly increases.
A very good security solution based on the SOCKS 5 protocol is the so-called zero proxy servers. They transmit all traffic through a PPP connection, which makes it possible to prevent anyone else from tracking your traffic.
As you have learnt from this article, HTTP proxies and SOCKS proxies do not confront each other. They solve the same problems with security and confidentiality of your data but in different ways. Therefore, your choice of a proxy server depends on your tasks, level of anonymity and what speed you need to solve these tasks.
The main thing that we want to convey to you on the basis of this article is to choose an HTTP proxy or SOCKS proxy thoughtfully, and be careful about the settings. Often, system administrators say that a proxy is evil, referring to just the wrongly configured proxy. Or a proxy, not suitable for their tasks. Or both. Choose and use a proxy correctly - and it will bring you benefits, facilitate working with data and increase your security and privacy level on the Internet!