SOCKS5 vs HTTP Proxies

Analyzing the difference between SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies and basic functions of both protocols: Learn what methods each protocol supports, their advantages and differences.

SOCKS5 vs HTTP Proxies

The universe of proxies can be quite confusing. This technology has quite many details that can impact the final result. But once you understand all the important nuances, you will master proxies and use them for various purposes.

The most questionable thing about proxies are protocols - SOCKS and HTTP. And if you don’t realize the difference between them, it will be overwhelming to choose the suitable option. So let’s talk about these protocols and see which one is better for you.

What is a SOCKS protocol?

SOCKS is a universal connection. That’s why it is usually used as a default option for most proxy services. This protocol creates a TCP connection to route the traffic between the user and the destination server. SOCKS, unlike HTTP, doesn’t penetrate the data. That’s why it can work with all types of connections. Therefore, using this protocol, you don’t need to deal with compatibility issues.

What’s the difference between SOCKS4 and SOCKS5?

Numbers 4 and 5 refer to the versions of SOCKS protocol. SOCKS5 is a newer improved version of SOCKS4. While SOCKS4 supports only TCP application, SOCKS5 supports both TCP and UDP which can be used for DNS lookups. Moreover, the latest version of this protocol supports different authentication methods and IPv6. In general, SOCKS5 is more secure and gives more freedom than SOCKS4. It will work when nor SOCKS4 neither HTTP can work.

Is SOCKS better than HTTP?

Despite that SOCKS is so multi-purpose, HTTP protocol is still just as popular. Even though they will process request only from HTTP connections. So why would you use this protocol?

While SOCKS can work with different types of connections, it can’t process certain data properly. The HTTP protocol has no issues with interpretation. Therefore, if you need, for example, to scrape some data from a certain resource, you want to use HTTP protocol since it can process the information and download only the useful data.

If you want more security with the HTTP protocol, you should use HTTPS option. It will add some more security to your connection.

So what is better?

Obviously, it depends on your goals. If you need the proxy to perform different activities online and access geo-restricted content, you can simply stick to the SOCKS protocol and not worry about changing it. But if you’re going to work with data, for instance, you should switch to HTTP.

Why should you choose Infatica proxies?

  • Only real residential locations. You will never get blocked for using our proxies.
  • High speed. Stay safe without any inconveniences.
  • Rotating addresses. Get a new IP with each request.
  • Clear pricing. You always know what you pay for.

Olga Myhajlovska

Olga Myhajlovska

Olga Myhajlovska is a freelance writer who likes to focus on the practical side of different technologies: Her stories answer both the "How does it work?" and "Why is it important for me?" questions.

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