What are SOCKS5 Proxies? Should You Really Use Them for Web Scraping & Data Gathering?

What are SOCKS5 Proxies? Should You Really Use Them for Web Scraping & Data Gathering?

Comparing SOCKS5 proxies with residential proxies, and which is better. 

SOCKS5 proxies are a popular choice for web scraping because they offer a high level of anonymity and can be used with various applications. Web scraping involves extracting data from websites, and SOCKS5 proxies can help prevent websites from detecting and blocking your IP address. 

Additionally, SOCKS5 proxies offer a high level of security and privacy as they encrypt all traffic between the client and the server, making it difficult for anyone to intercept and read the data. However, there are some downsides to using SOCKS5. 


In this blog post, we'll cover the basics of SOCKS5 proxies, including what they are, how they can help your business or web scraping project, and what might be a better proxy solution for your needs.

What is SOCKS5?

One type of proxy is SOCKS, short for Socket Secure. It is designed to route any type of traffic generated by any protocol or program. A SOCKS proxy server creates a TCP or UDP connection to another server on behalf of a client, then exchanges network packets between the client and the actual server. 

SOCKS5 proxies do not interpret network traffic between client and server, and are often used because clients are behind a firewall and are not permitted to establish TCP connections to outside servers unless they do it through the SOCKS proxy server.

SOCKS5 is the latest version of the SOCKS protocol, and it establishes a full TCP connection with authentication and uses the Secure Shell (SSH) encrypted tunneling method to relay the traffic. 

SOCKS5 proxies are more secure than SOCKS4 proxies because they support a variety of authentication methods and UDP proxies. SOCKS5 proxies can also handle several request types, including HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP, and FTP.

When you use a SOCKS5 proxy, the internet traffic from your device is routed through the proxy server before it reaches the internet. This means that the internet cannot directly see your IP address, but rather sees the proxy server's IP address

Should I use SOCKS5 proxies? 

When it comes to data gathering, SOCKS5 proxies offer several benefits. One of the primary advantages of using SOCKS5 proxies is that they can be used with any protocol, unlike other proxies that only work with HTTP traffic. 

SOCKS5 proxies are a tool to keep your online activity private and secure. They offer a high level of anonymity and can be used with various applications. 

Geo-restrictions can stop you from accessing certain websites and services if they don't approve of your location. However, a SOCKS5 proxy can mask your IP address with its own IP address. This is particularly useful for bypassing IP blocks, as they allow you to change your IP address easily and quickly.

However, SOCKS5 proxies may slow down your internet speed and do not protect against malware and viruses.  

If you’re looking for a full suite scraping solution, then residential proxies are your best bet etc.

Limitations of using SOCKS5 proxies

SOCKS5 proxies are not always reliable for web scraping purposes. Here are 5 main disadvantages to be wary of if you are considering using SOCKS5 proxies.

1. No Encryption

One of the biggest drawbacks of SOCKS5 is that it does not provide any encryption. This means that all data transmitted through the proxy server is in plain text and can be intercepted by third parties. Therefore, SOCKS5 is not a good option for users who require high levels of security and privacy.

2. Limited Compatibility

Another limitation of SOCKS5 is that it is not compatible with all applications and protocols. Some applications and protocols may only work with HTTP or HTTPS proxies. This means that if you need to use a proxy server for a specific application or protocol, you may need to use a different type of proxy server.

3. No Authentication

SOCKS5 does not offer any authentication mechanism, which means that anyone can use the proxy server without any limitations. This can be a security risk, especially if the proxy server is located in a public place or is accessible over the internet.

4. No Traffic Filtering

SOCKS5 does not provide any filtering mechanism, which means that all traffic is allowed through the proxy server. This can be a disadvantage if you need to block certain types of traffic, such as ads or malicious content.

5. Speed and Performance

Finally, SOCKS5 may not always provide the best speed and performance. This is because the proxy server needs to process all incoming and outgoing traffic, which can lead to slower speeds and increased latency.

The best alternative to SOCKS5 proxies - residential proxies

Residential proxies are IP addresses assigned to real devices, such as home computers or IoT devices. These proxies are more reliable for web scraping purposes, as they are less likely to be flagged by websites as proxies. 

Additionally, residential proxies often have a lower risk of being detected as suspicious or malicious, which can result in better performance and higher success rates.

However, residential proxies are often more expensive than SOCKS5 proxies, as they require some set up and maintenance. But many businesses still prefer residential proxies and are willing to spend extra to ensure a stable, seamless scraping experience.

Contact our Support
24/7 Live Support. Reach out to us at any time for help or helpful tips
Contact support
Contact sales