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SOCKS vs. HTTP Proxy Comparison

SOCKS vs. HTTP Proxy Comparison

Both SOCKS and HTTP proxies use specific protocols for having smooth and safe access to websites, especially if the content is blocked or restricted. They serve as an intermediary between the client and server. The principle of their performance is that they stand in the way between your device and the server, so the server cannot see your IP but only the IP of the proxy you use. It also provides additional security by detecting malicious traffic and caching the data it obtains for further use.

When you are a client, you insert some information about your search in the web browser. The protocol used on your device sends your requests, shaped as URL links, to the server. The server responds to these links providing the information you have requested. You can make your Internet search still more secure if you use multiple proxy servers.

You do not need to know all the technical terms and special jargon to make the right choice between several types of proxies, for example, SOCKS and HTTP.

This article covers the main similarities and differences to make your choice and understanding of it more beneficial.

SOCKS Proxies and Their Advantages

SOCKS stands for SOCKet Security, and every average Internet user can apply it. This proxy can communicate with the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), and HTTP protocol to support the client and server connection. It is especially helpful when you use a firewall to protect your device from outside intrusions.

The most crucial benefit of SOCKS is that you do not need to reduce the operation of your firewall when you want to browse the Internet anonymously. The connection established by SOCKS can support any type of proxy, no matter what kind of protocol it uses. It is usually a default connection.

SOCKS allows for traffic-intensive tasks, for example, P2P sharing or streaming, due to its ability to use a TCP. It works well when you need to bypass some geo-restrictions. However, SOCKS does not interpret web data because it cannot read it, and it works alongside the firewall. These proxies can work on any port. The compatibility with all ports and network protocols is the most significant advantage of SOCKS.


If you are a heavy Internet user and need more security, you can utilize the SOCKS5 proxy. It supports TCP, HTTP, and UDP and makes up the best option due to its sophisticated cutting-edge authentication mechanisms which can provide additional security. This type of protocol is also recommended for businesses and organizations.

HTTP Proxies and Their Advantages

HTTP is a viral protocol of a higher level than SOCKS because its efficiency is better since it understands the details of traffic that moves through an HTTP connection. HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.  It is text-based to support HTML (HyperText Markup Language), CSS, and other scripts.

The proxy is very helpful for browsers to make requests for data elements, for example, separate images, texts, or videos. All the requests arrive immediately from applications that use HTTP protocols too. Some experts think it is a sort of limitation but, in fact, it is not because the level of accepting and interpreting web data is immense. It is quite instrumental when you want to run a bot.

When you want to use scraping software for the website, an HTTP can help you distinguish what is needed for it and what is not. As a result, you receive the cleaned data, which is easier to operate with. That will save you time and effort.

After completing the request, the web browser and server are disconnected. It provides additional security.

When you need more security, all data, when intercepted, can become unreadable – using an HTTPS proxy accounts for this. When connecting to a financial institution from abroad, you had better opt for this proxy. It is pretty reliable for all kinds of businesses. These proxies can detect and deny suspicious packets received from unreliable websites. So, you get an additional layer of protection from malware and spyware content. HTTPS adds a lot to your level of anonymity, so it can help you access restricted data and diminish your chances of getting blocked.

Differences Between SOCKS and HTTP Proxies

SOCKS is used for general purposes by establishing a TCP connection. So it can work with any network protocol on any port. It cannot interpret the web data. It can be used within a firewall.

HTTP proxies can understand and interpret data and network traffic under the HTTP protocol. No other types of protocols can be applied here. The choice of ports is also limited.

Here are some essential features which make these two types of proxies different.

1. Security

Since both SOCKS and HTTP operate as mediators connecting a client and server, they are suitable for enhancing the security of the Internet connection. HTTPS is preferable for email protection and projects requiring boosted cyber-security. These proxies can understand the data packages and place the filters to make the right choice between those that are helpful and those which are not – either neutral or harmful. On the other hand, HTTPS proxies involve higher chances that your data can be tracked, viewed, and recorded on its client-server route. When you use SOCKS proxies, such chances are very low because this type of proxy cannot read data. To make your HTTP proxy more secure, you can establish a tunnel connection so that your data cannot be traced.

2. Performance

HTTPS proxies can be private and public. You can opt for either of them but the speed of a public proxy is much slower. Public proxies can have a speed of above 1,000 MB/s, so if you need more speed for website scraping operations, you should opt for this one.

SOCKS uses a generic server without any need to code and decode information, so its speed is faster. These proxies are preferable for downloading, uploading, and transferring data online. They are easier to maintain.

3. Functionality

The configuration of HTTP proxies can change due to usage needs. They can spot suspicious repeated requests because they understand and interpret the data. These proxies are of higher levels. They use only HTTP protocols and users can retrieve the information due to them. Most HTTPS run on 2 ports, 443 and 80. They are default ports for efficient routing of all HTTP traffic.

SOCKS proxies are more flexible. After all, they can deal with any connection, even behind the firewall, because they cannot interpret web data.

HTTPS provides a higher level of encryption for your enhanced safety and 100% protection of all your data. You can easily hide your activities from the ISP. These solutions are available for free. However, you won’t be able to transfer your information via UDP, POP3, or other networks which do not use an HTTP protocol.

SOCKS can support both UDP and TCP, so you can use it easier. There won’t be any changes in your data packets so that you will receive everything smoothly without misrouting.

Final Thoughts

Your choice of either SOCKS or HTTP cannot depend on the competition between these two protocols. It is just your needs and purposes that can define it. Nevertheless, all your data will be secured, no matter your choice.

If your presence online is more extended, it is better to opt for HTTPS or SOCKS5 proxies because they will filter data at a higher level of security.

Now, when you know the technical characteristics of both protocols and understand the differences between them, making your choice will be easier.

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