Whether you’re just an ordinary internet user or you’re using the web in a business capacity, proxies are the best solution if you want to keep your online activities safe and private. In fact, that is exactly what both organizations and regular users are doing when they want to browse the web privately and discreetly.
Proxies provide users with an additional layer of protection and shield them by hiding their data and activity from the prying eyes. And they do it in quite a simple way – by changing your original IP address with one of their own.
Proxies hide your true identity, allowing you to carry on with a wide range of activities such as ad targeting, competition, and price monitoring, web scraping, etc. Let’s discuss the difference between SOCKS and HTTP proxies.
Basics of proxies
Proxies allow internet users to stay anonymous online by acting as gateways between them and the internet. Every time an internet user wants to use the net, they send their inquiry to the web servers. A proxy intercepts the inquiry and replaces the user’s original IP with its own, making them appear as some other device from another place.
The same goes for returning with the results of the inquiry. By doing so, proxies act as a protective shield that protects your identity online. If you want to see some content on the internet, you need to connect to the internet and send a request via your device to the appropriate server online.
Since your request can tell a great deal about you, your IP address, and your location, a proxy hides your IP and protects your data by replacing your IP with one of its own from its IP pool. In the process, a proxy also receives the requested information and sends it back to you, ensuring it’s malware-free and safe.
Since proxies can hide your real IP, they are an excellent solution for those who need to bypass geo-restrictions, increase security, improve privacy, and secure a faster connection.
What is a SOCKS 5 proxy?
SOCKS proxies are the type of proxies that are commonly used for a wide range of general purposes. SOCKS stands for secure sockets, and the main goal of this type of proxies is to secure a TCP connection with other servers on the web.
Once the connection is secured, the data is free for sending and receiving between the web servers and the user. SOCKS5 proxies are the upgraded version of SOCKS, used mainly by commercial internet users for competition and price monitoring, as well as finding the way around firewalls and other safety mechanisms designed to block access.
Put simply, the main purpose of a SOCKS5 proxy is to allow internet users to access top-rated websites and the data on their web pages without any restrictions. This is why businesses use this type of proxies for data scraping, extracting, and gathering.
SOCKS proxies work by using their TCP connection to access the back-end services of a website that are protected by a firewall. This type of proxies only requires SSH access to a cluster, gateway, or node to connect to any back-end services of a website. They act like relays between two or more user devices allowing users to extract data effectively.
What is an HTTP proxy?
HTTP proxies allow both residential and commercial users to access advanced HTTP website protocols and functions quickly. They can intercept the incoming traffic from TCP connections and extract data from blocked and restricted locations on the web.
HTTP proxies work by sending the user’s request through an HTTP protocol to a web server. A server responds with a link that allows the user to access the data they need. HTTP proxies are an excellent solution for increasing privacy and anonymity and are mostly used for competition and price monitoring, as well as for web scraping and data extraction.
However, their primary purpose is to improve data security and secure connection to HTTP servers on the web. This type of proxies makes sure the data you receive is safe and secure for further use.
Differences between these proxies
Since HTTP proxies can access the HTTP protocol, they are perfect for those who need more control over their traffic. More importantly, HTTP proxies also allow users to configure them for modifying HTTP headers for every request they make, thus significantly lowering the chances of getting banned or blocked when scraping websites for data.
The only drawback is the limited use case, meaning HTTP proxies allow you to use them for managing HTTP protocols and requests. On the other hand, a SOCKS5 proxy is much more versatile. It can easily bypass any security mechanism on the web to access web pages and content, including servers with your IP address on their block list.
They can handle FTP, SMTP, POP3, HTTPS, HTTP protocols, and all types of traffic. The only downside is that they can’t handle HTTP headers.
Which one, and when?
HTTP proxies are the best solution for web scraping needs and content and traffic filtering, identifying the most relevant data, understanding TCP connection traffic, and accepting direct requests from HTTP applications.
SOCKS5 proxies are the best solution for bypassing firewalls, routing traffic by the user’s request, and handling different requests. They are very useful for email sharing, browsing the web anonymously, P2P sharing, and transferring files.
Both proxies can be used for many different purposes, meaning that it all comes down to your needs. Both HTTP and SOCKS allow you to bypass restrictions and access blocked data, but their main purposes are different. SOCKS proxies are best used for accessing, scraping, and extracting huge chunks of data, while HTTP proxies provide more connection options.