TheBest SOCKS5 Proxies: 6 Top Providers for 2020

SOCKS5 is the newest proxy protocol. Versatile, fast, and anonymous, SOCKS5 proxies enable many tasks that wouldn’t be possible with HTTP(S) IPs. You can use them for gaming, video streaming, torrents, web scraping… Just about anything. They can be both residential addresses and come from data centers.

But finding a good proxy service isn’t easy – and getting reliable SOCKS proxies is even harder. This article will help you choose the best SOCKS5 proxy provider for your needs.

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Oxylabs

Oxylabs is the best SOCKS5 proxy service. The company provides business intelligence data, offers premium-level proxies and enterprise-grade support.

Pros
  • 2 million dedicated IPs
  • 80 locations
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Free trial, 3-day refund
Cons
  • Starts from $180
  • Only datacenter IPs
Rating 9.1 / 10
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Luminati

Luminati controls the largest proxy pool in the world. Its range of features is hard to match, but Luminati targets large businesses and isn't recommended for beginners.

Pros
  • Residential, DC & mobile
  • Very customizable
  • Global locations
  • Free trial, refund
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Hard to use
Rating 9 / 10
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LimeProxies

LimeProxies can get you virgin dedicated SOCKS5 IPs. They cost a lot but you don't have to buy many. Mostly aimed at gaming, posting classified ads and scalping tickets.

Pros
  • Virgin IPs
  • Fast 1Gbps servers
  • 40 locations
  • Trial & money-back
Cons
  • Hard to change locations
  • Only datacenter IPs
  • Limited use cases
Rating 8.8 / 10
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Blazing SEO

Blazing SEO offers dedicated SOCKS5 IPs in 9 countries. They come with unlimited bandwidth, threads, and multiple subnets. Rather cheap and you get further discounts for bulk buys.

Pros
  • 10Gbps servers
  • Instant setup
  • No bandwidth limits
  • Monthly proxy replacement
Cons
  • Datacenter IPs
  • Only 9 countries
Rating 8.7 / 10
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Shifter

Shifter's SOCKS5 proxies are residential, backconnect, and have no bandwidth limits. But country targeting costs extra and the performance is mediocre.

Pros
  • 31M residential IPs
  • No bandwidth limits
  • Money-back guarantee
Cons
  • Can't handle loads
  • Geo-targeting costs more
Rating 8.2 / 10
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RSocks

RSocks has a wide variety of SOCKS5 plans that range from 1 IP to thousands and cover all proxy types. It's a good choice for short and small scale tasks, not so much for others.

Pros
  • Residential, DC, mobile
  • Flexible pricing plans
  • Cheap for short tasks
Cons
  • Limited locations
  • Unreliable performance
  • Not for large tasks
Rating 8 / 10
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Advantages and Drawbacks of SOCKS5 Proxies

Advantages

  • You can use them with all kinds of data, not only webpages.
  • They ensure a high level of anonymity. When you route information through such a proxy server, it assigns a new IP for you. Instead of accessing the website on your behalf, the server connects to it directly. This way, you disclose no information about your original IP address.
  • They work great for traffic-intensive tasks.

Drawbacks

  • Data goes through them unencrypted. So, you shouldn’t use them for online payments or anything involving personal information.
  • They are not supported by some applications.
  • They are usually more expensive compared to HTTP(S) IPs.

Main Uses of SOCKS5 Proxies

  • Hide your IP address – the classic use case. SOCKS5 proxies are actually very good at it because of the way they work.
  • Chat and make video calls – for example, you can use these proxies with Skype, Telegram, or similar apps.
  • Use streaming websites – the first example that comes to mind is Twitch, but it applies to any streaming site.
  • Download torrents – they are compatible with qBitorrent, uTorrent, and similar peer-to-peer communication software.
  • Play games – we haven’t tried it personally, but we’ve often heard about using with popular online games.
  • Access forbidden content – a common use case is going around firewalls or entering places where TCP connection is prohibited. Or simply avoiding geographical restrictions.
  • Perform illegal activities – people also use SOCKS5 proxies for carding, to hide their IP address and emulate the card holder’s location. Note that this activity is highly illegal, and we do not condone it.

The Difference Between SOCKS4 and SOCKS5 Proxies

SOCKS5 is a newer version of the protocol. It introduced several important features, such as more authentication options, support for IPv6 IP addresses, remote DNS queries, and compatibility with the UDP protocol, not only TCP.

Are these features relevant for you? The UDP protocol is used in many video streaming services and video games – where you need to transfer data in real-time. So if that’s what you’re going to be doing, choose SOCKS5 proxies. They also allow the regular user:pass authentication, making the setup process much simpler.

Why You Shouldn’t Get a Free SOCKS5 Proxy List

The idea of free SOCKS5 proxies sounds tempting – especially if your needs are small or you just want to try the proxies out. It’s a better option than free HTTP proxies (I’d never use those due to all the security risks), but still not something I’d ever recommend.

You’ll always have to share free SOCKS5 proxies with dozens of other people. This will make the proxies slow and unreliable. Also, the provider likely won’t be interested in maintaining the service, so on top of that, you can expect a lot of downtime and general instability. Not ideal, is it?

Instead, why not have a look at one of the proxy providers in our list? I’m sure you’ll be able to find both premium and cheap SOCKS5 proxies there. Many of the services offer a free trial to give you a taste of what using good proxies feels like. Believe me: it’ll cost you nothing and will be a much better experience than struggling with IP addresses that barely work.

2 comments

  1. chrls on November 18, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Which is better? Residential socks5 proxies or datacenter?

    • Chris Becker on November 20, 2020 at 6:49 am

      It depends on what you’re trying to achieve with the IPs.

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Frequently Asked Questions About SOCKS5 Proxies

What Is a SOCKS5 Proxy?

SOCKS stands for “socket secure”. It’s an internet protocol that allows one device or computer to send data to another via a third device. In this case, the third device would be called a SOCKS server, or simply a SOCKS proxy. SOCKS proxies were created to be an all-purpose proxy solution: they can handle almost any protocol, program, or type of traffic, whether it’s webpages, email, torrents, video streaming, or games.

What’s the Difference Between HTTP vs. SOCKS Proxies?

HTTP proxies only work with the HTTP(S) protocol – in other words, websites. SOCKS proxies are much more versatile – you can use them to unblock content and work with all kinds of data.

Can I Use SOCKS Proxies for Web Scraping?

SOCKS proxies do have a place in web scraping. It makes little financial sense to use them for scraping websites, but they have other uses. One example would be scraping apps like WhatsApp. SOCKS proxies can also perform automated tasks that can be categorized as web scraping, such as checking the legality of video streaming servers or torrents.

Can I Buy Residential SOCKS5 Proxies?

Yes, and we have quite a few providers on our list that offer residential SOCKS5 proxies.