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Breaking Down Differences Between SOCKS vs HTTP Proxy

DZone 's Guide to

Breaking Down Differences Between SOCKS vs HTTP Proxy

Find out when to use SOCKS and when to use HTTP.

· Security Zone ·
Free Resource

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What Is a Proxy Server

Proxy servers are a great tool to help you access any websites or page using your browser.

Your identity remains hidden. For instance, if you want to access data from a company abroad, all you have to do is use a proxy server to conduct this action.

If the website only allows users from their country access, the proxy server will hide your location and pretend that you are residing from that particular company’s residence. No one will have a clue that you, sitting in India, are accessing companies' data from abroad.

You can conduct this action easily when you have the right proxy servers in your hand. The finest two are called HTTPS proxy and SOCKS proxy.

These two are the most common, but their features are different. To help you decide which proxy is best suited for you, we are going to list out the difference using simpler terminology.

You may also like: How to Configure HAProxy as a Proxy and Load Balancer.

What Are HTTPS Proxies?

When you search in your web browser, you have found many links that start with "https." When you see this, you must understand that the web page is using an HTTP protocol to function.

Http proxies function via a client and server model. For instance, being the client, you will type in the web browser to access some information. Your HTTP protocol will send the request for your access in the form of a URL link. The server on the other end will respond to that link along with the information you requested back to you. The resource you receive will also be in HTTP format.

In HTTP, you can conduct safer actions with the help of multiple proxy servers available in the market today. The HTTP proxy will function just the way it did above but with a proxy server; it will be easier to safeguard your identity.

Having understood what https proxies are, let’s move towards the next popular proxy.

What Is a SOCKS Proxy?

Lightproxies states "SOCKS is a type of internet protocol that sends network packets from the server to the client and vice versa via a proxy server.’’

A SOCKS proxy, which is referred to as Socket Secure, manages information online with the use of a proxy server.

Over here, the SOCKS proxy uses its SOCKS protocol. Unlike https proxies, SOCKS proxies are more dependable when compared to https.

As you now have a brief understanding of what the above two proxies' functionality, we can jump to the crucial part of choosing which proxy would be ideal for you.

Difference Between SOCKS and HTTP Proxies

1. Functionality

HTTPS Proxy

SOCKS

Functions using http protocol and is vital for those users you use it for the purpose of retrieving information via a web browser

Doesn’t use a http proxy and is considered to be a lower level proxy since it is used for general purposes mostly


HTTPS proxies use only HTTP protocol, which means their functionality depends on what they follow. Since they conduct the action of retrieving information via the web browser, they are best suited for users who would use it for the same purpose.

Unlike https, SOCKS functions a little differently. It doesn’t function using an HTTP protocol. This doesn’t restrict it from allowing users to view information online. Ideally, SOCKS is used for more general-purposes and is considered to be a lower level proxy.

This, however, isn’t a disadvantage because they are not liable to a particular set of network protocols, thus giving their users the flexibility to utilize this proxy anywhere.

2. Security

HTTPS Proxy

SOCKS

High chances of your data being viewed during the process

Low chances of your data being viewed since SOCKS can’t read data


The whole agenda of using a proxy is to remain safe and covered while accessing information online. As mentioned earlier, proxy servers are a great medium to safeguard your online activities.

The best part is that SOCKS proxies utilize it hence ensuring a good security weight when compared to HTTP proxies.

With HTTP proxies, there are chances of your data being viewed and recorded during the client-server proxies taking place. If this happens you remain at high risk. With SOCKS proxy this issue cannot occur since the proxy isn’t able to read the data.

But if you continue to use an HTTP proxy, you can remain safeguarded online by establishing a tunnel connection. The tunnel functions as a wall where it makes your activities online harder to be traced and leaves you more safe and secure to continue functioning.

3. Speed

HTTPS Proxy

SOCKS

Offers private and public proxy, depends on the choice ( Public proxy- slow)

Generic server, speed is fast


HTTPs proxies offer you 2 types of proxies to invest in when it comes to speed, Private and Public proxies.

With private proxies, you can single-handedly manage your online activities without any hassle. With public proxies, it is the opposite. Since the users are high, the speed gets affected where the internet will take a long time to even help you access a web page you want to see.

With SOCKS proxy being a general one, it is simple and quicker with its speed. It reduces the need for any code to be applied and hence it is ideal to transfer or download data from online.

Also ensure that apart from these proxies, you also need to search for well-established proxy companies that offer this service because, with the servers they offer, the internet and bandwidth speed can also help you function better for all your online activities.

4. Connecting with Tools


HTTPS proxy

SOCKS

Connects with any tool

Connects to limited tools


Either of these two proxies must be able to connect with the tools that you use.

HTTP proxy servers mostly connect with all tools, but with SOCKS proxy you might not be able to connect too as many devices when compared to HTTPS. Hence, it is essential that you keep track of which tools you utilize the most and then decide which proxy you want to apply.

The best way you can do this is by researching the various proxy servers available in the market.

It has various options to choose from and also has a dedicated section for SOCKS proxy users where you can benefit many of the advantages they offer under it. Also, you can keep track of the tools that are a fit for HTTPS and SOCKS proxy so that you can easily decide which one you can use.

The Bottom Line

As new technology arises, online platforms become much easier to crack. Viewing information and tapping crucial data for the wrong purpose have all urged companies to take strict measures in all their online activities.

With the differences mentioned above, for users who highly depend on downloading and transferring huge amounts of data, SOCKS would be the ideal one for you. For those who want to download a smaller amount of data, you can opt for the HTTPS proxy.

When it comes to choosing your proxy server to ensure that you invest in a brand that keeps three things in mind:

  • Keeps you anonymous.
  • Secures your online activities without any hassle or risks.
  • Has a good internet speed option.

Further Reading

Topics:
network analysis ,proxy ,http ,socks ,https ,security

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