Proxies: SOCKS Vs. HTTP

by John Sanderson
SOCKS Vs. HTTP

We can do everything we need or want from the comfort of our homes today. From purchasing real estate to getting some groceries, there are no limits to what we can accomplish online.

Rapid digitalization has motivated countless businesses to increase their online presence and keep up with the latest market trends. Nevertheless, with higher profitability comes higher risk, too, as cybersecurity is currently one of the main concerns of all internet users.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to make peace with the rising cybersecurity threats if you want to rely on the power of the internet. With proxies, you can still browse the internet just like before but with better online safety and enhanced anonymity.

Two main proxy types have excelled, the SOCKS and HTTP proxy. This SOCKS vs. HTTP proxy comparison will inform you about their main features and uses, so keep reading.

What Are Proxies, And How Are They Used?

First things first, let’s take a step back and return to the basics. What exactly are proxies, and how are they used?

Well, proxies are special servers that act as a gateway network between an internet user and the World Wide Web. Therefore, proxy servers stand between local computers and their area networks.

Traditionally, when internet users visit a website, their data flows from their device through an internet service provider’s router. In most cases, a proxy server is an external server that adds an extra step when browsing the internet.

That means the requests don’t go directly from the devices to the IP routers but rather via a proxy server. When a device connects to a proxy, that proxy completes all the requests, masking your IP address.

As a result, scammers and other cybercriminals can’t breach your data or cause any harm since a false IP address masks all online traces.

Types Of Proxies

Due to their numerous benefits, proxies have become widely popular among the general public. However, it’s important to mention that not all are the same. There are quite a few proxy types, but two of them have caught the attention of many – SOCKS and HTTP proxies.

HTTP proxies

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the basis for any data exchange online. The primary role of HTTP is to send requests for various data, such as images, videos, and web pages. Once the request is complete, the connection between a web browser and the server ends. So, a new HTTP connection is necessary for each new request.

An HTTP proxy is specially designed for these HTTP connections. The proxy operates using the same client-server model and represents an intermediary between a server and a client using the web browser. Therefore, an HTTP proxy transmits requests and delivers online resources to clients in the HTTP format.

SOCKS proxies

Although SOCKS (Socket Secure) proxies are also proxies, they function differently. They also act as internet protocols, but they’re used for online activities such as P2P sharing and content streaming.

The SOCKS protocol uses a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) connection. The TCP connection sends and receives data all around the internet and delivers the data packets to the user.

Using a SOCKS proxy means routing your internet traffic through a SOCKS proxy server that uses a TCP connection. SOCKS proxies mask the actual IP addresses of clients and help them get around geo-restrictions while remaining secure and anonymous.

SOCKS Vs. HTTP Proxies

Now that you know more about HTTP and SOCKS proxies, you’re surely wondering which one is better. Choosing between them is difficult for many people, so we’ve decided to dig deeper into their main features in this SOCKS vs. HTTP proxy comparison.

HTTP proxies are an excellent choice for businesses that need their proxy server to cover various use cases and goals. You can easily configure these proxies and customize them to fit your unique business needs and requirements perfectly. The essential features of HTTP proxies are:

  • Clean data;
  • Enhanced security;
  • Higher web scraping success rate.

On the other hand, SOCKS proxies have impressive network protocol and port compatibility, making them ideal for multiple scenarios and applications. The most beneficial features of SOCKS proxies include:

  • Firewalls;
  • Compatibility with all network protocols and ports.

Conclusion

All in all, HTTP and SOCKS are both excellent proxy choices you won’t regret introducing into your life. Since the two proxies come with entirely different features, it’s almost impossible to say which one is better.

If you’re thinking about the SOCKS vs. HTTP proxy, defining what you’re looking for from a proxy server is essential. While HTTP proxies are better for businesses that want to scrape the web, SOCKS proxies excel in their internet protocol and port compatibility. We recommend delving deeper into all their features to make the best choice for your needs.