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SOCKS Proxies: Overview, Benefits, and Disadvantages

Online security plays a massive role in how people interact on the internet. It offers better opportunities for surfing the internet without the fear of being exposed to cyberattacks. Online security tools are essential for offering safe, fast, and reliable connections.

In this article, we will take a close look at the use of SOCKS proxies for online security. We will also discuss how the protocol works and its benefits and disadvantages.

So, let’s dive in.

What is a SOCKS Proxy?

SOCKS stands for Socket Secure. It is an internet protocol that facilitates communication between a client and a destination server. SOCKS is one of the most sophisticated security protocols. It is specifically designed for routing your traffic through various internet programs or protocols.

SOCKS can handle several request formats. It covers HTTPS, HTTP, SMTP, FTP, and POP3. This is because it’s positioning at layer 5 – between UDP/TCP in layer 4 and SSL at layer 7 – gives it better opportunities to deliver secure connections.

There are two types of SOCKS proxies available in the market today:

  • SOCKS4 – It is the previous version of the SOCKS proxy. SOCKS4 does not support Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets or authentication.
  • SOCKS5 is the latest and most preferred protocol. It delivers traffic through UDP and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) packets. SOCKS5 offers better security and has three authentication methods
  • Null authentication: The user does not require authentication to connect to the proxy.
  • Password/ username-based authentication: The user needs login credentials to access the proxy.
  • GSI-API authentication – Both the user and server use authentication data at the operating system to connect to the proxy.

Note: SOCKS is a layer 5 protocol. Any tunnel protocols operating below layer 5 cannot use SOCKS proxies. This means that even attackers operating below the standard levels cannot scan your sites when using half-open connections.

How Does a SOCKS Proxy Work?

Let’s say your IP address is, and you are routing your traffic through a SOCKS proxy. The SOCKS proxy will send your request via a third-party server through TCP. Throughout this process, you will be assigned a new IP address like, let’s say,

Since the new IP address is different from your servers’, the destination website cannot view your real identity. Your location is also hidden, and you can easily access geo-restricted content. 

Image source: Canva

The Benefits

1.    Fewer Errors

Unlike most proxies, SOCKS5 does not rewrite data packet headers. It transfers traffic between devices without any changes. Because of this, there are fewer chances of mislabelling the headers during transmission. Since SOCKS5 minimizes error in headers, misrouting the information is also less likely. Fewer errors translate to better performance in your systems.

However, the transfer of headers, as is, comes with its downside. The data packet headers contain your personal information, which means that using a SOCKS proxy exposes your sensitive data. If not well managed, the access of this data by a third-party could lead to attacks. That’s why it’s advised to carefully choose your proxy provider for better security of your data.

2.    Improved Speeds and Better Performance

SOCKS5 uses both the UDP and TCP packets. This makes it a convenient proxy for browsing across different platforms.TCP delivers organized formats ensuring that every packet you send passes from one end to the next.

On the other hand, UDP spends less time on transfers since it does not focus on whether the packets reach the other side. UDP does not convert all files to fixed formats, and this offers faster speed on your system. With improved internet connections, you can expect better overall performances while browsing.

3.    Circumvent Online Restrictions

If your Internet Service Provider(ISP) has blocked access to specific sites, SOCKS proxies can help you circumvent such restrictions. It may be for movie streaming or accessing educational content, but SOCKS proxies are relevant for bypassing internet blocks.

With SOCKS proxies, you can also access websites that have blocked your standard IP address. The proxy is essential in websites that monitor and limit access to specific content. If, for example, you want to access content accessible in only specific locations, you can use proxies to mask your identity and expand viewable information.

4.    Does not Require Special Set-Up

SOCKS5 uses the Secure Shell(SSH) tunneling method to transmit traffic. As long as you have access to the SSH through the gateway or Edge node, you can set up the proxy. SOCKS5 does not require any layer 7 application-based proxies to relay its requests. That’s why it’s easy to use by administrators and developers.

The Disadvantages

1.    Access by Third-Party

While your IP address is inaccessible by the public, your proxy provider can still see it. If you are dealing with a questionable provider, they could expose you to cyberattacks. There are also instances where unreliable providers have been known to sell such sensitive data.

It would help if you always were cautious of the risks of using SOCKS proxies. That’s why your first step to successful online security is choosing a reputable provider. Always make sure to check for reviews and recommendations before making any purchasing decision.

2.    Paid vs. Free Proxies

If you are looking for your proxy’s utmost performance, consider using the private or paid versions. Paid proxies may come at an extra cost, but their services are top-notch. Free proxies, though economical, do little to secure your information. Free proxies are also slow and have poor internet connectivity.

The paid SOCKS proxies also transfer data in small packets. This means that every piece of information passes through the servers much faster. The proxies also come with additional features that ensure better privacy and performance as you surf.

Better still, consider including a VPN in your security protocols. Since SOCKS does not encrypt data, VPN will ensure that your information is encrypted as it goes through the different servers. When a proxy and VPN work together, you can be sure of better security for your system.

The Bottom Line

Safer browsing requires that you include a SOCKS proxy in your system. A proxy will deliver anonymity, better speeds, and support for your programs. When you use a SOCKS proxy, you make it difficult for anyone tracking your online tracks to discover your standard IP address.


SOCKS Proxies: Overview, Benefits, and Disadvantages

Online security plays a massive role in how people interact on the internet. It offers better opportunities for surfing the internet without...

Become a better human; this emotional intelligence and decision-making bundle is on sale

Humans can be pretty terrible at times, sometimes even bordering on being inhumane. Scroll through your social media accounts and you’ll find all kinds of division, anger, jaded perspectives, little empathy, and a serious lack of self-awareness. Are you guilty of the same stuff?If you’re looking to get in touch with your better self in the new year, you’ll want to pay close attention to your emotional intelligence. Additionally, you’ll need to get better at making decisions.The Emotional Intelligence and Decision-Making Bundle, on sale for just $35 in the AG Deals Store, is a 10-course bundle of online training that will help you better understand personality styles, empathy, self-awareness, and more.With more than 460 lessons that span some 13 hours, this bundle will help you grow as a person across five key elements of emotional intelligence. Not only will this bundle help you as an individual, but it could lead to a higher chance of success and leadership in your professional life.Learn How Emotions Influence Performance, Relationship-Building & Decision-MakingDevelop Your Interpersonal Skills to Manage Disagreements, Difficult Situations & InteractionsIdentify the 4 DISC Behavioral Styles & How They React to SituationsHow to Have a Better Understanding of the People You Live & Work WithThe Role Our Emotions Play in Coping with Stress & PressureMake More Informed Decisions by Mindfully Evaluating Different OptionsDevelop Satisfying, Healthy & Authentic Relationships with Other People Through Empathy and Good EthicsDevelop Your Assertiveness & Become More Emotionally IndependentUnderstand Who You Really Are & What Your Core Purpose IsBuild More Collaborative Relationships Using Emotional IntelligenceGet Started Today!Purchase your lifetime account to the Emotional Intelligence & Decision-Making Bundle in the AG Deals Store for just $35 today.

Zepp Z Smartwatch review

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While scrolling the display using the crown keeps your big greasy finger off the screen and makes it easier to read what’s on the watch.Additionally, the Zepp Z has a set of offline voice commands to control the watch and has Alexa built-in. This makes it easy to control functions on the watch hands-free, as well as giving you the ability to control your smart home and have your queries answered by Alexa.When it comes to fitness tracking the Zepp Z is a beast; it will track your steps, calories burned, and sleep automatically. It even does 24-hour monitoring of your heart rate and stress levels.The only metrics that must be manually initiated include blood oxygen measurements using the SpO2 sensor, and exercise tracking.AppNow that you have all of this health data, you need a good way to view and keep track of it. While the Zepp app has a nice looking homepage that clearly lays all of this info out for you, getting it set up in the beginning can be a pain.The settings are scattered throughout the app and finding the ones you want to enable can be a real frustrating affair. Adding to the confusion are items in the app which aren’t available on the Zepp Z and are present for other products. To be fair, many of these are greyed out, but it just feels cluttered and confusing. On top of that, some of the English translations are a little off, and overall, the app could use a redesign and some polish.However, once you get everything set up, you’ll mostly live on the well-designed homepage where you can see all the info you truly care about. The Zepp app even gives you some insights into the data it collects which I found truly helpful.Battery LifeZepp rates the battery life at up to 15 days of use with the normal mode. In my experience, it was far from that with mine only lasting for around four days total.While that’s a far cry from 15 days, I also have every feature enabled, including the always-on display, which surely puts a drain on the battery. And to be fair, four days is really impressive, it easily beats any Wear OS smartwatch I’ve ever worn.It may be possible to get 15 days of use out of the Zepp Z, but if you want to use it to its full potential, then you’re looking at around four days.Final ThoughtsThe Zepp Z has the looks of a classic timepiece while being jam-packed with features. There aren’t many smartwatches on the market that look this stylish with a premium build and the ability to track fitness this well.Regardless, the app needs some polish and the notification integration is lacking. That makes the $350 price tag a little hard to justify. Especially when there are other smartwatches on the market such as the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS with a similar style and feature set for only $300.That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy Zepp Z though. Just be aware of all the pros and cons before go spending $350 on one, and if you can find it on sale then that’s even better.Buy from Amazon Buy from Zepp

The best phones available at AT&T (January 2021)

AT&T is one of the largest wireless network providers in the US, serving nearly 160 million subscribers. And being as big as it is, you’d expect it to offer a generous selection of phones. Indeed it does.Here, we gather up a handful of the best phones you can purchase at AT&T today. This isn’t a list of the best overall with the top-notch performance. Rather, our list aims to speak to specific users.Samsung Galaxy Note 20 UltraThe Biggest and BestIf you’re looking for the biggest and most powerful all-around device from AT&T, this is it. With a screen size (6.9-inches) that rivals early tablets, it packs an upgraded S Pen stylus and cutting-edge hardware. Oh, and then there’s a first-of-its-kind 108-megapixel camera, too.Powered by Android 10 with Samsung’s custom UI, the handset has generous battery, tons of (expandable) storage, and downright sleek design. Choose from Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black.Shop Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G at AT&TSamsung Galaxy S20 Fan EditionA Flagship for EveryoneIf you’re on the hunt for a phone that you plan to own for a few years, you don’t want to cut corners. You want a flagship phone. The problem is that too many of them cost way more than we’re willing to spend.The Fan Edition of the flagship S20 is what happens when you keep the most important stuff and toss aside the frills (and extra cost).Here, you get a large screen with high refresh rate, a large battery, three rear cameras, and a modern Android and user interface. Offered in three colors, it’s the S20 you deserve.Shop Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan EditionMotorola One 5GMid-ranger with Two-Day BatteryYou can’t buy a Google Pixel from AT&T right now, but this Motorola phone is about as close as you’ll get. Not only does it have a clean version of Android paired with moderately powerful hardware, but it’s also easy on the eye.The One 5G ticks all the boxes for us, including a large (6.7-inch) screen, great camera experience (48MP, 8PM ultra-wide, 5MP macro, and 2MP depth), and a 5,000mAh battery that goes well into a second day.Shop Motorola One 5G at AT&TSamsung Galaxy Z Flip 5GBest Folding PhoneThe Galaxy Z Flip 5G brings back the familiar clamshell design that your parents had at the turn of the decade but with a much smarter operating system… and a heftier price tag.Fully opened, you’ve got a 6.7-inch screen that rivals other phones in size and quality. Under the hood are a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, 5G support, and more than enough storage. Grab it in Mystic Gray or Mystic Bronze.Shop Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G at AT&TMicrosoft Surface DuoUltimate ProductivityA phone built around business and productivity is far more than just giving it a digital stylus, or so Microsoft thinks. Its first Android-based phone is a a hybrid experience that is essentially a more portable Surface — that also takes calls.With two 5.6-inch displays that open to form an 8.1-inch screen, this is the sort of device you’d want for IT administration, work and school needs, and even gaming. Packed with all of the MS software you’ve come to appreciate, it’s just about as powerful as today’s flagship phones.Shop Microsoft Surface Duo at AT&T