SOCKS5 is a proxy protocol ideal for torrent downloading. This post explains how you can use SOKCS5 and presents the best VPN providers that offer access to SOCKS5 VPN servers.
What is SOCKS5?
SOCKS or Secure Sockets is an Internet protocol that exchanges data packets between a client computer and a proxy server. SOCKS5 adds authentication to the SOCKS protocol such that only authorized users can access the proxy server.
More technically, SOCKS5 uses proxy servers to form TCP or UDP connections to arbitrary IP addresses, providing a mode for transportation of UDP packets. It sounds complicated, but the good news is that you don’t need to remember this.
SOCKS5 protocol benefits
The SOCKS5 proxy protocol provides better performance than other proxy protocols. Here are some of the most common uses:
- Downloading torrents and P2P. SOCKS5 proxy servers offer faster download speeds and overall performance.
- Bypass internet restrictions and firewalls as your IP address are hidden.
- Combine SOCKS5 proxy with VPN for enhanced security and encryption.
- Access Tor via SOCKS5.
SOCKS5 vs. VPN
It is essential to understand the differences between VPN and SOCKS proxy:
- VPN (Virtual Private Network) changes the IP address and also creates a secure tunnel between the computer and the VPN server. When the VPN has connected all the applications from the computer are using the encrypted tunnel.
- SOCKS5 is faster as it does not encrypt the Internet traffic, but it changes the visible IP address. And, critical, only selected applications are using it (for example, browsers or torrent apps). Learn how to set up SOCKS proxies on different browsers.
Downloading torrents using SOCKS5
For many torrent down-loaders, SOCKS5 proxy servers are the best option for anonymizing their activities. The main reason is that there is no download speed loss and SOKCS5 does not encrypt the traffic.
Another advantage is that some torrent apps stop downloading if the SOCKS5 connection is not active. Thus, in case of connection drop the user is protected. For VPN services you need to use the Kill Switch feature.
Also, you may set up the SOCKS5 connection only for the torrent app and let the other apps on the computer work without a proxy.
The best VPN providers with SOCKS5 proxy
At this time you can choose from the following SOCKS5 VPN proxy providers (torrent-friendly VPN services). They are all top VPN providers with a large number of servers, money-back guarantees, good support, easy to use VPN apps.
The number of SOCKS5 servers offered by NordVPN is impressive. Practically, every VPN server also allows SOCKS proxy connections.
IPVanish provides SOCKS5 on servers located in the Netherlands (ams.socks.ipvanish.com). The IPVanish SOCKS5 proxies offer excellent speed, and there are no frequent disconnections.
Private Internet Access
PIA is the first VPN provider that also offered access to SOCKS5 proxies. The servers are located in the Netherlands (proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com) and work on port 1080. The speed is excellent. Read our complete PrivateInternetAccess review.
ibVPN offers SOCKS5 on servers that can also be used for P2P/Torrent downloading, located in Netherlands, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Canada, Bulgaria, Sweden, Lithuania, Russia. Read our complete ibVPN review.
How to configure SOCKS5 VPN on uTorrent
The setup of SOCKS5 on torrent clients is straightforward. After you get the username and the password for the authentication look for the Proxy Server settings. Next, fill in the required info (take a look at how they look like for uTorrent).
To sum up, SOCKS5 is ideal for torrent downloading. Beside specialized paid SOCKS services, several good VPN providers offer access to SOCKS5 servers. Besides the info presented above, here are some more tips on how to get the best one for you:
- If you are looking for the best deal, go for Private Internet Access. The annual subscription is only $36.95!
- Do you want the best quality? Choose IPVanish. The servers are great, and the connection is continuously good.
- NordVPN also is a good option for those looking for complete VPN service (VPN via Tor, Double VPN, etc.).
Do you know other SOCKS5 VPN and proxy provider? Let us know in the comments below!