SOCKS Proxy vs VPN: Which One Is Better?

When I was a kid, my internet knowledge didn’t extend past understanding how to play computer games after a long day at school. I miss those days sometimes, because after complicated homework assignments and grown-up jobs, I quickly learned how complicated using the Internet can be. However, it’s only as complicated as you make it. If you have the right tools and resources, you can have the best browsing experience possible.

Two of these tools are proxies and VPNs. Let’s say you want to surf the internet anonymously, and you’ve been exploring your options. After doing some research, you’ve narrowed it down to SOCKS proxies or a VPN. The two are very similar, so it’s hard to know which one is better. But that’s why we wrote this article: to help you decide if SOCKS proxies vs VPN is right for you.

Table of Contents

A Basic Overview of SOCKS Proxy vs VPN

A Basic Overview of SOCKS Proxy vs VPN

Before making the choice between using VPN vs SOCKS proxies, let’s talk about them individually. You’d hope that whoever chose the name “socks” did so because it reminded them of the fuzzy things you put on your feet, but unfortunately, SOCKS just stands for Socket Secure. SOCKS proxies mask the user’s IP address while transferring and receiving data, keeping your online connection anonymous. You can use a SOCKS proxy to hide your location and IP address so you can get past firewalls and geolocation restrictions. You can also just use the proxy to hide your identity when you’re online.

SOCKS proxies are built for a certain type of internet protocol, or a set of standardized rules that governs the way browsers and servers communicate with each other. However, unlike HTTP and HTTP(S) proxies that only work with HTTP and HTTP(S) protocols, SOCKS proxies are typically more universal and more secure. That’s because SOCKS is built on a protocol that supports various networking technologies, including IPv6 and UDP.

VPNs, or virtual private networks, also make your online experience more anonymous, but they do it a little differently than SOCKS proxies. Instead of simply acting as a wall between you and the network to which you’re trying to connect, VPNs form direct connections with the other website’s server. Your data is nearly untraceable when you use a VPN, since the VPN encrypts and scrambles all data sent over WiFi networks. Just like a SOCKS proxy, a VPN can help you get past firewalls and geolocation restrictions. However, there are several differences between the two, and a simple discussion of the similarities and differences can help you decide what option is best for you.


This is where SOCKS proxies really shine. You want something that will make it easy for you to go from one site to the next, and if you experience too much lag, you’re going to get pretty frustrated. Even though uses SOCKS proxies seem slower since they act as middlemen, that’s not the case. VPNs may encrypt your data to make your online experience safer and more secure, but this encryption adds a lot of time to the process. Dedicated SOCKS proxies from reliable proxy providers can help ensure you experience fast internet speed when you use them.

It makes sense to go with a SOCKS proxy if you want fast download speeds. In fact, SOCKS proxies are not only faster than VPNs, but they’re also faster than other standard proxies, like HTTP proxies.


Since SOCKS proxies hide your real IP address and location so you can’t be tracked, they allow you to access the internet more anonymously. However, SOCKS proxies form connections through a process called tunneling, which is one of the most secure ways to connect to the internet. VPNs, on the other hand, are a bit riskier if you want your online practices to stay private. That’s because some VPN services engage in logging. This is the process of logging everything you browse and download. Your records could even be subpoenaed if you’re suspected of doing something illegal. Then, lawyers could use the records to build a case against you. While many people think logging only happens with free VPN services, it can also happen with paid ones.You don’t want to use a service that will log all your moves, so you should always read the fine print.

You won’t have this problem if you buy SOCKS proxies from a reliable provider. We can’t say the same about companies that offer free proxies, since they’re not held accountable for offering free resources. Fortunately, you can avoid this problem by using a premium SOCKS proxy provider. That will keep your information safe and secure, so you can browse freely without any worries.. This information can even be subpoenaed by the government. Using SOCKS proxies to improve your privacy and security is the better option, just as long as you’re buying your proxies from a reliable provider.

Number of IPs

When you buy SOCKS proxies, you will probably get a bundle of IP addresses, instead of just one (but it depends on your individual use case). The more IP addresses you have, the less likely you are to get all your proxies banned from certain websites. This is great news for people who want to collect high volumes of data through processes like web scraping.

VPNs typically just give users a single IP address and require you to contact the VPN provider if you want to change your IP address. With just one IP address, it can be difficult to scrape data or create multiple social media accounts. Plus, there’s a good chance that your IP address will get banned, and you will have to start all over again.

Accessing VPNs and SOCKS5 Proxies

Accessing VPNs and SOCKS5 Proxies

You will notice a big difference when it comes to how you access proxies and VPNs. Proxy providers will give you the necessary input information for your browser, like the IP address name and port number. Once you enter the information into the system, you will connect to the proxy and browse anonymously. Then, you can go into the system and disable the proxy at any time.

A VPN is a little bit more complex. Instead of simply inputting a few numbers into your browser’s settings, you have to download software and log in with an account to use the VPN. After you’re logged in, you can start using the VPN. You can also turn the VPN on and off from the software. Since you’re downloading software, it is critical that you choose wisely when selecting a VPN. You could easily end up with a virus on your computer if you aren’t smart about your choice. You could also end up with subpar software that makes it difficult to browse the internet.


Both SOCKS proxies and VPNs are available for free, but you shouldn’t go with free services. In both cases, free services are much slower and less secure than paid services. Since there’s less accountability with free services, you run the risk of getting hacked by malicious online predators who can easily access your information on free connections. To put it bluntly: don’t even consider free proxies or VPNs. It’s just not worth it.

Free proxies aren’t the best option, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on SOCKS proxies or VPNs. Both are low in cost, so you can make whatever choice makes the most financial sense for you. If you need to save money while you’re getting started, VPNs may be more affordable.

Can You Use Both A VPN and SOCKS5 Proxy?

Can You Use Both A VPN and SOCKS5 Proxy?

For some people, it’s not a matter of which one to use. It’s a matter of which one they should use for which situation. Since SOCKS proxies allow you to use more than one IP address, they’re more commonly used for web scraping purposes, or for creating multiple user accounts.

VPNs are most commonly used by people who want privacy and want to hide their locations for basic web surfing. These are popular with people who aren’t tech-savvy, but that doesn’t mean you need to be tech savvy with a proxy.

It is possible to have both SOCKS proxies and VPNs activated on your computer. Depending on what you want to use them for, it’s pretty easy to turn them off and on. Still others use both simultaneously for the extra layer of security, but that is not necessary. Both SOCKS proxies and VPNs are secure on their own, so there’s really no reason to add that extra layer of security.

Where Can You Buy the Best SOCKS Proxies?

Where Can You Buy the Best SOCKS Proxies?

If you decide to use SOCKS proxies, Rayobyte has just the resources you need. All dedicated proxies include unlimited bandwidth and threads, meaning the possibility for your proxies are endless. If you need to replace your proxies, you can do so automatically and easily once a month. Plus, we offer tons of subnets, meaning you don’t have to worry about your proxies getting banned after using them to access high volumes of information. If you need to access websites from other parts of the world, you can choose to buy your IP addresses from 9 countries, including the USA, Germany, Brazil and more. For our full list of features, check out this page on our website.

Not only do we offer the highest-quality products, but we also guarantee the highest-quality customer support. If you’re experiencing issues with your proxies, our dedicated support team is happy to work with you to solve the problem. We also offer plenty of customized solutions for your proxy experience, which allows you to decide what works best for you and your goals. If you need virgin IPs, dedicated servers or access to multiple datacenters, we can help you find the best solution.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the differences and similarities between SOCKS proxies and VPNs, it’s time to make a decision. As you can tell from this article, most people find that SOCKS proxies are the better option when it comes to speed, security and anonymity. Even though VPNs can also help improve your experience online, you won’t get the same results that you do with SOCKS proxies. Rayobyte is proud to offer the highest-quality SOCKS proxies to help you accomplish your goals. We’ll even work with you to find unique solutions to best fit your needs for incredibly low prices. We hope you’ll let Rayobyte join you on your journey with proxies today!

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader.
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