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The Best SOCKS5 Proxy Providers of 2024

Gulbahar Karatas
Updated on Jan 20
6 min read

SOCKS5 proxies have emerged as an important solution for ensuring anonymity and efficient data transfer. They can be utilized for web scraping and data collection activities, allowing users to bypass internet restrictions. Unlike HTTP proxies, SOCKS5 proxies can handle a wider range of internet protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, TCP, and UDP.

In this article, we will explain how SOCKS5 proxies work and the advantages of using SOCKS5 proxies, such as their ability to bypass internet restrictions and maintain user privacy. We will also examine the top SOCKS5 proxy providers in the market.

Top SOCKS5 proxy services of 2024: Quick comparison

In our analysis, we selected SOCKS5 proxy providers based on their employee count on LinkedIn. We included only vendors with more than 5 employees listed on LinkedIn.

ProvidersProxy TypeProxy PoolStarting Price/mo/GBFree Trial
Bright DataResidential
Datacenter
Mobile
72M residential
1.6M datacenter
7M mobile
Residential: $6.3
Datacenter: $0.066
Mobile: $14.4
7-day businesses
OxylabsDedicated Datacenter
Residential
2M datacenter
100M residential
Datacenter: $0.65
Residential: $9
7-day
SmartproxyResidential
Mobile
Dedicated Datacenter
65MResidential:$7
Dedicated DC: $0.55
Mobile: $15
14-day money-back
NimbleResidentialN/AResidential: $4.87-day
IPRoyalDatacenter
Residential
2MResidential: $5.95N/A
WebshareResidential30M residential$7Free plan
PrivateProxy.Static Datacenter
Residential
N/AResidential: $5/IP7-day datacenter
2-day residential

Detailed comparison of SOCKS5 proxy service providers

We featured 6 SOCKS5 proxy providers in our research, along with their key features and pricing details. We relied on vendor claims to identify the capabilities of the proxies.

1. Bright Data

Bright Data’s Proxy Manager enables users to use the SOCKS5 protocol with different proxy IPs. The proxy manager acts as an intermediary between client and proxy server, including datacenter, residential, and ISP proxies. To use  Bright Data’s SOCKS5 proxy, you must configure your application or web scraping tool to connect through the proxy server.

Source: Bright Data

Features:

  • Proxy pool: 72 million+ real residential IPs, 1.6 million datacenter IPs, and 7 million+ 3G/4G mobile IPs
  • Proxy types: Residential, datacenter and mobile proxies
  • Global coverage: 195 countries
  • Additional features:
    • City, ASN and Zip code level targeting: Allow users to select IP addresses that belong to specific autonomous systems and zip code areas. 
    • Extended session control: Enable users to define the session duration, implement customized IP rotation rules, and maintain the same IP address for an extended period. 
    • Real-time network status page: Display proxy servers’  current status and performance, helping users identify performance issues or outages.
    • Two-factor authentication: Add an additional layer of verification to the login process. It verifies the identity of users when they access a proxy server to prevent unauthorized users from using proxy IP addresses.

2. Oxylabs

Oxylabs provides SOCKS5 proxies for various applications and use cases, including web browsing, gaming, and streaming.

Features:

  • Proxy pool: 2M+ dedicated datacenter; 100M residential IPs. Residential proxies support only TCP connection.
  • Proxy types: Datacenter and residential proxies
  • Global coverage: 188 countries
  • Additional features:
    • Usage stats dashboard: Provide historical data about the number of IP addresses used, bandwidth consumption, and concurrent sessions. 
    • Dedicated Account Manager: It is customer support assigned to a specific client to provide tailored solutions and timely assistance.
    • Session control: Allow users to control the length of time a specific proxy IP address during the session based on their specific requirements. 

3. Smartproxy

Smartproxy offers sequential and non-sequential SOCKS5 IP addresses for individuals and businesses.

Features:

  • Proxy pool: 55M residential, 400K USIPs, 10M mobile
  • Proxy types: Dedicated Datacenter, residential and mobile
  • Global coverage: 195 countries
  • Additional features:
    • Sequential and non-sequential IPs: Sequential IPs are IP addresses allocated consecutively , like 182.151.0.1, 182.151.0.2, and 182.151.0.3. On the other hand, non-sequential IPs are IP addresses that are distributed randomly within an IP range.
      • For example, a set of non-sequential IPs might look like this: 182.151.0.1, 192.112.0.22 or  192.112.0.42.
    • Static IPs: The IP address remains constant for each request to the target website.
    • IP randomisation: Assign IP addresses to users at random.

4. Nimble

Nimble offers residential proxies with an inbuilt feature to automatically rotate IP addresses. For users needing a stable IP address for longer periods, there’s the flexibility to start a sticky session. In such sessions, the IP address will only change after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Features:

  • Proxy pool: N/A
  • Proxy types: Residential
  • Global coverage: N/A
  • Additional features:
    • Auto-scaling infrastructure: The system is designed to automatically adjust to accommodate any level of workload. Nimble’s residential proxy pool dynamically increases or decreases the number of active proxies depending on the requirements of the current project.
    • Geo-targeting: This feature enables users to direct their internet traffic through proxy servers situated in designated countries, states, or cities. It allows for precise geographical targeting when using the proxy service.
    • Protocol options: Nimble’s residential proxies support both HTTP and SOCKS5 protocols.

5. IPRoyal

IPRoyal offers SOCKS5 support for datacenter, residential, and sneaker proxies. 

Features:

  • Proxy pool: 2M+ residential SOCKS5 IPs
  • Proxy types: Datacenter, residential and sneaker proxies
  • Global coverage: 195+ countries available with residential SOCKS5 IPs
  • Additional features:
    • Rotating and sticky sessions: Rotating sessions allow users to change the proxy IP address at predetermined intervals, like every request or based on specific conditions. Sticky sessions maintain a consistent proxy IP address for multiple requests.
    • City/state targeting: Users can choose IP addresses from specific cities or states, enabling them to access geo-restricted content, test localized content, and collect data from local businesses. 
    • API access: You can interact with and manage proxy services through an API, such as rotating IP addresses and proxy configuration.

6. Webshare

Webshare is a proxy provider  offering SOCKS5 proxy IPs in 44 countries. There is a free plan that allows you access to 10 proxies.

Features:

  • Proxy pool: 30M residential proxies
  • Proxy types: Datacenter and residential proxies
  • Global coverage: 44 countries
  • Additional features:
    • IP authorization: The proxy provider adds users’ IP addresses to a whitelist of allowed IPs to reduce the risk of account sharing.
    • Protocol options: You can use the same proxy servers as SOCKS5 or HTTP proxies.

7. PrivateProxy

PrivateProxy provides SOCKS5 proxies for web scraping and parsing activities.

Features:

  • Proxy pool: N/A
  • Proxy types: Datacenter static and residential static proxies
  • Global coverage: USA, UK, and Germany

Pricing:

  • Starting price:
    • Datacenter SOCKS5 proxies start from $9/mo
    • Residential SOCKS5 proxies start from $5/mo

What is a SOCKS5 proxy?

Socket Secure (SOCKS) is an internet protocol used to exchanges network packets between a client and a target server through a proxy server. A SOCKS5 proxy is an extension of the earlier SOCKS protocol (version 4). It supports different authentication methods and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) connections, while SOCKS4 does not.

How does a SOCKS5 proxy work?

A SOCKS5 proxy server acts as a midway point between the user (client) and the target server, establishing a TCP connection with the destination server behind a firewall (Figure 1). The proxy server then transmits data packets between the user and the server while masking the user’s IP address and other personal information. Here is an overview of how a SOCKS5 proxy works:

  1. Connection request: The user sends a connection request to the SOCKS5 proxy server, specifying the IP and port number of the destination server. 
  2. Authentication: If authentication is required, the SOCKS5 proxy server verifies the specified credentials (such as a username and password).
  3. Connection establishment: After the authentication is successful, the SOCKS5 proxy server establishes a TCP connection with the target server on behalf of the user.
  4. Data exchange: Once the connection is established, the user and the server exchange data packets through the proxy server. The target server sees the SOCKS5 proxy’s IP address, not the user’s.

Figure 1: Demonstrating the process of how a SOCKS5 works

The image shows the process of  SOCKS5 proxies. SOCKS5 proxies act as a intermediary between the user and target server to protect their online privacy.

What are the benefits of a SOCKS5 proxy?


SOCKS5 proxies offer numerous benefits for different online activities that are not possible with HTTPS proxies. They provide users with enhanced privacy, security, and performance. The following are the main benefits of SOCKS5 proxies:

  • Reliable connection: SOCKS5 proxies support multiple authentication methods, including no authentication, username/password authentication, and GSS-API authentication (Figure 2). This way, no client can use the proxy server without providing a username or password.

Figure 2: A comparison of SOCKS4 and SOCKS5 proxy servers

Source: What’s the difference between SOCKS4 and SOCKS5?

  • Versatility: SOCKS5 proxies can handle a wide range of traffic types, including both UDP and TCP protocols, whereas HTTP proxies can only interpret and work with HTTPS and HTTP web pages. 
  • Bypassing IP restrictions: Network administrators may block direct TCP connections to specific resources to prevent unauthorized access. SOCKS5 proxies allow users to bypass internet censorship and firewalls by routing user traffic. 
  • Don’t rewrite data packet headers: SOCKS5 proxies, unlike HTTP proxies, forward data packets between the client and the server without interpreting or changing the packet content. Because SOCKS5 proxies do not inspect, change, or rewrite data packet headers, they reduce errors compared to proxies that rewrite packets.
  • No congestion control: SOCKS5 proxies can be faster than HTTP proxies because they support both TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) connections. Unlike TCP, UDP does not implement congestion control. This can lead to faster transmission speeds in specific use cases than TCP, such as video streaming and traffic-intensive scraping.

Transparency statement:

AIMultiple serves numerous emerging tech companies, including  Bright Data, and Smartproxy.

Check out our data-driven comparison of the leading SOCKS5 proxy service providers to determine which service is best for your application.

Proxy Service Selection Guide

More on proxies

For guidance to choose the proxy service, go through data-driven list of proxy services, and reach out to us:

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Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Gulbahar Karatas
Gülbahar is an AIMultiple industry analyst focused on web data collections and applications of web data.

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