- No logs
- Kill Switch
- 6 devices
- Monthly price: $4.92
How to Get a US IP Address for Free in 2021 – 5 Easy Steps – Comparitech
We’ll show you how to get a US IP address from outside America so you can access your favorite shows, content and apps (including Netflix) from anywhere. Better still, we’ll show you a clever trick to get a top-rated VPN free for a month.
@osman_husain UPDATED: September 18, 2021
The easiest and most efficient way to get a US IP address is by signing up for a suitable VPN provider. In this article, we’ll teach you how to get an American IP address to access content and services only available in the US as you travel abroad. This method works for most popular devices including Mac and Windows desktop PCs, Android smartphones and tablets, iPhone and iPads, the Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, plus many more.
How to get a US IP address
Getting a US IP address is easy, just follow these steps:
Sign up for a Virtual Private Network (VPN). We recommend NordVPN.
Register for the service and download the VPN software or app
Clear your cookies and restart your device to remove old location identifiers
Log in to your VPN provider and connect to a server in the US
Access your US site like you normally would
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE? NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for getting a US IP address with no restrictions for a month—perfect for accessing US services during a short trip outside of the country.
There are no hidden terms—just contact customer support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn’t right for you and you’ll receive a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
Why get an American IP address?
People might want to obtain a US IP address for several reasons. American residents traveling abroad can use it to regain access to geo-restricted media streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Netflix restricts its catalog depending on where you’ve logged in from, so it’s a good choice if you would like to obtain the full range of movies and TV shows. That’s similar to how HBO GO and Vudu operate, so a VPN is a good tool for those as well.
Others might want to keep in touch with live sports such as Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), or the National Football League (NFL) by streaming ESPN.
With a US IP address, you can also access online banking and other services that block non-US users.
What’s the best VPN to get a US IP address?
In this section, we’ll take you through our list of what we think are the best VPNs that’ll give you a speedy and stable connection to a US server.
We’ll cover the best VPNs for getting a US IP address in detail. If you don’t want to read the whole article here is our summary list of the 7 best VPNs to get a US IP:
NordVPN Our #1 Choice! Dozens of superfast servers in multiple locations throughout the US. Lets you stream a huge range of content abroad. Includes 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark Steady speeds, no connection limit, and plenty of American servers to choose from. Impressive security and privacy features.
ExpressVPN A reliable, reputable VPN boasting real versatility, high-speed American servers, and top-notch security features.
CyberGhost Good choice for beginners. Hundreds of servers in the US. Apps are easy to install and use.
IPVanish Preferred by Kodi users for their interface which works well with remote controls. Fast servers.
VyprVPN Reliable provider with secure and private servers operating in the US. Cheaper options higher on this list.
Hotspot Shield High-speed connections and servers in 27 US cities. Easy-to-use apps and streaming-optimized servers.
Criteria for selecting the best VPNs to get an IP address for the US
We go into more detail on the exact criteria used for selecting a VPN to get a US IP address later, but here is a quick rundown of a few key areas we look at:
Large range of server locations in the US
Speed and stability of connection
Rigid encryption protocols so your location remains hidden
Ease of use
Apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS
Without further ado here’s our run down of the top VPNs for US IP addresses:
NordVPN is an excellent option for advanced users who want customized options coupled with tier-1 service. In fact, out of all the VPN’s we’ve tested, this is by far the fastest.
NordVPN allows you to select servers based on your specific requirements – such as anti-DDoS, video streaming, double VPN, Tor over VPN, or P2P. NordVPN operates more than 5, 000 servers in total, and a large portion of those are in the US.
It works well with Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, among others.
NordVPN uses the 256-bit AES protocol encryption standard by default coupled with 2, 048-bit SSL keys. DNS leak protection is enabled. It holds zero user data – this includes browsing habits, timestamps, and server information.
There’s apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
NordVPN speed test data
NordVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)111. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)122. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)112. 0 Mbps
Beats all of its rivals when it comes to speed
Excels at securely accessing region-locked services
No logs policy
Strong security and privacy features
Tons of servers
Desktop app is a little sluggish
BEST VPN FOR A US IP ADDRESS:NordVPN is our first choice for getting a US IP address. It’s extremely fast, has a major security focus, and allows up to 6 simultaneous connections. Best of all, it keeps no logs and has a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our full review of NordVPN.
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Surfshark operates VPN servers in 11 US cities. It’s also one of the only providers on this list to allow users an unlimited number of connections on a single plan. This VPN works with plenty of platforms including US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, among others. Kill switches come built into both the mobile and desktop apps, so you never have to worry about leaking your real IP address.
Live chat support is staffed around the clock. Surfshark uses strong encryption and keeps no logs. Torrenting is allowed.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux, and Android.
Surfshark speed test data
SurfsharkAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)170 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)230 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)220 Mbps
Great for American Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video
Generally strong speeds
Impressive security offering
Keeps no logs
Relatively small server network
Occasional slow server
BEST BUDGET PICK:Get a US IP for as many devices as you want with Surfshark. This VPN is fast, affordable, and security-conscious, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
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ExpressVPN is an impeccable VPN service that’s easy to set up and comes with a simple design. The service packs a punch when rated on both speed and encryption standards. The US occupies the bulk of ExpressVPN’s server locations with options in 13 cities. Overall there are over 3, 000 servers in 94 countries and 160 locations spread across the world.
The company has a stated policy of not storing any user or traffic logs, so it scores high marks from a privacy angle too. The only minimal data it does extract is the “date (not time) of connection, choice of server location, and total bandwidth used”. This is used to improve service quality standards. It’s important to note that your individual IP address won’t be recorded.
If you’re still feeling skittish, we recommend you sign up for the service via a burner email account and pay through Bitcoin. It’ll become extremely difficult for your digital footprint to be traced back to you.
Encryption standards are military grade. The service leverages 256-bit AES-CBC protocols as well as HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch is included, which ExpressVPN refers to as a ‘network lock’. This feature means all web traffic will be temporarily halted if the connection drops.
The service is able to securely access Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max.
There are apps for Android and iOS as well as desktop clients for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
ExpressVPN speed test data
ExpressVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)135. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)134 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)136 Mbps
Strong connection security
Fast, stable speeds
Plenty of servers
Great for streaming content from anywhere
30-day money-back guarantee
Slightly more expensive
GREAT ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is a fast and reliable choice Great for streaming. Strong privacy features and a no-logs policy, not to mention a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our in-depth ExpressVPN review.
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CyberGhost will appeal to beginner users who want a relatively inexpensive VPN. It delivers on both speed and security, as well as the ability to securely access streaming sites like American Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The company is headquartered in Romania, which means it’s not required to store any user information, so it keeps zero logs.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Encryption standards are among the best in the business. An internet kill switch is included.
CyberGhost speed test data
CyberGhostAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)78. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)54. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)39. 3 Mbps
Works with lots of streaming sites
Not suitable for users in China
Few customizable features
BEST FOR BEGINNERS:CyberGhost has a simple set up and is easy to use. Streams HD video reliably. Limited in use with some popular streaming sites. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
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Fast speeds and strong encryption are the pillars of IPVanish. It is completely logless, meaning it won’t ever store usage data of any nature.
Encryption protocols are tough. The company leverages 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2, 048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. The latter feature means that even if an intrusive entity breaks into your account, it’ll be impossible for it to decrypt past session data. IPVanish includes an internet kill switch and leak protection.
Servers deliver great speeds and are stable and secure. US server locations number in the hundreds, which make up the bulk over 1, 000 servers across the globe.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV.
IPVanish is popular with Kodi users because it allows them to download the Android APK directly to their device. The interface is also remote control friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse.
IPVanish speed test data
IPVanishAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)72 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)31. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)52. 3 Mbps
Very fast connections
Sometimes struggles with streaming services
No anonymous payment options
LARGE NETWORK:IPVanish can connect any number of devices and is great for families. Recommend for their high standard of privacy, but keep shopping if you want to stream American Netflix. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
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VyprVPN is a mature VPN provider that’s been around for over seven years. Privacy advocates love it because it’s one of the few that’s able to circumvent China’s Great Firewall. The company operates servers in eight US cities.
Having said that, some users might be troubled by the fact that the company chooses to retain user data. Specifically, the data that’s stored is “the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time, and total number of bytes used. ” But VyprVPN insists that it’s only kept for a period of 30 days and is used for troubleshooting.
Traffic is secured by the OpenVPN protocol, 256-bit AES encryption, 2, 048-bit RSA keys without perfect forward secrecy, and SHA256 authentication. VyprVPN also owns entire data centers and doesn’t rely on third-party operators at all. This helps it secure traffic.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows and MacOS.
VyprVPN works with Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
VyprVPN speed test data
VyprVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)41 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)44. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)47. 3 Mbps
Works in China
Good for American Netflix
Logs users current IP address
A little pricey
UNLIMITED DATA USAGE:VyprVPN is user friendly. Good speeds and uptime as all servers are owned by VyprVPN. Not the cheapest option. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of VyprVPN.
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7. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield has around 3, 200 servers in 70+ countries worldwide, including the US. What’s more, this VPN works with most major region-locked services like Netflix, Hulu, and Sling TV, so there are very few limits on what you can watch. Up to five devices can be connected at once, allowing you to stream both at home and on-the-go.
This VPN keeps your traffic secure using 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. You can also choose to only encrypt traffic on specific websites, for instance, if you wanted to watch Netflix US during a trip abroad but still use services that are only available in your current location. 24/7 support is available over live chat in case of any problems.
Hotspot Shield offers apps for Windows, Android, iOS, and MacOS devices.
Hotspot Shield speed test data
Hotspot ShieldAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)48 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)49 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)48 Mbps
Fast, reliable server connections
Works with a wide range of geo-blocked platforms
Strong on connection security
Has had privacy issues in the past
Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
LAG-FREE STREAMING:Hotspot Shield is fast enough for flawless live media streaming, able to use major streaming services, and very security-conscious. Better still, it comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
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Should I use a free VPN?
Free VPNs are heavily advertised on the internet and some users may be tempted to sign up. However, many such services have a poor track record of impinging on users’ rights by stealing their data and selling it to third-party advertisers.
After all, even free VPNs are registered businesses. Hence they need to make money to pay for staff salaries, server maintenance, and general office overheads. That’s why the route for monetization becomes users themselves.
Even if your data isn’t stolen, expect bandwidth throttling, weak encryption standards, and data caps. So it’s likely that you’ll be booted out if you stream Netflix for an hour or so. Tons of invasive advertisements are also common, with the real risk of contracting a malware infection. We recommend you avoid the random free VPNs on the web.
Best VPNs for USA
Best VPNs for US TV
Some VPNs to avoid
If you’re trying to obtain a US IP address, it’s pivotal that your privacy and anonymity is secured at all times. The VPNs mentioned in this list don’t have a history of handing over user data but there are several other unscrupulous ones. We think you should turn your back on them.
Here are two such cases:
There’s evidence to suggest that VPN provider PureVPN collaborated with law enforcement agencies to help identify one of its users.
PureVPN and the FBI joined forces after an unnamed 24-year-old woman filed a complaint about falling prey to an online blackmailing plot. She suspected her roommate, Ryan Lin, to be culpable.
The FBI traced the internet activity back to PureVPN, who then used its logs to identify the culprit. Ryan was arrested. PureVPN insists that it didn’t record the content of communications, but it did have a ‘no-logs’ policy in place. There’s a real question mark on how ethical they might have behaved.
Israel-based Hola, a popular VPN extension for Chrome, used its sizable user base of almost 50 million for illegal purposes. The company turned this critical mass into a massive botnet in 2015, leveraging individual user bandwidth to engage in Distributed Denial of Service Attacks and distributing copyrighted material. Users were completely in the dark.
I’ve downloaded a VPN. What do I do next?
After registering and signing up for one of the VPN services we’ve recommended in this article, it’s a simple matter of downloading the client software and installing it on your device (Windows, MacOS, Android, or iOS).
Once that’s done, scroll through the list of available server locations until you come across options for the US. As mentioned before, each VPN in this list has a sizable number of said locations so this shouldn’t be a particularly cumbersome task.
The ones higher up in the list should be the speedier ones so go for those if you can. Once the connection is successfully established, a green icon should show up in the taskbar. That means you’re now ready to browse the web anonymously and with a US IP address.
Use an American DNS server
Nearly as important as your public IP address is the server your device uses to look up the IP addresses of different web pages and other online content. DNS, or Domain Name System, works sort of like a phone book in which names (domains) are matched with phone numbers (IP addresses). When attempting to access geo-locked content, many websites not only check where you’re calling from, but where the phone book is located.
Even when you have an American IP address, if a DNS request is sent to a server outside of the US to look up a public IP address, the website or app can see this and still block you. Therefore, it’s important that the DNS server you use is in the same country as your IP address. In this case, you need a DNS server inside the US.
All of the VPNs in the above list have apps that take care of this for you. When you connect to the VPN server, your DNS requests are also sent through the encrypted tunnel. Good VPNs, like the ones we recommend, operate their own private DNS servers, so your DNS requests cannot be used to track which websites you visit by your Internet Service Provider or another DNS server provider. You might need to toggle this option on in your VPN app’s settings.
Some mediocre VPNs will send your DNS requests through the tunnel, but then use a public DNS service like Google DNS on the other side. This will let you use DNS servers in the US, but Google would be able to record which websites you visit and when, which is not ideal for privacy. Other VPNs fail to tunnel DNS requests altogether.
If your VPN provider doesn’t tunnel DNS traffic for you, you can manually configure DNS servers on most devices. We recommend a service like OpenNIC, which offers free DNS servers in specific countries including the US. The exact process for changing DNS servers varies between devices, but you can usually add primary and secondary DNS servers somewhere in your network configuration settings.
Windows 10 users in particular should be aware that their operating system often sends such requests in tandem, one over the IPv4 protocol and one over IPv6. Windows uses whichever one comes back faster, however, IPv6 requests are often sent outside the VPN tunnel. If your VPN doesn’t offer IPv6 leak protection, you may need to disable IPv6 altogether in your wifi settings.
What are the other ways to get a US IP address?
There’s the option of using the Tor browser. This is a free service available to everyone on the web and designed to provide encryption and anonymity. Many people including journalists, human rights activists, and whistleblowers use Tor to keep their identity hidden on the web.
It is possible to acquire a US IP address with Tor, but the process is a bit complicated and requires multiple steps. This guide breaks it down in more detail. Having said that, speeds on the Tor browser are buggy at best so if you’re looking to download or stream HD video, this isn’t a suitable option. Best to go with a VPN instead.
The last possible option is to use a free proxy server. But these work in a similar vein to free VPN services. There are download caps and unclear privacy policies. Be prepared to be booted out just halfway into your episode of House of Cards. HTTP and SOCKS proxies often aren’t encrypted, and they only route internet traffic from certain apps, such as your web browser.
Finding the best VPNs to get a US IP address: our methodology
Traveling abroad may have some impact on your usual online activity, particularly when it comes to streaming. There are a number of hurdles to overcome including geographic restrictions, slow speeds, and poor security on public wifi. To make your life easier, we evaluated each VPN to ensure it meets the criteria as listed below:
Servers in the US: Of course, in order to get a US IP address, you’ll need to use a VPN that offers servers in the US. It also helps if these servers are spread across multiple cities. That way, you can select a server closer to your location for faster speeds. That’s why we’ve covered only the fastest VPNs.
Speed: The faster the speeds offered by a VPN, the easier it will be to stream and torrent. All of the VPNs recommended in this post provide not only fast server speeds but unlimited bandwidth. This becomes most obvious when streaming as you’re less likely to encounter lag and buffering.
Network size: Traveling outside the US may mean you occasionally need more than just a US IP address. Indeed, there may be websites or services from other countries that you wish to access. A VPN should therefore provide servers in dozens of countries around the world.
Security: If you’re going on vacation, you may find yourself using public wifi. Unfortunately, this comes with some security risks. However, using a VPN protects your data from hackers and snoopers alike. This is done with encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and more.
Privacy: There are a number of things a VPN can do to protect your privacy. One of the biggest is to have a no-logs policy. That’s why we’ve assessed 140 VPN logging policies to find the very best. It also helps if a VPN allows you to pay anonymously in cryptocurrency.
Ease of use: It doesn’t hurt if a VPN provides apps that are easy to use for beginners! Indeed, the very best VPNs allow you to connect to a server with a single click. There should also be a live chat and email support as well as resources including setup guides.
Value for money: Some VPNs offer very few features yet charge a similar price to the VPNs covered in this post. We believe we’ve found VPNs that are fairly priced for what they offer. Better still, our discount coupons can help you save even more on the price of a subscription.
The above is just part of our full VPN testing methodology. By testing each and every aspect of a VPN for ourselves, we can develop an in-depth understanding of it. This is how we provide you with information that is not only accurate, but up-to-date.
How to get an American IP Address FAQ
Can I get an IP address from a specific US city? Many VPNs allow you to choose not just the country that your chosen city is in, but also the city. This makes sense: the US is a huge country, so there could be a significant difference in speeds between servers on the East and West coasts. Most providers offer servers in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, at the very least. Is getting an IP address from US legal? Of course — there’s no legal requirement to use the IP address that your Internet Service Provider gives you. That said, you could run into problems if you use a VPN with the intent of committing crimes online. As long as you’re not planning on downloading copyrighted content, harassing anyone, or accessing illegal material, you should be fine. How do I set up a VPN on my home network? Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all guide. This is because there are several competing manufacturers, each with its own firmware, which all have slightly different processes for installing a VPN. If your VPN supports routers (and not all do) you should be able to find manual installation instructions on its website. Alternatively, you can ask customer support for help; they deal with questions like this every day and will have you up and running in no time. Can an American proxy hide my IP address? An American proxy server will hide your IP address, but they don’t really hold up to VPNs when it comes to security or privacy. For instance, even if your proxy server is encrypted, it’ll still only secure traffic from your browser. In contrast, a VPN will protect data from any app on your device.
Additionally, when you use a reputable VPN provider, you know exactly what personal information is recorded and who has access to it. However, proxy servers, particularly free ones, come with no such I access online banking in American with a VPN? Although VPNs are primarily used to enhance your digital privacy, many banks still don’t allow you to access their online banking services while connected. The main reason for this is to help prevent fraud (for instance, by recording foreign login attempts). Unfortunately, if you’re traveling, this means that you may be forced to access your online banking service over a public wifi connection, which are notoriously insecure.
Here’s the thing: it’s just not possible to detect every VPN. The Chinese government has been trying for years, and still hasn’t succeeded, so banks just don’t stand a chance. Even if a service is blocked, most major providers will find a workaround in days (or sometimes hours), making it a constant game of cat and mouse. In other words, if your current VPN doesn’t work with your bank, you can just try a different do I determine the physical location of an IP address in the US? You can’t determine the exact physical location of an IP address. Tracking an IP address will only show the approximate server location. Regardless, by using a VPN to get an IP address in the US, you can hide your IP address and have improved privacy protection. Internet traffic is encrypted while you also share the same US IP address as other users on the same server. All user activity is mixed up as a result, allowing you to browse an IP address from the US hide my internet activity from my ISP? ISPs in the US can see what you’re doing online. This includes the websites you visit and how long you spend on them. You can hide your internet activity from your ISP by using a VPN. This encrypts your internet traffic so your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online. Furthermore, any reputable VPN should have a strict no-logs policy. This means that even if data were requested, there shouldn’t be anything to share.
HTTP & SOCKS Rotating & Static Proxy
- 72 million IPs for all purposes
- Worldwide locations
- 3 day moneyback guarantee
What is SOCKS5 & 5 Best SOCKS5 VPNs in 2021 – ProPrivacy
Like a VPN, a SOCKS5 proxy is an effective way to bypass internet blocks. Some VPN providers include a SOCKS5 proxy in their service because it can provide location spoofing with faster speeds than a VPN. A SOCKS5 proxy does not provide the added privacy benefits you get with a full VPN connection. However, depending on your needs, a SOCKS5 proxy can be a useful extra feature. In this article, we have pinpointed the best VPNs with a SOCKS5 proxy. These SOCKS5 VPN services will provide you with a full premium VPN in addition to a SOCKS5 proxy you can use any time you want. What is SOCKS5? SOCKS stands for Socket Secure and it is an internet protocol commonly used to create a proxy. SOCKS proxies are often used by consumers sitting behind a firewall who need to be able to bypass it to establish a TCP connection with an outside server. You can find more information on this later in the guide. A SOCKS5 proxy is massively useful when it comes to accessing restricted, censored, or geo-blocked content. That is why we have listed the best VPNs with a free SOCKS5 proxy bolted on to the service. More details can be found below, but if you’re in a hurry, here is a quick look at our best SOCKS5 VPN providers: NordVPN – A VPN provider with a good reputation. They have great SOCKS5 Proxy which can easily be used with a torrent client of your choice. Private Internet Access – A very secure VPN service with a SOCKS5 proxy. It’s easy to set up to SOCKS5 proxy via their client control panel. IPVanish – A fantastic VPN service that offers a SOCKS5 proxy free with their VPN. They have plenty of SOCKS5 servers based in over 70 countries. – Has outstanding privacy features. They integrate their SOCKS5 proxy with their VPN to improve you security. Windscribe – Offers a free VPN service, however their SOCKS5 proxy is only available on their premium plans. It’s easy to use and set up. Our main consideration when compiling this list was to find reliable VPNs that include a SOCKS5 proxy with their service. That said, we also made sure only to recommend well-rounded services that also offer: Quick speeds Robust privacy features Good encryption Geo-unblocking capabilities The best VPNs for SOCKS5 – In-depth Analysis Here are the best VPNs with SOCKS5. If you need more information on these or any other services, check out our detailed VPN reviews. NordVPN is a reliable VPN that provides security, privacy. They have really useful guides on how to combine your torrent client with their SOCKS5 Proxy service. Pricing From $4. 13 – $11. 95 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix iPlayer Amazon Prime Hulu
NordVPN is a veteran of the VPN industry and has more than earned its reputation for reliability. It has excellent apps for all platforms that are easy to use, whether you’re a tech wizard or a total newbie. NordVPN has a watertight zero-logs policy, great customer care, and a SOCKS5 proxy included within the subscription. I think NordVPN is one of the best services out there when it comes to providing top-notch features and access to sites like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. Plus, a subscription won’t break the bank! You can even try this VPN for yourself without risking your money by using its 30-day money-back guarantee. Tried and tested security NordVPN is based in Panama, which is great in terms of privacy as it’s far beyond the reach of EU and US jurisdictions. You’ll also be getting access to some of the rarer VPN features, like double-hop encryption and VPN through Tor. NordVPN does come with all the essentials, though, so don’t worry – AES 256-bit encryption keeps your data out of the hands of snoopers and a kill-switch will prevent your original IP address from leaking in the event that your VPN connection drops out. I also like that NordVPN implements OpenVPN and WireGuard encryption, which are two standout protocols. Another huge plus for NordVPN in our books is the fact that the service has invited an auditing firm to comb through its zero-logs policy. We like seeing this sort of accountability and transparency from VPNs, and multi-factor authentication is another, very welcome, bonus. You’ll want to opt-in for this to keep your account extra secure. A free world wide web There are NordVPN servers dotted all over the globe in over 70 countries, and they’re all lightning-fast! You’ll be able to stream in HD and download torrents or files in a blink. However, for those who want to spoof their IP with the fastest possible speeds available – a SOCKS5 proxy is also included within the subscription. The list of streaming services that NordVPN can unblock goes on and on. Whether you’re a Netflix fiend or a fan of UK TV on BBC iPlayer, you’ll have a world of content to browse through. Plus, NordVPN comes with its very own SmartDNS feature if you prefer to stream via your smart TV! Just remember that this service does not offer any encryption itself. Affordable quality Because of its stellar reputation and popularity, you might think that NordVPN is a pricey provider that only a handful can afford. Subscription prices are very modest, however, especially when you consider how many features you’re getting access to. NordVPN will even banish ads and trackers from your browsing sessions so you can surf securely! NordVPN is also compatible with all platforms; Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Linux included. Up to 6 simultaneous connections are permitted at any one time, and a customer service team is available 24/7, via live chat or email support. Private Internet Access is a trusted VPN with a SOCKS5 proxy that’s easy to set up and incredibly secure – using a separate username and password to your VPN client. Pricing From $2. 08 – $9. 95 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix iPlayer Amazon Prime Hulu
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based provider that’s a long-standing favorite of Reddit users. The VPN is also a solid all-rounder that has all the features you’ll need to stay secure online and keep your details private, and it has even proven its zero-logs policy in court on numerous occasions. As with most premium providers, you can try PIA before you buy, with a 30-day money-back guarantee. An ever-growing network With PIA, you’ll have access to super-fast servers in 78 countries, which is more than enough to geo-hop across the globe and check out content that’d otherwise be restricted. Plus, PIA can unblock sought after services like Netflix US and Hulu. As you might’ve guessed, PIA does have a “domestic focus” in the US, so if you’re outside the States and want to keep up with sports, shows, and news from the U. S of A, then PIA is perfectly positioned. Streaming is a dream with PIA, too. When tested, I didn’t have any trouble with buffering streams or low-quality images. The service is seriously fast, and can also handle online gaming and any VoIP calls you need to make. ISP throttling will also become a thing of the past with PIA, a service that also doesn’t impose its own bandwidth or data restrictions. Cross-platform compatibility PIA is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS devices, and users get up to 10 simultaneous connections to play with – which is pretty generous. These clients look fresh and come fully featured with all broad spread of tools. PIA will even remove those annoying ads from your browsing sessions, as well as any trackers trying to snoop on you. If at any point you need help setting up or troubleshooting an issue, you can field your questions to the PIA customer service team. They’re available 24/7 via live chat and boast a full 10 years of industry experience, so you’re bound to find a solution. Stay covered I’m glad to say that OpenVPN encryption is available throughout, and users also get a high level of granular control over the strength of that protection – though this might be too techy for casual users. You’ll also benefit from a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation (stealth), port forwarding, split tunneling, and a SOCKS5 proxy. This makes PIA one of the better stocked services on the market, and a great pick for anyone really looking to put their privacy first. One less-than-great point to consider is that PIA is based in the US. This isn’t ideal, as the United States is infamous for its use of gag orders and warrants, which could force a VPN to hand over user info and data logs. Fortunately, PIA’s no-logs claim means that there’d be no information to hand over even if it was served a warrant. IPVanish is a US-based VPN with an excellent SOCKS5 Proxy. They have an extension proxy server list including servers in the UK, USA, UAE and many more countries. Pricing From $3. 20 – $10. 99 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix Amazon Prime Hulu
IPVanish easily claims a spot in our top five, as it’s a well-known and well-trusted VPN service ideal for gaining online privacy and hopping geo-restrictions. Best of all, IPVanish has a reliable SOCKS5 proxy that you can access and control in the member’s area of its website. Anyone with an IPVanish subscription can use this SOCKS5 proxy without paying an extra penny, too! I also like that IPVanish provides excellent setup guides for accessing and using the SOCKS proxy, either inside of torrent clients or browsers. Security-focused As you’d expect from a VPN of its caliber, IPVanish abides by a strong no-logs policy – though the fact that the service is based in the United States might make some prospective users wary. In brighter news, OpenVPN encryption ensures that your browsing sessions are kept secure, whether you’re using the VPN at home or whether you’re on the go and relying on public Wi-Fi hotspots. I’m also pleased to see that IPVanish offers WireGuard, which hasn’t been around for as long as OpenVPN, and therefore hasn’t been tested as extensively, but it’s a protocol that’s lightweight, quick, and super secure, and very much the way of the future. Additionally, it’s great to see that IPVanish also comes with DNS leak protection and a kill-switch, which is vitally important for anyone who’ll be torrenting. Unblock the world With more than 1, 900 servers in over 75 locations, IPVanish is an excellent choice for anyone looking to unblock restricted, censored, or geo-blocked content. Users should have no trouble unblocking in-demand American streaming services, as well as Netflix US. However, because IPVanish does not officially support other Netflix libraries, we can’t say for certain that you’ll be able to access them. IPVanish likewise cannot access BBC iPlayer. When I was testing IPVanish, I found that the service was surprisingly fast and more than capable of handling HD streaming. In addition, video calling is a breeze and torrenting is permitted on specified, dedicated servers. The SOCKS5 proxy also makes it possible to torrent safely and with even better speeds, as well as access any stubborn services that the VPN can’t reach without it. Real value for money With IPVanish, users get a robust VPN service that is available for all platforms – you can even install it on your router. And, if you need help at any point, you can get in touch with the IPVanish customer service via live chat and phone, 24/7. Thus, this is a superb all-rounder VPN with a SOCKS5 proxy for those who need it. Finally, the cost of a subscription is extremely competitive, which makes it well worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee. I’d like to see IPVanish accept cryptocurrency payments one day in the future, but all in all, I’d recommend giving the service a test drive. integrate their secure VPN with a SOCKS5 proxy which helps you to maintain your internet speeds whilst gaining privacy online. 43 – $12. 95 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix iPlayer Amazon Prime Hulu
comes packed with advanced VPN apps for all platforms and a wide spread of features. It’s also one of the best VPNs in the world that also provides a SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting or getting around firewalls. puts a focus on quality and privacy, which is why it snags a place in our top five – plus, consumers always have good things to say about the service! For privacy advocates Right away, I was reassured by the fact that is based in Malaysia, a country beyond the reach of invasive jurisdictions (like the UK and US), and with no mandatory data retention laws that’d force the VPN to keep logs. This is a win for user privacy! ‘s no-logs policy has also been audited by an independent analyst, so you can rest assured that nobody is keeping tabs on what you do online. To further bulk up its privacy offering, protects users from IPv6 leaks and runs its very own DNS on each server. Users also get their pick of a number of solid protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard, which are two of our favorites. A kill-switch also keeps your sensitive information from leaking if your VPN connection drops, and I was glad to see that this kill-switch is enabled from the moment you download the software until (or unless) you switch it off yourself. A multi-hop double VPN feature is a nice addition, too, as it encrypts your traffic twice, for maximum privacy. Server selection has a broad network of VPN servers, with over 2, 000 to choose from in more than 75 worldwide locations. All of these servers are managed by the team, so there’s no risk of outsiders getting involved where they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, struggles to unblock some of the most in-demand streaming services – though sites like Netflix do work incredibly hard to keep VPNs at bay, so it’s a constantly evolving game of cat and mouse, anyway. That being said, we were unable to access Netflix US, and other users have reported similar difficulties when trying to browse Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer. If you’re an avid streamer who needs reliable access to these services, you might be better off looking elsewhere. Pay your way is widely available for any platform you can imagine, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Browser extensions are also available for Chrome and Firefox users, and you can install the VPN on your router if you have the compatible firmware. offers 10 simultaneous connections, which is just what I like to see, and will be enough to cover all of your important devices. You’ll also be spoiled for choice when it actually comes to paying for your subscription, too. The service allows credit card and PayPal payments and even accepts cryptocurrency. This is a more secure way of paying, though bear in mind that it’s not totally anonymous, as will always know your original IP address. Windscribe provide a SOCKS5 proxy on their premium plan. It’s easy to set up using the SOCKS5 Profile generator on their website. 00 Available on Windows macOS iOS Android Linux Unblocks Netflix
Plenty of people are familiar with Windscribe thanks to its limited free subscription plan that anyone can test without forking over any cash. This is great, and well worth checking out, but if you need a SOCKS5 proxy, you’ll also need a premium subscription. Fortunately, a Windscribe subscription is well worth investing in. The VPN abides by a no-logs policy and provides strong OpenVPN encryption, a kill-switch, and DNS leak protection. That means you can trust it to give you digital privacy both at home and on public Wi-Fi. This VPN is also great for unblocking international content or for bypassing local censorship. Feature rich Windscribe also has some of the most intuitive and useful VPN tools on the market, all designed to enhance your digital security – like R. O. B. E. R. T. This tool can be used to block ads and trackers, malicious domains, and IPs, to make your browsing experience more secure. You can select from a variety of block lists or create custom lists of your own. I also liked seeing a split tunneling feature, which gives you the ability to decide which applications route to the internet through the VPN and which don’t. In terms of security, Windscribe puts together a very solid package. AES 256-bit encryption is used alongside various secure protocols, like OpenVPN and WireGuard. Instead of a kill-switch, Windscribe utilizes a firewall, which prevents leaks by blocking all connectivity outside the VPN tunnel. Browse global content The Windscribe server network is dotted across the globe in a few odd locations, but coverage in 63 countries and 110 cities is nothing to be sniffed at. Users should have no trouble bypassing geo-restrictions or spoofing their location. When I tested the service and tried to access Netflix, I found that it was particularly good at getting into the US library, although my success levels did vary here and there. If accessing content like this is your main concern, you might want to check out a more reliable option. Also, Windscribe just isn’t the fastest VPN on the market – though it certainly isn’t slow, seeing as it’s still in the top 20 fastest VPNs. So, you should still be able to stream and HD and torrent without issue. In fact, Windscribe’s port forwarding feature should help any torrenting endeavors considerably. Cover your bases Windscribe prides itself on having clean, minimalist clients that are easy to use and intuitive even for beginners. You can install the VPN on any Windows, Mac, iOS, Android or Linux device, and even check out Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. These extensions even come with some exclusive features of their own, like Double Hop (which encrypts your traffic twice) and ad blocking (which prevents trackers from keeping tabs on your activity). Overall, it’s an excellent VPN that is great for gaining privacy and accessing content. You can test it thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee and even pay for a subscription with Bitcoin! What is a SOCKS5 proxy? A SOCKS proxy is a bolt-on feature that some VPNs provide to their users to allow them to engage in location spoofing. Like other proxies, a SOCKS5 proxy works by allowing you to conceal your IP address from online services. This lets you pretend to be in a different location and allows you to bypass localized blocks and restrictions. By using a SOCKS proxy, anybody can bypass IP blocks when their IP has been blacklisted from an online service. It can also be a useful workaround when a VPN’s IP addresses have been blocked by an online service, by offering a secondary method for accessing that service. SOCKS5 is the latest version of the SOCKS protocol. It can send data via UDP (in addition to TCP). This means it can provide a highly reliable and efficient connection. It can also proxy data from a large cross-section of request types, including HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP, and FTP. This flexibility is what makes SOCKS5 useful, because it can easily be used for email, web browsing, peer-to-peer file sharing, file transfers, VoIP, and more. A SOCKS5 proxy using UDP is highly desirable because it can provide extremely fast speeds. This makes it valuable for people who want high-speed IP spoofing. On the other hand, a SOCKS5 proxy provides no encryption. This means your traffic can still be monitored by your ISP or the government. As a result, it is important to remember that you do not get the privacy you get with a full VPN connection when you use a SOCKS5 proxy. SOCKS5 vs VPN – what’s the difference? VPNs and SOCKS5 both function as a proxy that can be used to conceal your real IP address from online services. However, this is where the similarity largely ends – because a SOCKS5 proxy does not provide other benefits that you get with a VPN. A VPN creates a securely encrypted tunnel between the VPN client (application) and the proxy (VPN) server. This gives you online privacy and data security – in addition to the location spoofing functionality you get with a SOCKS5 proxy. The benefit of a VPN is that you can conceal your online browsing habits from your ISP, the government, and local network administrators in workplaces, schools, and public Wi-Fi networks. The encryption provided by the VPN stops anybody from accessing your data and tracking your online habits. However, it also causes some slowing of internet speeds, which is why some people prefer to use a SOCKS5 proxy. If you require IP spoofing without the need for internet privacy (to connect to a gaming server in another country, for example) – you may be happy using a SOCKS5 proxy. However, if you intend to access restricted torrent sites to download movies (or to engage in other online activities that you would prefer to do in private); you will need to stick to using a VPN with its added encryption. What are the pros and cons of a SOCKS5 proxies? SOCKS5 proxy services are really useful services, however, there are also some drawbacks with using them. In this guide, we look at both the pros and cons so you can make a more informed decision. Pros of SOCKS5 proxies SOCKS5 offers three main benefits over other proxies out there: The greatest benefit of a SOCKS5 proxy is its ability to process an almost unlimited number of request types. This allows it to be used for VoIP, HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP, and FTP. Unlike other proxies, SOCKS5 does not rewrite data packet headers. This improves efficiency by making it less likely that there will be mis-routing or mislabeling issues. Finally, SOCKS5 proxies can be set up with one of the following authentication methods: Username/password authentication in which the user must provide their credentials to access the proxy server GSS-API authentication in which both the user and the server use authentication to verify the user’s identity Cons of SOCKS5 proxies However, there are also a number of disadvantages to consider before you use a SOCKS5 proxy. SOCKS5 proxies are not encrypted. The performance benefits you get with a SOCKS5 proxy (and the added security you get when password/username authentication is implemented, as is the case with most SOCKS5 proxies provided by VPNs) is counterbalanced by a loss of privacy and security. Similarly, SOCKS5 packet headers contain metadata that can identify you, which is why anybody who requires online privacy is strongly advised to use a full VPN connection rather than a SOCKS5 proxy. A proxy will conceal your original IP address, but that address will still be visible to your proxy provider – which is why it’s important to ensure you’re using a reliable service that won’t collect and sell any sensitive data or expose you to cyberattacks. Should I use a SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting? Some people use a SOCKS5 proxy to gain added security when downloading peer-to-peer using a torrent client. The great thing about torrenting with a SOCKS5 proxy is that it is extremely easy to set up from within your torrent client itself. A SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting improves your security by concealing your real IP address from the swarm (all the peers seeding or leeching the torrent). This provides security against exposure to a malevolent peer who may attempt to scan your IP address for open ports; which could potentially allow you to be victimized. Although the security benefit (IP concealment) provided by a SOCKS5 proxy is useful, it is important to remember that it is not as effective as a VPN tunnel. Like a SOCKS5 proxy, a VPN conceals your real IP address from the peers you connect to. However, a VPN also encrypts your data so that all your downloads are private and cannot be detected by your ISP. This ensures that your ISP and the government are never able to identify the torrent services you use, the seeds you leech from, and the content you download. If you intend to torrent online and you want to do it securely, a SOCKS5 proxy will provide better security than nothing at all. And a SOCKS5 proxy will usually provide more bandwidth and better speeds. However, unless you live in a country where copyright piracy is tolerated, it is generally recommended that you use a VPN rather than a SOCKS5 proxy. How to connect to a SOCKS5 proxy Unlike a VPN, which ensures that all your internet traffic is always tunneled via the VPN server, a SOCKS5 proxy must be set up inside your browser or torrent client. This means that the SOCKS5 proxy will only ever ‘spoof’ your location inside that software; rather than for your entire computer or mobile device. If you want to connect to your VPN’s SOCKS5 proxy, it will be necessary to set up that connection manually either in your torrent client or browser. The best way to achieve this is to contact your VPN for a setup guide, which will include how to set up your SOCKS5 authentication on its website. If you are a Firefox user, the easiest way to set up a SOCKS5 proxy is by using the third party extension FoxyProxy: Download and install the FoxyProxy Standard add-on from the FireFox Add-ons page. Click on the FoxyProxy icon that appears in the toolbar in the top right of your Firefox browser. Choose Options from the drop-down menu. You will now be redirected to a webpage. Select Use proxy Default for all URLs from the drop-down menu in the middle of the screen. Next, click the Add button on the top left of the screen. Now, click Edit and add the details for your VPN SOCKS5 proxy. (You will need to get the server address, port number, username, and password from your VPN’s website. ) Finally, turn on the slider next to Send DNS through SOCKS5 proxy and click Save. Now check your IP address by clicking What’s My IP in the left-hand menu. Your IP address should appear in the location of your VPN’s SOCKS5 proxy server. Can I use a free SOCKS5 Proxy? In 2021 it has become almost impossible to find a reliable and trustworthy SOCKS5 proxy that you can use for free. Thus, if you do want to make use of a SOCKS5 proxy, we strongly recommend that you purchase a VPN subscription. By paying for a VPN, you will gain access to both the full VPN tunnel and the SOCKS5 proxy. This gives you the flexibility to gain privacy (both at home and on public Wi-Fi) and to perform IP spoofing whenever you need to. With a VPN and SOCKS5 proxy in your quiver, you will be able to bypass restrictions and gain unprecedented levels of privacy online. This is why a VPN subscription is by far the best way to use a secure SOCKS5 proxy. Admittedly, you can find lists of free proxy addresses online. Those lists provide you with all the information you need to connect, including the proxy type (SOCKS4, SOCKS5, HTTP, HTTPS, etc) the IP address, the port, where it’s located, and the type of server it is. It’s true that you could use one of these free proxy addresses. However, remember that it’s impossible to know who’s running those free proxies, and your data could be at risk. In fact, the reality is that the lists of free proxy IPs found online are extremely dangerous to use. Unfortunately, these proxies are almost always hacked machines or honeypots designed to spy on you. They’re primarily leveraged to engage in Man-in-the-Middle attacks and to engage in cyberattacks on their users by doing things like SSL stripping or injecting code into your session to hijack your browser. For this reason, it is vital that you stick to using a SOCKS5 proxy provided by a legitimate, trustworthy VPN provider with a no-logs VPN policy. This will allow you to spoof your location and unblock online services without fear of cyberattacks or data theft. Conclusion A SOCKS5 proxy is a useful tool that many internet users want, and it can be a superb additional tool if you like to torrent. If you want to have access to both a VPN and a SOCKS5 proxy, the best option is to subscribe to a respected VPN service that also includes a SOCKS5 proxy. A number of leading VPNs now provide a SOCKS5 proxy for their users at no additional cost. Best of all, anybody who uses this SOCKS5 proxy will know that their connection is secure, and is being routed to god knows where! It is important to remember that a SOCKS5 proxy does not provide encryption, so if you want to gain strong levels of online privacy and security you should always stick to using a VPN. But, if you are confident that a SOCKS5 proxy is what you need, then the VPNs recommended in this guide will have what you need! NordVPN – A VPN provider with a good reputation. It’s easy to use and set up.
How to Securely Bypass Blocks, Safe Torrenting, Free Proxy List …
The internet is in a strange place right now. It’s no longer the open, free place it used to be. Increasingly, users are being subject to website blocks, attacks, and surveillance. For true safety or anonymity, precautions must be taken. Thankfully, there many ways for you to protect yourself, one of them being Socket Secure (SOCKS) proxies.
While many have heard about SOCKS Proxies not many truly understand their purpose, how they work and the security-privacy levels they can offer. SOCKS proxies are often mistakenly considered an alternative or equivalent to VPNs causing major confusion amongst users and providing false sense of security.
In this article we’ll be covering a wealth of topics relating to SOCKS Proxies, SSL, Configuration advise, Torrenting via SOCK, compare them with VPNs and much more so let’s take a quick look at what we have in store before diving deeper:
Introduction to SOCKS Proxies
Understanding how HTTPS Encryption – SSL & HTTPS Proxies work
How SOCKS5 Proxy Works
Why Would I Use a SOCKS5 Proxy?
When to Use SOCKS5 Proxies, VPN or Both
Combine a SOCKS5 Proxy and a VPN
SOCKS5 Proxy vs VPN for Torrenting and P2P
Configuring SOCKS5 Proxy for Torrenting (qBittorrent, uTorrent)
Configuring Firefox and Chrome to Use SOCKS5 Proxy
Free Proxy vs Paid
Using SOCKS5 Proxy for US Netflix
Like HTTP, SOCKS is an internet protocol, but it offers a further degree of anonymity. Connecting to a SOCKS proxy routes your traffic through a third-party server via TCP, assigning you a new IP address in the process. Because the IP address is different, web hosts can’t determine the physical location.
This has the add-on effect of bypassing regional filtering. However, unlike a VPN, SOCKS doesn’t provide encryption. This means users don’t have true privacy and aren’t safe from attacks on Public WiFi and government surveillance. In addition, SOCKS doesn’t run through every application, meaning regular browsing is not always safe.
However, this lack of encryption does provide some benefits. The main one is speed. A SOCKS proxy doesn’t need resources to encrypt traffic and has far less overhead, so it’s usually faster than a VPN. Though proxies don’t provide protection from monitoring, they are a nice middle ground between HTTP and VPNs.
The security of a SOCKS proxy also depends on the version it utilizes. Most modern proxies use either SOCKS4 or SOCKS5 to protect users, and there are some fundamental differences. As you would expect from a lesser version, SOCKS4 has fewer features.
One example is the lack of support for UDP protocol-based applications. This cuts out programs that need faster, more efficient transfers, like games. SOCKS5 also supports IPv6 and Domain Name Resolution. This means the client can specify a URL rather than an IP address. This feature is also supported by SOCKS4a.
As well as SOCKS, users can utilize the HTTP/HTTPS proxy method. HTTP proxies work similarly to SOCKS5, but utilize the HTTP protocol instead. This is the same method that transfers data to your computer when you type. These proxies fetch and receive primarily in HTTP and are generally used for web browsers. Some applications support HTTP proxy, others SOCKS proxy, and many both. HTTP is more intelligent than SOCKS5, but also less secure.
Due to lack of UDP support and limited TCP support, HTTP proxies don’t fully support torrenting. Often, they will filter out this type of data or block it. This blocking is especially prevalent in public HTTP proxies. In addition, HTTP tries to re-write the headers of the data in transit. The result is extremely slow or non-existent torrenting.
Understanding How HTTPS Encryption – SSL & HTTPS Proxies Work
HTTPS proxies utilize something called the Secure Socket Layer. In your browser, you’ll notice this as a green padlock next to the URL bar:
In short, SSL creates a secure connection between the web server and the user’s browser. When you request a URL, the server sends your browser a copy of its SSL certificate. The browser verifies that it’s authentic, and the server then sends back a signed acknowledgment. Upon arrival, both start an SSL encrypted session and can share data safely.
This encryption uses a method called public key cryptography. A server using SSL has both a public key and a private key. When a server first negotiates an SSL session with a client, it sends a copy of its public key. The client’s browser verifies the certificate and then uses the public key to create a symmetric key which is then sent to the server. The private key is never sent and always kept secret.
The symmetric key is unique to the SSL session and used to encrypt/decrypt data exchanged between the client and server.
HTTPS proxy works slightly differently. Using the CONNECT method, requests are converted to a transparent tunnel. However, this feature isn’t available in a lot of proxies and, when it is, users can still be vulnerable.
Some versions of SSL are still open to attack through the Heartbleed bug. This serious vulnerability was discovered in 2014 and allows attackers to steal private keys from servers, eavesdropping on communications and gaining access to passwords, emails and instant messages. Vulnerabilities in SSL and its predecessor TLS have been found several times since then, including man-in-the-middle attacks that downgrade the user to a less secure version.
While an HTTP proxy is designed to work in the web browser, a SOCKS5 proxy is more wide-reaching. SOCKS sits on the higher levels of the OSI model, below SSL, which sits on the seventh application layer, and above TCP and UDP on the transport layer (Layer 4). This offers several advantages. TCP works by forming a physical connection between the client and the server, trying to guarantee that every packet arrives at the destination in the same order it was sent. To do this, it puts all the content into a fixed format.
Another use of UDP is in the Domain Name System (DNS), which allows for translation of URLs into IP addresses. The combination of both TCP and UDP creates a more flexible and reliable experience.
The low level of SOCKS5 also means it can handle several different request types: HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP and FTP. As a result, SOCKS5 can be used for email, web browsing, peer-to-peer and more. More importantly, users can do this in a somewhat anonymous fashion.
When you connect to a website, the traffic usually runs through a firewall on the router or by the ISP. A SOCKS5 proxy routes your data through its proxy server, creating a path through the network’s firewall. In doing so the user is assigned an IP address, which makes it look like they’re browsing from a different location and protects their identity.
As mentioned before proxies don’t encrypt data like a VPN, which means you can access these services with very little slowdown. This is because there is no need to re-write header data. This, in turn, leads to less chance of errors, and fewer errors means more speed.
Although it doesn’t handle encryption, SOCKS5 does provide methods of authentication, as mentioned earlier. In general, a SOCKS5 handshake looks like this:
The client sends a connection request, stating the list of authentication methods it supports.
The server looks at these methods and chooses one. In the case that none are acceptable, it sends a failure response.
Once accepted, information can pass between the client and server. The client can send a connection request and the server can respond.
This authentication removes many of the security concerns that plagued SOCKS4. The proxy isn’t open to anybody with the details, resulting in less chance of malicious attacks. Usually, authentication comes in the form of a simple username and password combination. However, SOCKS5 also supports GSSAPI (Generic Security Services Application Program Interface) and IANA methods.
Now that you know the features of SOCKS5 proxies, you may be wondering why you even need one. One of the main uses is to circumvent internet censorship. If your ISP blocks access to movie streaming websites, The Pirate Bay or other questionable content, a proxy will circumvent it. This can be useful on restricted networks. Work and school connections are often monitored and block access to social media, games, and anything else that isn’t relevant. Broad sweeping policies can often cause issues if you need to access one of those sites for research or you just want to slack.
You’ll also be able to access services that are limited to certain countries. BBC iPlayer, for example, is only available from a UK IP address. A proxy located in the UK would allow you to watch British TV without a TV license. This also applies to services like Netflix, which has significantly more content in the US region than others. Utilizing a SOCKS5 proxy from several different locations can significantly expand your viewing catalogue.
On home networks, users must be careful about their privacy, especially when torrenting. Using a SOCKS5 proxy can provide fast download speeds while adding a layer of protection against copyright holders. Many BitTorrent clients support a weak form of encryption when using SOCKS5, which prevents further obstacles.
SOCKS5 torrenting doesn’t offer the same protection as a VPN, but it’s better than nothing at all. In addition, it can give an obscured connection from only one application on your PC. As a result, you can perform fast P2P downloads while still using location services such as Google Maps. You’ll retain your normal download rate for any other browsing or streaming.
When to use SOCKS5 Proxies, VPNs or Both
For the privacy and security conscious, VPNs are a great option. They are superior to a SOCKS5 proxy in almost every way. The Best VPN Service Providers give unparalleled protection from government agencies, copyright holders and hackers. Many of them even provide proxy services as a free add-on. Other than speed, VPNs do everything SOCKS5 does and more. However, VPN subscriptions can be more expensive and require extra setup to run. In some situations, a proxy is the most economical option.
When it comes to accessing content with region restrictions, for example, a SOCKS5 proxy is great. You can easily spoof a different location, and don’t have to worry too much about security – repercussions are rare. You can find a proxy from almost every country on the planet, often free of charge. A VPN will provide the same benefit, but comes from a trusted provider who has put considerable thought into the safety and privacy of its users.
However, if you’re accessing blocked content, things are a little different. While a proxy is good for low stakes, it doesn’t remove identifying information other than the IP address. It’s open to snooping from anyone with access to your data stream, such as your ISP and government. Accessing censored file-sharing websites and other questionable content is best done through a VPN.
This lack of protection from those with network access can pose considerable risk in public. No encryption means little protection from prying eyes. On a WiFi hotspot, attackers can still see and interpret your data. Browsing websites without SSL encryption could result in password and information compromises. Furthermore, the previously mentioned security issues in SSL mean that hackers could get hold of it even then. For public WiFi safety, a VPN is the only true option.
It’s clear that there are some merits to using a proxy over a VPN. The extra speed makes them suitable for a wide range of low-risk tasks. It’s advantageous to be able to utilize both a VPN and a SOCKS5 proxy. Thankfully, any of the Best VPN service providers supply this at no extra cost. IPVANISH and Private Internet Access are great examples of this. Switching the two methods in and out is a no-brainer, but what about using both at once?
Using both in tandem usually results in increased privacy, if it’s supported by your VPN provider. Be that as it may, the benefits are limited. If a VPN is connected already, you probably won’t see speed increases. Instead, the advantage comes as a safety net. If your VPN cuts out and the Kill-Switch fails, you still have some protection from SOCKS5 VPN proxy, and vice versa. This is relevant if a provider hands over your details – the copyright holder will only see the IP address of the other service. Using both creates an extra barrier to entry.
For most users, this extra barrier is far from essential. A properly configured VPN should pose little problem. However, if you’re doing something particularly sensitive the combination is a good option. For the best security, you should email your provider and make sure your SOCKS5 VPN proxy has no logs.
Speaking of torrenting, it’s important to be aware of the benefits and limitations of using a VPN SOCKS5 proxy for it. SOCKS5 torrenting will show only the IP address of the proxy server if a media company is looking through a certain swarm and provides a small amount of encryption. This gives the small degree of protection mentioned earlier.
However, there are still many avenues of attacks for copyright holders. The encryption method torrent clients use is shaky and not reliable. It can be cracked quickly, revealing the information beneath. Although this wouldn’t reveal the user’s IP address, it could give information such as the version of the client, the operating system, settings and download speed. Copyright holders could use this to narrow down to an individual user and their ISP. They can then send a legal request to that ISP for information. The lack of proper encryption means the ISP can clearly see what a user is doing on its network.
SOCKS5 torrenting does provide an increase in speed, but it comes at a price. A determined copyright troll or government entity may still get leverage over the user. In the end, it’s up to the individual to decide if the speed increase is worth the risk. This will probably depend on how significant the difference is.
SOCKS5 VPN proxies come with an additional caveat. A fully-fledged VPN won’t just protect you from copyright holders, it will also bypass ISP throttling. It’s becoming increasingly common for service providers to set speed limits on peer-to-peer downloads, resulting in speeds that are as much as one fifth of normal speed. Service providers can only do this if they can interpret and categorize the data, so VPN encryption provides a natural wall.
Proxies do not generally provide encryption, and you may experience significant throttling. This can easily offset the speed gains of SOCKS5, so proxies are only the best option if your ISP does not throttle. You can test for throttling though web services like Glasnost. Even with the encryption built into torrent clients, most service providers can tell if you’re using P2P. If you’re unsure, you can always test with a free proxy.
Configuring SOCKS5 Proxy for Torrenting
Thankfully, setting up a SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting is very simple. It requires fewer steps than a VPN, and all you’ll need is a torrent client. In our examples, we’ll be showing uTorrent and qBittorrent, using a VPN SOCKS5 proxy from IPVANISH and Private Internet Access. Both providers give the functionality free of charge and provide a premium service and no logs policy.
Set up a SOCKS5 Proxy with IPVANISH and qBittorrent
To emphasise the divide between the two services, IP Vanish’s SOCKS5 details can’t be found in the regular VPN client. Instead, you’ll have to go to the My Account section of its website and click on the SOCKS5 Proxy tab.
You’ll want to note down these credentials for use later. The username and password are specific to you, and provide the SOCKS5 authentication mentioned earlier. The hostname,, is thanks to SOCKS5 and its Domain Name Resolution feature. If you’re using a different proxy, just take note of those details instead.
For an extensive review on PIA, including security tests, DNS Leak tests, Torrent Protection, Kill-Switch test, Netflix support and much more, read our Best VPN Review: Private Internet Access (PIA)
Now, in qBittorrent, head to Tools > Options. On the left-hand side, you’ll see the Connection tab. Click it. You should be presented with the following menu:
Under the Listening Port heading, disable Use UPnP/NAT-PMP port forwarding from my router. Then input the following details under Proxy Server:
Use proxy for peer connections: Yes
Disable connections not supported by proxies: Yes
Use proxy only for torrents: Yes
Username: IP Vanish SOCKS5 generated username
Password: IP Vanish SOCKS5 generated password
For extra privacy, head to BitTorrent and change Encryption mode to Require encryption. This will force the in-application encryption discussed earlier. Also tick Enable anonymous mode. This will remove the peer ID from the client’s fingerprint and force all incoming connections through SOCKS5.
Finally, hit Apply and Okay. Restart qBittorrent just to be safe.
Set up a SOCKS5 Proxy with Private Internet Access and uTorrent
Finding your SOCKS5 VPN proxy settings for Private Internet Access is equally simple. Go to the client sign in page and login with your username and password. Scroll down until you see a heading with the label PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS Username and Password. Click Generate Username and Password and note down the details:
The hostname isn’t listed here, but a support article reveals that it’s that down too, or the details of your free proxy. Launch uTorrent and go to Options > Preferences (Ctrl + P).
Under the Connection subheading, disable Enable UPnP port mapping and Enable NAT-PMP port mapping. Then enter the following settings under Proxy Server:
Username: PIA SOCKS5 user
Password: PIA SOCKS5 password
Use proxy for hostname lookups: Yes
Use proxy for peer-to-peer connections: Yes
Disable all local DNS lookups: Yes
Disable all features that leak identifying information: Yes
Disable connects unsupported by the proxy: Yes
To enable encryption, go to the BitTorrent subheading and look under the Protocol Encryption menu. Change Outgoing to Forced. Be aware that this could impair your ability to connect to peers. Click Apply and OK. SOCKS5 torrenting is now enabled.
Configuring your browser to use SOCKS can be a little more difficult. At this moment in time, neither Chrome nor Firefox support SOCKS5 with authentication by default. Instead, you can use the Maxthon browser. After install go to Settings > Advanced > Proxy Settings.
Now tick Use custom proxy setting and hit Manage Proxy. Click Add. Fill in the fields as follows:
Name: IPVanish SOCKS5
Hit OK. Below the config, you’ll see a Bypass proxy server for heading. Here you can set exceptions for websites for which you need to keep your local IP, such as Google Maps. You can also switch this to Use proxy server for and only use the VPN SOCKS5 proxy on certain websites.
Though premium paid SOCKS5 proxies like the one above are often best, it’s possible to get one free of charge. Many websites even compile free proxy lists that are open for anyone to use. Here are just a few examples:
If you already have a VPN, you may have access to a free SOCKS5 proxy without even knowing it. It’s becoming increasingly common for the Best VPN service providers to offer this service. Some of the major ones include:
IPVANISH – Netherlands
Private Internet Access – Netherlands
NordVPN – 25 Severs across multiple countries
It may be tempting to just grab the first free SOCKS proxy you see, but there are a few things to consider. A free anonymous proxy isn’t going to be fast. It’s more common for download speeds to sit in the kilobytes rather than megabytes. You’ll also notice far less reliability, so you’ll probably have to switch between different servers for long downloads. This unreliability extends to response time.
In addition, a free anonymous proxy often lacks security. In many cases, they have no security at all, leaving users open to hackers. In many cases free providers keep logs, which may cause issues for P2P downloads and other illegal activities.
In all, you’ll be hard pressed to find a good, reliable free proxy. If you want to protect your identity, paying is almost essential. In some cases, you can pick up a full VPN service for the same price or less than premium SOCKS5 services, making it a no-brainer. You’ll have access to strong encryption when you need it, and a proxy when you’re just looking for speed.
One of the best uses of a SOCKS5 proxy is for Netflix. The catalogue of the service has been limited of late, and people outside the US seem to be particularly affected. Thankfully, you can trick Netflix into giving you shows from regions across the world. Here’s my Netflix UK homepage before using a proxy:
In this example, we’ll be using Firefox. Go to the flyout menu on the top right, then select Options. Go to Advanced and click the Network tab. Under Connection > Configure how Firefox connects to the Internet, click Settings…
First, change Configure Proxies to Access the Internet to Manual proxy configuration. Under SOCKS Host enter the URL or IP address of your proxy server. Under Port, enter the number your Netflix SOCKS5 proxy has provided. Tick SOCKS v5 and Proxy DNS when using SOCKS v5.
You can now click OK and head to. You should immediately notice a change in your browsing catalogue.
Unfortunately, those with a free SOCKS proxy may get stuck here. Netflix monitors proxy lists and blocks them to stop users accessing content they aren’t supposed to. You’ll know if you receive the following error when trying to play a show:
Trying to access Netflix US via Free SOCKS Proxy fails
You may be able to find a free proxy that Netflix hasn’t gotten around to yet, but it’s quite unlikely. A paid, private SOCKS5 proxy is less likely to be blocked, as the provider changes things often. You should notice much faster buffering times, so it’s worth paying the small monthly fee.
Most VPN SOCKS5 proxies use authentication, which isn’t supported by Firefox or Google Chrome. Instead, you’ll want to use the previously mentioned Maxthon browser method. This should give you fast, unblocked access to different films.
While SOCKS5 proxies offer better protection than HTML or nothing at all, they don’t shield the user from spying by ISPs or government. Free anonymous proxies offer even less protection, and can be open to hackers, cut out, or have slow download speeds. However, subscription-based proxies remain a great way to bypass regional blocks and carry out other, low-risk tasks.
Unfortunately, the price of a standalone SOCKS5 proxy is high compared to other services. In many cases, users can get a VPN subscription from IPVANISH or Private Internet Access and a VPN SOCKS5 proxy for the same monthly fee. This gives users access to the full, hardened security of a VPN, while also providing a fast, less secure proxy if they need it. At this moment in time, VPN providers like PIA, IPVANISH and NordVPN offer superior value for money.
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Frequently Asked Questions about us socks5
How do I get a US proxy?
How to get a US IP addressSign up for a Virtual Private Network (VPN). … Register for the service and download the VPN software or app.Clear your cookies and restart your device to remove old location identifiers.Log in to your VPN provider and connect to a server in the US.Access your US site like you normally would.Sep 18, 2021
What is the best SOCKS5 provider?
The best VPNs for SOCKS5 – In-depth AnalysisNordVPN. www.nordvpn.com. NordVPN is a reliable VPN that provides security, privacy. … Private Internet Access. www.privateinternetaccess.com. … IPVanish. www.ipvanish.com. … Hide.me. www.hide.me. … Windscribe. Windscribe provide a SOCKS5 proxy on their premium plan.Sep 29, 2021
How do I get into SOCKS5?
Using SOCKS5 Proxy for US Netflix Go to Advanced and click the Network tab. Under Connection > Configure how Firefox connects to the Internet, click Settings… First, change Configure Proxies to Access the Internet to Manual proxy configuration. Under SOCKS Host enter the URL or IP address of your proxy server.