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Difference between HTTP/S and SOCKS proxies

The proxy may depend on the type of proxy chosen, whether you achieve your goal when working on the Internet or not. That is why it is important to understand the differences between the main proxy protocols: HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS (4/5).

Some programs and online services support only HTTP, for others, on the contrary, you need to purchase only SOCKS. Below we will examine in detail the question of what is the difference between existing proxy protocols.

You may also find useful information on how a proxy differs from a VPN.

HTTP Proxy Features

HTTP proxies are designed for:

  • web surfing;
  • file downloads and information transfer;
  • work in programs that support connection through a proxy using the HTTP protocol.

At the heart of the HTTP proxy is the intermediary between the computer and the visited website. That is, the transfer of the request from the computer does not occur directly, but on behalf of the proxy server used.

HTTP proxies support data caching. Due to this, when using it, it is possible to achieve high page loading speed. The request will go to the data already downloaded from the site, which will be stored in the cache. This data, of course, will be updated, but with a frequency of several hours-days.

Other features of the HTTP proxy:

  • the ability to control and filter network traffic;
  • use of a speed limiter;
  • blocking certain web resources;
  • statistics collection through saving logs.

Learn how to configure a proxy server.

Varieties of HTTP Proxies

The main differences between HTTP protocol proxies are in the degree of their anonymity. According to this parameter, they are divided into 3 categories:

  1. Transparent proxies - do not mask a valid IP address and notify the visited web resource that a proxy server is being used at the time of the request. This type of proxy is not very popular. Usually, they are used only to redirect users to another server.
  2. Anonymous proxies - notify the site that a proxy is used when requesting it, but mask the real IP address of the device. At the same time, another IP is displayed, which belongs to the proxy server. Anonymous proxies are suitable for situations when you need an increased level of security.
  3. Elite proxies - when using them, no web resource will recognize that a proxy server is being used during a request. The IP address of the device is reliably masked. Visited sites will seem to be requested directly. Elite proxies are able to provide personal data with the highest level of security among all varieties of HTTP servers.

HTTPS proxy features

HTTPS proxy is a subset of HTTP servers using the SSL transport mechanism. They are able to connect to servers through a secure connection. That is why another letter was added to the title - “S”, denoting the English word “Secure”.

HTTPS proxies work with SSL encryption using the CONNECT method. This allows you to tunnel lower layer protocols over HTTP. Proxies of this type reliably encrypt network traffic. Due to this, they manage to ensure the maximum level of anonymity of the connection between the computer and the final web resource.

Often, proxies using the HTTPS protocol are used in banking networks to provide a high level of security. They are also in demand in commercial organizations where secure corporate networks are created on the basis of them.

Otherwise, HTTPS servers are similar to HTTP proxies.

SOCKS proxy features

SOCKS proxies are considered the most advanced data transfer protocol. The main advantage of this type of server is the ability to work with client-server applications outside of the firewall. In other words, SOCKS proxies can receive a request from a client located behind a firewall, view its access rights and transmit a request to an external server.

SOCKS technology also has another significant advantage over HTTP (S). It is able to provide a connection to network resources from an external client. Let's consider other features of SOCKS proxy versions 4 and 5.


Proxies that work with this protocol are anonymous. They allow pure network traffic and do not reveal HTTP headers. Using the SOCKS5 proxy, the visited web-resource not only does not recognize the valid IP address and other data about the user's computer but does not even detect the fact of using the proxy.

At the same time, SOCKS5 proxies support common network protocols:

  • HTTP;
  • HTTPS;
  • FTP.

SOCKS5 proxies support data caching, authentication and SSL. Of these, you can easily build a chain of proxy servers, which will further improve the security of personal user data. Also, servers of this type use TPC and UDP connections, thereby expanding the range of their possible applications.

The key feature of SOCKS5 proxies is that they provide the ability to work through proxies to those programs that are not by default hold this option. To implement this feature, it is necessary to use special software - a socksifier.


This version of proxy servers has limited capabilities compared to the "five". The main differences between the SOCKS4 proxy and SOCKS5 lie in the lack of support for the UDP network protocol and ipv6 network addressing. Also, SOCKS proxies of this version cannot work in schemes where strong authentication is provided.

Conclusions: the difference between HTTP (S) and SOCKS

So which proxies are better than HTTP or Socks? Proxy servers with support for different protocols differ primarily in the degree of anonymity, the principle of data transfer, as well as additional functions. All types of proxies have useful options like data caching and fast page loading, but HTTPS proxies outperform HTTP due to support for SSL connections.

When comparing HTTP (S) proxies and SOCKS, the latter will be preferable, especially the SOCKS5 versions. They will provide you with completely anonymous work on the Internet, and also help you perform complex tasks in which other versions of proxy servers will be powerless. SOCKS5 work with almost any web resources and programs, due to which they have a wide range of applications and are most in demand. They can be given victory in the confrontation between socks5 vs https.

Haven’t bought a proxy server yet? Get private HTTPs and Socks5 proxies from YouProxy.