Last Updated on June 8, 2021 by Calvin C.
You are here because you value internet privacy and security. To achieve this, you should be well-versed with the various ways in which your traffic is secured when it is transmitted over the internet . In this article, we look at HTTPS VPN and SOCKS5 proxy, including their strengths and weaknesses.
When you visit a website, one thing to check is whether https is enabled or not.
If there is a padlock in the address bar, it means HTTPS is enabled and that website uses SSL (Secure Sockets Encryption) encryption.
What this does is it encrypts data sent between the website and the website’s hosting servers.
Data is decrypted on both ends using secure keys but HTTPS has it’s flaws.
Your IP address is not changed so attackers can see your location.
In addition, if website servers are hacked, your data can be accessed and your identity can even be stolen.
Note that cybercriminals create HTTPS-enabled malicious websites to give potential victims a false sense of security.
With HTTPS, data is encrypted during the transfer, but with the right tools, anyone snooping on your network can access it.
A proxy server sits between the user and the internet, providing an extra layer of security by changing the user’s IP address.
However, unlike a VPN (see below), a proxy does not really encrypt your traffic and this means hackers can access your data.
Worse if proxy servers are hacked, it’s possible for attackers to push malware to your device.
Another point to note is proxies log your data and anyone who gains access to proxy servers can see your internet activity.
Premium VPNs, on the other hand, have a strictly no logs policy so if servers are raided, nothing ties back to you.
The lack of encryption enables proxies to have a faster speed than most VPNs.
SOCKS5 (Socket Secure 5) proxy increases security by adding an authentication feature so that only authorized users can connect to the server.
SOCKS5 is the most up-to-date version of the SOCKS protocol and there are three types of authentication methods:
- Null authentication: You don’t need authentication to connect to a proxy
- Username/password authentication: Here login details are needed to connect to a proxy
- GSS-API authentication: You and the server provide authentication
This is safer than an ordinary proxy that only changes your IP address without authentication.
NordVPN offers a SOCKS5 proxy that you can use if you are not worried about security but you want to hide your location.
A VPN changes your IP address and encrypts all your traffic once you are connected to the internet.
This includes browser traffic and traffic from any apps on your computer, mobile device or any device where the VPN is installed.
You get the greatest security and privacy when you use a VPN as compared to relying on HTTPS alone or SOCKS5 proxy.
Unfortunately, not all VPNs out there give you reliable anonymity because there are a lot of bad actors on the web.
That is why I don’t recommend free VPNs because the reliability never matches that of top VPNs.
- With free VPNs you may get:
- Limited features
- Poor privacy
- Poor security
- Unreliable client support
One of the challenges of most VPNs is a poor speed due to the encryption process.
This is countered by selecting top VPN services only that have optimized servers.
Fortunately, I did the heavy lifting for you as there are numerous VPNs to choose from.
NordVPN – Best for security (Editor’s Choice)
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 68% off a 2-year plan
Surfshark – Low cost VPN
- All standard features at a fraction of a cost
- 83% off a 2-year plan
- Strictly no logs policy
- No DNS leaks
CyberGhost VPN – User friendly VPN
- Widespread coverage
- Strong anonymity while browsing
- 83% off a 3-year plan
- 45-day money-back guarantee
If you want to bypass firewalls, access geo-restricted sites and have better privacy or security, then a VPN is going to do the best job.
It is important to know the level of security that your traffic has when you are online.
That way, you won’t risk working with confidential data over an unsecure network.
Are you using a VPN? Leave comments below and share the post with your friends on social media.