Best SOCKS5 VPN

A SOCKS5 proxy is an alternative technology to a VPN that allows you to spoof your location online. It is useful for occasions when you want to conceal your actual IP address from the websites you visit, and want to get an IP address in a different country to access locally censored content or services that impose geo-restrictions. In this guide, we have recommended the best SOCKS5 VPNs.

The important thing to remember is that a SOCKS5 proxy does not provide any encryption for your data or prevent your ISP from monitoring your DNS requests. As a result, a SOCKS5 proxy does not provide the additional privacy benefits you get with a full VPN tunnel. A SOCKS5 proxy hosted by a trustworthy VPN provider removes the risks.

We will cover each VPN in more detail, but if you’re in a rush, here is a quick summary of the best SOCKS5 VPNs:

  1. NordVPN: Our top choice SOCKS5 VPN. Great speeds. Many advanced features, including a SOCKS5 proxy. No logs policy. Super-fast servers in 59 countries. Works to access Netflix and Hulu. Allows torrenting. Has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. IPVanish: Fast and reliable. US-based provider with apps for all platforms. Kill-switch, obfuscation, DNS leak protection, and AES encryption WireGuard protocol for faster speeds. SOCKS5 proxy with setup instructions on its website. Works with Netflix US.
  3. PrivateVPN: The SOCKS5 proxy and port forwarding features make it great for torrenting. Fast speeds. Servers in 63+ countries. Watertight no-logs policy. Lots of advanced VPN features. Works with 20+ Netflix regions.
  4. Private Internet Access: A secure VPN with a lot of customization options. Provides a SOCKS5 proxy, split tunneling, and port forwarding. Fast WireGuard protocol for streaming and torrenting. Works with Netflix US. Allows 10 connections per account.
  5. Hide.me: A super-secure and advanced VPN based in Malaysia. Apps for all platforms. SOCKS5 proxy with setup instructions. No-logs policy. Servers in 75+ locations. Allows 10 connections. Works with Netflix and other platforms.

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There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

How to get a SOCKS5 VPN

The important thing is to pick a VPN provider that has a SOCKS5 proxy and a solid no-logging policy. You also want the VPN to be highly secure and versatile. This ensures you will get watertight online privacy and security.

Here’s how to get a reliable VPN for SOCKS5:

  1. Pick a recommended SOCKS5 VPN. We suggest NordVPN because it offers outstanding value for money and is super-advanced.
  2. Head over to the VPN’s website and take out a subscription. You can get the VPN cheapest by using our link to activate your automatic coupon code.
  3. Download the VPN app, install it onto your computer or mobile device, and log in using your credentials from signing up.
  4. Navigate to the VPN’s website, log in, and follow the provider’s instructions to set up the SOCKS5 proxy. It will provide all the information you need to connect using a torrent client, manually within Windows or macOS, or via some other means such as FoxyProxy.
  5. If you need to gain privacy and security for your internet traffic, connect to the VPN server using the full VPN client. Remember that a VPN is faster and more secure than the SOCKS5 proxy.

Using the SOCKS5 proxy provided by your VPN will spoof your location, allowing you to bypass local restrictions and website blocks, and giving you a new IP address. Just remember that a SOCKS5 proxy does not provide you with privacy against ISP and government snooping.

The Best SOCKS5 VPNs

Searching the web for a secure and reliable VPN is tough at the best of times. Finding a reliable service that also has a SOCKS5 proxy is even trickier. Below you can see some of the criteria we used to pick SOCKS5 VPNs:

  • Provides a SOCKS5 proxy
  • Fast servers suitable for streaming, torrenting and gaming
  • Apps for all platforms
  • Advanced security features, including AES encryption
  • A zero-logs policy that promises watertight privacy at all times
  • 24/7 live chat

Later in this article, we will provide further details about how we test and recommend VPNs with a SOCKS5 proxy. For now, you can use the summaries below to pick between the top SOCKS5 VPNs.

Here’s a list of the best SOCKS5 VPNs:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN May 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is a provider based in Panama that is widely considered the best VPN service on the market. The VPN provides a high level of service at an extremely reasonable cost. In addition to a full VPN, it has everything you need to set up its self-hosted SOCKS5 proxy in macOS, Windows, or via a BitTorrent client like qBittorrent, Vuze, or Deluge.

The VPN apps are available for all popular platforms and they come with a wide selection of advanced privacy and security features. This includes a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscated servers, robust AES encryption, malware protection, a Smart DNS service, Double VPN, and Tor over VPN. This makes it an extremely robust privacy service no matter your specific needs.

The VPN has servers in 59 countries and it has more than 5000 servers in total to prevent congestion. Those servers provide access to popular international services like Hulu, Netflix, iPlayer, HBO Max, and more. Nord is also extremely fast thanks to its NordLynx protocol. This makes it ideal for streaming, gaming, or torrenting. You can test it risk free, thanks to this 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 5000+ super-fast servers in 59 countries
  • Military grade encryption and a no-logs policy
  • SOCKS5 proxy, malware protection, and Smart DNS
  • NordLynx protocol is fast for gaming and streaming
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Some servers take a while to connect compared to others

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR SOCKS5:Our top pick VPN with a SOCKS5 proxy. Lightning-fast NordLynx protocol is perfect for video conferencing, playing games, and streaming in HD. Servers optimized for torrenting. Works with Netflix, HBO Max, and many more. Zero-logs policy. Many advanced features. Has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. IPVanish

IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is a US-based VPN that provides extremely comprehensive online privacy features for its subscribers. Although its US base may put some privacy advocates off, ‌the VPN has a solid no-logs policy. This means it has no records of what its users do while connected to its servers (whether you use the full VPN or the SOCKS5 proxy).

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Firestick devices, and Linux. Those apps come with plenty of advanced features, including a kill switch, AES-256 encryption (OpenVPN) protocol, DNS leak protection, XOR obfuscation, split tunneling, and a SOCKS5 proxy.

IPVanish owns the vast majority of its network, which helps to improve the integrity of its servers and makes the VPN really fast. IPVanish VPN has over 3000 servers in 50+ countries, which prevents server congestion. Add to this its WireGuard implementation and you have a VPN suitable for streaming, torrenting, gaming, and doing anything else you can think of with added privacy.

You can use its US servers to access Netflix securely from abroad. However, this VPN is not as good for streaming as our top recommendation. You can install the VPN on an unlimited number of devices, which means you can share your account with friends and family. Plus, you can test it yourself, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • 3000+ servers in over 50 countries
  • Plenty of advanced features, including obfuscation and SOCKS5
  • Reliable apps for all platforms, with a kill switch and leak protection
  • Allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Works with fewer streaming services than competitors

Our score:

4 out of 5

STRONG PRIVACY FEATURES:IPVanish is fast and secure. Lets you connect an unlimited number of devices. Apps for all platforms. WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols. XOR obfuscation and a kill switch, split tunneling, and a SOCKS5 proxy. Has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Works with Netflix US.

Read our full IPVanish review

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3. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN is a service based in Sweden that was launched with the backing of activists who support consumer rights to torrent. Unsurprisingly, then, it specializes in providing features that are useful for netizens who like to torrent. This includes a SOCKS5 proxy and a port forwarding feature you can use in your torrent client. And the VPN allows P2P connection throughout its network of servers in 63+ countries.

The biggest drawback with PrivateVPN is that it only has around 250 servers in total. However, in our tests the VPN was very quick despite this, and it performed without problems when streaming in HD, gaming, downloading torrent pieces, or making video-calls. This is also one of the few SOCKS5 VPNs that can provide access to over 20 Netflix regions and many other streaming platforms.

Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Firestick devices. It also has set up guides for routers, and various other devices. The main VPN apps come with a kill switch, obfuscation, DNS leak protection, and military grade AES encryption. It also has a no-logs policy, which means everything you do online will always be private. You can install the VPN on an unlimited number of devices and the VPN can be tested risk free for 30 days.

Pros:

  • Fast for playing games, torrenting, and streaming
  • Kill-switch, AES encryption, no-logs policy, and a SOCKS5 proxy
  • 250+ servers in 63 countries
  • Works to stream around 20 Netflix regions
  • Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android

Cons:

  • Fewer servers in each country than our other recommendations
  • Live chat isn’t 24/7

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SECURE SOCKS5 VPN:PrivateVPN is quick to do data-intensive tasks like gaming or torrenting. Port forwarding and a SOCKS5 proxy make it ideal for torrenting. Incredible value for money when you commit for a longer period. Watertight no-logs policy. Servers in 63+ countries. Allows torrenting throughout its network. Has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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4. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.PrivateInternetAccess.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Private Internet Access is a VPN provider that is often praised on Reddit and Trustpilot. Admittedly, the VPN is based in the US, which is not the best location for a privacy service to be based due to the presence of the NSA and gag orders. That said, the VPN has a no-logs policy it has proven in court. This means that the VPN will have nothing invasive to hand to the authorities, even if the authorities approach it with a warrant.

The best thing about PIA is that it pays a lot of attention to providing customization and advanced privacy and security features. Users can strengthen or weaken the encryption cipher settings within the client, which allows you to either make the tunnel more secure or weaker (which makes it even faster) depending on your personal needs. The VPN also provides a kill switch, DNS leak protection, port forwarding, and SOCKS5 proxy.

WireGuard connections allow you to get fast speeds throughout its network. And this VPN has an incredible 5,000+ servers in 80+ countries. This makes it excellent for HD streaming, gaming, and torrenting. The only slight caveat is that this VPN does not work to access as many streaming platforms as our other recommendations. That said, the VPN does work with six different Netflix regions, including the US. Plus it has a 30-day money-back guarantee to let you test it yourself with any service.

Pros:

  • Fast WireGuard protocol and a SOCKS5 proxy
  • Risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 5,000+ servers in 80+ countries
  • Customizable security options
  • Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android

Cons:

  • Fewer servers in each country than our other recommendations
  • Live chat isn’t 24/7

Our score:

4 out of 5

STRONG ON PRIVACY:PIA is highly customizable and has strong security features. Port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy. Kill switch and DNS leak protection. AES-256 encryption (OpenVPN protocol). Works with six Netflix regions. Has a 30-day money-back guarantee

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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5 Hide.me

Hide.me VPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.hide.me

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Hide.me is a highly secure VPN provider based in Malaysia. The service distinguishes itself from 90 percent of competing services by providing a wide array of advanced VPN privacy and online security features. This includes a SOCKS5 proxy that users get access to for no extra cost with every subscription. It also has port forwarding and split tunneling, which makes it a good option if you want to torrent.

Servers are available in over 40 countries, and those servers provide decent speeds for streaming in HD and gaming. What’s more this VPN works to watch Netflix US, iPlayer, Hulu, and many other services.

Apps are available for all platforms, and they include DNS and WebRTC leak protection, a kill switch, AES-256 encryption, and a feature that blocks apps on your device from working unless the VPN is connected (stealth guard). Despite having a lot of advanced features, we actually found the VPN pretty straightforward to use. That said, it is probably a little complicated for newcomers, so is probably going to be for more techy users who actually need all of its extra features.

The biggest drawback is that this VPN was found to be the slowest VPN on this list. However, it does have the WireGuard protocol, so it should not cause any performance issues in reality. You can compare it to our other SOCKS 5 proxy VPNs yourself using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Fast WireGuard connections for streaming and gaming
  • Port forwarding, split tunneling and SOCKS5 proxy
  • Solid AES 256 encryption and a kill switch
  • No-logs policy

Cons:

  • Servers in 40 countries
  • Slower than our other recommendations

Our score:

3.5 out of 5

LOTS OF ADVANCED FEATURES:Hide.me is based in Malaysia. Apps for all platforms that have more advanced features than most of our other recommendations. Particularly good for torrenting. Quite techy, so not the best if you aren’t an experienced VPN user. Has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our full Hide.me review to find out more.

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SOCKS5 VPN testing methodology

At Comparitech, we understand how confusing the VPN market can be. This is why we use a scientific VPN testing methodology to test, review, and compare the world’s leading VPN brands.

For added transparency, we have included a list of features we looked for when recommending VPNs with a SOCKS5 proxy below.

  1. Apps for Android, Mac, and Windows that are secure and have plenty of useful features.
  2. A no-logs policy so that the VPN never monitors what you do online and never retains records that could uncover what ‌you did while connected at a later date.
  3. Servers worldwide to give you the best possible speeds when using the VPN.
  4. Outstanding accessibility, including the ability to access restricted torrent sites and streaming services from around the globe.
  5. Servers that work with popular services like Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer, internet banking, etc.
  6. Servers optimized for torrenting.
  7. Outstanding customer service to help you with using your VPN 24/7.
  8. Plenty of useful privacy features, including obfuscation, split tunneling, DNS leak protection, malware filtering, ad blocking, and more.

SOCKS5 VPN FAQs

Can I use a free VPN for SOCKS5?

The simple answer to this question is no because we have yet to pinpoint a free VPN that lets you use its SOCKS5 proxy. Thus, you will need to subscribe to a premium VPN if you want to ‌ use a secure SOCKS5 proxy that is hosted on servers maintained by a reputable VPN with trustworthy privacy policies.

It is also worth remembering that free VPNs are a bad idea in general. Studies have revealed that free VPNs often harvest user data, profile users, and sell their data to third parties, such as marketing companies and data brokers. This makes free VPNs the equivalent of an umbrella that is full of holes.

As if that was not enough, studies have discovered free VPNs lying about the level of encryption they provide, suffering from data leaks and severe app vulnerabilities, and even concealing spyware in their apps. This makes free VPNs extremely risky and is why we always recommend that consumers stick to reputable VPNs that charge a fair price for a decent service. 

How to set up a SOCKS5 proxy

The first thing you must do is pick a VPN that has a SOCKS5 proxy and subscribe. Following that, you will be able to log in to the VPN provider’s website to make a note of its SOCKS5 proxy details. If you can’t find these on your provider’s website, contact the live chat support because they will be able to direct you to the VPN’s SOCKS5 setup article. 

To help you out, we have provided the basic setup instructions for Windows and Mac below. We have also explained how to connect in your browser using FoxyProxy.

Set up SOCKS5 manually on Windows

  1. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy
  2. Toggle the On button under Manual proxy setup 
  3. Fill in the proxy details in the forms provided (Address and Port)
  4. Click Save

Set up SOCKS5 manually on macOS

  1. Navigate to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > Proxies.
  2. Select SOCKS proxy from the menu.
  3. Input the proxy server address and port number provided by your VPN provider.
  4. Click OK to save the settings

How to connect to a SOCKS5 proxy in your browser

Most people set up a SOCKS5 proxy on a case-by-case basis within the application they want to use it for. For the vast majority of people, this happens within their BitTorrent client. However, some people do opt to use a SOCKS5 proxy in their browser. 

The easiest way to connect to a proxy in a browser is to use the Firefox browser alongside the FoxyProxy extension. Below, we have included setup instructions:

  1. Download and install FoxyProxy from the Firefox Add-ons page.
  2. Click the FoxyProxy icon that appears on your browser’s toolbar.
  3. Select Options from the drop-down menu. It will redirect you to a website.
  4. In the drop down menu in the middle of the page, select Use proxy Default for all URLs.
  5. Now, click the Add button in the top left.
  6. Next, click Edit and add the details for your VPN’s SOCKS5 proxy. To do this, you will need to get the server address, port number, username, and password from your VPN provider.
  7. Lastly, toggle on the slider next to Send DNS through SOCKS5 proxy and hit Save to confirm.
  8. You can now check that everything has worked correctly, by clicking What's My IP in the left-hand menu. Your IP address should be detected as the location of the proxy server.

What is the difference between a VPN and a SOCKS5 proxy?

Both a VPN and a SOCKS5 proxy are online services that can help you to conceal your IP address from the websites and online services you visit and use. This allows you to spoof your location, which is useful if you want to access geo-restricted content, or want to access a service without them tracking your real IP address.

The big difference between a VPN and a SOCKS5 proxy, however, is that a VPN also provides an encrypted tunnel for your data. The VPN also proxies your DNS requests, which means that your ISP is no longer able to detect which websites you are choosing to visit. The encrypted tunnel provided by a VPN gives you high levels of online privacy in addition to location spoofing services. This makes a VPN much safer than a SOCKS5 proxy.

A VPN is also much faster than a SOCKS5 proxy. This makes a VPN protocol like WireGuard, which was specifically designed to give you the best speeds possible, a much better option than a SOCKS5 proxy for anybody who wants to do data-intensive tasks like streaming in HD, torrenting, and gaming.

Why is a SOCKS5 proxy better than a SOCKS4 proxy?

SOCKS5 and SOCKS4 are both different iterations of a SOCKet Secure (SOCKS) proxy. SOCKS5 improves on its predecessor by providing compatibility with the UDP protocol as well as TCP. This improves speeds and stability for the proxy. 

In addition, SOCKS5 does not rewrite data packet headers, which results in fewer errors caused by the mislabeling or misrouting of data. Furthermore, SOCKS5 uses smaller data packets, which also helps to increase speeds compared to other proxies (including its predecessor SOCKS4).

Finally, SOCKS5 supports authentication mechanisms that were not available in SOCKS4:

  • Username/password authentication—you need to provide login details to connect to the proxy. This is what most VPNs use to make things easy and secure.
  • GSS-API authentication—both the user and the proxy server leverage authentication at the operating system level to verify the user’s identity.

Should I use a SOCKS5 proxy to torrent?

Because of the better speeds provided by a SOCKS5 proxy (when compared to other proxies such as a HTTP proxy), many people are interested in having a SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting

One of the biggest advantages of SOCKS5 proxy is that most BitTorrent clients make it easy to connect to the proxy from within the client itself. This creates peace of mind for the user, because it means that the torrent client always uses the proxy IP when torrenting. As a result, the user gains improved security because they always conceal their actual IP address from other users in the swarm.

The important thing to remember is that while a SOCKS5 proxy can easily be set up on a torrent client, and is faster than many other proxies, it is nowhere near as fast or secure as a full VPN tunnel. This means that 99 percent of people who torrent would always be better off connecting to a VPN rather than a SOCKS5 proxy.

A VPN not only conceals your IP address from the swarm, but it also conceals your downloads from local network admins, ISPs, and potentially government snoops. This is because the VPN encrypts your data, and handles your DNS requests privately, keeping it secure against eavesdroppers. 

Finally, anybody considering the use of a SOCKS5 proxy over a VPN is reminded that it can be highly risky to use random SOCKS5 proxies provided by unknown sources. Using an unverified SOCKS5 proxy found online could result in your data being intercepted and stolen as it passes through the proxy. This is why it is essential to stick to a SOCKS5 proxy provided by a trustworthy VPN that has watertight privacy policies in place. 

What is the main benefit of a SOCKS5 proxy?

In addition to providing better speeds and authentication (as mentioned in the FAQ above), a SOCKS5 proxy can also process a huge number of different request types. This means that the SOCKS5 proxy can be used for VoIP, HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP, and FTP, for example. 

This gives SOCKS5 a distinct advantage over other types of proxies. However, it is worth noting that a VPN can also handle ‌these requests; in a much more secure and private manner. Thus, a VPN is ultimately the best option when compared to all other proxies, including SOCKS5. 

What is the main disadvantage of a SOCKS 5 proxy?

In addition to providing no encryption for your data, a SOCKS5 proxy contains metadata in the header that can be used to identify you. This means that although the SOCKS5 proxy can provide location spoofing services, it fails to provide any of the privacy benefits you get with a VPN.