What is a SOCKS proxy server?
Though this protocol was developed long ago enough, it is rather new (compared to the HTTP proxy). SOCKS allows to work with any (version SOCKS 4 - with TCP, SOCKS 5 - with TCP and UDP) protocols. A socks proxy simply transfers data from a client to a server, not penetrating into this data contents (therefore it can work with HTTP, FTP, SMTP, POP3, NNTP, etc.).
Anonymity of a SOCKS Proxy
As SOCKS (as it was already marked above) transfers all data from a client to a server, nothing adding from itself, from the point of view of a web-server, a socks proxy is a client. Therefore anonymity of this type of proxy servers is really always absolute.
Using SOCKS Proxies
At present time there exist 2 versions of the SOCKS protocol: 4 and 5. The 4th version, as it appeared earlier, is more widespread. However, now the 5th version is also supported by many popular programs such as ICQ (old ICQ versions, in general, could use only SOCKS proxies), Napster, AudioGalaxy, Emule etc. Generally speaking, as a SOCKS proxy can "proxy" any TCP / UDP protocol, it could be used also by mail programs, but they do not do it. Therefore, for such programs (which cannot work with socks) there was developed a special software automatically enabling TCP and UDP networking client applications to traverse a SOCKS server.
Last updated: 2013-1-11
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