Here at VPNCompare we usually write about VPN services because overall they provide the best privacy and secure your internet connection in the most efficient manner.
There are however a few alternatives for specific purposes that alongside a VPN can bring an added advantage to your online use.
One of these is a service known as a SOCKS5 proxy.
SOCKS5 has been around for years and allows you to push the traffic from a specific app or piece of software through an anonymous proxy. While it won’t encrypt your traffic like a VPN will it does have a speed advantage and allows the rest of your internet browsing to remain over your normal internet connection.
SOCKS5 and Torrenting
When it comes to Torrenting it’s always best to secure your internet connection and while a VPN is certainly a good choice for doing this as it can help stop any leaks outside the VPN connection there is the possibility to use a SOCKS5 proxy and take advantages of its benefits.
Popular torrent clients such as uTorrent and BitTorrent allow you to enable a SOCKS5 proxy server so that the files that you seed and download pass through the anonymous proxy server essentially putting a third party between yourself and the files that you access.
When using a SOCKS5 proxy the IP Address associated with the download will be that of the proxy server and not your home IP Address giving you a level of anonymity.
Best SOCKS5 Proxy for Torrenting
The great news is with some paid VPN services the SOCKS5 proxy service is completely free. This means if you’ve already got a VPN package from specific companies then your SOCKS5 proxy for Torrenting comes as an additional free service.
Three of the best VPN services that offer SOCKS5 proxy services completely free are listed below.
All you need to do is sign up to one of the VPN services above and the SOCKS5 proxy service comes completely free. You get the privacy and security of the encrypted VPN service with the additional bonus of the SOCKS5 proxy which is ideal for use with Torrent clients and other services.
How to use the SOCKS5 proxy
The three providers listed above all offer access to the SOCKS5 proxy. With IPVanish the login and password details for your SOCKS5 service can be found within your account area on their website.
You’ll need to generate a username and password in the first instance.
Once you’ve got these details you can go ahead and configure your torrent or other software to make use of the SOCKS5 proxy.
Each client is different but usually the correct place to enter the details can be found in the settings section possibly under Network. As you can see from the example BitTorrent application below it’s relatively easy to enter the details.
What about a free SOCKS5 proxy?
No doubt you’ve heard about “free” SOCKS5 proxies and considered them. Why pay for something if you can get it for free?
The problem with free SOCKS5 proxies are many and varied. The first issue is the fact that they’re free means there are thousands of people using them which leads to slow speeds.
For torrenting they are just completely unusable, in fact, you may even struggle to just do something as simple as visiting a website when using a free SOCKS5 proxy due to the number of users making use of the same service.
Not all SOCKS5 proxy servers are anonymous either known more commonly as “transparent”. This means your real IP Address is still passed onto the final destination. These are completely unsuitable for accessing Torrents.
One of the most important considerations with “free” SOCKS5 proxies is the fact they can and likely do log who is accessing them and what they’re doing or downloading while connected. With a paid VPN service with free SOCKS5 proxy such as one from IPVanish their SOCKS5 proxy is non-logging and as you’re paying for the service you can be safe in the knowledge that they’re supplying the non-logging service you’re paying them to provide.