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Author Topic: Bust the myth: SOCKS better than HTTP proxy  (Read 311679 times)
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« on: January 27, 2010, 02:02:15 AM »

There is a myth not only among beginners but even among advanced users that SOCKS are better than HTTP proxy servers. The only reason why people prefer to use SOCKS then HTTP proxy servers is that they seemed to be faster. Lets bust that myth like Adam Savage and James Hyneman are doing in my favorite TV show Mythbusters Cheesy

As you know (if you do not know please read how proxy server works article) proxy server is some kind of buffer between your computer and the server where the request is sent. SOCKS proxy server is the same HTTP proxy server but with different protocol. So what term 'protocol' stands for?

Protocol is collection of standardized rules which are used by computers to communicate with each other across the network. The advantage of standardization is that they are the same in all countries. So two computers, located in different countries (even if their owners are speaking on different 'languages') could easily communicate with each other, since they have the same set of rules.

All computer programs which use internet connections have their own protocol: internet browser, messenger program, email client, etc. Even humans use protocol, but we call it with different word 'etiquette' (I am speaking about polite humans Smiley). When you meet a person, depend on how good you know him, you will use one of the following greeting messages: 'Hi' or 'Hello'. If the opponent is polite, he will follow the same etiquette (protocol) and the answer could be: 'Hi! What's up dude?' or 'Hello, how are you doing'.

In other words we have following protocols:

  • ICQ protocol for wide spread ICQ messenger
  • POP3 protocol to receive emails
  • SMTP protocol to send emails
  • IRC protocol for MIRC, chat program
  • FTP protocol to upload files on your website

Proxy servers (proxy protocol) were designed to work mostly with HTTP and HTTPS requests only (HTTP and HTTP over SSL protocols). So theoretically you will not be able to use your HTTP proxy server for some tasks where other rather then HTTP or HTTPS protocol usage is implemented.

If your intention is only to browse websites then proxy will suit you best. But if there are some tasks with non HTTP/HTTPS protocol base, then someone would say: you should use SOCKS for your tasks, since they were designed to work with any needed protocol! BUT please do not hurry with conclusions.

HTTP proxy servers has special command called CONNECT, which allows users to create data tunnels with simple HTTP proxy servers, similar how SOCKS are doing. In other words with help of CONNECT command your HTTP proxy will have all SOCKS features.

Of course there is another 'advantage' of SOCKS servers. All data sent between you and the SOCKS server are encoded and hidden from third part. But here is the argument which will bust that too: you can simply use HTTPS protocol for you connection and all your data will be encoded similarly to the SOCKS servers Wink

So now let's answer last question, why SOCKS servers are faster? That is because nobody uses them Cheesy Yap, that looks attractive but do not forget that you will have extra 20% speed up but at the same time you will have to pay 3-6 times more for the same amount of SOCKS servers.

With help of our service we could provide user with HTTP proxy servers which are better than SOCKS server. This was managed to be achieved with help of new checking engine. It is only at our web site where proxy servers are checked every 30 seconds and proxy lists are updated as fast as every ONE minute.

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Here you can read more about SOCKS proxy servers: What is SOCKS proxy server and what is HTTP proxy server?

Keep visiting our forum to read interesting articles Smiley Needless to say, if you have question related to this article or you are interested in something else, you are more then welcome to post your questions here Smiley
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 03:08:41 PM by HIF » Logged

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