SOCKS5 VPN Services - 5 Best VPNs that offer SOCKS5 and what is SOCKS5

Like a VPN, a SOCKS5 proxy is an effective way to bypass internet blocks. Some VPN providers include a SOCKS5 proxy in their service because it can provide location spoofing with faster speeds than a VPN. A SOCKS5 proxy does not provide the added privacy benefits you get with a full VPN connection. However, depending on your needs, a SOCKS5 proxy can be a useful extra feature.

In this article, we have pinpointed the best VPNs with a SOCKS5 proxy. Our SOCKS5 VPN services will provide you with a full premium VPN in addition to a SOCKS5 proxy you can use any time you want.

What is SOCKS?

SOCKS stands for Socket Secure, and it is an internet protocol commonly used to create a proxy. It is a technology often used by people behind a firewall who are unable to establish TCP connections directly with outside servers. We cover this further down in this guide.

What are the best SOCKS5 VPN providers?

As SOCKS5 can be really useful when unblocking content, we have listed the best VPN providers that offer the protocol with their service. More details can be found below, but if you're in a hurry, here is a quick look at our best SOCKS5 VPN providers:

  1. Private Internet Access - is a very secure VPN service and the best SOCKS5 VPN. It's easy to set up to SOCKS5 proxy via their client control panel.
  2. IPVanish - is a fantastic VPN service that offers a SOCKS5 proxy free with their VPN. They have lots of SOCKS5 servers based in over 50 countries.
  3. Hide.me - has outstanding privacy features. They integrate their SOCKS5 proxy with their VPN to improve you security.
  4. NordVPN - is a VPN provider with a good reputation. They have great SOCKS5 Proxy which can easily be used with a torrent client of your choice.
  5. Windscribe - offer a free VPN service, however their SOCKS5 proxy is only available on their premium plans. It's easy to use and set up.

Of course, our main consideration here is that the VPN provider offers access to SOCKS5, but it also must offer:

The best VPNs for SOCKS5 - In-depth Analysis

Here are the best VPNs with SOCKS5. If you need more information on these or any other services, check out our detailed VPN reviews.

Private Internet Access is a the best SOCKS5 VPN. PIA offer a SOCKS5 proxy that is really easy to set up and is secure using a separate username and password to your VPN client.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.84 - $10.51
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based provider that is often praised by Reddit users. It is a VPN that has been around for many years, and which has proven its zero-logs policy in court on numerous occasions.


The VPN has apps for all popular platforms, and those clients come fully featured with all the most important privacy and security features. OpenVPN encryption is available throughout, and users get high-levels of granular control over the strength of that protection. In addition, users get a kill switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation, port forwarding, split tunnelling, and a SOCKS5 proxy. This makes PIA one of the most well rounded VPNs on the market, and a superb option for anybody who wants to engage in torrenting.


With PIA you get super-fast servers in 33 countries, which will allow you to bypass international geo-restrictions and censorship. And this VPN can access sought after services like Netflix US and hulu. It's an excellent all-rounder that has everything you need to get more privacy and freedom online. You can test it risk-free using its money-back guarantee. 

IPVanish is a US-based VPN with a great SOCKS5 Proxy option. They have an extension proxy server list including servers in the UK, USA, UAE and many more countries.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.70 - $10.00
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • Hulu

IPVanish is another VPN provider that gives users access to a SOCKS5 proxy bundled in with all of its subscription plans. And IPVanish provides excellent setup guides for accessing and using that extra proxy either inside of torrent clients or browsers.


With IPVanish, users get a robust VPN service that is available for all platforms. The VPN has a trustworthy no logs policy, and robust military-grade OpenVPN encryption to ensure your online habits always remain private. We enjoy using IPVanish apps because they have all the features you are likely to need, including a kill switch and obfuscation.


And, because it has servers in over 70 countries, you will always be able to unblock anything you require. We tested IPVanish with Netflix US and had no problems accessing more content. A superb VPN with a SOCKS5 proxy for those who need it. You can compare it to our other recommendations yourself thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

hide.me integrate their secure VPN with a SOCKS5 proxy which helps you to maintain your internet speeds whilst gaining privacy online.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.43 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

hide.me is a VPN from Malaysia that is always considered extremely good for people who want watertight privacy levels. Being in Malaysia puts it well out of reach of invasive governments in places like the UK and the USA, and because it has a no-logs policy, you never have to worry about this VPN having any records of what you did online.


hide.me is a VPN that has advanced VPN apps for all platforms that come fully featured. And, it is one of the best VPNs in the world that also provides a SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting or getting around firewalls. We love this VPN because it is primarily aimed at providing high-quality privacy features. The apps are jam-packed with the best features on the market and this VPN is always praised by consumers.


It is also worth mentioning that hide.me has now made the effort to begin unblocking Netflix US and other popular streaming services - which makes this VPN a true all rounder. It's well worth considering, and can be tested using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

NordVPN is a reliable VPN that provides security, privacy. They have really useful guides on how to combine your torrent client with their SOCKS5 Proxy service.

  • Pricing

    From  $3.71 - $11.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

NordVPN is a service that has been around for many years, and it is a reliable VPN that has excellent apps for all platforms. NordVPN is easy to use, it has great customer care, and it has a watertight zero-logs policy. The VPN is also based in Panama, which is great in terms of privacy. We enjoy this VPN because it has rarer VPN features like double-hop encryption and VPN through Tor. It also has all the essentials such as a kill switch and obfuscation.


With Nord you get access to servers in over 70 countries, and the VPN provides ample speeds for streaming in HD or downloading. However, for those who want to spoof their IP with the fastest possible speeds available; a SOCKS5 proxy is also included within the subscription.


We think NordVPN is extremely easy to use, and we know that it works with services like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. It's yet another outstanding VPN that you can test risk-free using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Windscribe provide a SOCKS5 proxy on their premium plan. It's easy to set up using the SOCKS5 Profile generator on their website.

  • Pricing

    From  $4.08 - $9.00
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix

Windscribe is a VPN that can be tested for nothing thanks to its limited free subscription plan. However, anybody looking for a SOCKS5 proxy will need a premium subscription.


Windscribe is a zero logs VPN that provides strong OpenVPN encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. That means you can trust it to give you digital privacy both at home and on public WiFi. This VPN is also great for unblocking international content or for bypassing local censorship.


Admittedly, Windscribe isn’t quite as fast as some of the other VPNs we have recommended. However, it is still in the top 20 fastest VPNs - which means it is suitable for streaming in HD or downloading. Overall, it's an excellent VPN that is great for gaining privacy and accessing content. You can test it thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

What is a SOCKS5 proxy?

A SOCKS proxy is a feature provided by some VPNs because it can also be used to permit internet users to conceal their real IP address from online services and domains. This can allow users to bypass IP blocks if their IP has been blacklisted by an online service or if a VPN’s IP addresses have been blocked by that service.

SOCKS5 is the latest version of the SOCKS protocol. It can send data via UDP (in addition to TCP), meaning that it can provide a highly reliable and efficient connection. It can also proxy data from a large cross section of request types, including HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP and FTP. This flexibility is what makes SOCKS5 useful, because it can easily be used for email, web browsing, peer-to-peer file sharing, file transfers, VoIP, and more.

The nice thing about a SOCKS5 proxy using UDP is that it can provide extremely fast speeds. This makes it valuable for people who require high speed IP spoofing without the need for data privacy. On the other hand, SOCKS5 provides no encryption; which means your traffic can still be monitored by your ISP or the government. This means you do not get the privacy levels with a SOCKS5 proxy that you get when using a fully encrypted VPN tunnel.

SOCKS5 vs VPN - what’s the difference?

Both VPNs and SOCKS5 function as a proxy that can be used to conceal your real IP address from the online services you visit. However, this is where the similarity largely ends, because a SOCKS5 proxy does not provide many of the other benefits you get with a VPN.

A VPN creates a securely encrypted tunnel between the VPN client (application) and the proxy (VPN) server. This gives you online privacy and data security - in addition to the location spoofing functionality you get with a SOCKS5 proxy.

With a VPN, you can conceal your online browsing habits from your ISP, the government, and local network administrators in workplaces, schools, and public WiFi networks. This encryption stops anybody from accessing your data or tracking your online habits. However, it also causes some slowing of internet speeds, which is why some people prefer to use a SOCKS5 proxy.

If you require IP spoofing without the need for internet privacy (to connect to a gaming server in another country, for example) - you may be happy using a SOCKS5 proxy. However, if you intend to access restricted torrent sites to download movies (or to engage in other online activities that you would prefer to do in private); you will need to stick to using a VPN with its added encryption.

What are the benefits of a SOCKS5 proxy over other proxies?

SOCKS5 offers three main benefits over other proxies out there:

  1. The greatest benefit of a SOCKS5 proxy is its ability to process an almost unlimited number of request types. This allows it to be used for VoIP, HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, SMTP, and FTP.
  2. Unlike other proxies, SOCKS5 does not rewrite data packet headers. This improves efficiency by making it less likely that there will be misrouting or mislabelling issues.
  3. Finally, SOCKS5 proxies can be set up with one of the following authentication methods:
    • Username/password authentication in which the user must provide their credentials to access the proxy server
    • GSS-API authentication in which both the user and the server use authentication to verify the user’s identity

However, please remember that the performance benefits you get with a SOCKS5 proxy (and the added security you get when password/username authentication is implemented, as is the case with most SOCKS5 proxies provided by VPNs) is counterbalanced by a loss of privacy and security: SOCKS5 packet headers contain metadata that can identify you, which is why anybody who requires online privacy is strongly advised to use a full VPN connection rather than a SOCKS5 proxy.

Should I use a SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting?

Some people use a SOCKS5 proxy to gain added security when downloading peer-to-peer using a torrent client. The great thing about torrenting with a SOCKS5 proxy is that it is extremely easy to set up from within your torrent client itself.

A SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting improves your security by concealing your real IP address from the swarm (all the peers seeding or leeching the torrent). This provides security against exposure to a malevolent peer who may attempt to scan your IP address for open ports; which could potentially allow you to be victimized.

Although the security benefit (IP concealment) provided by a SOCKS5 proxy is useful, it is important to remember that it is not as effective as a VPN tunnel. Like a SOCKS5 proxy, a VPN conceals your real IP address from the peers you connect to.

However, a VPN also encrypts your data so that all your downloads are private and cannot be detected by your ISP. This ensures that your ISP and the government are never able to identify the torrent services you use, the seeds you leech from, and the content you download.

If you intend to torrent online and you want to do it securely, a SOCKS5 proxy will provide better security than nothing at all. And a SOCKS5 proxy will usually provide more bandwidth and better speeds. However, unless you live in a country where copyright piracy is tolerated, it is generally recommended that you use a VPN rather than a SOCKS5 proxy.

How to connect to a SOCKS5 proxy

Unlike a VPN, which ensures that all your internet traffic is always tunnelled via the VPN server, a SOCKS5 proxy must be set up inside your browser or torrent client. This means that the SOCKS5 proxy will only ever ‘spoof’ your location inside that software; rather than for your entire computer or mobile device.

If you want to connect to your VPN’s SOCKS5 proxy, it will be necessary to set up that connection manually either in your torrent client or browser. The best way to achieve this is to contact your VPN for a setup guide, which will include how to set up your SOCKS5 authentication on its website.

If you are a Firefox user, the easiest way to set up a SOCKS5 proxy is by using the third party extension FoxyProxy:

  1. Download the FoxyProxy Standard add-on from the FireFox Add-ons page.
  2. Install the extension into your Firefox browser.
  3. Click on the FoxyProxy icon that appears in the toolbar in the top right of your Firefox browser.
  4. Choose Options from the drop-down menu. You will now be redirected to a webpage.
  5. Select Use proxy Default for all URLs from the drop-down menu in the middle of the screen.
  6. Next click the Add button in the top-left of the screen.
  7. Now, click Edit and add the details for your VPN SOCKS5 proxy. (You will need to get the server address, port number, username and password from your VPN’s website.)
  8. Finally, turn on the slider next to Send DNS through SOCKS5 proxy and click Save.
  9. Now check your IP address by clicking What's My IP in the left-hand menu. Your IP address should appear in the location of your VPN’s SOCKS5 proxy server.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

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