What is SOCKS?

What is SOCKS?


Socket Secure (SOCKS) is an Internet protocol that exchanges network packets between a client and server through a proxy server. SOCKS5 additionally provides authentication so only authorised users may access a server. Practically, a SOCKS server proxies TCP connections to an arbitrary IP address, and provides a means for UDP packets to be forwarded.

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  • SOCKS is a generic proxy protocol for TCP/IP-based
    networking applications.
  • The SOCKS protocol provides a flexible framework for
    developing secure communications by easily
    integrating other security technologies.
  1.  SOCKS is based on IETF and industry standards
    2.  SOCKS is easy to deploy and manage
    3.  SOCKS is transparent to the user while providing
    multiple layers of security

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  • SOCKS version 5 is an IETF approved standard
    protocol implementation (RFC 1928).
  • SOCKS includes two components, the SOCKS server
    And the SOCKS client. The SOCKS server is
    implemented at the application layer, while the SOCKS
    the client is implemented between the application and
    transport layers
  • The basic purpose of the protocol is to enable hosts on
    one side of a SOCKS server to gain access to hosts
    on the other side of a SOCKS Server, without requiring
    direct “IP-reachability”.


  • Transparent network access across
    multiple proxy servers
  • Easy deployment of authentication
    and encryption methods
  • Rapid deployment of new network
  • Simple network security policy


  • A single communication protocol authenticates users
    and establishes the communication channel
  • Can be used with either UDP or TCP based protocols;
    even supports redirection of ICMP!
  • Bi-directional support and intrinsic NAT, for added
    security and anti-spoofing.


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