Does NordVPN Offer SOCKS5 Proxy?

Last Updated: April 27, 2021

SOCKS5 proxy offers a way out for people who don’t want their IP address exposed on a public connection. While it supports authentication, unlike a VPN, it doesn’t encrypt your data and is not impenetrable. A VPN offers more in terms of privacy and security. Using it together with a SOCKS5 proxy gives you an added security and privacy layer.

What Is SOCKS5 Proxy?

Generally, a proxy is basically something/someone that can act as a substitute for another. When we move to computer networks, a proxy server is a computer system that acts as a middleman between your local network and a public network (usually the internet). Among other things, proxy servers usually act as security measures to avoid having computers on your internal network exposed to the internet, so they mask your IP address with theirs. It can also act as a firewall with functions such as traffic forwarding and filtering. 

SOCKS, which represents Socket Secure, is a protocol that proxy servers use to move network traffic between a client computer and a server. Unlike some proxies, SOCKS works with any type of network traffic. You can use it for email, Peer-To-Peer (P2P) sharing, web browsing, and file transfers, among other things. There are two versions of SOCKS: SOCKS4 and SOCKS5. SOCK5 proxy is an improved version of the earlier SOCKS4. 

The main difference between the two is that SOCKS5 supports authentication (it has three different authentication methods) and UDP proxies. In other words, it is more secure as it can set up a full TCP connection with authentication and relays traffic with the aid of the Secure Shell protocol (SSH). 

Benefits of Using SOCKS5 Proxy

There are different benefits of using SOCKS5 proxies. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

1. Bypass Restrictions

One of the most popular reasons why people use proxy servers is to mask their IP address. This provides a way to maintain their anonymity on the internet and bypass whatever restrictions their previous IP address could not. Geo-restrictions and IP blacklisting are the two major IP address restrictions that can affect anyone. Using a SOCKS5 proxy will easily allow you to access a website that previously blacklisted your IP address. Plus, since it has the ability to process different types of requests, it has become a popular choice. However, you are likely not to bypass national firewalls that use deep packet inspection to inspect internet traffic.

2. Faster Connections

Unlike SOCKS4 that can only use the TCP protocol, SOCKS5 proxy servers can utilize both TCP and UDP. The ability to use UDP allows a faster connection as it is not concerned with ensuring that packets arrive in the same order or arrive at all, unlike TCP.

3. Better Performance

Unlike other proxies, SOCKS5 proxies don’t rewrite data packet headers, reducing the chance for errors. Since errors ultimately affect performance, SOCKS5 proxies are likely to give you better performance than others but at the risk of your security and privacy. It also offers faster download speeds on Peer-To-Peer (P2P) activities, which is why users prefer it for P2P activities, especially torrenting. 

Why Do You Need a VPN for SOCKS5 Proxy?

Although SOCKS5 offers better performance than a regular proxy, it does not encrypt traffic. Its principal function is to mask your original IP address from the websites that you visit. A Virtual Private Network, on the other hand, offers several security features, including encryption. It creates a secure tunnel between a user’s device and its server network  traffic so that users can browse the internet without any fear of unwanted network penetration. 

When you use a VPN in combination with a SOCKS5 Proxy, it encrypts the data that moves from your device to the proxy server, ensuring that no one, even your ISP, can monitor your internet traffic. However, when you use these two security solutions together, your speed might take a hit. You can always stick to using either of the two, a VPN being the preferable option. You can use only a SOCKS5 proxy if you’re comfortable with just IP masking without any concern for privacy and security.

Does NordVPN Offer SOCKS5 Proxy?

NordVPN is one of the premium VPNs that allows its users to connect to a SOCKS5 proxy server. However, if you check the NordVPN website, you will find little information about the SOCKS5 servers they have and their locations. It is better you reach out to NordVPN support if you need to find out more about their proxy servers, as they can give you a list of SOCKS5 proxy servers you can use. 

Using NordVPN’s proxy servers does not come at an extra cost. You can use it if you are already a NordVPN subscriber. Using NordVPN’s SOCK5 proxy servers allows some flexibility. You can choose between maximum security or maximum speed, and if you don’t want to sacrifice one for the other, you can find a balance. Using NordVPN with SOCKS5 allows you to enjoy the added protection that comes with combining the two of them and offers some flexibility. 

How To Set Up and Use SOCKS5 Proxy With NordVPN

In order to use the SOCKS5 proxy with NordVPN, you must configure it in a browser or torrent client. Since SOCKS5 proxies are pretty popular with P2P activities, we will look at setting it up on one of the most popular torrent clients–BitTorrent. Let’s take a look at the configuration process. 

1. The first step is to launch your BitTorrent application.

2. Next, at the top of the window, select “Options,” then “Preferences,” or you can just use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+P.”

3. Select “Connection” on the sidebar to the left. 

4. Under the “Proxy Server” section, pick “SOCKS5” in the “Type” field.

5. Input the following server addresses in the “Proxy” field:

amsterdam.nl.socks.nordhold.net

atlanta.us.socks.nordhold.net

dallas.us.socks.nordhold.net

dublin.ie.socks.nordhold.net

ie.socks.nordhold.net

los-angeles.us.socks.nordhold.net

nl.socks.nordhold.net

se.socks.nordhold.net

stockholm.se.socks.nordhold.net

us.socks.nordhold.net

6. In the “Port” field, input “1080” as the port number. 

7. Tick the following boxes in their respective fields:

Authentication

Use proxy for hostname lookups

Use proxy for peer-to-peer connections

Disable all local DNS lookups

Disable features that leak identifying information

Disable connections unsupported by the proxy

8. In the “Username” and “Password” fields, input your NordVPN service username and password. Go to your Nord Account dashboard if you don’t know your service credentials. 

You can see the process is simple and easy. The next thing you need to do is confirm that the SOCKS5 proxy is working.

How to Verify That the SOCKS5 Proxy Is Working

Here’s what you need to do to ascertain the SOCKS5 proxy is configured properly:

1. Head over to the ipMagnet site and click on “Magnet link” (don’t quit the website).

2. A small window will pop up so you can choose an application to open the magnet link. Select your torrent client (BitTorrent) and click the “OK” button.

3. BitTorrent will launch after. Choose where to save the torrent file and click the “OK” button.

4. You will see an “ipMagnet Tracking Link” file synchronizing, then connecting to peers.

5. Go back to the ipMagnet site, and you will see your new IP address on the page. You have now verified that your torrent client (BitTorrent) downloads files through NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy servers. 

Why Use NordVPN With SOCKS5 Proxy?

There are several benefits to using NordVPN with SOCKS5 Proxy. Let’s take a look at some of them.

1. Privacy and Security

SOCKS5 proxy servers offer some privacy and security, but it is not enough to prevent malicious hackers from penetrating your network. NordVPN boasts of safety and reliability. The AES-256 encryption cipher it uses makes your connection impenetrable; not even your ISPs can see what is going on in the encryption tunnel. It also uses secure protocols like OpenVPN. 

NordVPN’s kill switch ensures that whenever your VPN connection cuts, your internet connection is also restricted to avoid IP address leaks. DNS/WebRTC leak protection also contributes to preventing IP address exposure. Other features include Double VPN, Tor over VPN, and Split Tunneling. Using NordVPN with SOCKS proxy gives you an added protection layer over a public network like the internet. 

2. Server Network

NordVPN’s server network allows you to bypass whatever restriction you need a SOCKS5 proxy server for. Its more than 5000 servers are spread across 59 countries in different regions worldwide. You can connect to its specialty servers to help you with particular situations like streaming, torrenting, and bypassing restrictions in areas with heavy censorship. It also has servers you can use for SOCKS5 proxy connections. 

Conclusion

SOCKS5 proxies and VPNs both have benefits and drawbacks, but using them together allows you to take advantage of their benefits and reduce their drawbacks. If you are hellbent on using a SOCKS5 proxy, it is better to be on the safe side and take advantage of NordVPN’s robust security and privacy features.