In what circumstances a SOCKS proxy is vulnerable and a VPN is not?

  • Are you talking about a local SOCKS proxy which then opens an encrypted tunnel to a remote server (that's how Tor works), or a remote SOCKS proxy? May 28 '17 at 8:48
  • A good middle-ground between SOCKS and VPN would be a HTTPS proxy. I have Squid set up with the https_port directive, which Firefox connects to using a PAC URI like this. It creates a secure tunnel between your browser and the proxy server without a VPN; encryption is applied even for non-HTTPS requests.
    – Cauterite
    May 28 '17 at 9:35
  • @CodesInChaos I mean creating a SOCKS5 tunnel from terminal to remote server (i.e my VPS).
    – Babr
    May 29 '17 at 21:26

SOCKS doesn't add any additional encryption by default. If your traffic is already encrypted then it will stay that way. While a VPN can encrypt everything leaving your machine, such as DNS.

SOCKS also does not protect against traffic analysis

I know you didn't ask benefits, but to help balance my argument for others, SOCKS can be a lot faster because of the lack of additional overhead encrypting.

  • Few people have fast enough network for the encryption overhead to matter. A typical desktop CPU can AES-GCM encrypt a 10 Gbit connection without breaking a sweat. May 28 '17 at 8:50

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