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I've read several tutorials, but not totally sure.

If I'll set up my own SOCKS5 proxy server on VPS, configure it to use username and password. Will this credentials be safe while authentication on proxy via public wi-fi for example?

If no, how it works for paid proxy providers?

I know about VPN and SSH-tunneling. But I think they are too complicated for using on mobile devices and also leads to additional power consumption for keeping connections alive.

2

Neither traffic nor credentials are encrypted in the SOCKS5 protocol. From RFC 1929:

This document describes a subnegotiation that provides authentication services to the SOCKS protocol. Since the request carries the password in cleartext, this subnegotiation is not recommended for environments where "sniffing" is possible and practical.

0

SOCKS5 is a transport protocol and by itself it is not encrypted. Requests transmit the credentials in plain text which is considered a security bad practice.

VPN software on a mobile phone would be the easiest thing to consider as an alternative in my opinion. Just enable the VPN when ever you need it.

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