HTTP proxy is a proxy server that allows you to browse using HTTP and sometimes HTTPS/FTP. This type of proxies is good for incoming data caching. However its basic abilities and features require a more detailed examination.
Classification and anonymity
HTTP proxy is widely used for anonymous internet usage. But we can classify proxies by anonymity level because of their purpose:
Transparent proxies are used for caching only because they are not anonymous so they will not hide client’s IP.
Anonymous proxies betray their presence without giving away client’s IP.
Distorting proxies generate a fake IP and send it to a web-server that cannot access your real secure data.
Elite proxies do not just mask your IP but they do not betray their own presence in process. Web-server “believes” elite proxy to be a real PC.
This classification is simplified and introductory, cause there is much more proxy types, depending on the client’s individual purposes.
HTTP proxies are widely used in browsers, download programs etc., but the application requires individual configuration in every specific situation. One can build chains of HTTPS-proxies to increase anonymity level and to “cheat” corporate servers. This feature is available with HTTP CONNECT proxies only. If your traffic goes through corporate proxy only you should use HTTPS chains or the special anonymizers.
SOCKS is a pretty old protocol, but it is actual nowadays and even more popular then ever because of its universality.
This proxy works with almost any other protocol, like SOCKS4 with TCP, or SOCKS5 with TCP and UDP. It can also work with FTP, HTTP, NNTP, POP3, and SMTP with no issues.
Web-server “believes” this kind of proxy to be just a client program. It happens because of the SOCKS unique ability to transmit data without inquiring into them. This is a valuable argument in choosing a reliable anonymity tool.
SOCKS4 and SOCKS5 are the actively used versions nowadays. The most widely used one is SOCKS4, but SOCKS5 supports more actual programs, applications etc. For example, SOCKS5 is used to work with ICQ, E-Donkey, Napster, AudioGalaxy.
This kind of proxy is also used to work with the mail clients because it supports all the necessary protocols. But this way is rarely used now because of developing special SOCKSifiers. It can easily intercept call from an application and send it to specified server. Browser-integrated SOCKS acts the same way.
There are practically no limits to proxy chain building. You can build chains of any length because SOCKS do not change any of your data. Unfortunately, applications can normally interact with one server only. You need to use special software to build proxy chains.
SOCKS can chain with HTTP-servers and CGL. The basic proxy should be the first chain link to do so. SOCKS has no use if the corporate server already has such a protocol.