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How to Use PIA’s SOCKS5 Proxy — Updated in 2022

Private Internet Access has a lot of happy customers thanks to its reliable VPN. But it also offers all of its subscribers instant access to its SOCKS5 proxy. This is a very useful feature, so I put together a guide to help you set it up on your device.

A SOCKS5 proxy can help you hide your IP address during torrenting and web scraping, and also access geo-blocked content with ease. Since it doesn’t use encryption, your connection will be much faster through its SOCKS5 proxy. However, you should keep in mind that it’s not as safe as a VPN.

You can try PIA for free with its 30-day money-back guarantee and test its SOCKS5 proxy on all your devices. If you later decide you don’t like it, you can ask for a full refund.

Get PIA’s SOCKS5 Proxy Today!

Quick Guide: How to Set Up PIA’s SOCKS5 Proxy in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download PIA. Access its website and buy a subscription. The long-term plans allow you to get it for only $2.19/month.
  2. Log in to the control panel. You can generate your personal SOCKS5 credentials from this menu.
  3. Use your SOCKS5 Proxy! Enter PIA's standard proxy settings and finish the setup.

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What is a SOCKS5 Proxy?

SOCKS5 proxy is an internet protocol that sends data packets from a server to a client using protected authentication. Socket Secure (which is its definition) keeps your data secure while you undertake certain online activities, such as:

  • Hiding your IP address when you use web scraping software
  • Protecting your identity while you torrent
  • Anonymizing software that takes SOCKS5 proxy with authentication

PIA’s SOCKS proxy has an OSI level of 5, which means it is superior over SOCKS4 and includes authentication, UDP, and IPv6 support.

If you download or share torrents, a SOCKS5 proxy is an important feature due to its full UDP support — which allows you to connect to more peers/trackers. All of the major torrent programs accept SOCKS5, including uTorrent, QBittorrent, Deluge, Vuze, and Tixati on desktop devices, as well as Ttorrent and Flud on Android.

When you use your proxy to torrent, always check the file before downloading it to ensure the content is public domain. The team at vpnMentor doesn’t condone torrenting copyrighted material, so be aware before you click, and follow the regulations set by your country's law.

Get SOCKS5 Proxy Today!

How to Set Up PIA’s SOCKS5 Proxy

  1. Subscribe to PIA. You can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee and try it free.
  2. Log in to the control panel area. Access PIA’s website and log in to your account. Then, access the Downloads section.
    Screenshot of PIA’s account settings
  3. Generate your SOCKS5 proxy credentials. Scroll down to the VPN Settings and look for the SOCKS section. Click on the generate/re-generate button to create your own passcode and username. This is different from your PIA login to keep you extra secure, so remember to keep them separate.
    Screenshot of PIA’s SOCKS5 proxy credentials
  4. Enter PIA’s proxy settings into your app’s settings. Most torrenting clients allow you to use your SOCKS5 proxy with them, and you can do so by accessing their settings and adding your configuration.
    Host Name/Proxy Address: proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com
    Port Number - 1080
    Proxy Type - SOCKS v5
    Authentication - Yes
    Username - The username you generated in step 3
    Password - The password you generated in step 3
  5. Use your SOCKS5 Proxy! Torrent and web scrape with full anonymity by accessing your SOCKS5 proxy whenever you need to.

Get PIA’s SOCKS5 Proxy Now!

PIA’s SOCKS5 Proxy Not working? Try These Tips

It’s rare to come across any problems with PIA’s SOCKS5 in my experience, but if you do run into trouble, here are some sure-fire solutions to help you get back online.

  • Check your connection: Make sure the VPN is disconnected, then check your internet access in device settings. You can also try turning off your router or modem, then turning it back on again.
  • Double-check your credentials: PIA’s VPN and SOCKS5 credentials are pretty similar, so they can get mixed up. Remember that the VPN login starts with a “p,” while the SOCKS5 proxy's credentials begin with an “x.”
  • Disable power saving mode: On your Android or iOS device, go to settings and make sure the power-saving mode is turned off. This might give your proxy the boost it needs to perform.
  • Turn the proxy off. Try turning the proxy off for a short time and using the VPN without it. This may help clear any issues that have arisen with the two working together on your device. If you need to use a VPN for torrenting during that time, you can enable PIA’s split tunneling feature and protect your device that way.

Get PIA’s SOCKS5 proxy Today!

FAQs on Using PIA’s SOCKS5 Proxy

Is SOCKS5 Proxy safe?

It is, but its security doesn’t compare to that of a VPN. It transfers data packets from its server to a client, keeping it protected through a full TCP connection with its destination. The connection is protected by Secure Shell (SSH) encrypted tunneling to relay traffic, and it has authentication, which means that only authorized users can access the data.

However, data traveling from your computer to the proxy’s server is not encrypted — if a skilled hacker wanted to intercept your data, they could. If you want to achieve full privacy, you’ll need to use a VPN.

How do I use the SOCKS5 Proxy?

SOCKS5 Proxy is useful if you want to torrent. You simply set it running using your own personally allocated credentials and know that your IP is secure from prying eyes or cyberattacks. You can also use it with web scraping and anonymizing software.

How do I access the SOCKS5 Proxy for PIA?

You’ll find the SOCKS5 proxy settings in your Client Login area. Simply scroll down until you find an option to generate your own personal SOCKS5 secure login, and click the green button. Once you have your private credentials (different from your PIA username and password for your safety), follow the quick and easy steps in this article to get your proxy up and running.

Will the SOCKS5 proxy slow down my speed?

Yes, but it shouldn’t be noticeable. VPNs usually slow you down because they encrypt every piece of information you send. On the other hand, proxies only protect a part of your data, thus moving it faster through the tunnel. If you notice that your internet is slow while using the SOCKS5 proxy, you should check your connection first.

Is Private Internet Access free?

Private Internet Access isn’t free, but its subscription price is very affordable. Grab its special offers for as low as $2.19/month, which is highly competitive considering its high performance in streaming, speeds, and server network. The SOCKS5 proxy comes free with all PIA subscriptions.

What’s the difference between SOCKS5 and a VPN?

The main difference between SOCKS5 and a VPN is that SOCKS5 doesn’t encrypt your data the way a VPN does. Both a VPN and SOCKS5 will effectively hide your IP address, and using them both together will boost your protection against cyberattacks.

Get PIA Now!

Start Using PIA’s SOCKS5 Proxy Today!

Private Internet Access provides all its users with an easily accessible and high-performing proxy. If you do need an extra layer of protection for your online activities, it makes sense to give it a try.

You can try PIA today since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Test out its SOCKS5 Proxy for up to 30 days, and if you don’t like it you can get a full refund.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

About the Author

MJ has been writing and editing for over a decade. A multi-published fiction short story writer, MJ is also a diligent researcher who has written about numerous products and services, including digital marketing tools.

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