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How to use PIA’s SOCKS Proxy| Setup Guide + 5 Ideas – VPN …
One of my favorite features of Private Internet Access is the fact that they include unlimited SOCKS Proxy service with every PIA subscription. Every VPN plan includes free access to this Netherlands-based proxy server, which can be used for all sorts of fun stuff, like:Add a layer of anonymity to your torrent downloadsHide your IP when using web scraping softwareAnonymize any software that accepts SOCKS5 proxy w/ authenticationMost PIA subscribers don’t even realize that their subscription includes SOCKS proxy access (or they aren’t sure what to do with it). Getting access to the proxy server also requires an extra step (it uses a different username/password combo than the VPN does)’ll show you exactly how to generate your proxy login details, and which settings you need to know to get set check out this guide: How to use Private Internet Access for torrents (3 methods)How to get your PIA SOCKS proxy Username/PasswordPIA’s proxy server doesn’t use the same login/password as your normal VPN account. They do this to protect your account security (because the proxy isn’t encrypted and could protentially transmit the login details in plaintext). You can easily create new proxy login credentials any time you want. PIA has instructions on how to do this, or just follow the steps ’s how to get your login details:Step #1 – You need a Private Internet Access SubscriptionI know this sounds obvious, but many people don’t realize that PIA is a paid service. If you don’t have an account already, you can get one for as low as $3. 33/ #2 – Login to your account control panelGo to and log into your account panel using your VPN username/ #3 – Generate new proxy credentialsScroll down toward the bottom of your account panel until you see the section titled:‘PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS Username and Password’Click to create proxy login credentialsSimply click the ‘Regenerate Username and Password’ button to create a unique username/password combo to access the proxy server. Make sure to leave this window open or copy the credentials to notepad so we can easily copy and paste them in a future step when we actually set up the proxy Proxy SettingsNo matter what type of software you choose to anonymize with the proxy, the basic settings will be the same. Here are the settings you need to know:Host/Hostname/Proxy Address – Port # – 1080Proxy Type – SOCKS5 (or SOCKS v5/version 5) Authentication – YES Username – Your username from step #1 Password – Your password from step #1That’s it! You should be able to use this proxy with any software that allows authentication with SOCKS v5 most common use for PIA’s proxy service is for bittorrent downloads. All major torrent clients accept SOCKS proxies, including:uTorrentVuzeQBittorrentTransmissionDelugeTixatitTorrent (android)Flud (android)
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How to use PIA SOCKS5 proxy: Is it effective? – Windows Report
Vlad might have a degree in Animal Husbandry and Livestock Management, but he’s currently rocking anything software related, ranging from testing programs to writing in-depth reviews about them. He spent 3-4 years as a… Read more
Private Internet Access, or simply PIA, also offers SOCKS5 proxy support in addition to its traditional VPN features.
However, configuring and enabling SOCKS5 in PIA might not be exactly intuitive. We’re going to show you exactly how to do it.
Check out our VPN Troubleshooting section to discover more easy-to-follow guides.
Find out more about Proxy servers to use them correctly
Besides its popular VPN service, Private Internet Access (PIA) also offers SOCKS5 proxy to its more tech-savvy customers who are inclined towards increased security/privacy.
However, configuring and using SOCKS5 with PIA might not be immediately obvious.
For that reason, we decided to create this short step-by-step guide that will guide you through the process.
Does PIA use SOCKS5 proxy automatically?
First and foremost, you’ll have to understand that the SOCKS5 proxy option isn’t enabled by default.
Instead, you’ll have to look around for it, configure it, and enable it manually.
We get it, you’d much likely prefer the elbow-grease-free version, but there’s nothing we can do about it, so buckle up.
How to enable PIA SOCKS5
Head to PIA’s website
Log into your account
Access the Client Control Panel
Go to the Downloads category
Scroll down to the VPN Settings section
Click the Re-generate button
Copy the username and password
Note that your default username and password combination won’t work with SOCKS5, so you’ll have to use the method above to ‘enable’ it.
Once you’ve jotted down the username and password, we can move on to the next step.
How to use PIA SOCKS5
Download PIA on your PC (buy here)
Install the VPN client
Click the options button
Select Settings from the menu
Go to the Proxy category
Click the SOCKS5 radio button
Launch CMD on your Windows PC
Jot down the IP address of the proxy server
Go back to your PIA proxy configuration screen
Paste/type the proxy IP address in the appropriate field
Type 1080 in the Port field
Input the proxy username and password generated on the PIA website
That’s all. In addition to PIA’s default VPN servers, using the SOCKS5 proxy will bounce your connection through an additional connection.
Need a VPN that comes with SOCKS5 proxy support? PIA could be exactly what you’re looking for.
As a result, you’ll benefit from increased privacy and a more secure connection.
PIA SOCKS5 Proxy not working?
A while ago, PIA posted a message letting its customers know that it identified an issue with the SOCKS5 proxy that could negatively impact connectivity.
If you notice that PIA has limited or no connectivity, try disabling the proxy and check again.
Launch the PIA VPN client
Open the Settings window
Head to the Proxy category
Is PIA SOCKS5 slow?
As we’ve explained before, using a VPN could slow down your Internet connection. That happens for a lot of factors, including but not limited to distance between you and the servers and encryption.
Naturally, bouncing your connection once more through yet another location (i. e. the SOCKS5 proxy) will further add to that distance and slow down your connection even more.
The bottom line is that a bit of slowdown is natural in this case. If you’re nearing the point where the VPN becomes unusable, try disabling the proxy or choose another server.
Final thoughts on PIA SOCKS5 proxy
All in all, if you want to boost your privacy/security, PIA’s optional SOCKS5 proxy has got you covered.
Although setting it up is not exactly intuitive, following the steps in our guide should let you enable and start using PIA’s SOCKS5 in no time.
Stop your ISP from snooping on you: what works and what doesn’t
@pabischoff March 24, 2017
If you live in the US, your internet service provider will soon be able to sell your browsing
history and any other information it collects on you to whomever it wants without permission. Republicans are keen to roll back Obama-era regulations that prevent ISPs from sharing sensitive information about their customers. The bill has already passed in the Senate and is expected to pass in the Republican-majority House of Representatives before it lands on President Trump’s desk for a final signature before going into law. Update on March 29, 2017: The bill passed in the House of Representatives and now just needs Trump’s signature.
The bill only serves to hurt consumers and is flawed in more ways than one, which we’ll get into later. But for now it’s fairly safe to assume that this is going to happen. Americans who value their privacy will have to take steps on their own to protect their online activity from being recorded and sold.
Unfortunately, misconceptions abound about how someone can stop their ISP and other entities from snooping on them. We decided to clear the air and discuss what does and doesn’t work.
ISP cannot decipher encrypted internet traffic
ISP cannot see the desintation of your traffic
Encrypts and tunnels all traffic to and from the entire device
Good VPNs require a paid subscription
Free VPNs can be unsafe, slow, and cap your data
VPNs, short for virtual private network, encrypt all of a device’s internet traffic and route them through a server in a location of the user’s choosing. That means the ISP cannot read any of the data passing between your computer or smartphone and the VPN server. Nor can it determine where that data is headed. VPNs don’t just do this for your web browser; they also hide traffic to and from all your other apps including games, Spotify, torrenting clients–you name it. A reputable, paid VPN service keeps zero logs of your activity, tunnels your DNS requests through its own servers, uses uncrackable encryption, and doesn’t limit bandwidth or data transfers.
Be wary, however, of so-called “free” VPN services, of which there are many. These might seem like a good deal, but they often contain malware, log your activity, mine your browsing data, and even inject advertisements into your browser. This can actually reduce your privacy. Furthermore, free VPNs usually cap your data at a daily or monthly limit and/or throttle bandwidth so that it’s too slow to stream videos or download larger files.
If you’re interested in learning which VPNs are most secure and why, check out our list of more than 20 VPNs rated side-by-side on privacy and security.
ISPs cannot decipher encrypted internet traffic
ISPs cannot see the destination of your traffic
Slow, only suitable for web browsing
ISP can see that you are using Tor
Tor, short for The Onion Router, is a network of volunteer “nodes” scattered around the world. Whenever you connect to the Tor network, your internet traffic is encrypted and then sent through several of these nodes randomly each time you go to a new website. Tor has been the go-to tool for netizens seeking online anonymity for years. The easiest way to use Tor is to download and install the Tor Browser, which is based on Firefox. Note that it will not have any plugins, bookmarks, cookies, or anything else that sacrifices privacy for the sake of convenience. Not only can ISPs not see your internet traffic or where it’s going, the websites you visit will also not be able to tell who you are. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your needs. Tor and the Tor Browser are completely free to use.
On the downside, Tor is slow. A lot of people use it and it’s volunteer-run, so don’t expect to be able to stream HD videos or torrent large files. While your ISP might not be able to monitor your browsing, it will be able to detect that you are using Tor. This can draw undue attention to yourself, as Tor is frequently used by criminals, activists, journalists, whistleblowers, and other people who desire anonymity.
Read more: A beginner’s guide to using Tor for anonymous browsing
What sort of works
ISPs cannot see what web pages you visit
ISPs can see what websites you visit, but not their content or specific pages
Only works for web browsers
HTTPS proxies are similar in many ways to VPNs. They encrypt traffic and send it through an intermediary server so that your ISP cannot see what you’re looking at. Some are free and some are not, but for the same reasons we caution against free VPNs, we advise you to be wary of anyone advertising a “free” HTTPS proxy.
The problem with HTTPS proxies is that they do not send DNS requests through the intermediary server. DNS, short for domain name system, is how computers turn web page URLs (e. g. ) into IP addresses (e. 123. 45. 67. 89). DNS requests are often sent to your ISP, which means the ISP can still log what websites you visit, although not the content of those websites nor what specific pages you looked at.
To get around this, you can configure your device to use different DNS servers than the default ones provided by your ISP. Free, public DNS servers that we recommend are and OpenNIC. You can find setup instructions for your particular device on their websites; it only takes a couple minutes. You can alternatively opt for a smart DNS or DNS proxy service, which we’ll discuss next.
Smart DNS and DNS proxies
ISPs cannot see your DNS requests
ISPs can see contents of unencrypted traffic
ISPs can determine the destination of your traffic
Smart DNS and DNS proxies are tools primarily used for unblocking geo-locked content on the internet. They are not as apt for hiding your online activity, although they can be used in combination with an HTTPS proxy for this purpose (see above). DNS proxies merely send your DNS requests to a server other than the default one used by your ISP.
To be fair, recording DNS requests might be the easiest way for your ISP to monitor what websites you visit online, and a DNS proxy will prevent that. The ISP can still still determine the contents and destination of your normal web traffic, however, using a tactic called “packet inspection. ” Here’s a good explanation via StackExchange:
“Even when using a third-party DNS provider, the actual traffic between you and websites goes over your ISP’s network. In this case, they can see that @user1 visited 173. 194. 113. 80 and made some requests. If the site is running over HTTP, they can even see that you requested pages from a specific host, thanks to header data such as Host: in each request, and the specific pages thanks to the HTTP verb used (e. GET /search? q=dodgy+things). ”
What doesn’t work
SOCKS4 and SOCKS5 proxies are not encrypted and do not necessarily route DNS requests through the proxy server, so neither the contents nor the destination of your internet traffic is hidden from the ISP. SOCKS proxies are primarily used for unblocking geo-locked content. The only exception is if you visit an HTTPS website, the content will be encrypted, but your DNS requests are still sent to your ISP so the website you visit is not hidden.
“Private” and “Incognito” browsing
Most browser today have a feature called something like “in private” or “incognito” mode. These browsing modes can prevent you from picking up cookies and don’t add the pages you visit to your browser history.
They do not affect in any way what your ISP sees, however. The web pages you visit and their contents still travel unencrypted over your ISP’s network, and web page requests are still resolved through the ISP’s DNS servers. While your browsing activity might be hidden from other people who use your web browser, private and incognito modes don’t hide anything from your ISP.
Clearing your browsing history
Deleting your browser history has no effect on the information that your ISP collects, stores, and sells. Your ISP will keep its own copy of your browsing history and does not need the data recorded on your browser.
But these have little to no effect onn your ISP’s snooping. While your ISP might inject cookies into your browser, stopping it from doing so won’t prevent it from recording the pages you visit and their contents.
Why ISP snooping is such a big deal
The proponents of the US bill, which has passed in the Senate and will likely pass in the House, argue that if Google and Facebook can collect and sell user data, then ISPs should be allowed to do it, too.
There are several problems with that argument. Chief among them, you can choose to not use Google and Facebook. Most Americans, however, cannot choose their ISP. ISPs often hold regional monopolies or duopolies. They make it extremely difficult for new players to enter the market, so there’s practically no competition. This is why Americans pay manifold what most other developed countries do for internet and mobile phone service.
Secondly, no one wants this. Just because other companies are doing it doesn’t make it right. Big telecom is paying off your representatives so they can sacrifice your privacy and make money.
Third, while some companies will collect and sell your personal data, most do not. They allow third parties to use de-identified information to target particular demographics and people who view certain content with advertisements. This is done using a combination of cookies and other unique identifiers, but not your personally identifiable info like names, email addresses, addresses, etc.
Finally, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple–all the big ones–actually give you pretty granular control over what information they record and store. Most people just never bother to change their default privacy settings. But only in California are companies obligated to hand over information they’ve gathered about you on demand, and even then they aren’t required to delete it on request. There’s a huge lack of transparency across the board in the telecom industry.
Frequently Asked Questions about private internet access socks5 host
Is PIA a SOCKS5?
Besides its popular VPN service, Private Internet Access (PIA) also offers SOCKS5 proxy to its more tech-savvy customers who are inclined towards increased security/privacy.Dec 2, 2020
Can ISP see SOCKS5?
SOCKS proxies SOCKS4 and SOCKS5 proxies are not encrypted and do not necessarily route DNS requests through the proxy server, so neither the contents nor the destination of your internet traffic is hidden from the ISP.Mar 24, 2017
Does private Internet access have split tunneling?
Which devices and PIA apps support split tunneling? Private Internet Access has the most expansive and easy to use split tunneling feature in the VPN industry. … Split tunneling functionality is even available in our Android application under the name “per-app settings.”