May 04, 2012 · A SOCKS server is a general purpose proxy server that establishes a TCP connection to another server on behalf of a client, then routes all the traffic back and forth between the client and the server. It works for any kind of network protocol on any port. SOCKS Version 5 adds additional support for security and UDP.
haproxy is a "load balancer" it doesn't know to serve files or dynamic content. nginx is a web server capable of many interesting things. if you only need to load balance + HA some third web server then haproxy is enough. if you need to implement some static content or some logic in routing of the requests before terminating them on a third server then you may need nginx.
Like all network proxies, a transparent proxy intercepts and redirects data in transit, typically through the internet. In plainest terms, transparent proxies do not modify the data that pass through them.