Learning more about networking! VPN and SOCKS?

Hey fellow reader, im here to ask for a bit of help, ive got more and more into networking hardware and now im getting into the software side of things, now my question is im having a play around with VPNS and socks5 for educational purpposes, now there trouble is im from europe and when I put the vpn to the americas with a socks5 the connection goes almost flat and nothing ends up loading? is that normal or is it my vpn or am I just doing something completely wrong?

also if there are any networking threads which could help me in other areas of software and learning feel free to mention it!

thank you very much.

You could try Udemy, it has some very good courses on both hardware and software protocols for networking. Udemy.

I'd recommend not buying any network hardware beyond what you need to interconnect your systems. Just about everything you might want to be able to do is really software anyway; a network appliance is just a piece of hardware that specializes in it. But unless you are an enterprise with deep pockets to spend on that, what you get second hard is going to be old/obsolete/no longer useful, and probably noisy, consume a lot of power, etc.

If you want to play around, I'd suggest pfSense and ESXi. You can virtualize a lot of routers and do some interesting labs/test environments. ESXi also lets you do some basic software defined networking. (maybe other virtualization systems can do it too, I use ESXi because it's free and the most thoroughly tested hypervisor available).

tl'dr. Stop buying network hardware, and practice with software instead.