Shadowsocks is a strange beast; it is part VPN and part a shadow that travels around in cyberspace unnoticed (a little like that sock that you lost in the laundry that you never found). Shadowsocks differs from a VPN in that it isn’t intended to protect your privacy nor to give you anonymity while surfing. As a SOCKS5 proxy venture, the main purpose of Shadowsocks is to bypass censorship and it was designed with one goal in mind – finding a way through the complex censorship laws that are the fundamental bricks in the Great Firewall of China. Unlike a VPN, Shadowsocks is highly customizable and uses HTTPS to disguise your online movements. This technology doesn’t encrypt your traffic like a VPN, nor does it send all your traffic through a specific server. Instead, it works with a number of different TCP connections, making it much faster than its rivals and much more difficult for authorities to detect as a masked connection.
Some of the benefits of Shadowsocks are that it is a completely free and open source with an extensive community dedicated to providing ongoing support. Shadowsocks is compatible with most platforms and is also fully functional on mobile devices as well as wireless networks. In terms of navigating geoblocks and government restrictions, you can’t really do better. Shadowsocks also enables you to decide which areas of your online activities are disguised by the program and which are left untouched, meaning you can operate on websites only available in China while simultaneously accessing blocked sites such as Gmail.
Creeping stealthily through the underwear drawers of virtual reality, Shadowsocks makes your online activities invisible while it also remains virtually impossible to detect.
Compared to a VPN, Shadowsocks has both its advantages and disadvantages. If your primary goal is to navigate past blocks imposed by restrictive authorities, then Shadowsocks is perfect for the job, but if you want to secure your online privacy and remain anonymous, you’re better off turning to one of the more reputable VPNs available.
If you’re really inventive, however, you can also use Shadowsocks in conjunction with a VPN to improve speeds. For example, if you are in China and want to gain a reliable and high-speed connection to Netflix, you can tunnel the server over Shadowsocks while using a VPN to mask your location and gain access to the site.
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- Capable of superfast speeds
- Fully customisable
- Effective at bypassing censorship and especially China's Firewall
- Compatible with most platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux and OpenWRT
- Completely free and open source
- Offers flexible encryption
- Optimised for mobile devices and wireless networks
- Get started with Shadowsocks now