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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Shadowsocks Review 2024 - Keep in Mind Before Buying

Our Score: 6.3/10
Ranked 173rd out of 299 VPNs
Nicky Hosek Updated on 28th November 2023 Cybersecurity Researcher

Shadowsocks is an unusual entity, acting as a hybrid of a VPN and an unobserved shadow moving throughout cyberspace, somewhat similar to the elusive sock that went missing in your laundry.

Shadowsocks differs from a VPN in that it isn’t intended to protect your privacy nor to give you anonymity while surfing. For that, we suggest you opt for a premium vendor like ExpressVPN.

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.

The advantages of Shadowsocks include its completely free and open-source nature, with a large community committed to continuous support. Shadowsocks is compatible with most platforms and fully operational on mobile devices and wireless networks. When it comes to bypassing geoblocks and governmental restrictions, it's hard to find a superior option. Additionally, Shadowsocks allows you to determine which portions of your online actions are concealed by the software and which remain unaffected. This means you can use websites only accessible in China while concurrently accessing blocked sites like 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. Shadowsocks can also help you unblock popular streaming services in heavily-restricted areas. 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 such as ExpressVPN to mask your location and gain access to the site.

Shadowsocks Features — 2024 Update

4.4
💸 Price 0 USD/month
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 1+
💻 Number of devices per license 1
🛡 Kill switch No
🗺 Based in country United States
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Pricing

8.5
Free
$ 0 / month per month
Compare Shadowsocks With The Top Alternative VPNs
Our Score: 9.9
Our Score: 9.7
Our Score: 9.5
Our Score: 9.4

The Bottom Line

An easy and free way to bypass China's Firewall

Despite its level of sophistication, the Shadowsocks setup process is surprisingly straightforward while it also boasts cross-platform compatibility.

As it is open source, it’s also completely free to download and provides some of the best technology available for negotiating content restrictions and censorship. However, if you want to hide your identity while surfing, Shadowsocks is not for you.

If you are looking for more ways to stream global content seamlessly, check out our review of the best VPNs for Netflix.

  • Capable of superfast speeds
  • Fully customisable
  • Effective at bypassing censorship and especially China
  • 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
Money Back Guarantee (Days): 0
Mobile app:
Number of devices per license: 1
We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Shadowsocks User Reviews (User reviews are not verified)
10.0
Based on 1 reviews in 1 languages

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10/10
Super Alternative für China, wenn man einfach nur blockierte Seiten aufrufen möchte oder Geoblocking umgehen möchte

Shadowsocks ist keine VPN, das sollte man wissen. Aber für das Umgehen von Blockierungen von Internetseiten (z.B. in China) oder Geoblocking ist es super gut geeignet und funktioniert immer, auch wenn die großen VPN-Anbieter Probleme haben (dort lief um den 70. Jahrestag der Volksrepublik China nichts mehr). Ich schaue über Shadowsocks und Zattoo alle deutsche Sender in China, kann auch brav Google/WhatsApp benutzen. Ich habe meinen eigenen Shadowsocks-Server zuhause stehen, die Lösung kostet mich damit gar nichts (was man mit VPN auch machen kann, aber da wird die Verbindung immer mal wieder geblockt).

About the Author

A previous London-based journalist, Nicky is a freelance writer based on a farm in South Africa. When she's not training horses, she writes fluent, intelligent cybersecurity articles with creativity and flair.

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