ProtonVPN has announced a new VPN protocol, which it claims will allow people living in countries with internet censorship to connect to the outside world without fear of being intercepted. The Protocol is dubbed the stealth one, and it’s available to all ProtonVPN customers, not just users on the free plan.
In the words of Andy Yen, company founder and CEO of Proton: “Internet censorship has become an arms race.” While some governments try to restrict access to the Internet and restrict internet access – Iran and Russia are two that come to mind – increasingly, users are circumventing these limitations through VPNs. Authorities, in turn, have come up with countermeasures to VPNs, including detecting VPN traffic.
The Stealth Protocol is the next step in this arms race. It will disguise traffic and make it appear a standard connection, with no indication that VPNs do not leave behind. ProtonVPN isn’t the only one to achieve this. VyprVPN is one example. Provides the Chameleon protocol that does similar things, and the Shadowsocks proxy protocol can also make the connection appear as regular traffic.
What is the reason Stealth is required?
In 2017, we introduced Proton VPN because there was no
Trustworthy, reliable and easily accessible VPN service is reliable, trustworthy and freely available. Our motive was simple. Since our services, like Proton Mail, play an essential role in protecting privacy and freedom worldwide, we were aware that dictatorial governments would eventually seek to restrict these services.
However, with Proton VPN, people can overcome these restrictions and continue to use Proton Mail. Over the last couple of decades, Proton VPN has become an indispensable tool that helps in the safe flow of information to tens of millions of people in conflicts and crises across the globe.
Since the introduction of Proton VPN, we’ve continuously developed technology that allows us to avoid censorship and surveillance. For instance, in 2017, we launched Secure Core VPN, which gives you more privacy than other VPN services.
In 2020, we announced alternative routing that bypasses VPN blocks by rerouting our connections via other difficult-to-trace routes. Then, in 2021 we introduced VPN Accelerator, a unique technology that offers links that can be up to 400% faster. This is vitally important for users living in regions with slower internet access.
As we’ve stepped up our efforts to create an even more secure VPN, authoritarian governments have also increased their efforts to restrict VPNs. The traditional VPN protocol (such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard) is relatively simple to detect on networks. As deeper packet inspection (DPI) technology is more prevalent, it will be much simpler and more effective for the authorities to recognize and stop VPNs using these protocols.
How to Use the Stealth Protocol
Utilizing the Proton VPN’s Stealth protocol is straightforward. Navigate to the Protocol section of the app, and then select Stealth.
- On Android, you can tap on the four horizontal lines, which will bring you to the Menu. Next, click the Settings menu, then Advanced and then Protocol and choose Stealth.
- For iOS and iPadOS, Tap Settings, Security Options and Protocol, and then choose Stealth.
- On macOS on macOS, click ProtonVPN on the macOS taskbar > Preferences > Connection Protocol. Select Stealth as the option from the dropdown menu.
- Proton VPN is ranked highly in our ranking of top free VPNs. The company is known for its speedy speeds, solid encryption and dedication to its zero-logs policy.
Unblock blocked sites without a VPN by avoiding VPN blocking.
“As we’ve stepped up our efforts to create a more censorship-resistant VPN, authoritarian governments have also stepped up their efforts to block VPNs,” the company said in a blog post (opens in the fresh tab).
Proton creators explained that the earlier designs were seeking to be superior to the existing models. VPN protocols haven’t been able to offer complete and efficient functionality over the years.
“We created the Stealth method from the bottom to prevent these problems. The Proton VPN connection will be nearly inaccessible when you have Stealth enabled.”
Proton’s Stealth VPN protocol uses obfuscation methods to disguise the fact that you’re utilizing secure VPN maintenance, making it appear to be regular traffic. Learn more about the way VPN Obfuscation technology works in our comprehensive explanation.
It also creates VPN connections innovatively that can evade internet filters’ warnings.
“Stealth is an open-source encryption protocol that is based in WireGuard as well as TLS. It is exclusive in Proton VPN and can be used for connecting to all of Proton VPN servers (including the free ones),” the vendor stated to TechRadar.
Contrary to other advanced technologies, like NetShield or Secure Core, The Proton Stealth protocol is available for premium and free plans” because everyone deserves the freedom to use the Internet.”
What are the different VPN providers?
Proton VPN is just the most recent provider to incorporate umbilical technology into their software to allow users to get around censorship and avoid VPN blockage, whether it originates from authoritarian governments or the firewalls at your workplace/school.
ExpressVPN and NordVPN are among the top VPNs with blocked servers that can do the same thing. Surfshark comes with its unique Camouflage Mode, and on VyprVPN’s service, it’s with the Chameleon protocol.
But, Proton said the new Stealth protocol is only the start of its growing struggle to promote a completely free internet.
“Accordingly, we designed Stealth to be an extensible and adaptable VPN protocol that is flexible enough to meet new challenges.”