Shadowsocks is a way to help you pass your Internet connection through an intermediary server to bypass Internet censorship policies, especially the Great Firewall of China. However, no matter how much I like it, setting it up is a bit complicated, which is why I will show you how to install Shadowsocks using an open source program called Outline.
What are Shadowsocks?
Shadowsocks is a tool that uses a SOCKS5 proxy to reroute and disguise internet traffic and to bypass censorship bots. It was originally developed by a Chinese programmer so it is especially useful in bypassing China’s Great Firewall, you can also use it to bypass censorship programs in other countries.
However, if you’re looking to change your Netflix region or use BitTorrent, you’re better off using a VPN. I will explain in another post in the future.
The problem with Shadowsocks, however, is that the setup is a bit complicated. There are a couple of ways you can install Shadowsocks, but since these involve scripts I’ll be using a program called Outline, which comes with a nice GUI interface and takes just a few minutes to set up. establish.
What is Outline?
Outline is an open source program that allows you to set up your own proxy using the Shadowsocks protocol and run it through your own server – it has built-in functionality with the DigitalOcean VPS provider, but you can use another provider or even set up your own server. I have tested it on Windows 10 and Linux, it also works well on Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android.
While it likes to call itself a VPN, it’s not a VPN because it doesn’t use the VPN protocol. As such, I recommend using it to avoid censorship programs and not for torrenting or bypassing Netflix’s regional restrictions, although you could also try.
What I like about Outline is that you can install the main program, called Manager, on your desktop and then run the client on any other device. You’ll be running your own private network, and you’ll be able to share the key with your family and friends.
If you use DigitalOcean, you can run up to 1TB of bandwidth through your server for as little as $5 per month, which is a lot cheaper than any commercial VPN, although it doesn’t have the flexibility.
Outline has been checked and tested by two digital security organizations, Radently Open Security and Cure53, so it’s a solid choice for anyone looking to circumvent censorship.
How to set up Shadowsocks easily
If you want to try Outline, start by downloading the program. Go to the Outline website and click “get Outline”. Next page will show you download links for both Manager and Client, you need to install Manager.
Once downloaded, open the program (for Linux you need to open the .AppImage file) and you will be able to choose the cloud service or server you are using to route your traffic. I’m using DigitalOcean, but there are lots of other options as well. DigitalOcean is the easiest choice by far; you don’t even need to prepare a server.
In most cases, you have to set up your server first, but when using DigitalOcean, all you need to do is link Outline to your account. Simply follow the onscreen instructions to allow Outline to access your hosting account, all you need to do is choose a server location.
If you are in China, Singapore is probably the best option for you. Whichever location you choose, just click “set up Outline” in the top right when you are done and the program will begin. Setup will take a few minutes.
Once set up, you’ll be greeted by Outline’s connections hub, where you can establish connections, both your own as well as those of anyone you want to share the connection with, and follow data usage. At the top right, you can also go to the settings screen to find information about the server and tweak the functions to your liking. However, in my case, I want to connect a device to the server, so I will click on the icon next to “my access key”.
You will see a pop-up, just click “connect this device” and then make sure to copy the security key in the next screen. You will then go to the third screen where you need to install the Outline Client application. Just click “install outline” and the download will start automatically.
Once downloaded, go to your download folder and install Outline Client. If it is on the same device as Outline Manager, the key will be detected automatically. If not, you can enter it manually. Then click “Add Server”.
Then all you need to do is connect to your new Shadowsocks server by pressing “Connect”.
Now you can access the internet through your new server. If you want to connect any other device, including mobile, as Outline will also work on Android and iOS, then you need to install the Outline Client on that device and enter the security key. You can also create a new security key if you want to share security credentials between friends and family. You should now be able to browse the Internet without censorship.