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Outline VPN: Making It Easy To Host Your Own VPN

Update — Please Note

I don’t recommend this Shadowsocks set-up for general privacy. This is software that allows people to quickly avoid censorship in locked-down countries. It is open source, but it was created by Google (not a privacy-respecting company).

Outline VPN is an open-source tool that installs a Shadowsocks server in a cloud provider of your choosing.

The Outline suite also includes client software that connects to the Outline server. The client is available for these platforms: Mac OS, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS and Android.

Outline was developed by Jigsaw, a technology incubator created by Google. It is primary aimed at journalist in censored countries.

Many people are currently using Outline VPN to bypass the Chinese Firewall.

Screenshot of Outline Client

Outline allows you to self-host the VPN. You can also host on cloud service providers including DigitalOcean and Rackspace.

Installation involves running a command on its command line interface. When used with DigitalOcean, a graphical user interface is available.

Comments 2

    1. The aim of this VPN is to avoid internet censorship in countries like China. I’ll update the article to make clear that this is not for personal privacy. Shadowsocks (which Outline VPN uses) is made to bypass censorship in countries that lock down their internet.

      However, it should be noted that even when using commercial VPN provider — you have to trust that they are not tracking your VPN activities. You can monitor a VPN’s track record with court cases, as see that historically they did not turn have records to turn over when requested by law enforcement. These are the VPN providers that generally recommend.

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