Its shiny new Stealth VPN protocol is perfect for those users living under strict internet restrictions as here authorities often block the use of such circumventing tools.
After boosting its security infrastructure and the speed of its connections - with features like its Secure Core servers and VPN Accelerator, respectively - the Swiss-based provider now seeks to guarantee that all of its users around the world can fully enjoy improved internet freedom.
Today, we’re introducing Stealth, our new custom-built anti-censorship protocol for Proton VPN. As surveillance around the world has grown, we’ve built a completely new protocol capable of bypassing internet censorship in authoritarian regimes: https://t.co/VY1Bl5x2qW pic.twitter.com/QL09UJozZAOctober 11, 2022
Unlock censored sites, while eluding VPN blocks
"As we have stepped up our efforts to build a more censorship-resistant VPN, authoritarian governments have also stepped up their efforts to block VPNs," said the provider in a blog post.
Proton's developers explained that previous projects trying to obfuscate existing VPN protocols have failed in the past to deliver a full and effective functionality.
"We designed our Stealth protocol from the ground up to not have these issues. With Stealth enabled, your Proton VPN connection will be almost completely undetectable."
Proton's Stealth VPN protocol uses obfuscation tactics to hide the fact you're using its secure VPN service, making it look like normal traffic. You can learn more on how VPN obfuscation technology works in our dedicated explainer.
It also establishes VPN connections in such a unique way that it manages to avoid alerting internet filters.
"Stealth is an open source obfuscation protocol based on WireGuard and TLS. It is unique to Proton VPN and can be used to connect to all our servers (including our free servers)," the provider told TechRadar.
Contrary to other advanced technology like NetShield and Secure Core, Proton Stealth protocol is available for both its free and premium plans, "because everyone deserves online freedom."
In terms of speed, the provider assures that the new protocol is optimized for delivering the best results. It is also compatible with its VPN Accelerator feature for premium users looking to boost their connection speeds even more.
Available only for Android at the time of writing, users will soon be able to enjoy the feature also on Windows, Linux, macOS, and iOS apps.
What about other VPN providers?
Proton VPN is only the most recent provider integrating obfuscation technology in its software to help users defeat censorship and escape VPN blocking - whether this comes from authoritarian governments or your school/work firewalls.
Top VPNs ExpressVPN and NordVPN all have obfuscated servers carrying out a similar job. Surfshark has its very own Camouflage Mode, while on VyprVPN's offering comes under the name of Chameleon protocol.
However, Proton said that its new Stealth protocol is just the start of its evolving battle to promote a free internet.
"Accordingly, we designed Stealth to be an extensible and adaptable VPN protocol that is flexible enough to meet new challenges."
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Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org