What is the difference between shadowsocks and VPN?

 

 

What is the difference between shadowsocks and VPN?

 

Shadowsocks is an SOCKS5 compatible proxy server/client implementation. It’s main goal is to be non-detectable, or have no obvious fingerprint when you looking into it’s encrypted data. In this way Shadowsocks is hard to detect by layer-7 firewalls thus can survive when other proxy methods are blocked from application layer traffic analysis.

Shadowsocks is a user-written package developed by a female Chinese programmer in her spare time with the purpose of helping Chinese, especially those who are educated, to overcome the barrier that is induced by GFW for achieving full access to Internet Freedom.

Unlike conventional ways of crossing, e.g. proxy or VPN, this way of crossing comes with no or very limited unique characteristic in the way of transmission as well as ports that are used for communications. This is because both encryption and decryption processes are made locally but not depending on remote severs, only encrypted data are transmitted in a connected network in a similar way as the data from encrypted sites (say https). Thus, it would be very hard for GFW to detect and spot such data flows.

In addition, Shadowsocks can be used both in a global and spited environment. For global environment, this is working similarly with VPN, where all data are transited in a channel but not in local chains. For split environment, however, system shall filter the domains and compare that with a third-party maintained list (pac file). Requests to a listed site shall result in an intermediary transmission via Shadowsocks while others shall be involved in a local environment, e.g. home broadband.

 

Overlooking such issues mean a lot for Chinese but not only for their entertainments. As a researcher in accounting and finance, I paid visits to Youtube frequently for professional episodes that are always conducted by top professors from top institutions. Shadowsocks significantly reduce the work in this side and liberates people, especially those who are wise enough and are requiring time for their won interest.

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