With so many VPN options to choose from today, it's a daunting task to find a VPN that strikes the balance of ease-of-use combined with top performance and privacy protection. Outline is the VPN that caught our eye at SatoshiVPN for three primary reasons.
Just the acronym "VPN" alone triggers thoughts of technical sophistication far beyond the reach of an average person. But for those same people, they're critically aware of the benefits. They just don't know how to bring a VPN solution to their life without feeling overwhelmed. The creators of Outline kept this in mind while designing this VPN solution for their initial target audience: journalists.
When you're reporting from the road—or even in the battlefield—you don't have the time or energy to figure out how to configure your VPN settings. You need something that just works.
That's Outline in a nutshell. A VPN that just works, on your own private server, running open and independently-verifiable code. Plus, there's this one other benefit, "Shadowsocks", but we'll get back to that a bit later. First, let's explore a bit more how Outline works.
The primary goal of Outline is to provide user-friendly software that can help you access the open internet and protect your data while you transmit data back and forth.
Accessing the open internet
Outline is able to help you access the open internet by re-routing your device's internet connection through your private SatoshiVPN server. That way the location of your private server acts as the starting point for all your internet requests, helping you gain access to content that otherwise may be blocked.
Protecting your data
Outline is able to protect your data by transforming it through a cryptography method known as encryption. And because only your device and your private SatoshiVPN server have access to your key, no one in the middle will be able to decrypt your data even if it is intercepted.
Providing access to the open internet and protecting your data are two crucial features offered by many VPN clients. But what makes Outline stand out is its ease of use, particularly because it requires no technical training to get going on all of its desktop and mobile clients.
The best way to continue learning more about Outline is by reading some of the common questions and answers about Outline below, or by jumping in to create your own SatoshiVPN server right now.
Common questions answered below include:
A programmer by the username of "clowwindy" released an open source project, Shadowsocks, in 2012 in response to the Chinese governments increase in internet censorship, which included banning many popular VPN clients at the time.
In order to get around the Great Firewall and other VPN restrictions, clowwindy developed a technique that makes use of socks5 — a protocol for routing data via a proxy server. The advantage of using Shadowsocks is faster connections that are also more difficult to detect because they appear as normal internet traffic.
When the team developing Outline learned about this breakthrough experience that Shadowsocks enables, they decided to build a new VPN client from the ground up that helps spread the use of this great new technique for bypassing censorship. SatoshiVPN comes into the Shadowsocks equation by acting as that private proxy server dedicated to giving you access to the open internet and encrpyting the data transmitted to and from your device.
Outline is a collaboratively built open source project, with the majority of contributions coming from a team within Alphabet (Google) named Jigsaw.
The Jigsaw team is focused on identifying methods for using technology to combat threats to human safety. Outline is one of their early projects that was originally designed for news organizations and journalists.
Outline's source code is open source, released Outline under the Apache License 2.0. This means that Outline's code may publicly viewed and used freely for your own commercial or private purposes, in addition to rights for modifying and distributing the code as you wish.
If you would like to report a bug or make a feature request, simply open a new issue in the appropriate code repository.
View Outline's code repositories on GitHub: https://github.com/Jigsaw-Code.
You are welcome to install Outline on your own server if you wish. This advanced exercise provides you a way to get complete control over an Outline Shadowsocks service.
Outline service install script: https://github.com/Jigsaw-Code/outline-server/blob/master/src/servermanager/installscripts/install_server.sh
That said, we hope you'll come back to SatoshiVPN once you're done for the same Outline service plus a ton more convenience!