Installing the ProtonVPN app on a phone.

ProtonVPN has released a new VPN protocol the company claims will help citizens in countries with censored internet to contact the outside world without risk of interception. Called the Stealth Protocol, it’s available now for all ProtonVPN users, including those on the service’s free plan.

According to Andy Yen, the company’s founder & CEO of Proton: “Internet censorship has become an arms race.” As certain governments try to control the internet—Iran and Russia spring to mind—more and more people are bypassing these restrictions using VPNs. Authorities, in turn, have taken countermeasures against VPNs, like identifying VPN traffic.

The Stealth protocol is the next step in this arms race: it can disguise traffic, making it look like a regular connection, without the tell-tale signs a VPN leaves. ProtonVPN is not the first to do so: VyprVPN, for example, offers the Chameleon protocol to do something similar, and the Shadowsocks proxy protocol can also make its connection look like regular traffic.

What sets ProtonVPN apart, in this case, is that it’s offering its technology for free. It also claims that using the Stealth protocol comes without a drop in performance, which makes it especially interesting for people dealing with poor internet infrastructure. To use the new protocol, simply go to the security settings in your ProtonVPN app, find the “Protocols” menu and select “Stealth.”

ProtonVPN is one of our favorite VPN services.

Profile Photo for Fergus O'Sullivan Fergus O'Sullivan
Fergus is a freelance writer for How-To Geek. He has seven years of tech reporting and reviewing under his belt for a number of publications, including GameCrate and Cloudwards. He's written more articles and reviews about cybersecurity and cloud-based software than he can keep track of---and knows his way around Linux and hardware, too.
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