If you were a frequenter in review sites or forums, you must have heard of ‘Stealth VPN’ before. Though you’ve heard about it before, you couldn’t be sure what the term means or how it works. This article helps you with that by introducing to you what ‘Stealth VPN’ means, how it works, as well as when and why to use it.
What is Stealth VPN?
Stealth VPN is a VPN protocol or server capable of disguising VPN use as regular web traffic. It can disguise VPN traffic even when a firewall or network administrator subjects it to a deep packet inspection. The term takes its name from “stealth,” the popular term that describes the Airforce planes capable of staying invisible from radar.
Just like these planes, Stealth VPN is invisible from the detection of firewalls and other applications used to stop VPN traffic. In some countries, there are firewalls that block VPN traffic. These are countries that censor or restrict access to the internet such as The United Arab Emirates, Iran, Cuba, Pakistan, and the most famous of all, China.
A network administrator may also block the access to VPN of a school network or office. It is often done when the administrator want to better the control and monitor network activity. Since VPN blocking became common, Stealth VPN also come into play to evade the common blocking techniques and help create a safe VPN channel that can go through the firewall.
How ‘Stealth’ VPN Works
The idea behind Stealth VPN is to make the VPN traffic to look like normal web traffic. This ability is the biggest advantage that it offers. It is important because while VPN helps bypass the internet restriction, its use alerts the network provider and makes them wonder why you are using VPN in the first place. Before discussing how Stealth VPN works, it is best to talk about a few things about the subject, especially about protocol.
What is Protocol?
Protocol or access protocol is a set of rules, guidelines used for the exchange of data in a computer network, such as the Internet, Intranet, LAN, etc. Every protocol comes with a set of rules and guidelines, which are defined individually. Each one also has its unique name. One of the most common protocols you have heard before is HTPPS. HTTPS is the secure extension of HyperText Transfer Protocol or HTTP, which helps to transmit data over the Web.
What is HTTPS?
Whenever you visit a website through your computer, the data being sent is regular HTTP traffic. It is why you can see that the URL of the site is written like this: http://ThisIsAWebsiteExample.com. As with HTTPS, this one is an HTTP traffic that is encoded using SSL or TLS encryption.
Every day you are using HTTPS protocol although you probably don’t realize it. Whenever you login in websites such as Facebook.com, into your credit card account or online bank account, you are using HTTPS encryption. With this protocol, you can be sure that another person who uses the same internet connection cannot steal your login and password information.
You can determine that a website is using HTTPS encryption when you see the ‘https’ prior to the ‘www’ of the site and the ‘lock’ icon in the browser. Google also uses this protocol 100% of the time, which ensures that your search history is also fully secured. The HTTPS traffic is easily identified by a router or firewall since it only uses port #443.
Stealth VPN uses this knowledge to make your traffic appear like normal web traffic. If you use a VPN, your traffic will not appear as HTTPS and that will alert the network provider and the authority. In other countries using VPN is illegal and it suggests that you may be doing something suspicious on the Internet.
How Can Stealth VPN Make VPN Traffic Appear Like HTTPS Traffic?
It gets complex when it comes to the part of how Stealth VPN makes VPN traffic look HTTPS traffic. VPN providers can create a VPN that cannot be blocked or at least one that is hard to block by using an OpenVPN encrypted data when VPN is connected. The OpenVPN has two parts, which are:
- Header – contains a packet identification as well as routing information
- Payload – contains the data packet’s encrypted portion, which the VPN server will forward to the correct web address
The header part is the one that includes the information used to identify the packet’s source. It also contains the port number and the information that will recognize the packet as OpenVPN data. Obviously, you can’t allow this to happen, so it is necessary to strip away the data’s header part.
This is where the second step of the process takes place. Stealth VPN uses “Obfuscation.” This technique removes all metadata contains that recognizes the data as VPN protocol from the packet header. It is similar to removing an appliance’s serial numbers, brandings, and all other labels. Therefore, it becomes difficult to identify which is the manufacturer or in the case of the traffic, whether it is VPN or regular traffic.
The third step involves the most important part, which is disguising the data as HTTPS. It involves transforming the header data which is possible by using two essential characteristics of HTTPS. Stealth VPN is able to cloak HTTPS data using SSL/TLS Encryption and Port #433. First, the data is wrapped in a second layer of SSL or TLS encryption.
With this, the header part begins looking more like regular HTTPS traffic. At the same time, the data’s payload becomes doubly secured. Secondly, VPN protocols use the obfuscation technique again to reroute the data to port #443, which is the port used by HTTPS traffic. This enables Stealth VPN to cloak VPN as normal HTTPs successfully.
Following these steps, the data packet becomes virtually indistinguishable to normal data traffic. As such, it is almost impossible to block VPN when accessing Facebook, Google, or other sites. If you want completely safe and secure surfing through the internet, using Stealth VPN is one of the best ways.
Other Stealth Protocols
Most Stealth VPNs uses OpenVPN encryption. This encryption is often used because it provides the best speed, security, and compatibility across platforms. However, there is another Stealth protocol besides OpenVPN. This one is called the SSTP or Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol. This protocol is available only on Windows machines, which is why no all providers often use it.
While not common, this protocol does have an excellent advantage. SSTP uses a native SSL encryption as the lead encryption algorithm. This encryption is a lot harder to block since it does not involve the first two steps that the typical Stealth VPN use. SSTP only has to select port #443 and with that, it is already capable of evading any blocking attempts.
Why and When Is Stealth VPN Ideally Used
There are certain instances where Stealth VPN is essential or applicable. For instance, if you live in countries such as China, Iran, India, UAE, Egypt, Russia or in other censored countries. If you live in one of these nations, you probably find it hard to access your favorite online platforms, websites, and online services.
Using Stealth VPN enables you to visit these sites since this VPN effectively bypasses any blocking efforts. Stealth VPN is also useful if you live in countries where the use of VPN is a crime. In this case, it is absolutely crucial that you use undetectable VPN to avoid the authorities but still be able to access the sites you want to visit.
In other situations, Stealth VPN is used due to the standard VPN being blocked such as schools or office with strong firewall. Furthermore, Stealth VPN helps increase speed especially if your VPN connection is getting throttled by ISPs.
Lastly, Stealth VPN is ideal if you are a super private person. It is the ultimate protection you can use to avoid spy agencies, especially that they realize your use of VPN. Using Stealth VPN, your VPN data will be camouflaged with other HTTPs traffic that was submitted daily and be able to evade prying eyes.
In this age where many countries stop the use of VPN and free access to uncontrolled internet, Stealth VPN becomes not only useful but something of a mandatory policy as well. If you are a supporter of internet freedom, you realize how unfair it is to have your surfing privileges restricted.
With Stealth VPN, one can protect his or her internet freedom by obfuscating a normal VPN to look as if it is normal internet traffic. Right now, there are many highly recommended Stealth VPN providers including TorGuard. Each one offering incredible advantages and features designed to make your Internet experience a lot better.
Whichever Stealth VPN provider you use, ensure that it has all the capabilities you are looking for in a VPN provider. Take time to get to know the provider and learn everything you can about the service. Once you read reviews and listened to what other users have to say, then you can make an informed decision on which Stealth VPN is perfect for you.
Best Stealth VPN Service
Only a few VPN that offers stealth feature on their service. If you live in a country that restricts access to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, even though you already use VPN, Then you may need Stealth VPN. Here is our Favorite VPN That has been tested and has amazing features.