Shadowsocks is an open-source proxy client for bypassing the firewalls and restrictions imposed by some of the places in the world. Shadowsocks uses SOCKS5 proxy protocol but adds more security layers to make it bypass the firewalls. It was first created in 2012 by a Chinese coder and has only improved since then.
Shadowsocks is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. We can download the Shadowsocks software for Windows from its GitHub webpage. As far as Windows is concerned, it is available as a portable program. We can extract the contents of the downloaded ZIP archive to a folder and run Shadowsocks from there.
When launched, it shows a proxy configuration window. We have to add at least one proxy server in Shadowsocks configuration window in order to make it work. For adding a proxy server, we have to add the IP address, port and the password to the SOCKS5 server. If you do not have any Shadowsocks server, then you can get some free or premium servers from https://sshstores.net/shadowsocks.
You have to choose one encryption type which must match the encryption type provided by the server. For a typical Shadowsocks server the encryption algorithm is always chacha20-ietf-poly1305 but it can also be xchacha20-ietf-poly1305, aes-128-gcm, aes-192-gcm, aes-256-gcm etc. Depending on the server configuration, we can turn off the encryption altogether too.
Shadowsocks places an icon in the notification area of the Windows desktop. Using this icon, we can access all the features and functions offered by Shadowsocks. We can switch between many proxy servers provided that you have already configured them. We can make it automatically start with Windows so that you never have any internet connection without the proxy.
Shadowsocks is a useful application for the people living in countries where the authorities are very strict and use a firewall to block access to services like Google and Facebook. There is an Android app also available through Google Play store.
You can download Shadowsocks from https://shadowsocks.org/.