What Are Obfuscated VPN Servers?

What Are Obfuscated VPN Servers? (2024 Guide)

Published on: October 24, 2023
Last Updated: October 24, 2023

What Are Obfuscated VPN Servers? (2024 Guide)

Published on: October 24, 2023
Last Updated: October 24, 2023


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What are obfuscated VPN servers?

The amount of time spent enjoying virtual entertainment at home is in high demand.

As a result, IP address spoofing became a crucial use case for VPN services to serve consumers in repressive nations, which naturally altered the VPN business.

Thus, numerous VPNs realized the need to provide servers with anonymity.

Remember that the primary function of virtual private networks (VPNs) is to offer users of online safety, security, and secrecy.

The improved online security can be attributed to the two fundamental functions, traffic encrypting and Network masking, that a Virtual Private Network (VPN) must carry out to its name.

A network that lacks one of these characteristics is not a VPN; it’s as simple as that.

Nevertheless, the industry’s most reliable virtual private networks constantly conduct encryption and IP spoofing with the maximum possible degree of accuracy, in addition to providing you with a wide range of extra services.

In this article, you will get everything related to how obfuscated VPN servers function and how to operate them and recommend the top VPNs that offer this functionality.

What Are Obfuscated VPN Servers?

NordVPN obfuscated servers

Obfuscated VPN servers are a specific type of virtual private network (VPN) server that conceal that your Internet traffic is being rerouted through a VPN.

They enable clients to link to a VPN even in settings with stringent censorship requirements.

Your Internet service provider cannot monitor your online activity when connected to a standard VPN server.

However, it recognizes that you are using a VPN based on how your data appears. However, your data packets are altered when you link to an encrypted server.

Therefore, programs designed to stop VPN traffic allow it to pass. No one knows you are using a VPN unless they physically analyze your data packets.

Deep Packet Inspection, or DPI, is a technology that allows Internet service providers (ISPs) and governments to view all of the data about your online activity and, as a result, control what you can view online.

The usage of a virtual private network (VPN) encrypts the contents of the data packets, but it does not encrypt the fact that a VPN is present.

Blocking technologies, such as DPI, are used by relevant parties like streaming platforms, authorities, and internet service providers (ISPs) to combat VPN use.

Thus, you will be unable to access websites regardless of whether you use a VPN or not. VPN obscurity is the answer to this issue.

What Is Obfuscation?

NordVPN Obfuscated servers

The word “obfuscation” comes from the verb “to obfuscate,” which means “the act of creating anything obscure, ambiguous, or unintelligible.”

It is precisely what the obfuscated VPN servers of NordVPN perform to your Internet data.

When you link to one of them, they will disguise your online activity so that it seems to be the same as any other kind of standard, unencrypted internet traffic.

But there’s no need to be concerned; the fact that it appears that your traffic isn’t encrypted is merely an illusion.

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Obfuscated VPN servers are especially beneficial when using a VPN in countries with strict censorship or VPN bans, as they make it appear that you are using a VPN to access the web.

Obfuscated Networks are where NordVPN’s Obfuscated Servers come in.

Utilizing a VPN in a censorship-heavy state like China is pointless if the authorities can easily detect that you are using one.

How Does VPN Obfuscation Work?

NordVPN Obfuscation Work

The procedure includes the development of unique algorithms or other programs.

It helps your traffic appear normal, and your supplier cannot tell that you have security software enabled!

In most cases, the VPN tunnel cannot be blocked when accessing obfuscated servers.

The encryption is activated when OpenVPN data packets with a Header and Payload operate together.

To hide the VPN protocol, XOR Obfuscation eliminates all of the metadata from the packet header, turning it into worthless data.

This VPN data is transformed into Secure sockets layer web traffic, and the data packets undergo a second layer of encryption using SSL or TLS technologies.

After that, the data transmitted over the VPN is directed to use port 443.

A new obfuscation technology created by the TOR Network called Obfsproxy, which uses pluggable transports to encrypt data.

These jumble VPN communication, allowing customers to circumvent firewalls and geo-restrictions while preventing VPN identification and blockades.

Your Internet service provider can’t observe what you’re doing online when you utilize a standard VPN server.

However, it can determine if you are using a VPN based on the appearance of your data.

Your traffic may use recognizable encryption patterns or well-known VPN provider ports, which can be used to identify it.

When you establish a VPN connection using obfuscated servers or protocols, your data packets appear differently.

As a result, your ISP will be unable to determine that you are using a VPN, allowing you to bypass a VPN block.

Obfuscation removes all traces of a VPN connection, including the VPN signature.

Deep packet analysis can no longer detect that you are using a VPN and can now access the unfiltered internet.

How to Connect to VPN Obfuscated Servers?

NordVPN Streaming

Here’s a step by step to use the obfuscated servers from NordVPN (one of the most secure and most recommended VPNs).

  • Launch NordVPN and select the settings icon in the upper left corner on Mac or the upper right corner on Windows.
  • Here, select Advanced Settings and keep scrolling until Obfuscated Servers appear.
  • Toggle the on/off switch to enable Obfuscated Servers here.
  • Once authorized, navigate to the main window of NordVPN and scroll down the server list until you see Specialty Servers.

You’ll notice that Obfuscated Servers are now enabled; simply click on it to connect.

How Do VPNs Provide Obfuscated Servers?

VPNs provide your connection to the internet to traverse a safe and encrypted tunnel.

In addition, they conceal your location by assigning you a new IP address depending on the server you link to, protecting your anonymity from state agencies, hackers, and copyright investigators.

In regions where Data packets, ports, DNS, and protocols are blocked, this is one of the reasons why electronic nomads and regular people use these tools so frequently.

However, VPNs target nations that use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to prohibit specific applications/protocols.

VPN companies utilize numerous approaches to create obfuscation. Now let’s examine these techniques:

1. Obfsproxy

Obfsproxy collaborates with the Tor Project. It was meant to circumvent the Tor restriction in states like Syria, Iran, and China.

Its obfuscation layer encrypts VPN protocol data against DPI. Obfproxy utilizes Pluggable Transports (PT) to alter the stream of traffic between the VPN client and the VPN server.

It offers a wrapper for your traffic and employs an unrecognizable byte pattern interaction. It basically implies that OpenVPN traffic is disguised as HTTPS transmission.

Additionally, if you have restricted bandwidth, Obfsproxy can be useful because it is cheap and consumes less bandwidth.

2. Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP)

SSL technology is used to encrypt your VPN traffic, making it more secure. This implies that your data will appear identical to standard HTTPS traffic.

3. Stunnel

Implementing Stunnel is another approach to conceal VPN traffic. It is a proxy server that routes traffic across a TLS/SSL tunnel.

This makes it harder for sniffers to distinguish VPN connections from ordinary HTTPS connections.

Having an SSL wrapper, the data that flows through OpenVPN is encapsulated in an additional layer.

The approach is effective against DPI since it is unable to peel away the additional layer and view OpenVPN communication.

4. Shadowsocks

It is a server that is open-source and goes by the name SOCKS5 proxy.

It was developed by a Chinese programmer in order to circumvent the sophisticated internet censorship measures that are used in the country to regulate the web.

It functions similarly to SSTP and Stunnel methods.

Benefits Of Using Obfuscated VPN Servers

NordVPN Double VPN

Avoid Network Blocks

But you’re not out of danger just because your country doesn’t ban internet access.

Your business or university, for instance, may deploy unique detection methods that render your VPN obsolete. Luckily, VPN obfuscation can also assist you in this regard.

Increase Privacy And Anonymity

Virtual private networks (VPNs) obfuscate your data so that it is more secure, private, and anonymous.

Aside from government and Internet service providers, you’ll also be protected from hackers.

Sidestep Government Restriction

In several nations, like China, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, and North Korea, the government severely restricts internet accessibility.

They commonly block specific websites by preventing traffic from reaching them.

In China, for instance, the “Great Firewall” employs several methods to prevent clients from accessing restricted websites and applications, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter.

To circumvent this filtering, numerous users adopt VPN technology. Therefore, when you link to a VPN, the customer’s traffic is encrypted, resulting in garbled data.

A VPN also routes traffic through a separate server, so an examination of the traffic would reveal that it is destined for the VPN server and not the restricted site.

Prevent ISP Throttling

Numerous ISPs limit your connection speed if they detect that you are broadcasting, downloading, or browsing specific websites.

A VPN should eliminate this, as your ISP will no longer be able to view the information or source of your communication.

The use of a VPN may be detected by your ISP, and some customers have reported that their ISPs impose traffic restrictions as a result.

While VPN setbacks are more likely to be caused by the VPN itself (encryption slows down connectivity), it is possible for some ISPs to arbitrarily limit VPN traffic.

If so, then obfuscation should assist in preventing this activity.

Workplace/School Networks Block VPNs

Really competent network administrators can identify VPN traffic on school and office networks.

And once identified, they can configure their firewalls to automatically block the traffic. In addition, you may incur penalties for utilizing a VPN to circumvent the firewall.

Using VPN obfuscation, however, you can breach firewalls without too much concern, as it will be extremely difficult for administrators to detect your activity.

Streaming Geo-restricted Content

Most internet broadcasting websites restrict their content to specific regions. This is essentially the result of their license deal.

You can view this geo-restricted material via a virtual private network. Even so, a VPN enables access to Netflix US from the UK.

Nonetheless, these online streaming services are gaining intelligence. They employ multiple methods to block VPN services.

Obfuscated servers can be used to avoid these obstacles.

Obscure servers would be comparable to having a VPN for your VPN. With this in place, you can browse uninterruptedly to your heart’s pleasure.

Why Use Obfuscated VPN Servers?

NordVPN Double VPN

We employ obfuscated VPN servers to prevent VPN filtering and blocking. The information we send and receive when connecting to a VPN is encrypted.

This prevents anyone from observing our online activities, including the websites and services we utilize and the data we download.

In many regions of the world, such as China and the Middle East, VPN usage is therefore severely limited or prohibited.

Using a VPN prohibits ISPs and governments from monitoring our online behavior and banning the content we view.

By making the VPN connection appear to be ordinary Internet traffic, server obfuscation enables it to bypass any filters or restrictions designed to halt it.

The outcome is an unconstrained, uncensored computing experience and improved internet privacy wherever you are in the world.

Are Obfuscated VPN Servers Slower?

NordVPN Speed

Obfuscated VPN servers are slower than conventional servers because they must perform more work to make your VPN connection undetectable to other web traffic, as we’ve already stated.

Therefore, you should only utilize obfuscated servers when absolutely necessary.

For instance, you reside in or are visiting a restrictive nation, or a webpage, service, or platform employs a VPN blocker.

Final Thoughts

You are now aware of what obfuscated VPN servers are and the reasons why you require them.

Nonetheless, let’s go through a fast recap anyhow.

Obfuscated servers enhance cybersecurity by concealing your VPN usage patterns. No one will be capable of identifying your VPN traffic if it appears identical to ordinary traffic.

Using obfuscated VPN servers will be the best option if you wish to connect to a corporate network that does not allow VPNs, use a VPN in a country where it is outlawed, or avoid ISPs from spying on your web traffic.

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Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.

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