VPNs have become very popular over the last years due to the increasing concern about privacy. As you may know, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and this technology can protect your internet traffic by encrypting it. When you use a VPN, your traffic is redirected through secure servers that prevent eavesdroppers from accessing your activities. Third-parties won’t be able to see what you are doing, but since the servers you are using are managed by the VPN provider, there is still a risk to your data. VPNs are so popular that even Google is taking steps to embrace this technology. Jigsaw, a company that is part of Alphabet Inc’s (Google) conglomerate, has developed a DIY VPN that aims to bring a new sense of security to VPN users.
Google releases Do-It-Yourself VPN
Using a VPN takes trust, after all, even if your VPN provider claims that it doesn’t keep logs or that it uses strong encryption to protect your data, you can’t be 100 percent sure that they are true to their word. Jigsaw seeks to address this issue by launching a VPN software that will attempt to get rid of spying. Google’s DIY VPN is designed to be managed in the cloud and it is set up on a server. The interface and the setup process have been simplified to ensure that even people without previous experience can configure the software on their own. The goal is to take anonymity and speed to a higher level and the software is set to be called Outline. Jigsaw hopes to offer increased anonymity by ensuring that only the person who has set up the software can see the browsing activity. This takes the concern regarding provider’s spying on your data, out of the equation and it has the potential to revolutionize the industry.
How does Outline work
The team behind Outline has mentioned that this DIY solution stands out due to the fact that it gives people control over their own VPNs. Only the user will be able to access their data and due to the encryption used, other parties won’t be able to get access, which reduces the risk of data theft and online monitoring. This aim to allow users to take security on their hands, without having to place their trust in a provider, can change the VPN game for good.
Although most VPNs state that they don’t monitor their users’ activities and that they respect their privacy (and there are some with a good track record in this area), there is no way to guarantee that they are really committed to this claims.
With Outline protocol, individual users and companies can run their own VPN services, which prevents other parties from accessing your data and online activities. Privacy is another aspect that needs to be considered. While there are free VPNs available, the privacy protection that they offer is pretty much nonexistent. They also tend to be slower and ineffective when it comes to bypassing some restrictions. Outline is meant to be the first free VPN that strives to offer complete privacy to its users.
What details about Outline are currently available?
Outline is not a service, but a software instead. This also helps to give the users more control over their privacy. It allows operations on individual servers, which removes traffic logging issues, which has been a major source of concern regarding VPN services. Jigsaw claims that Outline uses 256-bit AED, which stands for Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data. This level of encryption protects data from probing, fingerprinting and more. The software is user-friendly and the set up is very simple. If you are using non-private servers, you can set up the software on cloud services and local servers.
Outline has been audited by Radical Open Security and although there were some issues found, Jigsaw has cooperated to get them fixed. However, it should be mentioned that not all aspects of the software were analyzed. Plus, a security audit doesn’t guarantee the effectiveness of a service. Still, the fact that they are trying to make the software as reliable as possible, deserves some recognition.
Outline sounds like an appealing option due to the anonymity that it provides and because it is a free solution. Its added security and privacy features can have a major impact in the market. Outline can also change the way in which people see cloud services. However, the fact that it is a product associated to Google can raise some alarms.
After all, Google is likely to cooperate with the US authorities and other organizations. It is hard to trust in company that has such a strong grip on our online information and activities. While Outline could be an innovative VPN solution, the fact that Google is involved should be considered before using this software, particularly if you are after the highest possible level of security.