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Want to create your own VPN? Jigsaw’s Outline might be the answer

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  • 3 min read

VPNs can be used for various purposes on the Internet. Some use it to surf websites that otherwise have geographical restrictions and other use it to escape possible surveillance and enhance their privacy on the Internet.

Alphabet’s — Google’s parent organisation — Jigsaw has created a new open source network christened ‘Outline’ that helps any organisation create and operate their own VPN.

Outline app by Jigsaw is available on Google Play Store as well as Apple App store and its description on the former reads: “Making it safer to break the news”. The official website of the app also carries the same tagline.

“Censorship and surveillance are challenges that many journalists around the world face on a daily basis. Some of them use a virtual private network (VPN) to provide safer access to the open internet, but not all VPNs are equally reliable and trustworthy, and even fewer are open source,” the company states in a blog post.

The Outline Manager is compatible with Windows 7.0 and above, macOS 10.9 and above, and Linux. The Outline app is compatible with Android (5.0 and above), Windows (7 and above), Chrome OS (64.0 and above), iOS (9.0 and above) and macOS (10.11 and above).

Also read: What is a VPN and 5 other questions answered

“That’s why Jigsaw created Outline, a new open source, independently audited platform that lets any organization easily create and operate their own VPN.”

Why choose Outline?

Want to create your own VPN? Jigsaw's Outline will help you do that

For starters, it’s quite easy to use and set it up too — takes just a few clicks. Once you download the Outline Manager app, it lets you sign in to ‘DigitalOcean‘. Then you can set your own VPN.

Users can also use other cloud providers if they have shell access to run the installation script. Once the Outline server is set up, the admin can create access credentials.

These access credentials can then be shared with the contacts they wish to grant VPN access and the contacts can then use the Outline client to connect with the VPN.

Jigsaw’s Outline uses Shadowsocks, a secure sock5 proxy open source protocol, which is known for its strength and performance. The app also uses ‘AEAD_CHACHA20_POLY1305’ cipher that provides increased security and performance.

In addition to being supported by scores of developers, the Outline app also boasts of running up-to-date software — an important security component.

“If security is one of the most critical parts of creating a better VPN, usability is the other. We wanted Outline to offer a consistent, simple user experience across platforms, and for it to be easy for developers around the world to contribute to it.”

To increase accessibility across platforms, Outline uses Apache Cordova for Android, iOS, macOS and ChromeOS, and Electron for Windows.

The bottom line is that Jigsaw’s Outline app is secure and easy to run and if you’re a news organisation, Outline is all the more better as on its websites it specifically mentions to be ‘built for news organisations’.

Also read: What is encryption? 5 types of encryptions explained



Writes news mostly and edits almost everything at Candid.Technology. He loves taking trips on his bikes or chugging beers as Manchester United battle rivals. Contact Prayank via email: