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Obfuscated servers

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    Bypass internet restrictions

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    Avoid VPN-blocking firewalls

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    Stay private online

NordVPN Obfuscated Servers feature

What are obfuscated servers?

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Obfuscated servers are specialized VPN servers that hide the fact that you’re using a VPN to reroute your traffic. They allow users to connect to a VPN even in heavily restrictive environments.

When you connect to a regular VPN server, your ISP can’t see where you go online. But it knows that you’re using a VPN from the way your data looks. However, if you connect to an obfuscated server, it changes your data packets. Therefore, tools that are meant to block VPN traffic let it pass. No one notices you’re using a VPN, unless they inspect your data packets manually.

How do obfuscated servers work?

Man passing a line of detectable VPN by using SSL/SSH encryption

Obfuscated servers are used to bypass VPN-blocking firewalls. To do that, a VPN provider must remove all information related to a VPN from your data so that it looks like regular data packets.

VPN providers can obfuscate data in a few different ways. For example, data packets can be hidden using additional SSL/SSH encryption so that all the VPN metadata is out of sight. Think of it as encryption to conceal your encryption.

Data can also be scrambled, hiding the metadata from the packet header. This way, it looks like regular HTTPS traffic filled with meaningless information. Firewalls can’t recognize it, so they let it pass.

Why you should use obfuscated servers

Obfuscated servers are not intended for casual use. So when and why should you use them?

woman ensuring her privacy from ISP by using obfuscated servers from NordVPN

To bypass VPN blocks

Some internal networks, ISPs, and even countries might ban VPN usage. Obfuscated servers will help you bypass these restrictions. Once you connect, firewalls and VPN blocks won’t be able to recognize that your traffic is coming from a VPN server.

Man browsing shielded and protected with NordVPN

To protect yourself

Journalists and political activists often depend on a safe internet connection. If you’re dealing with delicate information while working in a heavily restricted area, using obfuscated servers will help you connect and stay safe.

People enjoying bandwidth throttling free connection

To avoid bandwidth throttling

Connecting to a VPN server will allow you to avoid traffic-based bandwidth throttling. With your traffic hidden, you will be able to enjoy the internet speeds you are used to without limits or interruptions.

How to connect to NordVPN’s obfuscated servers

01

Select the protocol

Switch to the OpenVPN protocol (Windows app will automatically select it for you.)

02

Connect

Select “Obfuscated” from the list of Specialty Servers and you’ll be connected to the fastest server available.

03

Choose a country

If you want to pick another location, click the three dots next to “Obfuscated” and choose a country from the list.

neutralFind detailed instructions for all operating systems in our Help Center. If you decide to use obfuscated servers, you might also want to set up the automatic Kill Switch to stay safe no matter what. It will block a specific app or your entire device from accessing the web in case your VPN connection drops.

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Frequently asked questions