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Shadowsocks for OpenVPN on Windows

BRIDGES

Last updated: 10 June 2020


Unable to surf the entire web because you're stuck behind a restrictive firewall? Then Shadowsocks might be your answer.

In this Windows guide, we'll walk you through the steps to use this proxy to connect to Mullvad's servers using the OpenVPN client.

App user? If you're using the Mullvad VPN app, try using Shadowsocks with the app.
 

What is Shadowsocks?

Please see our Intro to Shadowsocks guide.

Set-up instructions

1. Install OpenVPN

Follow our OpenVPN installation guide for Windows. Skip this step if you already have it set up.

2. Download and edit Mullvad configuration file

  1. Go to our configuration generator.
  2. Use Windows as the platform and select a location. Click on Advanced settings and check Use IP addresses and Connect via bridges.
  3. Download and extract the zipped files to either C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config or C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN\config

3. Install and run Shadowsocks

  1. Navigate to the Github page for Shadowsocks on Windows.
  2. Download the latest release offering a Shadowsocks.zip file (for example, Shadowsocks-4.1.5.zip).
  3. Extract the file.
  4. In the extracted folder, right-click Shadowsocks.exe and click Run as Administrator to start the Shadowsocks program.

4. Add bridge server

The next step is to add the bridge server you want to use, which will act as your entry location.

You can add a bridge server in the Shadowsocks program either automatically by QR code or manually.

Option 1: Automatically add server with QR code

Use this method if you want to use Sweden as your entry location.

  1. Make sure this QR code is fully visible on your screen.
  2. In the Windows system tray, right-click on the Shadowsocks icon, then choose Servers > Scan QRCode from Screen.
  3. The program will automatically scan the QR code and create a server profile.
  4. Click OK.

Option 2: Manually add server

  1. In the Windows system tray, double-click on the Shadowsocks icon.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Next to Server Addr, enter the IP address of the Mullvad bridge server (uncheck OpenVPN and WireGuard on the Servers page) you want to use as your entry location. To get the IP address you can ping the hostname, for example ping se-sto-br-001.mullvad.net.
  4. Next to Server Port, enter "443".
  5. Next to Password, enter "23#dfsbbb".
  6. Next to Encryption Method, choose chacha20.
  7. Next to Remarks, enter a name to help you identify the server.
  8. Next to Proxy Port, enter "1080".
  9. Click OK.

5. Connect

  1. Run OpenVPN as Administrator (right-click on the program icon and choose "Run as Administrator").
  2. In the Windows system tray, right-click on the OpenVPN icon.
  3. Select profile of the configuration file you edited and choose Connect.
  4. Open the Shadowsocks program.
  5. Right-click on your bridge server and choose Connect.
  6. Once both programs show as being connected, you're all set!

Troubleshooting

When I try connecting to OpenVPN, I get an error saying "RESOLVE: Cannot resolve host address".

Try downloading the pre-configured configuration file again, making sure that the box next to "Use IP addresses" is checked.