What is Snowstorm?
Snowstorm is a decentralized microproxy network designed to enhance internet freedom, privacy, and security. It operates as a distributed network of peers with a next-generation architecture allowing users to help each other maintain full access to the global internet. It is the evolution / V2 of Snowflake, brought to you by the original creator of the Snowflake pluggable transport.
Can Snowstorm help me access blocked content?
Yes, Snowstorm can help you bypass online censorship and regain access to content that may be restricted in the region you are currently in.
How can I join and participate in the Snowstorm network?
To become part of the Snowstorm network, you can download and install the Snowstorm App. By running the app as a volunteer, you contribute your connection to a network of peers that help other users access the internet securely. If you yourself need to bypass censorship, you can use the app as a client. In this mode, it functions similarly to a VPN, affecting the entire system, but it operates through a more generalized approach than a typical VPN.
How does Snowstorm contribute to internet freedom?
Snowstorm empowers ordinary internet users by ensuring they always have the ability to connect to the global, free, and open internet with complete choice and transparency over their connections. Additionally, it offers users in freer regions the option to volunteer their connection to help others. This goes far beyond what traditional VPNs can accomplish. It achieves this by routing internet traffic through a decentralized network of ephemeral peers. Any and all internet users can be Snowstorm peers, and all Snowstorm peers can potentially help each other connect. The specifics depend on the network environment and requirements of each peer; but the actual connection is routed intelligently to provide at minimum an unfettered, performant internet connection, with obfuscation, bypassing any censorship, and protecting against surveillance.
How is Snowstorm different from traditional VPNs?
Unlike traditional VPNs, Snowstorm operates on a decentralized model, distributing the network's load across numerous peers. In addition, Snowstorm focuses on censorship resistance, and given its origins, has been proven to work in many environments where traditional VPNs have failed or were easy to block. Finally, Snowstorm is dedicated to providing users with maximal choice, transparency, and understanding through ease of use, all of which are prerequisites for truly enhancing privacy and security for all users, regardless of technical background.
Are there any risks associated with using Snowstorm?
While Snowstorm enhances your access, privacy and security, the quality of service can vary depending on the specific peers you are connecting through. Beyond that, it introduces no additional technical risk for ordinary usage, and has fewer risks relative to other tools and traditional VPN services. We believe that giving the user maximum choice and agency over their own connection to the internet is the best way to help and protect users. Everybody has their own use case, and given how fundamental internet access is to our lives, it must be fully customizable and tailored by the user. While information overload is both very common and less than ideal in this day and age, fully exercising your agency does require educating yourself on these topics. We'll do our best to share more knowledge and provide support within the team's capacity.
How can I trust the peers in the Snowstorm network?
Snowstorm employs trust mechanisms and encryption to ensure the network's integrity. In addition, peers providing censorship circumvention serve only as first hops and cannot observe your traffic. Users can select regions and peers based on reputation and performance. Additionally, users will have the option to route their traffic exclusively through specific peers, perhaps those run by trusted friends or even their own devices.
Can I use Snowstorm on all my devices?
Snowstorm is designed to work on all platforms and devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, enterprise equipment, and beyond. During the initial release stages, only some platforms will be supported; however, all will become available as additional versions are rolled out.
Is there a cost associated with using Snowstorm?
If you wish to support the Snowstorm network and also enjoy maximum performance & features, subscription plans are available. In addition, if you wish to gift a subscription to someone in need, this is possible and greatly appreciated. Should you prefer to purchase merchandise or support us through donations, these options are also available. Building and maintaining a next-generation internet freedom tool, as well as supporting the talented engineers behind it, certainly requires resources. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone supporting this mission and our business. A free version will always be available to those in need.
How can I ensure my Snowstorm client remains secure and up-to-date?
We have automatic updates, which are enabled by default. In addition, please regularly check-in for updates from Snowstorm; it is always best to install the latest version of the client software to ensure you have the most secure and capable version of the app.
Can I use Snowstorm for streaming or online gaming?
Snowstorm has been architected with high performance and low latency in mind, making it suitable for streaming and online gaming. However, performance will always depend on your local network environment, which can be the bottleneck, even if you are connected to the best peers. To enhance your streaming and gaming experience, it's recommended to improve your local network environment as much as possible and to choose peers with the highest performance.