Embers It's a blog!

VPN Providers That Support SSTP and/or SoftEther

Nowadays, using a VPN is almost required if you want to keep some sort of anonymity on the Internet. The introduction of metadata retention legislation allegedly for detecting and stopping online crime means law enforcement (at least in some jurisdictions) now has warrantless access to where you accessed data from, when you did it, and the servers you downloaded it from.

Unfortunately for the privacy-concerned consumer, many restrictive firewalls often found in companies and educational institutions (as well as some public Wi-Fi) try to block all traffic that’s not web browsing. This makes sense for the network operator since most users don’t need anything past Facebook, Netflix, and Spotify, all of which would connect fine since they have web access. The issue is when someone tries to connect to a VPN: the firewall picks up that it’s not someone using their web browser and shuts the connection.

Fortunately, there are two protocols that are designed to trick firewalls into thinking it’s a HTTPS connection: the open-source SoftEther, and Microsoft’s proprietary SSTP. (sidenote: the official SoftEther server supports SSTP as well, but that’s something to discuss in another post)

Regrettably, most well-known providers don’t offer either, leaving their customers stranded when they’re behind one of these firewalls.

Some services that (at the time of writing) don’t support either SSTP or SoftEther are:

  1. Private Internet Access
  2. NordVPN (Previously offered (tweet), no longer available)
  3. Tunnelbear
  4. IPVanish
  5. CyberGhost
  6. HideMyAss

It’s clear that most major providers don’t support it (and thus can’t go through very restrictive firewalls), but there are still a few that do support SSTP. SoftEther is considerably rarer, probably because it’s not very well-known and requires yet another client to be installed on customers’ computers.

With all that out of the way, let’s go to the main part of this article.

Providers that support SSTP and/or SoftEther

This table was last updated on the May 13, 2018. Data may be outdated, please double-check before making a purchasing decision based off these results.

These companies have not been checked for data security or retention policies. Again, please do research before subscribing to any VPN.

Provider SSTP SoftEther Notes
VPN Gate Some Yes Volunteer project run on SoftEther
LimeVPN Yes Yes  
ExpressVPN Yes No  
PureVPN Yes No  
hide.me Yes No  
CactusVPN Yes Yes  
BananaVPN Yes Yes  
RapidVPN Yes Yes  
LibertyVPN Yes No  
VPNShazam Yes No  
TotalVPN Yes No  
EarthVPN Yes No  
TorGuard Yes No  
BitVPN Yes No  
BestVPN Yes No  

I personally run my own VPN service using SoftEther on a cheap VPS since it gives me almost complete control over how my data is used. You still have to trust the VPS provider, but I have total control over what software I use, which ports they’re running on, and there’s no congestion.

However, it can take some effort to maintain and stay on top of software patches, so it’s definitely not for everyone. It can also cost a bit more and you don’t have the wide range of regions a commercial provider offers.