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imagesMore than a year ago TorrentFreak took a look at a selection of the web’s VPN providers to see which ones really take privacy seriously.

During the months that followed we received dozens of emails begging us to carry out an update and today here it is.

The first installment in our list of VPN providers that due to their setup cannot link user activity to external IP addresses and activities.

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Information

Why surf anonymously?

Everyone is curious by nature. Everyone likes gossiping about others and swapping news. But no one would really like to be secretly spied on. That’s why we close doors whenever we want to be left undisturbed or chat on the phone with friends without anyone listening in.

CyberGhost - Anonym surfen

There is little privacy on the Internet. Website operators would like to know what you’re interested in. Businesses want to know what you’re up to on the Internet. Public authorities, secret services etc. want to know as much as they can about their citizens. It’s time for you to protect yourself and your privacy!

Would you like to be told by your bank some time in the future: ”Your Internet transactions are subject to a credit limit.“? You are fully entitled to decide yourself to whom you wish to provide which information about yourself and your actions.

You leave behind a load of trails when you surf on the Internet, but not only on your PC. Each access provider knows exactly when you visited which websites. Many websites save your address and the details of what you looked at.

However, you certainly wouldn’t like it if your neighbour knew which magazines you read and what you buy and where.

Never forget: your computer’s unique IP address can provide such details as your name, address, age, telephone number and more.

What information do we leave behind?

Any time anyone visits a web server, they always unwittingly leave behind their IP address as an indication of their visit. It is also specified exactly in the server logs which content was transferred to this IP address, which content was downloaded and where on the website which link was clicked. The website is also often informed as to where you have come from.

CyberGhost VPN at your service!

CyberGhost is an important tool for protecting your privacy. CyberGhost VPN replaces the externally visible IP address, which users have received from their provider when they dial up to connect to the Internet, with a CyberGhost VPN IP address. The CyberGhost user shares this IP address with a number of other users. This procedure ensures that the CyberGhost VPN IP address should not be assigned to one particular CyberGhost VPN user.

CyberGhost hide ip

Communication between the CyberGhost VPN user’s computer and the anonymization servers is also particularly well protected to prevent any eavesdropping on data transfers. This protection is set up in 2 steps when establishing the connection. 1024-bit SSL encryption is used when establishing the connection. In this case, a 128-bit AES key is negotiated, which is unique for each connection. The actual communication takes place via this AES key.

Easy to use

The procedure involved sounds very complicated, but we have actually made it very simple. Take the following few steps to make yourself anonymous:

  • Download and install the software
  • Start the software
  • Create an account if you are using the software for the first time
  • Log in to the CyberGhost VPN system
  • Connect to the service you want
  • DONE… you’re now surfing anonymously.

About the new technology

Unlike normal proxies, CyberGhost VPN offers the highest level of security with maximum user-friendliness. Instead of searching for new proxies every day and configuring the browser manually, you only require a single click to be able to surf anonymously with CyberGhost VPN. This not only protects the browser, but also all the programs running on your PC.

Screenshot

This includes, for instance, browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, etc.), messengers (ICQ, MSN Messenger, Skype, etc.), download clients (HTTP, FTP, BitTorrent, etc.) and games (WoW, CS:S, etc.).

Using VPN technologies and separate servers enables you to reach speeds with us which normal proxies or cascades can never offer.

Why not try us out?

Simply download the client here, create an account, log in, connect and away you go surfing anonymously, playing online games, etc.

(The free service is limited to just 1GB per month now)

More free VPN’s here

*Free VPN providers should not be trusted outright where a client’s anonymity is concerned. See this article on multi-VPN security also  Which VPN Providers Really Take Anonymity Seriously? (TorrentFreak article)

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ISPs and other network providers can use deep packet inspection to monitor all the data transmitted to and from your computer; encryption via a virtual private network keeps your data transfers private.

Imagine a technology that can stop spam and malware, identify and block illegal downloads, and allow ISPs to prioritize the data they transmit by content as well as by type. Sounds pretty good.

Now imagine a technology that gives network managers and governments the ability to monitor everything you do on the Internet, including reading and recording your e-mail and other digital communications, and tracking your every move on the Web.

Of course, it’s the same technology–deep packet inspection by name. That’s how governments around the world are able to spy on their citizens’ online activities and control their access to the Internet.

Bills pending in U.S. Congress, (the UK) and Canadian House of Commons propose making it mandatory for ISPs to retain for 12 months the information the companies collect about their customers and deliver it on demand to law enforcement agencies. This information includes IP addresses, credit-card numbers, and other private data.

ISPs have long been able to record every site you visit and track what you do on those sites. They can and do block access to specific sites.

But only recently has it become practical from a bandwidth and resource perspective for network providers to read all the data in the packets sent from and delivered to their customers’ computers without slowing their networks to a crawl.

North Korea, China, Iran, and other countries routinely use deep packet inspection to block Internet content and keep tabs on their citizens, according to a synopsis on TechCrunch Europe.

(CNET Crave writer Edward Moyer reports on the Tor Project’s attempts to help Iranians overcome that country’s disruption of encrypted data connections.)

The primary sponsor of the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act is House Judiciary chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who also sponsored–and recently pulled–the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act.

While the fate of the proposed legislation is uncertain, many people are rightly concerned about having a record of their Internet activities stored in a huge repository that will likely be the target of data thieves.

The easiest way to cover your Web tracks is to encrypt your data and network connection. The most popular encryption services use a virtual private network.

Free VPN services come with a price

The free HTTPS Everywhere Firefox add-on from the Electronic Frontier Foundation automatically encrypts connections on sites that support the technology. Unfortunately, not all sites support HTTPS, among other limitations.

A more thorough technique for preventing your Web activities from being recorded is to establish a VPN connection. The Tech Support Alert site rates several free VPN services in its guide to anonymous-surfing products.

Topping the list are CyberGhost VPN, ProXPN, and SecurityKiss, the last of which I wrote about in a post from last February.

I tried the free versions of ProXPN and OpenVPN’s Private Tunnel, but the first is too slow (and annoying), and the second gives you only 100MB of data transfers. The paid versions of both products remove these limitations, as you might have guessed.

Quick and simple setup, but painful performance in the free version

It took only a few minutes to install ProXPN and sign up for a free account. Click the red lock icon that appears in the Windows notification area or Mac menu bar to establish an encrypted connection.

Information about the VPN server you’re connecting through is shown when you hover over the green lock icon.

Once your VPN connection is established, hover over the green lock icon to view the IP address and other information about the VPN server you’re linking through.

The free version’s slow 100Kbps maximum transfer speed harkens back to the pre-broadband days of dial-up modems. Also, when you open your browser you have to click through an annoying ProXPN “upgrade now” screen to get to your designated home page.

According to the company’s site, the ProXPN Premium service has “no bandwidth restrictions, all available ports are open, PPTP VPN enabled (in addition to our standard OpenVPN), full access to all proXPN servers world-wide, and port selection.” The premium version costs $10 a month or $50 for six months; the company offers a 7-day free trial.

Not much encryption offered by the free version of OpenVPN’s Private Tunnel

Apart from the 100MB data limit, the open-source Private Tunnel service is a breeze to sign up for and use. But most Internet users will burn through the free version’s data-transfer allotment in a couple of days. As with ProXPN, Private Tunnel places an icon on the desktop that you click to establish an encrypted connection.

Original article

*Update How Long Before VPNs become illegal?

*Free VPN providers should not be trusted outright where a client’s anonymity is concerned. See this article on multi-VPN security also  Which VPN Providers Really Take Anonymity Seriously? (TorrentFreak article)

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Protecting the web for your security, privacy and anonymity!

Get behind the SHIELD! 100% FREE!

  • Secure your web session, data, online shopping, and personal information online with HTTPS encryption.
  • Protect yourself from identity theft online.
  • Hide your IP address for your privacy online.
  • Access all content privately without censorship; bypass firewalls.
  • Protect yourself from snoopers at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices.

Works on wireless and wired connections alike. Provides Unlimited Bandwidth.
Works on the PC and the Mac, including new operating systems (Windows 7 and Snow Leopard)

Hotspot Shield protects your entire web surfing session; securing your connection at both your home Internet network & Public Internet networks (both wired and wireless). Hotspot Shield protects your identity by ensuring that all web transactions (shopping, filling out forms, downloads) are secured through HTTPS. Hotspot Shield also makes you private online making your identity invisible to third party websites and ISP’s. Unless you choose to sign into a certain site, you will be anonymous for your entire web session with Hotspot Shield. We love the web because of the freedom that it creates to explore, organize, and communicate. Hotspot Shield enables access to all information online, providing freedom to access all web content freely and securely. Secure your entire web session and ensure your privacy online; your passwords, credit card numbers, and all of your data is secured with Hotspot Shield. Standard antivirus software protects your computer, but not your web activities.

That’s why AnchorFree is pleased to offer Hotspot Shield. Our application keeps your Internet connection secure, private, and anonymous.
100% Security Through a VPN
Hotspot Shield creates a virtual private network (VPN) between your laptop or iPhone and our Internet gateway. This impenetrable tunnel prevents snoopers, hackers, ISP’s, from viewing your web browsing activities, instant messages, downloads, credit card information or anything else you send over the network. Hotspot Shield security application is free to download, employs the latest VPN technology, and is easy to install and use.

So go ahead – Get behind the Shield – Try Hotspot Shield today!

Hotspot Shield runs on:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows Vista
  • Mac OS X (10.5 Leopard)
  • Mac OS X (10.6 Snow Leopard)
  • Mac OS X (10.7 Lion)

A similar free program is Expat Shield

*Free VPN providers should not be trusted outright where a client’s anonymity is concerned. See this article on multi-VPN security also  Which VPN Providers Really Take Anonymity Seriously? (TorrentFreak article)

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