Tag Archives: Hotspot Shield

Free Expat Shield – Easily Watch BBC iPlayer From Outside The UK.

My very good friend, Michael F., with whom I share similar views on life, technology, and related issues, often forwards articles/announcements/videos etc., that I’ve managed to miss – but, wished I hadn’t. I can easily say that Michael keeps me on my toes – so, thank you Michael.

A few weeks back though, I had no access* to a particular documentary suggested by Michael – Surviving Progress. Since the documentary “explores how we are repeatedly destroyed by ‘progress traps’ – alluring technologies which serve immediate need but rob us of our long term future”, it was a “must see.”

So then, how to overcome the viewing restrictions imposed by the BBC iPlayer* since this super service can only be viewed in the UK?

Here’s an example of what you’ll see, should you visit BBC iPlayer from outside the UK. Bummer!

image

Still, you can’t keep a good man down – and, I’m a good man – sort of.   Smile So, on the hunt I went for a VPN that would provide me with a UK address – which, as it turns out was very simple exercise.

AnchorFree, the developer’s of the ad-supported VPN service Hotspot Shield, which I’ve reported on a number of times, offers a free additional VPN – Expat Shield (ad-supported) – specifically designed to provide users with a UK IP address.

Following an easy straightforward install, Expat Shield was quick to launch and showed little or no degradation in connection speed – more on this in a moment.

Once the application is up and running, you’ll find a new icon in the Windows System Tray. Clicking on the icon provides access to a selection of input commands, as shown in the following screen captures.

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image

Having viewed the Surviving Progress documentary earlier, for this review, I watched the full length feature film, The Four Feathers –

“England, 1884. When British officer Harry Faversham resigns right before his regiment is sent to fight in Sudan, three friends and his fiancee each award him with a white feather to symbolize his cowardice. Disowned by his father, renounced by his fiancee and disgraced in society, Harry is determined to prove his bravery. Thrilling adventure based on the classic novel.”

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What an enjoyable experience! The film streamed perfectly – no stuttering or slowdown of any description.

Since the BBC is by far and away my favorite TV network, I’ve made good use of Expat Shield. If you’re a British expat and you miss the BBC, then consider adding Expat Shield to your system. I think you’ll be very pleased with this free solution.

Fast facts:

Get a UK IP address.
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.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista and Win 7.

Download at: ExpatShield

6 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Online Privacy, Software

Free Hotspot Shield 1.47 – Surf The Internet In The “Dark”

image I live in Toronto, Canada, but when I travel the Internet, for all intents and purposes I live in White Plains, New York. So is this magic; do I have the power to teleport (sort of, beam me up Scotty), or have I mastered a paranormal skill?

I wish! But being in one place and appearing to be in another place on the Internet, is magic, of a sort.

I’ve been surfing the Internet since day one essentially, and during that time I’ve become increasingly concerned with protecting my privacy, and anonymity, while surfing the Internet.

If you consider this slightly paranoid behavior, well …. you’re right. But, as I’ve said here numerous times – “ …. we all need to become infected with a mild case of paranoia when using the Internet. Being paranoid, suspicious, and untrusting while surfing the web, might not make you invulnerable to malware infections or worse, but it will certainly reduce the odds enormously”.

Other than my personal concerns, there are more obvious reasons, you may have, for anonymous surfing, including – surfing in internet cafes, public terminals in libraries, or hotel business centers.

In fact, you may want to surf anonymously on any PC where you don’t want to leave traces of your private surfing activities to ensure protection from snooping web sites, annoying advertisers, employers, or curious family members.

Most typical PC users are amazed at the amount of information their browser provides to web sites they visit. For example, the information below is available to every web site I visit. I have X’d out certain parameters for privacy purposes only.

Your computer is connecting to the internet at xxxxxxx, xxxx, in the xxxx, with an IP address of 24.xxx.xxx.xxx

Your User Agent is being reported as: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.12) Gecko/Firefox/3.5.3

Your Referrer is being reported as: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&client= ient=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en

Your IP Address is 24.xxx.xxx.142

Your Host Name is d2xx- xxx.xxx.xxx.cable.net

Actually, this is mild, depending on the web site, considerably more information, about you, can be captured.

Hotspot Shield, is a free solution which uses both a proxy server and encryption technology, which can increase security (particularly at off site locations), and protect your privacy as well, by effectively hiding your IP address .

image

image

According to the developers “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”.

Upside: I’ve been using this application for some time now, and it does exactly as it says. Despite the fact this is a proxy service, I find no slowdown in accessing sites, pages, or streaming content.

I’m satisfied with its performance – it works well, and is easily turned on/off via the system tray icon. Incidentally, Hotspot Shield was named as one of the best free applications of 2008 by PC Magazine.

Hotspot 3

Downside: This is an ad supported application and it puts banner ads on every web page that you view.

Fast facts: Ensure you are private, secure, and anonymous online!

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)

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a free application which will keep your web surfing private, Hotspot Shield is definitely worth a look.

System requirements: Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, and Windows 7

Download at: Download.com

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

19 Comments

Filed under Anonymous Surfing, cybercrime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Internet Safety, Internet Safety Tools, Privacy, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Download Hotspot Shield – Secure Your Public Internet Connections

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On weekends, I’ve noticed that a disproportionate number of hits on this site come from Hotels. How do I know this? It’s easy really –  I just look at the Label IP Address in my site’s hit counter (StatCounter), which gives me this information.

Don’t be alarmed; no personal information of any kind can be deduced from the statistical information StatCounter generates.

Your Internet Browser provides much more information to every web site that you visit. For example, the information below is available to every web site I visit. I have X’d out certain parameters for privacy purposes only.

Your computer is connecting to the internet at xxxxxxx, xxxx, in the xxxx, with an IP address of 24.xxx.xxx.xxx

Your User Agent is being reported as: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.12) Gecko/Firefox/3.6

Your Referrer is being reported as: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&client= ient=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en

Your IP Address is 24.xxx.xxx.xxx

Your Host Name is x2xx- xxx.xxx.xxx.cable.net

As opposed to this, the following graphic illustrates what StatCounter’s report looks like. I’ve used an example from a Police agency in the UK, since I’m reasonable sure this is a hardened site, rather than a Hotel, which I’m reasonable sure would not be a hardened site.

Essex Police

So what kind of information can I gather from this Hotel traffic? Well, nothing personal, or of any real value, except this; these Hotel guests are potentially playing with fire.

Hotel room Internet connections including both Wi-Fi, and wired, are notoriously vulnerable to hacking. This vulnerability is not restricted to Hotel rooms of course. Other vulnerable locations include internet cafes, and public terminals in libraries.

The YouTube video “Sidejacking using Ferret and Hamster”, is a good illustration of just how easy sidejacking (session hijacking) can be.

Hotspot Shield, is a free solution which uses both a proxy server and encryption technology, which can increase security (particularly at off site locations), and protect your privacy as well, by effectively hiding your IP address .

image

According to the developers “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”.

Upside: I’ve been using this application for some time now, and it does exactly as it says. Despite the fact this is a proxy service, I find no slowdown in accessing sites, pages, or streaming content.

I’m satisfied with its performance – it works well, and is easily turned on/off via the system tray icon.

image

Incidentally, Hotspot Shield was named as one of the best free applications of 2008 by PC Magazine.

Downside: This is an ad supported application and it puts banner ads on every web page that you view.

Fast facts:

Securing your web session with HTTPS encryption

Secure your data & personal information online

Hiding your IP address for your privacy online

Securing your connection at both your home Internet network and public Internet networks (both wired and wireless)

Allowing you to access all content privately without censorship; bypass firewalls

Protecting you from snoopers at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices and ISP hubs

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a free application which will raise your level of security and keep your web surfing private, Hotspot Shield is definitely worth a look.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista,  XP, 2000, Vista. Mac OS X (10.4 Tiger), Mac OS X (10.5 Leopard), Mac OS X (10.6 Snow Leopard)

Download at: Major Geeks

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

12 Comments

Filed under cybercrime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Online Safety, Privacy, Software, StatCounter, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free Hotspot Shield – Internet Privacy to the Max

image I live in Toronto Canada, but when I travel the Internet, for all intents and purposes I live in White Plains, New York. So is this magic; do I have the power to teleport (sort of, beam me up Scotty), or have I mastered a paranormal skill?

No, I haven’t mastered a paranormal skill, but being in one place and appearing to be in another place on the Internet is magic, of a sort.

I’ve been surfing the Internet since day one essentially, and during that time I’ve become increasingly more concerned with protecting my privacy, and anonymity, while surfing the Internet.

If you consider this slightly paranoid behavior, well …. you’re right. But, as I’ve said here numerous times – “ …. we all need to become infected with a mild case of paranoia when using the Internet. Being paranoid, suspicious, and untrusting while surfing the web, might not make you invulnerable to malware infections or worse, but it will certainly reduce the odds enormously”.

Other than my personal concerns, there are more obvious reasons, you may have, for anonymous surfing, including – surfing in internet cafes, public terminals in libraries, or hotel business centers.

In fact, you may want to surf anonymously on any PC where you don’t want to leave traces of your private surfing activities to ensure protection from snooping web sites, annoying advertisers, employers, or curious family members.

Most typical PC users are amazed at the amount of information their browser provides to web sites they visit. For example, the information below is available to every web site I visit. I have X’d out certain parameters for privacy purposes only.

Your computer is connecting to the internet at xxxxxxx, xxxx, in the xxxx, with an IP address of 24.xxx.xxx.xxx

Your User Agent is being reported as: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.12) Gecko/Firefox/3.5.3

Your Referrer is being reported as: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&client= ient=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en

Your IP Address is 24.xxx.xxx.142

Your Host Name is d2xx- xxx.xxx.xxx.cable.net

Actually, this is mild, depending on the web site considerably more information, about you, can be captured. One of the solutions I’ve come to rely on, to maintain my privacy and anonymity while surfing the Internet, is a free application from AnchorFree – Hotspot Shield.

Hotspot 1

Hotspot 2

According to the developers “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”.

Upside: I’ve been using this application for some time now, and it does exactly as it says. Despite the fact this is a proxy service, I find no slowdown in accessing sites, pages, or streaming content.

I’m satisfied with its performance – it works well, and is easily turned on/off via the system tray icon. Incidentally, Hotspot Shield was named as one of the best free applications of 2008 by PC Magazine.

Hotspot 3

Downside: This is an ad supported application and it puts banner ads on every web page that you view.

Fast facts:

Securing your web session with HTTPS encryption

Secure your data & personal information online

Hiding your IP address for your privacy online

Securing your connection at both your home Internet network and public Internet networks (both wired and wireless)

Allowing you to access all content privately without censorship; bypass firewalls

Protecting you from snoopers at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices and ISP hubs

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a free application which will keep your web surfing private, Hotspot Shield is definitely worth a look.

System requirements: Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, and Windows 7

Download at: Major Geeks

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

4 Comments

Filed under Anonymous Surfing, downloads, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Paranoia, Privacy, Software, Surveillance, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Hulu For You – No Matter Where You Live!

Update June 25, 2009: Hulu is now blocking all proxies, so the following information is now out of date.

In order to enjoy the benefits of Hulu, the free website that offers commercial-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies from NBC, Fox and other networks and studios, your computer must be located, or appear to be located, in the United States.

Hulu

But why do you have to live in the U.S. in order to enjoy the benefits of Hulu? At least in Canada, where I live, it all comes down to licensing issues with Canada’s major television networks.

There’s not much point in ranting and raving about the fact that the Canadian government supports a non-competitive environment that restricts MY free choice. I’m curious though, as to how a government can support a “dead” business model, still being pushed on Canadian consumers by mainstream media corporations.

I finally got fed up with messages such as this, “We’re sorry, but the video you selected isn’t available from your location”, when attempting to watch a video offered by Hulu and other similar sites, and went on an Internet hunt to find a tech solution to this aggravating problem.

Surprisingly it took only minutes to find a free solution offered by AnchorFree, the developers of Hotspot Shield, an application whose main purpose is to protect your security, privacy and anonymity while surfing the Internet by:

Securing your web session with HTTPS encryption

Hiding your IP address for your privacy online

Securing your connection at both your home Internet network and public Internet networks (both wired and wireless)

Allowing you to access all content privately without censorship

Protecting you from snoopers at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices and ISP hubs

According to the developers “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”.

Now for the good news: If you are in a country that restricts your access to Hulu, not only does Hotspot Shield perform all of the functions listed earlier, but most importantly, for accessing Hulu, it makes your computer appear to be located in the United States.

Hotspot Shield isn’t something you’d want to leave running all the time, since this is an ad supported application and it puts banner ads on every web page that you view, but as a Hulu access solution, it works well and is easily turned on/off via the system tray icon.

Incidentally, Hotspot Shield was named as one of the best free applications of 2008 by PC Magazine.

I have heard good news about a similar application UltraSurf – a program developed to bypass the Great Firewall of China, but to this point I haven’t had a chance to test drive this one.

Some forum comments on Hotspot Shield:

Works good, greetings from Mexico City

Works perfectly in Tokyo, Japan on Mac OS X Leopard. And fast!

Tip – to everyone outside the states watching Hulu through Hotspot shield, connect to Hotspot, start watching the movie, and then disconnect, it should work just fine.

One caveat: I don’t have the ability to test this application in all countries so it may be, that it may not work in all locations.

I have to tell you though, I’m having a terrific time watching Hi-Def movies, videos and TV shows on a 22 inch wide screen monitor – finally!

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Mac OS X (10.5 Leopard), (10.4 Tiger)

Download at: Anchorfree

12 Comments

Filed under Browser add-ons, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Hulu, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Internet TV, Living Life, Software, Windows Tips and Tools