I’m an Internet privacy advocate, and while the fight to rein in Google, and others, might seem unwinnable, privacy advocates have not lost the battle – yet. Which is why, I have a great interest in any tool that will either stop Google and other data accumulators, from collecting personal information on me, or inhibit their ability to do so.
Take a look at the following free application – CyberGhost VPN (a paid version with enhanced features is available), which allows you to surf the Web while hiding your IP address.
Hiding your “real” IP address won’t leave traces of your private surfing activities – protecting you from snooping web sites, annoying advertisers, employers, curious family members, and of course – Google.
Installation is easy although you will have to reboot on completion.
After installation the following window will open advising that you must first setup an account. You will use this account as a login to the service.
The data required to activate an account is short and sweet.
On each startup of the service you can either view the welcome screen, or optionally choose not to.
I suggest that you allow the service to choose an appropriate server for you. The paid version of the application has additional server choices.
As part of the test, I checked out available servers – notice how few users were online.
Connecting is simple – just click on the “connect” bar then launch your Browser. You’re off and running in stealth mode! From sign-in to full activation takes less than a minute – including a 10 second advertisement.
Setting options is easy – although, there are few available options in the free version.
A quick check using Geobytes IP Locator, indicated that my new IP was in Germany- as per the following screen shot.
Signing out is typical for this type of application – including a warning screen.
Once past the sign-in stage, and launching Firefox – I didn’t notice any appreciable connection slowdown.
All Browser functions operated normally – except in two specific areas. Search engines were redirected to the German search pages – still in English, mind you.
My Browser add-on, WebMail Notifier, connected to one Gmail account, but not the other. As well, both my Hotmail accounts were picked up, but not my Yahoo mail. A bit strange, but no big worry.
Having tested my fair share of anonymous surfing applications in the last few years, I’d judge this application to be as good, or better, than most.
System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP: 32 Bit & 64 Bit
Download at: Download.com
Note: Downloading through the developer’s site redirects to CNET. You may find that on first run, a new version is available.
Your Firewall may pick up the application as a new network (which it is – given that it installs a “virtual network card), just give it permission.
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