Review spy camera watch Flylink HD 1080P

Smartphones tiny integrated camera and mic can be used to gather important evidence recording things like police encounters or bullying at the workplace, the problem with using your phone for covert filming is that everybody knows it is a recording device and it defeats the element of surprise. This is why I bought the Flylink spywatch with a high definition 1920x1080P camera, made by a Chinese company called Flylink Tech. I have had this watch for four months and tested it out in multiple situations and different weather, outdoors and inside home.

The first thing that let me down from this spy watch when I unboxed it was that the time was not working. I bought the watch directly from the manufacturer at Amazon Marketplace and I am convinced that they would have replaced it for a new one if I had filled in a claim but I did not want to wait another two weeks for the watch to be shipped and I didn’t think that not having the correct time would be important, this turned out to be a mistake from my part. After a few days of using the spywatch I realised that there was a strong possibility of a person coming up to me and asking what time is it, responding that I am wearing a broken watch on my wrist will create suspicion, having said that, after two months of spywatch usage, mysteriously, the time started to work properly by magic, so it is all good now.

Spywatch Flylink 1080 camera watch
Spywatch Flylink 1080 camera watch

Since I mentioned that it took two weeks to receive this watch through the mail, you should know that I bought it at the Amazon Marketplace because, after extensive research it was by far the cheapest retailer I found, except if you live in the US where Newegg is selling the same watch for a reasonable price too. The watch manufacturer sends the package from abroad and informed me in advance that it would take at least a week, in my humble opinion, it isbetter than buying it from an online Chinese shop because you enjoy the guarantee of Amazon customer service if the package is broken or missing.

There are multiple Flylink spy watch designs, from classic, to sports, very few of them are female friendly, it is mostly men watches, before deciding which one to pick, it is best to plan in what environment you are going to use the spywatch. If you attend a business meeting with a bulky sports watch it will look out of place. Myself I decided to buy the sports model because it is a near replica of a Casio G-Shock, labelled G-Shook, and even thought it is bulky, most sport watches are.

One small mistake I made was to buy the 8GB (7.4GB when formatted) version instead of the 16GB, the price difference was only €5, I just though that since the battery only lasts for an hour, 8GB was enough, the 8GB spywatch holds exactly one hour of video, my surprise was that there was battery left after one hour of filming, if it was now, I would buy the 16GB version for longer recording.

The Flylink spy watch is advertised as water proof, the meaning is that if you splash water or it rains, it will be fine, but you can not submerge the watch or shower with it. I have tried this watch under the rain and I had no problems but you can tell from the build quality that not everything is tightly sealed. The watch strap and the glass feel cheap, easy to wear out, treat the watch with care to avoid scratching the glass and don’t bang it around like a real sports watch, overall build quality is on the fragile side.

Flylink 1080 camera watch battery
Flylink 1080 camera watch battery

About the camera,  I was initially sceptical of the video quality and battery life such a tiny device could provide, it turned out to be unfounded, for a needle head camera, the quality is amazing, you can’t see the lens even if you look close at the watch, is very well concealed inside the dial markers. The videos are automatically split in 2GB chunks that hold 20 minutes each, this is a good thing, small files are easier to manage. What did not work very well was the infra-red night vision, it works, but not very clear and you have to be very very close to the target.

A positive point for Flylink camera watch is that it comes with a replacement knob button that is often removed to plug in the USB cable and transfer the video to a computer. Out of the two knob buttons, one of them has hole in it, this is the one you want to use to record voice, if voice recording is unimportant to you, swap that knob by the one without a hole to stop sand or water leaking inside the watch.

Important considerations when filming with the Flylink spywatch, maximum distance in between you and the target has to be kept at around six meters, if you intend to use this watch to film people from far away, don’t buy it. I have tried doing this and the faces will not be visible, this watch has been designed for filming from a very close distance, and, on top of that, it is very hard to focus the camera watch on the correct target if you are too far from him or her.

What is entirely unacceptable of this watch is the small booklet with the operating instructions in English and Chinese, the company must have used an online translator for the English text because it can’t hardly be understood, many of the paragraphs don’t make any sense at all. I managed to operate Flylink in little time because I had owned a similar spywatch a couple of years ago, otherwise I am not sure a novice can do it with just the manual, this is why I am going to write the instructions to operate the Flylink camera watch here:

To start filming, hold the A button for 2 seconds, you will see a blue LED light is displayed, hold that button until the blue light flashes four times before it disappears, the spywatch is now be recording. To stop the video, click and hold the same button After one second, you will see a red light flashing a couple times before going off, the video recording has now stopped, if you don’t stop the video recording, the watch will carry on filming until it runs out of file space or battery, you should get at least an hour of footage until that happens.

Flylink camera watch spywatch
Flylink camera watch spywatch

If your flash memory is full, when you click and hold the recording button A on your watch, instead of a blue light, you will see a red one, this means that no filming is possible because storage is full.

I would forget about all of the other buttons on the watch, night recording is very low quality, and taking photos is nearly impossible to do without people looking at you for awkwardly pointing the watch at them and holding a button, it gives away that it could be a camera. Just remember button A to start and stop filming and nothing else is needed. When outdoors, bear in mind that you will be unable to see the flashing LED lights under the Sun, start he recording button under the shadow of a tree or place your hand on top of the LED light.

To recharge the spywatch battery, you can use your computer USB port or a the mains adaptor that comes inside the package. It takes around an hour to fully charge the spywatch, you will know that the phone is charging when the LED light is blue and fully charged when it turns red.

To transfer the videos to your computer, just plug in the watch to your computer, the watch comes with drivers but my Windows 7 automatically detected it with a message saying that Syntec MSDC USB device is ready to use, it will appear only once. You can then access the watch like any USB thumbdrive, the videos are stored inside a folder named 100MEDIA, they can be move to your computer copying and pasting.

The only problem I have when I plug in the spywatch in my computer is that every single time Windows tells me that I need to scan the drive, do not accept it, click on ignore. Something else about the watch, the internal memory contains a _REC.exe program to change the timestamp of the video recordings, this file was flagged a threat by Avast antivirus, not only that, I could not change the date and time of the videos with it.

Here goes another advice, when you have finished transferring the videos to your computer, do not unplug the spy watch from the USB port until you first right click on the device icon in Windows and select “eject the USB camera“, if you don’t do this step, you can have driver problems the next time you try to use the watch. The latest computers will have USB3 and the watch is USB2, it works the same except that video transfers are slow, thats something I can live with, you can browse the Internet while the videos are being moved from the watch to the computer.

I only evaluated the filming, I didn’t think that taking covert photos with this watch can be done, holding the spywatch on the target’s face puts you on the spotlight, people are not that stupid. And by the way, if you want to securely erase the files in the watch after moving them, fill in the watch memory with random music files until it is full so that it will overwrite past recordings.

Overall, a great hidden camera that is only good to record from a very close distance, which, opens the possibility of awakening your target suspicions about the bulkiness of the watch and you playing around with the buttons. I don’t regret buying it, I love the long battery and the high definition, but the situations in which it can be used are limited, it is not that often you can get close to the target.

Surf the Internet anonymously with VPNSecure

VPNSecure is long standing VPN provider based in Australia, currently in the process of moving their head quarters to Hong Kong to avoid being forced to spy on its users by the new Australian Data Retention law. Knowing that management has scrutinized legal advice about the latest legal developments in Australia and that the company is willing to do what it takes, even moving abroad, to honour their no logging policy, tells you how genuinely they care about customer privacy.

I have been on and off this VPN provider a couple of times, I switched to a different company in the past because I found cheaper VPN services of comparable high privacy standard, with far less servers than VPNSecure but I didn’t need exotic locations like Japan, Egypt, New Zealand, Brazil or South Africa included in VPNSecure. I have been back for another test drive and this review is based on the last week of usage.

One thing I rapidly noticed, and something that could make sign up with them again, is the price reduction in yearly packages.

Anonymous Internet surfing VPNSecure.me
Anonymous Internet surfing VPNSecure.me

There are multiple things that I like of VPNSecure, the top one is the secure IP binding, an option in the software settings that lets you add any application, like an Internet browser or torrent client, to stop it from accessing the Internet when it is not connected to the VPN.

When using other VPN providers, it happened often that my Wi-fi goes down, causing the tunnel to break and automatically reconnect exposing my real IP. I have had two fake Facebook accounts closed because of this, there is an automatic check in Facebook detecting when you change country, a one time geolocation IP change is enough for Facebook to ask you to verify your account with a mobile phone number.

Other nifty VPNSecure features found in settings are being able to fix DNS leaks ticking a simple checkbox, being able to start the VPN on startup and disabling the Internet when you disconnect from the VPN, a little different from the Secure Bind, the former stops all activity, secure binding only stops the program attached to it. You will also see that the VPN servers have a TCP option, this is for people living in China or Middle East countries where the ISP firewall blocks access to websites.

VPNSecure caters to all kind of needs, it offers OpenVPN the most secure protocol, PPTP, for mobile devices without a VPN client, HTTP proxy, not encrypted but enough to hide your IP, and SmartDNS to watch georestricted TV or game from abroad without you doing anything other than changing the DNS servers in the router.

The company has servers in more than 40 countries covering all continents, I am on a 10Mbps home connection and the speed was nearly always close to what I pulled without the VPN, I also tested the USA servers in Hulu and CBS.com to watch online series that I am not supposed to access from my country and not once I had a problem.

I liked that VPNSecure has a dedicated VPN server labelled “TV”, when you want to watch online TV you don’t have to keep trying what server works and which one has been blocked by Hulu, a one click on the VPN set up specially for that purpose does the job.

VPNSecure Chrome Extension HTTP proxy
VPNSecure Chrome Extension HTTP proxy

There is an option where you can use a US VPN server for free for 30 days, with 2GB bandwidth cap, it is meant to be a trial without having to enter any payment details, when you are satisfied all works fine in your computer and you decide you like VPNSecure software interface, you can buy an account with unlimited bandwidth and all locations, payments can be made with Paypal, credit card or Bitcoin for more privacy.

A single VPN account can be used on multiple devices even at the same time, the only condition is that they all are under the same Internet connection, this means that all your family can be protected at home paying for a single account.

For those on a budget, there is a Chrome extension to manage VPNSecure proxies, the cheapest of their anonymous Internet surfing plans. For people in need of encryption as well as hiding their computer IP, OpenVPN is the one to go for, and gamers will want to go for the SmartDNS package.

If I had to mention any kind of fault with VPNSecure, it is that the connected and disconnected notice on the software is not very visible, in other VPN programs you get a clear red/green colour that quickly indicates to the user if the VPN is still on or off.

There are a few other quality VPN providers out there with similar specs but I see two reasons that make VPNSecure stand out of the crowd.

First of all the company is very clear that they only keep logs for a few hours and the second good reason to sign up with them is the secure binding in the software stopping your computer IP from being exposed when your Internet connection goes down. Add to this OpenVPN encryption and server locations outside of the five eyes country jurisdiction (UK,NZ,AUS,US,CA) and you end with a very powerful online privacy tool.

Visit VPNSecure homepage

Avast! SecureLine VPN review

I have been using SecureLine VPN as part of Avast! Internet Security suite, it comes integrated with the software and you get the first 7 days for free. For those who don’t know, Avast is a Czech company that sells security software, their free Antivirus is one of the most downloaded in the world. Avast business model consists in giving away software and getting customers to upgrade to a paid version later on, free users can also be monetized gathering usage data to improve their products.

Avast SecureLine is available as stand alone Windows program, Android or iPhone/iPad app, my review is based on the integration with the Avast Internet Security suite.

SecureLine choice of servers is practical, you will not find the staggering number of VPN nodes that other massive VPN companies offer, Avast SecureLine VPN spreads over all continents but with far less nodes. Unless you run a bot in need of thousands of computer IPs for when one of them is banned, Avast SecureLine VPN should appropriately accommodate an average user, they have servers in the USA, Canada, UK, South Korea, Spain, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and few others.

SecretLine Avast! VPN
SecretLine Avast! VPN

The main purpose for me to use a VPN is to bypass geographical blocks placed in USA online TV websites, Avast SecureLine does not mention anywhere that it can be used for this, but it is no secret that the only reason why many people pay for a VPN is to watch TV from abroad. I suspect that by not mentioning it Avast has legal cover from lawsuits, the VPN is only being marketed as a security product.

Although servers are spread worlwide, except by the USA, Avast SecureLine VPN does not allow you to switch server node. During my usage, I detected that the Salt Lake and Miami USA servers were being blocked and flagged as anonymous proxy by Hulu, getting around was not difficult, I just had to switch to the Seattle server, however, not such luck with the Canadian and UK servers to watch online TV in CBC.ca and the BBC iPlayer, the Canadian server prompted Google to show me advertisements meant for Brazilians surfers and CBC.ca blocked me from watching online TV on their site believing I was outside Canada.

The Avast SecureLine UK server worked with the BBC one day, the second time I found the VPN blocked, this makes me believe that Avast SecureLine is using load balancing to automatically switch you to the fastest server, which makes it impossible for a user to manually change IP and hampers the ability to watch online TV when blocked.

Speed wise, with a home Internet connection of 10Mbps, every single time I tested multiple SecureLine VPN servers speed I did not notice any important decrease, my connection was a consistent 8Mbps.

BBC iPlayer VPN block
BBC iPlayer VPN block

Something I did not like was the VPN interface, you get warned with a pop up window when connecting and disconnecting from the VPN but the assigned IP is not visible and to change VPN country you have to use a drop down menu that has no configuration options, no server load information and not even a country flag next to the server name.

I also tried to find out information about what logs and how long for they are kept, I was unable to see anything, a bad indication. If Avast was able to boast about logs they would do so, the fact that they prefer not to mention the information tells you that the company rather not to disclose it.

As for payment, Bitcoins are not accepted, only a credit card or Paypal account tied to your real identity is accepted by a third party payment processor called Digital River.

A subscription to Avast SecureLine VPN can help you encrypt a public WiFi Internet access point, secure voice over IP calls (skype), stop search engine tracking, and hide your real IP from websites but do not count on it to protect you from government spying.

I certainly would not buy this VPN to be anonymous on the Internet or watch online TV, except for the USA where multiple VPN servers are available, the Canadian and UK servers are useless for TV.

Due to Avast not having information about log keeping, their VPN not working to watch Canadian and UK online TV, the average price and the lousy VPN interface, not a snowball’s chance in hell  you will see me buying a subscription to their product when there are cheaper and better services.

Visit Avast Secret Line homepage

Registrars with free privacy whois registration for ever

Some domain name registrations, like .at (Austria) or .nl (Netherlands) hide registration details by default, other domain extensions like .us (USA) do not allow private domain registration, and the .eu domain name only allows private registration for individuals, but not companies. Check individual domain name registration rules if you want privacy.

The most used top level domain names .com, .net or .org allow privacy registration but somebody acting as a proxy is needed for this. A few registrars, like NameCheap and NameBright only offer the first year of whois privacy for free, after that you are asked to pay a yearly fee for the privilege, small fees quickly grow to unsustainable.

Entering a fake name and address in the registration details is free but it breaks ICANN rules, webmasters doing that can be reported online in the ICANN website and your domain name can be taken away. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, also requires domain registrars to keep customer contact data intact in escrow, this protects your domain name from being lost if the registrar used to protect your privacy goes out of business.

The following list contains domain name registrars delivering no tricks free privacy whois registration for ever included in the price of the domain name:

DreamHost: US hosting company that can register domain names without having to necessarily host with them, but if you decide that you also need shared hosting, the price of the domain will be free together with the whois privacy registration service, for as long as you remain a custome.

NameSilo: Very cheap domain prices from a US company that offers lifetime whois privacy registration. Special bulk prices for domainers and an interface able to manage domain portfolios. The account includes other free perks like Domain Defender to secure your domain name from hijacking. Get $1 off using the discount code: dusk

Gandi: Company based in France that will mask your domain name registration details with a French address and you will not be charged extra for the privacy services. The only condition they have is that privacy can only be used by individuals, not businesses, you are also given a free mailbox for your domain.

MrDomain: Spanish company that will mask your whois registration with a Spanish address in the Balearic Islands, free whois privacy for ever included with the price of the domain name, if you are an European resident though, you will be charged VAT tax when you buy a domain name.

Hover: Canadian company that includes lifetime whois privacy registration. I found single domain registration slightly above average but there are volume discounts. The more domains you have with them, the less you will pay in renewal fees.

UniRegistry: A US based company providing free whois privacy for the life of the domain you register,optional two step verification with your smartphone to log into your account. This domain registrar includes unique domainer tools, it lets you upload documents and pictures connecting them to a single domain in your account, this is meant to help you out remember sale queries.

Domain name privacy whois registration
Domain name privacy whois registration

 

CosmoTown: Straight forward Korean company, with US offices, that bows to never charge a higher renewal domain registration fee than what you paid for the initial domain registration. Whois privacy is included for life and they have a price comparison table contrasting their offer with that of major providers. This registrar is very competitively priced.

InternetBS: With an office in the Bahamas but owned by a British company, I used to be with them but I transferred the domain out after the company was taken over by new management and they started to charge VAT tax to European customers. InternetBS offers free lifelong privacy domain registration with partial or full privacy protection.

Domain Monster: British owned registrar that will let you opt out of the whois database using their domain privacy registration details instead. Like all other European companies listed here, they charge VAT tax to European customers. If you don’t live in the EU you don’t have to worry about it, otherwise, you could be better off with a US registrar.

Above: Australian domain name registrar geared towards domain investors, on top of free whois domain privacy, there is a domain marketplace and parking manager where you can try to monetize your domain names with integrated reports on paid per click income and domain name traffic.

Review free proxy browser addon ZenMate

ZenMate is a free proxy browser addon for Chrome, Opera and Firefox, it works in your desktop computer or mobile device and it has been designed to protect your Internet browsing from hackers and government spying. The addon encrypts browser traffic to stop an Internet Service Provider or malicious hacker from snooping what sites you visit, keeping logs or blocking access to websites.

Unlike a VPN, ZenMate only protects the Internet browser, any other activity you do, like automatic updates or P2P programs, are not protected by this extension. Additionally, the extension does not insulate you from advertisers tracking you with cookies, and your computer IP can still be uncovered if you visit a website with plugins like Flash or Java. ZenMate developers recommend that you block Flash in your browser to stop this from happening.

DNS leaks are taken care of by the extension with Google Public DNS. This does not mean that your privacy is at the hands of Google, only a ZenMate IP address will be visible in Google DNS servers.

Browser proxy addon ZenMate
Browser proxy addon ZenMate

You have to register entering a valid email address to activate ZenMate, the process takes less than a minute and it is simple. Servers are available in the USA, Europe and Asia, they mask your computer IP and help you watch georestricted online TV from abroad, but it did not work for me in all sites. Hulu often blocked me displaying a message saying that I was behind a proxy and I couldn’t change my IP to a different one, ZenMate free service assigns computer IPs at random and does not allow for manual server change in the same country. When using the Swiss proxy I also found out that many sites would believe I was in Turkey.

There is not much a proxy provider can do about server location being wrongly labelled and you should expect it from similar services, however, paid for VPN or proxies allow users to change server when that happens. I politely contacted ZenMate staff in Twitter letting them know about the Hulu block asking if there was any way around, they never bothered to reply.

Various tests I did, based on my home Internet connection of 10Mb, showed ZenMate proxy speed of in between 2Mb/9Mb depending on the day and server. Browsing webpages with ZenMate produced no delay and it was unnoticeable, streaming video in YouTube was fine too and switching from one country to another always went smooth, taking less than two seconds, quicker than a VPN switch. The company points out that they are in Germany and your privacy is protected under German law but they don’t mention anything about how long for they keep connection logs.

Overall, I am definitely comfortable using ZenMate to access blocked websites, but I would never use them for strong privacy or with the intention to stream georestricted content because it won’t work for this. The lack of detailed information about log retention and Flash plugin revealing my computer IP makes ZenMate not suitable for strong privacy, the permanent Hulu block makes it not suitable to watch georestricted content.

Zenmate says that the free version will always exist and they are working in a new paid for ZenMate extension with more features. I believe a VPN is far superior than a single proxy browser addon and unless their paid version costs half price of a VPN I can’t see myself paying for their premium extension when it comes out.

Visit ZenMate homepage

Review European VPN provider SecurityKiss

I have been using SecurityKiss Jadeite 50GB package for six months, this review is based on my experience with them. Before signing up the good points you will see about the company are that it is based in Ireland, a country not known to operate mass surveillance programs like the USA and UK do, and you can pay for the VPN using Bitcoins, this protects you from credit card theft and it hides your identity. To sweeten the deal, SecurityKiss Bitcoin VPN prices are cheaper than buying it with a credit card or Paypal.

The company claims to only keep logs for 10 days, they should be complimented for being open about their logging policy, unlike other VPN providers that hide essential privacy information, SecurityKiss FAQ is very complete and clear about what information they collect when you use their VPN. In can be summed up in time and duration of the VPN connection, computer IP, and bandwidth used. They also disclose why this is necessary, to protect their company from abusive customers. The 10 days log retention is far lower than the one or two year retention logs that some email providers and ISPs keep and it seems reasonable.

European VPN provider SecurityKiss
European VPN provider SecurityKiss

Other things I liked from SecurityKiss are support for Linux, Mac and mobile devices, a lightweight easy to use Windows VPN client displaying at a glance monthly data usage and the server IP that you are connected to with the country flag,  the unique Octopus tunnelling to bypass firewalls and what SecurityKiss calls “Exclusive tunnelling“, a tunnel wrapped around your VPN connection to stop traffic from leaking out, the technology protects your real IP from exposure. When “Exclusive tunnelling” is active, if the VPN disconnects for whatever reason, you have to manually restore your Internet connectivity, there will be no automatic reconnection.

The not too appealing details are the bandwidth cap in the cheaper packages, for a higher price you get unlimited bandwidth but I didn’t think it was cheap, I would not call it expensive, just slightly above average. Paying for a yearly package with Bitcoins is the best deal and makes it worthwhile. What I found astounding is that SecurityKiss only had a single server marked for torrent downloads. I tested the server speed located in France and I was getting around 5Mbps, I am not saying this is a steady result, I tested it twice, the problem I had is that with only one server available for file sharing, if anything happens to it you are stuck and can’t switch anywhere else.

I also was not very happy about SecurityKiss “Server load” page meant to display the best server to connect to for speed, the page did not display accurate results. I would often connect to a server showed as having a low load and it would deliver a lousy under 1Mbps, I would then connect to a different server marked as heavily loaded and my speed would be faster, after multiple tests I decided not to trust server load indicators and just connect at random.

SecurityKiss VPN control panel
SecurityKiss VPN web control panel

As for online streaming, half of SecurityKiss USA servers were blocked by Hulu, I was never in a position where none of them would work, I just  had to keep switching them until I found the good ones, you only have to do it one time and remember the locations. It would have been more convenient if SecurityKiss had marked servers working with Hulu like I have seen other VPN providers do. Something else you should be aware of is that SecurityKiss does not have any server in Asia, I don’t care about it since I live in Europe but it could be important for other people.

Overall, I would give SecurityKiss a pass grade because it does what it is supposed to do but given prices, locations and far too often finding myself on low speed servers, this is not a VPN company I would recommend, not because they are very bad, but because there are competitors offering you more bang for your buck. Before signing up, I would look at other European VPN providers like Kepard, iVPN or HideIPVPN.

Visit SecurityKiss homepage

Review Invisible Browsing VPN – ibVPN

I have been with Invisible Browsing VPN, ibVPN, for three months now, I subscribed to their Total VPN package, slightly more expensive than the low end US IP only VPN package but it included many more locations from all over the world and ibDNS to configure your router and be able to watch georestricted online TV or play games without having to start the VPN, ibDNS detects when you visit Hulu or Pandora radio and allows you to stream the music without having to change your device settings, something you can’t do in the Xbox or my Logitech Squeezebox radio streaming device.

ibVPN is owned by Amplusnet, a Romanian based business that has been providing VPN services for more than ten years, they have server locations in all continents and over 30 countries, during my time with them they added Belgium as new location, there are thousands of available IPs and many US servers, Regrettably nearly all of ibVPN US servers were blocked by Hulu, save yourself time by looking for the word “Hulu” written next to the US server location, e.g. Miami (Hulu), this indicates that the server will not be blacklisted and ibVPN lets you know this way, I was only able to see a single server with this label but I had no speed issues.

Invisible browsing VPN ibVPN control panel
Invisible browsing VPN ibVPN control panel

Another solution around the Hulu block is setting up ibDNS, this can be done using ibVPN Windows client choosing “Country streaming preferences” (US, UK, Canada, Panama, Netherlands, Finland) and clicking on “Start ibDNS“, extremely easy, you will not have to manually change any Windows setting for this to work.

You can use ibVPN in Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile devices, with L2TP, PPTP, SSTP or OpenVPN protocols, the first two are meant to be used in mobile phones, with OpenVPN and SSTP targeted at desktop computers, if your concern is privacy, use OpenVPN whenever possible, encryption is harder to crack, and if you are behind a restrictive firewall, for example in China or at work, change the UDP protocol to TCP.

For most people the default settings will be good enough, in case of problems, ibVPN 24/7 support via ticket or live chat will guide you through the process of making the VPN work. You should not have to spend time playing with settings, the ibVPN Windows client is very light and easy to use, within a couple of clicks and a drop down menu you can change VPN server as many times as you like.

What I liked the most of their client is the “kill switch“, found by going to “Settings“>”Advanced” you can tick a checkbox and add apps, like a web browser or Usenet software that will automatically close when the VPN connection drops, and it will happen, there were one or two disconnections during my time with them, if you use torrents you better use that feature or you will risk your home IP being left out in the clear and one time is already too many when privacy is at risk.

I am on a 10Mbps Internet home connection and speed was not an issue, ibVPN servers matched my own ISP speed most times, bandwidth is unmetered. The diverse number of VPN locations in the Total package should satisfy everybody, from the expected Germany, UK, France and US, to the usually more expensive locations in Australia, Panama and Hong Kong. If you are a Pandora radio listener, here goes a free tip, Pandora works with an Australian or New Zealand VPN IP and they broadcast half the advertisements than they do with a US location.

Privacy wise, ibVPN keeps no traffic logs but connection logs are kept for one week,  you will not get away with major crime, this is not what the VPN is for, you are protected from privacy invasion reducing logs to a minimum with a considerably much shorter lifespan than the 6 months logs email providers normally keep but you are not totally invisible like you would be in Tor.

ibVPN Windows client VPN provider
ibVPN Windows client VPN provider

Payments can be made anonymously with Bitcoin, there are discounts for businesses and family VPN accounts that allow simultaneous VPN connections from multiple devices and a special Torrent only package to be exclusively used in torrents with certain servers in countries where copyright is not strictly enforced.

ibVPN US&Canada VPN yearly package is unquestionably cheap, if your main reason for a VPN is to be able to watch online US TV I would buy this package or the ibDNS. They both cost the same, by choosing ibVPN over ibDNS you will not only be able to stream restricted video content but also protect your online privacy when surfing the Internet or downloading files. Their Total VPN package is competitively priced in comparison with similar services, the main reason why I would recommend ibVPN over other VPN companies is because the DNS streaming services are included in the Total VPN price and other companies charge for this separately.

Privacy paranoid types might want to look for a different VPN provider with zero logs like iVPN due to Invisible Browsing VPN one week connection logs retention, other than that this is a good service.

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