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
Anonymous Internet surfing

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 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

Review no logs VPN OkayFreedom

This review is based on the one year unlimited bandwidth OkayFreedom VPN premium service that I won online during a give away, I have been using them for two months now. I initially liked that this VPN parent company is a well known security German company called Steganos. I have tested other of their security products and most of them are excellent, I also appreciated that as a German company, in my view, Steganos is less open to government blackmail than USA, UK or Chinese companies are.

This VPN is being marketed as a tool to help you get around online content regional restrictions, bypass firewalls censoring the Internet, to anonymise your computer IP, and encrypt your Internet browsing, stopping hackers and government agencies intercepting it. OkayFreedom has servers covering all continents, you can get an IP from the USA, UK, Germany, Egypt, Singapore, Japan, Turkey and others. The VPN software is only available for Windows, no smarphone app, no Mac computer and no Linux support.

I sporadically watch Canadian TV online (GlobalTV, CTV), not having any Canadian server was a downer, I can live with it since I get most of my content out of USA TV websites, my only contention is that OkayFreedom competitors with a similar price also cover Canada.

It is very exotic getting an Egyptian or Japanese computer IP and learn how people from those countries see the web, but in reality, I can’t use any of those locations, the lagging slows down my web browsing and I always end up sticking to European or North American servers, I would imagine that it is the same for other users, so, best not to get too impressed just because far away locations are available, unless you live nearby they will not be of much use.

OkayFreedom VPN location
OkayFreedom VPN location

During installation OkayFreedom will install a browser extension for Chrome or Firefox, this is in addition to the VPN and it doesn’t have to be necessarily activated, but if you turn it on you will be able to automatically trigger the VPN in the browser when you visit websites delivering georestricted content, it worked everytime I listened to Pandora radio.

OkayFreedom VPN free edition has a shopping toolbar that pops up with discount offers when visiting e-commerce sites, in the premium OkayFreedom VPN you will not find this adware.

Be mindful that OkayFreedom does not have a full VPN interface, to switch country you have to right click on the Windows taskbar, and you can’t choose the server you want, the VPN software finds out the least loaded server and automatically assigns you the one with the best performance, you can’t choose a different city, or select an East or West coast USA IP. The upside of this is that you know this is the leading speed for that location, the downside, is that if you are not happy with one IP, you can’t manually get a new city.

I tried numerous times for more than a month to watch content in Hulu with OkayFreedom VPN and I was always blocked, Hulu detected that I was using a proxy, I had no problem using OkayFreedom to listen and watch Pandora radio, Slacker, CWTV and, Hulu was the only site that did not work with this VPN. It is only one site, but it is the most requested, if other VPN services can make it work, why not OkayFreedom?

I should give top marks to this VPN for their free no registration trial to future customers and for their 30 day money back guarantee to present customers but they get bottom marks for not allowing Bitcoin payments as an option.

OkayFreedom VPN using Pandora radio
OkayFreedom VPN using Pandora radio

For people after an advanced VPN, OkayFreedom is not for you, there are very few settings you can change, it is Windows only and selecting a city is automatic.

For people with high privacy standards, OkayFreedom is the one you should go for.

The company does not mention this on their front page but their privacy policy states that they do not keep any logs and it is impossible for OkayFreedom to link somebody with the assigned IP, furthermore, you don’t need a username or password for this VPN, a pseudo ID is derived out of your computer MAC address, a unique hardware number linked to a computer network card that can not be associated with any real name or address even if it were to posted on the Internet. As for payments, OkayFreedom never gets access to those details, a third party processes them, this is written in capital letters in their privacy policy.

This is a mixed outcome VPN review, whether you should choose this VPN or not, it will depend on what you want it for, the person who needs thousands of computer IPs and be able to manually rotate them, should choose a different provider. If  your main concern is online privacy and you don’t care about Hulu or about a full fledged VPN interface, OkayFreedom will be ideal for you.

Visit OkayFreedom homepage