Oh, no, not another review of a VPN (virtual private network) I hear you groan.
Well, um, yes.
It seems there’s a lot of interest in this topic, and every time I write about it I hear more recommendations. Sometimes a company will contact me and say, “hey, why don’t you take a look at ours?”
That’s what happened after the contest in the spring for the free subscription to Hotspot Shield.
One of the companies that approached me was VPN4all. They offered me a free trial subscription so I could write about their service, and after reading their website I agreed. They provided the information I needed to set it up, so I disabled the VPN I had been using and installed theirs.
I have to say, I’ve been impressed. Impressed enough, in fact, that I immediately signed on as an affiliate.
VPN Made Simple
“VPN Made Simple” is their website tagline, and I’ve found that to be true.
The process to download and install the application was straighforward and uncomplicated. Once installed, I took a look at the interface.
Here’s one immediate difference between VPN4All and other VPNs I’ve tried: choosing the IP server to connect to is as simple as checking a dropdown box.
Here’s another difference: this one allows you to connect to P2P networks. Most don’t. (If you’re a P2P user, you know what I’m talking about.) The dropdown shows which servers permit P2P and which don’t, so if you need that feature, you just choose one of the many servers that allows it.
Other features I liked:
- You can connect, disconnect or change your VPN server on the fly, and connecting is fast
- It’s completely unobtrusive
- You can connect to a server in any part of the world you choose. Want to check your US bank account? Select a US server. Want to watch a live event during the 2012 Olympic Games? Choose a server in the UK. You get the idea.
- It doesn’t interfere with email. Some, like Hotspot Shield, prevent you from sending email through Outlook or other mail clients that live on your own computer
- You don’t need to remember a username or password to log in
Other than the slower speeds — true of any VPN — I haven’t found any downsides.
If You Care About Privacy
There is one additional feature I like extremely well — VPN4All really protects my privacy.
I’m not talking about the “protecting me from internet snoopers in the coffee shop” kind of privacy. They all do that, and do it well. I’m talking about legal privacy.
Unlike many other VPN providers, it doesn’t log your sessions. That means, if someone wants information about where you’re browsing or what you’re doing online, there’s no record available to look at.