Some time back Christian Huber from Steganos asked me if I would take a look at one of their new products – Steganos Online Shield 365.
Following a small amount of procrastination, and a huge amount of hardware failure, I have done just that –
Steganos Online Shield 365 Review
Prior to this review i had heard of Steganos but didn’t really know a whole lot about them. it turns out that they are a German company that were formed in 1996. Being German makes me wonder if their softwarewill be uber efficient?
Downloading, installing and getting started with the program
The program itself is very small – around 13 MB I think – and so installation should be quick under normal circumstances. With this particular download, however, there were various obstacles to download such as having to go with a custom install rather than an express one in order to avoid having my homepage, etc changed to some whatever that I’ve never heard of before. Poor show Steganos.
Anyways, after much ado, the program was installed and running – leading to the screenshot below appearing on my screen unannounced.
As you can see, the program says my internet connection is not secure (Phew! So glad I borrowed someone elses IP address whilst writing this review).
Activating Steganos Online Shield 365 should sort me out though I guess…
One click of the button in the bottom left of the screen later…
And indeed it has. You can see that I now have a new IP address which, in this case, happens to be an American based one. Additionally, the program is now encrypting my traffic too.
If you don’t want the internet world to think you are based in America then you do have a few other options to choose from –
- Great Britain
– all of which are cool countries of course.
What is the program like in operation?
Well, in terms of using the program, things really could be simpler – turn it on and choose which country you would like your new IP address to represent. Thats pretty well it.
But how about performance you ask?
Measuring the hit on internet speed whilst running the program is tricky as I online speed tests tend to choose the nearest server to you. In this case I’m obviously giving the appearance of being in the US when I am in fact in rainy London, UK. So, the best I can come up with is a subjective opinion which says that the program slowed my connection by an amount that was noticeable but not too excessive.
Other than that, the program worked pretty well, convincing all and sundry that I was in the US.
Strangely, visiting the program maker’s own site to check out the latest price of the program left me landing on a page designed for UK customers! Ho hum.
If your computer is good enough for you to be able to read this review then it’ll probably do for running Steganos Online Shield 365. The requirements to run this program are pretty minimal indeed –
- Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 (32- and 64- bit)
- 1 GB of RAM
- 50 MB of hard drive space
- Some cash (to pay for the license)
- Some command of the English or German language (to use the program / read the support information)
Is it worth buying?
The program works well and is definitely worth using in my opinion. I can’t think of many reasons not to use a VPN and encrypting your traffic isn’t a bad idea either.
Whether that means you need to pay or not is up to you though. If your usage is low then Steganos do offer a free version of the program which limits you to 500 MB per month. This is certainly enough to give the program a good go to see if you like it and, if you do, then its pretty simple to pays your money and get the upgrade at a later date.