The service provides two functions. Firstly, it encrypts and secures the data passed between the Mac and the Internet when using publicly accessible, potentially insecure Wi-Fi hotspots.
It also claims to offer Internet anonymity, by routing all Internet traffic via Steganos’s dedicated web servers.
Working in the background, the software doesn’t require changes to browser software, and is supposed to work without any delays. Internet activities like surfing, blogging, instant messaging, e-commerce and the use of filesharing networks are encrypted and anonymised, while webmail connections are encrypted to prevent emails sent and received being intercepted. An icon in the task list indicates when the secure connection is activated.
The system works by creating an encrypted tunnel between the user’s Mac and one of the Steganos VPN (Virtual Private Network) servers. These only keep a record of the amount of data transferred, for billing purposes, and don’t store information about online activity or behaviour.
I’m always suspicious of services that claim to offer anonymity on the web, as they can lull people into a false sense of security. I wouldn’t bank on doing anything illegal via their servers, as someone will catch up with you eventually, should they need to. Probably the boys in blue. Not that you’d want to be doing anything questionable online anyway.
Having said that, it should offer a decent level of protection when you don’t want every move analysed by eavesdroppers and web site owners.
Steganos Internet Anonym VPN 25 covers 25GB of traffic in a month and costs
£8.95 per month. A discounted annual licence, Steganos Internet Anonym VPN
300, is available for £54.95 (covering 25GB per month x 12 months).