Hello colleagues from TweakBytes!!! I would like to present the review of this very interesting product: STEGANOS ONLINE SHIELD VPN!!!!!! I hope You enjoy with its features !!! There We go!!! _____________________________________________________________ Links to Steganos OnLine Shield VPN, Guides and FAQ. General info of the product and links to resources at Steganos Website: Steganos OS VPN Product Info: https://www.steganos.com/en/steganos-online-shield-vpn Steganos OS VPN Download Free Trial: https://www.steganos.com/en/steganos-online-shield-vpn-download Steganos OS VPN FAQ/How-To: https://steganos.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/sections/200401303-Steganos-Online-Shield-VPN Steganos OS VPN Contact/Support: https://www.steganos.com/en/contact-us Blog and Updates Info: https://www.steganos.com/en/steganosblog Buy Steganos OS VPN: https://secure.steganos.com/cart/view Steganos Products: https://heimdalsecurity.com/en/products System Requirements: since the last build 1.6.3 Steganos OS VPN is no longer compatible with Windows XP and Windows Vista. New and interesting highlights of the product: · Free 7-day Premium trial · Updated more intuitive user interface · Automatic cookie removal now also in Internet Explorer 11 & Edge · Extended tracking protection makes it harder for websites to spy on you · Reliable VPN protection now also on DS-Lite IPv6 connections Windows Testing System Settings and hardware specs. Here You are some info about the system I’ve used to install and test Steganos OS VPN 1.6.3: Host System: Windows 10 Pro x64 RS1/AU. AMD Athlon II X3 450 @ 3,20Ghz + 8GB RAM DDR3 + 2 x Western Digital Blue SATA3 500GB in RAID 1). Guest System: virtual machine with Windows 10 Pro x64 RS1/AU running over VMWare 12.5.5 (3GB of RAM assigned). Some applications and tools installed inside virtual machine: Mozilla FireFox, Google Chrome, FoxIt Reader, Java Update 8, Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2016, Restore Point Creator, CCleaner, WinRAR, Sysinternals Suite. Android Mobile Testing System Settings: Sony Xperia S running Android 4.1.2 (Sony stock ROM). Installation in Windows 10. The specific version I’m testing is 1.6.3 build 12099 and I have to say that installation was really easy and fast: A very informative and user friendly wizard will explain the benefits of latest VPN technology, and will guide us to type our serial activation number or start a Free 7-day Premium trial of the product: After typing our serial number, we’ll get a notification that activation was successful. Then We are ready to start using the product! Installation in Android Mobile. We have the apk version 2.0 available in Google Store. The process to activate in Mobile is similar to Windows, once the application is installed, the product will ask us ty type our serial number. We can use it also as free with 500MB free traffic. Enabling Protection in Steganos OnLine Shield VPN. By default, Steganos OnLine Shield VPN will select the fastest connection/node, but we can select a specific node among 15 countries depending on our world region: Then we should enable the protection modules just sliding the horizontal control then They will get green (from red/disabled), every control has its own contextual tip help: A very detailed explanation of the VPN OnLine Shield features is here: https://steganos.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/205433858-Online-Shield-VPN-Features-Explained- Before enable the VPN Protection our local PC name (in Windows) and private IPs (own local network IP, for instance: 192.168.x.x) are shown, also our public IP in InterNet network (not protected yet). Sliding the “Protection Connection VNP” control we we'll enable the protection, some notification will be shown during the process until get a green tick, then our new public protected IP will appear on screen. The process is similar in Android Mobile version: Options & Settings in Windows version. We will now go for a tour of the different options in the Main Menu located in the top left corner of the main application window. There are the following options: Shield On/Off: let us enable/disable VPN protection. We also can do it (as previously said) via horizontal slide control called “Protection Connection VPN”. Change Country: let us change the node country to connect, also we can let the program select automatically the fastest node connection. There are 15 country nodes to choose depending on our world region. Manage License/Current Status of the Protection: let us buy a new premium license, type a new serial number or check our current status of our license. Also explain where to find our new serial number and how it looks like. Settings: Start automatically on log on / Automatically protect connection with VPN on start of Online Shield: starts Steganos VPN OS in every Windows system log on, if this setting is on We can set that also auto enable VPN protection at the same time. Show connection details: shows details of the connection every time We enable VPN Protection. Prevent WebRTC IP leak (requires reconnect): By default, this setting is disabled, we should disable VPN Protection before enable it. It protectsagainst a vulnerability which lets somewebsites to find our real IP address even when using a VPN serviceA very explained info can be found in this link:https://steganos.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204564747 Exception rules: E-Mail Servers Exceptions & Cookie-Removal Exceptions: let us add exclusions for our outgoing email servers in order to use them when VPN Protection is enabled. Also we can specify which cookies will be deleted or which ones will be kept to be re-identified. Browsers Mozilla FireFox, InterNet Explorer, Chrome & Edge are supported. Download Mobile versions: links to download Android and iOS versions of the product. Support: an ID in case We need to contact to Steganos Support. We can copy it to Windows ClipBoard and gather/generate logs in a file that will be put in our DeskTop: And here is how it looks like in Windows Notification Area: Options & Settings in Android Mobile version. Mobile version is quite simpler and there are not so many options/settings as his brother in Windows, but its features are very similar and a Windows Steganos VPN OS user will clearly identify them. Taping in Your Mobile Menu button, will find: Activate / Deactivate Protection: let us enable/disable VPN protection. We also can do it dragging the shield up. Change Country: let us change the node country to connect. There are 15 country nodes to choose depending on our world region. Show Serial Number: shows our serial number activation. Windows Version: lets us receive an email message (typing our email address) to download/get Windows version for free, also agree to receive in that email address the Steganos Privacy NewsLetters. Settings: Security warning (Show a reminder when Steganos VPN is not active). Testing anonymity. I performed some simple tests to check the quality of anonymity of the service. Frist of all I have to say that I am in a city in the south-east of Spain, so with VPN Protection on and letting to choose the fasted node, I visited some sites and these are the results I got: Great, those sites think I’m in Paris! Also ran an online anonymity check and I got these results: As we can see I got a good punctuation, but still there are some few points not so good… Testing Speed. My InterNet speed is a symmetric 50Mbits (download) / 50Mbits (upload) optic fibber connection with the Spanish ISP Jazztel (recently acquired by Orange). Here are the results of the speed tests I ran in 3 different sites with VPN Protection off/on. Let’s go 1stly with Steganos VPN OnLine Shield Protection off: Now with Steganos OnLine Shield VPN Protection on: We can appreciate that there is obviously a different of speed when VPN Protection is on: In some cases, the difference is of more than 40Mbits, but of course We should take these results with a grain of salt and as an orientation, also it will depend on how far will be the country node selected when enable VPN Protection and the location of the site where I performed the speed test. Resource Consumption in Windows 10 Pro x64 & Android 4.1.2. Here We have the services & executables that Steanos OnLine Shild VPN runs while Protection is on. As We can see, it will not take much CPU/RAM from our systems, and application responds fast even working in a virtual machine: And here memory resources in my Android 4.1.2 system: Final Worlds. The good: easy and fast to install, very nice and clean GUI, interesting settings to customize some aspects of its operation, low in CPU/memory resources, multi-device license even for mobiles Android + iOS. The not so good, to improve: it seems blocking ads feature is not so effective or not working fine during my test, I have been getting many ads in my Mozilla FireFox while surfing (for instance from Google service) even when “Block ads” setting was enabled, so in the end users will have to install some kind of add-on (AdBlock Plus, uBlock Origin or Adguard) in their browsers to block ads more effectively. If We check/search Steganos VPN service in this table: https://thatoneprivacysite.net/vpn-comparison-chart/, will find some lacks in security/prevention/protection and some other unknown info about this service, I’m not sure whether They are referring to this application but since Steganos only has this VPN application/services in their WebSite… Bottom line: this application will be probably enough and has an appeal that may be very interesting for a wide range of users: both rookies and medium, or even medium-high, but probably not for security geeks and/or so advanced/demanding users. _____________________________________________________________ I would like to thank to: STEGANOS @jasonX for pushing me to do this review and to @BC2Tweak for their support! _____________________________________________________________ The End… That’s all folks !!!