While we often ignore it, the internet is a vicious place. It tracks your every more, specially if you own a smart phone, and keeps a history of every website you use. Most of the tracking is harmless, shoppers trying to sell you items, services trying to learn more about you to give you a better service (sell you more), or just other ways for companies to gain data that helps them be better at what they do.
Then, there is the sinister side. Hackers, people who try and keep a tab on what you’re doing, looking at your traffic, and using your identity or email address to send unsolicited emails. It gets more and more sophisticated, and it isn’t uncommon these days for an accountant to get an email from their MD asking to pay an invoice. Of course, normally the MD and the accountant sit floors away, and the accountant does as is told. The MD never sent that email though, it was just somebody who had tagged on to somebody using a free WiFi somewhere.
The lesson in all this, the need for a secure setup, on your computer and smartphone, to keep your secure. A few solutions already exist. Some of them give you a great firewall. Others offer encryption. Some hide your IP address and give you a VPN to connect to. Freedome from F-Secure manages to combine all of this in one elegant package.
It offers the following features:
- Available as a download on PC, Macs, iOS and Android
- Provides you a VPN connection that allows you to connect from up to 25 locations, including UK, US and many more.
- Can be used on up to 7 devices from a single subscription
- Private & protected. Hackers can’t steal your stuff and annoying advertisers can’t track you.
- Wi-Fi Security: Connect to any hotspot, public or private and surf carefree without exposing your traffic
- Remove geo-blocking: Access geo-restricted content by changing your virtual location.
- Elegant simplicity: Control your online privacy and security with the push of a button
You download the app from the website, and it gives you a free 14 day trial. After that, you can buy a subscription, or just uninstall and forget.
The app has a clean, almost minimal design which works well. Once subscription settings have been entered, you can then choose to have it always on when you boot up or just come on when you need it.
Ease of use
Once setup, no user interaction is needed, unless you want to change the location you want to browse from. It should all be running once your system boots and you have internet, otherwise.
Does it work?
Yes, it immediately changed my IP address, and as I tried different locations on the software, my IP address reflected that. You can use various websites to test that. After that, I tried certain websites that were not allowed in certain locations, and changed the location to see if it worked.
As far as security goes, it is a little harder to judge that.
If it changes my IP, can I still use things like Printers on my network?
I had serious doubts about this, but no, it works, as if nothing has changed at all.
The software also gives you a clear indication of what it has done, and how much it has protected you.
I did notice that one or two locations did not connect when I wanted them to, or took a long time. London works very well, as does most of Europe and USA.
More information on Freedome can be found on the F-Secure website:
It retails starting from €49.90 for 3 devices per year, and you can buy it for up to 7 devices on one account.
One can’t put a price on safety, and this software gives you that. The fact that it is install and forget makes it great. A must have for anyone who works on free public WiFis!