Update: We currently do NOT recommend that you buy proXPN. Their customer support is very bad (we opened tickets that were left unanswered for months) and we have concerns about user data security. If you are looking for a secure, reliable VPN provider, sign up to HideMyAss. For more information, read our review…
The Internet has become an essential tool for most of us, both in a commercial sense and on a personal level, and we take it for granted. Now that we can browse, shop, bank and play on a variety of hand held smartphones and tablets, as well as laptops and home computers, the availability of public WiFi hotspots is a bonus. Being able to browse on the move has changed the way we live, but have you considered the subject of online security?
Many big companies have been in the headlines thanks to their networks being hacked, and when we are talking about public WiFi networks, which are essentially open and unsecured, the risk of someone stealing your personal information is much greater. This is why we recommend you install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for use on all your devices. What is a VPN, why do you need one, and how does it work? We took a look at one of the more popular services available – proXPN – so that you can understand what it’s all about.
A VPN like proXPN has many benefits; perhaps the two most attractive are the ability to mask your online identity, and also to bypass many firewalls and geographical restrictions which are becoming more commonplace. On the subject of security the anonymity aspect is very important, so let’s explain in brief how proXPN achieves this. When you download data on the Internet, or send an email, make a payment or chat to friends your computer connects to a server that is controlled by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This server then talks to another in order to access the information. It knows where to send it to – who and where you are – thanks to an individual IP address that is allocated by your ISP.
What proXPN does is send your information via its own server – which can be one of many across the world – which is secure, and it uses a new IP address that cannot reveal your identity and whereabouts. You therefore have the ability to browse anonymously – a major benefit when using a public hotspot. Furthermore, the fact that the server can be in a chosen country enables you to overcome any blocks put on certain sites by government order. In China – a major commerce centre these days – for example you will encounter the Great Firewall of China, which restricts access to many Western sites and others that it considers subversive. By choosing a server that is not in China – say, one in the USA – the system cannot detect that you are in China, so you have access to YouTube, Facebook or whatever content you wished to view. Many proXPN reviews state these two as the major benefits of the VPN package, and we tend to agree.
Further Benefits of proXPN
We set out to bring you a proXPN review that shows you not only what a VPN can do, but why you need one; in the above paragraph we have explained the anonymity benefits and the ability to access restricted content, and it may be that you find the idea daunting. Perhaps you are one of the many millions of users who love browsing, but whose technical knowledge is not great. Don’t worry, because proXPN is very easy to install, and simple to use. The on-screen instructions are simple – you follow the easy steps one by one – and the download takes minutes, and in fact your computer does all the work for you by establishing the secure connection.
We cannot stress strongly enough how unsecure public WiFi networks can be, and we saw in proXPN some definite benefits of using it in such. The encryption aspect is a vital bonus, for example, as it protects passwords and keeps people out of your personal information. However, we did find that there is one aspect to consider, and that is whether to pay for the premium edition, or simply use the free download.
Should I Pay For Premium?
The Premium edition of proXPN costs – at the time of writing – from $6.25 a month, but is it worth it over the free version? We say yes, simply because you get greatly enhanced features including added security and faster speeds. While both free and Premium promise anonymity and encryption, with the Premium you get the following added benefits: unlimited speed, connection to the full range of worldwide servers, torrenting availability, support for both iOS and Android, PPTN connectivity and full customer support. At the price, we believe the added features are certainly a good reason for paying the small monthly fee.
Note that, with the free version, while you do get full anonymity, encryption and all the basic features, your speed will be limited, and you can access only one US server location. If this is good for you, then you should consider it.
In a crowded marketplace it is often difficult to find the best package, and the VPN market is positively thriving. We have looked at many VPN services for review, and while proXPN has many excellent features, and we found it easy to install and use, we have to conclude that we have seen better options at a similar price. Don’t be put off, however: there is nothing wrong with proXPN at all, it is simply that – especially in its free form – others provide a more attractive overall package. For example, being restricted to one location when using the basic version is a drawback, and there are services that can offer a great deal more servers in more varied locations than those available at proXPN.
Our conclusion, then, is that while proXPN ticks many of the boxes, there are some that are left unchecked. It’s a good all-round package, but not necessarily a great one, although we still recommend strongly that you go with proXPN rather than no VPN at all, but that you should consider others alongside it and test the water before making your commitment.
I give the proXPN service a 2.5/10 when compared to other VPN providers and similar software options.