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Steganos Online Shield review

We encountered too many minor but annoying issues with Online Shield

Price
£50
  • IPv6 support; Licence covers five devices
  • Limited country options; Imperfect anonymity; DNS leak

Steganos markets Online Shield on claims of maximum anonymity, protection from hackers and its ability to defeat geo-blocking. It's not available for Macs, and you can't set it up with a router, but a single licence covers up to five devices.

It's the only VPN service we've seen so far that supports IPv6 connections, and the app incorporates some useful extra features such as ad and tracking blockers, a cookie eraser and browser anonymiser.

Unfortunately, there's lots we didn't like about the service. Only nine territories are offered, with Japan the only Asia-Pacific location and no servers in South America. We experienced occasional packet loss (less than 1%), the connection seemed significantly slower than our bandwidth, and we couldn't view Netflix US content.

Whoer.net gave a respectable 90% score once we'd enabled Online Shield's WebRTC IP leak block, but we were still using our ISP's DNS servers, potentially leaking vital information about our activity. In one session we were allocated a blacklisted IP, a potential risk with any VPN service.

While most of the above issues are minor, taken together they were enough to dent our confidence in the service. We've no doubt it's up to the job of protecting data on an insecure network, but after our experience we wouldn't use it where stealth or anonymity are key.

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