Ultrasurf is in a field of its own when you look at VPN’s. In effect, it is not actually a VPN, it is totally to use and requires no log in.
Ultrasurf was originally created because of the censorship that faces millions of internet users in China who sit on the other side of the Great Firewall of China. (Looking for the best VPN for China?)
We will take a look at what this service can do and find out, is Ultrasurf a good VPN? Or at least a good VPN alternative.
- Ultrasurf download is portable so no installation
- Efficiently unblocks websites
- Can be used to keep anonymity and for safe browsing
- Uses automated IE functions which remove browsing history and cookies
- Can be used as an add-on for Chrome and Firefox
- Can conflict with some anti-virus
- No online customer support
- Users can’t select locations
- Slows down connection speeds
Ultrasurf is 100% free software, it is open source. There are no plans, no sign-ups, subscriptions.
Internet users use this anti-censorship tool at their own risk. While it does not deliver anywhere near as much as a top rated VPN, it is enough for casual use as a free VPN.
Features and Benefits
The Ultrasurf VPN has some things going for it, although it does appear dated. There are millions of people who use the service every day for accessing pages they would not be able to view.
Now, the software has changed and by default, it opens Google Chrome by default and automatically connects to the company servers.
The anti-censorship tool device support is minimal and runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. The popular anti-censorship tool has apps for Android mobile devices.
The company website claims the software hides your IP from websites unless WebRTC is enabled. Unfortunately, Chrome users cannot disable this by default.
All data that is sent through browsers will be encrypted using SSL algorithms. When you see the company website, they claim encryption happens between your connection and the Ultrasurf servers.
However, from company servers to further web servers, no data is encrypted. Additionally, HTTPS data is tunnelled without interception. This leaves very weak areas because not all connections are yet HTTPS.
For all of the apps and client software, no user data is altered with the free service.
When you look at features, it is thin on the ground and there are only certain things users can configure. These are as follows:
- Enable Hotkeys
- Hide Windows
- Do not set proxy
- Start Chrome Automatically (grayed out if not installed)
- Delete Cookies and history on exit
- Close browsers immediately on exit
Do not close Chrome when exiting
An Ultrasurf down load does not allow users to change their location. This causes problems with streaming because when users wish to access something like Netflix.
Although during testing it did allow access, this is not to say it can reliably do so. It was never intended for that kind of thing, and maybe it is more a fluke than something is which will always happen.
This maybe because the proxy servers are in the USA so Netflix already thinks the user is there.
Users who take part in torrenting will be in for the same kind of shock. It does nothing for protection while downloading torrents and your IP address will still be available to your ISP.
The biggest problem is that torrents happen outside a browser and no data is secured unless you use the software with Chrome.
Kodi users will be faced with the same false sense of security. It streams direct without ever using a browser, so all your information is still accessible to your ISP and the MPAA. On the other hand, any other agency that is watching for kodi-add on use.
The software can help and the software with millions of users must be doing something correct. This is a huge difference to paid for VPN’s which rely on continual marketing and use lots of paid VPN reviews to get their service noticed.
Ultrasurf even has a recommendation for Harvard University, however, that was back in 2007. Nonetheless, this shows it was serving a purpose then, and it is still serving a purpose now.
Speeds are one area which varies, and this is nothing where the free VPN proxy service does anything wrong.
It is down to the fact their network is congested. With so many users, this is way above many top tier VPN is so their speeds are admiral for something, which is entirely free.
A downside to free means there is no online support, but users can email them. Getting a reply may be a very different thing altogether.
One thing to note is, they do keep minimal logs for 30-days. These are not shared with anyone, but because they are based inside the USA which is a 5-eyes country.
If requested, they may hand logs over to comply with the law.
This is strange because they have no data on users apart from their IP. The service has a content filter, but like previous testing, this was not working reliably, and there are some bugs in the system every now and again.
The Ultrasurf VPN is not a VPN in the true sense, it was never supposed to be, and it never will be.
As a free tool for masking IP’s, it does a decent job. When users merely want to circumnavigate censorship, then this tool is as good as and a lot safer than many other options.
It costs nothing, and you can use it where you want on your mobile device. Is Ultrasurf a good VPN? This is very easy to answer.
Because it is not a VPN, then no it is not, but as the tool, it was designed to be, then it is ideal for making users safe in public Wi-Fi zones or who want to bypass censorship.
It is free, so you may as well try it, just do not expect it to deliver what a world leading VPN service will deliver to its users.