Want to stay secure and private while surfing the Net? Do not know which VPNs are trustworthy?
It is not a problem!
I have prepared another unbiased VPN review. This time I’m going to cover mySteganos Online Shield VPN.
My review will answer the following questions:
- Is Steganos a safe VPN for hiding an IP?
- Can you trust the provider?
- What are the main pros and cons of the service?
- Is it good for unblocking streaming services?
- Is it fast?
Ready? Let’s start without further ado then.
The navigation menu will help you to go over the VPN review:
- Steganos VPN: Unique Benefits and Features
- Pros and Cons of Steganos VPN
- Steganos VPN: Speed and Security Tests
- Steganos VPN: Benefits and Features Tests
- Steganos VPN: Frequently Asked Questions
- User Reviews about Steganos VPN
When I started to write the review. I first visited the Steganos website to learn more about the company.
I was glad to find out that the company offers not only a VPN but also creates such online security products as a password manager, data encryption software, etc.
It was also interesting to learn that Steganos is based in German. The slogan of the company is “Privacy made easy”. Actually, it is true. mySteganos Online Shield is a robust VPN for basic needs.
Let us first focus on the main features of the provider. What are they?
|⊕ 5 simultaneous connections||⊗ Inside “14 Eyes”|
|⊕ Robust protocols (IKEv2, OpenVPN)||⊗ Few locations|
|⊕ AES 256-bit encryption||⊗ Poor customer support|
|⊕ 30-day money-back guarantee||⊗ No Kill Switch|
|⊗ Slow download speed|
However, if you need an advanced provider with extra security measures, I recommend you to opt for the following options:
However, before covering the pros let us see what price and tariff the VPN offers.
Actually, there are three plans. Each of them offers the same features. The price depends on how long you are going to use the VPN. The longer the period is the lower the price.
You can opt premium Steganos VPN license for 1 month, 6 months or 12 months. All prices are shown on the screenshot below.
Steganos VPN offers the following payment options: credit cards, PayPal, and wire transfer. As well as OkayFreedom VPN, Steganos offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
+ Robust Encryption method
Despite the majority of VPNs use military-grade 256-bit AES, I decided to mention this feature in the pros section.
Encryption method matters a lot when we speak about security level of the VPN. In today’s complex cybersecurity environment, we all want to guard our data from prying eyes. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that VPNs with 256-bit AES and OpenVPN protocols considered to be extremely robust.
If you still do not believe that this method is reliable, just know that 256-bit AES is used by the government to hide the most private and sensitive data from third-parties.
Except for OpenVPN protocols, Steganos supports IKEv2. This protocol is more robust and faster than PPTP and L2TP protocols.
Despite, the VPN does not offer a lot of options in terms of VPN protocols. Its encryption method, in general, is strong.
OkayFreedom VPN and Steganos VPN are owned by the German Company, Steganos Software. I liked both privacy policies of these services as they are laid out clearly. Being a German company, Steganos adheres to extremely strict privacy laws. So, I was inclined to trust the provider.
However, while purchasing the VPN you will be asked to provide such data as your email and other information depending on the payment method you have chosen. It is also underlined that this information will not be accessible to third parties in extras.
+ 5 simultaneous connections
In contrast to OkayFreedom VPN, Steganos offers its subscribers 5 simultaneous connections. It’s, of course, a big plus. The other feature that makes the VPN better in comparison with OkayFreedom VPN is compatibility with different platforms.
As of now, the VPN runs on Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS. Sorry Linux users. There is also no possibility to download the apk file in order to install it on your wireless router or set it up on non-traditional builds of Android.
Unfortunately, Steganos does not give the possibility to buy extra connections as many VPNs do.
Anyway, 5 multi logins will allow you to guard your even your mobile devices.
+ Easy to use software
Of course, there are a huge number of VNPs with more advanced software. Steganos company seems does not attach great significance to the interface of its products. Anyway, mySteganos Online Shield VPN for Windows is handy. It would be extremely useful for a new VPN user.
The software allows adjusting the needed settings. You may choose among ad blocker, tracking prevention, and cookies erasing. You can also anonymize browser type.
If you need a beautifully designed software, mySteganos Online Shield is not for you. However, if your primary aim is to bypass geo-blocking and secure sensitive information, this software will be helpful.
Before starting describing the cons of the VPN, I want to mention that, as well as OkayFreedom VPN, Steganos is a basic VPN with simple software for ordinary users. Neither it offers such extra security features like Kill Switch and Split tunneling, nor other advanced settings.
Steganos VPN is undoubtedly not for you if you are looking for a cutting-edge VPN that allows adjusting configurations or customizing protocol settings.
– No Kill Switch
We have already figured out that Steganos VPN does not provide extra security measures. However, if I can put up with the absence of split tunneling, the lack of Kill Switch upsets me a lot.
This feature is extremely vital in case your VPN connection will drop. All advanced VPNs like ExpressVPN or NordVPN offer a Kill Switch to its customers. It is not a surprise, this function is a must!
All, even the best VPNs are not able to run without any flaws.
– Customer support
I have already mentioned in my OkayFreedom VPN review that Steganos VPN doesn’t provide with convenient customer support. There is no live chat on their official website. Meanwhile, this is the fastest way to connect with a VPN team.
All questions that I had were sent through open tickets. The worse thing here is that they all were left unanswered.
This is undoubtedly one of the main disadvantages of the service. To my opinion, VPNs that take care of their customers would never do so.
– Few locations
Steganos owns servers only in 21 countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the USA.
As you see, the number of servers throughout the world is limited. It goes without saying that the more locations the VPN owns the better. It can help to avoid servers overload and make Internet connection with the VPN faster.
However, if a VPN service does not have a lot of users, the speeds won’t be reduced.
You may find the results of the speed test for Steganos in the “Speed test for Steganos VPN” section.
– Inside “14 Eyes” alliance
Despite the fact that Steganos seems to be trustworthy in terms of privacy. Its jurisdiction is worth mentioning.
Actually, VPN’s jurisdiction matters a lot. You might have not thought about this earlier, however, the jurisdiction of the VPN can have a huge impact on the level of privacy the service can provide.
It is highly recommended to use a VPN which is based in a country where the government does not enforce obligatory data confinement.
However, what are the worst locations for a VPN?
Internet users who take their privacy and anonymity on the Internet seriously know the answer to this question. They know that “5 Eyes” alliance is not the best choice where a VPN can be headquartered.
Despite, Germany is not a member of “5 Eyes” agreement, it is inside its extension, “14 Eyes” countries. It is, of course, not the best jurisdiction for the VPN. All members of “14 Eyes” countries are able to collect personal data of Internet users and share it with each other.
It is, of course, useful to know the major pros and cons of the VPN you are going to use. However, knowing security and speed test results will undoubtedly help to make your decision.
I have conducted several tests for Steganos in order to see how reliable and fast the VPN is.
Let’s have a look.
Unfortunately, I was completely dissatisfied with speed test results for Steganos VPN. The speeds were slow even when I chose the closest servers to my country.
I made several screenshots to see how much the VPN has reduced my speed. The first screenshot shows the speeds of my Internet connection without the VPN. Have a look:
Then, I chose the servers that are nearly 700 km away from my physical location. The results are frustrating. The speeds even did not reach 10Mbps:
As you can see, upload speeds are not so bad, but download speeds just cross out the ability to download large files with the VPN fast.
If you are looking a VPN for torrenting Steganos is not a provider you need. Its speeds are good only for basic browsing. They are far from being a competitor to the top VPNs.
Speed test results became even more inconsistent with American and Australian servers. Just Have a look:
These were results with the Steganos server in the USA. However, is it possible to enjoy Netflix or other streaming services with Steganos? I do not think so.
Security tests for Steganos VPN
Luckily, IP and DNS leak tests for Steganos VPN were successful. I’ve checked several Steganos VPN servers and all of them didn’t detect any leaks. Here is one example with the server in the US.
As well as the test for OkayFreedom, the test for Steganos showed several DNS addresses. However, my real location has remained hidden.
Now I can say for sure that Steganos VPN is able to hide your real IP address thus ensuring anonymity on the Internet.
Let’s check the installation file of Steganos VPN for Windows to see are there any viruses. The test detected 2 suspicious warnings! Bear this in mind before downloading Steganos VPN. It is better to have antivirus software on your computer.
In order to provide you with an unbiased review and conduct various tests, I first had to download mySteganos Online Shield on my device. All tests were done on my Windows 7. However, if you are going to install mySteganos Online Shield VPN on Windows 10. The process is the same.
Without further ado, let’s start.
How to create mySteganos account
In contrary to OkayFreedom VPN, Steganos requires creating an account. Actually, there is nothing difficult in it.
- Go to the official website of the provider and click “mySteganos”.
- Go to the official website of the provider and click “mySteganos”.
Then you will see two options: to log in or sign up. Click sign up, enter your email address and create a password.
- Now you have to confirm your email address. To finalize the signup process, go to your email and follow the provided link. There is another alternative. You may enter your confirmation key that was also sent to your email. Click the “Log in” button. Now you can log in to your account.
How to download mySteganos Online Shield VPN on Windows
- After logging in, you will be able to download any of Steganos products from your personal cabinet. Actually, it is up to you what to do first, to download the software or create an account. I chose mySteganos Online Shield VPN for Windows.
- The installation file downloaded automatically. I only needed to follow all the steps to get mySteganos Online Shield on my computer. When the software runs, you will be offered to use Steganos Online shield VPN for free or log in to mySteganos.
- Now it is up to you how to use the service you may click “Buy now” and pay for the VPN or enter your serial number if you have one.
mySteganos Online Shield for streaming services
Despite speeds of Steganos are too slow to use the provider for streaming services. I decided to check if the VPN is able to unblock such services like Netflix and Spotify.
So, I successfully unblocked these websites. Netflix US is available with Steganos:
Spotify is also available with the American server:
So, as you can see, Steganos was managed to unblock streaming services. However, with the server in the USA, I had so slow speeds that I had to wait until the main page of websites downloaded. So, the provider is undoubtedly not the best choice for streaming services.
Steganos VPN ad blocker
Majority of advanced VPN services provide customers with additional useful features that can make surfing on the Internet more convenient. Despite Steganos VPN does not offer its subscribers advanced security measures, it still has some extra features. One of them is ad blocking.
A lot of Internet users find advertising annoying and use ab blocks to get rid of it. Of course, this feature is not a must for a VPN. However, it is still a pleasant bonus. So, I decided to check if Steganos ad blocker works.
Well… even after switching ad blocker on, I was managed to see ads on various websites. It seems this feature is not stable. Here is one example from Forbes official website:
How to get Steganos VPN on Android
It is always easier to install software on Android. On the Internet, you may find various sources where you can download Steganos Online Shield VPN APK. However, the easiest way to do this is to use Google Play.
- Go to Google play and enter mySteganos Online Shield VPN in the search box.
- Click Install and wait until the app downloads. The download size of the software is 15.96 MB.
- As the VPN offers 5 multi-logins, you can enter the same credential that you used before.
- Enjoy encrypted connection!
Can I use Steganos VPN for torrenting?
In my previous OkayFreedom VPN review I did not recommend to use the provider for torrenting. Actually, both products of Steganos, OkayFreedom and mySteganos Online Shield VPN are not the best choices for downloading torrent files.
The company seems to be strict about downloading copyrighted material. Moreover, considering the speeds of the provider it would make sense to opt for another VPN provider for torrent trackers.
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