Psiphon is a well-established solution to bypass online restrictions. Initially, this free tool was only available for Android but it now supports Windows as well. Psiphon combines VPN, HTTP Proxy and SSH technologies to defeat blocks and filters, giving you access to a wider selection of content on the internet. Since Psiphon uses different technologies, it offers more flexibility to evade censorship. If a protocol is not working, you have the option to use a different one to overcome restrictions. Apart from allowing you to unblock content, Psiphon offers a layer of security since it encrypts all the data that goes through it. However, the main purpose of the tool is to bypass censorship and it doesn’t claim to be a solution to avoid online surveillance or attacks from malicious users.
It is also worth noting that although Psiphon is an open source project, the service is provided by a company based in Canada. They don’t collect information like users’ IP addresses and you are not required to create an account or provide your email address of other details. However, they do keep some logs of your usage of the service including timestamps. In addition, they use ads to support the service which means that cookies are used and data may be shared with third-parties for commercial purposes. Psiphon is practical when you need to bypass restrictions to access websites blocked in your region, but since it doesn’t protect your privacy and security, it should only be used for general browsing and not for accessing sensitive information.
In spite of its limitations in terms of protection, Psiphon is a convenient way to defeat censorship and it is recognized by online freedom activists as a reliable solution to unblock content. If you live in a country where internet is heavily censored, Psiphon is a good option to get around the blocks. If Google Play is not available in your location, you can sideload the Android app and it is also possible to send an email to Psiphon to get the software in case you can’t access the website. The Windows client works on Windows XP and above and the executable file can be run from the “Downloads” directory or you can copy it to another directory and run it from that location. If you delete the executable file, Psiphon will be removed from the system.
The client lets you select VPN, SSH+ or standard SSH and you can choose the location you want to connect to. There are two modes available: whole device and Psiphon browser. If you choose the first one, your entire internet traffic is directed through a VPN to SOCKS connection. The browser option only tunnels your browsing and it includes stats to see how much traffic has been used. Although the whole device (VPN) mode provides good speeds, the performance is not ideal for streaming, online games or P2P. This is due to the fact that there are bandwidth restrictions in place to prevent abuse of the service. As previously mentioned, Psiphon focuses on helping users to get access to information that has been blocked in their location. It is not meant to be a solution to protect your anonymity while torrenting, or to bypass geo-blocks to stream media.
Although Psiphon doesn’t offer the security, privacy and versatility that you can expect from the best commercial VPN services, it is a practical way to bypass restrictions. It is free for personal use and it applies advanced technology to overcome censorship so that you can browse websites and access news and information without issue. At the moment, it is only available for Android and Windows and you can download it from Google Play and the official website https://psiphon.ca/en/download.html or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to access the download links.