Not long ago, online anonymity was taken for granted and most people believed that their identity was hidden when they were using the internet. While these days, users are aware of the risks for privacy and the fact that they are not anonymous by default when they are connected to the internet, not everybody is taking the necessary steps to protect their data. Things are set to change since more and more anonymity and privacy solutions are being launched. PenguinProxy is one of them and while it is still new, it is already gaining a lot of attention. This VPN service has a different approach than other options available in the market and at the moment, it is possible to use it without paying a cent. PenguinProxy has been around for just a little over a year and it will remain free, at least until it remains in Beta. This peer-to-peer VPN service is set to give users the chance to browse the internet without revealing their real IP address and it also adds security to their connection. However, since it is free and it works as a peer-to-peer solution, there are some concerns about how secure Penguin Proxy really is. In this review, we will take a closer look at what this service offers, and will discuss its pros and cons.
Security and Privacy
Although privacy and security are not the only benefits of using a VPN, for many people, they are the main reason to use this service. The truth is that at the moment, this is not an area in which PenguinProxy shines. They only support HTTP and HTTPS protocols and they encrypt data using TLP. It is likely that more protocols are added once the service moves beyond the Beta stage, but in the meantime, you can’t expect the best level of protection when you use Penguin Proxy. It simply can’t provide the security that you get from other well-established solutions that use advanced encryption protocols and the latest technology to defend your data from eavesdroppers and hackers. You can add some level of anonymity when you are surfing the web and the service is meant to be simple, but it won’t encrypt your entire traffic.
To make matters worse, the peer-to-peer system comes with some risks. The fact that Penguin Proxy is a peer-to-peer VPN means that your online traffic is routed through other users’ computer and viceversa. While on its website, PenguinProxy mentions that all the requests leave its servers encrypted before they are forwarded via other users, there are no details provided about the encryption grade used. Simplicity is the main focus of Penguin Proxy, but if you want to protect your traffic from online surveillance, cybercrime and other threats, you will be better off with a fully-fledged, high quality VPN or Tor. Penguin Proxy can help you to browse the internet anonymously, but it won’t truly secure your online data.
As mentioned before, the main purpose of PenguinProxy is to provide anonymity by hiding your IP address, forwarding the data through different servers. Penguin Proxy also supports Adblocking, which prevents any request from advertisement server hosts. This feature has to be enabled and once it is, you will be able to avoid ads once you access websites. Proxy HTTPS is another function available and once it is on, you can make HTTP requests directly or just Proxy HTTPS. It is possible to add the list of hosts to exempt so you will have to access them directly and not through PenguinProxy. Reverse exceptions works on the opposite way as it only proxies websites that are in the list of exceptions via proxy only. There is also a setting that uses the same IP address when possible and it is called same sessions.
Penguin Proxy works on Mac, Windows and Linux. Currently, Android and iOS are not supported, but there is a chance that they become available in the future. The software can be downloaded from PenguinProxy’s official website. Again, since simplicity is the main focus for PenguinProxy, you won’t find advanced features or complex functionality. After downloading and installing the client, which only takes a few minutes, you can start using the service. There is no need to create an account or provide personal information. The software has an option to enable or disable the proxy and it also features a list of servers, which is quite limited. You can adjust the settings, select if you want to use a random IP every time you use the service, but that is about it. The bandwidth is limited as you would expect from a free service, so forget about torrenting or streaming content. Penguin Proxy doesn’t offer strong security after all and it is not an effective solution to unblock streaming services.
One thing to keep in mind is that it is not possible to see the exact location of the servers since the options available only say USA or Any server. This means that apart from being able to connect to servers in the United States, you also can connect to other countries but the location will depend on the user whose computer you connect to in order to route your internet traffic. This means that you don’t have control over what location you will get, but if you are only interested in browsing, this may not be a major issue. Generally, the performance is good enough for browsing content and since there is not a high level of encryption provided, you won’t experience significant impact on your connection’s speed. It should be noted that while there were not IP leaks detected after testing this, unfortunately the same cannot be same about DNS leaks.
You can contact PenguinProxy via email, live chat or Discord. This a good selection of options, particularly when you consider that this is a free service and in most cases, they only offer support via email, and sometimes not even that. When you visit the website, you can access the live chat and get a response to your question in only a few minutes generally. There is also an FAQ section with useful information about most aspects of the service.
PenguinProxy is only in testing stage so it is likely that more features are added in the future. By now, it is an interesting and simple solution for people who want to overcome blocks while browsing content online. It is not the right choice for security or for streaming or downloading content. However, if you just want to access websites without exposing your IP address, it is a free and convenient option to try.