Steganos VPN Review
Steganos is headquartered in Germany. The company sells an entire privacy suite, of which a VPN service is a part. The VPN service can be used for free for up to 500MB. Steganos will likely appeal to those who want an overall option for Internet security, as opposed to those who are specifically interested in a VPN.
Is My Privacy Protected with Steganos VPN?
A thorough no-logging statement explains that there’s no recording of the addresses you access, the content you download or the IP address associated with an action. Or, as the document puts it: “It is not possible for Steganos to determine what content Steganos Online Shield calls up. Neither the IP addresses of the users nor the IP addresses of the called server is saved.”
The service doesn’t require personal details such as an email address. Instead, it generates a ‘pseudonymous User ID’ based on the public key of your computer MAC address.
If you do provide an email address, the company has an opt-in system for sending mails, but you can unsubscribe at any time and the address is never sold or traded with anyone else.
There are some familiar clauses about the company website, and how it uses Google Analytics and cookies – not ideal, but very similar to other providers, and not something which impacts the core service.
Elsewhere, the only oddities we noticed were in the ‘stuff you’re not allowed to do’ list. Steganos explicitly bans “sending data not desired by the recipient” (be careful what you email), using programs “that automatically read data”, like “crawlers”, or engaging in the “promotion of illegal activities”, including – bizarrely – gambling.
The Steganos company slogan “Privacy made easy” makes it clear that our customers’ need for privacy is our focus. The protection of personal data is, therefore, of the highest priority for us – compliance with the legal provisions on data protection is a matter of course for us.
In the following we would like to briefly explain how Steganos stands on data protection, how exactly we protect your data and what it means for you when you use our personalized services.
Personal data is the data that can be used to determine your identity. These can be: name, address, postal address and telephone number. Information that is not directly associated with your real identity, such as favorite websites or the number of users of a website, is not included here.
The content of our website can be used without revealing your identity. If you register for one of our personalized services, order a product or subscribe, we will ask you for your email address and other personal information. It is your decision whether you enter this data. However, should you decide to purchase one of our software products, you will be asked for certain personal data that are necessary to complete the purchase process. This data depends on the payment model you have chosen. The data will only be used by the partners responsible at the time of the order to process the purchase process and will only be stored for this purpose. These data – unless necessary for the execution of the purchase process – will not be made accessible to third parties in extracts.
If you contact our customer service via the contact form, your request will be stored in a database together with the information voluntarily provided therein (if available). This information is used exclusively by our customer service to process your request. The data collected in this way is also used for statistical evaluations within Steganos Software GmbH. Neither the raw data nor the results of the evaluations will be made available to third parties, even in part.
We store your data on specially protected Steganos servers in Germany. Access to it is only possible for a few specially authorized persons. All identity-related information is only collected by us if you have expressly permitted us to do so.
Disclosure of personal information to third parties
Steganos does not pass on personal user data to third parties, unless the user has given his express prior consent or there is a legal obligation to do so. An exception are certain technical service providers carefully selected by us and bound by our instructions who take on certain tasks for us. These tasks include, for example, sending our newsletter (order data processing) or collecting and processing anonymous data on user behavior or collecting information on software errors that have occurred in order to improve the Steganos website.
Right of revocation
If you have provided us with personal data, you can have it deleted at any time. Data for accounting and bookkeeping purposes are not necessarily affected by a cancellation or deletion.
The use of our generally accessible offers is also possible without cookies.
Persons under the age of 18 should not transmit any personal data to us without the consent of their parents or legal guardians.
Amendment of the Directives
Steganos reserves the right to change the data protection guidelines at any time in compliance with data protection regulations.
Your rights, questions and comments
If you need information about the data stored by us or have questions, suggestions or comments concerning the protection of your data, please send us an e-mail to [email protected]
How Much is Steganos VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
Steganos Online Shield VPN service isn’t a regular VPN service provider. And we don’t mean that in the best possible manner. Why? Because it doesn’t have any packages.
It is only available as a yearly plan. Users have to pay $49.95 to use Steganos Online Shield VPN for a year. Of course, that isn’t the best case scenario for end-users but what can we do accept review Steganos Online Shield objectively.
As you might already know, most top VPN service providers have three or four plans. One of these plans allows users to sign up for the VPN service for a period of one month. Another plan could potentially allow users to sign up with a VPN service for a period of six months. Steganos Online Shield VPN doesn’t do any of that. It does have a free trial version, though.
The free version comes with all the premium version features. But it has its bandwidth restricted. Users can only use 500 MB per month which is low. According to official sources (that is company representatives), the only restriction placed on the free version is the bandwidth limit.
Apart from that, it is just like the premium version. Users who do high-bandwidth tasks on a regular basis have no reason to test out the trial version. If your data is capped at 500 MB per month then practically you can’t really watch movies or download documentaries.
Moreover, the free version has another downside. That is, frequent advertisements trying to coerce the user into buying upgrades. This is what we call classic upselling windows. Users who are interested in Steganos Online Shield can use the free version just to try it out. Otherwise, it is not worth it. There are tons of VPN service providers on the market and some are even free to use forever.
Steganos VPN Speed Test
My performance tests gave mixed results. Short UK-UK connections achieved a capable 30-35Mbps, but with a relatively high 45ms latency. Switching to the US gave us a usable 20-25Mbps, but a UK-Japan connection saw downloads drop to 10Mbps or less, and other server speeds were a little unpredictable. Russia managed 35Mbps, France barely 10-15Mbps.
It was a similarly uncertain story with our privacy tests. Steganos Online Shield passed our WebRTC leak test, even though I hadn’t checked the ‘Prevent WebRTC IP leak’ option, but the service didn’t manage to hide our ISP’s DNS address.
How is Customer Service at Steganos VPN?
There is no live chat support. The primary way to contact the Steganos staff is via a fill-out form. First, you will have to tell them which product of theirs you are using.
After that, the website will take you to other pages to proceed with your inquiry. At the end, the website will show you an FAQ section which will hopefully answer your question. If you’re not satisfied then you can also shoot them an email and one of the company’s customer support staff will get in contact with you ASAP.
- 256-bit AES Encryption
- 7-Day Free Trial
- Supports Android, iOS, and Microsoft Devices
- Servers Located in 10 Countries
- Does VPN keep logs Partially
- Includes Kill Switch No
- Devices per license Unlimited
Is Steganos VPN Safe?
The company uses the industry standard 256-bit AES encryption. This effectively protects users from all hackers, government agencies and snoopers.
Does Steganos Work With P2P? Yes, it does. The company does not actively block file transfers via BitTorrent and other file-sharing services. But we can’t say this will last forever.
This one might be useful for VPN newbies who just need basic protection for browsing, emails, and light downloads. But if you’re after lots of locations, maximum speeds, configurability or anything faintly advanced, look elsewhere.