Safer surfing with Steganos

Concerned that unscrupulous Web sites may be tracking your every move on the Internet? Steganos’s $US25 Internet Anonym 5 keeps out prying eyes but exacts a heavy toll in Web-browsing performance.

Anonym 5 foils online marketing spies by funnelling your Internet travel through an ever-changing series of proxy servers. These rotating servers generate a constantly shifting IP address for your PC, protecting your privacy as you browse and shielding other Internet-related applications from scrutiny.

In addition, the program blocks cookies, ActiveX controls, scripts and pop-up windows. Some of the tools here are available in current Web browsers, and others can be had as free utility downloads, but only Anonym 5 brings them all together in a single, easy-to-use interface (see here for a screenshot).

Most of the app’s features are set-and-forget, but erasing traces of online activity is a manual affair. The Internet Trace Destructor feature obliterates IE’s browsing history, in addition to dozens of otherwise-hard-to-delete files. It also disables features of Windows and applications that might otherwise report your activities to other parties. Finally, the tool wipes out lists of recently used files, logs and caches that reside in your media players, as well as in archive utilities.

Anonym 5 did its job well. Unfortunately, the program slowed my broadband Web browsing to a crawl, particularly at sites that require frequent communication with the browser. Before you buy, be sure to consider the trade-offs between security and your need for speed.

Price: $US25 download
Vendor: Steganos
URL: www.steganos.com

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Scott Spanbauer

PC World
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