If nothing else, this program needs a special award for possibly having the longest name on the market. Fortunately, it tells you exactly what it does in the title – it protects your identity online and covers up your tracks.
Whenever you log onto the web, you’re PC is given a unique IP address, which can be used to track your coming and goings. What Ghostsurf does is to mask this IP address, so offering you a degree of anonymity online.
Being aimed at the home user, you’ll find that the set-up wizard assumes you’re using Internet Explorer, so will configure your browser automatically. If you’re running a different browser, Firefox for instance, you’ll find you’ll need to get your hands a little dirty and change the settings manually but this only takes a couple of minutes (for the experienced user) so shouldn’t cause too much trouble.
As with similar applications in this sector, you can set the level of security to match your usage (or paranoia). To this end, you can choose from Normal, Anonymous, Invisible and Secure, which comes in the form of a slider control for easy setting.
To get the most from these settings you really need to know what kind of user you are as Normal doesn’t really hide anything, while Anonymous stops Cookies from being installed on your machine.
To this end, if a website needs a cookie in order to let you enter, you can always manually allow it from the pop-up dialog box. Invisible is where the IP blocking comes into play by disguising it from websites, while Secure does everything as well as encrypting your data. So you see, there is something for everyone here and in the main it works extremely well.
Once you're offline, Trackcleaner can be used to delete files and any trace of where you have been. It’s not only ID protection that you’ll find covered, as Avanquest has bundled in a number of utilities to stop pop-ups, spyware and ad blockers.
These are all well and good but the cracks start to show when you try to do anything other than run the basic tasks, as the help documentation that comes with the software isn’t exactly user-friendly or in abundance. We can see people getting a little frustrating with this part of Ghostsurf and considering there are plenty of alternatives available, it’s hard to see why they’ve not been supported or, alternatively, stripped out to save harming the reputation of the core tools.
If you’re paranoid about people tracking where you’ve been online, then Ghostsurf is certainly the tool for you.
Only we’re not convinced most people will actually want or even use most of the tools on offer here.
Perhaps, Avanquest need to rethink what the average user needs and offer a streamlined offering?