(Pocket-lint) - Now more than ever, privacy and security online aren't things that you can take for granted. Between cookies, location tracking and browsing history, we all know in the back of our minds that even as we sit at home, certain corporations and businesses are harvesting data about our preferences, taste and patterns of use.
To most of us, that's more than a little unnerving. If there were a way to easily shut off this outside access to our data, without compromising how easy it is to use the internet in your own home, most of us would jump at the chance to use it.
That's what Winston proposes — it's a small box, a sort of middleman that you attach between your modem and internet router, and is a one-stop solution to stop anyone from snooping on your activity.
What is Winston?
Winston is like a guard dog for your virtual home — it is simple, plug-and-play bit of hardware that makes sure no one is snooping around your affairs without your say-so.
Whether that means social media giants, advertising trends or surveillance cookies you don't realise you've allowed access, it offers a blanket stop to all tracking and data harvesting.
What can Winston do?
When it comes to internet privacy, the better question might be to ask what Winston can't do. Its feature list is almost unbelievably wide-ranging. In one swoop, and through one hardware solution, you'll get a range of amazing features, including data protection and encryption to ensure that nothing is tracking your browsing, advert and pop-up blocking at the source, including customisable whitelists, and more efficient data use.
There's way more, though: Winston can cloak your IP address like a VPN would, but across all your devices on the network, not just one; it can hide your physical location to stop creepy location tracking; it takes about 60 seconds to set up and doesn't require any input or maintenance from that point; and it can prevent businesses from spying on you even if you technically agreed to an overreaching privacy statement without fully reading it.
Winston doesn't even limit itself to your computers and phones, though — it can even encrypt your DNS to ensure that smart home devices in your home can't be hacked. That's a huge confidence-booster for anyone worried about the security implications if their cameras or monitoring devices were to be hacked.
Why might you want Winston?
Chances are that reading through the above list of features that Winston boasts, at least one or two will have piqued your interest, and made you wonder how secure your data is at the moment.
If you're worried that you or your family isn't getting the privacy you'd hope for, but if you don't want to play around with VPN subscriptions and complex arrangements in each internet browser or on one device, then Winston probably makes a lot of sense to you.
Installing the box is as easy as can be, and a free browser extension lets you select exactly what features you want, in case any of them don't appeal as much as others. That means that, regardless of what exactly you want to protect, the security of your home internet is in your hands. Whisper it quietly, too, but there's also a planned update coming down the pike to protect your mobile's internet when you're not at home.
Right not you can pick up Winston with a lifetime subscription to its annual feature package, meaning that with one purchase you can browse in confidence until the end of days — not many packages offer peace of mind like that. Check out full details of Winston's security hardware over on IndieGoGo now.