My goal when I first start researching this subject was to find free/low cost VPN service offering that would allow VPN connections through a firewall to be tested and when traveling to allow for a little more secure connection to be available for use when getting email or other items whether using cellular or wifi connections. I know with both that there should be protection but I wanted to have the option of having a little more protection for when I wanted it. So far, I have found 3 different product offerings to look at just as a representative sample of what you can expect to find.
All of the services I have found are multi-platform in terms of Windows, Mac OSX and at least iPhone). These will either use their own client software client, the VPN client functionality built into the respective operating system or a combination of both. While cellular is supposed to be safer because of the digital nature versus its analog predecessor, a little extra precaution isn’t a bad thing. Not all wireless is safe with some places making an unencrypted connection to make it easier for guests to use it. Even with those that are encrypted, you don’t know the last time the passphrase was changed, so someone could be listening.
Each of the VPN Service offerings will be a little different. One will use PPTP, another may use ISAKMP, etc. I will run through testing Windows, Mac OSX and an iPhone with each of the services that will be looking at. TunnelBear will be the first one that I will look at. It offers 500MB free data per month with reasonable service plans available. They are offering a special for the time being where if you sent a Twitter message out mentioning their service, you will get 1GB additional free bandwidth for that month. There is special pricing available for IOS clients that is only shown when you have the client installed.
The next service I will be looking at will be OpenVPN.net. They offer 100MB free per month and also have a subscription available. The last service that I plan to review as a part of this series will be VPNReactor.com. This one has a very different business model. They offer unlimited bandwidth for a period of 30 minutes, you be remain logged off for 30 minutes before you can log on again and the pattern repeats. I may look at other services if they offer something different from the three that I have found so far. The three I will be looking at are just the first three that I found and not mean to be representative of what is available.