If you ever have been to a country where Internet is heavily censored, you might have noticed that you cannot load some of the websites that you use to go to. Your only option in this case is to use a proxy or virtual private network to connect to the site.
Ultrasurf for Windows has been designed to circumvent Internet censorship. Once you have unpacked the program on your system you can start it right away to start using it immediately. The portable nature makes it ideal for situation where you cannot install software, in Internet cafes for instance.
Unlike virtual private networks that encrypt all of the PCs communication, UltraSurf concentrates on the web browser exclusively. It works with several web browsers out of the box, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for instance or Firefox. The developer site still states that it only works in IE automatically, and that users of Firefox, Opera or Chrome need to change the local proxy in the browser to make use of UltraSurf. Firefox on the other hand worked fine on the test system without initial configuration.
Once you launch the application it is active right away. This is indicated with a golden lock in the lower right corner of the screen. You can right-click the lock to bring up a context menu leading to the program’s options
When you open the options you see two windows coming up. First the connection window highlighting the current connection and speed of that connection, and then the options window where changes to the program settings can be made.
You can change the local listening port, automatic deletion of cookies and the history, or hotkey support in the options.
The connection speed is sufficient for light web surfing, but not for heavier use like streaming video or audio, or online gaming. It may sometimes be necessary to switch from one server to another if the connection speed drops to much. It is also important to note that the encrypted connection will only be available in the web browser, and not for other applications connecting to the web.
Ultrasurf uses a different approach than comparable applications such as GPass or Tor. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it may not be enough for users who would also like to use encryption when they retrieve their emails, use Skype or instant messengers.
Windows users can download the latest version of Ultrasurf from the developer website.