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mySteganos Online Shield Review

Rebecca Duff
By Rebecca DuffUpdated
Our Score7.0
User Rating
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A secure, user-friendly VPN that could do with a bit of a makeover

What we like
  • Great server performance
  • Works with BBC iPlayer
  • No torrenting restrictions
  • Simple custom apps
  • Minimal logging policy

mySteganos Online Shield is a functional, old-fashioned VPN that needs a little bit of love to bring it up to speed with some of its rivals.

We love the sheer simplicity which, combined with great performance and solid privacy features, makes for an excellent all-round solution for VPN beginners.

Were it not for the severely limited server network, patchy access to streaming and general lack of configurability, mySteganos Online Shield could be a real contender.

Pricing & Deals

mySteganos Online Shield offers monthly, semi-annual and annual pricing plans. These are no different but get cheaper the longer you sign up for.

The monthly plan is the most expensive at $7.95 but you can reduce this by 48% to $4.16 per month if you sign up to the annual plan. The savings aren’t quite as big on the semi-annual subscription, reducing the cost by just 13% to $6.95 per month.

mySteganos Online Shield Coupon

mySteganos Online Shield Pricing & Deals

Best Value Deal
12 Months
US$4.16/mo
Save 48%
Billed $49.95 every 12 months
6 Months
US$6.95/mo
Save 13%
Billed $41.70 every six months
1 Month
US$7.95/mo
Billed $7.95 every month
Get mySteganos Online Shield30-day money-back guarantee

There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans that appears to be completely no-questions-asked – simply contact the support team within 30 days of signing up to claim your refund. There’s also a free trial that gives you full access to the service for seven days.

Payment Options

You can pay for mySteganos Online Shield via credit card, PayPal or wire transfer. There’s no option to pay using cryptocurrencies currently, which is a shame.

Speed & Reliability

It’s hardly one of the quickest providers we’ve seen, but mySteganos Online Shield didn’t disappoint when it came to performance. It’s fast, even across long distances, with snappy ping times to boot.

Downloads peaked at a very respectable 74Mbps in the UK and averaged around 35-40Mbps across the rest of Europe. Connecting out to the US from Europe produced speeds of up to 35Mbps, even if there was a noticeable drop in countries such as Australia.

Uploads were just as reliable as downloads, which is great news for torrenters, and latency wasn’t to be sniffed at, either. Same-country ping times of 8ms are certainly quick enough for gaming and other latency-sensitive tasks.

A little improvement is needed to bring mySteganos up to the same level as our top-tier providers, but it’s nevertheless very good in its own right.

To find out more about our bespoke speed test, read How We Review VPNs.

Features

Server Locations

19Countries19Countries
19Cities19Cities
?IP Addresses?IP Addresses

Considering the monthly cost of mySteganos Online Shield, we were expecting a bigger server network. 19 countries will just about do the job for most, but it’s hardly providing comprehensive worldwide coverage.

There is a least one option on every continent apart from Africa (and Antarctica), even though South America is limited to just a single server in Brazil. Europe is, as usual, the best served, accounting for 13 of the total countries.

We were pleasantly surprised to see a server in Australia as well as two in Asia, however US-based users will be disappointed to read there are no city-level options in that (or any other) country.

Platforms & Devices

Apps

Windows LogoWindows
Mac LogoMac
iOS LogoiOS
Android LogoAndroid

mySteganos Online Shield can be used on Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android devices. There are no manual workarounds for those platforms lacking native apps, including routers.

Browser Extensions

There are no browser extensions of any sort for mySteganos Online Shield users, which is bad news for those who don’t want to be stuck using the desktop app every time.

We’ve published a roundup of the Best VPN Extensions of 2019 though, which is well worth taking a look at if that’s an important feature for you.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

It’s totally impossible to use the VPN on any sort of games consoles or streaming devices, as there are no custom solutions for these either, nor is it possible to install it at router level.

If you’re looking for a plug-and-play experience across a wider range of platforms, it’s worth checking out ExpressVPN.

Streaming & Torrenting

While there are better options out there for Netflix fans, mySteganos Online Shield is an excellent choice for those who enjoy watching BBC iPlayer. We were able to access the service via the UK server with no problems whatsoever.

Unfortunately there’s only one server choice in the US and that didn’t work with Netflix, which is disappointing. It looks like it has in the past though, so the situation may change soon – VPN providers are in a constant game of cat-and-mouse with these services.

Torrenting is permitted on all of mySteganos Online Shield’s servers, making it well-suited for P2P activity – just be cautious of the lack of VPN kill switch while torrenting.

Encryption & Security

mySteganos Online Shield offers a very solid level of privacy but lacks any sort of real configurability. You have no control over the VPN protocol but it’s OpenVPN on desktop and Android and IKEv2 on iOS – the two most secure choices. Encryption is top cipher AES-256.

We were very disappointed to see no sort of kill switch, as this puts your IP address at risk of being exposed should the connection drop for any reason. There’s no built-in leak protection either, but thankfully we didn’t experience any DNS, IPv6 or WebRTC leaks in our tests.

The only ‘advanced’ features to speak of are the ad and tracker blockers, which prevent you from seeing targeted adverts. There’s also a setting designed to automatically erase your cookies, which is useful.

Protocol
  • IKEv2/IPSec
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
Encryption
  • AES-256
Security
    Advanced features
    • Ad Blocker

    Bypassing Censorship

    There’s absolutely no mention of China on mySteganos’ website, which would imply it’s probably not a very effective solution for those in that country.

    Not only do the apps use OpenVPN, which is very easily detected and blocked by censors, there’s also no way of manually selecting your port. This means that it’s very unlikely to bypass the strict government-operated content blocks, also known as the Great Firewall.

    It could be worth a try in other high-censorship countries, but we wouldn’t recommend it too highly, especially considering other providers such as Astrill do a much better job.

    Privacy

    Logging Policy

    The logging policy isn’t the worst we’ve seen and is actually pretty well laid out, however, the fact it’s in very poorly-written English isn’t ideal. The service is fairly close to being zero-logs, only collecting the amount of data transferred when you use the VPN.

    We really like that mySteganos doesn’t collect any information that could be used to personally identify you, such as your IP address or your chosen VPN server location.

    Jurisdiction

    This means that the company’s German jurisdiction isn’t too much of a concern, as even if a law enforcement agency were to request your data, mySteganos would have nothing to give them.

    Ease of Use

    The custom apps are certainly nothing to look at but they’ll do the job, especially for those looking to just click and forget.

    We really don’t like the way mySteganos has done the server list, though – it’s a very well-camouflaged dropdown menu that disappears if you’re not hovering over it. The excessive amount of animation on the home screen seems unnecessary, too.

    There are no real settings other than the ad-blocker and tracker prevention that can be toggled on and off from the main screen, so those looking for a lot of configurability are out of luck. It’s very well-suited to VPN newbies.

    Getting Started

    Installing mySteganos Online Shield is as simple as downloading the relevant app from the website and following the steps given to you by the setup wizard – it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes.

    • Installing software
    • How to use the app

    Customer Support

    It’s a real understatement to say that mySteganos Online Shield’s customer support needs some improvement – it has a very long way to go before we’d consider it at all worthy of the monthly cost.

    Not only are the online resources incredibly limited, it’s also near impossible to locate them on the website, and they contain a lot of broken links to pages that no longer exist.

    There’s no live chat and it took five days to receive a response to our email, even though we only asked a very simple question. Good luck getting in touch if you have any sort of serious issue.

    The Bottom Line

    What we like
    • Excellent, reliable speeds
    • Works with BBC iPlayer
    • P2P permitted on all servers
    • User-friendly custom apps
    • Minimal logging policy
    What we like less
    • Only compatible with four platforms
    • Limited server network
    • Terrible customer support
    • Doesn't work with Netflix

    VPN newbies looking for an easy-to-use service for basic browsing and streaming should look no further than mySteganos Online Shield.

    It’s so basic that we did miss a few key privacy features, such as a VPN kill switch, but makes up for this with above-average performance and a minimal logging policy.

    The customer support could do with a complete makeover and the server network needs some expansion too, but otherwise, this is a solid, dependable solution that isn’t bad value for money.


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