Ultrasurf is a free, proxy-based ‘anti-censorship’, ‘pro-privacy’ software. It tunnels through firewalls (whether at work or country-wide), encrypts online communications, hides your real IP from the websites that you are visiting, automatically deletes your browser history, and provides you with a US-based location so that you can access geographically restricted websites such as Hulu or Pandora. (I personally use this one to listen to Pandora since I live in Mexico).

Ultrasurf, which was originally created to allow internet users all over China to surf the web freely, its also designed for portability. You can carry  Ultrasurf on a USB stick and plug it into any internet terminal that you happen to have access to, instantly providing a secure, encrypted online experience on-the-go.

Possible uses for Ultrasurf: Surfing (or downloading) privately and anonymously:

Your IP address is hidden from sites you surf, and your browsing history, cookies, and cache on your machine as instantly removed when you exit Ultrasurf. Surfing restricted sites at work: or other locations (or countries) which have restrictions. Accessing geo-restricted sites: or sites that are available in the US but may not be available in your country, from anywhere. E.g. Pandora, Hulu, Spotify, etc. Anonymous downloading: from P2P, Torrent,  or other sites. See the comment re: internet speed in the ‘verdict’ section below.

How to use this program:

Download and extract into an appropriate location on your hard drive run the Ultrasurf executable. Ultrasurf may run IE automatically (this can be switched off in the settings). If you don’t use IE then go ahead and close it and run the browser that you like.

Ultrasurf will automatically select the best available server for you, although you could actually choose a server manually from the UltraSurf dialog. You will see a ‘lock’ icon near your system tray indicating UltraSurf is running (see screenshot top right). The verdict: this program is simply impressive. It has no restrictions on bandwidth, as free VPN (Virtual Private Networking) services have such Tunnelbear and HotSpot Shield (note: UltraSurf is not a VPN service). It also does not involve the user in the process of finding and providing the internet proxy.