Today we’re looking at the service of and give an in-depth review of www.proxy.sh and see how it stacks up. We’ll be taking a look at the ease of sign up, having a glance over some of their payment options and ease of checkout including what details they want from us (& you!) and testing how their system works based on the reasons you may want to make use of a VPN service.
For the purpose of the review we’ll be testing their $10 per month service which works out as stated if paying monthly. $8.33(333333) per month if paying “Semi-Annually” – also known as per 6 months and $7.50 per month if paying for the whole year up front. Based on these prices it puts Proxy.sh on the mid to lower end of the pricing scale compared to some of the other “best VPN providers” we have listed on our front page.
Heading over to their web page which is very easily remembered due to it being the word “Proxy” plus the domain “.Sh” – incidentally is not only rather catchy as it appears to be a play on words as in “Shhh” in the sense of quiet which could quite easily be linked to the whole VPN scene as what you do when connected to a VPN is most definitely “Sh(hh)” to the rest of the world. Plus it is the top level domain of the country that the company is registered in, the Seychelles.
Proxy.sh Web page
The web page is actually quite appealing compared to some other VPN service providers out there and is made up of large image of a couple surfing the world wide web in a public space, undoubtedly making use of one of the services that Proxy.sh provide.
From the front page the sections available are easily spotted on the top left menu bar, such areas which include “About” detailing various facts about the service. Clicking “About” gives you details on their custom built software “Safejumper” to details on the various countries in which they have gateways available. Further down the “About” page we can see information regarding the fact they do not log, in their own words..
“With us, nothing gets logged and everything is finely encrypted”
One of the main reasons why many people might want to consider (which is explained on the “About” page) is the fact they offer a huge range of payment options, in fact, I would be surprised if any other VPN service provider offers more. Gleaning over the information available, if you like to be totally anonymous they offer Bitcoin, if you’re after readily available options like credit card, debit card and Paypal then these are all catered for. Users in countries where payment methods are a little bit more difficult to come by should be well provided for as they offer the likes of the popular Russian payment system, Webmoney plus many more that we’ll cover a little further down in this review.
The next tab to take note of is the “Prices” option. Here we have the choice of three service packages. All the services offer the following :-
PPTP, L2TP, CGI
The differences in these services based on price is given below :-
- 1Gbps (10+ Nodes)
This would be an ideal package for those on a budget, those who only require to do one or two tasks so don’t need a full service or those heading off on holiday and require secure internet access when using an airport wifi service. It is actually a very good idea to offer this short service as there have definitely been times in the past when I have only required to do a few various tasks that require a certain countries IP in a short space of time. You only get access to gateways in the USA and Ukraine but for $2 you really couldn’t ask for more.
This is likely to be the best option for the every day average user. With gateways in six countries, one of which includes the USA this could be easily used to access services such as Hulu (if you’re outside of the US) or for everyday browsing at a decent speed using one of the available gateways closest to yourself. The range of gateways includes a mixture of US, 3 in Europe, 1 in Eastern Europe and 1 in Russia.
- 1 Month
- 1Gbps (100+ Nodes)
As far as gateways, countries and the sheer amount of connections available, this is what you would call the HUGE service. This is everything you want and more in terms of available connections. With no less than 28 different countries available, this will have a local connection to just about every available corner of the world. For those with massive need for various connections, those located in some more remote corners of the world or who travel extensively, this package will be ideal and at only $10 per month, lowering to $7.50 if taking a full 12 months up front, it really is good value for money.
The Sign Up Process:
Heading over to the registration area of the site we are presented with a nice surprise. The sign up details contain only, an email address and a password. No name or address details are required, coupled with anonymous payment systems such as Bitcoin, you really can sign up to this service without exposing yourself for the ultra security conscious.
After creating an invoice you are ready to make payment, the types of payment systems available to you are dependent on the country of location you choose. For example we chose the United Kingdom and received options such as Paypal, UKash, Paysafe plus others. This is fairly straight forward and a quick process.
Around 1 minute after completing payment we received an email with our user name and login details. This also contained details on the access points available, OpenVPN details and links for the CGI web proxies should you wish to visit a website by making use of a direct website proxy.
The welcome email also contains easy to follow links giving information on how to set up the service, contact support etc.
Throughout the website information paraphernalia we notice a lot of mentions of “Safejumper” so were intrigued to try this out. It turns out this is www.Proxy.sh’s very own custom built proxy jumper. Basically a software to take out any of the set-up, an easy to use VPN connection software that even the beginner could make use of.
Safejumper is basically a standalone GUI program that allows you to quickly and easily connect to the VPN server of your choice and change servers at the click of a button when you need. Once you’ve installed it there is basically no set up to take care of, it is all done for you.
The only issue we faced when using Safejumper was it is quite slow to login, taking around 10-20 seconds to accept the login and password at which point the program shows as “Non-Responsive” and looks as if it might have crashed, a little wait longer and the list of available locations to connect to is available.
One of the nice things about the program is it not only shows the various servers / countries that you can connect to but also the current load on the server. The “load” basically means how many users are on it and how heavily it is being utilised at that time, the lower value, the better, but anything under 100% should be fine.
The next focus is the ping, this is the speed of the connection from yourself to the server, the further away the server is located, the higher the ping and thus the slower your connection will be when using it.
On the $10 per month package there are over 28 different countries available with (at the time we counted) over 128 servers available spread across those countries, many of the main countries such as Canada, UK, New Zealand etc having 5-10 servers each in various locations. The USA itself clocking in 54 servers based over the entire country.
We are actually very lucky and found a server located in Manchester, UK which was showing a load of 2% with a ping of 8ms. Manchester, UK is located about 12-15 miles away from our location so we felt quite lucky, but as said above, there is plenty of choice no matter where you’re located in the world on this package so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a close location.
We ran a few speed tests to compare the various servers, we tested the two closest which preformed well, our 30 Mb/s connection lost around 8 Mb/s when connecting through the closest server which while may sound a lot but it is more than usable and would result in no noticeable browsing speed differences. You would notice the drop on downloading files but for the peace of mind of being secure and private I think this is a speed drop you could easily live with, we did however test at what could be classed a peak time so you would definitely see improved results “off-peak”
As you can see above we did various tests with various results. We did test as far afield as the USA because this is the kind of server we would be using should we wish to make use of a service such as Hulu. All the servers seemed to do well but there was a 6 Mb/s difference between two London servers, so moving around to the find best results for yourself seems to be the best bet and luckily www.proxy.sh have a range of servers to choose from.
We got good results when connecting via France too, which although is one of if not the closest country to the UK is still separated by water. So to get download figures of nearly 14Mb/s we thought this was highly acceptable. Visit Proxy.sh
The Safejumper software is friendly and easy to use with options to connect directly to the fastest server and even jump easily between servers should you need to, this takes out some of the set-up work that would be required using other services so for the novice user this would be a great benefit. The only issue as mentioned earlier is the login time could be improved as I’m sure a new user might assume the software has crashed due to the No-Response on logging in. Apart from that we found the software a joy to use and it really made the whole process user friendly.
For those who like to do things themselves you can still connect using OpenVPN. There is also CGI web proxy access too which is a nice touch.
Another service to consider is using a VPN with your mobile device such as an Android device or iOS. Luckily the Proxy.sh website provides a range of guides on how to set up the service on a range of devices and operating systems. We tried the service out on our Android device and found it an easy process, it is a little more complicated for the new user than for example using the Safejumper software but with a little research it is quite easy to get your VPN connection going with your mobile device. These added guides really helped out when setting it up and are an added bonus of the service.
The Verdict aka tl;dr:
Overall we spent about two weeks on some of the closest servers for our every day surfing use and used some of the more far flung ones to take advantage of giving the impression we were located in such exotic locations like Russia, Singapore & Turkey etc. just for the fun of it! We didn’t notice any drops and given such close locations the small speed drop didn’t affect our day to day internet use.
The many payment options open the service up to a wide range of customers and even though the company is relatively new, they seem to be serious and heading in the right direction.
We dropped customer service a query or two over the weeks and always received a fast response within 12 hours or less, the advisor “Gena” also seemed very helpful and knowledgeable when dealing with our queries.
We would suggest definitely signing up for a month or two of the 5$ or 10$ package to see if it suits your needs and then consider signing up in a 6 month chunk to save yourself some extra cash.
Overall a great professional service which we would definitely recommend you consider. A new player in the market making strides.
If you’re interested in taking a look at their service then head over to their website using the link below. Visit Proxy.sh