How would you like to live in a world without facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr etc. What would you do if I tell you starting from tomorrow you are not allowed to access these sites anymore? As many of you probably already know, this is actually a reality in China – a country which has the highest number of internet users. Due to censorship policy in China, especially Internet Censorship, as for now, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Flickr etc. are all blocked by the GFW – Great Firewall of China.
One of the easiest methods allowing you to get over the “wall” and access these blocked sites, browsing the internet freely and anonymously is to use a VPN software like Freedur. Freedur 2.0 the latest version is available for download. Freedur cost $59.99 for one year of subscribtion. But here is something for ChinaHush readers, for limited time, if you enter the coupon code CHINAHUSH, you will receive an additional 10% discount!
ChinaHush reader Jay – an American who is living in China wrote to me and shared his experience on using Freedur to get over the wall.
I was talking to my high school friend in San Francisco the other day, he had just gone to a wedding. One of my old friends got married, so all my old buddies gathered up and had a day like the old. Good times. “How did she look? Any hot bridesmaids?” “Yah, it was great! Sam did a guitar solo with the band, and Jessie invited some of her hot workers as well. We put the solo up on YouTube. The hot coworker was tweeting throughout the entire ceremony.”
Over the years I’ve had lots of chances to imagine what my life would have been like had I stayed in the US. I can imagine the stories, think about the weddings and birthdays I was missing, and maybe at night I can pretend that I’m sleeping in my old bed back home. Being blocked from popular media and networking interfaces forces people like me to indulge in these mental exercises. But no more. Welcome to the world of Freedur, an internet with uncensored, anonymous freedurm.
The proxy service known as Freedur is downloadable off the internet and has several different service plans, including a 7 day money back guarantee. Before I didn’t think I would really use it, but ever since I started using the VPN at work to get around the internet, internet at home makes me feeling like I’m living at my parents house, and my father has passworded all my favorite download sites. Really, once you have a taste of freedom, you can never go back to the old ways.
Installing Freedur was a breeze. I started the process by downloading the installer from freedur.net. The installer was very intuitive, and did not require much attention. After downloading the windows version from the website, I double clicked the setup program and answered all the questions. They were typical installer questions, and the entire process was completed in less than 10 clicks. No typing required. I opted for the default install path. If you really wanted to be advanced and customized, you could change the path to your choosing. Uninstalling is even easier. Uninstalling is only a matter of two clicks.
Upon starting up, the user is faced with an Iphonesque login prompt. The layout is clean, and simple. There is a big grey off button in the middle, a list of proxy servers to use, and some bandwidth statistics under it. The only non intuitive element is the icon in the bottom right corner. Mousing over won’t provide any insight. The ‘I wonder what this does’ button brought me to their twitter page. Since I did not have Freedur running, it showed me another reason why I need Freedur.
Logging in was one click easy. After logging in came the most difficult part of the freedur experience: Enabling the Freedur service. The large grey button that says ‘off’ is so obvious, I missed it because I was used to small hidden buttons attempting to hide the awesome service I was looking for. Usually when you click the big obvious ‘clickme’ button, you’ll be directed to NSFW sites with many a sexy singles waiting to be clicked. But sexy singles no more! One push of the big off button actually turns it ON; complete with popping hickey sound effects. Who would have guessed?
With my freedur enabled, a whole new world of browsing, exploring, and surfing dangerously in restricted areas was now available to me. I can now superpoke until I get my first harassment lawsuit. I can now YouTube all the Dave Chappell I can handle. I can look up all the FL Gong websites without having to worry about the secret police showing up at my door. Now clicking on the ‘I wonder what this does’ button actually takes me somewhere.
For the tinkering user, Freedur also features a few options. The most obvious one being the proxy server one uses to access websites. This option I find to be very necessary as some websites only allow access from servers in the same country.
The settings menu offers a few simple options that let me choose between IE/chrome and Firefox. There is also a filtering function in case I want disable freedur for certain websites. Clearly, freedur was designed to easily allow selective service.
Clicking the help button directs you to a ticket page where you type up case description and enter some information. The interface is clean and simple. I did not submit a service request, so I do not know anything about the response times.
The central theme is simple. Simple installation, simple interface, simple uninstallation, even simple bug reporting. It’s so simple I’m even a little suspicious. I was expecting to open some ports, or change some internet settings, but no. I didn’t have to make any changes to my computer setup. Freedur works right out of the box.
Keeping something this simple isn’t easy. I’m sure a lot of time went into figuring out what to put in, what to ignore, and how to make it easy. It’s so simple, it’s almost invisible. I know that from now on, I won’t even notice it running in my background.
If I had to offer some suggestions, maybe they could add a ‘logout’ button to the interface. While there is a logout option in the left click menu, an addition to the main interface couldn’t hurt.
Really I find it hard to offer criticisms about this software. It’s so simple and easy, finding fault in so little is very difficult. One can say that the software is not as robust, and lacks features. There is no history, no tracking, no tracing information. If I had to do debugging, or wanted to track my usage history, those tools are not to be found. I might have to use my browser tools for those functions.
However I would also agree that having a simple proxy interface is preferred. The last thing I want is for my surfing to be bogged down by tracking, scanning, and all other sorts of bloatware.
As technology becomes more advanced and bloated, Freedur is an example of the effectiveness of a simplified/specialized tool. Welcome to the Internet, Uncensored.
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 ver. 6.1 build 7600
AMD Turion64 x2 1.9 GHZ
4GB memory 160 GB HD
Would you like to share your China Experience on ChinaHush? Write to me at chinahush[at]gmail.com