Ultrasurf Review – Free VPN with Malicious Code
Ultrasurf is arguably the most insecure VPN in 2023. The only possible reason to use it is that it’s completely free.
It is also not a fully-featured service with Virtual Private Network support. It would be more correct to call it a censorship bypass tool. The provider's software doesn’t create a virtual network. It works on the principle of end-to-end encryption. It doesn't provide the strong privacy protections ExpressVPN does, but it does a pretty good job of getting around ISP blocking.
Ultrasurf was created more than 15 years ago to help China's internet users when they first encountered internet censorship. The app coped with the task effectively and, at the same time, helped to bypass site blocking for free.
In 2020, the functionality has hardly changed, only support of Android and Chrome has been added. Unfortunately, there is still no option to select the connection country. Those you cannot know which server your traffic is going through.
But it isn’t the main disadvantage of Ultrasurf. Later in the article, I will describe the main problem with the security of its software and tell you about the best alternatives.
Does Ultrasurf contains a virus?
Before proceeding to the description of the features of Ultrasurf, I want to warn you against using it on computers containing sensitive confidential information or in cases where your Internet activity should be completely protected.
I ran into my Chrome browser crashing every time I tried to execute the executable file downloaded from ultrasurf.us.
I decided to check it on the VirusTotal virus checking service. And got a predictably bad result:
6 out of 71 antiviruses identified the downloaded file as malicious. Obviously, that is why Google Chrome also refused me to launch it.
Is it bad?
Yes. A good VPN doesn't get a single virus scan.
At the same time, Utrasurf cannot be called a virus in its direct meaning. It uses technologies that are considered unsafe by security professionals.
Therefore, I don’t recommend using this VPN service. Today other free solutions are proven to be safer and more effective in securing the connection.
Also read: List of Best VPNs for China
What is Ultrasurf for?
The main function of Ultrasurf is to bypass internet censorship. Or, in other words, bypass blocking of sites or IP addresses.
Internet censorship exists in countries where the rights of citizens to freedom of speech and the freedom to receive information are limited. Here are just a few of them:
Ultrasurf helps you bypass blockages by encrypting traffic and redirecting it to a secure server in another country. Thus, the Internet provider doesn’t see the connection to the prohibited resource and doesn’t block traffic.
But again, it isn’t a complete VPN.
Ultrasurf doesn’t protect against typical real location data leaks like WebRTC and DNS.
As a result, the user can open a prohibited site, but if desired, its prohibited activity isn’t difficult to calculate.
Modern VPN services with built-in protection against leaks WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 are devoid of this drawback. Also, a modern VPN has a Kill Switch feature that blocks traffic when trying to intercept traffic by breaking the connection to the VPN server. I'll cover these VPNs in the next section.
Also read: 10 best VPNs for torrenting
To avoid problems with the use of software that contains suspicious code and ensure maximum privacy, use top-class VPNs:
- ExpressVPN. Premium service with a choice of virtual locations in 105 countries of the world. It possesses phenomenal speed and is known for its crystal-clear reputation. Thanks to diskless servers, it is guaranteed not to keep logs of user activity.
- NordVPN. The largest VPN in the world using state-of-the-art WireGuard protocol. It has a free trial period for mobile devices.
- Surfshark. The most affordable of the “premiums”. At the same time, it works in countries with censorship, supports streaming, and many platforms, including TV.
If you are looking for a free VPN and are ready for lower speeds and country restrictions, then check out ProtonVPN and Windscribe. These providers have the most "humane" restrictions on free subscriptions and yet have the most powerful features.
Ultrasurf is one of the worst VPN services I've come across. It is large since it was not created as a commercial project. By 2023, it has hardly been updated or developed. The site is primitive and a lot of information is no longer relevant there.
A Windows app may contain malicious code, which goes against the very principle of using a VPN - creating a secure and private virtual network.
At the same time, it still works and bypasses censorship.
Fortunately, there are safer and equally effective alternatives available today.