Winston – A Kickstarter gadget to protect your online life

Pizza and a pint of water. These guys are professionals!

Right. I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried, but every time I mention a “VPN” people just lose interest. Getting a VPN is great. It protects you, it can also anonymize you, preventing tracking and spying etc.

Trouble is, it can be a bit of a faff, even if the “faff” just involves downloading an app and logging into something.

For me, I tried a different approach, and setup a separate router which I described in this earlier article. It basically means that I have one “normal” WiFi to connect to and one “secure” one.

Anyway, fast forward a bit and it looks like someone has had a similar idea. This is called Winston and it’s available on Kickstarter and Indiegogo too. Put simply it’s a hardware filter which protects you from the baddies on the internet, plus all those other creepy weird snooping and monitoring that goes on. You basically plug it into your router and then, anything that connects to the “Winston” will be protected.

Hopefully it’ll have some WiFi hotspot built in, because from what I can see you either need to do this…

Your router -> Winston -> WiFi Access Point

…or this….

Your modem -> Winston -> Router / WiFi Access Point.

I’ve asked whether there’s a WiFi hotspot in this. Will let you know when I hear back.

This does far more than a VPN. It’ll protect you from the prying eyes of adbots, trackers, and cookies. Also it’ll block the most sophisticated fingerprinting techniques which try and work out who you are and what you’re doing online. They also tell me that, unlike most VPNs, they can maintain video streaming experiences so that they’re smooth and uninterrupted.

Install should take minutes, and it’ll stop Facebook spying, ad-tracking, surveillance and more. The people behind it also say that you’ll get less adverts, a speedier internet experience and a fully customizable block list to organise which ads and pop-ups you may want to see if that’s your thing.

Prices will (when it goes to retail) start at $249 with an $8.25 monthly subscription. It seems to be quite popular on Kickstarter, so perhaps try their Indiegogo page.