Does Winston log user activity?
No and we guarantee to never do so. The only data Winston Privacy collects is your purchase/order and subscription information, and we do not share or sell it. In the case of a legal subpoena, we would be forced to comply, but as we do not log any data, we simply don't have anything other than order and subscription information to share. The data visible on your Winston Dashboard is stored locally on your Winston, making the Winston Dashboard only viewable while on your Winston network. Winston Privacy does not log or have any involvement in any Internet activity which goes over the Distributed Privacy Mesh network. In fact, we designed our technology specifically so that we cannot see or decrypt your internet activity (similar to Telegraph and Signal).
How fast is Winston?
The hardware currently supports maximum throughput of up to 500 Mbps. If you're used to VPN speeds, you'll be in for a pleasant surprise.
What are "High Compatibility" and "Aggressive" modes?
High-Compatibility mode is recommended for users who want to block the most common ads and nuisances on their network with a minimum of disruption or fuss. This mode is recommended for new Winston users.
Aggressive mode is intended for users who want more control and greatly increased privacy protection. In this mode, tens of thousands of advertising and tracking servers are blocked, including some which might interfere with video, search and social media ads. This mode enables more advanced privacy protections, including cookie filtering, anti-fingerprinting, stripping of hidden search and Chrome identifiers, deep URL filtering.
Any problems encountered in Aggressive mode can be easily resolved by whitelisting with Winston's web extension, through the dashboard or using our library of over 100 compatibility modules.
How does filtering the web improve speed?
Almost 50% of typical home internet activity is generated by advertising, tracking, logging and telemetry services. Blocking this activity reduces CPU utilization, browser render times and queueing of TCP connections. Large background data transfers (especially uploads of log files made by some devices) also increases loaded latency on the local network. By blocking many of these data transfers, Winston reduces the overall load on your network and lets you use more of the bandwidth you're paying for.
Does Winston hide illegal activities, like file sharing?
No. Winston only routes "Clearnet" (port 80/443) activity over the privacy mesh network. Protocols widely used to hide illegal activity like BitTorrent and Onion are not supported.
How is Winston different than a VPN?
Winston does a lot more than a VPN. It protects all devices in your home, including the ones you can't install software on (smart TVs, cameras, smart devices, hidden Windows and mobile apps, etc). It is zero-knowledge and distributed. Winston blocks a surreal amount of tracking and advertising, including hidden first and third-party tracking cookies and sophisticated browser fingerprinting techniques that can track you even in incognito mode. Winston also protects against DNS rebinding attacks, increases your browsing speeds, blocks annoying popups, and monitors incoming and outgoing traffic.
What is Winston?
Winston is a hardware device that connects to your ISP router and protects all the devices on your network - computers, phones, smart toasters, smart TVs, and smart devices – unlike traditional software VPNs that only protect the device they are installed on. With Winston, your online activity is constantly being scrambled over Winston’s proprietary Distributed Privacy Mesh network. That means your physical location will appear to change from minute to minute, making it much more difficult for trackers to compromise your security and identity. The best part is, unlike many VPNs, Winston Privacy is a zero-knowledge, which means we never collect or sell your data!
Winston includes a software component that is updated on an ongoing basis to ensure that your protection is current and browser extensions that allow you to easily and quickly manage the level of privacy protection provided for any websites you visit while connected to your Winston.
What is the difference between one-time and subscription plans?
Winston is typically sold on an annual subscription basis. Unlike many companies, we do not collect or sell our customers data. Rather, subscription fees support the ongoing cost of development and support. We also occasionally offer one-time (no subscription) plans.