Winston does a lot more than a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and covers all the Internet-connected devices on your network – not just your computer. VPNs encrypt the data sent to and from your computer, protecting from having your data intercepted and read by third parties such as public wifi providers and hackers. Winston does that, too. VPNs do nothing, however, to protect you from the prying eyes of adbots, trackers, and cookies, but Winston provides that protection. Some VPNs even harvest the same data those tools collect, opening up yet another window into your private data, and Winston does not.
Also, Winston blocks the most sophisticated fingerprinting techniques, which exploit manufacturing differences (even between otherwise identical hardware devices) to determine who you are, even if you are in incognito mode or using a VPN. Winston obfuscates data collected by sites using fingerprinting technologies to prevent them from tracking you across browsing sessions.
And, a VPN uses a single exit point (you can switch, but it's manual). Instead, Winston is constantly scrambling your internet across up to 30 exit points every 10 minutes. This greatly reduces the confidence that an ISP (or other eavesdropper) could have in what they think they are learning about you.
To maintain a quality streaming experience, Winston does not route large downloads or streaming data through the Winston privacy mesh network. For more information, visit this article about how Winston handles streaming or downloading large files.
Some Winston users may choose to continue to use a separate VPN to provide privacy related to downloads and streaming or for business use, but if a VPN is active, it will bypass Winston and the Distributed Privacy Mesh Network unless it is using port 443. If your VPN uses port 443, we recommend adding the domain used by the VPN client to the Allowed List at http://my.winstonprivacy.com/allowed.