Lantern VPN Review -

Lantern Review

Our summary

Lantern is a free and open source (FOSS) anti-censorship tool. It behaves as a proxy server, routing your internet connection through either its own servers or those run by volunteers.

Our Score



  • Free -which is great news for users in oppressive countries
  • Open source so can checked that the code does what it says it does
  • Uses strong AES-256 encryption
  • At only 4.4 MB Lantern is extremely lightweight
  • Proxy all traffic option can help unblock any website
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Our Score
Our Score
Our Score

Much like Psiphon and Lahana, Lantern VPN is a free and open source (FOSS) anti-censorship tool. Unlike these tools, by default Lantern only become active when it detects that you are attempting to visit a blocked website.

When this happens, Lantern behaves as a proxy server, routing your internet connection through either its own servers, or those run by volunteers (choosing a server that is not blocked from accessing the website).

Visit Lantern »

Pricing and Features

Lantern is free, and is currently available for Windows Mac OSX and Linux (Debian/Ubuntu). An Android app is apparently being worked on, but we have no idea when this might turn up.

Privacy and Security

Lantern is developed by the US-based non-profit Free Software Foundation, Inc. Like Tor, it may receive some funding from the US government, but all code is open source, and can therefore be independently audited to ensure nothing fishy is going on.

Its developers are keen to stress that Lantern is designed as an anti-censorship tool, and does not provide protection against surveillance. Connections to proxied websites are protected using HTTPS (TLS), but connections to all other websites are unencrypted. Those looking for anonymity while online are recommended to use Tor.

Internal connections between Lantern ‘nodes’ are protected using strong AES-256-CBC encryption with ECDHE (elliptic curve) RSA key handshake, and SHA hash authentication.

Users can choose to provide the Lantern team with “useful information and analytics that will help us improve the Lantern program”, but this is strictly optional.

Visit Lantern »

Lantern in Use (Windows)

At only 4.4 MB, Lantern is extremely lightweight, and to use it all you need do is download and run the executable file.

Lantern 1

Some suggested websites that are unblocked by many repressive regimes

lantern 2

The latest version of Lantern now features a “Proxy all traffic” option. This means that Lantern can be used to unblock any website

Here in the UK the main reason websites are censored is due to copyright piracy. To test the service for this Lantern VPN review, we therefore ran the software, and then visited some well-known torrent websites. In our initial tests these remained blocked when using Lantern’s default settings, but could access be accessed with the ‘Proxy all traffic’ setting turned on. It seems, however, that were suffering from some teething problems, and in subsequent tests we could access every blocked website using just the default settings.

Lantern VPN Review Conclusion

We liked

  • Free
  • Open source
  • ‘Proxy all traffic’ option

We weren’t too sure about

  • Nothing

We hated

  • Nothing

This lightweight, free and open source anti-censorship app can be used to unblock any website. What’s not to like?

Visit Lantern »

Douglas Crawford
November 8th, 2016

I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. You can now follow me on Twitter - @douglasjcrawf.

15 responses to “Lantern VPN Review

  1. Trevor kasonde says:

    guyz i just downloaded the app.
    i need advise on how to configure it, am in zambia pliz help me.

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Trevor,

      The Lantern App does not need any configuration. Simply download it and run.

  2. SC says:

    I bought a 2 years lantern pro license but it could not use on iphone7. The PC version works fine but when are you going to have the APP for iphone?

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi SC,

      This is simply a review. Please ask this question on the Lantern website.

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi badguy,

      Thanks for letting me know. It has been a while since I looked at Lantern.

  3. Tester says:

    According to Latern’s FAQ page(
    Seems Lantern encrypted all traffic(SSL & non-SSL) now:
    “Lantern encrypts all your traffic in transit through our servers to protect your data and privacy.”.

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Tester,

      I’m pretty sure it always did. Note that Lantern has changed somewhat since I wrote this review, and now offers a premium service in addition to its free one.

  4. efe lee says:


  5. Geovaping says:

    it seems now not free anymore…
    Indeed Lantern is my favorite VPN tool. Thanks for review!

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Geovaping,

      How not free? The first thing I see when I visit the Lantern homepage is “Lantern is a free application that delivers fast, reliable and secure access to the open Internet.” (emphasis mine).

  6. Stephan says:

    This VPN is actually quite good.

    I am currently in China and the VPN even enables me to use youtube or dropbox.

    A drawback is the speed of the connections, which can be low at times (20kb/sec or lower) and other times, when it is very fast (1 – 5 mb/sec).

    A plus is that typically 95 % of the websites worked. Thus, not all websites work, but the important ones like google or scientific articles and so on work well.

    Kind regards.

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Stephan,

      Thanks for the insight from China!

    2. Fra says:

      same here bro, but I just tried shadowssocks and it is also great

  7. Lorena says:

    I like this VPN

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