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Lantern Review

Lantern

BestVPN.com Score 8 out of 10
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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).

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations N/A
  • Average Speed N/A Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections N/A
  • Jurisdiction N/A

Likes

  • Free
  • Open Source
  • Good proxy option
  • Lightweight client
  • Solid encryption

Dislikes

  • Not good for streaming
  • No Android support

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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.

Visit Lantern »

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.

Ease of 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.

For more information about torrenting, see our best VPNs for torrenting guide.

Final Thoughts

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

Visit Lantern »

15 Comments

  1. Trevor kasonde
    on January 4, 2018
    Reply

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

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Trevor kasonde
      on January 4, 2018
      Reply

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

  2. SC
    on October 7, 2017
    Reply

    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 replied to SC
      on October 9, 2017
      Reply

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

  3. badguy
    on September 26, 2017
    Reply

    There is a Lantern app for Android in the Playstore. Get also the APK, put it on your phone and give it (via bluetooth share) to a person in need. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.getlantern.lantern

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to badguy
      on September 26, 2017
      Reply

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

  4. Tester
    on June 19, 2017
    Reply

    According to Latern's FAQ page(https://getlantern.org/faq/index.html) 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 replied to Tester
      on June 19, 2017
      Reply

      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.

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