While Anonymizer would recommend you always utilize the Anonymizer Universal service while connected and visiting web sites at all times, due to the drop in speed and increase in latency of your Internet connection, I would recommend only using the service in a couple of cases.
First, where your IP Address is recorded and displayed on the Internet which is a common practice of guest books and forum sites for example. Next, if you are surfing on sites that are not necessarily legitimate I would highly recommend putting your browser in private mode and using the Anonymizer Universal service. Finally, if you are not on your home network using a service with VPN access is becoming more critical for privacy and security.
Although there are free ways to anonymize your IP Address such as through various proxy configurations, it requires above-average technical knowledge to setup whereas the Anonymizer Universal service is a simple setup and you are off and running.
Additionally you are protected when web surfing from any remote network (not your home), especially free wireless networks (Starbucks comes to mind). Without using a VPN tunnel, a provider could actually break any SSL connections you have and intercept your traffic that you think is secure. If you are transmitting passwords, checking email or banking from a wireless hotspot, it is critical that your use a service with VPN connectivity like Anonymizer Universal.
Overall, the typical user can really use a service like Anonymizer Universal. The service is simple to setup and does what it says, including providing an encrypted VPN tunnel and presenting a proxied IP Address to web servers which shields your IP Address outside the service. Anonymizer does need to improve speed and latency so as to allow for streaming video and online game play. At less than $7/month, Anonymizer Universal is worth the purchase if you visit Internet forums or use wireless hotspots.
You can purchase Anonymizer Universal from Anonymizer’s web site for $79.99/year.
(Disclaimer: Gizmos for Geeks received a complimentary review copy of this product.)