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Avanquest GhostSurf 2006 review

Erase all trace of your online tracks easily

This tool does exactly as its name suggests

Our Verdict

Hide your surfing habits no matter how paranoid you are


  • Does the basics well


  • Little support for complex tasks

Paranoid that someone will track your online habits? This tool does exactly as its name suggests. Whenever you go online, you're laptop is given a unique IP address, which can be used to track your coming and goings. What GhostSurf does is to mask this IP address, so offering you a degree of anonymity online.

As with similar applications, you can set the level of security to match your needs. You can choose from Normal, Anonymous, Invisible and Secure, all of which are controlled by a slider bar.

To get the most from these settings, you really need to know what kind of user you are, as Normal doesn't really hide anything, while Anonymous stops Cookies from being installed on your machine.

To this end, if a website needs a cookie in order to let you enter, you can always manually allow it from the pop-up dialog box. Invisible is where the IP blocking comes into play by disguising it from websites, while Secure does everything, plus encrypting your data.

Once you're offline, Trackcleaner can be used to delete files and any trace of where you've been. It's not only ID protection you'll find covered, as Avanquest has bundled in a number of utilities to stop pop-ups, spyware and ad blockers.

These are all well and good, but cracks start to show when you try to do anything other than run the basic tasks, as the help documentation that comes with the software isn't exactly user-friendly.

We can see people getting a little frustrated with this part of GhostSurf and, considering there are plenty of alternatives available, it's hard to see why they've not been supported or, alternatively, stripped out to save harming the reputation of the core tools.

If you're paranoid about people tracking where you've been online, then GhostSurf is certainly the tool for you. Only we're not convinced most people will actually want or even use most of the tools on offer here. What Laptop staff