You always need to assume someone’s looking over your shoulder when you’re using public Wi-Fi: a hacker, or the government, or a plain old snoop.
Virtual private networks were invented to remedy this problem for businesses. An Israeli app called SaferVPN is being used by individuals and companies (even cybersecurity telecom enterprises) for greater security and privacy on unsecured public Wi-Fi.
The app automatically detects public Wi-Fi and alerts users, providing them with immediate access to a remote server that directs data through an encrypted “tunnel.” That remote server’s IP address can be somewhere other than where you’re actually located.
All these steps prevent outsiders from accessing your data and from knowing your identity online.
Founded in 2013 in Tel Aviv, SaferVPN boasts more than a million users in more than 240 countries, with the largest number of customers from the United States, Russia, China, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Turkey (in that order). SaferVPN was ranked #1 for top free iPhone apps and free iPhone productivity apps in the UAE Apple Store for five straight days in 2016.
SaferVPN is now partnering with human-rights crowdsourcing platform Movements.org to provide activists and dissidents in closed societies with free VPN access so they can browse the Internet safely and free of censorship.
“We recently started working with notable Iranian human-rights activist and former political prisoner Kaveh Taheri to raise awareness about the lack of online and basic human freedoms in many countries throughout the Middle East,” says Karen Mesoznik, head of marketing communications at SaferVPN.
“It’s been a pretty remarkable experience for us, as an Israeli company, to bridge the connection and work side by side with activists from countries that typically have no relationship with Israel.”
The app can be used free as a Chrome extension and for a few dollars a month as a subscription plan to cover any iOS, Android, Mac or Windows device. SaferVPN also offers customized business plans and a white-label solution.
Cofounded by CEO Amit Bareket and CPO Sagi Gidali, SaferVPN has 25 employees. It was bootstrapped for its first two years and then held two funding rounds, raising a total of $1.1 million.