Paying ProtonVPN users have just gotten a new feature to be happy about, called ‘NetShield.’ This is a tool that is meant to help users keep their privacy intact and also to ramp up their security while browsing the web. To do that, NetShield covers a wide range of requirements such as blocking malware, blocking ads, stopping online trackers from loading, identifying domains that host spyware, and generally acting like a complete net protection solution.
NetShield is connected to a massive website database that is maintained and updated by multiple teams of security researchers, so it can identify websites that constitute a risk for their visitors. Moreover, NetShield constantly monitors for the loading of “shady” scripts, images, etc., so it can automatically block stuff from loading if there’s a good enough reason to do so.
One of the most interesting components of NetShield is the ad blocker, which goes beyond the typical functionality of common ad-blocking plugins. More specifically, NetShield’s ad blocker stops ads across all the network tools of the operating system, so it doesn’t cover web browsers only. This makes it ideal for deployment in mobile platforms like Android and iOS, where blocking ads across all apps is a tricky thing.
As for how this new tool works, NetShield is activated at the DNS request step, running a quick check against the aforementioned database before the request is resolved. If there’s a match at this stage, the resource is prevented from loading. Of course, there may be false positives, so the users can turn NetShield off if they still wish to access an IP address that’s been flagged as risky.
One of the major cons of ProtonVPN is the high cost of the product for the available features. With the arrival of NetShield, ProtonVPN is balancing out this issue, making the offering a much better bargain. VPN tools are great for several reasons, but they are not substitutes to complete networking protection solutions. NetShield comes to complement the VPN product very nicely, hopefully without impacting the browsing speed.