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Aussie developer Wangle makes foray into VPN market

Wangle’s proprietary virtual private network application optimises encrypted traffic and complies with Australia’s new mandatory data retention law

Australian company Wangle is dipping its toes into the virtual private network (VPN) market with Wangle VPN, an iOS and Android application that uses Australian-developed technology.

Unlike most VPN providers, Wangle does not rely on the commonly used open-source OpenVPN software. Its proprietary VPN software provides an encrypted tunnel to keep data safe from prying eyes.

Wangle’s chief technology officer Cam Worth told Computer Weekly that while the company had started developing hardware for network optimisation, it realised software was just as critical and steered its product development plans in that direction.

Recent changes in Australian law, and a need to ensure data is protected when connected to networks, are driving more people to turn to VPN services and software. However, one of the challenges is finding a reputable VPN provider, something which Wangle hopes to address with its VPN product.

Wangle CEO Sean Smith said Wangle VPN is the first of its kind that complies with the Mandatory Data Retention laws that are now in effect in Australia. These laws are an amendment to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979.

This means the company securely retains metadata pertaining to connections, such as originating and destination IP addresses, duration of connections and locations. However, it does not retain the content of any communication.

Smith said it was clear that under the Telecommunications Act, Wangle is considered a “carriage service provider”. He also assured users that all metadata would be securely stored, and only handed over to entities that followed the full legal process for requesting the data.

Unlike other open-source based systems, which Worth said do little more than transfer traffic, Wangle VPN optimises encrypted traffic between devices using patented algorithms. It allows faster data transfer and reduces data overhead, while enhancing security and privacy to improve performance.

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According to a study commissioned by Wangle and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the optimisation resulted in a 90% increase in data upload speed on average, a 45% average improvement for download speed with data compressed by 19%. For mobile users, the benefit is a measurable saving in data costs and reduced connection times.

To ensure its software works everywhere, Wangle has invested in datacentre capacity with Amaon Web Service (AWS) and Rackspace. Its global communications capacity is provided through datacentre service provider Equinix.

Wangle’s software is now available for iOS and Android devices. Mobile users can take advantage of a free 30-day trial. After that, the cost is A$4.99 per month with no minimum contract.

Scott said a “family protection” product for desktop and laptop computers will follow later this year. Enterprise products will also be developed in the third phase of the company’s product roadmap.

Read more on Privacy and data protection

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This smells fishy. I looked at the study they published and I do not see anything about the type of encryption used. In fact, the study does not appear to have verified that the data is actually encrypted. Lots of Android/iOS VPN apps claim to encrypt your data but do not actually do it. 
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This is relevant, especially concerning the new data retention laws: https://www.flashrouters.com/blog/2017/04/21/protect-your-privacy-against-australian-data-prevention-laws/
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