By Jay Alabaster - March 13, 2013
'VPN Gate,' designed by PhD student Daiyuu Nobori to circumvent government firewalls, has drawn 77,000 users in less than a week
If you're not sure about the purpose behind Daiyuu Nobori's online thesis project, perhaps the large picture of the collapse of the Berlin Wall will help.
Nobori created VPN Gate to help individuals in countries that restrict Internet use to beat government firewalls. The service encourages members of the public to set up VPN (virtual private network) servers and offer free connections to individual users, aiming to make the technology more accessible.
"Today's VPN software is very complex. They are not easy to use. Some VPN services around the world are expensive for people in other parts of the world
," Nobori said in an interview with IDG News Service.
His service maintains a public, real-time list of freely available VPN servers for users to choose from. It also offers downloadable server software to run the VPN, and a client that greatly simplifies the process of finding and connecting to one of the free servers, for the less technically inclined.
The 28 year-old doctoral student at Tsukuba University, about 30 miles northeast of Tokyo, wasn't sure what the reaction would be when he launched last Friday. He did little to advertise it outside of the home page and a few mentions on tech forums.
Five days later, the service has drawn 77,000 users and served nearly 4 terabytes of data.
"There are a lot of users from around the world, so I'm very happy," he said, but "the large amount of data transfer charges are a problem. This is coming from my credit card."Full blogVPN Gates
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