Psiphon is a program designed to help avoid Internet censorship. In particular, it is used to avoid censorship based on country lines, in countries considered "enemies of the open Internet". It provides various means to do so.
Yes. Both the VPN and the software itself are free to use.
Most likely. Psiphon is constantly updated to get around new censorship measures in various target countries. If it does not work once, you might try its other modes or try again later when the app is updated.
A fake release of Psiphon 3 for Windows has been seen on various websites. The most common version is a zip file titled "pisphone3.zip" (sic) containing an executable of the same name. Softonic does not facilitate the distribution of malware and legitimate versions of Psiphon can be found via Softonic and elsewhere.
Safe versions of Psiphon for Windows have an identifiable SHA1 thumbprint. Right-click the executable, select Properties, then select Digital Signatures at the top. The Psiphon website lists further instructions as well as the correct thumbprint.
When you launch the app, the app will automatically attempt to connect to its servers. From there, you will be able to use the Psiphon Browser to tunnel past country- or region-based firewalls. On Windows, once the icon in the main window is green, the software is active and all Internet traffic is tunnelled.
While running in Whole Device Mode, the app will route all traffic on a phone or tablet through the app's own servers. This allows all apps on the phone, such as games or chat apps, to get around Internet censorship, not just the built-in browser. To activate Whole device Mode, click the check mark near the bottom menu next to "Tunnel Whole Device".
By default, you are given three options for how to use the software: SSH, SSH+ and VPN. You can select which to use via the ratio buttons at the top, then click the icon on the left-hand side to reconnect. Some methods work better in certain countries or situations than others.
Yes, on Windows. SSH and SSH+ (as opposed to VPN mode) allow you to click a check mark for "Don't proxy domestic websites". This means that the software will not intercept Internet traffic to or from within your country.
On mobile, click Logs at the top of the main view. On desktop, websites you visit and so forth will automatically be displayed on the main window. For a complete view of servers your data might be passing through, for maximum operational security, consider a second app such as WireShark.