Very good site. Even if you run exit node, you don't be thrown to jail, because administator of project keeps connection logs mostly only needed information to trace the criminal. Even if the connection logs isn't helpful, the police will check packet logs directly on your computer and the criminal will be thrown to jail at 99,99% chance. If you scared, you can use the OpenVPN to connect with server.
A significant portion of the hosted VPNs are hosted by servers engaged in spamming or malware. For example, some of the Spanish VPNs send traffic through rima-tde.net, which just happens to be a Spanish spam server. The ISP that operates some of the Spanish VPNs is Telefonica De Espana, which is a spam and malware server that is engaged in the promotion of Russian pill sites. Some of the Vietnamese servers are hosted by vnpt-hanoi.com.vn, which hosts various types of malware and spam.
Also, the encryption of some of the hosted VPNs could use some work. When I tested some of the servers on dnsleaktest.com, they each had at least one leak.in their security.
In terms of data retention, your activity is logged and preserved for 2 weeks. VPNGate is a project of the University of Tsukuba and the Japanese government*, so it may potentially be used as a honeypot under certain circumstances. If you are doing something that may land you in jail in Japan, like downloading music, think twice before using VPNGate!
In terms of network speed, most of the fast servers are hosted in Japan and Korea, which are not exactly P2P-friendly countries. (Japan recently ratified ACTA and passed a law allowing for the jailing of anyone who illegally "downloads" music in the country. Watching an illegally uploaded YouTube video could result in jail time as well, so be careful!)
Lastly, one very risky catch to VPNGate is that your PC can be used as an exit when you connect to one of the servers*, so your PC can be used for illegal activities by other users of VPNGate, which may lead to some highly unwanted repercussions.
*After I installed the client, I saw a message at the bottom of the "Setup Finished" screen that said "SoftEther VPN is a work of the research and development project of Japanese Government, subsidized by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, administered by Information Promotion Agency."
"VPN Gate extension registers your "VPNGATE" hub on the www.vpngate.net web site's directory. So anyone on the world are able to connect your VPN Server's "VPNGATE" virtual hub, and communicate with any destination hosts through your VPNGATE virtual hub. (Because your "VPNGATE" virtual hub has activated Virtual NAT and DHCP function.)" (https://www.softether.org/9-about/What_is_different_between_SoftEther_VPN_and_VPN_Gate%3F)
**Many of the public relay servers listed on the website are actually faster than the ones listed in the software client. The site also offers a higher amount of public relay servers. If you really want to use VPNGate, I would recommend installing the OpenVPN GUI and downloading the OpenVPN configuration files on the VPNGate site rather than installing and using the software client and its list of servers.
Most of the servers (both the ones available through the client and the ones available on the website) do not last very long. After a couple of days, most of the servers are usually terminated. This may become a nuisance for those who don't like having to constantly check for new servers.
Can confirm that it's a suspicious project.
I used it approx 2yrs ago for quite some time. But every now and then my AV would block connection from a japanese blacklisted server. Or many php exploit attempts being blocked as well.
Stopped using it because i got suspicious about it happening more and more.
Use with caution(and a good AV) , it might as well be a honey pot since the intruding IPs were mainly japanese.
The website's service FREE VPN was reported in Yahoo! and several other blog sites. It's used in China and other 'Big Brother' countries to bypass the government firewall (which is really useful if your government blocks Youtube and other educational programs because they think it's 'harmful' *cough* to their authority *cough*).
It's really useful for hiding your IP.
I'm not certain yet whether it's a truly secure system though. Regarding anonymity: The volunteer servers do log your IP though most keep it for only 2 weeks to prevent abuse and crime. I think it's a pretty good system. Try researching it online, I'm certain you'll find some promising opinions.
About this site
Connect to 6000+ active VPN servers with L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN, MS-SSTP or SSL-VPN protocol. Academic project by University of Tsukuba, free of charge.