SOPHOS HOME PREMIUM review

 

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Version Sophos Home Premium 2.0.4
Developer Sophos Inc.
Website  https://home.sophos.com

 

ABOUT SOPHOS

Sophos was founded by Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer and began producing its first antivirus and encryption products in 1985.[2] During the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Sophos primarily developed and sold a range of security technologies in the UK, including encryption tools available for most users (private or business). In the late 1990s, Sophos concentrated its efforts on the development and sale of antivirus technology, and embarked on a program of international expansion.[3]

Sophos Group plc is an English security software and hardware company. Sophos develops products for communication endpoint, encryption, network security, email security, mobile security and unified threat management. Sophos is primarily focused on providing security software to the mid market and pragmatic enterprise from 100 to 5000 Seat organizations. Whilst not a primary focus, Sophos also protects home users, through a free antivirus software (Sophos Home) intended to demonstrate product functionality.

INSTALLATION & SETUP

Installation is somewhat different to normal antivirus applications. Sophos Home Premium is a cloud based application, which makes it a true novelty for home users. Once you set and activated your personal online account, all configuration settings are easily set from the available detection and protection area’s.

Sophos released its latest version of what it simply calls Sophos Home (free) and Sophos Home Premium (paid). As it stands, the set of features, cloud-based configuration, and price make it an outstanding offer.

Its Mac anti-virus performance, it’s not perfect. AV-TEST found it detected 98.4 percent of macOS malware, over 95 percent of macOS PUA, and over 99 percent of Windows malware. The scores are based on the at the time available databases which are constantly being updated.

  • MacOS malware was found as soon as a (infected) file was unzipped from an archive. It also prevents from loading malicious web-pages software via the WICAR test site. All test were intercepted by Sophos ! Well done Sophos.

 

WHY CHOOSE FOR CLOUD BASED ANTIVIRUS

With Sophos Home Premium, you can easily view and manage computer security for anyone in your network or – whether they’re in the same house or in another country. And it works for both Macs and PCs.
Sophos Home Premium covers uptown 10 devices on Mac or PC and provides full protection for each. Adding a device is simply done by sending a created link to the device you wish to add and follow the the instructions.
Being a full cloud-based security application all your personal files are handled through Sophos servers I guess.

Sophos appears in macOS as just a system menu item with a few options, such as the ability to perform a manual scan. Because the software protects a system in real time, the scan function is needed only if protection is otherwise paused.

  • Benefits: The cloud-based approach allows to push updates to its interface without requiring a user download, and it also has the maybe most robust remote management.

 

SOPHOS HOME PREMIUM EXTRA’s

 

So, most options are now shown to you, as are the minor faults like a missing ‘ Quarantine ‘, in the cloud interface. Now the ransomware part of Sophos is like any other antivirus application ( Developer ), partly accurate because Apple’s silent internal Unix based, XProtect feature has definitions for all known ransomware, blocking it from running. XProtect uses virus signatures, so cannot protect against new ransomware malware or variants, but will block anything already discovered. Sophos is a next step help to keep you safe from ransomware attacks.

* Sophos Home not only provides advanced protection against ransomware, it can detect a ransomware attack in progress, block it, and automatically roll back your files to an unencrypted state.

Sophos Home Premium also blocks/recognises outbound network to known malicious servers, malicious website blocking, web filtering for parental control, and does alert its user for mic and webcam usage. Sophos handles the web and network stuff via its kernel extension, which examines all traffic and allows central management of options. As these days securing your documents and/or important data, it is of upmost importance to have a Ransomware Protection function available.
You never want to experience a real hack of your computers data, as my experience tells me that most people don’t have full backups of their data available. We all think, This will never happen to me! Well think again, and take steps in securing your valuable data.

* Small objection is the automatic log out from Sophos website (Cloud ) ?? Is this a bug, or a well chosen safety feature ?

Want to buy ? Use our Coupon Code

  • Coupon: 20OFFSHP

 

VERDICT

Sophos Home Premium provides the best of different routines in show, providing malware protection, PUA protection, ransomware monitoring. You automatically will always run its latest version and with the latest virus definitions available.No need to update the application anymore nor make sure to update the virus definitions. Its Cloud configuration is generous and is easy to adjust to your wishes. The basic licensing for 10 devices is outstanding making it possible to protect a family, giving it an unbeatable price per device over its nearest competition. To Sophos I would suggest to implement an easy Scan-device/folder selection to the Cloud interface, as well as a Quarantine section, for users to make their own decisions.
We really are impressed with Sophos new Cloud experience providing the best of both worlds.

 

 

DIGIARTY VIDEOPROC 3.0 review

 

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Version 3.0
Developer  Digiarty Software Inc.
Website. https://www.macxdvd.com/mac-video-converter-pro/

 

ABOUT DIGIARTY

Established in 2006, Digiarty is a software company specialized in multimedia software solutions.

 

ABOUT VIDEOPROC 3.0

VideoProc preserves the main feature of MacX Video Converter Pro for Mac, namely, video conversion. It uniquely adopts Intel QSV, NVIDIA CUDA/NVENC, and AMD powered level-3 hardware acceleration tech, thus converting, compressing and processing Blu-ray videos, HDTV/HD-camcorders videos, 4K UHD HEVC/H.264 videos, 1080p multi-track HD videos, standard MP4, MOV, AVI, MPEG and other videos 64x faster than real time.

Apart from fast video converter, VideoProc is also integrated with other useful and powerful tools, including video editor to cut, crop, merge, split and do other edit tasks, music converter to change audio formats, DVD converter to digitize discs, downloader to save online videos and music, and screen/webcam recorder. It is a piece of fully featured video processing software perfectly compatible with the newest macOS Mojave (32bit & 64bit) and lower systems.

It enables you to download videos and music and convert YouTube to MP4, MP3for offline playback. Over 320+ video and 50+ audio codecs help you to convert 4K UHD, MKV, AVCHD, M2TS, MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, VOB, etcto any video or audio format. It offers the world’s first video converter supporting Intel QSV hardware acceleration, 16X faster than before and no quality loss. It also empowers you to record & capture screen video, make photo slideshow, and more.

 

INSTALLATION & PREFERENCES

Installing VideoProc 3.0 is done by dragging and dropping the application in your Mac Applications folder. Thats it, no more stuff to do. Now register your application and you’re all set for a discovery of all its settings and features. VideoProc 3.0 is LOADED with everything you could possibly want from a Video processing application and even ‘more’ !

VideoProc 3.0 is the absolute top application for anyone interested in editing video ! The updated interface is modern and well played out. Some screenshots of available codecs, formats and the toolbox are shown :

 

 

So you must be impressed with this extremely well sorted and provided tools. We are anyway ! Its absolutely loaded with features.

CODECS & SPEED

So we’re about testing the speed and provided features/tools of VideoProc 3.0. The new interface is great and more up to date really.

 

SUPPORTED VIDEO & CODECS 

This VideoProc 3.0 processing software supports 320+ video formats and 50+ audio formats, so that it can handle nearly any video or audio that you throw into it. It easily converts and compresses 4K/1080p HD videos between MKV, MP4, MOV, M2TS, AVCHD, AVI, MOD, TOD, HEVC/H.265, H.264, MPEG4, MPEG2, etc., and converts audios among MP3, AAC, M4A, M4R, FLAC, AIFF, OGG, etc.

PROCESSING SPEED

Equipped with Intel QSV, NVIDIA CUDA/NVENC, and AMD level-3 hardware acceleration tech, Hyper-threading technology, multi-core CPU utility, and AMD 3DNow! Tech, VideoProc can process videos at a speed of up to 5X faster than similar programs in the market while preserving 98% video audio quality of the original media file.

File used: .mov codec ; 500 Mb ; conversion to 4k best quality .mp4

VideoProc 3.0 tells you which codec supports Hardware Accelleration (HWAccel) or not. Change the quality setting to LQ(low Quality) or HQ(High Quality) and the conversion will take shorter or longer. Still VideoProc 3.0 is the fastest converter on this planet so you might as well choose HQ.

*remark:   Conversion speed depends on your Mac’s hardware configuration ! Our Mac’s are not the latest high tech versions but late 2013.

Check this link for more info about HW Acellhttps://www.macxdvd.com/mac-video-converter-pro/hardware-acceleration-video-processing-performance.htm

 

All Profiles are nicely shown in the scroll list.

 

BUILD IN YOU-TUBE DOWNLOADER , CAMERA and RECORDER

VideoProc 3.0 does not only provide converting tools but also contains a great screen recorder and recorder for iMacs iSight camera. Both record in good quality ( settings ( low, medium,high ), after finishing auto open your default media player.
This is just a feature-rich, high quality and really fast video converter having all the tools to make your life easier. Its just that simple in use that there’s really not much to discuss left. It does the job brilliant and even more, so are you looking for the best converter VideoProc 3.0 will not disappoint you.

 

VERDICT

So we have finished testing VideoProc 3.0 and we are impressed with its performance, number of available codecs and additional tools like the screen recorder, camera recorder and ability to download straight from you-tube. It works really easy and fast with a quality finish of your precious video. I cannot find any real flaws in this product ! It absolutely is the best video converter/editing software combination application on the market, offering more then just a basic converter. It looks great, is loaded with features and tops it all with the fastest conversion time found ! The fantastic ‘Toolbox’ offers great options for editing your precious video. We have not found any competitor offering as many editing tools as VideoProc. So looking for the very best video converter/editing application around ? Look no further, this is a hard to beat application. Top scores all around 10 to of 10 !! Well done Digiarty.

 

 

VIDEOSOLO VIDEO CONVERTER ULTIMATE review

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Version 1.0.18
Developer VideoSolo
Website https://www.videosolo.com

 

ABOUT VIDEOSOLO

VideoSolo is an international IT software company creating and sharing unique and highly-rated multimedia products for people who want to convert, download, edit, transfer or burn video/audio files with ease. They offer enterprise software solution for satisfying all your needs on video enjoyment including, video conversion, video editing, video sharing, DVD burning, etc.

INSTALLATION & PREFS

Installation is easy and has no additional helpers. VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate is able to convert Videos/Audios Between 300+ Formats including;  AVI, FLV, MP4, M4V, MKV, MOV, 3GP, 3G2, SWF, WMV, ASF, AAC, AC3, AIFF, FLAC, M4A, MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA and more.

As this is the Ultimate version, there’s loads of additional settings to satisfy your needs! Apart from the huge formats list, it offers a not commonly found extra; ” Improve Video Quality with Video Enhancer
When you are reviewing captured video, and feel the video is not meeting your expectations like; Too dark? Overexposed? Shaking video? Don’t worry, the built-in video enhancer can improve your video quality easily. This feature is definitely something not easily found on most conversion tools. ( It does have its drawbacks, read on )

Edit Videos – Clip, Rotate, Crop, Watermark
Complete Preset Profiles for Multiple Devices
Support HD/4K UHD and 3D converting. HD/4K UHD and 3D conversion; 4K (UHD), 1080P (FHD), 720P (HD) and 480P(SD). Rip your homemade DVD to MP4.

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6X Faster Video Conversion Speed. Thanks to the Support of NVIDIA CUDA, NVENC, AMD and Intel HD Graphics hardware acceleration technology, the conversion speed is 6 times faster than normal.
No re-compression or loss of quality! ( But there are faster competitors, read on )

INTERFACE and PRACTICE USE

As do all developers they praise there software being the best there is on todays market. If that was true, there would only be one software company and no competition. Luckily for us there is competition, making the software affordable for us users and providing the novelties which others fail. VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate is no exception to the rule. The interface is pleasant and easy to work with. The list of formats to choose from huge, and some extra converting tools.

Load your video file and choose your desired format is basically all one needs to do. VideoSolo runs and converts without any problems. So well done VideoSolo, however of all video converters we have tested so far, there is still only one company having the fastest converter in store which is MacX Video Converter Pro. So far nothing beats its fast conversion. Then again, we may ask ourselves is that all that matters? Speed, speed and just speed?

This is not easy to answer, as in the end its all about quality really. We compared VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate to the Free version of MacXvideo ( http://www.macxdvd.com/macxvideo/ ), not for the available tools and settings, but just to see how fast a conversion can be made paid vs free converter.

Our used video file is 498 mb and in .mov format used for converting.

CONVERT .MOV to 4K 4096*2160 and use H264/4K engine.

Developer output in gb (higher=better) time min (lower=better)
VideoSolo Ultimate 1.41 11″ 07
MacXvideo free 2.48 7″

 

Wow, check the differences in conversion time and created output file!!  So, if you just want to do simple conversion and the desired format is available in the free MacXvideo application, I say get it.
However if you want more codecs and much more editing or conversion tools ( 3D, cropping, Image enhancer etc ) VideoSolo is a great application. One of the things I really liked is the possibility to create and save your personal settings for conversion.

Well done VideoSolo ! The clean interface is a joy to work with, and sound conversion is loaded with all codecs and high settings. Is there anything to complain about using VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate ? Not really, looks nice works nice and provides all settings one could possibly need.

The ” Improve Video Quality with Video Enhancer ” section absolutely sets this application apart from all the rest. Mind you, using these extra tools make you wait a long time to finish your conversion! The 498mb .mov video file took 3 hrs 51 min to finish in highest quality. A file of only 6 minutes video! Guess what it takes to do a full video.

VERDICT

Our verdict is a bit mixed as it depends on what is important to you. VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate, defenitly deserves considering as it provides some extra not easily found tools ( 3D, Video Image Enhancer etc ). It is easy to work with and has some extra sound tricks in store. All conversion formats, tools are available with just a few clicks. The conversion speed however still has only one winner which is MacX Video Converter Pro.
VideoSolo developers created a truly allrounder, boasting not often found features and solid performance. Its fair price for a lifetime valid serial is doing just to this application. Finally, it looks good, works great and doesn’t cost you a lot. So try it out and convince yourself of its performance and conversion tools.

 

PHOTO SIZE OPTIMIZER review

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Version: 1.71
Developer: EffectMatrix
Website: http://www.effectmatrix.com/mac-appstore/image-mini.htm

 

ABOUT EFFECTMATRIX

EffectMatrix Software Studio is a professional provider for multimedia software, Paint for Mac Graphic Design applications and the related information to the international users. Since founded in Year 2002, it has been playing a more and more important role in this area. At present, there are various professional DVD, video and audio tools which are highly reputed and recommended by numerous users for the easy-use, fast-speed and powerful-function. Based on the same pursuance of providing excellent integration software and personal application to meet the different needs from numerous multimedia fans, EffectMatrix Software Studio and eTinySoft work together as cooperating partners with shared resource and independent identity.

 

WHY WE NEED IMAGE OPTIMISERS

Being a home user or business, we all deal with images everyday. As our mobiles are more and more the main interface for pictures, our pictures-collection is growing each day. Business emails many times have image-attachments which are too large to send without compression of some kind. Websites have many photo’s/images in their media files. Its all about visual information which many times say more then a thousand words. But WordPress users which is about 70% of all websites build, face a problem of maximised image size of 2mb. If more the image will be refused to upload. As there are 200.000.000 live websites there is a huge group facing the same problems. The internet provides many online compress tools which may fit your needs, but better have your own image compression utility. As there is a number of utilities to choose from, we hope our pick of Photo Size Optimizer will persuade you to consider.

 

HOW DOES COMPRESSION WORK

A digital sensor is capable of capturing far more information than the human eye can process. Therefore, some of this information can be removed during compression without the viewer noticing. The compression mechanism looks for any large areas of repetitive color and removes some of the repeated areas. They are then reconstructed in the image when the file is expanded.

The two types of compression are lossless and lossy:

Lossless Compression is similar to creating a ZIP file on a computer. Data is compressed to make it smaller, but no quality is lost when the file is extracted and opened at full size. An image that had been through a form of lossless compression is identical to the original image. TIFF is the most commonly used file format that uses lossless compression.

Lossy Compression works by discarding some information, and the amount of compression applied can be chosen by the photographer. JPEG is the most commonly used file format for lossy compression. It allows photographers to save space on memory cards or to produce files suitable for emailing or posting online. However, it should be noted that each time you open, modify, and then resave a lossy file, a little more detail is lost.

 

PHOTO SIZE OPTIMIZER

  • One-click photo size optimization on Mac OS X.
    Easy management: When a folder dragged into the application, Photo Size Optimizer for Mac will work on it immediately.
    Support 70 types of image formats:
    JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, PDF, PSD, PNT, RGB, ARW, BMPF, CUR, CRW, CR2, DCR, DNG, EPSF, EPSI, EPI, EPS, EXR, EFX, ERF, FPX, FPIX, FAX, FFF, GIFF, G3, HDR, ICNS, ICO, JP2,
    JFX, JFAX, JPE, JFIF, JPF, MPO, MAC, MRW, MOS, NRW, NEF, ORF, PICT, PIC, PCT, PS, PNTG, PNGF, PEF, QTIF, QTI, RAW, RAF, RW2, RWL, SR2, SRF, SRW, SGI, TRIC, TIFF, TGA, TARGA, TIF, XBM, 3FR, 8BPS
    Photo sharing becomes more easier.
    More choices:
    Lossless mode (png, jpg, gif);
    Lossy mode (jpg);
  • Lossless mode will save space > 20%. Lossless mode compresses and reduces large image size significantly but keep the original resolution, quality.
  • Lossy mode will save space > 50% with minor quality loss.
  • Resize option in the interface

INTERFACE & COMPRESSION RESULTS

The images below show just some examples of compression results. The first two examples show the LOSSLESS option, where least compression is obvious. It also shows the difference between images ( color buildup ). The first added image gets a 6.5% reduction, while the second gets a whopping 20% reduction. So there is no fixed reduction in LOSSLESS mode.

We now do the same images but choose the RESIZER/SQUEEZER option and get huge compression on both images. A whopping 98% file reduction on is astonishing really. When set to 2560 * 1920 pixels the reduction still is about 90%.

Original image size 4.9 MB compressed to 473 KB !! How’s that for excellent compression !

 

THIS IMAGE IS 473KB LARGE !  Good enough for any website in terms of sharpness I think.

 

 

To show you the compression result on pixel size, the Before/After image below shows a full 200% zoom in just 1 part of the picture above. The head-feathers of the horses ( yellow-red) are enlarged.

 

COMPRESSION EXAMPLE

Example 1:  LOSSLESS compression almost no visual difference

 

Example 2: RESIZE/SQUEEZE compression ( 90%) show the expected differences when 200% zoom is used.

 

VERDICT

So we come to the close of this review and ask ourselves ” Is Photo Size Optimizer doing a great job ? “. Well its a definite YES it does! Its so easy and simple to work with, yet it does a true mathematical trick in the background. We just click and take every result for granted, but there’s more to it then just click a button. Photo Size Optimizer has great compression results and still leaves a little room for experimenting with sizes. So, if you’re looking for a image compression tool for your business or as website owner
this little gem needs your attention. For professionals we can only hope it will in future include Lossless compression on TIFF, RAW files. Try it and buy when you’re also convinced of its use. A job well done EffectMatrix.

 

 

M4P to MP3 CONVERTER review

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Version: 2.9.14
Developer: ?
Website: http://www.m4p-to-mp3-converter.com

 

REQUIREMENTS

Mac OS X 10.8 or above system. Fully support macOS High Sierra 10.13  Apple iTunes 10 or later.  To output the highest audio quality, the program now only supports converting M4P at 1X speed under macOS 10.13 High Sierra. M4P to MP3 is able to do 16 speed conversions on lower Mac OS systems. Read on to see why and how to change the High Sierra 10.13 System Integrity Protection (SIP).

 

Want to remove DRM from iTunes M4P, M4B, M4A, M4V, protected AAC, Audible AA and AAX files? Well, look no further as this utility will be your best friend from now on.
MP4 to MP3 Converter is your ‘one trick pony’, to safely convert your iTunes codecs into a desired codec. Initially iTunes have NO DRM codec, but when you download an Apple Music track for offline listening, you get a DRM-protected version. This is where converters come to use.

 

WHAT IS DRM

Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems provide you with the ability to control how people can consume your content. Usually content owners and producers, like all the major Hollywood Studios and TV Stations, force content distributors to use specific DRM systems to protect each piece of content. Depending on the copyright requirements, Hollywood grade DRM protection is not always needed and sometimes it’s enough to provide basic protection through token based secure authentication or simple AES encryption of the video without sophisticated license exchange and policy management. Apple’s iTunes uses this protection in a similar way.

 

INSTALLATION

You might be in for a little surprise as M4P toMP3 Converter is I think the only converter-program needing a separate/additional tool to do the job. The program uses and installs ‘Audiojingle’ a virtual audio driver. The program needs this driver to record iTunes audio tracks in the background.
So what? You may think. Well, it installs itself in your Audio Preferences, and you need to be aware of this! As it is impossible to ‘delete’ or ‘uninstall’ this virtual driver with all known Uninstaller’s.

To perform a real uninstall you need to perform these steps:

1. /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/

Audiojingle.driver folder

http://prntscr.com/hp3im6

2. ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

com.audiojinglex.soundtree.agent file

Delete that folder and file along with it and reboot (as well as the app itself; I suggest using CleanMyMac or AppDelete) your Mac.  Only now you will be able to loose the Audiojingle driver.

Of course you only need to perform these steps if you ever decide to change the converter for something else.

 

PREFERENCES

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To output the highest audio quality, the program now only supports converting M4P at 1X speed under macOS 10.13 High Sierra. This is as stated earlier due to the used Mac OS system SIP.

WORKING WITH M4P to MP3 CONVERTER

So, we’ve covered the technical side of M4P to MP3 Converter and now move on to the use and performance of this utility.  The presented interface is easy and provides all necessary information for the user.
One small critic from me as reviewer are the outdated icons used on the top bar. The visual aspect is just something I focus on, next to allround performance. Its a bit Windows like and being not a big fan of Windows, I truly love the mostly modern looks of Mac apps. The interface does however provide all information  one might need and even more. The status column shows realtime converting status. The overall Output settings and folder are nicely presented.

All in all I absolutely loved working with M4P to MP3 Converter. Alongside I tried programs like Sidify Apple Music and the latter seems to have some difficulties converting some tracks whereas M4P to MP3 never missed a track !!
Converting time was overall the same compared to 2 other utilities, so no dealbreaker here. The converting SPEED from the Preferences mentions 1 to 16, but the latest HighSierra versions will not allow for higher speeds than 1.

As you know that when System Integrity Protection is active, and MacOS 10.13 has introduced new security measures, M4P to MP3 Converter can only convert audio files with 1X conversion speed on Mac 10.13.x.

In order to convert in 16x speed, MacOS 10.13.x users need to turn SIP off. You can follow the next guide to know how to turn SIP off.

Please note that, your machine may be less secure if you do. It is entirely your decision.

METHOD to turn SIP off !!

Step 1: Shut down the Mac.

Step 2: Turn it on but hold down the “Command + R” keys on the keyboard as soon as you hear the startup chime. You can leave the keys when you see Apple logo.

The system will boot into Recovery Mode.

Step 3: When the macOS Utilities menu appears, left-click the “Utilities” and then click the “Terminal”.

Recovery Mac Utilities

Step 4: In the window that opens, type “csrutil enable –without kext” and press return.

csrutil enable --without kext

This turns off the part of SIP that iTunes Converter needs to run, and OS X complains that it is an unsupported configuration.

Step 5: Now write “reboot” to restart your Mac computer.  ( Source www.macsome.com )

 

VERDICT

So time for a final verdict. Did we enjoy working with M4P to MP3 ? Well, there is no question about its performance and lack of converting problems. It never missed a single song-conversion, where the competition is not as perfect. The maximum conversion speed of 1x under the latest MacOs High Sierra 10.13+ is something all conversion programs have to deal with as Apple has a strict SIP program. You may if needed follow our instructions for change in SIP. We feel it’s no big deal and better be safe then sorry.
M4P to MP3 converter delivers high end conversions with all information needed when doing its job. Its versatile in supporting most used codecs,  options and informative interface. Any cons found in this utility? Not really, only change the used ‘Windows like’ icons in the main-bar and you’ve got one of the best converters and I tried them all, so if you’re in for a converter don’t miss out on M4P to MP3 Converter.

 

 

 

 

MACUPDATER 1.2.0 review

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Version 1.2.0
Developer: CoreCode io
Website: https://www.corecode.io/macupdater/

 

ABOUT CORECODE

CoreCode specializes in software development for macOS and iOS. CoreCode sells commercial software alongside offering free applications. CoreCode provides more than a dozen commercial apps as well as over two dozen open-source apps for the Mac and strongly believes in contributing back the community.

PREFERENCES

Preferences are very good for a basic program like this. It offers you ‘Keep Safety Backups”, which could prove useful incase of incompatibility after updating. Notifications and Scan-planning ( daily is minimum ) are also part of preferences.
All obvious and simple.

NO REGISTRATION   Total Privacy

In contrast to competing services, you don’t need to register to use MacUpdater. Just launch it, scan & update. Even more important, everything in MacUpdater is designed with your privacy in mind. They don’t track you and they don’t sell your data – because they don’t even have it. In fact they have an industry-leading Privacy Policy that should keep you all warm & snug. ( This is their claim! )

THE APPLICATION

This is just a small but useful application tracing any available updates for your applications in use. There is not too much to write about it as it’s an small but handy app. After installation ( Free version, allowing 10 updates ), you may choose to buy.


The program initially does a full scan of your applications folder ( fast and secure) and checks their version numbers. We have a very positive experience with the suggested updates which the application will install by itself.

After successful update a popup will appear. The program knows wether an application is only updatable by the App Store or straight from developer.

VERDICT

It is not often we write about small programs as the review might not be very interesting to read. This time however we feel we make an exception and want to share the even existence of this fine utility. I know nearly all programs have a ‘Check for Updates’ option. Macupdater 1.2.0 will check this for you and inform you of updates available. It’s no rocket-science but keeps your Application Folder always up to date. Its handy and cheap, as the lifetime license will keep you from paying again and again for updates.

 

SKYLUM LUMINAR 2018 JUPITER review

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Version: 1.2.0 (4245)
Developer: Skylum Inc.
Website: https://skylum.com/luminar

 

ABOUT SKYLUM

 

SKYLUM (Macphun,early 2018 they’ll completely switched to SKYLUM) a San Diego, USA based software company, is famous for its outstanding photo editing software products. Their latest software tool LUMINAR 2018 JUPITER has been upgraded to a new product supporting numerous improvements.
LUMINAR Neptune 2017 was launched 15th June 2017 and LUMINAR 2018 launched 16 November 2017 which makes it a real quick update. This review will discover and disclose wether the 2018 Jupiter upgrade is a true improvement over Neptune 2017 .
LUMINAR Neptune 2017 and LUMINAR 2018 are used by professionals as well as enthousiasts. SKYLUM has a great reputation for their outstanding products and aim to listen to their clients and implement their wishes in new product versions.

 

WHATS NEW

Luminar 2018 Jupiter offers a re-engineered proprietary RAW engine that can handle high-quality images faster. New filters include the ability to enhance Color with Brilliance, selective lighten or darken area’s with Dodge & Burn as well the addition of a new Sun-Rays filter. Apart from speed, the core of the update is two new features available in both the Windows and MacOS versions of Luminar 2018. They are: automatic lens correction controls and an improved Raw conversion engine that’s said to yield better exposure calculation, cleaner gradients, minimized chromatic aberrations and more robust camera compatibility.

   

Overall speed improvements are great !

LUT’s
Lookup Table Adjustments, known as LUTS. Creative color, perfect black and white conversions and even digital films stocks are just a click away. Lightroom users can convert their custom Lightroom presets into LUT’s with a free tool. There are a number of tools around, you may try this https://generator.iwltbap.com

First of all what is a LUT and what are its typical uses?

LUT means “Look Up Table.” It’s helpful to think of it like a math problem: R= S+L
“R” being your result or what you want to attain.
“S” being your source or what you start with.
“L” being your LUT or the difference needed to make up between your source and your desired outcome.

In all cases of LUT use, the LUT is the means to make up the difference between source and result.((All cases assume the colorist (or you) is grading through a correctly calibrated monitor for evaluation and finishing. LUTs in no way replace proper calibration or color correction. They only assist in the process.)) It’s never the result by itself. How does this play out? I’ll layout a couple probably over-simplified examples:

Color Correction

A very common example is printing your final film to…real, actual film. Print film came in a variety of flavors and styles. Each style had different nuances in color. The film lab would have all that nuance information or be able to send you a print test to work with. That would be your final result. The colorist grades a picture on his calibrated monitor but if he were to send that to print, it could come out looking far different due to the nuances of the physical film.

So in our math analogy, his graded film is “S” and his film print is “R.” He then uses the information from the film lab or on his own, creates and applies the LUT or the “L” to get him from his graded film to the print and to have it look as intended after it’s on the physical film. After applying the LUT, his graded film may look awful on his monitor, but will come out correct on the film print.  ( source http://nofilmschool.com/2011/05/what-is-a-look-up-table-lut-anyway)

 

NEW LUMINAR 2018 JUPITER INTERFACE

Luminar Interface is very good laid-out and intuitive as all filters show a pre-view of the actual filters capability and use. All is absolutely nicely placed on the interface and your most used filters can be set as preferred by clicking the little star at the bottom.
A full list of possible filters is present in the interface, there’s really nothing left out ! This filter collection should be enough for any user to create the best final master-picture.

Luminar 2018 Jupiter is equipped with a collection of preset effects organised into categories, and you can download more from the Skylum website. 
Each preset is a combination of filters and adjustments to create a particular ‘look’. You can browse the presets via a horizontal panel at the bottom of the screen and take a look at the filters and adjustments used in the tools panel on the right and modify them if you need to – or save your own adjusted custom preset.

 

There’s one more thing. Luminar also offers layers and masks, so that you can not only combine effects and filters selectively in different parts of the picture, but even combine different images. It doesn’t just support simple adjustment layers, but image layers too! LUMINAR 2018 has again evolved and sets itself at the top in this price-range !  Photoshop will have some bonuses but also has a huge price ticket and needs a lot of training. LUMINAR 2018 JUPITER however is easy to use for beginners but also professionals benefit from its range of (new)-filters and adjustments.

 

HISTORY & UNDO STEPS

Like Luminar Neptune 2017 we find these useful tools in the Tool-bar of the interface.

The three buttons control the Undo/Redo commands as well as let you view an image’s History. These three buttons give you complete control over reverting to an earlier state of an image.

  • Undo – The Undo Button (left arrow) cancels the last action (for example, changing the slider).
  • Redo – The Redo Button (right arrow) returns the last undo function.
  • History Panel – The History panel will quickly become an essential part of your workflow. It’s here that Luminar 2018 Jupiter keeps a list of what you have done to the image since you opened it. These are multiple undos and an easy way to go back in time. 
Simply click on an early History State to revert the photo to that stage of editing. History states are also saved with an image when you store it in the native Luminar (.mnr) file format. This allows for a nondestructive editing workflow and let’s you revert to an earlier version of the image.

 

LAYERS

Layers are a powerful way to “build up” your images, with different enhancements and use of blending modes on each layer. Using layers, you can apply corrections or enhancements on different layers, and experiment until you achieve exactly the look you’d like for your image.

 

DENOISE & NEW FILTERS

This tool is useful as it allows you to slightly blur an image to reduce the amount of noise and any image artifacts. The tool is similar to our Noiseless application and offers easy to use presets to control the strength. When you switch to the Denoise tool, Luminar zooms the image to 200% magnification to make it easier to see any noise or artifacts. Use the Amount slider to refine the results.

Also available: impressive filters to stylise, tone, and enhance your photos, including Sun Rays, Dodge & Burn, LUT Mapping, Hue Shift, Brilliance, and a cool new Matte Look.

 

NEW PRESETS FREE

Find a number of great presets here: https://macphun.com/luminar/new-presets?
product=luminar_2018_main_mac_welcomescreen_presets&c_url=2

OUR 10% COUPON to USE

When buying use code MACSOFTREVIEW for a great discount!!

EDITING EXAMPLE

 

VERDICT

So is this the great improvement (again) we’ve all been waiting for ? Well my opinion is Yes, it is now more mature and incorporates more filters and tools then ever before. The improved RAW engine is not only much faster but delivers less noise and better color.
LUT’s support is a long awaited addition for Adobe Lightroom users enabling them to import/convert their Lightroom Presets for use in Luminar 2018. Overall Luminar 2018 Jupiter is much faster and handles all changes in a great clean interface. The sun-rays filter and real-time noise removal sets it at the top of its competitors. Shame on Skylum that the promised  free update in 2018 throwing in the all new DAM image browser, is still NOT published. I guess buyers opted for the earlier release expecting a great new database handling(DAM).

Its stunning, its easy to learn, it takes photo-editing to a new level.

 

 

iBOYSOFT MAC DATA RECOVERY review

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Version: 2.6 (8)
Developer: iBoysoft
Website: https://iboysoft.com

 

ABOUT iBOYSOFT

iBoysoft is a software company located in Chengdu, China. iBoysoft committes to research in the field of data security, has developed and released iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows, NTFS Assistant, iBoysoft Drive Manager and iBoysoft File Protector.

 

ABOUT IBOYSOFT MAC DATA RECOVERY

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is one of a few data recovery software that fully supports APFS file system on macOS High Sierra. Technically, it goes beyond most of data recovery program which claim they can recover data from APFS drive. iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is the only one in the market which can recover data  from encryped APFS drive and recover deleted/lost APFS partition. Also, it can recover data from formatted, corrupted, unmountable, unreadable, inaccessible APFS drive. Besides, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery supports file systems HFSX, HFS, HFS+, exfat and FAT32. 

FEATURES

  • Recovers deleted files (even from the recycling bin)
  • Recovers data from formatted/reformatted drives
  • Recover data from RAW, inaccessible, corrupted or damaged partitions
  • Recover data from deleted or lost partitions
  • Recover data from APFS drive & encrypted APFS drive ( ONLY PRO VERSION )
  • Provide technical service to clients ( ONLY TECHNICAL VERSION )
  • SUPPORTED STORAGE DEVICES

    Hard drive, external hard drive, USB drive, USB stick, flash drive, SD card, CF card, memory card, memory stick, micro card, digital camera & other storage device (RAID reconstruction is not supported by iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery)

COMPATIBILITY

  • Compatible with Mac OS X – 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan) and Mac OS – 10.12 (Sierra), macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)
  • Supported File Systems for Mac OS – HFSX, HFS, HFS+, exfat and FAT32, APFS

USING iBOYSOFT MAC DATA RECOVERY

After all technical blabla.. we come to the point where we actually start using the recovery utility. The initial setup was as usual, just drag and drop the application in your applications folder and you’re all set. Your Mac will prompt you every time for your system password as this utility wants to change your basic data. All done, we face an overview of all detected (storage) drives and we may choose which to examine for lost files.

First check the preferences for the correct settings!

In order to find as many lost files as possible we have the Deep Scan option available. This option however will take a longer scanning time which is obvious as it digs deeper in the lost data. The scan however is done fairly quick and it all makes sense to even a novice user. iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery has an easy interface (which could do with a visual update) and all steps are simple to follow. Once your lost file is found and located, you can choose ‘Recover’ and the file is set in its location.

Apple’s High Sierra 10.13 has some build in security settings, preventing ANY Data Recovery program to just simply scan/update the system startup drive !! If you want to look for lost files on your startup drive you need to perform some extra tricks in order to do so (below copied from iBoysoft website)

 

How to recover lost data from startup drive in macOS High Sierra 10.13

“System Integrity Protection” (SIP) is a security mechanism built into the operating system that prevents normal programs from reading the startup drive, so System Integrity Protection would prevent iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from scanning startup drive in macOS High Sierra 10.13. To recover lost data from startup drive in macOS High Sierra 10.13, we need to temporarily disable System Integrity Protection (SIP).

Step 1: Boot to Recovery OS by restarting your machine and pressing & holding down Command + R keys at startup.

Disble SIP step 1

Step 2: Launch Terminal from the Utilities menu, enter the command: csrutil disable and press Return.

Disble SIP step 2

Step 3: Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, choose the startup drive and click “Next” to scan lost data.

Step 4: After the scan completes, preview all found files, choose the files we expect and click “Recover” to get data back.

Tips: If lost files are not found in quick scan mode, please check “File types” option in Preferences panel, check deep scan option and try again.

SUPPORT PROVIDED

iBoysoft have a support page setup  (https://iboysoft.com/support/) on their website which is explaining all how to’s and questions. Well done iBoysoft !

VERDICT

We found iBoysoft Data Recovery doing a very impressive job. Easy to use software that recovered our data with no hassles. There are more data recovery utilities on todays market but his is a pleasant and great working well adapted and explained application.
The only remark I personally can make is the plain interface which would be more attractive if somewhat coloured. However this is just personal taste and makes no difference in using the utility. I think it performs really well and fast. So if you’re looking for a Data Recovery tool check out this baby as it is surprisingly good.

WEEPIE COOKIE ALLOW PLUGIN review

 

 

WeePie Cookie Allow – Complete GDPR Cookie Consent Solution for WordPress

AVG and GDPR REGULATIONS

There are about 1.5 billion websites running on our global World Wide Web. However only 200 million are actual live websites. By Live “Website” we mean websites with a unique hostname (IP Address).
Many of these provide our daily information source and companies large or small offer or present their goods. This all serves good purpose but the more we use the internet, the more personal information is left on websites wether you
know or not. The average internet user have their own private dossier known to those interested in your way of life. You are by default tracked every day and all the way from shopping to the tax man.

Ever wondered why when on Facebook you get relevant advertisement just for you ? I guess if you followed the news lately , you know by now they probably know more about you then your relatives.
To put things simple, privacy doesn’t exist on the internet for most. The majority of users is ‘ ignorant ‘ and have no clue of cookies,IP’s and consent to almost any request made by a developer in order to read the stuff they are interested in. The average user just can’t resist saying NO to email-addresses asked and top it off with, dates of birth and more, if that would mean not to have access to the information or website.

So, most of us just do as asked for and consent to anything! Later on you find yourself receiving spam mail and phone calls.

The first and best thing to do for anybody, is to get yourself the best VPN connection. This solves one end of the problem, your IP and stop to any kind of tracing or tracking. BUT if you still fill out the personal information in order to take part on Facebook, Twitter or whatever you’re done. Computer crime is getting more and more advanced and criminals are no longer ‘ thugs’, strong and able to do you over with a single blow. No, computer crime is done by highly skilled people as it is no easy job.
As the revenues can be huge, this area gets more sophisticated time after time. Hacking Bitcoin, Banks,Companies and private computers (ransomware) is delivering billions of dollars.

So Governments are faced with new threats, as are people who can be victims of identity theft and can have their lives wrecked as there is no solution for this really. A new law (AVG and GDPR) is coming and implemented on 25th of May 2018.

AVG (EU) and GDPR law:

The General Data Protection Regulation  (GDPR) which is designed to enable individuals to better control their personal data. It is hoped that these modernised and unified rules will allow businesses to make the most of the opportunities of the Digital Single Market by reducing regulation and benefiting from reinforced consumer trust.

The Data Protection Directive: The police and criminal justice sectors will ensure that the data of victims, witnesses, and suspects of crimes, are duly protected in the context of a criminal investigation or a law enforcement action. At the same time more harmonised laws will also facilitate cross-border cooperation of police or prosecutors to combat crime and terrorism more effectively across Europe.

The GDPR was ratified mid 2016 and immediately became law. Member states now have a 2 year implementation period. Enforcement will commence by 25th May 2018 at the latest.

This document summarises the key components of the GDPR – it should be noted that this is only a simplified summary and that the full text (all 204 pages) contains much more detail.
( source: https://www.dataiq.co.uk/blog/summary-eu-general-data-protection-regulation)

 

 

So, as everyone else we needed to comply to these new rules and set ourselves searching for some or one great ‘plugin’ making our life easier, rather then opt for a website update. We tried the most mentioned and praised plugins but found
only a few really doing the job. Mind you, this also depends a bit on the websites functions. Do you have registered users or not, subscribers or live chat functions this all has impact on the scope you need to tackle.
But there’s one rule for all. We NEED to comply, being a private website owner or business!!  WeePie Cookie Allow plugin for WordPress is the best we’ve found so far. The best means, installable and usable for any website owner being novice or
skilled.

 

AUTOMATIC COOKIE BLOCKER PLUGIN for WORDPRESS

This cookie consent WordPress Plugin with a lot of styling options makes it possible to easily and fully comply with any cookie law:

  • EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • EU cookie law
  • UK cookie law
  • Dutch cookie law + Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming (AVG)
  • Italian cookie law
  • German cookie law
  • Etc.!

This plugin is more than a notification bar: it really can block cookies before consent !

AVG / GDPR required? YES! If you have an European website or a website directed to an European audience, a website visitor has to be informed about and give consent for placing certain privacy sensitive cookies on your website.
Depending on what you are doing with these cookies, this consent may be implied or must be explicit.

  1. Select your consent method (with or without possibility to decline cookies)
  2. Edit style elements (like colors, texts and sizes) to your needs

…and you’re ready to comply with the EU cookie law!

 

FEATURES

Compose your consent settings, edit some elements like the texts and colours of the cookie bar/box to your needs and you’re done! 

Style to your liking:

  • Colors
  • Texts
  • Choose between a bar or a box
  • Positions and sizes
  • Add a closing cross (X) to close the cookie notice / decline cookies
  • Shadow

Choose the cookie consent type

Choose between ‘implied’ (accept after click/scroll) and ‘explicit’ (accept after click the accept button) consent, with the following cookies before consent:

  • Necessary (functional)
  • Necessary and analytical
  • All

After consent all cookies will be placed. Or the possibility to decline cookies!

Fully automatic cookie blocking. Blocks 3rd party cookies automatically, like:

  • Social media cookies (e.g. Facebook and Twitter)
  • YouTube cookies
  • Advertisement cookies (e.g. Google AdSense)
  • Google Analytics cookies

Additional option to block all i-frames automatically

Full list of 3rd party applications blocked automatically or by choice  

Click here to enable/disable your thirdparties manually.

AddThis
AddToAny
Amazon adsystem
Bandcamp
Cloudflare
Disqus
Facebook
Google Maps
Google Adsense
Google Analytics
Google+
Google Tag Manager
Hupso Share Buttons
Instagram
JotForm
Leadpages
LikeBtn
LinkedIn
Matomo (Piwik)
Pinterest
Sharethis
Sharethis platform API
Slideshare
Soundcloud
Twitter
Vimeo
Vine
YouTube

Cookie Policy page linking:  Easily create a link to your Cookie Policy/Information page / post / custom post type / attachment (PDF) directly from the cookie bar.

Responsive design:  Fits different devices like: pc, laptop, tablet and smartphone.

Multisite ready:  Supports WordPress Multisite (WPMU). ATTENTION: You’ll need 1 license for each unique domain name.

Officially WPML Multilingual compatible:  Supports translation with the WPML Multilingual Plugin.

Placeholder for blocked cookie content:  Possibility to show a placeholder at the place where the cookie content is blocked.

Reconsider cookie consent:   Add a cookie reset button in your WordPress website (by a Shortcode)

Extra features!

  • Fully translatable (pot-file included)
  • Possibility to add custom CSS easily
  • Disable for logged in users
  • Minified JavaScripts
  • Based on our WeePie Framework

INSTRUCTIONS

Instruction guide WeePie Cookie Allow Plugin

 

USING EXPERIENCE & SUPPORT

This is the easiest part of this review. Using WeePie Cookie Allow plugin is a breeze !!  Installation is somewhat different to normal procedures however. Check and read the Instruction carefully as there are two separate folders to be installed (through WP-Dashboard or FTP) in order to create two folders in your public_html/xxxx/wp-content/plugins. This path may differ as we are running a multi-website and have a slightly different ‘tree’. These are essential for the plugin to work. Once done, the actual setup and styling is for dummies. Choose your consent type and other setup options and you’re on your way. Of course the Privacy Statement is something you need to make yourself. An internal link option to your Privacy.Stat. is available in the setup.

As the first given consent by users might be wanted revoked for any reason, a Reset Cookie Consent button is available through ‘shortcode’ and does a wonderful job.
For any site-owners running there websites from cached-servers you might want to adjust the cache settings as we experienced a long delay before actual choices were made visible. This has nothing to do with the script but all with your hosting companies cache setup.

Finally and very important is service provision by the developer. Which is really outstanding, no question about it. When you check the Automatic Cookies block/unblock list ( above), you may find your cookie is not listed.
The developer will if possible help you add your cookie with additional code. To place the code you need FTP access and change the functions.php in your domain/wp-content/themes/ !!  Not in the basic root if you run multisite . But in case you’re stuck, service is available.
This is one aspect of our great experience so far. So if you own a website and need to comply to AVG or GDRP don’t hesitate and order this plugin for $ 20.  This price beats any fine placed on you if you fail to comply.

 

 

iBOYSOFT DRIVE MANAGER review

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Version 2.8.6
Developer iBoysoft
Website https://iboysoft.com/mac-drive-manager

 

ABOUT iBOYSOFT

iBoysoft is a software company located in Chengdu, China. iBoysoft committes to research in the field of data security, has developed and released iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows, NTFS Assistant, iBoysoft Drive Manager and iBoysoft File Protector.

 

INSTALLATION & PURPOSE

Installation of this application is easy and needs no extra steps. iBoysoft Drive Manager is a handy application for connecting/mounting and unmount your external drives. You can unmount drives through System-Preferences, but not everybody wants to mess with system settings. Drive Manager will make your wishes come true with just a simple click to mount or unmount etc. No need to pull physical connectors and the risk of corrupting your drives. This is just a reliable tool making your life easier. Your physical drives all appear like Folders in your Finders interface. ( see below ).

This application will make it easier and safer to work with any external connection. The Preferences section has some great options like activity depending on the computer status ( sleep or not i.e ), and notifications.

 

 

PREFERENCES

FEATURES

  • Manage an external and/or network drives from the menu bar.
  • Eject and unmount drives without the need of physically removing the connector from your mac.
  • Mount/unmount all external drives in one easy click.
  • Connect/disconnect all network drives in one easy click.
  • Configure automatic ejection and remount of drives dependent on the status of the computer.
  • Configure auto notifications of the status of your drives i.e. unplugged safely, mounted.
  • Mount NTFS drive as a regular drive in read-only mode.
  • Remount USB storages.
  • Map a file share (FTP, SFTP) server storage as a local disk in the Finder, open remote files with any application and work like on a local volume.
  • Supported storage devices-External hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, CF card, MicroSD, SDHC, memory card, memory stick, micro card ( Encrypted drive is not supported by iBoysoft Drive Manager).

  • System Requirements-Supported OS: macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), 10.12 (Sierra‎) and Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.7 (Lion)

 

For me there is one real issue with iBoysoft Drive Manager. It doesn’t store/save your external drives passwords. So when your drives are password protected, you will not be able to mount the drives !! Only the default Mac prompt will ask you to enter your password in order to unlock the drive. So at system start or reboot, you will always have to fill the password(s) yourself. When running your Mac, it works flawless mounting/unmounting. No probs at all.

VERDICT

We found this software easy to configure and use. The preferences section has some nice features for setting up the way we want our drives to be mounted depending on your computer status. A clean menu-bar add-on, adds to the feel and use of iBoysoft Drive Manager. Furthermore, being able to mount/connect or unmount/disconnect all drives in one mouse click is perfect. Check out the trial version if you are interested in this helpful utility. We like it, it works flawlessly.