NordVPN is creating NordVPN Teams

 

NordVPN is creating NordVPN Teams – a VPN solution for businesses

 

NordVPN is introducing a new VPN solution for businesses, freelancers, and teams

 

September 10, 2019. NordVPN, one of the most advanced VPN services in the world, is creating a new VPN solution dedicated to business clients. NordVPN Teamswill have a full range of features to ensure advanced digital protection and convenience for small and medium businesses, remote teams, and freelancers.

 

“Even though NordVPN is recognized and awarded as one of the best VPN services, initially it was created for personal needs. However, the number of our business clients is growing every day, and we wanted to create a product that can better meet their needs and expectations. That’s how NordVPN Teams was born,” says Marty P. Kamden, CMO at NordVPN.

 

According to NordVPN’s CMO, the company already has almost 15,000 business users worldwide. Most of them are small and medium businesses, NGOs, and remote teams working for big corporations.

 

With the new business VPN solution, NordVPN keeps its well known easy-to-use approach. One of the key benefits of NordVPN Teams will be effective access management. Through a convenient control panel, business clients will be able to add team members, create user groups, manage team permissions, select default servers for teams, assign dedicated gateways, and more.

 

NordVPN Teams will keep some of the best NordVPN’s features, including 256-bit military-grade encryption, Kill Switch, CyberSec, automatic connection on Wi-Fi networks, and award-winning 24/7 customer support with a dedicated manager. NordVPN Teams will be available on all major platforms.

 

At the moment, NordVPN Teams is going through the closed beta stage. The first public version is expected to launch later this year. Signup for early access is now available on NordVPN Teams’ official website: https://nordvpnteams.com/early-access.

 

NordVPN is a trusted online privacy and security solution, used by over 12 million internet users worldwide. It offers military-grade encryption with advanced privacy features and is recognized by the most influential tech sites and IT security specialists.

 

NordVPN is moving with confidence towards becoming an all-around cybersecurity solution. Earlier this year, the VPN service provider announced two new tools: NordPass,a new-generation password manager, and NordLocker, a powerful file encryption tool. Business clients will be able to acquire all these products as a bundle.

 

ABOUT NORDVPN

NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider, used by over 12 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is zero-log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.

 

 

iPhone 11 news and leaks

New iPhone 11 news and model leaks

  • The iPhone 11 will launch on September 10 and hit stores possibly on September 20
  • It will be the first iPhone to run iOS 13 out of the box
  • It’ll likely be the first iPhone to boast a triple-camera setup on the rear
  • Apple’s new A13 chipset will power it
  • It could potentially host the largest battery of any iPhone to date
  • It could launch alongside an iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max – so there’ll be three models altogether
  • 5G connectivity is unlikely to feature on any of this year’s iPhones

 

The iPhone 11 media launch is a expected September 10 2019. Not sure what to expect in terms of big improvements yet, only a better focus on the camera’s picture qualities and lenses. As for the design iPhone 11 will not dramatically change to the present Apple mobiles XR and XS.

So if you’re hoping for a true-upgraded handset, then you’re probably going to be disappointed. The front of the new iPhone 11 will remain the same as XR and XS versions, as only the back of the iPhone 11 will prove to be different as it may stock 3 lenses in a square layout.

What we’re not expecting this year: 5G in the new iPhone, all information present is no mentioning of 5G in iPhone 11 release 2019. The implementation of 5G is expected in 2020.

What we do expect this year:the new iPhones will run iOS 13, which we hope contains no more reported bugs

What will it cost? A fair question Apple being the most expensive mobile on the market. Pricing should not exceed last year’s iPhone XS ad Apple faces a 16% drop in mobile sales. Making iPhone 11 more expensive would not be a good marketing strategy.

The main change will be a major camera upgrade and we now fully expect three sensors on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max, and just two on the iPhone 11R – but with enhanced capabilities.

 

Bloomberg points to Apple adding an ultra-wide-angle lens, which has been done before, but the iPhone 11 Pro would go further than the competition by taking a photo using all three of its lenses at once. Even better, AI would automatically correct the photo if, say, someone were cut off.
To me the most important feature of an Apple mobile is its camera quality. Images are good and provide enough details, but improvement is always my top priority for using a new model.

 

The Latest iPhone 11 Rumors
The new iPhone 11 models will be landing in purple and green shades/colors in addition to the present colors and some models might have a subtle ‘rainbow’ finish. To me the colors of the new iPhone 11 are not important enough for any decision making for buying or skipping this version 11.
You may feel different about this, but I never use my iPhone X without a nice leather cover. A cover conceals the actual beauty of an iPhone but just dropping it once will make you think again as repair prices are huge for iPhones.

 

iPhone 11 display: 

So what will the iPhone 11 display look like? Well, the smart 5.8-inch display will remain with the same resolution, with the bezels maybe slightly shrinking, but no drastic changes here we think. According to 9to5Mac, this is known internally as ‘leap haptics’ and the source code of iOS 13 hints at Haptic Touch, which would replace the smart 3D Touch menus that pop up. The iPhone 11 Max screen, is suggested at 6.5 inches, larger screens might be available in 2020.

The leaks also suggest Apple will stick with an OLED display for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max, with the same LCD screen for the new 11R, which would help preserve battery life. So displays will not change drastically on the new iPhone 11 models. Apple’s sizable notch will remain on the new iPhone handsets, which is essential for housing the various sensors and camera used for Face ID.

New iPhone 11

Touch ID- fingerprint  is something the will be implemented again with iOS 13 along with facial recognition. This to be a double safety feature for your mobile, still it is not expected to be present right now but at a later point in 2020.

New iPhone 11 battery and features

The iPhone 11 battery always is a source of much debate, as it needs to keep its juice all day long. The good news is that a couple of tricks might helps battery life along for the new iPhone in 2019. The new iPhone 11 is expected to have a 25% larger battery then iPhone XS, which should provide
more lasting power. Connections are not changing, so no news for a different approach to lightning or USB-3 connectivity.

iPhone 11 will pack a 3,200mAh battery (up from 2,658mAh), the iPhone 11 Max will get 3,500mAh (up from 3,174mAh), and the iPhone 11R will get 3,000mAh (up from 2,942mAh of the iPhone XR)

What about some other smaller features? Well, another possible upgrade is that, according to one source at least, Face ID will be improved for the new iPhone 11 range, allowing it to work from wider angles.

As for power, Apple always introduces a new chipset with its new iPhone launches, and the A13 chip is being touted for the iPhone 11, with analysts claiming a manufacturer is lined up to produce the chip.

In terms of storage, the range will offer 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, while another source points to 64GB, 256GB and 512GB.

PhoneiPhone 11iPhone 11 Pro
Screen Size (Resolution)6.1-inch LCD (1,792 x 828)5.8-inch OLED (2436 x 1125)
CPUA13A13
RAM4GB6GB
Storage64GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB

 

iOS 13 looks

https://www.apple.com/in/ios/ios-13-preview/

 

JOYOSHARE MEDIA CUTTER review

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Version 3.2.0
Developer Joyoshare
Website https://www.joyoshare.com/

 

ABOUT JOYOSHARE

Joyoshare, as an industry-leading multimedia software developer in the world, is mainly focused on providing professional and ultimate video and audio solutions to customers worldwide. Despite of the awards and reputation we already obtained in video converting market, Joyoshare will always keep up the good work to develop new programs and applications for a growing number of platforms all the time. Until now, millions of satisfied customers from more than 100 countries over the world have been served by Joyoshare products and services. And the number of active users is fast growing every single day.

 

INSTALLATION 

Installation of this application requires no extra files or reboot. Its all simple and straightforward! You probably are into video and media as this application is able to Cut, Edit and Merge video and audio files. Moreover, it is also a lossless video joiner that can merge multiple footages from the same source into a new file with 100% original quality at a fast speed. These features and easy use should provide a nice clean tool for doing all these jobs with no extra skills needed.

 

MAIN FEATURES

Cut Videos/Audios with Zero Quality Loss ! Are you fed up with titles of a film or ads in some videos and really want to remove those unwanted segments? Joyoshare Media Cutter is a good choice for you to crop unwanted scenes and keep exciting film footages. It can trim all popular video and audio files, including HD videos, web videos, general videos and audios, etc. It also enables you to export videos onto various fashionable devices, such as Apple, Samsung, game consoles, smart TV, etc. 

Video cutting is mentioned to be 60x faster than others. It might be in special circumstances, but usually I am happy with just fast and take any made statement for granted ( as their claim doesn’t mention a comparisation source ).

INTERFACE

A good and clean interface always make my day as aesthetics appeal to me and provide me with a feeling of quality expected. Joyoshare Media Cutter is not my top choice in terms of interface as it feels a bit outdated to be honest. All functions however are easily found and work really well and run smooth without any system impact noticeable.

 

Supported file formats and codecs are numerous really. Encoding mode provides lots of presets made available for mobile phones and audio codecs. The presets cover most common formats/codecs available at todays market. There should always be a useful format for any user advanced or novice.

 

 

Merge Video and Audio Files to Multiple Common Formats

 

 

Merge Video files only works for files/fragments of the same video file ! A shame really as you are limited in this area not being able to merge two different video files. The next update should make this possible to make it more compatible to video editing. Joyoshare does mention this on their website as stated below.

 

This is not only a smart video cutter but also a professional video joiner, because it can merge multiple video and audio clips from the ‘same source video’ with a few clicks only. When you join videos or audios, there are two methods to set output format, including the high-speed mode and encoding mode. If you choose the first mode, you can get the videos/audios quickly with 100% original quality. While you select the encoding mode, you can customize the videos and audios according to your needs.

 

SUPPORTED FORMATS and CODECS

 

VERDICT

Joyoshare Media Cutter is a nice and easy to use media cutter for any person looking for a editing tool. Its system impact is very low, which is good and formats/codecs are plenty. It does however restrict you to editing only the same source file and not different source files. Its interface will show you all available features easily as this application doesn’t take time to get used too. It’s price should help you make up your mind as it only costs $29.95 which is good.

VeePN VPN for Mac review

 

Version 1.16
Developer VeePN , Panama
Website https://veepn.com

 

 

ABOUT VEEPN

VeePN is a new player in the growing list of VPN providers. No information about the company itself is found on the internet, only that it’s based in Panama. It claims to have 2500+ servers in about 50 locations.
Well I’ll take their statement for granted really, and checking their locations list, it seems fair to say that most people will benefit from any server location.

  • Europe 1168 VPN Servers
  • The Americas 1153 VPN Servers
  • Asia Pacific 226 VPN Servers
  • Africa, the Middle East and India 102 VPN Servers

SUPPORTED DEVICES

VeePN offers apps for all OS platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. It can also be used with Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers through its extensions!

WHY USE a VPN

Having a VPN connection available is nowadays a ‘must’ for every internet user, as your exposed IP might be a real risk.

  1. The ISP’s job isn’t limited to providing you just an internet connection. No, it is being regulated by governments and, compelled to monitor the online activities of its users.
    VPNs prevent this uninvited surveillance by helping you change your IP. It also encrypts the data, making it impossible for anyone to track your browsing and data.
  2. About encryption; VPN’s make a perfect tool to guard your data against digital threats like identity-theft, malware attack, Wi-Fi hacking attempts, etc.
  3. This powerful combination of encryption and anonymity is a must-have for any internet user. With a VPN-enabled device, you can hide your IP as well as the Internet activities from the local government.
  4. VPN services play a significant role in offering uninterrupted access to their users.  VPN’s eliminate all blocking and security problems, enabling users to access anything from anywhere anonymously.

PRIVACY STATEMENT of VEEPN

VeePN is committed to protecting your privacy. We want you to understand what information we collect, what we don’t collect, and how we collect, use, and store information. We do not collect logs of your activity, including no logging of browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries. We also never store connection logs, meaning no logs of your IP address, your outgoing VPN IP address, connection timestamp, or session duration.

The company operates under Panama’s jurisdiction, which makes it a very safe and secure provider. Being based in Panama it means that your online activity is safe, neither has the company ever provided user information to any agency or government institutions.

VeePN is to protect you! Here’s what they do to make sure that you are staying on the safe side of the Internet:

  • Cover your IP and other technical information. When you are using VeePN, your personal IP and location information are invisible. We are happy to defend users all over the world from malicious cyber attacks. We plan to do it forever – and many users are actually choosing a lifetime VeePN subscription!
  • Shield your identity by protecting your online activity. Do whatever you want, we got you covered! You do not have to worry about ad agencies finding out you need a new phone, or hackers cracking your password when you are browsing from the shielded online fort created by VeePN.
  • Make sure all the devices you use are secure. There is no point in protecting one of your gadgets and using all the others as is. VeePN is suitable for most of the existing platforms, and we are working on adding more.

 

NO LOG POLICY

VeePN’s Privacy Policy describes the ways in which they collect, use and disclose personal information provided by the users of our services. No Logs policy means they don’t collect or store information about their users in any shape or form. This also implies that your data can’t be transferred to third parties or hijacked.

Logs Privacy Policy

We do not collect any of the following:

  • Your browsing history
  • The information you downloaded and shared
  • Your primary IP address and the IP given by our server
  • DNS queries
  • Your device’s metadata

We truly respect your privacy. This is why we made a commitment to:

  • Thoroughly encrypt your connection
  • Never read and tie traffic to a specific user
  • Never store sensitive data
  • Never share the data with third parties

The above is their official statement which we feel ticks all our boxes.

 

PROTOCOLS SUPPORTED

  1. OpenVPN and
  2. IKEv2
  3. Smart VeePN TCP
  4. Smart VeePN UDP.

OpenVPN is the best option for your VPN connection !  We recommend the OpenVPN protocol as it’s the safest of the lot.

OpenVPN relies on TCP and UDP protocols. TCP is more reliable, but slower, while UDP is faster but less reliable than TCP.

DNS LEAK Prevention

We carried out a DNS leak test to ensure that this VPN is secure enough for activities like Torrenting or those requiring general anonymity. It turned out to be safe as we recorded no leaks at all. Marked Safe, Definitely!

The company also has packed in a public Wi-Fi option, which will protect you when you are out there using an unprotected Wi-Fi in a mall or a coffee shop. If you think this feature is not worth much, just go to google and check out some recent Man-in-the-Middle-Attacks and you’ll understand what this feature brings to your security coterie.

 

We found no DNS leak, but still it would be better to have a DNS LEAK option available in its interface.

 

APPLICATION & INTERFACE

The application is simple, beautiful and easy to use. It provides nearly all wanted features as we feel we only miss the DNS Leak button on the security tab. The protocols are all there as is the ‘preferred’ protocol setting, which we advise to stay on Open VPN always.

Automatic Configuration  Automatic Configuration

        The app autonomously determines the best configuration, no manual setting “how to use VPN on Mac” required.

Kill Switch  VPN Kill Switch

       Our app cuts the internet connection altogether if the VPN tunnel fails, so your data remains protected.

Servers  Customize the App for Your Convenience

       Use the cutting edge of the VPN technology. Choose protocols as OpenVPN, IKEv2, Smart UDP, and Smart TCP.

So the application itself functions really well as do the connections made by choice. All tested connections work stable and with our errors. Stability and speed are the only things in which you have no say. Well a little by selecting a less secure protocol which may benefit.

So we now test the speed of the chosen internet connection/sever. As with any available VPN, we will always see a decrease in speed as our data gets encrypted which will influence its final speed outcome. And it’s obvious that the best speed is delivered from nearest servers. The ‘ping’ time will show your initial distance from the nearest server. Anything below 10ms is good, and connected servers on the other side of the ocean will show a considerable higher ping-time and as a result slower speeds. Testing VeePN to numerous servers do show a constant change in data speed also due to your Mac’s Wi-Fi connection or even cable connection. It just varies somewhat at any new login to a server. This is not a VeePN problem but an overall issue with all VPN’s and servers.

The impact on download speed is acceptable as is the speed on upload decreases too. However we face this decrease on any VPN used really. Just to illustrate the speed drop when we connect to a USA server which is the furthest server from us we drop from:

Download 210 – 30 Mbps and Upload 162 – 60 Mbps. regardless of VPN provider used. It just puts speed in perspective we hope.

SETUP VISCOSITY WITH OPENVPN FILES

So, we’ve got a nice looking application with some limited options and settings. You might want ( we do ! ) to make use of a third party application like Viscosity which offers tons of settings. We contacted support and they created a OpenVPN files set for us to import in Viscosity. This way we overcome the limitations of the VeePN application and have full control over any setting. This all works flawless, and we only had a struggle finding out which IP belonged to which country. It would be best if support created an ‘IP name-list’ instead of tcp 2 and udp 2. Still after sorting out the IP’s, all works really well. The UDP connections should provide some better speed and TCP some better protection. Still this is an option for anyone needing more control over an application. The OpenVPN files are not found on their website but created by support.

VERDICT

VeePN, is a real stable and minimalistic application. It supports most usual features found on VPN’s, like OpenVPN protocol and security like Kill-switch. Connections are absolutely stable and overall speed depends on server used. Their privacy policy, suggests no logs and no data collection. The 2500 servers worldwide should provide a good server for anybody. VeePN uses AES 256-bit encryption to hide your location and safeguard your personal data. Panama based organisation should provide log safety. Pricing is fair and their best offer is cheap. Check their website and try their application for 24h free use.

 

TUNESKIT SPOTIFY MUSIC Converter review

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Version 1.5.3
Developer Tuneskit
Website https://www.tuneskit.com

 

ABOUT TUNESKIT

TunesKit is a world-leading software developer dedicated to providing ultimate iTunes DRM removal solutions to customers all over the world with advanced technology and high-quality customer support.

At present, TunesKit is proud to be equipped with a professional R&D team, rigorous testing process and prompt online help system. In the future, TunesKit will spare no effort to improve the product performance as well as customer service.

 

INSTALLATION TUNESKIT

Installation of TunesKit is without any problems when you’re happy with ‘one’ speed DRM conversion. If however you wish to take advantage of the supposed to support ‘five speed’ conversion, there is some additional
steps necessary! The additional steps, do however have impact on your Mac systems build in security ‘SIP’. I, didn’t find any increase of speed performance after having set the SIP. I contacted support, but didn’t get any response to my question about 5 speed support for Mac. The Windows version clearly has an option for 5 speed, which is not found on the Mac version.

WHAT IS DRM PROTECTION

Digital Rights Management or DRM is a scheme that controls access to copyrighted material using technological means. It may refer to the usage of proprietary software, hardware, or any type of content: music tracks, video files, ebooks, games, DVD movies, emails, documents, etc. DRM is all about copyright protection.

DO WE NEED DRM CONVERSION

Every Spotify user who wishes to play their downloaded songs on an external/stand alone disk, will face the problem of non playing songs. The reason is the DRM copyright protection! Now, protection rings a bell and makes me wonder if it’s legal to use a conversion all to together. Not being a lawyer, I just Googled and found this statement mentioned at several sites.
:→ It’s legal if you purchased the music or video. However, this is only suitable for personal usage. … It can also remove DRM from Digital Copies It supports removing DRM in Authorized DRMmedia files, including WMV, M4V and Digital Copy movies and convert DRM videos and audio files to different devices and players.

So, for private use, you’re ok running TunesKit, however you are not the technical owner of the downloaded song. I wonder about legality really, but still understand that’s impossible for anyone to check.

 

 

MAKE USE OF 5 SPEED CONVERSION

 

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 )

Tip How to enable System Integrity Protection (SIP) again?

To secure your computer, we suggest you enable SIP again if you don’t use NoteBurner to convert. Please quit NoteBurner, then boot into the Recovery OS.

In the window that opens, type csrutil clear and press return. Now type reboot and press return to restart your machine.

 

INTERFACE TUNESKIT

TunesKit interface is dead simple, and absolutely easy to use for anyone. When launching the TunesKit application, Spotify is activated at the same time. After having saved your desired songs on Spotify, you may now drag the selection in the TunesKit application and release. Now hit the Convert button and you’re all set and done.

PREFERENCES TUNESKIT

TunesKit has limited settings available as does any conversion tool. Just set the desired output formats and quality, and you’re set.

Pros:

  • 1. Download and convert Spotify music to MP3 offline;
  • 2. Keep 100% lossless music quality after conversion;
  • 3. Support 5X super faster speed and customization.

SOUND QUALITY

DRM conversion to any supported format, sounds really well as aspected. As sound it is important that the tool will crack any file supplied, and it does work without any fails. I tried note burner which is a good tool swell, but I encountered a conversion fail sometimes. TunesKit however never missed a track. Conversion speed was about the same as NoteBurner. Not easy to see differences when converting 20 songs, as system loads may differ when switching applications.

VERDICT

TunesKit Spotify Converter for Mac is definitely a great conversion tool. Is it better then the competition? Well, we found it worked 100% and never skipped a track. As all these applications are fairly simple in interface and settings it may came down too pricing for you. We can give TunesKit a full 5 star recommendation as it does a great job. Did we find any flaws in this application? Well, not really ..apart from the 5 speed selection difference in Windows and Mac version, which is still a mystery for me.

 

BUY $ 29.95

SURFSHARK VPN review

 

Version 1.1.1 (141)
Developer Surfshark Ltd.
Website https://surfshark.com

 

ABOUT SURFSHARK

Surfshark is a new player on the VPN scene , and its start looks promising when checking reviews of well known VPN specialised websites. This review of Surfshark ONLY deals with its Mac application as we only review Mac related applications and programs. Safety is a main concern when dealing with VPN’s as you need to be sure your privacy is guaranteed by the provider, well since they’re based in the British Virgin Islands they aren’t obliged to keep any logs! Price-wise Surfshark is giving some huge discounts right now, probably to set itself in this market and attracts new users looking for a good VPN provider. We’ve been testing out Surfshark to see how it performs and checked its connections, safety and service.

WHY USE VPN

To make your search for the best VPN provider a little easier, I will try to sum up some issues related to normal internet use and explain their importance  in relation to your safety.
First of all you don’t need to be doing illegal stuff on the internet to make you want a VPN, as ordinary users have an even greater risk surfing the internet as they are not always aware of the tricks being used to steal information.
If you’re using Wi-Fi which you probably will, you’re more exposed to the outside world then when using cable-network. Reading a simple online-newspaper which shows you advertisements between the lines always establishes a connection with your IP-address just in order to show the images. Reading your emails which many times include images and links transfer your IP-adress to external servers filtering your behavior. To make it simple YOU’RE EXPOSED to the world. For all doing the wrong-illegal stuff on internet like downloading films and music there’s a simple warning. Stop doing what you do..or get fined …or get a VPN to make yourself invisible to the outside world.

Being invisible, is what all VPN providers claim, but are you really safe and protected ? No way…check :

Any VPN which has its base location in the USA is not fully safe proof. They have to deal with severe law regulations regarding logging of users and there internet use. So the first thing you need is a provider NOT LOGGING any IP or online activity! Simple and safe.

SURFSHARK VPN PREFS

Surfshark VPN for Mac doesn’t need any installation tricks or additional settings ( its windows application is different to Mac ). Just drag the application in your applications folder and you’re set to go. The preferences are limited and do not show any protocols to choose from, just a kill switch ( which you should use! ), and some minor settings. Its really simple to use, as you only need to pick your desired country-server from the list OR choose any Multihop server available.

 

MAIN FEATURES SURFSHARK VPN 

500+ online servers in 50 countries

Simplicity: Everything’s robust on the inside but as simple to use as turning on WiFi.
Unlimited devices: One account for you and your whole family.
Diamond-strong protection: We guard your personal data using industry-leading encryption.
Kill Switch: Our safety net in case your connection is compromised, so your activities and sensitive data are never exposed.
MultiHop: The best way to hide your online activity with a double VPN chain.
CleanWeb™No ads, no trackers, no malware. Enhanced browsing experience for your peace of mind.
Friendly Support: Our eager-to-help team is here for you 24/7.
Strict no logs policy: Based in the British Virgin Islands – we don’t monitor, track or store your online activity.
Privacy over public WiFi: Stay safe while traveling or dining out in the city.
IP masking: Surfshark masks your IP address, so it’s impossible to link it to your online activity via IP detection.
Zero-knowledge DNS: Private DNS on every server leaves no cracks for potential security breaches.

 

HOW VPN WORKS

A VPN protects your privacy by creating a secure “tunnel” across the Internet between you and your Internet destination. This tunnel is created by first authenticating your client–a PC, tablet, or smartphone–with a VPN server. The server, which you can run yourself with programs such as OpenVPN, then uses one of several encryption protocols to make sure that everything sent between you and websites and Internet services can’t be monitored. It does this by creating an encrypted tunnel, which is like putting a package into a box and then sending it to someone. Nobody can see what it’s inside the box until it’s opened/decrypted.

An encrypted VPN tunnel – image credit: Check Point Software.

These VPN protocols run as a lightweight server program. VPN providers run multiple VPN servers on virtual machines (VMs) or containers. This enables them to serve tens of thousands of clients from their data centers without spending a fortune on servers. You normally can’t choose which protocol to use within the VPN software itself, but you can certainly choose a VPN that offers one of the more secure protocols.

VPNs cannot make online connections completely anonymous, but they can usually increase privacy and security. To prevent disclosure of private information, VPNs typically allow only authenticated remote access using tunneling protocols and encryption techniques.

The VPN security model provides:

Secure VPN protocols include the following:

Tunnel endpoints must be authenticated before secure VPN tunnels can be established. User-created remote-access VPNs may use passwords, biometrics, two-factor authentication or other cryptographic methods. Network-to-network tunnels often use passwords or digital certificates. They permanently store the key to allow the tunnel to establish automatically, without intervention from the administrator. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_network)

 

SURFSHARK VPN in USE

 

Having a closer look at its interface I was wondering which protocol was active when a connection was made. I expected to be informed somewhere in the menubar or whichever. Nothing found just that best connections are made based on the connected server. Strange and not good, if you seek best safety on the internet but unaware of its running protocol. So this was a good opportunity to test Surfsharks online chat function for its knowledge and response time.
Well I must say, service is well handled and response was fast. I was talking with Anna, and she gave me the following answer about protocols used by different operating-systems:
  • Anna
  • Windows uses all of the mentioned protocols.
  • As for the other OS – it’s currently IKEv2 only, so Mac runs IKEv2.
So, good to know that Surfshark ONLY uses IKEv2 on our Mac’s which is good as it is with Open VPN the best solution in terms of safety.
If you wish to use OpenVPN or are in doubt about the protocol used, you can setup your own connection-protocols without too much hassle. You need to follow the steps mentioned on this page https://account.surfshark.com/setup/manual

to download a certificate and Surfshark OpenVPN config files. This way you create your own VPN connection in your system preferences and provides you some extra connection protocols to choose from.

SURFSHARK VPN, comes with some extra features not encountered on any other VPN providers list. There will be some I guess, but haven’t tested all available providers. One new feature is CleanWeb™, which protects privacy, blocks malware, trackers and ads while surfing the internet. Great but will also sometimes block a wanted connection, however most of the time it worked really well.

SURFSHARK VPN MULTI-HOP, A double VPN feature, when in use, tunnels your traffic via two VPN servers. MULTI-HOP adds an extra layer of protection for the extra privacy-conscious user, although it will slow down internet traffic. Surfshark uses traffic obfuscation on OpenVPN traffic to help cloak your VPN connection and enable you to bypass restrictions on VPN usage.

 

STABILITY and SPEED of CONNECTION
This is only to be discussed based on my own experience over some days of use, and servers chosen in The Netherlands as they provide highest speeds for us. The stability was really almost perfect I must say, a connection was never dropped and our computers run 24/7, so very satisfied about stability.
Speed is a different matter for any server location I guess, we run on glasfiber connections and other countries may have different signal transmissions. Our connection speed was fantastic really not much lower than possible for us.

ENCRYPTION USED

Surfshark VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, which is the highest encryption available this is in conjunction with an SHA512 authentication hash and 2048-bit DHE-RSA key exchange. So you need not worry about your safety and privacy.

There are two protocol options: OpenVPN and IKEv2.

 

LEAK PROTECTION

Surfshark took some good measures and DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection are built in. Surfshark uses private DNS servers instead of public ones, so you’re covered for tracking your DNS requests.

Check your connection:

VERDICT

Surfshark VPN is a great performer all the way. Safety is guaranteed as is your privacy. Data and connections are unlimited, P2P is allowed, and they serve a no-logs policy. Its Mac application is somewhat limited in choices but provides a kill switch, and (not visible)DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection. Additional features are CleanWebTM, WhitelisterTM, multihop servers, and traffic obfuscation. Speed and stability are really great ( well the ones we checked, ut this may vary ) and the ease of use makes this product a true great and new contender in a crowded market. Its pricing and service are among the best around, so if you’re in for a VPN, check out Surfshark.

$ 1.99

 


 

MOUNTAIN DUCK 3.0.1 review

 

ABOUT MOUNTAIN DUCK

Developer is iterate GmbH an agile software engineering company specialised in mobile security and provides first-hand cloud expertise. They built Cyberduck and Qloudstat  and Mountain Duck.

Mountain Duck lets you mount any remote FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3 & OpenStack Swift server storage as a local disk in the Finder.app on Mac and the File Explorer on Windows. Open remote files with any application and work like on a local volume. Transfer files using Finder to remote servers, fast. View all files on your remote storage regardless if synced to your computer. Files are synchronized to your local disk when opened to allow offline usage.

Mountain Duck runs in the status bar (Mac) and taskbar (Windows). When opening the application you can choose to automatically open Mountain Duck when logging in. Re-opening the application will open previously mounted volumes.

 

INTERFACE

Mountain Duck 3, is not a standalone application, but an application nested in our systems Finder and the menu-bar providing an overview of connected services and their status. Its present in the Finders bar and shows any connection as a ‘map’ nested in Finder. This makes it as easy as if it was a ‘local’ map on your computer. The integration part is described in ‘Finder Extension‘ section of this review!  Interface is responsive and works like a charm. 

MENU-BAR & SYNC

The sync option really works well. There is no need to drag or initiate a file transfer when the ‘Smart Synchronisation’ is activated in the preferences. It provides full overview of connections running or not. 
Live connections are ‘green’ and yellow when sync is not running. Color ‘Red’ when connection is not available. So a good visible state of any connection/bookmark created.

Version 3 adds a smart synchronization feature to add offline support. Files are synchronized to the local disk when opened to allow offline usage and changes are uploaded in the background as soon as a connection is available. Dropbox like experience with your preferred on-premise enterprise storage or cloud storage. With the additional option to choose which files and folders are available for offline use.
Other files are visible but only stored as placeholders. These do not take up disk space on the computer and are downloaded on demand only. 

 

 

PREFERENCES

 

Changes Mountain Duck version 3

  • Feature Local cache of remote storage to work with when offline
  • Feature Explicitly select files or folders to be available offline using context menu
  • Feature Automatically add files to local cache for offline access when opened
  • Feature Immediate save of files in local cache with upload to remote storage in background
  • Feature Badge icons on files and folders with sync status
  • Feature Pulsating icon in status bar indicates background sync in progress
  • Feature Menu item to manually pause and resume background sync
  • Feature Option to enable background indexer to allow browsing folders when offline
  • Feature Custom disk icons for mounted volumes in Finder (macOS)
  • Feature Custom disk icons for mounted volumes in File Explorer (Windows)
  • Feature Use toast notifications (Windows)
  • Feature Allow password input in bookmark window
  • Feature Create download authorization for files to share (Backblaze B2)
  • Feature Make a file public and copy URL to share (Google Drive)
  • Feature Create temporary link (4 hours) for file to share (Dropbox)
  • Feature Create shared link for file (Microsoft OneDrive)

 

CONNECTIONS SUPORTED

 

This is the full list of supported connections ranging from FTP to Local Filesystem.

Compared to the competition it does offer more features which are not visible but implemented by the
developer.

The Mac’s Finder performs a growing number of functions quite well. What the Finder does not do really well is connect to remote files servers and other computers.
For that, most Mac users have, for decades, used FTP, sFTP, and other file transfer utilities to move files from here to there and back. For FTP I prefer Transmit application to be honest, but for any other connection Mountain Duck integrates really well in our Mac’s.

It’s not so much an application , but a integrated connection interface. Its use and features however beat other applications in usefulness and visible status. One great aspect is supported encryption of your precious files.

One important factor for any FTP utility is its stability. Anyone running websites and uses FTP connections understands the importance of stable connections. Any ‘freezing’ or ‘hiccups’ may
have direct impact on your websites presence. Mountain Duck 3 is definitely stable and running smooth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO USE MOUNTAIN DUCK

This section is a copy of the developers website and offers all steps needed for procedures available.

BOOKMARKS

Choose New Bookmark… to add a new bookmark or <Bookmark> → Edit Bookmark to change properties.

SHARE BOOKMARKS with CYBERDUCK

Bookmarks are shared between Cyberduck (Version 4.7.3 or later) and Mountain Duck.

CONNECT

Choose <Bookmark> → Connect to mount the server as a volume in the Finder.app or the File Explorer on Windows. You can connect to multiple servers and have several volumes mounted. All operations on the remote files and folders can then be performed like on local files.

MOUNT LOCATION

Volumes are mounted in a shared group container in your user library folder. You can navigate to the volume from the shortcut listed in the Finder.app sidebar in Favorites. To navigate there from Terminal.app you might want to create a symbolic link in your home folder with ln -s ~/Library/Group\ Containers/G69SCX94XU.duck/Library/Application\ Support/duck/Volumes/ ~/Volumes.

Tip. You can just select the menu item with the bookmark name to connect, too. If you are already connected, selecting the menu item will reveal the volume in Finder.app.

MOUNT AS READ ONLY VOLUME

Select Mount Options: Read Only in the bookmark to mount the volume as read-only and disallow any write operations on the remote disk.

RECONNECT AFTER RESTART COMPUTER

If you choose Enable Login Item and Save Workspace in Preferences → General and do not manually eject the volume prior reboot it will reconnect after login.

DISCONNECT

Choose <Bookmark> → Connect to unmount a volume. Alternatively eject the volume in Finder.app or File Explorer.

  • On macOS, choose with File → Eject for the selected volume or control click to choose Eject.
  • On Windows, in File Explorer in “This PC” view or the sidebar on the left of the File Explorer window, open the context menu for your mounted drive and select Disconnect.

COPING FILES

Use the native features of the file explorer to move and copy files.

SMART SYNCHRONISATION

The smart sync feature allows to make files available offline. Preliminary information for upcoming Mountain Duck 3. You can update to the public beta by switching to Beta in the Update tab in Preferences. Read more.

CLIENT SIDE ENCRYPTION

Support for client side encryption with ​Cryptomator interoperable vaults. Read more.

 

FINDER EXTENSION ←

Requires macOS 10.11 or later.

Enable the Mountain Duck Finder Extension in System Preferences → Extensions → Finder by selecting the checkbox. This will enable

  • Context menu items for files selected on a mounted volume with options to Reload the folder listing and copy & open URLs of files.
  • Badges on file icons to display sync status when _Smart Synchronization_ is enabled for the bookmark.

RELOAD

Changes from server not immediately visible. The directory listing in Finder.app may become out of date when another applications is adding, removing or modifying files on the server. Choose Reload in Finder from the bookmark menu item or Reload from the ​Finder Extension menu. On Windows, you can force File Explorer to refresh the directory listing with F5.

COPY & OPEN URLs of Files

Right click files on a mounted drive will open a menu with items to copy & open URLs of files. This will include the Origin URL, HTTP URLs, CDN and temporary URLs if available.

ADD BOOKMARK

Right click to add a bookmark for the selected path.

 

OPEN IN TERMINAL

Right click on a folder and choose Open in Terminal to open a SSH connection to the server in Terminal for SFTP bookmarks. This feature is not supported in the version available in the Mac App Store.

 

VERDICT

Having tested several remote storage connectors like Cloudmounter, Expandrive and Transmit, I do mention that for FTP connections running websites I prefer Transmit. As for any other remote connection, Mountain Duck 3 works really well and very stable. In terms of available features Mountain Duck 3 offers the best features possible, and for supported connections Mountain Duck 3, is a true winner. The editing and adding of an external server is easiest in Mountain Duck 3 which bookmark interface is superior to other applications . So check any application and make your choice, Mountain Duck 3 is somewhat cheaper and offers more features and stability than any competitor. The ‘Sync’ feature is fantastic and keeps your data in sync at no cost or effort. We at Macsoftreview.com have this application running on our systems as default. Great stuff, check it out !

$ 39.00

 


 

 

IMYFONE FIXPPO review

 

Version 7.2.0
Developer  iMyFone
Website https://www.imyfone.com/ios-system-recovery/

 

ABOUT IMYFONE FIXPPO

Though IOS is a fantastic piece of programming and absolutely stable and safe, millions of iPhone and iPad users perform their IOS updates in order to keep up with the latest safety updates and improved features. Sometimes however things do not work out the way they should and you are faced with an unusable piece of expensive hardware. Problems may also occur do to incompatibility or bad use of the IOS root settings.

In most cases, a visit to your local iCentre was the final solution to solve your problems. Expensive and you need to wait some time for repair. ‘ Eureka’, iMyFone developed a great application to tackle almost any software based IOS problem ( see problems faced below ).

PROBLEMS FACED

All iOS problems are covered by Fixppo, which makes it easy to fix your device without turning to a technical specialist.

  • phone stuck in recovery modeiPhone Stuck in Recovery Mode
  • iphone stuck in spinning circleiPhone Stuck in Spinning Circle
  • iphone stuck on apple logoiPhone Stuck on Apple Logo
  • white screen of deathWhite Screen of Death
  • black screen of deathBlack Screen of Death
  • freezing iphoneiPhone Frozen
  • restarting loopsiPhone Boot Loop
  • iphone not turn oniPhone Won’t Turn On
  • iphone restore failureiPhone Restore Failure
  • iphone update failureiPhone Update Failure
  • forget lock screen passwordForgot Lock Screen Password

HOW TO USE FIXPPO 

Its no rocket science on the users part to resolve an issue really. Its dead easy to just follow the minimalistic interface which presents 2 main buttons: Standard Mode and Advanced Mode
Descriptions makes it easy for you which option to choose and decide wether you wish to keep all your data or choose the more drastic solution and loose stored data but repairs your IOS.

Connect your IOS phone or tablet and unlock it. iMyFone will disable iTunes during its use as it would interfere with the recovery method. Now always start with the Standard Mode in order to save all your data stored. If this method fails you may proceed to the Advanced Mode which will erase ALL DATA stored !

Loosing your data is a bad thing, which once again proofs need of regular backups of your iPhone or iPads. iTunes backups, can be restored when the IOS based iPhone or iPad is working again after repair by iMyFone Fixppo.
You will not have any difficulty restoring the iTunes proces which is part of your IOS system on Mac.

The application will perform a full firmware download once it reads your devices firmware version. This download is taking some time, all according to your internet speed available. As you can read on the Start to Fix iOS image, the firmware version downloaded is the available official release, in my case I run the latest Beta firmware which may cause a problem which makes logic. Running Beta versions is always at your own risk. Still you may now hit the Start Repair button and you’re done.

Now it may take some time for Fixppo to repair your iOS.

The great thing of this application is the full list of known iOS problems you may encounter. It really tackles all know problems as far as I can make up. And repair is made at a considerable better pricing than the iCentre !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 1. Connect your device to a computer

After you click Standard Mode, you will see the screen below. Then connect your device to your computer and click the Next button.

Note:If your device is in normal mode and running iOS 12 or later, the program may not recognize it when it is locked. Unlock your device before clicking the Next button.

 

 

After you click the Next button,

1. if your device can be detected, the program will proceed to the next step.

2. IF NOT, you will be asked to put your device in DFU or Recovery Mode. You can see a very clear guide on the screen. Follow the instructions. The program will proceed to the next step when your device is in DFU or Recovery Mode.

Here is how to put your device into DFU mode.

 enter DFU Mode under Standard Mode

 

Here is how to put your device into Recovery mode.

 

 enter Recovery Mode under Standard Mode

 

Step 2. Download the firmware

Now you need to download the firmware to fix your device. The program will automatically detect the model of your device and show you all the available versions of firmware. Choose the version you prefer. Then click Download.

Note: If you want to downgrade your iOS, check if there is an older version provided by the program. If there is, you can choose that version to proceed. Otherwise, you will not be able to downgrade your iOS.

 

 

 

DOWNGRADE

Downgrade iOS without Jailbreak

iMyFone Fixppo enables you to downgrade your iOS to the previous version without jailbreak if you don’t like the latest version released by Apple. Only a few clicks are needed and there is no data loss using Standard Mode. This feature
is a true one of a kind repair feature as you normally can’t just downgrade your iOS system easily. It is possible but at considerable more effort and knowledge of your Mac’s system and third party tools.

So well done iMyFone developers for including this feature.

ENTER/EXIT RECOVERY MODE ( Free )

One click to enter or exit recovery mode without any operation on your device. Your data will not be affected.

 

VERDICT

iMyFone FIXppo is a truly simple to use iOS system repair application saving you lost of money in case of software problems which can not be tackled in another easy way by a user. Its minimalistic interface makes it easy to follow steps needed in the proces. It’s safe to use and offers some extra features like downgrading your iOS system and Exit of the Recovery Mode. Is it worth the money ? I think that its price will be much lower than your technicians bill. So are you in trouble with your iOS on iPhone or iPad, get this great application to do the repair.

$ 34.95

 


 

ELMEDIA PLAYER PRO 7.1 review

 

Version: 7.1
Developer: Eltima Software
Website: http://mac.eltima.com/media-player.html

 

ELTIMA SOFTWARE

Eltima is a software developer for Windows and Mac related applications. They are in business for 16 years and provide smaller but useful utilities. SyncMate and Folx are some fine examples of their applications. Their media player application Elmedia Player Pro ( version 7.1 ) is a neat and practical and stable application which we will discuss in this review.

 

ELMEDIA PLAYER PRO

Eltima’s Elmedia Player is available in a free and paid PRO version. The differences are mentioned below. Your OS X system has its Quick Time player which is a fairly basic media player and supports not enough formats and features for the media enthusiast. Elmedia Player’s free version has impressive features what it can do and QuickTime Player is unable to: Open DVD VIDEO_TS folders, natively play FLV, SWF, XAP, DIVX, DAT, and other formats, internet browsing without leaving the application, compile media playlists, and open browser videos via optional bookmarklet. This is where free applications like VLC ( which is good ) and the free Elmedia Player present a much better media player allround.

So why opt for a paid media player like Eltima’s ‘Elmedia Player Pro’ which will set you back $ 19.95 ?
Its the ton’s of extra features in the Pro version that make you want the Pro version in order to use its full potential. Downloading from You Tube, streaming, converting and grabbing screens are options making the media enthusiast choose for this Pro version.

 

PRO’s EXTRA FEATURES

Additional features include downloading from the Internet – videos, their soundtracks, RTMP streams, animations, converting Flash EXE files into SWF format, taking still screenshots from the video, and much more.

 

Progressive full-screen mode: You get to choose which monitor will play full-screen if you have more than one connected to your computer. Native macOS full-screen mode is supported.

Video tuner
: You can control brightness, saturation, contrast, gamma, hue, noise reduction and sharpness of a currently playing video.

Continuous loop
: Choose any part of a video to play continuously until you decide to stop it.

Screenshots
: Make a screenshot of favourite movie moments or convert a whole movie into series of screenshots, while it is playing.

Deinterlacing
: Forget about irritating horizontal stripes on fast moving objects in the playing video – enable deinterlace option in Elmedia.

Fine-tune audio delay
: If an original video is not in sync with its audio, Elmedia can decrease or increase audio delay to make the sound match the on-screen action.

 

ELMEDIA PLAYER performance & PREFS

HD performance is great due to hardware accelerated decoding, Playing YouTube video via Open Online Video option of Elmedia Player you’ll see subtitles right where they belong. The free and paid Pro version include an in-app web browser, and can be used to parse video, audio, or Flash content from any URL.

 

DIFFERENCES FREE vs PAID

 

 

Screenshot 2018-12-27 13.46.03.png

 

AUDIO PLAY

Native volume control: A volume control that does not affect the system volume is a pleasant bonus of a media player.
Support for external tracksPossibility to load external soundtracks: all with video name, same name as video or all in folder.
AC-3/DTS through S/PDIFEnable passthrough for hardware decoders – AC3 or DTS for surround audio.
Audio equalizerA 10-band equalizer with various presets lets you create the perfect sound for the most pleasant experience.

 

WATCH ONLINE VIDEOS WITHOUT ADS

Open Online Video option allows you to access YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion videos directly from the app. This way you get to watch favorite videos without ads, which you would otherwise have to watch through or wait to skip.

STREAM VIDEO & AUDIO

 

Every format is supported: Stream audio and video in their native formats or transcoded in real time. AVI, FLV, MKV, 3GP supported.

Stream online videos without ads: Use Open Online Video option to stream content from YouTube, Dailymotion and Vimeo without any ads.

Ultra HD Videos: Stream up to 4K videos to 4K compatible devices like Chromecast Ultra, Apple TV 4K, Smart TV (Samsung , LG , Sony , Panasonic, etc.).

Stream with subtitles: If a video you are casting has subtitles, they can be streamed as well. Elmedia supports embedded as well as external subtitles.

Stream playlists: Throw together a neat playlist and then watch it on a larger screen uninterrupted.

Control streaming in the player: While streaming from Elmedia you can play, pause, seek, stop the video, and adjust the volume directly in the app.

 

DOWNLOAD VIDEO’s FROM WEB

Choose your desired picture quality :   

 

VERDICT

Elmedia Player Pro is a far more powerful alternative to QuickTime Player. The ability to download web material is a real bonus of the paid version. It’s slim interface and solid performance enabling you to deal with any video or media format makes it one of our top choices. Elmedia Player Pro also includes an in-app web browser. The newly added streaming features and refined interface makes this a full media player ready to take on any competitor.
The web integration sets new boundaries for a media player. So if you’re looking for a Swiss Army knife like media player, take a look at Elmedia Media player Pro!  I love it !

 

$ 19.95

 


 

SKYLUM LUMINAR 3 review

 

Version: 3
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 application Luminar 3, has been upgraded to a new product supporting numerous improvements and the all waited for Libraries addition.
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 Luminar 3 upgrade is a true improvement over Luminar 2018.
Luminar 3 is for 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.

 

INTERFACE & WHATS NEW

Luminar 3’s interface has a great intuitive layout and 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. You also have the ability to create your own preset when you save your image editing settings with   right bottom selection !

Click image for large view !

 

Luminar versions 3’s main improvement over the last version, is the addition of Luminar Libraries. Luminar Libraries offers a full integrated photo database readily available from the same interface. You can now compose your own picture database and edit your images. If you want to edit your image just double click on the image to enlarge it and choose ‘Edit’ from the right sidebars-menu.

The left ‘ Film-strip ‘, can be set to active or hide from the top menu’s interface !

 

 

There’s one more thing. Luminar 3 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 3 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 3 however, is easy to use for beginners but also professionals benefit from its range of (new)-filters and adjustments.

 

 

 

 

Luminar version 3, offers a re-engineered proprietary RAW engine ( comp. Luminar 2017 ) which can handle high-quality images faster. 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 are three new features ( AI Sky Enhancement, AI Filter & Libraries ) available in both the Windows and MacOS versions of Luminar 3.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LUT’s
Lookup Table Adjustments, known as LUT’S. 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)

 

PRESETS

Luminar 3’s Interface has a very good and intuitive layout, as all filters show a pre-view of the actual filters capability and use. All is absolutely nicely placed in 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 3, 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 and feel’. 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 3, 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 3 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 3 however is easy to use for beginners but also professionals benefit from its range of (new)-filters and adjustments.

 

HISTORY & UNDO STEPS

Like Luminar 2018 we find these useful tools in the Tool-bar of Luminar 3’s 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 3 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. Location is your Edit Tab , Clock icon , took me some time to find it really !


 

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

 

NEW AI SKY ENHANCEMENT 

This filter was created for photographers who would rather focus on creating photos and have neither the time nor inclination to spend hours correcting their images.

By moving a single slider you can add depth, definition, and detail to the sky without exposing unwanted artifacts or affecting any other aspect of the image.

No one wants boring skies in their photos, and restoring and improving the sky is one of the most important parts of creating a masterpiece. We’ve done our best to make this process as simple as it can be. The new AI Sky Enhancer creates no halos, automatically detects the edges of the sky, and recognizes the sky even inside other objects such as bridges.

 

 

 

SOME EXAMPLES

 

Examples of my own, just to show the editing capabilities of Luminar and AI Sky Enhancement. It’s a bit over the top in terms of colouring, but it will show you how capable Luminar is in transforming rather dull image into a
full detailed revealing image. Colouring is to your liking and taste.

 

 

 


WHEN YOU RUN INTO CRASHES 

When installing this new version of Luminar 3 (or when it crashes), you should do the following:

  1. Delete the previous version of the app itself (ONLY when installing a new version!)
  2. Go to Pictures -> Luminar Catalog and delete this folder

OUR COUPON to USE and save another $10  !!!

When buying use code MACSOFTREVIEW for a great discount!!

 

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 includes the long awaited Libraries and more tools & filters then ever before. The improved RAW engine is not only much faster but also delivers less noise and better color. The included Artificial Intelligence Sky Enhancement ( Nov. 2018 ) and Accent AI Filter, Libraries complement this great application.
LUT’s support is a long awaited addition for Adobe Lightroom users, enabling them to import/convert their Lightroom Presets for use in Luminar 3.
Overall Luminar 3 is much faster and handles all changes in a great clean interface. The AI’s, sun-rays filter and real-time noise removal sets it at the top of its competitors.  The addition of Libraries, makes this the application to beat for the competition in this price range. The best gift for yourself or any friend. Its stunning, its easy to learn, it takes photo-editing to a new level.

 

$ 69.00