SURFSHARK VPN review

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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.

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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

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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

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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

 


 

 

NORDVPN review

 

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Version 3.3.10
Developer  NordVPN
Website. https://nordvpn.com

 

ABOUT VPN

virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across the VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.[1]

Virtual Private Networks may allow employees to securely access a corporate intranet while located outside the office. They are used to securely connect geographically separated offices of an organization, creating one cohesive network. Individual Internet users may secure their wireless transactions with a VPN, to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship, or to connect to proxy servers for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location. However, some Internet sites block access to known VPN technology to prevent the circumvention of their geo-restrictions.

A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols, or traffic encryption. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.[2]

Traditional VPNs are characterized by a point-to-point topology, and they do not tend to support or connect broadcast domains, so services such as Microsoft Windows NetBIOS may not be fully supported or work as they would on a local area network (LAN). Designers have developed VPN variants, such as Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), and layer-2 tunneling protocols, to overcome this limitation.

WHY USE VPN

If you’re reading this review you’re I guess interested in a VPN solution and trying to figure out which to pick in an ongoing growing list of VPN providers. Its not easy to find the best among providers all claiming the same things like speed, safety and locations.
To make your search for the best 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.

 

NORDVPN FEATURES

Easy VPN – Install and start protecting online activity with just a few clicks.
Mobile VPN – Protect privacy on the go with NordVPN mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Multiple devices – Connect up to 6 devices simultaneously with single NordVPN account.
Dedicated IP Address – Enjoy better connectivity and faster VPN experience with a personal IP.
Customer support – Experiencing any troubles with NordVPN? Contact their customer 24/7 service.

 

What is a Kill Switch and how does it work?

Kill switch is a technique that helps you prevent unprotected access to the internet, where your traffic doesn’t go through the VPN.

There are two key differences in the Kill Switch functionality in our NordVPN applications:

  • The PC version of the Kill Switch, found in our Windows and Mac (OpenVPN version)applications, terminates the applications you specify if the VPN connection suddenly disconnects, preventing those applications from sending unprotected traffic to the internet.
  • The Mobile version of the Kill Switch, used in our iOS application, as well as the IKEv2 version of the Mac app, disables system-wide internet access if the VPN connection suddenly disconnects – that way it protects all apps, without terminating them. It will also try to reconnect you to the last server you were connected to. ( I was unable to enable Kill Switch without choosing applications like the Windows version ??? )

 

NORDVPN SECURITY

Military-grade encryption – Secure Internet traffic with cutting-edge encryption technologies.
CyberSec – Shield from intrusive advertisements and malicious online threats.
Double VPN – Encrypt Internet traffic twice to create an extra layer of online privacy.
NordVPN uses the DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA encryption suite for its OpenVPN connections. This almost certainly means ordinary RSA-2048 key encryption and HMAC SHA1 authentication. Use of a Diffie-Hellman key exchange provides perfect forward secrecy.

 

Official NORDVPN Statement regarding their privacy commitment ( Below ). Being based in Panama we may rest assured this commitment is followed up.

Warrant Canary

We, NordVPN, confirm that we take full control of our infrastructure. It has never been compromised or suffered a data breach. We have not disclosed any private keys or any information of our users, and we have not been forced to modify our system to allow access or data leakage to a third party of any kind.

As of January 15th, 2018 we state the following:
  • We have NOT received any National Security letters;
  • We have NOT received any gag orders;
  • We have NOT received any warrants from any government organization.

!!   We are 100% committed to our zero-logs policy – we never log the activities of our users to ensure their ultimate privacy, security and anonymity. !!

 

NORDVPN PRIVACY

Protect your IP address – Send Internet traffic through a NordVPN server to change your real IP address.
Strict no logs policy !! – None of your private data is being tracked or monitored.
Automatic Kill Switch – Internet traffic will be protected, if VPN connection drops. ( only Apps !! )
DNS leak protection – DNS leak technology ensures that your private data is protected at all time.
Onion Over VPN – Combine the benefits of VPN with The Onion Router for maximum online security.
Browser Proxy Extensions – Secure browsing on Chrome and Firefox.

 

NORDVPN SETUP & USE

So having mentioned all known facts about NordVPN. we now come to setup and use NordVPN. After downloading the software and register your account, all we need to do is fill credentials for logging in. Connecting to their servers is fast. NordVPN will pick the best possible connection for you. Thats means best bandwidth and ping time.

There is little finetuning necessary with the application. Some options available are Cybersec (CyberSec – Shield from intrusive advertisements and malicious online threats ), Connection on start, Kill Switch, Obfuscated servers, Protocol and Custom DNS.
Enable the switches you want to use, but keep in mind the the Kill-Switch is not completely switching off all internet connection/traffic! This switch enables you to prevent chosen and added applications to connect to the internet. This is strange behaviour as I feel a Kill Switch needs to Kill all traffic.

Now all thats left really is push the ‘Connect’ button and you’re set and done. Check the weblink below to see if your connected server shows any leaks ! If so, pick another server which is safe and sound.
Ultimately you bought a VPN protection to be untraceable/invisible on the internet, so don’t take connections for granted.

NordVPN has a strict No Logging policy, which is most important for ANY VPN provider. This is where NordVPN beats many competitors, there absolute No Logging policy being a Panama based company and therefore not limited to US regulations or such.

 

NORDVPN  IP & DNS LEAK TESTING

 

IP Leaks: Using the testing site ipleak.net, makes it easy to identify leaks and problems, especially when you are connected to a VPN server outside your country.
“Note”, the WebRTC leak test will show local IP addresses (usually beginning with 10.xxx or 192.xxx or sometimes an alpha-numeric IPv6 address that is also local).

DNS leaks: Find a VPN that uses its own secured, encrypted DNS resolvers. Below are two VPNs that use only their own secure DNS resolvers and did not have any leaks:

NORDVPN SPEED TESTING

Big variations in speed all depending on choice of server. Servers performance is due to load of bandwidth. The different images show download performance between 13mb/s – 103mb/s !! all different servers. NordVpn has an inbuilt ping and bandwidth solution, providing the best connection possible at the specific time and place. You may of course choose and set your personal favourite location.

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VERDICT

NordVPN provides a great price with solid performance and stability. Their No-Logging policy is to me more important then some higher download speed. NordVPN Servers are in huge numbers, so there’s always one available with good bandwidth.
Speed is very different between locations, but the application automatically picks the best option for the user. So its not the best in speed, but its best in Privacy, Pricing and available servers. NordVPN ranks in our top 3 offering best value for money.
If you’ re looking for a good VPN provider and no logging policy, check their huge offers as discounts make them even more desirable.

$ 2.99 / month

 


 

 

PANIC TRANSMIT 5 review

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Version 5.0
Developer Panic Inc.
Website https://panic.com/transmit/

 

ABOUT PANIC

Panic Inc. is an Oregon-based software company and video game publisher that specializes in applications for macOS and iOS. It was founded by Steven Frank[1] and Cabel Sasser.

Their flagship program is Transmit, an FTP client,[2] first released in 1998. The program currently competes with Fetch, Interarchy and Cyberduck, the other popular FTP clients for macOS. Transmit has won a number of design awards, including Macworld Best of Show in 2005[3] and a 2005 Apple Design Award, for the Best Use of Mac OS X Tiger Technologies.[4]

FTP CLIENT & WHY USE

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used for the transfer of computer files between a client and server on a computer network.

FTP is built on a client-server model architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server.[1] FTP users may authenticate themselves with a clear-text sign-in protocol, normally in the form of a username and password, but can connect anonymously if the server is configured to allow it. For secure transmission that protects the username and password, and encrypts the content, FTP is often secured with SSL/TLS (FTPS). SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is sometimes also used instead; it is technologically different.

The first FTP client applications were command-line programs developed before operating systems had graphical user interfaces, and are still shipped with most Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems.[2][3] Many FTP clients and automation utilities have since been developed for desktops, servers, mobile devices, and hardware, and FTP has been incorporated into productivity applications, such as web page editors.

So there is a number clients to choose from nowadays and which one to pick and give you best value for money is not easy. It all depends on your personal needs and options made available for you. Panic is different at first look, its modern and clean. As the number of websites is growing the use of a FTP Client gets more important as its the most common used file handling tool. Company administrators being professionals probably know which FTP Client to pick, but for home users its an area not familiar.
The more options provided and the more complex layout may not appeal everybody. Panic Transmit 5 offers both, an easy intuitive interface and most options are provided for the beginner or experienced user.

INSTALLATION & PREFS

Installation of Transmit 5 is piece of cake, Straightforward and no questions asked. Now in order to communicate with your remote server where for instance your website is stored, you need login credentials. Most times these are provided by your hosting company which will
give you full access to your files stored on their servers.
The FTP Client is a tool you just can’t do without period. Its created for handling files ( transfers) and provide the user a backup utility as not all hosts provide (free) backups of your important files. Messing about with your WordPress files and plugins may occasionally get you into trouble. A not (fully) working website is the result of incompatible plugins and a horror for the user. Your FTP Client is here to help you out. Restore your last backup and you’re all set again to inform the world about your point of view.

Setting up a website takes quite some time just to make it look nice and appealing. The stored information posts are gone and can’t be retrieved ( or at costs ), as Transmit 5 will help you out for $ 35 and provides piece of mind.

Now we are set and want to connect to our host or local files. The Preferences are providing enough options for most users. The Files tab in Transmit’s preferences lets you set a global preference for what happens when you double-click a file: it transfers to your computer’s default download location, edits in Transmit (for supported file types), or uses an external editor. You use that tab to enter an extension and pair it with an app you pick, like linking text files and TextWrangler.

Transmit has a lot of other preferences, such as inserting custom file header to cloud uploads to cloud services. The Rules preferences are used to avoid downloading file listings (skip), not show them (hide), or force their appearance (show) in overriding over rules.

 

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USING TRANSMIT 5

Transmit, lets you connect to a remote server in a double window. You drag files in or out of that pane, delete them, or rename them. Transmit 5 shows different and useful controls using a control panel at the cloud-service site.  Transmit lets you select any file and change the storage class, but you can’t select multiple files and change that property all at once. You can also set server-side encryption options for S3 within Transmit 5.

 

Transmit 5 interface is easy and clean, but clean does come at some costs of safety. I personally like to have the menu buttons with text and some safety warnings when deleting files. It now will do whatever you press. But when its gone, its gone and this is just an area I want a FTP Client to protect me from. I hope future versions will offer this small but huge impact improvements.

Panic has developed Transmit 5 and the new version gets you 11 cloud-service connections.

 

This development supports standard internet protocols:

  • unencrypted FTP
  • FTP with implicit SSL
  • FTP with TLS/SSL
  • SFTP, all of which use different methods of encrypting connections
  • webDAV, used for web-server based file exchange

 

Setup a web URL, or remote path, local path. If you want to add a server, you can optionally specify a web URL, a remote path on the server, and a local path related to files in that directory. With the URL filled in, selecting and file and then choosing Edit > Copy URL provides the full path for further use.

 

The remote path in a server configuration lets you differentiate between multiple different instances of the same server that point to distinct web servers, file containers, or folders. This makes life easy if you save a server as a droplet, so you may drag and drop files in the Finder and have them copied directly to the defined remote directory.

The local directory is used in two different ways. If you enable Go > Linked Folder Navigation, which you must do so every time when connecting. Transmit also supports DropSend.  With DropSend enabled for a server, dragging a file from the referenced local directory onto Transmit’s icon in the Finder or Dock automatically copies that file to the corresponding server entry. You don’t have to open the server in Transmit or take any other steps.

Adding a server through a full Servers > Add New Server option or clicking the Quick Connect tab to start, retains the entry in the Servers view, which also allows folders for organization.

VERDICT

Transmit 5 is a piece software that I recommend fully. The new interface now matches macOS. The new cloud support for 11 cloud-servers takes Transmit 5 to a higher level. Still there are some minor but necessary improvements needed like text on the menu-buttons as there is no warning when deleting stuff. I really like working with Transmit 5 and it certainly improves version 4 in terms of looks and added features. The Cloud-servers provide a true 2017 software level. Its works stable and fast and doesn’t cost a lot. I hope that the next version will bring some automation or scheduling features is these are missed. But still this is a really fine piece of software development and we use it next to others. For every user this is a FTP Client to get and use without any restrictions.

For all manual FTP jobs this is our pick.

 

$ 35.00

 


 

SITEGROUND WEB HOSTING review

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Developer SiteGround
Website www.siteground.com

CO-review by Hosting.Review

 

ABOUT SITEGROUND WEB HOSTING

Founded in 2004 by a few university friends, SiteGround gradually but steadily turned into a leading web hosting service provider. With only a handful of people working from their university dorm rooms in the beginning, today the company has more than 400 employees and is constantly growing. We process 1500+ tickets, 1000+ phone calls and 3000+ chat requests per day. We proudly host more than 500,000 domains with this number growing by the hour.


WHY YOU NEED a WEB HOST

Well its obvious really. Like us, you want to have your own website on the internet. Blog or E-shop, anything is possible for you personal or as a small or large company. The internet is the best way to make yourself known to the world. This is where the search for a good or the best web-host begins. Web-Hosting companies are plenty around, too many to be frank. They all cost money and its almost impossible to find the best around for a fair price. You just need to rely on reviews by trusted companies.

 

WHICH TOOLS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR

SSL certificates are included in all plans – and the one you’ll be getting with a GoGeek is also PCI-compliant, meaning you will be able to sell online and process credit card transactions. Daily backups are also included, providing you a peace of mind – should something go wrong, there will always be a recent save for you to turn back to.

In terms of DDoS protection, each plan includes CloudFlare CDN. Of course, it is available free of charge for everyone already. But it is very nice to see SiteGround make increased security easily accessible for everyone.
It is also worth mentioning that every plan is using SSDs. This shows that SiteGround servers are up to date with the latest technology and that low disk space can be somewhat justified. You’re not getting much – but you’re getting the best.

Larger companies probably will have their website ‘build’ by professionals. Its all about money, really. Private build customized websites can cost a small fortune if its complex, where you as a private person may opt for the easy way and get involved with pre-builds like WordPress. WordPress for dummies is NOT as easy as it may seem when you look at all finished websites created with WordPress or Joomla etc. However there is ONE real advantage why most people choose any of these builders (programs), and thats the No Coding necessity to accomplish a great looking website. Only programmers know how to code HTML, and these packages make all your problems disappear. Still after starting with WordPress or Joomla, it all comes down to your creative skills to make it look nice.
The next thing you will notice when running a website, is SPEED ! You want every picture to popup instantly, you want your website to Backup in case of accidents, you want your web-host to load your uploads fast, you want security, you want ‘Memory Cache’ to speedup loading-time. There is a growing wish for extra’s to serve your purpose. But WHO is offering all that and MORE for a fair price ? Don’t worry just keep reading and we will give you your best Christmas gift ever.

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Chat and ticketing systems

 

 

The FIRST and MOST important thing you’ll need when having your website hosted is SUPPORT!! And believe me they all claim to have brilliant support, but there’s only a few really up to the task claiming 100% satisfactory. SITEGROUND has the BEST service we have come across. To test their support and knowledge, we started a new website which was hosted on another server (web Host ) and needed te be transferred fully to SiteGrounds servers. So full website transfer and full domain transfer.

This sounds easy but in practice these changes are not that simple if you have no experience in how to.

So this is where service comes in place; Service means knowledge and response time. You won’t feel comfortable when you run into a real problem and have to wait a day or more for an answer from servicedesk. SiteGround is OUTSTANDING in terms of response and knowledge on subjects.

Average response time ( and we made 10 tickets ), was max. 30 minutes! Which is fantastic really. SiteGround built a great ticket system making it easy to use and providing all tools/tutorials possible. Truly amazing.

SiteGround has engineered an in-house chat software allowing users to select and rate customer service agents with whom they’ve worked/spoke previous time.

 

SITEGROUND offered SOLUTIONS: Shared, WordPress, Joomla, Cloud, & Dedicated

 

 

SiteGround created their in-house software solutions for customer support themselves.  All of their infrastructure and coding are done in-house !  Brilliant stuff, and providing help for experts as basic tools for beginners.

Their shared hosting service, are created in an one-of-a-kind server isolation system that prevents vulnerable servers from taking down entire networks. Customers benefit from their unique downtime prevention mechanism, which has helped SiteGround have reputation for uptime rates: 99.996% annually and 99.999% monthly.

 

SUPERCACHER and BACKUPS

SiteGround’s customers make use of the FREE  in-house SuperCacher, which has a range of options to make all page loads at optimum speeds. SiteGround customers also receive FREE daily backups from a system that only takes about an hour. These options are not commonly found on most web-hosts. If offered then at extra cost, SiteGround again proofs that extra FREE service pays out in the end.

 

SITEGROUND OFFERS  DIFFERENT HOSTING PLANS

99.9% Uptime Guarantee, Free Daily Backups, Free Cloudflare CDN, Unlimited MySQL Database Storage, 24/7 Support, cPanel, and SSH Access

 

“STARTUP” Plan.   $3.95/month »

“GROWBIG” Plan  $5.95/month »

“GOGEEK” Plan  $11.95/month »

SiteGrounds offers will surely meet your expectations if not even offer more !

 

PERFORMANCE

Up to this point, SiteGround has been impressive. Easy-to-use c-Panel interface and a spectacular customer support were the two main reasons for it. Server login – connections are blazing fast ! And the C-Panel is providing all the tools and information one needs. Its impressive and still easy to use for beginners and experts. Documentation on How To’s is impressive as well, as every topic aspect is described in easy to follow and understand guidelines. We just love having Siteground as our hosting company !

VERDICT

To be honest I cannot find any flaws in this review making me say less then Best User Experience ever found. If you are looking for Premium service, Free extra’s like domain and website transferes noting can beat SiteGround. We tried the whole process ourselves and are impressed with the skill and devotion offered. Their commitment is unique in the industry, so don’t hesitate and try it out. You won’t be disappointed, we guaranty ! Get to it, if you want to have this best user experience money can buy.

  • FREE site transfer or new site setup with 1-click install
  • FREE automated daily backups, CDN, email, and SSL
  • 24/7 expert support with no wait time on phone or live chat
  • Recommended by WordPress as a top WordPress host
  • Ideal for business email hosting, with 99.9% uptime
Money Back Guarantee

30 days

Disk Space

10 GB – 30 GB

Domain Name

New or Transfer

 

 

€ 3.95 /mo

 


 

HIDE.ME VPN review

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Version 1.0.4
Developer  eVenture Ltd, Labuan, Malaysia
Website https://hide.me/en/

ABOUT Hide.me

  • Founded and officially launched in 2011
  • Offers 100+ dedicated Gbit servers in 27 countries and 36 locations
  • hide.me offers the best FREE VPN Plan in the VPN industry with 2GB limit / month
  • Cross-platform VPN access (downloadable apps for Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android; step-by-step configurations for Linux, routers, consoles, and more)
  • First VPN provider to offer IKEv2 VPN protocol in the VPN industry
  • Certified to be a “No Log” VPN by Leon Juranic, Founder and CEO of Defense Code Ltd

 

ABOUT VPN

virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across the VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.[1]

Virtual Private Networks may allow employees to securely access a corporate intranet while located outside the office. They are used to securely connect geographically separated offices of an organization, creating one cohesive network. Individual Internet users may secure their wireless transactions with a VPN, to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship, or to connect to proxy servers for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location. However, some Internet sites block access to known VPN technology to prevent the circumvention of their geo-restrictions.

A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols, or traffic encryption. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.[2]

Traditional VPNs are characterized by a point-to-point topology, and they do not tend to support or connect broadcast domains, so services such as Microsoft Windows NetBIOS may not be fully supported or work as they would on a local area network (LAN). Designers have developed VPN variants, such as Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), and layer-2 tunneling protocols, to overcome this limitation.

WHY USE VPN

If you’re reading this review you’re I guess interested in a VPN solution and trying to figure out which to pick in an ongoing growing list of VPN providers. Its not easy to find the best among providers all claiming the same things like speed, safety and locations.
To make your search for the best 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…

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.
Hide-me VPN collects the following data: Connection time, Connection duration and bandwidth used but NO data is collected which could be linked to a user’s online activity, No IP logs, so top marks for Hide-me VPN.

HOW DOES VPN WORK

This is the tricky part explaining the VPN process. A VPN creates a secure tunnel using most powerful VPN protocols – hides your original IP behind one of its own – encrypts all your communication and passes through the secure tunnel allowing you to surf the web freely and anonymously.

 

 

UNDERSTANDING PROXIES vs VPN vs TOR

Follow the link below to make the right decision, it’s important to understand the basic technical differences between the services

www.vpnmentor.com/blog/proxies-vs-vpn-understanding-the-difference/

 

 

SETTING UP HIDE.ME VPN

 

Setting up Hide-me VPN is piece of cake. Simplicity all the way. A few slides take you through the setup-proces to the final preferences and settings sheet.

VPN Connection Type is an important choice to make as it defines the used ‘tunnel-type’. Hide-me VPN provides a full explanation on their website explaining the various possibilities. Looking at the settings interface for VPN Connection Type shows two buttons: Cisco / Ipsec = IKEv2 and IKEv1     or       L2TP / Ipsec = L2TP / IPsec
If you want to make use of an OpenVPN tunnel you’ll need a third party application like Viscosity or Shimo ! 

**Although not all the protocols are available for each platform, configuring a VPN connection will not be an issue.

So which protocol to use ?

  • PPTP is very insecure (even its co-creator Microsoft has abandoned it, and it has been compromised by the NSA) and should therefore be avoided. While its ease of setup and cross platform compatibility are attractive, L2PT/IPsec has the same advantages and is much more secure
  • L2TP/IPsec is a good VPN solution for non-critical use, although it has been severely compromised / weakened by the NSA. However, for a quick VPN setup without the need to install extra software it remains useful, particularly for mobile devices where OpenVPN support remains somewhat patchy
  • OpenVPN is easily the best all round VPN solution, despite needing third party software on all platforms. It is reliable, fast, and (most importantly) secure (even against the NSA), although it usually needs a bit more setting up than the other protocols
  • IKEv2 is also a very good (secure and fast) protocol (if open source implementations are used), especially for mobile users who may even prefer it to OpenVPN thanks to its improved ability to reconnect when an internet connection is interrupted. For Blackberry users, it is pretty much the only option available.
  • SSTP offers most of the advantages of OpenVPN but only in a Windows environment. This does mean that it is better integrated into the OS, but it is poorly supported by VPN providers thanks to this limitation. In addition to this, its proprietary nature and the fact that is was created by Microsoft mean that we for one don’t trust it

In our opinion the bold marked protocols are the ones to use.

 

OUTSTANDING SAFETY FEATURES

 

  •  VPN offers unique security features that no other VPN does:
     SOCKS Proxy: SOCKS proxy is coupled with hide.me VPN, so users enjoy a completely different level of security. This combination of SOCKS and any supported application gives you the absolute protection against any kind of IP leaks.

They engineered this feature to perfection and have coupled the SOCKS proxy with their VPN to make it the fastest possible solution available. Once combined with a VPN connection, SOCKS is able to reduce the Round Trip Time (RTT) significantly improving your Maximum TCP Throughput which has a very significant impact on the speed of your connection.

  • IP and DSN leak protection:
    Their DNS leak protection feature functions quite uniquely making a DNS leak impossible and same case is with our IP leak protection feature.
    During an active VPN connection the application deletes the default gateway, so it is impossible that your IP leaks to unwanted third parties.

 

 

SPEED and STABILITY, SUPPORT

So we have one problem solved.. choose a No Logging provider. Now we get to find the fastest VPN. A ‘fast car’ costs money and a really fast VPN is likewise not cheap. We have an available internet speed of 200-250 Mbps which is fast if I may say so.
The speed of a VPN transmission is restricted by chosen VPN-Tunnel type ( OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, SSTP, SoftEther and IKEv2 and IKEv1.) and encryption level. Also your own ‘router’ may play a role in your VPN connection as only the more expensive and newer models support top speed. We have tested different protocols with Hide.Me and they all performs best ever !! We get speeds up to 200Mbps or more, which is the highest we have ever measured testing VPN providers.

 

 

**Connection stability was perfect! No drops or lost connections whatsoever.

Internet Speed Mbps

Hide.meDownloadUpload
Hide.Me201175
PureVPN13789
ExpressVPN8968

Company Support Performance

YearResponse Time
Response1min108
Response2min81
Response3min33
Average Response Timemin74

 

VERDICT

Hide-me VPN has impressed us with an absolutely solid performance. Its the fastest VPN tested by us, given the used locations and protocols. The easy interface and setup takes even novice users through the complete proces.
OpenVPN is the best solution for every VPN but needs a third party VPN client. Having tested and measured Hide-me VPN we feel confident this is the fastest VPN available. The multiple connections and other extra’s make Hide-me VPN a VPN to be considered. Support was tested and response was quick ( see graph ). All good things in life cost money, and if you’re looking for the fastest safe and good support VPN look no further  VPN is your best bet.

 VPN deserves a full 5 ⭐️ reward

 

$ 9.99/ month


 

EXPRESSVPN review

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ABOUT EXPRESSVPN

ExpressVPN is a leading VPN service provider enabling users worldwide to safely and anonymously browse the web. With 1000+ servers across 87 countries and new servers added each week, ExpressVPN offers a comprehensive reach and provides uncensored access to international websites. The company’s award-winning apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Routers, and Linux preserve customer privacy and provide best-in-class internet security. ExpressVPN has been operating since 2009 and today is one of the world’s largest providers of premium VPN services.

You can choose from 136 cities in 87 countries. With unlimited speeds and unlimited server switches, you can connect from anywhere in the world. See their full list of VPN server locations.

 

FEATURES

FEATUREALL PLANS
The full suite of ExpressVPN’s software for all devices (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Routers, Linux)✔️
Unlimited bandwidth✔️
Unlimited server switches✔️
Unlimited speed✔️
99.9% uptime✔️
OpenVPN (TCP, UDP), L2TP-IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols✔️
Strong encryption✔️
Zero logging of your network traffic✔️
Servers in more than 87 countries✔️
Simultaneous connections on up to 3 devices✔️
Round-the-clock customer support by chat or email✔️
Awesome referral program & refer friends and get 30 days of free service for each signup!✔️
30-day money-back guarantee✔️


SECURITY
 PROVIDED

Anonymous VPN: No Logs
ExpressVPN is first and foremost a privacy company. That means not only protecting your privacy to the fullest extent possible, but also being as transparent as possible about what it means to be a logless VPN.

ExpressVPN does NOT and WILL NEVER log:

  • Browsing history
  • Traffic data
  • DNS queries

ExpressVPN uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys — also known as AES-256.

SETUP EXPRESSVPN

Setting up ExpressVPN is really easy with their provided software. Their software suite is extensive and available for all your devices. The slideshow below shows the full sequence of activation steps.

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So after setting up your VPN connection, its time to set the desired configuration settings. If you want the fastest connection you’d better opt for the OpenVPN, however the program also support an ‘automatic’ feature which will
find the best connection for your personal situation. ExpressVPN states this is an option setting recommended. Its up to the user to try and find best performance if needed. The software has a neat feature for ‘Speed Test’ searching all possible servers and determine the best server connection based on ‘ping’ and ‘download speed’.

 

EXPRESSVPN CONFIGURATION SETTINGS

As mentioned earlier ExpressVPN has a recommended ‘automatic’ connection setting. Choosing anything but OpenVPN wether TCP or UDP, will result in slower speed and less safety.

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WHAT DOES VPN DO

VPN is no rocket science and its main purpose is to provide full anonymity, best encryption and stable connections combined with speed when browsing the internet. That said it is important not to choose a US based company, as they are subject to US regulations and by law cannot guaranty absolute anonymity. So get yourself a company like ExpressVPN which is located on British Virgin Islands. Better be safe then sorry.

 

what-is-vpn2x-29467982af2053a2dea208c1db05c726

 

EXPRESSVPN PERFORMANCE

 

Okay, all that said on done, but how does it perform in realtime ?This is all very simple and straightforward, but there are also a few extras, including the Speed Test module, diagnostics report, kill switch, and manual or automatic selection of protocol (OpenVPN, L2TP – IPSEC, PPTP, SSTP).Our privacy tests showed good results, with specific DNS leak protection ensuring our identity was protected at all times. ExpressVPN claims ‘The Fastest VPN on Earth’, well I have to disappoint ExpressVPN in this area as a competitor like VyprVPN scores much higher in downloads but ExpressVPN shows great upload speed. I have tried different locations, but somehow it seems download speed is restricted to about 80mb/s. Of course this speed is more then overkill for streaming HD and such, but there is a difference between marketing and real life.

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE

ExpressVPN has the best possible customer service. The company offers 24/7 live chat support and help any customer with any question. An other option is the provided email support. The only missing medium is a phone number.

Their website provides numerous tutorials, FAQs, and troubleshooting guides. Great explanations and examples on ‘how to setup a VPN on your router’ made visible with images and text. All possible protocols are described and explained. Truly the best website information found for VPN guidelines.

 

VERDICT

So the big question remains should you buy ExpressVPN or not? ExpressVPN offers the best anonymity en encryption possible with an excellent customer service. Equipped with features, best services and huge server span of ExpressVPN makes it a major player of the VPN industry. Add the great intuitive and downloadable software for any device and you’re set for a safe and anonymous browsing experience. Its not cheap, but then again, quality comes with a price. Want to tryout first, no problem; their 30 days money back warranty makes it all possible. ExpressVPN deserves a full 5 star reward.

 

$ 8.32 / month

 


 

DASHLANE PREMIUM for MAC review

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Version 4.5.1
Developer Dashlane, Inc
Website https://www.dashlane.com

 

DASHLANE

Dashlane was co-founded in 2011 by former Business Objects CEO Bernard Liautaud,[4] Jean Guillou, Guillaume Maron, and Alexis Fogel. The company is headquartered in New York and has received $30 million in venture funding from FirstMark CapitalRho VenturesBessemer Venture Partners, and Bernard Liautaud.[5][6][7] Dashlane protects passwords by storing them locally using AES-256 encryption, and users can only access their account information by using a single master password that is never recorded or transmitted.[8] The app has a fully featured digital wallet that can aggregate credit cards, bank accounts, IDs and other personal information, as well as automatically fill that information for users during online experiences like check-out.[8] Other security features offered within Dashlane include automatic password generation, a security dashboard and security breach alerts.

 

SETUP DASHLANE

Setting up Dashlane is a simple job if it is your first time use of a Password Manager application. Normally your passwords are stored in the Mac key-chain which has great integration with Safari. Other third party browsers however are not supported by Mac’s key-chain. A true Password Manager application stores your paswords in a vault protected with a choosen master-password by the user. ONLY YOU know the master password, it is not stored anywhere else in a cloud or on servers of Dashlane. So don’t forget it and keep it in a safe place if you don’t trust your brain.The complete setup is guided with clear and easy to understand sheets explaining every step in the proces. Those who already used other third party applications like 1Password or LastPass have the ability to import their stored passwords  straight into Dashlane, 1Password users need to export their stored passwords in a .pif file which can be imported in Dashlane. It all works flawless and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist  in order to make it all work as it should.

 

PREFERENCES

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Dashlane offers a Free and a Premium version which both have an equal basic functionality but the Premium version has a full sync with all your other devices like iPhone and iPad. Web access to your passwords and a secure backup make up the difference in price tag.

FEATURES

Dashlane

  • Reliable auto-login and password auto-save
  • Comprehensive security breach alerts
  • Security Dashboard with actionable tips
  • Pay one price for unlimited backup and devices
  • No ugly toolbars or unintuitive actions
  • Fully functional mobile apps

-vs-

The Others*

  • Spotty auto-save and auto-login
  • Partial alerts, or none at all
  • Scores & assessments that don’t mean much
  • Buy a separate app on every device
  • Bring your toolbar, hand-guide and debugger
  • Limited functionality or read-only access

 

Dashlane
Dashlane Premium
 ✔️ ✔️
 ✔️ ✔️
 ✔️ ✔️
 ✔️ ✔️
WORKS ON ALL PLATFORMS 
 ✔️ ✔️
SECURE ACCOUNT BACKUP 
 ❌ ✔️
SYNC ACROSS ALL YOUR DEVICES 
 ❌ ✔️
Share up to 5 items
Unlimited
WEB ACCESS TO YOUR PASSWORDS 
 ❌ ✔️
PRIORITY SUPPORT  Mail us directly at vip@dashlane.com
 ❌ ✔️

 

HOW DOES IT WORK

Browsing the internet will make you need to log in at some sites, this is where the Mac Key-chain helps ( Safari only ) or in case of Chrome your stored passwords in your Google-account. If you want to be on the safe side a Password Manager is a better option. When visiting a known website Dashlane will popup a login suggestion and do a full auto login. In case you visit a website for the first time and need to make a registration Dashlane has its own password generator giving you options for your password, and strength. The chosen password is stored automatically .

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 8.55.39 PM

With Dashlane, you can securely share access to protected sites. This is useful if you want someone else to make use of a service, for example, but you want to keep your banking information and other passwords private. The person you share with will get an email with a link that expires after a short time.

Dashlane can store credit card information so it can fill in your card information when you pay online. A Dashlane window pops up with tiles of your cards to choose from. It can also save a screenshot of your digital receipts, hows thats for convenience.

compare-credit-cards

 

PLATFORMS

  • Dashlane synchronizes your logins and passwords with PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads and Android devices.Supported browsers :
  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari

VERDICT

DASHLANE Premium offers a great Password Manager, stores your crecitcard credentials and provides a solid password generator in a complete package. It integrates in OSX and replaces the Mac Key-Chain in a smooth and clear performance. Your data is encrypted with the strongest algorithm there is, and is reachable with the Master Password only known by the user. Dashlane Premium will sync your passwords and logins with your other devices. VIP support is fair, response time approx. 6 hours. The modern interface and OSX integration makes it the best Password Manager at this moment.

 

$ 39.99 / year

 


 

ADGUARD for MAC review

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Version 1.3.0
Developer: ADGUARD
Website: https://adguard.com

 

ADGUARD for MAC

Browsing the web nowadays is not without showing unwanted advertisements and being tracked by advertisers. We all like to earn money but we should be able to have control over the things we want and the things we don’t want to see. Unubstructive browsing is what I call it. This is where tools like ADGUARD come in. ADGUARD protects from trackers ( tracking is knowing all your searches and visits on the web ) and later confront you with advertisements in areas you might be interested in. We do not want such behavior and applications like ADGUARD keep us a little in control.

All free adblockers are implemented in your browser by adding extensions. Only one developer ( ADGUARD ) has a paid stand alone application available. ADGUARD is not only a simple
adblocker but adds ‘privacy and browsing security‘ as well. It works with all known browsers and also provides automatic internet traffic filters in addition to your firewall.

ADGUARD is perfectly working with Safari and makes your internet browsing safer and provides extra pleasure without advertisements and pop ups.
Mind you, some websites NEED pop ups to function, but that is for the user to find out and whitelist the related website.

ADGUARD FEATURES

—  Ad Blocker. Subtle filtering of all incoming traffic, and what is more, ads are blocked before they load to the page.

—  Browsing Security. Adguard checks every page for any malicious content using our databases, and blocks requests from potentially dangerous ones.

—  Privacy Protection. Any counters and tracking instruments will be blocked by powerful Spyware filter. With Adguard you can stop worrying for the privacy of your actions on the Internet.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 19.32.32

 

HOW DOES IT WORK

Introduction

One of the main functions of Adguard is filtering ads on websites. In this article, we will describe in details how exactly Adguard filters online advertising.

Adguard’s work is based on the use of various advertising filters that define rules, based on which the program removes ads. Adguard may use a variety of different ad filters. We create some of them ourselves (you can learn more about it on this page), some of the filters are created by enthusiasts.

Ad filtering

Ad filtering mechanism depends on what product you use. Browser extensions rely on the capabilities that browsers provide them with. Adguard for Windows, Mac and Android works independently of your browser, using a completely different filtering algorithm. Below we describe all the stages of ad filtering that Adguard uses.

Page code filtering

Before a page is loaded into browser, Adguard processes its code removing elements according to the ad filtering rules. Thus browser does not recognize that there were actually those elements on this page and will not try to load them.

Adguard: Page code filtering

Page code filtering technology is used only in Adguard for Windows, Mac or Android (if high quality filtering is enabled). That is because of the fact that capabilities of browser extensions are limited, and they can not change the page code before the browser processed it.

Request blocking

Browser loads all the necessary elements on a page, defined by the page code. Based on filtering rules, Adguard can block the load of advertising elements, such as banners ads or Flash objects.

Adguard: Blocking of queries

CSS Injection and Javascript

Not all advertising can be blocked within the first two steps. For instance, there is such a kind of advertising that is embedded in the page dynamically with the help of Javascript, and does not require loading of additional items that we could block.

CSS is a special language used for web pages design. Display style of elements on a web page can be set by rules. By style we mean color, font, location, and even the visibility of the element. And that is of interest to us, because we want to hide the banner from you. Javascript is also a special language that allows you to dynamically change any element on the page.

Post-processing of pages

This is an approach for browser extensions only. It is necessary, because the first step of processing (page code filtering) is unavailable to them. During post-processing, the browser extension removes all the elements, loading of which was blocked, from a web page. If we didn’t remove them, you would see not fully loaded elements, such as “broken” graphic.

 ADGUARD PREFERENCES
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 ADGUARD in ACTION

 

ADGUARD unlike all other ad-blockers is NOT an extension in the web browser but a standalone application, with its preferences located in the menubar. ADGUARD used to have some impact on your processor, but this latest version 1.3.0 has no or little processor use.

 

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ADGUARD blocks adds and pop-ups unobstructive. There is no impact on speed browsing the web. ADGUARD provides Privacy and Browser Protection from most of malicious, phishing and scam websites. These features are a real bonus and justify the paid app compared to free alternatives.

Another great feature of ADGUARD is the ‘ automatic filter of all internet traffic ‘ using the traffic interception module. This is a great addition to the standard firewall. Secure ( https ) connections are also filtered if selected.

ADGUARD uses Web of Trust ( WOT ) information in order to make decisions wether a website is to trust or not. This information is updated regularly to maintain the level of protection.

ADGUARD has the ability to add your own user filter, along with the other preset (spyware ) filters. The whitelist can be edited if needed, to grant a known website access. All in all, it works without any obstruction.

Browsing the internet, ADGUARD automatically comes to action, Safe websites get a small Green sign in the right bottom corner telling you its safe to proceed. Entering an unsafe or possible unsafe website triggers a WARNING, but gives you the option to proceed anyway. Trying out the warning action interception on different websites shows that

 

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 VERDICT

ADGUARD is not your average adblocker. This application has a mind of its own and sorts out he good from the bad.
ADGUARD does provide safety and relaxed internet use. No more obstructive advertisements and pop ups, just plain and simple internet browsing .
A pleasure to have it doing its job without any hassle. I recommend ADGUARD fully, if relaxed and safer browsing is your thing the price should be no deal breaker.

€ 2.20

 


 

YUMMY FTP PRO review

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Version 1.11.7
Developer  Yummy Software
Website http://www.yummysoftware.com


YUMMY FTP PRO

YUMMY FTP Pro is an easy to use, and powerful FTP/S + SFTP + WebDAV/S file transfer app. Transfer a few files or a full website , can be scheduled for auto backup.  Yummy FTP is really loaded with options
and preferences  settings. It auto connects and keeps your transfers going with auto resume and reconnect.

 

INSTALLATION

Installation is simple and without reboot of your system. Once installed its time to setup your FTP / SFTP or WebDAV connections. Again easy with a clean interface asking you for server/name/password/gate etc.
Now you’re on your way. A great feature of YUMMY is the import of FTP (e.o ) settings from other software like Transmit in the integrated Bookmarks manager. It copies all relevant settings and info to YUMMY in a split second.

 

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PREFERENCES

YUMMY FTP Pro  is loaded with options. Almost anything is at hand to make sure your connections stay alive and transfers are safe and sound. Which it does after completing a job well done.

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CONNECTIONS

The YUMMY Interface is straightforward. This is my only piece of little critisism , because being paid software  it could do with a more up to date interface.
Connecting to a desired server is quickly done with Bookmarks. Just hit the server you want and thats it.
Automatic connections and backup/sync are also part of YUMMY’s extensive options.

 

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YUMMY wil keep your transfers alive and will even reconnect and resume if necessary !

 

SPEED of TRANSFERS

YUMMY claims to be Turbo charged, so its time to find how  YUMMY compares to another paid rival like TRANSMIT.

We sync an external website server with a full 1.75 GB of data.

SYNC TIME YUMMY vs TRANSMIT from EXTERNAL WEB-SERVER

  • : YUMMY took  1 hr: 13 min
  • : TRANSMIT took 1 hr: 12 min

So both equal fast . No difference in transfer behaviour !

UPLOAD/TRANSFER TO EXTERNAL WEB-SERVER

  • : YUMMY took  22 min
  • : TRANSMIT  took 26′ 40″

DELETE MAPS or FOLDERS on EXTERNAL WEB-SERVER

  • : YUMMY  very very FAST
  • : TRANSMIT about 20 times slower ** 

SPEED MEASURED by DEVELOPER to LOCAL SERVER

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  • Speed measured under laboratory ( local ) conditions, do not represent real life experience. Normal external webserver speeds varies from hosting company.
    A slow (external) web server host will affect the transfer speed dramatically. Transfer speed is restricted by the host capabilities.
  • ➤  However even in real time YUMMY performs best !

 

VERDICT

YUMMY FTP Pro offers best speed and the available options are more extensive then most other FTP programs offer. A good price for a solid performing package.
The interface is good and intuitive for experienced and novice users.
FTP is all about speed, options and safety. YUMMY offers best speed and price. Auto reconnect, resume and safe transfers are some of the best features along with scheduled backup or sync.

Yummy beats the competition when it comes down to price, speed and options. Recommended buy !

$ 24.99

 


 

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