VeePN VPN for Mac review

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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.

 

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

 


 

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