VPN Tracker 365 18.3 is now available! In this version our focus was on macOS Mojave compatibility, further enterprise options for Connection Safe and OpenVPN improvements.
Dark Mode Support for macOS Mojave 10.14
As you may have heard, Apple introduced a new Dark Mode in macOS Mojave. With this update, VPN Tracker 365 now also supports this sleek new UI option. Take care of your eyes, stay better focused on your work and simply enjoy a darker interface – VPN Tracker now looks gorgeous in Dark Mode.
To feel all the advantages of Dark Mode activate it under System Preferences > General > Appearance.
We’ve also made some UI improvements and even added alternative device vendor logos to work smoothly with macOS Mojave and it’s Dark Mode. And more good news for Mojave users – we’ve also updated VPN Shortcuts and automatically opening at login to work with Mojave’s new security requirements, so they will now work as expected. Read More
Remote working is becoming more and more common. Even large companies are allowing their employees to work from home for a part of the week. Still for some people it can be tough to adjust to such freedom and keep working effectively. Here are some tips for a stress-free switch.
As you’ve probably heard, Apple has pulled Facebook’s Onavo Protect “VPN” app over privacy concerns.
While Onavo Protect claimed to be a VPN, it was owned by Facebook and was capable of incredibly invasive data collection: as it set itself up to redirect all internet activity through Facebook’s servers, it could potentially monitor all internet activity, including which apps were used, white sites were visited and basically anything else you did over the Onavo connection:
A VPN needs to be trustworthy
One of our core principles with VPN Tracker World Connect is that all your data stays private and is never logged. That means that our servers do not store or log any information, making VPN Tracker World Connect the right choice for privacy-conscious customers.
If you were using Onavo and have privacy concerns, remove the Onavo app from your phone and install World Connect from the App Store. We’ve been building VPN apps that adhere to strict German privacy laws since 2002 – this is the VPN app you can trust.
Even businesses can rely on VPN Tracker World Connect to keep employees safe while out they use Hotel or Airport wifi connections on business trips.
Check out VPN Tracker World Connect today – trust us, you’ll never want to surf without it:
Get VPN Tracker World Connect for iPhone & iPadGet VPN Tracker World Connect for Mac
In macOS Mojave, the “Back to my Mac” feature is being retired. So what alternatives are there?
Back to my Mac let you remotely access files on your Mac and use screen sharing to remotely control your Mac, using Apple’s iCloud service as a go-between.
However there’s a better, more secure way to do that – with a VPN. A home VPN connection gives you direct, encrypted access to your devices on your home network, with full security. Think of it as Back to my Mac for your entire home network! And you’re not just limited to files and screen sharing – you can access anything as if you were sitting in your house.
How to get started
First, you’ll need a router at your home or office that supports VPN connections: log on to your router configuration page and look around for “VPN” settings. Many home devices now offer OpenVPN support, including NETGEAR, ASUS and other popular home wifi routers. Alternatively, your router may offer L2TP, or (less commonly on home devices), IPsec VPN support – all of which are supported by VPN Tracker.
You’ll need to use a different internet connection to test your VPN setup, so either use your phone’s hotspot feature, or head down to your favorite coffee spot and hop on their WiFi. Then try out your connection.
Add Shortcuts for files and screen sharing
Once you’ve got everything configured and working, you can use the VPN Shortcuts feature to add quick links to your Files and the Screen Sharing feature on your Mac at home.
Security expert teams are warning about a critical security breach in the current WPA2 WiFi encryption standard. Potential attackers are now able to break, monitor and manipulate WPA2 encryption with so-called “KRACK attacks”; caused by a weakness in negotiating security key management.
Be proactive – What you can do to mitigate security risks from KRACK-Attacks:
In order to keep your sensitive data safe from prying eyes, you should use a VPN. VPN Tracker World Connect will keep you safe while using WiFi on your Mac and iOS devices until security fixes start to roll out for clients and network hardware.
VPN Tracker World Connect instantly encrypts all your online activity with the highest encryption standards. Whether you are away on a trip, working at the office or simply at home, your data is protected on every WiFi connection.
The leading network device providers are currently working on security patches for this issue. Be sure to keep checking if a patch has appeared for your WiFi device. You can find more technical information about KRACK attacks here: https://www.krackattacks.com
The iPhone 8 has finally arrived in all of its high-tech glory. While Apple is touting the new processor and camera features, there’s one hidden gem they have kept on the down-low. The tizi equinux team investigates:
Older iPhones were equipped with “regular” charging. But in the iPhone 8, Apple has quietly added completely new charging circuits.
The iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6 charge with 5V and slightly above 1A. The iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPhone 6 Plus can charge with 5V and just over 2A maximum. The charging circuit can supply about 6W for an iPhone and about 11W for an iPhone Plus.
The resulting charging times at maximum charging speed were just under two hours for a normal iPhone and just over 3 hours for an iPhone Plus.
What makes the iPhone 8 extra special?
As soon as we got our hands on the new iPhone 8, our equinux tizi hardware team took a closer look in our hardware lab.
We discovered that both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus have a USB Power Delivery charging circuit. Simply put, it is now possible to charge the iPhones faster. Much faster.
The first high-speed charging iPhones
The new iPhone 8 can charge with up to 14.8V and 0.9A, for a total of 13.3W
The new iPhone 8 Plus can charge with up to 14.8V and 1.3A – a total 19.2W
This is more than twice the charging speed of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, with the potential to cut your charging times in half.
We were surprised to find that Apple still only includes the same old Apple USB charger with 5V and 1A with both brand new iPhone 8 models. To take advantage of its full fast-charging potential, you will need to use another charger and the Apple USB-C to Lightning cable.
Fully charged in under an hour!
With the right USB-C PD charger, the iPhone 8 will charge in about 1 hour – roughly twice as fast as previous models. But: you need the right charger to double your charging speed.
Chargers that support USB-C PD include:
tizi Tankstelle 29W
Apple 29W MacBook charger
Apple 61W MacBook Pro charger
Apple 87W MacBook Pro charger
Beware of cheap third-party chargers. The market is crowded with products that do not work with the Apple USB-C to Lightning cables. In our tests, only Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable was capable of fast-charging the latest iPhones and iPads.
Important to know: If you use a USB-C to USB-A adapter, it interrupts the USB PD power delivery profile, which means that your iPhone will not charge at its fast potential speed or it may not charge at all.
So why did Apple only include a 5W charger?
So why has Apple included their old 5W charger when the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus can charge at up to 18W? The included charger only offers 27% of the potential charging speed?
This could be a strategic move for Apple: Get Customers used to the slow 27% charging speed, then Apple can introduce the Apple AirPower charging pad – a fast wireless charger that everyone will want to get their hands on. Let’s face it – anyone who pays for a premium AirPower pad will want it to offer something special – faster speeds.
How to cut your iPhone 8 charging times in half
We recommend all iPhone 8 and 8 Plus customers get a USB-C Power Delivery charger like tizi Tankstelle 29W. Other tizi chargers with Power Delivery capabilities will follow shortly.
The US Manufacturer, Ubiquiti, founded by former Apple developer, Robert J. Pera, rolled out into the network scene at the right time. Their high-performance wifi technology with easy centralized management have made Ubiquiti one of the most in-demand networking solutions on the market. On top of that, Ubiquiti has been brought to the spotlight with its UniFi Access Points. Their high quality coupled with a relatively inexpensive price tag has made Ubiquiti one of the most sought after brands in the networking market. UniFi also offers great gateway options for small teams, start-ups, and larger corporations.
So how can you use your Ubiquiti UniFi as a VPN gateway for your Mac? No problem with the latest Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateways firmware and with VPN Tracker 365. With our new and detailed Ubiquiti Configuration Guide in VPN Tracker 365, getting Macs connected to VPN on your UniFi is effortless.
VPN Tracker 365 Gateway support NEW More than 25 VPN Gateways are supported
With the latest version of VPN Tracker 365 (Download), we’ve added support for additional new VPN Gatewaysfrom well-known manufacturers: D-Link, FortiNet, NETGEAR, Watchguard and ZyXEL.
New customers can get their VPN Tracker 365 for only 69.99 EUR per year (covers all personal Macs). Benefit from the robust and secure VPN Tracker features for your business and personal needs. Customers with older VPN Tracker versions can upgrade for a discounted offer. VPN Tracker is compatible with macOS Sierra and already supports the latest Public Beta of macOS High Sierra.
Apple is known for doing things with more attention to detail than most companies. So it should come as no surprise that even App Store gift cards with their promo codes have a few secret details that help make the experience more Apple-like.
So what powers the simple App Store promo codes? Secret fonts, special dimensions, and many more.
SHA1 is a cryptographic hash function that is used to verify signatures and other security-related files. Basically, it lets you quickly check that the file or digital signature you’re being shown is actually the real deal.
What’s all the fuss about?
In the last few years, researchers theorized that it might be able to create a fake file that matches a genuine file’s SHA1 signature. It was all just a matter of computing power and given the way technology works, that it would be possible in the next few years.
At that’s exactly what has happened: the Google team used a clever technique and Google’s vast server infrastructure to create a fake PDF file with the same SHA1 hash as their reference file.
What does SHA1 have to do with VPN?
When using a VPN, the server and VPN app go through several steps that let each side verify they’re talking to the right person. There’s Phase 1, during which both sides set up a secure channel to talk over. Then they use that during Phase 2 to establish the actual VPN tunnel used to transmit encrypted data.
SHA1 can be used in both of these setup phases to verify the authenticity of the data being exchanged and is configured by default for many VPN vendors.
So is a VPN that uses SHA1 at risk?
For single files like their PDF example or website certificates, Google’s research definitely shows that switching to SHA-2 is an important and necessary step.
However for VPNs, the attack is not feasible due to the short key lifetimes used:
In Google’s research, they needed the equivalent of 6500 single CPU-years to create their fake file.
In your VPN tunnel, a SHA1 hash is only used for 1 hour on average, before it is swapped for a new key. And the hash algorithm is used to verify a packet that has already been encrypted. So an attacker could only use this attack to sneak a fake packet into your data – and they’d have to compute in within 1 hour. To actually read your data would still be impossible, as the encryption algorithm means there are effectively two layers of security an attacker would need to break.
Security setup within VPN Tracker 365
Extra protection: use SHA-2 with your VPN
The latest VPN gateways also support SHA-2 hashes (e.g. SHA-256, SHA-384 or SHA-512). These are more modern, highly secure SHA variants that can’t be broken. SHA-2 has been supported in VPN Tracker since 2015 and is in our default configuration for many popular VPN vendors, including SonicWALL.
Secure: SonicWall TZ600 Gateway (uses AES-128, AES-192 and AES-256 with SHA-256)
We always recommend using the strongest encryption available to you. So switching to SHA-2 algorithms if your VPN gateway supports it is a good idea. However SHA1 is still secure, provided you use a relatively short key lifetime and, more importantly, always pair it with a strong encryption algorithm (such as AES-128, AES-192 or AES-256).
Update 21. February: It looks like this experiment is over and the charts are back to the way they were. Was it a sneak preview of things to come? We’ll keep this post updated.
The App Store Top Charts are one of the most popular ways to find the latest trends on the store. In fact, Apple has received some criticism in the past for an over-reliance on Top Charts for new app discovery.
But with subscriptions becoming increasingly popular, the Top Grossing charts run the danger of becoming stagnant: monthly recurring subscriptions all but guarantee certain apps a spot in the Top Grossing charts, making it almost impossible for new apps to break into the Top Grossing charts.
Now it looks like Apple may be testing out a new algorithm to fix that.
I guess: „Top grossing“ no longer incl. renewals, only new/first paid/subscription sales. Charts shake up evrywhr #appstore#apple#itunes
As Till noticed, it looks like recurring revenue no longer counts towards your chart position.
We’re very familiar with the charts and where the top apps in that category usually rank. This past weekend, a lot of apps in the Entertainment category suddenly dropped way down in the charts. What the heck?
A quick investigation revealed all the biggest losers offer subscriptions. And left at the top of the charts are big-name brands (such as Netflix who probably have enough new users coming in to keep them in the top spots) and paid apps.
Recurring revenue no longer counts towards your position in the Top Grossing Charts.
So far we were able to confirm this the German iOS App Store, as well as on the Mac App Store.
A boost for paid apps
This change is great for paid apps: They can compete on equal terms with subscription-based apps, now that the subscription app ranks aren’t being inflated by their recurring revenue. A glance at the charts shows a lot more indie paid apps in the top 25 spots.
It’s good to see Apple trying new things out on the App Store and given the emphasis placed on recurring subscriptions last year, this change makes total sense. Lets see what it does to the charts over the next few weeks!
P.S. If you like this and you’re a developer, we’ve got two great tips for you: