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.
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.
Download and setup VPN Tracker
Grab VPN Tracker 365 from our website and create a new connection. Choose your device manufacturer if listed, or the VPN protocol you’ll be using. Follow our detailed configuration guide on how to set up VPN on your router – if you get stuck, get in touch with our support team.
Test your connection over a hotspot
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.
Stuck? Questions? Get in touch with our support team.
Configuring a VPN connection for your SonicWALL gateway
So you’ve just got your hands on a brand new SonicWALL device and you need to configure a VPN connection to remotely connect to your office network from home? Our quick start guide will take you through the basics you need to know to get yourself set up.
Top Support for Brand New VPN Gateways in VPN Tracker 365
We’re pleased to announce that yet another new VPN Tracker 365 beta is now live and available for testing! This version offers compatibility with three brand new device profiles from NETGEAR, Telekom, and Sophos, as well as continued support for OpenVPN connections; the newest addition to VPN Tracker 365 announced last week.
VPN Tracker 365 – OpenVPN beta
After months of careful planning and testing, the moment many of you have been waiting for is finally here… Following popular demand, the first public beta of VPN Tracker 365 with support for OpenVPN devices is now live!
VPN Tracker Version 36518.1.1 – Ready for macOS 10.14
We’re all super excited for the official release of macOS 10.14 this fall. In the meantime, we’ve already started testing out the beta version which was released on Monday. If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably be doing exactly the same thing, which is why we’ve included preliminary support for the Mojave beta in our latest update.
Introducing VPN Tracker 36518.0
VPN Tracker 36518.0 is here! This new update welcomes support for Juniper SRX-Series gateways, as well as an array of new improvements and fixes for the best VPN performance at all times. Download VPN Tracker 365
Keep your WiFi traffic completely secure with VPN Tracker World Connect
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 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
D-Link: DSR-1000AC, DSR-250N
FortiNet: FortiGate 30-50 Series, FortiGate 60-90 Series, FortGate 100-200 Series, FortiGate 300-500 Series, FortiGate 600-900 Series, FortiGate 1000 Series, FortiGate 3000 Series, FortiGate 5000 Series, FortiOS 5.x und neuer
NETGEAR: UTM 9S/UTM 25S, UTM 50/100
Watchguard: XTM Series, Firebox M-Series, Firebox T-Series
ZyXEL: USG60W, USG60, USG40W, USG40, USG310, USG210, USG110, USG1900, USG1100, ZyWALL 110, ZyWALL 310, ZyWALL 1100
The new models are listed below, you can find all 300+ supported devices on our compatibility page.
Update & Availability: The latest VPN Tracker 365 version with Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway Support is free with your VPN Tracker 365 Plan (Download the latest VPN Tracker 365 version here).
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.
Recently, a team of researchers at Google announced that they had successfully created a SHA1-collision. Our VPN experts are going to outline what that means and what security implications it has for VPN users.
What SHA1 is used for
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.
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).