IPVanish Mac OS X & iOS Update

Last week saw a series of new software releases from IPVanish.  They announced new Mac OS X and iOS app releases on November 10th.  Since then our team has had a chance to test the OS X client software on an iMac and the iOS app on both iPhone and iPad.  The new versions come packed with new features along with a few bug fixes.  I recommend everyone upgrade to the latest version of either app.  If you aren’t already using IPVanish you can sign up during their current promotion and save 25% off the first three billing cycles.  You can enjoy unlimited VPN access across Mac, iOS, and a wide range of other devices from just $4.87 a month.

Let’s start by taking a look at the new IPVanish Mac OS X client release:

IPVanish Mac load balancing

In the image above I selected the Chicago server location and was shown a full list of servers with the server capacity and ping time shown.  The new load balancing feature helps you find the fastest server in your chosen location.  The new version also gives you the ability to set third party DNS settings.

Third Party DNS

The other feature that stands out for Mac OS X users is their kill switch.  This isn’t new to this release, but IPVanish is one of the only providers to offer a kill switch for Mac users.  You can set the client to kill your network if the VPN connection is lost.  That protects you until the VPN is reconnected which adds an extra layer of privacy protection.  You can download the new v2.2.0 release directly from the IPVanish site.

Let’s switch over to iOS and take a look at their new app on iPhone:

IPVanish iOS app

The new v1.3.8 app supports iOS 8 and above.  It fully supports iOS 9 and works great with the new iPad Pro.  You will find a number of new features in the app.  For starters it supports the new 3D Touch feature for iOS 9 users on iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.  The app has a fresh new look and a slew of new features.  The “Always On” setting will connect you to the VPN anytime it detects an Internet request.  You can also set the app to automatically connect when using specific networks or websites.  These settings will help protect your privacy without even thinking about it.  Let the app do the work while you safely browse the Internet.

You can read our IPVanish review to learn more about the service or visit IPVanish.com to learn more about their latest Mac OS X and iOS releases.

IPVanish Android App Review

IPVanish just released a new Android app v1.5 for their popular VPN service.  Members with Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) or higher can download it from their site for free.  Best of all we tested the new app with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and it works great.  We’ll share some tips along with a review.  If you’re new to VPN or haven’t had a chance to try IPVanish then take advantage of their current special.  They are kindly offering our guests unlimited access to their network of 225+ VPN servers in 60 countries from just $4.87 a year.

IPVanish Android App Setup

You can visit the IPVansih site to learn more about the new Android app or download it directly from Google Play.  When the client launches you’ll have a chance to select a server.  Before you connect for the first time the app will ask you to enter your username / password.  You can have it save your credentials.

App Usage and Performance

Let’s take a look at the IPVanish Android app on an LG G4 running Android Marshmallow.

IPVanish Android

We use IPVanish all the time, especially when traveling.  Their software has always been easy to use so we were anxious to test out the new version of their Android app.  The app is free for members so we updated it this morning.  After the quick install we fired it right up.  The server selection screen makes it easy to choose any of their 225+ servers in 60+ countries.  You can select a server and switch between them anytime.

The server list is sorted by response time be default.  That’s our preference since it provides the best performance.  You can also set it to sort by country.  We tested connections in the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.  All of which worked without any issues.  After connecting you can view usage stats.  We stayed online for awhile and the speed was good.  We were easily able to unblock sites and stream content through the VPN connection.

In conclusion we enjoyed testing the new IPVanish Android app v1.5 and look forward to using it on a regular basis.  The app is easy to use and the interface is intuitive.  You simply scroll through the servers and connect to any of them, changing IP addresses each time you switch.  Visit IPVanish.com and test it out for yourself.

NordVPN Releases New Mac OS X App

The team at NordVPN recently released a new version of their VPN client for Mac OS X.  You will immediately notice the effort their developers put into the new app.  Mac users will appreciate the clean interface and ease of use.  Not only does the new app look great, it has new features that make it simple to toggle the VPN on and off.  It also presents you with a nice map view, the ability to set favorite servers, and a Netflix server shortcut.  If you’re not already a member you can join NordVPN from just $4 a month and try out the new Mac app.

NordVPN Mac OS X App

The best way to see the new NordVPN Mac app is to install it and test it out for yourself.  Before you do take a look at some of the new design and usability features:

  • Auto-Server Selection – NordVPN uses a unique algorithm to help select the best server to meet your needs and provide a fast connection.
  • On / Off Slider – a simple on / off slider will let you enable and disable the VPN.
  • Interactive User Menu – manage your user account and access live chat support 24/7.
  • Favorite Server – Set up a list of favorite servers for quick, easy access.
  • Netflix Shortcut – optimize your connection for watching US Netflix.

NordVPN has been hard at work adding premium features to their service.  In addition to the new Mac OS X client release NordVPN supports Double VPN, anti-DDoS servers, and Tor over VPN.  They are all accessible from within the client.  If you want maximum protection on their network we suggest Double VPN.  Tor users can use Tor over VPN for an extra layer of security.

We look forward to seeing what the NordVPN team has in store for the months to come.  Their new Mac OS X app release looks great and is very easy to use.  You can visit NordVPN.com to learn more about the service and to save up to 50% off a year of unlimited VPN access.

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PureVPN Windows App Review

The PureVPN team has been hard at work developing new versions of their custom VPN software.  Yesterday they rolled out new releases of both their Windows and Android apps.  We’ve since had a chance to test out the Windows client and are excited to share a review of the software.  Those interested can download the latest version from their site.  Please not that its currently in beta so you might run into some issues, though we didn’t have any problems.  Those new to PureVPN can sign up for unlimited VPN access from just $4.16 a month.

PureVPN Software

We started be downloading the new PureVPN client on a Windows 10 system.  The installation was pretty simple.  There was a little delay at the end of the install.  At first we thought perhaps the installer was hung but it pulled through a minute or so later.  From there we fired up the new app, logged into the service, and were greeted with a screen to customize our experience.

PureVPN Windows Customize

As you can see the client provided us with five options:

  • I want to stream
  • I want to unblock
  • I want security / privacy
  • I want file-sharing
  • I want to use remote / dedicated IP

We chose “I want security / privacy” and moved on into the client.  It defaulted us to using L2TP and asked us to choose a desired server location.

Select a server location

Instead we clicked on the “L2TP” protocol link to see what other options were available.

PureVPN protocols

As you can see the PureVPN team lists each protocol along with images that denote the speed and security level of each one.  It seemed a little odd that the “auto” setting had perfect marks while none of the actual protocols received the same marks.  Your options include auto, PPTP, OpenVPN (TCP), OpenVPN (UDP), L2TP, SSTP, and IKEV.  We like using OpenVPN so we went ahead and changed it over to UDP.


Now that we had a protocol selected we wanted to see what the additional options were in the client.  To do so we clicked on the “gear icon” to the left and then clicked on the “basic” tab, and finally the “show advanced options” link.  From there we had a number of decisions to make.

Windows client advanced options

It appears that the default setting in the PureVPN app set it to run at the fastest possible speed.  That may be fine for streaming but it definitely doesn’t work for us so we changed the encryption setting.  Here are the options offered in the app:

  • Fast Internet Mode (Encryption Disabled)
  • Best of Both Worlds (128 Bits Encryption)
  • High Security Mode (256 Bits Encryption)

If your goal is security or privacy then I suggest using at least 128-bit and recommend using 256-bit encryption as long as it doesn’t slow down your connection too much.  There is a balance between security and performance.  It depends on your goals which is one reason we like the PureVPN “customized experience” which can be set at any time by going into the client options screen.

Now that we have all that set it’s time to connect.

Manchester UK VPN server

The software quickly connected us to a VPN server in the United Kingdom.  Once we were connected in Manchester we could browse the internet as if we were physically sitting in the UK.  The same is true if we had connected to a server in the United States or elsewhere.  Our primary focus is security so it’s more about the encryption for us.  However, I know that many of our readers want to stream and unblock sites.  The software works great for that purpose as well.  Connect to a server in the US to watch Netflix or the UK to stream BBC iPlayer.  The possibilities are endless.

We didn’t have any issues using the PureVPN client.  The only negative from our perspective was the client being set to “encryption disabled” by default.  I recommend you go through the basic and advanced options before connecting for the first time.  They have some other features you may want to consider enabling:

  • Secure DNS
  • IPv6 Leak Protection
  • Internet Kill Switch

The “Internet Kill Switch” brings us to our final topic.  If you are a fan of file sharing then you know that some VPN’s support it and others do not.  There are also many companies who limit which server locations you can use for P2P activities.  PureVPN takes that approach and makes it very easy to see which servers allow P2P.

PureVPN P2P servers

As you can see the server list denotes “P2P” beside every server location that supports it.  That will make it easy for file sharing users to find a good server location.  The Netherlands is always a popular spot.

That about it.  We really liked the user interface in the new PureVPN app.  The “Customized Experience” helps you set the app without having to know the technical settings to meet your needs.  I suggest you go through the basic and advanced settings anyway to get the most out of the service.  Otherwise the software looks great and didn’t give us any issues.  That’s saying something for a beta release.  If you haven’t had a chance to test their service I suggest you sign up and give them a try.  PureVPN is currently offering up to 65% off their service so you can enjoy unlimited VPN with up to 5 connections from just $4.16 a month.  Make sure to check out their new Android app as well.  We look forward to testing it out in the days to come.

PureVPN Adds Virtual Router Feature

The team at PureVPN recently added two new features to their custom Windows client.  The first is called ‘virtual router’ and the feature will let you set up your PC as a wi-fi hotspot to share your VPN connection with up to 10 other devices.  PureVPN also added IPv6 leak protection in the client.  Members can download the new update from their site.  Those new to PureVPN can sign up for unlimited VPN from just $4.16 a month.  Those who sign up for a year of VPN during their summer promotion will receive a second year for free.

PureVPN VPN client

Let’s take a look at the new PureVPN Windows client features:

PureVPN Virtual Router

The new PureVPN virtual router feature is currently available in their Windows VPN client.  You can enable it to share your VPN connection with up to 10 devices.  PureVPN does this by creating a wi-fi hotspot.  You have full control over the wi-fi hotspot.  You can give it a name, assign a password, and set the number of connections allowed.  Since the other devices will be using your PC as a router you can expect some overhead when using this feature.  The virtual router will make it that much easier to protect any device within range.

PureVPN virtual router

PureVPN IPv6 Leak Protection

The new PureVPN Windows client also includes IPv6 leak protection.  As you can see in the center of the image above, PureVPN has added a check box to enable IPv6 leak protection.  The feature was previously in beta.  Now it is available to all users.  Enabling IPv6 leak protection will disable all IPv6 traffic to and from your computer.  This will help prevent you from leaking information when connected to PureVPN.

You can bet that the PureVPN will continue to innovate.  So far this year they have expanded their network to over 100 countries and added a number of new features to the service.  One of our favorites is their SmartDNS service.  If you like watching channels in other countries the feature will help you unblock content without the overhead of encryption.  For privacy protection you will still want to connect to their VPN.

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SaferVPN Releases Mac Client v2.0

The team at SaferVPN has been hard at work on a new client release for Mac users.  After months of development the new SaferVPN Mac client 2.0 is ready for action.  You can download the latest version of the new app directly from their Mac download page.  New members can enjoy unlimited VPN access including full access to the SaferVPN network from just $5.09 a month during their current promotion.

SaferVPN Mac client 2.0

Let’s take a look at some of the new features in the SaferVPN Mac v2.0 release:

  • New User Interface – along with the ability to run the app from the status bar you can now open it in its own window as shown above.
  • Select a Server – the app will recommend servers based on your current location.  You can also mark servers as favorites for easy future use.
  • Switch Protocols – switch between OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols inside the app.
  • Speed Test – run a speed test from within the client.
  • Auto Reconnect – set the client to automatically reconnect if the connection drops.

There isn’t much to say about installing the new app.  Once you download the client from the SaferVPN site you run the install file like any other Mac app.  From there you can fire up the client or connect from the status bar.  I like the new user interface.  You can easily switch protocols (I recommend OpenVPN), see your public IP address, and ensure the VPN is connected from within the app.

The new SaferVPN Mac app version 2.0 has a nice looking interface.  I think you’ll find it easy to use.  As with any VPN we suggest you give their Mac software a good test drive to learn more about the new features.  Their VPN service will help protect your privacy and unblock sites in other countries.  You can read our SaferVPN review to learn more about the service.  Visit Safervpn.com to download the latest Mac client v2.0 release.

IPVanish Mac OS X App Review

Last month we posted a sneak peak of the new IPVanish app for Mac OS X.  Since then we’ve had time to test the software and would like to share our experience.  The most exciting new feature is the new IPVanish kill switch.  This allows you to kill your network if the VPN connection is ever lost.  It will keep you safe until the VPN reconnects.  After reading our review we suggest you try the new client for yourself.  The IPVanish team has been very kind in offering our visitors 25% off their popular VPN service.  Enjoy unlimited VPN from just $4.87 a month.

How to Use IPVanish on Mac OS X

Let’s dive right in and take a look at the new IPVanish app for Mac:

IPVanish Mac client - map of servers

When you log into the new v2 Mac client you will see the dashboard.  This is where you can view your usage as we’ll show later in the post.  We wanted to start by showing you how to select a server location.  One option is the “By Map” or map view.  You can easily move around the map and zoom in on any area.  Those who prefer a list view can click on the “By City” icon to the left side of the client interface.

IPVanish Mac client - server list

As you can see in the screenshot above, the “By City” screen has a wide selection of server locations to choose from.  The list shown is only a fraction of their 180+ servers across 60+ countries.  The list shows city, country, continent, and number of servers.  It will also let you star any location to set it as a favorite.  Once you find the location you want to connect to simply highlight it and click the slider at the top right of the interface.

IPVanish Mac - dashboard

Here’s a quick look at part of the dashboard screen.  It will help you see how much data you are sending and receiving through the IPVanish network.  This is just for your knowledge since their service does not include any usage limits.  They also have a tab to view a log of your connection.  This is held locally on your system and would only be used for troubleshooting connection issues.  We would like to note that IPVanish does not log your activities while connected to their network.  This adds an even higher level of privacy.

Set Up the IPVanish Mac OS X App

Members can download the latest version of the IPVanish Mac client directly from the VPN software section of their website.  They also have apps for Windows, iOS, and Android.  Once you have it installed launch the app to use the service.  You can connect to any server without going through extra configuration.  Their “Settings” tab will let you set a number of personal preferences and advanced features like the kill switch.

IPVanish Mac client general settings

The general settings tab will let you set your personal preferences including startup, appearance, software updates, and diagnostics.  I like to have the IPVanish client show in the dock.  You can also select a default city and have it show your connection status in the status bar.

IPVanish Mac settings - connection

The “Connection” tab will let you set advanced features for the client.  You can have IPVanish change your IP address on set intervals.  You can also set the “Kill Switch” to kill your connection if the VPN connection is lost.  This will help protect your privacy until the VPN reconnects.

IPVanish Mac settings - DNS

The “DNS” settings screen will let you select between using IPVanish for DNS resolution or a third party DNS like Google or OpenDNS.  This is the end of the settings.  Once again you don’t need to configure any of them but they will give you a personalized experience.  We have enjoyed using the new Mac client and think you’ll like it as well.  Visit IPVanish, try the new Mac client for yourself, and let us know what you think.

Sneak Peak : IPVanish Mac Client v2

As a Mac user I’ve had to settle over the years when it comes to VPN client software.  Most providers either rely on Tunnelblick or offer custom clients that lack critical features compared to their Windows counterparts.  I’m excited to share that IPVanish is getting ready to release v2 of their popular Mac client.  The software will be released tomorrow, April 14th.  In the meantime let me give you a sneak peak of some cool new features.

IPVanish Mac client

Mac users will be welcomed by a new user interface design.  Select a server location from a map, create a personalized list of your favorite servers, and quickly connect to any server.  That’s just to start as I’ve saved the most exciting features for least.  The new IPVanish v2 client for Mac OS X includes two new features that will really set it apart from the other Mac clients we’ve tested:

  • VPN kill switch – protects your IP address from being exposed if your VPN connection drops.
  • Random IP change – configure the client to change your IP address at set time intervals.

The IPVanish team also added the option to choose between their DNS or a third party provider.  These are a few of the features and options available in the new IPVanish v2 client for Mac.  Visit their site tomorrow to download the new app.  As always the client will be free for all IPVanish members.  If you haven’t tried the service and want to check out the new client the IPVanish team is kindly offering our visitors a 25% discount on their popular VPN service.  Enjoy unlimited VPN from just $4.87 a month.  In addition to the new Mac client you should also check out their iOS apps for iPhone and iPad.  They also offer Windows and Android apps.

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ExpressVPN Mac Client Update

If you connect to a VPN on your Macbook or iMac then I suggest you check out the new ExpressVPN Mac client.  You can tell the ExpressVPN team put a lot of effort into the new release.  According to their related blog post they took the feedback from users over the years and rolled a number of new features and enhancement into ExpressVPN 4.0 for Mac.  New to the VPN service?  You can test the ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days.

ExpressVPN Mac client

Here’s a list of new features in the ExpressVPN client.  You can learn more about it in their related blog post.

  1. A sleek new design. It’s a handsomer, simpler interface that’s built to feel native to the operating system. And we think you’ll like it.
  2. Favorite locations. Mark your preferred locations as favorites so they’re always right at your fingertips.
  3. Improved location picker. Now you can find locations faster with new location lists, sorted by region and alphabetically.
  4. Automatic reconnection. If your connection drops unexpectedly, the app fixes that for you by automatically reconnecting to the same location.
  5. Seamless in-app help. If you run into any problems, you can easily contact ExpressVPN’s Customer Support team from right inside the app.
  6. Always know your connection status. The new app indicates your connection status on the Dock and menu bar icons, so you know your connection status at a glance. We’ve also added desktop notifications so you’re alerted if something goes wrong.
  7. Express connect. Power users can now connect to and switch between locations using the menu bar extra at the top right of the screen. You can now skip the extra step of opening the ExpressVPN window to manage your connection!

Cheers to the ExpressVPN team for continue to innovate the service.  As a part-time Mac user I greatly appreciate their efforts in making the new client user friendly and packing it with all the extra features I’ve come to enjoy when using Windows.  ExpressVPN offers unlimited VPN from just $8.32 a month.

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PureVPN iOS App Update

PureVPN recently updated their iOS app with version 3.3 released to the app store on January 12th.  There are a number of privacy apps on the market and PureVPN is one of our favorites.  They have done a great job with the user interface.  The app let’s you connect to any of their 450+ VPN servers located in 78 countries around the world along with live support inside the app.  You can enjoy unlimited PureVPN from just $4.16 a month.

PureVPN iOS app

Are you already a PureVPN subscriber?  If so then you can download their iOS and Android apps for free.  They are all part of you membership.  Along with Windows and Mac clients.  You can download PureVPN for iOS version 3.3 directly from the Apple app store.  Along with PureVPN for Android from Google Play.

PureVPN has been hard at work on both mobile apps.  With the latest iOS update on January 12th and Android updated on December 24th.  We appreciate all the effort as their team continues to refine and innovate the mobile apps.  Their user interface design skills will likely impress a lot of users.

The new PureVPN iOS app v3.3 release is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS6.1 or higher.  New features like IKEv2 protocol and auto/manual connection modes require iOS 8.  I would suggest iOS 8 users connect using the Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) protocol.  It is more secure than PPTP and L2TP and is well integrated in the PureVPN app.  iOS 8 users will also enjoy some new user interface updates.  You can enjoy unlimited access with up to 5 connections from just $4.16 a month.

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