Hardware

Steganos Anonym: VPN for Mac users


Great news for Mac users! Steganos, a European market leader for consumer encryption software, is for the first time offering third party VPN software for the Mac community. The service allows Mac OS users to securely and anonymously connect to the Internet, an option that the company had made available to Windows users for many months. The service will enable Mac users to securely and anonymously surf using wireless connections from their homes, businesses, and Wi-Fi hotspots.

Excerpt from article at MacNewsWorld:

The software creates an encrypted tunnel between a user's computer and one of the Steganos VPN servers. This tunnel uses SSL encryption. This encryption method is typically used for online banking and e-commerce sites to protect all data from interception, including access from the customer's Internet service provider (ISP). The Steganos security service protects Internet activities like surfing, blogging, instant messaging, e-commerce and the use of file sharing networks by resending the encrypted data and anonymizing or concealing the true location of the wireless connection.

The company maintains its own server farms to ensure optimum user surfing experience and claims that the only information that it records is packet sizes for billing information.

More links:

Steganos Brings Internet Anonym VPN to the Mac (SourceWire)

Steganos Offers Mac Users Anonymous Surfing (Digital Trends News)

The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 and 50 Mb of free space. Pricing model for the product is $14.95 a month for 25 gigabytes of traffic or $99 annually for 25GB of traffic per month. The company also plans to roll out more software tailored for the Mac community in the future.

5 comments
shuubz
shuubz

Not quite accurate. OpenVPN and the Tunnelblick client have offered Mac VPN functionality for quite some time. Neither product is from Apple. Both are open-source software, very affordable, and commercial support is available from certaqin parties, in addition to the usual open-source support. The service you describe is not what most people think of when you say "VPN".

vmaatta
vmaatta

From you article one gets the impression that using Mac as a VPN client wouldn't have been possible before this product. That is just pure wrong. OS X has included capabilities for this since Jaguar (That's 10.2 and current version is 10.4 with 10.5 coming in august). And that capability is in the OS without any 3rd party software. This product from Steganos is not a VPN client per se. It's a software that tunnels i.e. your internet connection through the Steganos' servers using a VPN connection to them.

pr.arun
pr.arun

Thanks shuubz. I stand corrected as OpenVPN indeed is a Mac third party VPN tool and Tunnelblick too provides a GUI to the Open VPN tool. The steganos website describes the working of the service as : " A virtual private network (VPN) establishes a tunnel between your computer and one of the Steganos VPN servers. All your activities on the Internet are then carried out through that tunnel. The tunnel encrypts all information that runs through it by using an SSL connection which protects the information from being eavesdropped ? even by your ISP. The tunnel leads to one of the Steganos servers which, in turn, forwards the request onto the Web. This way you can act completely anonymously on the Internet." Since a VPN can be loosely described as network in which some of devices are connected using the Internet, and data transfers are encrypted, the service seems to qualify as VPN.

pr.arun
pr.arun

This is the first time that a third party is offering secure VPN access for the Mac. There have been third party VPN solutions for Windows users in the market for long. Also, the tunneling feature makes the VPN connections more secure by ensuring the anonymity of the user over unknown service providers.

scott
scott

Cisco has been offering a VPN client for the Mac for a while now..

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