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VPN Tracker blog - tips, news and insides

11/19/2020, 18:18
VPN client for macOS Big Sur

macOS Big Sur brings some major changes to the Mac – both design-wise as well as under the hood.

This means that VPN clients such as Shimo, WatchGuard IPSec Mobile VPN Client for Mac, Pulse Secure, NCP and others are not supported by the new macOS release.

So if macOS Big Sur breaks your VPN client and it has stopped working, check out VPN Tracker 365. It works with most major VPN standards and supports over 300+ different VPN devices out of the box, with detailed setup guides.

Download VPN Tracker 365 for free and get your VPN connection up and running with macOS Big Sur.

The post VPN client for macOS Big Sur appeared first on equinux blog.

11/10/2020, 17:42
The new VPN Tracker 365 is here – VPN for macOS Big Sur

Today we’re releasing VPN Tracker 365 version 21, better known as ‘the Big Sur release’.

Quick Breakdown

  • VPN Tracker 365 for macOS Big Sur is now available!
  • VPN Tracker 365 version 21 offers full support for macOS 11 and upcoming Apple Silicon Macs, as well as some key behind the scenes changes.
  • Download the latest version here

It’s been a busy few months re-building VPN Tracker to get things ready for today, so we wanted to share some of the behind the scenes with you. Let’s dive in…

VPN Tracker 365 version 21 - with support for Big Sur

Behind the scenes of VPN Tracker 365 version 21

Goodbye KEXT

For a few years now, Apple has been encouraging developers to stop using so-called Kernel Extensions (KEXT) – bits of code that can run at the lowest levels of the OS.

VPN Tracker used a KEXT to receive, decrypt and send network packets at a low level, in order to be able to do more advanced routing and create non-standard packets required to work with certain VPN gateways.

At WWDC 2020, Apple announced macOS Big Sur – along with several new and updated APIs – and without support for Kernel Extensions.

But did Big Sur have the new APIs we needed to build a KEXT-less version of VPN Tracker?

An all new VPN engine

VPN Tracker 365 supports 5 different VPN protocols: IPsec, L2TP, SonicWALL SSL, OpenVPN and PPTP. Unlike some VPN apps that repackage 3rd party libraries, VPN Tracker 365 is the only VPN client that has custom protocol implementations. This allows VPN Tracker to fully manage your VPN connection and makes multiple connections work together seamlessly.

To get VPN Tracker 365 ready for Big Sur, we needed to re-architect the entire app using the new APIs – kind of like ripping the engine out of a car and replacing it with an entirely new motor.

Our team has been working on the new update since June and after a long beta period, we’ve successfully got most VPN protocols working perfectly with macOS Big Sur – we’re still putting the final touches on PPTP support, which we hope to have ready shortly.

Sign up to email updates and get informed when PPTP support for Big Sur is available in VPN Tracker:

One more thing…

Apple will announce Macs using Apple processors today… and VPN Tracker 365 is ready. We’ve built the new version to run natively on Apple Silicon, so you’ll get the full performance of your VPN from day one.

Nitty Gritty Details

  • The new VPN engine uses a modern XPC-based architecture to allow the various VPN protocols to talk to the main app and each other
  • With the new System Extension APIs, we’re still able to support complex IPsec VPN devices that aren’t supported by any other VPN client on the Mac, including SonicWALL with Simple Client Provisioning and devices that only support old NAT-T standards
  • We’ve updated the UI for macOS Big Sur with slightly lighter colors, a new-look app icon, and new preference icons for a fresher feel
  • The new VPN engine architecture is only used under macOS Big Sur – macOS Catalina and below still use the tried and tested VPN engine optimized for those OS versions (though with a newer version)
  • VPN Tracker’s versioning is now easier: it’s just plain old “21”, the “365” is no longer part of the version number you’ll see in the Finder
  • The first time you launch the new version, you’ll need to install an updated VPN engine and go through some setup steps
  • For admins managing teams using MDM software, note that you’ll need to add Team ID “MJMRT6WJ8S” to your allowed list of System Extension providers
New VPN Tracker 365 icon for Big Sur

Get it today

The new version will be rolled out to existing customers via an in-app update over the next week and can be downloaded immediately.

And that wraps up our major new version – we’re excited to get this version out in time for macOS Big Sur and look forward to your feedback!

Your VPN Tracker Team

Trust the #1 VPN client for Mac OS X and macOS:

VPN Tracker securely connects thousands of Macs worldwide with VPNs every day. VPN Tracker was developed from the ground up in our head office in Munich. You can trust in our long experience working with advanced VPN technology.

Download VPN Tracker for free
Buy VPN Tracker
 

From OS X 10.11 including macOS 11 Big Sur

The post The new VPN Tracker 365 is here – VPN for macOS Big Sur appeared first on equinux blog.

04/23/2020, 16:23
VPN Tracker 19.6.6: Connection Improvements for Remote Work

With so many of us now working from home, we’ve been getting a lot of input from our customers and have focused on improvements for remote work situations in VPN Tracker 19.6.6.

We’ve focused on three core areas: Remote DNS, Connection Checker and general connection improvements.

Remote DNS and Split DNS Improvements

To briefly recap: when using Remote DNS, you can ask your company’s DNS servers to resolve addresses for you. This is required if you have internal pages that are only known to your internal DNS servers, e.g. “internal.corp.example.com”

Instead of sending all requests to your company DNS server, you can also only send requests for certain domains – this is usually referred to as “Split DNS”.In VPN Tracker 365 19.6.6, we have added split DNS support for lower-level tools and libraries: anything that relies on etc/resolv.conf will now get the correct split DNS settings you have configured in VPN Tracker.

We’ve also fixed a few issues, one of which is worth mentioning in particular: when using split DNS with a host-to-everywhere connection, in some circumstances all DNS queries would also be sent through the tunnel; This has now been corrected. So if your internal domains can no longer be found with the new update, check your DNS settings and make sure all the necessary search domains have been added.

Remote DNS settings in VPN Tracker 365

Connection Checker Improvements

Another big area of focus for this release is Connection Checker. If you’re working from home, it’s important to figure out the best settings for your home internet connection.

Connection Checker can tell you which VPN protocols your router and ISP support and will give you advice on what settings you may need to change to get things working.

Thanks to customer feedback, we’ve been able to improve the in-app suggestions and hints and have also fixed a few bugs.

Connection Checker in VPN Tracker 365
Connection Checker detects which VPN standards your home internet connection supports

Connection Improvements

As always, we’ve also made a number of improvements to the VPN Tracker engine, for more reliable VPN connections.

Check the full release notes for all the nitty gritty details, here are a few highlights:

  • A rare issue with Remote Connection Wipe has been fixed that could prevent some Team members from starting a connection
  • OpenVPN connections now support more compression configuration options that can be sent by the server
  • Several fixes that could occasionally prevent IPsec VPN connections from coming up right away
  • Improved error flow when updating your company login password for L2TP, OpenVPN and SonicWALL SSL connections

How to Update

Go to VPN Tracker 365 → Check for Updates… to get the update right away. You can manage your update settings under VPN Tracker 365 → Preferences:

Checking for updates in VPN Tracker 365

Test Nightly or Beta Releases

If you’re the VPN admin for your company, a reseller or just like getting the cutting edge, you can also enable Nightly or Beta updates under VPN Tracker 365 → Preferences.

You’ll be able to get early access to new features and will be able to test any upcoming changes with your connections before they are rolled out to all users.

Can I go back to an earlier version?

If you ever run into any issues with a beta or regular update and want to try an earlier release, here’s what to do:

New to VPN Tracker? Learn more on our website, or contact us directly for a quote or if you have any questions.

Protect your data with VPN Tracker 365 – the #1 VPN client for OS X and macOS:

Download VPN Tracker for free
Buy VPN Tracker
 

Start now! Requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later

The post VPN Tracker 19.6.6: Connection Improvements for Remote Work appeared first on equinux blog.

04/07/2020, 09:27
Choosing the Best VPN Gateway for Remote Work

With remote work becoming increasingly more important, it’s critical that you have the equipment you need. Alongside other factors, a good VPN gateway for remote work is essential in enabling your team to securely connect to the office network and work from home productively.

This guide takes you through everything you need to know about choosing a VPN gateway for remote work, as well as how to set up your VPN on your chosen device…

What do I need to move my team to remote work?

Before we begin, let’s quickly review what you’ll need to get your team working from home:

  1. A VPN Gateway connected your internal network
  2. Each employee uses their own Internet Connection
  3. The employee connects via a VPN Client such as VPN Tracker 365 running on their Mac
What you need to get set remote workers up with VPN

What to look for in a VPN gateway for remote work

While there is no “one size fits all” solution, here are some key factors to think about when weighing up your options:

Gateway Type

You can typically find two types of VPN gateways: All-in-one routers with VPN support, or dedicated VPN firewalls.

Dedicated VPN Firewalls typically offer more advanced security features and are designed for larger offices. For a smaller office, an all-in-one router with VPN support is easier to configure but will mean replacing your existing equiment.

Action: Decide whether a router or firewall is better suited to your current network setup.

Business vs. Consumer

VPN gateways tend to vary between business- and consumer-level and offer different features respectively. If you’re a small team with 1-3 people connecting, a consumer-level router with VPN support may be enough for your needs. For larger teams, you’ll want to look for a business-level product that has more processing power to support more VPN users simultaneously.

Action: Weigh up your business’ needs and determine which type of VPN device you are going to search for.

How many users are supported?

Many businesses will have to configure more than one VPN connection to suit different users and their specific use-cases. If this is the case for your business, it is important that you check whether the VPN gateway offers support for multiple connections.

Action: If it is likely that you will be setting up more than one VPN connection, make sure to look exclusively at VPN devices which support multiple connections.

Tech Specs

VPN gateways differ massively in terms of their technical specification. Depending on the size and nature of your business, many of the more advanced features offered may not even be relevant.

Action: List the features which are most important for your company and cross-reference these with the gateways’s spec.

As well as multiple connection support, some other important features to look out for may include:

  • Supported VPN protocols: E.g. IPSec, OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, etc.
  • VPN throughput: The higher the throughput, the faster and better the connection will be.
  • Processor: The faster your VPN gateway’s processor, the better. A fast processer will make sure your device can handle the demand and allow remote workers to make full use of their internet connection speeds.

Price

VPN gateways vary in price, costing anything from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on how many users they support, their performance and other features.

Action: Be sure to shop around and compare prices of multiple retailers.

Support

Finally, your VPN gateway is a crucial part of your company’s network infrastructure. Should you encounter any issues, it’s important that you are able to quickly get the guidance you need from the manufacturer so you can get things up and running again.

Action: Check the support options on the manufacturer’s website and try to research customer reviews before making your final decision.

Which options are out there?

When it comes to finding the best VPN gateway for remote work, there are many options to choose from. Below we’ve listed some of the most popular choices among our customers, but of course it’s down to you to find the gateway which is right for your business.

Popular consumer/small business gateways include:

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 VPN gateway

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 R7000

A solid all-in-one choice that offers OpenVPN support, good WiFi coverage and decent performance. Only supports one VPN connection, so suited for individuals wishing to connect to their office.

Key features:

  • Easy setup
  • Support for OpenVPN connections
  • Supports one VPN connection
  • WiFi: Supports AC WiFI speeds up to 1300 Mbps
  • View it on Amazon
TP Link Safestream small business VPN gateway for remote work

TP Link Safestream TL-R600VPN

A solid, affordable choice for small businesses. This device supports a range of VPN protocols and up to 20 users simultaneously.

Key features:

  • Support for IPSec, L2TP and PPTP VPN protocols
  • Supports up to 20 VPN users
  • Affordable: Under $100
  • View it on Amazon
ZyXEL USG40W Unified Security Gateway for VPN users

ZyXEL USG40W Unified Security Gateway

With support for WiFi and up to 20 VPN users, this is a great all in one VPN solution for small business users able to spend a little extra.

Key features:

  • All-in-one UTM Firewall with WiFi
  • Support for IPSec and L2TP VPN protocols
  • Supports up to 20 VPN users
  • 100 Mbps VPN throughput
  • View it on Amazon
UniFi Dream Machine VPN gateway

Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine (UDM)

Also an all-in-one device, this prosumer gateway solution is another solid choice for smaller businesses.

  • Extendable system that offers best-in-class WiFi coverage options
  • Easy-to-use cloud-based management solution
  • Powerful 1.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • View it on the UniFi store

Popular business/enterprise gateways include:

ZYXEL ZyWALL 110 VPN enabling Firewall

ZyXEL ZyWALL 110 Business Firewall

ZyXEL’s ZyWALL series offers great performance, robust VPN support and can be easily extended with ZyXEL wireless AP solutions for WiFi coverage.

Key features:

  • Support for IPSec and L2TP VPN protocols
  • Supports up to 100 VPN users
  • 400 Mbps VPN throughput
  • View it on Amazon
DELL SonicWALL TZ400 VPN enabling Firewall for enterprise level

SonicWALL TZ400

As one of the most popular choices amongst VPN Tracker customers, SonicWALL’s TZ-series is a great choice offering excellent performance and advanced security features.

Thanks to SonicWALL Simple Client Provisioning support in VPN Tracker, your VPN will be set up in no time.

Key features:

  • SonicWALL Simple Client Provisioning makes connecting with VPN Tracker really easy
  • Supports up to 25 VPN users
  • 900 Mbps VPN throughput
  • 4 x 800 MHz processors
  • View it on Amazon
SRX550 Enterprise VPN Firewall

Juniper SRX550 Enterprise Firewall

The Juniper SRX550 is a high end, business-level gateway aimed at mid to large branch locations. The impressive spec of this model means it doesn’t come cheap, but there are other lower-spec models available in the SRX series.

Key features:

How to configure a VPN connection for your VPN gateway

Now you’ve chosen your VPN gateway, it’s time for you to configure your VPN connection. With step-by-step configuration guides for 300+ VPN routers, VPN Tracker makes this easy. You can find configuration guides for all leading gateway manufacturers here.

To get set up:

  1. Find your guide in the list,
  2. Download the VPN Tracker 365 app,
  3. Follow the steps to configure the VPN connection for your team.

Learn more about VPN Tracker on our website, or contact us directly for a quote or if you have any questions.

Protect your data with VPN Tracker 365 – the #1 VPN client for OS X and macOS:

Download VPN Tracker for free
Buy VPN Tracker
 

Start now! Requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later

Disclaimer: Some of the links included in this blog post are affiliate links.

The post Choosing the Best VPN Gateway for Remote Work appeared first on equinux blog.

03/26/2020, 19:35
VPN Tracker 365: Full Support Availability during the Coronavirus Crisis

With countries all over the world requiring people to stay at home, the VPN Tracker 365 Team is committed to helping all customers successfully move to remote work.

You can rest assured that we continue to offer full support to our customers and have taken key steps to increase our support capacity during this difficult time.

Support Information

  • Our support team continues to be available for you during this time
  • We’ve updated all FAQs to cover your most common issues
  • The more information you include in your support request, the better. Please include a Technical Support Report (TSR) from inside the VPN Tracker app
  • Support is only available for VPN Tracker 365 customers; Users of earlier VPN Tracker versions will need to purchase a VPN Tracker 365 plan
  • Priority is given to VPN Tracker 365 VIP customers

Upcoming updates

We’re continuing to work on improving VPN Tracker 365 and will be shipping an update in the next few weeks with improved logs and troubleshooting tips for common connection issues we’ve seen over the last few weeks.

Getting Started with Work from Home

We’ve written some posts to highlight VPN Tracker 365 features that help improve work from home productivity:

How to Move Your Team to a Remote Work Setup

How to Work from Home Productively

Working from Home with VPN – Your FAQs answered

Stay safe & stay home!

Your VPN Tracker 365 Team

The post VPN Tracker 365: Full Support Availability during the Coronavirus Crisis appeared first on equinux blog.

03/25/2020, 14:52
How to Work from Home Productively – With VPN

The Coronavirus has you working from home? For many people, this change will take some getting used to. Especially when using complex tools like a VPN for the first time, learning how to work from home productively can be a challenge at first.

Try these simple tips in VPN Tracker 365 to improve your productivity while working from home…

Productive remote work setup

Personalise your connections

When using multiple VPN connections for different purposes, it is easy to get confused. VPN Tracker 365 lists all of your connections in the sidebar and allows you to rename connections and give them a personalised icon.

This is a practical way to help you quickly and easily identify the connection you need for the service you require. Simply right click on a VPN connection to rename it or change the default icon:

Personalise your connections to make working from home more productive

Create VPN Shortcuts

“Why doesn’t the network drive show up in the Finder sidebar?” This handy auto-discovery feature that makes network shares appaear automatically on your Mac unfortunately doesn’t work over VPN. So it can be difficult to access the resources and services you need when working from home. VPN shortcuts are the best way for you to find and access what you need at the click of a mouse.

Taking a few minutes to set up VPN Shortcuts to your most important internal services (i.e file server, intranet, internal chat etc.) in VPN Tracker 365 will save you a lot more time in the future and help you work from home more productively.

How it works:

Open VPN Tracker 365. Click on the “+” in the bottom left corner and select “New VPN Shortcuts.” Then, drag out the icon of the service you want to use (e.g. Mail, FileServer, web browser) to configure your shortcut:

Setting up VPN Shortcuts for remote work with VPN Tracker 365

Select the VPN connection you want to use this shortcut with and then enter the relevant server/browser address:

Creating a VPN shortcut to intranet to help with change to a remote work setup

Now you have instant access to your most important services in the VPN Tracker 365 app.

Configure connection actions

VPN Tracker 365 also gives you the option to configure specific connection actions which will help you save time when using the VPN connection.

Some useful examples include:

  • Connect automatically: Connect to your VPN when the VPN Tracker app starts
  • Connect to server: Connects your Mac to a chosen server after the VPN connection has been established
  • Open URL: Opens a specific URL (e.g. Intranet) once you are connected to VPN

These are just some examples of what you can do to save time. To configure connection actions for your VPN connection, click on the connection and go to “Configure” > “Actions”:

Configuring connection actions in VPN Tracker 365 to increase productivity

Now your VPN connection is tailored exactly to your needs – which makes working productively from home much easier.

Try out these productivity tips in VPN Tracker 365

We hope these tips will be useful to you and you will consider trying them out in VPN Tracker 365. Download VPN Tracker 365 today for free to see how it can improve your work from home routine.

Learn more about VPN Tracker on our website, or contact us directly for a quote or if you have any questions.

Protect your data with VPN Tracker 365 – the #1 VPN client for OS X and macOS:

Download VPN Tracker for free
Buy VPN Tracker
 

Start now! Requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later

The post How to Work from Home Productively – With VPN appeared first on equinux blog.

03/24/2020, 16:06
How to Move Your Team to a Remote Work Setup #stayathome

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, thousands of offices around the world are following government guidelines and moving their staff to work from home.

This is a big change for everyone involved. Here are some of our best tips on how to quickly move your entire team to a remote work setup and keep everyone working productively from home.

Tips for rolling out your remote work strategy

Before you move your team to a remote work setup, the first thing you will need to do is to set up a VPN client and connection to give your new remote workers secure access to your internal network.

VPN Tracker is the #1 VPN client for the Mac and is specifically designed with business users in mind. With configuration guides for 300+ VPN gateways and dedicated business features for professionals, setting up a VPN connection for your team to use while working from home is easy.

Once you’ve downloaded VPN Tracker 365, you can follow these tips to make the change to a remote work setup faster and more productive for everyone in your team.

Prepare the VPN connection for your team

VPNs can be complicated to configure. The good news is, as an admin you can take care of all the setup and configuration ahead of time and export a connection file for your team that is ready-to-go.

VPN Tracker 365 Pro and VIP offer connection export and you can also specify additional security options, including embedding the pre-shared key without making it user-accessible and hiding sensitive configuration details.

Set up VPN Shortcuts to common company services

Some of the most frequent support requests we get are from users asking how to access services over VPN. This is because the auto-discovery magic that makes network shares auto-appear in the Finder’s sidebar doesn’t work over VPN.

VPN Tracker 365 makes it easy: Give your team access to frequently used resources by creating VPN Shortcuts and sharing them with your team.

Create shortcuts for your company intranet, file servers, internal chat etc. and give your staff simple one-click icons to connect their VPN and launch the service they need.

Setting up shortcuts in VPN Tracker 365 is easy. Click on the “+” in the bottom left corner and select “New VPN Shortcuts.” Then, drag your chosen service from the bottom menu:

Setting up VPN Shortcuts for remote work with VPN Tracker 365

Now you can configure the shortcut and select the VPN connection you want staff to use.

Creating a VPN shortcut to intranet to help with change to a remote work setup

When you’ve finished your VPN shortcuts, you can export them along with the VPN connection your team will use.

Export your VPN connection & Shortcuts

Use the Export features in VPN Tracker 365 Pro to export your configured connection and VPN shortcuts for everyone in your team to use.

To do this, open VPN Tracker 365, select the connection you want to share with your team and then go to “File” > “Export.” Here you can specify the export details and create an import password:

Using VPN Tracker to export a VPN connection to share with remote workers

Your VPN connection will then be exported as simple file that you can send via email to your team members. They can simply double click to import the connection and shortcuts into the VPN Tracker 365 app.

Easy Team and License Management with my.vpntracker.com

VPN Tracker 365 offers convenient Team Management features to help you add and assign plans to your team members.

  • Sign in with your equinux ID and password,
  • Create a team under the Team Management tab,
  • Send out email invitations to invite your coworkers to your team:
Setting up a team for remote work in VPN Tracker 365

As soon as a team member has been assigned a license, they can download the VPN Tracker 365 app to get started.

Once a team member has accepted your invitation and created an equinux ID, they will appear under the “Team Management” tab.

Tip: Here you can see how many team members you have and how many VPN Tracker licenses you need to purchase from the Team Store.

Let VPN Tracker help your team change to a remote work setup

We hope these tips will help you with the change over to a remote work setup. Learn more about VPN Tracker on our website, or contact us directly for a quote or more information.

Protect your data with VPN Tracker 365 – the #1 VPN client for OS X and macOS:

Download VPN Tracker for free
Buy VPN Tracker
 

Start now! Requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later

The post How to Move Your Team to a Remote Work Setup #stayathome appeared first on equinux blog.

03/24/2020, 12:32
Working from Home with VPN – Your FAQs answered

The current COVID 19 crisis has more and more professionals working from home with VPN. For many of you working remotely and using VPN for the first time, it may take a few days to adjust to this new workflow.

To help you get started and work more productively, here are our solutions for a few common working from home FAQs…

Working from home with VPN: 5 Common FAQs

1. How can I connect to my company network with VPN?

It depends. Each VPN gateway is totally unique and has its own requirements. The best way to find the specific configuration details for your device is by checking our configuration guides. We have setup guides for all leading VPN gateways including NETGEAR, SonicWALL, Synology Cisco, etc…

Get started: Download the VPN Tracker app free and use the guides to configure your VPN connection to connect to your office network from home.

2. What can I access using VPN?

A VPN connection allows you to access files and services located on your company’s network. For example, this may include shared folders, your office’s intranet, internal email services, databases, etc.

Basically, you can access almost anything on your office network over VPN that you can access when you’re at the office. Just note that some of the “auto discovery” features that make things automatically show up at the office won’t work, so you may need to use an IP address instead.

Tip: The Network Scanner in VPN Tracker 365 can help you easily find and access the services you need.

While scanning, VPN Tracker recognizes the type of device, detects the operating system it is running, and displays available services for direct access.

Use the scanner in VPN Tracker to find available services available on your connection.

3. What do I need at home for VPN to work?

All you need on your end for VPN to work is a good internet connection. Your company’s network administrator will arrange the rest on the other end. As long as your Mac is connected to your home network, your VPN connection should work just fine.

Is my router at home VPN compatible?

You can use Connection Checker to check whether your router supports VPN connections and which protocols are compatible.

Connect your Mac to the internet, start VPN Tracker and go to “Tools” > “Connection Checker.”

Select the protocol you want to test for, or select all if you are unsure. Then, click “Start Connection Check” to discover your results.

Using VPN Tracker 365 Connection Checker to test your VPN connection when working from home

4. What is XAUTH?

When you try to start up your VPN connection for the first time, you may be asked to enter your XAUTH (Extended Authentication) credentials. This is your way of telling the VPN gateway that you are authorised to use the connection.

In most cases, this is likely to be your internal login for your workplace. However, if you are unsure, it’s best to check this with your network administrator first.

Tip: After you enter your credentials, make sure to save them in your Keychain so you don’t have to authorise yourself each time you connect.

5. How do I access a server which is not in the sidebar?

Once you are up and running on VPN, you will most likely want to connect to your company’s server right away. Usually on a Mac, available server locations on your network will be displayed in the sidebar of the Finder window; however, when you connect via VPN, these are not always shown automatically.

To connect and get access to your server files, open Finder and use the shortcut “⌘ + k” to open the “Connect to Server” window. Here you can enter your server IP address to gain access. If you’re unsure of the IP address you need to enter, your network admin will be able to help you.

Tip: To get direct access to your server, you can create a VPN Shortcut in VPN Tracker.

Click on the plus in the bottom left corner and select “New VPN Shortcuts.” Then, drag out the FileServer icon to configure your shortcut:

VPN Tracker 365 app window

Select the VPN connection you want to use this shortcut with and then enter your server address.

Using VPN to connect to a company server when working from home

Now you have instant access to your server locations in the VPN Tracker 365 app.

Get started with VPN for your home office

Hopefully these FAQs have helped answer some of your questions about getting set up with a VPN for working from home.

VPN Tracker 365 is the best choice for professionals looking to use VPN to securely access their company network from their Mac. As the leading VPN client for OS X and macOS, VPN Tracker offers a huge range of features designed especially for business users.

Learn more about VPN Tracker on our website, or contact us directly for a quote or if you have any questions.

Protect your data with VPN Tracker 365 – the #1 VPN client for OS X and macOS:

Download VPN Tracker for free
Buy VPN Tracker
 

Start now! Requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later

The post Working from Home with VPN – Your FAQs answered appeared first on equinux blog.

03/16/2020, 18:49
Working from Home? The best VPN for Mac

How-to Guide: Connect your Mac to your office network via VPN

Whilst working in the office, secure access to important data is taken for granted. However, with more and more of us now working from home, the need to externally access the office network is greater than ever before. When it comes to accessing sensitive company data from outside of the office, it’s important to know you are going about it the right way. 

Using VPN Tracker to connect Mac to office network
Using a VPN to connect your Mac to your office network helps keep your company data safe.

How can I access my company’s network from my home office?

When working remotely, the best and most efficient way to connect to your office network is via a VPN. A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your home and office networks which allows you safe access to all your internal services. However, with so many options out there, it can be hard to know where to get started.

Which VPN service do I need?

With most standard VPN services on the market, only a secure connection is provided. The rest is up to you. VPN Tracker is the best choice for professionals looking to connect remotely to the company network. As well as the highest security standards, VPN Tracker offers a complete service specifically tailored to the needs of your business.

Here’s how to use VPN Tracker, the number 1 VPN client for macOS and OS X, to connect your Mac to your office network.

How to Use VPN Tracker to Connect your Mac to Your Office Network

For you to get started with VPN Tracker, your network administrator will first have to set up a team and add you to it. Once they have done this, you can carry out the following steps to get set up. If you are an admin, refer to the device configuration guides for more detailed setup instructions.

Step One: Accept your team invitation

You will receive an email invitation from your admin. Click on the link in the email to accept the invitation and join the VPN Tracker team:

Invitation to VPN Tracker team for remote work

Step Two: Create an equinux ID for your account

You will now be asked to create an equinux ID. This is your personal account to use with all equinux services and will be your login for VPN Tracker app and the my.vpntracker portal.

Step Three: Download the VPN Tracker app

Once your account has been set up, you can download the VPN Tracker app and log in with your equinux ID. Download the app here, or via the Downloads tab in your my.vpntracker portal. Your admin should have assigned you a plan by this point so you can start using VPN Tracker.

Download the VPN Tracker app

Step Four: Import the connection

In order for you to access your office network remotely, your admin will email you a connection file. Double click the .zip file to import the connection into VPN Tracker. You will now be asked to enter a password to check you are authorized to access this connection. This will be provided to you by your admin:

Pro tip: Saving the connection in your Connection Safe will keep the connection settings saved to your equinux ID should you get a new Mac.

Step Five: Enter your user credentials

Now the connection has been successfully imported, you can test it. Make sure you are connected to an external network (e.g. your work WiFi) and start the connection by clicking on the slider. You will now be asked to enter your user credentials. This may be your internal login for your IT system, or a different login. Make sure you clarify this with your admin.

Pro tip: Once you have entered both your login and password, check “Store in Keychain” so VPN Tracker will remember it every time you need to connect. 

Once the setup is complete, you will be able to use VPN to connect to your office network from your home office or anywhere with a WiFi connection which supports VPN. Not sure if VPN is supported? Use the Connection Checker to see whether your VPN connection is supported by your current internet connection.

Learn more about VPN Tracker on our website, or contact us directly for a quote or if you have any questions.

Protect your data with VPN Tracker 365 – the #1 VPN client for OS X and macOS:

Download VPN Tracker for free
Buy VPN Tracker
 

Start now! Requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later

The post Working from Home? The best VPN for Mac appeared first on equinux blog.

03/16/2020, 15:30
Helpful Tips for Remote Work

Here are 5 of our tried & tested, essential tips for remote work…

The term “home office” is one which almost all of us are familiar with today. Remote work is becoming an essential part of the way modern businesses operate and many large companies now consist entirely of remote teams spread out across the world. However, for many people trying remote work for the first time, it can be difficult to adjust.

Here are five easy to implement tips which we find super useful whenever we are working from home… 

5 Essential Tips for Remote Work

1. Establish a clear routine for remote work and stick to it

Remote work requires a great amount of self-discipline. Where there are clear boundaries between the home and the office, lines can become blurred when you are spending your entire day at home and you can quickly find yourself getting distracted with other, non work-related tasks. 

To help prevent this, establish a clear daily routine from the get go and follow it when you are working from home. Most importantly, this should include three core events: 

  1. What time you will start work,
  2. When you will take your lunch break,
  3. What time you will finish work for the day. 

Try your best to coordinate the rest of your day (i.e. tasks, conference calls, etc.) around these core times. Not only does this type of routine reflect how you would be working in an office environment, it also helps ensure that you have enough time to get everything done without compromising on your wellbeing

Tip: Use a planning tool such as Google Calendar to set out your daily routine and then share with your coworkers. Be sure to fill in your office hours and any meetings, conference calls, or other appointments you have each day, so colleagues also know when you are available.

Example calendar for a day of remote work
Use tools like Google Calendar to perfectly plan your schedule for remote work at home.

2. Create a practical workspace

Employers spend a large amount of time and money on making sure your work environment is comfortable and contains all you need to work productively. This includes investing in the best equipment (e.g. computers, laptops, office supplies), choosing ergonomic office furniture, and keeping the workplace clean and tidy.

It is important that your workspace at home is just as well organised and practical as your office at work – especially if you will be working from home for a longer period. Balancing your MacBook on your lap while sitting on the sofa simply won’t cut it in the long run. 

Find a quiet, undisturbed space in your home where you can comfortably sit and get on with your work. If you don’t have a dedicated room or office for your remote work, this could simply be a dining table, or a desk. Make sure you also have a good chair which is comfortable to sit on for a long period of time in order to avoid damage to your neck, shoulders and back. 

Home office workspace
Find a quiet and comfortable space in your home to set up your home office.

Keeping your workstation tidy:

Once you‘ve established your workspace, it’s also important to keep it tidy. Although it may be easy to leave things disorganized while other coworkers aren’t around to judge, it’s not good for your productivity. A tangled mess of cables is not a good space to be working in.

Investing in some cable organizers like tizi Knubbis is an affordable way to make a big difference to your workstation. Route cables safely under your desk and bundle multiple cables together so they’re out of the way.

Cable organisers for remote workers
tizi Knubbi Kellerassel allows you to route 5 cables on or under your desk and prevents them from becoming tangled.

3. Find a reliable chat service to enable better communication

One of the aspects remote teams struggle most with is communication. In the office, if you have a burning question for one of your colleagues, it’s easy enough to go and talk things through face to face. This is not as simple for remote workers.

Luckily, there are a huge amount of work-based chat platforms to choose from when it comes to finding an effective way to communicate with your coworkers. Tools like Slack are great for remote work and allow you to have direct chats with all your colleagues, as well as dedicated channels for ongoing projects, teams, or general office updates. Using a chat service like this to conveniently ping a team member is a pretty great replacement for simply walking over to their desk to ask a quick question.

For teams, setting up group chat channels is also a highly efficient way to keep multiple people in the loop and discuss important projects and tasks together.

Using Slack for remote work
Professional chat tools like Slack are a great way to stay in touch with the rest of the office.

Of course, for more complicated dilemmas, nothing can replace good, old-fashioned conversation. In this instance, make sure to mix things up and also schedule phone calls, video meetings, webinars etc., to keep up the communication. 

4. Get a change of scenery

Aside from the social aspect, one of the main benefits of going to work everyday is the change of scenery. For many people new to remote work, this can be the thing they struggle with most when working from home. 

As comfortable as your home is, staying inside the same four walls all week long can be tough. For the sake of your own wellbeing, it’s important to try and get a change of scenery if possible. 

Many coffee shops and cafes offer WiFi and a comfortable space for you to work peacefully – even if just for a few hours in the week. Alternatively, if going out is not an option (i.e. due to illness or childcare commitments), try moving your workstation to a different room or getting some fresh air by taking your coffee or lunch break outdoors. A small change of your surroundings can make a huge difference. 

Keeping active

Remember to also stay active. In the office, we still move about from room to room for meetings, lunch breaks, team projects etc. When working from home it can be easy to sit in the same spot all day. 

Be disciplined and remember to take short breaks to walk about and stretch your back and legs. Consider using your lunch break to go on a walk outside or go out for a jog in the mornings before you start the day. This small exercise will make the world of difference in the long run.

Remote working from a coffee shop.
Finding a peaceful coffee shop to get some work done gives you a nice change of scenery when working from home.

5. Use a VPN client to access your office network

If, like most firms, you handle a lot of sensitive data, you may also be concerned about network security when working remotely, and rightly so! Sending confidential files back and forth unencrypted is risky and you don’t want to leave your business or your customers open to the risk of a threat. Using a VPN tunnel to access your office network is one way to guarantee security.

What is VPN?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) enables you to safely connect your iMac, MacBook, computer, laptop, etc. to another network (i.e. your office network) via your internet connection. This is done by creating a secure virtual tunnel between your home network and the other location, with which you can send data back and forth, access files and carry out  work-related tasks uninterrupted. 

VPN Tracker for your home office
VPN Tracker is the leading VPN client for Mac and the perfect tool for your home office.

Installing a VPN client on your Mac is the safest and easiest way for you to remotely access your company network. As the number 1 VPN client for Mac, VPN Tracker makes it possible for thousands of remote workers to safely connect their Macs to a company network every day.

VPN Tracker is the ideal solution for remote workers who want to connect their Mac to their company network via VPN.

With easily importable VPN connections and practical features such as Connection Checker (which instantly tells you if VPN is available on your network) and VPN shortcuts (configurable, instant shortcuts to your important internal services), VPN Tracker is head and shoulders above any other VPN client.

Learn more about VPN Tracker on our website, or contact us directly for a quote.

Protect your data with VPN Tracker 365 – the #1 VPN client for OS X and macOS:

Download VPN Tracker for free
Buy VPN Tracker
 

Start now! Requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later

The post Helpful Tips for Remote Work appeared first on equinux blog.