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Archive for the ‘SpotFlux’ Category

These are the thoughts and opinions written by the spotflux team and our colleagues.

Debunking the Myths of VPN Service Providers

August 20, 2013

Think your VPN provider is looking out for your security and privacy? A lot of snake oil is sold in the VPN service industry these days. The terms “privacy” and “security” are tossed around fairly loosely without much regard for what they actually mean. In fact this is why the team at Spotflux doesn’t like our service to be called a VPN, its akin to calling Facebook a website – what we do is so far beyond a VPN service that it just doesn’t compare. In this post we’re going to address some of the ridiculous snake oil being sold to consumers in the VPN service space and try to help you understand some  important nuances to consider when looking for a company that will protect your privacy and security online.

snakeoil

Snake Oil Concoction #1 – VPNs make you private because they Hide Your IP Address

Most VPN providers do indeed “mask” your ip address by re-routing traffic through their servers. Your IP address does indeed look different and this may be good enough to trick some GEO-IP based filters into thinking you are somewhere else than your actual location. The myth however is that you are somehow “more private” just by having a different IP address – this couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s take a look at an example… read more …

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NEW APP   Applications » Tools

Spotflux Introduces Advanced Security And Privacy Solution For Mobile Devices, Protecting Consumers And Small/Medium Businesses From Malicious Activity On The Internet

Malicious software targeting mobile devices has risen 185 percent in less than a year, according to a 2012 report from the Government Accountability Office. Published reports have also warned that 2013 is the year in which mobile security threats will increase. To combat this issue, Spotflux,a leader in security and privacy solutions for the Internet, today announced the completion of the worldwide roll out of its proprietary cloud-based advanced security and privacy solution for Apple iOS mobile devices now available in the United States, Canada and Western Europe. This simple-to-use and affordable download protects consumers and small and medium-sized businesses from malicious activity with the same rigor once reserved only for large corporations. The Spotflux mobile solution for Android devices will be available this June.

Spotflux integrates advanced technologies, including a worldwide geographically dispersed VPN; a robust security stack that identifies and blocks malware, viruses, identity thieves, and unwanted tracking; privacy tools that detect and remove tracking code; and a bandwidth compression paradigm that saves users cost on their data plans.

“Spotflux provides a safe connection to the Internet that immediately reacts to and protects against malicious activity and unwanted tracking before it lands on your mobile device, all while guarding your privacy,” said Chris Naegelin, CEO and co-founder of Spotflux. “Reports have warned that 2013 is the year in which mobile security threats will increase, especially as we see the rise in employees bringing their own device to work. It’s critical that consumers and small and medium-sized businesses throughout the world have an affordable way to protect themselves from all types of malicious activity on their mobile devices.”

Spotflux’s mobile and desktop solutions are now available worldwide and can be downloaded at www.spotflux.com. There is a free trial for the mobile solution followed by a minimal charge of $1.99/month or $5.99/year. The desktop version is free.

Spotflux was conceived and launched by a team of passionate software visionaries who anticipated the evolution of increasingly sophisticated threats that would emerge in the wake of exploding wireless Internet availability on mobile devices. By taking rigorous enterprise grade security technologies typically available on costly appliances and adapting them to a scalable and proprietary cloud architecture, Spotflux brings the unification of threat management and privacy protection into the hands of consumers and SMBs. The Spotflux service provides a managed and trusted connection to the internet that immediately reacts to and protects against emerging threats and unwanted tracking that affect mobile devices and desktop computers. Since its launch in March 2012, the service has acquired more than a million users around the world.

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Spotflux: Finally, A Free VPN

Spotflux: Finally, A Free VPN

on March 22nd 2013

Cloak is a fantastic little VPN that protects your privacy and allows you to browse the Internet safely on your Mac. Unfortunately, you must pay a price for quality.

Or must you? The team at Spotflux doesn’t think you should pay for privacy, so they have developed a great little VPN that works on Mac, Windows, iOS, and soon Android. As with anything that’s free, there must be a downside, right? Let’s find out.

Bare Bones VPN

Spotflux is enabled upon launch.

Spotflux is enabled upon launch.

Spotflux has two main features: security and privacy. In other words, if you’re on a WiFi network that has no encryption, it’s the perfect way to ensure your sensitive information isn’t easy to access wirelessly. Any ill-doer could intercept your information if it’s being transferred over a public network. For the sake of your security, it’s worth using a VPN at the local coffee shop or library.

As with most companies these days, Spotflux says it’s using “the cloud” to protect your data. Since that’s now the generalized term for all computing on a remote server, this is indeed so, but it’s mainly a marketing technique. You can also run things through a proxy and then through Spotflux if you like using that additional server. However, the actual service is quite good on it’s own. You can choose between using it as just a VPN or with added functionality using filters.

Filters Block Ads, Malware, and Tracking Code

Spotflux has one very unique feature: filters. Instead of using an ad blocker like I do, you can just switch on the VPN and it will remove them from the pages for you. I didn’t find it as effective as some of the browser plugins out there, but it’s definitely useful when browsing the Net.

Use filters or keep them disabled.

Use filters or keep them disabled.

There are other filters, too. The service tries its best to stop malware from downloading to your computer. With a Mac, this isn’t as much of a problem, but it is nice to have that extra layer between the virus’ server and your computer. Lastly, the app blocks tracking code, or “cookies” as they’re more commonly known. I personally don’t need any of these “filters” — most people don’t, and they might even break some web apps — but they do act as an extra layer of security and not a whole lot of resources are used to have them running.

Regarding Reliability

For a free service, you can’t expect perpetual uptime. It’s good to want consistency, but never complete reliability. Spotflux, thankfully, is one of those services that maintains consistency. I did experience some random disconnects, but overall daily usage has been very smooth. My only complaint is that when I’m downloading a file, it stops and I’m unable to start it at that point. Since it takes a good 45 seconds for Spotflux to switch back on after a disconnect, things can sometimes become inconvenient.

What About This Whole “Free” Concept?

Lately, a lot of services have started out by being unconditionally free. From the perspective of a user, this is a great trait to see in an app or company. And it’s evident that, when the consuming party gets what it wants, all is well in the eyes of everyone else. Sadly, when you take time to look at the core, things are falling apart.

Apple's banner on an App Store promotion.

Apple’s banner on an App Store promotion.

As Michael Jurewitz explained in an editorial related to the matter, the free mindset that developers have can be harmful to the company, and even sometimes end user. The problem is that, while beginning well, the process of a free business model goes downhill due to one flaw: most companies don’t want to be non-profit. That’s why Twitter took the sponsorship approach, Facebook went crazy with advertisements, and App.net was born. It is possible to offer a service for free, but the price is one that users must pay.

Spotflux has it's money on mobile.

Spotflux has it’s money on mobile.

With Spotflux, I found it very hard to understand what the company would do for revenue. To help things along, I spoke with Chris Naegelin, co-founder of the service. Naegelin said that Spotflux is currently only free on the desktop; if you’re using a mobile device, the service is paid. “We also monetize during the install process if a user opts-in to one of our bundle partners such as Dashlane,” he noted.

Thankfully, the co-founder said that the company “[plans] to always have an unlimited free tier”. There will be a “premium” version available on the desktop later this year, but currently the free option is all that’s offered as a sort of starting point.

I asked Naegelin what the company’s plans for the future are and, while he said that most of them are confidential, he made it a point for users to know that there will be much more focus on safe and private browsing.

Simple and Functional

Spotflux is a great app. You won’t easily find another truly free VPN out there that’s the quality of this one. There’s not a lot in the app to go on about because it’s really quite simple. It’s not like the average user needs more in a VPN than what this one offers. The privacy features and malware protection are really nice and the servers have always been speedy enough for my needs. As for the moments of downtime, they’re not that bad — it just takes longer to enable the service.

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Spotflux showcased at RSA Conference

February 25, 2013 – San Francisco – Spotflux, the leading global cloud based security and privacy service provider for PC’s and smart mobile devices, was selected as one of 10 finalists in the RSA Conference, Innovation Sandbox.

The need for proactive defense against a wide range of threats that can assault a computer or wireless device (PC, tablet or smartphone) is coming into acute focus. The rising sophistication of the criminal element, access to inexpensive signal interception hardware (~$25) and unwary public, create an environment for significant, widespread fraud. Spotflux’s simple and elegant security solution has gained the recognition of the RSA judges and has the honor of being a finalist in the 2013 Innovation Sandbox.

Spotflux was founded with the mission to address the imminent threat to anyone using a device that connects to a public network or an unsecure connection to any network. Integrating Spotflux into your PC and mobile devices provides two powerful benefits: 1) preempting the hijacking of your connection which exposes you to a wide range of threats from merely annoying to truly catastrophic and 2) protecting you with real time privacy filters and analytics.

Through a simple download of an application to a PC or Mac (and soon to smart mobile devices) consumers will have a direct, protected channel through the internet directly to the destination they wish to go.

Importantly, Spotflux was designed to compliment / augment the antivirus software most computer owners have already installed on their PC’s. Unlike this kind of software, which is “reactive” (i.e. it reacts to a threat once it has entered the PC and then neutralizes or quarantines it), Spotflux “proactively” defends against threats before they reach the PC – think of it like a “deflector shield” for your PC. Together, Spotflux and antivirus software provide a formidable, multi-layer defense. As if that were not enough, in the unlikely event that a virus or other malicious code does evade the Spotflux “deflector shield” and the antivirus software and starts exporting your sensitive personal information, the Spotflux “shield” has a second chance to review the data being sent and put a stop to unauthorized exfiltration of your data.

Altogether, these features of the service combine to provide our users the freedom and confidence to use the internet to the fullest extent, born from the knowledge that a world class security firm is protecting them and that they now have control over who and what they will allow to find and reach them.

However, as innovative as this service is, it is the underlying business model that completes the total innovative package: it’s Free. Spotflux believes that by offering the initial PC-based level of service on a complimentary basis to consumers will be able to sample the product and experience the benefits first hand. “Our fastest path to growth rests on the advocacy of our users and we will do everything right by them to earn that support” said Chris Naegelin Spotflux, CEO. Upon earning customer confidence, additional features and services (i.e. coverage extension to smart mobile devices) will be available for a reasonable fee. “Our initial PC based product is our first deposit into the ‘relationship bank’ with our customers. It is an investment we are willing to make because we plan on having our customers for life”, said Naegelin.

The company’s confidence in this approach is validated by adoption of the service by over a million users worldwide in less than 12 months of its launch and vociferous demand for the mobile and other features.

About Spotflux

Spotflux, was conceived and launched by a team of passionate software visionaries who anticipated the evolution of increasingly sophisticated scams that would emerge in the wake of exploding wireless internet availability on powerful mobile devices compounded by the adoption and usage by an unwary mass market consumer. Spotflux is the only proactive security solution that averts scams and threats by disguising and insulating your internet traffic and personal information from interception, capture and misuse by others. Since its launch in March 2012 the service has acquired over a million users around the world, mostly by word of mouth. Go to www.spotflux.com and download the app for free and see for yourself what we are doing right.

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Fabrice Grinda on Bloomberg TV Interview about his Angel Investing and one of his favorite companies:

Spotflux   http://spotflux.com

Please see Interview below – Spotflux around 5 minute 30 second mark towards end of interview

http://www.fabricegrinda.com/entrepreneurship/bloomberg-tv-interview-about-my-angel-investing-heuristics/

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Spotflux ile Yasaklı Sitelere Giriş

İnternetteki içeriği engelleme konusunda azimle çalışan Türkiye’de, eğer sizler de erişime engellenmiş sitelere girmek istiyor ama giremiyorsanız yazımıza bir göz atın.

03/10/2012 12:00

Pek çok ülke internet erişimini kısıtlıyor. Özellikle bu kısıtlamalar ülkemizde gün geçtikçe artıyor. Yurtiçi ya da yurtdışı pek çok internet sitesine şu anda erişim engellenmiş durumda. Bazı sitelere DNS değiştirerek bile erişim sağlayamayabiliyoruz.

Bizim bu yazımızdaki konumuzda inadına açılmayan sitelere girmek. Anlatacağımız yöntem ile yasaklı tüm sitelere, bilgisayarınızın tarayıcısından normal bir siteye giriyormuş gibi girebileceksiniz.

İncelediğimiz Spotflux adlı yazılım sayesinde, engellenmiş tüm içeriklere rahatça erişim hakkını bizlere sunuyor.

Yaklaşık 5 MB’lık dosya boyutuna sahip uygulama hem Mac OS hem de Windows desteğiyle dikkat çekiyor. Uygulamayı indirmek için buraya tıklamanız yeterli.

Programı Nasıl Kullanıyoruz?

Uygulamanın kullanımı ve çalışma mantığı oldukça basit. Bilgisayarınıza sanal olarak yeni bir ağ kartı ekleniyor. Bağlantınız buradan Spotflux’ın kendi sunucuları üzerinden gerçekleştiriliyor ve bu sayede ülkenizdeki yasaklara takılmıyorsunuz. Fakat önemli işleriniz sırasında bu uygulamayı kapatmanızı öneriyoruz. Çünkü internet hizmetiniz ile aranıza bir aracı koymuş oluyorsunuz. Sadece engelli sitelere giriş yapacağınız zaman uygulamayı kullanmanızı tavsiye ediyoruz.

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Cómo acceder a una discoteca digital casi infinita desde la Argentina

Servicios como Spotify o Pandora sólo están disponibles en Estados Unidos o Europa, pero un truco informático permite saltar la barrera geográfica

Por Guillermo Tomoyose  | LA NACION

 
Foto: Archivo 

Durante la cobertura del Google I/O en San Francisco pude descubrir que, a pesar de su naturaleza, Internet no es tan libre ni se comporta de la misma forma en todo el mundo. Cuando accedía a la Red desde el Wi-Fi del hotel, sitios como Facebook detectaban mi ubicación geográfica y me obligaban (por razones de seguridad) a verificar el nombre de mis amigos mediante fotos para comprobar si efectivamente era yo, en Estados Unidos, quien accedía a mi perfil argentino en esa red social. No soy el único: todos hemos sufrido, alguna situación similar, desde la comprobación de la cuenta de correo hasta la imposibilidad de acceder a un videoclip, canción o película on line por limitaciones de licencias regionales.

¿Cómo puede ser posible esto? Con un mayor o menor grado de sofisticación, nuestra localización queda delatada por el número IP , el identificador único que cada usuario recibe cuando se conecta a Internet que, asociado a la ubicación geográfica, permite que determinados servicios detecten nuestra ubicación y limiten su servicio en función de las licencias que tienen en cada país.

Esto ocurre a menudo en YouTube, y en particular con los contenidos de Vevo. Por ejemplo, el perfil oficial de Jason Aldean , un solista estadounidense de música country, no ofrece lo mismo según la ubicación geográfica. Por supuesto, tal vez no haya un público demasiado interesado en ver el videclip oficial de Amarillo Sky en la Argentina, pero ese no es el punto. (Si se quedaron con la duda, pueden ver el clip por aquí , hasta que Content ID lo remueva)

 

De a poco, en este y otros ejemplos, se advierte la paulatina segmentación que vive Internet en cuanto a los contenidos, en donde no todos pueden ver o acceder a lo mismo. No es algo que nos sorprenda, ni será la primera vez que ocurra.¿Qué hubiera pasado si un ignoto cantante coreano llamado Psy hubiese puesto sus limitaciones geográficas al famoso videoclip del paso del caballo? ¿O si los hijos del Tano Pasman hubiesen restringido la reproducción de los insultos en otras partes del mundo?

Por fortuna, la fuerza de Internet trasciende mucho más allá de estos límites irritantes que imponen los dueños de los contenidos en Internet.

Hombre grande, ¿era necesario? 🙂

Un atajo para evitar las restricciones geográficas

Esto se replica en plataformas online de videojuegos y tiendas de aplicaciones. ¿Acaso mi dinero no vale? Depende de dónde viva , sería la respuesta del cantinero imaginario.

IntoNow , considerada una excelente aplicación para identificar series (algo así como el Shazam de la TV) sólo se encuentra disponible en Estados Unidos.

Lo mismo pasa con Hulu, una plataforma online gratuita de películas sustentada en avisos publicitarios o Pandora, una radio online que configura las estaciones de acuerdo a nuestras preferencias.

Sin embargo, quien se lleva toda la atención es Spotify , que se convirtió en la opción predilecta para los amantes de la música. En su versión gratis, la plataforma sueca que arribó al mercado estadounidense permite establecer un acceso ilimitado en streaming a un amplio catálogo de artistas de todo el mundo, patrocinado con eventuales avisos publicitarios, que se pueden evitar si uno se suscribe a un plan mensual.

No obstante, todo esto es posible si uno se encuentra conectado a Internet desde Estados Unidos. En la Argentina Sonora apunta a ofrecer un servicio similar , lo mismo que Taringa y otras alternativas gratis como Grooveshark , pero todas más limitadas en su catálogo. Por fortuna, existen atajos que permiten estar fuera de Estados Unidos y aún así usar Spotify, apelando a una VPN, un servicio de conexión a redes privadas que permite el acceso a estos servicios.

Si bien hay una gran cantidad de alternativas sin costo que permiten emular en Internet nuestra presencia en otro país, sus limitaciones (otra vez) hacen que pagar por este tipo de prestaciones sea la mejor alternativa.

Por mencionar sólo algunos servicios, StrongVPN y Hide My Ass! (curioso nombre para un servicio de Internet) permiten disfrutar de Spotify, Pandora o Hulu, entre otros, sin mayores problemas. Como ocurre con la mayoría de los casos, lograrlo requiere tener una comprensión básica de inglés y algo de maña al momento de realizar la configuración de la conexión de VPN, que es muy flexible y que se puede aprovechar incluso en tabletas, smartphones y hasta en routers Wi-Fi.

Si esta alternativa es muy compleja, también existe la posibilidad de probar Spotflux , un software muy simple (que por ahora es freeware ya que todavía está en desarrollo), disponible para PC y Mac. Prometen futuras versiones para dispositivos móviles.

 

Por supuesto, las prestaciones de las VPN van más allá del consumo de contenidos. Son servicios muy útiles para establecer una navegación Web segura en entornos como cafés u hoteles con conexiones públicas de Wi-Fi.Incluso en servicios globales que ya se encuentran disponibles en la Argentina, tales como la plataforma de descargas iTunes de Apple o el videoclub online Netflix, ofrecen un catálogo diferente (en algunos casos más actualizado, pero sin subtítulos en español en el caso de las películas) si se accede a allos a través de una VPN.

A pesar de sus prestaciones, la VPN no nos puede resolver la posibilidad de tener un servicio pago mensual de Spotify en la modalidad móvil.

¿Se imaginan llevar un servicio de streaming ilimitado de canciones en el celular? Bueno, por más que quisieran pagar los diez dólares mensuales que insume este excelente plan, las limitaciones de contenidos vuelven a estar presentes: sólo se puede abonar con tarjetas de crédito, débito o cuentas de PayPal radicadas en el país en donde Spotify se encuentra habilitado por las discográficas a ofrecer su catálogo musical.

Al final, y a contramano del espíritu libre que tenía Internet en sus comienzos, el dinero sólo vale según de dónde venga, más allá de la buena predisposición que puedan llegar a tener los consumidores..

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