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For your internet peace of mind

Spotflux is the best way to protect and enhance your internet connection. It performs millions of cloud-based real-time calculations, encrypts and compresses your mobile internet traffic. Spotflux works across all your devices.

Spotflux is free to use. Upgrade to Spotflux Premium to enjoy enhanced privacy, ad-blocking, and advanced security features!d

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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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HuffPost Social Reading  by John Backus Managing Partner, New Atlantic Ventures 

Reclaiming Your Online Privacy Posted

Face it. Everything you do online is visible to someone and can be used without your approval or agreement. You leave details of your online activity in your browser, on your desktop, in your smartphone. All the while, companies, your employer, advertisers and the government are picking up those traces, and piecing them together to make a more perfect profile of – you!

If you aren’t scared now about what organizations know about you, you should be.

Companies have a voracious appetite for your information. The more they know about you, the more they can charge advertisers to micro-target you. The most recent and worrisome real world example is happening as you read this — Google! They just changed their privacy policy, under the faux auspices of “simplicity across sites” to be able to track the content of the emails you write and receive in Gmail, what you search for on Google, what you watch on YouTube, and where you are looking to go on Google Maps. And that goldmine of data wasn’t enough for them. In addition, they specifically and intentionally bypassed Safari’s private browsing mode on your iPhone and iPad to learn more about you.

And, Apple let application developers exploit a flaw in iOS to see all of the contacts in your address book.

Facebook settled with the FTC last fall over its own questionable privacy policies and is now rumored (though they deny it) to be tracking the contents of your text messages from their smart phone app. “Like” something on a website? Facebook knows exactly what you were looking at. Think of every “Like” button on a web page as a Facebook cookie. And remind your friends that “Like” is simply a sneaky way for you to give more personal, valuable information to Facebook.

Your employer knows everything you do at work. They archive your emails – and the court has ruled that company emails are company property — not personal property — and that employees should not have an expectation of privacy when using company resources. Employers also know every website you visit, what pages you see, and how long you spend on each site. You have no privacy when you are working in the office, out of the office but online on your company’s VPN, or doing anything on your company-provided smartphone, tablet or laptop. What you say and where you go belongs to your employer.

Advertisers have an insatiable appetite for user-specific information. Let me share my personal story (and you can try this yourself) Using Firefox, I went to preferences, privacy, and clicked on the underlined text that says “remove individual cookies.” I was taken to a box that showed all of the cookies on my machine. I had over 1000 cookies, most advertiser-related. AND, I use Adblockplus, Betterprivacy, and had checked the privacy box titled “Tell websites I do not want to be tracked.” The same thing happens with Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari. Scary. With much fanfare last month, the Government announced the “Do Not Track” browser button, which 400 companies have agreed to honor. Don’t be fooled. This provides limited privacy at best — and only from specific types of advertising, and only certain advertisers have agreed to use it.

Governments want to know more about you as well. The Electronic Frontier Foundation released a report entitled Patterns of Misconduct, which outlined the FBI’s ongoing violation of our Fourth Amendment rights. If not for an aggressive, last-minute online campaign by an unofficial coalition of Internet freedom fighters, Congress was about to pass the SOPA legislation (Stop Online Privacy Act), which would have allowed (and perhaps in some cases required) the government and ISPs to inspect the contents of every packet of information sent across their networks. And Europe isn’t far behind with SOPA’s ugly cousin, ACTA, (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) which entrepreneurs in the EU have just started fighting against.

What can you do to reclaim your privacy? There is only one thing to do:

Go invisible. That’s why our venture firm invested in Spotflux. Started by two Internet freedom fighters that have more than a decade of experience solving large-scale security challenges, Spotflux is a free privacy application for consumers, which works by encrypting your Web connection. It downloads in less than a minute on any Windows or Mac computer, anywhere in the world. Spotflux ran a beta test and in less than a year, attracted 100,000 users in 121 countries. It launches globally today.

Spotflux encrypts everything that leaves your desktop, pushes the data through their privacy-scrubbing service, and sends it along. To a website, you are not you — you are Spotflux. And you are invisible unless you choose to login to a website, like your bank, Google, Twitter or Facebook. Even then, companies only know what you do on their site. When you log out, they don’t see where you are on other sites. Better yet, Spotflux’s HTTPS security means no one can eavesdrop on your conversation over a public Wi-Fi connection. And you can surf just as freely overseas as you do in the U.S. Want more? Spotflux also strips out annoying ads and injects real-time malware detection into your browser. Consumers, policy makers and activists are fighting the privacy issue hard but they often face a daunting and cumbersome process. It shouldn’t have to be this way, which is why we think Spotflux is on to something.

Weigh in here with your own privacy horror stories and what you think can be done to reclaim our lost privacy online. Follow John Backus on Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/jcbackus

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Read more here.

Spotflux is hiring! We have some exciting positions open and are looking for some great candidates.

Network and Systems Engineers – Marketing Specialists ( CMOs) – We want you!

Spotflux is a venture-funded early stage internet startup. We’re building an incredibly powerful internet tool that enables users globally to surf, skype, tweet, and enjoy the full power of the internet while preserving privacy, security, anonymity, and open access.

Spotflux is located in Brooklyn, NY and looking for candidates to work out of NYC.  We are a small team of motivated technologists looking to build a core team of highly capable individuals.  We’re not merely looking for employees, but for co-founder types who believe in the product and are interested in the ability to shape the success of a unique early stage product.

What we are offering is a challenging and rewarding opportunity, along with salary+equity+benefits. What you offer is your skill set and desire to integrate with a strong core team to create a great internet product with true global reach.

Opening 1 – Marketing  – Chief Marketing Officer

We are seeking a candidate with experience launching global internet products (twitter, facebook, foursquare, pandora, etc), and most importantly a high level of motivation and desire to create a global brand. You should have experience in customer acquisition, digital marketing, social commerce, SEO/SEM, and brand/marketing strategy in a rapid-growth environment.

Send along a quick blurb on your experience, how you envision yourself fitting into the role, and why you are up for the challenge. Send to info@spotflux.com along with your resume.

Opening 2 – Systems and Network Engineer

We are looking for candidates with experience building solid, fault-resistant, high availability, and rapid scaleable infrastructures. You should consider yourself an experienced network or systems engineer, and be comfortable working in a linux CLI environment with a strong understanding of virtualization, routing, SSL, and load balancing. Experience working in a start-up environment, particularly with experience in scalability, with a small dedicated core team is a major plus.

Send your resume to info@spotflux.com . Tell us some of the challenges that you’ve encountered in building and scaling networks, and what you can offer in the role.

Thanks!

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