Category Archives: Mac OS

Why Brave Browser is Safe and Secure

Brave has been picking up a lot of steam lately.

The crypto community loves this browser. It’s being quickly adopted because Brave has cleverly integrated blockchain tech to create a totally new ad ecosystem. Both publishers and users are awarded with BAT (basic attention token). Also, underneath the hood its secret power is enhanced privacy.

For users of Chrome, this new browser isn’t much of a change in terms of use. Brave could be described as a privacy-hardened version of Chrome. After all, it’s built on top of Chromium, Google’s open source browser project.

So, Brave has killer privacy features (as explored in a previous article here). But is Brave Browser safe? Is it secure? Let’s jump into it!

Brave Browser Safety

Although not a household name like Google, Brave Software’s leadership has a history of achievement and trustworthiness.

Brave’s CEO Brendan Eich invented JavaScript, a programming language that is ubiquitous on the web. Also, he was a co-founder of Mozilla before moving on to Brave. So, Firefox, another popular and reputable browser is also associated with Eich.

It’s said that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

Studies have proven that people trust their private data with Mozilla more than Google. This is expected as user privacy is a part of Mozilla’s core philosophy. Brave Software was born from the same ideals as Mozilla, so in time Brave browser is likely to gain at least the same high-level of trust.

Success and Trust Go Hand-in-Hand

Software won’t remain safe and secure without the dedication and talent of great developers. And clearly, it’s only possible to gain and hold on to talent when adoption of that software is healthy.

Before Brave came to the scene, those seeking an alternative to Chrome flocked to Firefox.

At its peak nearly half of all web users used Firefox. And it is still more popular than Edge, Safari or Opera according to browser use statistics. Due to the good track record of Firefox, Brave has a real shot at challenging Chrome’s dominance.

Rooted in Chromium

Rather than building a totally new browser and reinventing the wheel, Brave Software took an already great browser and made it their own. Brave is essentially Chromium with added features most people want built-in, and intrusions on privacy taken out.

Google built the codebase of Chromium initially, and as an open-source project, developers all over the globe continue to improve it.

There are two main factors that contribute to the safety of Brave.

First, Google is one of the best software companies in the world right now. That means the code was built from the ground up by top-notch developers. Second, due to the open-source nature of the project there are a lot of eyeballs on the code. This means security issues can be quickly spotted and patched by the community.

Brave Security

With a new update around every 42 days, Chrome is the industry leader in browser security. Inevitably every browser is judged against this gold standard.

And Brave isn’t far behind, which is impressive for a new, growing browser. A new version of Brave is released every 8 to 9 weeks.

The frequency of updates is about what you’d expect from Firefox. So, if you’re a Firefox user, you’ll feel right at home.

The Verdict

Although Brave is new and many still haven’t heard of it there’s no reason to shy away from using it.

As you likely came here questioning if Brave is safe, the fact Brave Software’s CEO was also the force behind Firefox should put your mind to rest.

Mozilla and now Brave Software provide an alternative to browser offerings by tech behemoths like as Microsoft, Apple and Google.

Those seeking the best privacy possible have a good reason to look beyond the obvious choices. Protecting your privacy and turning a profit are currently at odds with one another in the industry.

Download Brave browser here. To add to what you’ve learned, read more about Brave’s privacy benefits.

5 Hacks to Speed up Streaming

A lot more people are streaming movies today than a year or even a few months ago.

The mass migration from traditional formats to services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video has brought us the gift of convenience but also technical hurdles.

As much as streaming is becoming the way to go, one can only enjoy the experience when they stream without pausing, re-buffering, and other interruptions. Thus, there are two major categories of persons that stream movies: those that enjoy the best speeds and those that struggle with getting decent speed when they stream. This article highlights hacks one can implement to move from the latter category to the former category.

Fix plugins: Current browsers are equipped with plugins for a wide array of different purposes. As much as certain plugins can guarantee a higher streaming speed, other plugins can be a drag when one streams. Here’s how to balance the good and bad effects of plugins.

Plugins still have a cost to performance when not in use. When a plugin is inactive but installed, it could affect the user’s streaming speed. Thus, it is important to uninstall all plugins that are not in use as they can negatively affect streaming speed.

Plugins are best when updated. Thus, to achieve high-speed streaming, it is essential to update plugins. Different bugs are typically fixed with the updated versions of plugins, and this ensures smooth streaming as well as less crashes and time-outs.

Clear caches and temporary files: When a person visits a web page, a lot of activities occur behind the scenes to enable the user to view that page. Such activities include the downloading of temporary files. These files are typically deleted by the browser when the web pages are closed before one exits the browser or shuts down the device in the case of a computer.

However, in some cases, one does not close the web pages properly before exiting the browser, and the files which would have been automatically deleted by the browser are stored. The buildup of these files reduces browser performance, which includes streaming tasks. Thus, to ensure the best streaming speed, one must delete temporary files and clear the browser history. That way, the browser activity is not unnecessarily reduced.

Switch from Wi-Fi to Ethernet: As much as Wi-Fi is the go-to Internet connection for streaming movies, slow or spotty Wi-Fi can cause streaming issues. With Wi-Fi, one makes wireless connections to their router, and this wireless connection does not offer as much speed as is available on the router to the user. When the wireless connection is swapped for a wired connection such as with Ethernet cable, a user gets the best speeds possible. Let’s say one uses a 10Mb/s router. With a wireless connection to that router, they may receive about 50% of that speed. A wired connection such as with Ethernet cables gives the user at least 70% of the speed of the router. So, all you may need to do is to switch Wi-Fi for Ethernet cables. Your device will get better speeds when you make that switch.

Turn off auto-update features: The different operating systems on devices, from Android to Windows, offer auto-update options. With this option enabled, newer versions of applications are downloaded as soon as they are available with special consent from the user. Thus, when the auto-update feature is turned on, apps could check for updates or update in the background when one engages in other activities such as streaming. This background activity can impair streaming performance.

To stream high-quality videos, it is thus advisable to turn off the auto-update feature. Alternatively, one can check for updates regularly and download updated versions of the apps at the most convenient time.

Reduce device load: This hack is somewhat applicable to other settings. The more individuals that share a resource, the lesser the quantity and quality of the resource each participant will get. Here’s how this “principle” is related to the quality of movies one streams. When many devices are connected to a router, the streaming speed reduces because of the device load. For faster streaming, it is advisable to reduce the device load on a router. So if you’re experiencing issues with streaming, make sure others in the home aren’t using the internet heavily at the same time.

Finally, everyone deserves to stream high-quality videos, and with these hacks, you’re sure to enjoy a better movie-watching experience.

Photo: PresidenciaRD

How to Hide your IP in Transmission

transmission-02-535x535The latest versions of Transmission have no built-in proxy features. It was removed after version 2.11.

The software developer took it out citing the reason: “proxy support was not very good – we only support tracker proxies, not peer ones.”

You can still easily hide your IP and identity in Transmission with a VPN such as Private Internet Access by using the VPN client software they bundle with the service.

Once the client software is connected to the VPN all your online activity will be made anonymous by the VPN service, whether you use Transmission to download torrents on your Mac or simply for browsing the web.

Downloaders that prefer to use a proxy server either have to stick with Transmission 2.11 despite its limitations, or switch to alternative software like Vuze.

Recommended services:

How to Hide your IP Address in Mac OS X (Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard etc.)

By hiding your IP address you can free yourself from limited access of the internet, view foreign content or simply surf anonymously. Regardless of the reason, configuring a new IP in Mac OS X is a straight-forward process.

Keep in mind that there isn’t any way to literally hide your IP. Without an IP your computer would be unable to view any web pages at all because this is how requests to view content are routed. What you are actually doing is changing your “real IP” to a decoy address.

There is a huge variety of methods you can use to hide your IP with third-party applications. This tutorial will teach you about the most popular methods: hiding your IP address in Safari and Firefox.

Step 1: Confirm your current IP address

Visit CheckIP.org to view your current IP address (for comparison purposes later). Paste the IP into TextEdit or write it down.

Step 2: Get proxy server IP addresses

In order to continue with the tutorial you will need a list of valid proxy servers to pull data from. Be warned that free proxies are unstable, slow are unsuitable for viewing secure SSL pages. Still, the links below will get you started with some of the better free proxy lists. You can always get your own private proxy servers or VPN for the best performance if you’re unsatisfied with free proxies.

Step 3: Hide your IP address in Safari

Go to the “Advanced” tab, and next to “Proxies”, select “Change Settings…”

Next click on “Configure Proxies”, then choose “Manually”.

Tick the boxes for “Web Proxy (HTTP)” and “Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS)”

In the text area “Bypass proxy settings for these Hosts and Domains”, enter “localhost, 127.0.0.1”

In the box “Web Proxy Server”, enter settings from Step 2.

Click “OK” to make the changes.

Step 4: Hide your IP address in Firefox

On the first dropdown menu of Firefox, select Preferences

Go to the “Advanced” tab, then click the “Network” tab.

In the section “Configure how Firefox connects to the internet”, choose “Settings”.

Check “Manual proxy configuration” and “Use this proxy server for all protocols”

In the white text area that says “No Proxy for”, type “localhost, 127.0.0.1” (prevents relaying of internal connections).

For the HTTP Proxy and Port entries, see Step 2.

Click “Apply Now.”

Nice work! You have successfully hidden your IP address in Mac OS X!

It’s recommended that you clear the cookies from Safari and/or Firefox. Otherwise your efforts to shake off trackers will most likely be wasted.