Ma­cuser Re­views

Macworld (USA) - - Contents - BY IAN PAUL

Trunkspace Host­ing is an in­ter­est­ing com­pany. It of­fers vir­tual pri­vate server (VPS) and web­site host­ing, mu­sic bots for the Dis­cord chat ser­vice, and even game servers for ti­tles such as Minecraft, CS:GO, and Team Fortress 2.

The com­pany also has its own VPN ser­vice dubbed Privatevpn—not to be con­fused with Privatevpn.com ( go. mac­world.com/prvp). It’s a very straight­for­ward and simple ser­vice that prom­ises not to track your ac­tions on­line, and de­liv­ers con­nec­tiv­ity op­tions for 48 dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

SE­CU­RITY, SOFT­WARE, SERVERS, AND SPEED

Trunkspace says it does not log any of your in­for­ma­tion at all when con­nected to its ser­vice. And ac­cord­ing to its up­dated Pri­vacy Pol­icy ( go.mac­world.com/trpr), “IP ad­dresses, con­nec­tion time­stamps, dis­con­nect time­stamps, band­width usage, and DNS re­quests are not at all logged. We achieve (and guarantee) this by hav­ing all log data out­put to /dev/null, so no data is stored any­where for any length of time.” The com­pany is based in

Mon­treal and its CEO is Atif Khan.

Trunkspace uses the same in­ter­face on Win­dows and Mac for its ser­vice. It’s a sin­gle panel that lists all the var­i­ous lo­ca­tions avail­able in the 48 coun­tries Trunkspace sup­ports. Se­lect the coun­try lo­ca­tion you want and click the Con­nect/dis­con­nect but­ton. As Privatevpn con­nects, the ban­ner to­ward the top of the win­dow changes from red (no VPN con­nec­tion), yel­low (con­nec­tion in process), to green (con­nected).

Click the “ham­burger” menu icon in the up­per left cor­ner to ac­cess the app’s set­tings. There’s a Stealth VPN op­tion to help users get around fire­walls that block VPN con­nec­tions, and the Mac app has a spe­cial Switch Driver op­tion for com­pat­i­bil­ity with older Macs.

Un­der Ad­vanced Con­fig, there’s an In­ter­net kill switch op­tion called Dis­able In­ter­net On Dis­con­nect. Fi­nally, Trunkspace of­fers a Rout­ing sec­tion that sends traf­fic from only spec­i­fied do­mains over the VPN, such as email, for ex­am­ple.

Over­all, the app is fine. It’s simple enough to use and un­der­stand, but if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s that the app it­self doesn’t sit on the Dock. In­stead, there’s a non­de­script cir­cu­lar icon in the sta­tus menu area at the top right. This is not par­tic­u­larly un­com­mon for VPNS on Mac, but I be­lieve the sta­tus icon should be unique and rec­og­niz­able so that you un­der­stand what you’re look­ing at.

As for speeds, tak­ing a look at the av­er­age speeds across five lo­ca­tions (USA, United King­dom, Ger­many, Aus­tralia, and Ja­pan) dur­ing three dif­fer­ent test­ing pe­ri­ods, Trunkspace re­tained 19.56 per­cent of my base­line band­width speeds over­all. Few of the speeds I

ex­pe­ri­enced were par­tic­u­larly bad, and most should be ser­vice­able. But over­all they weren’t as high as we’ve seen with other VPN ser­vices.

Trunkspace’s Privatevpn uses OPENVPN as its pro­to­col. It also uses the fol­low­ing for en­cryp­tion and au­then­ti­ca­tion:

> Data en­cryp­tion: AES-128-GCM (De­fault) / AES-256-GCM / DES-CBC (for back­ward com­pat­i­bil­ity with older routers)

> Data au­then­ti­ca­tion: SHA1 for HMAC au­then­ti­ca­tion

> Hand­shake: TLSV1.2 ECDHE-RSAAES256-GCM-SHA384, 2048 bit RSA

PRIC­ING

Trunkspace cur­rently charges $50 per year, or you can get a six-month com­mit­ment for $31.50, or pay month-to-month at $6.50 per month. As for the yearly charge, that’s mid­dle of the road for a VPN ser­vice. Tun­nel­bear ( go. mac­world.com/tber) charges $60 per year, Mul­l­vad is around $70, and Pri­vate In­ter­net Ac­cess is just

$40. For con­text, one of our fa­vorite Mac VPNS, NORDVPN ( go. mac­world.com/n0rd), costs $84 a year but has a num­ber of ex­tra fea­tures, such as dou­ble-hop con­nec­tions and a guarantee to work with Net­flix, that ar­guably jus­tify the greater cost.

Privatevpn is avail­able as a down­load di­rectly from the com­pany’s site. The com­pany says it plans to add its app to the Mac App Store in the fu­ture.

BOT­TOM LINE

Trunkspace is a per­fectly re­spectable VPN ser­vice. The Privatevpn app isn’t hard to use, but doesn’t of­fer much in the way of added fea­tures. The no-log­ging prom­ise is a good op­tion for pri­vacy, though dur­ing sign-up Trunkspace asks for your name, ad­dress, and phone num­ber, which is not great if you’re try­ing to re­main as anony­mous as pos­si­ble.

For the av­er­age per­son not try­ing to hide their tracks but want­ing to re­main pri­vate, Trunkspace’s Privatevpn should be fine, but you can find more fea­ture-rich al­ter­na­tives, and VPNS with faster speeds. ■

Trunkspace Privatevpn with an ac­tive con­nec­tion.

The VPN’S set­tings.

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