We have some good news for our Apple users and are happy to introduce our brand-new macOS app version 4. There are a lot of changes to go over. So, we highly recommend our macOS users read this article to learn what you can expect going forward from our macOS presence.
What version 4 brings to the table
Version 4 is a really big change to the way our macOS app works compared to before. It will fully support the upcoming macOS Big Sur (11.0) release and requires macOS 10.15 or newer. The app brings a whole host of new features to the table including:
- IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard support implemented with native system support, making it a super-fast implementation compared to our competitors.
- IP Leak Protection (“Kill Switch”)
- Full IPv6 Support
- Stealth Guard
- Split Tunnelling
- Auto Connect
This version will only be available on the App Store, and you will need to make sure to uninstall the old (2.x) version and download this new one instead. We now also support payments directly through the App Store. If you pay this way for your Premium subscription, you can set your credentials in the settings of the app, so you can use your account on other devices. You will also be able to restore account access should you lose it for whatever reason inside the application.
What happens with our standalone app?
We are having to make the difficult decision to deprecate our standalone macOS app (version 3.x). It uses a network kernel extension to implement many of the features we have to offer. But Apple has been moving away from this since macOS 10.15 and disables the functionality in the upcoming Big Sur release completely. Unfortunately, it leaves us no other option than disabling some of the features, if you choose to continue using the standalone app under Big Sur.
Apple embraces a new way to implement network filters over a system extension, which is required to provide firewall features like “Stealth Guard”, “Split Tunneling” and “Kill Switch”. The standalone app will continue to be available but is now considered legacy and will not be fully featured on Big Sur. So, whilst not ideal, we feel this is the best way forward regarding having a fully featured app for our macOS users.
Apple Makes An Exception For Its Services
It is also worth noting that due to a design issue introduced by Apple, there are 56 predefined applications of which are excluded from the Network Extension filter. The list includes the likes of Facetime, Maps, App Store, and system update. This means that they cannot be blocked by a Kill Switch and Stealth Guard.
All of these excluded applications are Apple-only services and are limited in only communicating with Apple. Even though it’s unfortunate, the impact is limited, and all of your data is still protected via the VPN. Other Apple apps that communicate with IP addresses other than Apple, like Safari, can still be blocked. Just features like the Kill Switch and Stealth Guard won’t work for these applications.
There are ways around this, which we outline in this Knowledge Base article, where you’ll also find a full list of excluded applications.