Got an iPhone? You can now log into all your accounts password-free

LastPass for iOS now supports YubiKey, meaning you can log into all your online accounts and services without entering a single password. Just touch a YubiKey Nano device to your phone and you’ll be automatically authenticated into your LastPass account. 

LastPass stores all your usernames and passwords in a single encrypted vault, and can complete login forms for you automatically so you don’t have to remember them yourself. It can also store shopping profiles, including card details and addresses, and complete forms with a single tap.

“We’re excited to offer this new authentication method for our iOS users right out of the gate, giving them another option for adding an extra layer of security to their LastPass vault,” said Akos Putz, principal product manager for LastPass at LogMeIn.

The updated iOS app will roll out to existing users automatically, and is available to download free from the App Store.

LastPass for Android has long supported password-free login via YubiKey, and is available on Google Play.

Good news for app developers

Yubico, creator of Yubikey, has also released a software development kit (SDK) that makes it easy for developers to incorporate NFC two-factor authentication into their own iOS apps.

“It’s absolutely critical to have a hardware-based root of trust, like the YubiKey, to establish an approved relationship between a mobile phone and the apps we use,” said Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and founder of Yubico.

“Mobile authentication methods, like SMS or push apps, cannot be considered as trusted second factors to authenticate in a mobile app setting. They can be spoofed by porting a number to a different mobile device or can be very unreliable at the mercy of the phone networks.”

For more details check out the YubiCo developer site.

  • We’ve rounded up the best free password managers

The best VPN for Mac in 2018

Mac users can get somewhat complacent about security, but they shouldn’t – Apple’s desktop computers are being increasingly targeted by cybercriminals, and it never pays to let your guard down. Getting a VPN for Mac is a good option.

Certainly, as well as competent antivirus, folks with a Mac need a quality Virtual Private Network just as much as anyone on Windows – although not every one of the best VPN services provides a client or satisfactory support for macOS users. However, if you’re stuck as to which provider to go with, help is at hand…

How to choose the best VPN for Mac

It’s not always easy to find a Mac-friendly VPN service. Obviously enough, it’s important to choose a provider that offers a pre-configured client for its service. Having a good Mac client is a huge boon in terms of simply making things as easy as possible. Solid iOS support is also a welcome feature if you’re heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem and have an iPhone as well as a Mac.

  • Check out the best VPN services of 2018

Next, you need powerful security with strong encryption, which goes without saying, and an easily understandable privacy policy that makes it perfectly clear what data is kept by the provider. Good performance levels obviously don’t hurt, either. Below are the five best VPN services for Mac that we’ve picked out for you.

  • We’ve rounded up the best free VPN services of 2018

The best VPN for Mac is ExpressVPN

[Save 49%] ExpressVPN Special Deal – Get 3 months free with an annual plan on Techradar’s #1 Rated VPN Service.

ExpressVPN is our top choice for the best all-round VPN service on the Mac. The firm’s dedicated app is intuitive and very user-friendly, featuring a one-click option for connecting, as well as some advanced options.

It uses 256-bit encryption over OpenVPN UDP by default and the app comes with a kill switch and split tunneling functionality.

There’s also a very good iOS app and Safari browser extension, so you get a complete Apple VPN experience. Great speeds, a favourable privacy policy and 24/7 customer support round off an excellent Mac VPN product.

ExpressVPN includes fast VPN servers across 94 countries and unlimited bandwidth. That makes for a solid choice for anyone using the VPN for P2P traffic or unblocking content on services like Netflix.

The service is a tad pricier than most other VPN providers,  but may be a great fit for those who want the best VPN experience for Mac. ExpressVPN doesn’t come with a free trial, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee for reassurance. 

The company offers three price plans, with the 12-month plan offering the best value (you get an extra three months into the bargain). The packages available are:

  • Exclusive deal [$6.67 a month], save 49%, 15-months – $99.95
  • [$9.99 a month] 6-month – $59.95
  • [$12.95 a month] 1-month – $12.95

When it comes to security, NordVPN does it like no other. Its own ‘Double VPN’ technology encrypts data twice – in other words, it passes your data through two separate VPN servers to make things even more secure – while there are additional security extras such as encrypted chat, web proxy extensions and so on.

NordVPN’s clients for both macOS and iOS are rather basic compared to others, but keeping things simple can be advantageous for novices. This provider is also P2P-friendly and has a strict ‘zero logs’ policy. Performance was slightly above average in our testing.

There’s a free 3-day trial, and NordVPN is a relatively affordable service. There are four plans available with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and the 3-year offer represents great value. The packages available are:

  • [$11.95 a month] 1-month
  • [$5.75 a month] 1-year – $69.00
  • [$3.29 a month] 2-years – $79.00
  • [$2.75 a month] 3-years – $99.00

[Save 40%] Until July 31, 2018, get 40% off VyprVPN’s annual plans, just in time to boost up your coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. VyprVPN is a fast, highly secure VPN without third-parties, all for as little as $36.00 for the first year. Get VyprVPN here.

This Switzerland-based provider operates a tier-1 network and is solely in charge of its own servers – so it’s no wonder that VyprVPN does well on the performance front. In fact, in our testing we found that it more than doubled our download speeds compared to our regular rates (without the VPN running).

When it comes to Mac, there is a rather neat and, to our knowledge, unique feature. Namely, the ability to manage and customise your VPN connections on a per-app basis, allowing for better overall control of your online privacy.

And in terms of security, you get VyprDNS, OpenVPN (160-bit and 256-bit), L2TP/IPsec protocols, as well as VyprVPN’s own Chameleon protocol for avoiding VPN blocking. However, note that some logging does go on here in the form of recording connection times and IP addresses.

VyprVPN has two pricing plans with either monthly or annual billing. Monthly plans are rather expensive, so the yearly option is the best way to save money. Curiously, there are no refunds available from this provider, so be sure to utilise the three-day free trial in order to test the service out before you buy. The packages available are:

  • Basic: [$9.95 a month] [$45 annually – $3.75 a month]
  • Premium: [$12.95 a month] [$60 annually – $5 a month]
  • [40% off]: Special World Cup offer

IPVanish’s Mac app features a nifty design and a few welcome options like a kill switch and automatic IP switching. The service is blazingly fast, and it’ll automatically hook you up to the fastest server available, a nice touch on the convenience front. Not only are download speeds fast with this VPN, it allows P2P.

OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP protocols are supported, and there’s also decent iOS support and a wide coverage of servers, with no logging of the user’s activities. However, it’s worth noting that when we contacted tech support, we experienced a sluggish response, and if you have a problem, this may prove a slight source of irritation.

IPVanish doesn’t have a free trial, sadly, although there is a 7-day money-back guarantee with all three available plans. The 1-year subscription is clearly the best choice. The packages available are:

  • [$4.87 a month] 1-year – $58.49
  • [$6.74 a month] 3-month – $20.24
  • [$7.50 a month] 1-month – $7.50

Ivacy gets off to a great start in terms of raw performance, as in our testing, it offered download speeds which almost matched our normal non-VPN rates. And when you consider the plentiful server locations spread across the globe, things are definitely looking good for this Singapore-based provider.

The Mac app is pretty intuitive, presenting you with a list of purpose-themed options – such as unblocking websites, or torrenting. Simply choose what you wish to do and the client sorts out the actual nitty-gritty of the settings itself, which makes everything very user-friendly.

Multiple security protocols (PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, OpenVPN and IKEv2) and 256-bit encryption are in place here, and you also get some advanced features like split tunnelling, IPv6 leak protection and a kill switch. As for your privacy, Ivacy enthusiastically states that it keeps ‘no logs whatsoever’!

Ivacy doesn’t offers a free trial and there are some restrictions with the refund policy. It’s only valid if you connect fewer than 30 times or use under 7GB of data. The two-year plan is extremely affordable, and the packages available are:

  • [$9.95 a month] 1-month
  • [$3.50 a month] 1-year – $42.00
  • [$2.29 a month] 2-years – $55
  • Ready to make the switch from Mac? Check out the best 2-in-1 laptops

The best VPN for your Amazon Fire TV Stick in 2018

Introduced back in 2014, the Fire TV Stick is Amazon’s rival to Chromecast and Roku. The device plugs into an HDMI port to allow any TV to stream content over a Wi-Fi network, effectively turning the set into a very well-featured smart TV.

However, much of that content is geo-locked, meaning it’s only available from a certain country or region due to the likes of content licensing agreements and broadcast rights. Of course, one way you can get round such content blocking is by using one of the best VPNs.

How to choose the best VPN service for Amazon’s Fire TV Stick

Obviously, performance is always important for streaming, so you want a VPN provider that offers fast and reliable connections. A plentiful server count is helpful for finding a swift server – the more options you have, the better – and it’s also good to have a lightweight app which won’t affect performance levels, too.

You won’t always find a dedicated app for the Fire TV Stick, though, and it’s obviously a bonus when you do, because it means you can avoid having to set things up manually. Support for Kodi add-ons is also a boon. 

Here are our top five picks for the best VPN service for Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.

  • Check out the best VPN services of 2018

ExpressVPN is our top pick for the best all-round VPN, and specifically for Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. With over 1,500 servers in close to 100 countries, this British Virgin Islands-based provider offers a lot of connection choices. In our testing, we found speeds were fractionally lower than our normal rates on shorter hops, with little change in long-distance connections.

ExpressVPN is known for its quality apps which include a brand new Android app that works well with Android-based streaming devices (like Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick), and it can be navigated with the remote control. When you fire it up, the app immediately recommends the location that gives you the best connection speed.

ExpressVPN offers an excellent level of technical support, including lots of troubleshooting guides and 24/7 live chat support, plus you can also get in touch via email if that’s more convenient.

The Android app uses the OpenVPN protocol, encrypting all traffic with 256-bit encryption. The privacy policy clearly explains that the company doesn’t collect or log traffic data, connection IPs, or browsing activity from individual users, a huge plus for Kodi users. In our testing, we confirmed that ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix US, BBC iPlayer and a wide range of streaming services. ExpressVPN also provides Fire TV-compatible MediaStreamer DNS services, for those who wish to unblock content even when not connected to the VPN.

Price plans aren’t the cheapest, but may be worth the added cost for the best possible streaming experience on Fire TV / Fire TV Stick. The pricing is somewhat mitigated by ExpressVPN’s ‘no hassle’ money-back guarantee which allows you to try the full service for up to 30 days, with no sneaky small print restrictions on bandwidth or similar. That certainly comes in handy as there’s no free plan or trial. The yearly plan offers the best bang for your buck (with three months thrown in for free). The packages available are:

  • Exclusive deal [$6.66 a month] 15-months [3 free months] – $99.95
  • [$9.99 a month] 6-months – $59.95
  • [$12.95 a month] 1-month

IPVanish certainly delivers on the performance front, over both short hops and long-distance connections, with the former being up to five times quicker than some rivals, and the latter showing a commendable average increase of 15% in download speeds. There are plenty of servers to choose from, with impressive global coverage.

There’s also a dedicated Fire TV app that is easy to setup and use. It has some handy options like automatic IP switching and fastest server optimisation, although note that it doesn’t support the first-generation Fire Stick. IPVanish doesn’t log any traffic or connection data when you use the service.

One downside worth mentioning is that when we tested out the firm’s customer support, we found it sluggish to respond, which obviously isn’t ideal if you do run into a problem.

There is no free trial, but the three plans on offer do come with a 7-day money-back guarantee. Your best bet is the yearly subscription which is the most affordable option. The packages available are:

  • [$7.50 a month] 1-month
  • [$6.74 a month] 3 months – $20.24
  • [$4.87 a month] 1-year – $58.49

This VPN is blazingly fast and delivered more than twice our normal download rates, which will be pure streaming heaven for users watching 4K content (or HD, for that matter). The server count is very impressive as well, with more than 700 servers in 70+ locations around the globe.

VyprVPN has its own Fire TV app, available in the APK format or directly through the Amazon Store. The app offers lots of speed optimisation options and will automatically connect to the fastest server available, also providing you with upload and download speed graphs, a ping test and so on.

OpenVPN and Chameleon protocols are used here, with the latter being VyprVPN’s proprietary solution that’s designed to avoid deep packet inspection, and your VPN connection being detected and throttled or blocked (note that this is only available on the Premium plan).

The provider also has its own DNS solution, and maintains a ‘no logs’ policy, although that said, some session logging does take place, such as connection times and IPs – which might not be ideal for everyone.

You can test the service with a free 3-day trial – and it’s a good idea to exercise that right, as VyprVPN doesn’t allow refunds after you’ve signed up. When it comes to subscription plans, the best all-round choice is the Premium plan billed annually, because this comes with all the advanced features on offer – and monthly billing is expensive (for either plan). The packages available are:

  • Basic: $9.95 monthly or $5.00 per month billed annually
  • Premium: $12.95 monthly or $6.67 per month billed annually

In our testing, NordVPN delivered very good performance, with impressive speeds on short connections, and some very serviceable results with longer distances. There are plenty of servers to choose from, too. The provider offers tutorials on how to set up your router with a VPN or share the VPN connection from your PC in order to use the service with the Fire Stick. 

NordVPN excels on the security front, offering double data encryption (where your connection gets passed through two separate VPN servers), along with support for all the major security protocols. On top of that, the firm has a ‘no logs’ policy, which is always good to see.

There’s a free trial but you’d never know about it unless you dig around on the website. Out of the four available price plans (all of which have a 30-day money-back guarantee), the monthly plan is very expensive, but the three-year subscription is a fantastic deal. The packages available are:

  • [$11.95 a month] 1-month
  • [$5.75 a month] 1-year – $69.00
  • [$3.29 a month] 2-years – $79.00
  • [$2.75 a month] 3-years – $99.00

This Hungarian-based provider offers impressive performance levels, with five simultaneous connections supported. In our review, we encountered an issue where a website wouldn’t load due to the VPN – and this might well be a one-off, but it’s still something to note. Buffered has 45 server locations and while that number isn’t as big as some other VPNs, they are all major locations so it shouldn’t make a huge difference.

The network has a detailed tutorial on how to set up Amazon’s Fire Stick so there shouldn’t be any problems on that front. If any occur, there is an extensive FAQ and live chat support to help you troubleshoot. This VPN makes it clear that it doesn’t log any online activity, so your privacy will be well protected.

One of this provider’s strong points is a generous 30-day refund policy that’s valid for up to 10 hours of usage time, 100 sessions or 10GB of bandwidth – whichever comes first.

The refund policy is especially useful considering that Buffered VPN is far from cheap. Even the yearly subscription is pricier than many, but it’s the most affordable option here (as ever). The packages available are:

  • [$12.99 a month] 1-month
  • [$9.99 a month] 6-months – $59.94
  • [$7.62 a month] 13-months (with 1-month free) – $99.00
  • We’ve rounded up the best free VPN services of 2018