Archive for February, 2009

New USA Server

Saturday, February 28th, 2009
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Today we have finally added a brand new, powerful USA server to the list of available servers within our SmartHide Service.

New server IP is the following: 216.12.*.*

Enjoy the server and let us know if you have any questions or issues.

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SmartHide & FeedBurner

Friday, February 27th, 2009
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Today we have registered with the great FeedBurner service recently acquired by Google. It will allow us to provide you with an easy and convenient way to stay informed about all the updates to the “SmartHide with Danny” blog.

In the right sidebar of our Blog you may now notice 3 new addons:

1) Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe in a reader

Allows you to subcribe to our feed with any type of rss reader. FeedBurner makes it easy to receive content updates in My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Bloglines, and other news readers.

2) Feed Count

This image shows you the current amount of “SmartHide with Danny” subscribers.

3) Email Subscriptions

Enter your email address:

Gives our biggest fans another way to keep up with our blog by placing an email subscription form on “SmartHide with Danny” blog.

Find out more about RSS and feeds>>>

Start using our services right now and always stay informed about all the SmartHide updates and latest news and stories from our dev. team.

Thank you for staying with SmartHide Community folks!

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New USA server coming…

Thursday, February 26th, 2009
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Hello folks!

Today we’ve signed contract with a decent Internet Data Center and Arovax SmartHide Service users will get one more speedy USA server. I will tell you more details when we get it set up.

An addition of this server to the list of available SmartHide servers will be announced in a couple of days on our website, forums, and on this blog, of course.

Have a good day guys. Life’s good ;)

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A question with regards to Email Privacy…

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
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Yesterday we received a support ticket from our potential customer and I would like all of our users to read the question and the answer to it, as it might be interesting for all of our users:

Q:

I read your site with great interest. However, I need to ask you a question with regards to email privacy. I can see that you offer secure connection between my computer and your server, but when my emails travel to the recipient it can be intercepted anyway, right? Or, if it is not intercepted, it is still on the server of the recipient… I’m not an IT expert but I was thinking about this and think it is not really possible to keep an email private. I’ve read that there is PGP, but then I have to convince the recipient to install PGP and show him how to work it, which I don’t have the time for at all. 
Please tell me if there is a different solution or why I should choose your company despite this security gap.

A:

SmartHide really encodes traffic from a user’s PC to our server only. In 95% of cases it is sufficient for e-mail protection. The fact is that most often e-mail interception is performed on “early stages”, i.e. when the e-mail passes through the network of your local ISP. It’s worth mentioning that Wi-Fi networks are the most vulnerable here. In this case practically anyone can access your e-mails. Further on, when the e-mail leaves your local ISP network it is being forwarded to bigger data transfer companies. The traffic volume in such companies is so big that tracking a single e-mail requires great financial expenses and is technically complicated at the same time. SmartHide servers are located exactly in such big networks servicing big companies and corporations, but not end-users. It is also necessary to mention that if the law violation occurs (spam sending, etc.), a person committing illegal acts is tracked down and his/her personal data is submitted to the corresponding authorities.

Thus, SmartHide to the great extent protects its users from intruders who are trying to get hold of their confidential data. Please note that currently SmartHide does not work with certain corporate mail services because of their spam protection methods – they allow users to send e-mails from their network only, whereas SmartHide changes IP address and the sender’s network after the startup. We will fix this bug in the forthcoming product versions. With all other public mail services like GMail, Yahoo Mail, etc. SmartHide operates ideally.

As for PGP – it is really a powerful tool for data protection, including electronic correspondence. If the program has been set up correctly, it provides the complete protection of your e-mails during the whole way, up to the recipient. But as you have rightly mentioned, the setup of this product is quite difficult for a user, it requires a profound documentation analysis. Additionally not all mailing software supports PGP and both of the users should have it installed and set up. And here we would like to draw your attention to the fact that if the users with whom you are exchanging e-mails install SmartHide, the protection level will increase considerably.

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SmartHide’s help to play WOW

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
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On Sunday evening we decided to shorten up some time playing World of Warcraft in the office. We’ve set up the accounts, installed and launched the game and oops…it occured that we are not able to play, because of a strict NAT our network has. Thank you Mr. Admin! ;)

wow

But I did not forget, that I have Arovax SmartHide Personal Account (I can afford it being a Project Manager of this service;) ) so a couple of minutes setting up the needed ports within our Port Forwarding feature – and here we are playing a multiplayer game having a dedicated external IP address ;)

I am so glad that I have SmartHide on my PC :)

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Stable authentication

Monday, February 23rd, 2009
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Yesterday I told you about a couple of useful implementations our programmers were working on: database mirror backup and stable authentication.

I am happy to tell you that both of them are finalized and implemented.

Here is a snapshot of the code I took from programmer’s PC showing the work over stable authentication feature.

 

Stable authentication for SmartHide

Stable authentication for SmartHide

All the users of SmartHide Service should not get “Authentication failed” message any more when the main server is temporarily unavailable due to the network failure or for any other reason. If one server is down – authentication will be automatically switched to another powerful backup solution.

Your security is our concern. Always.

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Yet another Sunday

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
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Sunny Sunday. Frosty air. Beautiful day. It’s a good time to spend with the family, isn’t it? Well yeah, but not for the SmartHide Dev. Team ;)

I am in the office since 8.00 a.m. with my guys working over the new exciting feature.

We are setting up a mirror for our Main SmartHide MySQL Database, responsible for keeping all the users’ data as well as keeping Users Authorization active. 

What does it mean?

We’ve bought an additional server in another IDC for the purpose of setting up a constant mirror for the database backup. All data records from every new SmartHide user registration created on our main iWeb server will be automatically mirrored to the backup location. So we will always have 2 copies of actual main database of Arovax SmartHide.

db

Thus, whenever our main server goes down for any reason – all the data is kept safe and actual. Moreover, SmartHide users authorization (entering your Login/Password inside the software) will also stay alive and you will not get “Authorization failed” message inside SmartHide during the moments, when our main server is unaccessible .

We are working hard to deliver the top-notch quality service for you, guys. God save our families ;)

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New website menu

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
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We have a new menu on our website:

New website menu

New website menu

I will make sure that SmartHide Homepage is always updated and optimized to stay easy-to-use and user-friendly for our visitors.

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Excluding human factor

Friday, February 20th, 2009
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For the last few days our lead programmer is working hard to implement a feature allowing us to automatically approve and set up each and every registered Personal Subscription.

What does it mean and what was the problem?

The thing is – every Personal Subscription owner gets his own dedicated and personal IP address, offering huge opportunities to the owner. Among them: additional security, obtaining your own constant, never-changing external IP address while working or travelling , port forwarding enabled, ability to play online games, using p2p networks, using ip-tied services, etc. Setting up a Personal user account and assigning a dedicated IP address to it is a piece of work previously perfomed by a human operator sitting in the office monitoring incoming registrations. With every personal subscription every user receives an email stating that:

In the next 24-hours you will receive a separate email with the details of your Personal dedicated IP address and the contact of your personal support manager.

Upon getting the registration our operator sets up the order and our Personal Support Manager Joshua Reimer contacts every customer with the details of his own Personal IP and instructions on how to use it.

The disadvantage of this method is obvious: a customer has to wait for the proper setup of SmartHide Service.

I decided to stop this once and for all. So despite of the fact that it is a good piece of additional work for our always busy lead server-side programmer, he had to was really excited to get it done ;)

So, according to him the feature will get a released status in a few days and our dear Personal license subscribers will have their service set up automatically as soon as the billing process is finished.

Getting back to work. Over’n out.

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Support Center update

Thursday, February 19th, 2009
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What a hard day today for our Support Team ;) Arriving to the office. A cup of strong coffee. Quick briefing with the Team. Few hours of hard work together with my guys from Support department and here I am writing another post to the blog summing up what’s done.

We did a major work on updating our SmartHide Support Center Knowledgebase and Troubleshooting sections. We added a lot of articles and answers to your frequently asked questions. I tried to cover every aspect of the whole process of downloading, installing, using and troubleshooting Arovax SmartHide v. 2.x.x. 

picture-1

What I want is for every SmartHide user to know for sure, that if he/she has any problem, issue or question regarding Arovax SmartHide Service – there is only one URL to visit calling for the help. And that would be http://support.smarthide.comArovax SmartHide Support Center.  

picture-2Also I am going to close the old Help page on our website today as every issue covered in it is already available and updated in our new Knowledgebase. Thus, Support Center will take care of every Help/Support related issue and I am going to free some space in our top menu for a Blog and Forum link ;)  

Trust me guys, I will make sure that Latest news, tickets responses, knowledgebase, troubleshooting, downloads and service status news are always up to date in our Customer Support Center.  It is of vital importance for me to make sure that every user of SmartHide is backed up by a solid support while using our service.

Going to dinner with the hungry guys from the support department ;)  

Stay with us!

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