We have been working on a website update for some time now and it is ready to be tested by you. To make sure that we do not limit the usage of the service we have deployed the updated website to our beta instance.
The new website has a slew of new features and improvements (some small bugs were also squashed in the process). To make testing easier we have only activated some of them for the time being. Once we are sure things work fine we will update the main page and unlock more features.
You might notice that the beta page asks you to migrate your account. Since we migrated to a new database schema to support the new features some things only take effect once the system knows that your account has been "migrated".
Here is a short list of changes that are already enabled.
All of our guides have been updated to the latest versions and now include Windows 10 as well as the latest versions for OS X. The Linux section was also overhauled, updated and extended to include LTS versions e.g. from Ubuntu. Additionally a new router section is now available with guides for TomatoUSB and pfSense.
One feature many of you asked for was the ability to receive mail notifications. You can now configure the system to send you mails when your account is about to expire, when there are failed logins to your account (on the website) and when there are news like new blog posts, comics etc.
Mail notifications are disabled by default and you need to opt-in if you want to receive them. Account expiration mails are sent once, 24h before your account expires.
Nuke your account
Another feature that was requested is the ability to delete your user account in the system. While we have always deleted inactive accounts after 3 months you can now speed up that process by explicitly marking your account to be nuked on the next run of the cleanup batch job. Right now the batch job runs at the beginning of each month leaving you some time to reconsider. :)
PGP public key
Our privacy conscious users asked us to implement a way for them to add their PGP public key to the system. This way they do not need to upload their keys to the public key servers and its easier for the staff to check your current public key. If you are not yet using PGP to talk to the support via mail please do so. We even gift you with a free month of VPN in return for doing so!
Content Security Policy
We started to enable the Content Security Policy feature that (most) modern browsers support. If you hit any issues please let us know since it still might require some fine tuning. If the page behaves strangely please check the debug console of your browser.
Up and coming changes
We are well aware that just having a VPN is not the golden bullet to privacy. To support you in achieving more privacy we started working on a checklist of sorts. Please check out the work in progress version here. It is not fully done yet but we are happy about any feedback you can give us. If you know a particular tool or technique that should be included in the list please write us a mail and we will include it.
Once we are happy with the current changes and made sure that there are no big bugs lurking in the code we will auto migrate all of your accounts to the new database. After that change a few more features are going to be available. For starters we have added a commission feature for you. It is against our principles to pay advertising networks to track you just to be able to "advertise" on the internet. And on the other hand we know that quite a few of you have monetary constraints. Therefore we thought that giving you the commission for acquiring new users is the way to go. Another feature that we added is a special form of a rebate system along with the ability to have more VPN sessions based on how long you have been with us.
So if you want those features test ... test ... test and you will get them. :)
Now we are pleased to be able to provide you with access to a mail system that is hosted by yours truly.
The system is completely separated from the VPN user interface since we do not want anyone to be able to correlate accounts between the VPN and mail system (this also means you can only access the mail system from within the VPN). Each mail user gets 1GB of mail storage which should make it suitable for receiving a number of mailing lists etc. If you need more space just ask us. To prevent spammers from abusing the mail system we have limited the outbound mail rate to 23 per hour. If you have valid use cases that require you to send more mails ... ask.
Right now the mail system requires you to fetch your mails via IMAP. If you can convince us we might be swayed into setting up a webmail frontend as well.
The mail system defaults to having accounts on ipredator.me but there are a few alias domains that you can use as well:
We will add more domains if we come up with nice domain names. :)
We still consider the mail system to be in the beta stage. In order to get access to it please contact the support staff via mail or on the IRC server. Installation guides are being worked on and will be released soon.
When looking at the state of open source VPN clients we noticed that there are quite a few but none are really cross platform, are bogged down by dependencies or focus on other functionality like being a mail client at the same time. We started to work on a VPN client and have reached our first milestone which is to have a build chain for Windows, OS X, Linux and BSD. Our next goal is to reach the same functionality that the native VPN GUI offers. Besides all of the obvious features like DNS leak protection etc. we would like to ask you to provide us with feedback in terms of functionality you would like to have in a client that you miss in other clients. We would also like to know what you dislike in other clients. Your feedback will help us to decide which features we should work on and which of them should be dropped or deferred for later development.
The IPredator team