What To Actually Evaluate When Choosing Privacy Applications for Mac
Knowing the company or team behind the app gives you an idea of the app’s reliability. They might be a young Kickstarter company or a grizzled veteran. For example, the developers of call recorder softwear for the iPhone are mostly a team of professionals. Needless to say, beware of companies who have been involved in privacy or security issues.
Read up on their achievements both as individuals and as a team or company. While these may not necessarily carry over to the app, they do at least give you an idea of what the developers are capable of and what you can expect from their product.
Of particular importance is the company’s location. They might be in a 14-eyes jurisdiction which means their government can compel them to hold and surrender any and all user data they have collected.
Now, you know what it does and you know who built it. Your next question should be: Is it usable?
An app may be made by the biggest, most innovative company and packed with the best features but it won’t be any good if you can’t figure out how to use it. It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to install and set up.
Additionally, it should have a user-friendly interface that lets you access what you need with the least amount of hassle. On the other hand, if you’re a little more tech-savvy, does the app have advanced settings that let you do more detailed tweaks?
Lastly, the support team behind the app should be responsive and knowledgeable. You would not believe the amount of time and effort you can save with a 24/7 live chat support team.
The next thing to watch out for is the cost.
This is important, especially when comparing free privacy apps with those that you pay for. There’s usually a stark difference in features and security between the free and paid ones.
Many password managers like Dashlane come free but let you upgrade to the premium version. Doing so lets you handle an unlimited number of devices.
The clearest difference between the free and paid versions can be seen with VPNs. This is because not only do most free VPNs log your data (which again is risky if they’re inside 14-eyes jurisdiction), but they also sell your data to third-party advertising companies. This defeats the purpose of using a VPN in the first place.
Long story short: you may want to consider a paid app, especially when it’s your privacy and security on the line.
So, you know what the privacy app does, who built it, how to use it, and how much it costs. Everything looks good on paper. But, how does it perform?
Knowing how the app performs gives you a first-hand look at what you can expect in the long run. You may like everything you see but you may dislike the hands-on experience you get.
If the app has a free and paid version, try the free version first. This lets you test the waters to see if everything is exactly to your liking.
Check how the app feels and how fast it is. It shouldn’t take a lifetime to boot up and start doing what it promised. You can learn a lot from the free trial period that many paid apps offer.
Only get the paid version once you’re satisfied. This will save you from a lot of lost time and money in the long run.