Quick note here, as this page develops, Avoid the Hack already has a great “How to: Basics of Using Safing Portmaster” Guide. So while this is not quite the same, it is a great start as well.
We are developing Portmaster to be the first step on your Privacy journey.
It does take care of a lot of things our of the box, for instance it configures a secure DNS and automatically blocks known trackers and advertisements.
If you want to, you can install Portmaster and never look at it, it does everything in the background automatically.
But of course it is fun to figure out what is going on on your machine and to take action so that you are actually back in control of your device.
This Guide is here to help you on your way through the many views and settings in Portmaster and how to configure and troubleshoot your setup to get you where you want to go.
Android is currently in Beta.
Apple iOS and MacOS is not in development at the moment, but we want to get there in the future.
The following is more focused on getting started and less on the Introduction.
If you have installed Portmaster for the first time there is value in reading the Introduction before continuing with the getting started.
Portmaster the application consists of multiple parts underneath.
This is important to understand when you are encountering weird behavior but in normal use does not effect you at all.
You can have a look into the Architecture if you are more interested.
Portmaster gives you the tools to:
SPN is not based on any VPN protocol, it is built from the ground up for privacy.
There are super valid reasons to choose a VPN over SPN, for instance streaming from a selected other country does not work super well on SPN, it can be done, but it is designed for privacy, so by default the country is chosen by your local Portmaster, to maximize privacy and speed. So Portmaster picks the fastest connection through the network that brings you as close to the destination as possible to minimize the time each connections spends on the open web.
We are better in regards to privacy in two regards, with SPN traffic analysis is super hard (unlike a vpn where you just need to match incoming and outgoing traffic) and we decouple authentication and authorization, so no node can know who you are and where you are going, this is privacy by design not policy. We of course also have a 0 log policy, but better not to have anything worth logging then just to say we are really not looking!
Some good practice advice to begin with:
Reset to system default in global settings and
Use global setting in per app settings.
If you have not used it yet, there is a great search function in this wiki, and we have quite an extensive FAQ Section already. Most questions have been asked and answered at some point, just take a look.
But the first step before asking questions is figuring out what the issue actually is.
Starting with the Network Monitor is usually the fastest way to find out what the issue is.
The default view of the Network Monitor is to give you an over all view of your system, to get into troubleshooting it helps to apply some filters. You can learn more about those filters over here, but for simplicity sake