SparkLabs Blog.

The latest news and releases.


Viscosity For Mac: Version 1.4.6 Mavericks Ready!

Version 1.4.6 of Viscosity for Mac is now available! This update includes some small final tweaks in preparation for the release of Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks). It has been extensively tested under Mavericks to ensure the best possible experience for users updating their Mac. While previous releases of Viscosity will still run under Mavericks, we encourage all users to update to this version.


Version 1.4.6 Mac Release Notes:

improved
Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks) support further improved
fixed
Resolves issue where a static challenge prompt may not occur on a reconnect
fixed
Resolves issue where high CPU usage could be observed during a DHCP/TAP reconnect
fixed
Various bug fixes and enhancements


The 1.4.6 update can be automatically installed from inside Viscosity, or downloaded and manually installed. For support with this version please visit our support section.

Viscosity for Windows: Version 1.4.6

Version 1.4.6 of Viscosity for Windows has just been released! Like the recent Mac update we've greatly improved PKCS#11 support, with it much more straightforward to use for end users. We've also improved two-factor authentication support and made a number of small fixes and enhancements.


Version 1.4.6 Windows Release Notes:

added
Support for static challenge/response added
improved
PKCS#11 certificate names are now presented in a clearer format
improved
Localization fixes and improvements
fixed
Corrects an issue saving max-routes values
fixed
Corrects an issue handling incorrect PKCS#11 PINs with saved credentials
fixed
Various bug fixes and enhancements


The 1.4.6 update can be automatically installed from inside Viscosity, or downloaded and manually installed. For support with this version please visit our support section.

Viscosity for Mac: Version 1.4.5

Version 1.4.5 of Viscosity for Mac is now available! We've greatly improved PKCS#11 support, making it more straightforward to use for end users. We've also vastly improved challenge/response support, making it much easier to implement two-factor authentication in custom OpenVPN environments (check out the forum for some examples).


Version 1.4.5 Mac Release Notes:

added
Support for static challenge/response requests
improved
Optimised memory usage while connected
improved
PKCS#11 certificate names are now presented in a clearer format
improved
Invalid PKCS#11 PINs and locked devices will now be detected
improved
Spanish localization updates (thanks to Claudio Brandy)
fixed
Disconnect on idle option will now be correctly saved
fixed
Various bug fixes and enhancements


The 1.4.5 update can be automatically installed from inside Viscosity, or downloaded and manually installed. For support with this version please visit our support section.

Viscosity for Windows: Version 1.4.4

Version 1.4.4 of Viscosity for Windows is now available. We've focused on increasing the reliability of connections even further, with lots of small improvements and bug fixes. In addition we've added a number of features for enterprise environments, including improved two-factor authentication support and the ability to set machine wide settings and connection permissions.


Version 1.4.4 Windows Release Notes:

added
Creating and editing connections can now be set to require administrator rights
added
Global preferences for all users can now be set
improved
Improved two-factor authentication support
improved
Improved DPI Scaling support
improved
Connect on start and after resume improved
improved
Reachability checking improved
improved
French localization updates (thanks to David Caradec)
improved
German localization updates (thanks to Dirk Dittert)
updated
OpenVPN 2.3 upgraded to version 2.3.1
fixed
Resolves issue importing a connection with a crl-verify list
fixed
Resolves issue where certain Advanced commands could be saved incorrectly
fixed
Resolves potential crash that could occur with non-standard system fonts present
fixed
Several minor bug fixes and improvements


The 1.4.4 update can be automatically installed from inside Viscosity, or downloaded and manually installed. For support with this version please visit our support section.

Viscosity for Mac: Version 1.4.3

Version 1.4.3 of Viscosity for Mac is now available. We've worked hard to resolve all known bugs with this release, improve IPv6 support, upgrade OpenVPN to the latest 2.3 release, and for those Retina MacBook Pro users: menu icons have been upgraded with retina level graphics!


Version 1.4.3 Mac Release Notes:

added
Retina graphics for menu icon packs
added
Passtos support enabled (for OpenVPN 2.3 only)
improved
Improved two-factor authentication support
improved
Improved handling when switching network locations
improved
Improved handling of No buffer space OpenVPN errors
updated
OpenVPN 2.3 upgraded to version 2.3.0
fixed
Resolves issue setting/restoring DNS servers when IPv6 is in use
fixed
Resolves issue parsing raw IPv6 addresses
fixed
Resolves issue where iMessage/Push Notifications may not work while connected
fixed
Keysize support restored for OpenVPN 2.3 (build 1114)
fixed
Various bug fixes and enhancements


The 1.4.3 update can be automatically installed from inside Viscosity, or downloaded and manually installed. For support with this version please visit our support section.

WiTopia's New VPN Client Viscosity Powered!

We're pleased to announce that WiTopia's new VPN client, available for both Mac and Windows, is powered by Viscosity! Subscribers of WiTopia, a VPN Service Provider, have long received a bundled copy of Viscosity as part of their subscription. However they'll now receive a specially developed client designed for WiTopia's service, with the power and reliability of Viscosity at its core.


We're excited with some of the features we've been able to pack in, such as multi-protocol support, connection auto-updating, smart connecting to the nearest VPN server, and automatic protocol fallback when a particular VPN protocol is being blocked. The client not only supports OpenVPN, but also L2TP, PPTP, and IPSec, meaning users on non-OpenVPN plans will no longer miss out!

We're sure WiTopia subscribers will love the new client (we sure do)! If you are a WiTopia user we encourage you to download and check it out. And if you have any feedback, good or bad, please don't hesitate to send it along to them.

If you're looking for a VPN Service Provider, we encourage you to check out WiTopia and the new client. Or take a look at our VPN Service Providers page for a list of great VPN Service Providers that also bundle and support Viscosity.

Viscosity 1.3.1 For Windows Released

Version 1.3.1 of Viscosity for Windows is now available!

1.3.1 includes a performance overhaul of Viscosity's background service. We've placed a focus on reducing memory usage by completely rewriting sections that were sluggish or relied on libraries that required large amounts memory. It now has up to 90% less memory and CPU usage, and should resolve any service start up issues.


Version 1.3.1 Mac Release Notes:

added
Added simultaneous DNS option (similar to old "alternate" style DNS)
improved
Automatic updates from 1.3.1 to future versions will be more robust
fixed
Workaround for management interface issue with OpenVPN 2.2
fixed
Fixed issue with connection/setting bundling for standard user accounts


The 1.3.1 update can be automatically installed from inside Viscosity, or downloaded and manually installed. For support with this version please visit https://www.sparklabs.com/support.

Viscosity 1.3 For Mac Released

Version 1.3 of Viscosity is now available for Mac users! It is our biggest update yet, with heaps of new features and performance enhancements!


Version 1.3 Mac Release Notes:

added
Ability to automatically reconnect after network dropout
added
Ability to automatically connect when network becomes available
added
Ability to import folders containing multiple connections
added
Viscosity will prompt for elevated rights if necessary to import configs
added
Support for "Before Connect" AppleScripts
added
Support for conditional connecting using Before Connect scripts
added
Support for global Connect/Disconnect AppleScripts
added
Stray/Stuck OpenVPN processes will now be terminated on disconnect
improved
Vastly improved network awareness for improved connection stability
improved
Vastly improved DNS support
improved
Reduced memory usage and performance improvements
improved
Improved welcome window design
improved
Preferences window can now be resized
improved
Improvements to sleep/wake functionality
improved
Improves support for UTF-8 characters
improved
Reduced program size
improved
Localization system improved
improved
Portuguese localization thanks to Denis Volpato Martins
updated
OpenVPN updated to version 2.2.0
updated
OpenSSL updated to version 1.0.0d
fixed
Various bug fixes and enhancements
removed
OpenVPN 2.0.9 removed


The 1.3 update can be automatically installed from inside Viscosity, or downloaded and manually installed. For support with this version please visit https://www.sparklabs.com/support.

Viscosity for Windows Now Available!

We’re very pleased to announce that Viscosity for Windows is now available!

We’ve been working hard over the past 12 months to bring over all the power, ease of use, and design aesthetics of Viscosity for Mac to the Windows platform, and we believe Windows users will be impressed with the results. Windows users now have access to the same powerful and reliable OpenVPN experience that Mac users have come to expect with Viscosity.

Viscosity for Windows isn’t a simple port over to a new platform. It has been designed from the ground up to fit perfectly into the Windows environment. Along with all of the standard features provided by Viscosity, Viscosity for Windows offers many additional Windows-specialized features, including:

  • An attractive Aero optimized interface and connection editor
  • The ability to run under both administrator and standard user accounts
  • Windows style notifications and alerts
  • No UAC prompts or changes needed whenever Viscosity is launched
  • The ability to bundle Viscosity with connections and settings
  • The ability to store username and passwords in the Windows credential system
  • Batch (.bat) & VBS (.vbs) scripting support
  • Much more!

We encourage you to download Viscosity and take advantage of the free 30-day trial period to try out Viscosity for yourself. And like the Mac version, Viscosity is just $9 to buy.

Viscosity and the App Stores

Both the iOS and Mac App Stores present a compelling experience to end-users, yet to date Viscosity is unavailable on both of them. Not a day goes by without an email arriving in our inbox asking when we plan on making an iPhone version, and more recently, asking when Viscosity will be available on the Mac App Store. So rather than continue to answer these requests individually, we thought putting up a blog post answering the issue in depth would be a good idea. However just a warning: unfortunately the news isn't good!

Mac App Store

Like other Mac developers we were initially hesitant to submit Viscosity due to some of the App Store policies (no trial period, no discounted upgrade pricing, support, and so forth), but there is no question that the App Store makes installing software much easier for end users. Ultimately we think it will become the main method Mac users will use to find software, so we made the decision to add Viscosity to the Mac App Store if we could. However we can't.

First a bit of background information. When you first run Viscosity is asks for admin rights (or "root" for the *nix folks). This is necessary so Viscosity can create a network interface for your connection/s, setup your DNS servers, and setup the correct routes for your remote network (among other things). Ultimately it doesn't seem like this should prevent an application from appearing on the App Store. After all, the review process should prevent apps that want admin rights for a nefarious purpose, and there are many, many existing Mac applications that require elevated rights so they can integrate with the system. However point 2.27 of the Mac App Store Review Guidelines forbids this:

Apps that request escalation to root privileges or use setuid attributes will be rejected

As you can see, there isn't much in the way of wiggle room there. While we believe we can work around other restrictive points, unfortunately point 2.27 is pretty much a show stopper. We can only hope that Apple change this rule in the future.

iOS App Store

For a long time now we've been getting emails asking us for an iOS version of Viscosity on the App Store. It's something we'd absolutely love to give you guys however unfortunately, like the Mac App Store, there are a few rules preventing such a release.

The two most notable clashes with the App Store rules are that OpenVPN can't run in the background on iOS (without turning to private APIs), and Viscosity needs elevated rights to make the required network changes. While we hoped iOS 4's multitasking implementation would allow us to do the former, it is unfortunately not "true" multitasking. This leaves the conclusion that there is no hope of a Viscosity for iOS release through the App Store unless Apple make some of their private APIs public.

Another interesting point of possible contention has been raised by the recent removal of VLC from the iOS App Store. VLC was removed due to a possible clash between the GPL and the App Store's Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme. OpenVPN is also licensed under the GPL, so if it was included in a similar fashion to VLC it may also clash. Luckily we don't believe such a clash would exist with Viscosity as the DRM is applied to the Viscosity app itself (not the OpenVPN binary) which is not licensed under the GPL. However the issue still deserves consideration.

While an official iOS App Store release may be out the window, we're still considering a release for jail-broken devices. We cooked up an experimental version some time ago, so we know it's something we can pull off. However at this stage we're focusing on other products (Viscosity for Windows and Viscosity Server). We will no doubt revisit this option at a later date, so if it's something you'd like to see us focus on make sure you let us know via the forums, Twitter or email!

Conclusion

So as discussed above, Viscosity will not be appearing on either App Store due to policies outside our control. We'd love to release Viscosity for both, so we'll be keeping up dialog with Apple in the hope of a policy change that will allow Viscosity to be submitted. We'll continue to support purchasing Viscosity through our website (and you can even try it out for free for 30 days!) and we hope you will continue to enjoy using it (Mac App Store or not)!