Broad SPN Access Postponed to Q3 - Here Is Why

March 24, 2021 • Written by David

TLDR: Different factors made us prioritize Portmaster before SPN development in the second half of 2020. Since the start of 2021 we are focusing on SPN development again - by Summer a lot will have happened and you will notice all of the impact. We are sorry for this delay.




In August 2020 We Decided to Shift Our Attention to the Portmaster

Back in August 2020, we re-evaluated our approach and decided to focus on Portmaster development. There were multiple factors to this:

1. the SPN is tightly integrated into the Portmaster.

The SPN builds on one of the main Portmaster features, intercepting network connections. The SPN relies on this working as much as the Portmaster does. And back then, this aspect was far less mature. So it did not matter how far we would come with the SPN since clients could not reliably connect to the Safing Privacy Network.

2. the User Experience depends on the Portmaster too

It is kinda crazy to see where we were at. Remember this?

Old Portmaster Monitor

Our previous User Interface was ok - coming from techy developers - but for broader adoption it was clear we needed something simpler and nicer. You can see how that huge work package progressed over the months in the update blogs of August, September, October and November.

3. Marketing the SPN with a ugly and buggy Portmaster was very challenging

On the marketing front, we were fighting an almost impossible battle. Get people to try our software or even pre-order a product which was really not that great. Only the toughest of Early Adopters stayed around - big shoutout to you all! But to truly progress, we simply needed more users to understand and improve the product.

In Retrospect We Are Happy About This Decision

Looking back, we believe this was the right call. The Portmaster has become more mature from a technical perspective which in return benefits the SPN mid-term too. Also, the new Portmaster UI let us present the software on our website and has made the software more accessible.

Since 2021 Our Development Focus Returned to the SPN

With the new year we re-shifted our technical development towards the SPN. The main thing we had to do in Q1 was to evaluate anomaly detection algorithms. Due to funding from the ESA-BIC we were contractually required to wrap that project up. This was successful and will come in handy down the road.

Dedicating Q2 to SPN, A Lot Will Happen There

Anyway, we are happy that all this work “for the future” is wrapped up, allowing us to focus on things the SPN needs today in order to stabilize the network and ultimately let more users join. Overall, we can now fully dedicate our technical attention to developing the SPN, while the Portmaster will only receive bug fixes and minor updates. We are sure you will notice the impact of this in the coming months.

We Are Sorry For This Delay

Again, we are sorry for the caused delay and take full responsibility. If you are already using the Portmaster and/or were excited for the SPN let us know how you feel about all of this. We always appreciate hearing from you.

And as always, you can follow all the progress on the next page.