Gold Medal Sale on Best Tool for Travel Privacy and Safety

by Shelli Stein

When traveling, I take computer performance and security very seriously. After all, I’m working from the road and need to stay productive without any negative tech issues. Now though, I’m working both from the road and I’m working from home. One of my home-based projects is to make sure I’m using the best performance, productivity, and security apps and utilities possible. After all, I will once again be traveling and working more from the road. Here are some of the must-have Mac apps and utilities I’ve found. Some of them are for PC’s as well.

See what you think of my choices and don’t miss the awesome limited time only deal on ExpressVPN!

Must-have Mac Apps and Utilities

Here are some of the best performance, security, and productivity apps and utilities for your Mac.

My main work companion these days is a MacBook, so it needs to be ready for anything I ask of it.

Here is a selection of the best performance, security, and productivity apps and utilities.


To honor the Winter Olympics in Bejing, they are having an awesome sale—3 months free when signing up!

I’m such an advocate of using a VPN that I talk about it to anyone who will listen.

If you aren’t already aware of this, browsing the web without a VPN leaves a digital footprint. This makes it easy for people and sites to track you.

A VPN can allow you geographical privacy. Maybe even more importantly, a good VPN can keep you safe. Safety is an issue, especially when you lack network control and access the web using both wired and wireless networks.

Having tested many VPN offerings, I settled on ExpressVPN because it offered good security and high levels of reliability at a reasonable price. Been using it for years and have NO complaints!

More ExpressVPN information

CleanMyMac X

CleanMyMac X cleans your Mac from all the unnecessary junk that we all gather from everyday computer usage. Yes, we all gather junk and the amounts gathered can be surprisingly large. CleanMyMax X frees up storage space and speeds up a computer. Who doesn’t like that?

More information

TechSmith SnagIt

SnagIt is an app I heard about years ago and never really appreciated until recently. Every day, without fail, I’m taking screen captures. And I’ll admit that I’m not good at it. I need all the help I can get. SnagIt is tops in capturing all sorts of screenshots. It also comes with editing tools to help you get those captures pretty and ready for public consumption!

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Parallels Toolbox

Staying productive and organized is a challenge. I recognize that we all have our own ways of handling these challenges. I’m all for improvements in the way I do things. This tool brought a definite improvement!

If boosting productivity is one of your goals, Parallels Toolbox is a suite of easy-to-use tools. It streamlines your daily computing tasks. This toolbox comes with over 30 tools. It replaces needing multiple applications.

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Google Chrome

Everyone has their own answer to the question, “What’s the best Mac browser?” It’s true that Chrome uses a big share of system resources. It’s also true that even with many tabs open, it’s a high performer and solid browser choice. Using extensions to expand its usefulness is a big plus.

Must-have Mac apps and utilities

Image: Flickr


I’ve been a Backblaze user and big fan for quite a few years already. Time Machine is good for local backups, but it’s important to have an up-to-date offsite backup. Backblaze offers the best combination of value, storage space, and performance. I also really enjoy and learn a lot from reading the monthly newsletters!

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iStat Menus

Are you someone who geeks-out on system information? I’m not, but a MAC friend of mine is. He told me I must put this app into the article. He loves it. iStat Menus is an advanced Mac system monitor. It covers the gamut of stats on your computer’s system.

More information


Got to love an app name that so “aptly” describes what it does! And who doesn’t like an app for free? Amphetamine is an app that lives in your menu bar. The app lets you override your energy saver settings and keep your Mac awake. See, told you the name was a good one! It’s free, so that’s a good price 🙂

Parallels Access

Need to connect and access your Mac or PC from any device? When you need to work with what’s on your system as if you are sitting at your computer, Parallels Access is a great choice for a remote tool. This really helps when you’ve mistakenly left an important file on your computer and realize you need it. Parallels Access is downloadable from the App Store.

The Unarchiver

While I don’t pretend to understand how many of the functions my MAC does actually happen, archiving and compression are mysteries to me. I don’t care to unlock the mystery, but I do need to have a tool I can use for some of the formats that my macOS doesn’t seem to handle and archive well enough.

The Unarchiver has you covered no matter what crazy file format you have to deal with. And it’s free!

It will open common formats such as Zip, RAR, 7-zip, Tar, Gzip and Bzip2. The Unarchiver also handles more obscure formats such as StuffIt, DiskDoubler, LZH, ARJ and ARC, and can extract files from ISO and BIN images.

It can also extract files from some Windows .EXE files.

I have a feeling if you don’t already use this, you will use it a lot once you install it.

Download from the App Store

PRO TIP: If you’re wondering if a Password Manager is a good idea, and which one is best, no contest. 1Password for the WIN!

Final Thoughts

I’m always open to learning from readers. If you have some must-have Mac apps and utilities that I should check out please let me know!

P.S. Looking for other great gifts for travelers? Check out my fun and awesome suggestions here.

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