The best firewall and music apps you’ll find anywhere this week


This week we block pesky privacy-invading trackers with Guardian Firewall, make sweet (weird) melodies with Ioniarics, and discover the next best thing to the keytar with Roxsyn.

Guardian Firewall + VPN

Guardian Firewall does all the hard work for you.
Guardian Firewall does all the hard work for you.
Photo: Guardian Firewall

Guardian Firewall is now live, and ready to protect your privacy. It’s a firewall in the shape of a standard iOS VPN. It works by routing all your traffic through the Guardian Firewall servers, and filtering out privacy-invading trackers.

The developers are fanatical about privacy, and about collecting as little user data as possible. As such, the service requires no sign-up or account, and is paid for anonymously via the App Store.

Used free, it shows you where your data is being sent, and a monthly subscription lets you block that data. And as always with any security service like this — especially one which routes all your data through its own servers — you should thoroughly vet it before using it.

Price: Free with in-app sub for blocking trackers

Download: Guardian Firewall + VPN from the App Store (iOS)


Can you pronounce Ioniarics
Can you pronounce Ioniarics?
Photo: Abigail Macfarlane

This is an odd music-making app, but a rather cool one. Ioniarics is an arpeggiator — that is, it plays the notes of a chord one by one, in rhythmic patterns. The twist is that it uses polyrhythms to create some really interesting patterns. And if you hook it up to the right sound-creating app, you can even make some crazy-sounding drum parts.

Price: $6.99

Download: Ioniarics from the App Store (iOS)

Roxsyn Guitar Synthesizer

Roxsyn on iPad: a synth app that rocks
Roxsyn — a synth that rocks.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Roxsyn lets you plug in your guitar, and when you play it, synthesizer sounds come out. Unlike other apps and FX, which detect the pitch of your guitar and use that to play notes on a synth, Roxsyn uses your raw guitar sound as the actual sound generator for its synthesizer.

It also serves up a full suite of knobs to tweak and shape the resulting sounds, just like a regular, keyboard-driven synth.

Price: $9.99

Download: Roxsyn Guitar Synthesizer from the App Store (iOS)