Gadget news
OnPay review
3:29 am | December 24, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

OnPay is a neat option for any small businesses looking for a more streamlined approach to office administration tasks. The cloud-based software lets users amalgamate several chores into one workflow, with the focus primarily on payroll. However, OnPay can also be called upon to help you handle tax-related issues, HR duties and other miscellaneous office tasks too.

More recently, the OnPay package has been carefully honed and adds in lots more functionality, which alongside its already generous suite of features leaves users with lots of options for managing their payroll more efficiently. While it’s not the cheapest cloud-based software package you can buy, it does represent great value. Combined with its fast and efficient feature set, OnPay certainly deserves closer inspection.


OnPay offers a lot of features and functionality for the money (Image credit: OnPay)

OnPay: Pricing

Following the coronavirus pandemic, small businesses are looking for more value than ever. While OnPay isn't exactly a bargain-basement cloud-based software package, what it does provide is value. 

Currently the pricing structure offers a first month free option, with no charges for getting set up either. From there, the base fee is $36 per month with an additional $4 per month charge for each person who needs to use the software. There’s actually a handy slider on the pricing page that gives you a dynamic price quote based on the amount of people you’d expect to add. 

Interestingly, it goes right up to 1000 people with a price of $4036 per month, although that is perhaps an extreme example. Either way, OnPay says that you’re only billed for workers who are paid in a given month.


The spruced up interface will appeal to employers and employees alike (Image credit: OnPay)

OnPay: Features

Following a fairly recent update, OnPay has plenty of features to make the cloud-based solution of interest to small businesses. There are unlimited monthly pay runs with all tax filings and payments covered. The revised dashboard also allows you to pay W-2 employees and 1099 workers, while payments themselves can be carried out using direct deposit, debit card or good old-fashioned check. 

OnPay is versatile too, with the option to set multiple pay rates and schedules, take garnishments and handle unemployment insurance. OnPay is also adaptable if you have to pay employees that are located in more than one state, and works across all 50. 

The added bonus of using OnPay is that it can be tailored to suit different kinds of small business, including restaurants, farms and agriculture concerns, non-profits and even churches and clergy. What’s more, there’s the capacity for plenty of employee involvement too, thanks to the OnPay built-in self-service side of things.


OnPay has added appeal because it can be integrated with other software tools (Image credit: OnPay)

OnPay: Performance

With OnPay being cloud-based software and able to work on Windows and Mac platforms you should be sure of decent performance. However, while the package works a treat on a desktop or laptop machine, the experience on mobile is less impressive. 

You’re essentially faced with using the same desktop offering, but in a smaller environment, rather than via a dedicated app, which if you’re handling lots of data could prove rather sluggish. In its preferred environment though, OnPay zips along nicely.


OnPay is all about ease of use as illustrated with its single sign-on option (Image credit: OnPay)

OnPay: Ease of use

Working with payroll is invariably complicated and time-consuming, which means that the wizard option in the latest version of OnPay will prove useful if you’re configuring for the first time. Not only that, OnPay has had plenty of tweaks that makes it even easier to use in other areas, with the employee records aspect proving invaluable if you have issues to log outside of regular hours, salary and so on. 

Considering that, even the smallest of businesses will find it has lots of data to process OnPay has been designed so nicely that this is generally presented in a crisp and clear fashion. That doesn't quite extend to the mobile variant as we’ve already mentioned, but generally OnPay is easier to grasp than others of its ilk. 

OnPay’s recent facelift also means that there are now plenty of options when it comes to custom reporting, which is easier than ever to use. Similarly, its creators have also done a great job with the latest integration features, with plenty of accounting and time-tracking options at your disposal. 

If you’re looking for an easier way to integrate your other applications with OnPay then the latest edition makes that pretty straightforward. It can be used in conjunction with the likes of QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Xero, TSheets, Deputy, WhenIWork, Humanity, ThinkHR and PosterElite too.


It's possible to carry out numerous tasks aside from payroll directly from within OnPay (Image credit: OnPay)

OnPay: Support

The online support aspect of OnPay is particularly impressive with lots of practical information available. The tax information is of definite value if you're a small business owner who wants to be sure everything is being done to the letter. In terms of getting in touch with support staff then OnPay offers all of the usual options including phone, chat and email routes into the support team. 


Support for OnPay comes via a help hub plus phone and email options (Image credit: OnPay)

While phone support is available during business hours Monday to Friday, the OnPay email support is on hand at weekends too should you need to chase up something urgently.

OnPay: Final verdict

OnPay is maturing all the time and its latest incarnation has plenty to offer the small business owner who has to contend with running payroll and other tasks. The new edition has been fine-tuned to take into account all of the issues surrounding COVID-19 too, with plenty of assistance on that front. 

This cloud-based software delivers an enjoyable user experience, with a dashboard and supporting layout that makes even those tedious data-heavy tasks that little more bearable. The lack of an app makes using OnPay via a mobile browser less appealing, which is slightly disappointing but it’s a doddle when you’re working within a desktop environment thanks to the revised dashboard. 

Cost-wise, OnPay also seems pretty good value considering what you get as part of the package. All told, it’s an interesting proposition for small businesses and easily stands up for itself when put alongside the opposition.

Other business software options worth looking at include Sage Business Cloud Accounting, QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, Freeagent, GoSimpleTax, TaxCalc, Nomisma, ABC Self-Assessment or Crunch.

Confirmed VPN review
10:39 pm | December 22, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Confirmed VPN claims to be the world's first no-log, fully audited, and openly operated VPN that can safeguard your data against hackers, snoopers, and your ISP. Their mission is simple: "increase user trust in the apps and services they use every day". 

They also have the "openly operated" certification, which is given to apps that operate completely transparently. This review will provide you with all the information you need to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not it’s the best VPN for you.

This VPN is based in the United States, a country that falls under the Five Eyes  intelligence-sharing nations. The issue of jurisdiction is critical to your online privacy, as the US authorities have the right to obtain your information and share it with nations which are members of the 5 eyes.

Confirmed VPN has 12+ servers in the United States, Ireland, India, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and South Korea. This means their VPN server selection is quite small, especially when compared with Express VPN and other top-tier products.

Confirmed VPN platform has been audited frequently by third parties, who have inspected their source code and open infrastructure. This sits well with us as VPN audits are necessary for customers to verify the security of the service. 

Confirmed VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Pricing & plans 

Confirmed VPN offers a 7-day free trial, but there's a catch: the trial period only begins after you enter your credit card details. So if you try out this option make sure you cancel immediately, otherwise you'll be charged for a full subscription.

If you are interested in using the service after the trial, there are three subscription plans. The first plan is for iOS and Android users only and costs $4.99 monthly. The Pro plan is for Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android and costs $9.99 monthly. Alternatively, you can choose the Pro yearly plan which costs $8.33 per month and is billed at $99.96 yearly. 

The iOS and Android plans allow you to connect to three devices simultaneously, while the Pro plans give five simultaneous connections. Unfortunately, confirmed VPN does not have a money-back guarantee, so you are most likely stuck if you run into any issues while using the software and want a refund. Currently, credit card is the only payment method available.

If you are looking for the best free VPN, you would be better off exploring other options, as a seven day free trial is a very limited option.   

Privacy & encryption 

Confirmed VPN’s Privacy Policy states that it does not store or log your IP address, or use a cookie to track you. They claim to only keep the most basic client account information, such as your email address, and to record this in an encrypted format that cannot be cracked. The company will also track the account's creation date, active subscription plan, and overall bandwidth usage over the previous 30 days. 

It’s important to understand that ConfirmedVPN may be legally obligated to divulge information to law enforcement in response to a legitimate subpoena, court order, warrant, or similar government order. However, they claim they would notify their clients of any such disclosure unless they are forbidden from doing so by law or court order, or in extremely rare, urgent situations. Their privacy policy is one of the most transparent we have seen, and they have also undergone a security audit to back up their claims.

To secure your private information from prying eyes, Confirmed VPN deploys AES 256-bit encryption, as well as IPSec, HTTPS, SSH, and SSL/TLS VPN protocols. The service does not support torrenting, but even if it did, it would not be safe to torrent on it because of the VPN's jurisdiction. 


The ability to give customers access to popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer in areas where these services are unavailable is a feature that’s highly valued in the VPN market. If finding a top streaming VPN is what you’re after, Confirmed VPN would not be of help. You would be better off looking at a service such as ExpressVPN, which can unblock geo-restricted content on streaming platforms with ease. 

Confirmed VPN

(Image credit: Future)


Confirmed VPN has native apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. If you require assistance, you can only contact their customer service representatives via email or Twitter. That said, we sent an email to this provider but we have not heard back from them yet. During the course of this review, our attention was drawn to the fact that Confirmed VPN is no longer in operation and is currently under a VPN called LockdownPrivacy. 

Alternatives to Confirmed VPN 

While ConfirmedVPN is inactive, there are a lot of reputable VPNs out there that can provide you with high-quality service. For example, ExpressVPN would grant you access to thousands of servers and cutting-edge security features that would astound you and protect your privacy. If you do not want to pay much but still want an advanced service, you could also consider Surfshark, which will provide you with a reliable service at an affordable cost. 

Other options we suggest checking out include NordVPN or CyberGhost. These will provide you with thousands of servers, a native client for all major apps, and lightning-fast speeds. All the VPNs listed here would give you access to geo-restricted content on VOD platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more. They would also give you a generous money-back guarantee, cutting-edge security features, 24/7 customer support, and lots more. 


Confirmed VPN might have been a good anonymity provider when it was still in operation, but since it’s no longer offering active services, we cannot compare it to the likes of ExpressVPN. There are many alternative services out there that would provide better value for money and offer all of the best privacy tools you might need.  

ClearVPN review
10:50 pm | December 18, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

ClearVPN is another service vying to become the best VPN service on the market. The provider claims to be for anyone who wants to expand and protect their online experience, and was made for both VPN enthusiasts and casual users. It also claims to provide fast speeds and make your digital life safe, private, and comfortable. We tested this VPN provider's security capabilities, cost, jurisdiction, and other factors in this review to determine whether it is worthy of your attention.

The VPN is run by MacPaw, a software company specializing in developing popular software for Mac and iOS devices. MacPaw’s other creations include a PC optimizer, drive manager, duplicate file finder, photo organizer, RAR opener, file encryption, and more. 

For its privacy tool, you can access more than 70 servers in 40 countries, including the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, and Canada. Although the VPN server pool is quite small, the company says it’s concentrated on those areas where it can provide the best speed/security balance rather than having a large network of medium-speed servers. 

ClearVPN has user-friendly desktop programs for Mac and Windows, with mobile VPN apps for iOS and Android. All the apps were easy to download, use and were user-friendly, intuitive, and beautifully designed.

Pricing & plans 

ClearVPN offers a free VPN service, as well as monthly and annual subscriptions. 

The free version offers unlimited bandwidth but only a few servers and does not include the quick connect features for gaming or streaming; those and the rest of the shortcuts are only available with a paid subscription. Although whether it’s the best free VPN choice for you will depend on a number of factors.

The paid version costs $5 a month and $21 every six months. Subscribing to the paid plan gives you unlimited secure browsing, built-in shortcuts, IP masking, DDoS protection, and six devices per subscription. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Payments can be made via Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, Google Pay via the Google Play Store, and Apple Pay via the App Store. However, there’s no support for cryptocurrency. 


(Image credit: Future)

Privacy & encryption 

ClearVPN claims to have a strict no-log policy, claiming that they do not collect, store, or share any information about your online activities, nor do they collect and save your IP address

Looking into the privacy policy document, we saw that ClearVPN collects some information with your permission. This includes device information (operating system, device name, and language), your country (using IP), how much data you send or receive, connection type, and cellular network information. There’s also anonymous VPN connection diagnostics and crash reports, which include diagnostic information about if and how a VPN connection attempt failed; speed test data; and crash reports, all without any personally identifiable information. They assert that all of these details are utilized to select the best servers for VPN connections and to uphold the caliber of their service. 

For security, ClearVPN employs PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy) to route your internet traffic simultaneously through several servers while encrypting it with AES-256 and hashing the exchange of data with SHA2-384 to ensure data integrity. The VPN also supports a range of VPN protocols, such as IPSec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.

Behind the scenes, there’s an innovative VPN technology called DynamicFlow. This feature finds the fastest idle server that suits your needs based on your current location and connects you to it so you can take advantage of a seamless, low-ping, and secure VPN connection. You’ll also find an auto-connect feature, a VPN kill switch, ad blockers, malware blockers, and multihop servers, letting you route your internet traffic through multiple VPN servers at the same time. And yes, this is a VPN for torrenting and P2P.  


Some VPN providers can provide their users with access to popular streaming content that may not be available in all parts of the world. Fortunately, ClearVPN unblocks Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. However, this might not be one of the best Netflix VPNs since, unlike ExpressVPN and other top-rated services, we struggled to access geo-restricted content on the platform. If that’s not a deal-breaker for you, this is a fine VPN for streaming


(Image credit: Future)


If you require assistance, it is available via the support page, where you can access an FAQ, about the service, apps, and connectivity. You can also manage your ClearVPN account and subscription and contact customer support directly via email or through a live chat. 

We tested the live chat feature and our message was responded to in less than a minute, first by a bot telling us that "ClearVPN typically replies in under 2 minutes," then by a customer care representative, whose response was courteous and clear.

Speed & experience 

After privacy and security, VPN speeds are one of the most important criteria for a top-notch VPN provider because it’s essential for using the VPN for its basic functions. 

That said, before testing the speed of the servers, we first tested our baseline speed, which gave us a speed of 100 Mbps. We tested a server in the United States, which gave us a speed of 30.22 Mbps. A server in Canada outperformed the others, with a speed of 50.23 Mbps. A server in the United Kingdom gave us a speed of 20.21. 

Finally, we also wanted to see how a server in a faraway location would fare, so we picked the Hong Kong server, which gave us a speed of 12.1 Mbps. All told, it might not be the fastest VPN in the world, but it’s no slouch either. 


(Image credit: Future)

Alternatives to ClearVPN 

While it has fast speeds and useful security and privacy features, Clear VPN does not provide anything that the market leaders do not. For instance, ExpressVPN would give you access to tens of thousands of servers and provide you with astonishingly advanced security features that would safeguard your privacy. 

If you want something well-known that would offer you advanced functionality, a wide range of protocol options, and support for different devices, especially major platforms as well as support for a few minor ones, we advise checking out NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost. Unlike ClearVPN, all four VPN services have been examined and verified by a third-party auditor in VPN audits


It’s fair to say, in some areas, ClearVPN didn’t impress. The service didn’t unblock regional Netflix content during our tests, doesn’t have thousands of servers, and doesn’t have independent verification of its no-log claims. 

But it’s not all bad - in fact, there’s a lot worth recommending here, with many outstanding features, including lightning-fast speeds, reasonable costs, and user-friendly apps. However, if you value your privacy and want a VPN that is secure on all ends and has proven its no-log claims, other options, like ExpressVPN, are worth exploring.

RocketVPN review
11:55 pm | December 15, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

More than ever, it is important to protect your data while online, which is why many people use the best VPN for additional online security. 

Services such as RocketVPN claim to help you encrypt all traffic from you to anywhere in the world and protect the data you transmit and receive from your ISP and hackers. This sounds good, but do they keep their word about protecting your data? 

With so many VPNs available, it is possible that you will run into a VPN provider with the same name as another. It is important not to confuse RocketVPN with another VPN of the same name because the latter is based in Moscow, Russia, and is run by a company called RocketVPN Network, and the former is based in Dublin and is owned by Liquidum. 

The Russian-based VPN offers an undisclosed number of servers but claims they are located in different countries including, Russia, USA, UK, Australia, and India. Additionally, the VPN provider asserts that each time you connect to their VPN, your connection receives a dynamic IP address from a pool of more than 4000 anonymous IP addresses. Another disadvantage of this VPN is that, as of the time of this review, it had not undergone any security audit.

Unlike most Russian-based VPNs that only have their websites in Russian, RocketVPN's website is available in English, Russian, Chinese, and Deutsch languages.

Pricing & plans

The VPN vendor offers a 24-hour free trial, so you can try the service for a day and decide whether or not you want to purchase a subscription, and offers four very straightforward pricing plans. 

The Bronze plan costs $19.99 a month. The Silver plan is priced at $29.99 for three months. The Gold plan costs $39.99 every six months. Finally, the Platinum package is charged at $49.99 a year. 

Unfortunately, there’s no free VPN option here, which we found disappointing, but the clarity in subscriptions is always welcome. If you encounter any problems while using the VPN, and you want a refund this VPN gets none, which is quite unfortunate as many providers offer a generous money-back guarantee.

When you purchase RocketVPN subscription plan, you can use it on up to five devices at the same time. Also, you can purchase any of the VPN vendors' plans using PayPal, credit or debit cards, Alipay, UnionPay, MIR, Qiwi, Apple Pay, and others.

Rocket VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Privacy & encryption

RocketVPN's privacy policy is a brief document, and all we were told was that it gathers your personal information to better understand your needs and interests, conduct business and improve business, personalize communications, improve service, and give you a quality experience. It also claims not to transfer, sell, or rent your personal information to third-party companies. 

And that’s all there is to it. No mention of logging was made in the VPN privacy policy. This statement in the privacy policy makes it impossible to know if any of your information or activities while using this VPN are being monitored. Even worse, no independent auditor has conducted a VPN audit to verify any of these claims.

RocketVPN supports the PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN protocols but the website is silent on the type of encryption employed. All we know from the Privacy Statement is that all personal data, including public and private keys and passwords, is stored in an encrypted format with reputable cryptographic algorithms. 

We would appreciate it if the company would let us know what kind of encryption it employs, and offer a security audit in order to increase our confidence. Despite the fact that this is touted as VPN for torrenting and P2P sharing, we do not advise you to torrent with RocketVPN. This is because the VPN lacks a kill switch, and you could run the risk of exposing your original IP to your ISP while you are torrenting. 


Unblocking geo-restricted content on websites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer has grown in importance - leading to a rise in the best streaming VPNs and best VPNs for Netflix

Thankfully, that’s the case here. In our testing, we discovered that RocketVPN provides access to geo-restricted streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer  

Speed & experience

RocketVPN claims to be a reliable VPN that will deliver fast network speeds. Well, we decided to test this claim on a 60 Mbps connection. Our first target location was the one closest to us, the United Kingdom, and this gave us an exceptionally fast 32.12 Mbps. The next stop was in the US, where the VPN server gave us a speed of 20.43 Mbps. We then wanted to see how a server far from us would fare, so we decided to pay a visit to one in Hong Kong, which delivered a speed of 4.22 Mbps.

To be honest, we didn’t experience a straightforward process while using RocketVPN. We had to follow the website's instructions in order to test the download speeds because there are no native apps for it.

Rocket VPN

(Image credit: Future)


RocketVPN is compatible with Windows, masOS, Android, and iOS. However, it lacks native apps; instead, it only provides access to its services through a device's built-in VPN settings, as well as third-party software and configuration files that can be downloaded from the website. 

The website also has comprehensive instructions for setting up the VPN on your device if you need assistance. But these instructions can only be accessed when you sign up and log in on the website. If you still need assistance, the VPN offers 24/7/365 support via live chat and a contact form. Strangely, we have yet to receive a response to a question submitted via the contact form, and the live chat messages we sent were never delivered.


Although it is not entirely bad and has some advantages, RocketVPN is unquestionably no match for services such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or CyberGhost. All of which provide stunning native clients, tens of thousands of servers, unrestricted traffic, round-the-clock customer service, an incredibly generous free trial, and more. 


Despite the lack of native apps, detailed information, thousands of servers, or flashy extras, Rocket VPN does a great job considering how little it costs on a monthly basis.

It also provides assistance every step of the way, delivers above-average download speeds, allows torrenting, and unblocks geo-blocked streaming content.

With a few improvements, Rocket VPN could compete a little more effectively with industry giants.

PizzaVPN review
2:58 am | December 12, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Perhaps the most notable thing about PizzaVPN is its name, which was inspired by the fast-food favorite. The VPN called London its base, and was developed by the ABC Gamers company. 

For the privacy and security-conscious, London is among the worst places for a VPN to have its headquarters since the UK is a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, a collection of nations that share a lot of surveillance information among themselves. Any VPN located in one of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance nations, including this one, should be used with extreme caution. This is due to the likelihood that foreign intelligence agencies could request specific data from any VPN operating in these countries.

PizzaVPN offers access to over 200 VPN servers in more than 60 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Nepal, Spain, Panama, Switzerland, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Mozambique, France, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Bolivia, Italy, Angola, the United States, and others. 

These servers are separated into four categories based on their functions: regular VPN servers, SmartVPN servers, Torrent VPN servers, and Virtual VPN servers. Although 200 servers may seem like a lot, they are nothing compared to the top-tier VPN services on the market, such as ExpressVPN, which provides its users with more than 3000 servers across 94 countries. Pizza VPN has been providing services for over a decade. However, they never had their software subjected to a VPN audit - a crucial step to assure users that the network is secure and trustworthy and can protect user data from being stolen or misused.  

Pricing & plans 

Unlike other VPNs in the industry that give you a 30-day free trial, PizzaVPN does not offer a free VPN version to test their product. However, there is a 1-week non-recurring option for a one-time payment of $1.99, which is beneficial if you want to try out the service before committing to a lengthier plan. 

PizzaVPN offers a range of different-length subscription plans to pick from, each with the same features included. One month of the service costs you $3.99/month, six months of the VPN cost $3.17/month and is billed at $18.99 on a 6-month basis, and the 12-month subscription plan costs $2.50 per month and is billed at $29.99/year. The VPN provider offers a 14-day money-back guarantee on all its subscription plans and accepts payments using bitcoin, major credit cards, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. 


(Image credit: Future)

Privacy & encryption 

PizzaVPN is based in the UK, within the jurisdiction of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. The provider states clearly that they do not log browsing history, traffic destination, data content, IP addresses, or DNS queries. According to the firm, the only logs collected are user emails, payment information, and user session length data for troubleshooting purposes and deleted after one day. Additionally, it boldly claims that even if required to divulge user information, the firm would be unable to do so because the necessary data isn't available.

PizzaVPN uses the industry-standard OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, and IPSec protocols and also goes far to keep you anonymous by assigning randomly generated usernames and passwords to each VPN subscription. The service has plenty of valuable features to choose from, including an auto-reconnect feature that saves you from having to start the tool every time and a VPN kill switch that halts your internet traffic if you ever lose connection. This is a crucial feature because it stops traffic from going through your ISP by default, thereby hiding your location and online activity.  

Speed & experience 

While it’s advertised as one of the fastest VPNs, as of this review, the VPN is no longer in operation, so we could not test this claim. It is somewhat unfortunate that it ended this way because this VPN seemed to have had a lot to offer. Is this a temporary closure, and will they soon be open for business? 

Ultimately, this is unimportant, since there are much better options available, with features like the ability to access any geo-restricted content on any video streaming platform around the world at lightning fast speeds. 


(Image credit: Future)

Customer support 

According to customer reviews from the period PizzaVPN was still in operation, it had user-friendly native mobile VPN apps for Android and iOS, and desktop apps for Windows and Mac. It was also possible to contact the provider through a contact form, an email address, and by visiting the provider's Facebook and Twitter pages. But all of these channels were unavailable at the time of this review, as well as inactive social media pages.  

Alternatives to PizzaVPN 

PizzaVPN may have been a great VPN when it was operational, but since it is currently inactive, you can check out practically any of the services that are still available. 

The best of these include the top VPN providers in the market, such as ExpressVPN with its extensive server network, NordVPN with its quick connection and ability to unblock geo-restricted content on popular VOD platforms, and Surfshark with its affordable pricing and unlimited bandwidth. We also like the 45-day money-back guarantee offered by CyberGhost. These VPNs may cost more than PizzaVPN’s previous rates, but they offer everything you require in a stand-alone VPN service without any compromises in quality or service.  


(Image credit: Future)


After reading some excellent reviews about PizzaVPN, we had high expectations for the service, particularly after checking out a few of the customer's written reviews about the product. However, our expectations were dashed since the company is currently out of business. 

If you want to use one of the best VPNs available right now, pay attention to the major players in the market, like ExpressVPN. Even though it may cost a little more than PizzaVPN, what you get is worth the extra money. You get access to thousands of servers, robust security, the ability to use the VPN for Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, as well as the ability to operate in regions where other providers can’t.  

Paychex review
1:36 pm | December 8, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Paychex is one of the best payroll software platforms available for small and medium-sized businesses. With this platform, you can easily manage payroll for dozens of employees and integrate benefits like healthcare and retirement into your payroll process. Plus, all Paychex plans include tax documentation and accounting software integration. The biggest downside is that the software is surprisingly expensive.

In our Paychex review, we’ll help you decide whether this payroll software is right for your business.

Paychex review

Paychex is a capable payroll software that integrates accounting and benefits (Image credit: Paychex)

Paychex: Plans and pricing

Paychex offers three plan tiers: Go, Flex Select, and Flex Enterprise.

Paychex Go costs $59 plus $4 per employee per month and is designed to get your payroll system up and running within 24 hours. It includes time tracking, accounting integration, and automatic tax form generation. However, you cannot integrate benefits into your payroll and Go doesn’t include access to the Paychex mobile app.

Paychex review

Pricing options for Paychex (Image credit: Paychex)

Flex Select pricing is by quote only. This plan offers a wide array of add-ons compared to the Go tier, including the ability to integrate your healthcare and retirement benefits into payroll. It also offers access to the Paychex mobile app and gets you a dedicated account manager at Paychex. The Flex Enterprise plan is also priced by quote only. This plan offers features for larger businesses, such as custom analytics, a workers’ compensation dashboard and employee screening during onboarding.

Paychex: Features

Paychex is loaded with handy features for managing your payroll. To start, the software makes it easy to keep track of employees’ hours. Employees get access to individualized dashboards with a built-in time tracker. The tracker enables commenting, making it easy to see what your employees were spending time on throughout the pay period.

Paychex review

Employees can track their hours through Paychex’s dashboard (Image credit: Paychex)

To pay your employees, Paychex enables you to make direct deposits or print your own paper checks. You have some flexibility, as you can set up multiple payment accounts for each employee. You can also request prepaid debit cards for each employee and set up Paychex so that payments are automatically transferred onto these cards.

The software also does a nice job of handling taxes, which is critical for any payroll software. Paychex automatically issues W-2 and 1099 forms ahead of tax season. Importantly, Paychex can also integrate with most popular accounting software, including Quickbooks and Xero, to make calculating quarterly and annual tax payments much simpler.

One of our favorite things about Paychex is that the software also enables you to keep track of healthcare, retirement, along with other key benefits right alongside payroll. You can set up a 401(k) for your business through Paychex Retirement Services or enroll employees in an HSA or FSA. When you enter payroll, Paychex will automatically calculate your employer contributions to these accounts and transfer the funds at the same time that checks go out to employees.

Paychex: Interface and in-use

Paychex offers a simple online dashboard that’s fairly easy to navigate. You can see at a glance how much cash you need to have on hand to cover your last payroll period, as well as on what date the current period’s payroll needs to be approved. To enter employee hours, Paychex uses a simple grid layout that saves a significant amount of time compared to the series of drop-down menus that some other payroll platforms use.

Paychex review

Paychex uses a grid layout to make entering employee hours and pay faster  (Image credit: Paychex)

Another nice thing about Paychex is that it includes detailed analytics about your payroll. You can generate reports sorted by employee, office location, position, or any number of custom filters. In all, Paychex has more than 160 built-in standard reports for Go and Flex Select customers - and Flex Enterprise customers can set up even more.

We were happy to see that Paychex offers a mobile app, although we wish it were available to subscribers on the Go plan. The mobile app is particularly nice for employees, since they can use it to check their pay stubs, change their payment account details, or manage their 401(k) plan and health benefits.

Paychex: Support

Paychex offers 24/7 phone support for employers and 24/7 chat support for employees. Employees can also get in touch with Paychex by phone from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern, Monday to Friday. The company has over 100 offices throughout the US where clients are welcome to visit and ask questions in person. 

Paychex review

Paychex offers 24/7 phone support and walk-ins at over 100 US offices  (Image credit: Paychex)

Paychex: The competition

Paychex has a lot of features, but this platform can be prohibitively expensive for some small businesses. For a cheaper option, consider SurePayroll. 

SurePayroll offers a Self Service plan, which doesn’t include tax filing, for just $19.99 plus $4 per employee per month. The company’s Full Service plan, which includes payroll tax forms, costs $29.99 plus $5 per employee per month. However, SurePayroll doesn’t offer nearly the same breadth of integrations as Paychex and its reporting features are limited.

However, another competitor, Gusto, matches Paychex when it comes to reporting and accounting integration. The company’s Core plan costs $39 plus $6 per employee per month, so it may be a more affordable option if you don’t need retirement and health benefits alongside payroll.

Paychex: Final verdict

Paychex is a feature-rich payroll software with a lot to like. If you want to integrate healthcare, retirement, or other benefits into your payroll, there are few better options for your business. However, if you don’t need these integrations, it can be hard to justify Paychex’s price tag. The platform is very capable, but its main features are matched by Gusto at a fraction of the price.

Gusto review
12:50 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Gusto is payroll software that covers everything a business needs to maintain a happy workforce. This includes organizing payments, insurance, support and initial onboarding.

It’s a comprehensive approach that sees Gusto rank among the best payroll software providers on the market. And, in this Gusto review, we help you decide whether it would be right for your business as we examine its pricing, features, support and overall ease of use.

Gusto review

Gusto is a payroll software provider (Image credit: Gusto)

Gusto: Plans and pricing

Gusto comes in four separate plans, which range in price from $19/month base price plus $6/month per person to $149/month plus $12/month per person.

The cheapest plan, Basic, is aimed at teams of one or two people and is still in development. It has fewer features than the other plans and can only be used in a single state, whereas the others offer full-service payroll across all 50 states. Direct deposits take four days on Basic, compared to two days for the Core plan and next day for Complete and Concierge.

Other than the timing of direct deposits, the three upper-level plans are differentiated by the addition of features at each level. 

Gusto Review

Gusto offers a choice of four plans (Image credit: Gusto)

Gusto: Features

More than just payroll software, Gusto gives you a full set of tools for effectively managing your workforce. These include full-service payroll, employee benefits, time tracking as well as HR tools for hiring and onboarding.

With Gusto, you can set up your payroll to run with just a few clicks; it can even be set to run automatically on the schedule you choose. The software can handle employees and contractors, multiple rates of pay along with payments in multiple states. And, it will automatically take care of the paying and filing of local, state and federal taxes too.

Gusto has a number of benefits features, including the Gusto Wallet app, which employees can use to manage their paychecks and access emergency cash. Employees can split paychecks between multiple accounts. There are also cash accounts with the Gusto debit card.

Then there is workers’ compensation, health reimbursement (QSEHRA) - an alternative to traditional health insurance - and commuter benefits.

There are also low-cost 401(k) plans, and access to small group health insurance, with a choice of more than 3500 plans from 100 carriers that also cover dental and vision.

Gusto Review

Gusto offers a full set of employee-management features (Image credit: Gusto)

With Gusto, employees track their time for you to review and approve. You can also customize paid time off (PTO) policies with all liabilities automatically calculated. And accounting integrations exist for Quickbooks Online and Xero. 

These tools from Gusto are designed to help you save time when introducing new team members. You’ll be able to send offer letters, work through an onboarding checklist, have all your documents signed and stored online, and set up your new hires with online tools like G Suite and Microsoft 365 with a single click.

Gusto: Interface and in-use

When you first log in to Gusto, you’ll begin the process of setting up all your company information, including your accountant, benefits, state and federal taxes, employees, pay schedule and workers’ compensation. When you add an employee, they’ll be sent a welcome email, which will enable them to create their own account.

Once setup is complete, you’ll be able to view all of your company’s employees, including ones who have been dismissed, and invite new hires to join the system. You’ll be able to run payroll and reports and pay contractors. And you’ll be able to set up time tracking, time off, and benefits.

Gusto’s design is nice and clean and everything is laid out so that it’s easy to move through the process of setup and executing tasks. True to their promises, important tasks like running payroll and reports really can be accomplished with just a few clicks.

Gusto Review

To begin using Gusto, you’ll need to enter your company’s information (Image credit: Gusto)

Gusto: Support

If you want to speak to Gusto sales, their website lists a number. But to get access to Gusto support, you need to be signed in to your account. Once logged in, you’ll see a different phone number to call for support; or you can visit your account dashboard’s support page, where there is a multi-stage form that eventually provides a recommended resource. If that doesn’t help, you can fill in another form to send Gusto an email.

Gusto Review

Gusto support is only available when you’re logged in to your account (Image credit: Gusto)

Gusto: Security

Gusto has several measures in place to protect its customers’ data. It has its own on-site security team, actively tests its software, and all data is AES-256 encrypted between your browser and AWS servers.

Gusto enables varying levels of account permissions so that admins and managers can only access features and functions specific to their level. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and single sign-on (SSO) options are also available.

The Gusto application is kept secure with internal and third-party penetration testing, vulnerability scanning and a bug bounty program. Better still, all Gusto employees have specific security training.

Gusto Review

Gusto keeps your data secure in a variety of ways (Image credit: Gusto)

Gusto: The competition

While Gusto is great for small businesses, it may not be as cost-effective for larger ones. 

An alternative for larger businesses is OnPay, which has a very similar feature set, combining payroll and HR, but a simpler pricing structure. OnPay has a $36/month base fee plus $4/month/user, and you only pay for employees who are paid in any given month. It also has a 30-day free trial.

Gusto is primarily a payroll platform with HR add-ons. Another alternative is Zenefits, which is the opposite: a complete HR solution with features like org charts and performance reviews and a payroll add-on. Pricing goes from $8 to $21/month/employee, with payroll features adding an extra $6/month/employee. It also comes with a 14-day demo.

Gusto: Final verdict

If you’re a small business owner who’s new to payroll, you’ll love Gusto because it’s so easy to use; you can finish important tasks with just a few clicks. Its pricing is attractive for smaller workforces, but for larger businesses, some alternatives will be more cost-effective.

If your workforce is small enough that the pricing is not an issue, Gusto provides first-class solutions for most of the important administrative areas of running a business.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV review
1:40 am |

Author: admin | Category: Cameras Computers Gadgets Mirrorless Cameras | Tags: | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: September 2022
• Fourth-gen MFT camera from Olympus (now OM System) for beginners
• Launch price: $699 / £699.99 / AU$1,299 (body only)
• Official price now: $699 / £699.99 / around AU$939 (body only)

Update: February 2024. After the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV launch, Olympus was purchased by OM Digital Solutions and new cameras are consequently branded OM System instead. So far though, there's been little change in newly branded models besides firmware-level improvements, and the E-M10 Mark IV is still yet to be replaced. That makes it an excellent value camera system for beginners; lightweight, small, feature packed and with a superb selection of lenses for all budgets and photography genres. It doesn't have the latest autofocus or video specs when compared to newer rivals, while it's dated micro USB connector doesn't allow charging on the go, but the overall E-M10 Mark IV package remains compelling today especially for newbie photographers.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV: Two-minute review

Despite its complex name, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a simple, compact entry-level mirrorless camera. And if you're a beginner or keen photographer looking for a compact body that takes consistently attractive photos, it's a camera that has to be on your list.

Sure, the E-M10 Mark IV is lacking some of the more advanced features being touted by its pricier rivals, like phase-detection autofocus, 4K/60p video and microphone/headphone inputs. But it does a brilliant job as a stills camera that can shoot a little bit of quality video when needed, and is one of the best cheap cameras you can buy right now, as well as being one of the best travel cameras for those who've spent all their money on flights.

This beginner camera's approachable button layout and combination of Bluetooth/Wi-Fi functionality means it's primarily designed to tempt smartphone photographers over to an interchangeable lens camera. And as a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera, it has one of the widest selection of lenses around.

Although the Micro Four Thirds system was originally created by Panasonic and Olympus, a wide range of companies have now produced quality, affordable lenses for MFT-compatible cameras. This makes it a great system for beginners to invest in.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

(Image credit: Future)

One big thing this camera has in its favor is superb in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This system is the same as the one used in Olympus' award-winning flagship E-M1 series, and it works a treat for capturing images at slower shutter speeds handheld.

The E-M10 Mark IV is Olympus’ answer to cameras like the Panasonic Lumix G100, Fujifilm X-T200 and Sony ZV-1. And it manages to stand out with its classic OM-D styling, super-compact body and that excellent IBIS system. The 20MP resolution isn’t going to grab any headlines, but it's a significant and welcome step up over its predecessor's 16MP sensor, and keeps it within range of the competition.

While it's a great first camera for beginners, we'd also recommend the E-M10 Mark IV to more experienced photographers on a budget or those looking to downsize from a DSLR. It doesn’t deliver the battery or image quality performance of high-end mirrorless cameras or DSLRs, but it could be a great option as a recce or second camera. For those situations, and at this price, it's a terrific beginner mirrorless camera and certainly one of the best cameras for photography around.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV: Price and release date

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV was released in August 2020 and was available to buy immediately for a body-only price (in black or silver) of $699 / £699.99 / AU$1,299.

Naturally, there is also a kit lens bundle available, with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ bundle we tested costing $799 / £799 / AU$1,499. Australian fans can also buy the E-M10 Mark IV with a longer M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II zoom lens from for AU$1,799 (around $1,285 / £985).

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

(Image credit: Future)

Despite being relatively new, we've already seen some discounts on the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV, which bring its price more in line with rivals like the Fujifilm X-T200. That said, if you're on a tighter budget, it's worth checking prices on this camera's E-M10 Mark III predecessor.

While the latter lacks the new sensor or flip down screen, you can currently pick it up for $449 / £449 / AU$799, which is impressive value.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV: Build and handling

  • Ergonomic grip and button layout
  • Tough polycarbonate body
  • 3-inch touchscreen more flexible than before

The first thing that strikes you about the E-M10 IV is its diminutive size. It’s small enough to fit into the pocket of regular fit trousers – and that’s with its 14-42mm M.Zuiko f/3.5-5.6 pancake kit lens attached.

We've always been huge fans of the twin control dial setup of the E-M10, as it allows you to make adjustments to both shutter speed, aperture or exposure compensation with ease when shooting manually.

The mode dial that sits beside them provides straightforward access to the camera’s nine shooting modes, including video. There’s also a dedicated video record button, placed sensibly on the shoulder of the camera for quick access. 

There isn’t much room for buttons elsewhere on the camera, but Olympus has managed to place controls that cover most key functions without making the camera feel cluttered. There’s also touchscreen access via the rear LCD, further boosting the camera’s usability.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

(Image credit: Future)

The 3.0-inch LCD touchscreen is the most ambitious of the series so far. This time, the E-M10 IV’s screen tilts upwards 90-degrees for shooting at hip level, and also flips downwards 180-degrees in the other direction. This positions it under the camera for selfies and vlogging. It’s good to see more flexibility introduced, but it does present a potential issue for people who want to self-shoot while using the camera on a tripod.

The E-M10 IV's 2.36m-dot OLED viewfinder, unchanged from the previous model, provides a clear view of the scene ahead with settings overlaid on top. This means that once you’re familiar with the layout, you won’t need to take your eye away from the viewfinder to make adjustments.

The share button on the top left shoulder doubles as a quick menu when taking pictures. But in playback this provides simple access to the camera’s share-to-smart device functionality.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV: Features

  • Class-leading image stabilization system
  • Powered by TruePic VIII imaging processor
  • Advanced Photo mode is handy for beginners

The E-M10 Mark IV is powered by a TruePic VIII imaging processor, which works to deliver reduced noise in images captured in low light and has a native ISO sensitivity range of ISO 200-6400. This can be expanded to ISO 80 (LO) and ISO 25,600 (HI), but you’d be wiser to take advantage of the camera’s quality five-axis in-body image stabilization system (IBIS) before you crank the ISO up to those numbers.

This IBIS system is same as the one in Olympus' award-winning flagship E-M1 series, and it's excellent. It boosts the E-M10 Mark IV's handheld shooting capabilities and means you can pack light and don’t need a tripod to get fantastic shots, even at night.

Also borrowed from the upper tier of OM-D cameras, is the updated 121-point autofocusing system, which can better detect and track faces and eyes.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

(Image credit: Future)

Aside from these features, there aren’t other big spec or physical changes of note from the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III. It’s a sensible update, one that focuses on improving the camera’s stills capabilities. 

Olympus has included its trademark scene (SCN) and Art Filter modes, which function as you might imagine, placing 'creative' looks over images. We're not huge fans, but they can be fun to have a play with. We're more keen on the Advanced Photo (AP) section of the mode dial.

AP mode makes it super easy for people to create otherwise complex images, such as live composites for capturing star trails and light painting, long exposure images with live progress displayed on screen, multiple exposure images and more. These are a great way to explore photo creativity.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV: Autofocus

  • 121-point Contrast Detect AF
  • Improved face detection and subject-tracking from Mark III
  • Now also has eye detection

Autofocus systems need to be predictable, even if they're not the fastest. The E-M10 Mark IV’s autofocusing system may not be the most advanced in this camera class, but it functions consistently and that’s the main thing we want from a camera’s autofocus. 

Hybrid systems that incorporate on-sensor phase detection AF, such as the AF system featured in the Sony ZV-1, are superior and better suited for things like vlogging. This is because they are quicker at detecting faces from a range of angles and will stick with them more tenaciously without hunting for focus.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

This unedited photo shows the E-M10 Mark IV's impressive dynamic range. (Image credit: Future)

If you’re more concerned with photography, though, the E-M10 Mark IV’s focusing system is capable of handling a range of moving subjects, including wildlife, field sports and planes. Although it’s worth noting that its top continuous burst mode speed of 15fps (electronic shutter) can only perform at such speeds with fixed focus. 

Its 121 AF points cover a large amount of the frame, but its tracking capabilities are a little patchy, particularly when subject backgrounds are busy. 

We had the most consistent and pleasing results when sticking with AF-S and centre point focus. Use that and this camera can focus fast, even in low light.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

(Image credit: Future)

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV: Image and video quality

The E-M10 Mark IV is the most photo-centric camera in its category. While its rivals are more geared towards video shooters, this cameras wants to be a great stills camera first and foremost – and it does a solid job.

Carrying a high resolution 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor helps the E-M10 Mark IV capture a significantly more impressive dynamic range compared to smartphones and other small sensor cameras. This is most visible when looking at high contrast or night mode scenes. The physical advantage of a larger sensor means the E-M10 Mark IV has great light-gathering powers.

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

The E-M10 Mark IV's quick focusing can help you freeze the perfect moment. (Image credit: Future)
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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Even when you shoot handheld the IBIS system can help you capture some excellent detail. (Image credit: Future)

Pushing the camera’s ISO sensitivity to its limits, the results were usable, although details begin looking smudged past ISO 6400 when viewed at 100%. The ability to take better pictures in low light is further supported by the camera’s five-axis in-body image stabilization. This manages to keep images sharp when shooting handheld as slow as 1/8th of a second, which is a significant advantage for dimly lit scenes.

The IBIS system also works quite well during video recording when walking and panning. While the E-M10 Mark IV can be used to capture attractive looking video, it's not heavily geared towards video shooters.

The omission of a microphone input or USB-C port, which could be used to adapt a microphone or headphone input, is another giveaway that this camera isn’t focused on video. It’s also capped at 4K/30p and FHD/60p resolutions. There’s a high-speed movie mode, but it’s only 120fps at 720p resolution. In terms of video specs, this is one of the most unambitious cameras released since the E-M10 Mark III in 2017.

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Shoot in raw and you can recover some shadow and highlight detail... (Image credit: Future)
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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

...compared to this original shot, where the shadows and highlights have been crushed and blown. (Image credit: Future)
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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

The E-M10 Mark IV's HDR mode can be useful in mixed lighting situations like this... (Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 4

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

...compared to the original, non-HDR photo. (Image credit: Future)

It is, though, a different story for stills. We were really impressed with this camera's basic kit lens – its 14-42mm pancake lens option is a fantastic starting place for someone upgrading from a phone. 

It offers a versatile focal range that covers everything from landscapes to portraits. Plus, given the super compact size of this camera/lens combo, it makes for an ideal travel companion. It will capture quality shots without attracting too much attention, so it’s also ideal if you enjoy capturing more candid imagery.

The camera’s battery is rated to around 360 shots and under 30 minutes of video. This is typical for cameras in this class and at this price point. In use, we found it got us through a day of walking around, with it powering down into battery saver mode. 

If you predominantly use the electronic viewfinder (EVF) when shooting and aren’t recording a lot of video, this camera should get you through a day trip before needing to charge. There’s no dedicated battery charger in the box, mind, so you have to charge the battery in the camera via USB micro B input. Again, it’s a shame to miss out on a USB-C input here, as it also means the camera cannot be used while charging.

Should I buy the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV?

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

IdealVPN review
10:50 am | December 7, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

It can be difficult to choose the best VPN from among the hundreds of different options, because the majority of them make wild claims in their marketing that they aren’t always able to fulfil. The French VPN service provider IdealVPN has been in the game since 2010, giving them more than a decade of experience providing VPN services. A VPN with that much experience in the market ought to be able to compete with the top VPN services currently on the market, but that is not the case for this VPN provider.

France is one of the worst locations for a VPN to be based, because it is a part of the 14-Eyes Alliance. This is a group of countries that collect and share a lot of information among themselves. You should use caution while using any VPN that is based in countries that are part of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance. VPNs operating in these nations may be asked by foreign intelligence agencies to collect or reveal specific data. 

Pricing & plans 

IdealVPN gives you three pricing plans: monthly at $5.76 per month, 6-monthly at $4.80 per month and annual at $4.76 per month. For the 6-monthly plan, there is also a 3-day trial available. Both the 6-month and annual subscriptions are billed annually. 

Payment options include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Maestro. However, there is no mention of a refund or money-back guarantee, and the VPN forbids using the same account for multiple connections at once. This is unusual, as these days most VPNs offer a 45 days money-back guarantee. If you are looking for a free VPN or trying to get the best value for money, there are much better options out there. 


(Image credit: Future)

Privacy & encryption 

According to IdealVPN, it keeps track of the date, time, and length of your VPN connection as well as the amount of bandwidth used. It claims that it uses this information to uphold its terms and conditions, produce statistics, and improve the caliber and dependability of its service. Remember that the VPN provider is based in a jurisdiction that is a member of the 14 Eye Alliance, so if the VPN keeps a record of your private information, law enforcement could obtain it if they coerce the company to share it.

IdealVPN uses 128-bit encryption, which is weaker than the 256-bit algorithm used by the majority of VPNs on the market. They employ the PPTP VPN protocol, allowing you to establish a connection on your own device, and you also get a dynamic shared IP address, a NAT firewall, and port forwarding. Although torrenting is permitted by IdealVPN, we advise you to check your local laws first before torrenting, as it may be against the law where you live. 


IdealVPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. It doesn’t have any native clients, but the provider does claim its service can be enabled on them. IdealVPN also provides guidance in the form of FAQs and setup guides.

Even though the VPN provider states that customers can contact their customer service department by email or contact form, we did not get a response when we sent a message. Contrary to IdealVPN, VPNs like ExpressVPN have helped the VPN market significantly by providing dependable customer service that includes live chat, guides, FAQs, and product tutorials. 


One of the main selling points of many VPNs is the ability to access geographically restricted streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. While most VPNs can grant you access to your preferred streaming content across various platforms, IdealVPN can not. That is because, despite numerous attempts, we were unable to get the software to function, which prevented us from testing the VPN's streaming or speed capabilities. We think that this VPN is no longer in operation, but they haven't made any official announcements to that effect. 

We suggest checking out ExpressVPN if finding the best VPN for Netflix or other streaming sites is your main aim. This excellent VPN provider will give you access to any restricted content on any platform of your choice while also providing great speed and other advanced features.


(Image credit: Future)


IdealVPN isn’t ideal because it doesn’t work! If you are looking for a standard VPN to use, we suggest checking out ExpressVPN, one of the most well-known names in the VPN industry. It is a far better choice because it offers blazing-fast speed and excellent security features. 

You can also check out top players in the VPN industry such as NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost. All of these VPNs will provide you with high-quality service, thousands of servers, round-the-clock customer support and a wide range of cutting-edge features. 


IdealVPN is a laughably poor VPN service, one that is very far away from major platforms such as ExpressVPN for many reasons but mainly for not being able to connect at all. This is followed by a total lack of communication from the customer support’s side, absence of important information and native apps, and many other issues. Due to the awful experience in trying to test it, we aren’t even sure why this provider still has half-decent reviews online.

Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9 review
10:00 pm | December 4, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off
Please note

This is our review of the full Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9, its full security suite. This includes each of the individual security solutions, VirusBarrier, ContentBarrier, Washing Machine, and Personal Backup. We dive deeper into each of these in this review.

Intego is currently developing its newest solution, Mac Total Protection, which is currently going through beta testing. We'll keep an eye out for its official release and update this review when we've had a chance to fully evaluate it.

In addition to its Mac solutions, Intego also has a Windows antivirus solution. However, this is very basic and doesn't stand up to the other antivirus software that has been protecting Windows devices for decades.

Intego has been developing Mac antivirus software for close to three decades. The Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9 pulls each individual security program into a single package. While you can purchase one or two of these tools individually, we strongly recommend the full Intego antivirus suite to ensure you're fully protected both on and offline.

Although Macs may have historically held a reputation for being invulnerable to viruses, we're seeing more and more threats being designed for Mac devices. In fact, both independent security test labs AV-Comparatives and AV-Test consistently test antivirus programs against Mac malware specifically.

This antivirus suite includes Intego's antivirus, VirusBarrier, with its firewall, NetBarrier. It also has the Mac Washing Machine to help clean up your desktop and look for weak spots in your system where threats can sneak in. Finally, you get Mac ContentBarrier Secure is Mac Internet Security with both web filtering and time controls. Confused, yet? Dont worry. We'll take you through all the testing and all the discovery and all the details you need to decide if Intego Mac is the antivirus solution for you.

Intego VirusBarrier installed on a Mac laptop

(Image credit: Intego)

Plans and pricing

Mac Premium Bundle starts at $70 to cover one device for one year, $95 to protect three devices, or $120 to cover five devices. These prices jump up by 21% - 22% on renewal.

This is fair value considering everything you get with it. For example, you can purchase the Mac Washing Machine on its own, but it will cost you $55.99 for one year and a single device. Likewise, ContentBarrier, Intego's parental controls, can also be bought on its own. This will cost you $39.99 for one device for a year, or $69.99 for two years.

Both VirusBarrier and PersonalBackup are included in every Intego Mac antivirus package. VirusBarrier is the basic antivirus engine that stops malware in real-time while the cloud backup storage is a definite bonus to have included.

If you don't need all that extra protection, you'll find a better deal with Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. For basic malware protection, you'll only pay $26 for the first year and $40 on renewal.

No need to decide just yet, though. Intego has a generous 30-day trial available for its Mac antivirus and a 30-day money-back guarantee to give you even more time to decide if you want to stick with it.

Screenshot of Intego antivirus dashboard

(Image credit: Intego)

Intego Mac Premium Bundle

The Intego Mac Premium Bundle trial is easy to find on the website. We downloaded and launched the installer in a couple of clicks, then chose the modules we needed (VirusBarrier, NetBarrier, ContentBarrier, Personal Backup, Washing Machine), set them up in a minute or two, and rebooted our machine.

On launch, a prompt asked us to set up NetBarrier. Configuring firewalls can be a challenge, but not here. NetBarrier asked us for the kind of network we were using currently (home, work, public Wi-Fi), configured itself to match, then displayed the main firewall window.

Intego antivirus solutions

(Image credit: Intego)

Graphics showing incoming and outgoing traffic, and highlighting anything currently blocked (incoming internet connections, say) ensure this looks a little prettier than the average firewall. On the right-hand side are switches which let you select your network type, blocking or allowing incoming and outgoing internet and local connections, and adding exceptions as required.

NetBarrier monitors apps as they try to go online. It allows trusted apps to connect immediately, and asks your permission for everything else. This isn't quite as intelligent as we'd like, and for instance it had to ask us whether we should allow Google Chrome Helper to go online. Still, if you know for sure that an app is safe, one click adds it to the whitelist, and you won't be prompted again.

This isn't the smartest or most configurable of firewalls, then, but it's mostly easy to use and does a reasonable job of keeping you safe.

Intego antivirus solutions

(Image credit: Intego)

Intego Mac Premium Bundle: VirusBarrier

Intego's VirusBarrier opened with a "What's New" page, proudly pointing out that 'threats are now quarantined automatically.' Sounds good to us, though we're a little surprised that wasn't the case in the previous version.

A Setup screen then asked us to choose from three levels of protection.

Minimum scans emails, archives, and connected iOS devices only.

Standard scans for all Mac, iOS, Windows, Linux, and Android malware, as well as looking out for malicious scripts, hacking tools, and keyloggers.

Maximum adds an automatic Quick Scan which runs after every malware definition update.

We opted for Standard mode, but if you're less sure, it's easy to change this later. Mode settings are customizable, too, so if you're mostly happy with Standard mode but don't need scanning for Windows malware, that can be turned off.

For the most part, you should then be able to leave VirusBarrier alone to protect your system. Real-time scanning is on by default, and you'll be alerted if there are any problems.

If you need to take some manual action, though, a straightforward interface makes VirusBarrier generally easy to use. Your main device and any connected devices are listed in a left-hand sidebar; clicking any of these displays options to run a Quick or Full scan, or adjust scan settings, and the main VirusBarrier window displays your security status and gives access to more settings.

Most options are as we'd expect (scan for hacking scripts: yes or no), but some are more interesting.

You can choose which of nine archive types you'd like to scan, for instance, as well as setting an archive timeout (handy for deeply nested archives – zips within zips).

An option to scan with low priority reduces system impact with the trade-off being longer scan times.

VirusBarrier has no safe browsing settings of its own but can enforce Safe Browsing in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, and warn you if it's turned off.

AV-Comparatives real-life protection results for Intego in May 2023

(Image credit: AV- Comparatives)


VirusBarrier has what it calls a quick scan, but it's more thorough than most, checking 210,000 files on our test system and taking just over 20 minutes. But the situation improved for the second scan, where decent optimization saw the scan time drop to only two minutes.

Our main antivirus testing tools run on Windows, which limits what we could do here. But we found that although VirusBarrier missed some solely web-based threats, its file detection layer worked well, identifying and quarantining any dangers as soon as we downloaded them.

VirusBarrier isn't tested often by the big independent labs, and we have to go back to 2021 to find Intego's last results at AV-Test. These were seriously impressive, though, with 100% detection of the test malware, minimal performance impact, and zero false positives, earning the package the maximum score for protection, speed, and usability.

AV-Comparatives' tests are more recent. These show Intego struggles a little with stopping some Mac malware. However, it stopped every Windows threat. These are malware files that pop up on Mac machines and won't hurt your computer but can be inadvertently sent to Windows users. Having the reassurance that all threats are under control with Intego is a big plus in our book.

Intego antivirus solutions

(Image credit: Intego)

Intego Mac Premium Bundle: ContentBarrier

Intego's ContentBarrier is a configurable parental controls system that offers various tools to keep your kids safe online.

Content filtering enables blocking websites by content, or those which include custom keywords. You can further customize this by adding specific websites to a blacklist or whitelist. When your child visits a blocked site, they see a "not allowed" message, but if this is a legitimate site, you can override it for them by entering your password (a handy usability plus).

Intego's Anti-Predator feature blocks chats with inappropriate content. We'd like to tell you this uses cutting-edge machine learning-powered AI, but it mostly just looks for phrases like "how old are you", "can we meet" and "I am your friend", so we'd expect a lot of false positives. It blocks encrypted chats by default.

Intego antivirus solutions

(Image credit: Intego)

More conventional tools include the ability to limit network access by time, to block particular internet access types (P2P, FTP, SSH, audio/video, connections to game servers), and to log keystrokes and take screenshots to help you spot any issues, later.

You're able to create custom profiles for each child's account, ensuring a teenager doesn't have to face the same restrictions as a five-year-old.

There are no particularly advanced features here, no smart GPS location or geofencing tools, and ContentBarrier doesn't have any web-based dashboard where you can monitor all your kid’s activities from one place.

The app can keep you up to date with what's going on via email reports, though, and it could be enough for not-so-demanding users. If you're unsure, take a look: Intego's generous 30-day trial gives you plenty of time to find out.

Intego antivirus solutions

(Image credit: Intego)

Intego Mac Premium Bundle: Washing Machine

Security suites often include some kind of general system maintenance tool, and Washing Machine is Intego's offering; a simple app that aims to find and delete junk and duplicate files, and help organize your desktop and dock.

The Reclaim feature searches for leftover files in five categories, for instance – Caches, Downloads, Languages, Logs, and Trash – and displays its results. If you're the technical type, you can browse the list of files and select what to keep and what to wipe. But if that's too much hassle, you can choose your preferred deletion mode (Aggressive cleans as much as possible, Safe keeps more recent files) and have Washing Machine clean up with a click.

The Duplicates module searches for duplicates in your choice of categories (Folders, Archives, Movies, Documents, Music, Pictures). This worked quickly for us, especially as it searches on content rather than just file names. The app automatically chooses which files to keep, but you can also choose manually, or select a general rule for all files (keep the earliest files, the latest, the shortest path, the longest, and so on). As with the Reclaim module, it covers the basics, but there's nothing particularly advanced here.

Intego antivirus solutions

(Image credit: Intego)

Finally, Washing Machine's Organize feature includes a handful of simple management tools. It helps you automatically or manually move files from your desktop to the appropriate folder, and organize the apps in your dock. It can also help you build Smart Folders, an easier way to give you access to important files and apps. Again, this handles the basics, but nothing more.

Overall, we're struggling to see any compelling reason to install Washing Machine ahead of other maintenance tools. It does have some value, though, and if you're planning to buy Intego's Mac bundle anyway, you might find one or two of its features useful.

Intego Mac Premium Bundle: Personal Backup

Intego's Mac Premium Bundle includes Personal Backup, a versatile local backup tool. It's a configurable app, more flexible than the built-in Time Machine with plenty of features and settings.

Personal Backup can easily back up your choice of folders, for instance. Optional file versioning enables keeping old versions of files. It can also clone your whole drive to an external disk or a disk image file, allowing you to boot from the external drive if your main system fails.

You don't have to choose a preferred backup type, as Personal Backup can create and run as many backup jobs as you need and on a custom schedule (back up your work files hourly, maybe, but your media files daily, and create a bootable disk image every week).

As a bonus, Personal Backup is able to sync your selected folders between two Macs. As with backups, you can create multiple sync jobs and set them up to run automatically, at your chosen interval, or leave them to be run manually whenever you like.

This isn't a hosted backup service – there's no cloud storage space and no direct support for backing up to cloud storage accounts. That's no great surprise, though; Norton LifeLock 360, for instance, provides cloud storage space, but Macs are left out – it only has a PC client.

Personal Backup may not be enough for everyone, then, but it's a likable local backup tool, easy to use, and with a decent feature set.

Intego Mac Premium Bundle: Final verdict

When it comes to pure virus protection, Intego scored well in its last antivirus testing lab results. This is a suite that's jam-packed with extra features for somebody who wants to make sure that they're getting the whole kit and caboodle on their Mac.

The welcome 30-day trial gives you time to find out if the virus protection software and extra features are for you or whether opting for more straightforward Mac Internet Security is the best value.

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