Gadget news
Avast Secure Browser review
7:30 pm | September 27, 2021

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

Avast is best known for its globally-renowned antivirus. However, the company took a huge leap in 2016 when it introduced the Avast Secure Browser as an optional add-on. 

You don't have to change your default browser and go through the struggle of familiarising yourself with a whole new platform — simply add Avast as an extension to your default browser and reap the security benefits it offers without switching platforms. 

If you’re planning to give Avast a shot, this guide is for you. We’ve covered Avast’s features, usability, and competitors in great detail so that you can make the right choice.

Avast Secure Browser: Features

Avast protects you from dangerous phishing websites that can trick you into sharing sensitive information about login credentials which can later be exploited. Avast will automatically block websites known for such activities so that you don't even come across them.

Avast masks your digital identity, such as your IP address, making it impossible for any hacker to get hold of your information or reach out to you in any way. This feature also applies to trackers that are known to monitor your activity and later spam you with marketing campaigns. Avast bans such third-party software right from the get-go.

Another remarkable feature of Avast is the Extension Guard. Oftentimes, you’ll see certain websites starting downloads even if you didn't consent to it. This can be an attempt by malicious websites to plant malware or viruses in your device. To stop this, Avast puts a complete ban on untrusted websites downloading extensions in your system.

If you’re using the Avast browser on your laptop/PC and mobile at the same time, you can sync your data, such as history, bookmarks, and favorites, across all of your devices while being fully encrypted throughout. Avast ensures you don't have to go through the hassle of repeating the same old configurations for the same account on multiple devices.

It comes with a special Bank Mode that’s perfect for all your online payments and banking activities. Since you’ll be entering sensitive personal information that could be heavily exploited, the extra encryption of Avast’s special Bank Mode will certainly come in handy.

The browser comes with easy-to-add add-ons like a VPN and antivirus for extra protection. The antivirus will keep advanced digital threats such as ransomware and viruses at bay, while the VPN will keep your online activities private. The latter can also help you access geo-restricted content and hide your location.

Avast also provides excellent protection from fingerprinting by offering fake data any time software tries to copy your identity or steal your digital attributes.

Avast Secure Browser: Privacy

Avast is a privacy-friendly browser. It neither tracks your online activities and data nor lets any third-party track you. In fact, it automatically blocks all ads that could be hiding malicious links to further amp up your data security. An added benefit of this feature is that the website loading speed improves drastically.

What’s more, Avast comes with a Bank Mode, as discussed above. Enjoy additional security and encryption and enter sensitive data such as your bank account number or passwords without any second thoughts.

For added protection, you can always pair the browser with the free Avast antivirus. They're a formidable pair that'll ensure that no malware or hacker can break into your system.

Avast Secure Browser: Ease of use

Unlike other browsers such as Chrome and Edge, Avast doesn't have its own interface. It works in collaboration with other well-known browsers. 

For example, if you want the security and perks of Avast in your device’s default browser, you can get it as an add-on. This way, the look and design of your default browser (Chrome, Edge, or whichever it might be) will remain the same — you’ll just get an additional set of features, thanks to Avast.

Speaking of features, although Avast offers endless options, the good thing is that they're still easy to understand. 

First, you’ll notice the “Security and Privacy Center” that comes with tons of protective features such as an ad blocker, antivirus, VPN, web shield, and more.  


You can choose which ads are blocked when browsing the web (Image credit: Avast)

Avast Secure Browser: Competitors

There are very few browsers that challenge Avast when it comes to privacy and speed. After all, one of Avast’s biggest products is an antivirus, and the browser has been designed by the same company — surely, the company’s reputation adds to the browser's credibility.

The browser automatically blocks ads and pop-ups to keep your experience pleasant and uninterrupted. Blocking unnecessary website elements also tremendously helps you increase the website speed.

In fact, this is the reason why Avast is faster than many popular browsers like Edge and Chrome. 

Speaking of battery usage and efficiency, Avast had reportedly been using too much battery power in the past few years. However, to combat that, Avast has a tool called “Avast Battery Saver.” The only purpose of this tool is to extend the battery life of your device by minimizing the internal and external power requirements.

While Avast does fairly well against most browsers, it doesn't necessarily surpass Opera. That’s because Opera offers almost all the features that Avast does, plus a free built-in dark mode on top of that. On the other hand, if you want to use a dark mode on Avast, you’ll need access to Google Chrome themes.

The only advantage Avast has over Opera is that it works with other browsers as an add-on, whereas Opera is a separate platform that needs to be downloaded and installed separately.

Avast Secure Browser: Final verdict

Avast is surely a must-try for those who prioritize web security over everything else. Since Avast started with an antivirus, it's familiar with all the types of digital threats you can face through your browser better than any of its competitors. 

That’s why you’ll see it has a massive section dedicated to security and privacy settings where you get a VPN, a private mode, a web shield, and much more. 

Some security features, such as blocking ads, are turned on by default so that your browsing experience is pleasant right from the beginning. 

Avast is fast, lightweight, and responsive, making it a reliable browsing solution for those who need constant access to the internet.

We feature the best privacy tools and anonymous browsers.

Nanoleaf Essentials A19 E27 smart bulb review: affordable smart lighting
9:34 am | September 24, 2021

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

Nanoleaf might be better known for its beautiful light panels and lines, but the brand went back to basics in 2020 by offering a smart bulb – a great option for anyone testing the smart home waters for the first time.

The Nanoleaf Essentials A19 (or A60 in some regions) smart bulb, however, isn’t your typical smart bulb. Not only does it step away from the usual smooth dome diffuser, it also supports an incredible 16 million colors, with a white color temperature range of 2,700-6,500 Kelvin. It surpasses some of its competitors by being able to hit 1,100 lumens, making it one of the brightest available today.

Its looks and brightness aren’t the only features that make the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 smart light bulb stand apart from the crowd. This smart bulb is the first of its kind to come with both Thread and Bluetooth connectivity. That means the Essentials light bulb can be used alongside any other Thread-enabled smart device without a hub and, if you aren't using one of those, the bulbs will work via Bluetooth, giving them a wider and more future-proof appeal.

[UPDATE (April 2023): Nanoleaf has a new Essentials bulb now available in most major markets. This new model is Matter enabled, the latest standard in smart home connectivity. While the new bulb isn't very different from the model reviewed here, Matter connectivity means it should become easier to set up a smart home without having to worry about getting caught up within a specific platform or ecosystem. So whether you use Apple devices, Google or even Amazon's Alexa as a smart hub, all Matter-compatible gadgets can be controlled using any iOS or Android handset. At the time of writing this update, Nanoleaf is just one of two companies to have released Matter-compatible smart devices.]

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Price and availability

  • Cheaper than Philips Hue
  • Announced November 2020
  • Available to buy from Apple and directly from Nanoleaf

Nanoleaf announced its Essentials range in 2020, going up for pre-order on the company’s online storefront in November and available to purchase immediately from Apple. As of March 2021, the Essentials range – which currently includes the light bulb and a lightstrip – is available to buy directly from Nanoleaf and several other major retailers around the world, Apple included.

The Essential light bulb costs just $19.99 / £17.99 / AU$39.99 each. That's cheaper than the basic Philips Hue White Ambiance bulb that only offers – you guessed it – different hues of white/yellow light for $25.99 / £29.99 / AU$84.95.

Considering that the Nanoleaf bulb supports several colors and light hues, its direct competition is the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance that costs a lot more at $64.99 / £49.99 / AU$99.95 per light globe, so there's a lot more value for money here.

And if you opt to upgrade to the new Matter-enabled Essentials bulb (see update above), you won't be paying too much more either. The new Essentials bulb cost $19.99 / £19.99 / AU$39.99 and that means future-proofing your smart home setup doesn't have to cost a pretty penny.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • Unique rhombicosidodecahedron shape
  • Looks great even when switch off
  • Available in E27 and B22 fittings

The Nanoleaf Essentials smart light bulb looks more like a golf ball than a light fixture – very much in keeping with Nanoleaf’s design ethic. Its geometric dome is a rhombicosidodecahedron, a shape made up of a combination of triangular and pentagonal faces with several edges.

This interesting shape also makes it look quite good when not in use, and perfect for those industrial-looking lamps that keep the bulbs exposed.

Other than that, the Essentials smart bulb looks like any other standard bulb, measuring 6cm x 11cm (2.4in x 4.4in). Like its Philips Hue counterparts, it’s available in both Bayonet and Edison screw caps that fit most standard fixtures.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Setup and app

  • Easy setup
  • Works with HomeKit and Google Assistant
  • Not the best app design

The Essentials light bulb is remarkably simple to set up. Just get it out of its box, screw it into a lamp, scan the QR code on the device or from the card in the box and you’re done. The bulb automatically decides what the best connection method is without you having to think about it too much. 

If it recognizes an Apple HomePod mini, it quickly latches on and you’re set up immediately, with no additional steps to go through. However, you don’t need a HomePod mini to use the Essentials bulb. HomeKit will add the bulb to your collection of smart devices if you’re an iPhone user, while the Google Home app takes care of it for Android users, and both work via Bluetooth.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

Screw the bulb into a holder, scan the code and you're ready to go (Image credit: TechRadar)

If you’ve already set up a Nanoleaf Essentials accessory and then get a HomePod mini, it automatically shifts its communication to the Apple smart speaker (or any other Thread-enabled device) without you needing to reconnect. At present, the HomePod mini and the latest Apple TV 4K are the only Thread device commercially available to buy – other smart speakers have Thread radios installed, like the Google Nest Hub Max or Amazon’s Eero, but they haven’t been ‘switched on’.

When connected via Thread, the Nanoleaf bulb works real quick, responding to commands instantly. On a Bluetooth connection, however, there is some lag which, during our testing, wasn’t too significant – it took no more than a couple of seconds to pick up a command, provided you’re in the same room or within range.

Both Siri and Google Assistant can be used to control the Nanoleaf Essentials via voice commands but, at the time of writing, there was no Alexa support which might be a deal breaker for some.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Nanoleaf app, while great for the light panels, is not as user-friendly for the Essentials range. At launch, you couldn't even download the several user-defined Scenes available in the Nanoleaf library. That, however, is not possible and it's a lot of fun to watch the lights previewed on the bulb before downloading a particular Scene.

If you're feeling adventurous and creative, you can create your own Scenes, although editing after you’ve saved a Scene can take a few annoying tries. A color palette in the app makes it easy to choose your preferred shade or to set white light at different hues. You can even set a specific RGB value if you know precisely what you want – a feature that isn’t common for smart lights.

The app will also let you adjust brightness, change Scenes and set a circadian rhythm for the lights. The last feature automatically adjusts the light’s color temperature through the day to calm or energize the mind by switching to warm tones for the morning and evening, and cooler white for the afternoon.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

However, annoyingly, you can set schedules for any of the Essentials products in the Nanoleaf app. You'll have to use Apple HomeKit or Google Home to do that, as long you have a smart home hub set up on a device. There is a dedicated section for scheduling in the app, so we’re hoping this functionality will be added as part of a future update.

Another annoyance about the app is its complete sync with HomeKit. This pushes every single default Scene in the Nanoleaf app to the Home app every time you open it, even if you’ve previously removed it from HomeKit.

Features and functionality

  • Supports 16 million colors
  • Screen mirroring
  • Quite bright for a smart bulb

The Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb is rated for a maximum of 1,100 lumens, making it one of the brightest smart lights on the market, with an average brightness of over 800 lumens. We’ve tested a few smart bulbs in the past and compared to them, including some older Philips Hue lights, it’s a lot brighter. The only other bulb that trumps Essentials bulb in brightness is the newest white-only Philips Hue light that’s rated for 1,600 lumens.

However, brightness dips significantly when you change the light from white to color, but this is not unique to Nanoleaf – every color smart bulb we’ve tested behaves the same way.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

While you can use Nanoleaf’s own Circadian Lighting feature in the app, the Essentials bulb currently does not support the HomeKit Adaptive Lighting option – this changes color temperature of white light automatically throughout the day to match daylight in your location. However, Nanoleaf’s Circadian Lighting feature gets deactivated every time you use HomeKit to control the accessory and you will need to switch it on again in the Nanoleaf app.

The Essentials bulb also has the best dimming ability of any smart bulb we’ve tested. While most others dim down only to a certain point, the Nanoleaf goes all the way down to zero.

At launch, Nanoleaf said the bulb would have the ability to mirror colors of Mac and Windows displays, but the feature was rolled out only months after the device has been on the market. It's here, however, and you will need to download the Nanoleaf desktop app to make it work, and keep it running as long as you want the bulb to mirror your monitor. So the only way to make the bulb mirror your TV is to cast a streaming service onto your telly. There are different mirroring 'moods' to choose from as well, which is rather nice.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)


It’s easy to recommend a smart lighting system that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, or eat through your energy bill, especially when they look as good as the Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb and work as well. Admittedly Nanoleaf has some work to do on its app to make it a little more intuitive, but you can ignore the app for the most part and use Apple's HomeKit or Google Home instead.

Moreover, with Thread support built in, this is a future-proof smart bulb that can easily be used with any other Thread-enabled device without the need for a hub, thus streamlining your smart home setup. Bluetooth connectivity might not be as quick as Thread, but that’s not the fault of the bulb but of the wireless protocol itself.

It’s also feature-packed, with circadian rhythm available on the app, and plenty of custom Scenes that you can set up yourself if you don’t like any of the default ones. There's even screen mirroring on board. 

While it needs Thread connectivity to unlock its full potential, it's still worth it on a Bluetooth connection as well.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Should I buy the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 smart bulb?

If you’re after an affordable HomeKit-enabled smart lighting system, then yes. And even more resounding yes if you already own an Apple HomePod mini or Apple TV 4K (the 2021 edition specifically), or plan to get either one. Its white light is brighter than most other smart bulbs on the market and its colors are beautiful and vivid, like the Nanoleaf Shapes light panels. It already has some great features, with more to come, making them well worth it.

However, there’s no Alexa support available at the time of writing, although Nanoleaf has promised to roll that out soon. So if you use an Alexa speaker to control your smart home, you may need to look elsewhere.

[First reviewed March 2021]

Tor Browser review
8:00 am | September 15, 2021

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

Founded in 2006, Tor is a rather unique browser that was established with the intent to help people use the internet anonymously. This is quite evident through its features that resemble VPNs. 

From IP masking to triple-layer encryption, Tor will keep your online business private and lock out nosy intruders such as trackers and malware. 

Our review today covers every detail of the browser, including its features, ease of use, privacy, and much more. Read on to know more about its top competitors and how different Tor is from them so that you can make the right choice.

Tor Browser: Features

Tor is designed to handle millions of users simultaneously. Regardless of how many users are online at any given moment, you'll never experience a compromised performance, nor will you ever see the browser down. Use Tor to browse through the internet freely while masking your IP at the same time. IP masking prevents marketers from collecting your information and spamming you with unnecessary ads. It also keeps your location hidden and dismisses any chance of hackers impersonating you. The best part is that this feature is enabled by default, and there are no extra steps involved to amp up your privacy.

The browser is available on multiple devices and operating systems, such as Linux, Windows, and Mac. So if you’re someone using different types of systems, you'll still be able to use the same browser across each device.

Apart from Tor, no other browser gives you access to locked or geo-restricted content. This feature works a lot like VPNs. Since using the browser masks your location and IP, the target website cannot recognize that your request is coming from a banned location, and you get to access their content. On the flip side, if the ban is imposed by your home network, Tor will help you bypass that as well and access whatever content you need. Tor sends your network traffic through 3 layers of encryption so that the information that’s transmitted doesn't leak. 

For example, let's say you’re using the browser for online banking. If the banking details you entered are sent to your bank’s servers without encryption, any hacker can intercept the process and steal your data. However, encryption creates a safe tunnel-like route for your sensitive data, making it immune to outside attacks.

The best part about using Tor is its ease of installation. You don't have to install and configure it locally every time you’re on a new device — simply copy it to a USB and run it directly from the storage when on the second device.

Tor Browser security

(Image credit: Tor)

Tor Browser:

Tor Browser:

Tor Browser: Privacy

Tor browser is safe to use on most device types, such as Androids and macOS, and in most cases, it does fairly well in terms of privacy. 

For starters, it passes your web traffic through three layers of encryption so that no online tracker can monitor your activity or collect your data. On top of that, it's also one of the few browsers that hide your IP address by default, making it harder for spammers to target you.

However, like most other browsers, it's not 100% leak-proof. So if you’re handling sensitive data that you just cannot afford to lose, you might consider getting a VPN along with a browser.

Tor Browser: Ease of use

Tor browser is relatively easy to use. The interface is quite simple, with a minimal menu and options, so you don't have to spend too much time figuring out the setup. 

The layout is quite standard. You get the address bar and tabs on the top margin of the screen. On the left side of the address bar, you’ll find the options to control navigation, where you can choose whether to load a page or go back to the previous one.

On the right side of the address bar, you’ll find your favorites and the Safer icon that helps you disable dangerous website functions that could compromise your privacy.

Everything you’ll need to use the platform effectively is available right on the main page. Unlike Chrome, Tor does not have too many hidden settings.

Tor Browser: Competitors

Tor’s biggest competitors are Safari, Opera, and Chrome. While Chrome has the biggest market share in the industry, it cannot beat Tor in security and user privacy. 

In fact, Chrome’s quite infamous for its poor user privacy measure. The browser has also been involved in many consumer privacy rights lawsuits and is known to sell user data. 

Tor, on the other hand, goes out of its way to keep all your online sessions secure and even brought in VPN-like features to keep away hackers, trackers, and malware. For example, it helps you hide your location and contact details so that any unauthorized party can neither spam you nor impersonate you.

Another benefit of using Tor is that it protects you from fingerprinting. Each user on Tor is made to appear the same to external parties, which makes it impossible for them to find distinct users to fingerprint.

However, in terms of speed, Tor loses to Safari that’s recognized as the world's fastest browser. Continually running the Tor browser in the background can also sharply increase your overall battery usage. 

However, Tor makes up for it by offering a simple interface and installation setup. This makes working with it far more straightforward compared to browsers like Safari and Opera, which have unnecessarily chaotic designs.

Tor Browser: Final verdict

Tor is a great browser for those who take web security and data privacy very seriously. It's one of the few well-known browsers to use multiple encryption levels to filter your online traffic and prevent trackers and malware from reaching your system. 

It's also quite simple to use, lightweight, and goes easy on your battery. What’s more, it helps you bypass the site blocks imposed by your home network so that you can freely browse any content you want. In short, it's the finest example of simplicity meeting power — check it out for a taste of its full potential.

We've listed the best VPN service.

InfinityFree web hosting review
9:38 am | September 9, 2021

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

InfinityFree is a US-based web hosting provider launched in 2016, and, as its name suggests, it offers one of the best free web hosting services for an indeterminate period of time. We all know that not everything presented as free hosting is truly free, but Infinity Free manages to live up to its name and does that without overloading your site with ads.

Besides highlighting that hosting with them is completely free (forever and ever) with unlimited disk space and bandwidth, Infinity Free fails to brief us about the company itself. From the information we were able to gather we learned that although the company was formally founded in 2016, it started providing free hosting in 2011 as a part of a passion project.

Despite providing fully free services, InfinityFree is sustainable thanks to its business deal with iFastNet, whose services are marketed on Infinity Free’s official site. Therefore, if you ever feel the need to upgrade your free plan to one of the premium ones, expect to be forwarded to iFastNet’s site.

Although we can’t be fully confident, InfinityFree’s data center appears to be located in Chicago (Illinois, the USA).

InfinityFree’s official site is pretty plain and overrun with ads, but it is easy-to-use (partly due to its simplicity). Unfortunately, like with most free hosts, it doesn’t feature an official blog nor is it particularly active on social media sites.


Only one of InfinityFree's shared hosting plans is completely free-of-charge (Image credit: InfinityFree)

Plans and pricing

InfinityFree offers three shared hosting plans only, one of which is completely free-of-charge. It is titled “Infinity Free'' and it should include unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth (although it is limited to 50,000 daily hits), and unlimited hosting domains. It also supports 400 MySQL databases, a single FTP account, but not a single email account, and all of the above is granted with “limited server power”. Despite these limitations, at least the plan includes a free subdomain, free SSL certificates for all your domains, and a Softaculous auto-installer with over 400 handy apps.

If you want more than a handful of features and are ready to pay the cost, check out the additional premium plans provided by iFastNet. “Super Premium” goes for $3.99 per month and will considerably boost the number of resources, while “Ultimate Premium” promises unlimited hosting for the price of $6.90 per month.

Given that Infinity Free’s services are free, there’s no real reason for them to provide a money-back guarantee.

However, if you purchase one of iFastNet’s packages, you can get a refund within seven days, no questions asked. As for payment methods, they accept PayPal, WorldPay, and 2CheckOut.

Customer Area

You can manage your settings, domains, subdomains and account details from InfinityFree's client area (Image credit: Infinity Free)

Ease of use

To start your free hosting trip, tap the “Sign Up Now” button, insert your email address, think up a password, go through terms of service and deny being a robot (sorry, robots). After verifying your email, it is time to create your hosting account through three simple steps.

The first step includes choosing a domain name and there you can use a free subdomain (seven of them are available as we write) or a domain you already own and point it to Infinity Free nameservers. If you decide on a second option but are not sure how it all works, there is an in-depth guide describing every step of the way (with screenshots and everything).

After this, your account username will be generated at random, and the same goes for your account password if you (for whatever reason) decided to leave the space empty. In any case, your account will be created within seconds making this one of the simplest and most straightforward experiences of this kind. That being said, you might need to wait for up to 72 hours for your hosting account to “start working everywhere” and your newly created site to become accessible.


The inclusion of cPanel is one of the best aspects of Infinity Free as it makes managing your site much easier than using a custom control panel (Image credit: Infinity Free)

Your account UI is easy-to-use and provides access to a simplified version of the control panel which is a long-reigning king of user-friendliness among its many competitors, a Linux-based cPanel. Although you won’t get all the tools you would with a regular cPanel, Infinity Free’s version will cover all the essentials including online FTP manager, MySQL database control, phpMyAdmin, options for PHP, DNS, cron jobs, error pages, backups, and more.

If you want to utilize some of the most useful apps out there (such as WordPress), you can have them in working order within a few clicks thanks to the Softaculous one-click app installer.


We used GTmetrix to test the uptime and response time of InfinityFree's main site (Image credit: GTmetrix)

Speed and experience

Having in mind that we are testing a free service, we didn’t exactly expect to be blown away by neither speed nor uptime performance. First, we experimented with the speed of Infinity Free’s site via GTmetrix (our trusted tool) and got pleasantly surprised by near-perfect results topped by GTmetrix’s grade A (98%). The test revealed that it took mere 1.4 seconds to fully load the site, which is not only better than the average score but better even than the one recommended for an ideal user experience.

After this, we checked the results of our uptime test run via UptimeRobot on Infinity Free’s official site for two weeks straight. In a similar fashion with the speed test, this one left us just as impressed. The results show no downtime at all and only a few minor oscillations in response speed painted a picture of reliability.


As you might have guessed, customer support provided by a free host is almost always nothing to write home about. Such is the case with Infinity Free, so don’t expect to get one-on-one consultation via telephone, live chat, or email. Although there are a few email addresses available for contact, it is stated that they are not meant for support and that all of your questions are going to be left unanswered.


You can find answers to common web hosting problems by checking the responses on InfinityFree's forum (Image credit: Infinity Free)

The one alternative you are left with is to seek help on their community forum, which is actually an amazing option to have since most of the questions there (if not all) are answered by fellow users.


InfinityFree also provides a comprehensive knowledgebase (Image credit: Infinity Free)

The other one is to consult InfinityFree’s comprehensive knowledgebase that contains, among others, a novice-friendly category called “Getting Started”. There are ten categories in total and over 80 in-depth guides that cover everything from managing your domain and DNS to making your SSL certificate work with WordPress.

The competition

A nice alternative to InfinityFree and one of the better free hosting providers out there is India-based GoogieHost (not to be confused with Googlehost). It comes a bit stronger in terms of features since their free plan includes CloudFlare, an industry-standard cPanel, a user-friendly website builder, and up to two business emails (Infinity Free currently provides none). However, in terms of security and stability Infinity Free wins the day.

FreeHostingNoAds is another noteworthy alternative to Infinity Free and it delivers exactly what its name implies - free hosting without ads. What is more, it also includes a drag-and-drop website builder, while Infinity Free doesn’t. However, unlike InfinityFree that puts no limits on disk space and bandwidth, with FreeHostingNoAds both of them are severely limited.

If you are not looking exclusively for free web hosting, there are quite a few budget-friendly hosts able to cover all the basics and more while providing round-the-clock customer support. Some of the fan-favorites are HostGator, Bluehost, and DreamHost, and all of them offer a wide variety of services and hosting packages, ranging from simple shared and flexible cloud setups to VPS and dedicated server hosting. They may not be completely free-of-charge, but as with most things in life (web hosting included) you get what you pay for.

Final verdict

Are you trying to find a free host for a blog, small portfolio, or any other personal project on a similar scale? If the answer is yes, then InfinityFree is worth a look. With user-friendly cPanel, Softaculous, and easy-to-follow how-tos you’ll be able to build a captivating website without too much trouble.  

However, if you have bigger dreams for your website and don’t mind spending a few bucks each month to make these dreams come true, check out hosts such as HostGator and Bluehost.

SpotOn POS Review: Pros & Cons, Features, Ratings, Pricing and more
5:17 pm | September 2, 2021

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

SpotOn is a POS system designed for restaurants, food trucks, clubs, or basically any hospitality-related business. General retailers can also use it to accept payments from customers with ease. This system offers more than just point-of-sale tools. Customers can also use it to gather insights about their business and know where to make improvements.

A unique thing about SpotOn is that it’s very customizable. Customers can make significant changes to many aspects of the software to match their brand. It’s also flexible such that it works for many types of businesses.

SpotOn, the company, is based out of San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2017 by three entrepreneurs; Doron Friedman, Matt Hyman, and Zach Hyman.

SpotOn POS: Plans and pricing

SpotOn’s pricing is a little opaque compared to other competitors. You must pay a one-time setup fee plus a recurring monthly fee to use the software. Your monthly fee depends on the features and add-ons that you select, and it starts at $25 per month. 

The cost of using SpotOn includes:

- $25 per month for the software (including payment processing)

- $195 per month for the software alone (without payment processing)

- $65 per month for every extra restaurant

- $65 per month for a customer loyalty software add-on

- $65 per month for a website add-on

What you should note is that SpotOn does not have rigid pricing, so you’ll have to contact the company’s sales team directly, tell them what you want, and get a quote. The prices we listed above are the standard ones, but you may get discounts depending on your situation.

SpotOn POS free demo available

Get a free demo to see how SpotOn can be tailored to your business (Image credit: SpotOn)

Let’s say, you only need the SpotOn software but want to use your own payment processor, then you’ll have to pay $195 per month. If you need both the SpotOn software and the company’s payment processor, then the price comes down to $25 per month. If you need the solution in multiple restaurants, then you’ll have to pay an extra $65 per month for each restaurant. If you want a tool to set up customer loyalty discount programs for regular customers, that’ll run you another $65 per month.

There are many add-ons to choose from, and they all come with extra costs. Thus, SpotOn can be pretty expensive if you request many add-ons.

Of course, SpotOn also takes commissions on every transaction facilitated by its payment processing system. The fee is 1.99% + $0.25 for regular transactions and 2.99% + $0.25 for AMEX, corporate, international, and keycard transactions. The 1.99% rate for typical transactions is pretty low, but the $0.25 flat charge on every transaction is quite pricey, especially if you sell low-cost items.

The one-time setup fee is usually $250, but it may vary depending on your requirements.

SpotOn POS terminal

(Image credit: SpotOn)

SpotOn POS: Features


SpotOn offers different hardware that enables you to collect payments from your customers, including:

SpotOn Terminal: This is an all-in-one smart device that lets you accept payments from customers' cards. Customers can swipe, insert, or tap their cards, and it'll automatically print a receipt after charging them. It also works with digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. All the payments are collated and wired to your bank account the next day.

Virtual Terminal: This is a compact card reader that works in tune with the SpotOn mobile app. With this device, you can collect payments from customers’ cards just as you’ll do with the SpotOn Terminal (swipe, insert, or tap), but your smartphone acts as the screen where you’ll confirm the payment.

Register: The SpotOn Register is a point-of-sale device that’s designed for retailers (e.g., convenience stores and supermarkets). It has a large screen that makes it easy to manage your catalog and sort the products available in your store. You’ll need to pair it with the SpotOn Terminal or Virtual Terminal to collect payments.

SpotOn continues to be an invaluable technology partner that listens well and proactively presents solutions to drive our business forward.

Kevin Youkilis

Payment Processing

Point-of-sale hardware can not work alone. It works in tune with SpotOn’s software which recognizes customers’ cards and collects payments from them. The pricing is transparent, although we observed some (unconfirmed) complaints of customers complaining of hidden fees. It does not just stop at receiving payments; you can also generate insights from your transaction data that help you know where to improve your store.


SpotOn also offers software that lets restaurants, bars, hotels, etc., take reservations from customers. Customers can add themselves to the reservation waitlist directly from your website or Google profile page, and you can send wait times automatically. You can notify guests when their reserved table is ready via text message, and they can respond accordingly.

SpotOn POS full service delivery landing page

Connect with local delivery drivers to seamlessly offer take-out  (Image credit: SpotOn)

SpotOn POS: Interface and in use

SpotOn has a modern, intuitive interface that you’ll likely find easy to navigate. It’s designed in a way that makes it easy to find and switch between different features. If user-friendliness was the only criterion for this review, SpotOn will get a perfect score.  

SpotOn POS review

SpotOn’s interface makes it simple for POS beginners to navigate (Image credit: SpotOn)

SpotOn POS: Support

If you experience a problem with SpotOn, the first place to visit is the Knowledge Base, which contains articles, guides, and tutorials concerning all aspects of the platform. If that does not suit you, then you're free to contact SpotOn's support staff via email or telephone. There are dedicated email addresses and telephone numbers to contact depending on your inquiry. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

SpotOn POS review

24/7 support sets SpotOn POS apart from the competition (Image credit: SpotOn)

SpotOn POS: The competition

Toast POS is the most notable competitor to SpotOn because it is also designed for hospitality businesses. Toast is pretty expensive just like SpotOn and has even higher transaction fees. It has an intuitive interface just like SpotOn and is a suitable alternative to the platform.

Square POS

Square point of sale are a POS giant who are an excellent alternative to SpotOn. (Image credit: Square)

SpotOn POS: Final verdict

SpotOn is an ideal point-of-sale system for hospitality-related businesses. General retailers can also adopt it as a point-of-sale solution. It’s an intuitive tool that lets you accept payments with ease but is, however, pretty expensive.  

We've listed the best POS systems for retail.