Gadget news
Pro-ject Debut Carbon Evo review
1:00 pm | October 24, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Audio Computers Gadgets Hi-Fi Turntables | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: October 2020
• Launch price: $499 / £499 / AU$879
• Target price: As above

Update: February 2024. The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo is an update to one of the best turntables available (the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, which is itself based on the firm's original Debut, launched in 1999) and despite being a fair chunk of money more than its older 2017 sibling, this September 2020 looker is easily still worthy of a spot in our guide. It's devoid of preamp (so you're going to need one) and it's not the deck for your if you want Bluetooth connectivity (look to the Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2) or new-fangled Sonos connectivity (see the Victrola Stream Carbon) but what it does do exceptionally well is play your vinyl records, within a hi-fi system. And that is timeless – because vinyl is going nowhere. The day will likely come when a turntable arrives that can do this specific job marginally better for the same money. But Pro-Ject can rest assured that it still hasn't happened yet. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: Two-minute review

Pro-Ject introduced its first Debut turntable at the end of the last century, and it’s been refined, upgraded, and become increasingly expensive ever since. This Debut Carbon Evo is the most refined and upgraded model so far – and it’s also the most expensive.

In terms of specification, though, the Pro-Ject goes a long way towards justifying its price. The carbon fibre tonearm is supplied with a very capable Ortofon (or Sumika) cartridge. A new motor design, some damped and adjustable feet, and automatic speed change contribute no end to improved performance and improved ergonomics. And with a choice of nine finishes, including five very attractive new ‘satin’ options, there’s sure to be a Debut Carbon Evo to fit in with your interior decor choices.

Setting up is simple: attach the drive belt, put on the platter, and attach counter- and antiskate weights to that single-piece tonearm. Attach to your wider system with the high-quality phono leads that are included, plug into the mains, and you’re good to go.

record player

(Image credit: TechRadar)

And it doesn’t matter the sort of music you like to listen to – the Debut Carbon Evo laps it up. In every circumstance it’s a detailed and revealing listen, able to focus on the minutiae even as it describes the complete picture completely convincingly. 

It has all the warmth and weight the vinyl format is famous for, but it’s not musclebound and it doesn’t get bogged down – instead it simply motors along in the most natural way imaginable. There’s a sort of instinctive correctness to the way the Pro-Ject makes music that goes a long way to explaining why vinyl has endured as a format all these many decades.

It’s not the last word in absolute precision, and there are other similarly priced turntables that offer a little more bite and aggression. But if you value a smooth, informative ride from a beautifully engineered and nice-looking record player, don’t spend any money until you’ve heard the Debut Carbon Evo. 

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: Price and release date

  • Available now
  • $499 / £499 / AU$879

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo is on sale now, and priced at $499 / £449 / AU$879.  That makes it far less of an entry-level proposition than 1999’s original Debut – but then Pro-Ject has covered off the entry level with its Elemental and Primary models, while the Debut Carbon Evo is a much better specified device than the original Debut could dream of being.

At this price, the Pro-Ject goes up against some very capable and very well-regarded alternatives. The likes of Rega (with its Planar 2) and Thorens (and its TD190-2) are ready to turn your head – but Pro-Ject’s reputation is the equal of that of any competitor, and the company is always an option at this sort of money.


(Image credit: TechRadar)

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: Design

  • Carbon fibre tonearm
  • Ortofon 2M Red cartridge
  • Choice of nine (!) finishes

Nobody in their right mind messes with the design of a turntable, do they? Ever since the record player did away with the need for a trumpet horn, they’ve all looked the same (apart from those self-consciously ‘wacky’ designs that are odd for the sake of it). A record player is a rectangle with a circle on it – and, if you’re feeling adventurous, a plastic dust-cover on the top.

And that’s how it is with the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo. At a glance, it looks just like every other record player – certainly it looks enough like the original Debut Carbon from 2017 to make you wonder why the price has risen from the original’s $400 / £349 / AU$550. But like pretty much every record player, a lot of your money goes on the stuff you can’t see: the bearing, the motor, the damping and all the other necessities.    

The Debut Carbon Evo has – ahem – evolved from the original Debut Carbon in a number of places. The new model features the same height-adjustable damped feet fitted to Pro-Ject’s $899 / £749 / AU$1190 X1 turntable, and a new motor design with some hefty decoupling incorporated – the motor’s now barely in contact with the main body of the turntable. 

record player

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Its steel platter is now heavier, thanks to a thermoplastic ring on its inside edge – it’s a technique to reduce operation noise and was popularized by, among others, Technics. And there’s now a suggestion of convenience in the shape of a speed-change switch at the bottom of the plinth – previously you’d have to take off the platter and move the drive belt to change speeds, but now 33.3rpm can become 45rpm (or vice-versa) at a press. Of course, if you’re the hands-on type (and you own some properly elderly records) you can change the drive belt itself in order to play at 78rpm. Both belts are included in the package.

The one-piece tonearm is made of carbon fibre, and comes fitted with a very capable Ortofon 2M Red cartridge (except in America, where it features a Sumiko Ranier cartridge instead. Quite why the United States requires a different option is anyone’s guess). All that’s required is for the belt, platter counterweight and antiskating weight to be attached and the Debut Carbon Evo is ready to go.

Mind you, before you get to that point you’ll need to choose between the Pro-Ject’s numerous finishes. As well as the wood veneer and glossy white, red or black of the previous model, the Debut Carbon Evo is also available in five satin finishes: black, white, yellow, blue or green. 

Our review sample is in Fir Green, and very nice it looks too. The finish is flawlessly smooth, and as reassuring as the build quality.    

record player

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Audio performance

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: Audio performance

  • Full-scale, nicely unified sound
  • Detailed and revealing
  • Warmth and weight to spare

Despite the only branding on the entire product being a discreet ‘Pro-Ject’ logo on the dust-cover, anyone who’s familiar with the Pro-Ject family sound will have no trouble picking out the Debut Carbon Evo as a bit more of the same. And that’s meant almost entirely positively.

The Debut Carbon Evo is a luxuriously full-bodied listen, but that’s not to say it’s in any way languid. It has plenty of the warmth and richness that’s so often held up as an unarguable vinyl virtue, but it doesn’t wallow or slur. It’s easy to listen to, but it’s not uninvolving.

And it’s nigh-on impossible to wrong-foot. From A Tribe Called Quest’s I Left My Wallet In El Segundo to Father John Misty’s Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings, from Leonard Bernstein’s Gee, Officer Krupke to Nina Simone’s Pirate Jenny, the Pro-Ject sounds both right at home and thoroughly engaged. 


(Image credit: TechRadar)

Like any worthwhile turntable, it’s very adept and tying everything together. There’s a tangible sense of performance from the Evo, even when it’s playing cut’n’paste collages from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest. The unity of a recording, the way the midrange rides on the low-frequency underpinnings, and the way the treble balances securely on the top, allows every record to sound coherent and convincing. Even with the most processed, machine-derived recordings, this Pro-Ject glides along with the sort of casual authority of sound that can only come from a well-sorted record player.

There’s heat in the low frequencies, certainly, but they’re not overcooked and it’s certainly not at the expense of detail or texture. There’s a similarly lavish amount of detail retrieved in the midrange – it reveals so much about the glee and malevolence Nina Simone imbues her performance with it’s almost hair-raising – and while the top end is rolled off just fractionally, it’s far from a blunt instrument.

The Pro-Ject handles tempos and rhythms with equal assurance. Oh, you’ll get a straighter edge and a more martial approach from a similarly priced Rega turntable, but the Evo counters (and strongly) with its unfussy nature and the almost ostentatious amount of detail it digs out.

It’s not lacking anything where dynamics, both great and small, are concerned either. The sparer and more low-key a recording, the more the Pro-Ject reveals about the harmonic details – and the more full-on and instrument-heavy a recording, the more the Pro-Ject enjoys giving every element full expression.  

Should I buy the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo?

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: Should you buy it?


(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

First reviewed: October 2020 

Squarespace website builder review (2023): Pros and cons, features tested
1:40 am |

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

If you've been keeping an eye out for easy-to-use, all-in-one solutions to create a stunning website, you've surely stumbled upon Squarespace website builder somewhere along the line.

It's hardly surprising since it's one of the best site builders for setting up beautiful personal blogs, online photography portfolios, and small online shops. For starters, all essential ecommerce website builder tools you'll ever need are part of the package you'll get with Squarespace

As soon as you land on Squarespace’s official site, you'll notice it's particularly pleasant to look at. It's also simple to use as it benefits from a clean, modern, user-centric design which makes navigating around the site as simple as anything.  

The company behind the site builder, New York-based Squarespace, Inc. has been part of the SaaS industry since 2004 - so, it was set up almost two decades ago. Its founder and CEO, Anthony Casalena, came up with the idea of Squarespace while still at the university and turned it into the famous, full-fledged platform we know today. As we write, Squarespace's team consists of over 1,600 talented individuals, and the platform itself is utilized by millions of sites across the world.  

So, Squarespace is a pretty popular, beginner-friendly web platform with more than a handful of handy features, but could the same be said about its site builder?

To answer this question, we'll cover core facts about this site-building solution as well as its pros and cons.

What is Squarespace website builder? 

Squarespace started life as a simple tool for building static sites but soon evolved into the all-in-one web platform we got right now. This solution covers everything from domain name registration and cloud hosting service to full-scale site builder with built-in ecommerce features. 

As suggested, this is a hosted solution, which means it runs on its own servers and you don't need to purchase a separate web hosting service. Thanks to its beginner-friendly content management system (CMS) and incredibly intuitive user interface (UI), Squarespace site builder lets even the most clueless rookies create eye-catching sites in a short time. It's as simple as selecting a pre-built template and customizing it until you're captivated by it. Then, you can add blogging site tools, ecommerce elements, and custom code to expand its functionality further. 

This site builder is a superb choice for professional-looking personal blogs, professional creative sites, and small to mid-sized online stores.  

Squarespace options page

Here's a screenshot of Squarespace's page settings once we signed up (Image credit: Squarespace)

Squarespace features

Similar to most “up-to-the-minute” site-building solutions on the market, Squarespace strives to have a bit of something for everyone. A newcomer with a new site on the way will be supplied with all of the tools they need to do the trick, while well-versed designers and developers will get a secure space and freedom to create whatever they had in mind. However, since Squarespace was created with beginners in mind, it’ll appeal more to its core audience. 

Squarespace benefits from beginner-friendly drag-and-drop UI which makes it simple to customize any of the awesome ready-made templates without any coding skills. Currently, there are over 100 of these templates and new ones are added fairly frequently. So, whether you’re planning to start a cute membership site about cats or an e-commerce business site, you’ll find the thing you need. 

Since all templates are responsive, they’ll look as terrific on a screen of any size. So, whether your visitors are using a smartphone, tablet, or computer your site will seem the same, both in terms of looks and functionality. On the downside, if you want to change the template you’re using, you’ll have to start everything from scratch.  

As for additional features, all Squarespace plans come with a free custom domain. However, you’ll have to subscribe for no less than one year and it’s one free domain per site only. 

We’ve mentioned above that Squarespace solutions include a cloud hosting service but we didn’t point out that this web hosting features unlimited bandwidth and storage on all plans. So, it will probably be able to support a high-traffic site at any point.

Also, most packages include some media marketing features (such as Video Maker, audience management tools, and promotional pop-ups and banners) and fully integrated ecommerce features. Plus, you can add as many products as you want. 

Unfortunately, there’s one drawback with the “Business” plan – Squarespace charges a 3% transaction fee for all sales, which might not seem as significant at the start. However, once your sales kick off, this charge will start getting in your way. To break free, you'll be prompted to upgrade your plan to one of the pricier ones.  

Squarespace site content page on the dashboard

Squarespace site content page on the dashboard (Image credit: Squarespace)

If you go with these pricier plans, you'll also get an advanced site and ecommerce analytics so you can work out where your site traffic is coming from, what your visitors are searching for, and how they interact with your content, products, and services. 

Squarespace tools

Here's an example of templates you can personalize (Image credit: Squarespace)

Squarespace tools

If you’re into blogging, you’ll be glad to hear that Squarespace provides a full set of blogging features such as built-in blog pages, a comment section, and content promotion tools. However, if you’re making a blog as a means of making money, Squarespace shouldn’t be your first choice. First off, to get hold of ecommerce features, you’ll have to purchase the “Business” plan or up, and it will set you back $23 (£18.70) per month (if you subscribe for a year) or $33 (£26.80) for one month. 

This plan will let you integrate a shopping cart into your blog with ease, as well as sell physical products, digital downloads, online services, and subscriptions. However, if we take the 3% transaction fee on sales and the plan’s initial price tag into account, this solution doesn’t seem particularly pocket-friendly. So, if you plan to become a professional blogger on a tight budget, it’s better to use WordPress instead. 

Also, Squarespace isn’t as strong as some of its competitor (like Shopify) when it comes to shipping and payment options – for instance, manual payments isn’t an option and you can’t sell in multiple currencies.

Squarespace also offers superb search engine optimization (SEO) features, which will help you get your site in front of your core audience. There are also multiple options for social media marketing, email marketing, and custom post designs. So, it seems Squarespace has everything a small business could wish for.  

However, Squarespace doesn’t take too kindly to third-party tools – while there’s a decent variety of versatile tools it’s not up to scratch – so, you might feel like you’re stuck with Squarespace's ecosystem.

Squarespace template screenshot

The integrations and blogging tools are excellent features (Image credit: Squarespace)

We should also talk about Squarespace’s up-to-date, drag-and-drop editor called Fluid Engine, a superior version to their old editor. As soon as you add an element or change something on the template you’re using, it will become visible straight away. It also offers a decent level of customization choices, so you can adjust your template to suit your needs and desires. 

The only major drawback is that you can’t place elements (such as images or text) wherever you want them to be - you can position them in pre-built places bounded by grid lines. Also, while you’ll be prompted to save your site after each change, you won’t enjoy the convince of the autosave functionality.

Is Squarespace website builder easy to use? 

At the start, you’ll be supplied with a simple-to-understand setup menu, where you can choose between a variety of templates based on the categories - online store, membership, blog, art & design, and photography to name a few. 

After this, you can shape the way your site looks and you have the freedom to personalize every element of it. However, as explained a bit earlier, your freedom will be confined to a somewhat limited grid system. Because of this everything is superbly streamlined, making both setup and editing as simple as can be. 

We should also note that the new Squarespace 7.1 version is superior to the 7.0 version when it comes to ease of use. While the previous version got a whole lot of criticism, there’s scarcely anything to complain about with the latest version of Squarespace.

Squarespace pricing

(Image credit: Squarespace)

Squarespace website builder pricing: is it a good value for money? 

The site builder’s price tag is on par with similar all-in-one solutions on the market and it provides plenty of bang for the buck. However, if you only wanted a pocket-friendly site builder without other components of Squarespace, we’re sorry to say you won’t find this here.  

If you’re in for an all-in-one solution, you can choose between four plans ranging from $16 (£13.30) to $49 (£40.65) per month, if you opt for an annual billing option, that is. If you choose a one-month-only option, the price will spike significantly. 

While Squarespace doesn’t offer a forever-free edition of its site builder, there is a 14-day free trial with all four plans and no credit card details are required.

As for payment methods, Squarespace accepts all major credit/debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express included), JCB, Diners Club (in USD only), and SEPA direct debit (in EUR only). As you already suspect, you can’t pay via PayPal or Bitcoin (BTC).

Squarespace operational security page

(Image credit: Squarespace)

Squarespace website builder safety and security 

Squarespace will safeguard your site and its visitors with a strong set of safety and security features. All Squarespace sites are kept on the safe side with SSL certificates, two-factor authentication (2FA), protection against denial of service (DoS) attacks, page passwords, and a login activity panel. While log activity won’t protect your site by itself, it’ll help you discover if any logins were made from suspicious or unknown devices.  

Squarespace’s security staff is monitoring all Squarespace sites round-the-clock for threats and vulnerabilities to make sure your site is properly protected. Still, if you discover a vulnerability, you can report it to the security staff and they’ll conduct their investigation on it.

Squarespace support page

(Image credit: Squarespace)

Squarespace help and support

If you get stuck somewhere during your Squarespace journey, you can seek assistance from Squarespace’s support staff via live chat, email, and Twitter. Sadly, phone support isn’t available. 

Live chat is available Monday to Friday, 5 AM to 8 PM, EST, and once you contact the staff, someone will get back to you in a matter of minutes. In contrast, email support is available 24/7, but the response time can sometimes be sluggish.

 As for self-service, you can visit Help Center which contains a well-supplied knowledgebase, video guides, and an avidly active community forum you can conveniently browse by topics. 

Squarespace website builder alternatives

Wix is an awesome alternative for those who want to build their site on a tight budget or entirely free - it offers a forever-free edition of its site builder. Plus, it’s super simple to use, packed with features, and provides automatic backups. 

If you’re searching for a cheap yet completely customizable site builder, WordPress is the solution of choice. Since it’s an open-sourced software, it has thousands of themes, templates, plugins, how-to guides, and a committed community that can lend you a helping hand. While it’s not as beginner-friendly as Squarespace or Wix, it makes up for it with a fabulous level of flexibility and freedom. 

Shopify is built for ecommerce from the ground up, so if an ecommerce solution is what you’re looking for, it might be the best choice. While Squarespace offers all essential ecommerce features, it’s better suited for a professional site or a blog. 

Is Squarespace website builder right for you? 

Squarespace is a splendid, simple-to-use site builder with terrific templates and it gets better each time a new version crops up. Hitting high marks in all major areas, Squarespace site builder qualifies as an amazing all-arounder in the market, and it’s also fit for small and mid-sized online stores.   

However, Squarespace keeps its users on a short leash with a low level of customization and the inability to switch between templates without starting from scratch. Also, the lack of auto-save features makes it less convenient than some of its competitors. 

 Squarespace website builder FAQ 

Is Squarespace better than Wix?

Well, it depends on what you’re looking for in a site builder. Wix offers more templates overall, but the ones you’ll get with Squarespace look better. Also, Wix has a forever-free edition, while with Squarespace you can make use of a 14-day free trial, and that’s about it. 

Both site builders are easy to use, offer robust ecommerce features, and provide superb value for money. However, Wix is cheaper while Squarespace has more additional tools for growing your site.

Is Squarespace good for beginners?

Yes, Squarespace is one of the best site builders for beginners. Its intuitive, drag-and-drop editor is backed by simple-to-follow guides in case you get stuck. And if that doesn’t do the trick, you can rely on rather responsive customer support staff.  

What are the downsides of using Squarespace?

The primary drawbacks of using Squarespace are the shortage of customization capabilities, the absence of auto-save features, and the lack of phone support. Also, there are cheaper options around and some of them offer a free edition of their site builders too.  

vpnjack review
7:44 pm | October 23, 2020

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

With hundreds of VPNs on the market and most of them promising to do the same thing, it can be difficult to decide what will be the best VPN for you.

Today we’re looking at vpnjack, a division of Jack512 VPN & VoIP Solutions headquartered in the United States. Unfortunately, the United States is one of the least privacy-friendly countries in the world. This is due to the fact that the US is a participating member of the Five Eyes, which enables US authorities to obtain user information from the company with a warrant if they so desire.

As of the time of this review, we do not know how many servers they have. vpnjack claims to have servers located in several cities in the USA, which means you can only access their service if you are also based in the US.

Pricing & plans 

vpnjack in use

(Image credit: vpnjack)

vpnjack is designed to be a cheap service, although not suitable if you’re looking for a free VPN. It currently offers six packages, depending on how long you want to commit for. You can subscribe to the service on a daily basis for $0.99, weekly for $1.99, monthly for $4.49, three months for $11.99, six months for $19.99, or on an annual basis at $29.99. Plans can be purchased through PayPal or with Bitcoin.

Payments made to this service are generally non-refundable, which is very unusual compared to competitors. For you to test the service and determine whether you want to purchase any of its plans, they offer a free trial that lets you use the VPN for 60 minutes every day for 24 hours. When compared to other VPN services, which permit you to test their VPN for at least thirty days, this is subpar.

Privacy & encryption 

The official website states that your data is only collected to the extent necessary for proper accounting and system health monitoring, such as the length of your VPN connection and average bandwidth. However, it should be noted that as of the time of this review, they have not requested an independent VPN audit to check the servers' logs.

Remember that vpnjack is based in the United States, part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. This is a group of countries that exchange surveillance information. Your privacy might be jeopardized as a result of vpnjack's obligation to turn over your data to the government upon request. If you desire a privacy tool which can offer confidentiality and anonymity, you might prefer to try an alternative.

No information is provided regarding the encryption used or any extra security measures employed to safeguard your privacy. We were only informed on the website that the provider uses PPTP and L2TP VPN transfer protocols


You shouldn't expect to be able to access international services like BBC iPlayer, because vpnjack has a US focus and only allows you to stream content from US streaming platforms. If you use streaming applications for an extended period, The service would limit your connection speed because of its fair usage policy. This makes it less desirable if you want a VPN for Netflix or other streaming. 

vpnjack in use

(Image credit: vpnjack)

Speed & experience 

Since all the servers are located in the same nation, our speed tests produced identical results. We noticed that you would receive a relatively high server speed if you were close to the US, but results would be slower if you were halfway around the globe. 


Although vpnjack doesn't provide any native desktop or mobile VPN apps, it can be manually enabled on a variety of devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, by following the set-up instructions on its website. Linux, routers, smart TVs, and game consoles are all incompatible. 

Customer support 

Both a support ticket and a 24/7 LiveChat window are absent, leaving email as the only method of communication, which takes a lot of time. The FAQ section on the website is sparse and not sufficiently comprehensive to assist you. 

vpnjack in use

(Image credit: vpnjack)

Alternatives to vpnjack

Nord VPN

Nord VPN,  gives you access to geographically restricted content from anywhere in the world, offers an app that has strong encryption to add an extra layer of security to your online activities and gives you features like a kill switch, peer-to-peer networking, web threat management, and multiple concurrent device connection.

Read our full NordVPN review 


Cyberghost VPN supports up to seven simultaneous device connections, unblocks major streaming platforms, offers 1200 servers spread across more than 50 countries, permits torrent downloads, and offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Cyberghost review


ExpressVPN is based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction and has thousands of servers dispersed throughout the world. It’s secure, does not keep any logs, unblocks streaming websites, allows for five connections at once, and has a quick speed.

Read our full ExpressVPN review


PureVPN is the best protection against ISP speed throttling. It allows you to access blocked websites and protects you from third-party spying, while also giving access to features such as intrusion detection systems, anti-spam, IP protection, and web threat monitoring.

Read our full PureVPN review 


vpnjack doesn't have any exciting features or even P2P support for torrenting. The website doesn't give so many details about the product, so we could not tell what kind of encryption it uses. 

Although they have a low subscription price, they operate in just one country, don't support multiple connections at once, and can't boast of a secure service. In our opinion, vpnjack isn't worth your time. 

Zoho Desk review
7:06 am | October 22, 2020

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

Zoho Desk is a customer service help desk product that bills itself as the first “context-aware” solution in the industry. That means that every interaction with a customer is guided by a range of information that Zoho has about them, including their history and past issues and activities—anything that will help an agent understand the issue more quickly, which in turn brings about a quicker resolution. 

Zoho Desk pricing page

Zoho Desk offers a choice of a free plan and four paid plans (Image credit: Zoho)

Zoho Desk: Plans and pricing

Zoho has a range of plans to suit most business needs. You can test each of them out in a 15-day trial. You can change between subscriptions during this time and Zoho actually encourage you to do so, so you can try out different features.

The good news is that Zoho offer a free plan, which they describe as being suitable for "minimal support needs" This plan can encompass up to 3 agents. You also get basic e-mail ticketing and a knowledge base.

Zoho also offer an 'Express' plan costs just $7 per user per month if you pay annually or $9 per user per month if you pay annually. This supports up to 5 users and also includes a basic ticketing system, analytics and social media integration.

Both the free and 'Express' plans are nestled further down the pricing page and we had to hunt around for them. This is in contrast to our original review of Zoho Desk in 2020 when the features of the free plan were listed alongside the paid tiers at the top of the page. 

The current page lists the top 3 pricing tiers. The 'Standard' plan costs $14 per user per month if billed annually or $20 per user per month if you pay monthly. Perks include five e-mail channels, your very own help center, a feedback widget, five advanced web forms, social media support for 1 brand (Facebook and Twitter) and Instant Messaging. There's also no limit on the number of agents you can have on the 'Standard' plan provided you're able and willing to pay the subscription fees.

Zoho Desk review

Zoho Desk’s slogan is to “save the world from bad customer service" (Image credit: Zoho Desk)

The 'Professional' plan costs $23 per user per month if paid annually or $35 per user if you pay monthly. It includes all of the above along with other perks like the ability to 'follow' tickets and customers as well as add ticket resolutions to your knowledge base.

The 'Professional' plan also has safeguards to avoid ticket 'collisions'. Zoho Desk can alert you if another agent has begun responding to a ticket and you can even chat with them.

Crucially this is the tier that allows you to integrate your help desk with approved telephony providers and create custom workflows.

The 'Enterprise' tier costs $40 per user per month if billed annually or $50 per user if you're paying monthly. It includes everything in the above-mentioned plans plus some heavy-hitting extras.

These include support for up to one hundred e-mail channels, no fewer than twenty web forms for each of your departments, as well as integration for up to two brands for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Most importantly this tier supports live chat, so you can interact with customers directly on your website and convert conversations into tickets.

We've only been able to scratch the surface of the vast number of features available with various Zoho Desk plans here, so encourage you to visit the main website for a detailed comparison.

Zoho Desk: Features

The Enterprise plan clearly boasts an impressive feature list, but even the free plan comes with features that make it worthwhile considering. These include the multilingual email ticketing and customer management system which is at the core of the software, a help center with a private knowledge base, macros for executing repetitive tasks automatically, mobile apps, and 24/5 email support.

Zoho Desk review

The Zoho Desk ticketing system is at the heart of the software (Image credit: Zoho Desk)

Zoho Desk’s ticket management system is multichannel meaning that email, phone, social media, and live chat can all be used for customer support interactions. Tickets are automatically organized, and a number of handy tools exist to increase ticketing efficiency, and by extension, agent productivity.

Zoho Desk also has an artificial intelligence feature called Zia that can speak to your customers and share relevant knowledgebase articles with them, automatically tag tickets, alert agents to unusual activity, and be trained to carry out actions specific to your business.

Zoho Desk: Interface and in use

When you first log in to your Zoho Desk dashboard, you’re presented with a list of your tickets. The other main tabs in the dashboard are for knowledge base articles and customers.

Zoho Desk review

Zoho Desk provides a lot of different editing and action options for tickets (Image credit: Zoho Desk)

Similarly to many online helpdesk apps, Zoho Desk provides you with a lot of control over what can be edited for each ticket – for example, status, owner, priority, classifications, and channel. You can also view a ticket’s activity history and apply various actions to it.

At the bottom of the window when viewing a ticket is a button for Apply Macro. However, when you click on it, it says “macros aren’t created yet,” and there’s no indication as to how to create one. Other helpdesk software apps we’ve looked at have a default set of macros included, and you can add others if you need ones specific to your business.

The lack of help with the macros is just one example of how Zoho Desk doesn’t feel as intuitive as other helpdesk solutions we’ve looked at. There are many different links and buttons scattered all over the dashboard, and it feels a bit overwhelming to find your way around. Some of the links and buttons are also tiny and thus difficult to read.

Zoho Desk support plans

Zoho Desk offers both free and paid support options (Image credit: Zoho)

Zoho Desk: Support

Zoho Desk is a bit different from other helpdesk software providers in that it provides different levels of support. There are three tiers, with the first being free and the other two costing either 20% or 25% of your license fee.

 The free option only offers live chat and toll-free phone support during business hours, while the others offer those options for 24 hours. You can also e-mail or raise a request in the self-service portal. Zoho Desk claim the maximum response time for this is 24 hours. The Enterprise plan is available seven days a week as opposed to the five days for the Premium plan.

The two paid plans introduce remote and configuration assistance and product onboarding. Meanwhile, the Enterprise plan gives you your own account manager, along with a quarterly report on your usage of features, with suggestions on how to optimize your business processes.

Zoho Desk's support plans also include 'onboarding' to 'Premium' and 'Enterprise' subscribers for 45 or 60 days from the date of purchase respectively. This involves an onboarding specialist working with you to set up Zoho Desk, learn about different features and get assistance with customization and automatization.   

Zoho Desk security page

Zoho takes the security of its platform and customers very seriously (Image credit: Zoho)

Zoho Desk: Security

Zoho, the company behind Zoho Desk, produces many different software products and takes the same high-level approach to security for all of them. One of the ways it does this is through the 'Roles' feature which allows you to manage what information is visible to which agents and/or departments. You can also create profiles to save you having to manually set permissions per worker.

For instance, you can create a profile for new agents which allows them to change the ownership of tickets but not close them.

Zoho Desk's security page also touts its 'field security' feature. This allows you to set permissions about which fields can be edited by certain workers. 'Enterprise' plan subscribers can also benefit from 'field encryption' whereby sensitive data entered into fields can be encoded. Zoho's comprehensive knowledge base informed us that this is done using industry standard AES encryption. 

Zoho Desk also claims to be GDPR compliant. One strong point in their favour is that all subscriptions (including the free plan) give users the choice where their data is stored. When reviewing other help desk platforms we've only ever seen this feature available as a paid extra or for higher tier subscribers, so were very impressed. Current data center choices are the US, EU, India, Australia and Japan.

Parent company Zoho has also published an extensive Security Whitepaper, detailing the stringent measures they take to keep their own customers' data safe.

For instance, they specify their facilities have 24/7 monitoring, video cameras and biometric access. The company is ISO 27001, ISO27017 and ISO27018 certified.

We were also very pleased to see that Zoho has a detailed page on exactly how it encrypts customer data. In brief, all connections between users and Zoho's servers are protected by the latest versions of TLS (1.2 / 1.3). 

Databases are protected using ultra-secure 256-Bit AES encryption and Zoho claim they also use full disk encryption on their hardware. 

Like the free choice of data centers, this is refreshing change from other help desk platforms who claim to use encryption and secure data but don't provide exact details on the type of encryption or password hashes used. 

Zoho Desk: The competition

If you like to shop around before deciding on a purchase, there are plenty of alternatives in the online helpdesk space for you to consider, including Freshdesk and Zendesk.

Freshdesk is another solution offering a large range of features. There are a selection of plans, including a free option that can be used by unlimited agents. Its paid plans range in price from $15/agent/month up to $79/agent/month, and all plans come with a 21-day free trial. 

LiveAgent is another option with a free plan that has no limit on agents, while paid plans go from $9/agent/month up to $69/agent/month. Like Zoho Desk and Freshdesk, as you move up through the plans, more features are added to those available from the previous level.

Zoho Desk: Final verdict

Zoho Desk has competitive pricing, with its high-end plans cheaper than those of many competitors. However, its free plan has a small limit on the number of agents and you have to pay to get better levels of support.

The software’s feature set is impressive but we found the app itself a bit overwhelming to use and lacking in tips or guides on how to make the most of it.

We've also highlighted the best live chat software.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection review
6:14 am |

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

Although having your identity stolen might seem unlikely, over 10% of American adults experience identity fraud each year. In 2021 alone, these occurrences resulted in damages totaling more than $6.1 billion, demonstrating the financial vulnerability of identity theft across the 5.88 million reported events.

Today, there are numerous choices available to consumers who want to secure their identities. We'll examine the platform's features in detail in our Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection review to help you decide if it's the best choice for you. Bitdefender is one of the most effective identity theft protection services currently, although it lacks some of the technologies offered by its rivals.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection: Plans and pricing

As of writing, for the lower Standard tier, an annual subscription for Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection is priced at $6.99/month for the first year, before switching to $12.99/month. However, there is also the option for an annual discount savings by paying $69.99 for the year, which reduces it to $5.83/month for the first year. This plan includes a smart SSN tracker, a credit score tracker, lost wallet protection, and up to $1 million of identity theft insurance, along with 1 bureau credit monitoring.

There is also a higher, Premium tier, which increases the cost to $9.99/month for the first year, or $99.99 annually. It adds features such as court records monitoring, change of address monitoring, and up to $2 million in identity theft insurance. It also increases the credit monitoring to all three credit bureaus.

Bitdefender doesn’t offer any short-term subscriptions or free trials.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection review

You can contact Bitdefender directly for a full refund within 30 days of starting a new subscription (Image credit: Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection)

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection: Features

With Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection, your information is continuously monitored throughout both traditional and dark web databases, ensuring that you are notified whenever it appears online. Emails, passwords, social security numbers, credit card information, and phone numbers are just a few of the data pieces it may locate.

The program also has top-notch capabilities for keeping an eye on your digital footprint. Although it's difficult to gauge how well they work in practice, the program's main objective is to make it easier for you to keep track of all of your personal data, such as your name, phone number, home and email addresses, as well as any associated photographs and URLs.

In addition, Bitdefender continuously scans 25 social media platforms for impersonation. Unfortunately, a list of the supported platforms is not displayed on the website. They probably cover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other well-known networks, but without more details, it's impossible to determine for sure. After waiting for more than a week, we asked a support person for clarification, but regrettably we did not hear back.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection review

Bitdefender makes it easy to track and visualize your digital footprint (Image credit: Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection)

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection: Interface and in use

Bitdefender is super simple to sign up and only requires your phone number and email address to begin monitoring for identity theft. Although Bitdefender Mobile Security includes mobile apps for both iOS and Android, they do not apply to the platform's identity protection capabilities since this is solely a web-based platform.

Overall, Bitdefender provides consumers with all the information they need to protect their identity, and also looks and functions nicely. If you don't consider the lack of a mobile app to be a deal-breaker, Bitdefender is a very simple service to use.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection review

The Bitdefender interface enables you to quickly visualize data and view suggested actions (Image credit: Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection)

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection: Support

Like several other identity protection companies, Bitdefender includes a rather comprehensive support page with solutions to frequent inquiries regarding the settings and functionality of the program. If you require assistance with Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection, start by visiting the Support Center.

Bitdefender offers several other options beyond the answers available in the Support Center. You can contact the company’s support team directly via a choice of phone, email, or live chat.

Although there are no specified hours for live chat assistance, English-language phone support is offered around-the-clock. The Bitdefender support system may be able to address any issues you run through, however we never received an answer to a question that was quite simple.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection review

The Bitdefender Support Center contains detailed articles on a number of topics (Image credit: Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection)

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection: The competition

Although Bitdefender is substantially less expensive than many other identity protection services, its feature set is also more constrained.

For instance, Norton LifeLock is one of the most well-known and reputable companies in the sector. Depending on your demands, subscriptions are offered for $124.99, $239.99, and $339.99 annually, though each plan is considerably less for the first year.

That’s obviously much higher than Bitdefender’s $69.99 for the first year, but LifeLock might be worth the extra money for some users.

Furthermore, the three subscription tiers at LifeLock start at $1 million in identity theft insurance, and offer additional features such as buy now, pay later alerts.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection: Final verdict

With a respectable feature set at a reasonable cost, it's understandable why so many customers rely on Bitdefender to safeguard their identities. However, people seeking more security should think about Norton LifeLock or another company with an even larger feature set. Of course, your demands and budget will ultimately determine whether such amenities are worth the extra money.

As a well-known provider of cybersecurity services, Bitdefender can find any dangers to your identity with ease.

We've listed the best free antivirus.

Solarwinds Service Desk review
6:30 pm | October 19, 2020

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

Solarwinds Service Desk is a software solution for IT service management (ITSM) aimed at supporting a company’s own employees. It can be used for incident and asset management, cataloging and fulfillment, and as a single portal for the submission of tickets and requests.

Even though the focus of a service desk is more internal, it still has the same end-user focus as all the best help desk software solutions. In this Solarwinds Service Desk review we help you decide whether it could be useful for your business as we take a look at its pricing, features, support, and ease of use.

SolarWinds pricing

Solarwinds Service Desk has a choice of four plans (Image credit: SolarWinds)

Solarwinds: Plans and pricing

SolarWinds offers a very simple pricing structure, offering a choice of three plans. The 'Essentials' plan is designed for 'growing teams' and is priced at $39 per month, per technician. There's an additional charge of $0.30 per month per device.

This includes features like Incident Management, as well as your own Knowledge Base and a Service Portal where teams can collaborate on work. SolarWinds 'Essentials' plan also makes it easy for you to respond to user feedback, offering both Satisfaction Surveys and Real Time Agent Feedback.

There's also a helpful Service Catalog for users, as well as a 'Service Request' feature which allows you to capture all service requests along with any relevant details. The plan also supports SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and management of requests and approvals.

The 'Advanced' Plan starts at $79 per month per technician, with an additional fee of $0.50 per month per device. It includes all the features of the 'Essentials' Plan plus superior features such as custom fields and forms, contract management, license compliance, scheduled reports and API access. Crucially the 'Advanced' Plan also supports automation of work flows as well as benchmarking.

The 'Premier' plan is touted by SolarWinds as being for 'full customizability'. Subscriptions cost $99 per month, per technician plus $0.70 per device. It includes all the features bundled with the 'Essentials' and 'Advanced' plans plus a visual CMDB (Configuration Management Database) with Automatic Dependency Mapping. Other perks include a 'Premier' Virtual Agent, up to 1500 API calls per user, per minute and automated runbooks

The pricing plans are clearly laid out. Our only complaint is the higher charge per device for more expensive plans, as it would be more intuitive to offer greater discounts to customers who are paying a higher charge per user.

All plans support an unlimited number of users and can be tried out free of charge for 30 days.

Solarwinds: Features

Solarwinds Service Desk has a large selection of features including tools for incident, IT asset and problem management, an employee service portal, and a knowledge base.

Incident management software is used for streamlining ticket submissions, with tickets able to be submitted by email, phone, the service portal, live chat, or in person. The software also includes the ability to automate simple tasks and route tickets to the right people so that incidents are resolved more quickly. Built-in artificial intelligence can also speed up ticket resolution by recommending solutions.

Solarwinds ServiceDesk review

A sample of some of the features available from Solarwinds Service Desk (Image credit: Solarwinds)

Problem management functionality allows your agents to easily group similar incidents together to avoid multiple agents working on the same issues and prevent redundancy. Automation features mean that tickets can be categorized and routed to the correct technician without manual involvement.

The employee service portal is a web app that employees can use to submit and track service requests or find answers to questions that may have been asked before via the integrated knowledge base and other resources. Not only is the service portal helpful for employees, but it gives technicians all the data they might need to resolve incidents quickly in one place.

Solarwinds: Interface and in use

Solarwinds Service Desk has a very clean interface that we found easy to navigate. Access to all of the main sections of the dashboard is hidden behind a hamburger menu icon in the top left corner of the window, but the menu itself is very responsive, and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.

Solarwinds Service Desk review

The Solarwinds Service Desk dashboard can be customized with widgets (Image credit: Solarwinds)

The dashboard comes with a pre-selected group of widgets displaying your organization’s data, but you can add new ones or edit or remove the existing ones. You can also create completely new dashboards if you don’t want to add too many widgets to a single page.

When viewing a list of incidents, you have a lot of control over how the data is filtered and sorted, and you can customize the columns that are displayed. Once you’ve selected an individual incident to view, you again have a lot of control over its settings, and the user interface makes it easy for even novice users to figure out how to update and add to an incident.

For those that do need a little extra help, every page you visit has a text and video tutorial that can be accessed by clicking on the ‘?’ button near the top right of the window.

We were impressed at how easy Solarwinds Service Desk was to use but did find that sometimes pages, or parts of pages that displayed data, were a bit slow to load. In particular, we found building reports to be very slow, even at the very beginning of our testing, when we only had a handful of sample issues.

Solarwinds support page

Support for Solarwinds Service Desk is offered on a separate site (Image credit: Solarwinds)

Solarwinds: Support

SolarWinds offers varying levels of support to customers based on their subscription plan. If you choose the lowest 'Essentials' tier you benefit from 'Community Support', where other SolarWinds users can offer advice and assistance via a dedicated forum. 

If you don't want to trust your business to other customers' goodwill, you'll be pleased to hear that both e-mail and chat support are available via Service Desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you've signed up for either the 'Advanced' or 'Premier' plans then you'll also benefit from phone support, which is also available round the clock, 365 days a year. Advanced and Premier users can also avail themselves of a CSM (Customer Success Manager) ℅ Service Desk, who apparently can answer any question your company has about "using the solution". It's unclear what a CSM would offer over and above a regular Service Desk query but presumably it's safer to have a dedicated Success Manager and not need one than need one and not have one.

We were blown away by SolarWinds free online Resource Center, which includes brochures, white papers, helpful videos, datasheets and demos to name just a few. The pages are easy to navigate as you can filter down by subject category and/or resource type.  

Solarwinds Service Desk review

Solarwinds takes a rigorous approach to secure its web applications (Image credit: Solarwinds)

Solarwinds: Security

As with most providers of helpdesk software, Solarwinds takes a rigorous approach to security, which applies to the various layers that go into developing web apps. 

Employees sign confidentiality agreements and undergo specific security training. World-class data centers are used, protected by fire suppression systems and security guards. All changes are logged and regular audits are carried out. Networks are protected by firewalls and malicious code protection, and disaster recovery systems are in place. 

SolarWinds confirm all of the above on their dedicated 'Information Security' page, which includes a link to their 'Security Statement'. In this they confirm that they follow the voluntary NIST Cybersecurity Framework, which is designed for companies that form part of the critical infrastructure of the USA. 

Unfortunately if you're looking for specific examples of how data is encrypted during transmission and in transit e.g. TLS and AES, then you'll need to contact SolarWinds directly to ask how this is being done.

On the plus side, if you're an administrator configuring the SolarWinds platform, there's an extensive 'best practices' guide on how to secure it, including:

- A recommendation to use at least 2048 Bit RSA encryption for SSL certificates.

- Confirmation that SolarWinds supports encrypted database connections via SSL.

- Support for TLS cipher suites and certificate validation. 

- Lockout of accounts after 10 failed login attempts.

SolarWinds also has an extensive policy on data protection requirements for their vendors and affiliates, which include provisions banning shared user accounts and requiring encryption of customer data in transit and at rest.  

Solarwinds: The competition

The ITSM market is smaller than the overall helpdesk software market, but there are still some competitors worth considering, like Freshservice by Freshworks and Jira Service Desk by Atlassian.

FreshService has a very similar feature list to Solarwinds Service Desk and also has a choice of four plans that go from $19/month/agent up to $119/month/agent if you're willing to pay annually. There's even a 21-day free trial period and you can book a live demo of the service if you want to try before subscribing.  

Jira Service Desk has a different (and rather more complicated) pricing structure, including a free plan, and offers both cloud and self-managed versions of its software. 

The free plan is for up to three agents. The Standard plan is $21 per month per agent.

You can also pay $600/year for up to three agents but then increases to $1050 per year for up to 5 agents. 

After 15 agents, the price starts to come down slightly. The Premium plan starts at $47/agent/month but you can also make some savings if you have multiple agents and want to pay annually. The paid plans support up to 10,000 agents if you're able and willing to pay for them. All plans also support an unlimited number of customers but only one site, unless you sign up to a bespoke 'Enterprise' plan. 

Solarwinds: Final verdict

Solarwinds Service Desk is ideally suited to companies with large IT departments that are looking to provide high levels of service for their own employees and internal customers. It is reasonably priced and comes with a generous free trial so you have enough time to evaluate its capabilities.

While we did find the web app to be a bit slow sometimes, in general, we were impressed by how easy Solarwinds Service Desk is to use and the level of control offered over how data was presented and updated. 

The Resource Center is magnificent and we were impressed to see that even customers on the lowest pricing tier can benefit from 24/7 e-mail and chat support. The forum also contains some excellent resources on getting started and customizing the platform for your needs. For the most part other documentation is extremely helpful and detailed. The one exception to this is SolarWinds 'Security Statement', where we would have appreciated more specific information on the type of protections in place, such as how data in transit is secured.

There is no 'free' tier but as we said, it's not likely an SME would need to sign up for so extensive an ITSM, as the range of resources and data customization is better suited to larger organizations.  

We've also highlighted the best live chat software.

PrivateMail review
6:30 pm | October 12, 2020

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

Most popular email services that we use are free. But, you’ll be right to discern that nothing is really free. “If you’re not paying, then you’re the product” is a quote that applies to most digital services. In exchange for using these free email platforms, you give the owners access to your data, which they can sell or use to enhance advertising algorithms.

Many people don’t want to give up their data to third parties and, thus, seek alternative, secure email services. PrivateMail is one of the best secure email providers you can choose. It offers sophisticated encryption to guarantee your privacy and security.

PrivateMail was founded in 2019 by entrepreneur Benjamin Van Pelt. The company is based in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

PrivateMail: Plans and pricing

PrivateMail doesn’t offer a free plan, which we consider a disadvantage. It offers different premium plans for individuals and businesses. Individuals can choose either the Standard or Pro plan.

The Standard plan costs $8.95 monthly and gives you 10 GB of encrypted mail storage plus an extra 10 GB for file storage. This plan lets you create up to 5 email aliases.

The Pro plan costs $15.95 monthly and gives you 20 GB of encrypted email storage plus 20 GB of extra file storage. You can create up to 20 email aliases on this plan.

Businesses can choose either the Pro or GroupShare plan. The Pro plan costs $64.95 per month and unlocks 100 GB of email storage plus an extra 100 GB of file storage. 

The GroupShare plan costs the same as the Pro plan and offers the same features save for supporting shared file storage, shared contacts/calendars, and account collaboration. 

PrivateMail in use 1.

(Image credit: PrivateMail)

PrivateMail: Features

PrivateMail offers many beneficial features, including

End-to-end email encryption

End-to-end encryption is a security protocol guaranteeing that no third party accesses data while it’s being transmitted. When you hit the send button, your email is encrypted on PrivateMail’s servers and can only be decrypted on the recipient’s server via a unique private key. If anyone intercepts the information in transit, it’ll be useless to them because they don’t have the required private key to decrypt it.

PrivateMail uses the OpenPGP encryption standard. This is the most popular encryption protocol that emails providers use and guarantees that only an intended email recipient will be able to read its contents. 

Cloud storage

PrivateMail offers cloud storage for your files. You can keep photos, videos, audio, and any type of document. Your files will be encrypted just like your emails, so you’re sure that unauthorized third parties can not access them. You can share your files with other PrivateMail users via a secure link. 

Mobile and desktop apps

A good thing about PrivateMail is that it offers native mobile and desktop apps, unlike most secure email competitors. You can download the iOS app from the Apple App Store or the Android app from the Google Play Store. You can also sideload the Android app by downloading the APK directly and installing it on your smartphone.

PrivateMail in use 2.

(Image credit: PrivateMail )

PrivateMail has desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux. A page on the official website gives you the download links for all operating systems.

These apps make it easier to use PrivateMail and send encrypted messages. You can simply open the app on your smartphone or desktop whenever you want to use it instead of opening a web browser over and over again.

Alias addresses

An alias is an extra email address that forwards to your main address. The purpose is to interact with people or online platforms without giving out your main address. For instance, if your main address is, you can create an alias called for educational messages, for your gaming apps, and for work-related emails.

PrivateMail lets you create up to 20 aliases depending on the plan you’re subscribed to. 

Custom domains

Many individuals and businesses need emails with a custom domain name because it makes them look more professional. The good thing is that PrivateMail lets you create an email with your own domain. You just have to adjust your domain’s MX records to point to PrivateMail’s mail servers, and you’re good to go.

Self-destructing mail

PrivateMail lets you send emails that delete themselves after a specific period. Self-destructing emails provide an extra layer of security and privacy if you’re sending sensitive information.


PrivateMail offers a tool for creating and managing contacts. You can also access a tool for creating calendars and planning your schedule. You can create multiple calendars for different purposes, e.g., one for weekends and another for weekdays. You can share your contacts and calendars securely with other PrivateMail users.

PrivateMail in use 3.

(Image credit: PrivateMail)

PrivateMail: Interface and in use

PrivateMail offers a broad range of features, but its interface isn’t too intuitive. The platform’s interface looks more like something you’ll find in the earlier days of the internet. A glance at the website and the way the text and images are arranged shows that the interface needs improvement. 

PrivateMail: Support

PrivateMail offers support through email. You can message the company's support email directly and wait for a response. The Standard plan subscribers should expect a response within 48 hours, while users on the Pro and GroupShare should expect a response within 24 hours because of the priority support they paid for. 

PrivateMail: The competition

Proton Mail is the main competitor to PrivateMail we’ll highlight. This platform offers similar features and sophisticated encryption to PrivateMail. You can also access ProtonMail via an iOS or Android mobile app. But Proton Mail outshines PrivateMail in user-friendliness and ease of use. 

PrivateMail: Final verdict

PrivateMail is an ideal platform for people seeking to send emails without any third party harvesting their data. It provides very solid encryption that you can trust. The main drawbacks are its outdated interface and being a relatively expensive tool.   

We've also highlighted the best email services. review
5:39 pm | October 9, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off is among the less well-known VPNs, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have helpful features. Created back in 2009, is a Romania-based VPN owned by Netsec Interactive Solutions. Romania is a secure location for VPN services, because data retention in Romania is prohibited by law and the country is not subject to the 5 Eyes alliances' surveillance authority. 

With a modest network of 100+ servers in 20 countries and 117+ IP addresses, is quite small - especially compared to top competitors who provide thousands of servers. However, does use an obfuscation technology that allows it to operate in China. 

Pricing & plans 

VPN.AC in use

(Image credit: VPN.AC)

Unlike other VPNs, doesn’t offer a free trial. This means you unfortunately aren’t given the opportunity to test the software before using it. There are three subscription plans available: 

1 Month: $9.00

1 Year: $57.6 ($4.80 per month)

2 Years: $90.00 ($3.75 per month)

All subscriptions involve 6 simultaneous connections, a VPN kill switch, P2P servers, cross-platform software, protocol support, OVPN configuration files, and no speed limit.

It’s also worth mentioning that although offers a 7-day money-back guarantee, the terms of service state explicitly that requesting a refund is not a simple process. The VPN does have a wide selection of payment plans to choose from, including credit and debit cards, PayPal, bitcoin, gift cards, UnionPay, Webmoney, and CashU. 

If you're working to a budget, see our round-up of the best free VPNs.

Privacy & encryption 

In its privacy policy, is open enough to acknowledge that it records information about your session, including your real IP address, in order to find ways to perform better. This includes the amount of data transferred as well as the start/stop times of your connection, however, It does not collect any data concerning your online activities, and all data collected is encrypted and removed at the end of each session. claims that the logs help them combat man-in-the-middle and brute-force attacks. It should be noted that as of the time of this review, the company has not had a VPN audit, which means there’s no independent verification of their claims. 

Remember that the headquarters of are in Romania, a nation that is not covered by the surveillance of the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes alliances, this is good news as far as privacy is concerned. uses AES-GCM 256-bit encryption along with 4096-bit RSA authentication for encryption, and uses SHA512 HMAC and PFS for added security. Top-notch VPN protocols like PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and WireGuard are used, offering impressive security. Torrenting is supported on all servers, however do keep in mind that your torrent activities may be exposed and it is illegal to torrent in some countries. 

VPN.AC in use

(Image credit: VPN.AC)


One of the advantages we found when evaluating this service was its effectiveness as a streaming VPN. During our testing, we were able to stream HD content from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max. 

Speed & experience 

When we tested the software, we were somewhat surprised by the speed of the VPN.acserver. Prior to using the VPN, our internet speed was around 94 Mbps, and when we connected to a distant server in Germany, we received an amazing speed of 87.41 Mbps. The UK also performed remarkably well in our test, achieving 88.92Mbps. VPN.acmakes big claims about their performance and speed, and they keep them! 

Apps is compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux, as well as plug-ins for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera and a mobile VPN app for Android. There is also a kill switch available, although you have to turn it on manually. The apps are simple to use and well-built and can be configured to work with routers and even on Linux systems by following the tutorials on their website.

There is a multi-hop configuration that allows you to encrypt your data across two or more servers and a DNS filtering system that filters trackers, advertisements, and malware.

VPN.AC in use

(Image credit: VPN.AC)

Customer support can be contacted via email, ticket system, or by sending a message via Skype. You can also look through the website's knowledge base and frequently asked questions to learn more. The knowledge base contains more complex questions, like how to install it on your router, while the FAQ is useful for basic and technical questions. 

VPN.AC alternatives 


Over ten years have passed since the launch of NordVPN. You have unrestricted entry to your favorite websites and can benefit from online security that meets military standards. It also doesn't retain any data from your activities due to its rigid no-log policy, allows connections from 6 devices at once, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full NordVPN review


The service unblocks all of the streaming platforms, is extremely fast and packed with sophisticated easy-to-use features, has a user-friendly app, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review


ExpressVPN is quick, safe, unblocks major streaming platforms, supports torrents, doesn't log your data, and is simple to use. It also has a 3-month free trial and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review


This VPN has a feature that stops trackers from following you, a “distraction-free” mode to help you concentrate when you need to, and a strict no-login policy that keeps your online activities private. This app is among our favorites.

Read our full Windscribe review 

VPN.AC in use

(Image credit: VPN.AC)

Verdict may be the ideal VPN provider for you, depending on your particular needs. They have great apps and excellent security, and the price is fair. The service is also quick, compatible with streaming services, and works well in China. 

USAIP VPN review
5:37 pm |

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

First impressions count - and USAIP VPN left us seriously unimpressed. The company website needs some work, feeling like an outdated mess. But what caught our eye was the assertion that the VPN promises ‘full and strong anonymity’. Nearly all VPNs make this claim, then either fail to have an independent party run a VPN audit to check the companies live up to their claims. So, how does USAIP VPN stack up in the privacy and security stakes? 

The service was founded in 2017, with 35 servers spread across 20 different countries around the world in regions like Pakistan, China, Russia, Estonia, Luxembourg, and the USA. This is significantly fewer than the industry average, and tiny compared to big-name VPNs like CyberGhost VPN, which boasts over 8,100 servers in 90 countries. 

USAIP VPN: Pricing & plans 

USAIP VPN in action

(Image credit: USAIP)

The VPN service offers a single plan - so everyone gets the same features and benefits. However, it does have different pricing based on subscription length. 24 hours for $1.49, $3.99 a week, and $7.99 a month. An annual subscription costs $74.99. 

There’s no free VPN option here - but the VPN provider offers a free trial that includes unlimited access but requires you to reconnect every 7 minutes. You can request a refund during the first 3 days of your subscription if you're extremely dissatisfied with the service. 

USAIP VPN accepts credit cards, PayPal, Webmoney, Skrill, Perfect Money, and Ukash, as payment options.

USAIP VPN: Privacy & encryption 

USAIP VPN in action

(Image credit: USAIP)

According to USAIP, the service does not collect sensitive user information; however, in their privacy policy they state that “any mild information may be shared with 3rd parties or law enforcement officials.” This indicates the company logs data, even though it's vague about the kind of data collected.

Our primary concern with the USAIP logging policy is the absence of a recent external audit, which would support the company's assertions regarding the types of logs maintained.

It is imperative to keep in mind that this VPN is based in the US, which is a member of a 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance (a group of countries that share surveillance data with each other). Your privacy might be jeopardized as a result of USAIP's obligation to give your data to the government upon demand. We suggest using VPNs like Express VPN instead, which are transparent and have had their software openly audited to prove their privacy claims. If you still want to proceed with getting this virtual private network, proceed with caution.

USAIP uses military-grade 256-bit encryption, which is unbreakable even by anyone or a computer, along with the PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, SSTP, and OpenVPN protocols. To break it, you would need to try a gazillion of different combinations, which hasn't been done yet. This isn’t a VPN for torrenting though, or a VPN for China for that matter, due to a lack of obfuscation tools. 

USAIP VPN: Streaming 

USAIP VPN is touted to be a streaming VPN, its website promising to grant access to well-known geo-restricted streaming services - we found out otherwise. We couldn't access any of its servers, so there was no way we could test it to see if it would unblock any streaming channels. If you’re looking for a Netflix VPN to access content on streaming platforms, you can try USAIP, but you may need to look for a more reliable alternative.  

USAIP VPN: Speed & experience 

Despite the VPN's assertions that its service increases internet speed, tests for USAIP’s VPN servers were not possible because we were unable to make the service function no matter how hard we tried. It's highly likely that the service in now wholly inactive - a statement that, if true, should've been made clear on its outmoded website. 


(Image credit: Future)

The tool runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, with mobile VPN apps for Android, iOS, and iPad. Routers are also supported. For each of them, the website offers comprehensive setup instructions and configuration files to make installation easier, as well as a list of possible error codes and their solutions. 

USAIP VPN: Customer support 

Customer support for USAIP subscribers appears to be defunct, or at least ignored. As we do with all VPN providers, to test their response time, we emailed USAIP VPN's support team. We never received a response.  

USAIP VPN: Alternatives 

Since during our review, USAIP appeared almost entirely inoperative, we strongly recommend investing in a more reliable alternative. After extensive testing, top tools we recommend trying include:

ExpressVPN which is one of the best VPN services available that enables five concurrent connections on devices and unblocks all major streaming platforms. 

NordVPN has over 5,200 servers scattered across 60 countries. 

Proton VPN does not monitor your actions or utilize any of your personal information. 

PureVPN has an encrypted VPN tunnel that allows you to access prohibited websites and browse around the world at speeds up to 1,000 times faster than normal. 


USAIP VPN in action

(Image credit: USAIP)

Despite all those big promises on its website, our devices simply wouldn't connect to USAIP's VPN.  And our requests for support from the company appear to have been ignored. This is unfortunate because we think it would have been a really good VPN with support for Netflix and Hulu. In the end, there is absolutely no situation under which we would suggest this VPN for use, as there are plenty of other VPNs out there that can give what USAIP VPN promises, and more. review
4:41 pm | October 7, 2020

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

A virtual private network, or VPN for short, enables users to access video and music that are only available in specific countries by allowing them to conceal their real location and also shield their identity from cyber threats and prevent surveillance by concealing their IP address. 

One option comes from Malta based company Pandora Web, the maker of For those looking for a reliable VPN server, offers more than 20,000 IP addresses worldwide and over 4000 servers. These are spread across 59 different nations, including Mexico, Croatia, Russia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan, Costa Rica, Egypt, and China. Since more servers typically equate to faster speeds, this server coverage is excellent. 

Pricing & plans in action

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To begin, offers a 7-day free trial for those willing to leave their credit card information – but you must cancel the trial within the seven-day period to avoid being charged for the full service. If you’re not interested in leaving your payment information, the VPN offers a 3-day free trial to anyone who wants to try out the service. does not provide a long-term free VPN option.

The VPN offers 4 subscription plans:

1-month plan: $9.99 per month

3-month option: $26.97 ($8.99 per month)

6-month plan: $47.94 ($7.99 per month)

12-month plan: 83.88 ($6.99 per month)

All of the plans include access to their mobile VPN apps, all the servers, high-speed data, a 14-day money-back guarantee, and the option to connect two devices simultaneously. 

Payment options include credit and debit cards, as well as cryptocurrencies or PayPal for higher security.

Privacy & encryption in action

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The fact that has a privacy policy on its website but doesn't provide any information about its logging or no-logging policies is a cause for serious concern. Additionally, it lacks premium features like a VPN kill switch, which is now a given with the top VPNs.

The PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN protocols are used by to secure your traffic. We don't know if it uses a 128-bit or 256-bit encryption algorithm due to the lack of information available, and we also couldn’t confirm whether it supports torrenting.  


When it came time to test the streaming capabilities of the service, we discovered that had been discontinued and that there was no way to get in touch with the provider. This was very disappointing because they stated that they could block any platform that was geo-restricted. 

Although we anticipate them starting up again soon, in the meantime it will be best to look elsewhere for a streaming VPN that can support sites like Netflix. 

Speed & experience 

Many people are hunting for the fastest VPN. When using a VPN for torrenting or streaming you need the speed to be roughly equivalent to your regular internet speed because this determines how quickly you can upload or download content. Having said that, we were unable to test the speed of because it is not currently active. 

Customer support has an email and a support form that can be used to get in touch with customer service. However, when we attempted to contact customer service for more information, no one got back to us. 


(Image credit: Future)

The website claims that offers applications for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. The apps are still available for download, but due to the VPN's inactivity, they won't function if you do so.

Alternatives in action

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Because is no longer in operation at the time of this review, you should invest in an alternative VPN that has been used successfully.


For a VPN that has been active for more than ten years, it is among the best. You have unrestricted access to your favorite websites and can benefit from excellent privacy tools and online security that satisfies military requirements. It doesn't log your data, offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and supports multiple concurrent device connections.

Read our full NordVPN review


Windscribe uses a Block Trackers feature to stop trackers from following your activity, a distraction-free mode to help you focus when you need it, and a strict no-log-in policy to keep your online activities private. It also has a protocol for circumventing Internet censorship.

Read our full Windscribe review


The service has a user-friendly app, a generous unlimited devices policy, unblocks all streaming services, is lightning-fast, and is loaded with cutting-edge features that are simple to use. Additionally, unlike most VPN providers today, it has permitted an independent VPN audit to test its software.

Read our full Surfshark review


There are lots of good reasons to choose ExpressVPN. It’s quick and secure, unblocks popular streaming services, supports torrents and doesn't keep any records of your data. It also has thousands of servers spread out around the globe, and is quick and easy to use. Best of all, there’s a three-month free trial to make sure you’re satisfied before paying up. 

Read our full ExpressVPN review


CyberGhost offers a variety of useful VPN features on a user-friendly platform. The software is free, simple to use, and never makes your computer run slowly. You can access more than 1200 servers located in more than 50 countries, and it offers extensive P2P and torrent functionality. Features include remote access, DNS leak protection, anonymous browsing, and more. Last but not least, one account can support up to five devices operating at once - meaning you can protect your home computers and mobile devices.

Read our full CyberGhost review 


There are several reasons why a VPN with a stable foundation and a large number of servers and IP addresses would be inactive. We tried contacting the service provider to get more details as to why their service is inactive at the moment, but we could not reach them. We hope that they will be able to get back on their feet in the future. 

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