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Disk Drill Review: Pros & Cons, Features, Ratings, Pricing and more
1:05 am | April 29, 2021

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

One of the most popular data recovery tools on macOS, Disk Drill is now available for Windows.

With a range of features and a choice of free and premium versions, Disk Drill is designed to recover data from hard disk drives, solid-state drives, USB flash drives, SD/CF cards, digital cameras, and even smartphones.

Disk Drill's website boasts that any lost data file type can be recovered, from almost any data loss scenario you can think of. But does Disk Drill rediscover the deleted data you're expecting?

Pricing

Disk Drill offers three different plans to fit your data recovery needs (Image credit: CleverFiles)

Disk Drill: Plans and pricing

Three versions of Disk Drill are available. The free option gives you file recovery of up to 500 MB. Beyond this, the software cannot work without being upgraded. Recovered data is stored in a Recovery Vault, with disks backed up with "byte-to-byte" recovery. All recovery methods can be used.

For the PRO version, you'll need to pay either $89.99 (£78.35) or $118 (£103.88) with lifetime upgrades and for the price you'll get unlimited recovery for one user with activation on up to three devices. Aimed at home users with high data recovery requirements, PRO features include Quick & Deep Scan, Smart FAT and NTFS algorithms, and Lost Partition Search. All storage types and file systems are supported.

Enterprise users can enjoy all the above, licenses for 10 users and infinite activations, and priority support for $499 (£439.28) or $598 (£526.44) with lifetime upgrades.

Minor upgrades within major versions e.g. version 5.2 to 5.5 are free. 

At the time of writing, there's a limited two-for-one deal, which gives you a copy of the Mac version of Disk Drill free with the Windows PRO version. 

The developers also offer a 50% discount to anyone upgrading from a past version of Disk Drill or a competing Windows/macOS product bought within the last year, provided you can present a valid proof of purchase. Education/Non-Profits also benefit from a 20% discount. 

File Types

Whether you're trying to recover images, videos, documents, archives or other file types, Disk Drill has you covered (Image credit: CleverFiles)

Disk Drill: Features

A vast collection of file formats can be recovered with Disk Drill, including (but not limited to) AVI, FLV, and MP4 videos, MP3 and AIFF audio, and BMP, JPEG, JP2, GIF, and PSD images. Further, DOCX, PDF, and XLSX document formats can be recovered, along with ZIP, RAR, and DMG archives and image formats.

At the time of writing Disk Drill supports 363 different file types in total. You can visit the developer's website to see a full list and request support for other file formats.

Disk Drill will work with Windows systems with internal or attached HDDs manufactured by HP, Samsung, Seagate, Toshiba, WD, LaCie, Intel, and others. USB drives from SanDisk, Samsung, Kingston, Corsair, and others are also supported, and you should even be able to recover data from SD/CF cards from SanDisk, Transcend, Toshiba, PNY, Kingston, and others. Disk Drill also claims to be able to recover data from digital cameras, iPhones, and Android phones.

Whatever media you're recovering, Disk Drill gives you the tools to find them. As well as detecting internal devices and USB drives, Disk Drill lets you attach disk images in a range of formats, including IMG, ISO, and even VMDK disks from VMware virtual PCs. It detects drives that won't otherwise mount, with options to scan quickly, deep, uncover lost partitions, and even undelete protected data. 

We were very impressed by the level of detail available on the website and how upfront Cleverfiles were about the different types of issues that can affect drives

They also clearly state that not all files are recoverable and list reasons why this might be the case including unsupported formats, fragmented or overwritten data and physical damage to the drive. 

They also recommend using Windows own built-in CHKDSK and File Recovery or macOS' Disk Utility to scan and repair drives, as well as their own product.  

Device Types

Disk Drill also supports a wide variety of devices (Image credit: CleverFiles)

Disk Drill: How we tested

For our data recovery tests we used a virtual machine with a clean install of Windows 11. 

Data Files

Our tests were done using the 'Free' version of Disk Drill. The files we chose for recovery were an album of Mozart's Music available from the Internet Archive. 

We did this as we wanted to see how the utility performed with a wide variety of files.The album included 4 music files (2 in Mp3 and 2 in FLAC) format, 6 JPG image files of album covers (with thumbnails) and 2 PNG image files. The files also included 2 XML files, a torrent file and an 'SQLite' file containing details of the album. There were 25 files in total. 

We copied the files in the music album to a 512MB virtual hard drive, which was then attached to the Windows 11 virtual machine. For all intents and purposes it acts as a second hard drive, attached to the main virtual machine. 

Data Tests

The tests were performed one after the other on three separate virtual drives:

1. File deletion : the album files were simply deleted from the drive and the Recyle Bin emptied. No other data was copied to the drive. We then tried to recover the files. 

2. Delete & Format : The files were deleted as outlined above and we also performed a 'Quick Format' using the 'Disk Management' utility built into Windows 11. We then tried to recover the files from the formatted partition. 

3. Recover files from a corrupted drive: We used the freeware program 'Victoria' to overwrite the volume header of tjhe drive containing the files with zeroes. The drive didn't mount automatically in File Explorer and showed as being unpartitioned in Windows "Disk Management" utility. We then checked if the utility could see it and if so, tried to recover the files. 

We do not believe that running data recovery tools in a virtual environment has a significant effect on how they function. Still, if you're considering buying software we encourage you to read all reviews thoroughly and make sure that the developer offers a refund policy. 

UI

Disk Drill's user interface makes it easy to find your drives as well as your files (Image credit: CleverFiles)

 Finding files with Disk Drill 

Disk Drill's main screen lists attached devices. You'll see all internal storage, along with any attached devices such as USB devices and SD/CF cards. The option to attach a disk image is also here – useful if you have an image of an old disk drive that might have some vital documents stored on it.

Recovery with Disk Drill is incredibly simple. Select the drive or partition to be recovered, click the recovery type drop-down menu on the right, choose the recovery type, then click the Search for lost data button.

Disk Drill gives the option of individual or all recovery methods. A quick scan obviously completes faster than a deep scan, but whichever option you choose, Disk Drill displays a status page to show the progress so far. Once complete, you simply select the files you wish to recover – using the filter on the left pane to find specific file types - click Recover, then select where to save them.

Disk Drill 6

(Image credit: Future)

Disk Drill: Recovery performance

Various factors impact performance when using recovery software. The size of the disk, its condition, the connection type, and the type of recovery chosen all contribute to the length of time required. Unsurprisingly a 250GB SATA disk can be scanned and data recovered quicker than a 1TB HDD.

In testing, Disk Drill repeatedly returned the contents of the 512MB virtual drive within a few seconds. That's a good result, and indicative of similar performance on larger devices – assuming optimum conditions.

We especially enjoyed the "preview" feature, which allows users to examine files before copying them to a new location. This is important as the "Recovery Vault" doesn't always give files their original file name. Sometimes fragments of the same file are recovered and listed as multiple files. 

Users' lives are made easier by the fact that detected files are categorized into types i.e. Pictures, Video, Audio, Documents, Archives and other. If Disk Drill detects a missing partition (as was the case during our tests), it will list this too.

If you do choose to recover files, Disk Drill's simple wizard asks you the location to copy them and even lets you create a brand new folder for the purpose. 

Disk Drill 7

(Image credit: Future)

Disk Drill: Test results

Disk Drill's website cautions that the software can't recovery all types of files under all circumstances. The version we used also doesn't have advanced recovery tools such as specialist algorithms. Still we were eager to see what the 'Free' version could do for us:

Test Round # 1 (Recover deleted files)

At first launch, Disk Drill detected our virtual drive whose files had recently been deleted. When we chose to try data recovery, it found 82 files in total. The helpful Recovery Wizard categorised these into files recovered from the partition and the drive itself.

When we restored the files to a folder on the C drive we found that all of the 25 original files were intact and opened without issue. The remaining files were either duplicates or system files. 

Test Round # 2 (Recover deleted files from a formatted drive)

When we tried to recover files from a drive that had been deleted and formatted, Disk Drill listed 32 as recoverable, these included the original 25 and some system files. The filenames of the audio FLAC files were missing but they played straight away in VLC. 

Test Round # 3 (Recover files from a corrupted drive)

Although Windows didn't mount the damaged partition of the virtual drive, when we launched Disk Drill it automatically detected it and even showed a message proudly proclaiming, "Woohoo! Lost partitions found."

Upon clicking on the lost partition, we were able to recover 82 files. Just as for the drive where the data had been deleted from the Recycle Bin, these were a mixture of the original data, duplicates and system files.

For the final round of tests we ran up against the 500MB limit for data recovery, so made use of Disk Drill's handy preview feature to see the files instead. Preview not only supports viewing images and playing back audio : you can also view the hex code for recovered files to check if they're worth saving. 

Disk Drill: Support

Disk Drill is easy to use and it's fast. But what happens when you run into problems?

To help you out, a comprehensive selection of tutorials is provided on the website, covering everything from recovering data from specific device types, platforms, and file types. If these documents don't solve your problem, the detailed Lost file recovery university (Disk Drill's knowledge base) almost certainly will.

Support

You can contact support by filling out a form or through live chat (Image credit: CleverFiles)

As readers have seen, we were particularly impressed by the knowledge base suggesting that users try to use their own OS built-in utilities to recover data before buying Disk Drill. The support section also provides balanced reviews of other data recovery tools. We particularly recommend the 'Understanding' section of the Knowledge Base, which contains some tutorials on basic subjects like how to recover just one lost file, as well as providing an overview of all Disk Drill features.

Failing that, a live chat service is available, and you can also get in touch with Disk Drill on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and LinkedIn.

Disk Drill 8

(Image credit: Future)

Disk Drill: Final verdict

Disk Drill for Windows has lived under the shadow of the macOS "original" for quite some time. Based on what we've seen in testing, this seems unfair. Disk Drill's complete collection of features for every imaginable platform and scenario are impressive enough. 

Its ability to effortlessly mount and read a previously unmountable virtual hard drive and to recover at least some data from it within a comparatively small timeframe proves that Disk Drill is a recovery tool that you should be considering. Disk Drill spotted all the deleted test files and recovered them in record time. 

Pricing for the PRO version isn't ideal for home users, sadly, but there are generous discounts for users of existing tools who aren't satisfied with their experience. Students and charities can also benefit from lower prices. 

Pricing aside, Disk Drill is an excellent recovery option for both Windows and macOS.

Elementor website builder review
5:27 am | April 26, 2021

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

Building a website can be a daunting task, especially for those with limited technical knowledge. Luckily, there is a solution to make your life easier: the Elementor website builder. 

This powerful program allows you to create stunning, professional websites in minutes without any coding experience. It's no wonder why Elementor is one of the best website builder platforms on the market today. Let’s explore the tool in detail and review what it has to offer businesses and individuals alike.  

What is Elementor website builder? 

Elementor is a website builder that allows you to create beautiful websites without any coding knowledge. The website builder has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows you to easily move elements around the page, customize text and images, add new sections or blocks, and more. Plus, with Elementor’s vast library of widgets, you can add extra functionality like sliders, Google maps, contact forms, and more with just a few clicks. 

Welcome

Elementor’s welcome page will give you loads of information, but all the action takes place in WordPress’ Dashboard… (Image credit: Elementor)

Features

When designing a website, it’s important to be able to make changes without worrying about breaking something on your live site. That’s why one of my favorite features of Elementor is its staging environment. With the staging environment, you can create and test out new designs without affecting your public-facing site. This feature allowed me to experiment with different designs and made sure everything looks exactly how I wanted it before publishing it on my live site. 

Another feature I appreciate is that Elementor offers SSL encryption and CDN hosting from Cloudflare. This means that all of my data is securely encrypted, protecting both me and my visitors from any malicious attacks. Additionally, the CDN hosting ensures that my site loads quickly, no matter where in the world someone is trying to access it from. 

Elementor also offers some interesting design features like motion effects and loop builder which allow me to create dynamic graphics that move on the page when viewed. These motion effects help capture people’s attention and keep them engaged with my content longer than static images would otherwise allow me to do. Similarly, loop builder enabled me to create seamless loops of video and animation which have helped bring more life and personality into my webpages.                             

I also love the popup builder feature which allowed me easily create popups whenever needed for promotions or special offers. Additionally, Elementor integrates seamlessly with most popular social media platforms so I can easily add sharing buttons to my pages in order to increase reachability across multiple channels at once. Finally, the payment method integration feature makes accepting payments through Stripe or PayPal fast and easy while Google map integration allows visitors to quickly find directions if they are looking for physical store locations associated with my business. 

Elementor editing dashboard

Editing a page using Elementor offers you a very sparse look - at first (Image credit: Elementor)

Elementor tools

One of the first things I loved about Elementor was its excellent collaboration tools. This allowed me to quickly share my work with colleagues, clients, or freelancers so that everyone can stay up-to-date on progress. This feature not only saves time by eliminating the need for manual updates but also keeps all stakeholders informed on any changes that are made. Plus, the collaboration tools are intuitive and easy to use so anyone can contribute. 

The landing page builder tool was especially helpful for me because it allowed me to easily create customized landing pages for my products and services without having to learn any coding language. The drag-and-drop editor was simple enough for me to use right away and gave me full control over every aspect of my page design. Plus, the library of pre-made templates provided plenty of ideas on how I could customize my landing page to make it truly unique while still maintaining a professional look and feel. 

Another great tool was the form builder which allowed me to collect user data easily using customizable forms like polls, surveys, and contact forms, all without having to write any code. 

The drag and drop editor tool allowed me to design web pages with ease and precision within minutes. With just a few clicks, I could add buttons, images, videos, columns & grids, adjust font sizes, choose different colors, add animation effects, insert widgets such as sliders or carousels, customize backgrounds, and create custom menus.  

The image carousel tool was another great addition as this helped liven up my web pages with dynamic slideshows featuring multiple images at once. This tool not only adds visual appeal but also allowed me quickly showcase various products/services within seconds instead of long lists that may put off viewers from sticking around longer (which would be bad for SEO).  

Elementor editor screenshot

(Image credit: Elementor)

Is Elementor easy to use?

Elementor truly lives up to its reputation for being one of the most user-friendly website builders available. 

The drag-and-drop feature makes it a breeze to create entire pages from scratch with no effort at all - all you have to do is select an element from the left sidebar menu, drag it onto your desired location on the page, customize it as needed then click “publish” when you’re done. 

You can also quickly edit existing pages by dragging new elements over to them and making changes until they look exactly how you want them to look.  

Elementor pricing plans

(Image credit: Elementor)

 Pricing: Is Elementor good value for money? 

The basic plan from Elementor is ideal for those just starting out. It offers all the essential features needed to get your website up and running quickly. With this plan, you'll receive 1 hosted WordPress site with 10 GB of storage, 25K monthly visits, 30 GB/mo bandwidth, 14 days of backups, SSL & CDN from Cloudflare, and 1 premium member support. All this comes at a monthly cost of $9.99.

If you're a business owner looking for more advanced features then the business plan may be right for you. This plan includes everything included in the basic plan plus 20 GB of storage, 50K monthly visits, 50 GB/mo bandwidth, 30 days' backups, staging environment access, and two premium member supports - all for a monthly cost of $19.99.   

The Grow plan is priced at $22.99 per month. This plan includes up to three WordPress-hosted websites as well as Elementor Pro website builder features, 25GB storage, 75K monthly visits, 75GB bandwidth, 30 days of backup, SSL & CDN from Cloudflare, premium support with up to four members and a staging environment. 

If you need more than the Grow plan offers or if you have higher traffic needs, then the Scale plan may be the better choice for you. The Scale plan is priced at $49.99 per month. This plan includes up to 10 WordPress-hosted websites as well as all of the features included in the grow plan plus 40GB storage, 100K monthly visits, 100GB bandwidth and premium support with up to six members.

 Interface 

Just like any plugin, Elementor is installed via your WordPress Dashboard. Its interface is clean and easy to figure out. When you create a new page, you’re now given the option to “Open with Elementor”. The traditional WordPress tools are then replaced by Elementor’s.

Front and centre are two main buttons. A dark red + one (‘add a new section’) and a dark grey folder one (‘add a new template’).

These pages are made up of sections, within the sections are columns, and inside those columns are widgets.

Elementor has various widgets, elements, and settings to choose from, and you’re able to choose between a pre-designed page or start building your own. The drag and drop feature of the interface allows you to choose what you want from the left column, then drag over to any section on your web page. 

Templates

Many free templates are available - interspersed within the Pro ones… (Image credit: Elementor)

Do note that you can’t access any of Elementor’s templates, be they for pages or blocks, without setting up an account with them first. However this process is free and easy: all they need from you is your email address and a password.

The number of tools at your disposal is quite impressive, from the basics like alignment, to more advances features such as motion effects, and responsive rules. You can design some truly unique pages.

Elementor comes with over 150 pre-designed SEO friendly pages, which can be extremely helpful if you’re looking for a style that’s quick, professional, and already put together. 40 of these are available in the free version, but they’re not so easy to find as they’re interspersed throughout the list. You can’t really miss the ones that need to be paid for, as they have a ‘Pro’ label top right of their thumbnail, but you have no alternative but to scroll through the list to locate the free ones.

It’s clearer with the widgets: only the Basic 10 are free. As you’d expect, the more interesting ones, such as Accordion, Social Icons, and Menu Anchor, are located in the Pro section, and need a yearly plan to be used.

Regarding templates, it’s also possible to upload some from third party clients to use in Elementor, giving you even more variety if you’re looking for a specific design, but want to use the platform’s drag and drop features.

As you build your page, you’ll notice how useful this drag and drop capability is: want to move a section, column or widget around? Just drag it to its new location. It’s really that simple. Column widths can be altered by dragging them. It’s all very intuitive, and it’s not hard to achieve pixel-level precision.

Security

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is an essential component of any secure website. It is a digital certificate that encrypts the data sent between your server and browser, ensuring that any information entered on your site remains confidential. The Elementor website builder includes an SSL certificate so you can rest knowing that your website is fully protected and secure. 

Another important feature of Elementor’s website builder is malware scanning. Malware refers to malicious software programs such as viruses, worms, Trojans, or ransomware which can be used to gain access to sensitive information or damage a computer system. 

The Elementor website builder provides real-time scanning for malware threats to prevent malicious attacks before they happen. In addition to the immediate protection offered by its scanning service, it also provides a detailed report after every scan along with recommendations on how to address any potential threats found on your site. 

Customer support

If you're an Elementor Pro user, you have access to 24/7 premium support via forms and tickets from a team of experts who are ready to answer any questions or address any issues. 

The Elementor help center provides a wealth of information about using the website builder. This includes extensive documentation that covers topics such as design fundamentals, tips on getting started with Elementor, how-to articles and tutorials, and more - which we found useful when creating our test site.

In addition to Pro support and help center resources, there's also an active community of web creators where you can connect with each other to share tips, ask questions, find inspiration, and get answers from experienced professionals.

 The competition 

Weebly is an all-in-one website builder that makes it easy for anyone to create a professional website without the need for coding or design skills. It features drag-and-drop functionality that allows users to customize their websites with ease, and also includes access to hundreds of free themes and templates. 

Squarespace is another popular website building platform that offers users drag-and-drop customization options. It provides an easy way for people with little or no coding experience to create beautiful websites with ease. Squarespace also provides access to hundreds of free templates and themes, and has an impressive array of ecommerce features that make it easy for businesses to set up online stores. 

Wix is one of the most popular website building platforms on the market today with over 110 million users worldwide. It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes customizing your site easy, as well as access to hundreds of free templates and themes. Wix also includes powerful ecommerce features, such as payment integration and invoicing capabilities, so businesses can easily set up online stores on their sites. 

Is Elementor the right website builder for you?

Elementor is one of the highest-rated website building platforms available, and it’s easy to see why. With its helpful front-end page builder, live editor, and wide variety of pre-designed templates, Elementor is a helpful tool for creating your own professional website. The front-end builder approach makes it easy to see the changes you’re making to your website as you edit, rather than blindly working your way through WordPress and hoping for the best, making even the free option an ideal partner for anyone looking to build a site.

NordLocker cloud storage review
3:17 am | April 14, 2021

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

Right from the start, NordLocker offers a reliable, secure, and feature-rich cloud storage platform. But then, it’s from the developers behind the excellent NordVPN and NordPass, so there’s a certain level of expectation here - and we think it might compete with the best cloud storage services.  

NordLocker: Plans & pricing 

NordLocker is available through a freemium pricing model. Like all the best free cloud storage solutions, you can download the app and encrypt files locally without paying anything. You get 3GB, and your files are encrypted and stored on the specific device in use. 

Users wanting extra storage space will need to upgrade to either a Personal or Business plan. 

The Personal plan offers 500GB for $7.99 a month or $35.88 for the first year. This works out at $2.99 per month.  

A Personal Plus 2TB plan costs $19.99 a month or $83.88 for the first year. Paying annually in this case would save you $156. 

For businesses, there's a 500GB plan ($8.99 a month / $215.76 a year), a 2TB plan ($14.99 a month / $359.76 a year), or the option to create a custom plan. 

Although we’re disappointed not to see any lifetime cloud storage deals, it’s otherwise all very straightforward and simple to follow. But given the company’s range of other tools, we would like deeper integration between its products. NordVPN, for example, costs at least $12.99 a month in its most basic form - subscribers can use NordLocker, but only its free 3GB plan. Clearly some kind of bundle deal is in order here.  

NordLocker cloud storage showing an empty locker on start up

(Image credit: Nord Security)

NordLocker: Interface & experience 

This category is one in which NordLocker really shines. We’ve reviewed loads of cloud storage platforms, and this app is easily one of the simplest and slickest to use. 

On both Windows 11 and macOS, drag-and-drop functionality made it easy to upload, download, and organize files. Heavy use of the macOS app revealed no glitches. The app was always responsive. 

In terms of interface, we’re confident in labeling it one of the top cloud storage platforms. 

We previously criticized the service for a lack of mobile support. That’s all changed, with Android and iOS apps that we found to be just as easy to use as the browser portal.

It’s a bit of a funny one, though. Rather than a dedicated mobile app, the app houses a Safari-based browser (on our iPad test device) which redirects to the NordLocker browser portal. That said, it’s easy enough to navigate and has worked fine for us. It’s a shame that it doesn’t integrate with the native file management system (Files for iPadOS), which most of its rivals do, including Dropbox and Google Drive.

For macOS users with an Apple Silicon chip (M1 or newer), the setup process for the desktop client involves some fiddling around with the security setup of your computer. To the most humble user, this can feel particularly daunting, and while there are plenty of other similar tools that require the same setup process, there are others that don’t. 

NordLocker: Features 

NordLocker strikes a great balance between simplicity and breadth of features. The platform is defiantly easy to use, and it isn’t overwhelmed by features you’ll never use. 

Although NordLocker is primarily a cloud storage platform, local storage of encrypted files is possible. This local encryption means files are encrypted but remain stored on your device’s hard drive. So, if a hacker accessed your computer or mobile device, they wouldn’t be able to decrypt or access data encrypted with NordLocker. It’s a perk that may appeal to some business and personal users However, this data cannot be accessed from any other device. 

NordLocker’s premium plans enable files to be uploaded to Nord Security's cloud servers, meaning files are both encrypted and available from any device that has NordLocker installed on it. 

This flexibility is likely to appeal to business leaders who want to encrypt data but keep it close at hand (on a local server). This reduces the data’s exposure to data security breaches elsewhere (such as on Nord Security’s servers).

This feature enables users to grant file or folder access to friends, family, or colleagues while maintaining end-to-end encryption. From directly within the NordLocker app, users can invite users to access a folder via their email address. The only downside is that the invitee will need a free NordLocker account before accessing the files. However, if your entire office is using NordLocker, file sharing is seamless and instant, making it easy to work effectively in total security.

NordLocker cloud storage showing a file sync in the context menu

(Image credit: Nord Security)

Nordlocker: Our tests 

We ran three core tests on NordLocker, measuring sync speed, file recovery and versioning. Our tests were conducted on a Windows 11 virtual machine running the NordLocker desktop client. The VM was connected to the internet via fiber broadband via VPN server, which in our speed tests consistently showed an average upload speed of 70 Mbps  

  • Test 1 - Sync speed

In our original testing in 2022, we found that the process of encrypting files was extremely quick. Time and time again, our 1GB test file was encrypted comfortably under 30 seconds. That said, an average upload speed of just over eight minutes for 1GB seems reasonable compared with other services we’ve used. 

For our latest tests, we copied a 650 MB folder into the application directory and measured how quickly the desktop client was able to sync the files to the cloud. The folder contained 22 files including MP3s, images, metadata files and a PDF. 

And we found it was similarly quick and efficient. We chose Import Folder from within the app to begin uploading our test files. NordLocker offered us the choice between creating an encrypted copy of the folder both here and in the cloud or deleting the original and keeping only the encrypted files.

As in our previous test, the client app didn't display the upload progress of individual files but there is a readout at the bottom left that displays Syncing, as well as the amount of space used. We could also click into the folder to see green checkmarks against those files that had been successfully uploaded. The data uploaded in just under 100 seconds, which is exactly right given our connection upload speed.

Other cloud storage solutions also have better control to throttle things like bandwidth and CPU usage. There’s nothing like that here, but features we previously wanted have been added so it’s possible that something like this may come eventually.

  • Test 2 - File recovery

In this test we simply deleted the folder from the application directory, removing it from the device. We then checked to see if the files had been removed from the cloud drive and if it was possible to recover them. 

Given that we'd chosen to create an encrypted copy of our test files, we right-clicked and chose to delete this from within the NordLocker client app. The app displayed a warning confirmation saying that the files would be permanently deleted. 

This turned out to be the case as we couldn't find any Trash option neither in the app nor in the NordLocker Cloud Control Panel online. This means the data couldn't be recovered. 

Still, given that NordLocker is primarily designed for security, this could be seen as a good thing given that even if someone were to try to recover deleted data from your device it would still be encrypted. This may also be why NordLocker doesn't offer a Secure Delete option to overwrite data, as any fragments recovered would be indecipherable without the Master Key. 

  • Test 3 - Versioning

FIle versioning is offered by many top cloud providers - it’s a way to roll-back changes to a file to a previous version. 

Given that it wasn't possible to recover deleted files we weren't optimistic that NordLocker would store multiple versions of files in the cloud. Sure enough, when we synced the document and made changes, we couldn't find any option to restore a previous version. Of course there's no reason why you couldn't store files from a program that does support this feature in a NordLocker 'locker'.

NordLocker cloud storage displaying the TechRadar test folder ready for action

(Image credit: Nord Security)

NordLocker: Support 

The NordLocker Help Center provides answers to many FAQs, but doesn’t offer much technical or advanced support. If users need tailored support, they can submit an online help request. Users can also send an email directly to the support team (we received a reply within 24 hours). Phone support options don’t appear to be available.  

NordLocker: Security 

NordLocker uses a zero-knowledge encryption system, also referred to as end-to-end encryption. When you first set up your NordLocker account, you chose both a login password and a Master Password. The latter of which is used to encrypt/decrypt your data. You're also asked to save a special 'Recovery Key' in case you forget the password. 

In theory this means no one, not even Nord Security employees, can decrypt your stored files. Among the best cloud storage providers, this is not a widely available feature, thereby earning NordLocker a significant boost in our rating of the service. 

As the software is proprietary instead of open source, there's no way to examine the code used to develop NordLocker to check if this 'zero knowledge' encryption has been set up properly. 

But such is Nord Security’s confidence in its encryption protocols that in 2022 they offered $10,000 to anyone who could break into an encrypted locker, which they offered for download. The bounty was withdrawn after 350 days. NordLocker claims the vault was downloaded over 700 times. So far, no one has managed to break into it. As NordVPN pointed out in their blog, this bounty was offered before NordLocker included cloud storage features. 

The service also offers multi-factor authentication, letting you add an extra layer of protection against people trying to gain access to your account.

NordLocker cloud storage browser showing  a locker

(Image credit: Nord Security)

NordLocker: Alternatives 

NordLocker is competing against many top-quality cloud storage platforms, many with decades of experience and extensive market share. Platforms like Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Apple iCloud will be hard to displace. 

However, NordLocker’s zero-knowledge encryption framework surpasses that of both Dropbox and iCloud, and arguably even OneDrive, where end-to-end encryption is limited to the Vault sub-folder. 

The greatest thing NordLocker has going for its security claims is that it's developed by NordVPN - one of the most popular providers who are dedicated to protecting people's privacy. This gives them a very strong interest in making sure none of their products are ever compromised. 

When it comes to storage capacity, however, NordLocker struggles. Competitors such as IDrive and pCloud both provide end-to-end encryption as well as high-capacity plans that far surpass the 500 GB offered in NordLocker’s premium plan. 

NordLocker: Verdict 

NordLocker, despite its release just a few years ago, is on its way to becoming one of our favorite cloud storage platforms. It is highly secure and affordable, and provides a user experience that is close to best-in-class. 

If the creators were to improve their iOS and Android apps, we think it could appeal to even more users and give it a lot more utility. We also think if more emphasis was placed on productivity like online collaboration and recovery of deleted/edited files, NordLocker could become a much more serious contender. 

But overall, building on the success of one of the best VPN and best password manager tools, we think NordLocker has huge potential to solidify its position in the cloud storage market. 

Web.com website builder review
9:21 pm | April 10, 2021

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

With nearly two decades of catering to businesses and professionals, Web.com is well versed in the art of getting you online, and noticed. Its website builder service includes hosting space, lucrative introductory offers on essentials such as domain name, daily automatic backups, and more have helped it become one of the most trusted hosting companies.

With the help of its incredibly intuitive UI, you can create stylish, modern pages in minutes with just a few clicks. The builder also offers mobile-friendly designs and ready-made templates to make building a website easier.

Unlike many other hosting companies that provide a range of plans for different hosting solutions such as shared, VPS or dedicated servers, Web.com only provides shared servers. On offer are two shared hosting plans aimed at novices and SMB’s and two plans for those looking to create an ecommerce platform.

With so many features promised by the company, one might wonder if Web.com is worth it. In this review, I'll have an in-depth look at this website builder's features and performance to help you decide if it's the right pick for you or not.

Features

The first feature that caught my attention was the DIY website builder. It allowed me to quickly and easily create my own website without any coding or design experience whatsoever! The intuitive drag-and-drop editor made it simple for me to customize my site with different page elements such as text, images, videos, and more. Plus, the pre-made templates were incredibly helpful in getting me started on the right foot. 

Another great feature of Web.com is its ability to register custom domains as well as transfer existing domains from other registrars. This allowed me to choose a domain name that was unique and memorable while still being easy enough for customers to remember when they search for my business online. Plus, transferring existing domains was fast and easy thanks to the automated process provided by Web.com. 

Having reliable web hosting is essential if you want your website to stay up and running all the time, that’s why Web.com offers high-performance hosting solutions that are both secure and reliable at an affordable price point. 

Web.com also provides access to Google Workspace which allows you to access popular Google products like Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc., all under one roof - making it easier than ever before for businesses like mine to stay connected with clients and colleagues while working remotely or on-the-go. It also offers business email services so you can create professional email addresses using your custom domain name which helps make your brand look more legitimate in the eyes of potential customers or partners!  

It can happen in an instant - a power outage or server error can wipe away hours of work in just seconds. That’s why one of my favorite features of Web.com is its automatic website backup feature. With this feature, I don’t have to worry about losing any information because all changes are automatically backed up daily, so even if something unexpected happens, my hard work won't be lost forever. 

Web.com also offers custom website design services so I can create exactly what I want while still being able to use the tools and templates provided by the platform. Plus, with its ecommerce website design features, setting up an online store has never been easier. Whether I'm selling physical products or digital downloads, the easy-to-use tools make adding items and tracking orders simple and efficient.

Having a unique WordPress theme for your site is key to creating a memorable brand experience for your customers, which is why Web.com offers hundreds of customizable WordPress themes perfect for any business or personal blog. Plus, it also provides search engine optimization (SEO) features so that my content will always show up at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). This helps attract more visitors to my site and increases my traffic over time. 

Last but certainly not least is Web.com’s pay-per-click advertising service which allows me to reach more potential customers by targeting specific keywords related to my product or service via Google Ads or Bing Ads campaigns. 

Themes and templates Web.com offers

(Image credit: Web.com)

Tools

The first tool I tried out was the business name generator tool. This is a great way to come up with a catchy, memorable name for my business that will help me stand out from the competition. It's easy to use; all you have to do is enter some keywords related to your business and it will generate several potential names for you. You can also customize your search by setting parameters such as length and whether or not you want the name to include a keyword related to your product or service. I was also quite impressed with the platform’s WHOIS lookup tool, which allowed me to easily check if domains were available or not, as well as find out information about who owns them and when they expire. 

The Business listing tool is another great inclusion in Web.com's builder tools. This feature allowed me to create profiles for my website on popular business listing sites like Yelp and Google My Business so that customers can easily find my website online. It also allowed me to track customer reviews so that I can get feedback on how well my website business is performing and make adjustments accordingly if necessary. Also, I found the Appointment scheduler very helpful in managing bookings and appointments without any additional hassle or cost. 

I was especially pleased with the stock images & videos tool since it made finding high-quality images and videos easy, without having to pay for expensive stock photos or footage. Another great thing was the connected social media tool that allowed me to add links to all of my social media channels on my website quickly and easily. With this tool, I could also track how many people visited my website from each one of these channels separately. 

Finally, its contact & maps tool allowed me to add contact information along with a map showing where my business is located on my website in just a few clicks; this way customers can quickly get in touch with me or find directions to visit my store if needed. Additionally, Web.com also had options for shipping software, inventory & stock tools that helped me manage these aspects of running a website right from within the platform as well. 

Getting started

Having bought your first month and hooked up your account to a domain name, the next stage is to choose the template you’d like to work with. Even though this is a new service, there are already 125 to choose from, all broken down by categories such as “Business”, “Services”, “Health”, and “Portfolio”, among others. ‘Blank’ is also available should you prefer to start from scratch.

Each template is then further divided based on whether you need to create a single or multi-page website.

Once you’ve chosen your template, you’re then introduced to the website builder proper, with a few handy tool tips. You have the option of switching between Desktop, Tablet and Mobile thanks to icons at the top of the page, to see what your creation looks like on various devices.

Blocks on Web.com's dashboard

(Image credit: Web.com)

The whole concept of web.com’s website creation process is centred around dragging and dropping ‘features’ or ‘blocks’. The Features’ titles are pretty self explanatory: Heading, Text, Button, Icon, Slider, etc. Just drag them onto the page, as the right section turns red, release the mouse button to insert that feature there.

Blocks behave in the same way, but come more pre-assembled, with placeholder text and images in various location. This is a great and easy way to add what could be seen as more complex parts of a website - like a navigation menu - in seconds. It’s also great to quickly generate sections which you can easily customise, such as Testimonials, a Call to Action, Galleries, etc. 

Web.com website builder price plans

(Image credit: Web.com)

Pricing

I started with the Website Essentials plan, which costs $1.95/mo and renews at $141.99 when billed monthly. This plan came with a DIY website builder and blog as well as 150+ mobile-optimized templates, thousands of stock images, website analytics, and professional email support. In addition to all this, it also offers customer support through email, phone calls, and chat support if you ever get stuck or have any questions. The website essentials plan was great for getting started on the Web.com platform. The DIY website builder was incredibly easy to use and it allowed me to customize my site with just a few clicks of the mouse. 

Once I had created my site using the website essentials plan, I wanted to take it one step further so I upgraded to the website and marketing plan for $3.95/mo (renewing at $21.99/mo). This plan includes all of the features offered in the website essentials plan plus logo builder tools and powerful SEO tools that help improve my search engine rankings and visibility online. These additional features are especially helpful for businesses looking to increase their online presence and reach more customers. 

The online store plan starts at $9.95/mo but will renew at $29.99/mo after the initial purchase period ends. This plan includes a mobile-responsive online store as well as unlimited products and categories so that customers can quickly find what they are looking for on your site. Additionally, you will have access to secure online payment options and real-time shipping rates – all essential components of any successful online store. This plan also includes custom discount codes, appointment scheduling, and an abandoned cart saver feature that is designed to save lost sales due to shoppers abandoning their carts before checking out. Finally, you’ll be able to take advantage of social selling features to help promote your products on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. 

The online marketplaces plan costs $24.95/mo and goes for $44.99/mo when you renew. In addition to all the features included in the ecommerce essentials plan, this plan also includes unlimited inventory locations so that you can track multiple stock levels across different stores or warehouses with ease, marketplace & social settings which allow customers to share product reviews and ratings, automated sales tax calculations, and powerful ecommerce reports that provide detailed insights into customers habits and buying behavior patterns so that you can optimize your marketing efforts accordingly. 

Web.com also recently introduced the QUICKSTART web design special offer for business owners who want an easy and effective way to get online.

QUICKSTART is the perfect solution for anyone who needs a website designed and built quickly. The entire process takes as little as 7 days, so you can have your very own professional website up and running in no time. This plan costs $199 and comes with you a custom domain name, hosting setup, and easy-to-use software so you can start building your site right away. Plus, Web.com's experienced designers are on hand to help customize the look of your site according to your specifications. And should any problems arise along the way, there is always someone available to assist with technical support 24/7. QUICKSTART also comes with added benefits such as SEO optimization tools that guarantee higher visibility online and Google Analytics integration so you can track how people are interacting with your site in real-time. 

Security

SSL stands for secure socket layer and is an encryption technology that helps protect your data from being intercepted and stolen by hackers or cyber criminals. It also helps verify your website's identity and authenticity, which is important for establishing trust with customers. Web.com offers SSL certificates for every website on its platform making sure that websites are secure and data are encrypted. 

Another way that Web.com helps me keep my website safe is by providing comprehensive security monitoring services that scan incoming web traffic for malicious activity 24/7. The service also provides regular updates on the status of my site security so that I can stay informed about any potential threats or issues as they arise. Additionally, when there are issues identified, the team at Web.com is always available to help me address them quickly and efficiently so I don’t have to worry about losing any critical data or information due to cyberattacks or other security threats.  

Web.com also provides automatic daily backups of my entire website so that if something goes wrong, all of my content is safely stored away offsite and can be restored quickly without any loss of data or functionality.  

Screenshot of a blog on Web.com

(Image credit: Web.com)

Blogging

You’d be forgiven for thinking web.com doesn’t support blogging, but that’s because this feature is hidden by default - possibly because it’s still in beta. To reveal it, go to Settings in the Sidebar, select Blog and click on ‘Enable Blog’. A new Blog icon will then appear in the sidebar and a ‘Blog’ page will have been added to your site (which you’re free to rename of course).

Blogging itself is pretty straightforward. You add a title, write your piece, and pepper it with images. I can add an image above or below a section of text, but can’t apparently get the text to wrap around the image.

We also couldn’t find a way to schedule a post’s publication, add a featured image, or even tags. Although simple and trouble-free, blogging with web.com feels pretty bare bones and definitely earns its ‘beta’ monicker.

Screenshot of Web.com ecommerce dashboard with items of clothing and prices below

(Image credit: Web.com)

ecommerce

Web.com now has a more advanced ecommerce website builder platform with more layout designs for product and category listing pages. There are more options for customization on the product details pages within the store.

The product is really easy to use and needs no technical skills. Web.com offers a single place where you can manage all the day-to-day tasks of running an online business with its ecommerce software. 

On testing out the ecommerce platform, I was able to list products for sale on my test website and on marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Bonanza, and Google, managing all customer orders in one place. You can also manage fulfillment, product listing updates, restocking, reporting and more. 

Web.com also offers 24/7 automated inventory sync technology - your product quantities will show accurately everywhere they sell. You can also connect to suppliers via Web.com’s feed management system to automatically sync product data, order data and tracking details when suppliers fulfills an order. 

The SEO tool integrated in Web.com’s ecommerce product offers monthly health checks, tracks keyword rankings, and creates a custom action plan to improve site visibility. Payment gateways offered include Paypal, Stripe and Web.com also offer the option for your customers to pay by cash on delivery.

Screenshot of a travel blog on Web.com dashboard with support function the bottom right

(Image credit: Web.com)

Support

The first thing that impressed me was the availability of customer support options. Web.com offers a wide range of ways to get in touch with its team, including an online chat feature, phone support, and email support. This was great because it meant I could reach out at any time of the day or night if I had an issue or question related to my website build. 

Another great thing about its customer support is the knowledge base articles. These resources are incredibly helpful, especially for newbies who don't know much about building websites from scratch. There are step-by-step tutorials for setting up your account, as well as more general advice on topics such as SEO optimization and social media marketing. 

Web.com website builder alternatives 

WordPress.com is one of the most popular website building tools in the world today, and for good reason. It's easy to use and completely customizable, making it ideal for businesses of all sizes and types. The platform also comes with plenty of features, including customizable themes and plugins that can help you create an effective and attractive website in no time at all. 

Wix is another great alternative to Web.com website builder if you are looking for something that's easy to use while still providing plenty of features and customization options. With Wix, you can create a professional-looking site without any coding knowledge or technical skills at all—all you need is a drag-and-drop interface and a few clicks of the mouse. 

Squarespace is another excellent alternative to Web.com if you want something that's both powerful and easy to use at the same time. Squarespace lets users customize their websites quickly and easily with its intuitive drag-and-drop editor as well as dozens of templates designed specifically for businesses in mind.  

Is Web.com’s website builder right for you? 

I found web.com to be a very good website builder. Its features and blocks allow you to create a unique and visually interesting page (or series of pages) in minutes. Beefing up the blogging, and offer bulk product imports for the online store, would make it even better. It’s a simple, and affordable solution.

Web.com website builder FAQ 

How do I create a website on Web.com?

Creating a website on Web.com is easy and straightforward. All you need to do is sign up for an account, select the type of website you want to create (such as an e-commerce store or portfolio site), and then customize it with your own design elements and content. 

You can even add features like contact forms, galleries, blogs, and more. Once you’re happy with the design of your site, click “Publish” and your new website will be live for everyone to see.

Does Web.com offer a free trial?

Unfortunately, Web.com does not offer a free trial of its website builder service at this time. However, they do offer several different pricing plans to suit any budget, so if you have some money saved up you can try out its service without breaking the bank.  

Can I create a web page with Web.com?

Yes. With Web.com’s easy-to-use tools, you can create a basic web page in no time at all - no coding experience required.