Alex Grant

Author Archives: Alex Grant

How to Stream the 2019 Rugby World Cup with a VPN

How to Stream the 2019 Rugby World Cup Online

Top 3 VPNs

bestvpn choice badge
  • check
    Fastest and most reliable VPN
  • check
    User-friendly
  • check
    148 server locations
  • check
    24/7 customer support
  • check
    Good speeds
  • check
    Intuitive software
  • check
    Accepts Bitcoin
pure vpn desktop
  • check
    Awesome add-ons
  • check
    Easy to use
  • check
    Affordable

Rugby fans take note: the 2019 Rugby World Cup is already underway. Held every four years, this year’s tournament witnesses 20 teams from five continents battling it out for the Webb Ellis Cup (the trophy awarded to the winning team) in host country Tokyo.

While matches began September 20th, the tournament continues until November 2nd, so there’s still plenty of hard-hitting rugby action remaining to catch on TV.  The impressive New Zealand All Blacks, who won the past two Rugby World Cups in 2011 and 2015, are the early favorite to win it all again this year, but great teams like England and South Africa will pose serious competition.

Where to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Owing to its status as the biggest international rugby event, the 2019 Rugby World Cup can be found on TV networks around the world. The following networks are where you can catch matches in their respective countries:

  • USA: NBC Sports
  • Canada: TSN
  • UK: ITV
  • Ireland: EIR Sports
  • Australia: Fox Sports, Network Ten
  • South Africa: SuperSport
  • New Zealand: Spark Sport
  • France: TF1
  • Germany: Ran
  • Japan: Nippon TV, NHK, J SPORTS

Why use a VPN to stream the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Despite the fact that the Cup is airing on networks across the world, you still might find yourself unable to catch the matches live. Many of the networks require expensive cable packages, and for American expats living abroad temporarily, a long term lock-in cable contract to watch a six-week long event just isn’t a viable option.

Luckily there’s a solution for Americans outside of their country who can’t find the Rugby World Cup on TV where they are, or would just prefer to view their home country’s coverage of the event. The free NBC Sports app is airing many of the matches and can be downloaded on Android, iOS, Samsung TVs, streaming devices and other platforms. Unfortunately, due to legal restrictions, the app can only be used within the United States. However, there’s a simple workaround and it requires using a VPN.

A VPN is a handy tool that routes your internet connection through one of many proxy servers around the world, making it seem as if you are connecting from that country and allowing you to use services exclusively available in that nation. By logging on to a US server through your VPN, you can stream Rugby World Cup matches on the NBC Sports app from anywhere in the world.

Step-by-step guide to streaming the Rugby World Cup with a VPN

  1. Subscribe to a good VPN with a wide selection of U.S. servers (Ivacy is offering 20% off all plans except their monthly plan with promo code RWC20).
  2. Download and install the VPN client on the device you stream sports on. 
  3. Connect to a U.S. server on your chosen streaming device.
  4. Install the NBC Sports app.
  5. When match time comes, check that you are still connected to a US server via the VPN client on your chosen streaming device and enter the NBC Sports app.
  6. Enjoy 2019 Rugby World Cup matches from wherever you are in the world.

Supported devices

  • VPNs are compatible with just about any device able to connect to the internet, including iOS and Android phones/tablets, digital streaming devices, smart TVs, and video game consoles. Check each VPN’s list of supported devices to find one that supports your favorite platforms.  
  • The NBC Sport App is available for iOS devices, Android devices through the Google Play app, laptops, digital streaming devices, ChromeCast, Xbox, and Samsung TVs. Scope the list here.

The top five VPNs for streaming the Rugby World Cup

1. Ivacy VPN

Now offering 20% off all plans except their monthly plan with promo code RWC20.

  • 1000+ Servers in over 100 countries, including 15 servers in the US.
  • High-end 256-bit data encryption
  • No bandwidth restrictions
  • Advanced IPsec & IKEV protocols 
  • 5 simultaneous connections with one 
  • Automatic internet kill switch
  • Option to pay with card, Paypal, Alipay, and BitPay
  • Only $3.33 a month with a one year subscription, or $1.33 a month if you buy five years

2. PureVPN

  • 2000+ servers in 140 countries, hundreds spread around 13 US locations
  • Great for 4K streaming 
  • Five simultaneous connections 
  • No bandwidth or download limits
  • Split tunneling feature
  • No activity logging
  • Kill switch feature
  • 31-day money back guarantee
  • $3.33 a month with the purchase of a 2-year plan

3. ExpressVPN

  • Over 3000 servers in 160 locations cities in 94 countries, with 18 U.S. locations
  • High-end 256-bit data encryption
  • No bandwidth restrictions
  • No connection or activity logs
  • Works great with Netflix and other streaming services
  • Excellent 24-7 live online customer support
  • The best VPN for use in China
  • $8.32 a month with a one-year subscription purchase

4. Cyberghost

  • Over 6000 servers in 89 countries, with over 1300 in the U.S.
  • 7 simultaneous connections with a subscription
  • Over 15 years in the business
  • 256-bit AES data encryption
  • No bandwidth restrictions
  • Kill switch feature
  • DNS and IP leak protection
  • $2.99 a month if you buy the 3-year plan

5. NordVPN

  • Over 5600 located in 60  countries, with 1800+ in the U.S. 
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Doesn’t keep activity logs
  • 24/7 customer service on website
  • Great security features like an internet kill switch and end-to-end encryption
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Only $3.49 a month with the purchase of a 3-year plan

A Parent’s Guide to Mobile Security for Kids

A Parent’s Guide to Mobile Security for Kids

Our world is more connected than ever, and as a parent, this presents you with some unique challenges and opportunities. How do you embrace modern technology and all of the conveniences it offers, while also ensuring that your children are safe online when using their mobile devices? This is an issue that parents from previous generations have never had to grapple with. As such, there's unfortunately no textbook you can sign out at your local library with proven parenting methods when it comes to smartphone security for kids.

With that said, you aren’t in this alone. There are a number of best practices and resources that you can use to ensure that your children remain safe online when using their iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. With the right combination of education at home and third-party tools to assist you, you can make a huge difference in the number of risks and type of risks your child could face. Most importantly, you can ensure they make smart decisions for themselves online when you aren’t there to supervise.

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably come to conclusion that simply preventing your children from using mobile devices is not the solution. Kids are using tablets and laptops in their classrooms, as well as getting smartphones for communication at younger and younger ages. Instead of banning smartphones and other mobile devices in your home, it’s important to be prepared to tackle the issue of mobile security head on. This guide has been designed to provide you with all the  information, tools, and advice you'll need so that you're up for the task.

The growth of smartphone ownership amongst children

These days, smartphone ownership among working adults is incredibly high. But the fastest growing demographic for smartphone ownership isn’t even able to vote or buy a drink at a bar. The numbers when it comes to smartphone ownership amongst youth are growing rapidly as more and more families see the value in having these devices for things like texting and location tracking. Parents can stay connected with kids, and kids can use the powerful tools in their smartphone to help manage their increasingly busy lives between school, sports, and other extracurricular activities. A recent study found that 95% of teens regularly use Android phones and iPhones, which means that they either own their own phone or at least have access to one they can borrow. This means that teens are constantly connected to the world through a device in their hands.

Perhaps even more surprising for some is the number of preteens who also have their own smartphones. Nearly half of kids between 10 and 12 year-old have a smartphone of their own. While to some parents, this may seem far too young, it appears that half of all families in the United States feel differently.

Unfortunately, there’s a stark difference between the risks adults face online, and those that children are subjected to. Sure, some online risks affect everyone, regardless of age, like identity theft. Children, however, also face the prospect of online predators, explicit content, inappropriate content, and an epidemic of cyber bullying. With the smartphone ownership numbers amongst younger children increasing, it’s time to consider the unique situations that they may face when they access the world through their smartphone.

What are the greatest risks for kids and teenagers using smartphones?

The Internet is seemingly endless, and smartphones are a portal to a world with virtually unlimited content to consume. And of course, not all of the content and interaction and child may encounter online is positive. 

The obvious concern when it comes to allowing young people online is the number of predators that may seek to build inappropriate relationships with them, including sharing personal information, sending photos, and potentially even meeting in real life. Staying ahead of this problem has proven to be difficult for some parents and authorities as new apps or social networking platforms are introduced all the time. While most adults may simply interact on a handful of popular, well-known social media platforms, kids are often at the cutting edge of the newest social media apps, which can make it hard to keep up with all the changes. It’s important to be aware of the realities of online interactions, however. While stories of online predators often get media attention, they are thankfully becoming less and less frequent as both parents and children educate themselves about online interactions. In fact, unwanted sexual solicitations online have declined over 50% in recent years. While being aware of strangers is important, don't just focus all of your efforts on this one specific danger associated with smartphone use. Have a wide-ranging conversation with your child regarding online safety instead.

Online bullying is a growing concern around the world. As children get smartphones of their own, it makes it easy for bullies to reach out to their victims at all hours of the day. This has lead to an increase in the number of children reporting being bullied online, with 20% of kids saying they have experienced this modern form of bullying that extends well beyond just the schoolyard. Sadly, being bullied by classmates online is far more common than being approached by a stranger online. Worst of all, the effects of online bullying can be devastating, since many children will develop depression, experience other personality changes, and even resort to self-harm in some cases. 

It can also be just as difficult to find out that your child is participating in bullying. This is another danger with owning a smartphone as many children, who were previously not the type to be a bully, find themselves wrapped up in a group mentality that can quickly escalate. Just like being bullied, becoming a bully can have serious social consequences, as some will also develop depression and long-term mood changes that can affect their grades in school, and even their willingness to stay in school. 

Another risk of mobile use in kids and teens is smartphone addiction. This is a growing problem that has not received a lot of attention until recently, as children with developing brains have had more and more access to mobile devices. Research has shown that a majority of teens log a ton of screen time.  Many check their phones on an hourly basis, feel pressure to respond to messages immediately, and 24% of teens report being online almost constantly. The bright colors of the smartphone display, the blue light it emits, and the instant gratification of receiving messages and/or likes can have severe consequences. Some kids may feel sadness when away from their phone, their attention may drift away from important tasks like focusing in class, and using their phone late at night can affect their sleep cycles.  As a parent, setting time limits on cell phone use is critical.  

Finally, privacy is always a major concern when talking about mobile phones. Every Apple and Google app, as well as every service, has some sort of privacy policy that requires information sharing from users. For people under the age of 18, this data can identify them to companies and third-parties. What’s more, your child may never be able to remove their data from these services, and there's no telling how securely the data is being stored. We've seen countless information breaches in recent years, and many people who have had their data stolen are underage smartphone users who didn’t fully consider the consequences of sharing their personal information at the time.

What are the positives of kids owning a smartphone?

Of course, not everything is doom and gloom when it comes to cellphones, and there are many positive aspects to owning a smartphone.  For example, they can help your kids organize their life, stay connected, and learn about the world. And depending on age, they can also help them become more independent and manage their schedule between classes, sports, volunteering, and work.

As children get older, they begin to take on more and more responsibility in their lives. You may have already noticed this already depending on how old your children are. First, they begin walking home from school instead of going to an after-school care program. Then, they may take on extracurricular activities like sports or clubs where they spend additional time at school. They may even start visiting friend’s homes and/or get a part time job.  For peace of mind on your part, location services can be enabled on their phones so that you can keep tabs on where they are at all times, which helps to ensure their safety.

There are also many schools moving towards an online infrastructure when it comes to sharing assignments, grades, and messages from teachers. Students can use their smartphones to easily check up on upcoming assignments, submit their completed assignments, and even communicate with their teachers or classmates. As more schools move to this model and expand the services they offer online, having some sort of mobile device may be an essential thing for students to be able to make the most of the online services available to them.

A smartphone is also a way for teens to show their own responsibility and independence. They may have owning a smartphone near the top of their list of savings goals when they begin their own job. Having a smartphone can be something for teens to work toward and give them an important sense of accomplishment. If they have a service plan, it can be a great way to teach the responsibility of paying a monthly bill on time and keep them focused on keeping up with their responsibilities and work schedule.

What laws protect children online?

Many parents assume there are laws to help keep their kids safe online. If you were hoping that this would be the case, you may be in for some shock. The United States and many countries around the world have laws regarding children online but many of them are woefully outdated and insufficient for the modern realities of the online world.

In the United States, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is in place to outline the rules around collecting and sharing data of minors. Apps and services that operate in the United States must be compliant with COPPA or face fines. The regulations require parents of minors to be able to provide consent before their children sign up for online services and also outlines how consent must be verified. This is a good step but still exposes children to the challenges that come with lengthy and confusing privacy statements that many parents don’t even understand themselves. COPPA also lays out rules for marketing to minors which is important for young people who may be more easily swayed or influenced by online marketing. 

In the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes things a little further than COPPA. This new regulation was passed in 2018 and requires parents of kids under 16 to be able to provide consent before their child signs up for online services. GDPR also has rules for all online users that give them a lot more control over their own data.

However, in the case of both GDPR and COPPA, regulations only go so far in actually protecting children from many concerns like bullying, online predators, and smartphone addiction. Privacy is just one part of the overall picture when it comes to children using mobile devices online.

How can you educate and protect your child online?

As a parent, you need to take a leading role in protecting your child online. This can be done through education, frank discussions, and some of the available tools created to help parents manage and monitor their child’s online activities.

When it comes to safety online, it all begins at home with you as a parent. Not only should your children see you as a resource, they should also understand that you’re someone they can turn to when they run into challenges like online bullying or being approached by a stranger. Take time to discuss the risks of being online in a non-confrontational way. Use news stories about experiences of others to help frame the discussion so that your child doesn’t feel like they are on trial. Give them opportunity to share their thoughts and ask questions as well.

There are some third-party tools that you can use in addition to education and discussion at home to help monitor your child’s online activities. Some services will even allow you to set device parameters that determine how long a device can be used or active on the internet. Tracking services are built into many platforms that will locate where a child is even if they aren’t responding to messages or phone calls. Some, or all, of these tools can be utilized by your family to reinforce the discussions you have had. Each family will have unique needs and situations which may make some tools more important to you than others. For example, some parents may simply want to ensure their child isn’t using their device at late hours and disturbing their sleep. Other parents may want to monitor for online bullying which, unfortunately, many children feel embarrassed about sharing with parents or teachers. Online protection tools can be customized and tailored to meet your specific goals.

Finally, there are also education options like online quizzes and games to help kids understand more about online safety. These services are usually targeted at kids as they enter the age where they may start to become more proficient and independent online. Online education services are a great way to introduce the conversation about online safety in a way that’s fun and age appropriate.

What services and tools are available to help keep kids safer online?

You’re not alone when it comes to ensuring your child is safe online. However, you do need to take a leadership role with your child to identify solutions that are right for your family. 

Internet Safe Training offers unique courses for each age range to help schools or parents lead lesson plans for children. This is something that's good for both both adults and children to make use of. For parents and teachers, these courses help create lesson plans and discussions around online safety, including topics like sexting and how much time use is acceptable on a daily basis . There is also information about how to maintain better control over a child’s online experience and ensure that you are always a part of the discussion.

Qustodio is a multi-platform service that provides parents with a sleek web interface or mobile app, which is downloadable via the iTunes app store and Google Play Store, to manage their children’s online activities. This paid service costs as little as $39.95, which means it is more expensive than some other methods available. On the flip side, however, it offers an impressive suite of features. Parents can set time restrictions on devices, monitor web traffic history, block certain websites or services, and even monitor text messages in some apps and on social media networks. Qustodio gives you powerful control in one simple to use package. 

Kaspersky Safe Kids is one of the more popular parental control apps, and also one of the most affordable options. It's easy to set up, and like other services, you'll be able to set time filters on your child's device, as well as monitor location, and keep an eye on online activity. All of this starts at $14.99 per month, and gives you the management controls you’re looking for, all at a price-point that won't break the bank.

Best Secure Email Providers of 2020

Best Secure Email Providers of 2020

Sending emails is part of society’s daily routine. There are an estimated 5.5 million email accounts open, with the average email user sending and receiving 246 emails a day, according to an Email Statistics Report.

How secure are those messages? Research shows up to 80% of emails sent aren’t secure. In other words, hackers can get their hands on two out of ten emails.

It all depends on what kind of email security you have in place.

Whether you’re a company protecting product development, a consumer safeguarding personal data, or a doctor tasked with abiding by privacy laws, there is a way to keep data safe. To do so you’ll need a secure email provider – and there are a lot to choose from.

Before we help you narrow your search for the most secure email providers, we’ll explore why emails need to be secure, what kind of protection common email providers like Gmail have, what makes a provider secure, what to look for when searching for the most secure email providers, and finally, a list of providers that take security very seriously.

Why email needs to be secure

Email was designed back in the late 1960s as a communication tool. Back then, security wasn’t a concern because emails were only sent to various users of the same computer. Once computers were networked and could talk to one another, emails could be sent to people using different computers. Even then security wasn’t a big concern, and for some, it’s still isn’t.

Decades later, email hacks are common. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced Outlook, Hotmail and MSN accounts were breached and accounts compromised. It’s just one of the many hacks that exposed personal information.

For some, the reason to send secure email is obvious. Employees exchanging emails while developing a new product or a doctor’s office forwarding medical records to a new physician do pose a security risk. If that information fell into a hacker’s hands, a product idea could be stolen or a patient’s home address could become public.

Others assume secure emails aren’t necessary for their mundane messages that include meeting notes, lunch schedules, and promotional offers. After all, who would want to steal that? The truth is, even the dullest inbox is a treasure trove of information for a hacker.

Your inbox could contain pictures, contracts, invoices, tax forms, password reset links and sometimes even credit card information. Your email account might serve as your login in for other accounts, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. With your email credentials, a hacker can easily steal your identity or worse. For those reasons, every email should be secure.

What is a secure email and how does it work?

Secure emails are protected against hacks mainly through encryption. A hacker can get to your email from four points: your device, the network, the server, and the recipient’s device. Secure email is disguised at every point during this process making it difficult for anyone to read or intercept it.

When the message is delivered, the recipient can only read your message with a key to decipher the encryption.

A secure email provider offers encryption tools, which cloak the email using behind-the-scenes tools.

Are Gmail and other popular email providers secure?

Gmail has one billion active monthly users worldwide, making it the most popular email provider out there. While Gmail ranks high in popularity, how does it rank in security?

Gmail and other popular providers like Hotmail and Outlook do take steps to protect your email privacy, but not to the level of a secure email provider.

Gmail’s standard method of encryption is called TLS, or Transport Layer Security. This security measure encrypts your messages as it’s traveling from your device over the network and to Google’s server. At this point, the email isn’t disguised anymore.

Google even scans your messages for several reasons. For starters, Google looks for spam words to drop unwanted emails into a separate folder. Google also checks your text for keywords to trigger the Smart Reply feature, and to show you relevant ads later on. Other mainstream email providers offer similar features.

Google does offer a more advanced security option for paid G Suite users, but it’s still not the kind of security used by the best secure email providers. Other providers have ways to increase security measures as well, but again, secure email providers specialize in this field.

What makes a provider secure?

Why are the best secure email providers classified as “secure?” What gives them this distinction. Secure email providers offer advanced protection measures that mainly focus on encryption.

By using the most secure email providers, you should be able to:

  • Send and receive end-to-end encrypted emails
  • Encrypt the subject line, body and attachments automatically
  • Utilize encrypted cloud storage for contacts
  • Access encrypted email storage for archived messages
  • Prevent automatic image loading for further privacy

In addition, the most secure email providers should also offer all of the familiar features you’ve come to expect when crafting and sending an email, including:

  • Spam protection
  • Folder management and organization
  • Draft creation
  • Contact import
  • Noticeable unread emails
  • Offline usage
  • Group email delivery
  • Out-of-office notifications

Security features to look for

If you’re decided that email security is a priority, you should investigate the best secure email providers. To help narrow your search, you can look specifically for these safeguards:

End-to-end encryption

The most secure email providers offer end-to-end encryption, which is a fancy way of saying your email message is scrambled so it can be read by anyone other than the intended recipient, who is able to unscramble the message with an encryption key.

While the process might sound complicated, encryption tools set up by a secure email provider take care of the process in the background.

Two-factor authentication

A two-factor authentication process has two layers of security. It relies on something you know like a password and something you have like a smartphone.

You might use two-factor authentication already. When you enter your login credentials and a specific code that’s sent directly to your phone, that’s two-factor authentication.

Since the process requires two pieces of information, it’s harder for cybercriminals to hack. Even if hackers did get ahold of your username and password, it’s useless without the code that’s messaged to you.

Scrubbed metadata

When you send an email, you actually send more information than you think. Every email contains metadata, which are small snippets of information that could be mined by hackers.

Metadata could include information about your web browser, network and the person you’re sending messages to. While these tidbits seem fairly useless, to a hacker, it’s the first step toward learning more. For example, hackers can use metadata to search your browser history and learn more about the person you’re communicating with.

The best secure email providers remove metadata to limit the amount of personal information that’s vulnerable.

IP stripped

Just as secure email providers strip metadata from emails, so should your IP address. With an IP address a hacker can learn which internet provider you use, and more importantly, your physical address. It’s another small piece of data that seems mundane to users but is quite valuable hackers.

GDPR compliance

Europe passed a massive privacy law last year that aims to protect the digital privacy of its citizens. The law ensures that data is collected legally and under strict conditions, holds companies accountable for the storage and misuse of any data, and gives consumers the right to regulate the information shared.

A secure email provider can help you create comply with this law, which entails privacy policies and strict data collection and usage rules.

A list of the best secure email providers available

Ready to secure your emails? Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to find an email provider to work with. As you might expect, there are many options to choose from. To help narrow the search, here’s a list of eight of the most secure email providers:


 CounterMail

CounterMail logo 1

CounterMail offers end-to-end encryption and is transparent on how their security systems work. The company stores encrypted emails on diskless servers, which provides an extra layer of protection against data leaks. Those servers are based in Sweden, a country that first implemented data privacy laws in the 1970s.

CounterMail is one of the few providers to offer an additional layer of protection in the form of a USB key. If you enable this feature, you use a secure USB drive to access your email.

While CounterMail is one of the best secure email providers, it’s not cheap. The service costs about $60 a month with additional fees for increased storage space and domains.


 

ProtonMail

ProtonMail logo

ProtonMail makes the list of best secure email providers for several reasons. For starters, ProtonMail is as popular and as easy to use as Gmail. It offers a simple user interface and all of the ordinary email functions, but with more security.

ProtonMail takes security quite seriously. Its encryption is so strong the company itself can’t see your emails. The data centers that enable emails to go from one computer to the next is in a nuclear bunker under 1,000 meters of granite. And, ProtonMail is a free email service.

The service works best between ProtonMail users. To send an email to a non-ProtonMail user, you can choose to send an unencrypted email or send an encrypted message that’s only readable via a password that you share.


 

Hushmail

Hushmail logo

Hushmail shares similarities to ProtonMail. It’s also easy-to-use and has both smartphone and desktop applications. However, if you’re a Mac lover, you’re out of luck Hushmail doesn’t work on its operating system.

Like ProtonMail, users within Hushmail can send and receive secure emails. To send to an outside user, the recipient receives a link that takes them to a secure site to read the message. The recipient will need a password. If you’d like to add an additional layer of protection, the recipient can also be required to answer a security question.

Hushmail also offers integrated forms that you can add to your emails, like a survey or patient intake form.

Ready to try Hushmail? The company offers a free version, but the company also offers niche applications for certain industries. You can choose from Hushmail for personal use, small business, healthcare, law, nonprofits and enterprise. Pricing hovers around $10 a month for each application.


 

Tutanota

Tutanota logo

Tutanota, which means “secure message” in Latin, offers end-to-end email encryption that works with all devices and browsers. The company is based in Germany, a country known for some of the toughest privacy laws in Europe, which includes GDPR compliance.

The encryption method implemented for Tutanota users has received some criticism. The company uses AES-128, which has one layer of protection, instead of PGP, which uses two layers of protection and therefore is considered more secure.

Tutanota also offers a free encrypted calendar that works alongside your email service, which is handy for anyone in the business world.

Tutanota offers a free package that comes with one email address and one gig of storage. If you continue to use the service you’ll likely need more storage, which can be a bit pricey.


 

Runbox

Runbox logo

Runbox makes the list of best secure email providers because of its unique features. Unlike its competitors, Runbox has complete integration with more common email providers like Gmail and Outlook. What does that mean for users? You can safely transfer your email data to Runbox with a few clicks.

Customers of Runbox also rave about the company’s customer service. If you have a question, you can reach out for help seven days a week. The support team can be reached via email, on the web or through Twitter.

As you might expect, Runbox uses all of the encryption methods possible and even stores data inside a vault with electromagnet protection, fire suppression and manned security.

Runbox offers a free trial, but after that time ends you’ll have to select a package. The company offers several pricing packages, which can be explored on the Runbox website.


 

Kolab Now

Kolab Now logo

Kolab Now is a secure email provider for small and medium businesses. If you work in an environment with sensitive information that can’t fall into the public’s hands, this service is for you.

The Swiss-based company bills itself as more than a secure email provider though. Kolab Now “provides email, contact and file sharing functionality that fuels enterprise communication.”

While the company does take measures to protect your emails, it does not offer end-to-end encryption and doesn’t specify what kind of security measures are taken.

However, users rave about the easy-to-navigate software and all of the added features, like an integrated calendar, contact list, shared folders, and notes app.

The cost of Kolab Now is on the high end, but since it’s protecting businesses that’s not surprising. It’s about $5 a month to use Kolab Now with additional fees for storage and other advanced features.


 

Mailfence

Mailfence logo

Mailfence believes privacy is a right, and the company not only works hard to provide the most secure email service possible but also donates to pro-privacy nonprofits.

The provider offers end-to-end encryption to protect the information inside emails, and also gives users the ability to turn the encryption feature off.

Mailfence also puts a lot of emphasis on its anti-tracking tactics. Unlike Google, Mailfence isn’t tracking your emails and searching for keywords in order to show you advertisements. On its website, the ‘no tracking policy’ reads: No ads, no spam, no solicitations, no backdoor and free from government surveillance.

The company has almost 20 years of experience, which in an ever-changing digital landscape is a long time. Their commitment to email security for so many years offers many users reassurance that the service will be around for years to come.


 

Posteo

Posteo logo

Posteo boasts that its company is “green, secure and ad-free.” The company is powered by green energy, offers secure email services, and will not scan your emails with the intent of advertising to you.

Posteo also gives its users the ability to sign up and pay anonymously, which is another layer of privacy protection. While the company gives users the ability to send secure email, it doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption, which is considered the strongest form of security in the email world. There are other protections in place including encrypted access and transmission, encrypted storage and two-factor authentication.

The Berlin-based company also offers a great support team, so if you have questions about your account or aren’t sure how to work certain features you can always reach out with questions.  

Wrap up

Email has become a communication necessity, and while it’s a great way to exchange ideas its security is lacking. Common email providers like Gmail simply don’t provide the security that’s required to protect against hacks and data leaks. As a result, more companies are searching for the most secure email providers on the market.

Secure email providers give you the ability to send and receive protected messages without knowing a thing about encryption. Once you’re committed to sending secure emails, research the features needed and review the companies that meet your needs.

How to Unblock Netflix in 2020

How to Unblock Netflix in 2020

bestvpn choice badge
  • check
    Fastest and most reliable VPN
  • check
    User-friendly
  • check
    148 server locations
  • check
    24/7 customer support
  • check
    Good speeds
  • check
    Intuitive software
  • check
    81 server locations
  • check
    2nd fastest VPN
  • check
    Easy to use
  • check
    61 server locations

Getting Error "m7111-5059" when try to Access Netflix? Does Netflix give you a bizarre message that says something like this:


You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.

If that's the case, you need a VPN that works to properly unblock Netflix. Most VPNs don't work properly when trying to stream Netflix. You can read on for more details, but our top 3 VPNs that make Netflix work are above. We use them regularly ourselves!

Netflix began as a service for people to rent DVDs which were mailed directly to their homes, which eliminated the need for physical video stores by offering a greater level of convenience, coupled with better pricing. As technology advanced, Netflix pivoted quickly to become a video streaming service that now dominates the streaming market with a staggering 118 million users and counting.

Netflix isn’t a service that’s available to everyone, everywhere. Subscribers in various locations around the world have access to different libraries of content based on where they live. This means that the hottest new movie may make it to the Canadian Netflix library, for example, but not be available in the United States. This has resulted in many subscribers trying to circumvent Netflix’s location blocks in order to access the complete range of Netflix content.

This guide will show you how to unblock Netflix in your country so that you can access a greater selection of content from around the world.

Why does Netflix block content?

You may be wondering why Netflix feels the need to block content to certain users based on geography.  After all, wouldn't it make more sense just to make the entire library of television shows and movies available to everyone?

The truth is, Netflix isn’t necessarily the culprit behind blocked content. The real reason content is blocked has to do with licensing agreements.

While Netflix has been steadily creating its own content, which can be made available in every country around the world, much of the content that people watch is created by movie studios and television networks that Netflix purchases licenses from in order to host and stream the content. A television network in one country may be happy to license their new hit show to Netflix in other areas of the world, but refuse to offer that license locally so that people are forced to watch the show on cable or satellite where the network can sell advertisements.

Netflix also competes for content licenses with other streaming services like Amazon Prime and Hulu. In some countries, Amazon Prime may have an exclusive license to the programming. As a result, Netflix is unable to make that program available in the library in that country. If Netflix were simply to ignore these licensing agreements, it would upset movie studios and TV networks, and potentially even be subject to legal action.

unblock netflix 2

Will Netflix ever unblock content?

If Netflix is such a powerful company, why don’t they just throw money at the problem or simply refuse to block content for users?

While this would be a short term benefit for users, it would be disastrous for Netflix in the long run. Content creators would refuse to license to Netflix, and the library would begin to dwindle quickly.

In an attempt to curtail this, Netflix has started to crack-down on things and block content even more effectively than years past. Some subscribers that used to circumvent regional blocks have recently discovered that the services and hacking methods they were using no longer work. That’s because Netflix found ways to identify these black-hat methods and disable streaming for users who were accessing content that's not available in their home country. Again, this was largely done to appease content creators who wanted to ensure that their licensing agreements in certain countries were being honored.

As a result, subscribers have had to look for new ways to get around regional blocks to access Netflix, and the most common solution is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

How VPNs bypass Netflix blocking

There are many uses for a VPN, like ensuring privacy by encrypting data between your device and the server you are communicating with. Another important feature of many VPN services is the ability to unblock region locked content on Netflix and other streaming services.

So, how is this done?

When you connect to a VPN server, you are connecting to a remote server that passes on your request to the server of the company or service you are dealing with. As a result, the remote server appears to be you in the eyes of Netflix and, if that server is located in a different country than where you are located, the Netflix library will change accordingly.  

So, for example, say that you are in France, but you want to access the US Netflix library.  You would use a VPN service to mask your French-based IP address, and choose a US server through the VPN.  Once you do this, you would then login to your Netflix account, and from there, be able to access Netflix's American based content library of TV shows and movies.

And since data is encrypted, there is no way for Netflix to check incoming data to see if it was originally generated in a certain country. So, in layman's terms, a VPN makes Netflix believe you are sitting in a completely different location watching their content.

The best VPNs for unblocking Netflix

While most VPNs offer a similar range of services, not all will work to unblock Netflix. Some VPNs are able to be detected by Netflix and users will encounter errors asking them to turn off their VPN service before streaming.

Here are the top 3 VPNs to use to unblock Netflix.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the most highly rated VPNs on the market. The company has over 160 servers in more than 90 countries, which gives users access to Netflix content from an almost limitless number of places worldwide. Best of all, Express VPN offers the fastest speeds of all VPN providers. This means that subscribers won’t notice significant buffering or quality reduction when they try to stream television shows and movies.  Plus, with one-click connections, Express VPN is simple and extremely user-friendly, even for people who are not technologically savvy.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is another popular VPN provider that can be used to circumvent the geo blocking put in place by Netflix. The company is constantly adding new servers to try and stay ahead of Netflix, and has one of the largest selections of servers available. While NordVPN doesn’t offer the same fast speeds as Express VPN, the service is still very good and subscribers can consistently rely on it to assist in accessing Netflix libraries from around the world.

3. TorGuard

TorGuard is one of the most trusted names in the VPN industry. It's important to note, however, that their approach to unblocking Netflix is a little more complex than the previously mentioned providers. When subscribers sign up, they can pay an additional fee for a dedicated streaming IP address in the country of their choice.

Since the IP address is dedicated to a subscribers TorGuard account, it makes it very difficult for Netflix to recognize the address as a VPN service that's being used specifically for unblocking Netflix content. This is because there aren’t hundreds or thousands of people on the same IP address, which keeps it under the radar of Netflix, who is well-known for blocking VPN servers.

Unblocking Netflix while traveling

A common reason that users may encounter for wanting unblock Netflix is simply to be able to access the library of content available in their home country while traveling abroad. It can be very disappointing to settle into your hotel room only to find the show you have been binge watching at home is no longer available for streaming.

A VPN service allows you to connect to a server back in your home country, which will then give you access to the same library of content that's normally available to you. No need to wait until you travel home to continue watching new episodes of your favorite shows.

Another problem encountered while traveling is the fact that many hotels block Netflix completely. Sometimes this is done to prevent people from using all of the hotel’s available wi-fi bandwidth for streaming. In other cases, the hotel simply wants people to purchase content through the hotel’s entertainment system, which can be expensive. Connecting to a VPN encrypts the data and makes it impossible for the hotel to see what content is being accessed. As a result, the Netflix block is rendered completely ineffective.

Unblocking Netflix at school

Many schools feel that Netflix is a distraction to students, and that it prevents them from learning.  As such, many school wi-fi networks completely block access to Netflix to try and keep students on task. Unfortunately, however, this blanket blocking of Netflix can have unintended consequences.

For example, this means that students can’t enjoy Netflix during lunch breaks or empty class blocks. It also prevents students from watching content like educational documentaries that may pertain to their learning. In both of these cases, a VPN can get around this block.

All VPN providers offer a variety of software options for devices including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and browser extensions. This means that students can use desktop computers, tablets and even use their smartphones to watch Netflix, as long as they are connected to the correct VPN server.

unblock netflix 5

Unblocking Netflix at home (to stop your ISP from snooping)

Internet service providers can see everything you are doing on the internet if you do not use a VPN. Why does this matter for streaming Netflix? It’s not like you need to hide the fact you enjoy binge watching television shows on the weekend.

It boils down to the quality of your stream. Many internet service providers offer vertically integrated services. This means that your internet provider may also be your television provider and they may even have a streaming service of their own. In some cases, these providers may choose to throttle Netflix streaming in order to point users toward other streaming options or traditional cable television. When they throttle the stream, you may get buffering while streaming or be unable to stream in the highest quality resolution.

However, if you are using a VPN, your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online. They don’t know that you’re watching Netflix and, therefore, can’t selectively throttle your internet activity in order to subtly promote their own products or services.  You can use a VPN and ensure that you get the best Netflix performance possible.

A step-by-step guide to unblocking Netflix

Even for people who aren’t very tech savvy, unblocking Netflix is a fairly easy task. This step-by-step guide breaks it all down for you.

1. Choose a VPN provider

The VPN providers referenced above are all great options to consider, although it's important to note that other VPN services can also unblock Netflix. When evaluating your options, consider your budget and look for a service that is reliable, delivers fast speeds, and is an overall great value. 

2. Install VPN software

Download the VPN providers software onto your preferred device(s) and log into the service. If you're a more advanced user, you may be able to access your wi-fi router’s admin settings and enable VPN services for your entire network rather than installing VPN software on each device you plan to use.

3. Connect to a VPN server

This is the most important step for unblocking Netflix and accessing the content you want to watch. Once the VPN software is installed, you will be able to browse the available servers. Some services may only have certain servers set up to handle Netflix streaming, so you should look into this to avoid a lot of trial and error. Once a server is selected, simply click the option to connect to it. With services like Express VPN, the connection process simply requires one click.

4. Start watching Netflix

Now that you’re connected to a VPN server, it’s time to sit back and relax. Choose the video you want to watch and enjoy!  In some cases, it may be necessary to clear your browser history and cache, or possibly even restart the device to ensure Netflix recognizes the new VPN server you are connected to.

Accessing Netflix isn't impossible if you know what you're doing

Blocks put in place by Netflix, governments, and/or network owners can prevent subscribers from streaming the content they truly want to watch. A VPN service is the easiest way to circumvent these types of blocks. Plus, VPN's offer additional benefits, like the ability to secure your privacy and maintain your anonymity.

How to Identify and Remove Android Viruses

How to Identify and Remove Android Viruses

The growth of the smartphone industry has been nothing short of amazing. Just a decade ago, mobile phones – and smartphones in particular – were luxury items owned by a small group of early adopters. Today, 5 billion people around the world own smartphones and these powerful devices have become intertwined with our lives. Everything from banking to emails to online shopping can be completed on a smartphone.

The popularity and usefulness of these devices have also made them targets for hackers who want to take advantage of the opportunity to access the information we store on our smartphones. Many smartphone users are lulled into a false sense of security, often incorrectly believing that their Android device cannot get a virus in the same way a home computer or laptop could. This misconception has been driven by marketing efforts and the perceived security offered by the official app stores. But make no mistake, your Android phone is just as much a target for hackers as your computer and there are countless Android viruses that could infect your phone, compromise your privacy, and ruin your experience.

In this article, we will outline some of the most common Android viruses, how to identify them, and how to remove them so you can take back control of your own device. In addition, we will also provide some helpful tips to improve your smartphone’s security so that you can feel confident using your device in the future and avoid many of the reasons users find their device has been infected.

Are Android devices more prone to viruses?

There is a sense among many that Android devices are more prone to viruses than iOS devices. Part of this is rooted in an effective marketing campaign by Apple that advertises iOS devices like the iPhone as being more secure than their competitors. It is also true that Android viruses are more common than iOS viruses. Much of this is due simply to the market share enjoyed by Android devices worldwide. 75% of smartphones currently in use run on the Android operating system which makes targeting Android devices a much more fruitful endeavor for hackers. A viruses designed for the Android operating system has the potential to infect many more devices.

The freedom offered to Android users is also another reason it’s more common to see viruses on Android devices. Apple provides a very locked down ecosystem whereby users can only download approved apps through the official app store. If you’re an Android user, however, you have the ability to install and uninstall apps from outside the official Google Play app store which increases the chances an app may contain malicious code. It’s also important to recognize that download apps from official channels are not immune to viruses, either. There have been many examples of popular apps being hijacked by hackers to distribute code to users.

It’s definitely possible for Android users to be disproportionately affected by viruses but much of that boils down to the popularity of the app store and the freedom given to users rather than a flaw in the design of the operating system. Regardless, if you’ve been infected with a virus, your sole focus becomes identifying and removing the virus to take back control over your device.

Identifying and removing ransomware on your Android device

Ransomware is a particularly devastating form of Android malware that has become much more common in recent years. Users are left feeling helpless and hackers use that emotional response to force users into paying money. So, what does ransomware on an Android device look like and how can you manage it?

A ransomware infection may go largely undetected until a hacker chooses to launch the attack. After the malware has been installed on the device, hackers have the ability to encrypt and lock a smartphone’s data. This will display a message to you on your screen with payment instructions and render your device entirely unuseable. In many cases, you won’t even be able to power off your device or turn down the volume if the message is playing a loud tone to grab your attention. Unsurprisingly, in their panic, many people choose to pay the hackers in order to gain back access to their important information. If they don’t pay, the hackers have the ability to wipe the device and cause the loss of all data.

If you have been infected by ransomware, here are some steps you can take to resolve the problem:

  • Try performing a soft reset of your device to see if it clears the message, if only briefly. The method for doing this will vary from device to device but usually involves holding the power key along with another key like the “volume up” key for 10 seconds. Your phone should reboot after doing this. However, some hackers are able to disable this function and it may not work.
  • The next thing to try is booting your device into recovery mode. Again, this method will vary from device to device but many devices will then allow the option to boot into “safe mode.” Using safe mode, you can power on your device as normal but it will prevent apps from automatically launching. This gives you the opportunity to delete any recently downloaded apps that may have infected your device. Once done, try powering on the device normally to see if the ransomware message has disappeared.
  • If this fails, you will likely need to wipe your device and start from factory settings. This will cause the loss of all data on the phone which is why you should regularly be backing up important things like photos, contacts, and more. Booting into recovery mode should allow the option to restore data to factory settings. This cannot be undone so be sure to try all above methods before proceeding. Once the reset is complete, your device should function as normal and you will have to set it up again as if you had just purchased it from the store.

Is adware interrupting your day?

Nothing is more annoying than unwanted popup ads. If your phone has been infected with adware, then you may find constant popups on your display, even when not using an app. These ads often advertise adult content like gambling websites, pornographic websites, or dating services. Not only can they be annoying and embarrassing, they can make using your phone normally a nightmare. If you suspect you are a victim of adware then there are some steps you can take to remove the virus.

  • First, try installing a well-known Android virus scanner security app. Avast Mobile Security and Kapersky Mobile Security are both popular choices that have been trusted by countless Android users. These apps can scan your device for malicious software, identify the culprit, and help you remove the infection. If the anti-virus scanner does not find anything, however, it may be more challenging for you to identify the source of the problem.
  • Your next step is to work backwards through the Android apps you have installed. Begin uninstalling new apps to see if the problem fixes itself. When you feel you have found the offending app, you can begin installing other apps to see if the adware infection has been resolved. Take note of where you downloaded the app, the creator of the app, and file a report against the app if possible.
  • In some cases, apps are able to install malware directly onto the phone’s system storage which means deleting the malicious app will not actually remove the virus. In this case, you may need to consider a complete factory reset of the device data. This should only be done if the above steps have not worked. Luckily, unlike with ransomware viruses, adware viruses still allow some usability of your device. Use this opportunity to back up any important data before wiping the device. This can be done through the recovery mode function or the settings menu. On an Android device, you can tap on the “Settings” app, then select “General,” then tap “Reset,” and finally select the “Factory Data Reset” option.

Spyware snooping on your stuff?

One of the most difficult to identify forms of virus on an Android device is spyware. This type of malware lurks behind the scenes and steals your valuable information like passwords and messages. Since this type of malware isn’t in your face like ransomware or adware, it can be difficult to realize that your device is infected. One red flag that spyware may be present on your device is if you find that accounts like your social media profiles or email addresses are being accessed without your knowledge or consent. In some cases, these services will send an alert email if they detect an unusual login. This could be the sign you need to tip you off that something is wrong and your device needs spyware removal. If this happens to you, here’s what you need to do:

  • Like with adware, one of the first steps to take is to install a mobile virus scanner on your device. Choose a trusted name with positive online reviews. These apps can often find and remove malware from your Android device and, in many cases, this single step will solve the problem.
  • If the virus scanner fails to detect anything, you will want to begin deleting any new apps that you may have installed, especially ones that weren’t from the official app store. The challenge with this is that you may not be aware the spyware has been removed because it’s not immediately clear that it was present in the first place.
  • The sure fire method of removing spyware is to do a complete wipe of your device. Before doing this, you will want to backup any important information that you don’t want to lose. Then, to wipe the device and reset it back to factory settings  you can tap on the “Settings” app, then select “General,” then tap “Reset,” and finally select the “Factory Data Reset” option.

Where did all of these apps come from?

If you’re scrolling through the app drawer on your device and you notice a few suspicious apps that you don’t remember installing, then your Android device may have a virus. Some malicious apps have the ability to download and install other apps without a user’s knowledge. It isn’t until you see these apps that you will realize something is wrong. Worst of all, fixing this isn’t as simple as just deleting the unwanted apps. There are a few steps you’ll need to take for virus removal to ensure your device is safe and secure.

  • As with many other Android viruses, one of the best and most simple solutions is to install a trusted Android antivirus app. Once this had identified the offending app, you may still need to delete the other unwanted apps as they may not be marked as malicious.
  • The next step to try if the virus scanner doesn’t identify an issue is to begin deleting new apps and working backwards. Anything suspicious or apps that have been sideloaded (installed from somewhere other than the official app store) should be deleted as well. Once the problem is resolved, you can test other apps by installing them again to see if they were the culprit or not.
  • Your last resort option is to wipe your entire device. Hopefully this is not necessary after removing the app that is allowing new apps to be installed without permission. However, if the problem persists then it indicates that the virus has installed itself into the system files. Failing detection by a virus scanning app means that a factory data reset is the only option. Open the “Settings” app, tap “General,” select “Reset,” and then confirm you would like to complete a factory data reset.

Prevention is the best protection

Finding a virus on your Android device can be alarming and make your privacy feel violated. Luckily, there are some best practices that you can follow to help ensure your device remains free of viruses and, hopefully, you will never need to perform the above steps ever again.

First, avoid installing apps from untrusted or unknown sources. While it’s not completely foolproof, the Play Store does an effective job of screening apps for malicious code and removing those that may introduce malicious code even after they have been initially approved. When you go outside the secure garden of the Play Store to install an app, you are taking a risk. There is no opportunity for Google to verify the quality or security of the app.

You may also wish to download a virus scanner onto your device. This is the first step we recommend for removing a virus but it can also be one of the best ways to prevent a virus from being installed in the first place. Be sure to read reviews and choose a trusted virus scanner that offers regular updates to identify new forms of malware being developed to target Android users.

Finally, never click on links or download files that you’re not sure of. If an email comes with a suspicious link, avoid it. If a file is sent from an unknown sender or if it has a strange file type extension, don’t download it. When in doubt, reach out to the person or company sending the link or file to confirm that it’s legitimate.

These small steps can help protect your Android device from viruses and save you a lot of time, headache, and stress.