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Optimize Your Spending and Reduce Your Bills With Truebill

There are only two ways to get richer: earn more or spend less. Improving your salary is hard, but there are many ways to reduce your expenses. Truebill is a mobile app that helps you find the unnecessary spending. The app can also help you lower your bills and keep track of costly subscriptions. It is super secure, very smart and completely free to download.

Three-Step Financial Freedom

When your schedule is packed, budgeting can slip pretty low on the priority list. However, the main reason why most of us overspend is because we simply don’t know what we can afford.

Truebill helps you take control of your financial life without spending hours hunched over a calculator. Available on iOS and Android, the free app connects to your bank and credit card accounts (using bank-level 256-bit SSL encryption) to track your income and expenses.

The data is presented in one simple dashboard, helping you gain an overview of your finances. Truebill automatically categorizes every transaction, so you can see where your money is going.

But that’s not all. Truebill lets you create savings goals, and the app will tell you how much you can spend. The app can also help you lower your bills by finding cheaper alternatives for your cell phone, cable and security. You can even monitor your subscriptions and cut the ones you don’t need.

Get Started Free

Truebill is completely free to download on iOS and Android. Head over to the homepage now to get started.



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7 Free Chat Apps for Messaging on Your Phone or Computer

For a seamless way to message your family and friends, you need the free chat apps available across multiple platforms. Ideally, on both mobile and desktop.

So, what free cross-platform chat apps should you download? And what are the best instant messaging apps available today? Keep reading to find out.

1. WhatsApp

Despite the Facebook buyout and concerns over advertising, WhatsApp remains the world’s most popular messaging app by some distance. At the time of writing, it has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users, and the growth is showing no signs of slowing down.

But what about cross-platform chatting? Well, WhatsApp has apps in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. There’s also a web app (which you need a QR code to log into), and standalone desktop apps for both Windows and Mac. Unfortunately, there is no Linux version of WhatsApp.

Other notable WhatsApp features include voice and video chat, groups with up to 256 people, and end-to-end encryption on all messages.

Download: WhatsApp (Free)

2. Telegram

telegram desktop app

Windows users will be curious to know about the best messaging apps for PC. Out of all of the options, we think Telegram provides the best Windows client.

The app is extremely lightweight, fast, and packed with all the same features that you get on the mobile versions. And, unlike WhatsApp, you don’t need a QR code in order to log in—your phone number is sufficient. Uniquely, Telegram even offers a portable Windows app; you don’t need to install it on your PC and can use it on any Windows machine you’re working on.

Telegram has a macOS client, and apps for Android and iOS. It is also the first free chat app on our list to support Linux.

Some of the most useful Telegram features


10 Useful Telegram Features You Should Be Using




10 Useful Telegram Features You Should Be Using

You’ve made the switch to Telegram, but are you using it to its fullest? In this article, we pinpoint several useful Telegram features you may have overlooked.
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are its support for self-destructing messages, groups with up to 200,000 members, bot integration, and the ability to schedule messages for the future.

Download: Telegram (Free)

3. Facebook Messenger

facebook messenger web app

Like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger benefits from having a large userbase. After all, any instant messaging app is useless if the people you want to chat with most frequently don’t also have the app installed.

Facebook Messenger has standalone apps for Android and iOS. However, the only way to read your Facebook messages on a desktop/laptop is to use the web app. Facebook has not developed a standalone desktop Messenger app for either Windows or macOS.

Download: Facebook Messenger (Free)

4. Line

Line is one of the most popular communication apps in Asia. It is the market leader in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Taiwan. If you have friends and relatives in those locales, Line is a must-have free chat app.

Thankfully, Line also boasts impressive cross-platform support. There are Line apps available for PC, macOS, Android, and iOS. You can also install the Line Chrome extension if you want to send instant messages directly from your web browser.

In addition to its chat functionality, Line doubles as a video messaging app and real-time location sharing service. You can even use it to follow other accounts, such as those of brands, celebrities, pop stars, sports teams, and more.

Download: Line (Free)

5. WeChat

WeChat is the third most popular messaging app in the world behind WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. If you want a free chat app to talk to people in China, this is a good solution. It is the top instant messaging app in that country.

It is also another free chat apps with solid cross-platform support—you can find standalone WeChat versions on Android, iOS, and desktop. However, although WeChat offers messaging apps for Windows and macOS, there is no Linux version. If you are running a Linux distro, you will need to use the service’s web app to chat with your friends.

Some of the other top features on WeChat include video messaging, custom stickers, a “Moments” stream (akin to Instagram Stories), and real-time location sharing.

Download: WeChat (Free)

6. Skype

Another of the best messaging apps for PC is Skype. Almost all Windows users have an account, and it is tightly integrated with the operating system’s other apps like Mail and Calendar.

Skype, of course, is an instant messaging app and video messaging app all rolled into one. Depending on the package you choose, you can even use the app to receive voicemails, call landlines and mobiles, send SMS messages, and create group chats.

In addition to the Windows version of Skype in the Microsoft Store, it is also available on Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. A web app also exists, but it is more limited in features than its desktop counterpart.

Download: Skype (Free)

7. Viber

The last app on our list of free chat apps is Viber. It’s often thought of as a direct competitor to WhatsApp. But while they do share some similar features (such as end-to-end encryption, voice and video calls, private group chats, and integration with Google Assistant and Siri), there are some key differences.

For example, Viber has a feature called Viber Out. It’s a VOIP facility that allows you to call mobiles and landlines around the world. You can also follow public accounts and chats, create hidden chats, and even play games within the Viber app.

Regardless of the differences, Viber remains a popular instant chat service. It has cross-platform support, with apps available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Like WhatsApp, there’s also a web app that requires a QR code to log in.

Download: Viber (Free)

Note: We previously covered reasons to ditch WhatsApp for Viber


5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch WhatsApp for Viber




5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch WhatsApp for Viber

WhatsApp is the biggest instant messaging app out there, but is it the best? Hit the link to find out why Viber might just be a better choice.
Read More

for a more detailed breakdown.

Are These the Best Free Chat Apps?

When you’re deciding on the best free chat app for your needs, there are two primary points you need to consider. First, can you use it on the hardware you own? Second, are the people you want to talk to also using the service?

If any of the above fit your needs then great. If not, please let us know your favorite alternative in the comments below. Even if it’s one of these online instant messaging services


5 Online Instant Messaging Services to Chat with Friends




5 Online Instant Messaging Services to Chat with Friends

If you were an AOL Instant Messenger fan, don’t worry. There are still some worthwhile services available. Here are five to check out.
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that let you chat to friends and family.



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Draw Useful Data From Search Results With the Serpstack API

When most people think about searching the web, they focus on themselves. We know what we’re looking for and, generally, we know how to find it. Figuring out how other people search the web is much more difficult, especially since websites focus so much on search engine rankings these days.

Fortunately, figuring out what people see when they search the web is much easier than asking hundreds of people if they remember what they clicked on. Thanks to serpstack, you can efficiently find out how search results work across various search engines with just a little code.

What Serpstack Does

Before we get into how serpstack works, let’s take a look at what the name means. SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page. This means what you see when you search for a given term via a search engine like Google.

What serpstack does, in a nutshell, is search for a query, then scrape the results page. Using the serpstack API, you can then use that data in any number of ways. This could mean simply displaying the results, or parsing them and using other APIs or libraries to visualize them, for example.

The company behind serpstack has plenty of experience providing easy-to-use APIs for businesses and developers. We’ve previously looked at weatherstack, an API from the same company that lets you easily add weather data to your website.

Why You Might Need a SERP API

The serpstack main page

Though it varies based on which search engine you use, search is often highly personalized these days. Google, for example, alters its listings based on parameters including what you’ve looked up before. This can make it difficult to infer what other people see for a given search query.

This is exactly where a SERP API can come in handy. You can search for a term across multiple search engines, making it appear as if the request comes from different devices or even countries. SERP APIs like serpstack are also handy because a site’s ranking on a results page is anything but static. These can and do change often.

One way you could use this is to monitor your own websites. Other tools will show your ranking, but serpstack can also show you exactly what is above or below your site. After measuring the results for a period of time, you can see how your competition is trending—either above or below your site.

This type of API is also incredibly useful if you’re working on a marketing campaign. Seeing how sites rank based on given terms is something you can track with other tools, but serpstack can also let you see what these sites are showing to draw potential visitors in.

Pricing for Serpstack

Getting started with serpstack is free, but has some limitations. You’re limited to 100 requests per month, which are rate limited. You also don’t get HTTPS support. Basically, this means that the free version is meant for experimenting with the API so you can get used to how it works.

Upgrading to the Basic tier removes the rate limits, adds HTTPS encryption, and enables results in CSV format in addition to the JSON you get on the free tier. Instead of 100 searches per month, you get a much larger 5,000 searches per month. This costs $29.99 per month, or $23.99 per month if you pay yearly.

Pricing for serpstack

If you’re using serpstack for a larger business, you’ll likely want to opt for the Business or Business Pro pricing plans. These offer the same features as the Basic plan, but allow for more searches per month.

The Business plan gets you 20,000 searches and costs $99.99 per month, or $79.99 per month if you pay yearly. Meanwhile, the Business Pro plan costs either $199.99 monthly or $159.99 per month if paid annually, and gets you 50,000 searches per month.

Getting Started With the API

Getting up and running with the serpstack API is a simple process. Starting requires an API key. To get this, head to the serpstack website and sign up for the plan you prefer.

Once you’ve completed the signup process, you’ll get your API key. From here, you can check the quick start guide or the documentation.

The serpstack dashboard

You only need two pieces of information to start putting the serpstack API to use. The first is your API key, which you just retrieved. The second is the term you want to search for. You simply add these to the API endpoint, which is https://api.serpstack.com/search.

It’s possible to do this all in your web browser, if you want. Simply construct a URL like the following and enter it in the address bar:

https://api.serpstack.com/search?access_key=YOUR_API_KEY&query=searchterm

The results will be hard to read, as they show up in the JSON format, which isn’t easy on the eyes. To make this a little easier, you can use a browser extension like JSON Viewer for Chrome or JSONView for Firefox.

Of course, to actually use this data, you’ll probably want to integrate the API into your code. The serpstack documentation has examples for a wide variety of languages including Python, JavaScript, Ruby, and server-side JavaScript using Node.js.

Accessing the serpstack API with python

Diving Deeper Into the Data

By default, serpstack uses Google for its results, but you’re not limited to that one search engine. To change the search engine serpstack uses, simply attach the engine parameter to the URL, followed by the engine you want to use.

The serpstack API lets you change where the search engine thinks you are, as well as what device is performing the search. Various parameters allow you to change the country you appear in, your language, and whether you’re browsing from a computer or mobile device.

Various serpstack parameters

You can even change the type of search the serpstack API performs. Other parameters allow you to search Google News or just Google Images, for example. The serpstack documentation has a full list of the various parameters you can use to narrow down your results.

Try Serpstack for Free

As mentioned earlier, the initial tier of serpstack is entirely free. While you don’t get every feature, it includes more than enough to help introduce you to the API. This lets you see not just how the API works, but whether it integrates well with other tools or APIs you use.

While serpstack covers everything you need to know about search engine results pages, it won’t scrape other sites. If you need this functionality, the team behind serpstack have another tool, aptly named scrapestack. We’ve taken a look at what you can do with scrapestack


The Scrapestack API Makes It Easy to Scrape Websites for Data




The Scrapestack API Makes It Easy to Scrape Websites for Data

Looking for a powerful and affordable web scraper? The scrapestack API is free to start and offers many handy tools.
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if you’re interested.



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The 4 Best Pastebin Alternatives for Sharing Code and Text

The aptly named Pastebin.com was the first text storage website of its kind. It’s used for easily storing and sharing snippets of code with other people online. But if you don’t care for it, you’ll find plenty of alternatives to Pastebin on the web.

Let’s look at the best Pastebin alternatives you can use for storing text. We’ll examine their best features and why they’re worth using over the well-known service.

What Is a Pastebin?

In case you’re wondering why someone would be interested in sites like Pastebin in the first place, let’s quickly look at what Pastebin is for.

Pastebins arose in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a way to easily share blocks of code with proper formatting and without disrupting the flow of chats. The IRC (Internet Relay Chat) chatrooms of the time were much more rudimentary than modern chat apps like Slack or WhatsApp.

Most featured single-line messages, as you can see in the screenshot below:

IRC Chat Example

Posting a 50 line-long block of code into such a chat would obviously disrupt the flow for everyone else. Thus, pastebin sites arose to let you paste a giant block of code with syntax highlighting and proper formatting. When you were ready to share, you could post a link in your chat. Since the URL only took up a single line, it was a great solution.

Nowadays, people still use websites like Pastebin to share code if their IM app doesn’t support proper formatting. You might also use it to share a large amount of debugging output when asking for help online. Other common uses for Pastebin include lists of dark web links


How to Find Active .Onion Dark Web Sites (And Why You Might Want To)




How to Find Active .Onion Dark Web Sites (And Why You Might Want To)

The Dark Web, in part, consists of .onion sites, hosted on the Tor network. How do you find them and where to go? Follow me…
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and hackers leaking breached information, such as passwords.

Pastebin.com is a fine site, but it locks some functionality behind a Pro subscription and isn’t known for its privacy. Here are some Pastebin alternatives worth looking at.

Control C Pastebin

Formerly known as Tinypaste, this pastebin site makes sharing dead simple. Enter a title for your paste, then you have a few options for formatting the text. You can use bold, italics, underline, and strikethrough text, as well as enabling code highlighting. In addition, ControlC supports adding videos, plus changing the text color and size.

Unlike Pastebin, you won’t see recent public pastes along the side of the site. All pastes are hidden from search engines by default, and you can set a password to protect your paste if you like. While you can create an account to better keep track of what you’ve submitted, it’s not necessary.

When you open a ControlC link, you’ll have to close a page of ads before viewing the paste. From there, you can toggle line numbers of the paste or even create a new version based on the original.

Overall, ControlC is a no-nonsense pastebin site. It doesn’t have a ton of fancy features but works fine when you just need to share some quick text.

Hastebin Pastebin Site

If you’re in a hurry, give Hastebin a look. It’s a Pastebin alternative for code where the entire interface of the site is an editable text field, which makes it visually attractive. Enter or paste the text you want to share, then press Ctrl + S or hit the Save icon in the top-right corner.

This will instantly save your text and change the URL in the address bar to a shareable link. It also detects the language you’ve used and highlights the syntax automatically.

Also, on that bar in the top-right corner is a New button, which you can press to start a new paste right away. When viewing a paste, the Duplicate and Edit button lets you make changes while starting from the original content. And you can hit Just Text to display the raw text on a separate page, which is great for obtaining a clean copy.

All pastes on this site stay up for 30 days since their last view. While search engines won’t find your pastes, you also shouldn’t expect any privacy from what you share here. As a bonus, the site has no ads, CAPTCHAs, or registration.

Just Paste Me Pastebin

Those who find the above options too code-focused should like Just Paste Me better. While you can use it to share code, it offers a rich text editing box great for typing up notes, instructions, or similar blocks of normal text.

You’ll find all the typical text options here, such as bullet points, headings, hyperlinks, and images. There’s a Preview button so you can check how your page looks before sharing it.

Don’t miss the Additional options section at the bottom. There you can set a page title, choose a custom URL, or have the site email you a link to your page for safekeeping.

Once you complete a CAPTCHA and hit Publish, you’ll see a link to your page that you can share anywhere. You can even edit the page after publishing it if your session hasn’t expired and you haven’t closed the browser.

Just Paste Me doesn’t require registration, and the small ad on the page is unobtrusive. Give it a try next time you need a Pastebin alternative for normal text.

PrivateBin Pastebin

You might assume that all paste sites are the same, but that’s not the case, as we’ve seen. PrivateBin stands out as a privacy-focused place to create pastes. Use the Format dropdown at the top to choose Plain Text, Source Code, or Markdown. Then you can enter your text in the editor.

PrivateBin includes a Preview tab to let you see what your output will look like before sharing. Click the Send button to get a shareable URL for your paste. The service also includes a QR code option if you prefer to share that way. No matter what you choose, there are no ads to worry about.

At the top, you’ll see several options to control how you share. By default, the Expires field is set to one week, but you can change this to as little as five minutes. If you check the Burn after reading option, the message will self-destruct after the link is opened one time.

Alternatively, you can select Open discussion to let people leave comments on the paste. Finally, be sure to set a Password to protect sensitive pastes.

The site states that the PrivateBin server has no knowledge of pasted data, so it’s the best choice when you want to share something potentially sensitive. Of course, there are better ways to safely share private data like passwords


How to Safely Share Passwords With Friends and Family




How to Safely Share Passwords With Friends and Family

You should never share your passwords. But you do, don’t you? That’s why we’re going to show you how to share your passwords while keeping your accounts as secure as possible.
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online.

Alternatives to Pastebin for Better Sharing

We’ve looked at several sites like Pastebin to help you find the best one for your needs. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Pastebin, but a different option may well serve your needs better than the site most people use for this job.

If you often share blocks of code with other programmers, you may be interested in Visual Studio Code’s Live Share feature, which lets you program collaboratively


How to Program Collaboratively Using Visual Studio Code’s Live Share




How to Program Collaboratively Using Visual Studio Code’s Live Share

Want to collaborate on coding projects? Live Share for VS Code is a great tool, so here’s how to set it up and get started.
Read More

.



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4 Reasons to Encrypt Your Linux Partitions

It’s simple to encrypt your home folder and other data on Linux. You can do it during installation, or at anytime using your distro.

But while useful, encrypting your Linux data isn’t necessarily a good idea. Sure, it sounds safe, so how could Linux disk encryption be a bad idea? Let’s look at why you should encrypt your Linux HDD and why you might seek out an alternative.

Should You Encrypt Your Linux Partition?

Most Linux distributions make it easy to encrypt your home folder or even entire partitions, without many issues. This is a great option to have if you need your data to be encrypted. In most cases, all you need to do is check a box, and Linux will take care of the rest.

Is Linux disk encryption wise?

Unfortunately, some people select it simply because it sounds like a good option to have. While this is clearly true, they don’t think about (or may be unaware of) the consequences. Indeed, some people don’t even know what encryption really is


How Does Encryption Work, and Is It Really Safe?




How Does Encryption Work, and Is It Really Safe?


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. They just know it’s a security option. This disconnect between understanding the technology can lead to the benefits of disk encryption being overstated and the shortcomings ignored.

It’s smarter to be aware of all the facts before making a decision that irreversibly changes the contents of your hard disk drive.

Reasons to encrypt your Linux disk include:

  • Protect personal data from loss or theft
  • Prevent the theft of sensitive corporate data
  • Block remote surveillance
  • Protect sensitive data from third parties

Meanwhile, some negative consequences of disk encryption are:

  • Making data recovery more difficult
  • Making full system recovery almost impossible
  • Hitting system performance

Want to know more? Let’s check all of these in more detail.

4 Reasons to Encrypt Your Linux Drive

We’ll start off with the immediate reasons to encrypt your Linux data. This might be specific files, one or more partitions, or even the entire drive.

1. Protect Personal Data From Loss or Theft

For standard users, especially laptop owners, this is the key point. You don’t want to risk personal data and potentially access to emails and cloud accounts, if your device is stolen.

Encrypting your hard disk will block access to these items. Whether files, partitions, or the full disk is encrypted, the contents will be meaningless to anyone without the encryption key.

2. Prevent Theft of Sensitive Corporate Data

Similarly, if you use your computer for work, encryption is a smart option. Whether a laptop computer or a desktop, the device should have encryption enabled. The industry you work in can influence how important this is (e.g. protecting patient data in healthcare).

However, it is smart to just use encryption across the board in the workplace. Protecting data from corporate espionage or whaling expeditions


Worse Than Phishing: What Is a Whaling Cyberattack?




Worse Than Phishing: What Is a Whaling Cyberattack?

While phishing attacks target individuals, whaling cyberattacks target businesses and organizations. Here’s what to look out for.
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 is smart.

3. Block Remote Surveillance

Full disk encryption of your Linux system can also frustrate remote surveillance. A hacker with access to your computer will not be able to read encrypted data. A government agency charged with monitoring your data will be unable to open your files.

4. Protect Sensitive Data From Third Parties

If you manage data for someone else (whether a client, or someone in danger), disk encryption is wise. It protects them from risk, while getting you off the hook if the data is lost or stolen.

Remember: if the data remains encrypted, it cannot be read. Beyond the astronomically unlikely chance that the encryption is broken, data should be secure.

3 Arguments Against Linux Disk Encryption

Encrypting a Linux disk can lead to trouble

Disk encryption is a great idea, but be sure you know and understand the implications.

1. Disk Encryption Makes Recovering Data Harder

Encrypting your data seems like a smart option. Without decryption (linked to your account password), no one can access your data. Even if the device is stolen, your hard drive cannot be read without the decryption key.

But what if something in your system has screwed up? Whether it’s the operating system or another hardware component, you’ll probably want to move the data somewhere safe.

For unencrypted data this can be easily done by running (at the minimum) a Linux LiveCD


Windows Users: Here Is Why You Need A Linux Live CD




Windows Users: Here Is Why You Need A Linux Live CD


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on any other computer. Simply connect the hard drive to that computer and start moving your data.

But with encrypted data, it’s not as easy as that.

2. System Recovery Is Impossible With Disk Encryption

Meanwhile, if your entire Linux partition is encrypted it will be tougher recovering your system when needed. For example, if your system loses power at a critical point, you’ll need to run a recovery disc. It’s the only way to get things back to normal.

Performing recovery on an encrypted Linux system will be even harder. Without the decryption key, unless you have an unencrypted disk image, you’re on a hiding to nothing.

3. Encrypting Your Hard Drive Impacts Performance

Another item to note is that encryption may not be the best performance option for very low-powered devices. While plenty of devices are powerful enough to deal with encryption with negligible performance impact, older hardware is not.

Installing Linux on old netbooks


8 Lightweight Linux Distros Ideal for Intel Atom Processor PCs




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and other low-power devices is fine. But do it without encryption. After all, netbooks are slow enough already. The idea is to be productive with these low-spec devices, rather than sit around waiting for them.

Linux Disk Encryption Is Your Shout

As always, what you end up doing is completely up to you. If you feel that you need to encrypt your entire home folder or even your whole partition, go ahead. So long as you’re aware of what might be facing you in the event of a problem.

On the other hand, if you prefer to leave your drive unencrypted and secure your data in other ways, you can. Just be confident your data is as secure as promised.

Decided to encrypt? Here’s how to encrypt your personal data on Linux


How to Encrypt Your Personal Data on Linux




How to Encrypt Your Personal Data on Linux

Encrypting your vital data isn’t as tough as you think it is. Here are three easy ways to encrypt your data: by disk partitions, by individual directories, or by individual files.
Read More

.



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The 6 Most Reliable Hard Drives According to Server Companies

Is there anything worse than going to boot up your computer and realizing that your hard drive is dead? You can lose all your documents, photos, music, and more if your hard drive fails.

For that reason, many people want a very reliable hard drive. And who better to advise on hard drive reliability than a server company? Here we’ll recommend to you the most reliable hard drives, according to server companies.

How Hard Drive Reliability Is Measured

Before we get into the hard drive recommendations, you might be wondering how exactly we’re defining reliable. To find out which hard drives are least likely to fail, the best option is to look at a report which covers a large number of drives. And so we looked at the Backblaze Hard Drive Stats 2019.

Servers use vast numbers of hard drives, so server companies are really the experts when it comes to reliability. Backblaze currently employs a total of 108,660 hard drives for storage and has been collecting data on their reliability since 2015. That makes it one of the best sources of information when you’re looking for a reliable hard drive.

Now we can list the most reliable hard drives, according to the Backblaze report.



Western Digital 12TB Ultrastar


Western Digital 12TB Ultrastar

Buy Now On Amazon
$323.43

The most reliable hard drive is the Western Digital 12TB Ultrastar. This SATA hard drive comes in a range of capacities, starting at 1TB and going all the way up to 12TB. You’ll sometimes see this or similar models labeled as the HGST Ultrastar. But don’t worry, Western Digital owns HGST. So you can expect the same quality from HGST as you get from Western.

This model is aimed at the enterprise storage market with a focus on reliability over speed, hence why it is so popular with server companies. Inside the hard drive, the air is replaced with helium, which is lower density. That means the drive can run more efficiently with fewer issues, making it a top choice for people concerned with reliability.



HGST MegaScale DC 4000.B


HGST MegaScale DC 4000.B

Buy Now On Amazon
$99.99

A similarly reliable hard drive is the HGST MegaScale DC 4000.B, another enterprise drive from Western Digital/HGST. This 4TB SATA drive is designed to be efficient as well as reliable, using up to 45 percent less operating power compared to other 4TB enterprise hard drives.

This drive isn’t as fast as those aimed at regular consumers. But it makes up for that with features like Advanced Power Management, which should keep both temperatures and power usage low.



Seagate Exos 12TB Internal Hard Drive


Seagate Exos 12TB Internal Hard Drive

Buy Now On Amazon
$329.99

Seagate is a recognized and trusted hard drive brand, and their Exos 12TB Internal Hard Drive is a good choice for reliable storage. This one is an enterprise model too, coming in capacities from 1TB to 12TB. The SATA drive is hermetically sealed to prevent dust or other debris from getting inside the drive and causing problems.

The Exos is more responsive than other enterprise models, too, with speeds of up to 261MB/s. It can also handle a massive workload of up to 550 terabytes per year. For reference, that’s around 10 times as much work as is possible on a standard desktop hard drive. The Seagate Exos comes with Advanced Write Caching, resulting in a 20 percent boost in random write performance.



Toshiba 14TB SATA 512e Enterprise HDD


Toshiba 14TB SATA 512e Enterprise HDD

Buy Now On Amazon
$389.95

The Toshiba 14TB SATA 512e Enterprise HDD is a solid enterprise hard drive. It comes in a 14TB capacity, although there is a 12TB version as well if you don’t need quite so much space. This SATA drive has a helium-sealed inside using precision laser-welding technology. And it has a lower operational power profile, keeping power usage down.

It is rated for a total transfer of 550TB per year, which is surely enough for any home user. There’s also Advanced Format Sector Technology, which should prevent data loss if the power to your system gets cut off unexpectedly.



Seagate BarraCuda Pro 8TB


Seagate BarraCuda Pro 8TB

Buy Now On Amazon
$274.99

The Seagate BarraCuda Pro 8TB is the updated model of one of Backblaze’s most reliable drives. This SATA drive comes in sizes from 1TB to 14TB. And there’s an option to include data recovery in your purchase. If you’re looking to store your files safely, the data recovery option can give you peace of mind.

As it’s not exclusively an enterprise drive, you can expect excellent responsiveness as well as reliability, with a transfer rate of up to 250MB/s. The BarraCuda is a power-efficient model, using as little as 6.9W of power. The drive is rated for a workload of up to 300TB per year, so it should fit the needs of most users.



Seagate ST4000DM000


Seagate ST4000DM000

Buy Now On Amazon
$99.55

A more affordable alternative to the Seagate BarraCuda is the Seagate ST4000DM000. As it is designed for desktop use, it comes in smaller sizes. This particular drive comes in sizes from just 500GB up to 8TB. So, it’s a good choice for those looking for a smaller capacity SATA drive. It was one of the earliest 1TB-per-disk hard drives available and has had plenty of years on the market.

Models up to 6TB come with 128MB of cache, but the larger 8TB drive has 256MB, so it should have improved write speeds. Even though it’s a consumer product and not an enterprise one, this drive still offers solid reliability. If you’re looking for a reliable drive, but you don’t want to sacrifice consumer options like a two-year warranty and a larger cache, this model is an excellent choice.

The Most Reliable Hard Drive for Your System

The majority of the hard drives we’ve recommended here are enterprise models, meaning they’re intended for use in servers. They are incredibly reliable, but you might sacrifice some speed for that reliability. There are other options out there, too. Consumer-grade drives from companies like Seagate are also highly recommended.

To learn more about what to look for in a hard drive, see our guide to things you must know before buying a new hard drive


Buying a New Hard Drive: 7 Things You Must Know




Buying a New Hard Drive: 7 Things You Must Know

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MyFridgeFood & More Sites to Find Recipes With Ingredients You Have

Few of us spend a lot of time prepping our meals.

This lack of care is usually due to a busy schedule or a low budget. But just because you’re hunting around the house or asking yourself “what can I make with what’s in my fridge?” doesn’t mean that your meals have to be unappetizing.

Here’s a list of the best websites with simple recipes for the food you have in your fridge.

MyFridgeFood Find Recipes With Ingredients You Have

MyFridgeFood is a recipe-based search engine. It presents you with two options—Quick Kitchen and Detailed Kitchen—when you open the website. You can access Detailed Kitchen by clicking on the button Show All Ingredients.

Both pages have checkboxes representing various food items. To find a recipe, click on the boxes for the foodstuff that you have on hand. It’ll then show you a list of meals that you can make with some or all your supplies.

If you sign up to myfridgefood.com, you can submit a recipe, too.

Recipe Puppy Search for Recipes

Recipe Puppy is another ingredient-based search engine that helps you answer the question “what to make with what I have.” It does this by allowing you to hunt for simple recipes with the foodstuff lying around the house.

Recipe Puppy’s search function is similar to myfridgefood.com recipes. The search engine is part of the overarching “Recipe Labs” website, where you can create recipes to post for others or hunt for coupons.

This search engine is a great tool for anyone who needs to make a meal with a particular dietary requirement, as you can include or exclude ingredients that may conflict with your allergies.

If you’re looking for other food websites that allow you to use up the ingredients around your home, check out our list of recipe websites that show you how to cook with leftovers


Cleaning The Fridge: 6 Recipe Websites Which Show You How To Cook With Leftovers




Cleaning The Fridge: 6 Recipe Websites Which Show You How To Cook With Leftovers

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Student Recipes Best Food for Parties

Student Recipes also answers the question “what should I do with my fridge food?” Unlike the other links on this list, it comes with a specific post-secondary focus.

If you’ve ever been a student, you’ll know that you won’t have access to a lot of food supplies due to your budget. You also won’t have a lot of time to go shopping. Student Recipes aims to fix this with a blog and cooking videos to boot.

The website was originally created by James Bailey, a former student who has admitted to having “very few culinary skills” at the time. One thing we really like about this website is how it breaks down its recipe sections, not only by prep time and type but by content.

You can sort recipes by vegetarian, pork, beef, and fish. There’s also a section specifically devoted to parties.

Budget Bytes Make Cheap Meals

Budget Bytes is a big website entirely devoted to cheap, easy recipes that don’t empty your wallet. It also focuses on meals that can be made with the supplies that you find in your home.

Founded in 2009 by the blogger Beth—when she herself was “struggling with student debt”—Budget Bytes operates on the simple concept that “good food doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.”

With detailed subsections on the website that are devoted to each type of meal and prep suggestions, Budget Bytes aims to be a mega-shop for all your culinary questions.

Good Cheap Eats How to Do Meal Plans

Like Budget Bytes, Good Cheap Eats is a website devoted to cheap and easy recipes for people who are trying to budget. It also aims to help those who rely on less-than-healthy premade meals due to time constraints.

Run by the blogger Jessica, Good Cheap Eats has sections on its website where it breaks down the many ways that you can save money on groceries through meal plans, alongside its wealth of in-house recipes.

Through these tools, you can maximize your kitchen and cooking skills to their full potential.

Love Food Hate Waste Recipes for Leftovers

Love Food Hate Waste is part of a larger website run by the charity WRAP. Its mission? To make sure there is as little food waste as possible.

WRAP wants to raise awareness about the issue of food waste and how it affects the most vulnerable in our population. They don’t want to do this without offering solutions on how to fix the problem, so they have a section entirely devoted to making meals.

The goal of these recipes is to cook food from the odds and ends lying around the house. In the recipe section, you can filter by dietary needs, difficulty, and cooking times.

You can also sort the recipes by popularity, the age of the recipe, or the most votes applied to them.

Recipes for Kraft Products

How many times have you seen Kraft products in the grocery store? If you’re living anywhere in North America, probably a lot.

As one of the most commonly recognized brands when it comes to foodstuff, Kraft offers cheap-to-midrange products ranging from salad dressing to cream cheese. There’s a high chance you have one or two of Kraft products lying around your home.

Because of this, Kraft has this entire website devoted to making easy meals with Kraft products as the base. It’s a useful repository of ideas if you’re wondering what you can make for lunch or dinner with what’s in your fridge.

Betty Crocker Recipes

Like Kraft, Betty Crocker is another major food company whose products you can find in most stores. The company’s items come in a variety of different categories, although it’s most well-known for baking.

Because of its ubiquity at the grocery store, Betty Crocker has its own recipe section where you can learn to make cheap and easy meals by using its products. The ease of access to these products means they’re perfectly suited for constructing meals from handy ingredients.

Recipes for Canned Food

How many of us have canned food lying around the house that we know is good to eat, but we don’t know what to make with it? Love Canned Food is a website devoted to recipes for simple meals that you can make from food in tins.

Canned food is often cheaper than fresh food, and keeps for longer, too. Because of this, it’s great for people who are working with a budget.

Food Combo Find Recipe by Listing Ingredients

Last on the list is Food Combo, another ingredient-based search engine that helps you find recipes for the food that you have nearby.

Food Combo runs on a similar premise to Recipe Puppy and MyFridgeFood. The company’s mission statement explains that it wants to “promote cooking at home while making it more efficient, more affordable, and less wasteful.”

To use the service, simply type an ingredient into the search bar to find recipes based on that item. Food Combo will then pull up all the recipes that it can find for that ingredient.

From there, you can narrow down your list of recipes by adding or excluding additional ingredients from your search parameters.

Make an Easy Home-Cooked Meal

Now that you’ve got a list of places to search for recipes, you can get started with some quick and easy plates for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, what if you’ve got a craving for a particular sort of meal? Specifically, dessert?

If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, here’s a list of the best baking recipe websites


The 9 Best Baking Recipe Websites for Delicious Dessert Ideas




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You Can Now Control Roku With Your Apple Watch

The Roku app now supports Apple Watch. This means you can use your Apple Watch to control your Roku device, launch channels on your TV, issue voice commands, and even find your Roku remote. All from the smartwatch wrapped around your wrist.

What Can You Do With the Roku App on Apple Watch?

Roku announced that its free app is now available on Apple Watch in a post on The Roku Blog. The company outlines what you can do with the Roku app on your Apple Watch…

You can use your Apple Watch as a remote control for your Roku. This works in the same way as the remote from the mobile app (available on Android and iOS). However, you can also use the Apple Watch’s circular crown to control the volume on your Roku device.

You can also launch channels on your TV using the Roku app on your Apple Watch. Channels are listed in order of the most recently launched, keeping your regular channels at or near the top. Simply tap on a channel once to launch it on your TV.

If you own an Apple Watch Series 1 through 5 you can also issue voice commands using the app. Simply tap the voice icon and speak into your Apple Watch. Voice commands include “Launch Hulu,” “search for comedies,” and “switch to HDMI 1”.

Last but not least, you can use the Roku app on your Apple Watch to search for your actual Roku remote control if you lose it down the back of the sofa. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on the Roku Ultra and select Roku TV models.

How to Install the Roku App on Your Apple Watch

You should be able to install the Roku app on your Apple Watch by updating the Roku app on your iPhone to version 6.1.3. The app will then appear on your Apple Watch. However, if you have disabled automatic installs you’ll have to install the app manually instead.

Installing the Roku app on your Apple Watch is a no-brainer. Especially as it’s free. And while we’d probably still use the Roku remote over the Apple Watch app, if your Roku remote has stopped working


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8 Fixes for a Roku TV Remote That’s Not Working

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, the Roku app on your Apple Watch is a solid backup.





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Apple is changing the world of enterprise IT

I spoke with the CEO of one of Apple’s most recently announced enterprise mobility partners, Sunil Patro, founder and CEO at SignEasy, to learn more about Apple’s commitment to enterprise technology – and the growing importance of India to the tech economy.

Apple is an enterprise company

Apple’s focus on enterprise computing is intensifying, much to the surprise of the old guard in IT, for whom Macs, iPads and iPhones will always be “toys,” despite their proven effectiveness in the real world.

I believe it was the iPad that really drove Apple into the enterprise; that trickle has become a flood and it means you’ll find Apple platforms in most businesses today.

SignEasy was recently named an Apple mobility partner. Among other things, this means Apple’s enterprise developer relations worked with the company to help SignEasy become a better app for enterprises.

Sunil Patro SignEasy

Sunil Patro

“We have deep respect for how Apple works with partners to ensure users are always given the best experience on Apple platforms. Their focus on beautiful product experiences trickles down to everything that they do, including this program, which makes us doubly honored to be a part of it,” Patro told me.

“More than half of our business customers use SignEasy on their iOS devices, and we expect that number to grow as we leverage our new status as an Apple mobility partner,” he explained.

Integration matters.

Consumer-friendly apps for business pros

In today’s enterprise environment, it’s not appropriate to balkanize user experiences, offering different UIs across different platforms. What works on one device needs to work the same on other devices.

“Today’s business software solutions need to be optimized to work equally well on a mobile device, laptop computer or desktop computer. It also needs to integrate with other software solutions and systems at work where the exchange of data and files are as seamless as possible,” he said.

Design matters, too.

It’s not enough to have poorly designed solutions that work equally badly across platforms, the implementations need to be up to consumer standards — even for internal enterprise provisions.

“Poor design just doesn’t fly anymore,” he said. “With the proliferation of SaaS and ease of high-quality app development, consumers and businesses have innumerable options for digital solutions. Great design and user experience has become one of the biggest criteria that software can compete on, and more often than not becomes the deciding factor for a buyer because the end user demands it.”

Apple’s winning message

It seems clear that Apple’s enterprise appeal has always been, and continues to be, the attempt to provide superior user experiences. This gives it an advantage in a more digital economy.

“Apple wants to increasingly deliver more value to enterprise users because of their belief that the user should benefit from the same experience and delight that he or she is used to on their iPhones and iPads at work,” Patro said. “Since they are one of the biggest consumer brands in the world, many of the enterprise users come across the iOS experience first in their personal lives.

“So these users automatically become the champions in their workplace for carrying their business tasks using an iPhone, iPad or Mac on the go. That’s why you will see programs like ‘Apple at Work’ being promoted in Retail Stores, Channel partners and also online on their website.”

Digital transformation, boosted productivity

I asked about other rising technology implementations, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Patro admitted that his company is seeing tremendous adoption of RPA — customers come on board to use SignEasy as a SaaS solution for one department, and then learn the value of using the the company’s APIs to create business-wide solutions to provide automated or simplified processes across their business.

“We have customers like Rappi who on-board thousands of restaurant partners every month on their website and they have eliminated the repetitive and mundane human work involved in getting the

SignEasy SignEasy

SignEasy is designed to automate workflows involving legal and commercial contracts.

signed by automating that workflow using SignEasy. In another example, we have customers like OnBlick with a SaaS solution for customers who simplify the HR processes required for compliance and onboarding of new employees,” he said.

Like many tech giants, Apple is becoming increasingly active in India, where SignEasy’s development center is based.

The importance of India

“Bangalore is also home to Apple’s app accelerator in India, the very first to open anywhere in the world, where Apple’s team works directly with app developers to build solutions on its platforms,” he noted. “This is a strong acknowledgement by Apple that it recognizes the skill that exists in India, especially for developing solutions on its platforms.”

He explained a little about how the tech industry is evolving in India, where demand for skilled and experienced developers is high.

“India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with the tech industry being one of the biggest contributors. India is also the largest off-shore destination for IT services, so technology skill-development is a big focus for the country.”

India is also investing in the industry: “Programming is being inculcated at the grassroots level, with kids learning to code in schools of all sizes and in the smallest of towns,” Patro explained.

I’ll be reporting extensively on Apple technologies in the enterprise in this week as I’ll be at JAMF Software’s annual JNUC event, the world’s largest event for Apple pros in enterprise IT. To keep up with news from this event, please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.





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5 Reasons Why Macs Are Less Likely to Get Malware Than Windows

The common wisdom states that Macs aren’t as susceptible to viruses as Windows PCs are. But why is this, exactly?

Of course, no system is flawless when it comes to security. It’s possible to get malware on a Mac just like any other computer. And while user habits definitely play a role, you’ll be glad to know your Mac is naturally protected from most threats. Let’s look at the ways macOS is built to resist viruses and other malware.

What Is Malware?

We often use the terms “malware” and “virus” interchangeably, but they refer to different types of attacks.

A proper computer virus damages your software by slowing it down, filling up the hard drive, or deleting important files. Viruses are hard to get rid of because they replicate themselves inside your operating system.

These days, most computers do a pretty good job of protecting against traditional viruses, but there are hosts of other software threats lurking in the shadows. The term malware refers to any malicious software, including:

  • Adware: Malicious programs that spawn advertisements
  • Spyware: Monitors your computer use and reports it to some entity
  • Worms: Malware that spreads to other computers over a network
  • Trojan horses: Dangerous programs that masquerade as useful ones
  • Computer viruses

What Protects a Mac From Malware Infections?

You might have heard the claim that viruses don’t affect Macs. This isn’t true, as Macs can certainly get viruses


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. But we’ve all come across someone who’s used a Mac without antivirus software for years and never had a problem. You’ll struggle to find the same story from a Windows user.

There are a lot of factors at play here. Windows has made tremendous progress in terms of security in recent years, but macOS still benefits from unique advantages that make it less likely to get malware in the first place.

1. Apple Built macOS Using the Unix Platform

Computer programmer working on a Mac
Image Credit: welcomia/Depositphotos

When Microsoft developed Windows, it built the OS upon its own unique software platform called MS-DOS. In contrast, Apple developed macOS (or Mac OS X at the time) using Unix, an open-source platform that had already been in use for years.

Unix is renowned for its stability and security features, many of which aren’t present in MS-DOS. Windows hasn’t used MS-DOS as its basis since Windows XP, but many parts of its security and architecture today are left over from those old days.

Meanwhile, Unix is open-source and has been used by a range of different companies in the development of macOS, Linux, the PlayStation 4, and even the firmware for gadgets like your router.

There are lots of people looking to fix vulnerabilities in Unix so they can make their own products more secure. Your Mac benefits from this group effort, whereas Windows PCs are solely dependent on Microsoft’s architecture.

2. Gatekeeper Scans New Apps to Ensure They’re Safe

Gatekeeper blocking Signal app from opening on a Mac

If you’ve ever downloaded an app from outside the Mac App Store, you may have discovered you can’t open it after the download completes. This is due to a macOS security feature called Gatekeeper.

When you download new apps, Gatekeeper quarantines them and uses XProtect to scan the code for malware. If it finds any, Gatekeeper alerts you of the risk and doesn’t let you open the app. You can bypass Gatekeeper by holding Control and clicking an app, but you run the risk of infecting your Mac


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when you do so.

Even if the XProtect scan comes back clean, Gatekeeper might reject your app if it doesn’t trust the developer. By default, your Mac only lets you install apps from the Mac App Store or “identified developers.” This allows apps like Dropbox, Evernote, or Microsoft Office while blocking lesser-known developers. This is an example of Apple’s infamous “walled garden” approach.

3. macOS Separates Apps With Sandboxes

Sandbox Illustration

macOS makes use of sandboxing to limit what apps can do. This is the practice of a software provider putting up virtual barriers around third-party apps to keep them from accessing other apps or system files on your machine.

It’s one of the reasons a Mac is less flexible than a Windows PC, but these restrictions come with the payoff of tightened security. Third-party applications have limited access to core system files, making it difficult for malware to cause serious damage if it gets past Gatekeeper.

Since macOS Catalina, Mac apps need to request permission for each part of the system they want to access. This includes categories like Files and Folders, Screen Recording, Camera, Photos, and more.

Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy to see what is and isn’t allowed; you can revoke access for anything you’re unsure about.

4. SIP Provides an Added Layer of Protection

Mac System files folder shown in Finder

The OS hides important system files on your Mac so you can’t accidentally damage or move them. But it also guards important files behind a hidden defense, called System Integrity Protection (SIP).

SIP (present on OS X El Capitan and newer) stops you or anyone else from editing the system files on your Mac, which are often a prime target for malware. This makes it trickier for malware to infiltrate your operating system and compromise the security or performance of your Mac.

Just like Gatekeeper, you can bypass SIP if you need to. But most reputable developers design their apps to work alongside SIP, so you shouldn’t need to. See our full explanation on System Integrity Protection


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for more details.

5. There Are Still Far Fewer Macs Than Windows Computers

Computer bank with multiple Windows computers on desks
Image Credit: mishoo/Depositphotos

Although it doesn’t seem like a great defense, particularly since it’s outside of Apple’s control, your Mac is also protected by the fact that there are more Windows computers in the world than Macs. In fact, there are a lot more.

A virus designed to damage Windows doesn’t work against Macs. So criminal developers need to choose which platform they want to target. Since Windows is vastly more popular than macOS, it makes more sense to create Windows malware and attack a larger number of people.

This is exactly what happens. Fewer malware threats exist for the Mac because there’s far less to gain for people who create them. This principle, however flawed, is known as security through obscurity.

Do What You Can to Keep Your Mac Safe

The weakest link of any security system is the user. Your Mac does a great job at keeping malware away, but you can help it by exercising common sense as well. For example:

  • Keep your Mac up-to-date to benefit from the latest security patches.
  • Avoid opening email attachments or links from unknown senders.
  • Don’t bypass security features to install apps from untrustworthy sources.

For additional protection, you might also consider installing antivirus software. There are lots of bad options out there, so take a look at the best free antivirus software for your Mac


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to make sure you install something reputable.



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