Internet security and privacy must be taken seriously now more than ever. With millions of people using the internet, wide-scale cybercrimes are also likely to happen. This includes fraud, hacking, identity theft, scams, and malware attacks, to name a few. And if you do not have an added protection over your internet usage, you could be the next victim. This is not to scare you but rather to emphasize how these cyber criminals work. They will use every opportunity and it doesn’t matter who you are.
This is where a VPN can help you.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s an extra layer of protection that allows users to create a secure connection to a different network over the internet. This means that everything you do over the internet will be encrypted. No one (not even the government) could track your online activities. Additional benefits of a VPN is that you can access websites that are restricted in a particular region.
So the next question is: Who should get a VPN?
Back in the day, big companies are the common clientele of VPN providers. But as we’ve mentioned, the number of individual internet users surged over the years. It goes without saying that the rate of cybercrimes could go up too.
10 Best VPN for 2020
If you Google ‘free VPN’ right now, you will be overwhelmed with hundreds of providers to choose from. It is tempting, but we do not encourage free VPNs. Frankly speaking, these do not guarantee a high level of protection. Thus, our list only includes paid VPN providers that have passed our high standards.
In the last 6 years, NordVPN’s team of engineers, designers, and system administrators worked hard to create a tool that will bring them closer to their vision – Having a more open, yet private and secure internet.
With NordVPN, you can safely transact online even on unprotected Wi-Fi. Your online activities won’t be tracked as well because basically, it’s nobody’s business. And since they have more than 5600 servers in 59 countries, you can access your favorite websites, streaming services, and messaging apps anywhere in the world. The best part is, it works on all devices.
We recommend that you take advantage of their 3-year plan where you get to enjoy the VPN services for only $3.49 per month. In our opinion, it’s a cheap price given its features.
Aren’t you interested to see Netflix libraries from other countries? SurfShark has 15 different libraries to choose from. But of course, there is more to love about SurfShark.
With them, just one subscription can cover unlimited gadgets in your home. They also have more than 1700 servers in 64 countries.
Let’s not forget their Kill Switch option wherein your connection will be automatically disabled when your VPN drops. Talk about protection all the time.
They have a very affordable package for only $1.99 per month if you get their 24-month plan.
PrivateVPN allows their users to enjoy geo-restricted websites and it will only take you one minute to unleash the internet. With them, expect lightning-fast streaming services and excellent website experience.
The PrivateVPN’s team is particular with their customer service. It’s one of the things they are proud of. For issues, you can directly talk with their in-house developers and it will be resolved the fastest time possible.
To date, they have 100 servers in 60 different countries. You can get their services for $3.82 per month as long as you choose their 13-month plan.
ExpressVPN is almost in every top VPN list. That’s not surprising considering the quality of service you can get from the provider. They have a huge global network in 94 countries, and that means you can expect nothing less from them. You can even use the VPN in most devices and gadgets! It’s pretty hard to pinpoint what’s not to love about it.
What we personally like about ExpressVPN is their split tunneling where you can route some of your app traffic through the VPN while others can be directed to the internet.
Get their 1-year plan for $6.67 per month. This might be a bit steep but considering that ExpressVPN is one of the leading and most trusted providers, the price can be justified.
CyberGhost has 15 years of experience under its belt. We recommend this if your online activity involves heavy streaming and torrenting. With one subscription, you can cover and protect up to 7 devices. Their customer support is also available through chat and email.
As of the moment, they have 6400 servers in over 90 countries. In addition, CyberGhost uses 256-bit military-grade encryption which can protect your data all the time. Get their 18-month plan for only $3.15 per month.
IPVanish provides its users access to over 1400 anonymous servers. You are guaranteed with fast and unrestricted internet access practically from every corner of the globe.
What’s good about IPVanish is that all its services are managed internally and there is no middle man. Having said that, your information and data will be kept safe and confidential.
Lastly, they offer SugarSync which provides file management and encrypted data backup for various devices. It also has a wipeout feature in case your device gets stolen. For $3.25 a month, you can get all of these and more from IPVanish.
UltraVPN boasts its fast internet connection where you can watch continuous videos without the need to pause. Right now, they have more than 50 server locations across the globe.
UltraVPN gives you the access to unlock social media, watch sporting events that are restricted in your region, or check out videos that are only available in certain countries. UltraVPN can give you that power and limitless internet connection that we all deserve.
You can use the VPN for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even for Fire TV. Get their 1-year plan for only $3.75 per month.
ZenMate is easy to use with its one-click connect feature. But even with its simplicity, it delivers an optimal experience to its users. With a rating of 4.7 out of 5 from more than 360 reviews on Trustpilot, it is beyond satisfactory. Currently, it has 3800 servers in more than 74 countries.
Affordable rates are also waiting for you. Their package starts at $2.22 every month under their 18-month plan.
9. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is known as the fastest VPN and this has been verified by experts. In fact, the company’s outstanding services bagged them a number of recognitions including ‘the 2019 Most Innovative Security Company’.
To date, they have more than 740M downloads and the number continues to grow. You can install Hotspot Shield in 5 devices, and it detects more than 3.5M malicious websites. For their 3-year plan, you just need to pay $2.99 every month.
Last in our list is PrivateInternetAccess. It has more than 3300 servers in 45 countries. With their services, you can block unwanted connections – thanks to its advanced firewall and filtering features of the Netfilter Project. Without a doubt, it is one of the best VPN providers today.
Its layer of security includes IP cloaking, encryption, firewall, identity protection, and unblocking websites, to name a few. Choose their yearly subscription and only pay $3.33 per month.
If security and privacy matter to you, we encourage that you get the best VPN right now. Think about it. Most of us pay monthly subscriptions for Netflix, Spotify, and other online services. It seems logical that you pay for protection too. Most VPN providers we’ve included in the list offer a money-back guarantee. Use that lead time to decide before actually paying for the services. It’s definitely a win-win if you ask us.
Businesses To Start Post COVID
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has forever changed our lives, including how we do business. Despite the temporary halt during the pandemic’s onset, more and more ventures have been bouncing back strong.
That said, it’s a good time as any to seize the opportunity to offer products or services people need under the new normal. And if you’re thinking of starting a business to start post covid, you certainly won’t run out of excellent ideas.
If you’re wondering what industries are projected to reign supreme in a post-pandemic world, here are a few options you might want to consider.
1. Online Merchandise
Online shopping might have been popular even before the pandemic. However, the threat of catching the virus has made eCommerce all the more relevant. In fact, a survey by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), online purchases rose throughout the pandemic.
That said, if you’re looking for a business to start post covid, an eCommerce venture has never been as attractive as it is now.
According to a report, items that have been selling out from online shops during the pandemic include cleaning materials, thermometers, board games, baking supplies, fitness equipment, and home office supplies.
Whether you’re offering essential needs like food and toiletries or miscellaneous items like gifts and hobby-related items, eCommerce is the way to go.
2. Local Delivery
When the pandemic first broke out, people relied on deliveries for their needs. And now that they’ve come to appreciate the convenience of effortless shopping, the delivery industry will only flourish even more.
Many are exploring the idea of offering “hyperlocal” delivery or catering to a certain niche. For instance, focusing on a specific service such as beauty products, pet supplies, or medical needs. This narrows your services to a specific product set, making you a go-to venture for things related to your brand focus.
3. Home Improvement
It may be cabin fever at work, but being stuck at home can push people to think of ways to improve their living space. A survey by Bank of America says over 7 out of 10 Americans tacked home improvement projects during the pandemic.
The good news is, more projects are scheduled in 2021, so surely won’t be late to the party. Some of the products and services to consider are home office space and children’s playroom solutions. Many homeowners are also looking to extend their living space through outdoor amenities like patios. These projects allow them to enjoy the outdoors without having to brave crowded parks or public places.
4. Home Workout and Health Tools
As mentioned from the UNCTAD survey above, fitness equipment was one of the best-selling items during the pandemic. Added to that, a survey says almost 6 out of 10 Americans aren’t leaning to renew their gym membership after the crisis.
For one, some aren’t comfy using the same gym equipment as other members with a virus going around.
With more people trying to avoid outdoor exercise and fitness gyms, focusing on home workout is a good business to start post covid. Whether you’re leaning towards workout apps, gym equipment, or health products like meal plans, it’s best to strike while the iron is hot.
5. Online Teaching
With face-to-face classes discouraged to prevent the spread of COVID, many people are turning to the internet for instruction. This presents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs in the education and instruction sector.
A report tells us that enrollment at Coursera swelled up to 640% higher from mid-March to mid-April compared to the same period in 2019. This only goes to show that massive open online classes or MOOCs will surely enjoy more prominence from hereon.
But online business opportunities aren’t limited to MOOCs. Learners are just as keen to attend webinars and online workshops just as long as they won’t have to step outdoors to learn.
Here are the key factors to remember when brainstorming for a business to start post covid:
- Less to no contact. With social distancing at the front and center of policies implemented to curb the virus’s spread, it’s best to focus on ventures that offer products and services without requiring physical contact.
- Convenience. Even without state-mandated lockdowns in place, many people choose to limit going out to avoid exposure to the virus. That said, people now put a premium on products and services they can get right at their doorstep.
- Agility. The COVID-19 crisis taught us that the world could change without warning. In one snap, restaurant dine-ins became curbside pickups, and gym classes were held online. Even babysitters turned to Zoom to entertain kids! Your business model must be able to adapt to societal changes.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has caused a huge economic setback this year. But more than anything, it has pushed entrepreneurs to stretch their creativity and become more flexible to adapt to changing times.
My Honest Review of Flocksy’s Unlimited Creative Services
There are more unlimited graphic design services emerging every day. Flocksy stands out as one of the top competitors in the space. After this review, you’ll have a better understanding of whether Flocksy is the best design option for your business.
Flocksy works on an unlimited number of designs and revisions for a flat monthly fee. Unlike many of the other unlimited graphic design services, they also offer copywriting and web development.
How does Flocksy / unlimited graphic design work?
Unlimited graphic design services are an alternative solution for those who need design help but do not need a full design team. They all have similar promises:
- 24-48 turnaround time
- Flat monthly rate
- Dedicated designers
- Money back guarantee
- Lower cost than hiring an in-house designer
Who is Flocksy good for?
The unlimited creative business model that Flocksy provides is good for both big and small businesses. Some of these include:
- Corporations in need of consistent blog content
- Influencers and bloggers in need of social media design, thumbnails, and descriptions
- Marketers who need press releases written
- Entrepreneurs in need of a new website
- Small businesses in need of advertising designs
Brands that use Flocksy
On Flocksy’s website, they mention that they’ve worked with over 1000 brands including Harley Davidson, State Farm, and Forbes.
Their portfolio also shows projects that they’ve completed for other clients. There are t-shirt designs, marketing materials, copywriting examples, videos, and web development done for both large and small organizations.
Flocksy has two options for pricing. $995/month for the All Access Plan and $420/month for the Team Plan.
What I like about Flocksy:
- Manage your projects on their Project Management board
- They have a custom team created for you on your dashboard
- Project manager who manages all my projects
- Image tagging to give revision notes
- All services included in pricing
- Support through email, chat, and phone
What I don’t like about Flocksy:
- Offshore team may be difficult to communicate with without the project manager
- Adjusting to designer and writer skillsets
Are Standing Desks Worth It?
For most working adults, being strapped to a desk for hours every day means dealing with back pains and other ailments like high blood pressure and excess body fat.
To save our lower back (and most likely, to introduce a new product in the market), furniture makers have come up with a solution – standing desks.
With all the hype built around the table that allows us to work on our feet, the question remains – are standing desks worth it? Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages to help us make a stand.
Pros and Cons: Are Standing Desks Worth It?
We often hear the adage, “Sitting is the new smoking.” According to experts, sitting for long periods can be associated with health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder that standing desks are making the rounds these days. In fact, it’s seen as a healthier alternative to the traditional version linked to ailments mentioned above.
Despite the perceived novelty of a desk that lets you stand while working, the idea behind the product isn’t as new as it seems. For instance, some claim that Leonardo da Vinci used a standing desk while painting. There are also accounts saying that this type of furniture was common among wealthy English households during the 18th century.
If these anecdotes were real, our forefathers must have also explored the idea of avoiding extended periods of sitting down. Which leads us back to the questions: are standing desks worth it, or are they overrated?
Here are some benefits of a standing desk:
- Improves energy
- Helps improve posture
- Makes it easier to move, thereby keeping you on the go
- Helps avoid health issues linked to sitting for extended periods
Below are some disadvantages of a standing desk:
- Can be hard on your legs and feet, especially if you’re wearing high heels
- Reduces privacy if used in traditional offices
- Can be more tiring if used for longer periods
So, are standing desks worth it? It depends on which of the pros and cons above are the most important to you.
For instance, a standing desk might be an excellent choice for your home office since you’ll be wearing comfy slippers while working. However, it may be a different story if you’re acquiring furniture for an actual office where users wear less uncomfortable footwear.
On another note, a standing desk can be well worth it if you want to move more for health reasons. Standing encourages you to move now and then, avoiding a long period of being in the same position.
Those who find it impractical to buy a new desk choose to get a desk converter instead. It’s a small table placed on top of an existing desk, allowing one to stand while working.
5 Standing Desks to Consider
If you’re looking for the best standing desk in the market, here are five fantastic options to consider:
1. iMovR Lander Desk
The people who designed Lander Desk from iMovR put a premium on ease-of-use. For one, it’s delivered to users “98% factory pre-assembled.” This means you won’t need tools to assemble the desk. Added to that, you can sync the hand controller to your smartphone for touchless controls.
Price: iMovR Lander Desk costs $1,049 on iMovR’s website.
2. UPLIFT V2
This product was chosen “Best Standing Desk” by Wirecutter twice in a row. A Certified Professional Ergonomist, this desk features a vertical height adjustment range, making it a good fit for users of all heights. It’s also quite sturdy, with a 355 lb lifting capacity. You can choose from more than a dozen variants – from walnut and rubberwood to ash gray and whiteboard.
Price: UPLIFT V2 sells for $599.00 from their website.
3. Ikea IDÅSEN Standing Desk
If you’re looking for an Ikea standing desk, IDÅSEN variant is a good option to look at. It’s a simple but reliable desk that’s designed to “outlast years of coffee and hard work.” Besides giving the user ample space to work on, it also features a solution to keep cords neat and organized underneath.
Price: IDÅSEN Standing Desk sells for $599 on Ikea’s website.
4. Fully Jarvis Bamboo
If you’re a conscious shopper looking for a desk made from sustainable materials, Jarvis Standing Desk is worth considering. The sleek and elegant standing desk is made from eco-friendly bamboo, coupled with the brand’s award-winning frame. It also has an LED-programmable handset you can use to adjust the height of the desk.
Price: Jarvis Standing Desk costs €579.00 or around $680 available on Fully’s website.
5. Varidesk Electric Standing Desk
Varidesk Electric Standing Desk features a quiet but powerful electric motor and four programmable memory settings. The heavy-duty frame pairs well with T-Style legs and a durable laminate finish. It comes in five variants: white, black, butcher block, reclaimed wood, and dark wood. The desk comes with easy-to-use tools allowing you to set it up in minutes.
Price: Varidesk Electric Standing Desk 60×30 comes at $650 on their website.