10 Best Open Source CRM Software 2019

Are you looking for Customer Relation Management (CRM) solution for your business? Here, we have listed and reviewed the best open source CRM software for your small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Each of these software programs has its pros and cons. Some of them also offer paid cloud solutions that you can upgrade to, later on.

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What is Open Source CRM?
Open source customer relationship management software is an inexpensive (mostly free), easy to customize, difficult to configure (requires tech-savvy staff) solution that helps you to manage your contacts and deals. On the other hand, cloud-based premium CRM such as SalesForce is easy to configure, expensive and less customization. If you want something deeper, then you may check how to build your own CRM. To save the effort, you can choose from these source codes and make the modifications as per your own needs.

If you are looking for CRM software that you can tailor to suit your needs, then these open source CRM are best for you. You can make as much customization as you need.

SuiteCRM – Editor’s Choice

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SuiteCRM is most powerful, reliable and easy-to-customize, bundled with advanced features, CRM software. This is trusted by thousands of companies worldwide. SuiteCRM is the industry leader in the market of CRM solutions. This is a very robust tool that hundreds of extensions and integrations that allows extending its core functionality without much effort. The following are some of its features highlighted.

  • Centralized Repository: It places your all kind of customers at one place that allows you to make better business decisions and manage your clients more effectively.
  • Integrations: Using the REST API, you can connect your core business system with the SuiteCRM and work without boundaries.
  • Community:  Developer and other experts’ community has more than 1 million members that make it the most vibrant and active open source communities.

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Vtiger

Vtiger

Vtiger is a browser-based open source customer relationship management solution that comes with a hosted solution as well. This software is written in PHP and requires the XAMPP for installing locally. The minimum hardware requirement is 4GB physical memory and 250GB HDD. Its features include sales, marketing, service, quotes, billing, project management, and third-party integrations. The following are its highlighted features.

  • Powerful Integrations: Vtiger allows you to integrate with Google Apps, DocuSign, Outlook, Quickbooks, and MailChimp – to manage your email campaigns.
  • Products and Price Books:  All your bookkeeping off your products and prices are right inside the CRM. You can see and manage everything there.
  • Meeting Scheduling: You can easily schedule the meeting with the clients or leads right inside Vtiger Open Source CRM Software.

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EspoCRM

Espo Crm

EspoCRM is an open-source web-based CRM software that allows you to manage your people, sales, inventory, projects, and opportunities right inside single software. More than fifty thousand companies worldwide are using this software. This software is written in PHP and requires Apache with MySQL or MariaDB database software. The following are its main features.

  • Easy Integrations: You can easily integrate your self-hosted EspoCRM with Google Apps, Outlook, MailChimp and VoIP (Voice over IP like Twilio, Starface and Binotel).
  • Cloud Compatible: EspoCRM can be configured inside Microsoft Azure, Amazon web services, Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud.
  • Multi-language Support: This software supports over 25 different languages including French, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Indonesian and many more.

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Odoo CRM

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Odoo is an industry leader in developing open source solutions for business. Odoo CRM is a highly-advanced software suite to manage your customers and leads. It has both community (Open source) and an enterprise edition that you can buy. Odoo has partners all around the globe that can help you to install community edition on your own servers.

  • Multi-Platform Support: Odoo CRM community edition is available to install on Windows, Ubuntu, Debian, and Red Hat. Enterprise edition has apps for Android and iOS.
  • Amazing Statistics: Advanced statistics of Odoo CRM allows you to monitor the real-time statistics of your company and keep an eye on everything.
  • Integration: If you are using other Odoo apps like Invoicing and Email, then you must know that Odoo CRM is fully integrated with them as well.

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X2CRM

X2crm

X2CRM is best for workflow automation. It’s a complete workflow engine and process management tool that allows you to manage marketing, sales, and customer service. X2CRM makes the whole process very easy. Along with the open-source solution, it’s enterprise solution includes Virtual, Dedicated and On-Premise servers. Following are it’s top features.

  • Click-through Installation: X2CRM has a built-in installer for self-hosting installation. You just need to check the hardware requirements, pre-requisites, upload files and run the installation files.
  • RESTful-API: This suite comes with a REST application programming interface that allows you to integrate your CRM with your web server or mobile applications.
  • Advanced Reporting: Dashboard of X2CRM is very powerful and with tonnes of reporting graphs, analytics and automation tools. Some users even argue that there is too much for a front page. But you can always customize it.

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Zurmo

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First thing first, the best thing about Zurmo CRM is the user-interface. There is a whole new level of fun there. As they claim themselves, they have gamified the CRM and yes it’s true. This social gamification feature is exclusive to Zurmo. Zurmo’s community edition is open source and free to download. There is a community edition as well, where you can use their cloud-hosted enterprise-level solution for your CRM needs. The following are some of the highlighted features of Zurmo.

  • Boost Team Morale: Whenever a team member closes a deal, generate a sale or send a quote to a client. He gets some score, chance to level up and win a badge.
  • Process Automation: Zurmo allows you to embed the forms directly into the website. In this way, the requests from clients directly come to CRM.
  • Email Campaign: This CRM suite has a built-in email system that allows you to run your email campaign right from the CRM.

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OroCRM

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OroCRM is open source and has its own hosting, deployment and development partners all around the globe. You can download and install this software by yourself or contact one of these partners. The list of partners is available on their website. OroCRM does not have a dedicated mobile app but its web-based system is pretty mobile-friendly that allows you to meet your business needs of CRM. The following are some of its nice features.

  • Data Filtering: Overall, the tool is quite technical and overwhelming. But it’s efficient data filtering utility outweighs the cons.
  • eCommerce: This CRM software has built-in integrations for eCommerce software like Magneto. Hence best for your eCommerce business.
  • Customer Service: You can directly integrate this ZenDesk (Customer Service or Support Ticket Software) hence improving your customer service section as well.

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ConcourseSuite

Concoursesuite Crm

ConcourseSuite also offers an open-source community edition CRM software for small businesses and enterprises. Their community edition is not being updated for more than a decade but still works fine as per reviews. So, it can serve as a good beginning for basic functions of customer relationship management software. Complete source code is available on Github. If you going to use some CRM for your business then it’s fine otherwise it is not advised to this outdated software. You may choose among the other options. Some highlighted features of this software are the following.

  • Accounts: You can manage your multiple accounts right inside this single suite. This is one of the core features of this open-source CRM suite.
  • Contacts: Your business accounts are most important, you can never afford to lose or store them in text messages or paper. You can save and access them here.
  • Leads: All your potential and in-progress leads can also be stored here. Their run-time progress can also be updated and reviewed with time.

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Axelor CRM

Axelor Crm

When it comes to the most advanced and minimalist user-interface, Axelor CRM is the leader. Its ergonomic design is most loved in the market. Its web-based interface is completely device. No matter which handheld device you carry, it supports all of them including mobiles, tabs, etc. Axelor offers a great number of integrations as well that makes the whole process pretty much automated and you do not have to repeat the tasks every single time. The following are some of its most highlighted features.

  • High-end Graphics: Axelor offers high-end graphics, rendering models. All of the data collected by the system and displayed as beautiful graphs which makes the statistics a lot easier to infer.
  • Axelor API: Axelor Open suite has the most advanced Application Programming Interface (API) that allows you to open your CRM to the whole world of integrations and never get stuck anywhere.
  • Mobile Apps: Axelor CRM also has mobile apps for both Android and iOS that allows your team to manage their customers and leads directly from the mobile device.

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Fat Free CRM

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This is the most minimalist CRM available. Its code is written using Ruby on Rails which means it’s very powerful on the backend. Fat Free CRM is highly customizable and very elegant in design. It features group collaboration, campaign and lead management, contact lists, and opportunity tracking. Its source code is available on Github which you can download for free. The following are some great features of this open-source CRM software.

  • Detailed Installation Guide: Installation guides available for the Flat Free CRM are very much detailed and even a less tech-savvy person can deploy and configure it.
  • Cross-Platform: You can install and deploy Fat Free CRM on a large number of platforms including Mac OS, Linux, Windows, and Heroku.
  • Plugins: There are several plugins available for example, Service Books, Time Management, Email and Google Authentication for Flat Free CRM users.

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Frequently Asked Questions

These are some common questions you should know the answers to before choosing open source customer relationship management software.

Difference between Open Source, Proprietary, and On-Premise CRM?

As explained at the beginning of this article, Open source CRM is the community edition where you can freely download the code and host it on your own server. Deployment, configuration, and management is completely the headache of your company. Proprietary CRM is usually a cloud-based software hosted by the developer company. You don’t have to do much effort for this as you pay the hefty price. On-premise CRM is also called the on-site CRM, it is installed in the company’s server by the provider and allows greater customization.

Is it safe to use Open Source CRM?

If you don’t have a dedicated tech team for your IT infrastructure then it is not advised to use the Open source CRM because no matter how safe the code is, it is always prone to different kind vulnerabilities. If you think your tech team can handle the maintenance as well then you can definitely go for the open-source.

Bottom Line

This round-up post for the best open source CRM software is meant for the computer experts. What are the best qualities for CRM? Please leave your feedback below in the comments and help us improve the future posts on this topic.

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7 Best Cricket News & Live Score Apps 2019

I’m a big cricket fan but the problem is, most of the time I’m traveling to different places. A lot of my spend on buses and trains. Just to make sure that I never miss a single news and score update, I always have more than one cricket news app on my phone.

The reason for keeping different apps is that not every app covers regional or national series like IPL, ICL, CPL or BBL. Yes, I want to watch all of them, either it is happening in India or Indies. In this article, I’ve covered some of the best cricket news and live score apps available on the App Store and Google. Each app is accompanied by its features and my own review as well. As for the latest updates about cricket, you may also want to keep an eye on news on Stumped.

Best Apps for Cricket News and Live Score

This listing or order is irrespective of their rank. All the cricket news and live score apps are quite good but a single covers all kinds of cricket series. So, you may need to bookmark this page for future as well.

ESPNCricInfo

If you are a die-hard cricket fan and want to keep eye on everything happening in the cricket arena than ESPNCricInfo is the best shot for you. It is already a well-known fact that ESPN is the best news platform when it comes to sports. The best thing about this app is, it allows you to choose a favorite team (of course you can change it any moment) and you will be reminded about all the latest news and matches about this team. Articles available here are written by the industry’s best blogger of sports niche. Primarily it was started as a website but now obviously apps are also available for both Android and iOS that you can download. The following are some of it’s highlighted features.

  • Live Scoreboard for most TV Series
  • Notification Updates for Cricket Matches
  • Personalize the app for the favorite team
  • Full coverage of Indian Premier League
‎Cricinfo - Live Cricket Scores
‎Cricinfo - Live Cricket Scores
Developer: ESPN
Price: Free
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  • ‎Cricinfo - Live Cricket Scores Screenshot

CricBuzz

This app is the bible in this niche. It covers all the latest matches and series by International Cricket Council such as World Cup, T20 and other events organized by the ICC. You can watch the latest cricket scores ball by ball and read the commentary as well. The good thing about this app is that it covers the local or regional series as well such as Indian Premier League, Big Bash, Pakistan Super League, and Ashes series as well. The following are its highlighted features.

  • Latest Cricket Scores
  • Watch Highlights of the cricket matches
  • Read latest articles from sports bloggers
  • Accurate statistics on cricket

ICC Cricket

This app is developed and hosted by the International Cricket Council itself and covers primarily the cricket series being organized by the ICC itself. You can view the match previews, live score and latest articles by the experts. You can also watch the official interviews that are conducted by the ICC anchors during different series and cricket events. All ICC ranking is available on their website along with the detailed profiles of all the International cricket teams with their member players. The following are its highlighted features.

  • Ball by ball commentary
  • Enhanced Profiles of Players
  • Breaking News alerts
  • Full tournament sections

CricSmith

In this list of best cricket news apps. CricSmith is an elegantly designed cricket news and a live scoreboard mobile app with amazing features that would be loved by every cricket fan. They cover all the major events of ICC and other national leagues as well. CricSmith doesn’t have any operational website and operated by the apps both for Android and iOS as well. The best thing about the CricSmith is that it allows push notifications as well. You can set these for wicket falls, sixes and other major events in the match. Some of the cool features of this app are the following.

  • The countdown for future matches
  • Live commentary and scoreboard
  • Free app with less advertisement
  • Best User Interface and relevant information
Cricket Scores LIVE CricSmith
Cricket Scores LIVE CricSmith
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  • Cricket Scores LIVE CricSmith Screenshot

Yahoo! Cricket App

Yahoo cricket app is developed and maintained by Yahoo India and one of the best apps for live cricket scores and updated news. As this free app is being operated by a tech giant, there are many cool features in this app. Updates are a lot quicker than you can imagine. Recently they updated the user interface of their app and added many new cool features. This app is freely available on both Google Play Store for Android and Apps Store for iPhone. The following are some amazing features of this app.

  • Catch up the significant events
  • Ball by ball fastest commentary
  • Teams and Players profile
  • Statistics and Rankings
Yahoo Cricket App - Lightning Fast Scores
Yahoo Cricket App - Lightning Fast Scores
Developer: Yahoo India
Price: To be announced
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  • Yahoo Cricket App - Lightning Fast Scores Screenshot

BCCI Official App

If you wish to have a dedicated and team-specific update for the Indian team only. Then BCCI Official Cricket App is for you. This app is developed by the Pulse Innovations for the Board for Control of Cricket in India. You will get the real-time coverage of all the events involving the Indian cricket team. Almost all matches are covered here either by ICC and sponsored by the BCCI. You will also get the updated news on the changes in the Indian cricket team and breaking news evolving their team members. The following are some highlighted features of this app that you should know.

  • Video highlights
  • Match results and reports
  • Buy tickets
  • Live photostream
BCCI
BCCI
Price: Free
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Cricket 24

This is an ultimate resource for cricket lovers. This app covers major as well as minor events. All the ICC events are featured here along with that, regional events like NatWest T20 Blast and Royal London One-Day Cup. You can also watch the youth cricket event here as well. If you are interested in other types of sports than they also cover Tennis, Basket Ball, Base Ball, Darts, Horse Riding, Golf and many others. The following are some highlighted features of this app.

  • Fast and accurate results
  • Comprehensive statistics
  • MayGames  and MyTeams features to personalize
  • Push notifications for better reporting
Cricket 24 - live scores
Cricket 24 - live scores
Developer: Cricket 24
Price: Free
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  • Cricket 24 - live scores Screenshot

Final Words

This isn’t the ultimate list for the best cricket live score apps obviously. But I’ve tried to cover all the apps that I’ve my experience with. You may choose any of these apps but if you are using another app instead of these. Then please feel free to share this app with us. We are always open to feedback and eager for improvements in our content.

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Best Software for Content Development: Top 5 Content Authoring Tools

Image result for Content Authoring Tools
Credit: eLearning Industry

Great eLearning starts with the right basics. That means investing in the best possible tools for your organization. First of all, a powerful LMS has to be checked off the list. Then, if your organization happens to create sharable content objects, a first-class authoring tool is a must. Sounds technical, right?

We get it, understanding the functions of LMS and authoring tools can seem like a rather overwhelming affair at first. So if you are curious to know how eLearning modules are made, here is a simple example to break it down for you.

Think of LMS as the hard drive of the computer; the eLearning courses as the files on the drive that people can access and share. Now, the keyboard and mouse are the content authoring tools — tools by which people can input files in the hard drive. Do you get it?

Now, let’s understand what content authoring tools are.

A content authoring tool is a software that allows you to create and manage digital content in an interactive format, that can be further explored in various multimedia types. It allows you to add rich media files and interactions to your content, like quizzes, videos, photos, audios, multiple-choice questions, etc.

Now, the challenge that most organizations face today is selecting the right authoring tool for their eLearning needs. Many factors come into play when looking at the best eLearning authoring tools for comparison.

  • Cost – Cost is obviously an important element. Content authoring tools come in different variations. And companies must choose the one that fits their requirements and budget.
  • Feasibility – Practicality, and ease of use are other important factors. There are many tools that are simpler with fewer features, and then there are other complicated ones that require a tech-savvy person to use them.
  • Compatibility – Compatibility with LMS is an important component to consider.

There are a lot of products in the market, and every one of them has its unique offerings. That being said, companies should consider the above-mentioned factors before choosing a content authoring tool.

Once you have set your priorities and understood the needs of the company, choosing a tool will be as easy as pie.

5 Best Content Authoring Tools

Let’s have a look at some of the best content authoring tools in the market.

Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate is one of the leading content development tools in the market. Majorly used by seasoned users, this difficult to use software helps you create fully responsive materials — interactive training courses or videos.

It also allows users to visualize the final training programs and map out the curriculum before actually working on them. By integrating with PowerPoint, this tool can be used to create interactive content from presentations.

Storyline 360

Famous name in the world of authoring, Storyline is modern, innovative and has a lot of features. The tool allows users to storyboard their courses and dictates the path the learner must take.

Best managed with the help of a technical expert, Storyline offers many ways in which content can be presented. The added bonus of the tool is that courses can be built manually from existing templates.

Elucidat

Elucidat is much simpler and easy-to-use than Adobe Captivate and Storyline 360. It is a robust, intuitive, cloud-based eLearning tool designed to help multiple creators deliver responsive eLearning courses.

This reliable tool gives institutions and freelancers a chance to work on the content together. It has a rich asset library, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface, and a specialized gamification tool.

Eliademy

Eliademy is a free eLearning authoring platform that lets you create online courses for free. Also known as the free alternative to Moodle, this tool allows users to add forums and quizzes to make the content interactive. It’s truly mobile service allows users access from any modern online device, anytime.

Easygenerator

Easygenerator is “all-in-one eLearning software” that requires no coding knowledge, and is best for newbies. Users who don’t have a big budget have Easygenerator as an option.

Built with a focus on ease of creation, this tool is super user-friendly and compatible with most LMS platforms. And just like Elucidat, it has a WYSIWYG interface.

Final Thoughts

eLearning is the current and fastest way of learning. From large enterprises and small businesses to educational institutions, content authoring tools are being used for design learning programs. These tools are not just saving organizations time, but are also enhancing learner engagement and eventually, adding value to their businesses.

Why Browser Security Matters For Data Protection?

Browser vulnerabilities can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain access to your data and your computer. So a browser can be a potential vulnerability. Privacy is also a browser’s job because it should store as little user information as possible and block trackers that track you on the web to spy on your user behavior.

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With specially secured browsers, which can be used, for example, to transfer sensitive data during online banking, you usually have to cut back on user-friendliness, as this is not taken into account due to the high-security features. They are therefore hardly usable in everyday life. This article will, therefore, answer the question of which of the common browsers is most secure and best suited for everyday use.

Is a secure browser alone sufficient?

This question can be answered right at the beginning with “No”. No matter how good the security features of a browser may be, users can stay on dubious websites, click on links in suspicious e-mails, download software from unknown sources and handle their passwords with anything but care.

Of course, the browser you’re using contributes to security on the net, but it’s relatively small, as opposed to how your own online behavior affects your security. There are a few simple rules you should follow if you value your privacy on the Internet:

  • I’m sure you’ve heard this tip many times before, but there are still many people who use their children’s names or dates of birth as passwords, or who have been using the same password for years. But it’s so simple: use complex passwords that are not easy to guess. The best thing to do is to think about strings that only make sense for yourself. In addition, you should only store your passwords in an encrypted form or, even better, not at all.
  • On relevant sites, there are many applications which look very interesting and which we would like to install. Nevertheless, you should not exaggerate it, but only download programs that are really important for you. In addition, you should research whether the source from which you want to start a download is really serious. You can usually find all the information you need on the Internet.
  • The same applies to browser extensions. Because they can observe everything you do online. So they are not exactly the yellow of the egg in terms of data protection. In addition, useful extensions are always sold to dubious companies and converted into malware by them. Here, too, you should only install extensions that are really important to you.
  • Another important point, which many still do wrong, is that you should only disclose what is really necessary. For example, if you fill out a web form, it’s best to fill out only the boxes that are mandatory, and leave out everything else. If you are asked for data that makes you suspicious, it is better to refrain from logging in to the respective page. In addition, many people still don’t think that you should pay close attention to what you reveal about yourself and what you prefer to keep to yourself, even on social networks.
  • Never click on links from unsolicited emails. Not even if they resemble those of your bank etc. Phishing websites usually look deceptively similar to the originals.
  • Make sure that you only visit websites with a URL that begins with “https” when banking online or shopping on the net. This means that they are encrypted using SSL. Most browsers now display an icon with a green padlock in the address bar.
  • Last but not least: Updates for your operating system and other applications should always be installed promptly. Often these updates contain fixes for known security holes, which can pose a risk to your device and your data if not installed.

Security comparison of popular browsers

Google Chrome

This is probably the most popular browser and it also has a very good reputation in terms of security. About every 14 days there are updates that improve security. The sandbox technology also prevents malicious websites from gaining access to the computer, as the web is separated from the rest of the computer.

Unfortunately, this browser leaves much to be desired in the area of data protection. After all, it is well known that Google earns a lot of money with targeted advertising and this is only possible if detailed user profiles are created. Many services that transfer data to Google can be deactivated in the settings, but those responsible are relying on the fact that many users never change the default settings and even don’t even use VPN chrome extension. And they’re right about that.

Mozilla Firefox

This browser does not come close to Google Chrome in terms of security. For example, no-sandbox is used. Only add-ons are packed in a sandbox.

But Firefox doesn’t fool anyone when it comes to data protection. There is an aggressive tracking filter to prevent the user from being tracked on the net. In addition, the browser is completely open-source, which means that virtually anyone can view the code and check what the program is doing. Users can, therefore, be sure that no data about their Internet use will be tapped.

Opera

This browser is as secure as Chrome, and at the same time as Firefox, it is as concerned about privacy as Firefox. Unfortunately, it is not completely open-source and offers less transparency for the users. But there are some additional features that provide more data protection and security. For example, there is an integrated ad blocker that blocks advertisements and trackers and protects them from crypto-mining.

Microsoft Edge

According to a report by computer security company NSS Lab, Edge’s security feature detected 99% of all malware and phishing sites, more than Chrome and Firefox. But that doesn’t mean this browser is any safer than the others. At an event where hackers try to hack known browsers, Edge was the most hacked browser. However, Edge also uses a sandbox and the developers regularly release updates and react very quickly to security vulnerabilities.

Apple Safari

Apple has a reputation for taking security and privacy very seriously. Safari is the last major browser to use WebKit as its rendering engine. Because it’s not widespread anymore, it doesn’t offer a very attractive target for hackers, which is positive for users, of course. So Safari is a good choice for those who care about security.

This is the winner

The safest browser currently available for free is Tor. It relies mainly on anonymous surfing on the Internet. Using Tor hides your IP address, location, and surfing information. Multiple layers of encryption are used for this purpose. This browser is a purer, more secure version of Firefox and uses HTTPS. Even blocked websites can be visited with it.

However, there are disadvantages here as well. The browser is rather sluggish and somewhat impractical and complicated to use.

So you can see that no browser is one hundred percent perfect. Everyone focuses on different things. One focuses more on security and the other on data protection. That’s why it’s always important that you go by your personal preferences and choose the browser that best suits you and your online behavior.

7 Reasons to Start Using a VPN Immediately

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What makes over 1.125 billion people around the world want to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)? Well, as you’ll soon find out, VPNs are making web browsing safer, more anonymous and less restricted. Not to mention a host of other hidden benefits that distinguishes a VPN from the “tech nerd” software it’s made out to be.

Surf Privately and Securely

People tend to take their privacy for granted in the digital age, and that’s become a serious problem. Meanwhile, behind the scenes:

  •   Your data is sold off to the highest bidder by your ISP, especially browsing data that can accurately track when and why you spend time (and money) online
  •   While advertisers love being handed all your data on a silver platter, they don’t shy away from collecting it themselves
  •   Hackers are reaching record numbers because it’s super easy to find hacking software and video tutorials online. Not to mention the prevalence of public Wi-Fi networks that are an oasis for amateur hackers looking to make some quick cash

We won’t even go into detail about how privacy-invasive governments are becoming in the name of “safety.” Suffice to say, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to have some basic sense of privacy these days. Unless you use a VPN, that is.

VPNs anonymize everything you do online by hiding your real IP address, replacing it with the IP of a server (usually in another country), and encrypting your network communications. Encryption basically means that your data becomes a secret, scrambled message that can only be read by those with the proper key to decipher it.

Yes, that means none of the people mentioned above can see and exploit your browsing habits. Nor can hackers attempt to steal your email login, bank or credit card info and so on while you’re connected to the local café’s Wi-Fi hotspot.

There’s another benefit to hiding your IP, and if you’re a fan of streaming TV shows then you’ll love it.

Unblock Everything

You’re not alone in thinking that copyright and licensing issues have become a little ridiculous nowadays. YouTube finally did something about it and gave content creators a chance to fight abusive uses of their copyright system by major conglomerates.

Unfortunately, we’re still nowhere near how free and open the Internet was supposed to be.   In fact, it’s heading in the opposite direction real fast with such examples as:

  •   The infamous “Article 13” that could make it incredibly difficult for platforms like YouTube or Twitter to keep up the free flow of information
  •   Net neutrality still being under attack because… washing machines can’t make phone calls? (Seriously, that’s one of the arguments the courts made)

Legalese aside, it’s just not fun seeing “This video has been blocked in your country” on YouTube when you’re trying to listen to a song. Or the fact you can’t watch your favorite TV shows on Netflix (or the million other platforms popping up) just because of licensing-based geo-restrictions.

Remember that part about VPNs hiding your IP address? Well, you can also choose which country the VPN server is in. If you live in the UK, for example, it’s as simple as choosing a US-based server to access US-exclusive shows and other content. Of course, a high-speed VPN is essential for streaming without a loss in quality or endless buffering. All your connections need to be rerouted through that country, so it could result in a loss of speed if your provider doesn’t have some fast servers.

Speaking of content blocking, there’s one other situation where that could be a nuisance.

Easily Get Past Firewalls

Ever wanted to watch a quick episode of a TV show during lunch break? Maybe scroll through Twitter or Reddit during downtime? That’s too bad; the company set up firewalls on their Wi-Fi network, effectively blocking entertainment and social media websites to “keep up the productivity.”

Let’s say you’re a conscientious worker and that doesn’t bother you. What about hotels, cafés, and other Wi-Fi hotspots that also have content-blocking firewalls? What about things like the Great Firewall of China that effectively blocks a huge part of the Internet in that area? In fact, it’s happening in the West too (just look at some of the proposed Internet regulations in the UK).

If you happen to visit one of these censorship-heavy countries on holiday or business trip, your end-of-the-day entertainment choices will be severely limited. But you guessed it, VPNs also allow you to bypass these firewalls quite effectively.

Prevent Bandwidth Throttling

Another nuisance that can prevent you from browsing normally is bandwidth throttling. If you haven’t heard about it, some ISPs will slow down your connection speeds if you use a lot of bandwidth for things like streaming. They say they do it to save network resources, but why should you get punished for something you’re paying for?

The most likely reason they would throttle your bandwidth is to sell you a more expensive, high-speed plan. With a VPN, you’re hiding what you do online from your ISP, so they can’t determine where they should limit your bandwidth usage. Now you can binge Netflix for 12 hours on a weekend without worrying about connection speeds.

Safe Torrenting

While it’s mostly associated with illegal file-sharing, the truth is that torrenting has plenty of perfectly legal uses. Companies regularly use torrent software to distribute large files across tens or hundreds of devices simultaneously. Music and video artists use torrents to distribute their creations for promotional purposes to tens of thousands of users.

If you’re up for more free stuff, head over to The Internet Archive as well. It has a gigantic collection of old movies, books, live concerts and other materials that are part of the public domain. And yes, they use torrents to distribute those files to save money on bandwidth costs.

The major problem here is that your IP address is perfectly visible in the torrenting software. Any Internet strangers could use that small piece of info to find out your general location through your ISP. Always use a VPN while torrenting to avoid such situations and keep your privacy intact.

No Limits to Online Gaming

Geo-blocking isn’t a stranger to gaming either. Plenty of video games are either restricted to certain areas (usually MMOs and other online multiplayer games), or outright banned in various countries because of taboo laws. Australia comes to mind, with its long list of casualties.

Again, switching your IP address to another region will allow you to bypass these restrictions and gain access to banned games or their uncut, original versions from elsewhere. You may also join your friends across the world in online matches if the game happens to be region-locked.

Another interesting use for VPNs in online gaming is to avoid DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks in a competitive setting. When faced with a loss, many players feel the need for revenge or “a way out” of losing. They use DDoS attacks against your personal IP address to slow down or even drop your connection to the game, resulting in a loss. A quality VPN provider will have DDoS relief servers to stabilize that sudden influx of malicious traffic and prevent loss of connection.

Online Shopping – Get Better Deals

It’s true, and it’s called price discrimination. Everyone, from the airline industry to online storefronts, offers different prices for the same services based on the area you live in or other factors. Companies believe that users in economically well-off countries are able to pay a higher price for a plane ticket or other product.

If you think that reeks of nonsense, you’re not alone. Sure, airlines aren’t that profitable and they need to take care of their pockets somehow – but that shouldn’t be your problem to fix. Using a VPN may allow you to find cheaper flights or online store prices, though it’s not 100% guaranteed, and how much you’ll save varies wildly.

Next time you’re shopping for tickets, try switching your server country to a less economically developed area. It’s recommended to clear your cache and cookies before attempting this, as websites can use those to identify you even if you’ve otherwise hidden your IP address.

Consider using a different browser as well. Privacy-oriented browsers like Brave or Safari also have built-in fingerprinting blockers, which should help you out. Advertisers use browser fingerprinting to gather specific details about your device, allowing them to distinguish you from the crowd.

All this may be an inconvenience at first, but the money you save will start piling up soon enough. If the first six benefits didn’t convince you of how versatile VPNs can be, then getting back your subscription money through savings surely will.

Why Free VPNs Aren’t Worth It?

Nothing in life is free, and “free” VPNs prove this exact sentiment. Running a VPN service costs money (server and maintenance costs, paying the staff, etc.), so they need to make a profit somehow.

Some free providers opt for aggressive advertising in their software, while others log and sell your data to third parties. This effectively nullifies any online privacy promised by the VPN encryption. And that’s if you’re lucky – research has shown that a whopping 38% of free Android VPNs contained harmful malware. That, of course, can lead to compromised payment information – probably way more expensive than a VPN subscription.

Moreover, free VPNs can’t afford to keep refreshing their list of IP addresses like a paid provider can. This means you’re way less likely to unblock the content you want. Netflix, HBO, and others already work hard to block IP addresses they suspect are part of a VPN service, and they don’t really care what you think. Just some things to consider.

Gaming vs Rocker Chairs- A Gamer’s Comparison

Gaming can be tough enough as it is, concentrating and sitting hours on end. There’s nothing more annoying than being fully immersed in your favorite game and having feelings of pain or discomfort at the back of your mind. It takes away all the fun from your gaming experience.

It’s quite common now to find chairs that are specifically designed for certain platforms (Playstation, PC, X-box, etc.). The main types are PC Gaming Chairs and Rocker Chairs. In this article, we compare PC gaming chairs with rocker gaming chairs to see how they fare against each other.

The Look and Feel

The basic difference between a PC gaming chair and a rocker gaming chair is that a rocker chair is closer to the ground, while a PC gaming chair is set at a greater height. Overall, it resembles a typical office chair that has a really tall backrest and thick cushioning. The rocker chair is bulkier and the whole seat just sits on the ground.

Obviously the difference in height is to account for the different gaming platforms they’ve each been designed for. A PC gaming chair is taller so that you’re at eye level with a PC monitor that’s sitting on your desk, whereas the shorter rocker chair is designed for platforms like X-box, Playstation, etc. As such, rocker chairs are also known as console gaming chairs.

Which Type of Chair is More Comfortable?

Both types of gaming chairs have evolved a lot in terms of ergonomics. They both have comfortable amounts of padding and armrests. PC chairs have adjustable backrests where you can change the angle of the backrest. Most PC chairs recline back to 135⁰ and some even go the full 180⁰. Console gaming chairs also have adjustability, though the backrest is usually rigid.

In terms of comfort and ergonomics, the biggest difference between the two is that rocker chairs offer more stability, as it has a bulkier base and is closer to the ground. Hence, it is much better for exciting console games where you’re moving around a lot. It’s ideal for adrenaline-pumping racing games and action games (Resident Evil, Red Dead Redemption).

This is not to say you can’t play these games on a PC chair, but it will be far more awkward. If you get excited easily, I recommend you stick to the rocker chairs, since you won’t fall over on those! However, if you want a chair that encourages a good upright posture, PC chairs are for you.

How many birds can you kill with one stone?

The obvious advantage of PC gaming chairs is that they double as office chairs, which you can use to do work at your PC. Typically, rocker chairs aren’t as versatile, and you can only use them for console gaming. Unless of course, you set the backrest to the full 180⁰ and use it as a comfy bed for naps!

PC chairs also have greater adjustability in terms of the backrest, armrest and height, which adds to their superior versatility. Additionally, PC chairs are comparatively easier to transport than rocker chairs with their bulky bases.

Which one will break your bank?

Needless to say that a great gaming chair can cost you a pretty penny. A high-end PC gaming chair like DXRacer can easily set you back $500. But, then again, there are many budget gaming chairs below $200. A reasonably-priced rocker gaming chair like the X-Rocker can also be had for around $250, so there isn’t a huge discrepancy between the costs of the two types.

The Bottom Line

So, to sum it all up, PC gaming chairs and rocker gaming chairs both have different designs that work with different platforms. PC chairs are taller and have a lighter base, making them easier to transport and versatile in its functions (they double as office chairs). If you like lighter PC games and chairs that support good posture, these are for you.

Rocker chairs are bulkier by design to allow greater stability while you’re moving about while playing console games. These are best for avid gamers who love playing exciting, immersive console games on their X-box and Playstation.

In terms of cost, they’re not that different from each other. You can get decent options for under $200 of both types of chairs. So, which one you choose really depends on which gaming platforms you prefer. Are you more of a PC gamer, who works or studies a lot at home? Then a PC gaming chair kills two birds with one stone. Or do you play a lot of console games on your TV? Then get yourself a full rocker chair!

Best Tool to Digitize DVD to Video on Computer – Free Access to All Features

Considering how nearly everything is moving to digital, the one thing that we need to address is that digital media is so much better. However, when we look back at all the content that we still happen to have on DVDs, we realize that we need to do something about them. Especially if that is important because you cannot just throw that away as it would be a waste of money. That being said, you also need to understand.

Now if you are looking for some good DVD to hard drive solutions, you can easily find a lot of them available in the market, but not all of them are going to work the way you want them to. There are some issues that come in the way, more often than you might think.

Some of the most common issues are like the inability to create digital copies of some of the copy-protected DVDs, or support for some DVDs, as well as restrictions that come in the way. These are just some of the most common issues from the laundry list of issues that have been around for some time now.

If you are looking for something that will solve such woes, the great thing is that we have the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum for you to check out. This is one of the best DVD rippers available in the market. It works really well, and it is really simple to use, as well. If you are looking for something good, below are a few advantages of using WinX DVD Ripper Platinum.

There are some pretty great benefits to this software that we are going to look at below.

  • Easily convert all the new, old, as well as region-locked, copy-protected DVDs to video.
  • You can change the language of the DVD, extract audio, and take screenshots, too.
  • You can convert the DVDs so you can easily store them on the different media type of your choosing.

These are just a few key advantages of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, however, things do not just end there as the software does come with some pretty impressive features, too.

  • WinX DVD Ripper Platinum can use your GPU to make sure that the conversion process is sped up and you can convert your DVDs into videos faster.
  • You can convert your DVDs to play on any and all devices including consoles, phones, as well as television.
  • You will have the option to convert the DVD into various formats such as MP4, H.264, AVI, MPEG, WMV, AVC, ISO.
  • You will be able to perform basic editings such as editing, cutting, or trimming of the DVD.

Try Out the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum for Free

Whether you are looking forward to converting your DVD to MP4, or something else, the great thing is that you can actually try the software features, for free. You can enjoy the full features of this amazing software, and once you are done, you will also get an exclusive discount for trying out the software.

If you do want to go with DVD to digital, the good news is that you can easily do so and use all the features to see if this software is worth your time and money. We can assure you, it certainly is going to be a good experience.

How to Use WinX DVD Ripper Platinum

Now that we have talked about most of the main highlights that define this software, the next step is to start looking at just how you can use WinX DVD Ripper Platinum. If you are overwhelmed by the fact that it might a difficult thing to use, then do not worry. The process of using this software is fairly simple and straightforward, as well.

With that said, if you are a little overwhelmed, the tutorial below is going to help you.

Step 1: Make sure that the software is installed and running. Once you do run it, you will be taken to the interface below. It looks simple and to the point.

Step 2: Now if you are looking to rip a DVD, all you need to do is click on Disc on the top left corner, and you will be getting a new window, which will look something like this. Now you need to select the source DVD disc, once you have selected, simply click on OK to proceed.

Step 3: At this step, you will have the chance to select from a number of profiles that the software offers. If you do not want to go with the given profiles, you can always create your own for a simpler and easier experience. It is just something that is better to note.

Step 5: Once the profile is selected and you have pressed the OK button, the next step is just you clicking on run. The screen below might look overwhelming at first, but do not be confused. Just make sure that all the parameters are set exactly how you want them to be set, and click on Run.

In case you have not paid attention, the developers are running a limited discount offer on this amazing software. You can try the software with all the features for 7 days and that too, without any cost. Once the trial is over, and if you do like the software, you can buy it at a discounted price and use it for as long as you want to, without any issues.

Try WinX DVD Ripper Platinum

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