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October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

What is Penetration Testing? Why Do You Need Pen Testing?

Hacking a company's security used to take a lot of skill and time. Still, nowadays the technological advances have made it easier even for amateurs to find an organization's vulnerable point. Penetration testing works by helping businesses find out where they are most vulnerable and most likely to face an attack and actively solve the weaknesses before they are exploited by hackers. For pen testing, it's never a choice between penetration testers vs. penetration testing tools. Instead, it's more of what penetration testing tools will help ethical hackers more, and let's proceed to define penetration testing.

What is Penetration Testing?

A penetration test is a security exercise to evaluate the security of an IT infrastructure by trying to exploit vulnerabilities safely. The vulnerabilities may be found in operating systems, application flaws, services, risk end-user behavior, or improper configurations. This simulated attack aims to identify any vulnerable spots in defense of the system which may be used by attackers.

When a penetration tester does penetration testing correctly, it will not only stop criminals from having unauthorized access to a company's system but will also create real-life scenarios that will show businesses how well their current defenses would perform in case of a full-scale cyber attack. In addition, the insights provided from the pen testing will be used to fine-tune your WAF security policies and patch up detected vulnerabilities.

Who Performs Pen Tests?

A pen test should be performed by someone with little or no knowledge of how your computer system is secured because they may be able to discover and expose blind spots that were missed by developers who built the system or an internal test. Therefore, external contractors or penetration testers are brought in to perform these penetration tests. They can also be referred to as ethical hackers since they will try to hack your system with permission and increase security measures.

Many of these ethical hackers are experienced developers with advanced degrees and a pen testing certification, but some are self-taught. Some of the pen testers are reformed criminal hackers who now use their expertise to help in fixing security issues instead of exploiting them.


Why Do you Need a Pen Test?

A company's security team often needs penetration tests to evaluate their IT infrastructure security because a company may have robust security in one area but lack in another area of the organization. In addition, a successful cyberattack may result in high costs meaning no company should wait for a real-world example to play out before they do a security testing. Penetration tools can help expose potential vulnerabilities in any business security layer and allow an ethical hacker or a pen tester to address the security vulnerabilities before they turn to liabilities.

What Are the Benefits of Penetration Testing?

When it comes to penetration testing, even the best IT department may lack the objectivity to find some security flaws that may cause an organization to be exposed to hackers. Ensure the pen tester conducts white box testing, black-box testing, and other security assessments from the outside. Having an external ethical hacker that is not part of the business or company provide value in the following ways:

  • The external ethical hacker can detect the hard-to-find security risks through application scanning and automated tools network.
  • The simulated attack might help determine the feasibility of the organization's security to hold up under different types of cyberattacks.
  • Assess and quantify any potential impacts on your business and operational functions
  • Show how exploring the low-risk vulnerabilities could cause a lot of damage in the high levels.
  • Judge how well the system's defenses will perform when faced with an attack
  • Help to prevent future attacks by implementing and validating the updated security controls.
  • To quantify the need for a bigger investment in personnel and security technology.

Pen testing also satisfies some compliance requirements for the security auditing procedures, including SOC 2, PCI, and DSS.

What Are the Different Types of Penetration Testing?

Vulnerabilities usually fall under three categories: human, hardware, software, and understanding more of what a pen test consists of and potential vulnerabilities your business may face.

a). Web Application Pen Testing

This Web App Penetration test involves searching out places in your application that might be the target system by a hacker. You should install a new third-party component that will allow pen testers to view sensitive information on the company website, opening the company systems. The attack simulations security professionals carry out are designed to:

  • Find vulnerabilities or application security flaws.
  • Provide actionable insights on how the address the security weaknesses found
  • Summarize the risks and discover how they will affect the company

Your business or company should use an ethical hacker from an application development background since they will use the experience to zero out issues common with web development. This will help develop actionable strategies that address web application vulnerabilities such as:

  • Insecure Direct Object References
  • Cross-Site Request Forgery
  • Cross-Site Scripting
  • Weak Session Management
  • Injection Flaws

b). Network Security Pen Testing

Ethical hackers use pen tests to find vulnerabilities where a hacker might exploit in different networks, systems, hosts, and network devices such as switches and routers. The penetration testers look for potential ways a hacker might find real-life opportunities to compromise a company by getting unauthorized access or gain physical access to any sensitive data. Ethical hacking by your security team should use focused network infrastructure pen tests to identify systems and network flaws like:

  • Inadequate, Inconsistent or Non-Existent Password Protocols
  • Product-specific Vulnerabilities
  • Misconfigurations
  • Wireless Network Vulnerabilities
  • Weak Passwords
  • Rogue Services

It would be more beneficial to use security teams in supporting networks, hosts, or systems. This experience allows penetration testers to develop intrusion tests that will improve an organization's security posture.

c). Physical Penetration Testing

This type of testing will measure the strength of a company's current security measures and controls, and it will also look for any potential weakness vulnerable to manipulation by hackers. For example, the vulnerability could compromise your organization's physical barriers, lime cameras or sensors, and locks that allow people from gaining access to sensitive business locations leading to a data breach.

Using physical pen testing will help your organization stop unauthorized access into secure environments and offer invaluable guidance and ways to correct the critical issues. Some industries that will be at most risk include:

  • Armored Transport Services
  • Banking Institutions
  • Healthcare Institutions
  • Casinos
  • Retail Services
  • Government Services
  • Technology Firms
  • Hospitality Services

d). Cryptocurrency Penetration Testing

A Cryptocurrency pen test will look for security weaknesses in your systems, applications, hosts, software, or devices used in storage protocols and cryptocurrency transactions. In addition, this type of pen testing should check the social engineering side, such as phishing on the vendors and company employees and stakeholders to gain passwords or any other essential data to hack cryptocurrency networks.

e). Cloud Security Penetration Testing

This type of pen test is essential in helping companies invest in cloud technology to protect vulnerable assets and network security, making pen-testing important. In addition, the autonomy and flexibility offered by some cloud environment solutions will expose organizations to new security threats. Therefore, companies should employ penetration testers who understand the risks associated with using cloud technology.

These tests find potential exposures from an organization's network, application, and configuration in a business cloud setup. This could give hackers access to internal systems, sensitive data, and company credentials.

f). IoT Security Penetration Testing

An IoT security pen test focuses on exposing any new software and hardware flaws that could allow hackers to gain access to the business's sensitive data and take over a company's system. This pen test will examine different IoT devices such as Insecure Protocols, Misconfigurations, Insecure APIs, and Product-specific Vulnerabilities. These vulnerability scans should assist security experts in applying a layered methodology, and it will help spot the security weaknesses before any hacker finds them.


What Are the Stages of Penetration Testing?

Pen testing is different from the other cybersecurity evaluation methods as it can be adapted from any organization or industry. Depending on the infrastructure of an organization, you may need to use certain hacking tools and techniques. The methodologies and techniques may also vary based on the company standards and IT personnel.

The pen testing process can take five stages, and it involves:

1. Planning and reconnaissance

This is the first stage, and it involves:

  • Defining the scope and goals of the pen tests should also include the computer systems to be addressed and the testing methods to be used.
  • Gather intelligence such as mail server domain and network names to understand better how a target works and some of its potential network vulnerabilities.

2. Scanning

Scanning is the second step, and it involves understanding how your target application in the system reacts to the different intrusion attempts. Again, information such as IP addresses will help to determine any information on firewalls and other connections. This is done using:

a). Static analysis

This involves inspecting an application code and estimating how it behaves while running, and these pen-testing tools will scan the whole code in a single pass.

b). Dynamic Analysis

This also involves inspecting the application code in a running state, and it is a more practical way of scanning. It will provide a real-time view of the application's performance.

3. Gain Access

This stage will use web application attacks such as backdoors, cross-site scripting, and SQL injection to help uncover any vulnerability issues. Security experts will then exploit the vulnerabilities by escalating privileges, intercepting traffic, and stealing data. This vulnerability assessment will help know the extent of damage they can cause.

4. Maintaining access

This stage involves seeing if the vulnerability can be used to achieve a persistent presence in an exploited computer system for a long period enough for a criminal hacker to gain in-depth access. Maintaining access is meant to imitate any advanced and persistent threats that may remain in the computer systems for months to steal an organization's sensitive data.

5. Analysis

The analysis is the last stage, and it involves compiling the results of the simulated cyber attack, and it should detail:

  • The data breaches accessed
  • The specific vulnerabilities exploited
  • The period the ethical hacker remained in the target system undetected

The information gathered will be analyzed, and it should help a user configure an enterprise's WAF settings and other application security patches to protect the organization's infrastructure against future attacks.


How Often Should You Do Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing should be performed regularly, and regular penetration testing will allow businesses to locate and mitigate cyber-attacks. A business should involve security professionals or pen testers to take a penetration test when some changes occur, such as:

  • Applying security patches
  • Adding a network infrastructure
  • Establishment of new office locations
  • Performing application upgrades or any other infrastructure
  • Modifying end-user policies

Frequently Asked Questions on Penetration Testing Services

1. Is a penetration test expensive?

Penetration testing is different for every organization, depending on its size and complexity. Still, the average price for a small and non-complex organization is about $4000, and for a large and complex one, it can be $100,000.

2. What is WIFI penetration testing?

A wireless penetration test examines your network using a method similar to a standard and wired penetration test, even though they focus on wireless as the gateway of exploitation to vulnerabilities. Penetration testing should imitate a real-life attack in all the ways possible.

3. Can I Pen-test my network?

Yes, you can do your pen tests on your network. Still, it would be best if you familiarized yourself with pen-testing frameworks such as OSSTMM and Penetration Testing Execution Standard, among others.

4. Is a Pen-test safe?

Yes and No. They are safe if done properly, an. However, suppose tests are not done correctly. In that case, they may expose sensitive data, crash servers, corrupt crucial production, and other adverse effects on your security posture associated with imitating a criminal hack. Notably, you will need to trust your ethical hacker. 

October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

What is Ransomware? How It Works and Ways to Prevent It

Ransomware attacks have become too common nowadays, and big companies in Europe and North America have become a victim of it. Cybercriminals will work to attack any business, users, or users that come from any industry.

By understanding what is ransomware and major ransomware scams, organizations and users will get a solid foundation on the exploits, characteristics, and tactics of the ransomware attacks. Keep reading to learn more about ransomware attacks.

What is a Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware(malicious software that involves holding the victim's information at ransom. First, the user's data is encrypted, making them unable to access their databases, files, or applications, then a ransom is asked to provide access.

It has been designed to spread across the network then target the file servers and database. Ransomware has become an increasing threat, generating a lot of dollars in payments to cybercriminals, causing damage to users and organizations.

History of Ransomware

Ransomware is not a 21st-century invention but has been around since 1989, where the AIDS virus was used to extort money from ransomware victims. In 1996, ransomware, which was known as cryptoviral extortion, was introduced by Adam Young and Moti Yung of Columbia University.

In the 1996 IEEE Security and Privacy conference, they presented their first cryptovirology attack, where the virus had encrypted the victim's files and the attacker's public key. This malware then prompted the victims to send the asymmetric ciphertext to the attacker then return the decryption key at a fee.

Over the years, attackers have really grown by asking for payments that are not easy to trace, making cybercriminals anonymous. These attacks have also become popular with the growth of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, and Etherum.

The first concrete case of ransomware was reported in Russia in 2005, and since then, these concrete cases have spread all over the world, with other new types proving to be successful. In 2011, an increase in ransomware attacks was experienced. This has made the manufacturers of antivirus software increase focus on their virus scanners on ransomware.

How Ransomware Works

Ransomware utilizes asymmetric encryption, which is cryptography that uses keys to decrypt and encrypt a file. This pair of keys is generated by the attacker using the private key to decrypt the files and store them on the attacker's server.

This way, the attacker will only provide the private key to the victim only after the ransom is paid; however, that is not always the case. If the victim lacks access to the private key, it becomes impossible to decrypt the files stored in the ransom.

Many variations of ransomware exist, but most often, the ransom or any other malware is distributed through targeted attacks or email spam campaigns. Any malware required an attack vector so as to create its presence on the endpoint.

Once this presence is created, the malware will remain on the system until the task is completed. When the task is successfully completed, the ransomware drops and creates a malicious binary on the system. The binary them encrypts valuable files like images, databases, documents, etc.

How to Detect Ransomware

To be able to detect ransomware, the right security software and a watchful eye are important. The software should help you perform vulnerability scans so that you will be able to find intruders in your system.

The first step is to ensure that your computer is not the best target for ransomware. The device software should always be up to date so that you can benefit from the latest updates and security patches.

You need always to be careful with email attachments and rogue websites. However, the best preventive measures may not always work, making it essential to have a contingency plan that includes a backup of your data.

What Examples of Ransomware Are There?

The innovation of ransomware attacks is incremental and there continue to be variations in the functions, targets, and code of the ransomware. Here are some common ransomware attacks that have taken place in the recent past;

1. WannaCry

WannaCry is one of the most serious and largest ransomware attacks that took place in the spring of 2017. During the attack, about 250,000 victims from approximately 150 countries were asked to pay a ransom until the killswitch was tripped to stop the spread.

2. CryptoLocker

This was also one of the first contemporary decoration of ransomware attacks requiring a cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) and encrypted the attached network drives, and user's hard drive. It spread via email using an attachment that claimed to be UPS and FedEx tracking notifications. A decryption tool for this attack was created in 2014, but approximately $27 million was already extorted.

3. NotPetya

This is known to be one of the most damaging ransomware attacks since they got tactics from Petya like encrypting and infecting the master boot record of the Microsoft Windows-based system. The NotPetya used a similar vulnerability as WannaCry to rapidly spread it and demand payment (Bitcoin) to undo those changes. However, NotPetya couldn't undo the changes to the master boot record, rendering the target system unrecoverable.

4. Bad Rabbit

This one used a similar code and exploits as NotPetya to spread and was visible ransomware that targeting Ukraine and Russia and impacting the media companies in the areas. However, unlike NotPetya, this ransomware infection allowed for decryption once the ransom was paid. Additionally, it was spread using a fake Flash player update that impacted the users.

What are the Main Forms of Ransomware?

The posed threat by ransomware is dependent on the variant of the virus. There are two main categories of ransomware that include;

  • Locker Ransomware- This is where the basic computer functions are affected
  • Crypto Ransomware-This is where the individual files are encrypted

This type of malware will make a significant difference when it comes to dealing with and identifying ransomware.

Should I pay the ransom?

Most law enforcement agencies urge the victims not to pay the ransom to the ransomware attackers. However, logically speaking, refusing to pay the ransom will only encourage the hackers to create more ransomware.

Many organizations who find themselves in such a situation will begin doing a cost-benefit analysis where they weigh the price of the ransom and the value of the encrypted files. The attackers tend to keep the prices low, an amount that will be able to pay on short notice.

Some will even adjust the ransom to match the economy of the country that the infected computer is operating from. They tend to demand less from developing countries and more from rich countries, as well as discounts offered for acting fast.

There are a number of things you need to have in mind. First, the ransomware may not have encrypted data at all, so ensure you're not dealing with scareware before you send the money. Additionally, paying the ransom doesn't guarantee your encrypt files will be back.

How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Before protecting against ransomware, prevention is always better than cure. There are several ways you can use to prevent ransomware attacks, including;

  1. Defend your web surfing will help create secure web gateways that can make the user's web surfing traffic to help identify the malicious web ads that might cause ransomware.
  2. Protect your email- Email span and phishing are one of the main ways ransomware attacks are distributed. Therefore, securing the emails from the attacks is crucial for blocking and detecting malicious emails from delivering ransomware.
  3. Monitor your network, server, and backup key systems to help detect unusual activities, network C&C traffic, CPU loads, and viruses to block them from activating.
  4. Protecting your mobile devices- You can find protection software that will help analyze the applications on the devices and alert the user of any applications that might be harmful to your files.
  5. Install antivirus software that detects malicious software and whitelisting software to prevent some harmful applications from executing.
  6. Backup data- The best way to avoid paying the ransom is to make sure you have a data backup of them, preferably in an external hard drive or in the cloud. This way, if your computer system gets affected, then you can wipe it free and reinstall the files.
  7. Secure the backups- As much as it is important to do backups, it is also crucial to make sure that the backup files are not accessible for deletion or modification.
  8. Stay informed- Be informed about what is ransomware and the latest ransomware threats so you know how you can best work on your infected system. Moreover, know the common decryption tools that are available to help victims.

Steps for Responding To a Ransomware Attack

If you suspect your operating system has been attacked by a ransomware attack, it is crucial to act quickly. Here are the nine steps you should follow to minimize the damage and return the business to its original state;

  1. Isolate the infected device- Ransomware that affects one device is a small inconvenience, while one that affects all your devices is a major inconvenience. To make sure your operating systems and network, shared devices, and other devices are safe, it is important to disconnect the affected device, the internet, and other devices immediately.
  2. Stop the spread- Disconnect all devices, including those that are off-premises, and shut down the wireless connectivity (WIFI, Bluetooth, etc.).
  3. Check the damages- Check for encrypted and encrypting files or malicious attachments with weird file extension names, but if the devices have been completely encrypted, then they should be turned off and isolated. You want to create a comprehensive list of the affected systems, including cloud storage, network storage devices, smartphones, etc.
  4. Locate Patient Zero- Tracking the infection will be easier when you identify the source. To do this, you need to check for any alerts from the antivirus security software and the properties of the files.
  5. Identify the ransomware-There are online tools that help free your data and identify the ransomware.
  6. Report the attack to the authorities as soon as possible
  7. Check your backups and start the response process
  8. Understanding the decryption options if you don't have a viable backup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Ransomware Attacks

1. Why is ransomware spreading?

Ransomware variants and ransomware attacks have been evolving because of a number of reasons, including;

  • Use of new techniques like encrypting the whole disk instead of the specific files.
  • Availability of malware kits that are used to make new malware samples.
  • The use of known generic interpreters that create cross-platform encrypting ransomware.

Nowadays, the attackers don't need to be tech-savvy as ransomware marketplaces have increased online, where they offer malware strains for a cybercrook. This way, they generate profit for the malware authors who will ask for a commission when the ransom is paid.

2. Why is it so difficult to find ransomware perpetrators?

Finding ransomware families has become harder and harder because of a number of reasons. First, the attackers use an anonymous mode of payment-Cryptocurrency like bitcoin. This makes it difficult to track down the criminals or follow the money.

Secondly, the easy availability of drag and drop platforms and open source code has accelerated the creation of some new ransomware variants, and script novices can now create their own ransomware.

Lastly, the cutting-edge malware like the ransomware variant has a polymorphic design that allows the cybercriminals to bypass the traditional signature-based security depending on the file hash.

3. Who is a target for ransomware?

Attackers use different ways to choose the organizations to attack with ransomware, including an opportunity. For example, attackers might target the universities since they have smaller security teams and have systems that include a lot of file sharing, making it easier to penetrate.

On the other hand, some organizations may be tempting targets since they are more likely to pay the ransom faster, for example, medical facilities or government agencies. Other organizations with sensitive data, for example, law firms, may pay to keep the news of the compromised data quiet.

4. What is ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS)?

Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) is an economic model that enables malware developers to earn money from their creations without having to distribute their threats. Instead, the non-technical attackers will buy these ware and launch the ransomware infections while paying the malware developers their take.

These developers will run a relatively low risk since their customers will do the work most of their time. Some developers will offer subscriptions while others will require registration in order to get access.

October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

What is Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR Security)?

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), also termed Endpoint Threat Detection and Response (ETDR), is an endpoint security tool integrated into your cyber system to give you a real-time continuous monitor for malicious activity. It does this while collecting endpoint data for behavioral analysis with a rule-based automated response.

This term was suggested by Anton Chuvakin at Gartner to describe emerging advanced security systems and tools primarily focused on detecting and investigating suspicious activities on hosts and endpoints. These tools employ a high degree of automation that enables your security team to identify and respond to these cyber threats quickly.

EDR is a relatively new category of solutions that can be compared to Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) in terms of giving overall security capabilities. It is an emerging technology that gives you continuous monitoring and a response system to remediate threats on an advanced level. Arguably, it can be termed as a form of advanced threat protection.

This is an essential tool, and its primary functions include:

  1. Monitor running processes and collect activity data from endpoints indicating a threat
  2. Analyze this data through behavioral analytics to identify any threat patterns
  3. Automatically respond to the identified threats by either removing or containing them and notifying the security team of the managed detection
  4. Provide remediation suggestions
  5. Using forensics and various data analytics techniques to research the identified threats and search for any more suspicious activities

How Does It Work?

Endpoint Detection and Response tools monitor the endpoint and network events while recording the information in a central database where further analysis, investigation, detection, reporting, and alerting if the data breach occurs. The software agent installed on the host system should provide the foundation for monitoring and reporting security-related events.

This continuous monitoring and detection process is facilitated with the use of analysis capabilities. This is an essential element that identifies tasks that help improve the company’s overall security state from both internal and external attacks.

Different Endpoint Detection and Response tools work differently and offer different capabilities. For example, some perform more analysis on the agent, while others focus more on the backend through a management console.

Some Endpoint Detection and Response tools vary in terms of collection timing and scope in their ability to integrate the threat intelligence providers. However, all these tools perform the same essential endpoint security solution functions with the same purpose.

Adoption of EDR Solutions

The adoption of EDR by security teams is projected to increase over the next couple of years significantly. According to Global Market Outlook statistics (2017-2026), the uptake of Endpoint Detection and Response and EDR solutions sales, both on-premises and cloud-based platforms is expected to reach at least $7.27 billion by 2026, with a projected annual growth rate of close to 26%.

One of the leading factors driving the continued rise in EDR adoption is the rise in the number of endpoints that are attached to networks. Another leading factor is the increased sophistication of cyberattacks, which often focus on endpoints since they're easier to infiltrate the network.

The New Types of Endpoints and Endpoint Attacks

The average security teams in an IT department manage thousands of endpoints across their network. These endpoints include desktops and servers and smartphones, laptops, tablets, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, smartwatches, and digital assistants.

The SANS EPR survey shows that 44% of IT security teams manage between 5,000-500,000 endpoints. Those endpoints can become an open door used for cyberattacks; therefore, endpoint visibility is quite critical.

Today's standard antivirus software solutions can identify and block various new types of malware; however, hackers are constantly getting more creative. Many of the advanced malware are difficult to detect using the standard methods. For instance, a recent development known as fileless malware operates in the computer's memory to avoid malware signature scanners.

To boot up on security, an IT department should incorporate either of the endpoint security solutions, with other security applications, over time. However, consider that using multiple standalone security system tools can complicate the cyber threat detection and prevention process, especially when they overlap and produce similar security alerts. A better approach to this would be to use an integrated endpoint security solution.

Key Components of EDR Security

Endpoint Detection and Response Security tools provide an integrated EDR solution for the collection, threat hunting, and analysis of endpoint data. It also coordinates alerts and responses to immediate threats. EDR tools have 3 basic components:

  • A real-time analytics engine that uses algorithms to evaluate and correlate large volumes of network traffic data, searching for threat patterns
  • Forensics tools enable IT security analysts to investigate past data breaches to understand better how advanced threats work and penetrate security. The forensics tools are also used to hunt for threats in the endpoint devices system, such as malware and other exploits that might lurk on an endpoint

New EDR Capabilities that Improve Threat Intelligence

There are new features and services within the EDR solutions that detect and investigate cyber threats. For instance, third-party threat intelligence services increase the efficiency of endpoint security solutions that mitigate attacks. In addition, threat intelligence services have memory access with a global pool of information on the current threats and their characteristics.

This collective intelligence helps increase the EDR's ability to identify exploits, especially in multi-layered and zero-day attacks. Additionally, as part of their Endpoint Security solution, many EDR security vendors offer threat intelligence subscriptions.

Additionally, the new investigative capabilities in some EDR solutions can use AI and machine learning to automate the investigative process. These process creation can learn the organization's baseline behaviors and use the information and other threat intelligence sources to interpret the findings.

Within these environment variables, the focus is on mainly identifying patterns and characteristics that don't change regardless of the minor changes on an exploit. For example, details such as registry modifications, IP addresses, and domain numbers change frequently. However, an attacker's methods usually remain the same. An EDR uses these similar patterns to identify the threats that may have been altered.

The Endpoint Security Market

According to Gartner, an Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) helps prevent file system-based malware. It will detect and block malicious activity from both trusted and untrusted applications and provide the analytical and remediation capabilities needed to respond to security incidents and alerts dynamically.

Back in 2018, the endpoint security market was valued at $11.18 billion and predicted to reach $19.69 billion a value by 2024. This market is mainly characterized by:

  • High enterprise adoption of the SaaS-based or cloud-delivered endpoint security solutions that's slowly growing. The benefits attracting these companies include reduced costs, computing scalability, and having low maintenance demands
  • A growing number of more endpoints that carry more sensitive data and with the increased connectivity, data sharing, and collaboration, there's a much higher chance that an organizational endpoint will carry sensitive data
  • Endpoints can be an open gateway for attackers and in the past two decades. Organizations have been investing major resources in trying to safeguard their network perimeter. Attackers find it much easier to penetrate organizations by sidestepping the network defenses and directly penetrating through the endpoints
  • Multiple security tools were installed on endpoints in the past, but today there's an endpoint agent consolidation. This is where one platform with one software footprint is installed at the endpoint to provide multiple security solutions that enable central management of all security functions
  • Consolidation of the EPP and EDR platforms that are no longer considered two separate systems since the Endpoint Protection Platform has been expanded to include EDR.

Frequently Asked Questions on Endpoint Detection and Response

1. What's the goal of using Endpoint Security?

EDR systems help secure endpoints and entry points in end-user devices such as laptops, desktops, mobile devices from being attacked by malicious campaigns. Modern Endpoint protection systems are designed to detect, analyze, block quickly, and contain any suspicious behavior or advanced attacks in progress.

2. What is the difference between SIEM and EDR?

The difference comes in the 24/7 threat response. No matter how well equipped IT security teams are, they cannot consistently provide security monitoring on emerging threats or detect suspicious system behavior without using targeted threat response tools.

Essentially SIEM centralizes the security alerts and logs while the EDR monitors malicious activities on endpoints. Combined with expert data analytics techniques, SIEM and EDR tools provide round-the-clock network monitoring and response solutions.

3. Which are the common endpoint cyber threats?

  • Vulnerability exploits
  • Ransomware
  • Drive-by downloads
  • Email phishing
  • Watering holes

4. What is the main difference between an EPP and EDR?

Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) gives you the traditional anti-malware scanning. In contrast, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is an advanced security system that covers more of the advanced persistent threats and sophisticated attacks with remediation actions that have the ability to restore affected systems.

5. What is an exposed JSON endpoint?

An exposed JSON endpoint is a term that's given to a publicly available URL, with query or path parameters you've added at times, that you can send an HTTP request to, and it can return a JSON from the remote server that's related to the request that you sent.

October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

The modern Information Technology environment has many threats that may have catastrophic consequences on the daily running of organizations. Resultantly, more organizations are embracing the idea of reinforcing their cybersecurity departments. Specifically, the development of a Security Operations Center is of great importance in preventing and solving security issues.

In this article, we have provided insights on the meaning and importance of the Security Operations Center. Moreover, we have provided extra information to justify the value of a SOC within an organization.

A Security Operations Center (SOC) is an operational center handled by cybersecurity experts with the responsibilities of surveying, evaluating, and protecting an organization's data and network from cyber-attacks. Some of the systems monitored for cybersecurity incidences in a Security Operations Center include the internet, desktops, internal network infrastructure, servers, databases, IoT devices, servers, and endpoint devices. A SOC is usually fully staffed with professionals capable of detecting and mitigating potential cybersecurity threats. Also, the operation of a SOC is non-stop and round the clock for continuous cyber threat mitigation.

Nevertheless, a Security Operations Center (SOC) should work with other systems for optimal and proactive cybersecurity. Subsequently, any organization can set up its internal SOC or outsource from third-party service providers. Eventually, an effective SOC should continuously deal with real-time security problems to improve an organization's security posture.

Types of Security Operations Centers

There are different SOC models an organization can apply. These include:

  • Self-managed SOC. This model is an on-premise facility with internal staff.
  • Distributed SOC. A co-managed model with part and full-time employees who work along with an external service provider.
  • Managed SOC. A full third-party managed model.
  • Command SOC. This model only provides intelligence insights and leaves actual security operations to other SOCs.
  • Fusion SOC. Fusion centers coordinate security initiatives among SOCs and other organizational departments.
  • Multifunctional SOC. This model uses in-house personnel who are also dedicated to other responsibilities such as network operations.
  • SOCaaS model. This model outsources all or partial SOC services to a cloud provider on a software or subscription basis.
  • Virtual SOC. Lastly, this SOC model applies a cloud facility, and it is run by a mix of in-house, on-demand, and cloud security teams.

Security Operations Staffing and Organizational Structure

While understanding the essence of a SOC, it is highlighted to be a self-sufficient department. Therefore, let's also understand the staffing and basic organizational structure of a SOC. In its round-the-clock operation, a Security Operations Center (SOC) applies a lean structure for easier collaboration and coordinated efforts in threat management. Below is a hierarchal structure that categorizes cyber experts based on their experience and skillsets and is used in many organizations :

  • Tier 1: Composed of first incident responders who play the role of detecting threats and determining the urgency level and when to pass it to the second tier. At tier 1, personnel also have the capacity to run standard security reports and manage security tools.
  • Tier 2: This second level has more skilled staff capable of getting to a root problem and assess the specific infrastructure under attack. Subsequently, personnel in this tier follow repair procedures and flag any extra issues for further investigation.
  • Tier 3: With the advancement in operational tiers, the more skills and experience the respective personnel has. Specifically, this third level has highly skilled security analysts who actively search for network vulnerabilities. In addition, to help in the early detection of advanced threats, third-tier personnel apply advanced tools for detecting cyber threats, diagnosing a system's weakness, and providing recommendations for overall security improvement. Other personnel in this level include a forensic investigator, security analysts, and compliance auditors, among other specialists with expert-level response capabilities.
  • Tier 4: This is the highest level of cyber-security mitigation and consists of chief officers and top managers with the highest experience levels. Staff from this category oversee the training, hiring, and evaluation of overall structure performance. Additionally, tier 4 plays the role of liaising the SOC with the rest of the organization during major incidents. Overall, tier 4 has the responsibility of meeting compliance requirements by government, industry, and organization.

These four security tiers work from a hub-point of Security Information and Event Management for correlating and aggregating collected security data. The secondary supportive systems include database and server scanners, intrusion prevention systems, GRC (Governance, risk and compliance system), EDR (endpoint detection and remediation), TIP (threat intelligence platform), UEBA (User and entity behavior analytics), and vulnerability analysis solutions.

Generally, a SOC manager coordinates the prevention and responses of cybersecurity incidents. Subsequently, at each of the three first tiers, there is a threat hunter who reports any security incident to the incident response manager. Finally, the fourth tier in communication with the rest of the organization reports to the CISO, who consequently reports to the CEO directly.

Having identified the organizational structure and staffing of a SOC, let's identify the functions of SOC.

Functions of a Security Operations Center

The primary role of any SOC is to maintain optimal network security by preventing and resolving data breaches. Other important functions fulfilled by SOC include:

  • Round-the-clock behavioral monitoring. This function ensures equally effective proactive and reactive security breach measures to detect looming or existing attacks early. Accordingly, a security team will be able to distinguish between true and false positives.
  • Defense innovation and evolution. SOC staff do any malware analysis and develop long-lasting security solutions based on reactive and proactive security measures. However, most cyber threats evolve rapidly with the increasing potential of new threats. Therefore, SOC staff should be innovative to evolve security measures for readiness all the time relevantly.
  • Alert prioritization. Any organization's cyber systems are faced with numerous threats. In that case, the role of a SOC team is to order and handle threats depending on severity to allocate the limited resources effectively.
  • Incident Recovery. A Security Operations Center should also recover lost or compromised data through backup systems, updates, and reconfigurations.
  • Asset management and Discovery. Any SOC should collect data on all tools, hardware, software, and technology of an entire organization. Subsequently, SOC's function is to maintain and repair these identified assets through regular updates and patches.
  • Log management.  In the role of a data insider and security management, a security team should maintain user logs for easy pinpointing of actions that contribute to breaches. Essentially, all activity and communication logs should be maintained by Security Operations Centers.
  • Compliance management. Finally, a SOC has the function of ensuring all SOC personnel and the company as a whole follows organizational and regulatory standards during operations. Additionally, SOC has the primary role of educating organizational members.

Other subsidiary functions a SOC might perform include forensic analysis, cryptanalysis, reverse engineering, and network telemetry depending on an organization's needs.

How to Optimize an Organization's Security Posture

Understanding the functions and structure of the Security Operations Center should be accompanied by best practices for optimal security outcomes. Ideally, any organization should adopt a SOC model that suits its needs. Secondly, the identified SOC model should be staffed with the best-skilled specialists equipped with the appropriate technologies and tools.

It is also critical that an organization synchronizes the automation tool with technical skills for a quicker incident response time for a more effective SOC functionality. Such synchronization should be supported with continuous training on the latest threats, vulnerabilities, and solutions for effective security analysts. Similar, the tools used by a SOC team should always be up-to-date for optimal functionality.

Furthermore, any SOC should have effective, updated, and relevant strategies for fast, consistent, and successful responses. Eventually, a Security Operations Center should maintain full visibility of the whole organization through intensive maintenance and data analytics. Fundamentally, data will foster a healthy security posture together with convenient and appropriate business processes.

What are the Tools Included in a Security Operations Center?

Tools and technology have been identified as key components of an effective SOC. This section will identify some of the diverse tools cybersecurity analysts apply to maintain optimal IT security within organizations. These essential tools include:

1. Intrusion Detection Tools

These are intrusion detection systems (IDS) that play the role of early attack detection. Such tools employ the known attack patterns and intrusion signatures to pick out any potential security threats.

2. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Tools

SIEM tools provide the foundations for SOC through the capacity to identify threats within large data amounts. These tools apply threat intelligence systems to identify and prioritize potential dangers.

3. Vulnerability Assessment Tools

Besides detecting potential threats, there are tools for identifying potential gaps that can be used to infiltrate a system. For example, vulnerability assessment tools help security personnel spot system gaps. Accordingly, some regulations and certifications require period vulnerability evaluations as proof of compliance.

4. Asset Discovery Tools

This category of tools works to identify and maintain a directory of an organization's IT assets. In addition, these tools help manage security controls depending on the security needs of the different organization's IT assets.

5. Behavioral Monitoring Tools

In addition to other security tools, SOC team members should be equipped with a User and Entity Behavioral Analytics (UEBA). These SOC monitoring tools employ user behavior and machine learning patterns to identify security risks.

Benefits of a Security Operations Center

Primarily, SOC enhances security incident detection through continuous monitoring and evaluation of organization's networks and cyber intelligence realizations. Besides detection, SOC teams also help in early responses to security incidents.

Other key benefits of SOC include:

  • Enhanced incident response time and management practices
  • A decreased time gap between compromise and detection
  • Uninterrupted security monitoring and evaluation
  • Pooling of security resources, software, and hardware assets for holistic approaches
  • Optimized collaboration and communication for effective reactive and proactive responses
  • Cost-saving by preventing damage that could have been caused by security incidents
  • Increased security transparency and control
  • Enhanced security for sensitive data
  • Compliance with government regulations and industry standards

Challenges of a Security Operations Center

Despite the benefits of a Security Operations Center, it continues to face increasingly complex responsibilities. Some of the challenges that organizations face while setting up a SOC include:

  • High volumes of security alerts, creating possibilities of missed threats and SOC overwhelming. Subsequently, an organization might need the application of both advanced systems and advanced monitoring tools, which might come at hefty prices.
  • The increasing complexity of many organizations. Subsequently, organizations should employ automation capabilities for easy management of complex systems.
  • Increased costs due to intensive workforce investments and resources required for effective threat aversion. Setting up an internal SOC can be expensive, making companies opt for third-party SOC providers and cloud technology that are not cheap.
  • The shortage of cybersecurity professionals also hampers SOCs in many organizations. Due to the increased demand for limited cybersecurity professionals, there is a skills shortage building a sufficient in-house security solution.
  • Finally, many Security Operations Centers face the challenge of compliance with government and industry regulations. This challenge is imminent, especially with the constant changes in regulations due to the dynamic current threat landscape.

Security Operations Center (SOC) vs. Network Operations Center (NOC)

A Security Operations Center and Network Operations Center function on the common principle of investigating, identifying, prioritizing, and fixing problems. These two systems apply teams of personnel for effective network and security maintenance. However, the individual teams of SOC and NOC are skilled different in cybersecurity and networking, respectively.

Additionally, a NOC is distinct from a SOC because it relates to network performance. Subsequently, a NOC will require network monitoring, configuration, and checking for device malfunctions. Another significant difference between SOC and NOC is that security issues under SOC are intelligent and are mostly caused by external sources, while network issues occur naturally. As a result, SOC handles virtual cybersecurity incidents, while NOC handles physical equipment and hardware.

October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

Rocket.net Review – Managed WordPress Hosting

Rocket.net is a WordPress hosting company that has gathered a strong reputation in the last year and comes with an excellent customer service team that can solve your hosting issues in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, Rocket.net offers one of the best platforms you will ever see. It's simple to use because it takes out the technical load, making it easy for beginners to start their blogging hobby or career with no hiccup, and even though it's a new player, it has given competition to all the existing players in the industry.

Rocket.net is a private company founded in 2020 by Ben Gabler and Aaron Dewell Phillips, who has gathered extensive experience, having worked in the web hosting industry for years. The company is focused on ‘Product First,’ which means that it pays attention to the details that improve the customer experience and is empowered with a PHP Version 7.4 that makes the website work fast.

Notably, it's quite expensive, but it's nothing new as most Managed WordPress hosting platforms are generally expensive. However, even though the price might be high, Rocket.net hosting compensates for the high price by offering Cloudflare Enterprise, which is integrated at their server level, DDoS protection, and Web Application Firewall. Read on this Rocket.net hosting review to understand more about the Managed WordPress hosting provider, the packages they offer, and who they are suitable for.

Who is Rocket.net meant for?

Rocket.net hosting is ideal for any small businesses, eCommerce business owners, and agencies that value the security and speed more than or as much as the price. As per this Rocket.net review, they deliver reliable services at different rates that will fit any budget. In addition, the all-in-one platform is also one of the best-managed WordPress hosting providers in the industry today if you are looking for higher SEO rankings, good security, and a top-notch customer experience on the WordPress website.

Rocket.net is also one of the ideal hosting companies for agencies or businesses that would rather focus on delivering content than worry about maintaining the client's website themselves. This is because the Rocket.net support team will take care of everything from server management to any security-related tasks, and you won't need to worry.

Pros of Rocket Managed WordPress Hosting

  • Easy to launch your site in less than two minutes thanks to Cloudflare enterprise
  • Allows creating publishing of a staging site with a single click
  • The hosting service offers a one-click theme auto-updating, plugin, and WordPress login that will help you manage client accounts with a lot of ease
  • An impressive hosting speed as the CDN services and the multiple servers ensure that geography will not restrict the performance of your WordPress site
  • It is one of the web hosting providers that offer the option of automatic backups and a manual backup
  • Suitable for beginners because it has an easy to use control panel and most features are inbuilt, which will save a lot of coding time
  • The hosting platform offers the best security, and it protects your site from hacker threats, data theft, and malware
  • Comes with developer-centered features such as SSH access, keys, cron jobs
  • Fully managed service meaning the SSL certificate is preinstalled
  • The built-in CDN that comes with this Rocket hosting company is impressive and a high-performance one
  • Flexible pricing plans as you can choose a plan according to your hosting needs

Cons of Rocket Managed WordPress Hosting

  • The hosting service lacks tutorials and guides.
  • It is limited to the WordPress website, reducing the available options for any online business or site owner.
  • Its price is on the higher side for all the different packages, but you will reduce your overall operating costs with the features you get with Rocket net.

Features Of Rocket.Net Hosting

a). Panel Control

The control is one of the best Rocket.Net features, and it is very easy to use as everything is clearly labeled, and they also offer one click to the WordPress dashboard. You can use the control panel for all your WordPress websites to update plugins, manage plugins, deploy a WordPress site, and perform site staging with a single click. WordPress installation becomes very simple with so many features and an interface suitable for beginners who aren't savvy.

b). Hassle-Free Site Migration For Free

Migrating sites from one server to another can be hectic, but Rocket hosting ensures you experience an effortless migration process. First, you have to create a Rocket Net hosting account then contact their experts. Notably, you can migrate small websites with WP-Admin using login access alone, but you may require FTP access for the large sites. In addition, Rocket net ensures the site stays online during the process, and you can preview results using a temporary staging URL they will provide.

c). CDN (Content Delivery Networks)

Rocket.net  Content Delivery Networks

Rocket Net has impressively managed server configurations, and it uses the Cloudflare enterprise-level service to deliver website content from 200+ locations globally. In addition, the hosting company offers a secure and reliable connection for all our visitors, and this ensures you won't have to worry about slow loading, downtime, or bandwidth consumption.

Some CDN features include:

  • Full-page caching
  • Google fonts optimization automatically loads the font file on CDN servers and cashes them for 36 hours to ensure your pages load quickly without waiting for Google's fonts.
  • WAF Protection for all your WordPress business sites against bots and hackers
  • Brotli compression. similar to GZip, that results in better page load time and fast loading of your assets
  • Automatic Webp conversion, which includes an image optimization feature that converts all your images to Webp format and carries both JPG and PNG

All these Rocket CDN features will help improve the page speed without hiring expensive web developers or installing speed optimization plugins to do it for you. Also, the CDN features help in improving SEO optimization for Google’s new ranking algorithm Core Web Vitals, which influences the ranking based on the page speed loading time.

d). Security

Rocket Hosting offers security features such as weak password prevention, brute force protection, SQL injection prevention, and other security tools to ensure your WordPress sites are protected all year 24/7 by the firewall system.

Additionally, Rocket.net offers a free hosting site backup apart from the security features, which means you can recover your website in less than an hour using the version control feature if your website gets corrupted.

e). Plugin Management

With the Rocket Net web hosting, you can update, add and even delete WordPress plugins directly from the control panel with no hassle whatsoever.

f). Automatic Daily and On-demand Backups

Rocket hosting provides awesome support as it features an automatic inbuilt update mode from the control panel that will automatically keep everything up to date, including the themes, WordPress core updates, plugins, and all automatically monitor your site. Additionally, for a manual backup, all you need to do is click on the “Create Backup” tab, and the entire site will be converted into a backup file of compressed zip format at no additional cost.

Rocket.net Performance Test

All hosting web companies claim to have the fastest servers that will give you a better service and all-around great experience, and therefore, a Rocket.Net review needs to do the same. For the Rocket Net review, you will need a web hosting account and install a WordPress site, then fill the site with dummy data for theme testing. Next, you should test the website performance in three aspects, the speed test, stress test, and response rate test.

When it comes to Managed WordPress Hosting, Rocket Net is among the fastest in the world with an outstanding page speed performance and will show an average loading speed of 2.15 seconds. The Rocket.Net review should assure you that their servers are highly optimized for the best WordPress speed and performance, and this will guarantee your site will load faster thanks to the edge data centers. Additionally, Rocket Net offers exceptional TTFB across all server locations. There is no need to customize to get your content fully optimized as Rocket Net offers ultimate speed with full-page caching.

You can do a speed test with the Pingdom speed test tool, a stress test using a tool known as K6 (formerly LoadImpact), and a tool is known as Bitcatcha to see the response time for Rocket Net.

Rocket.net Hosting Plans and Features

Rocket.Net Review Pricing Plans

As Rocket.net is a specialized managed WordPress hosting company, they offer managed WordPress hosting solutions for all website types, including blogs, eCommerce, personal websites, or business websites.

All of the managed WordPress plans include features such as:

  • Enhanced security that comes with a built-in website firewall, DDoS attack protection, malware protection, brute force, patching, and many more
  • 1-click WordPress installs, daily automated and also manual backups, and a simple 1-click staging website
  • High optimized WordPress web hosting that uses global CDN, cloud edge network, Brotli compression, and other cutting edge technologies to guarantee fast performance.
  • 24/7 support, Git Integration, SSH access, free SSL, and more

On the Pricing plans, Rocket net hosting company has four different levels of managed WordPress hosting plans. All the pricing hosting plans have a 30-day moneyback guarantee meaning you can get a full refund in this period, and if you don't like the service and you would like to opt-out. They include:

a). Starter

This plan is billed annually at $25 per month and comes with one WordPress install and 25000 visits which is enough for a new project. In addition, you will get free WAF, CDN, SSL, and 10GB storage.

b). Pro

This plan costs $50 per month, billed annually, and has up to three WordPress installs and 100,000 visits for your WordPress sites. In addition, it comes with free CDN, WAF, SSL, and 20GB of storage which is enough space for the plan.

c). Business

The plan is $83 per month with annual billing, and it has up to ten WordPress installs, 250,000 visits, and free CDN, WAF, SSL. It is suitable for large projects as it can host up to 10 WordPress websites on a single plan, and with the 40GB storage space, it's enough to accommodate all Business plan's customers.

d). Agency

The agency plan costs $166 per month for the annual billing and has up to 25 WordPress websites install with 500,000 visits. This is the biggest plan with a 50GB storage space, which means around 2GB for each WordPress website, and it may be okay for some but not for every customer.

Rocket.net Support & Customer Services

Rocket.net provides 24/7 live chat support, which is among the important WordPress resources when customers are looking to get help on a specific issue they are experiencing with their hosting account or product. The expert customer service team will answer all questions and help customers troubleshoot any problems 24/7 through email, phone, or chat customer support giving your customers the best experience possible.

Frequently Asked Questions on Rocket.net Review

1. Do I still need to use a WP Rocket plugin?

It is an optional choice to use the WP Rocket plugin, and this is because Rocket Net has done the heavy work by providing features that are good on their own, and together, they make a powerful package to guarantee a fast website. These features include powerful CDN (content delivery network) with over 200+ different locations, auto image optimization, and Botlin compression.

2. Does Rocket.net offer free WordPress migrations?

Just like their name, fast hosting as a rocket, Rocket Net offers the fastest woocommerce site migration you will ever experience, and it takes only 15 minutes to do so. In addition, their customer support team feature several impressive managed server configurations and will migrate unlimited WordPress sites to their platform for free.

3. Can you use a caching plugin with Rocket.net?

Yes, Rocket is fully compatible with all WordPress plugins, including the caching plugins.

October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

Surfshark VPN Review 2021

When it comes to looking for the best Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Surfshark ranks as one of the best yet reliable service providers available in the market. This goes hand in hand with them being reasonable in pricing offering clients with amazing discounts. 

Surfshark claims to be the most versatile, being able to offer safety when, using public Wi-Fi, torrenting, anonymous browsing and easily bypassing geoblocks giving you access to streaming sites.

We were able to delve deep in the VPN’s features including: security protocols, torrenting ability, device compatibility, number of connections and client support. Other factors we also noted were, the price and plans available to their customers as well as the features they give to their clients. 

Through this review, we hope we will provide you with the necessary information that might help you as you begin your VPN search. Have a look, 

Running low on time? Here is a summary of our Surfshark review:

  • How fast is Surf Shark? Is it as fast? Surf Shark is fast, though some servers might be a little slow. Offers consistent and dependable speeds.
  • Can it bypass geoblocks so I can watch my best shows? For sure, you can be able to watch your best Netflix shows through using Surf Shark. Be sure to have a look at more below.
  • Is it a safe option? Yes, it is, with its capable safety features and capabilities, this is definitely a trustworthy VPN.
  • Added info you might need to know:
    • How are the plans? Is there a money Back guarantee?
    • Is Surfshark user friendly?
    • Does Surfshark offer customer support? Is it reliable?

What you should know…

Surf Shark as a VPN claims to offer its clients with maximum versatility, being able to secure its user when surfing the dark web, torrenting and streaming.  But is it true? Is Surfshark as reliable as they claim to be? How does it handle geo-restrictions? How is its speed? Does it perform well in offering security and its services? 

Not wavered by reviews, we took it upon ourselves to look into the VPNs claims by looking beyond its reasonable plans and pricings to offer you with the right information. What good is a product without testing? Here in our review, we highlight Surfshark’s server coverage, speed, usability (user interface), Security and Customer support reliability around the clock. 

Surf Shark Security

Since this is a VPN, security is definitely on top of our list.  With Surf Shark you are more than guaranteed to have a secure trustworthy VPN. 

Security features include: 

Encryption 

This is whereby your information or data is converted to another form or code, making it impossible for people without necessary requirements to access the information. 

With Surf Shark you get 256-Bit encryption, guarding your traffic with the highest level of security available. Outside parties e.g., your ISP is unable to see your activity as you go about navigating in the web.

DNS IPv6 Leak Protection

DNS leak protection is what helps prevent security inconsistencies, flaws in your browsing, through routing DNS requests via your ISP not your VPN.  While browsing you might come across websites that might request for your real IP address, making it possible to trace your location. It is through IPv6 protection that you can prevent that from happening, in case you find yourself in such a website.

Surfshark does not leak DNS requests or IPv6 addresses, being able to successfully reroute requests to other locations away from your actual one. The masking IP employed by Surfshark makes it certain that Surf Shark is a trusted and efficient VPN. 

Auto Kill Switch 

Amongst the premium features Surfshark has to offer, this stands out clearly. In the case that a breach might occur, the kill switch intervenes and temporarily disconnects your internet. This prevents any breach that might cause IP or data leaks, while waiting for the VPN connection to be restored. It then helps you reconnect automatically.

Multi-Hop Mode

Commonly known as Double VPN, Multi-Hop is the name Surfshark has given to this feature. This is whereby Surfshark routes traffic through two servers instead of one. This gives an additional level of encryption. This feature is very beneficial especially for people in countries with major restrictions or professions that might need more security e.g., journalism.

Hack Lock

This feature offers you with the assistance in monitoring your email and passwords for any inconsistencies or breaches. In the case that happens you will receive a direct message informing you of the risk.

Blind Search

This search engine offered by Surfshark provides the user with a private and ad-free searching and browsing experience without recording user history.

 Camouflage mode

Through Surf Shark, in countries that may not allow use of a VPN, makes your traffic appear camouflaged i.e., your encrypted data seems as normal user data under Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) enabling you to use your VPN. Offered on Windows, Android and iOS.

No Borders Mode

For heavily censored regions, it might be difficult to access the internet or specific online services. Not with Surf Shark! You have the ability to go online wherever you may be.

How Fast is Surf Shark VPN? 

For a VPN service to be the best, they definitely have to offer the user with fast dependable speeds. A VPN inevitably slows down your normal internet connections. That being said, VPNs definitely impact the speeds of your internet, because they add extra processes in your navigation. This may cause internet speeds to dwindle.

For Surf Shark depending on the server you are connected to, and the proximity of your location to that particular server, you might receive a major fluctuation in your internet speeds.

Though there might be a drop of mbps in your connection while using Surf Shark, you still have reliable upload, download speeds with an assurance of no speed connections and failures while online.

Surf Shark and torrenting 

It is definitely one of the best, reliable options available in the market. An addition to the 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, IPv6 leak protection and other security features, is the no-logging policy where the company does not take in any logs or information from its customers and online data.

With Surf Shark you gain access to P2P servers, and it has compatibility to torrenting resources like BitTorrent and uTorrent in addition to VLC and Popcorn Time.

Most people will suggest that for those in need of a good torrenting VPN, Nord VPN is also an amazing pick, simply because of the number of P2P optimized servers they provide. You are guaranteed fast speeds and stronger encryption, providing you with maximum online privacy.

Will I be able to watch Netflix with Surf Shark?

With Surf Shark you will be able to unblock Netflix as well as multiple streaming sites and apps. It offers great speeds where streaming is concerned, being able to unblock Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and HBO GO as well.

Does Surfshark keep logs? 

Far from 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, Surf Shark is located in British Virgin Islands away from those jurisdictions. Their provided privacy policy confirms that they do not keep any records of usage or connection data.

The only information they store is, billing information, Password (which is encrypted) and your account email address (solely for customer service needs).

In the case where you feel uncomfortable, you are still able to pay anonymously through cryptocurrency services like Bitcoin. Though, Surfshark may collect advertising identifiers from third parties, to improve their marketing and promotional activities. You can choose to change or forfeit this function all together, in your settings at any given time. 

With Surf Shark you are sure to receive transparency and complete privacy when it comes to your browsing information, security and offered logging policy.

Be sure that they will not collect your Surfing/browsing History, Current Session information, Bandwidth, Net Traffic, Time-stamps and your IP address. 

Plans, Prices and Discounts

Surfshark offers the user with 3 reasonable plans namely, one-month, 6-month and 24 – month plan. The only difference being the time factor not the service aspect of things.

They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, with multiple discounts as well. The 24 -month plan comes with a fair price USD2.21 per month with 3 free months included. 

Also, they offer the customer with multiple billing options i.e., credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay and Crypto currency options.

User-interface and Compatibility

Surfshark presents the user with a simplistic, minimalist user-interface making it easy for them to use. The app is beautiful to look at and it is easy to navigate. Changing settings and accessing different functions is simple and straightforward.

As for compatibility, it is compatible with the following:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Linux
  • Browsers: Chrome and Firefox
  • Smart TV Apps: Fire TV, Apple TV

Another major positive that comes with Surf Shark Subscription is that it allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. You are able to use it, on all your devices provided that they are compatible. That ranges from mobile phones, computers, tablets routers and other devices, under just a single subscription. That is more than a bargain, considering the quality of service you receive.

Customer Service

When it comes to the service industry nothing stands out as much as Client Customer relations. Surfshark offers the customer with 24/7 live chat support available for anywhere around the globe. They are able to quickly and kindly assist, sharing much needed information and giving solutions to help you out.

Every inquiry is carried as one having a premium membership or subscription. Their customer support is definitely an added plus when it comes to their subscriptions.

Recap

Based on our research and Review, you can see that Surf Shark is more than just an ordinary VPN for you. Offering reliable prices and plans, at the same time giving you quality security services and features together with great customer care, Surf Shark VPN is definitely worth the money.

As a VPN it is reliable, fast and efficient, trustworthy but most importantly fully secure. 

Be sure to have a look at some of the Frequently Asked Questions below.  

FAQ

Which is Better NordVPN or Surf Shark? 

Both NordVPN and Surf Shark are great VPNs. It all comes down to fewer differences and features. With both you are able to receive a no logging policy as well as an array of security features and capabilities (out of 5/9/14 Eyes jurisdictions). Surf Shark offers you a better price point as well as an unlimited number of devices you can connect to simultaneously. NordVPN on the other hand offers its subscription to cover up to 6 devices. When it comes down to servers and torrenting, Nord emerges the winner by a slight margin, having many servers in different locations as well as a majority of P2P optimized servers. For other factors both do incredibly well and will fulfill your online privacy needs. 

Who owns Surf Shark VPN? 

Surfshark VPN is owned by Surfshark Ltd. Located in the British Virgin Islands. Created in 2018, Surf Shark is one of the few new VPNs available in the market, offering employment in eight countries with 1700 servers covering over 63 countries. 

Is Surfshark good for Netflix? 

Surf Shark when it comes to bypassing geoblocks and accessing streaming services like Netflix is definitely possible and easier. You are able to log into different show catalogues around the world and enjoy the show you are really looking forward to watching. Surfshark also supports

Is Surf Shark better than ExpressVPN? 

When it comes to Surf Shark VPN Vs ExpressVPN, one thing stands out first, plans and pricings. Surf Shark offers its users with reasonable price points as well as a multiple of features like those seen above when comparing to NordVPN. Express VPN possesses faster speeds, and is consistent throughout all its servers while Surf Shark might be a little slow based on the location of your choice of server. Both VPNs are fast overall and are very reliable especially where streaming is concerned. For an all-round VPN, ExpressVPN is your pick but in case you are on a budget and still want to enjoy VPNs benefit don’t turn away from Surf Shark.

Is Surfshark HackLock worth it? 

Yes, it definitely is. Having the information concerning breaches as well as being able to stop them in the case there is an attempt is more than a worthwhile resource. VPNs main priority is to keep you safe and secure while browsing the Web. 

What is the fastest VPN in the world? 

Many reviews claim that NordVPN or ExpressVPN are the fastest VPNs available. That being said Surfshark itself isn’t slow. It is very efficient and is especially good where streaming from sites and apps is concerned. 

Does Surfshark hide your IP address? 

Surf Shark through its IPv6 protection as well as DNS protection helps keep your IP address incognito. One cannot be able to track your location as well as your browsing data or history with these reliable security features and other additional ones. 

Is Surfshark a reliable VPN? 

It sure is rated amongst the top though fairly new in the modern market, Surfshark gives its customers the best VPN experience money can offer. With unlimited simultaneous connections to devices, to multiple security features, reliable servers and quality customer support, it definitely is more than trustworthy and reliable. 

Does Surfshark slow down the internet? 

It is important you note that all VPNs affect the speeds of your internet because of additional processes they introduce e.g., connecting to different servers. Surf Shark is one of the few VPNs that holds a consistency when it comes to maintaining your internet speeds. They offer a majority of reliable servers that enable you to have an efficient internet connection while the VPN performs its required tasks.

October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

How to Buy Bitcoin (or Crypto) Online

Bitcoin is the digital currency that is used for most online purchases like investments. People from the Bitcoin community earn their coins by completing calculations using their computer or mining. Many people have made fortunes with bitcoin trading but many people have lost a lot of coins from this cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is very unpredictable and it is not the best place to invest funds that you need. If you are interested, follow us through this article to get to understand how to use bitcoin, bank account transfer, buy bitcoin, and sell bitcoin.

Steps to Buying Bitcoin ($BTC)

1. Have a digital wallet

The first step before you buy bitcoin is to get a place to store it. In the cryptocurrency world, the place where you store bitcoin is called a wallet. The digital wallet stores the bitcoins until you are ready to exchange them for another currency or start using the bitcoin. The bitcoin wallet is attached to the account you use to buy and sell with. Your digital wallet helps you use your other financial resources like your debit card or bank account to complete the buying of bitcoin.

Notably, the wallet does not technically store the bitcoin, rather the bitcoin wallet holds private keys that you use to access a bitcoin address, and hence you can spend the funds. The digital private keys are necessary to sign any bitcoin transaction and when lost, you lose your bitcoin access.

How a Bitcoin wallet works

The public key is the location where your bitcoin transactions are withdrawn from and deposited to. It is also what appears as the digital signature on a blockchain ledger. On the other hand, the private key is the password you need to buy BTC or sell bitcoin in a wallet.

There are different BTC wallets and they differ in terms of security level, features, and platforms that they are acceptable in. Once the verification process is done, and you get the user credentials you are ready to buy and sell bitcoin. 

We Recommend: Ledger - Hardware Wallet

2. Choose the Right Bitcoin Exchanges

Bitcoin users buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from many marketplaces. For your first buy bitcoin, it is recommended that you buy bitcoin on an exchange. There are a variety of exchanges around the world and they differ in the features they offer.

Some of them are limited to a specific cryptocurrency, others are not trustworthy so be careful while choosing an exchange. Of all the exchanges, the best exchanges we recommend are CoinBase and Binance exchange.

It is important to note that there is a difference between a bitcoin wallet and a bitcoin exchange. Bitcoin exchange is almost similar to foreign exchange markets.

a. Coinbase - Noob Friendly

This is the biggest bitcoin platform in the US and it is easy to sign up for an exchange account and they need you to present some form of identification. This platform offers a wallet and an exchange in one platform and hence one of the easiest places to purchase bitcoin online. It is a safe platform for buying bitcoin and can be accessed through a mobile app and the web app utilizing two-factor authentication. Coinbase also supports Ethereum and Litecoin

How to sign up for Coinbase

To sign up, follow this link, and please note, identification is needed and it will be a copy of your ID and you should send a real time image of your face through a webcam to verify your identity. Once you have signed up you can freely transfer funds and convert them into any currency or cryptocurrency you prefer for example bitcoin. The charges of this platform are a fee of 1.49% for transactions from a Coinbase USD wallet or a bank transfer. Debit card or credit card purchases have an additional fixed fee of 3.99%.

Coinbase has linked an exchange platform know as Coinbase Pro to make sure you have a better assessment of your purchases. Additionally, cash balances of up to $250000 are insured against any breach in storage or theft and to guarantee extra safety, Coinbase holds the majority of customers' currencies offline to prevent any hacking issues.

b. Binance - Lowest Fees

Binance fees are very low at 0.10% for trade and are recommended for anyone who wants to use more than the popular coins. It supports a variety of digital currencies like its own Binance coin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin cash. Another service it offers is to trade into multiple currencies like Bitcoin cash, TRON, EOS, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens, Ripple, and Skycoin.

One of the cons of this platform is delaying withdrawals with some currencies and the other being that it is not insured hence will not pay in the case of any hacks or theft.

Out of all the exchanges I've used (20+) they have the best customer support. I had a minor issue with something, and not only did they solve my issue within hours, they even sent some swag as an apology!

binance swag

$BNB to the moon! 

c. Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro is the best exchange for active traders to buy and sell bitcoin. It was formerly known as GDAX and it is a bitcoin trading platform similar to Coinbase that you can buy sell higher volumes. Their fees for buying range from 0.04% to 0.50% depending on your volume.

Coinbase Pro is a safe BTC exchange and it is also insured up to a limit of $250000 against any losses or theft.

3. Select your payment method

Exchanges accept different payment methods but make sure to do your due diligence as there are scam sites. With a digital wallet, you can purchase bitcoin through a credit card or a bank account transfer. The payment method is determinant on the BTC exchange you have chosen and also your location. Additionally, depending on the exchange account you choose, you might experience disadvantages with the type of payment method you want and will use. A bank transfer, in this case, is a better payment method than credit and debit cards because it has low fees but its disadvantage is it might take a longer time. One of the reasons we recommend Coinbase to buy bitcoin is because it is a safe site to do exchanges. It allows bank transfers and credit and debit card transfers for payments. However, they need you to link one payment solution to your Coinbase account before you get started on trading.

4. Purchase Bitcoins

Exchanges give ready information about how much Bitcoin you can purchase for any amount of money. For your first bitcoin trade, enter the amount of bitcoin you would like to purchase in the area presented and click the buy button. For Coinbase or Coinbase Pro site, this is a standard market purchase order which will buy bitcoin at the current best market rate. As an alternative, you can place an order limit that allows you to set the price you are willing to pay for a specific amount. This way, the trade will only happen when the amount shows up at that price.

5. Store in your wallet

Once the purchase goes through, get started by storing your BTC in your Coinbase wallet. There are 5 types of BTC wallets and they include,

Desktop wallet

This is a BTC wallet installed on the trader's computer that provides budget safety and provides complete control of their funds.

Paper Wallet

This is one of the safest bitcoin storage options and it comes with two QR codes. One QR code is a public key which is an address to receive BTCs and the other is a private key that is used to spend bitcoins.

Online wallet

This is a risky bitcoin wallet as the private keys are stored online but also has an advantage because users can easily access funds from any device whenever they want.

Hardware wallet

These bitcoin wallets are portable devices that can be able to hold your private keys and assist in facilitating payment.

6. Make sure you use a secure internet connection

Notably, if you want to trade BTC online, ensure you are using a secure internet connection. Trading in an unsecured network makes you more vulnerable to hack attacks.

Where do I buy bitcoins?

Bitcoins are bought mainly through an exchange or via a broker. Exchanges are the popular way to buy bitcoins for anyone looking to buy BTC as they allow easy change of fiat money to cryptocurrency. The other common way is using brokers. Brokers are efficient because they can access BTC easier with no delays, unlike exchanges which can cause delays and have a lengthy ID verification process. Brokers can buy bitcoin and sell BTC at a fixed price and also are open to different payment methods from users, making it a good way to purchase BTC either through cash, a debit card, or a credit card. If you want to buy bitcoin through brokers, remember they have to be paid premium fees for their service.

Alternate ways to Buy Bitcoin

1. Peer to Peer Exchanges(P2P)

P2P provides direct exchange services between the users, unlike other bitcoin exchanges that anonymously match people who buy BTC and sell bitcoin. After you have set up your account and they verify your identity, you can post offers to either buy or sell bitcoin stating the paying information and the price. Potential buyers then search through the listings and choose who to trade with. This P2P has system ratings that you can check and evaluate any BTC buyer or BTC seller before you pay while offering the many buyers the freedom to buy bitcoin from the best deal.

2. Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs function like the in-person bitcoin exchanges where people insert money into a machine and purchase BTC which is transferred to a digital wallet. You can track the closest BTC ATM using the Coin ATM Radar. 

October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

Wise (Transferwise) Review & Test – An Agency Owners Opinion

When you’re looking for an agency to handle your money transfers for situations where you need to send funds abroad, what is needed is a reliable service provider who you can absolutely trust. Beyond this, you’re also searching for affordable and reasonable fees and exchange rates. Right?

A Review of Wise (formerly TransferWise): Why We Endorse This Reputable, Well-Established Service Provider

If you’re like most of us, that’s the case. And if this is the case, Wise, formerly TransferWise is an optimal choice. The fees & exchange rates are better than reasonable, the service is totally easy to use, and everything is extremely professional and secure. Compared to other options, the service, coverage, transparency, and customer support is excellent. We noted that their customer support is exceedingly helpful, and in general there is nothing that could detract from your experience as a customer.

Get Started with Wise

What is Wise (TransferWise)?

This company finds new, efficient, cost-effective ways for you to perform international money transfers. Not only do they provide this service, but they find every conceivable way to save you money.Every year, billions of dollars are transferred using TransferWise, and for good reason! TransferWise is a fully licensed and authorized service provider that manages to stay at the top of the game, and for good reason!If you have been keeping your eyes open, you have probably noticed TransferWise being mentioned on a plethora of media outlets. This is an established, reputable company that very rarely experiences any downtime or data breaches-- everything is safe, secure, and worthy of trust.The range is expansive and impressively international. TransferWise allows you to send money to 71 different countries and allows transfers from 43 countries. Comparatively, this is excellent. There are over 1000 different routes and 49 available currencies to transfer. Also impressive is the efficiency of the transfer, as the process almost never takes more than 1-2 business days.

Fees and Cost - Same Exchange Rate as Google

The transfer fees are laid out for you. Nothing is hidden, and it only takes a cursory search to realize that TransferWise is doing it for as cheap or even charging less than inferior providers on the market. The exchange rate lands decidedly on the right side of the mid-market, and, as a rule, TransferWise will never allow for markup n the exchange rate, unlike many major banks. If “mid-market” does not sound too impressive, observe the practices of other institutions, who instead refuse to offer this level of value.

Their ability and commitment to always provide this mid-market rate is convenient, honorable, and rare.In terms of how to pay, the options are flexible. Usually, the primary option available when dealing in the majority of currencies is simply from the sender’s bank account to the receiver’s. However, a range of currencies also provide the option of using credit or debit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, the TransferWise or Android app, and sometimes other options depending on the currency.Again, the fact that the transfer fees are clearly laid out with nothing hidden is an excellent feature in itself. That the fees are also low is obviously a benefit as well.If you are curious about cost, you can obtain a quote without going through the registration process. All of the fees and information regarding exchange rates will be made available.

User Experience

There is nothing to complain about regarding the user experience. Take a look at the customer reviews online to see all sorts of people raving about TransferWise. Not to mention, should you require customer service, their trained team of professionals is fully willing to go above and beyond to sort out any complications that happen to arise-- not that such a thing is very common!The homepage itself is incredibly simple and uncomplicated. Every step of the process is efficient and easy to comprehend. Opening an account is a smooth process, as is the entire process of performing a transfer-- whether you are sending or receiving on a mobile device or a desktop computer. No element of signing up and getting started raises any sort of confusion or complication, and once you get started, it is all smooth sailing!The user experience has led to an abundance of grateful, happy customers, many of whom continue to use TransferWise as their primary option.In terms of safety, there are no criteria by which TransferWise fails. Being fully licensed and authorized, TransferWise is held to the highest of standards and secured with the most trustworthy measures on the market.On top of all of this, the live chat is a great tool to receive help, but the email and phone support workers are equally able to assist, should you prefer either of these methods-- don’t be afraid to make a call; sometimes you just want to talk to a human. Furthermore, make sure to take a look at the FAQ page or the help center though, just to save some potential time and effort. These help pages are well constructed and informative.

My Conclusion on Transferwise

No matter where you are in the world, there is a great chance that TransferWise is an excellent option for you, considering you can send and receive money to and from such a vast array of nations around the globe. Not only is TransferWise able to deal in many currencies, but the service can also be used in a lot of different languages to suit the international reach of the company.The only way in which TransferWise could consider looking to improve is to extend alternative payment methods in more countries around the world. As of now, bank transfers are the only option in several countries, while in others you are allowed to transfer funds using cards, apps, or other means. TransferWise also does not offer the option of picking up cash from their locations, which a small number of people prefer.TransferWise works very well, all things considered. You can trust TransferWise; using the service provider is efficient, quick, intuitive, and affordable. There is really nothing about the decision to switch to TransferWise that could go wrong.If you are still curious, consider reaching out to the company’s excellent, friendly, and practical customer service team.

FAQ

Is it safe to use TransferWise?

It sure is a trustworthy and credible money transfer option. Regulated by the Financial Conduct, serving a population of more than 7 million people, you can be sure to receive quality dependable services from TransferWise. From the amazing mid-market rate, low transparent transfer fees and great user experience, you should expect great reviews when looking deeper into this company.

Is TransferWise better than PayPal? 

TransferWise offers the customers seeking cross-border transactions, with cheaper international transfers in foreign currencies. They have lower conversion fees when compared to PayPal as well as a majority of banks. Both the companies offer similar features, though if you desire to save more on foreign transfers, have a multi-currency account and avoid exchange rates abroad, be sure to pick TransferWise.

Is TransferWise a good bank?

Though TransferWise offers electronic money accounts, it is still different from a bank account. As a customer you are not able to get an overdraft/loan and you cannot earn interest on your account. You can receive payments like a real bank account as well as receive a TransferWise debit card that you can use the same as a normal bank. Also, you should also note that although your money is taken care of, TransferWise is not guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) that you might receive with a bank account

Will my bank Charge me for using TransferWise? 

This is the major difference when it comes to using TransferWise. You won’t be charged any additional international transfer fees by your bank.

What happens if TransferWise goes bust?

TransferWise does not offer money protection using financial protection schemes like Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). They make sure not to lend your money or make high-risk investments with it. They safeguard your money, meaning that by law, they are required to keep all money in accounts that are entirely separate from those used to run the business. So, in the case anything happens to the company, your money is safe.

Is TransferWise safe for large amounts?

Yes, TransferWise offers a money transfer upper limit of $1 million per transfer, sending from a different country to the US. The limits for sending money out of the US vary, depending on your payment methods or where you reside i.e., country. You may also be requested to give additional information, based on the amount you are desiring to transfer for security and financial regulations.

Who owns TransferWise?

Based in Europe, this online money transfer service was founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, January 2011. The two Estonians are CEO and Executive Chairman respectively. In 2019 they went ahead and sold less than a fifth of their holdings, offering stakes to Vitruvian Partners, Lone Pine and Lead Edge. Valued at $3.5 billion, TransferWise serves over 7 million people, processing £4 billion in transactions each month.

Do I need a bank account for TransferWise?

Yes, be it to send to your own personal account or your recipient's account, there is a need for a bank account. Though, your recipient does not need to have a TransferWise account, all they need is their bank account.

October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

ExpressVPN Review & Test – An Engineers Opinion

There are many VPN services available, and they have different features and levels of security. If you don’t know what VPN services like ExpressVPN are, you will find out shortly. When it comes down to it, services like ExpressVPN are all about allowing you to access content from different countries, stream and download content securely, and remain completely anonymous on the web. Let’s review ExpressVPN.

What ExpressVPN Does

ExpressVPN is a good option to go with if you need to mask your VPN or change your current IP address. It allows you to change your IP address from the original one you have in your home country, to another one from a different country.

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The purpose of this is to allow users to stream and download content from websites which they could otherwise not access to due to geographical restrictions, or just to download content without being monitored and penalized. It’s all about providing safety, security, and top-tier encryption so you can access, content you could not otherwise access.

How ExpressVPN Works

ExpressVPN works by rerouting your internet connection through their own private and secure servers, effectively masking your VPN and IP address so you cannot be tracked. Ingoing and outgoing data is securely encrypted to ensure privacy and anonymity.

Features of ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN comes with a wide variety of features designed to offer you the utmost in anonymity, privacy, and access to the internet from around the world regardless of your geographical location. Let’s take a closer look at all ExpressVPN features right now.

Content Anywhere

ExpressVPN allows you to listen, watch, and stream content from censored and blocked websites. In other words, you can access content that you would not otherwise have access to due to your geographic location. This works even when you are traveling.

Many Locations

ExpressVPN comes complete with over 160 different VPN server locations in 94 countries across the planet. You can switch as often as you desire with absolutely no limits.

All Devices

ExpressVPN can be used on all kinds of devices and operating systems such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, game consoles, and smart TVs too.

24 Hour Live Support

ExpressVPN come complete with 24/7 live chat support, so users can always get assistance from trained professionals whenever needed.

Anonymity

ExpressVPN is designed to allow you to be totally anonymous when browsing the internet, especially when accessing content from blocked websites and countries. You can even pay with Bitcoin.

IP Address Masking

You can use a secure VPN server to mask your true IP address and location, so nobody knows where you actually are. Changing your IP address is what this is all about.

Top-Tier Encryption

There are a variety of encryption and security features to ensure that nobody can ever access your data or monitor your online movements.

TrustedServer Tech

ExpressVPN ensures that no data is ever written to any sort of hard drive. User data is not logged in this way, which allows for top-level security, privacy, and complete anonymity.

No Activity Logs

ExpressVPN will never log any sort of traffic data, DNS enquiries, or absolutely anything that could be used to identify who you are.

VPN Split Tunneling

This is a really neat feature, because VPN split tunneling actually allows you to choose which device traffic is routed through the VPN, and which traffic accesses the internet directly, your original and home based internet.

Network Lock Kill Switch

In order to ensure maximum security, if the VPN is dropped for whatever reason, the network lock kill switch keeps your data safe and secure until the VPN is restored.

Zero Knowledge DNS

ExpressVPN has its own private and encrypted DNS on every single server to make your connection as fast and safe as possible.

Unlimited Bandwidth

With ExpressVPN, you can stream and download as much content as you want without any bandwidth restrictions.

Multiple Devices

ExpressVPN allows you to use up to 5 devices at the same time.

Educational Features

ExpressVPN also features a plethora of educational features to teach you how to use ExpressVPN. These include an active blog with tips, a trust center, a speed test system, how to stream sports guides, how-to privacy guides, and public Wi-Fi safety.

Who ExpressVPN is Best Suited For

ExpressVPN is best suited for anybody who wants to access content from different countries which they could otherwise not access due to geographic restrictions, such as if you wanted to access a Netflix library from a country other than the one you reside in. It’s also something best suited for people who want to download content without being monitored and possibly penalized due to legal issues. If you need to remain anonymous on the web, ExpressVPN is a good option to keep in mind.

Pricing

ExpressVPN is one of the more affordable VPN services out there at this time. Pricing is as follows.

  • $12.95 per month on a month by month basis
  • $9.99 per month for a 6 month subscription
  • $6.67 per month for a 25 month subscription

FAQ

How many servers does ExpressVPN have?

ExpressVPN features over 3.000 servers in a multitude of countries around the world.

Can I get my money back?

If you are not happy with the service provided by ExpressVPN, it does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Can ExpressVPN be traced?

ExpressVPN never logs user data in any manner, and since there is no logged user data, it cannot be traced.

Will ExpressVPN slow my internet?

To a certain extent, due to the added steps of data routing and encryption, it may marginally slow down internet speeds.

Is ExpressVPN Legit?

Yes, ExpressVPN is. Actually, this is one of the best VPNs available in today’s market. They offer quality and services geared to help users have online privacy and security, encrypting web traffic and concealing the users IP address. Available and compatible for a multiple of devices, ranging from Android, IOS, Windows, Linux, Mac OS as well as routers.

Also, Express VPN is a legal registered private company, based in the British Virgin Island, as a Limited international Company.

Is ExpressVPN really Private?

When it comes to privacy it all depends on the VPN you choose to trust to give you security and privacy online. Previously there have been cases of some VPNs giving away their user information and details contrary to popular belief or word of them being private and independent entities. This brings about things like “logging policies” which are able to clarify that the company does not keep logs, store IP addresses, choices of servers and so on, possessing the ability to share your information with third parties.

So, it all comes down to you, when it comes to your VPNs policy in the connection of timestamps, bandwidth usage logs, log originating IP address and log browsing activity data. 

Be sure to note that ExpressVPN, upholds a no logging policy that can be backed with independent audits and you can be sure that your information is kept confidential, well encrypted and secured.

How much does Expressvpn cost?

With a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can get ExpressVPN for 15 months at USD 6.67 with 3 free months. Other offers are USD 12.95 for 1 month and USD 9.99 for 6 months respectively.

 Is a VPN worth getting?

Indeed, it is. With the influx of devices and online traffic, it goes without saying that privacy and security are increasingly becoming difficult to control and are prone to breaches and leaks. A VPN is truly a step in the right direction, making it easier for you to navigate the web and care less about your security problems.

Is a VPN safe for online banking?

For sure they are. This is because of the ability VPNs have to encrypt your information making it difficult for someone to access or steal it. It’s especially effective when connecting to the internet through public Wi-Fi services, you are able to use the internet securely, privately and with more freedom.

Should I leave VPNs on all the time?

If possible, you should. This is to properly secure yourself from any data leaks occurring while you are connected to the internet. More so, if you are using public networks be sure to leave your VPN on. 

Can my internet provider see my VPN?

No, they cannot. VPNs make it difficult for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to pinpoint user traffic. The only thing they are able to notice is the encrypted data through remote servers. Your websites, locations and IP address cannot be detected. 

Is using a VPN illegal?

In general, it is legal to use VPNs. The only thing you should note is that, using it to access, sell and download copyrighted material, hacking into computers/networks (without necessary authorization) is still illegal when using a VPN. 

Does a VPN slow down your internet?

This is a possibility, depending on your VPN’s number of servers as well as their server locations. If you are many users logged into one server there might be a lag in your connection. VPNs also give extra processes, that is, encryption and linking to remote servers. This might slow down your internet connection. It is better to use a better and premium service provider, like ExpressVPN that can reduce latency impact to a point where it minimizes the chance of slowing down your connection. 

Conclusion

The bottom line is that ExpressVPN service is most likely one of the best in the world, and it is certainly very cost effective. When it comes to being secure, safe, and anonymous on the internet, ExpressVPN is one of the most highly rated options at this time.

October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

NordVPN Review & Test – An Engineers Opinion

If you feel like you are being monitored whenever you use the internet, NordVPN is a service that you might want to look into. This is a high-quality VPN service designed to mask your VPN, and mask your IP address, as well as change it if necessary.

Whether you want to test your products on various global markets or just stream some Netflix from a different country, NordVPN is seen as one of the best options at this time. This is an in-depth NordVPN review, so let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer.

What NordVPN Does

NordVPN is a great VPN solution for individuals and businesses alike which features military-grade encryption to ensure privacy. It’s all about allowing users to feel secure, and that they are not being hacked, spied on, or anything of the sort. NordVPN comes complete with a number of functions, with one of the biggest being that it allows users to access the internet from many different countries.

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NordVPN allows you to change your VPN or IP address to make it appear as though you are located in a different country from the one you are actually in, therefore allowing you to access the internet based on geographic regions. NordVPN also uses a variety of encryption and security features to allow users to be totally anonymous on the web, so that nobody can find out who they are, log or track data, or spy on them. It’s designed for anonymity, security, and IP address alterations.

How NordVPN Works

NordVPN, as well as other VPN services, in theory are actually quite simple. These kinds of services function by routing all user traffic through a remote server run by the server, in this case NordVPN. This server will hide IP addresses, change IP addresses, and encrypt all incoming and outgoing data.

This is all about providing users with the highest level of internet security and anonymity possible, along with allowing users to use the internet from different geographical locations. This allows users to access content which would otherwise not be available in their countries of residence, such as a Canadian Netflix user wanting to access the American Netflix library, which is only possible with an American IP address.

Features of NordVPN

NordVPN comes with a wide variety of features, all designed to provide users with the maximum amount of privacy, anonymity, and security as is possible. Let’s take a closer look at all of the most important NordVPN features.

  • Military-grade encryption so no one can track you, log you, or access your data
  • Double VPN for the utmost in security and privacy
  • No logs policy to ensure that your data is never stored anywhere
  • Automatic kill switch to shut it all down at a moment’s notice
  • Onion over VPN
  • The ability to stream content from different countries
  • P2P sharing without tracking (downloading torrents)
  • CyberSec
  • Hide your IP address for anonymity
  • Making and accepting Bitcoin payments securely and privately
  • DNS leak protection
  • Constant access
  • Smart Play
  • High speed VPN for a lag free experience

NordVPN is a great option if you need to get rid of restrictions so users can experience the internet without geographical limitations. The features of NordVPN are all designed to allow users full access to the internet regardless of location on the planet, with the aim of providing security, privacy, and anonymity.

Who NordVPN is Best Suited For

NordVPN is a kind of VPN service that is suited for anyone. Businesses who want to anonymously and securely test out new products on a global scale, instead of just in the native country can use NordVPN to do just that. It’s something that can be easily used by businesses. However, at the same time, NordVPN is also something that is ideal for individuals to use.

For instance, if you want to access streaming services that are not available in your country, or access different streaming libraries, NordVPN is something that can help you do it, all without compromising your identity or privacy. Moreover, it’s also something you can use to help you stream and download content without being penalized for copyright issues.

Pricing

NordVPN is actually one of the more affordable VPN services out there right now.

  • $11.95 per month when doing a month by month plan
  • $6.95 per month for a full 1-year plan
  • $3.49 per month for a 3-year subscription

FAQ

How do I know if NordVPN is working?

To test if NordVPN is working, simply go to a site that checks your IP address, and write it down. Then, log in and activate your VPN service, and follow that up by going back to the same IP address checking site. If NordVPN is working properly, the displayed IP address will be different.

Can you be tracked when using a VPN?

No, the whole point of using a VPN service such as this, besides being able to access content from different countries, is to totally hide who you are and where you are. It’s all about providing the utmost in privacy and anonymity.

Does NordVPN log user data?

No, NordVPN does not log user data at all, therefore, no agency can ever access log data, because there just is not any to access.

Can police track VPN users?

Yes, the police and some security agencies, while not being able to technically track the data per se, can see if you have changed your IP address.

Is NordVPN trustworthy?

When it comes to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), NordVPN is rated as one of the best in our market today. Based in Panama, the company is far from Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes data alliances. In addition to this, the company has performed multiple independent audits to certify that it works processes and policies are not hogwash but are credible and viable, confirming the companies its no-log policy. 

Is NordVPN worth it in 2021?

Yes, it is. Online security and privacy are not a thing to take lightly. With incidences of identity theft, information leaks and other security breaches, it is important for you to have the ability to protect yourself as well as your private information. NordVPN is definitely an option you should consider, making it easier to protect your movement and information while navigating through the world wide web.

To add on to that, you can access multiple services e.g., streaming services, that might not be available in your current location. NordVPN also assists to protect your online banking processes/information among many other things. The price is also great when compared to other existing high-end companies, with offers and even discounts through the calendar. For your safety, security and freedom NordVPN is worth the investment.

Does NordVPN work with Netflix 2021? 

With NordVPN you are able to log into your Netflix subscription, through connecting to their multiple number of servers. They even offer a catalogue that can assist and guide you to access Netflix, and have the opportunity to enjoy shows that may not be available in your current location.

Is NordVPN Safe 2021? 

Being the first company to ever undertake an independent audit, NordVPN has taken the step to ensure their customers and the market in general that they are a viable, secure and trustworthy solution. The company upholds its policies while being able to keep away third-party influences that may interfere with its management and encryption as well as the service it offers to their customers. NordVPN gives the user multiple features and ability to be able to trace and protect themselves when using their devices. 

Has NordVPN ever been hacked?

 There are no notable instances of this. Though, early in the year 2018 there was speculation that NordVPN had been breached, evidence released showed that it wasn’t a breach on NordVPN’s individual server but a third party-server in Finland. The Nord servers were not compromised and their user data remained intact. The intruder still could not gain access to user credentials, billing details or any other profile-related information. 

Is NordVPN faster than ExpressVPN?

Many lean to NordVPN when it comes to speed and useability. The option of having many servers makes it fairly fast in comparison to ExpressVPN, as well as the control and security set-up it offers. When it comes to streaming and its ability to unblock NordVPN comes out on top in speed.

Is NordVPN traceable?

By using exclusive DNS servers, independently operated by NordVPN, they are able to prevent DNS leaks. They offer dependable encryption technology that helps conceal user movement and data. When it comes to VPNs, be careful of free VPN services. The provider might take your valuable data and sell it to third parties, in order to make up for your lack of payment.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that if you want to download content, engage in P2P sharing, or just access content libraries which would be restricted to you due to your geographic location, then NordVPN is a great service to go with. NordVPN is super secure and anonymous, it has great privacy and protection features, and allows you to access the internet and libraries from all over the world.