MTN Data plans are too expensive – See alternative

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Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts


MTN SME is a tested and proven business solution that will always put money in your bank account. The idea we want to share with you is a simple legitimate business model that anyone can apply to become successful in the MTN data business. Be scam-proof!

Without doubt we're leaving in internet generation, people today wine and drink DATA like H20 (water) most especially MTN DATA.

Have you ever thought of what you can do and be making 2-5k daily without fraud and stress free? MTNSME DATA BUSINESS is the answer.


Let do this small calculation first before we dive into the biz:

Mr. A bought 10gb of mtn data @ 2,400 he sells.

  1. 2gb to Mr. Kingsley @ 600
  2. 3gb to Mrs. Roseline Fasola @ 900
  3. 1gb to Uncle Johnson @ 350
  4. 1gb to Sister Mary Kay @ 300
  5. 2gb to Bro Fasogbon @ 700
  6. 1gb to Anuty Mogbun @ 300

Equal to 3,500 at rate 350/1g

3,500 - 2,400 = 1,100

Let now assume you sell to 15-30 people daily; see how much you can easily make....

Let assume you sell 30gb daily and remember 1,100 on 10gb.

That is 1100 * 3 = 3,300

3,300 * 30 days = N99,000

We are here to ensure you have a great time with MTN SME DATA BIZ no matter what the reason you are here.

Let's take you round with our features.

  • Simple and easy navigation
  • Subsidize MTN SME data rate
  • Fastest transaction time
  • Purchase of BULK SMS (New)
  • We are Trusted/Reliable/Legit
  • Trademark®1991

��24/7 operation
��Bulk purchase available

How it works: [ How to become MTNSME AGENT and be making 2k - 3k+ Daily? ]

1. Visit
2. Create an Account
3. Fund your wallet

4. Start selling MTNSME at cheaper price
[1gb = 300 or 350, 2gb = 600 or 650, 5gb = 1500 or 1750]

1. Visit:
2.  Login using your register Phone number and Password
3.  Select menu or click here
4.  Two Wallet Funding Method Available
     i.)     Online Payment - Instant
     ii.)    Cash Deposit/Bank Transfer
             Pay via Cash deposit, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking Transfer to any available bank on the site

Start your MTN Data Share and bulk SMS business now. Sign up at
Tell a friend to tell a friend....

For enquiries: Call/Whatsapp/Text [ MTNSME CEO ]:
AYODEJI on 08068930609

Whatsapp Quick Link:

Copyright (c) 2017


MTN 5G Router Offerings 

As previously reported by Business Remarks, Ralph Mupita, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Group, has stated that the 5G spectrum that MTN Nigeria has won will usher in a new world of possibilities due to the low latency and applications that will now be available to businesses.

The telecom provider claims that the MTN Broadband 5G Router provides users with browsing speeds and performance that rival those of 3G and 4G.

The Router can also be used to connect up to 32 devices by subscribers. Gaming, superior streaming, data download, and upload, among others. According to the telecom company, online videos and games run faster, smoother, and more realistically.

Additionally, the telecom provider provides a 100GB data bonus upon activation and has a broad Wi-Fi connection range.

Area of Coverage 
According to a source close to MTN Nigeria, MTN fulfilled its promise by beginning the rollout of its 5G network from Lagos and Abuja, with plans to cover five cities within a month. Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Kano are the cities.

However, the Business Remarks finding revealed that the MTN 5G service is anticipated to be available at 500-600 locations nationwide by October.

Price and Pre-Order Instructions

The MTN 5G Router will cost 50,000 in Nigeria, and pre-orders will begin on August 23, 2022.

White, black, and yellow are the three colors available for the router.

Due to the fact that not all devices can access the 5G network, MTN has asked telecom subscribers to begin pre-ordering their 5G devices so they can enjoy the high-speed internet download and low latency associated with 5G.

"The marvel of 5G is on the way! Be one of the first people in Nigeria to experience this amazing technology.

On Tuesday, August 23, 2022, MTN posted the following message on its social media channels: "To pre-order our 5G router now, visit" This message indicated that the mobile network operator had opened its portal for Nigerians to pre-order 5G routers.

You may recall that Mafab Communications and MTN Nigeria were awarded the license in December of last year to provide 5G service. According to the terms of the license, the two operators were obligated to provide the service beginning today, August 24, 2022.

Mafab, on the other hand, has five additional months to prepare, whereas MTN is moving forward with its plans today.
Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, confirmed the 5-month extension granted to Mafab and stated that NCC decided to extend the rollout date solely for Mafab due to the company's lack of a 5G network operating license.

"The license for 5G only includes a frequency license, not an operational license. Mafab must therefore apply for a telecom operational license in order to launch 5G services and other telecom services because it only holds a frequency license.
Muoka stated, "Mafab will be able to process its telecom operational license with the five-month extension."

Boost Your Business in 2022!!!

How to Make Your Mobile Data to Last Longer

The greatest enemy of subscribers is data depletion. To subscribe for a one-month 20GB data plan, and in just one week, the mobile data is gone without any explanation can simply be regarded as fraud.

Its either unsuspected applications are draining your data, silently updating themselves without your consent or your favorite telecom provider simply pressed the zap button. But for a quick fix today, first of all check if the below applications are in place.

The truth is Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp , YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter sucks data a lot, and here is how you can put them under control from app settings.

How to Manage Your Data to Last Longer

1. Turn off Facebook Auto-play:

Go to your Facebook option icon (the three horizontal bars at the top right corner)

Click on App Settings (Under help & settings)

Click on AutoPlay

Select Never autoplay Videos.

In addition, you can activate the “Data Saver” option

Navigate to the option icon,

Then go to settings & Privacy

Select Data Saver,

Toggle the data saver on.

2. WhatsApp – Deactivate Auto Download:

Go to the “settings” section in your WhatsApp APP

Click on “Data and Storage Usage”

Select Media Auto Download option

Deselect all options under “When Using Mobile Data”

You can also enable low data usage for WhatsApp Calls.

3. Instagram – Use less Data:

Open Instagram options

Go to Settings

Select Cellular Data Use

Then tick Use Less Data.

4. Twitter – Deactivate Auto Play:

Go to your Twitter Profile icon.

Click on Settings and Privacy

Select Data Usage

Set Video Autoplay to Never

5. Snapchat:

Go to Snapchat Settings

Click on “Manage” under “Additional Services”

Tick the “Travel Mode” box

6. YouTube – Limit mobile data usage:

Open the YouTube App

Tap on the profile icon at the top right corner

Select Settings

Click on General

Turn on “Limit Mobile Data Usage”

7. Playstore – Update Apps on Wi-fi Only:

Go to the Google Play store

Click on Menu & go to Settings

Click on Auto-update apps.

Select “Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only”.

You also have the .option to choose “Do not auto-update apps“.

Best classic movies to Watch this weekend: Amulet, Coma, Rental

The Weekend is here, and I’m sure you are looking towards classic movies to watch. We’ve got some compilations for you today, download them with the provided link.

You are advisable you use the best weekend data plans to initiate your downloads instead of using your normal data plans.

Kissing Boot 2 (2020)
In the sequel to 2018’s THE KISSING BOOTH, high school senior Elle juggles a long-distance relationship with her dreamy boyfriend Noah, college applications, and a new friendship with a handsome classmate that could change everything.

Download it here

Target Number One
Ex heroin junkie, Daniel L├ęger, gets involved in a drug deal with the wrong people for the wrong reasons. When the deal goes sour, Daniel gets thrown into a Thai prison and slapped with a 100-year sentence. Then this happened…

Download it here


After a mysterious accident, a young architect comes back to his senses in a very odd world. He must find out the exact laws and regulations of it as he fights for his life and keeps on looking for the exit to the real world.

The Big Ugly
Neeyln has always been the loyal enforcer for crime boss Harris back in London, taking care of problems and people that disrupt his illicit business. When Harris strikes a deal with an old friend — American oilman Preston — they find themselves in the wild hills of West Virginia.

An ex-soldier, living homeless in London, is offered a place to stay at a decaying house inhabited by a young woman and her dying mother. As he starts to fall for her, he cannot ignore his suspicion that something sinister is going on.

The Rental
Two couples on an oceanside getaway grow suspicious that the host of their seemingly perfect rental house may be spying on them. Before long, what should have been a celebratory weekend trip turns into something far more sinister.

You can explore the Netflix Mod Premium app to see some of the latest weekend movies you haven’t seen yet. Let us know if you have any challenge downloading from the app.

USB OTG Cable - 7 Important Things You Can Use it For On Android Devices

OTG is short for On The Go. USB OTG is a standard that enables devices to talk to one another. USB OTG Cable is an important tool to creates a link between your mobile phone and other computer peripherals such as USB flash drive, Mouse, Keyboard, Digital Camera, Game Pad, Card reader, External hard-drive etc.
OTG Cable can do some really clever things and many people have never heard of it. If you don't know your OTG from your OMG, let's discover what it is and why it's so great.
Below are the 7 important things which you can do with USB OTG Cable on your Android Devices

1. Share Battery Charge Between Two Android Devices

For sharing the battery charge, all you need is a regular data/charger cable that you use to connect your smartphone to your PC and a standard USB OTG Host cable. If you do not have an OTG host cable, then you can buy them very cheap from any mobile store or from online shopping sites.

When you have everything ready, connect the USB data cable to one of the phones. Connect the USB OTG host cable to the other phone. And finally attach the two cables together. You will notice that the phone with smaller charge level has started to charge. The charging will continue until the batteries of both the phones has almost the same level of charge.

2. Super-fast Files Transfer Between Two Device
When it comes to Android files transfer, lots will choose the commonly used way, Bluetooth, NFC, USB cable and PC for example. Nonetheless, when using these methods, connection issues always occur. And transmission is quite slow. So, in today's guide, a new solution – USB OTG will be introduced.
USB OTG, empowers USB devices like Android phones to act as a host and then allows other USB device to be attached to them. You can make direct connection between two Android phones/tablets and transfer files between Android via USB OTG. By using USB OTG, Android phones plugged-in can communicate with each other without the need to be connected to a computer.

When it's come to transferring heavy files like game data and HD movies, using an OTG cable is the best way to get it done with a fastest way.

3. Connection of 3G Modem with Android Device
People who have WiFi only tablets or without 3G support might find the need to use 3G Modem with their device to get something downloaded quickly when the broadband is too slow or down. This can be done using an Android app called PPP Widget. As the name suggests, it is a widget, not an app. It is available in the Play Store and it is free.
Download it to your device from here.

4. Using an External GamePad
Playing games on a touchscreen is not the same as holding a real Gamepad or a portable console like PSP. Many game developers have finally realized that in order for their games to be successful, they have to support Android. To really win Android users over, they should also accommodate us hardcore gamers who have OTG cables with the ability to hook up controllers to our devices.
Games like Dead Trigger and Asphalt already support Gamepads, but many others are still touch only. Some will only work well with touchscreen input, like Blek, but action games like FIFA 15, Modern Combat 4 and Shadow Gun can definitely benefit from an external Gamepad.If you have a tablet, you can try connecting your Gamepad with your device using your OTG cable.

5. Connect USB Flash Drive to Your Android Device
Flash drives spent a good amount of time as the number one way to take your files with you wherever you needed to go. As some of that has changed with Android devices and cloud storage, many of us still have those USB flash drives kicking around looking for a good use. USB Flash drive is not meant for your computer alone, you can use it with your Android device as long as you have your OTG cable with you. It’s plug and play with no settings needed. Think about the possibilities: watching movies from your flash drive, moving files around, reading documents stored on USB Flash etc.

6. Connection of a Mouse to Your Android Device
When a USB mouse is connected to your Android Device using a USB OTG cable, a mouse pointer appears on the screen. Click to select and open items on the screen.
The following applies when using a USB mouse on your Android Device:
  • The touch screen continues to function when a mouse is connected.
  • Right-clicking performs the same action as left-clicking.
  • To scroll up, down, left or right in a menu, use the mouse scroll wheel, or click and drag the screen in the direction you want to scroll.
  • To change the mouse pointer speed, go to the Settings menu, touch Language & input, and then touch Pointer speed. Move the slider left or right to achieve your desired pointer speed.

7. Connection of a USB Keyboard to Your Android Device

When a USB keyboard is connected to your Android Device using a USB OTG cable, touch inside a text input area to begin using the keyboard.
The following applies when using a USB keyboard on your Android Device:
The on-screen keyboard is hidden when a physical keyboard is connected.
Some of the key combinations that perform actions on Windows computers also work on a tablet, in most apps. For example, you can Cut (Ctrl + X), Copy (Ctrl + C), and Paste (Ctrl + V) using your keyboard.
To find settings options for the physical keyboard, go to the Settings menu, touch Language & input, and look in the Physical keyboard section.
USB OTG (On-The-Go) supported devices are Sony, Xperia Z, ZL, Z Ultra, Z1 - Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note 1,  Note 2, Note 3 - Tecno F7/H7/R7/Phantom A+/Tablets - Motorola: Moto G Phone | Xoom Tablet - LG Optimus G, G2, G3 G Pad 8.3 7.0 8.0 10.1 – HTC X, One, One mini, One max, M7, M8 - Nokia Lumia 2520 Tablet | Nokia 603 | Asha 300 | C6-01 | C7 E6 E7 | N8 - Google Nexus 5 / 6 / 7 / 9 / 10, all Q Mobiles and many more.
To Buy an OTG Cable
 OTG (On-The-Go) cable is available in the Mobile market. To use this cable with the phone, firstly you need to check whether there is support in the OTG or not. You can check this capability with ” USB OTG Checker” from Google Play Store.

Are you using an OTG cable before? What else have you done with OTG not listed above?


It is a great news that you can now generate GTBank Token Code via USSD to complete your online transactions. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has launched USSD token as alternative to the hardware token for internet banking. What this simply means is that you can now generate token code whenever you want to complete third party transfers, by dialing *737*7# on the phone number linked to your GTBank account.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc is trying it best to make everything easy for their customers and that is one thing that is making them the bank of choice for many Nigerians. Now, they have launched USSD based token system as an alternative to the hardware token for internet banking.  This means you can get GTBank Token Code on mobile phone without internet.

Do you wish to get hardware token device but you are yet to make a formal application, I suggest you keep your N2, 000 in your pocket because you can now easily generate token code via USSD.  And to our brothers that have the hardware GTBank token device already, you don't need to carry your GTBank token device with you everywhere you go like necklace anymore. Just dial the GTBank USSD token code on your phone, enter your NUBAN, enter the last 6 digits of your GTBank Naira Mastercard and you are good to go.

How To Generate GTBank Token Code via USSD
1. Dial *737*7# on the phone number linked to your GTBank account
2. Enter your NUBAN account number.
3. Enter the last 6 digits of your GTBank debit card
The token code will be displayed and you can use it to complete your transaction.

Kindly note that the generated token code expires in 60 seconds.

Telegram Messenger App, The Best Alternative To Whatsapp Messenger

I have come across different messenger apps all across the internet, Google playstore and Apple's app store but I must say there is none like Telegram so I decided to write about it to you guys, so you can experience it for your self.

What is Telegram?

Telegram is a messaging app that is easy to use, fast, and also is free for life unlike whatsapp whose free verson has limitations and to have access to the full version you need to pay $0.99.

How does It work?

Telegram is supercool, with alot of Amazing features. With Telegram you can shares videos of up to 1GB with friends, you can also create a group chat with up to 5,000+ friends, That is what I call maximum connectivity. You can also send photos as well as audios in an instant. Since all messages are in the cloud you can easily access your messages from any android or iOS device.

Why Should I Choose Telegram?

I have been using Telegram for 2 years now and I must confess that the user experience has been awesome. For those of you who like Security and Privacy, then Secret chat is for you. Secret chat features an end-to-end encryption which helps make sure that a message is only read by it's intended recipient. You can set a message to self destruct every 5secs which means that every 5 seconds after you send a message, it self destructs, and no one will have a single clue of prove that such conversation took place between you and the recipient. The message cannot also be retrieved which makes it cooler so If someone wanted to use your Conversation as a prove of something, it won't be possible.
Telegram is also fast and offers unlimited cloud storage for all telegram messages and media so you can easily and securely access your messages from multiple devices.

It works with even the weakest mobile connection, it is very fast even with your 2G network. And your messages are compressed to the best minimum byte possible.

MTN 4G LTE Coverage FAQs Frequently Asked Questions

What is LTE?

LTE (Long Term Evolution) stands for the 4th generation of telecommunications technology that delivers very high data speeds. With LTE, you can enjoy HDVideo Streaming, Video and voice calls, superfast downloads, online gaming and much more.

What can I do with 4G?

LTE offers faster download and upload speeds that will considerably improve your internet experience. With LTE you can stream music and video, upload and download faster. You can essentially use your mobile or tablet like a fixed line internet connection.


Yes! LTE is also known as 4G, since it’s the 4th generation of telecommunications technology after 3G.


LTE offers faster download and upload speeds that will considerably improve your internet experience. With LTE you can stream music and video, upload and download faster. You can essentially use your mobile or tablet like a fixed line Internet connection.


With 4GLTE, you simply use your current data plan and you are charged according to your current plan rates.


Coverage information is available online at


Yes your regular data plans works on 2G, 3G and 4G.


You simply need a USIM, an LTE compatible device and be in an area covered by 4G.


Simply text 4G to 131 from your mobile device. You will receive an SMS telling you if your SIM or device is 4G/LTE ready.

How To Block Calling Numbers On Mtn Nigeria Sim


Visit the nearest MTN store or any phone store near you. be sure the device supports Band 7 (2600MHz).


First, check that your 4G device supports Band 7 (2600MHz). You can check the device specification on the internet before purchasing it.Next ensure you have turned on 4G under the phone network settings. If you still can’t connect, visit an MTN store for support or check out the 4G videos on the MTN website.


The 4G signal will be reflected on your 4G smartphone signal bar.


No you don’t need any special data plan for 4G. All 2G and 3G voice and Data plans will work on 4G.

4G Bands and LTE Band Frequencies of Nigerian Networks

Apart from Glo, MTN, Airtel, and 9Mobile, other 4G Networks in Nigeria include NTel, InterC, Swift, Spectranet, and Smile.

Read Also:
2.     MTN Zone: Meaning, Benefits, Tariff and Dialing Codes
3.     MTN StartPack : How to Migrate, Benefits, Tariffs and Bonuses

Network 4G LTE Bands Frequencies
MTN 7 and 20 2600MHz and 800MHz
9Mobile 3 1800MHz
Glo 28 700MHz
Airtel 3 1800MHz
NTel 8 and 3 900MHz and 1800MHz
Smile 20 800MHz
InterC 20 800MHz
Spectranet 40 2300MHz
Swift 40 2300MHz

Now that we know the 4G LTE networks in Nigeria, let us take a look at best 4G phones you can buy right now.

List of Best 4G Phones

Phone Model 4G Network Support
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 MTN, 9Mobile, Glo Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
iPhone X MTN, 9Mobile, Glo Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
Samsung Galaxy S8 MTN, 9Mobile, Glo, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
iPhone 8 Plus MTN, Glo Mobile, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
Huawei Mate 10 MTN, 9Mobile, Glo Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
Tecno Phantom 8 MTN, Glo Mobile, Airtel, 9Mobile, NTel, InterC, Smile

Infinix Zero 5 Pro MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel, Smile, InterC
Tecno Phantom 6 Plus MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
iPhone 7 MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel, Glo, NTel, InterC, Smile
Samsung Galaxy S7 MTN, 9Mobile, Glo, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile

Above are some of the best 4G Phones you can buy in Nigeria right now. From the list it is clear that MTN, Airtel, and 9Mobile supports all the best 4G phones. Glo Mobile is the only one of the big four 4G networks in Nigeria with limited support, though more LTE phones now supports Glo.

In fact, most cheap Android phones do not support the awkward band 28 (700MHz) that Glo Mobile offers. This means that some Infinix phones and Tecno phones do not support 4G LTE on Glo Mobile.

Note that although some phones here do not support 4G LTE on Glo Mobile, they will support 3G HSPA+ and GSM on Glo. This means you can use all these 4G phones on Glo Mobile. However, you cannot enjoy the faster 4G LTE speeds.

MTN 4G LTE Coverage functions and benefits


List of Best Affordable 4G Phones

Phone Model 4G Network Support
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime Plus MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
Tecno Camon CM MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
Nokia 3 MTN, Glo Mobile, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
Tecno Camon CX Air MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel, Glo Mobile, InterC, Smile
Nokia 2 MTN, Glo Mobile, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile
Fero Royale X2 MTN, Glo Mobile, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel
Infinix Hot 4 Pro MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel, NTel, InterC, Smile

Above is a list of some of the best 4G phones in Nigeria for different budgets. The list is by no means exhaustive.


Cyberspace Offers Free Internet Wi-Fi Facilities Across all Nigerian Universities

INDIGENOUS 4G operator, Cyberspace Network Limited, will be launching Free wi-fi network in all universities across the country beginning with University of Abuja today. The free Internet wifi will be launched first in the University of Abuja before going round to other universities.

According to the chief marketer of surfwella, the service will be on “no payment, no subscription, no data purchase, and no need for modems basis”. Every surfing will be absolutely free.

Read Also:

The company is planning to build another free Internet infrastructure for Lagos State University (LASU) in the next few weeks, which will be followed by College of Agric, Lafiaji, and University of Lagos (Unilag).

This is a good move by the company to empower the students with free internet… their way of giving back to the society. How I wish other Telcos will emulate this company.

Zenith bank sometimes ago launched free WiFi services within their branches nationwide but speed of browsing has not being impressive. Surfwella must be ready to offer a speed that will be decent enough for download and upload.

All finger will be crossed as we await this life changing initiative that will enhance teaching, learning and research in Nigeria universities.

About Surfwella

Surfwella is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of indigenous 4G operator, Cyberspace Network Limited, and a veritable platform for social and cognitive computing.

Ooop! Sad New: Glo Nigeria Cut Down Their Data Volume

The Grandmaster of data (Glo) seems to have been unable to keep up with their promise on data bundle. Despite its epileptic network, people are still managing the Glo data due to their cheapest plan. The complaint of their customers didn't give them the courage to fix their slow network issue, but they went ahead to frustrate users the more. 
Last week, Etisalat reduced their weekly data bundle from 200MB to 150MB for N200 and now Glo NG has chosen to follow suite.

Old Glo data Plans
N500 = 1.6GB 7days
N1000 = 3.2GB 30days
N2000 = 7.5GB 30 days
N2500 = 10GB 30days
N3000 = 12GB 30days

New Glo Data Plans
N500 = 800MB
N1000 = 1.6GB
N2000 = 3.7GB
N2500 = 5GB
N3000 = 6GB

When looking at the old and new plans, you will notice that they just slashed everything by half. Is this not going to chase away their subscribers?

Is There a Right Time to Buy a New Mac, iPhone, or iPad?

Like many tech companies, Apple is known for sticking to some fairly rigid release schedules. We get new versions of iOS once a year, with OS X following shortly after — and most hardware sees yearly refreshes too.

With this in mind, many people who sip from the brushed aluminium cup believe there are good and bad times to spend their money. In some ways, they’re right.

There’s Always a Right Time
Release schedules and “bang for your buck” logic aside, the right time to buy any tech product is when you genuinely need one. If the Mac you rely on suddenly dies, are you really going to worry about release schedules and soldier on, computer-less, for six months before the next hardware refresh arrives?


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If your productivity or ability to get stuff done is suffering on account of your unwillingness to upgrade because a company that’s notoriously secretive about upcoming products has yet to announce the next generation, you might be doing it wrong. The next big thing doesn’t render the current big thing utterly useless.
Of course, things get a little more flexible when it comes to iPhones, iPads, and Apple’s other gadgets like iPods. Most of us have an old phone in a drawer which can serve us perfectly well in a pinch — I have an iPhone 5 which requires a bit of a jiggle in order to charge properly, but it still works like a champ and even runs the latest version of iOS.
If you drop your iPad in the bath (really, what were you thinking?) then you may have to come to the realization that most of us don’t need a tablet in our lives. In all but a few cases, the iPad represents “want” over “need” as a non-essential entertainment device for browsing Facebook on the sofa. Unless you use your iPad as a work or study tool instead of a laptop, you can probably survive without one for a few months if you already have a decent smartphone.

But Why Wait?
When Apple releases a new iPhone, it usually enters the market at the same price as the last iPhone. You may have to wait a short while, but your money will ultimately buy you a faster device, with new features that weren’t available a few months earlier.
This means that $650 spent on an iPhone in August would yield an inferior product to $650 spent on an iPhone in late September or early October. You could apply the same logic to many Apple (and rival) products, which maintain rigid premium price-points, while their predecessors see a price reduction once the new models arrive.
This might not matter a whole lot to you if you don’t care about the fastest hardware and latest features. It’s important to recognise that a new product doesn’t somehow make an existing one worse or less functional.

The Buyer’s Guide Method
One of the best resources when deciding to buy your next piece of Apple hardware is the MacRumors Buyer’s Guide. This provides you with a traffic light system that uses the average time between refreshes, and the time since the last refresh to deliver a verdict on whether or not now is a good time to buy.
The buyer’s guide is at its most reliable when it comes to iOS devices, for which consumers expect a yearly refresh. But for other Apple products, it can be a little more hit and miss. As an example, at the time of writing MacRumors recommends users avoid buying a Mac Pro, as the time between refreshes is on average 449 days.

The guide warns users against buying when the average refresh period is up, and by that logic users have been warned against buying a Mac Pro for well over a year now (it’s been over 800 days since a refresh).

While it’s true the Mac Pro may indeed be due for a refresh, you could be waiting a very long time to take the plunge if you treat this guide like the gospel. This is just a side-effect of making your buying decisions by the numbers, rather than analysing whether you really need to make the purchase and coming to a decision based on personal circumstance.
You’ll also find rumors listed for each product, which should probably factor into your decision. Ultimately though, nobody can know exactly what Apple is planning.

Hardware goes through cycles, products shift in terms of popularity, Apple has a tendency to let some things stagnate — particularly if it’s not the latest in consumer gadgetry. The guide is arguably at its most useful when it tells you to go ahead and buy something, which would indicate a fairly recent update has taken place.

Buying a New Mac
Apple’s computers generally see mid-year updates to the most popular lines. If you’re thinking of buying a MacBook or iMac, April to October is your window. Whether or not you should wait largely depends on what you’re buying it for. The most often-updated lines are the most popular ones — and those are mostly bought by casual users.

The MacBook and MacBook Air range generally see iterative, gradual updates. As an example, the new MacBook line was updated in April 2016, but the changes are nothing to write home about: improved CPU and GPU, with around 20% increases in speed on last year’s model; a faster SSD; the same amount but speedier RAM; and marginally improved battery life.
In this instance, one good reason to wait for a refresh would be to save some money. While the price of the new MacBook has held strong at $1,299, you can get last year’s model (which was selling for the same price) for $929 on Apple’s refurbished store. While Apple’s refurbished program already offers a way to save some money on a new Mac, hardware refreshes further push the prices down. If you’d like to minimize the “Apple Tax”, then you’d be wise to pay attention to the new releases for this reason.

Form factors aside, the Mac doesn’t regularly see major changes or new technologies. Over the last few years, the introduction of the Retina display and Force Touch trackpads (3D Touch for the Mac) have been the only major changes to grace the MacBook range. The MacBook Air has been going since 2008 and, guts aside, remains largely unchanged.
When you’re buying a new Mac, hardware should be at the forefront of your decision, and this is mostly driven by what the hardware manufacturers are doing. If you really want to know whether or not waiting is worth it for you, check out what Intel and AMD are working on, as well as roll-out schedules to see if you can wait that long.

Buying a New iPhone
Predicting a new iPhone is far easier than any other Apple product. Not only is it Apple’s best-seller, consumers have become accustomed to yearly release cycles for flagship devices from all smartphone manufacturers. New iPhones are usually announced at the end of September, before being in the hands of impatient consumers by early October.

For those in the US who must have the latest and greatest device, Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program guarantees the latest flagship device every year for around $33 per month (based on a 16GB iPhone 6s). You’ll get AppleCare+ with that deal, which means you’re covered for two instances of accidental damage.
At current prices, that works out to around $390 per year for the base model; whereas, buying the phone yourself would cost $649 (minus AppleCare+). Of course, if you buy an iPhone outright you can sell it and upgrade to the next model — and the “Apple Tax” doesn’t just apply to Macs in terms of secondhand value.

Buying a New iPad
When it comes to Apple’s tablet, things are a little harder to predict. The iPad Air 2 was released in October 2014, and though many expected a new entry-level tablet in late 2015 or early 2016, Apple instead released two models of iPad Pro.
This has lead to much speculation over whether or not the iPad Air 2 is the last tablet to carry the “Air” moniker, particularly over at MacRumors where the 9.7″ iPad Pro is already being hailed as its successor. Personally I’m not so sure — I think there’s still room in Apple’s lineup for an entry-level tablet.
Really, Apple’s tablet game is all over the place, but that’s not a huge issue. The RAM boost seen with the last iPad Air update and the already-speedy A8X means it’s already as capable as the latest iPad Pro models in terms of a fluid OS experience and multi-tasking performance.

You might not need the improvements Apple has introduced with the iPad Pro, and you can save $200 and still get one of the best iPads ever by opting for an Air.

A Good Argument for AppleCare
If you can’t live without your iPhone or iPad, then both of these devices can be enrolled in Apple’s AppleCare+ after-market extended warranty program. Most of the time we’d tell you to avoid extended warranties like the plague, but AppleCare is a bit different. It affords you two instances of accidental damage, with a premium of around $50 for each repair. Whether you drop your phone in the toilet or smash the screen by falling over, Apple will repair or replace it like-for-like.

The same accidental damage cover doesn’t apply to Mac computers covered by AppleCare, so you’ll need to be a little more careful and consider adding accidental damage cover for your regular contents insurance if you’re particularly accident-prone.

So the best answer to whether or not there’s a “right time” to buy new Apple gear is: can you afford to wait?

Do you play the Apple release schedule game? Maybe you prefer to wait for refurbished models and pick up last year’s big thing? Add your comments below.

Image Credit: cartoon orange by penguinline via Shutterstock

How to Set a Video as Your Facebook Profile Picture

Your profile picture is your representation online and the first image of you a lot of people might see; thus, it makes sense that you’d want to follow advice on making your profile picture perfect. However, if you want to make yourself stand out even more, why not try changing your Facebook profile picture into a video?

Right now, you can only make your profile picture a video from the Android or iPhone Facebook apps, so you won’t be able to do this from the web.
To set a profile video from your phone, open the Facebook app and head to your profile page. Tap your current profile picture, then Take a New Profile Video to grab some video right from your phone, or Upload Video or Photo if you already have a video in mind.

After the video is done, tap Next, then you’ll need to select a thumbnail — the video only plays when people are visiting your timeline, so as not to be distracting to those browsing the News Feed. The thumbnail represents you outside of your profile page. Once you’ve selected it, tap Use and you’re all set up!

The iPhone app has a bit more functionality in editing these videos than the Android app at this point. The iOS app lets you trim videos longer than seven seconds (the maximum) down; the Android app forces it to be less than seven.
The Android app also doesn’t let you mute the video, so you may want to look into a free video editor to mute it on your computer before uploading it via your phone.

Do you like having a profile video, or do you prefer a picture? Let us know if you’ve uploaded a video in the comments!

WhatsApp end-to-end Data encryption: How It Works and What It Means For Users

WhatsApp end-to-end encryption is now live. Here’s what the feature means and how you can use it.

WhatsApp is now end-to-end encrypted at all times. This will ensure that users’ messages, videos, photos sent over WhatsApp can’t be read by anyone else — not WhatsApp, not cyber-criminals, not law-enforcement agencies. Even calls and group chats will be encrypted.
WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum announced the update on his Facebook page, stating that the company has been working on the feature for the last two years.

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Koum wrote, “We’ve been working for the past two years to give people better security over their conversations on WhatsApp… People deserve security. It makes it possible for us to connect with our loved ones. It gives us the confidence to speak our minds. It allows us to communicate sensitive information with colleagues, friends, and others. We’re glad to do our part in keeping people’s information out of the hands of hackers and cyber-criminals.”

So what is end-to-end encryption and how exactly does it work in WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is using “The Signal Protocol”, designed by Open Whisper Systems, for its encryption.

In its White Paper, explaining the technical details of the end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp says that “once the session is established, clients do not need to rebuild a new session with each other until the existing session state is lost through an external event such as an app reinstall or device change.”
The paper explains how messages are encrypted as well.

It reads, “clients exchange messages that are protected with a Message Key using AES256 in CBC mode for encryption and HMAC-SHA256 for authentication. The Message Key changes for each message transmitted, and is ephemeral, such that the Message Key used to encrypt a message cannot be reconstructed from the session.” It also says that calls, large file attachments are end-to-end encrypted as well.
Note that the ever-changing message key can mean a delay in some messages getting delivered, according to the paper.

It should be noted that feature is enabled by default in WhatsApp, which means that if you and your friends are on the latest version of the app, all chats will be end-to-end encrypted. Unlike say Telegram where users have to start a secret chat to enable the feature, WhatsApp has the feature on at all times. Users don’t have the option of switching off end-to-end encryption.

Users need to be on the same versions of WhatsApp to ensure that their chats get end-to-end encrypted. If you’ve recently updated the app, and you start a chat with someone else (also on the new version) you are likely to see a message saying, “Messages you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap for more info.
Once you tap on the message, WhatsApp has a pop-up menu explaining what end-to-end encryption means. Users can verify if the encryption is working as well. If a user taps on verify, they will be taken to a page with a QR code, followed by a string of 60 numbers.

If your friend is nearby, take their phone scan the code from your phone (the option is there at the bottom of the same page) and if the QR code matches, then the chat is encrypted. When the codes match, a green tick appears; when it doesn’t there’s an exclamation mark in red alerting a user that the chat is not secure.

So does the end-to-end encryption work all the time?

We tried verifying some chats that had the message saying encryption was enabled. In some cases, the verification failed for us. In the first case, we tried to verify a chat between an Android and iPhone 6s device (running iOS 9.3.1), and the QR codes didn’t match. We also tried matching QR codes on an two Android phones, and once again we got the red alert indicating no end-to-end encryption. Both Android phones are on the latest version of the app from the Google Play Store.

However, a verification between a chat on two iOS devices, (iPhone 6s, iPhone 5s) worked for us and showed the green tick.

We’re not sure why the verification failed, even though the chat says it is end-to-end encrypted. We might have to wait for another app update that could fix this issue.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve managed to get the end-to-end encryption verified on some of your chats.

6 New WhatsApp Features You Should Know About

When you’re using an app day in and day out, it’s easy to miss out on new features that get added. You get a notification for an update, you update, and you continue using it as you always did. But what did you get in all those updates? With WhatsApp, quite a bit.

The best social network or instant messenger app is the one which all of your friends and family use. WhatsApp has an incredible user base now, and after becoming one of the fastest growing social networks, it’s now adding features to make it a solid, robust app.
Whether you know it or not, recent updates have brought some cool new features, from starring messages to backing up your chat logs to Google Drive. Most of these changes are reflected in the new WhatsApp for Android, but they should be available on iPhone soon enough. If you use WhatsApp, you need to know this.

‘Star’ Messages to Find Them Later

When someone sends an important message on WhatsApp, you can’t save it. Finding it later can be a pain, despite the robust search engine in WhatsApp. One of our workarounds was to use hashtags to mark important messages. But now, there’s a cool new tool.

WhatsApp now lets you ‘star’ messages. Long-press any message, choose the Star in the top menu bar, and move on. It’s exactly like a bookmark or a favorite.

Later, when you want to look up any bookmarked message, go to Menu > Starred Messages and you’ll see them all, listed chronologically.

The starred messages can also be searched, so you can find all the important stuff you marked by some person. You can also ‘unstar’ a message later, so that the Starred Messages can be cleaned up easily.

Back Up Chats to Google Drive
If you accidentally delete your WhatsApp chat history, you can restore it in a few steps. But what if you lost your phone, or got a new one, or had to reset your existing storage? While WhatsApp backs up chat history regularly, there’s now an easier (and better) way: Google Drive.

The new version of WhatsApp for Android lets you automatically backup your chat logs to Google Drive. Go to Menu > Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup > Google Drive Settings and set it up. I’d recommend backing up daily (you can choose weekly, monthly, or manual), over Wi-Fi only (thus saving data costs), and including videos.

Easier Way to Clear Chats

If you’re already backing up those chats, there’s no reason for you to keep really old messages, is there? It’s time to clear things up, and WhatsApp has made it simpler than ever.

Go to Menu > Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat History > Clear All Chats and you’ll see three options: all messages, messages older than 30 days, or messages older than 6 months. Choose what you want and WhatsApp will do the rest.

You can do this same action with specific chats too, whether with individuals or groups. In any chat, tap Menu > More > Clear Chat and you’ll see the same three options. Simple, eh?

Mark Messages as Read or Unread

You can now hide your WhatsApp status or when you were last seen, which is great. But for your own personal usage, sometimes, you might want to mark a message as unread.

Think about it in email. The ability to right-click and mark as unread is a great way to remind yourself that you haven’t fully registered an email, that you need to reply to it, or that it’s important in some way.

You can now do that in WhatsApp too. Choose a chat with any contact or group, long-press on it, and tap “Mark as Unread”—yup, as simple as that. You can do the opposite too—long-press a chat you haven’t read and you’ll see an option to “Mark as Read”, so it seems like you’ve read the message without ever opening the chat.

Do note that this doesn’t mean change the message’s status for your recipient. The recipient still sees that you have read the message. It only reflects as unread in your own phone.

Use Custom Notifications for People and Groups

Some contacts and chat groups are more important than others, right? Well, then set a different type of notification alert for them. WhatsApp has rolled out custom notifications.

One of the cornerstones of blocking mobile distractions is to allow the right people through and cut off everyone else, and that’s what this feature does. Open any chat, tap the title bar, and you’ll find an option for Custom Notifications.

In it, you can set the notification tone, vibration effect, popup notification, and the color of the LED light for new messages. For Whatsapp voice calls, you’ll only get custom ringtones and vibrations.

What WhatsApp Feature Do You Want?

WhatsApp has come a long way from being a simple instant messaging app, but they can always do better. So if you could request the WhatsApp developers to add a new feature, what would it be?

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An Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) is a routed link between two or more points across a shared network infrastructure with various degrees of security that ensure privacy for all parties.

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