7 results for "VPN"

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There are a number of reasons both businesses and home users would want or need to use a VPN service.  In this article, we will focus on the home user only.

Firstly, if you are not aware of the meaning of the acronym VPN – it stands for Virtual Private Network.  A VPN creates a private network with encrypted data over a public network such as the internet.  Say for instance you had a small home network of computers that were not connected to the internet.  For your purpose, this would be private since no one outside of your home would have access to it.

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Does Nitrous Networks have Better Minecraft Hosting than Shockbyte?

We Put both services to the test. Read on to find out more

We have had quite a few requests in the last while to do a review on Nitrous Networks Minecraft Hosting so we thought we would finally get around to it.

 

But to make things even more interesting, we decided to compare them to another popular Minecraft Hosting service, Shockbyte.

 

You might be surprised to see the results.

 

Features

First, let’s compare some of the most important features of each service.  Below is a summary of each Minecraft host.

Feature Comparison

Our feature summary doesn’t explain the differences fully, so let’s take a look at each point, one by one.

Refund Policy

Refunds in the Minecraft hosting industry are typically pretty tough.  I can’t personally blame the hosting companies as there tends to be a high rate of fraud in this market so they need to protect themselves.

Now, having said that, let’s take a look at the two companies and see how they compare for offering refunds.

Shockbyte

Shockbyte offers a 24 hour moneyback guarantee.  Definitely not the best in the industry but at least they offer one.  Digging deeper into the reviews at Trustpilot shows that they seem to not like to give refunds as there are a lot of reviews commenting on this issue.

Normally we wouldn’t be too concerned about these complaints since it is way more common for people to leave reviews when they are unhappy than when they are pleased.  The problem is that virtually every page we reviewed on Trustpilot had this same complaint listed over and over again.

Nitrous Networks

Nitrous Networks offers a 7 day moneyback guarantee.  But it’s not quite so straightforward.  According to their Terms of Service (TOS), they only offer refunds if their services are at fault.  That doesn’t seem so great but it does hold them to account for providing a decent product since these are the examples of valid reasons for asking for a refund:

  • The control panel being unavailable for more than an hour.
  • Your service being unavailable before any mods/addons or maps have been installed on to the server.
  • An error resulting in the activation of your service taking longer than 24 hours.
  • No initial reply to a support ticket within 12 hours.

While we are not fans of conditions being applied to refund policies, at least Nitrous Networks gives a reasonable amount of time to make sure their service is up to par and will honor refunds if they don’t live up to their end of the bargain.

Server Locations

Shockbyte

Shockbyte offers only one server location in North America and one in Europe.  They also have servers located in Singapore and Australia.  If you are located in or near Singapore or Australia, Shockbyte might perform better as Nitrous Networks has no servers in these areas.

Nitrous Networks

If you are located in Europe or North America, Nitrous Networks has much better server choices for you than Shockbyte.  Here is a list of Nitrous Network’s server locations:

  • London, UK
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Falkenstein, Germany
  • Quebec, Canada
  • Ashburn, VA, USA
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Phoenix, AZ, USA
  • Buffalo, NY, USA

Reviews

This is where things really start to fall apart.  We compared user reviews on various platforms that can be trusted for impartiality.  These include:

  • Trustpilot
  • Hostadvice
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Spigotmc
  • Minecraftforum

We analyzed hundreds of reviews and forum postings on the above sites and found that Truspilot’s ratings of both services was more or less accurate when compared to all the sites in general.

Overall, Shockbyte is a more well known brand than Nitrous Networks.  Perhaps the popularity of their services is to blame for their much lower review rating when compared to their competitors.

Two of the most common complaints regarding Shockbyte on Trustpilot are lack of support and not receiving refund, even when asked for within the 24 hour time window.

Shockbyte Facebook Reviews

We noticed on Shockbyte’s Facebook page that they have removed the option to rate their service.  But thanks to Google, we are able to see what their rating was prior to removing the rating feature.  Can’t say as I blame them.

Support

Hopefully when you order a service, everything works great and you don’t need to contact support to fix problems.  We all know that this isn’t always the case.  I’m sure you’ll agree that it can be very frustrating to be ready to play only to hit some kind of a technical glitch.

 

Both Shockbyte and Nitrous Networks  offer online chat as well as ticketing support.  For both services, online chat is only going to be of use for the simplest of problems and both companies will request you open a ticket for any questions or problems that require real support.

 

In our opinion, using a  ticketing system for tech support is a good idea since you then have a complete record of your conversation with the company.  It allows both you and the tech support department to review previous messages to ensure the best support possible is being given.

Nitrous Networks

Support response seems to be where Nitrous Networks really shines.  During our analysis of hundreds of reviews of both companies, we read time and time again about how quick and knowledgeable tech support is at this company.

 

Making support a top priority is clearly why Nitrous Networks overall reviews are so positive.  In our opinion, quality of support is the second most important feature of any hosting company – with the first most important being quality of the hosting service.

 

While we all hope that we don’t need to use tech support, it is reassuring to know that Nitrous is able to answer your questions quickly and accurately to get you back to your game.

Shockbyte

The number one complaint we read hundreds of times over on our sample review forums is the general lack of support at Shockbyte.  This ranged from slow responses to tickets, inaccurate replies and often times no response at all to open tickets.

Shockbyte Fast-Track
Shockbyte Fast-Track Support Tickets

Want to get a response to your support ticket at Shockbyte quickly?  Sure, just shell out another $3 and apparently they will respond faster.

 

To be fair, tech support is one of the single largest costs to most hosting companies.  After using and reviewing hundreds of services including web hosting, vpn’s, minecraft hosting and more we have found that more often than not that the quality of support is what makes a service shine or fail.

 

Shockbyte definitely gets a fail in the support department.  Support is a vital part of any hosting business and charging people to get a response in a reasonable period of time is unfair.  Perhaps Shockbyte should charge a bit more for their services so they could afford to hire more staff and provide decent support in the first place.

Summary

For hosting services such as Minecraft Hosting, price is only one of many factors you need to consider.  Quality of servers, speed and knowledge of support and low latency / ping times are all more important considerations than price.

 

There is an old saying: “Buy cheap, buy twice“, meaning that if you buy the cheap option you will inevitably be unhappy with your purchase and end up buying the one you should have in the first place.

 

If price is your only consideration, then Shockbyte is probably your best choice as Nitrous Networks offers a premium service but at a slightly higher price.  If you want a game server that will run reliably with fast speeds and low ping times, then Nitrous Networks is your clear choice.

 

And remember – At DomainCouponsPro, no one ever pays full price.  Click the link below and check out our Promo Codes and Coupons for Nitrous Networks.

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Surfshark Review

Can a rookie hit a homerun?  

Surfshark Review

We are pleased to present our review of Surfshark vpn. Is the new kid on the block ready to take on the competition? We think so. Check out our detailed review and decide for yourself.

Pros

  • No Logs
  • Fast Speeds
  • Unlimited Devices
  • Good Support
  • Good Value

Cons

  • Limited Apps
  • Short track record
  • Average # of Servers

Our Rating

9.3/10

Logging

Vpn’s are here to protect our privacy so if a company keeps logs or is in an area where they can be compelled by law to hand over that information then what is the point?

Surfshark has a strict no-logging policy. And the company is located in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction that has no data retention laws.

What does this mean to you? Simply put, what you do on Surfshark is your business. If for instance, you download a movie and the maker wants to come after you for damages, too bad. There are no logs, there are no records.

Our Rating: 10/10

Speed

All I can say is WOW. Surfshark is fast. In fact, the fastest service I’ve ever tested.Here are my results BEFORE Surfshark:

On my normal internet connection, I got a download speed of 176.61 Mbps and an upload speed of 15.64 Mbps. Ping was 41 ms

Here are my results RUNNING Surfshark:

Running Surfshark, I got a download speed of 160.24 Mbps and an upload speed of 9.46 Mbps. Ping was unchanged at 41 ms.

 

The download speed was extremely fast and though it was about a 9% drop in speed, that difference would be unnoticeable in real life. The upload speed changed considerably but that isn’t that big of a concern and cable connections like mine are notorious for having abysmal upload rates.

 

Testing with Netflix and Youtube showed no lag or stutter.

 

Connecting to servers was extremely fast as well. Even connecting to servers a long distance from me was no problem. Though I’d suggest leaving the setting to ‘optimal’ and letting them figure it out for you unless you need to use a server in a specific location.

 

I tested both the Chrome extension and the Windows app. Both gave me similar results although the Chrome app seems to connect to the server slightly faster.

 

Even though these speeds are the fastest I’ve ever seen from any vpn, I didn’t rate it a 10 because I won’t ever give a vpn service that high of a rating. 9.5 is the highest I’ll go and the highest I’ve ever given on any test so kudos to Surfshark.

Our Rating: 9.5/10

Torrents/P2P

Some vpn’s do not allow the use P2P services. Other services promote it heavily. Surfshark is the latter.

If you like to download content via torrents, you probably already received an email or ten from your isp about ‘illegal’ downloads. With Surfshark, those concerns are gone.

I tested downloading and sharing several .torrent files and not surprisingly found the speeds to be fast and consistent with the speed tests I’d done previously.

Our Rating: 10/10

Streaming

One of the big features of a vpn service is being able to stream services like Netflix, Hulu and BBC from outside of the areas that it is allowed. Many of these services – especially Netflix – have gone to great lengths to stop vpn’s from being able to access their services.

I tested Netflix from six servers in three countries: US, Canada and Australia. All servers connected without any problems. Streaming was fast with no lag, even Australia which is half a world away from me.

I also tested BBC iPlayer and it worked fine as well with no noticeable lag.

Surfshark is one of the few services I’ve tested that hasn’t had at least one server banned from one of the streaming services so because of that, I give it a 10/10.

Our Rating: 10/10

Apps and Interface

Here is one of the few places Surfshark loses a few points. Since they are fairly new, they do not have native apps for all platforms like most of their longstanding competition do.

Surfshark has native apps or extensions for:

Windows
Android
iOs
Chrome
Firefox


That should cover it for the vast majority of people but notably, they do not have a native app for MacOS nor Linux. They do however support both and have instructions on how to set them up manually. They have a Windows app which I tested and it works fine. It is marked as a beta on their site though so not sure if there are any bugs or quirks that I didn’t find.

They also have router support via some setup tutorials.

The interface of the apps is clean and minimalist but all of the settings you’d expect are neatly tucked away behind some tabs. I would guess that these apps will grow and mature with time but are completely usable as is.

This rating was a bit of a struggle and maybe a little harsh given the fact that they will cover probably 90% of their prospective customers. But they have some work to do right now and I will update the review in the future as this improves hopefully.

Our Rating: 7/10

Servers and Locations

At face value, it is hard to fault Surfshark for their location list. They boast 500+ servers in 50+ locations and cover a large chunk of the populated areas around the globe.

They do however have a long ways to go compared to some of their more mature competition. As mentioned above under Speed, their servers all seem blazingly fast so that is definitely a plus in their favor.

This is another rating that I will likely have to upgrade in the near future as they seem to be adding servers and locations at a breakneck speed.

Our Rating: 8.5/10

Security

Surfshark uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols with 256 bit AES encryption. This is ideal for security as well as battery savings on mobile devices. Hard to find any fault here.

Their Windows app has a kill switch feature which is a must-have. This will kill your connection if it detects a loss of vpn security. Without this feature, downloading torrents for instance can leave you vulnerable.

They also have a feature they call ‘cleanweb’ which is supposedly an ad and malware blocker. I didn’t test this feature as I am already covered with other software.

Accepting CryptoCurrency is another big plus. Some people that want to be completely anonymous don’t want to pay via credit card or Paypal since there is a paper trail. Using crypto currency solves this problem.

They lost a point here as both the kill switch and cleanweb are disabled by default. It’s a simple click to go into the settings and turn them on but I have to question why these security tools are not enabled upon install. It might be nitpicky, but most of us are in a hurry to get going and may not look into the settings at all.

Our Rating: 9/10

Support

I tested Surfshark’s support via online chat and email. Online chat response was very fast – well under 30 seconds. I asked some random pre-purchase questions and it was clear that the agent I was chatting with knew his stuff and wasn’t just pasting from pre-written responses.

Email response was fast as well at around three minutes. And this was at 10pm my local time. 1am if their support is in the British Virgin Islands where the company is located. Either way, still impressive.

I can’t find anything to fault them on in regards to support but this is another of those categories that I never give a full rating on. Sorry Surfshark – you deserve a 10 but I just can’t do it.

Our Rating: 9.5/10

Value

Cost should naturally be one of the least important criteria when looking for a vpn service. Let’s face it, if a service can’t pass the previous 8 tests but they have a great price then what is the point?

If you use my link you can get Surfshark for 83% off or $1.99/month on a two year plan. That is an excellent value.

They lose a little bit of score as their 1 month and 12 months prices are ok but not outstanding. Not surprisingly, they give little or no discount on monthly plans which is fine with me as I would never sign up to a service like this for such a short time.

Surfshark does not have a free trial but they do offer a full 30 day money-back guarantee which is one of the best in the business. It shouldn’t take more than a day or two to realistically decide if the service is right for you so they give ample time to decide.

Our Rating: 9.5/10

Summary

Testing and reviewing Surfshark was a pleasant surprise. They are clearly trying hard to be a market leader and if they continue on this track, they will soon be one of the best known and well used services in their market.

I’m so pleased in fact with their product, service and support that they will likely become my go-to vpn from now on. Seeing as how I’ve been with my current provider for over 4 years, that is saying a lot.

They will soon be one of the best known and well used services in their market

Sure, they are still a little rough around the edges in a couple of areas. But none of those issues are major and none of them affect me or probably you either. If their few shortcomings are a show stopper for your particular needs then take a look at some our other reviews and choose another provider. Otherwise, choosing Surfshark is likely to be a choice you won’t regret. ​

Overall Rating: 93%

Surfshark: Can a Rookie hit a home run?

Check out our 9 point review of Surfshark VPN. Speed, locations, security and more are tested and rated. Don’t buy a vpn service without reading our guides!

Editor's Rating:
9.3
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We have created a simple walk-through to use our Torguard Promotional Code:

View all Torguard Promo Codes

Step 1: Head to Torguard website

Hint: You should already have a new tab open to Torguard if you clicked our ‘Show Coupon’ button.  This will also give you the special promo code to use on their website.  Click on ‘Buy VPN now’.

If you are only concerned about secure web browsing, you could order the anonymous proxy but if you want secure downloads as well, we strongly recommend the anonymous VPN.

Torguard home page

Step 2: Choose Billing Cycle

Hint: To get the best value, we suggest to choose an annual account which works out to half the price as ordering Torguard monthly.  You could also choose semi-annual (six months) but for us, the ease of one payment a year was what we find easiest.  And we are too cheap to pay for two years in advance.  Kudos to you if you’re not as cheap as us.

Another hint: Torguard offers a 7 day moneyback guarantee so there is no concern about ordering for a full year as you can just ask for a refund if for some reason you are not satisfied.

Choose Billing Cycle

Choose Billing Cycle

 

Step 3: Add to Cart

Don’t worry that the website still shows the full price, the next step will get you the savings!

Step 4: Add Promo Code

You should have already copied the Torguard Promo code to your clipboard from our website, so just right click in the box shown below, select ‘Paste’ from the menu and click the GO button.

Add promo code

Step 5: Save your money!

Confirm that the promo code was entered properly by checking the total column.  Here you can see that we have saved 50% or $30 a year.  And remember – this is a recurring discount, so you get the same low price as long as you remain a customer – not like a lot of other companies that charge you huge after your first year.

Saving money at Torguard

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If you are the last one out, turn off the lights.

That is about it for Australia and their 23 million people when it comes to any website the government deems aids in piracy of copyright law.

This is a far-reaching law, in fact it is more onerous than most other countries I have seen pass other anti-piracy legislation. Gone will be sites like Kickass.to and thepiratebay.se. That is just for starts. There can and likely will be other collateral damage to more ‘legitimate’ sites such as Dropbox or megafileupload. Sites such as this can be easily targeted by the Aussie government since it is impossible for these companies to control every single item that is uploaded, stored or shared on their systems and it is inevitable that copyrighted material will be available.

But instead of having a warning system in place for such events, this legislation can simply force internet providers (ISP’s) to pull the plug on these sites, making them unavailable to all Australian citizens.

So instead of having fines or warnings like are provisioned in laws in countries like the US or Canada, Australia is taking it a step further and censoring out websites they feel should not be accessible to their population. Rather Orwellian if you ask me.

The government claims that they will review the effects of the bill in 18 months and make adjustments if necessary. But this was not written into the legislation so there is no legal duty for them to do so. Rather convenient. And considering this bill passed by an astounding 37-13 margin, the reality is that even if a review is done as promised, chances are it will be only lip service and not a decent overhaul of the bill as proposed by senator Scott Ludlam.

What does this mean to the average Australian?  Simply put, if you want to download any copyrighted material such as a movie, TV show or music, chances are the site you would get the torrent link from will soon disappear.  But if you still want to get access to this material, it is not too hard and in fact, studies show Australians have become very adept at circumventing such regulations.  Before Netflix became officially available in Australia, it was estimated that 684,000 Australians were already subscribed to international streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu or Vudu.

There is good news.  This poorly thought out legislation makes it simple for people to carry on doing what they were doing.  Simply using a VPN service such as the 684,000 people are already doing to gain access to international streaming sites will bypass the banning of these sites from Australian internet.  Check out our selection of vpn services with the link below.  These VPN providers provide high anonymity and allow you to easily and quickly access sites that the Australian government has or will ban from view.  It is inexpensive and insanely easy to do.  Makes you wonder what these politicians were thinking in the first place when they passed this law.

 

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Did you know that on January 2, 2015, Canada enacted the Copyright Modernization act otherwise known as the Digital Piracy Law?

What does this mean to you?

If you download any copyrighted materials such as:

 

musicmoviestv_shows
MusicMoviesTV Shows

You can be liable for a fine of up to $5000

What can you do?

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If you download music, movies or TV shows you need to be informed of the new laws and how they effect you.

Starting January 2, 2015, the Copyright Modernization Act became law in Canada.  While the bill covers many topics, the one we’ll focus on is the one that most of us know and are guilty of: downloading of copyrighted material.

The law, in it’s current form doesn’t really change things that much from how things operated in Canada before.  For years now, most ISP’s have passed on DMCA (digital millennium copyright act) notices to their users who were noted downloading copyrighted material by the owner of the material.  Nothing was really done by the isp, they simply passed on the notice and weren’t under any obligation to do anything more than that.

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