Best VPNs for Netgear Routers in 2021

Netgear has been producing top-quality networking technology for 25 years now and has maintained its reputation throughout that time with popular product after popular product.  However, Netgear routers are best paired with a VPN, which will significantly enhance your privacy and keep you safe online. What are the Best VPNs…

Netgear has been producing top-quality networking technology for 25 years now and has maintained its reputation throughout that time with popular product after popular product. 

However, Netgear routers are best paired with a VPN, which will significantly enhance your privacy and keep you safe online.

What are the Best VPNs for Netgear Routers

We have listed the best VPNs for your Netgear router. All of these services can be loaded onto your VPN compatible router. If you need more information, check out our detailed summaries further on in this article. 


  1. ExpressVPN

    – the best VPN for your Netgear router. Super-easy to set up and worth it for access to its massive server network.

  2. NordVPN

    – an excellent choice for Netgear routers, with best-in-class security features and stress-free set up instructions.

  3. CyberGhost VPN

    – A solid-all rounder with a sleak, easy-to-use interface design and Netgear router compatibility.

  4. Private Internet Access

    – An ultra-secure VPN with a no-logs policy that’s been proven in court and an excellent reputation for keeping users safe.

  5. Surfshark

    – is a cheap VPN for Netgear routers. It works well with VPN compatible routers and comes with state-of-the-art privacy tools.

When choosing the VPN that’s right for you and your Netgear router, the main things to look for are:

Best VPNs for Netgear Router: in-depth analysis

Here’s a closer look at why we’ve chosen these five VPNs as our top picks to use with Netgear routers. 

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for your Netgear router. It has thousands of servers and can unblock the most sought-after geo-restricted content as a result.

  • Pricing

    From 

    $6.67 –
    $12.95

  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN is an easy first pick to pair with Netgear, largely due to the superior security features it offers along with the provider’s huge server network. ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers worldwide, which means you can access everything from US Netflix to BBC iPlayer from practically anywhere in the world. This large collection of servers is one of the many reasons ExpressVPN can reliably produce excellent connection speeds. 

Another impressive string to ExpressVPN’s bow is its long list of security features. As well as providing users with AES-256 bit encryption, a kill-switch, and DNS leak protection, ExpressVPN can guarantee that no logs of your activity are kept by running all its servers on RAM. This means all the data held (the minimal needed to just run the servers) is lost forever when each server is powered down – something that happens regularly. ExpressVPN also offers obfuscation technology so your traffic appears as if it isn’t coming from a VPN. 

This provider lets you use the same account on 5 devices, but if you’re installing it on your Netgear router, it’ll only count as one – so you can share the account with friends and family. Although well worth the money, ExpressVPN is one of the pricier providers out there. However, you can try it out for an entire month and the provider will give you your money back if you aren’t happy. 

NordVPN is an excellent choice for Netgear. It has a number of innovative security details and set up instructions for various types of firmware on their website.

  • Pricing

    From 

    $3.71 –
    $11.95

  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

NordVPN is based in Panama, a country with notoriously stringent privacy laws and a government that has no interest in obtaining VPN provider data. Even if they did, NordVPN’s strict no-logs policy would mean there’d be nothing to hand over. NordVPN has a number of other security and privacy features that go beyond the industry-standard kill-switches and IP address masking. NordVPN has recently rolled out NordLynx, built around the cutting-edge WireGuard encryption protocol to improve your speeds without compromising your security. Double VPN, on the other hand, is not offered by many providers and gives you an additional layer of privacy by sending your traffic through two private servers instead of one. 

NordVPN has an excellent customer support line, which may come in handy when going through a process like flashing your router. This commitment to the user experience is perhaps best illustrated by the super-clear instructions on how to flash your router with Tomato and DD-WRT firmware available on their website, which makes it simple for even a PC novice. Other ways they make life better for their customers include maintaining lightning quick connection speeds – which is ideal for watching content from around the world without worrying about latency issues. Nord is actually the speediest provider on this list – if you’re sceptical, just pay for 30 days and get your money back if you finish the month unhappy!

CyberGhost is a solid all-rounder when it comes to speeds and security, and the company’s attitude to privacy is second to none. This is an excellent VPN for beginners, particularly if you’ve never flashed a router before.

  • Pricing

    From 

    $2.25 –
    $13.47

  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

CyberGhost, based in Romania, has some of the best security features around. The provider is one of the few VPNs to offer extended bandwidth in some locations, such as its NoSpy servers in Romania which are maintained by a team of security experts, meaning your logs of user activity are ever kept. Like NordVPN, CyberGhost has made adjustments to further secure WireGuard and let its users reap the benefits of quicker connection times at no cost to their security. CyberGhost offers all the security protocols you could ask for from a provider, and its customer support means installing a VPN on your Netgear router is stress-free. 

CyberGhost has a huge network of over 6,000 servers in 88 countries, which means not only will your speeds be solid, but you’ll be able to bypass numerous geo-restrictions – something this provider has a proven track record at excelling at. CyberGhost, as mentioned previously, is a great VPN for beginners thanks to its slick app interfaces and ease of use – this is no different when it comes to installing it on your router. It also may be the VPN for the indecisive punters – you have 45 days (rather than the leading standard of 30) to make up your mind, or CyberGhost will give you your money back.

Private Internet Access, commonly known as PIA, is one of the most secure VPNs around. They’ve been enhancing user privacy for over a decade now and are well-regarded in Reddit circles.

  • Pricing

    From 

    $2.69 –
    $9.95

  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Private Internet Access is one of the few VPNs that have been subpoenaed by the US government as part of a criminal investigation – which means it was required by the government to hand over their logs. Fortunately, PIA had no logs to hand over – proving its privacy promise to all watching. This makes it a great VPN for those who are worried about their privacy, and if you were to instal PIA on your Netgear router, your entire home network would be protected. The provider uses its own DNS server to prevent leaks and has recently rolled out its Next Generation Network on servers in the US, UK Hong Kong and the Netherlands, providing enhanced security and faster speeds. 

Private Internet Access has over 15,000 servers worldwide, which makes for speedy connections and an internet browsing experience without irritating geo-restrictions on the things you want to watch. Although Private Internet Access doesn’t provide instructions on how to flash your router, it does offer guidance on how to set up a VPN on the firmware options available for Netgear routers. So why not try it out on yours? If you change your mind within 30 days, you can just ask for your money back. 

Surfshark is the cheapest VPN on this list but manages to compete with the best in the business when it comes to offering premium security and privacy features.

  • Pricing

    From 

    $2.49 –
    $12.95

  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Surfshark is a fantastic VPN if you’re looking for a cheap option for your Netgear router that won’t let you down. Its customer support is great, and they have set up instructions on its website for the different firmware types you’ll be choosing between. Surfshark is a speedy operator, second only rapidity to NordVPN out of the providers we have reviewed in this article, and this means it can handle multiple devices connecting to the same VPN via a router. Surfshark also, quite impressively, offers all its features on all its servers (camouflage mode, extension support etc.) – a claim many other providers can’t match. 

Surfshark has a CleanWeb tool that will automatically block malware and viruses from establishing a connection with users’ devices, sending commands and collecting data. Camouflage Mode, on the other hand, disguises your traffic so even your internet service provider doesn’t know you’re using a VPN. The multi-hop function, on the other hand, gives you an extra level of security by rerouting your data through two VPN servers before spitting it out the other side. Although Surfshark has a money-back grace period of 30 days after you instal it, the fact it does so much for such a small cost means that customers rarely take advantage of it! 

Advantages of having a VPN on your Netgear router

There are some definite benefits to installing a VPN on your Netgear router, as opposed to just installing them on all your network-connected devices individually. Advantages include:

‘Flashing’ your Netgear router 

The only two ways to get a VPN on your Netgear router are to either buy a router that’s pre-configured with a VPN/VPN-friendly firmware or installing your own. But if you’re reading this article, it’s likely your router isn’t pre-configured with a VPN or the relevant firmware.

That means you’ll need to ‘flash’ your Netgear router. Flashing is the process of reconfiguring your router with new firmware that supports the installation of a VPN. The two most common types of firmware you can flash your router with for this are DD-WRT and Tomato

There is also OpenWRT, but if this is your first (or even second or third) time flashing a router, it might feel unnecessarily technical when there are simpler options available that still perform all the functions you’d need them to. Some companies even develop their own firmare for routers (such as AsusWRT on Ausus routers).

DD-WRT can be installed on a much wider range of routers than Tomato, but Tomato does work better with the OpenVPN protocol and some consider it to have a slightly easier-to-manage user interface.

Most Netgear routers work with both, so the choice is ultimately up to you.

How to flash your router: a step-by-step guide

  1. Ensure you are connected to the internet through your Netgear router.
  2. Download the new firmware you’re using to make your router VPN-ready.
  3. Head over to https://routerlogin.net via your browser.
  4. Enter the username or password into the router admin panel.
  5. Navigate to the ‘advanced’ section of the user interface. 
  6. Click on the ‘Administration’ tab on the menu on the left-hand side. 
  7. Select ‘Browse’ and find the firmware you have downloaded. 
  8. Upload the firmware onto the router by selecting ‘Upload’. 
  9. Restart your router.
  10. Enjoy using your Netgear device with an enhanced level of privacy!

Are there any downsides to installing a VPN on a router?

  • Managing your VPN settings is slightly more difficult, as routers do not have user interfaces in the same way other devices do. 
  • Traffic between devices on the same network is not secured, but this shouldn’t be a problem if your devices aren’t set to auto-connect to other networks.

Before you flash your router…

If you go through this process incorrectly, you can end up ‘bricking’ your router – in other words, causing permanent damage to it and making it no more useful than, you guessed it… a brick. This means it’s of paramount importance that you get to grips with exactly what you’re doing before you start. 

What if I don’t want to flash my router? 

As we mentioned above, it is possible to purchase routers already pre-configured with the correct firmware you need, and even with a VPN already installed. 

For many, this will only be a serious option if you’re looking to buy a new router, anyway. That being said, the average router’s lifespan is only about four to five years and can become internally damaged if they overheat regularly – so it might be time to invest in a new one, particularly if you’re experiencing slow connection speeds. 

If you’re looking for a new router and you like the idea of one with a VPN, check out our review of the best routers for DD-WRT or this rundown of the best pre-configured VPN routers

Want a simpler option?

Check out FlashRouters – They offer pre-flashed routers at excellent prices, and you can even get them with pre-installed VPNs! FlashRouters even has a handy app, so you get total control over your router without the fuss.

Visit FlashRouters

Can I use a free VPN with my Netgear router?

Although there are some great free VPNs out there, most of them cannot be installed onto a router and only really work on devices like mobiles and laptops. 

However, even if you manage to find one that does, it’s never advised to go with a free VPN over a paid one, even if the free VPN is just the non-paying version of a premium service. Free VPNs attached to premium services will always have key security features omitted, or else no customers would ever have a reason to upgrade. 

You should also treat providers that offer their whole service for free with extreme caution. Free VPNs have been known to leave users exposed to viruses, sell their data to third-parties, and cooperate with law enforcement authorities. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article will help you make the best decision you can when it comes to choosing a VPN for your Netgear router. If you’re still undecided, here’s a brief reminder of our top 5: 


  1. ExpressVPN

    – the best VPN for your Netgear router. Super-easy to set up and worth it for access to its massive server network.

  2. NordVPN

    – an excellent choice for Netgear routers, with best-in-class security features and stress-free set up instructions.

  3. CyberGhost VPN

    – A solid-all rounder with a sleak, easy-to-use interface design and Netgear router compatibility.

  4. Private Internet Access

    – An ultra-secure VPN with a no-logs policy that’s been proven in court and an excellent reputation for keeping users safe.

  5. Surfshark

    – is a cheap VPN for Netgear routers. It works well with VPN compatible routers and comes with state-of-the-art privacy tools.

Why are firewalls important? – Understanding firewalls and why you need to use one

Firewalls have been around since the 1980s – some even believe the 37-year-old film WarGames coined the term’s usage in a computing context – and they’re a vital bit of kit if you want to keep a network of devices safe and secure.  This guide looks to expand a little…

Firewalls have been around since the 1980s – some even believe the 37-year-old film WarGames coined the term’s usage in a computing context – and they’re a vital bit of kit if you want to keep a network of devices safe and secure. 

This guide looks to expand a little more on what a firewall really is and why they’re so important. 

What is a firewall?

The phrase originally referred to walls built into terraced houses designed to stop fires from spreading from one home to another. 

The first ever firewall to be built is generally considered as NASA’s 1988 effort – designed following a systems attack by a virus. Their firewall allowed them to demarcate the NASA computer network and stop viruses from spreading. 

Firewalls are a direct security-based response to the vulnerabilities that exist in a client-server model – when a device (a client) requests resources, services, or information from another (a server). This simple networking architecture has become the basis of modern-day computer networks, and the request process is happening every time you head onto the internet. 

Why firewalls are important

Prevention

A firewall is a piece of hardware or software that prevents attacks from hackers from gaining access to your network via the internet in order to steal, delete or corrupt your personal data and information.

Protection

A firewall will help you protect the devices and information on a network from external threats, as well as any sensitive data being transferred internally between devices on the same network.

Other functions of firewalls

Another important function firewalls perform is setting rules for all users on a given network and uniformly block incoming traffic from certain sites, for whatever reason that may be. In a school, that might be to block content that’s only legal to view if you’re an adult – in a place of work, say a bank, it might be to protect from hacking attacks. 

firewalls also compile records of the traffic they receive, and network administrators can then look at them and create new rules for the network, or perform an audit of the network with the information. 

Of course, firewalls also feedback to users when dodgy data is trying to make their way into the network and in turn, can make them more aware of the sort of things they should avoid clicking on. 

Additional functions firewalls perform include providing a secure way to let individual users remotely access a given network; the users that are permitted to access the network are given authentication certificates. 

Different types of firewall 

Although there are various different sub-categories of firewall, the ones you’re most likely to run into are:

  • Packet-filtering firewalls
  • Circuit-level gateways
  • Stateful inspection firewalls
  • Application-level gateways (proxies)
  • Cloud firewalls
  • Next-Generation Firewalls

Packet-filtering firewalls 

This is the most basic type of firewall. Packet-filtering firewalls operate at the third layer (the network layer) of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) conceptual model used to map the functions of a networking system. 

Packet-filtering firewalls essentially choose a point before the traffic comes through a router and inspect surface-level information in the data packets such as the port number and network address and rejecting anything suspicious. 

It doesn’t take a huge amount of processing power to get up and running, but unfortunately, it’s a pretty basic check and can be worked through pretty easily by hackers – the entire data packet is never inspected so you can never truly know what’s hiding in there with this type of firewall. 

Circuit-level gateways

Circuit-level gateways operate at the session or transport layer of the OSI model. This type of firewall monitors TCP handshaking – essentially the process by which a client and server negotiate the transfer of data in a TCP/IP network. 

Circuit-level gateways check the connections at the transport layer against a list of permissible connections and then decide whether the data-exchange session can commence. Circuit-level gateways are less resource-intensive when compared to some other firewalls, however, once a session has been green-lighted, no further checks are carried out, including on individual packets. 

Application-level gateways

These are also known as proxy firewalls and operate at – you guessed it – the application layer of the OSI model. They essentially establish a proxy connection with the server your network is receiving data from and inspect the traffic before sending it on through to you. 

The additional separation from the network makes this sort of firewall very useful, as does the fact application-level gateways/proxy firewalls can perform Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) of the sort packet-filtering gateways can’t. 

If a cloud server is used to create this proxy connection, application-level gateways may be referred to as a cloud firewall.

Stateful-inspection firewalls 

This type of dynamic, packet-filtering firewall takes the information you request from a server and can dynamically open and close ports to receive/block it.

Stateful-inspection firewalls process data at the application layer, which allows for a much more detailed inspection of data packets and the transactions taking place. 

It’s also more secure as the firewall is tracking and inspecting not just singular packet data out of context, but the connection itself and various other connections across the network (that’s the key difference between stateful-inspection and packet filtering). 

Next-Gen firewalls 

Next-gen firewalls are hard to define – it’s not always clear what defines a firewall ‘next-generation’. Most firewalls considered ‘next-generation’ can usually perform DPI, verify TCP handshakes, and can use intelligence and information gathered from outside the system to improve security. 

The ‘next-generation’ of firewalls implement an intrusion detection and prevention system that investigates suspicious activity on the network. They deal with brute force attacks, DDoS attacks, and also monitor exploitable vulnerabilities. If malware gets into the network, they can root it out and blacklist traffic from its original source. 

Hardware/Software firewalls 

Nowadays, different ‘types’ of firewalls, that inspect data at different levels of an operating system, can be deployed as hardware or software.

  • Hardware firewalls –physical, self-contained appliances that intercept and access traffic before it reaches the boundary of the network you’re trying to protect.  
  • Software firewalls – firewalls instantiated on individual devices, or groups of devices, as they can demarcate network endpoints and protect them from the rest of the system. 

Hardware firewalls are sometimes called appliance firewalls, whereas software firewalls are sometimes called client firewalls.

Does my computer already have a firewall?

Quite possibly! If you own a Mac or Windows PC, then great – they come with built-in packet filtering firewalls to root out bad traffic. This is turned on automatically, but allows you to configure these settings manually.

A lot of routers also come with a basic firewall of sorts, utilizing Network Address Translation. It only allows data through if a device on the network requests it, and the internal IP addresses of devices on the network are kept hidden.  

However, as we discussed above, these are a basic kind of firewall and there are plenty of other reasons why you might want another one – ensuring all devices on a network have individual firewalls does not necessarily ensure the entire is protected as a whole.

The censorship of WallStreetBets needs to be a watershed moment for everyone

Whoever you are, whichever side you are on, if any, the censorship by Facebook and Discord of WallStreetBets should be a watershed moment for you. This is the moment free speech advocates have been warning about for generations. We’ve been told for years that the censorship that is happening is…

Whoever you are, whichever side you are on, if any, the censorship by Facebook and Discord of WallStreetBets should be a watershed moment for you. This is the moment free speech advocates have been warning about for generations.

We’ve been told for years that the censorship that is happening is for our own protection. It’s because someone is in danger… someone or something poses a risk. Many people subscribe to this and have fallen in line. 

On the other side, free speech advocates have warned that if you create the power to censor, it will inevitably come back to haunt you. Someone will use it to silence you as well. Censorship will always favor the establishment… the status-quo… and they will use it to silence anyone who disagrees with them or challenges them.

First it was extremists who were censored. Then the eccentric conservatives. Then anti-vaccine people. Then it was the lockdown sceptics.

Whether you agree with censorship in general, there is a reasonable case to be made for censoring the groups above. They either have or may eventually pose a threat to society. 

There are in fact respected scientists now questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns. There is empirical evidence that backs up these claims; but it challenges the received wisdom of our governments – so perhaps it is worth censoring these scientists too, just to make sure people stay indoors. To ‘keep society safe’. It’s shaky justification, but I can just about see where this argument is coming from.

Yesterday, however, a line was crossed. It was no longer about safety. It was not about safeguarding society. It was, instead, a blatant takedown of a community who challenged the status quo. Of course, neither Discord nor Facebook had the nerve to state what they are doing; they simply pretended it was about hate speech. This type of speech has existed in online communities since the advent of online communities. But all of a sudden, the day after a hedge fund loses $3bn, big tech takes a stand? Are you joking?

In the 70s, the ACLU controversially took a stand by defending a neo-Nazi group that wanted to march through the Chicago suburb of Skokie. 

This stance, while upsetting to many, was an unwavering commitment to principle that without complete freedom from censorship, those with the power to censor will inevitably and invariably always use that power for their own gains.

Censorship has now crossed the chasm – it is now going after anyone who isn’t supporting the establishment… or even challenges it. It’s not about safety, or social justice, or political activism, whatever the justification was before. It’s being used by people in control to keep the control.

Wake up…

Clubhouse is the voice-only app everyone wants an invitation to – but is it safe inside?

Clubhouse has made quite the impression in recent months, being as close to a VIP room as many of us can get with COVID lockdowns and quarantine still in effect. But, is the app actually safe? We take a look in this article. [[post-object type=”divider” /]] The app touts itself…

Clubhouse has made quite the impression in recent months, being as close to a VIP room as many of us can get with COVID lockdowns and quarantine still in effect. But, is the app actually safe? We take a look in this article.

The app touts itself as a voice-based network, where you can dip in and out of user-hosted conversations about all-sorts of topics. It’s not like Twitter or Facebook, there’s no room for comments or snappy statuses – Clubhouse is all about talking.

Clubhouse download

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to check Clubhouse out for yourself unless you have an invitation – oh, and an iPhone.

Creators Paul Davison and Rohan Seth are working hard to make the app accessible to everyone. Until then, you can add your name to the waiting list and reserve your username. You’ll have your own set of invitations to hand out once you’re in – because just like Clubhouse’s “room”, its community is largely user curated.

Currently, over 1.3 million people have downloaded the voice-only app, and it’s worth around $100 million despite still being in beta.

The app’s recent success is largely rooted in what makes us human – loneliness, and a desire to connect with other people spontaneously. COVID-19 is the culprit, of course, and by now we’re all well aware that FaceTime, Zoom calls and endless instant messages don’t quite have the same feeling as face-to-face conversations. There’s no easy spark, it’s less dynamic – and that’s what Clubhouse sought to remedy.

“With no camera on, you don’t have to worry about eye contact, what you’re wearing, or where you are.” Clubhouse states on its homepage. “You can talk on Clubhouse while you’re folding laundry, breastfeeding, commuting, working on your couch in the basement, or going for a run.”

Well, that sounds just like a phone call, you might think – and it kind of does. It’s the rooms that make Clubhouse attractive, however.

And the celebrities.

Stars are flocking to the app in droves. In fact, Clubhouse users can rub virtual shoulders with the likes of Drake, Oprah, Ashton Kutcher, 21 Savage and plenty more.

When worlds collide, exciting things happen, and happen they have on Clubhouse. Users get to choose whether they actively participate in rooms or join as an audience member, to listen and enjoy the banter. Regular folks have been able to pose questions to their idols, celebrate together, and even compete in impromptu talent shows for prizes (like a pair of Hamilton tickets and backstage passes), and broadway auditions (for Dreamgirls’ US tour, no less!).

But despite its work-in-progress status, Clubhouse has already run into controversies and concerns that paint the app in a rather different light than the one it would cast itself in.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it should be noted that Clubhouse prohibits recording of any kind. Your conversations – with regular folks or A-listers – are meant to stay private, and it’s this stipulation that has drawn celebrities to the app. After all, it means they’re able to speak their mind in a way they can’t on other social media sites, and all without worrying that a tweet or post will be headline news on TMZ in the next hour.

And celebrities have a lot to worry about on the privacy front as it is. In 2020, several famous Twitter accounts were compromised – including those of Donald Trump, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Cameo also saw its own security scare in February 2020, when it was reported that the short videos recorded by celebrities, that were intended to be private and shared only with the paying customer, were actually accessible to anyone. Fortunately, the issue was quickly patched.

Celebrities, however, are often the topic of discussion on Clubhouse. And this isn’t such a strange thing – the rich and famous are no doubt used to seeing their names crop up on Twitter from time to time, but with Clubhouse, a celebrity could feasibly contribute to the conversation, verbally. This happened in November 2020, where Kevin Hart joined a room titled “Is Kevin Hart Funny??”. The discussion quickly broke down. Hart faced scrutiny about his distasteful jokes, comments and bits, and in particular those about his then 15-year-old daughter. The discussion was primarily led by Wanna Thompson, a journalist, but she was frequently interrupted and spoken over – which sort of goes against the principles of Clubhouse entirely.

Clubhouse principles / rules

The pattern has repeated since, with rooms cropping up to discuss celebrities. Again, this isn’t such a strange thing – gossip content has existed for as long as there have been stars to gossip about – but the potential for said celebrity to see, and join, the conversation has led to a shift in tone. Now, users actively bait celebs into joining discourse about themselves.

Is this what the app was designed for? Probably not. Clubhouse refers to itself as a “special place” – and that’s all well and good, but can that be true when people like Russell Simmons and Tory Lanez have profiles? Simmons is particularly egregious, having a slew of sexual assault allegations. Clubhouse can’t be expected to vet every user, but more than a few other users will surely feel as though the app’s position as a “safe space” is diminished by his presence.

Something Clubhouse could – and should – redress is its moderation.

Taylor Lorenz, a writer for the New York Times, has carefully documented instances of racism and disinformation in the app, and been hounded relentlessly for doing so. As such, Taylor was herself the topic of discussion in a number of Clubhouse rooms.

Previously, you could not block users on Clubhouse. That’s worrying, and more than a little jarring when you consider that you could invite users in a few clicks. Clubhouse did release a statement condemning hate speech, abuse, and harassment, outlined guidelines via a statement, and implemented new tools – including a block feature. In addition, moderators can mute people, remove them from rooms, and report abuse.

Blocking and reporting are important tools for combating the spread of misinformation, too. And there’s a lot of that on Clubhouse, just as with any social media site, but Clubhouse being frequented by high-flying famous folks can play a part in its spread. Sharing a room with a celebrity is awe-inspiring, and they can sucker even a person resolute in their beliefs in by the false claims of an idol.

In these instances, a manual block button isn’t enough.

Enter Tiffany Haddish, actress and comedian, who drummed up controversy after joining a Clubhouse room where the topic was COVID-19. Misinformation about COVID-19 is everywhere, and Tiffany expressed her (false) views that the virus was actually man-made – developed by the government, in fact – as a means to develop facial recognition technologies. It’s a… bold claim. When a medical professional added her voice to the conversation in an attempt to curtail this tall tale, she was duly ridiculed, and harassed by members of that room, to such a degree that she attempted to take her own life.

Is this Clubhouse’s place in the stars? To offer a home for folks who feel emboldened in their hate speech and/or misinformation? This sort of verbiage would be picked up and condemned quickly on Twitter, but Clubhouse is voice-based, unrecorded, safe. But for who? Celebrities who shy from controversial tweets might take confidently to the app to sound off with like-minded folks because, well, moderation is done by users, not a professional team on the lookout for anything that violates the terms and conditions.

If what happens to Cameo happens to Clubhouse, and controversial clips leak, it could be a disaster. Certain folks may even attempt to bait these sorts of conversations, hoping to spawn a TMZ-style story – or gain the audio clips through more malicious means. After all, Clubhouse holds on to recordings of its rooms. This is purely for investigative reasons, of course, but what if a hacker sets their sights on a target?

Solely for the purpose of supporting incident investigations, we temporarily record the audio in a room while the room is live. If a user reports a Trust and Safety violation while the room is active, we retain the audio for the purposes of investigating the incident, and then delete it when the investigation is complete. If no incident is reported in a room, we delete the temporary audio recording when the room ends.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. Good things are happening on Clubhouse, too. Auditions, talent shows, live podcasts and more, and if users are given more tools to customize their experience on the app and curtate their own safe space, it could really deliver on those lofty principles.

Update iOS Now: Apple issues critical iOS update to patch 'actively exploited' vulnerabilities

Apple has released a crucial update for iOS and iPadOS to patch three major security vulnerabilities that may have been actively exploited by hackers. We urge all iPhone and iPad users to update their operating systems to iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 immediately to ensure their devices are secure and…

Apple has released a crucial update for iOS and iPadOS to patch three major security vulnerabilities that may have been actively exploited by hackers. We urge all iPhone and iPad users to update their operating systems to iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 immediately to ensure their devices are secure and adequately protected from these vulnerabilities.

The iPhone maker released a support document detailing the bugs and their impacts on users. One bug in particular affected the Kernel (essentially the heart of the operating system) and could have allowed a malicious application to elevate privileges. The other two bugs affected the WebKit (the web browser engine that powers Apple’s Safari browser and other apps) and could have given a remote attacker the ability to execute arbitrary code.

Apple noted in its documentation that anonymous researchers had discovered all three vulnerabilities, and the tech giant conceded that the bugs could have already been “actively exploited” by malicious actors. Additional details regarding the vulnerabilities and what actors may have specifically targeted and when are unknown, but Apple’s acknowledgment that the vulnerabilities may have been exploited is a clear signal the situation had been serious and the risk to users substantial.

Patching vulnerabilities is common in OS updates. However, typically, those vulnerabilities are discovered internally, and patched before they have been exploited in the wild. Evidently, that was not the case here, and the vulnerabilities were left exploitable for malicious actors who could have had the capacity to access iOS users’ operating systems.

Theoretically, an attacker could have used the three vulnerabilities in conjunction with one another to first target the bugs in the WebKit as a way of then exploiting the bug in the Kernel to gain access to a user’s operating system.

Though it is not known which iOS or iPadOS users may or may not have (as yet) been affected by the exploits, it is now clear that anyone with an iPhone or iPad not running iOS version 14.4 or iPadOS version 14.4 is still vulnerable to the exploits outlined in Apple’s support document. It is, therefore, crucial that all iPhone and iPad users update their operating systems to version 14.4 as soon as possible.

To update iOS or iPadOS, users can follow these steps:

  1. Go to “Settings” (the cog icon).
  2. Select “General” from the available options.
  3. Tap on “Software Update“.
  4. Hit “Download and Install” to start updating your OS.

As long as iPhone and iPad users have updated their devices to version 14.4, it will protect their devices from the exploits outlined above, so it is absolutely vital to update as soon as possible.

Enable automatic updates

Users can also enable automatic updates by tapping on “Automatic Updates” and toggling “Download iOS Updates” and “Install iOS Updates” to the ‘On‘ position. Doing this will enable the user’s device to download and install iOS and iPadOS updates automatically when the user’s device is connected to WiFi. The updates are typically carried out overnight when the user has the device charging and connected to WiFi.

Apple’s announcement regarding these exploits not only emphasizes the severity of the vulnerabilities the researchers discovered but also underscores the importance of keeping devices updated with the latest security patches and highlights the fact that even devices known for their security can be vulnerable to exploits.

Grindr issued £8.5 million fine for selling user data

Grindr, a widely-used LGBT dating app, has been slapped with an £8.5 million fine for selling information about its users to advertisers.  The sum has been demanded by Norway’s Data Protection Authority and equates to approximately one-tenth of the app’s global revenue.  What did Grindr do wrong? Last January, the…

Grindr, a widely-used LGBT dating app, has been slapped with an £8.5 million fine for selling information about its users to advertisers. 

The sum has been demanded by Norway’s Data Protection Authority and equates to approximately one-tenth of the app’s global revenue. 

What did Grindr do wrong?

Last January, the Norweigan Consumer Council revealed that Grindr had been selling off the data of people who use their app, including locations, ages, genders, and indicators that could be used to determine their sexual orientation without obtaining explicit consent.

At the time, the council made three complaints to Grindr and have since highlighted the dangers of revealing such data, particularly in countries where homosexuality is illegal and carries barbaric, medieval punishments. 

Our preliminary conclusion is that the breaches are very severe

Norwegian Data Protection Authority

They have until February 15 to respond to the hearing and appeal it if they believe such action would be worthwhile – if they choose not to, they’ll be forced to pay up. 

What did Grindr say?

In a statement issued to the New York Times, a Grindr spokesperson said: 

“We continually enhance our privacy practices in consideration of evolving privacy laws and regulations, and look forward to entering into a productive dialogue with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority

Grindr

They also claimed that the app had “valid legal consent from all users” in Europe to share their data in this way, something an agreement they claim all those who downloaded the app have consented to on more than one occasion.

So…what’s the problem?

Grindr’s public response seems to completely repudiate the accusations coming from Oslo – so why has Data Protection Authority reacted so strongly?

As it stands, still Grindr. The type of consent Grindr has allegedly obtained is not considered ‘valid’ consent in legal and political circles, nor in the eyes of the EU’s stringent data protection laws.

Grindr draws user consent from the initial sign up process, where you can either consent to your data being shared or bay subscription fees. Questions over Grindr’s consent mechanism previously caused Twitter to drop the app from its ad network in January of last year. 

Checkered history 

One of the problems with Grindr’s defense is the fact this isn’t the first time they’ve been caught out for playing fast and loose with user data.

In 2018, they were found to have shared data about their users’ HIV status with advertising companies as part of a bundle with other data. The company’s security boss said they’d been singled out ‘unfairly’ in this investigation. 

Then, in January of 2020, a New York Times reporter found that Grindr’s location GPS was so hyper-specific that it could track which side of a building a user was on. 

More recently in October of last year, A researcher showed that simply knowing a user’s email address could allow you to reset their password and, in turn, take full control of their account. However, it was picked up on before a major breach had taken place. 

For Grindr’s active users – of which approximately 3 million are tuning into the app every day – it won’t have done much to assure them that their personal information is safe. 

Conservatives illegally collected ethnicity data from 10m voters

The party’s purchase of estimated data sets has led to calls for ICO to prohibit unlawful profiling practices The Information Commissioner has confirmed that by collecting data regarding the ethnic backgrounds of 10 million voters, the Conservative party broke the law. Elizabeth Denham addressed the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport…

The party’s purchase of estimated data sets has led to calls for ICO to prohibit unlawful profiling practices

The Information Commissioner has confirmed that by collecting data regarding the ethnic backgrounds of 10 million voters, the Conservative party broke the law.

Elizabeth Denham addressed the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday morning to confirm the assessment. “It was illegal to collect the ethnicity data.” she said, when questioned.

Ms Denham also claimed that the ICO’s instructions to destroy the data were unnecessary, as it had already been voluntarily deleted by the Tory party as per a recommendation from her office.

“Religion and ethnicity are both, like health information, special category data that require a higher standard for a legal basis to collect,” said Ms Denham, in response to a question from SNP MP, John Nicolson. “We made the recommendation that they destroy the data because they didn’t have a legal basis to collect it.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) initially released a report in November 2020 that detailed how each political party had complied with data protection laws. This report found that the Conservatives had purchased data that attempted to estimate the ethnic origin, country of birth and religion of an individual, as well as other details based on first and last names, and that this data had been applied to 10 million people.

To complicate the issue further, Ms Denham’s statement on Tuesday does not align with comments made by John Whittingdale, in December 2020, when discussing data protection in parliament.

“As I recall, the information commissioner examined the practices of all political parties and made comments against all of them.” Mr Whittingdale said, regarding the ICO’s report. “However, it did not find that any breaches of the law had occurred.”

Mr Nicolson has since requested that Mr Whittingdale clarify his statement.

“The ethnic and religious profiling of voters by the Conservative Party was always morally and ethically abhorrent. We now know from the Information Commissioner that it was also illegal.” said Mr Nicolson. “I will be writing to him to ask that he withdraw his false claim, acknowledge that the Tories’ ethnic profiling was illegal, and undertake not to break the law again.”

Similarly, the executive director of Open Rights Group, Jim Killock, has called upon the ICO to define its role in political data collection more astutely.

“Elizabeth Denham finally confirmed the unlawful nature of this profiling by the Conservative party under pressure from MPs on the DCMS committee.” he said. “Yet the ICO still has not explained what parties can and can not do. Mass profiling of voters continues, even if this data has been removed. The ICO needs to act to stop unlawful profiling practices. That’s their job.”

Is DuckDuckGo safe? Why you should make the switch from Google

It’s no secret that Google makes money by harvesting user data and using it for advertising purposes. Every search you make, every Gmail you recieve, every YouTube video you watch contributes to your advertizing profile. In an effort to reclaim some privacy, a number of alternative providers have popped up…

It’s no secret that Google makes money by harvesting user data and using it for advertising purposes. Every search you make, every Gmail you recieve, every YouTube video you watch contributes to your advertizing profile. In an effort to reclaim some privacy, a number of alternative providers have popped up over the years. 

This guide will have a closer look at DukcDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine, that claims to provide services on par with Google… without hoovering up all of your personal data. 

What is DuckDuckGo? 

DuckDuckGo is a search engine created in 2008 by entrepreneur and privacy advocate Gabriel Weinberg. Weinberg has been one of the world’s most vocal critics of the way Google handles user data: 

The issue with Google is they run four of the biggest ad networks in the world and only one is search-related. The rest are on millions of sites and apps across the Internet and they use tracking to do better at ads on these third-party sites

Gabriel Weinberg

Whereas Google will use third party tracking and an extensive ad network to serve users with hyper-targeted ads based on a detailed breakdown of their browsing habits, DuckDukcGO instead displays ads based solely on the terms you search. 

Direct searches on DuckDuckGo increased by 600% after Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA were made public. At present has a user base of around 25 million. 

Is DuckDuckGo safe? 

As search engines go: definitely. Gabriel Weinberg’s whole business model is based on ensuring that user browsing sessions are kept private and minimal information is logged. It’s much, much safer than Google. 

When using Google, Bing, or any other mainstream search engine, clicking on links sends data about your browsing habits to the page you’ve clicked on. Information like your IP address is also shared with the site. 

DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, doesn’t send the phrases you type into their engine, or your browsing activity, to any websites you search for. A site may know you clicked on a link to it, but it won’t know how you got to that link, nor anything else you’ve been searching. 

Commenting on whether DuckDuckGo cooperated with the authorities in 2017, Weinberg said that he thinks that “law enforcement has essentially understood we don’t have anything to give them; they don’t really come knocking for things.”  

Any company based in the US could be commanded by the government to start logging activities of its users. But until that happens – and I’m sure users would know about it – Weinberg seems confident that DuckDuckGo’s lack of records means a subpoena or other court order would return nothing. 

Throwing out ‘opt-out’

Google and Facebook often defend their intrusive approach to their users’ internet browsing experience by saying you can ‘opt-out’ of their tracking and advertising at any time. 

the Big Tech companies know better than anyone that most of their users are woefully misinformed about the ways in which their data is used and shared and, even worse, that they rarely read through privacy statements. 

They then exploit this knowledge gap when backed into a corner, often claiming their users can always “opt-out” and absolving themselves of responsibility in the process. 

DuckDuckGo has directly challenged this line of argument on a number of occasions, and Gabriel Weinberg has spent a long time arguing that this sort of tracking should, at the very least, be something people opt-in to. 

So, what’s the catch?

Well, in terms of privacy, there isn’t really one. All things considered, DuckDuckGo is a significantly safer alternative to mainstream browsers such as Google, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. 

DuckDuckGo works with a much smaller amount of search data, and we’ve been bred to think search engines need tonnes of it to find us what we want. 

Most of the time people make basic, straightforward search requests that require little personal information yet still return accurate results. 

For example, if someone was to search the phrase ‘BBC Sport’, search engines don’t need reams and reams of cross-corroborated user data to work out what page in their web index I’m looking for (surprise surprise, it’s the sports section of the BBC’s website). 

But if you do want something more specific, sometimes DuckDuckGo just doesn’t have enough data to provide results in the highly personalized and hyper-targeted way Google does. However, it’s a small price to pay for massively increased privacy and Google not sharing your data around with advertising companies, but it’s good to know before you download it! 

See for yourself

Privacy policies can get companies into big trouble in countries like the US and UK if they are found to be in contempt of their own rules. This is why often, they’re unreasonably long – it’s businesses covering their backs.

This means it’s not uncommon to find something questionable buried in a privacy policy – many free VPNs, for example, admit to selling data to third parties in their privacy policy. 

All in all, this means that things written in privacy policies have weight – they aren’t just a marketing tool. So, it’s worth looking at DuckDuckGo’s privacy policy to see for yourself it’s the private browsing experience you’re looking for. 

Alternatively, if you’d like to hear more from Gabriel Weinberg, check out our interview with him from 2017, where he goes into more detail about why he created DuckDuckGo. 

Is DuckDuckGo + a VPN even safer?

Yes! pairing a VPN and DuckDuckGo is a great way to enhance your privacy even further – in fact, DuckDuckGo recommends doing just that on their website. 

DuckDuckGo doesn’t store your IP address for search purposes, but if you start to send internet traffic other than DuckDuckGo searches, then it may be possible for someone so inclined to find out. 

That’s where a VPN comes in. Designed with similar ethical and privacy considerations as DuckDuckGo, VPNs reroute all your traffic through a private server before it reaches the internet, which means the IP address websites on the other side will see is that of the VPN server, not yours. 

The best VPNs will also offer malware and virus protection and a host of servers around the world to connect to. With so much geo-restricted content out there, it’s got great entertainment value as well as being more secure. 

So make sure you download a VPN – as well as DuckDuckGo – for an all-round better browsing experience! 

The 5 best disposable email services in 2021 – Get a temporary Email address for free

If you’ve been around on the internet for any amount of time, you’ll be pretty familiar with the process of handing over your email address to sign-up for a new account or app, or to purchase something – but that seemingly innocuous action can result in unwanted spam, targeted ads…

If you’ve been around on the internet for any amount of time, you’ll be pretty familiar with the process of handing over your email address to sign-up for a new account or app, or to purchase something – but that seemingly innocuous action can result in unwanted spam, targeted ads and open your personal account up to vulnerabilities.

And this is where a disposable email address comes in handy. These services allow you to generate a temporary email address that you can use in lieu of your real one. This way, you avoid signing yourself up to years of spam emails, as well as skirt targeted ads and data leaks should a site itself be attacked. Keep reading, and we’ll take a look at some of the best temporary Email services out there and they’re all free!

What are the best Secure disposable email clients?

In a hurry? Well, look no further than the table below to check out our top picks for a disposable email address. These providers are free to use and pretty intuitive, meaning you’ll be able to generate a temporary address in a few clicks and save yourself the hassle of sorting through spam. We’ll take a closer look at each name later on – so keep reading!


  1. ProtonMail

    – is an anonymous service that offers far more than disposable emails, particularly if you upgrade to a premium account.

  2. 10 minute Mail

    – is a quick, simple, and effective service ideal for use with sites that require verification.

  3. Temp-Mail

    – offers a premium option for folks wanting to banish ads and increase their storage time.

  4. GuerrillaMail

    – zaps pesky spam messages before the can bother you, and offers an impressive amount of customizability.

  5. Emailondeck

    – impresses us with serious security standards – including routine wipes of mail logs.

In order to claim a spot in our top 5, a disposable email provider has to meet a few important criteria. These include:

All the services we’ve highlighted exceed these expectations, and you’ll find some additional handy features tacked on, too. All in all, regardless of the disposable email service you choose, you can trust that it’ll generate you a temporary address that’ll divert spam and security threats away from your personal and work accounts.

Looking in-depth at secure disposable emails

Let’s get into the details! Below, we’ll take a scruitizing look at each disposable service and lay out what they offer – as well as what they don’t. You can count on each service to generate an address in an instant and obliterate emails after a set time. So, if you’re looking for a temporary email that’s going to offer you utility in addition to security, keep reading – we’ll almost certainly be able to pair you up with a provider!

Looking for a robust, well-rounded service that allows you to manage emails – priority and spam – with one account? Look no further!

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    From 

    $4.00 –
    $8.00

ProtonMail website

ProtonMail offers users the chance to create additional email addresses and aliases that can be accessed from the same account.

As such, a user can craft a variety of different identities for different purposes, organize incoming and outgoing mail, and ensure that their inbox remains uncluttered. For folks with a premium ProtonMail account, additional email addresses can be created and managed in the same way. Premium users are also able to actually send emails via their short domain (@pm.me) address, whereas free users can only receive mail.

ProtonMail is an open-source service supported on Android and iOS devices, as well as most web browsers. Being based in Switzerland means that ProtonMail is kept secure by Swiss privacy laws – a welcome fact for the security-conscious! Furthermore, ProtonMail employs end-to-end encryption, as well as full disk encryption, and cannot decrypt or take a peek at any of your mail. You won’t need to hand over any personal details to sign-up for ProtonMail, and the service is also not interested in keeping IP logs.

10 Minute Mail can truly be used by anybody, and packs a surprising amount of utility into ten short minutes

  • Free option

    Yes

10 minute mail website

10 Minute Mail can truly be used by anybody and packs a surprising amount of utility into ten short minutes

10 Minute Mail does what it says on the tin – it generates a disposable email address that expires in 10 minutes! In addition to the address itself, any emails in the inbox will also be deleted after the timer runs its course. Simply by opening the page you’ll see your generated email. From there, you can input it wherever you like – so long as you don’t close the initial 10 Minute Mail page!

Sites that require you to click a verification link are no problem, seeing as 10 Minute Mail hangs on to emails, and users can also reply with their disposable address, and reset the 10-minute timer if they need a while longer with their address. It’s possible to recover emails from 10 Minute Mail even if the timer has expired, too. The service doesn’t ask for any personal information to use, and if you’re interested, 10 Minute Mail has a sister service that claims to be able to remove metadata from photos and videos.

Temp-mail doesn’t hang on to your identifying information, though it does offer disposable emails without built-in timers

  • Free option

    Yes

Temp Mail website

Temp-mail is a solid disposable email address service that doesn’t ask for any personal details, doesn’t need you to register an account, and doesn’t automatically delete your generated email address until you delete it yourself or the domain list changes. This might be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your need, but it does mean that you don’t have to request an extension of time. The Temp-mail inbox looks and functions just as any other – only you’ll be unable to send any emails of your own.

In terms of security, Temp-mail only stores emails for around 2 hours, and removes any and all personal details – like your IP address – once you’re finished using the service. You’ll be able to download Temp-mail from the App and Play stores, as well as use the service on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers.

Don’t be put off by the no-frills site layout – GuerrillaMail is a powerful tool that allows for the composing of new emails, too

  • Free option

    Yes

GuerrillaMail

GuerrillaMail is an excellent candidate for generating disposable emails, as it allows users to click verification links and then delete the mail. GuerrillaMail handles the rest, removing spam before it can reach your inbox. The service holds onto incoming mail for an hour, though the generated addresses themselves do not expire.

Perhaps the most impressive about GuerrillaMail is that the service allows you to create and send original mail from your disposable address, and users can also pick their own email address. However, the service does recommend using the Scramble Address feature – implemented to boost security by making a person’s Inbox ID that much harder to guess. To further bolster privacy, GuerrillaMail is only accessible with HTTPS encryption, and is an open-source service.

An easy-to-use and efficient provider, EmailOnDeck lets users write mail as well as divert spam

  • Free option

    Yes

Emailondeck

Emailondeck is certainly one of the more accessible disposable address providers, being able to generate you an email address in two straightforward steps. The service is free, and retains incoming mail for about 24 hours – though you can speed up this process by clearing your cookies. EmailOnDeck is routinely deleting mail, and actively wipes mail logs in order to cut storage costs – for this reason, it’s probably not a good idea to use the service for any long-term endeavours.

At this point in time, only premium users can send anonymous mail to any email address. Otherwise, free users can send secure mail to other EmailOnDeck accounts. A premium account will also remove ads, and allow users to save their generated email address – as well as create custom addresses. The EmailOnDeck site is impressively secure, being accessible via HTTPS, and the provider’s servers make use of TLS, to boot.

Want to check out more providers? The following services also offer disposable email addresses:

  • GetNada
  • LuxusMail
  • MailCatch
  • MailDrop
  • Mailinator
  • MohMal
  • MyTemp
  • OwlyMail
  • ThrowAwayMail.com
  • TrashMail

What is a disposable email address?

In an ideal world, we’d all be able to use one personal email address for everything – and spam probably wouldn’t even exist. Unfortunately, it does, and the sheer quantity can prompt folks into looking for solutions to stop the influx. A disposable email address is one such solution, but what exactly are they?

First and foremost, they’re temporary. Disposable. This makes them different to any email address you’d get from Gmail or Outlook. They’re also different in that the majority of disposable email services don’t require you to register an account or hand over any personal details, like your name, number, or physical address.

So, you’d visit one of the sites listed in this guide, follow the steps to generate your temporary email address, and then copy and paste that address into a form on another website where your real email would usually go.

Sounds pretty handy, right? All those annoying junk emails will be diverted to the disposable address, which will usually self-destruct after a set time, too. Your personal inbox will stay clean, and the associated address won’t be included on a database that might potentially be involved in a leak someday.

It is worth noting that these disposable services come with some drawbacks. They don’t have the utility of a Gmail or Outlook account – you won’t be able create folders or signatures, check if someone’s read your mail, or BCC people. However, some disposable email services do give you the option to send mail, recover recently deleted mail or addresses, and forward emails.

Why do you need a disposable email address?

The internet nowadays revolves around the concept of convenience, and it’s certainly easier to input your main email address into a site or app rather than generate a temporary one. But as soon as you do, that data is gone, out there, and could be used by sites to flood you with spam messages – or worse. We’re familiar with what disposable email addresses are as well as how they work – but why use one? There are dozens of reasons! We’ll dip into some of the more prevalent ones below.

✉️Spam central

Spam is public enemy number one for everyone with an email address. It feels as though you can spend hours unsubscribing from these lists only to be snowed under with more spam, later. Avoiding this influx is the main reason why folks invest in a disposable email address. By doing so, you’re preventing your main account from being known – and targeted – by spam lists.

💰Guilt-free spending

Disposable emails come in handy when shopping, too. It might be that you’re interested in making a one-time purchase from a site you’ve never visited before, and one that you’d rather not receive advertising spam from. Or, you could want to skirt the similar “deal”, “sale”, and “new in store” spam emails you receive after signing up for a loyalty card.

👻Ghosting sites

Don’t worry, we all do it. There are times where you know you’ll probably never use the site or app you’re visiting ever again and, as a result, it can feel more reassuring to use a disposable email during registration. Similarly, if you’re interested in a free trial and need to hand over an email to access it, use a temporary one! In either situation, you’ll be able to use the service you’re interested in and then forget it – with no subsequent spam emails to worry about.

⛓Staying secure

Whilst disposable emails are invaluable when it comes to avoiding spam, they also have an important security function. How many times have we all signed up for a service without reading the terms and conditions? Well, it might be that the site is actually asking you for permission to use, share, or even sell your personal information, and sites can also hand over your email address to advertisers.

And there you have it! A whistle-stop tour of how a disposable email address can keep your inbox clean, tidy and secure – and all without costing you a penny.

One more thing…

There are times where it’s better to avoid using a temporary address, though.

For example, it’s not a good idea to use a disposable email address to sign up to any important services – like banking, medical, or educational sites. You might one day need to reset your password via email, and you won’t be able to do so if you signed up with a disposable one that’s long since expired. Similarly, if you ever need to request bank statements, a medical history, or troubleshoot issues with a customer service team, it’ll be incredibly difficult without a valid email address.

Conclusion

Disposable emails can save you an enormous amount of stress. In a few clicks, you’ll have generated a temporary address you can use to sign-up to websites, enter competitions, make one-off purchases, and with the confidence of knowing you won’t be inundated with spam for months to come. Furthermore, a good disposable email can be a quick and effective security measure. By handing over a disposable email, and not your real address, you protect yourself from potential data leaks, and can feel safe using sites that may have a shoddy security history. All in all, it’s a good idea to have one or two of these handy sites bookmarked!


  1. ProtonMail

    – is an anonymous service that offers far more than disposable emails, particularly if you upgrade to a premium account.

  2. 10 minute Mail

    – is a quick, simple, and effective service ideal for use with sites that require verification.

  3. Temp-Mail

    – offers a premium option for folks wanting to banish ads and increase their storage time.

  4. GuerrillaMail

    – zaps pesky spam messages before the can bother you, and offers an impressive amount of customizability.

  5. Emailondeck

    – impresses us with serious security standards – including routine wipes of mail logs.

So, if you need a reminder of our top five secure disposable email services, here they are! They’re all easy to use and won’t cost you a penny, and some even allow you to reply and compose new emails, anonymously.

What is Wireshark – and how does it work?

Chances are if you’re capturing packets and analyzing network traffic, you’re using Wireshark – it’s the world’s leading capture tool, after all. But how exactly does Wireshark it troubleshoot network issues, and who can benefit most from using it? Well, in this blog you’ll find out! What is Wireshark?…

Chances are if you’re capturing packets and analyzing network traffic, you’re using Wireshark – it’s the world’s leading capture tool, after all.

But how exactly does Wireshark it troubleshoot network issues, and who can benefit most from using it? Well, in this blog you’ll find out!

What is Wireshark?

Wireshark is the most well-known, and frequently-used, protocol analyzer. It can be used to capture packets, too. A packet is simply a unit of data, and Wireshark catches them as they pass from your device to the internet.

Once captured, Wireshark lets you monitor your network at a granular level and in real time. This comes in handy when conducting traffic analysis, which can then be used to troubleshoot problems by locating the root source.

Wireshark can analyze data from the wire, via a live network connection, or analyze data files from packets that have already been captured. It can capture traffic from a variety of media types, too, like Ethernet, LAN, USB, and Bluetooth. What’s more, the tool is also capable of reading live data from all sorts of networks: Ethernet, IEEE, 802.11, point-to-point Protocol (PPP) and loopback included. And, as an extra cherry-on-top, a user can trace VoIP calls made over the network when analyzing captured traffic.

That’s a lot of information! Fortunately, Wireshark comes loaded with various filters that make it possible to make sense of all this data.

You’ll be able to zero in on what interests you and colorize your packet display. Wireshark also allows users to visualize network streams and create statistics.

Wireshark currently supports thousands of protocols. The majority of these are old and unpopular, but TCP, UDP, and ICMP are fully supported, allowing for the analysis of IP packets. Wireshark users can also decide how to dissect protocols, and create plug-ins if they’re like to dissect a new protocol that’s not currently supported.

The uses of Wireshark

The above can all seem rather complicated if you’re new to Wireshark or networking. Wireshark is often compared to a flashlight – a handy tool that lets you see what you’re doing more clearly, and is pretty indispensable if you’re going to be fixing a car at night or exploring a wooded area. With one, you can highlight things you might’ve otherwise missed and identify threats.

Primarily, Wireshark is used by administrators to troubleshoot network performance issues. If you notice something awry on your network – like a hike in latency, dropped packets, retransmission issues, or a malicious threat – you can use Wireshark to investigate.

With the analysis provided by Wireshark, you’ll be able to inspect issues as they occur to figure out what’s causing them. Of course, Wireshark makes this easier by rendering the traffic it captures into a readable format – seeing as we mere humans have trouble reading binary. Thus armed, you can check out your traffic in far greater detail, monitoring the type of traffic and its frequency, quantity, and latency.

As for who uses Wireshark, you might be surprised by how popular it is across all sorts of digital-spheres. Businesses, schools, tech-savvy individuals and even the government make use of the tool. Part of Wireshark’s appeal is rooted in the fact that it’s a great way to learn more about how network traffic works in the first place, as well as how to solve problems when they crop up.

However, you’ll need an existing grasp of networking basics to use Wireshark effectively. This would ideally include knowledge of routing and port forwarding, as well as the three-way TCP handshake, the TCP/IP stack, and a variety of protocols, like TCP, UDP, DHCP, and ICMP.

One more thing…

It’s also important to note that Wireshark is not an intrusion detection system (IDS). It’s a protocol analyzer, and cannot alert you if someone’s up to no good on your network. What it can do, however, is display malformed packets and visualize traffic – making malicious threats easier to inspect and root out.

All in all, Wireshark is adept at creating a baseline. With it, you’ll have a far better understanding of what’s normal – and what’s not – for your network.

Where to get Wireshark

You can download Wireshark directly from its website. It’s free, and seeing as it’s GPL licensed, it can be shared, used, and modified by anybody. Wireshark is compatible with any Windows, Mac, or Linux device, too.

Gerald Combs started the Wireshark project back in 1998 – though it was known as Ethereal then, and was until 2006 – and it has since flourished thanks to contributions made by experts and volunteers alike. Combs still works on Wireshark’s code today, and is involved in rolling out new versions and updates.