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Types of internet connection

One of the factors that you have to consider is the type of internet connection that your ISP utilizes. If the term “fiber” charms you, then that is probably because you often see it associated with glowing cables and flash speeds. Although this association may seem exaggerated, fiber internet is indeed fast.

In fact, it is the fastest and most reliable type of connection, capable of transmitting a lot of information in a short time. But fiber is stamped by other types of connection when it comes to availability. Your next best option to fiber is either cable or DSL internet, and your last resort would be satellite internet or dial-up connections.

Download and upload speeds

Download and upload speeds refer to how fast you can get the information you need to and from and the internet. And we all want to transmit this information as fast as possible, so what we want is the fastest speed.

But what is considered the fastest speed? Well, to make it easier for you to understand, take note that speeds are measured in terms of megabits per second (Mbps). The higher the Mbps, the better.

If you want something that fits both the criteria for fast speed and affordability, we recommend 100 Mbps speed plans. With this speed, you can download a one-hour video file in more or less 5 minutes.

If you don’t really care about the prize and just want the fastest internet speed, we recommend 1,000 Mbps or 1 Gbps speed plans where you can download the same one-hour video in just over 30 seconds.

While we usually use the internet for downloading or getting stuff from the internet, we also want a plan with high upload speeds. We recommend internet plans with at least 3 Mbps of upload speed. With this speed, you can smoothly participate in a Zoom video call.

Data caps

Data caps refer to the limit that your ISP imposes on how much you can download or upload. If you want something with no data caps, then we recommend unlimited internet plans. Although most of these plans cost a hefty amount of money, there is no limit on how much you download, and you won’t have to pay additional charges.

If you opt to avail of a plan with data caps, the usual limit is 1 TB, which is actually not a bad deal. This is unless there are a lot of people or devices connected to your network. Of course, going over this limit would result in additional charges, so you have to be mindful of your consumption.

How much speed do you really need?

In determining the internet speed that fits your need, you have to consider how many people and devices are connected to your network.

For example, if there are only 1 to 3 persons in your household who use the internet for web browsing and watching videos, then you need a plan with at least 25-100 Mbps.

For households with 3 to 5 persons that do regular video calls, online gaming, and 4K video streaming, the optimum internet speed would be 100-300 Mbps. If there are more than 5 persons in your household who do all sorts of heavy internet usage, we recommend that you get plans with 300–1,000+ Mbps of speed.

What ISP offers the best internet plan?

Below is a table of the plans offered by some ISPs along with their price points:

Provider Price Download Speed Upload Speed

Verizon $39.99-$79.99/month 200-940 Mbps 200-880 Mbps

Optimum $39.99-$69.99/month 300-1,000 Mbps 35-940 Mbps

AT&T $35.00-$60.00/month 1200-940 Mbps 20-940 Mbps

Xfinity $20.00-$299.95/month 25-2,000 Mbps 2-35 Mbps

RCN $19.99-$59.99/month 10-940 Mbps 10-20 Mbps

Jenna Gabat

Jenna Gabat is a passionate tech-savvy mama blogger from chúng tôi and chúng tôi She loves writing about SEO, Marketing, technology, gadgets, and reaction blogs for movies. She is an avid traveler and a fan of different cultures and beliefs, immersing in various rural regions to contribute a voice to the oppressed by means of raising social awareness and participation in the community.

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What You Need To Know About Blue Whale Challenge Dare Game

The virtual world and its exposure to young minds under little or no supervision are throwing new mental health and cyber-crime challenges for families and law enforcement agencies. The new Blue Whale Challenge Dare Game floating on the Internet is a case in point. Several suicides worldwide have been reportedly linked to the deadly video game.

Stay away from the Blue Whale Challenge Dare Game

Philipp Budeikin has created the blue Whale Challenge Dare Game. The game reportedly debuted in Russia four years ago. Soon after the game started making news for all the wrong reasons, a Siberian court sentenced the 22-year-old Russian creator of the game to three years in jail for inciting Russian youths to kill themselves. The creator acknowledged the killings but wasn’t quite apologetic about the incident, forcing the judge to doubt his sanity.

Here’s what he had to say in his defense during the interview with Saint Petersburg News –

There are people – and there is a biological waste. Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society. I was cleaning our society of such people.

What’s more worrying? He claimed the game directly influenced over 100 deaths, and more people were ready to end their lives.

The developer’s academic and family background – Budeikin had completed courses in sound engineering and psychology for three years until he was expelled. His childhood didn’t seem quite worthwhile as he was bipolar, and his mother and older brother hit him while growing up. It was this hostile treatment that transformed him into a different person altogether.

How Blue Whale Challenge Dare Game works

Blue Whale Challenge is not an app you can download or a game you can install on your computer. It is a social media phenomenon that has taken root.

The game derives its name from one of the first disturbing challenges, where players are asked to draw a blue whale on a piece of paper and then carve it onto their body. Other tasks include watching horror movies alone or harming oneself.

The primary target audience is impressionable teenagers contacted online through ‘The Blue Whale Challenge game. Once participated, the group’s creators do not allow participants to leave.

The second step involves introducing oneself to the community and performing game-related tasks like watching gory and depressing content online before starting the game.

All players have a deadline of 50 days to complete the 50 tasks. The game begins with simple tasks like getting up early in the morning at 4:20, drawing a whale on paper, as mentioned earlier, to the most horrific ones (suicide). It also marks the end of all 50 dares.

The 50 days rules appear something like this:

Never share anything about this game with anyone

Wake up at 4:20 AM every day

Listen to the recommended songs and horror movies every day.

Cut yourself. (Different day, different cuts)

The game requires photographing or video graphing every task to furnish the proof of completion and authenticity. There are thousands of posts relating to the sick trend on Instagram. Rumors about Blue Whale Challenge Dare Game prevalence existed for quite some time, but it’s only now that the menace has witnessed an upward trend and has been escalated by manifolds.

Beware of this game!

Several have died or killed themselves playing this game. The Indian youths were the latest targets of this deadly game. A class 9 student living in the Mumbai suburb recently committed suicide. The boy had allegedly discussed the game with his friends, who weren’t initially concerned about the game until he talked about suicide. He even expressed his desire not to come to school anymore. The 14-year-old, before committing suicide, informed his friend, saying-

I am going to the building to jump.

Moments later, he jumped off the fifth floor of a building. Investigations are underway to ascertain the link between the death and the game.

From the above, it’s starkly clear that Blue Whale is not a game but a killing mission, abetting people to commit a crime by taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally. As such, it warrants immediate action to stop the spread of such a “game”.

People living in rural areas are somewhat immune to this attack as they have a different lifestyle from the urban regions. In urban areas, parents seem to have less control over their children.

It is therefore imperative that you educate your children to stay away from this game.

How to block anyone from installing APK from other sources?

You can do it from the settings. If you don’t see it right away, search for install unknown apps, and enable the permission or flip the switch next to All from this source. In Android, when you install the app from any other app or source, you will need to enable the permission for that app. The next time, you will be able to install it right away. Now that you know, you can block the option from the primary setting and disable developer mode.

How to monitor what kids are installing on their phones?

You can use the Family Link app from Google on your and your kids’ phone to keep an eye on apps and usage. The app also ensures that the kids cannot install the app without your permission. However, it can only be managed until the age of 13.

Everything You Need To Know About Emui 11

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

EMUI 11 is Huawei‘s latest take on Android 10, not Android 11, as you may have expected from the naming scheme. That’s pretty big news, as it’s a departure from HUAWEI’s previous scheme of matching EMUI and Android build numbers. This means that existing and upcoming HUAWEI devices won’t sport the latest Google additions to the Android formula, relying instead on HUAWEI’s own tweaks. HUAWEI notes that Google has only just made Android 11 open source for them to access and that it believes EMUI already includes superior features anyway.

We won’t dwell on that here. Let’s see what’s actually new with EMUI 11. HUAWEI’s update focuses on three core principles: user interface improvements, privacy and security, and what HUAWEI calls “seamless AI life.”

We originally got our hands on an early EMUI 11 version running on the HUAWEI P40 Pro to try out some of the new features for ourselves. The software also shipped with the HUAWEI Mate 40 series, giving us hands-on time with the finished product too. You can read more about our impressions at the link below.

EMUI 11 features Tweaking the user interface

This feature is HUAWEI’s best addition to EMUI, as power users will undoubtedly find the multitasking potential invaluable. That said, getting used to minimizing apps in and out of the orb takes some time, and I imagine that many users may end up forgetting this feature exists.

Privacy and security

Security is the third and final pillar of HUAWEI’s latest OS software, which builds on ideas that started with EMUI 10. For starters, HUAWEI has revamped app permissions.

With EMUI 11, notification icons display whenever a foreground app uses your phone’s location, microphone, or camera. Background apps are now completely forbidden from using the mic and camera. Permission pop-ups for these settings no longer display an option to “always allow”. It is instead relegated to the permissions manager settings menu.

HUAWEI has also introduced new permission access history and app launch record pages to the settings menu, allowing you to see times and number of requests.

Product integration

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Huawei’s ecosystem spans a range of products and the company is working to integrate them ever closer together. Multi-screen Collaboration enters its third iteration, allowing you to share documents, watch movies, and play mobile games from your phone on your HUAWEI or HONOR laptop. Up to three apps are now supported on a single PC simultaneously for improved multitasking.

Huawei’s Celia Voice Assistant also receives some love, with new support for Italian and German. This brings the total to 7 different languages available in 11 countries. The MeeTime voice call service also sees a wider rollout, heading to Poland, Singapore, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa, across three devices.

EMUI 11 release date and eligible devices

HUAWEI EMUI 11 arrived in earnest with the HUAWEI Mate 40 series and a stable update has been available for HUAWEI P40 smartphones since December 2023. Most HUAWEI Mate 30 series and Mate XS owners should also have seen the update notification in early 2023 as well.

Plenty more devices are on the roadmap for 2023 too. HUAWEI P40 and Mate 20 owners should see the EMUI 11 update start landing on their devices from February 2023. The Mate 20 PR Porsche Design and other variations should also start seeing updates throughout March 2023. The HONOR 30, V30, Nova 7, and others are also on the roadmap and should see their update land in the first half of 2023.

Interestingly enough, devices running EMUI 11 may also be eligible to upgrade to Harmony OS, HUAWEI’s in-house Android operating system, further down the line.

Up next: Hands-on with EMUI 11

Aethersx2: What You Need To Know About The Best Ps2 Emulator For Android

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Android is a fantastic platform for emulation, as everything from Atari and the NES to PS1 and GameCube can be played on your modern smartphone. However, one of the biggest challenges in this space has been PS2 emulation, with the likes of Play and the shady DamonPS2 emulator taking a stab at the task. A new PS2 emulator landed on Android in late 2023, dubbed AetherSX2.

You only need to try out a few games to realize that this is easily the best PS2 emulator on the platform. So what should you know about it? We’ve got you covered with our guide to the emulator.

What are the AetherSX2 requirements?

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

AetherSX2’s developer recommended that your phone have a Snapdragon 845-level processor or better. They specifically said that you’ll need four large CPU cores (Cortex-A75 or higher).

In terms of the GPU, the developer says Adreno graphics offers better performance than Mali or PowerVR GPUs found in MediaTek, HiSilicon, and older Samsung Exynos processors. However, the creator adds that you should stick to the Vulkan graphics renderer option if you’ve got a phone powered by a Mali GPU (e.g., Exynos, Kirin, or MediaTek processor), as it’s generally faster than OpenGL. Some games might perform better with OpenGL, though. 

You can play some less demanding games on budget devices, but you’ll want a recent high-end phone for the best performance.

On the other end of the spectrum is the POCO M4 Pro. It features a recent mid-range processor in the Dimensity 810. Games like Burnout 3 and Gran Turismo 4 are too slow to be playable out of the box. But underclocking (more on this later) does help with titles like The Simpsons Hit and Run and Shadow of the Colossus. It makes them less of a slow-mo experience and more playable. And less demanding 2D titles like Fire Pro Wrestling Returns, MegaMan X Collection, and Marvel vs Capcom 2 run well.

This is far from comprehensive evidence of how your experience will go, as this is just a small selection of games with basic tweaks being used at best. Still, it should give you a rough idea of what each phone segment is capable of. But it suggests you might want to opt for an older flagship instead of a new budget phone.

Tips and tricks for a better experience

Try changing the graphics renderer from OpenGL to Vulkan, for one. The Vulkan API generally delivers a fast experience but might not deliver the best experience for all games.

Three other settings worth toggling for better performance include the GPU Palette Conversion, Preload Textures, and Disable Hardware Readbacks options.

One way to potentially get better performance that has nothing to do with the app is to switch from your phone’s default power profile to a performance mode (usually available in battery settings). This increases performance at the expense of battery life and temperature. Just keep in mind that higher temperatures can also lead to faster throttling. This could make the default power mode better for longer play sessions.

AetherSX2 also supports resolution upscaling, from 1x (the original resolution of the game) all the way to 8x. This doesn’t work well with every game. Still, it’s worth experimenting with this option if your preferred game has some headroom for a higher resolution.

The game does support save states, but updates tend to wipe them. Save to the virtual memory card in every game if you don’t want to start from scratch after every update.

FAQs

The emulator is technically capable of this to an extent, but it’s definitely not made with this in mind, and the support is very rudimentary. We strongly recommend you download an emulator like Duckstation for more polished, feature-rich PS1 emulation with a wider variety of compatible games.

One option is to use the Dolphin GameCube emulator if the title in question has a GameCube port. Another option is to wait for an app update, which isn’t guaranteed to make your desired game playable. You could also upgrade to a new phone, although you’ll need to double-check that the new phone plays the desired game. It’s still risky to upgrade to a new phone specifically for an emulated title that might not work in your case.

You can use the fan-run Discord server or the EmulationOnAndroid subreddit.

Everything You Need To Know About Fake Cell Towers

How A Fake Cell Tower Works

To learn how fake cell towers work, we have to have a little background on the real ones. Your service provider must authenticate your SIM card with a phone number that gives it a sort of “account.” Everything that passes through that tower is usually encrypted (depending on how the provider sets its system up) and mostly tap-proof. So, how can someone listen in on your calls simply by catching your signal? To get to your phone and listen to your calls, a fake tower must be able to imitate your provider’s handshake.

In case you don’t understand what I mean by “handshake”, it’s basically a word used to describe the unique way in which your phone and your provider say “hello” to each other and determine their identities on the network. From the handshake onward, you are authenticated, which means that you and the tower you’re connected to are communicating on a “first name basis.” You’re able to place calls and ping the tower at any time. So, all a fake cell tower has to do is imitate this behavior from the provider’s side and pretend to be one of your provider’s towers during the handshake. The phone will only know how to communicate with the fake tower instead of the real one.

The fake tower must also relay your phone’s signals to the real one so that it can establish a connection with the rest of the network.

If this sounds confusing, let me make it a little simpler: A fake cell tower will imitate your provider’s behavior to you, while it also imitates your behavior to the real tower that’s supposed to be transmitting your signals.

What Fake Towers Can Do

Since your phone is now “attached” to this tower, it can now record anything from metadata to the content of your actual calls. It can also be used by scammers to send falsified text messages and phone calls your way. The latter problem has already been identified in China and reported on The Verge. Someone received a text message from their bank’s phone number, but the bank did not send it. A fake tower the phone connected to had intercepted the phone’s signal to its provider and sent the message originating from the bank’s phone number.

In the US, fake towers called Stingrays are being used by unknown entities (although some are claiming it is the government). The reason why the government is a prime suspect in this case as opposed to scammers (as we have observed in China) has to do with the fact that this particular tower is an IMSI-catcher, which basically captures the information about your phone and analyzes the data it gathers. This sounds more like a wide-scale surveillance operation than a scam project.

To be clear: It’s not known to us whether the US government is actually running these towers or whether they are listening to calls. All that is known is that the towers are collecting information related to the phones themselves. Anything else said on this subject is pure speculation and shouldn’t be taken at face value until there’s evidence to support it.

How Many Are There?

I cannot necessarily speak veritably about information regarding other countries, since such information is not present at this time. However, in the United States, there may be as many as nineteen towers, as seen in this map from ESD’s CEO:

This is all the information we have, and it’s very likely that there may be other towers that remain undiscovered.

How You Can Protect Yourself

Theoretically, there is no surefire way to protect yourself against infiltration from fake cell towers. To protect yourself from scammers, simply call whatever number contacts you from a land line. If there’s a strong difference between the person who contacted you on your mobile and the person you contacted on a land line, then your cellphone is probably being commandeered by a fake tower.

If you have lots of money to shift around, you can throw it at a CryptoPhone. These phones are specifically built to deal with interception from fake towers. However, I must warn you that such an investment could prove useless if the people producing fake towers can circumvent the security measures that this phone takes.

Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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All You Need To Know About Sim Swap Attack

All You Need to Know About SIM Swap Attack The Attack, Scam; & Necessary Precautions

The more companies tried to tighten the security with additional security layers, the easier it became of attackers to make it a target. A security measure adopted by almost every service company has become a part of jokes with serious implications.

Even public figures like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had a hard time dealing with this.

What is The SIM Swap?

SIM swap (also called SIM swapping/SIMjacking/SIM splitting) is actually a breach that gives the attacker your account access. To make it understand in steps:

I believe you all now the two-step verification we go through while logging in to Gmail or any bank service platform. After putting a password, we either get an OTP or a call on the registered mobile number and that’s where the breach takes place.

This results in getting the 2nd step password on their SIM card instead of the actual user’s and they get access to your account. Boom!!!

These types of attacks weren’t much before, however, in the last few years, it’s been happening repeatedly. The time when cryptocurrency came into existence for the transactions, the hackers got more active and there were reports almost every month for one or the other incident.

SIM swap attack is also called a SIM port out because of the hacker porting out your mobile number to his/her own SIM card (obviously a private number).

Also Read: Can Your Phone Be Hacked By Your IMEI Number?

The Causes OR Loopholes of SIM Swap

It’s not like there is a hard and fast list of causes that occur in this incident. However, there are a few that give enough time to the hacker to get things done.

For example, if a user’s phone has been stolen or he/she is switching to a different telecom company. In this period, the security vulnerability increases, and this gives a window to the hacker.

The way about getting details isn’t something new, that can be phishing emails, lucrative text messages. All they need to do is call your telecom customer care, impersonate you with your details, and port your number. A minor but there can be a probability of telecom employees being bribed by the hackers to change the SIM number.

So if you talk about the probability hackers have, sky’s the limit for them. We either ignore these or don’t bother about someone getting access to our account without even realizing it.

Also Read: How To Track A Lost or Stolen Android Phone

Can You Prevent Yourself From Becoming A Victim of SIM Swap?

There is a saying – “If there is a problem, there is also a solution. All we need to do is either look around more or dig deeper.”

So yeah, you surely can prevent yourself from becoming a victim of SIM swap scam. It’s actually quite easy to use these methods to keep yourself out of the SIM swap attack zone.

1. Don’t Access Phishing Scams

Emails, links, text messages you name it, they have got access to each and everything to make it look original and safe. However, it’s you who need to make sure that you check the source before even accessing the link given in the notification alert. For starters, just don’t access a new & unknown URL given in the text/email. Don’t keep signing into a website platform you don’t know about and keep yourself away from downloading stuff from unknown resources.

If you fail to do any of them and the hacker gets control of your SIM card, you are screwed big time.

2. Stop Using Personal Data Online Excessively

The more we are online, the more we access new pages and put our details on new websites or apps. Exploring is good but keep it to a level that doesn’t affect you anyway.

3. Be More serious About Account Protection

Everyone would agree with me on this that we aren’t serious about our account security. Be it the bank accounts, registered number not the current one, and many more.

For example, the password of almost all the banking platforms must be changed within 3-6 months, however, this should be on a monthly basis. Follow this religiously so that it becomes a habit, not an act.

4. Start Erasing Online Footprints

Leaving online footprints in the virtual world is one of the major reasons these incidents occur and happen. All of the big giants as well as emerging ones, ask you to remember the login credentials or save the password for the website. In order to keep it convenient for us, we do select the option and next time, we won’t have to remember the password or sometimes even login and password both. Isn’t it a bit scary?

It’s not that these companies are involved in this, but we should not leave our confidential info on any platform. It may be misused and who will be responsible for it, You. Who got affected? You. Who should be blamed? You.

Stop saving your credentials on any platform. Keep privacy before convenience or else you will be in big trouble.

Also Read: Why Is Online Privacy Important?

Conclusion

No matter how much you put security layers, they will find a way to get in your mobile phone. And today, getting into your mobile phone is more dangerous than getting in your house. Because at least you are notified if someone comes into your house. Here, you have no idea. A silent and perfect theft.

So be a bit aware and attentive about anything and everything you receive on your cell phone. Keep yourself away from unknown and not secure websites. Don’t give away logins to unauthorized platforms and make it a habit of erasing online footprints.

Has this article been helpful to you? Do share your thoughts and let us know if you have some other point to add to help a user from becoming a victim of SIM swap.

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