Here we show you how to learn to write Swift. The 5 best courses for learning Swift, how to code iPhone apps, and how to learn to code. Here’s how to build iPhone apps.
Swift is Apple’s coding language, designed to make it easy for anyone to build apps for Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad. ‘Easy’ is a relative term, however. Although Swift and Xcode are freely available vi the Apple app store, and that will help you get started.
If you are not a professional coder you will likely need some kind of support to get grips with Swift. But such support is readily available. In this article we outline the best free and paid-for courses that will help anyone build iPhone apps with Swift.
How to write apps for iPhone: 10 best courses for Swift
There are loads of courses that will help you to learn to build iPhone apps. But not all such courses are made equal. In all cases you will need motivation, and discipline.
We recommend the Udemy course as it is the best, if not the cheapest, offering the best chance of you making it. But we present all options so that you can make the right decision for you.
How to write apps for iPhone: Apple Swift developer resources
Every aspiring iPhone app writer should start by visiting Apple’s Swift developer resource page. Here you can download Xcode 8 and get started with Swift 3. Use the migrator in Xcode 8 to convert your existing Swift code to use the new Swift 3 features and syntax. You’ll find sample code, and links to reference material.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what means. You will if you keep reading.
How to write apps for iPhone: Udemy
Hands down the best way to learn Swift is to take this hugely popular and well reviewed course via the Udemy learning site. The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course is brand new for Apple’s latest iOS, but has already garnered rave reviews from some of its tens of thousands of students.
Udemy courses are normally very expensive, and this one retails for £200. That is good value if you are a novice coder who is serious about writing apps for iPhone. But if the price makes you balk right now there is an amazing offer by which you can do this course for just £19. Take advantage!
Lynda is a subscription service, and after a free 10-day trial it costs £22.95 a month or £227 a year. If you are serious about learning to code for iPhone, that year-long deal may make sense given the sheer volume of iOS coding courses included.
How to write apps for iPhone: Totsplus
A much cheaper option that will suit those on a budget but doesn’t offer as much depth as Udemy, is Totsplus. We like this course Learn iOS SDK Development From Scratch, and you can sign up for just $15. Pretty cheap, even post Brexit.
How to write apps for iPhone: iTunes U
Our final option is to use Apple’s own iTunes U. Here, via iTunes you can get access to course materials, videos and resources that will help the motivated iPhone coding newbie get to grips with Swift.
It’s inexpensive, and a little like guesting at a university. You can sit in on lectures and download and use all the resources you need. But you have to set your own pace and mark your own work, and this can be a little lonely.
How to download YouTube videos. Download YouTube clips to iPhone, Android and more.
We show you how to download any YouTube video to your iPhone, or Android phone. The methods aren’t straightforward, but that is the nature of the beast. Google doesn’t really want you to download someone else’s copyright material, and it isn’t going to make it easy for you to do so.
This is much more involved than you might expect. But the process is basically install a media download app, find the URL of your preferred video, and then get the one to suck down the other. There are some clunky limitations here, so if you find a better way to do it please let us know.
On your iPhone, go to the App Store and search for ‘Documents 5’. Documents 5 is a free app that is useful for this exact purpose, although it isn’t straightforward – Apple doesn’t like to be seen to be promoting the downloading of copyright content. Install Documents 5, launch the app, and tap the bottom-right icon (it looks like the Safari compass).
This will display a web browser where you can search for ‘savefromnet’. Find ‘en.savefrom.net‘ in the search results, and tap it.
No you need to find the URL of the YouTube video you wish to download. Either find it via your iPhone web browser, or open the YouTube app. Then find the video you want, tap it to show the controls and hit the share icon (the bendy arrow pointing right). One of the options is ‘Copy Link’, and that is the one you want.
Once you have copied the link, return to the Documents 5 app. It is best to do this, the download stage, on Wi-Fi. Much data will be used here. Tap in the white box to select it, then tap again to bring up the Paste option. Paste in the video URL you copied from YouTube.
Now hit the green tick. You will see a list of resolutions. Choose the quality you want, remembering that higher quality means a bigger file on your phone. When you have chosen a quality that suits, hit the relevant green link, give your video file a name, and hit done. The video will now download to the Downloads section of the Documents 5 app.
Apple really isn’t going to make this easy for you, so you can’t then save the video file to your native Video app. But you can move it to the Camera Roll, by tapping holding the video file, and then dragging it to the Camera Roll. Head to that app to watch it any time you want. (Also see: How to stop running out of data on iPhone.)
How to download YouTube videos to Android
As with iPhone there are free apps available that help here. In this case they make it easier, because Android is more open than is iOS. However, it’s not all gravy. The app we are using isn’t on the Google Play store. Such is life. Follow our instructions and you will be okay.
The app is TubeMate: head to tubemate.net on your Android browser, and click to download a recent version from the provided list of verified sites. Your Android pone will want you that the file downloading can harm your device – this is only because it is software from outside the Play store. It’s cool. But you do have to open up your Android’s permissions.
Go to Settings, Security, and enable the option to allow installation from unknown sources. You will be warned again, but click through this. And remember to reverse this process when you have installed TubeMate.
Now install TubeMate. Use a File Manager to navigate to your phone’s Downloads folder, and find the relevant .apk file. Tap the file to begin the installation.
You will be offered a range of quality options for your download. Quality means big, remember. And also it makes sense to be on Wi-Fi at this stage. Make your choice and press the Download button.
Once your video has downloaded you’ll see a notification in the drop-down bar at the top of the screen. Tap it and TubeMate will open. Swipe in from the right to access your downloaded videos, or use the three dots icon at the top right and select Download List. Either way tap on any video to begin playing it.
We reveal the best antivirus for Mac. Best Mac antivirus and best Mac security software. Best security software for Apple Mac. PLUS: do Macs need antivirus? Why you need to install security software on your Mac.
Here’s how to secure any Mac. We rank and rate the best free and paid-for antivirus for Mac, and security software for Apple computers.
Best antivirus for Mac: Do Macs need antivirus?
Simply, yes. Many people will tell you the opposite, of course. And it is true that the threat is much less urgent if you are a Mac user than those Windows-using clowns. But if you have a Mac you care about, and it is connected to the web, you ought to install security software.
Macs are less vulnerable than are Windows PCs and laptops for two reasons. Firstly, there are fewer Macs. All cybercrime is based on plucking low-hanging fruit, so the much larger group of Windows users in the world is a much bigger target. That may change, however, as the Apple user base grows. Lest we forget, Macs are expensive so Apple users are a lucrative target.
Which brings us to the other point: Macs are harder to attack than are Windows PCs. That’s because the Mac OS (previously OS X) is a UNIX operating system, built in the dim-and-distant past on a UNIX derivative. This means that it is sandboxed. Unlike a Windows PC or laptop, if a crook infects a Mac in one area, they can’t get it all. Not easily, anyway.
This makes Macs less attractive to hackers. But that is a long way from making them invulnerable. So if you value your computer and the information on it, get yourself some security software. These are the best.
We base our ranking on the most recent AV-Test group review of Mac antivirus products, as well as price and ease of use. The tests look at efficacy in terms of detecting and destroying known and unknown web threats, and the impact each program has on system performance. We’ve split the best Mac antivirus products into those you pay for and free Mac antivirus. In general the best free products offer high levels of protection, but tend to have a greater negative impact on system performance when compared to their paid brethren.
Best antivirus for Mac: 1. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
Bitdefender remains the undisputed leader of the pack in terms of Mac security. In AV-Test’s lab Bitdefender detected and protected against literally every piece of malware thrown at it. And it had no recognisable negative impact on performance.
Bitdefender costs from £39 for a one-year licence for a single Mac.
Best antivirus for Mac: 2. ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET is another excellent Mac antivirus, offering exactly the same perfect protection as did Bitdefender in AV-Test’s lab. It also causes very little grief to Mac performance, but loses out of Bitdefender on the basis of a tiny amount of system impact.
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac costs from £39 a year for a single Mac.
Best antivirus for Mac: 3. eScan Anti-Virus Security for Mac
Cheaper than both ESET and Bitdefenr is ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac. This program offers perfect protection, as do those other Mac antivirus packages. So what is the catch? Sadly, eScan takes quite a hit on your Mac’s performance. Or at least that is what AV-Test’s report suggests.
If you can stand that system impact, ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac costs only £23 for a one-year licence for one Mac.
Best antivirus for Mac: 4. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac
Kaspersky ‘failed’ to hit a perfect protection score in AV-Test’s lab, picking up a mere 99.17 percent of the net nasties chucked its way. And although it had more of an impact on system performance than either Bitdefender or ESET, this excellent Mac antivirus has nothing like the impact of eScan, according the AV-Test lab results.
You can pick up a one-year, single-user licence of Kaspersky for Mac for £39.
Best antivirus for Mac: 5. Symantec Norton Security for Mac
Security giant Symantec will likely be unhappy that Norton ranks only fifth in AV-Test’s run-down of the best Mac antivirus programs, but it is a really close-run thing. Norton picked up 99.17 percent of the filth AV-Test threw at it, which is by any stretch a good result. Its system impact was about the same as Kaspersky’s – a little more impact on some elements, less on others. Let’s call it joint fourth.
A two-year, one-device licence of Symantec Norton Security for Mac costs £39.
It is not cheap, and according to some independent tests doesn’t offer the very best security against known or zero-day threats, but the £69.99 Intego offers an unsurpassed feature set.
Antivirus, anti-phishing and anti-spyware are a given, as is firewall network protection even outside your home. You may appreciate the parental controls with website and application blocking, and there are also backup and Mac speed up functions.
Best free antivirus for Mac: 3. Avast Free Mac Security
Only just behind AVG is Avast, protecting against 99.17 of known and unknown threats in AV-Test’s lab. System impact wasn’t great on test however, in particular when downloading test files. Still, free is free, right?
Best free antivirus for Mac: 4. Avira Free Antivirus for Mac
Avira picked up a respectable amount of the malware AV-Test exposed it to in the lab, protecting against around 93 percent of threats. That’s good, but you don’t want 7 percent of viruses infecting your Mac. Nor do you want the system impact that Avira saddled the Mac with on AV-Test’s watch.
How to stop running out of data on iPhone. Six tips for saving data on iPhone. Here’s how to make your iPhone data go further.
Your iPhone is brilliant. Too brilliant. That monthly data limit soon goes if you use all the many wonderful features and apps on your smartphone. And in the UK at least cellular data is super expensive. In this article we explain how to monitor your iPhone data usage, how to prevent apps from using too much data, and how to make your iPhone data go further. See also: How to unlock iPhone: Use any SIM in iPhone.
Stop running out of data on iPhone: 1. how much data am I using?
Go to Settings > Cellular (or Mobile Data), scroll down to view Mobile Data Usage. If you have never done this before, the number you see will be your all-time data usage, so scroll to the bottom and hit Reset Statistics. Do this every month to keep track of your data usage.
This is a faff, so you could just purchase the Data Usage app for 79p. This will keep track of your data usage for you.
If you just want to see which apps are using data, go to Settings > Cellular (Mobile Data).
Stop running out of data on iPhone: 2. how to turn off Wi-Fi assist
WiFi Assist feature kicks in to use cellular data if your Wi-Fi connection is crappy. Which is good for your connection, bad for your wallet and your data contract. If you don’t need it, turn it off. Go to Settings > Mobile Data, scroll to the bottom and disable Wi-Fi Assist.
Stop running out of data on iPhone: 3. stop individual apps using data
Go to Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data and scroll down to stop individual apps from using data. Classic data hogs include steaming services such as FaceTime, or cloud data services such as iCloud. Switch off cellular and you can still use them via Wi-Fi.
Stop running out of data on iPhone: 4. turn off auto play video in Facebook
Facebook’s auto play video can chew through your data. But you can switch off this specific element of the app. Go to Settings > Facebook > Settings and scroll down to Video and switch to Auto-play on Wi-Fi only.
Stop running out of data on iPhone: 5. stop iPhone using data
To turn off your cellular data so go to Settings > Cellular (Mobile Data) and toggle the Cellular Data switch to off.
This will turn off all cellular data to restrict all data to Wi-Fi, including email, web browsing and push notifications.
Stop running out of data on iPhone: 6. switch off data roaming
We test, rank and rate the best free email services you can use in 2016. The best free email. Best free email for storage, best free email for privacy, best free email for features. Check out our list of the best free webmail services you can use.
Huge in the 2000s, but still knocking around, AOL Mail is actually a decent free email service for those who wish to be retro. But retro it is.
Log into AOL and most of the screen is taken up by a news feed. It’s like 2002 all over again. This combined with the multitude of themes and customisation options makes AOL feel more like a home page than an email tool. Depending on your needs this may be no terrible thing.
You get the usual left-sided folder list including inbox, drafts, sent and the rest. And you can create and edit your own folder list, as well as moving messages around and creating rules and filters.
But that is about it. Like iCloud, it is for basic users rather than the office. Check out AOL if you need a basic and pleasingly retro email service.
One to use only if you are an Apple obsessive. Gmail and Outlook are better. Although iCloud’s iPhone and iPad integration are good, the web interface is crap. Like most Apple software, this email service exists to get you to buy its hardware.
On your iPhone and iPad, Apple Mail can be set up to access other email accounts, such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo!. Not on the web interface.
You have the standard three-pane view with email and folders on the left, inbox listing all the messages in the middle and the selected email on the right. Just don’t expect to be able to customise things: that is not Apple’s way.
Folders can be edited, rules and filters can be set up. If you are an Apple user on the hunt for a simple and non-technical email service you could do worse. But you could also do better.
Google’s free email device is often considered the number one free email service, and with good reason. It looks great on laptop, tablet or smartphone. You don’t get mail folders, as such, rather you can tag emails t make them easier to find. But, trust me, Google is pretty good at finding stuff, so in time you learn to worry less about archiving your messages, and more about usefully using email as a work tool.
By default Google displays email conversations in date order. Priority inbox puts at the top messages Gmail thinks are important. Indeed, Gmail can automatically sort messages into primary, social, promotions, updates and forums. Due to Google’s scanning and search skills this is super accurate, and allows you to use email in the most useful way for you.
You can change the way the interface looks in your browser, by using a Google theme or your own images, too. In general Gmail is intuitive and user-friendly, useful and customisable. It also offers a huge amount of storage for free – 15GB of free storage across Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos. So why wouldn’t you choose Google?
The only real reason is that like some other free email services Gmail scans your messages in order to deliver contextual advertising. That is a problem for some privacy conscious users.
The artist formally known as Hotmail, Microsoft’s free email service is alive and well worth your consideration.
Via your web browser Outlook doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel. You will see a folder list on the left, including inbox, drafts, and sent. Folders are used to organise emails, and you can drag messages from folder to folder. Adding new folders is a cinch. The rest of the screen lists the contents of the currently selected folder. There is also a reading pane, so you can browse- and read emails from the same view.
Staying in the traditional email box, you can set rules to automatically sort incoming mail. Microsoft’s Quick views tool automatically categorises messages like Gmail’s tabs, but there are more categories. Messages can be archived, which moves them to the relevant folder, or flagged so they appear in Quick views rather than the inbox.
Outlook is up there with Gmail as the big beast of the free email world. Like Gmail it is generous with storage limits (storage space for your Outlook.com email increases monthly). But like Gmail it will target adverts at you based on your email messages. That’s really the only down side.
Yes, it still exists. A good-looking email web interface with occasionally unsightly adverts, Yahoo! is actually pretty useful. And you get 1GB of storage, free of charge.
You get the classic panel with inbox, sent, spam, trash and other folders, as well as a list of email on the right from the selected folder. You can preview messages and the folders themselves. And, of course, you can create folders and edit your folder list. You can auto sort messages into your folders by setting up filters.
You can open multiple emails in different tabs, and compose new messages in the same way. Each tab is in essence a new email browser. It works well.
Like Google and Microsoft’s email tools, you can import into Yahoo! other email accounts. We like Yahoo!, it is okay with us. But given the choice we would go with Outlook or Gmail.
Zoho Mail is a pretty useful business-friendly email tool. You get the now expected multi-layer folders, labels, flag, and filters that allow you to organise your messages. One nice touch is the ability to share an entire folder with a colleague.
Streams is an interesting and potentially useful feature of Zoho Mail that brings social media style comments and likes into standard email. You can tag individual correspondents to untangle complicated multi-person email threads.
For free you get 5GB of storage for your mail, and 5GB for other files. The latter relates to the point that Zoho is principally a web-based office suite that has a calendar app and allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
Zoho doesn’t charge or show ads, which is great. But it does attempt to get you to shell out. The free version allows emails of only up to 25MB, and doesn’t support Google Calendar. Shell out £2 a month and the Google Calendar restriction is lifted, you get twice the storage, and a 30MB email limit.
Even with the restrictions, however, Zoho Mail is a good free email service.
It is difficult to look beyond the big two of Gmail and Outlook. They offer the best software with good storage options, and easy-to-use and -customise interfaces. The only real objection could be for the privacy fan who wants ad-free email that cannot be read by the provider. Those people should look at encrypted email tools such as Protonmail and Tutanota. For everyone else, go claim that Gmail or Outlook address.
11 tweaks that will make any Apple Mac run faster. Here’s how to speed up a Mac.
The only surefire way of boosting your Mac is to install more RAM, but that can be a challenging hardware upgrade. Here we will focus on a variety of software tips, each of which will give your Mac a little boost.
You should also be sure to restart your Mac from time to time. This will stop unused apps and processes from clogging up your Mac. Also keep a clean and tidy desktop. The fewer things your RAM has to render, the more RAM you will have to keep the lights on.
How to speed up a Mac: Shut down unused or unwanted apps
If you’re running a load of applications on your Mac it will be throwing memory and CPU cycles at them, reducing the amount of both that is available to use for the apps you need. First up find out what is running. Open System Preferences and click Dock. Make sure there is a tick next to ‘Show indicator lights for open applications’.
That will show you which apps are running. To find out which are kicking your Mac’s behind, open the Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder.
Activity Monitor shows all the processes on your Mac. Click on View and Windowed Processes. Select the CPU button and the “%CPU” column to list programs filtered by the amount of CPU they are taking up. This tool also lets you list by memory, disk and processes.
Now you know the apps you want to kill go to the Dock, right-click on the icon of any programs you don’t need, and choose Quit. Alternatively press Command-Tab to bring up the App Switcher, and press Command-Q to quit unused programs.
How to speed up a Mac: Uninstall apps you never use
We’ve stopped running apps we don’t need right now. But for a greater impact let’s uninstall any apps we never want to use again. The simplest way is to drag and drop apps into the Trash.
You should also remove from the dashboard any widgets you don’t use. Click the Remove icon in the bottom-left, and tap on the Remove icons on any widgets you don’t regularly use.
How to speed up a Mac: Make sure your Mac software is up to date
First let’s do a software update for Mac OS X and all your apps. Click on the Apple icon in the Menu bar and choose Software Update. To avoid ever having to do this again, click on System Preferences > App Store and make sure that ‘Automatically Check For Updates’ is selected. Then tick Install App Updates which will automatically update your software.
How to speed up a Mac: Clear disk space
If your hard disk is full it will impact on your Mac’s performance. So we will clear a little space. First right-click on the Trash can in the dock, and select Empty Trash to clear the bin.
If you need to free up more space then check through your User folder for items to get rid of (Movies and Pictures are often likely culprits). You should also empty the Downloads folder of any items you’re unlikely to need.
How to speed up a Mac: Reduce Login items
Go to System Preferences. Click Users & Groups. Click on the Login Items tab to see which programs and services are launched when you first start up your Mac. Click on any item that you don’t want, and hit the Delete from Login Items button at the bottom of the pane.
How to speed up a Mac: ‘Remove From Preference Pane’
Now we are going to look for custom items in your System Preferences. If you are not using these, they will take up a tiny amount of your Mac’s resources.
Open System Preferences and check in the row at the bottom. Right-click on any item you don’t need, and choose Remove From Preference Pane.
How to speed up a Mac: Turn off visual effects
Keeping the Dock static will help to boost your Mac. Click System Preferences > Dock and untick Magnification, Animate opening applications, Automatically hide and show the dock, Turn off accessibility.
Finally, click on ‘Minimize windows using’ and change Genie Effect to Scale Effect.
How to speed up a Mac: Limit what Spotlight searches
Spotlight is a great tool, but it has to index and re-index everything on every drive. That can steal precious resource from your Mac.
If you want to speed up your Mac, you need to limit the scope of Spotlight. Go to the Spotlight pane in System Preferences. Click on the Privacy tab, and drag in any folders or volumes you don’t need to search. That will reduce the number of files Spotlight needs to index.
How to speed up a Mac: Disable File Vault encryption
File Vault lets you encrypt every file you store on your Mac. This uses a lot of processor cycles, however. Disabling File Vault encryption can refresh your Mac. Click on the Security & Privacy tab in System Preferences, then on the File Vault tab. Click the padlock, type in an admin password, and click Turn off File Vault.
How to speed up a Mac: Tweak the Finder
Opening a new Finder window shows you the All My Files view. Literally every file on your Mac. This can be a drag on your Mac. Go to Finder Preferences, click the General tab, and choose a different folder from the drop-down menu.
So, your iPhone is locked to one network, and you need to unlock it. The first issue with which you need to wrestle is what size of SIM you need.
If you have an iPhone 4S or older you will need a MicroSIM. The iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE use a nanoSIM. Before you go for the unlock make sure you source the right size.
Unlock your iPhone: Is it legal to unlock iPhone?
Yes! Well, yes mostly. It is legal to unlock your iPhone if you bought it outright, or you have finished paying the contract with which you bought it from a network.
Do bear in mind that if you are still in contract you haven’t technically bought your phone – it still belongs to the network. If in doubt, contact the network.
Unlock your iPhone: Use a third-party unlocking service
Ideally you should use the network to which your phone is locked to unlock it. This is the simplest and cheapest way to do it. Below we have listed out how to unlock phones from all the major UK networks.
If for some reason you don’t want to do that, you could use a third-party unlocking service. There are myriad of these online. Our only real advice is to read all of the small print. There are often hidden charges. And once your phone is under the control of a third-party, you may have no choice but to pay the (legal) surprising fee they are charging you. Better to go through the network. We’ve listed them alphabetically.
How to unlock iPhone on 3
Three says that iPhones purchased from it after 1 January 2014 will be unlocked as soon as connected to iTunes or activated over WiFi.
To unlock an iPhone running iOS 7 or above that wasn’t purchased from Three in that time you need to back it up, put in the new SIM, connect it to iTunes and do a safe restore.
Bought an iPhone from EE? The company says you need to have had your account for at least six months and be fully paid up. So far so nice, but EE says it’ll take up to 20 days to unlock your iPhone. Oh, and it will charge you £8.99 for the privilege. Oh, and if you aren’t an iPhone EE customer but have an iPhone locked to EE, your only option is to chance it with a third-party service. Sorry.
Like EE, O2 simply requires you to fill out an online form. O2 Pay Monthly customers can unlock their iPhones at any time, but they remain on the hook for the full cost of the contract. So probably don’t do that.
O2 says it will now unlock all iPhones for free, however. So that bit won’t cost you.
If you’re not an O2 customer, simply put a non-O2 SIM card into your iPhone, plug it into your computer and open iTunes.
How to unlock iPhone from Tesco Mobile
Good news for Tesco Mobile customers: you can unlock your Tesco iPhone by calling 0345 301 4455, and choosing the “unlock your mobile” option. You’ll get a code with which to unlock your handset.
The bad news is that Tesco says it will only provide you with this code if you have been a subscriber for at least 12 months. Bummer.
How to unlock iPhone from Virgin Mobile
Recent iPhones purchased from Virgin Mobile should be unlocked. Some older iPhones may be technically locked, but Virgin advises to update the software to a recent iOS and it should automatically unlock. If for any reason you can’t do that a full restore should solve the problem. Still having problems, contact Virgin Mobile.
How to unlock iPhone on Vodafone
Like EE Vodafone says it requires you to either be the iPhone subscriber, or to know all of the details of the person who purchased it. With those details, it is simply a case of filling in this online form.
Unlocking through Vodafone is free if you are a contract subscriber and you’ve had your plan with the company for more than 12 months. Otherwise it’s £19.99.
Voda says it will get you sorted within 48 hours, but caveats this by saying it could take up to 10 days.
Best cloud storage service 2016: Amazon Cloud Drive
Is there anything Amazon doesn’t sell? Certainly not storage, as the Everything Store’s Amazon Drive offers secure online storage, automatic photo backup, with access to your files from phone, computer or tablet.
It is well priced, too. You can start with 5GB of storage for free. And if you are a Prime subscriber, you get unlimited photo storage, for the duration of your Prime account. Another reason to sign up for Prime.
Other plans start at £6 a year for 20GB of storage, and £16 annually for 50GB. The 100GB plan costs £32 a year, and 200GB sets you back £64 a year. Spend £160 a year and you get 500GB, and the 1000GB option costs £320 a year. If, you know, storage is really your thing.
A big name in cloud, Box promises all of your files, anywhere. Sign up for Box and you can store and share files, online or off, from any advice. According to Box you can view files in more than 120 formats, as well as saving them for offline access.
In-document search is a good features, as is the ability to keep your desktop-, web- and mobile content synched. And if you are an iOS user, you can instantly send photos or videos from your iPhone or iPad directly to Box. Pretty useful given the criminal lack of expandable storage on Apple’s pricey devices.
Speaking of price, with Box the free option offers you 10GB of storage, but can upload files of only 250MB. Shell out £7 per month and you get 100GB storage with a 5GB file upload image. Amazon is cheaper and offers more options, but Box offers an excellent service.
The daddy of the cloud storage world, Dropbox offers a great range of cloud storage services at a good price. Get access to- and share all your files from anywhere, on any device. The desktop- and mobile apps offer a truly market-leading experience.
The free Basic account is barely worth the price, coming as it does with just 2GB of storage. You can upgrade to the 1TB plan for £7.99 per month.
Dropbox offers some interesting incentives, however. At the time of writing you can get 500MB of additional free storage for each friend you introduce: up to a decent limit of 16GB. There are other, similar free deals that can make Dropbox considerably more affordable.
With Google Drive you get up to 15GB of free storage, spread across Drive, Gmail and Google Photos. Really, if you are a Gmail user it is a no-brain decision. It lets you save files from Gmail attachment and works beautifully with Google’s Docs, Slides and Sheets. There are desktop- and mobile apps, of course (and being Google the Android app is fully developed).
If 15GB isn’t enough you can upgrade to 100GB for £1.59 a month and 1TB for just £7.99 a month.
Apple’s iCloud is limited in that although you can use it on Windows PC, there is no app for Android or Windows Phone. Sign up for free and you get 5GB of storage. You pay 79p per month for 50GB, £2.49 per month for 200GB, and £6.99 per month for 1TB.
It feels like a work in progress, however. iCloud Drive has some of the collaboration and storage features offered by rivals such as Dropbox. But it isn’t as good a user experience as are any of the services we have mentioned thus far.
If you’re an Apple Mac, iPad and iPhone user and are willing to pay at least 79p per month for the privilege then it could be a good tool for you.
KowHow is the delivery, installation and repay branch of Currys and PC World, and KnowHow Cloud is the cloud storage service run by those high-street stores. So, good news: it is unlikely to take your money and disappear. Bad news: KnowHow is not a known software as a service provider. Just as well KnowHow Cloud is a rebadged service from reputable cloud specialist Livedrive.
Choose between three different levels of storage: 200GB, 2TB and 4TB. Then select the number of devices you want to use and the number of years for which you are prepared to sign up. Confused? Us too. It’s not bad value, though: 2TB of storage accessed from five devices will cost just £30 a year.Verdict
Once you are in KnowHow Cloud is easy to use with useful features. And it is secure. If you have a lot of data it may prove to be good value.
MediaFire claims to store all your media, making it available to any time you want it, anywhere you go, on any device you have. Sound familiar?
You can access MediaFire files from web interface and mobile app, and you get up to 50GB of storage for free. So what is not to like? For a start, MediaFire started life as a file-sharing service, and its interface and feature set reflect these beginnings
Also, in truth you get only 10GB of storage for free, earning the other 40GB through a variety of simple tasks. The main limitation on the free service is that files can be only 200MB or less. And unless you pay you will see adverts when sharing files.
Pony up for a Pro account that costs only $4.99 a month for 1TB of space, up to 20GB file sizes, and no ads. Which is pretty sweet. MediaFire is simple to use if a little basic, but really well priced. Check it out.
Mega is the cloud storage service from controversial Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. It calls itself ‘the privacy company’, and promises end-to-end encryption of your data and files. Mega can’t access your information, so it can’t give it away to government or worse.
The free package affords a whopping 50GB of space. If this isn’t enough you can upgrade to 500GB for only €99 a year, 2TB (€199), or 4TB (€299). You also get increased bandwidth with each additional package.
If security is important to you, Mega is a good value cloud storage service.
Best cloud storage service 2016: Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft’s OneDrive is our final cloud storage service from the big boys of tech. It offers all the storage, access and sharing features of Google’s Drive or Amazon’s Cloud Drive. Namely – wherever you are, whatever device you are on, you can access your files via the web.
For free Microsoft coughs up a paltry, Amazon-like, 5GB of storage. Shell out £1.99 a month and you can upgrade to 50GB. If you are an Office 365 subscriber you get 1TB of storage as a free add on.
Being an existing user of Microsoft’s cloud tools may be the main reason to opt for OneDrive, because despite its ease of use, feature set and clean design it doesn’t really compete in terms of storage and price.
Mozy offers a very limited free service with just 2GB of storage space. You can get more via referrals, as is standard. Starting at £4.99 per month you can increase storage in what is a pretty standard online storage package. You can save to and access files from Windows and OS X, as well as iOS and Android devices.
Mozy comes into its own when it comes to security. The versioning support is good, local encryption is an important feature. Basically if you value security under keeping down costs, Mozy may be a good choice.
pCloud describes itself as ‘your personal online storage space for your memorable photos and videos, your favorite music or important work documents’. It would.
In truth it is a fairly standard cloud storage service, offering access to files via smartphone or desktop app, or web browser. Out of the box the free version offers 10GB of storage, and you can upgrade to 20GB by various fairly painless means (recommend a friend, complete a tutorial etc).
500GB will set you back around $3.99 per month, while 1TB is available for around $7.99. This is good pricing. pCloud imposes no file size restrictions, so you can upload anything that your storage space allows. You can get additional security and encrypt your sensitive files with pCloud Crypto, too.
Our final two cloud storage services pride themselves on their security credentials. Spideroak encrypts files on your desktop before you upload them to the cloud, meaning like Mozy it can’t access your data even if it wanted to.
A central online hub takes care of sharing and accessing those encrypted files, and the experience is really rather slick.
Which is good, because you won’t choose Spideroak for reasons of value. The free trial lasts for only 60 days and gives you just 2GB of storage. Really it is a true trial. For $7 a month you can use 30GB of storage, which would be madness when for $12 you can get 1TB. $25 a month gets you 5TB of storage, and that should be enough for anyone.
Tresorit describes itself as a business tool offering end-to-end encryption, and makes great play of its ability to thwart hackers. It sells itself on being able to share files amongst colleagues, and share and send them to clients. Oh, and the fact that it hasn’t been hacked.
Enterprise users need to get a specific quote for their business, but small businesses will pay £15 a month – per user – for 1TB of encrypted storage space. If you are a small business user with a need for security Tresorit is well worth a look.
We explain how to delete junk files in iOS. How to clear data, and delete your iPhone’s cache. Here’s how to remove unwanted junk and speed up your iPhone. Five ways to clear space on your iPhone.
We show you two must-know iPhone hacks, that are good spring cleaning for any iPhone user. And then we recommend three apps that can help to give your iPhone a simple speed boost. (See also: How to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone.)
How to speed up iPhone: Delete unwanted caches and data
First we’ll clean out your iPhone’s caches. A cache is a small amount of memory stored in order to make surfing or using software easier. It is the cache on your browser that logs you into websites and autofills forms. It helps web pages to load quicker by saving certain elements of that page.
So deleting your iPhone’s Safari cache will mean you’re logged out of any websites into which you’ve signed. It will give your web browsing a spring in its step, however. Let’s clear out your iPhone’s Safari cache.
1. Go to Settings > Safari.
2. Tap Clear History and Website Data.
3. Select Clear History and Data.
That’s it! Now we will clear out cached data stored in your apps. The same deal applies: you’ll lose some convenience, but pick up a bit of perkiness.
1. Go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage
2. Select Manage Storage.
3. Now choose an item in Documents and Data.
4. Found something you want to delete? Slide to the left all of those unwanted items, and then hit Delete.
5. Tap Edit > Delete All to remove all an app’s data.
Apple fans will tell you that iOS is an perfectly efficient memory manager, and background apps take up no memory. But we find that restarting the phone closes down all running apps and gives a burst of responsiveness to an iPhone. So let’s restart your iPhone:
1. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button.
2. “Slide to power off” should now appear.
3. Slide the power off switch to turn off the iPhone.
4. Wait for 30 seconds or so to ensure the iPhone has fully closed down.
5. Now hit the Sleep/Wake button to turn on the iPhone.
How to speed up iPhone: Clear iOS files and memory with Battery Doctor
Now we enter the murky world of third-party apps that claim to give a speed boost to your iPhone. As with all such apps in the Windows and Android worlds, we can’t guarantee any of these things will work. But we have picked out apps that in our experience are useful.
In most cases they automate the things we talked about above. They do basically the same things in slightly different ways.
Battery Doctor’s principle reason for being is to provide information about your battery. It has a handy sideline in clearing out junk files though.
1. Install and open Battery Doctor on your iPhone. You can find it in the App Store.
2. Choose the Junk tab.
3. Select ‘Clean Up Cache’, and then tap ‘Clean’.
4. Battery Doctor will then scan your files. When it has done, tap Memory.
5. Now select Boost.
After it has finished Battery Doctor will show you how much memory has been released. You should now find your iPhone runs a little faster. Or at least it feels that way!
How to speed up iPhone: Remove iOS junk files with iMyFone Umate
Another piece of software to consider is iMyFone Umate. In this case it isn’t an app, so much as desktop software that has a sideline in iPhone work. iMyFone Umate for Windows and Mac can be used to remove temporary and junk files from your iPhone. It is paid-for software, but there is a free trial that will do this job.
2. Open iMyFone Umate. Click Scan on the Home tab.
3. Select clear Junk files and Temporary files.
How to speed up iPhone: Remove iOS junk files with PhoneClean
PhoneClean is another piece of software that can remove junk files from iOS. And like iMyFone Umate it is paid-for desktop software with a free trial. Here’s how you use PhoneClean to delete junk files:
1. Install PhoneClean, and attach the iPhone to your PC or Mac using your Lightning cable.
2. Open PhoneClean, click Scan.
3. Wait for the scan to complete, then click Clean.
CyberGhost is our favourite free VPN service, with servers in a variety of countries including the UK and the US, as well as many European territories. There is an excellent paid-for Premium version of CyberGhost offering users the choice of 24 countries, but the free tool is excellent, offering access to 14 countries. Unusually CyberGhost says that it doesn’t limit bandwidth for free users. That is a big win. As is the speed we have enjoyed when browsing through CyberGhost.
Indeed, there are only a couple of restrictions on the free version of CyberGhost, and neither is particularly onerous. You can’t use the free CyberGhost on iPad or iPhone, for instance. And with the free version you’ll be logged out after three hours of browsing. In our tests you could log in again immediately, however.
Our second favourite free VPN is… the Opera web browser. Yup, this free web browser includes a VPN client. It offers a free VPN with no limit on the amount of data you use per month.
At the time of writing you can pick server sites from only US, Canada or Germany. In our tests it works really well. Simply go to the O menu, then Settings, then Privacy & Security and toggle the free VPN on.
Total VPN is a brilliant paid-for VPN service, but the freebie – although good – can’t stack up to CyberGhost. The paid-for Total Premium costs £5.99 per month.
Total VPN Free VPN offers you only three locations, limited bandwidth, limited data transfer and one device connection. The Premium version offers more than 30 locations, unrestricted bandwidth and transfers, three device connections and more.
Tunnel Bear is another great paid-for VPN service with a so-so free offering. The service operates servers in US, UK, Canada, Germany, France and Japan. There is one in Australia too, but this is for paid customers only.
The free version has a data allocation of 500MB (although you can increase this to 1GB by asking Tunnel Bear via Twitter. Yeah, weird). When we used it web speed was pretty good. The paid-for version offers unlimited data and extends the service to smartphones and tablets.
The free version of PrivateTunnel is limited to just 100 MB of data when you first try it. Consider it a trial rather than a viable service. Still, it is worth trying because after the free trial as you use more data you simply pay for the amount of data you use. There is no limit on the number of devices you can use, and no time limit within which to use the data. There are prices for 50GB, 100GB and 500GB.
You can choose between servers in the UK or US, Canada, the Netherlands or Switzerland. Download speeds were steady without being the fastest.
There really is no reason not to try CyberGhost. It’s a great VPN tool with a free version that has very little in the way of restrictions. Indeed, the only reason not to plump straight for CyberGhost is that the Opera VPN tool may satisfy your needs. And the restriction there is just that you have to use a very good web browser – but not the web browser of your choosing. The other tools are great if you are paying, but the free versions are cut down too much to be truly competitive free tools.