Protect your email from viruses with Virus Eraser (Mac & Windows)

Viruses can take down both Macs and PCs.  They can be downloaded from the web and sent by email.  Sometimes this is by nefarious people, but sometimes it’s unintentionally by friends and work colleagues.

Virus Eraser is a new antivirus product that works on all versions of Windows and on Macs too.  On top of the real-time protection and massive database of viruses, it also stops you being that person distributing the viruses unintentionally (and, of course, scans your incoming mail to protect you too).

Virus Eraser is said to scan your mail and attachments, and work with all mail clients on a Mac.

We’ve not had a chance to put the software through its paces yet, but the company is an Intel Software Product Partner, which gives them some good credibility.

Check them out here Virus Eraser

Bitdefender: antivirus software that isn’t a resource hog

If ever there was software that became overly bloated it’s antivirus software offerings. Some would say that they make your PC secure because it becomes so unusable you’d never be able to download a virus! But Bitdefender is different.

OK, so apart from Windows Defender, most antivirus software offerings do the basics quite well – they contain comprehensive virus definition databases that get updated quickly. The reason we like Bitdefender is that it doesn’t slow your machine down much or annoy you with silly popups.

Once downloaded Bitdefender will sit quietly in the background, all you have is an icon in your system tray. There’s not a glaring pop up trying to sell you an upgrade or scaring you with stories of fear; just an icon. It will monitor your activity in the background and keep a check on things for you.

If you wish to do an intensive, full system scan then you can. Even when this is running, Bitdefender just shows a small activity picture in the lower right hand corner of your screen.

It works too, from running the full scan on our test PC Bitdefender picked up two Trojans that Windows Defender had missed, which Bitdefender successfully quarantined.

You can pick up free or paid for versions (see here) and you can get Bitdefender to run for free on your Android phone too (see here).

Why you need a coffee subscription, now

I’m not a morning person.  I need my morning coffee and a bit of time before I’m ready to face people. When my machine runs out and I’ve no more coffee, I know it’s not going to be a good day.

Luckily this doesn’t happen anymore, as I now have a coffee subscription.  It works as you’d expect, you pay a monthly fee and get regular deliveries of coffee to your door.  Problem solved.

Now, you may be asking – why don’t I just get this with my regular groceries?  Well, you can.  If you are the type of organized person who will always keep the coffee stocked then you are a better person than I.  More importantly though, you may not be getting the best coffee or the best deal from your normal grocery store.

Good coffee beans are essential to a good brew… and they have to be to your taste too.  Not everyone is the same.  A dedicated coffee supplier will have many different coffees for you to try.

We think you should check out the McClure Family’s coffee.org.  Don’t let their moderately dated website put you off, these guys know coffee (and surely a dated website is now retro cool.. right?).  They supply loads of stuff on top of coffee including teas, cake and equipment.  But it is the coffee subscriptions that are of interest here.

As they are a distributor (rather than the roaster themselves) you get a broad range of coffees.  And these guys have high standards, they are a family business that vet all their suppliers before hand and also provide their own line of Miss Ellie’s Southern and Central American coffee.  Plus, you get a 5% discount when you buy a subscription, which is always nice.

Sure, there are other coffee subscriptions out there other than coffee.org, but these guys are worth checking out.

How to expand your iPhone storage

We’ve all run out of storage on our phones before.  Here we give you 4 tips for expanding your iPhone storage easily! If you don’t want to read the full article we recommend using Amazon Prime Photos, free with your prime subscription.

USB Stick for your iPhone
Everyone is familiar with a USB stick and so these devices sell well. They behave in exactly the same way as a normal USB stick (you put it into the USB slot of your computer and load up your files), however they also have an iPhone connector so you can slot it into your iPhone too. You usually download an additional app from the AppStore to access the stick on your iPhone. There are lots out there, but it is good to have Apple certification. For this reason we recommend the iDiskk (click here to see it) which, with certification, gives you 64GB of storage.

Network Attached Storage over wifi
If you are just concerned with accessing files whilst you are at home, then a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is for you. These have the benefit of massive storage (think terabytes) but they are generally not portable. They usually hook into your home wifi; once this is done you can access them via your home computer or an app on your mobile device. We find these quite clunky solutions, only really needed if you need huge storage space. If you were to go for one we’d recommend the 5TB Seagate Personal Cloud which is good value for money.

Storage case
If you’re happy with making your phone a little larger then there are some great phone cases which add storage capacity to your phone. They essentially have a memory card inside the case, which plugs into you phone as you slip the case onto it. This is particularly good as you’ll always have you additional storage with you when you are out and about. We like this case from KUNER (click here to see it) as it gives you three things in one:

  1. Phone protection – this is a case after all so it will still protect your phone
  2. Storage – it gives you 16GB of extra storage which is the boost you probably need
  3. Battery – it even has a built in battery pack which will juice up your phone on the go

The KUNER case comes in three colors (black, white and pink).

Cloud Storage
This option is great if you don’t want any extra physical hardware to carry out. A cloud storage solution can automatically back up your data and keep your files accessible so long as you have a web connection. Rather than storing your files on the phone, they are stored on the cloud service provider’s servers (with all their advanced & secure backup systems). There are many cloud storage providers out there, but we’re recommending Amazon’s Prime Photos storage system. This is because it works across multiple platforms (unlike iCloud which is tied to your iPhone) and you get completely unlimited photo storage with your Amazon Prime subscription. Amazon Prime costs a few dollars per month but is worth is as you get free same day delivery (which earns your money back immediately), a subscription to amazon’s video service, early access to deals and loads more. Sign up for prime here (free for 30 days anyway) and then after that, sync up your Amazon Prime Photos with your iPhone.

The Verdict

We’re not fans of unnecessary additional hardware, so we’re going with the cloud storage option.  Amazon Prime Photos is particularly good because you get unlimited photo storage with your prime subscription (which you really should have if you buy stuff online – get it here if you don’t) and you can use it across multiple platforms.

If you don’t want to go down the cloud route then we suggest you buy the Kuner case with its built in protection, storage and battery.

iPhone games to quash the boredom

If you are bored and need to kill some time with a brilliant iPhone game that costs less (much less) that the price of a beer, read on.

We’re looking at 3 killer games today ranging from just $0.99 through to $6.99.

Endless Ducker

Endless Ducker iPhone

It’s a simple, yet addictive premise.  Cody is a tall dude, he runs around.  You’ve got to get him to duck underthings (or jump over).  Our lanky friend Cody runs continually from left to right, tap the screen on the left to make him duck under things, tap the screen on the right to jump over.  This is one of those games that you’ll lose yourself in.  Get it on the AppStore here for $0.99.

Minecraft: Pocket Edition

Minecraft Pocket Edition

Minecraft has a massive cult following and the pocket edition has seen big updates recently that pretty much bring desktop Minecraft to your iPhone or iPad.  Whilst you’re paying a few more dollars for this game it’s a very different kettle of fish.  Minecraft: Pocket Edition is a first person game in which you dig holes to collect blocks.  Sounds simple, however what you do with these blocks is the critical bit – and where your imagination can run wild.  You can build anything from a tiny shack to a full on metropolis.  Get it on the AppStore here for $6.99.

Reigns

Reign iPhone

Sit on the throne as a benevolent (or malevolent) medieval monarch of the modern age and swipe your royal fingers either left or right to impose your will upon the kingdom. Survive the seemingly never-ending gauntlet of requests from your advisors, peasants, allies, and enemies while maintaining balance between the influential factions of your kingdom. But beware; each decision you make might have implications and unfortunate consequences down the road that could put your reign and family’s dynasty at risk!  Get it on the AppStore here for $2.99.

Our Verdict

If we had to chose (like you have to!), we’d go with Minecraft (direct link here).  This is a serious game that you can really invest in for the long haul.  Sure, it’s a few bucks extra but you really get what you pay for.. and really, who can resist that retro look?  We can’t!

Waterproof your iPhone 6 with Tech21 #lifehappens

2016 is the year of the waterproof phone with Samsung as a major leader. However, the majority are Android phones and there’s been no such luck for iPhone users. Drop you iPhone water or dirt the likelihood is that it’ll be broken.

Hopefully you have phone insurance, or even better the new Tech21 Evo Xplorer case. Now, this case is mega – you can submerge your iPhone in 9.9 ft (3m) of water for up to 1 hour, you can throw it in dirt and dust, and after that you can drop it from a 6.6 ft (2m) height and the Tech21 will keep your phone safe and happy.

The Tech21 team engineered the device to ensure that the device works with your life, so whilst it gives your phone the protection it needs you can still enjoy all of your phone’s features. You get access to all the ports and can listen to high quality audio with the case on.

This is great new for those who work in a challenging environment, those who take their phone to the beach or lake and maybe those that just have a tendency to drop their phone in the bath.

You can get the Tech21 case direct from Tech21 (see here) or via Amazon (see here).

Facetune: Here’s an app that makes you look (even more) awesome

So we’ve all got those little skin blemishes… perhaps our teeth aren’t quite perfect.  These are great and they makes us who we are, but maybe we don’t want our online picture to have those in?

Facetune let’s you tweak your photos as professional photographers do (and who charge hundreds of dollars to do so).  All the airbrushing techniques you’ve read about that celebrities use can now be applied to your selfies… by you!

There’s loads the app can do to tweak your picture including editing your smile, your skin, your eyes, your hair and even your facial structure!  You can then apply some make up and and a professional feel to the picture by, for example, blurring the background.

All of this, not for hundreds of dollars… just $3.99! Get it here on the AppStore.

FreedomPop: UK mobile data just became free

FreedomPop has been active in the USA for some time now, but it is only recently that they’ve come to the UK.

If you’re lazy and can’t be bothered to read the full article..just click here to get free data with FreedomPop in the UK.

Why should you care? Free data – that’s why. There have always been deals from the mobile networks and MVNOs that give cheap data, but nobody has given it away completely free before.

FreedomPop uses Three’s network, so they don’t own the infrastructure themselves, but that makes no difference to you the consumer and Three he a very robust data network.

They don’t just do mobile data, they offer free texts and calls too – however this is offered via their app (click here for their iOS app) as a voice over IP solution so you don’t get the QoS you would with a network based voice call. However, we’ve only used FreedomPop for data so we can’t comment on much else.

So, the free allowance gives you 200mb if data per month (although they have an offer on at the moment upping this to 1GB – see here). Whilst this isn’t a lot (and certainly wouldn’t suffice for heavy usage…but you can upgrade at competitive rates), we find it plenty for staying online between the office and home, etc. It’s worth noting that FreedomPop isn’t our main mobile connection, but the nano SIM has been used in an iPad mini and a 3G dongle with great success.

You do need to pay for the SIM card and to activate it – a total of £0.99. We assume this is to avoid people ordering hundreds of the cards. This is a one off payment though, and seems manageable to us.

You can get a micro or nano SIM card. The nano SIM slotted straight into our iPad mini. For the 3G dongle we needed an adapter such as this to change the nano sim to a full size SIM:

Mudder 5-in-1 Nano Micro Standard SIM Card Adapter Converter Kit

The 3G dongle we’re using is a great bit of kit, it lasts for a whole day of usage and is small enough to stick in your pocket. It is not 4G but can still push up to 21Mbps over a decent 3G connection:

TP-LINK M5350 3G Mi-Fi Hotspot

In summary, this is actually the real deal. You often hear about free data deals which, when you look into them, have unreasonable caveats such as long term contracts. Whilst there is an initial payment of a few quid, this seems like a great deal for lightweight data usage.

Find out more at FreedomPop UK here.