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The digital world is essentially a slippery slope in 2023. One wrong step online, and before you know it, your data and your identity might be at risk. However, many rely on Virtual Private Networks (or VPNs) to mask their identity online. But in a market full of attractive VPN service offerings, it’s difficult to get behind a VPN company that does what it says without making false promises. One such contender in this market is Surfshark, a VPN service provider promising total security while being light on the wallet. Does it live up to these claims? Well, I put that to the test and bought a membership recently. I’ve been using Surkshark VPN for a few days now, and here’s what I think about the service. I will be talking about the VPN’s best features, speed and performance, the ability to unlock certain streaming services, privacy policy, and pricing in detail.

Surfshark VPN Review (2023)

While my review will cover Surfshark’s offerings in detail, you can always look at it all from a glance using the section below. However, I strongly suggest reading the entire review to find out if this VPN service is a good fit for your needs or not.

Surfshark VPN: Cut to the Chase

Poised to protect an online user’s privacy and security, Surfshark is a VPN service that creates a secure connection and anonymizes all the browsing activity of the user. Using the fastest and secure WireGuard Protocol, Surfshark gives no substantial drop in the VPN speed while maintaining privacy with a prejudice online.

With a slew of added features, including Multi-Hop, Split Tunneling, Kill-Switch, no device limit, and a friendly privacy policy, Surfshark is an impressive VPN service. Top that off with prices that start at as low as $2.5 per month, recommending Surfshark is an easy call to make.

Surfshark VPN: Pros and Cons

PROSCONSConsistent speed and performanceBrowser extension could use more settingsFast WireGuard Protocol with capable alternativesOccasional server-loadFriendly privacy policyCleanWeb feature doesn’t work well on all browsersRock-bottom pricesSome users might not like the VPN’s shift to the NetherlandsEasy to use platform appsKnowledgable and responsive customer support

Surfshark VPN: Plans and Pricing

When it comes to VPNs, it’s always better to go in for the long haul compared to paying out monthly. Since Surfshark isn’t the only kid on the block, I decided to check out the prices of its competitors as well. However, I was pleased to find out that Surfshark has one of the most affordably priced VPN services on the market. Moreover, Surfshark unlocks all the premium features once you get a subscription instead of holding back some of them (via a different ultra-premium plan) to extort more money from you.

Compared to players such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost, Surfshark offers the most value for money in its 2-year plan. Moreover, the company itself regularly holds sales that offer discounts going as high as 81%. And if you’re someone anxious about dumping a chunk of money on a VPN at once, Surfshark also has a 30-day money-back guarantee. With that said, here’s how much you will have to pay to get a Surfshark VPN subscription:

Subscription Plan TenurePrice1-month plan$12.951-year plan$47.88 or $3.99/month2-year plan$59.76 or $2.49/monthWith a healthy variety of affordable plans, Surfshark can be for everyone

Surfshark VPN User Experience

As a typical online user who is always short on time, I look for apps that are easy to use and still do the job effectively. Surfshark nails that right from the very beginning. A simple download and sign-in got me up and running within just 2 minutes. The VPN comes with a unified scheme of apps available on PC, macOS, iOS, Android, and even as extensions for your favorite browsers.

Mac and Windows Desktop App

Surfshark incorporates a simple two-column design on its apps and extensions. Connecting to a server itself is as simple as tapping on a country’s name. That’s it. Within a few seconds, your connection will be established, and you will be located in New York. While I would have appreciated a map selection to sort through countries, the list itself is to the point, and you have flags to represent the countries.

Android and iOS Mobile App

The Surfshark VPN mobile apps on Android and iOS share the same simplicity that is demonstrated by a clean and sleek design that just works. A quick tap on a server got me to the country, and I could see the finer details at a glance, including my new IP address, encryption status, and more.

Like the PC apps, the Settings tab holds a lot of options, but if you’re someone not wanting to touch anything, you can simply connect and forget about everything else. Throughout my time using these apps, I didn’t encounter any major bugs or issues that caused me grief. While my iOS app did have trouble connecting to a Boston server twice, that little annoyance didn’t happen after that.

If you’re a daily joe who wants to connect to a VPN server without jumping through hoops, you will love Surfshark’s no-nonsense approach. It makes a potentially frustrating process really simple.

Supported Countries and Server Locations

When it comes to location, Surfshark has made sure to spread out its servers across the world. Whether you are in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific or the Middle East, and Africa, there are a plethora of servers distributed. While you might encounter a loaded server once a week, the healthy variety of servers means you can easily switch to a different one and still have a fast and secure experience.

Speed and Performance

No matter how well a company packages a product, it is no good if it cannot perform. To see if the Surfshark VPN can actually give me a decent connection speed, I decided to connect to 5 different servers around the globe (London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong). Using a connection that offers me native download and upload speeds of 387 Mbps and 304 Mbps, respectively, it was now time to put the shark to the test.

The VPN service handled them all on the chin as my connection maintained extremely fast connectivity. The download speed never went below 320 Mbps, and I actually gained 10Mbps on upload speed in Singapore. The connection itself happened within seconds and was stable. I also checked the connection for packet loss by running the VPN through multiple games like Apex Legends, Fortnite, and even GeForce NOW. I encountered no packet loss, which was something I was afraid might happen.

Consistent Performance Across Protocols

One of the reasons for the high speed and stable connection is Surfshark using the new, fast, and secure WireGuard Protocol. This allowed me to connect to any server of my choosing and still retain the Internet performance I have come to know and love.

With fast speeds around the globe and over 3200 server locations, Surfshark is a VPN made for speed. While using the different protocols might affect your experience, I loved the general consistency and stability that Surfshark offers when it comes to connecting and expecting good bandwidth from a VPN service.

Is Surfshark Good for General Browsing?

When it comes to general browsing, Surfshark is as plug-and-play as you would expect. By simply choosing the country of your liking, you can open a web browser and get on the Internet. As you would expect, websites recognize you from the virtual country you’re now in and show settings based on that. Furthermore, if you’re a user living in a place that blocks VPN ports, you need not worry as Surfshark’s Camouflage aka Obfuscation mode can grant you access while using the OpenVPN protocols.

However, Surfshark performs exceedingly well when it comes to using the Internet casually and accessing websites and apps that have been geo-locked.

How Good Is Surfshark for Streaming?

Surfshark has a reputation for unblocking over 30 Netflix libraries around the world and a plethora of other streaming sites. As a Netflix user, I decided to put that to the test and connected to a few different VPN servers, including Japan, Canada, Australia, France, the US, and the UK. Surfshark performed exceptionally well when it came to streaming Netflix movies and TV series from around the globe. There was a glitch on the PC version that didn’t allow me to connect initially, but I fixed that by restarting the app.

I experienced no drop in quality or performance, and Netflix did not detect the presence of a VPN during the streaming. With geo-locked shows now at my disposal, I had fun watching Japan-exclusive Netflix shows and anime while sitting in India.

However, I didn’t stop there. I tested Surfshark out on other services including Disney+, AppleTV, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, and even YouTube TV. My overall experience was amazing, and like before, I had no drop in performance or having to sit for the video to buffer. I managed to do that for all three of my devices simultaneously, considering Surfshark has no device limit.

How Secure Is Surfshark VPN?

Surfshark by itself is designed in a way where you don’t have to worry about security. No matter which server you’re connected to, nobody can see what you’re up to online. It is powered by Surfshark’s audited no-logs policy. This means that VPN itself keeps no records about your activity online, including what you do, download, and even your IP address. Surfshark has been audited twice by Cure53 testers to see if these claims stand true, and they still do.

The company used to operate under the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, but has since shifted its HQ to the Netherlands. While the Netherlands is under the Nine-Eyes Alliance, the VPN company maintains it’s under no obligation to log any of our data which means the no-logs policy stands. Users get the added benefit of RAM Only servers, which means no data can be physically taken and is wiped right after use. Besides the excellent no-logs policy, some of the Safety Surfshark features that impressed me were:

Encryption and Tunneling Protocols

Encryption is the process of ciphering data, so it’s unreadable to third parties. Like other VPN services, Surfshark also has data encryption support. However, what’s refreshing is that instead of the standard AES-256 encryption, the Surfshark VPN offers AES-256-GCM, which is an updated and more secure version of encryption. So if you’re worried about what little data you share not being secure, don’t be.

Even though I did mention the various protocols Surfshark offers, it’s easy to recount them because of their sheer performance. The most modern and fastest remains WireGuard which Surfshark uses in most cases. However, the company claims that your mileage may vary, so experiment with other protocols to find the best fit if you do end up getting a VPN subscription.

Multi-Hop Makes Things More Secure

A thing I was concerned about was the VPN leaking DNS queries, so I resorted to checking it out myself. Using a DNS Leak Test, I found that Surfshark VPN was extremely airtight and did not leak any of my information.


Like other VPNs, Surfshark too has a kill-switch feature that will completely disable your Internet unless you’re connected to a VPN. This is especially helpful when it comes to protecting your real digital identity from being leaked.

There was a time when this feature used to cut off the Internet even if one deliberately turned the VPN off. Surfshark has since fine-tuned Kill-Switch to only turn it on when the connection drops. The kill-switch is a must-have if you dabble in sensitive work online.

Clear Privacy Policy for Once

To sum it up, Surfshark promises that it does not collect important data like IP Addresses, your browsing history, traffic, or your overall network usage. This means you are free to use this VPN without being worried about timestamps or data leaks. However, the company does collect some information, including anonymized analytical data and some account information.

This is necessary to get the service working but never more than that. You even contact Surfshark and have them modify or further restrict what little data they have. There are also no third-party cookies that the company uses, which is good to hear. So yeah, as far as services go, Surshark is pretty transparent about it, and it shows on their website and offerings.

User Reviews and Customer Support

If you feel I’m being too positive about Surfshark, you’re not alone. Do some digging online, and you will see this VPN regularly receives praise from users and reviewers alike. That’s hardly a surprise given this VPNs performance. But does Surfshark help you out if you run into a problem?

Surfshark has wonderful customer support, which includes a full-scale knowledge base, 24/7 live chat, and E-Mail support should you need it. My experience of browsing through the knowledge base was swift as the info dump had answers to all sorts of questions.

Want Even More? Get Surfshark One

While the Surfshark VPN itself is a pretty good deal, there is even more in store if you’re willing to pay just a little extra. Introduced a little while ago, Surfshark One is an added list of services that can help you better protect your data and stay safe online. Surfshark One contains three added offerings – Surfshark Alert, Surfshark Search, and the new Surfshark Antivirus.

Surfshark Alert lets you protect your most important credentials, including your personal identity numbers, ID, passwords, and even credit card. In the event of a breach that involves your data, it will inform you of the same immediately, and you can take the necessary action.

Surfshark Search is essentially a search engine free of trackers that only displays organic results. This search engine is on its way to becoming one of the best Google alternatives. And finally, Surfshark Antivirus protects you from viruses and malware system-wide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Q. What Is a VPN and What Can I Do with It?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software that creates a secure connection between your computer and the Internet. A VPN does that by encrypting and running your data through a virtual tunnel on servers based in remote locations. This encryption allows you to hide your identities, including your IP Address, browsing activity, and other connection details.

You can do all sorts of things with a VPN. However, most casual VPN users get it to unblock geo-locked content such as Netflix and Apple TV libraries from other countries. They also use it to visit websites their ISPs have blocked and engage in P2P file-sharing (Torrenting). A VPN keeps your data hidden while you go about your business.

Q. Why Can’t I Just Get a Free VPN?

You can, but you shouldn’t. Most free VPNs that offer their service do so with low data quotas. Once you exceed that, your connection is terminated, and you cannot use it until it’s reset. However, what’s concerning is that many free VPN services have shady terms of service that might dabble in sharing your data with third parties. It exposes you to all sorts of malicious things. Always try to opt for a paid VPN service.

Q. Should I Read the Privacy Policy Myself?

Absolutely. While Surfshark has a really user-friendly policy written in plain English, your luck might be different with other companies. Nevertheless, whenever you decide to go for a VPN service, take some time to read their policy and usage contracts. This will not only give you a better idea of what to expect, but you can see for yourself if the company does in the fine print what it claims on the website banner.

Q. Are VPNs Even Legal? Q. Can I Use a VPN on My Phone?

Should I Get Surfshark VPN?

I had always heard of Surfshark VPN but didn’t try it out until now. Now that I have, I can safely say that I am pleased by the experience Surfshark VPN has to offer. With extreme safety features like multi-hop, split tunneling, RAM Only servers, and a privacy policy I could actually understand, I felt safe using this service.

Get Surfshark VPN (starts at $2.5/ month for a 2-year plan, 82% off)

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Review: Lxory’s Dual Wireless Charger Is An Affordable And Versatile Option With Usb

We covered the release of the LXORY Dual Wireless Charging Pad back in January. The new charger offers three input options — including USB-C and Lightning — and an affordable price tag. Now, we’ve had a chance to use the new wireless charger for several weeks, read on for our full review.

LXORY’s new offering seems to be the first wireless charger to offer three input options for powering the device. These include USB-C, Lightning, and microUSB.

Other pros to this wireless charger include an affordable price tag of $34 (includes power adapter and cable), black and white variants, and the option to charge three devices at once.


Charges two iPhones wirelessly at 7.5W max for iPhones (9W for other devices)

Three power input options: USB-C up to 18W, micro-USB at 10W, or Lightning at 5W

Additional USB-A output at 5W

Includes 18W power adapter and USB-C to USB-A cable

Built-in heat sensor to protect from overheating

Qi compatible

Materials & build quality

LXORY’s Dual Wireless Charger is made out of plastic. While I wouldn’t describe its build quality as robust or overly solid, but it feels fine enough for such an affordable product.

I tested out the black version which features a matte black base with a glossy black top. The bottom also features four anti-slip rubber feet.

The charger features two LED status indicators, a red one for when the unit is receiving power and a blue light for when your iPhones are charging.

As for why there isn’t an MFi certification for the Lightning port, LXORY told us that it doesn’t apply to this scenario since the connection just delivers power to the charger, and doesn’t connect directly to an iPhone.

LXORY offers a generous guarantee that simply states “If we can’t fix it, you’ll get your money back” without mentioning any timeframe.

In use

The first thing I noticed about this product is how convenient it is to have a dual wireless charger. My wife and I often end up needing to charge our iPhones at the same time and we’ve found it really useful to have this charger in our kitchen.

As for flexibility, I really like that the Dual Wireless Charger offers multiple input options. It comes with the USB-C cable and 18W power adapter, but having Lightning functionality is handy as well.

In my testing with the 18W power adapter, I gained 25% battery charge in 55 minutes and it took 1 hour 51 minutes to increase 50%. While it’s no surprise that wireless charging is slower than fast charging via a USB-C to Lightning option or even 12W adapter with a standard Lightning cable, I think the convenience of wireless charging has many handy use cases.

With the glossy finish on the top I’ve found that a naked iPhone, (particularly X or 8) will sometimes slide/vibrate off the charger. This isn’t specifically a problem with LXORY’s charger, as it happens will all wireless chargers, but it’s something to keep in mind.  Keeping a case on my iPhone while charging solved this issue (I’ve also used the charger up against a wall to keep a naked iPhone in place).

Another thing I noticed that had me a bit disappointed was that this charger doesn’t seem to work with a USB-C to USB-C cable connected to a MacBook Pro. However, it may be a limitation on the Mac side, as this did work when I used a USB-C to USB-C cable to power the charger with my HyperDrive USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 Hub attached to my 15-inch MacBook Pro.

One last quibble is the LED indicators. They are quite bright and can be disturbing if using the charger in your bedroom. Luckily, it’s easy to position an iPhone on an angle to cover the lights, but continue charging.


Overall, I think the LXORY Dual Wireless Charger is worth picking up if you’re considering picking up a wireless charging solution. With flexible input options, an included power adapter (some major brands omit these) black and white and a great price, there’s a lot to love.

Pick up the LXORY Dual Wireless Charger for $34 on Amazon Pick up the LXORY Dual Wireless Charger direct from LXORY

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What Is Double Vpn & How It Works? (Quickly Explained)

You probably don’t realize how visible and vulnerable you are on the web. We’ve written a series of articles to explain your first line of defense in Internet security: a VPN. We discuss what they are, why they’re effective, how they work, and the best VPN choices.

But what is a double VPN? Does it make you twice as safe? How does it work? Read on to find out.

How a VPN Works

When your device connects to a website, it sends packets of data containing your IP address and system information. Your IP address lets everyone know where on earth you’re located. Most websites keep a permanent log of that information.

It’s like you’re swimming with sharks. What do you do? A VPN is where you should start. VPNs use two techniques to protect you:

All of your traffic is encrypted from the time it leaves your computer. While your ISP and others can see you’re using a VPN, they can’t see the information you send or the websites you visit.

All of your traffic goes through a VPN server. The websites you visit see the IP address and location of the server, not your own.

How Double VPN Works

Double VPN adds a second layer of security for ultimate peace of mind. Not everyone needs this level of security and anonymity—a normal VPN connection offers enough privacy for daily internet use.

It chains two VPN connections together. Ideally, the two servers will be in different countries. Your data is encrypted twice: once on your computer and again on the second server.

What difference does this make to your privacy and security?

The second VPN server will never know your actual IP address. It only sees the IP address of the first server. Any websites you visit will only see the IP address and location of the second server. As a result, you’re far more anonymous.

Trackers will know that you’re connected to a VPN server and what country it’s in. BUT they’ll have no idea there’s a second server. As with a normal VPN connection, they won’t know which websites you access.

You’ll be able to access online content as if you’re located in that second country.

Double encryption is overkill. Even conventional VPN encryption takes billions of years to hack using brute force.

In short, double VPN makes it much harder to track what you’re up to. Users behind China’s firewall could connect to the United States via a country in Africa. Anyone watching their traffic in China would only see they’re connected to a server in Africa.

Why Not Use Double VPN All the Time?

That extra security sounds appealing. Why don’t we just use double VPN every time we go online? It all comes down to speed. Your traffic is encrypted twice instead of once, and it passes through two servers rather than one. The result? Network congestion.

How much slower is it? That’s likely to vary depending on the location of the servers. When I reviewed NordVPN, one of the few VPN services to offer double VPN, I ran some speed tests to find out.

I first tested my internet speed without using a VPN. It was 87.30 Mbps. I tested it again when connected to several of Nord’s servers using “single” VPN. The fastest speed I achieved was 70.22 Mbps, the slowest 3.91, and the average 22.75.

I then connected using double VPN and ran a final speed test. This time it was just 3.71 Mbps.

The extra overhead of double VPN drastically reduces your connection speed, but it also makes it extremely difficult for anyone to track or identify you.

So What Should You Do?

In most cases, a normal VPN is all you need to protect online privacy and security. Your traffic is encrypted and passes through a VPN server. That means no one can see the information you send, the websites you visit, your real identity, or your location.

That is, no one except the VPN service you use—so choose one that you trust. That’s an important decision, so we’ve written several articles to help you choose wisely:

But there are times you might choose increased security and anonymity over connection speed. Those who live in countries that censor the internet may want to avoid government surveillance.

Political activists would prefer that their online activities not be tracked by authorities. Journalists need to protect their sources. Perhaps you just feel strongly about security.

How do you get double VPN? You sign up for a VPN service that offers it. Two great options are NordVPN and Surfshark.

How Big Data Is Shaping Healthcare To Make It Further Affordable, Accurate & Intelligent

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon

Image By fabio on Unsplash

Big data is a sub-domain of Data Science that commits to applying specific tools and methods to learn and extract detailed insights into massive volumes of data.

Big data does a similar thing. Besides having data from a handful of colleagues, the file comprises thousands also millions of reviews from people.

Health Is Especially Well Fitted To Profit From Big Data

For many years, hospitals, researchers, and state agencies have diligently assembled an enormous kind of health data, from the completion rates of drug cases to the value of an ordinary medical plan to patients’ demographic data to the expected waiting period in emergency rooms.

Recently a report was published by the research and consulting firm McKinsey & Company. They discovered that there are four “provisions” in which the data is present in the health care domain:

Pharmaceutical analysis data-(e.g. clinical trial outcomes)

Clinical data-(e.g. patient reports)

Action and cost data-(e.g. expected procedure expenses)

Subject behavior data-(e.g. health investments history)

Big data appears in collecting all this data collectively in one place, sometimes from multiple heterogeneous data storehouses, and applying it to obtain insights into whereby our health care system can be more beneficial.

To distinguish which drugs are least probable to produce side effects?

Which private doctors have the most beneficial results?

Which methods are best and cost-effective?

Big data could clarify these issues and more numerous.

Three Active Units Where Big Data Is Remodelling Health Care

Image By Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

1.Healthcare Providers Frequently Utilize Extensive Data To Recognize Patients At Significant Risk For Particular Healing Conditions Before Significant Difficulties Happen.

A diverse provider has been practicing patient record data to produce predictive models throughout intervention successes. The report provided by the data has enormously cut down on hospital readmissions by 49%.

Google is also taking part in recognizing health hazards. Applying data from user exploration histories, the tech giant company can follow the extent of the flu worldwide incoming real-time.

It is where the authority of big data matches the strength of data. By operating on prominent data specialists like Siemens Healthcare, providers can apply results that automate healthcare data acquisition.

Experts use big data to aggregate and normalize the data beyond an industry, thereby adopting predictive analytics techniques to recognize populations at risk better while controlling execution at all levels of an association at the boom.

2.Big Data Is Related To Enhance The Quality Of Care Experienced By Patients.

One way this is happening is by practicing data to produce a “clinical decision support software,” which is a mechanism health care providers can practice estimating their suggested practices — for instance, recognizing medical failures before they occur.

In a different case, a health care company in Delhi (the capital city of India) applied clinical data on the efforts of staff doctors to discover that one physician was working on a particular antibiotic considerably more frequently than the rest of the crew. They were possibly raising the venture of drug-resistant bacteria.

3.Big Data Is Helping Overcome The Mounting Expenses Of Health Care.

Health care is one of the most influential areas in Indian economics and uses a meaningful measure of the country’s total domestic goods. At the equivalent time, there is sufficient confirmation that each dollar’s outstanding balance contributed to health care is misused, whether by bloated expenses or redundant reports and treatments.

Big data has a significant part in bringing these charges down. In one example, big data experts applied clinical data to determine which doctors charge the most cash in methods and other procedures.

By examining their activities, the health care provider could recognize and lessen duplicate tests and additional procedures. The movement not only dropped expenses but also enhanced patient results.

The National Health Service of India utilizes data on the hospitals and cost-effectiveness of different drugs to better negotiate drug rates with pharmaceutical manufacturing.

In Bangalore, one healthcare system handles data of 40,000 patients and 6,000 workers to recognize people expected to demand costly health care co-operations in the future. They manage the data and identify who to target with preventative care before the expensive health issue appears.


McKinsey & Company predicts that the application of big data in health care could generate profits of up to approximately a trillion dollars in 2023.

The private domain is not the exclusive field taking note of the influence of big data in the fate of health. In Jan 2023, the National Institutes of Health declared $50 million in yearly funding to produce some of the “Data Centers of Excellence for Big Data In Health Care.”

The hubs will improve the health care study and clinic community thoroughly learn how it can apply big data to develop its health care system.


Health care is all-around people, whether performance statistics or generative data but not figures. Big data’s increasing role in health care does not substitute that. By exerting the power of the wealth of health data possible through operating with notable data experts, providers can classify regions where growth is likely and work to accomplish more beneficial results, increased productivity, and a further sustainable healthcare environment.

About Author

Mrinal Walia is a professional Python Developer with a computer science background specializing in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Vision. In addition to this, Mrinal is an interactive blogger, author, and geek with over four years of experience in his work. With a background working through most areas of computer science, Mrinal currently works as a Testing and Automation Engineer at Versa Networks, India. My aim to reach my creative goals one step at a time, and I believe in doing everything with a smile.

The media shown in this article are not owned by Analytics Vidhya and are used at the Author’s discretion


Parallels Desktop Review: Is It Still Worth It In 2023?

Parallels Desktop

Adrian Try

Effectiveness: Responsive integrated Windows experience

Price: One-time payment starting at $79.99

Ease of Use: Runs like a Mac app (absolutely intuitive)

Support: Multiple ways to contact support

It’s an app that allows you to run Windows apps on your Mac. It does this by allowing you to install Windows on a virtual machine — a computer emulated in software. Your virtual computer is assigned a portion of the RAM, processor and disk space of your real computer, so it will be slower and have fewer resources.

Other operating systems will also run on Parallels Desktop, including Linux, Android, and macOS — even older versions of macOS and OS X (El Capitan or earlier).

Yes, it is. I ran and installed the app on my iMac and scanned it for viruses. Parallels Desktop doesn’t contain any viruses or malicious processes.

Be aware that when you install Windows in Parallels, you become vulnerable to Windows viruses (on the virtual machine and the files it can access), so make sure you protect yourself. A trial version of Kaspersky Internet Security is included, or install your security software of choice.

During my use of the app, my mouse froze once when switching between Windows and Mac. This required a reboot to fix. Your mileage may vary.

No, it isn’t freeware though a full-featured 14-day trial is available. There are three versions of the app to consider. You’ll also have to pay for Microsoft Windows and your Windows applications if you don’t already own them.

Parallels Desktop for Mac ($79.99 for students): Designed for home or student use.

Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition ($99.99/year): Designed for developers and power users who need the best performance.

Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition ($99.99/year): Designed for IT departments, it includes centralized administration and volume licensing.

Parallels has added a number of new features to version 17. According to the release notes from Parallels, those include optimized performance for macOS Monterey, Intel, and Apple M1 chip, better graphics, and faster Windows resume time.

Here is an overview of the full process of getting the app up and running:

Download and install Parallels Desktop for Mac.

You’ll be asked to choose an operating system for your new virtual machine. To install Windows, you have three choices: purchase it online, install it from a US stick, or transfer it from a PC. Enter the Windows product key when prompted.

Windows will be installed along with some Parallels tools. This will take some time.

Your new Windows desktop will be displayed. Install any Windows application software you need.

Why Trust Me for This Parallels Desktop Review?

My name is Adrian Try. After using Microsoft Windows for over a decade, I made a deliberate move away from the operating system in 2003. I enjoyed the change, but still needed certain Windows apps on a regular basis. So I found myself using a combination of dual boot, virtualization (using VMware and VirtualBox) and Wine. See the Alternatives section of this Parallels Desktop review.

I hadn’t tried Parallels before. I was provided a review license and installed an earlier version on my iMac. For the last week, I’ve been putting it through its paces, installing Windows 10 (purchased just for this review) and several other operating systems, and trying just about every feature in the program.

The new version was released, so I immediately upgraded. This review reflects my use of both versions. In this Parallels Desktop review, I’ll share what I like and dislike about Parallels Desktop. The content in the quick summary box above serves as a short version of my findings and conclusions.

Read on for the details!

Parallels Desktop Review: What’s In It for You?

Since Parallels Desktop is all about running Windows apps (and more) on your Mac, I’m going to list all its features by putting them into the following five sections. In each subsection, I’ll first explore what the app offers and then share my personal take.

1. Turn Your Mac Into Several Computers with Virtualization

Parallels Desktop is virtualization software — it emulates a new computer in software. On that virtual computer, you can run any operating system you like, including Windows, and any software that runs on that operating system. That’s very convenient if you need non-Mac software.

A virtual machine will run slower than your real computer, but Parallels has worked hard to optimize performance. But why run a slower virtual machine when you can install Windows on your actual computer using Bootcamp? Because having to restart your machine to change operating systems is slow, inconvenient, and incredibly frustrating. Virtualization is an excellent alternative.

My personal take: Virtualization technology provides a convenient way of accessing non-Mac software while using macOS. If you need regular access to Windows apps, Parallel’s implementation is superb.

2. Run Windows on Your Mac Without Rebooting

You may need to run Windows on your Mac for a variety of reasons. Here are some examples:

Developers can test their software on Windows and other operating systems

Web developers can test their websites on a variety of Windows browsers

Writers can create documentation and reviews about Windows software.

Parallels provides the virtual machine, you need to supply Microsoft Windows. There are three options:

Purchase it directly from Microsoft and download it.

Purchase it from a store and install from a USB stick.

Transfer Windows from your PC or Bootcamp.

Transferring a previously-installed version of Windows is the least-recommended option, as it can lead to licensing issues or driver problems. In my case, I purchased a shrink-wrapped version of Windows 10 Home from a store. The price was the same as downloading from Microsoft: $179 Aussie dollars.

I started up Parallels Desktop, inserted my USB stick, and Windows was installed without fuss.

Once installed, Windows feels snappy and responsive. Moving from Windows to Mac and back again is fast and seamless. I’ll explain how that’s done in the next section.

My personal take: For those needing access to Windows while using macOS, Parallels Desktop is a godsend. They have obviously worked hard to optimize their software for Windows, as it is incredibly responsive.

3. Switch Conveniently between Mac and Windows

How easy is switching between Mac and Windows using Parallels Desktop? You don’t even notice it. By default, it runs inside a window like this.

When my mouse is outside of that window, it is the black Mac mouse cursor. Once it moves inside the window, it becomes the white Windows mouse cursor automatically and instantly.

For some uses that can feel a little cramped. Pressing the green Maximize button will make Windows run full screen. The screen resolution adjusts automatically. You can switch to and from Windows using a four-finger swipe.

Very fast, very easy, very intuitive. Switching between Mac and Windows couldn’t be easier. Here’s another bonus. For convenience, I found myself leaving Windows open even when I wasn’t using it. When not in use, Parallels pauses the virtual machine to reduce the load on your computer.

Once your mouse enters the Windows environment again, Windows is up and running again within about three seconds.

My personal take: Whether running Windows full-screen or in a window, switching to it is simple and seamless. It’s no harder than switching to a native Mac app.

4. Use Windows Apps alongside Mac Apps

When I first moved away from Windows, I found myself still relying on a few key apps. You might be the same:

You switched to Mac, but still have a number of Windows apps you rely on — perhaps the Windows versions of Word and Excel, the Xbox Streaming app, or a Windows-only game.

You may still absolutely depend on a legacy app that no longer works on modern operating systems.

It’s surprising how reliant businesses can become on out-of-date software that is no longer updated or supported. Parallels Desktop provides a Coherence Mode which lets you work with Windows apps without dealing with the Windows interface. David Ludlow sums it up: “Coherence turns your Windows apps into Mac ones.”

You can search for and run the Windows Paint program from Spotlight.

Paint runs right on your Mac desktop, no Windows in sight.

My personal take: Parallels Desktop allows you to use Windows apps almost as if they were Mac apps. You can start the apps from your Mac’s Dock, Spotlight, or a context menu.

5. Run Other Operating Systems on Your Mac

The convenience of Parallels Desktop doesn’t stop with Windows. You can run a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Android, and macOS. Why would someone want to do that? Here are some examples:

A developer working on an app that runs on multiple platforms can use virtual computers to run Windows, Linux, and Android to test the software on.

Mac developers can run older versions of macOS and OS X to test compatibility.

A Linux enthusiast can run and compare multiple distros at once.

You can install macOS from your recovery partition or a disk image. You can also install older versions of OS X if you still have the installation DVDs or disk images. I chose to install macOS from my recovery partition.

I found macOS significantly less responsive than Windows — I assume Parallel’s main priority is Windows performance. It was definitely usable, though.

Installing Linux is similar. You can either choose to have Parallels Desktop download a number of Linux distros (including Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, Debian and Linux Mint), or install from a disk image.

Like macOS, Linux seems less responsive than Windows. Once you have a few operating systems installed, the Parallels Desktop Control Panel is a handy way to start and stop them.

My personal take: Parallels Desktop can run macOS or Linux on a virtual machine, though not with the same speed as Windows, or with as many integration features. But the software is stable and usable all the same.

Reasons Behind My Ratings

Effectiveness: 5/5

Parallels Desktop does exactly what it promises: it runs Windows apps alongside my Mac apps. Running Windows in a virtual machine was convenient and responsive and allowed me to access Windows apps that I rely on. Windows paused when not in use, so unnecessary resources were not being wasted.

Price: 4.5/5

Although there are free virtualization options, $79.99 is a reasonable price to pay for the amount of work Parallels has put into optimizing performance and integration.

Ease of Use: 5/5

I found launching Windows and switching between Mac and Windows absolutely intuitive. The integrated approach of displaying Windows software in Spotlight searches, context menus and the Dock is brilliant.

Support: 4.5/5

Alternatives to Parallels Desktop

VMware Fusion: VMware Fusion is Parallel Desktop’s closest competitor, and is a little slower and more technical. A major upgrade is about to be released.

Veertu Desktop: Veertu (free, $39.95 for premium) is a lightweight alternative. It’s almost as quick as Parallels, but has fewer features.

VirtualBox: VirtualBox is Oracle’s free and open-source alternative. Not as polished or responsive as Parallels Desktop, it’s a good alternative when performance is not at a premium.

Boot Camp: Boot Camp comes installed with macOS, and allows you to run Windows alongside macOS in a dual-boot setup — to switch you need to restart your computer. That’s less convenient but has performance benefits.

Wine: Wine is a way of running Windows apps on your Mac without needing Windows at all. It can’t run all Windows apps, and many require significant configuration. It’s a free (open source) solution that just might work for you.

CrossOver Mac: CodeWeavers CrossOver ($59.95) is a commercial version of Wine that is easier to use and configure.


Parallels Desktop lets you run Windows apps on your Mac. That can be very handy if you rely on certain Windows apps for your business, or have switched to Mac and can’t find alternatives for everything you need.

Is it worth it? If you have Mac apps for everything you need you won’t need Parallels, and if you need just a few non-critical Windows apps a free alternative may meet your needs. But if you rely on Windows apps to get your work done, you’ll need the premium Windows performance that Parallels Desktop provides.

P.S. don’t forget to use this coupon code: 9HA-NTS-JLH to save a bit if you decide to purchase the software.

5 Best Samsung Ssds For Fast And Reliable Storage

5 Best Samsung SSDs For Fast and Reliable Storage




If you’ve had your PC since forever and are either building a new one from scratch, or are thinking of upgrading it a bit, then the first thing you should start off with is a good SSD.

These replace your raggedy old HDD with an alternative that is quieter, more resistant, and even the cheapest ones are still at least 10 times faster than the fastest HHD.

One of the best brands for SSDs is Samsung, and it will ensure that you get the highest speeds that SSDs have to offer, while also having a high degree of reliability.

Samsung has a lot of SSD models, so choosing one can be tricky. That is why we decided to compile a list of what we think are the best SSD models manufactured by Samsung.

Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.

The model that tops our list is the Samsung 860 EVO, featuring incredibly fast reading and writing speeds, and an endurance that ill put other SSDs to shame.

It is powered by Samsung’s signature V-NAND Technology, and it will resist through constant writings and wipings of large files, such as 4K videos.


Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology

Good for rendering large-sized 4K videos and 3D data used by the latest applications

Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s

Includes AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1667


The price tag is above that of other SSDs with the same storage space

Check price

Overall, it is the best SSD that general gaming enthusiasts can ask for.


Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology

Good for rendering large-sized 4K videos and 3D data used by the latest applications

Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s

Includes AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1667


The price tag is above that of other SSDs with the same storage space

Check Price

The only portable SSD on our list, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD is ideal for those that want some extra storage space on the go, but still, want the speed class of an SSD.

Expert tip:


Superfast Read-Write speeds of up to 540 MB/s

Metal design that fits in the palm of your hand

Optional password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption

Includes USB Type C to C and USB Type C to A cables


Transfer speeds limited by what the USB 3.0 cable cand handle

Check Price

If you have a desktop PC and you plan on upgrading it to a level that will impress even those that already own SSDs, then you should try the Samsung 970 EVO.

Featuring read and write speeds of up to 3,500MB/s and 2,500MB/s, this SSD is ideal for those that need to write and delete enormous amounts of data, such as graphic designers and gamers that have the latest titles installed.


Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology

Offers enhanced bandwidth, low latency, and power efficiency

Ideal for tech enthusiasts, high-end gamers, and 4K & 3D content designers

Sequential read and write speeds of up to 3,500MB/s and 2,500MB/s

Seamless cloning and file transfers with Samsung Magician Software

Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard automatically monitors and maintains optimal operating temperatures


Only suitable for desktop PCs

The price tag

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While the price tag is indeed a little steeper, the performance boost is incredibly noticeable, and you will be able to maneuver large amounts of data without any issues.


Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology

Offers enhanced bandwidth, low latency, and power efficiency

Ideal for tech enthusiasts, high-end gamers, and 4K & 3D content designers

Sequential read and write speeds of up to 3,500MB/s and 2,700MB/s

Seamless cloning and file transfers with Samsung Magician Software

Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard automatically monitors and maintains optimal operating temperatures


Only suitable for desktop PCs

The price tag

Check Price

Closing thoughts on Samsung SSDs

If you’re the type of person that values quality above all else, and you want to upgrade your PC to a level that will make the old version look like it is 20 years older than it actually is, then a Samsung SSD is the right choice for you.

Depending on the models you choose, you will benefit from lightning-fast transfer speeds, and you will be able to finally bring your work and gaming performance to modern-age levels.

This specific deal is part of our bigger selection of the best hdd & SSD deals you can find. You might also want to check out our dedicated Black Friday hub for tech deals.

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