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One of the cornerstones of Internet access is DNS (also known as Domain Name System). With this service users can easily resolve domain names into IP addresses within the browser. For the most part, users find themselves using the DNS service that their ISP provides. Still, as good as a standard internet service provider DNS service can be, there is always something better.1. Adguard 2. DNS.Watch
Some people ditch their ISP’s DNS service due to privacy reasons. It’s no wonder, as privacy on the Internet is getting more and more scarce.
Introducing DNS.WATCH, a freedom and privacy-based DNS replacement that believes in freedom. Users that set up this DNS service will rest easy knowing that DNS.WATCH doesn’t log anything you do. Additionally, they have the service optimized for “maximum speed” and have enabled standard DNS security.
Paranoid? Try this service.3. Google DNS
This service isn’t for everyone, especially those concerned about privacy. However, if you can look past Google’s spying problem in favor of speed, security and reliability, Google DNS is a good option.4. Open DNS
Open DNS: perhaps the most versatile and customizable DNS service out there. When this DNS service is in use, users get the expected security features with added bonuses like customizable web filtering. With this feature it’s easy to block and filter out malicious and lewd websites right at the DNS level. For parents, this means no matter what device your child uses to browse, they’ll never run into bad stuff.Conclusion
Though alternate DNS services are not a new thing, they’ve been getting increasingly popular. It’s no wonder as Internet freedom in the US and elsewhere gets more and more dicey, people are looking for any way they can to increase their privacy.
Alternative DNS services are a quick and easy way to increase the overall Internet experience. Security, privacy and even browsing speed are made better when people switch their DNS providers to something more robust. However, people shouldn’t rely on these providers alone, as they’re not perfect. At best, these DNS alternatives should be an addition to your setup, not the sole solution.
Derrik Diener is a freelance technology blogger.
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After Microsoft adopted the Chromium engine for its Edge browser, things have taken a wild turn. The Chromium Edge has amassed a market share of 10.22%, taking the second spot after Chrome. It’s obviously clear that access to Chrome extensions on Microsoft Edge, support for flags, and great battery life has made it a solid choice among the users. So if you have fully moved to Microsoft Edge, it’s time you learn some of the best Edge flags. In this article, we bring you the 14 best Microsoft Edge flags which can improve your productivity and add many utilities to your browser. On that note, let’s begin.Best Microsoft Edge Flags (December 2023)
Here, we have mentioned the best flags for Microsoft Edge. Keep in mind, these flags are only applicable on desktop and not on the Android version of Edge. Microsoft brought the Flags feature to its Android browser four months back, but so far, there is only one flag available. With that said, here are the top MS Edge flags in 2023, follow the list below.
How to Enable Flags on Microsoft Edge
You can easily enable flags on Microsoft Edge. Just copy edge://flags/ and paste it into the address bar. Now, hit enter and you will land on the Flags page. From here, you can search for specific flags and enable them from the drop-down menu. Now, restart the browser and the flag will be applied.List of Top Flags for Microsoft Edge 1. Force Dark Mode for Web Contents
And the best part is that the earlier issue of inverting the images has been resolved. So go ahead and choose “Enabled” from the drop-down menu and restart your browser to get the dark mode experience everywhere on the browser.2. Tab Groups
Tab Groups is another Microsoft Edge flag that you must use to organize tabs in a simple manner. It’s one of the most useful flags for tab hoarders. With “Tab Groups” turned on, you can organize tabs into visually distinct groups. For example, you can organize a group of tabs in a common color so that you can easily move to that certain group of tabs. You can also assign colors based on their different set of tasks.3. Desktop PWAs Run on OS Login
With the “Desktop PWAs run on OS login” flag turned on, the PWAs can start their services in the background just after your log into your computer. You don’t need to manually open Microsoft Edge and keep the PWA active to receive notifications.4. Global Media Controls
One of the best Chrome features is the new global media controls and I am happy that Microsoft has brought the same feature to Edge as well. This makes media controls on MS Edge quite accessible and you can perform operations such as play/pause/change tracks from a single location.
Along with that, it also allows you to create a PiP window from the media control tooltip. After enabling this flag, you will find the toolbar on the top-right corner. As for the flags, you need to enable these two options.
Global Media Controls
Global Media Controls Picture-in-Picture5. Compositor Threaded Scrollbar Scrolling
If you loved scrolling on the classic Edge because of its unique effect then you can get the same experience on Chromium Edge as well. Just enable “Compositor Threaded Scrollbar Scrolling” and “Smooth Scrolling” and you will find the new Edge behaving just like the classic version’s rubber band effect.6. Heavy Ad Intervention 7. Enable Sharing Page via QR Code 8. Parallel Downloading
Parallel Downloading is a powerful flag on Microsoft Edge that can help you get better speed while downloading files. Basically, with the “Parallel downloading” flag turned on, it will accelerate download speed by breaking the files into smaller chunks, similar to how IDM and other download managers work. If you download heavy files regularly then this is an essential flag to turn on.9. Sleeping Tabs
There are many users who keep a lot of tabs open and don’t close them even after many days. To save crucial resources on such tabs, Microsoft has brought something called Sleeping Tabs. It automatically puts idle background tabs to sleep to save system resources on your computer.10. Quieter Notifications
We know how notifications have become almost a nuisance on the web. Almost every website abuses the notification permission and incessantly prompts a dialog box to allow notifications. However, with the “Quieter notification permission prompts” flag turned on, the notification prompts gets blocked completely on Microsoft Edge. How awesome is that?11. Tab Hover Cards
Tab Hover Cards is a new way to identify and navigate through tabs on Microsoft Edge. It’s especially helpful when you are dealing with lots of tabs. If you enable “Tab Hover Cards” and “Tab Hover Card Images” flags then a preview image of the tab will be shown in the form of a hovercard when you move the cursor on a tab. I am using this feature on my PC and it’s absolutely great for seamless and faster navigation.12. Pull-to-refresh Gesture
Thankfully, Microsoft has chosen to keep the “Pull-to-refresh gesture” flag on Microsoft Edge. It’s a simple gesture (two-finger swipe down) that works really well for instantly refreshing webpages. You can enable this flag and swipe down with two fingers to refresh the webpage. That’s cool, right?13. FTP URLs
If MS Edge is throwing an error after entering a local FTP address then this flag will fix the issue. Just open the Flags page on Microsoft Edge and turn on “Enable support for FTP URLs” flag. Now, you can access FTP locations of your smartphone or other devices from Microsoft Edge.14. Omnibox UI Max Autocomplete Matches Enable the Best Flags on Chromium Edge
If you’re ready to choose the right online payroll software for your small business, here are the steps to get started.1. Determine Your Business’s Needs
When choosing an online payroll service for your small business, there are several factors to consider. For most companies, budget will play a big role in figuring out which provider to go with. What can your organization afford to spend on payroll processing and assorted services? What features can you live without and which are absolute necessities?
You will also need to determine how often you process payroll. Is it every week, biweekly or just once a month? Some payroll providers offer unlimited payroll runs, while others charge per payroll run, so this is an important factor to consider.
Weigh your different priorities. Is next-day deposit important to you? Is it more vital than other functions? Does your business need a platform that includes additional HR services? Make a list of everything you want your payroll software to help you accomplish so you can look for providers that meet your company’s needs.2. Research Potential Vendors
Once you know what specific features you’re looking for in a payroll software provider, you can compile a list of potential vendors. From there, you can review the features each vendor offers and get a sense of where each one stands out or falls short. Compare each system against your list of desired functions, and remove from consideration the platforms that don’t align.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to just a couple of options, it can help to schedule demos with these providers. During a demo, you can see how the software works and ask the sales team pertinent questions. For instance, can you run payroll as often as you want each month? Does the package come with a mobile app and an employee self-service portal? You should also evaluate how intuitive and easy it is to use the program. The platform’s interface should be simple to understand and allow you to run payroll in a matter of minutes.
Make sure you fully comprehend how the provider’s pricing works and what you can expect to spend each month. For instance, many payroll providers charge a base fee along with an additional per-employee fee. What structure do they use? And be sure to ask if there are any setup charges or fees for additional payroll runs.
Finally, you should look into what kind of customer service the company provides. How is the payroll provider rated by the Better Business Bureau, and how many customer complaints are there? Is there phone, email and chat support, or are you limited to just one of those options? The answers to these questions should further narrow down your prospects.3. Make Your Selection
After you’ve weighed the pros and cons of each provider, you can identify your top options and begin the sign-up process with your most preferred vendor. See if you can negotiate the price, and always ask if any discounts are available. Once you’ve chosen the software that’s best for your business, you can move forward with the setup phase.
Types of Web Hosting Offered
Bluehost provides shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers and WordPress hosting. It offers several plans for each, and its pricing is on par with competitors. Shared hosting is the least expensive, with dedicated servers and VPS sporting costs up to $200 per month. These hosting types differ from shared and WordPress hosting in that the company allocates separate servers for these customers.
Dedicated servers and VPS are best suited for large corporations that need higher storage and bandwidth than shared or WordPress hosting can provide. Also, because VPS and dedicated servers are private, there’s even higher uptime. These types of hosting are typically not necessary for standard small business websites. Shared and WordPress hosting are cost-effective options that cover the needs of most small businesses.Bluehost Pricing and Plans
Bluehost provides shared hosting plans at slightly lower rates than many of its competitors. It has four shared hosting plans: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro. The Basic plan is $2.95 per month, the Plus plan and Choice Plus plan are each $5.45 per month, and the Pro plan is $13.95 per month.
Keep in mind that this is all promotional pricing that was listed at the time of this review. The web hosting industry is a competitive space, and companies often display promotional pricing to attract new buyers. Bluehost does this, claiming the plans are reduced from $7.99, $10.99, $14.99 and $23.99 respectively. Often, web hosting promotional pricing is only valid for the first year or billing term, and then you’ll be charged the original rates upon renewal.
As with just about every business service, the longer you commit to Bluehost, the lower the monthly price. If you’re worried about getting hit with a higher rate when you need to renew your contract, make sure you address this with a member of the Bluehost sales team before you sign up.
You can read more about Bluehost’s additional fees in the terms of service. Some important fees to note involve registering or transferring a domain name. Bluehost offers a free domain name for the first year, but you may have to pay a yearly fee thereafter. This is a standard practice hosting companies use to attract new customers.
There are also some conditions for your 30-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel your subscription within the first three days of activation, you have the option to keep your domain name for a $15.99 fee. If you cancel after three days, you will be required to pay the $15.99 domain fee.
If you decide to cancel after the first 30 days, you are not entitled to a refund of any kind. Bluehost only refunds credit card payments.Bluehost Web Hosting Features
Bluehost’s shared hosting plans have solid features. Its pricing stands out, but the relatively low cost doesn’t undermine the services you get. The company’s transparency with listing the features in each plan is another benefit. Instead of digging for information, business owners can get a quick view of what the company has to offer and decide whether the services meet their needs. Many companies we reviewed provide this breakdown.
Storage and Bandwidth: Bluehost provides unlimited storage on its Plus, Choice Plus and Pro plans. Basic plan holders only have access to 50GB of SSD storage. The bandwidth is unmetered for all plans. Most hosting companies provide unlimited storage or unmetered bandwidth; however, these terms do not mean they’re infinite. Bluehost uses statistical analysis to define the average parameters each consumer must stay within each month. It monitors your usage and contacts you if you’re using more than the allocated amount. Some web hosting companies even suspend service until the usage declines. If you’re concerned about the level of bandwidth and storage you need, it’s be a good idea to talk to someone from the Bluehost sales team about it.
Security: Compared to other web hosting companies we reviewed, Bluehost provides limited security measures. It does offer site backups, restoration, resource protection and an SSL certificate on each of its plans, but some plans require you to pay extra for security features like SiteLock and CodeGuard. Bluehost doesn’t provide a lot of information on DDoS prevention, firewalls or other security measures. This is another good topic to discuss with the Bluehost sales team before you sign up.
Domain Transfer: Bluehost includes a free domain name with the activation of a shared hosting plan. This means when you sign up for the service, you won’t get hit with an additional fee to set up your domain name. If you sign up for other plans, you may not have access to a free domain name.Reputation and Customer Service
Bluehost is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. This is concerning, as most companies have at least some kind of BBB score. Its parent company, EIG, has an A- rating but a lot of negative reviews. The company has also logged nearly 400 complaints. Compared to its competitors, these are negative marks. Bluehost has mixed positive and negative ratings elsewhere online, so it’s not clear how supportive its customer service is.
Bluehost offers support via phone and a live chat window. It also has a unique company blog that provides additional online resources for customers to learn more about web hosting services. Since Bluehost offers some desirable web hosting plans, it is worth testing out its customer support on your own to see how helpful it is.Limitations
The company does not have a good online reputation, lacking BBB accreditation and having racked up a flurry of negative reviews and customer complaints. Also, most web hosting companies provide a service-level agreement, which details the company’s uptime policy and any credits it provides for downtime or measures it will take to ensure its service. There is no SLA available from Bluehost.
Bluehost no longer offers cloud hosting plans to its consumers, instead focusing on its WordPress and shared hosting options for small businesses. Although cloud hosting may not always be the best web hosting type for small businesses, Bluehost removes the option altogether. If you are seeking cloud hosting, you’ll have to find another web hosting provider.
One of the most common issues I see among newer Linux users is the desire to upgrade their distribution needlessly to a new bleeding-edge version. This is especially true with those who use Ubuntu and its derivatives. In this article, I’ll explain why most people would be much better off sticking to stable distribution releases that have been “in the wild” for six months or longer.
I’ll be among the first to toss a brand spanking new release of my favorite distro onto a test rig. It’s fun getting to see what’s new. But to do this blindly with a production box is just asking for trouble. To be fair, I’ve had perhaps three show-stopping issues with Ubuntu-based derivatives – ever. By show-stopping, I mean issues that nothing I did provided me with a workaround solution to a serious bug.
I’ve had oodles of minor issues that were fixable but also proved to be a time suck when stacked on top of one another. Ten minutes here, twenty minutes there — after a while I found that using bleeding-edge releases wasn’t really where I wanted to spend my time. To be clear, these issues were incredibly minor, and for most folks would be annoying at most. But I have a desktop experience I like and changes to it bother me deeply.
This also meant that “rolling release” distros weren’t a good fit for my desktop expectations either. Unlike fixed releases, rolling releases have both bug fixes and new bugs with greater speed and frequency because updates happen more often. These issues aren’t insurmountable, but making “minor tweaks” every few days wasn’t a great match for my desktop needs.
So who should upgrade to the latest release of Ubuntu and its derivatives? Certainly not most people in my opinion. Unless you purchasing bleeding-edge hardware on a regular basis or find a bug in a desktop environment that is fixed in a newer release, most people should stick to what’s currently working.
To be completely clear – do try out the latest and greatest, but don’t do so on a production PC. For me, it’s simply a matter of how I want to spend my free time: Restore a previous distribution release or hang out with friends and family?
As a side note, one could argue that taking a snapshot of one’s current setup would allow them to have their cake and eat it too. I’d argue that would require one to take said snapshot accurately or configure their system to do so automatically…with a degree of accuracy. For many folks, this would be a leap of faith.
Over the years I’ve found that XFCE and GNOME 2 (now MATE) have provided me with the most bulletproof user experience. This has allowed me to stick with a Ubuntu LTS derivative longer because I’m not looking to “fix” desktop environment bugs that one might define as show-stopping.
I honestly can’t say the same of other desktop environments. I completely agree that KDE and GNOME 3 are very attractive, feature-rich desktop environments. However, I’ve also found over the years that they’re hit and miss in terms of issues that bother me. A bug here, a broken extension there. Sure, they are fixed a few months later, but they disrupt my expectation of how my desktop should function.
Now to be fair, I’ve had very positive KDE experiences with OpenSuSE Leap and PCLinuxOS. This makes sense as both of these distributions focus on stability. By contrast, KDE on bleeding-edge distros tends to be where I’ve experienced my hit-or-miss moments. Same with GNOME 3 – using it on a stable branch of Debian feels great, but using it on a freshly released distribution leaves me open to the common issue of “GNOME extension catch up.” This is a fun game where you install GNOME 3 and see which extensions have been disabled or broken with the desktop update. Again, some of you won’t care – others like myself depend on many of those extensions for a fluid desktop experience. The single worst offender with broken extensions after upgrading to a new release was Linux Mint with Cinnamon.
A good YouTube thumbnail maker can go a long way in helping you grow your channel and increase the number of views and subscribers. If you’re looking for the best software tools to help you create killer thumbnail images, this article is for you. Listed here are the five best thumbnail makers to help you create stunning thumbnails.1. Canva
Canva is one of the best online graphic design tools on the market today and allows you to create incredible YouTube thumbnails. This tool is very useful to designers and non-designers alike who want to create professional-looking visuals – like YouTube creators who want to make eye-grabbing thumbnails.
Your thumbnail creation with Canva includes free stock type photos, texts, backgrounds, grids, frames, shapes, lines, and illustrations. Canva is free to use, although it has a few paid elements such as clip art and some stock photos. It also has a mobile app for Android and iOS.2. Fotojet
Fotojet is another great tool you can use to create spectacular YouTube thumbnails. Unlike most online programs that perform graphic design functions in general, Fotojet pays special attention to YouTube thumbnail design. It also provides photo editing, graphics designing, and collage-making resources. Fotojet has over 500 collage making templates, which makes it a useful resource for creating YouTube graphics such as thumbnails.3. Snappa
Just like Canva, Snappa is a jack-of-all-trades and allows you to do more than just create YouTube thumbnails. It’s one of the best graphic design tools for non-designers because of its versatility and ease of use. It offers a ton of templates for social media as well as for YouTube thumbnails. All you need is to sign up for a free account and start using some of the pre-made YouTube templates.
Snappa also allows you to create YouTube templates from scratch. You can choose to use the available visual icons or upload your own images for your thumbnails. Snappa also gives you limitless options to customize your thumbnails. You can create shapes, add effects, insert custom texts, customize the background and more to make your thumbnails stand out. It has both a free and a paid version.4. Adobe Express
Adobe Express promises an easy YouTube thumbnail creation process. This online graphic design tool resembles Canva in many ways and can also be used for multifarious functions. Unlike Canva, Adobe Express does not charge you to use the pre-made thumbnail layouts. It has a special category for YouTube thumbnails, and this makes the thumbnail creation process simple and straightforward.
One thing you’ll notice with Adobe Express is that it lacks the many “ornaments” you’ll find in other thumbnail-maker tools. Its features are pretty basic and on point. However, that doesn’t make it inferior. It lets you add texts, color, background components, and many other basic elements you’ll need to make your thumbnails stand out. Adobe Expres has a free and a paid version. It also has a mobile app for iOS.5. Fotor
Then it provides you with a clean and smooth interface to edit your thumbnails and all the elements you’ll need to add visual appeal to your thumbnails. Fotor is easy to use, so you won’t need expert knowledge to create stunning thumbnails. Besides editing, Fotor is also a great tool for making collages.Wrapping Up
The human brain responds better to visuals than texts. Therefore, creating visually appealing YouTube thumbnails can significantly increase traffic to your YouTube channel. But having quality thumbnails is not enough – the content needs to be valuable to the viewer for you to have a higher engagement.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many other quality thumbnail-makers for mobile that are worth trying, like the Thumbnail Maker for Android.
Kenn is a tech enthusiast by passion, Windows blogger by choice, and a massive coffee imbiber. He likes watching sci-fi movies in his free time and tearing gadgets apart so he can fix them.
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