Sony a9

Sony A9 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Makes DSLR’s Look Ancient

Sony A9 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Has Arrived!

There Sony a9 (ILCE-9/B) is a new powerhouse camera in town, and it can easily rival the mighty Canon with its best camera. That shooter is none other than the Sony' A9. Also known as the Sony Alpha 9, the camera comes loaded with features that any professional photographer would drool over. Innovation is what Sony does sow= well, and the A9 is a game changer.

Sony α9 Unveil Video

Sony A9 Camera Sensor Resolution​

The Sony' A9 boasts a fairly modest 24.2-megapixel resolution, which closely matches that of the Canon 5D Mark III, which has a 22.3-megapixel sensor. At the same time, the resolution is slightly lower than that of Canon’s 5D Mark IV with its 30.4-megapixel sensor. However, the Sony has a higher resolution than the found in the flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, which came with a $6,000 price tag.

ALPHA 9 PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS​:

  • 24.2MP Full-Frame Stacked CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Internal UHD 4K Video & S-Log3 Gamma
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • 693-Point AF with 93% Frame Coverage
  • Blackout-Free Quad-VGA 3.7m-Dot OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 20 fps Shooting and ISO 204,800
  • Built-In Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, Dual SD Slots
  • Integrated LAN and PC Sync Terminal
Sony a9 camera features

What Other Specifications Can You Expect with the A9?

Sony has been known for its innovation and held one of the best reputations in the camera industry for many years, and with good reason. It has some of the top technology for camera sensors on the market and is the supplier of most cameras and smartphones manufactured by other companies.

However, what makes the Sony Alpha 9 stand out is that it’s the first model to use a full frame stacked CMOS sensor that is powered by a BIONZ processor. Sony claims that this technology allows the camera to track “complex erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before.” The ISO range runs between 100 to 51,200 but is expandable to 204,800.

Sony α9 - Product Features (Video)

Additional Features to Look For​

The viewfinder is a 3,686k dot OLED, which is the most brilliant that the company has ever used. It doesn’t run the risk of blacking out while the user is shooting photos, even at only 20fps.

  • 24.2-megapixel3 35mm full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with integral memory​
  • High-speed (blackout-free) continuous shooting of up to 20fps5 with AF/AE tracking
  • 693-point wide-area phase-detection AF
  • Unlimited RAW Shooting
  • AF/AE live-view tracking, shutter speed up to 1/32000
  • Silent vibration-free Anti-Distortion shutter, sensitivity up to ISO 204800 (extended)
  • 5-axis image stabilization with effectiveness equivalent to 5.0-stop20 slower shutter speed
  • 4K Video with full pixel readout and downscales to 4K giving footage more detail
  • Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps

Sony α9 High resolution full-frame 4K

New Sony A9 Accessories:

  • NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery – The HP-FZ100 is a NEW High-capacity battery with approximately 2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 W-series battery. The NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery supports InfoLITHIUM® technology, making it possible to view the remaining battery power as both a percentage display and five step icon on the camera’s LCD screen.​
  • BC-QZ1 Battery Charger: The BC-QZ1 quick-charging battery charger will charge one Z-series battery in approximately 2.5 hours.
  • VG-C3EM Vertical Grip – Sony VG-C3EM is designed for the Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera providing the same operation, handling and design as the α9 camera, holds two NP-FZ100 Batteries and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.
  • NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor– External multi-battery adaptor kit capable of functioning as an external power supply for four Z-series batteries. The NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit comes with two packs of NP-FZ100 rechargeable batteries.
  • GP-X1EM Grip Extension – Grip extender with same design and feel of the α9 body. The GP-X1EM Grip Extension provides a more solid grip on camera.
  • PCK–LG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet: The PCK–LG1 is a Protect Glass Sheet for α9 providing hard, shatterproof glass screen protector with anti-stain coating to prevent fingerprints. The PCK–LG1 supports Compatible touch operation and tilting LCD screen
Sony-A9-Highlights

Sony A9 Availability and Retail Price​

Preorders for the Sony A9 are slated to start on Friday, April 21, 2017. The camera will retail in the United States for $4,500, which is a good price for any serious photography enthusiast. Considering the features it sports and the price tag, the A9 should tempt even the most diehard Canon fans to switch.

Mac Pro Under Desk Mount

Mac Pro Under Desk Mount or Wall Mount

Mac Pro-Under Desk Mount Review

Mount Your Mac Pro Anywhere using the Rocstor Under the Desk Mount

As mentioned in my Evodesk Standing Desk Review. If you have a mac pro and are wanting to free up desk space the Rocstor Mac Pro Under Desk Mount is an incredible space saver.  The Rocstor Rocmount DM is a single rail mount that is designed and built in the USA.

It is made of 18-gaugue galvanized steel (which means it is coated to prevent corrosion) and rubber in a high-gloss black color which has a baked-on powder coating which gives it a long life. This mount is also versatile, which means that it can be attached on a flat surface at any angle.

With a Mac Pro attached to this mount, it can be mounted under a desk, beside a desk, or onto a wall. With the computer off the top of the desk, it frees up surface space.

Mac Pro Under Desk Mount Benefits​:

  • Free up Space on your Desktop​
  • Mount Under Desk, Rack Cabinet, Wall
  • Easy Access to I-O Ports
  • Excellent Build Quality  using 18-Gauge High-gloss Black Galvanized Steel
  • Protects the outside of your Mac Pro using a Rubber Gasket Cradles
  • Simple Cable Management
  • Optimizing  Mac pro Airflow

Furthermore, this mount also allows Mac Pro users to have easy access to the I/O (input/output) ports (I/O ports are ports like USB port(s), HDMI port(s), or an Ethernet port) without any restrictions to them. Also, there are no issues with it causing cables to be a tangled mess, because this mount allows for full cable management. Its straps will securely hold a Mac Pro in place so an accidental slip will not be a problem. Also, there is a rubber gasket cradle present to fully protect the computer from being damaged by vibrations and scratches.

Mac-Pro-mount

Finally, when mounted to this mount, a Mac Pro will still have optimal airflow. It is important that the mount does not restrict the airflow the system will need. The reason for this is that when cool air comes into the system and hot air goes out of the system it will not be damaged by the parts being too hot. The dimensions of the Rocmount Pro-M DM under desk/wall mount measure to 9.75 inches x 9.75 inches x 1 inch and the weight is about three pounds. It also meets RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance), as well as Green Standards (an environmental firm that works with corporations to responsibly redistribute excess office supplies).​

Rocstor doesn't just make a Mac Pro Under Desk, they also have a Mac Pro Rackmount version for the server room.​


Evodesk Standing Desk

Evodesk Standing Desk Review – Best Desk Ever!

Evodesk Standing Desk - Height Adjustable Standing Desk

4.9/5

Have you ever been playing your favorite computer game, or even working on one of those long papers but lost your ability to concentrate? Your chair isn't comfortable enough, and it starts to hurt your legs and thighs from simply sitting there. It's time to get up and walk around, but you can't take a break when you're on such a roll! Let's jump into the Evodesk Standing Desk Review.

​Introducing the Evodesk Standing Desk. It's not the first of it's kind, but it is one of the most revolutionary sitting-standing desks currently out and has become extremely popular among gamers. Be prepared for the more detailed Evodesk Standing Desk review, bringing you even the tiniest details from putting the desk together to taking it apart (but you won't want to!)

​What Makes It So Special, Anyway?

The Evodesk Standing Desk is marketed for home or small offices users. They also have high-end PRO series for the office. It has some unique additions that other desks do not have that separate it from the rest of the crowd, especially for people that spend hours at their desk and computer. Why? Not only does the desk offer the option to sit or stand, which has fantastic health benefits, but it also has an Evoguard finish to it.

​The finish is a harder treatment than most desks have, and it's built to be durable enough to resist scratching from the mouse being moved back and forth continuously. It takes away the need to continuously buy mouse pads, which get dirty and wear down over time. The finish is meant to feel like a genuine mouse pad, so the mouse isn't flailing everywhere and gives the user more control.

​Also, the desk is equipped with Ergo Edge, which is a curved indentation that allows your body to be closer to the computer without leaning over the sharper edges of the desk. The contoured edges keep your arms and wrist from hurting after leaning them against the desk for an extended period of time.

This is all a matter of comfort - the standard desks don't match up because of the various additions. Surprisingly, while other desks offer a similar finish, none of them are as durable or allows for such precision.

​And of course, it can go from sitting to standing. Plenty of desks have this feature, but what makes the Evodesk Standing Desk special is that it does so on a motor that memorizes your favorite heights. Also, it changes height in 1.5 seconds, making it the best in its class.

The real big difference is it is extremely sturdy. Most standing desks are cheap feeling, and you can feel them wobble when typing. This desk is solid even when fully extended.

Customize It!​

​It is awesome that you can customize your desk, but what I find the most fun is the 8,000 different variations that you can choose from for your desk. Almost all of it is customizable, leading you to get the shape desk that works for you, as well as making sure it matches the decor of your room.

Do you have multiple monitors that you like to use? The desk holds up to 355 pounds, which means you can pile on the monitors and computers if that's how you roll!

There are three different desktop options to go with, and all of them are highly sustainable:

swatches Standing Deks
  • Renew Recycled Wood is 100% recycled and still made with all of the extra customizations like the curved edges and contouring. The wood itself comes from sawmills, construction sites, orchard pruning, different forestry options, and some are even from landfills. All materials are inspected and built to perfection.
Bamboo Standing Desk
  • Genuine Bamboo is a beautiful finish, and comes in three different shades from light to dark. They use it for it's durability, beauty, the relaxation benefits, and also because it is one of the fastest growing in the world. With a superior style and the timeless look of bamboo, this finish will look good in any room.
rubberwood desktop swatches
  • Genuine Rubberwood also comes in three different colorings from light to dark. It looks like oak, but it's rubber trees that are being thrown out. Evodesk changes them to desktops with the same durable finish they always offer.

My personal favorite is the natural bamboo because it matches everywhere and the colors are truly beautiful. Plus, my mouse isn't scratching up the desk, and after a few weeks, it still looks as good as when I first purchased it!

Buying the EvoDesk Standing Desk Online

The experience is both easy and fun thanks to the Evodesk website. It includes all of the different customizations that will make your desk suited perfectly to you, starting with choosing the right desk for you, and then choosing the shape that works best for you. You can get in the typical rectangular shape, or they offer a slight contour in the middle with the Ergo Edge.

If that doesn't work for you, there's also what's called Studio L, but it's a larger contour on the right side, especially perfect for keeping notes on one side. I have a freind that is left-handed, and he found that the Studio L design is the left-handed person's dream come true because of that extra space on the left. However, you get to choose the side with the extra space, so right-handers, there's a desk for you too!

Next, you choose your material, which as I said, I completely recommend the genuine bamboo, but all of them are beautiful finishes without any guilt as they don't harm the environment. The different finishes include white, black or slate gray. All of the desk options come in various sizes as well, depending on how much space you have to work with.

Standing desktop Bamboo

Additional Options:

​As for the additional options, you can add a storage pod to the underside middle of the desk, which is a good place to put pens, etc. It provides an extra 1175 square inches of storage. You can also add a highrise desktop option if you want. I didn't find either necessary, but they depend entirely on what you are using the desk for.

You can add a desk shield skin if you want for added protection. I didn't feel the need, but there are different colors you can choose as well as the "designer" selection, which includes a broad range of different cool-looking designs including a galaxy design (which would have been my pick!)

That sounds like a lot of choices already, but you're still not done. Choose between a two-button standard controller or the LED-light programmable memory with four settings. You can add a keyboard platform if you wish. As I said before, it depends on what you're used to and where you like your monitors and keyboards.

The point is, all of it is customizable to the point where it will be obvious that it's yours. They offer a sound system that fits perfectly toward the back underside of the desk and acts as a sub. The monitor arm system will allow you to lift your monitor off of the actual desk, giving you some precious space back.

Also Available:

  • Treadmill system
  • Anti-Fatigue Mat
  • CPU Mount System
  • Steel Cable Management Tray
  • EvoFlex Cable Management
  • Evodesk Casters
  • Warranty Options

NOTE: One option they didn't have that I found on Amazon was a Mac Pro Under Desk mount. Check It Out!

After all of this, shipping usually takes 4 to 5 days at most and can take less time depending on your desk specifications and configuration. It's safe to say that your desk will look differently from anyone else!

Let's Start From the Beginning: Assembly​

The assembly isn't too hard to put together at all. It takes one to two hours with the help of another person to put it all together. Having a drill is a good idea for setup, and it's easy to use once it's set together.

The more additions you order, the more you'll have to add, though some of the items can be installed by a technician ahead of time. if you get a desk with the extra programmable memory, it's not hard to set up.​

Ease of Use​

After that, your desk is ready with the push of a button. It's very sturdy and doesn't need any extra stabilization, nor does it shake when you start adding your computer to the mix. It's not very difficult at all to set the different heights you want, and after you're done, you only need to press the button once quickly for it to change heights.

The Big Finish: Does It Make a Difference?​

It certainly does! Working from home, I was used to sitting for extended periods of time but often had to get up and takes breaks. With my new desk, I was completely comfortable throwing my old one out and can stand whenever I'd like with the touch of a button.

Standing is different at first, but once you are used to it (and definitely invest in an anti-fatigue mat), it improved my circulation to the point where I wasn't in pain, even after long hours of standing.

The different customizations of the Evodesk Standing Desk make it very competitive for even a small office desk. Whether it's at home or in your place of business, this desk if perfect for those that are on the computer for long periods of time at work, and decrease the pain of carpal tunnel.

Overall, the Evodesk Standing Desk offers a wide variety of benefits to those that are often on a computer, whether it's gaming or business.

Is it worth it? Absolutely. So if you really aren't sure whether you're ready to spend the money, read an Evodesk Standing Desk review. All you'll find is all the reasons why you should have one, and you might wish shipping was even faster!

Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security Camera Review

Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security Camera Review

100% wire-free, weatherproof, HD security camera system

My Wife and I positively love our Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security Camera. I think the biggest reason is she likes it so much is so she can spy on our dogs while we are away from the house. Join me for this Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security Camera Review to find out if it can make a name for itself in the very saturated market of Security Cameras.

Netgear Arlo is a unique security camera. It is a stand-alone wireless surveillance camera removing the need for a power supply. The device runs off a battery that needs replacement every 4-6 months.

This standalone gadget can be placed anywhere ranging from your room to backyard due to its weatherproof design, and wireless nature, with the wireless range of around 300ft.

The device records content in 720p HD with an excellent night vision system. All of these functions are engineered in a sleek, attractive body. The device works via a well thought out application that can provide push notifications for motion alerts along with many other nifty features.

The Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security Camera is price starts out around $179 for the VMS3130 base model and can go up to $800 for the top of the line VMK3500. Let's take a deeper look at this incredible Security Camera.

Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security Camera Review / Overview:​

An easy to setup wireless camera with a ton of features packed into a compact, attractive body.

Pros:​

  • Easy to setup and use.​
  • Weatherproof design.
  • Full Wireless nature.
  • High-quality recording and good Night vision quality.
  • Easy to maneuver/reposition.

Cons:

  • Lack of the ability to record sound in base variants.​
  • Batteries require replacement after a while of usage.
  • Sometimes slow to start the recordings.

Installation and Usage:

The process of setting up and using the system is a breeze. It just requires following three steps:

  1. Dropping the Batteries in the Camera.
  2. Powering on the base and connecting it to a wireless router via included Ethernet cord.
  3. Downloading the App for Android or IOS device to start the pairing process.

The App will walk you through the pairing process. The whole setup requires less than 15-20 minutes of your precious time.

In-Depth Analysis of the Camera:​

Design:

This gadget packs a ton of features in a compact design. The most important feature of the device is its wireless design, thanks to the cordless nature of this camera, it is very easy to reposition when required.

With the weatherproof design, it can be setup anywhere in or around the house within the wireless range of 300ft. The system comes with a base stand that weighs 320g. The camera can be mount to any surface by making use of magnetic camera mount.

Camera Hardware:

The camera has an 110-degree field of view and requires a minimum of 1Mbps of upstream for optimal performance. The camera streams crisp 720p HD video. At night, the night vision system kicks in and illuminates up to 25feet thanks to its 850nmLEDs. The camera also supports eight times zoom. The night vision system provides a high-quality stream with a good range.

Control Application:

The Companion Application for the Arlo Smart Home Security Camera makes it a joy to use the system. The application provides easy to follow instructions on how to pair your phone with the camera. The App’s home screen display all the paired Cameras.

You will also receive 7-day for free of their recording package that lets you sync up to 5 cameras. After the free 7-days. Their other options are 30-days supports up to ten devices, or 15 devices you for 60-days.

You can control most features by making use of the application such as viewing and recording live streams. The camera also sends push notifications for Motion alerts to your device.

Another nifty feature of the app is the ability to brighten and darken live feed. This feature can help increase visibility in harsh lighting conditions. You can also view the battery life and change power management settings from the application.

Wrap-up:

Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security Camera Review Wrap-Up: The Netgear Arlo smart home security system stands true to its promise of a full wireless security camera with very few compromises. This review proves that instead of playing follow the leader by doing exactly what other security Cameras companies are doing. Instead, Netgear started a category of its own where it stands as the benchmark for other security products to come in the future.

For the base price of $179, you cannot get a better-equipped wireless security camera. If you want to try the latest sensation in the world of security cameras, the Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security System should be on top of your buying list. Hopefully, my Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security Camera review has answered some of your questions about the product and helped you decide if it is a good purchase for you.

Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM Lens Review

Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS Lens Review

NEW Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 G Master Lens Review

Sony has announced an incredible new member to the G Master lens family. In this Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS Review you will learn how this lens produces the most beautiful Bokeh ever. Let's jump into the Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM Lens Review.

Most reviewers who have had a chance to compare this Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS lens with other models have produced photos with better-feathered edges and the aforementioned brilliant bokeh effect.​ Let's take a look at this bokeh monster.

Sony SEL100F28GM

Innovative Design Features

This Sony G Master family is a revolution in technology that is making digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras legacy with the future being mirrorless cameras. The Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS Lens is one of the latest in the family Sony mirrorless shooters have a lot to get excited about.

These newest Sony cameras on the market have image sensors that produce mind-blowing quality, that most of us couldn't image just a few years ago. That is where Sony has stepped up the game creating a line of lenses (G-master) that could match the incredible sensors in today's cameras.

Sony FE 100mm STF GM Construction

If you are looking for incredible bokeh, STF is where it's at. The STF is abbreviation stands for smooth trans focus. STF which will ease the plane of in-focus and out-of-focus areas in an image due to the unique optical system. In this latest model, Sony accomplishes this by a clever inclusion of an integral anodization element which limits the incoming light and giving a more reasonable background through its ability to smooth out-of-focus areas in the background.

In this Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS lens review we looked at the excellent bokeh qualities.

The Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS lens has an integral 11-blade circular aperture which is a large part of the reason for such excellent bokeh and exceptional sharpness in the Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS Lens.

The background does not become a distraction, but rather becomes something that is pleasing to the eye and inherently brings out the best in the subject. Sony claims that it is the 'most beautiful bokeh that you've ever seen.

NEW SONY 100mm F/2.8GM STF OSS G Master Lens Video

Power Is In The Details

G Master Series lenses have a plethora of integrated technology to bring the most out of the product. One of these is the Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) which is, in effect, a supersonic motor created with the most precision on the market today. 

The precision in the focusing stop positions is near perfect so that the total focusing time is significantly reduced resulting in some of the fastest and precise focusing to be found anywhere in today's mirrorless cameras. The DDSSM even does this all the while being incredibly quiet when compared to other lenses.

The design for the Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS Lens is that of an aspherical lens so that the surface profile is not the older sphere or lens variety. The machines and workers in the Sony factory work overtime to produce a quantity of these lenses through grinding and polishing until the profile is so clean and true to form.

Sony FE 100mm GM Functions

The FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS lens is precise in the focusing stop positions and is near perfect. The total focusing time is significantly reduced resulting in some of the fastest and accurate focusing compared to other mirrorless cameras. The DDSSM even does this all the while being incredibly quiet when compared to other lenses.

These lenses are so excellent that they might be used in high-end telescopes or missile guidance systems if it was not for Sony's love for photographers and the desire to put a product in their hands that only a company of its caliber could deliver.

Keeping It Steady

The OSS in the name indicates that this Sony lens uses a technique called optical image stabilization which is Sony's trademarked Optical SteadyShot solution. Motion sensors within the camera work to neutralize any inherent shakiness in the operator's hands by moving the optics and image sensor in the opposite direction of the implied movement.

The f-stop on this lens is 2.8 which is a reasonable combination creating the image sharpness which Sony is so adamantly pushing for with their deliverance of high-quality bokeh. It means that the entrance pupil diameter is 35.7mm which will help to keep the focus exclusively on the subject for high-quality shots that impress the audience that receives them.

A Few Small Negatives

A couple of the primary drawbacks of this latest Sony lens is going to be that it is quite expensive for a prime lens. It is also larger than most would like for a lens with this focal length. However, if the Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS Lens is within the budget, then this is certainly one of the models to be considered.

Despite its size difference, it is a good fit and balance for Sony full frame mirrorless bodies The lens barrel is made out of a rigid polycarbonate meaning that it is going to be able to handle the bump and grind of daily use without suffering damage which could hurt the pocketbook of any purchaser.

The design also incorporates high sophisticated actuators to refine focus for more precise focusing whether using the product in manual or automatic mode. It is through this sophistication that lens can deliver stunning quality and harness a potential that has it getting a top notch score.

Proprietary technology, combined with design excellence is many ways. For example, the weight of a G Master's focus lens is two separate groups for an even weight distribution which deals with the common problem of aberrations at the different subject distances. The floating design allows for independent control of each lens element for the precision that is simply not available with most manufacturers' models.

Designed For Utility

A manual focus adjustment control ring sits right behind the front element, and then there is an aperture and STF (smooth trans focus) control ring in the middle. Complemented by a third ring near the base which is used to alternate between standard and close focus ranges.

The autofocus system can be locked into place through the depression of the 'hold focus' button, along with two toggle switches one of which alternates between autofocus and manual focus and the other toggle turns on and off the embedded optical stabilization system.

G-Master-Lens

​A Sony engineer stated that Sony G-Master series was designed to build lenses that will remain relevant in the future so that no one feels slighted by their purchase and can continue to take the stunning photographs that have come to expect from the industry giant's products.

Overall, Sony is and will continue to be a leader in the development of lenses. With Sony being the number one image sensor manufacture, they have built the G-Master series lenses for photographers ROI in mind. The Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS lens is a stunning piece of future proofed gear that you can grow into rather than out of.

A Conclusion Of Excellence​

One of the biggest concerns might be for photographers who need a fast lens for low light situations. Since the Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS lens uses Smooth Trans Focus it is closer to T 5.6 requiring more light on the subject compared to a standard f/2.8 prime lens. However, with newer Sony cameras having high ISO low noise image sensors, I have not experienced any issues.

If you are a Sony shooter and want stunning photographs, then buying the Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS lens is a must. There might not be a better lens for portraits and stunning bokeh images.

Sony A6500 Review

Sony A6500 Review – The Best Mirrorless Camera APS-C Ever!

The Sony a6500 is a faster, more awesome version of the Sony A6300

In the last couple of years, Sony has gone from being a competitor to Canon and Nikon to the leading innovator in photography. The Sony a6500/ ICLE-6500 is another example of how they keep pushing the envelope while the others sit back and fade away. The Sony a6500 mirrorless camera is a faster and more powerful version of the Sony A6300. In this Sony a6500 review, we will show you why this camera is hands down the best APC-C mirrorless camera ever.

Let's Jump into the Sony a6500 Review!

The Sony a6500 was released only eight short months after the a6300, introduces an enhanced interface, better shooting action, and new features that make it crush all of the APS-C cameras in its price range. 

Sony α6500 - Product Feature

Professional Looking Aesthetics

When it comes to the look of the Sony A6500, it is not very different than the previous model. It has a rugged all-magnesium alloy body. This design offers professional durability protecting the interior components of the camera.

The camera only weighs a little more than a pound, so it is easy to carry in your pack when you are hiking as well as in your hand when you are looking for the perfect shot. The small dimensions of the Sony A6500 make it easy to hold as well. It is less than five inches wide, and less than three inches thick, so even individuals with small hands can easily hold the camera.

Breathtakingly Sharp Images

The Sony A6500 is a great camera for capturing stills that are can be saved as a JPEG, RAW or JPEG, and RAW files. The a6500/ ILCE-6500 boasts a powerful 24-megapixel sensor that creates impressive images that are hard to imagine comes from such a small profile camera.

As you would expect, the colors and detail are incurably realistic. Obviously, this this is an important feature that you should expect a camera of this quality to have. The shadows and highlights that the Sony A6500 captures are quite stunning. When taking a shot of the edge of a lake, you can see the shadows and the sunlight hitting the water clearly

Sony a6500 Noise Reduction Setting

In low light situations, the clarity is a bit less but only enough to give the images a softer feel that some photographers look for in their art. There is a noise reduction option that you can use in these situations, or you can choose the multi-frame noise reduction option that reduces the overall noise from a few photos at once. I prefer to apply noise reduction in post vs. in camera.

The only thing that I did not like about his setting is that it does not work for motion shots. In fact, the image will become quite blurry if any movement occurs during the shot. For moving images, shutter speed mode is going to be the optimal option. The clarity that you can get in this mode is just amazing.

When this setting is not being used, there is an image stabilization system that allows the subject being captured to move on an axis that has a five directional leeway. This can help keep the image as sharp as possible.

The Sony A6500 Produces Amazing Videos

This would be a complete Sony a6500 review if we didn't talk video.The highest quality video that you can capture is 4K. When you are recording in this mode, the Sony A6500 actually captures video in 6K so that cropping does not need to be done to the finished video. Once the recording is complete, the video is reduced down to a 4K format.

Sony α6500 - High quality 4K movie

You can also record in full HD, which means that the recording will be in a smaller file than the higher quality video. In fact, recordings in 1080 only take up about half of the space.

There are three video formatting options that are offered with this camera, which are:​

VIDEO RECORD OPTIONS

File Format - Record Settings

XAVC S 4K - 30p 100M, 30p 60M, 24p 100M, 24p 60M

XAVC S HD - 60p 50M, 30p 50M, 24p 50M, 120p 100M, 120p 60M

AVCHD - 60i 24M (FX), 60i 17M (FX), 60p 28M (PS), 24p 24M (FX), 24p 17M (FH)

MP4 - 1080 60p 28M, 1080 30p 16M, 720 30p 6M

When you use the HD settings, you will also be able to record and play it back in slow motion, which is great for catching those priceless moments that are easy to miss. If you are capturing quick action video, the shutter button is in a relatively awkward position, so you may see a bit of shifting at the very start of the video that you are recording.

Sony α6500 - 5x Slow Motion in Full HD

Autofocus is fast and accurate.

One of the best features of this camera is the autofocus feature. When you use the auto focus option, you have the choice between seven different modes, which are:​

  • Wide​
  • Zone
  • Center
  • Three Flex Spot Options
  • Expanded Flex Spot
  • Each one has a lock-on mode that can be used as well that will help you maintain your focus.

If you want to customize the auto lock a bit more, you can use features such as face detection and eye autofocus to pinpoint the subject of your photo. I find that these features are amazingly quick; in fact, you can prioritize faces and track eyes quicker than you can manually focus. Since this is a touchscreen device, tapping the screen will force the device to focus, which could override any autofocus settings that you have enabled.

The 4D focus system that is present in the Sony A6500 is perfect for focusing on sports and wildlife. Filming or capturing these things typically means that a lot of movement could occur. There are 425 points of detection in this camera as well as 169 points of contrast that can be tracked. This means that the focus speed of this camera will exceed its competitors.

Sony alpha 6500 Fast Hybrid AF in 4K movies

Easy to Use Menus​

If you have used the A 6300, the first thing that you will notice on the Sony A6500 is that the menus have been redesigned. In fact, they have actually been color coded to make navigating them easier. Going from left to right on the display, you will see:

  • A red camera tab​
  • A purple camera tab
  • A dark green connectivity tab
  • A light green tab where your apps will be stored
  • A blue tab that is reserved for playbacks of your video
  • A yellow tab where you can adjust your setup

The two camera settings are designed with subsections that group the selections into logical categories. Camera one is mostly for images. Here are the subcategories:

  • Quality / Image Size​
  • Shoot Mode / Drive
  • AF
  • Exposure
  • Flash
  • Color / WB / Image Processing
  • Focus Assist
  • Face Detection / Shoot Detection

The second camera tab is where you can adjust your video options. These subcategories fall under that tab:

  • Movie​
  • Shutter / Steady Shot
  • Zoom
  • Display / Auto Review
  • Custom Operations

These menus may seem a bit confusing at first, but the subsections make it easy to find settings once you understand how the features are organized in the system. The Sony A6500 also has a lot of physical buttons on the camera that you can use instead of looking through the menus. Most of the buttons are located in a convenient place that you can easily access, even quicker than using the menus in some cases.

If you prefer to use the actual buttons, there are nine on the camera that you can customize. This allows you to have quick access to the photo needs that you use the most. You can even assign the same button to different functionalities that change when you change modes. Any function that you need to hold the button down to use cannot be assigned to a quick select button.

You can also customize the function menu if you choose. With this feature, you can set the menu to display up to 12 of the settings that you change frequently. I find this feature convenient for changing focus modes, flash modes, and shooting modes.

Touch Screen Capabilities​

One of the new features that makes this model a big improvement from the last one created by Sony is the fact that it has a touchscreen display that you can use to control most of the camera functions. There are three menu options that you can use to adjust the touchscreen to your liking, which are:

  • Touch operations- This option allows you to set the sensitivity of the LCD screen as well as determine whether the settings affect the touch panel, the touch pad, both, or neither.
  • Touch Pad (Vertical) – This allows you to either enable or disable the touch functionality when the camera is in vertical mode.
  • Touch Pad Area Setup – This allows you to set where the touch functionality works. You can apply touch options to your entire screen, but if you prefer less of an area, you can set it to half or one fourth of the screen as well. If you set it to a portion of the screen, it will always be enabled on the right most side of the LCD.

One of the best uses of this touch functionality is the fact that you can simply touch the screen to focus your camera. It is a quick method of focusing, but I have found that it does occasionally lag a little bit when you change the focus in still mode, so it is best to wait a second until you know that the camera has regained its point of focus. In addition, if you tap the screen by mistake, the focus point will lock.

The touch screen also works with the video mode. Touch focus is nice for pulling focus between two subjects. The lock-on modes that are great for recording video is not available at all, so you may have to re-center the focus as you are filming.

Options for Sharing​

​A lot of photographers like to quickly share their pictures on social media. Maybe you want to show your friends some of the videos and pictures that you took on your last vacation. Regardless of the reason that you are interested in sharing the content, you will be happy to know that the Sony A6500 makes it a very easy. The device has a wireless (WiFi) internet connection. This allows you to connect to your smartphone, computer, or tablet to transfer the pictures and videos.

If you are transferring to your phone, apps such as Play Memories can make the process even easier to complete. In fact, they can even upload the images that you want to share on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook instantly. To connect to the camera's Wi-Fi, you will need a security key.

I have found this method to take a lot of time, so I'd sooner connect directly to my computer, but if you do not have that option available, this method is great for transferring a few photos. In addition, if you are using MP4 format, then sharing a lower resolution file will take less time to transfer.

Connection Options​

The Sony A6500 has a USB 2.0 that can be used as well as a micro-HDMI. There is also an application that functions as a remote that you can download to use with the camera. This makes it easy to take a picture with you and your friends and family in the image. Many of my pictures leave me or someone that I am close to out of the image, so I love how easy the app makes it to take group photos.

Battery Life Expectancy

One of the biggest frustrations when creating this Sony a6500 review testing the battery life, especially when shooting video. Battery life is important for any electronic device, but specifically for a camera because a dead battery means that moments that you could have captured will be lost forever. So you know where I'm going, the battery life isn't  great, however keep reading there may be a easy workaround. 

This camera uses the NP-FW50 battery. Although the Sony A6500 is tiny, this camera eats power. A fully charged NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery pack should last for approximately 300 to 330 still shots or about 95 minutes of video shooting under normal temperature conditions.

If you are a heavy LCD user, the count drops. The battery life for the Sony a6500 isn't great. Solution? Buy more batteries. They are light and easy to carry around. On a typical shoot, I will use between 1-2 batteries. However, for video shooting, you will probably want a minimum of four. I have five NP-FW50 batteries, but, then, I also own a Sony a7R II that use the same batteries.

PROS for the Sony A6500

  • ​Fantastic image quality up to 25,600 ISO
  • Very fast autofocus. Most notable when using Sony glass, and preferably newer prime lenses
  • This camera produces excellent video quality, With 6k video downsampled to 4k.
  • The compact and ergonomic design is comfortable in your hand.The construction of this camera is durable so that it lasts through all of your important, memorable occasions.
  • You can customize the menu options and buttons on the Sony A6500
  • The newer menus have subcategories that help to de-clutter the interface.
  • The image stabilization is great, especially for still images and video.

CONS for the Sony A6500

  • The touch screen tends to lag a bit, especially when shooting stills using autofocus.
  • There is not a headphone jack that you can be used to monitor the audio when recording video. You do have audio meters, but there is nothing more reassuring when recording audio that listening to it over headphones.
  • No surprise on this one. Battery life. I understand with the small profile it's hard to get a larger battery, but it would be nice to have time, especially when recording video.
  • Sony doesn't include a battery charger with the purchase of the Sony A6500. They provide a plug (AC Adapter AC-UB10C/ D) that allows you to charge the battery while in the camera. I highly recommend buying the optional Sony BC-VW1 charger.

Sony A6500 Review Final Thoughts:

The Sony A6500 is a great option for a professional photographer to invest in, especially if you capture moving images. It has great image quality, video quality, fast autofocus, and it has touch screen functionality.

I love the option to shoot in 4K video. The downside is that this is an expensive camera, so it may be more than an amateur wants to invest. Hopefully, my Sony A6500 review has answered all of your questions about the product and helped you decide if it is a good purchase for you.

AWS vs Azure

Amazon AWS vs Microsoft Azure Public Cloud Comparison

Amazon AWS vs Microsoft Azure

The cloud provides numerous benefits such as reduced cost, efficient operations, and on-demand scalability. For this reason, many companies have found themselves migrating in this direction.

When it comes to cloud services, the two biggest comparisons are between Amazon AWS vs Microsoft Azure. AWS currently owns about 90% of the public cloud market. Azure is around 5%, but growing fast. They both are great and challenging in their own right, but which one is best for you? I will break down the significance of each to let you decide which will be the best option for you.

Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, History

Amazon is a pioneer in the cloud market, and it established its cloud platform AWS in 2006. AWS is a band of cloud commodities that bring customers numerous services including storage to content distribution to application services and analytics. Currently, AWS offers 70 services and is ever evolving on a daily basis. When it comes to the number or cloud services, AWS leads over Azure.

Microsoft released statements in regards to Azure in 2008. However, they did not release it until 2010. Before publicizing Azure to the general public, Microsoft operated Azure in beta form to assure its validity. Companies that took part in the beta phase included NBC, Pixar, and Boeing. Today, Azure offer around 50 cloud services.

Features

Both products are well equipped to handle the necessary cloud services. The fundamental elements of AWS include databases, compute, storage and content delivery, and networking. Each of these components functions within Amazon's authority.​

Azure handles these areas as well under Build Infrastructure, Gain Insights from Data and Manage Identity and Access, and Develop Modern Applications. Both systems administer the ability to process real-time streaming and analytics. Both also aid in having a smoother process in spinning up VMs on demand, deploying apps, setting up storage and allowing you to DB options without many issues.

Concerning the goal of public cloud, there is not a significant difference between the two. However, we will get into some of the technical differences shortly that may assist you in choosing one over the other.

Available Regions​

Azure is generally available in 34 regions globally, and has announced plans to expand to 4 additional regions. AWS is built around availability zones and regions. A region is a physical location in the world where they have numerous availability zones. Availability zones are comprised of one or more distinct data centers. The AWS Cloud currently manages 42 Availability zones within 16 geographic regions globally.​

Hybrid Access​

For businesses that are in need of a hybrid cloud access when using cloud services, Microsoft's Azure has more options in this area, thus leading the way over AWS in this category. Azure provides companies the ability to use on-site servers and spread them to the cloud. Another great thing about Azure in this realm is that it allows particular parts of an application to stay on-site while communicating with other elements that have moved to the cloud. Amazon has made reference of considering the hybrid approach but has yet to include it.

Accessible To the Government

When it comes to government relations, Amazon AWS stands firm on the front lines. AWS has been significantly involved in assisting the government to move their systems and data to the cloud. Amazon refers to this service as GovCloud.

​Microsoft Azure has taken notes and has established what they call, Azure Government. Though they are making great strides with it, the service still needs more time to be up to pace with AWS. In this case, it will be best to go with AWS for this option.

Mobile Services​

With the vast amount of time people spend using mobile devices, it is only a matter of time before developers are faced with the option to create modern mobile apps.

​AWS provides its clients with MobileHub to give them the power to develop for iOS and Android. AWS also provides numerous services that are key in developing mobile applications. These services include push notifications, authentication, data storage and synchronization, cloud delivery, analytics and access to backend compute such as Lambda. AWS Mobile SDK gives developers the access to create apps from their foundation and is suitable with .NET, iOS, Android, Xamarin and Fire OS.

Azure present Mobile Apps to aid backend solutions. Mobile Apps is a consumer SDK that gives developers the power to create top mobile solutions and allows clients to utilize Notification Hubs for push notifications and Functions for serverless mobile backend resolutions. Azure also offers Easy Tables which allows you to sync and set up to a SQL without writing any server-side code.​

Open Source​

AWS has held a significant advantage over Azure in this race. For the longest time, Azure was unavailable for open source markets until lately. Microsoft has made great strides and now allows users to operate Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Apache Hadoop clusters.

AWS, however, has been operable with Linux since its inception. This detail alone has helped AWS gain the edge over Azure in recent years.

IoT​ (Internet of Things)

When it comes to IoT, there is a strong desire for a platform that gives its users access to communicate between devices via the internet. It also pertinent that it can manage a large accumulation of data with no security breaks.

AWS IoT grants total IoT resolutions. Devices can connect with applications that operate in the cloud over, MQTT, WebSockets, and HTTP. An analytical rules generator gives AWS IoT access to send and transform IoT traffic to Lambda function or S3 bucket. AWS IoT is also able to send analytics to Kinesis Streams, giving it the ability to drive real-time analytics via applications recorded using the Kinesis Client Library.

Azure provides its users with IoT Hub, and it supports HTTP, MQTT, and AMQP. To access real-time analytics, Azure offers Event Hubs with Azure Stream Analytics. Azure allows users to stream to Apache Storm, which is an open source platform, thus making it a popular choice among clients.

Networking​

​Regarding networking, most users will be satisfied with choosing either AWS or Azure. Azure's Virtual Network and Amazon's Virtual Private Clouds give users the ability to group VMs into confined networks in the cloud. Utilizing Azure, clients can join VNETs to on-site data hubs through site-to-site VPN networks or what they call, Azure ExpressRoute. AWS gives users access to create a VPN connection to a corporate data HUB and a VPC.

Bot platforms provide users with the ability to extend their on-site data hub into the hybrid or public cloud.

Storage​

AWS provides Simple Storage Service to its users for the storage needs. By providing its users with resources such as free webinars, extensive documentation, articles, tutorials, and loads of libraries and sample code, AWS takes the edge over Azure by far. Users are also able to access helpful feedback daily from Amazon developers via their active discussion forums.

AWS also offers Elastic File System, Elastic Block Storage, Storage Gateway, Glacier Archive Backup and Import/Export large volume data transfer service. These services merge with on-site environments.

Azure provides its users with Object Storage and Block Storage via blob storage. Blob storage contains block blobs and page blobs. Azure challenges Amazon's Elastic Block Storage by providing page blobs that supply persistent block storage. Azure's block blobs also provide object storage in the same way that Amazon's S3 service does. By utilizing a low construction to keep all the data in an individual container with metadata and tags that authorize identification, manipulation, and retrieval of information.

Azure's File Storage also challenges Amazon's Elastic File System by preparing constant availability storage choice. Azure, users can share File Storage with various VMs, creating a seamless operation in managing demanding cloud applications. It also provides users the ability to receive data from cloud and local servers.

Compute​ Services

​When it comes to compute, AWS provides users with Elastic Cloud Compute. Elastic Clouc Compute is an IaaS benefit and administers flexible on-demand computing. Other services that AWS provides include Elastic Beanstalk, EC2 Container service, Autoscaling, and Lambda.

Azure uses virtual machines as a central means for compute offering. Azure also provides its users with Cloud Services which is used to expand infinitely-scalable, highly-available applications and APIs.

​Azure provides what they call Resource Manager to assist in visualizing and managing resources in your app, and Web Apps allows the user to deploy and design expandable web apps that can be sustained by Linux and Windows platforms. Using Azure, developers also have the power to create sites using Node.js, ASP.NET, Python, or PHP. They are also able to choose from numerous open source applications from a gallery to utilize.

SUBCATEGORY

AZURE SERVICE

AWS SERVICE

DESCRIPTION

VIRTUAL SERVERS

Virtual
Machines

EC2

Amazon EC2 and Azure Virtual Machines Allow you to acquire compute through the launching of virtual servers called instances

CONTAINER
MANAGEMENT

Container
Service

EC2
Container
Service

A container management service that supports Docker containers and allows users to run applications on managed instance clusters. 

WEB APPLICATION

- Web Apps
- Cloud Services

Elastic
Beanstalk

An easy to use fully managed scalable web applications and services. The Web applications have built-in web server instances and surrounding security, management, resilience, and shared storage capabilities.

AUTO SCALE

- VM Scale Sets-

- App Service AutoScaling

Auto Scale

Auto scaling provides the ability to launch and then release servers in response to variable workloads. Provisioning servers and then releasing them when the workload decreases can provide big coast savings.

VIRTUAL SERVER
DISK INFRASTRUCTURE

- Page Blobs
- Premium Storage

Elastic Block
Store (EBS)

Virtual server disk infrastructure provides persistent, durable storage volumes for use with virtual machines, and can offer the option to select different physical storage types and performance options.

BACKEND PROCESS
LOGIC

- Functions
- Web Jobs
- Logic Apps

Lambda

Using backend process logic is basically a compute service that lets you run code in response to events or schedules without provisioning or managing servers.

PREDEFINED
TEMPLATES

Azure
Quickstart
Templates

AWS Quick
Start

Quick Starts are Community-led templates for creating and deploying key technologies solutions automatically.

MARKETPLACE

Azure
Marketplace

AWS Marketplace

Marketplace is an online store where you can buy easy-to-deploy and automatically configured third-party applications, including single virtual machine or multiple virtual machine solutions.

Big Data​

AWS can process massive amounts of stored data. AWS utilizes Elastic MapReduce to provide integration solutions with AWS services such as S3 and DynamoDB. Being able to aid in the process makes Elastic MapReduce a fundamental necessity for Amazon. AWS also utilizes Data Pipeline to transform, copy, move and enrich data.

Azure provides users with HDInsight and Cortana Intelligence. HDInsight is also compatible with blob storage or what they call, Data Lake Store. When it comes to data processing pipelines, Azure provides Data Service which is a data arrangement service.​

Azure provides users with Data Lake Analytics. DLA is an analytical platform and a serverless hyper-scale data cache. A function of Data Lake Analytics is to access data in SQL Data Warehouse, Blob Storage, and SQL Database and operate analytical tasks without the need of managing or provisioning collections. To complete real-time data processing Azure utilizes Streamline Analytics and Power BI for visualizations and dashboards.​

Breakdown

AWS is remains admired by customers in part due to its flexibility. It gives customers access choose, pick and design the cloud services that is best suited for their needs. AWS provides its users with numerous product selections. However, most customers discover it is a challenge to operate some of the complex features AWS includes.

Microsoft Azure, to the contrary, provides clients with a slew of products that are less challenging to manage. By not offering as many products as AWS, Azure makes it easier for customers to maneuver through their selection of products.

Conclusion

So, in the challenge of Amazon AWS vs Microsoft Azure, which is better? It is simple. Whichever service is able to meet the needs of your business. Amazon AWS provides more cloud services. However, Microsoft Azure is more suited for you if you desire a hybrid approach.

Both companies provide great IT and developer resources, and they provide excellent customer support. Amazon, however, has been established longer than Microsoft, thus giving them an advantage in the market because they have a longer and are more grounded in their business practices.

Best VPN Services 2017

The 5 Best VPN Services of 2017

Best VPN's for Public WiFi Hotspots

Have you accessed the internet via a public Wi-Fi network in the recent past? If your answer to this question is in the affirmative, then the chances are that your online privacy and security have been compromised. Many public Wi-Fi networks, which are quite ubiquitous nowadays, are not as secured as you may expect them to be. When you connect to the internet via them, you get exposed to many cyber threats. Here as some of the dangers that you face whenever you use some public Wi-Fi networks.

  • In some instances, criminals set up fake Wi-Fi networks using names of restaurants or any other public place you may be familiar with. If you happen to connect to such a network, you may end up losing your critical personal information to the criminals.
  • Hackers may successfully conduct Man-in-the-Middle attacks by infiltrating particular Wi-Fi networks. When hackers use this type of attack, they can successfully eavesdrop on the communication between your device and servers. The hackers may then steal your important details in the process.
  • Some criminals use Wi-Fi networks to spread malware programs to devices connected to such networks. They then use the malware to gain access to the infected devices later.

The best way to avoid these dangers that are associated with public Wi-Fi networks is to use a VPN. A VPN encrypts all the traffic that you send and receive when you are online. Also, a VPN tunnels your traffic via highly secure tunnels, thus making it practically impossible for hackers and criminals to access your traffic.

Given that there are many VPN services on the market, here is a list of some of the best VPN solutions for 2017 that you can use to safeguard your digital security.

1. ExpressVPN

4.8/5

ExpressVPN Website
Pros Check

PROS

- Servers In 85 Countries

​- Strong Encryption

- Fast Connection Speeds

- P2P

- Extremely Reliable 

Cons Checkmark

CONS

- Some Internet Connection Logs    
  Stored 

Express VPN is arguably one of the most reliable VPN services that you can use to safeguard your online privacy. Several reasons make Express VPN one of the best VPN services that you can use to keep your digital privacy. First, Express VPN has a number of features dedicated to keeping your data safe whenever you are online. For example, the service has a feature called, Kill switch. This feature automatically disconnects your device from the Express VPN servers whenever you lose your internet connection. The feature effectively prevents possible IP address leaks if you lose your internet connectivity when using the service.

Second, the service has special stealth servers in Hong Kong. These servers are useful for individuals who are in China and would like to bypass the restrictions that the Chinese authorities place on internet usage in the country. By using the stealth servers, users can successfully bypass the restrictions and access content that the Chinese authorities expressly ban in the country.

Moreover, Express VPN does not keep logs of how its clients access the internet when using its servers. Thus, when you use this service, you can rest assured that third parties cannot access records of your online activities.

Get the best WiFi hotspot protection now!

2. VyprVPN

4.8/5

VyprVPN Website

Pros Check

PROS

- Servers In over 60
  Countries

​- Strong Encryption

- Auto Connect and Kill
  Switch

- Fast Connections

Cons Checkmark

CONS

- 30-day retention of connection
  logs

Whether VyprVPN is indeed the fastest VPN service in the world is subject to debate, however, one thing that is certain is that the service owns the infrastructure that its uses. As opposed to sharing infrastructure, owning the network infrastructure helps a VPN service offer relatively high connectivity speeds to its clients. That VyprVPN owns its network infrastructure means that the service offers its clients relatively high connectivity speeds.

Apart from high connectivity speeds, VyprVPN offers its clients highly advanced features to help bypass any form of internet restriction. Most notably, the service has the chameleon stealth technology that allows its users to bypass the internet restrictions that the Chinese government places on its citizens.

Therefore, if you are looking for a VPN service that can offer you high connectivity speeds and the ability to bypass internet restrictions, you may consider using VyprVPN.

Get VyprVPN WiFi hotspot protection now!

3. PureVPN

4/5

PureVPN Website
Pros Check

PROS

- Great Desktop and Mobile  
  App Performance

- Excellent customer support

- Easy interface

Cons Checkmark

CONS

- Retention of Customer Details and logs

- Confusing Pricing Model between  
  Standard and Unlimited

For about 10 years now, Pure VPN has been providing highly competitive VPN services to clients across the world. One of the most distinctive aspects of this service is its pricing plans. It has three pricing plans designed to cater to the needs of particular user groups as follows.

The downloaders pricing plan is for individuals who need a VPN service for overcoming restrictions and downloading content. This pricing plan costs $8 per month. Alternatively, you can pay $4 per month for this plan if you choose to purchase it on an annual basis.

The streamers pricing plan of Pure VPN is ideal for individuals who would like to use a VPN service to stream content online, bypass geo-restrictions and safeguard their online identity. If you choose to pay for this plan on an annual basis, you will end up paying an average amount of $5 per month. Otherwise, you will pay $10 for every month that you use this plan.

Lastly, the premium pricing plan of this VPN service costs $13 on a monthly basis and $7 under the annual plan. The major benefit of this plan is that you will have access to optimized servers.

Get PureVPN WiFi hotspot protection now!

4. IPVanish

3.9/5

IPVanish VPN Website
Pros Check

PROS

- Servers In 65 Countries

​- Strong Encryption

- Fast Connection Speeds

- Zero traffic and connection
  logs

- Affordable Pricing

Cons Checkmark

CONS

- No Free Trial

-VPN service subject to US data privacy laws (NSA, Gag Orders)

As it is the case with the other best VPN services, IPVanish has a number of features that makes it one of the most loved VPN services on the market. For example, the service does not retain client activity logs, meaning that clients do not have to worry about their privacy when they use the service.

Second, VyprVPN has the Kill switch feature, meaning that when you use the service, you do not have to worry about IP address leakages when you lose your connection to the internet. Third, this VPN service accepts a broad range of payment methods, the most notable one being Bitcoin.

Get IPVanish WiFi hotspot protection now!

5. HideMyAss VPN

3.9/5

Hide My Ass VPN Website
Pros Check

PROS

- 940+ Servers in 190
  Countries

​- Strong Encryption

- Server Load Balancing

Cons Checkmark

CONS

- Activity Log Retention

- Maximum of 2 devices connected simultaneously

HideMyAss VPN is another amazing VPN service that you can use to hide your IP address, encrypt your traffic and avoid all the risks that you face when you use a public Wi-Fi network. In fact, this VPN service is one of the most secure and trusted VPN services on the market. One of the reasons as to why many people rely on HideMyAss relates to its server strength. The service has more than 700 servers spread across 150 countries in the world. Hence, HideMyAss has a very strong server network.

Additionally, the service has relatively good connectivity speeds. Connectivity speeds are important if you are using a VPN service to stream content. However, remember that HideMyAss still retains logs of the activities of its users. Although there are several other leading VPN services that still keep client logs, many others do not retain the records.

Get HideMyAss WiFi hotspot protection now!

Conclusion

In my opinion, these are the best VPN solutions for 2017. All of them have a reliable server network and advanced security-related services. Also, all these VPN services have secure and dependable systems, thanks to their large number of servers positioned across different regions of the world.

Additionally, some of these services do not retain records of the activities of their clients. By doing so, these services guarantee their customers a high level of privacy and data security. Therefore, you can use them to not only overcome the dangers associated with public Wi-Fi networks but also to bypass internet restrictions.

XAgent OSX Mac

XAgentOSX Mac Malware Linked to Russian DNC Hack

XAgentOSX is a nasty, Russian made virus designed to spread on Mac OSX operating systems. This virus was found on DNC computer and may be the culprit for the email leaks.

Where did XAgentOSX originate?

This virus is associated with the same group that made the Sofacy’s Komplex Trojan, Fancy Bear. The group has also been responsible for breaching the security of NATO, The White House, and other government agencies.

Continue reading
macOS Sierra Bootable USB

How To Create a macOS Sierra Bootable USB Drive

Many owners of Apple personal computers are excited to install macOS Sierra, the 13th major release of the company's operating system and the first to be rebranded as a MacOS. Sierra has been available to the public as a stable release since September 20, 2016, as a free upgrade.

MacOS Sierra comes with a lot of upgrades, including a holistic integration with Siri, Apple's proprietary voice assistant technology. Sierra also has new features in the standard apps like Messages and Photos plus new benefits like a Universal Clipboard and the option to Auto Unlock Apple Watches.​

Upgrading vs. Fresh Installation 

While upgrading to a new operating system may be perfectly adequate for some users, a clean installation of a new MacOS can have a number of benefits. A fresh installation will rid your system of any strange behavioral tics or unusual minor problems. A fresh install will also remove lots of unwanted data fragments that can clog up your computer like software upgrade files, unwanted third-party apps, and leftover data files from uninstalled programs. A fresh Sierra install will also free up disk space, leaving your computer rejuvenated and working much faster.

Note: a fresh installation of a new operating system will wipe all files on your computer, including personal files unrelated to the operating system. Beware that all data stored on your computer will be erased when you perform the fresh installation.

What You'll Need for a Clean MacOS Sierra Bootable USB Installer

Before you begin, you will want to backup all important files. You can either use Apple's proprietary Time Machine technology or save your files on a third-party external hard drive or cloud data service. If you choose Time Machine and something goes wrong with the installation of Sierra, you can always recover it later with no risk.

If you choose to use a third-party external hard drive or cloud data service, you can create a bootable mirror image of your current operating system or choose to copy individual files one at a time for later use.

Note: If you're backing up your files to a cloud data service, be sure to verify that the uploaded files have been synchronized.

Follow these instructions to prepare your bootable drive to install Sierra:

There are a several free Apps that can help you with this process. However, I prefer to use the terminal. Here are the steps to create a macOS Sierra beta boot disk:

Step 1: Download the macOS installer from the mac App Store. If the installer opens automatically quite the installer.

Apple App Store

Step 2: Connect the external USB drive (8GB or larger) to your Mac. I have successfully used the Verbatim 32GB Store 'n' Go V3 USB 3.0 Flash Drive.

Step 3:  Open Disk Utility by going to spotlight (Command + Space), type Disk Utility, and press Enter.

Now, Select the USB drive to erase> Click on Erase > Select the USB drive to Erase > Enter the name "Untitled" to name the USB drive > Click Erase.

apple disk utility

Step 4: Open up Terminal application (Applications > Utilities).​ Or, search for terminal using Spotlight. 

Step 5: Copy and Paste the entire command in Terminal to create the bootable installer.

sudo /Applications/Install macOS Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install macOS Sierra.app --nointeraction

Step 6: Click Enter and type in your passowrd

Step 8: Type "Y" to Continue with erasing the USB 

Example Below:

Apple Terminal Window

Congratulations, you've created a macOS Sierra Bootable USB Drive

maxOS Sierra USB