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Bitdefender Free Edition Vs Paid: Which is better?




In this Bitdefender Free Edition vs paid comparison, we help you find the best version of the virus removal tool.

Bitdefender Free Edition covers the basics well and is light on your system resources.

Is the Bitdefender paid version worth it? We have compared all the versions in detail in the guide below.

ESET Antivirus comes with all the security tools that you may ever need to protect your data and privacy, including:

Anti-theft support

Webcam protection

Intuitive setup and UI

Multi-platform support

Banking-level encryption

Low system requirements

Advanced anti-malware protection

An antivirus program needs to be fast, efficient, and cost-effective, and this one has them all.

Almost all antivirus solutions offer both free and premium versions for their security programs. Bitdefender is no different and comes with a free and paid version.

Now, if you have used and liked this software, you may be wondering if you should invest in the paid version.

In this Bitdefender free edition vs paid comparison guide, we will list all the features that differentiate between these versions and help you decide if you should invest in the paid version.

Bitdefender Free Edition Vs Paid: Which one is better?

You can install it on your Windows system, MacBook, and even on your Android and iOS smartphones. So, irrespective of the platform you are in, you will get free protection on all the devices. 

➡ Real-time Threat Detection

The free edition comes equipped with behavioral detection to monitor your active apps closely. An alert is sent when the app detects any suspicious activity in an instant and blocks the action. 

➡ Virus Scanning and Malware Removal

It comes with a powerful scan engine for real-time detection and malware removal, including viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, zero-day exploits, rootkits, and more.

➡ Anti-Phishing

Bitdefender offers this feature in its free edition to help you keep your passwords safe and browse freely. It blocks default phishing websites that appear to be real and are designed to steal your information.

➡ Anti-Fraud

Apart from these major features on the Bitdefender Free Edition, it also covers the basics well. For example, On-demand & on-access virus scanning runs deep scans in the background without affecting your system performance significantly.

As the features list indicates, Bitdefender Free Edition offers all the essential features you need to safeguard your PC from the most common security threats.

⇒ Get Bitdefender Free

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is the most affordable Bitdefender paid plan. It offers all the features of the Free Edition and some additional features. However, there is a plan one tier up that offers even more features, but we will get to that in a bit.

Compared to the Free Edition, Antivirus Plus supports all of the features from that version, can be connected to over three devices, and adds some great new elements:

➡ Network Threat Protection

A cyber threat intelligence technology to analyze suspicious network-level activities. It can block sophisticated exploits, malware URLs, and brute force attacks. Multi-Layer Ransomware Protection is another addition that offers multiple layers of ransomware protection to keep your files safe from encryption.

➡ Rescue Environment

➡ Autopilot

➡ BitDefender VPN

The premium version of Bitdefender comes with a built-in VPN client to help you protect your presence online. However, the daily cap per device is set to 200 MB, which can be a little too restricting for some users

➡ Privacy features

Password manager – ensures you will always have access to your passwords and that they will be protected from any prying eyes

Data protection – capable of using the built-in File Shredder to remove any trace of a file you choose

VPN – enables you to change your IP and access geo-restricted content from across the globe

Safepay – ensures that any online transactions are valid and protected from any phishing scams

To summarize, the Bitdefender Antivirus Plus plan offers tons of features to protect your data and system from different kinds of attacks.

Expert tip:

⇒ Get Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

With Bitdefender Total Security, you get all the features offered by the Antivirus Plus and Free Edition, and some more. For example, it supports up to 5 devices.

Here are some other important additions that come with this version:

➡ Microphone Monitor

You can regain control over your own devices. You can view which apps have access to your microphone and when. Essential when most of the apps require tons of permission to access your audio and video devices.

➡ Webcam Protection

It is another handy feature. When enabled, it notified you if an app tries to access your webcam. You can also block unauthorized access.

➡ Parental Control

To protect your children and keep an eye on their internet browsing behavior. Block not child-friendly websites and services and log browsing history.

➡ macOS Protection

A specially designed suite of features for macOS running computers. It consists of features such as Safe File to prevent unauthorized access to important files -Time Machine Protection allows you to restore the files from your Mac after a ransomware attack – adware blocker, cross-platform malware detection, and traffic light browser extension, and more.

➡ Android Protection

A package of essential security features for your Android device. It includes web protection, on-demand install and scan, WearOn for a smartwatch, anti-theft, battery and performance saver, VPN, app lock, and more.

Similarly, for iOS users, there is iOS protection with an identical set of features. 

⇒ Get Bitdefender Total Security

Similarities between Bitdefender versions

Updates to the latest version are included as part of your subscription. This way, you will never be left out of new features and security patches, even if you are halfway through your subscription.

Compatibility and System Requirements 

Cross-platform support is essential as it allows you to use a single product across devices and synchronize your settings. Bitdefender Free Edition, Antivirus Plus, and Total Security are compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. 

Cross-platform multi-device support, however, is limited to paid versions of the security solution. The system requirements are set to a bare minimum as well. So, you can install the software as long as you have capable and functional hardware.

System Resource Usage 

Bitdefender is a lightweight utility, irrespective of the edition you are using. Although additional premium version features may impact your system performance more than the free edition, it is not a dealbreaker.

All the versions also come with the Bitdefender Photon feature. When enabled, it automatically adapts to your system hardware configuration to save computing resources and improve speed and performance. 

Differences between Bitdefender versions

For an easier-to-understand overview of all the features found in the versions of Bitdefender we discussed above, we created a useful table.

Here you can see clearly which version offers which feature, and thus allow you to make an informed decision when it comes to investing in powerful antivirus software.

Features BitDefender Free Antivirus PlusTotal Security Real-Time Data ProtectionYesYesYesAdvanced Threat DefenseYesYesYesWeb attack preventionYesYesYesAnti-Phishing & Anti-FraudYesYesYesBitdefender Photon™YesYesYesGlobal Protective NetworkYesYesYesNetwork Threat PreventionNoYesYesMulti-Layer Ransomware ProtectionNoYesYesVulnerability AssessmentNoYesYesRescue EnvironmentNoYesYesAutopilotNoYesYesGame, Movie & Work ProfilesNoYesYesBattery ModeNoYesYesBitdefender VPNNoYesYesAnti-trackerNoYesYesSafe Online BankingNoYesYesWi-Fi Security AdvisorNoYesYesSocial Network ProtectionNoYesYesPassword ManagerNoYesYesFile ShredderNoYesYesMicrophone MonitorNoNoYesAntispamNoYesYesParental ControlNoNoYesPrivacy FirewallNoNoYesSpeed Up Your DevicesNoNoYesAnti-TheftNoNoYes


Protect your PC now!ESET Antivirus comes with all the security tools that you may ever need to protect your data and privacy, including:

Don’t leave your PC unprotected! Get one of the best antivirus tools in the world and navigate the Internet without worries!comes with all the security tools that you may ever need to protect your data and privacy, including:

Webcam protection

Multi-platform support

Low system requirements

Top-notch anti-malware protection

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Hspa+ Vs Lte: Which One Is Better?

Bottom Line

T-Mobile’s HSPA+42 network performs admirably against, what is supposed to be, far superior LTE networks. The high speeds offered by this network should be more than enough for most users.

LTE is fast! While HSPA+ is definitely good enough, the LTE networks(in their current state) are 20-30% faster. A big plus for all the speed demons out there.

Unrelated to the topic, but is anyone as surprised as I am at how poorly Sprint’s Wi-Max network performed?

Granted these results for HSPA+ aren’t standard the world over, with most networks featuring 21Mbps download capabilities. But all these network carriers are planning to upgrade to 42Mbps and even 84 Mbps networks, so HSPA+ still has a lot of potential, and is certainly “good enough” for now.

While a lot of countries are marked “red” indicating countries with commercial LTE services, it is slightly misleading. For example, while India as a whole is marked, only one carrier(Airtel) offers 4G LTE services in only one city(Kolkata) thus far. Of course, plans are in the works to rollout the network eventually, it will take quite a lot of time before complete coverage is achieved.

The above point is true for most countries, with none boasting a full coverage LTE network. Full coverage in some regions will be achieved at the earliest by late-2013 to early-2014, with most others much later.

On the other hand, HSPA+ is more along the lines of a software enhancement that elevates 3G data network performance. Of course, the process isn’t as simple as it sounds, but it is definitely easier than building a completely new LTE supported network. As such, any carrier that has an established 3G network, have upgraded to an HSPA+ network. With over 100 network carriers worldwide featuring HSPA+ networks with most boasting over 80% coverage. To keep up with current LTE speeds, carrier networks are also upgrading the their “slower” 21Mbps networks to 42Mbps or even 84Mbps (theoretical) download speeds.


AT&T and Verizon have standard data rates of $50 for 5GB regardless of whether you have access to 3G, HSPA+, or 4G LTE networks.

 T-Mobile, which currently features a 42Mbps HSPA+ networks, also features the same data rates.

In India, while available only in Kolkata so far, 4G LTE costs Rs 1399(~$28) for 9GB, with HSPA+ being Rs 1250(~$25) for 10GB.

Device availability

Most smartphones and tablets (3G versions) released in the last 2 years or so can access the faster speeds offered by HSPA+ networks.

On the other hand, accessing a LTE network requires a significant hardware change, i.e. the need for an LTE radio.

Options for LTE capable devices are comparatively limited and generally range towards the higher end of the price spectrum.

There has been an incompatibility issue with latest NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3 processor and LTE radios, as seen with the HTCOne X where the international version features the quad-core processor, and the US releases with LTE radios “falling back” on Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors. Whether this issue will be prevalent in other quad-core processors such as the Samsung Exynos 4412, is yet to be seen.

LTE radios are also infamous for being a huge drain on battery life.

The Future


Backward compatibility with existing WCDMA and HSPA networks. This provided the possibility of an easy transition to LTHE as opposed to a network upgrade to LTE.

Theoretical download speeds up to a whopping 672 Mbps.

Carriers and hardware companies claimed that LTHE could have been ready for deployment by 2013.

Unfortunately, almost every network around the world has decided to move onto LTE as their network for the future. HSPA+ networks will likely be upgraded to the 42Mbps or even 84Mbps download capability, but now, it seems like that is as far as this evolutionary technology will be pushed.

 TD-LTE:  TD-LTE or Time-Division LTE was developed by China Mobile over the last few years. Unlike LTE networks which carries two separate signals for data traveling in either direction, TD-LTE features a single channel and allocated upload and download bandwidth depending on your usage. This accounts for higher data speeds. TD-LTE is also compatible 4G WiMax and it will easier to upgrade from WiMax to TD-LTE than to LTE.

LTE Advanced: LTE Advanced is a further evolution of current LTE networks which brings with it theoretical peaks of 1GBps download speeds, increased spectrum efficiency(upto 3 times more bandwidth), and reduced latency. Like the upgrade from HSPA to HSPA+, a move from LTE to LTE-Advanced is also a software deployment upgrade.


Advantages of LTE over HSPA+

Much better spectrum efficiency

Far lower latency

LTE has a simpler architecture compared to an HSPA+ network

Advantages of HSPA+ over LTE

HSPA+ is an already established network, whereas complete LTE coverage still has a while to go

HSPA to HSPA+ evolution required much less investment in infrastructure and was less costly to upgrade as opposed to LTE which needs a completely new network built from the ground up.

LTE requires specific LTE radio featured devices, whereas HSPA+ is available to any user with a 3G enabled phone.

7200 Vs 5400 Rpm – Which One Is Better?

Today’s users prefer SSD over a mechanical hard drive for better performance, speed, and higher bandwidth. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a larger storage capacity at an affordable price, it’s best to get an HDD.

Although 12000 to 15000 RPM hard drives are readily available, those with 5400 and 7200 are more popular among home users. While rotational speed is an essential factor, you should also consider areal density (amount of storage per unit area) if you’re planning to install a new HDD.

Moreover, if you’re already utilizing a 5400, is it worth switching to a 7200? Certainly, there’s much more difference than just the 1800 RPM difference, and that’s exactly what we will cover in this article.

Hard Drive Platters Can Rotate at Hundreds to Thousands of Revolutions

Well, a circular platter has several tiny areas that can be magnetized or demagnetized. While smaller drives usually come with a single platter, the bigger ones can have multiple ones stacked on the motor spindle.

Interestingly, the platters can rotate at several hundred to thousands of revolutions (low as 1200 and high as 15000) in a single minute. That’s exactly what Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) means, and this also helps determine the access time, meaning the higher the number of revolutions, the faster the data retrieval.

Firstly, 5400 RPM means that the platter on a hard drive rotates 5400 times in a minute to perform read/write operations. We recommend using them if you want to run an OS, store huge files, and execute low-end programs.

Moreover, 5400 hard drives are considered best if you’re trying to add more storage to your PC, build a low-power server, or NAS (Network Attached Storage). This is mainly because a comparatively slower drive (than 7200 RPM) likely consumes less power and produces less heat. Likewise, they are mostly preferred on laptops due to their portability and heat dissipation requirements. 

Furthermore, the current 5400 RPM drives that use PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) have become much faster than the older 7200 mechanical disks using LMR (Longitudinal Magnetic Recording). This is simply because the former achieves areal density higher than the latter, ensuring quicker head movements.


Consumes less power

Produces less heat

Produces less noise


Longer lifespan

Reduced battery’s operating time


Slower file transfer

Slower read/write speed

Greater rotational latency time

Weaker performance

7200 RPM hard drives are those where the platter rotates 7200 times in a minute to perform read/write operations. Usually, they are preferred by professionals for incredible speed and performance. Although 7200 is usually installed on desktop computers, you can still use them on laptops having good cooling performance.

Well, normal users may not find much difference in the performance between 5400 and 7200 RPMs. Nonetheless, if you’re a professional or an avid gamer, you know that the latter slightly edges past in many aspects. For example, if you try loading games on both, you’ll likely notice that the waiting time in 7200 is way shorter.

Since these hard drives have faster rotational speeds, the data transfer rate is quicker. Likewise, the read/write speed is also better, meaning data can be read from and written faster from a storage device than the 5400 mechanical disks. In fact, the data delivery in 7200 is approximately 15% to 33% faster, even when the areal densities of both HDDs are identical.


Greater performance

Faster rotational access

Faster read/write speed

Better data transfer speed


Expensive for normal users

Excessive heat generation

More power consumption


Shorter lifespan

Moving back to 7200 and 5400 RPMs, they differ in terms of data throughput, rotational latency, power consumption, heat production, noise production, lifespan, and cost. Now, without further delay, let’s jump into each of these factors. 

As mentioned earlier, 7200 RPM is approximately 15% to 33% faster than 5400 RPM hard drives. Well, the average read/write speed of the former is 100 MB/s, while the latter is slightly higher (120 MB/s).

Therefore, if you’re getting an HDD for better performance and speed, we recommend getting 7200 RPM instead of 5400.

An HDD head must be positioned correctly whenever a read/write operation is performed. This process is called seeking, and the delayed waiting time for the disk sector to get to the read/write head is the rotational latency, also referred to as rotational delay. Moreover, this is measured in ms (milliseconds).

From the above mathematical illustration, it’s pretty clear that the rotational latency of 7200 RPM is less and thus has better performance.

Like any computer peripheral, hard drives require power to run and perform read/write operations. In fact, they need to run constantly and consume power even when they stay idle. However, this can vary depending on the RPM type.

Generally, a 5400 hard drive consumes 0.18 Watts when idle, and 1.4 Watts during read/write operation. On the other hand, a 7200 mechanical disk can draw approximately 4 Watts when idle and at least 8 Watts at load.

Hence, if you’re looking for a storage device that consumes less power, we recommend getting a 5400 RPM. 

Excessive heating has been a common problem among both PC and laptop users. Thus, choosing the right hard drive can help prevent your system from overheating in the long run.

As mentioned earlier, hard drives have motor spindles for rotating circular platters. Hence, heat production is an obvious thing, and the temperature can range anywhere from 0 to 70 degrees Celsius. However, this varies on various factors – model, type, and, surprisingly, RPM too.

Since 7200 revolves much quicker and consumes more power, the heat production is also high here. Thus, if you’re not a big fan of a constantly heating PC or laptop, it’s best to opt for 5400 RPM.

Basically, the faster the rotations, the greater will be the noise production. This simply means that a 7200 RPM hard drive produces comparatively more noise than a 5400.

Every hardware component has a lifespan and is bound to die one day. As such, most mechanical hard drives will also fail after three to five years. Regarding the same, we have prepared a separate guide for you on the six signs to know if your hard drive is failing. 

Theoretically, a 5400 RPM mechanical drive should last longer than a 7200 one if built using the same materials and techniques. This is primarily because the latter spins much faster and thus would be prone to more stress and heat.

Since 7200 RPM drives are better in terms of performance and speed, they are comparatively more expensive than 5400 ones.

However, the cost can vary depending on the brand, model, and amount of cache. Well, the popular hard drive manufacturers include WD, Toshiba, Seagate, SanDisk, etc. Interestingly, you may notice that the price of one brand’s 7200 RPM drive is almost similar to another brand’s 5400 RPM. For example, the Seagate Barracuda 2TB at 7200RPM and the Western Digital Blue 2TB 5400RPM are of the exact cost.

Switching from 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM will surely enhance performance and provide better speed. However, you should also be ready for its higher power consumption, heat and noise production, higher cost, and lower life expectancy.

Well, if you’re already planning to upgrade your storage system, we recommend using an SSD any day. Nonetheless, if you still prefer a mechanical hard drive, the below comparison chart should help you decide which one is better.

Factors5400 RPM7200 RPMData Throughput100 MB/s (average)120 MB/s (average)Rotational Latency5.56 ms4.17 msPower Consumption0.18 Watts (idle), 1.4 Watts (load)4 Watts (idle), 8 Watts (load)Heat ProductionComparatively lessComparatively moreNoise ProductionComparatively lessComparatively moreLifespanLasts longerLasts shorterCostLess expensive (depends on brand and cache)More expensive (depends on brand and cache)Best Suitable ForLaptopsDesktopsComparison Chart: 5400 RPM Vs 7200 RPM

Facebook Analytics Vs Google Analytics – Which Is Better?

🚨 Note: All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. 360 Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on October 1, 2023. That’s why it’s recommended to start using Google Analytics 4.

Analytics are at the heart of every good digital marketing campaign — but between Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics, which tool will give you the best foundation?

This guide provides a comparative study of both Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics, including their similarities, differences, and potential to change the future of your website. 

An overview of what we’ll cover: 

So let’s dive in! 

A Brief History of Online Analytics Tools

Relatively speaking, Facebook Analytics is new to the game — Facebook (now Meta) launched it in 2023. For this reason, the basis of the data on Facebook Analytics is very different from Google Analytics.

In 2005, Google realized the power of analytics tools for websites. They bought what is now Google Analytics from a company called Urchin.

It is interesting to note that Google Analytics has been very valuable since the time it was launched, but Google decided to keep it free for all users.

It was difficult to get such an optimized solution for the websites completely free of cost. Hence, the tool became incredibly popular in a very short time. 

As a result, Google Analytics is a standard tool for website tracking today. This is because we can not only track our data and compare it with other websites, but we can also track the audience’s movements. 

Overall, technology has evolved differently for both tools as Google Analytics has a lot of history as compared to Facebook Analytics. This has had major impacts on the tracking mechanisms and systems employed by each analytics platform.

Tracking Mechanisms of Facebook Analytics vs Google Analytics

Google Analytics uses cookies to identify sessions and pages that a user sees. (More on Google Analytics cookies here.) 

Because cookies live on your browser, Google Analytics will track your website sessions each time you open a page from the same device. 

However, once it installs cookies on browsers, Google Analytics can’t differentiate between the two sessions. 

On the other hand, Facebook Analytics has a completely different tracking mechanism. Rather than use cookies, Facebook Analytics identifies unique users on their own platform and tracks their movements. 

For example, if you open an ad from Facebook on your laptop, it will identify you based on your Facebook profile and track your movement. If you open the same ad from your phone or any other device, it still knows the user is you. Because of this, Facebook Analytics attributes both sessions to the same user. 

The paradigm shifts from cookies to actual users when we compare Google Analytics to Facebook Analytics. 

Hence, when you check the data available from Facebook Analytics, you’ll notice that the data is much more optimized for tracking audiences. 

Functionality and Versatility of Both Tools

Since Google Analytics has a longer development history, it has a greater variety of functions relative to Facebook Analytics. 

You can find basic functionalities like page use and base checking in any analytics tools, including Facebook Analytics as well as Google Analytics. 

However, Google Analytics has a much broader spectrum of customizations like Enhanced eCommerce, custom dimensions, user ID tracking, calculated metrics, and custom metrics. 

Not to be left behind, Facebook Analytics also added new customizations. (These use the Facebook Pixel to optimize data.) However, it’s still difficult to track the data, extract it out of the interface, and analyze it. 

Recently, Facebook Analytics launched auto-tracking that picks up metadata from web pages. But these aren’t currently able to give analysis for the raw data. 

It’s safe to assume that more similar features will be introduced in the near future that will be distinct from those in Google Analytics. But for now, Google Analytics still has comparatively more customization features than Facebook Analytics. 

Which Tool Is More Popular?

Google Analytics is a more widely used tool compared to Facebook Analytics. 

There are a few competitors for Google Analytics. For example, Yandex Metrica has a very robust system for data collection and representation. 

However, Google Analytics has been the industry standard for a long time. It’s a lot of work for older websites to re-tag their websites with new tools, so whatever tool becomes widely adopted first tends to remain popular.

Additionally, since websites have used Google Analytics for a long time, a lot of their audience data is stored in existing accounts. Changing the tools would result in a loss of archived data, which makes it harder to compare year-to-year trends. 

That said, Facebook Analytics has its own following and is still pretty widely used. 

Almost all websites use Facebook Ads for marketing purposes. Hence, the popularity of Facebook Analytics has increased with the popularity of Facebook Ads — even among websites that also use Google Analytics.

This is mainly because Facebook Analytics also provides us with an integrated approach for conversion tracking data by the means of Facebook Pixel. 

Facebook Ads also provides a vast database of Analytics that helps us optimize this data, plus all the bells and whistles for retargeting. 

Which Tracking Tool Is Better: Google Analytics or Facebook Analytics?

Not to draw too sharp of a line, but… Google Analytics is simply a better tool for web tracking compared to Facebook Analytics, for a number of reasons. 

Facebook Analytics seems to offer a lot at first. For example, its integrated system of tracking mechanisms follows individual users more accurately. This gets you better attribution, demographic data, and audience tracking up to the lifetime of a website. 

However, it’s unlikely that Facebook Analytics has the power to become as ubiquitous as Google Analytics. Facebook Analytics just doesn’t have the optimized interface for manipulating customized data, which is essential for online businesses.

Google Analytics, on the other hand, is much more than just a tool. It has a better interface to customize and manipulate data, and it connects us to a lot of other useful platforms. 

For example, Google Analytics is designed to work with Google’s other tools, like Google Tag Manager, Google Ads, and Google Optimize. It also has an incredibly robust system of integrations with third-party tools, like OptinMonster, MailChimp, and more.

All these tools together make an ecosystem that maximizes tracking efficacy of our website audience. It can be a lot to keep track of, but Google Analytics provides the foundation for a truly robust tracking system.

FAQ What is the difference between Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics?

Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics differ in their tracking mechanisms and functionality. Google Analytics uses cookies to track website sessions, while Facebook Analytics identifies unique users based on their Facebook profiles. In terms of functionality, Google Analytics offers a broader spectrum of customizations and features compared to Facebook Analytics.

Which tool is better for web tracking, Facebook Analytics or Google Analytics? Should I use both Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics together? Summary

So that’s all you need to know about analytics tools like Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics. 

Facebook Analytics gives us more accurate data by tracking users instead of cookies, but Google Analytics is more customizable and user friendly — plus, it includes a lot of other bonus features and integrations that make it a more robust, universal tool.

Additionally, as an add-on to Google Analytics tracking, you can also use Google Tag Manager to enhance the website tracking. 

Dual Boot Vs. Virtual Machine: Which One Is Better?

Software developers, testers, and those of us who evaluate and document software applications often need multiple environments.

We might need to test applications on different versions of Windows, macOS, and even Linux. Due to budget constraints, though, we can’t often have another computer available for each environment.

Two options let you work in separate environments without purchasing separate machines.

The first is to set up your computer with dual-boot capability. This allows you to set up multiple operating systems on one device and choose which one you’ll use when it boots up.

The second is to use a virtual machine, also known as VM. Virtual machines are kind of like running a computer within a computer. They actually run in a window on your device and can have the full functionality of the computer and operating system you want to use.

Why Do We Need Multiple Operating Systems?

So, why do developers, testers, and others need multiple systems? Why can’t we just use whatever we have available to us?

It’s vital for software to run smoothly across platforms. It’ll make the product available to more users, not just the users of one type of system or environment. In the end, that means more customers—and more money.

Because of this, developers, testers, and evaluators need to have multiple operating systems available to them. It ensures they can design, develop, and test the software in each type of environment.

A developer may do the majority of his or her work on a Windows OS. However, he or she might then need to make sure it works on macOS. Testers and evaluators will also try the application on both systems to see how it performs on each.

Aside from software development, some people just like to use more than one type of system. They may prefer certain features of Windows but also desire other features of macOS or even Linux. In this case, a person can have access to all of them without multiple computers.

You might also have software that only works on one platform but enjoy using another for all your other tasks. Finally, you might need different versions of one operating system, such as Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.

Which One is Better?

Two methods can be used to boot multiple operating systems on a single machine. You can set up your computer to have dual (or multiple) boot capability, or you can also use a virtual machine to emulate another operating system. So, which one is better?

The answer depends on your needs and preferences. Let’s look at the benefits and issues of both methods.

Dual Boot: Pros & Cons

When it comes to dual boot, here’s what we mean: completely separate operating systems on different partitions of your hard drive, other hard drives, or removable media. Once the system starts up one OS, the computer and its hardware are wholly dedicated to it.

This works well if you have a computer without a lot of memory or processing power. It means all of the computer’s resources are dedicated to just the environment you boot up in. You can still have decent to great performance with each OS installed.

Another problem is that you will not have the ability to work in both systems simultaneously. While this may not be a problem for the casual user, it may make it difficult to compare and record results as a developer or tester.

Virtual Machine: Pros & Cons

Using a VM is like running a computer in a window within your computer. Virtual machines are powerful and give you many options.

You can be working in your host machine’s OS while another virtual machine is running separately in a window on your desktop. This makes it easy to switch back and forth to test or perform any functions you need.

You can also run more than one virtual machine, but it may require a powerful computer to do so. Virtual machines can also be created quickly; if you’re no longer using them, it’s easy to delete them.

If you have a specific configuration you need to test with, you can create a base machine, then clone it whenever you need a new one. Once the VM gets cluttered or corrupted, you destroy it and clone another one.

Working with virtual machines does not require rebooting your device. Instead, you run a hypervisor, which runs the VM and instructs it to start the OS you wish to use.

Since VMs use and share the host machine’s resources, they can be slow and even on occasion freeze up—especially when trying to run more than one at a time. They may also slow down the host machine itself. For these reasons, VMs do require a good deal of management and administration.

The Verdict

As you can see, which one is better depends on how you will be using multiple platforms and what type of hardware you have to run them on. I recommend using virtual machines for anyone who has a computer system with good to excellent disk space, memory, and processing power.

If you have a less capable machine, dual boot can work beautifully. The downside is that you can’t switch between operating systems or use them simultaneously. You will have the luxury of devoting your computer’s full processing power to each OS.

If you feel that virtual machines will work best for your needs but don’t have a lot of processing power available, you can use VMs hosted on remote servers or in the cloud.

Companies like Microsoft and Amazon have paid services that allow you to create and use multiple VMs that they host. It can be nice when another company is responsible for maintaining the host machines and hardware. It can be a load off your mind, freeing you to create and use VMs as you need them.

Final Words

Deciding between dual boot and virtual machines can be a difficult decision. Both methods are great ways to access multiple operating systems and environments without the need for separate computers.

We hope that this article has given you some insight and the knowledge you need to help you decide which one will work best for you.

Refurbished Vs Used Tech: Which Is Better & Why?

However, not everyone can afford to buy a brand new phone, and there isn’t the option to get an iPad, laptop or other tech device on contract.

The obvious thing to do is buy used tech on ebay, Gumtree and other places. Find a highly-rated seller offering the product you want in great condition and you might save a lot compared to buying the same thing new.

However, there’s another option: refurbished devices.

Both retailers and manufacturers are beginning to understand that many buyers want not only lower prices but also for their purchases to be more eco-friendly.

That’s why you’ll increasingly see refurbished models sold by Amazon, Apple, phone retailers, and general tech retailers.

But what does refurbished actually mean? 

Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know so you can make an informed decision when looking for your next upgrade.

What’s the difference between refurbished and used devices?

To refurbish something, in the traditional sense, means that you’d spruce it up to improve how it looks and, maybe, works.

Unfortunately, when it comes to tech, refurbished can mean different things depending upon where you’re buying it from.

It could mean it’s a pre-owned, used device that has been checked over and cleaned, had any data from the previous owner wiped, graded according to its condition, boxed up with a charger and USB cable and then offered for sale.

No actual refurbishment beyond physical cleaning takes place.

However, there are some retailers (and manufacturers) which carry out refurbishment on phones and other devices. They will replace batteries, defective components and – sometimes – even the screen and case so you can’t tell it apart from new. Apple and Samsung offer refurbished phones like these, but they can seem quite expensive compared to ‘graded’ devices. There are also independent companies such as Aznu which will refurbish phones (currently just Samsung and iPhones).

Talking of grading part, you will see this when you buy a refurbished phone from a retailer such as SmartFoneStore, Music Magpie, Back Market or 4Gadgets.

Unfortunately, they don’t all use a standard, comparable system. One retailer’s ‘very good’ might be different from another’s, or they might use A, B, C to represent “Pristine”, “Excellent” and “Good”.

This means you need to read the description carefully to see what each means, so you can be certain of the condition you will receive.

Most will tell you the battery health (as a percentage) if the battery hasn’t been replaced, but it is worth checking if this isn’t specified: you don’t want to end up with a phone that lasts half a day before needing a recharge. Many retailers don’t give an exact figure but guarantee a minimum of 80%.

The main difference between buying refurbished and used is that you should get a warranty with a refurbished device. The retailers mentioned above all offer a 12-month warranty so you’re covered if the item you buy becomes faulty.

You’ll pay more than the equivalent device from a private seller on ebay or Craigslist, but buying privately like this means you’re on your own if the phone develops problems after a few weeks. There is some protection offered if you bought the item from the ebay using PayPal, but none if you buy via Gumtree or similar sites.

Back Market

Refurbished devices tend to be a little more expensive than second-hand ones, but this is due to the cost of supplying a warranty, and any cleaning and repairs carried out. Obviously, the price will also be reflected in the grade you choose: pristine-condition devices will cost more than those with cosmetic defects.

Refurbished Apple devices

If you buy a refurbished iPhone, iPad, MacBook or something else from the Apple Refurbished Store it will appear to be brand new.

Being a manufacturer, Apple can more easily replace parts and provide a ‘like new’ device that’s been fitted with genuine components and new batteries. They are impossible to tell apart from brand new device and also receive the same warranty as a new Apple device, making them the safest way to get an iPhone, iPad, Mac or other device at a discount.

The bad news is that the discount is typically just 15% off the retail price, which isn’t as much of a saving as buying a graded used device.

Amazon renewed

Amazon also sells refurbished products in its Renewed store, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, consoles and desktop PCs.

This isn’t the same as Apple: Amazon itself doesn’t usually get involved. Instead “Products on Amazon Renewed are inspected and tested by qualified suppliers to work and look like new, and are backed for 1 year by the Amazon Renewed Guarantee.”

Renewed devices won’t be indistinguishable from new, but the listing should provide details on what to expect such as ‘This product is in “Excellent condition”. It shows no signs of cosmetic damage visible from a distance of 30 centimeters.” and “This product will have a battery that exceeds 80% capacity relative to new.” “Accessories may not be original, but will be compatible and fully functional. Product may come in generic box.”

You therefore need to read the details to check the condition and battery health. You can read more about Amazon renewed.

The savings on offer can be quite substantial, too.

It is also worth keeping an eye out for Amazon Warehouse deals. These are often unused customer returns which may have damaged packaging but are otherwise new. The items are graded so you can pick whether you’re willing to accept an item that might have scratches or damage, or if you’re only willing to buy something with damaged or plain packaging. 

To search for Warehouse deals, use the drop-down menu to the left of the search bar on Amazon’s website and choose Amazon Warehouse, then type in whatever you’re searching for and press Enter.

Samsung Certified Pre-Owned

Other manufacturers offer refurbished versions of their products, albeit in a sporadic fashion. Samsung has a refurbished store in the US but not the UK. It’s called Samsung Certified Pre-Owned and again confirms that the devices are restored to original condition by its engineers and come with a 1-year warranty. The main problem is that the products on offer at the time of writing were a few years old, the Galaxy S8 was the newest, and out of stock, signalling that maybe this service is no longer an ongoing concern.

Microsoft Certified Refurbished Surface store

Microsoft also has a US-only Certified Refurbished Surface store where you can find Surface Laptop, Surface Go and other Surface products.

Should I buy refurbished or secondhand?

There are pros and cons for both. In the case of Apple, the refurbished store is an excellent option if you want essentially a new device at a lower price. The discounts aren’t massive, but it can save you a bit if you were already intending to buy an iPhone, iPad or Mac. Just note that the devices are usually the previous generation – not models from the current ranges.

Amazon’s Renewed scheme can offer much larger savings on a wider range of products, but devices aren’t restored to ‘as new’ condition as with Apple’s. They still come with a warranty, though, and have been tested to ensure they’re fully working.

The biggest savings will always be found by buying from private sellers on eBay, Craigslist and similar, but these also carry the most risk, so it’s caveat emptor: buyer beware.

Of course, there are also sales and discounts to be found on new devices. And you should take a look at our roundup of the best tech deals to see what’s on offer right now.

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