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Online threats are increasing day by day. That’s why it is important to make your systems secure. When it comes to threat protection, most of us know what an Antivirus is. Today, all of us use an Antivirus software on our computers. Do you know, there is one more type of protection apart from Antivirus? It is EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response). In this article, we will talk about the differences between EDR and Antivirus. We will also see which of them is the best and why.

EDR vs Antivirus: Which is best and why?

Here, we will explain the difference between EDR and Antivirus. Let’s start.

What is an Antivirus?

Antivirus is a kind of software that protects a user’s system from threats including malware, viruses, etc. Some antiviruses also offer protection against ransomware. Both free and paid Antiviruses are available on the internet that you can install on your PCs. Microsoft Defender is a free Antivirus from Microsoft. It comes pre-installed on all Windows 11/10 computers. However, if you want to use another third-party Antivirus, you can also install it on your system.

Viruses can cause a lot of damage to your system. They can steal your information, corrupt your data, delete your files, or crash your system. Antivirus software keeps scanning your device in the background and protects it from such types of threats. Antiviruses also have a Firewall that monitors connections performed by the apps installed on your system.

How does an Antivirus work?

An Antivirus keeps scanning your system in the background and takes immediate action against the threat it finds on your system. The suspicious file is either deleted or quarantined. In most cases, Antivirus quarantines the suspicious files, so that it cannot affect other files on your system. In such a way an antivirus stops the spread of infection on your system.

Antiviruses work on a method called Signature Matching. All Antiviruses have virus databases which are called virus signatures or definitions. When a new activity is detected, for example, you install a program, it compares its signature to the known malware or viruses database. If the signature is found suspicious, Antivirus declares that file suspicious and takes appropriate action against it to protect your system.

New threats keep emerging day by day. That’s why the virus databases should also be updated regularly. This is the reason why Antiviruses get regular updates from the vendor. You should keep your Antiviruses up to date so that they can detect new threats.

Antiviruses also use other methods of virus detection but the most common method is Signature Matching.

What is an EDR or Endpoint Detection and Response)?

EDR stands for (Endpoint Detection and Response). It is also called ETDR (Endpoint Threat Detection and Response). It is a security solution that continuously monitors activities on the Endpoint(s) and collects data from there. This data is further analyzed and then EDR takes action against the threats found on your system. EDR also provides real-time protection against all types of threats. EDR solutions are used by organizations of all sizes. EDR helps organizations to protect their networks from threats and secure data.

How does an EDR work?

EDR is made up of three words, Endpoint, Detection, and Response. Hence, EDR has three components:

A Monitoring System: The Monitoring system monitors all the activities on a computer or a computer network. It also collects data from the computer or the computer network.

A Detection System: The data collected by the Monitoring System is then forwarded to the Detection System for further analysis.

A Response System: The Response System takes action on the basis of the output generated by the Detection System.

EDR vs Antivirus: The Difference

Let’s see some differences between EDR and Antivirus.

Antiviruses are suitable for personal computers. However, Antiviruses are also available for organizations but EDR solutions are more effective for organizations as compared to Antiviruses.

An Antivirus protects only the system on which it is installed. Some Antiviruses companies offer more than one device protection based on the plan you purchase. EDR, on the other hand, protects all the Endpoints connected to the organization’s network.

Antiviruses follow the Signature Matching approach to detect threats, whereas, EDR uses the Behavioral approach for threat detection.

Antiviruses can detect only known threats, whereas, EDR is capable of detecting both known and unknown threats. This is because of the approaches used by both of these security software to detect threats.

EDR vs Antivirus: Pros and Cons

Antivirus is a cost-effective security solution for an individual person. EDR is best suited for organizations.

Antivirus offers various types of protection including virus protection, web protection, spam protection, etc. It also features a Firewall. EDR also provides various types of threat protection.

Because EDR keeps monitoring your system and network continuously, it proactively hunts threats. EDR also detects threats on all Endpoints. Antivirus keeps scanning your system in the background.

Antivirus requires a lot of resources on your system. This results in performance issues for low-end computers.

No Antivirus provides complete protection against threats. Hence, there are possibilities of bypassing the protection.

Antiviruses can detect only known threats.

EDR has to be deployed on nearly all network endpoints. This may make its installation complex for large-scale organizations.

EDR may report false positives because it works on the Behavioral threat detection method.

Is EDR better than Antivirus?

Both EDR and Antivirus offer security solutions. Antiviruses work on the Signature Matching technique. Hence, they are unable to detect zero-day vulnerabilities or unknown threats. On the other hand, EDR is capable of detecting all types of threats. Therefore, EDR is the better security solution as compared to Antivirus. But this does not mean that Antivirus is not good. Which one of these two security solutions you should prefer depends on your requirement. If you are a large organization, you should prefer EDR to Antivirus. Whereas, if you are an individual searching for a security solution for your personal computer, you should go for an Antivirus.

Read: How to recover Infected or Deleted files after a Virus Attack.

Best free Antivirus Software for Windows

Microsoft offers a completely free Antivirus software for all Windows users, Microsoft Defender. It offers a good level of protection. Hence, you can rely on it for your system’s security.

If you want to install another third-party Antivirus, you can do so. There are many free Antiviruses available online. Some of them are:

Kaspersky Free Antivirus

Avira AntiVir Personal

Avast Antivirus

Comodo Antivirus

Panda Free Antivirus

Apart from the traditional Antivirus software, some free Standalone On Demand Antiviruses are also available. Standalone On Demand Antivirus software does not provide real-time scanning. You have to run them manually to scan your system.

Read: What is encrypted DNS and when to use it?

Best EDR Solutions for Businesses

If you are a business owner, you may be searching for the best EDR solution to secure your organization’s network. We have compiled a list of some best EDR solutions for businesses based on the users’ reviews and ratings.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

Malwarebytes Endpoint Detection and Response

Sophos EDR

BitDefender EDR

1] Microsoft Defender for Endpoint 2] Malwarebytes Endpoint Detection and Response

Malwarebytes is a popular name in Cybersecurity. Its antimalware software is trusted by millions of users. Malwarebytes EDR is cross-protection threat prevention and remediation for both Windows and Mac. The Endpoint Detection and Response from Malwarebytes offers detection and protection against various threats, including ransomware, malware, trojans, rootkits, viruses, backdoors, brute-force attacks, Zero-day or unknown threats, etc.

3] Sophos EDR

Sophos EDR offers users tools that let them ask questions when they are hunting down the threats, like why the machine is running slowly, which devices have vulnerabilities, which processes have modified the Registry keys, etc. With Sophos EDR, you can access the other devices remotely in order to perform installation or uninstallation of software, further investigation, or remediate issues.

4] BitDefender EDR

BitDefender EDR is a cloud-based solution built upon the Bitdefender GravityZone XDR platform. All the EDR agents deployed on endpoints of your organization record events and send insights to the GravityZone Control Center.

Some of the features of BitDefender EDR are:

Advanced risk analytics

Industry-level threat detection

Streamlined investigation and response

Time-saving alerting and reporting

Read: What are Digital Footprints and how to stay safe?

Can EDR replace Antivirus?

Read next: What is an SSL Stripping Attack? How to prevent it?

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Rcs Chat Vs Imessage: Which One Is Better And Why?

iMessage is an integral part of the Apple ecosystem – and probably the most loved component of the platform. Ask any iDevice owner about the one thing they admire a lot in the Apple ecosystem and the most common answer that you may get is – The Blue Bubble! To discover how much the messaging app is wanted on other popular platforms, simply type in “iMessage for” in the Google Search. And most of the results you will find will be for getting iMessage on other platforms.

RCS Messaging vs iMessage: Comparison

To get the right answer, I have compared the two messaging apps on four major parameters: User-Interface, Seamless Experience, Features, and Security & Privacy. So, whether you are sitting on the fence waiting for an iMessage competitor to finally arrive on Android or the curiosity has driven you to explore the differences between RCS Messaging and iMessage, this detailed piece can offer you the right answer.

So, Why Google Took So Long to Embrace RCS Messaging?

Before getting into the comparison mode, let’s delve a little deeper as to why it has it taken so long for Google to introduce an iMessage like messaging app on the Android platform.

The second reason behind the delay is that for making RCS work, Google is reliant on the network carriers none of which are known for their efficient and on time delivery of of software updates and products. Basically, the development of RCS had too many factors that were not in Google’s hands and that’s why RCS was delayed so much. Thankfully, now there are ways to enable RCS on your Android device even when your carrier has not implemented it. With that said, let’s begin our comparison, shall we?

User Interface

While the UI of a messaging app may not matter to many people, it is indispensable for most users (me included). No matter how feature-rich an app is, if it has a clunky interface that warrants a good amount of learning curve, few people will find it appealing. Fortunately, both RCS messaging and iMessage sport a clutter-free user-interface. While the messages view of both these apps doesn’t look pleasing to the eyes, the individual conversation thread seems more intuitive.

When put side-by-side, Rich Communication Services’ UI appears slightly more lightweight and cleaner than that of iMessage. As for simplicity and ease-of-use, both are on par with each other. As to which one is better than the other in terms of UI and UX, I would say it all comes down to personal preference.

However, if you were to force me to pick one, I would go with iMessage. Why? Well, I really love the Apple-esque interface that the app features. The app drawer looks really cool and offers some neat customization. Moreover, it also opens the door for a whole new world (more on this later). Furthermore, Animoji and Memoji (even though many find them nothing but gimmicks) have gone slightly deeper into my personal roster of fun-loving messaging tools. So, it’s a little hard for me to give up on them all. Beyond personal preference, this round ends in a tie.

Seamless And Unified Experience

Seamless experience and iMessage goes hand in hand. Whether you are on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch, you can seamlessly communicate with other iDevice users. Probably, the best part about the blue bubble is that it has a pretty similar interface across devices and work efficiently. Thus, if you love using iMessage on your one device, chances are you would enjoy every bit of it on your other device. Of course, you will be restricted inside the so-called walled garden but as long as you relish interacting with the people having iDevices, you wouldn’t have any complaint.

The good thing is that Google has already taken the matter in its own hand and started rolling it out to device owners directly in a few countries ( i.e France and the UK). So, the situation could change dramatically in the future. Therefore, I don’t give much weight to this temporary situation. And that has tilted the tide in favor of Google Messages app – even though it might be by a whisker!

RCS Chat vs iMessage: Features Comparison

Setting iMessage vs RCS Chat in terms of features seems to be nothing but an unfair act. Apple’s messaging app has been around for several years and has probably become the gold standard of what a top-notch messaging app should be, while Google’s offering has just started out. That being said, the feature set of RCS at its start is not that bad either. RCS messaging is good enough to send a variety of files like images, videos, PDFs and even APKs. It’s also touted to allow making payment securely. If iMessage claims to provide a seamless video calling experience, the Chat is not behind either thanks to the integration with Duo.

As of now, RCS chat can’t send video files larger than 105MB nor can it share AR-style emojis. Besides, it also pales in comparison as far as app integrations are concerned. For many people, these shortcomings might not be deal-breakers. But those who love to have the luxury of a large collection of tools for fun-filled conversations, they would find iMessage much better shot.

Security And Privacy

We can’t have a meaningful discussion about RCS Chat vs iMessage without touching security and privacy, can we? More than the eye-catching screen effects or the fun-loving bubble-effects, what puts iMessage ahead of the curve is the robust end-to-end encryption. While almost every other messaging platform like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Telegram claim to offer a top-of-the-line shield to the private conversations, none of them enjoy the same level of trust that iMessage boasts. Part of the reason why the blue bubble has a clear edge over rivals is the solid reputation Apple has built over the years.

Of course, Apple has also been embroiled into some serious privacy issues like the “FaceTime bug” that allowed users to hear the audio of the person they are calling even before he/she could accept or reject the incoming call or the sensational revelation that Apple contractors used to listen to recorded Siri conversations. Nevertheless, those incidents have been few and far between – certainly not to an extent that could make Apple customers lose sleep!

So, whether you are a professional who shares sensitive information with your colleague or a normal joe who wants to keep the personal conversation away from the sight of the prying eyes, iMessage has to be your pick – without an iota of doubt. The battle between RCS and iMessage on privacy and security front seems too lopsided to even bring it into the discussion.

SEE ALSO: How to Deregister iMessage and Facetime

RCS Chat Vs iMessage: Long Way to Go for Google

Having taken a close look at what these two popular messaging apps have to offer, I must say that iMessage has come out as the winner. While Google’s Chat has got most of the basics covered, it is still in the early days. Whether it’s efficiency or security or top-notch features, it is nowhere near Apple’s offering – at least for now. But I do think that if the search giant doesn’t give up on this and continue to enhance the functionality while still keeping the security intact, the battle could come a bit close in a few years from now.

Chatgpt Vs. Bing Vs. Bard: Which Ai Is Best?

We asked all three AIs a variety of different questions: some that expanded upon general search topics, some that demanded an opinion, logic puzzles, even code—and then asked them to be more creative, such as by writing an alternate, better ending to Game of Thrones and a Seinfeld scene with a special guest. We’ve included all of their answers, or as much as them as we could provide, and we’ll let you decide for yourself.

One note: We have access to all three AI chatbots—the free Bing Chat, the free Google Bard, and the paid version of ChatGPT+ (which costs $20 for the month). We opted for the paid version of ChatGPT since it includes access to the new GPT-4 language model. However, that’s extremely limited right now—just 25 to 40 queries are permitted every few hours, after which it defaults to the somewhat less-sophisticated GPT-3 language model, which happened to us toward the end of our test queries.

Here are the questions we asked all three AI chatbots (Bing, then ChatGPT, then Bard), their responses, and any notes that we made about the conversation. We’ve tried to add the entirety of the response when possible, but you may need to open the screenshots in a separate tab to see the results clearly. (We’ve also chosen to stick with the “first draft” of Bard results; it can offer alternate explanations, but we’re not sure how many users will seek them out.)

And yes, we have a winner for best AI chatbot! We tally up the votes at the end.

Winner: Bing

Though we know that ChatGPT will add web browsing capabilities that will keep it up to date, right now its “current” information ends in 2023. We still wanted to know whether Bing or Bard would be able to pass along recent information. Only Bing succeeded. Bard simply hallucinates the outcome—and not just once, but across all of its drafts, too.

Bing wins this hands-down. It’s hard to believe that Bard screws this up so badly.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Current events: Crimea

Winner: Tie

We asked all three AI chatbots to tell us which country the Crimean peninsula belongs to. Points to Bing and Bard for answering the question directly. ChatGPT provides additional context, but provides what it considers to be the (correct) answer in the last sentence. All three AI chatbots correctly pointed out the complicated nuances of a similar question on whether Taiwan is an independent country.

We’d say all three AI engines do a good job here.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Uncertain information: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Winner: Bing

The origin of the University of Notre Dame’s nickname, the Fighting Irish, is apocryphal: It’s attributed to a variety of sources, none of them definitive. The university’s own explanation (which Bing links to) lists a number of possibilities. Here, it’s worth checking out additional sources for further information, and Bing does the best job here of forwarding you on.

All three chatbots do a nice job summarizing the information, but there’s a lot more that the snippets don’t mention.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Complex searches: Gaming PCs that can play Overwatch 2 at specific settings

Winner: Bard

The great depth and variety of gaming blogs and YouTube channels implies that virtually every gaming question you might have has been addressed somewhere, but this is pretty much exactly the scenario you’ll eventually use AI for: deep contextual information. Bing searched out a YouTube video for one of its answers and didn’t do badly on pricing. Bard dug deep as well and found what we consider to be a correct price. (We had to perform a search to find Bard’s source, but it appears to be correct.) We’ve awarded this to Bard because it answers the question in one go.

ChatGPT flunks it.

ChatGPT is worthless here, but both Bing and especially Bard do fantastically.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Informed opinion: Macs vs. PCs

Winner: ChatGPT, Bard (tie)

We asked all three chatbots to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of both the Mac and Windows PC platforms. (The screenshot below cuts off the prompt to allow more room for the answers.) I don’t like Bing’s response, but both ChatGPT and Bard do a solid job here. ChatGPT’s response is a bit more verbose, which you may or may not like.

Mark Hachman / IDG

ChatGPT’s response continues:

Customization and upgradeability: Windows PCs offer more options for customization and upgrading individual components, such as graphics cards, processors, and RAM, which can be beneficial for users who want to optimize their systems or extend their lifespan.

Software compatibility: Windows has a broader range of software available, including gaming, productivity, and specialized applications. This can be an important factor for users who require specific software or want access to the latest games.

Hardware compatibility: Windows PCs are generally more compatible with a wide range of peripherals and accessories, such as printers, scanners, and input devices.

Bard continues:

Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a user-friendly computer with a unified ecosystem, a Mac is a good option. If you are looking for an affordable computer with a wide selection of software, a Windows PC is a good option.

Problem solving: Household budget analysis

Winner: ChatGPT, reluctantly

All three chatbots answer this question in a mediocre manner: Bing doesn’t provide that much context and lacks specific dollar numbers. ChatGPT’s budget looks the best: detailed, with good, helpful assumptions. But ChatGPT’s budget adds up to $4,700, not $4,000, which is a big error. Bard’s budget, too, is wrong: It adds up to $4,800, not $5,700. Maybe that’s why ChatGPT is working with Wolfram Alpha to add math plugins?

Can none of these AI chatbots perform basic math?

Mark Hachman / IDG

Logic: LSAT logic puzzle

Winner: Bing, Bard (tie)

This is a logic puzzle from the LSAT, the exam given to potential lawyers, specifically question #8 from this LSAC page. (The Washington Post‘s Geoffrey Fowler used a similar technique in testing GPT-4.)

Theoretically, all three AI chatbots could have been trained on this data. The LSAC’s page identifies the correct answer: The last response, which both Bing (no citation) and Bard (surprisingly, one citation) get right. ChatGPT muffs it.

It’s a little surprising that ChatGPT’s GPT4 algorithm couldn’t figure this out.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Logic: Actual coding from scratch

Winner: ChatGPT

Bing never supplied any code. Bard’s code unfortunately never worked, although it could be edited by someone who knew what they were doing. I was able to talk ChatGPT through the process, including debugging the code, and voila—five cubes rendered, as ordered.

Deductive reasoning: 20 questions (Animal, Vegetable, Mineral)

Winner: ChatGPT

We played a game of 20 questions (sometimes called “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral”) with each chatbot, selecting “walrus” as the correct response. Bing played the game like a young child would, just picking animals at random. Bard wasn’t much better.

We don’t need to show you the whole conversation with each AI on this one. ChatGPT reasoned it out far better than the others.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Creativity: Seinfeld meets Elon Musk

Winner: Bing, ChatGPT

Chatbots are supposed to be able to use their AI powers to emulate literary styles. We could have gone down that route, but we chose another approach: having the AI write a fictional scene where the cast of Seinfeld meets Elon Musk.

Larry David & Co. don’t have too much to worry about, but we’d say Bing and ChatGPT are the best here.

Both Bing and ChatGPT do a better job at capturing Seinfeld than Bard.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Bing continues:

Waitress: Can I take your order?

Elon: Yes, I’ll have a turkey sandwich on rye, please.

Waitress: Coming right up.

[The waitress leaves.]

Jerry: So, what else are you working on?

Elon: Oh, you know. Rockets, electric cars, solar power.

George: Solar power? That’s interesting.

Elon: Yeah, we’re trying to transition the world to sustainable energy.

Jerry: Sustainable energy. That sounds like a lot of work.

Elon: It is, but it’s worth it.

[The waitress returns with Elon’s sandwich.]

Waitress: Here you go.

Elon: Thank you.

Jerry: Well, we’ll let you get back to your sandwich. Nice meeting you.

Elon: Nice meeting you too.

[Jerry and George return to their booth.]

George: That guy is something else.

Jerry: Yeah. He’s like a real-life Tony Stark.

George: Except without the suit.

Jerry: And without the witty one-liners.

{END SCENE]

This scene features Jerry and George meeting Elon Musk at Monk’s Cafe and discussing his various projects and inventions. It showcases Elon’s intelligence and ambition while also incorporating the show’s signature humor.

ChatGPT continues:

Jerry rolls his eyes. Elaine gets up and approaches Elon at the counter.

Elaine returns to the booth, grinning.

Elon overhears their conversation and walks over to their booth.

Jerry chuckles as George looks disappointed.

Elon chuckles and shakes his head.

Everyone laughs as George rolls his eyes, and they continue talking about electric cars, SpaceX, and more.

FADE OUT.

Bard continues:

George: Wow, that’s crazy.

Jerry: Yeah, it’s a pretty ambitious project.

George: Well, good luck to him.

Jerry: Yeah, I think he’s going to need it.

Creativity: Draw a penguin

Winner: Tie

None of the chatbots showed an ability to draw, using the default chat settings, at press time. (If you set Bing to Creative mode, though, it can, and very very well, too.) But I was rather tickled at what all three chatbots produced.

Expect these AI capabilities to improve in the future.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Creativity: Tell me a joke

Winner: None

We’re not awarding a winner when two of the AI chatbots come up with the same joke and Google runs it into the ground.

Nope.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Creativity: A steamy piece of fiction

Winner: Bard, by default

None of the chatbots allow you to create Not Safe for Work (NSFW) scenes, but we wanted to see what would happen when we asked all three AI chatbots to concoct a romance novel involving “Fernando” and a potential love interest.

Bing happily started off on a rather lusty scene about a (consensual) park encounter involving “hands moving all over her body,” and so on before it clutched its pearls and remembered that it wasn’t supposed to get weird—or freaky. When that happens, Bing will simply erase the answer, as it did here.

Bard’s response looks like something a Google engineer might write. We’ve decided to leave the story there, though, and not show you how it (tamely) concludes.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Creativity: An alternate ending to Game of Thrones

Winner: ChatGPT

All three chatbots take a stab at an alternate ending to Game of Thrones, the TV series whose finale disappointed millions. We’re giving the award to ChatGPT, though all three do well here.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Bing continues:

This ending provides closure for many of the characters and storylines in Game of Thrones while also offering a hopeful vision for the future of Westeros. It addresses some of the criticisms leveled at the show’s final season by providing a more satisfying conclusion for many of its characters.

ChatGPT continues:

Cersei, however, cannot accept defeat. In a last desperate attempt to retain power, she orders Qyburn to ignite the remaining wildfire caches hidden beneath the city. Jaime, discovering her intentions, kills Qyburn and confronts Cersei. Realizing she is beyond redemption, he strangles her in a tragic and poetic fulfillment of the valonqar prophecy. Jaime perishes alongside his sister as the wildfire consumes them both.

In the aftermath of the battle, Daenerys and Jon, now married, ascend the Iron Throne as King and Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. They work together to rebuild Westeros and usher in a new era of peace, prosperity, and unity.

The series concludes with the realm healing from the wounds of war and a sense of hope for the future, as the wheel of power is finally broken and a new, just rule begins in Westeros.

The overall winner: ChatGPT, barely

By our count, we awarded eight points to ChatGPT, and six each to both Bard and Bing. That’s closer than we thought!

Can we say definitively that ChatGPT is better than either Bing or Bard? Nn, not definitively, though the results certainly justify our belief that OpenAI’s AI chatbot is at least superior. Still, everything moves so fast in the world of AI, it’s anyone’s guess which chatbot will be the best in a month or two.

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.

Related articles for further reading

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.

Cost 

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

HSPA+

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.

Conclusion

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.

Bitdefender Free Edition Vs Paid: Which Is Better?

Bitdefender Free Edition Vs Paid: Which is better?

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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

Tip

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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