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How to stay safe on the Dark Web

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The Onion Router (Tor) network or the dark web allows users to access Internet sites that would normally be censored. Doing this though does come with its perils. NordVPN gives advice on how to use the Tor network safely.

The Tor (The Onion Router) network is also called a “dark web” since it provides access to completely uncensored online experience. Tor keeps growing in popularity with an estimated 2,5-million users daily, with over 1-million per month using it to access Facebook alone.

Although many government leaders have expressed their concerns over Tor’s existence, some acknowledge that it would be “technically impossible” to shut down. It is the ultimate expression of Internet freedom, and besides a small percentage of people using it for illegal activity, Tor Network is widely used by whistleblowers, activists, human rights fighters and journalists, and is easily accessible by simply downloading Onion browser.

Tor allows accessing uncensored Internet in countries where it¹s censored ­ for example, in Iran, where Facebook is blocked.

While the dark web is easy to use, its users should take special precautions to keep their identity and activity safe, since it¹s a completely unregulated online browsing experience. When people access Onion websites, they should be careful not to fall victim to some attractive offers they can find there, as they can never be sure who is on the other side of the line.

The same rules apply to Tor Network safety as any other Internet marketplace /network: for example, not volunteering personal information, and avoiding deals that look too good to be true. Users should always have VPN turned on when surfing the dark net in order to protect their information, and should delete/ disable cookies after each session.

NordVPN, a VPN service provider, offers a special Tor over VPN feature, which makes users¹ browsing activity completely safe.

When using TOR over VPN solution, user’s data first goes to NordVPN server where it gets encrypted. Then the data travels to TOR Network where the data packets are randomly transmitted to multiple servers inside the TOR network and the data is encrypted again and sent out through different TOR exit nodes. After all this process, the request reaches the Internet.

Basically, it’s such a safe privacy tool because user’s online activity becomes routed into an encrypted tunnel, and their IP address is not an exit node anymore – it¹s NordVPN¹s server that becomes the exit node. Tor over VPN feature by NordVPN is very user friendly and easy to configure – the user doesn¹t have to do much in order to access Onion websites – one click of a button will get them there.

When precaution becomes priority, then users can take advantage of all that Tor has to offer, for example, Wiki Leaks, CircleServices, TorPM, hidden search engines, and more. Tor can also protect user¹s anonymity from marketers, hackers or identity thieves. The network helps out activists report from abroad on bad labor practices or share sensitive information, and helps journalists write from countries where content is blocked.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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