Apps

6 free VPN apps for Android and iOS

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If you’re connecting to a public Wi-Fi, it’s best to use a virtual private network or VPN to mask your IP address and avoid security risks. A VPN creates a secure, encrypted “tunnel” over the internet between your device and any website or app you are trying to access.

There are paid VPN apps if you badly need one especially during travel, but there are also free-to-use apps for those quick internet sessions. Here are six free VPNs for your phones and tablets:

Betternet

Betternet is one of the transparent free VPN apps available because they are open to how they make a profit. It maintains its free model by showing video ads and sponsored apps, which is acceptable. It also has a simple, one-touch interface. It has a paid version available if you want a faster and more reliable connection, too.

Download: Android / iOS

OpenVPN Connect

If you want an open source VPN app, then OpenVPN Connect is for you. This app requires a little more knowledge than usual but you can configure a number of advanced settings in the app. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have an OpenVPN server yourself in order to use this application.

Download: Android / iOS

Opera VPN

Opera VPN is one of the newer and better VPN apps available. It’s free but it doesn’t come with annoying ads, plus it has additional security features. The app is pretty basic though, but it’ll do fine when you want to keep your phone safe from public Wi-Fi spots in airports or malls.

Download: Android / iOS

Turbo VPN

If you want a really popular free VPN proxy client, there’s Turbo VPN. It’s really prevalent among users, especially on Android devices, thanks to its access to nine servers, unlimited bandwidth, and zero restrictions. The app does include ads, but that’s no surprise. It’s also simple and easy to use.

Download: Android / iOS

VPN Robot

VPN Robot is one of the newer apps you can download. It’s free with ads, but there’s no paid subscription if you want to get rid of them. It’s also pretty simple to use and has a number of servers from different continents.

Download: Android / iOS

Yoga VPN

Yoga VPN features a one-touch connect interface and offers unlimited bandwidth, unlimited time, and more. It also provides a DNS proxy to prevent DNS leaks. The app has a lot of proxy servers in different regions. It’s free, but you need to earn points (watch ads, etc.) to unlock specific locations.

Download: Android / iOS

SEE MORE: 12 lightweight versions of your favorite Android apps

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Apps

TikTok officially launches a dislike button

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Months ago, TikTok started experimenting with a dislike button for the platform’s comments. Much like other platforms, the company is creating a way to promote healthier discourse. However, the experiment never had a launch date all those months ago. Finally, after months in development, TikTok is finally ready to launch the dislike button.

Through the platform’s official Twitter account, TikTok is releasing the dislike button. This time, the platform has explained how the feature will work.

As detailed before, users will not see how many dislikes a comment has. Users will only have access to the button itself to dislike and retract dislikes. Only TikTok itself can see the number of dislikes. The platform will then use the information to filer through potential hate speech and harassment that they might have missed the first go-around.

By hiding the number of dislikes, TikTok hopes that users will not be tempted to abuse the dislike button to brigade against just simply unpopular opinions.

While moderation will help the platform with a persistent problem in social media, the company does have other issues. One current problem — that has plagued the platform for years now — is the issue of China’s potential access to data from users in other countries.

SEE ALSO: TikTok is experimenting with a dislike button for comments

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Instagram can soon detect nude photos in your DMs

Currently testing

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One of the constant risks of online communication is the unexpected and unsolicited appearance of an unsightly growth emanating from a stranger’s pants. Unfortunately, not a lot of platforms offer anything preventative, outside of just blocking the offender. Testing a new tool, Instagram is finally implementing a way to automatically detect and block nudity from your DMs.

The upcoming feature was first spotted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi on Twitter. According to early screenshots, Instagram will hide any suspected nude photos behind a prompt. Users can then choose to access the photo despite the warning. Notably, users can turn this feature off entirely.

Shortly after the leak, Meta confirmed the feature’s development through a statement issued to The Verge. While the feature is still in development, Instagram is still working on ways to protect both the sender’s identity and the recipient’s privacy.

Though the screenshots look conclusive, the feature has yet to reveal how the app can detect genitalia. A portion of the warning says that “technology on your device” is responsible. If the feature is indeed using native technology, Instagram has some work to do to assure users that it can’t store or see anyone’s nude photos.

SEE ALSO: Instagram bans Pornhub

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Spotify adds over 300,000 audiobooks to library

Available for purchase and offline listening

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After a massive push into the world of podcasts, it’s only natural that Spotify would soon look at audiobooks with a hungry eye. In the United States, the streaming platform has added a huge helping of audiobooks available for purchase.

It’s been a long time coming, too. Last year, the platform added a variety of books from the public domain for free. Narrated by famous actors like Forest Whitaker and Hilary Swank, the content came to every user, free or paying.

Now, Spotify is adding over 300,000 titles to its library. Starting today, users in the United States will have access to a dedicated section for the format. Interested users will then be led to an external link where they can purchase the book for themselves.

For consumption, Spotify will enable users to save their audiobook for offline listening. It will also allow users to control the speed of the book’s playback.

Prior to the addition, Spotify already had a niche community for audiobook lovers. If you dig deep enough, you’ll find readings of popular titles outside of the platform’s public domain offerings. You might find them lurking as albums or as podcasts. Now, however, it’s official. If you want an actual audiobook to listen to, you can choose to skip over a subscription to other audiobook platforms like Audible.

Besides audiobooks, the platform has also expanded into other services related to audio entertainment. One recent example sees Spotify selling tickets to live events directly from the service.

SEE ALSO: Spotify is now adding free audiobooks

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