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The 10 Best Sources Of Free, Beautiful Images

The 10 Best Sources Of Free, Beautiful Images

If you are a business owner, software designer, app developer or any person who needs free stock images, then you probably have often got headaches finding good image sources. You google different options, and either you end up not finding a satisfactory one or you find sources that charge you.

There are thousands of sites that provide you high quality stock images free of cost. But not many have varieties of good images that you can select from. So with some research, I’ve tried to shortlist ten such sites which can help you find the image you are looking for.

Most of the images in these sites are offered under Creative Commons Zero License. In this licensing scheme, the person associated with the image dedicates his work to the public domain and transfers all of his rights to the world. This allows you to use their images multiple times for personal and commercial use without giving any credit to the owner of the image. You can even modify, edit or copy them.

1. Gratisography

Gratisography is my personal favorite image archive. It provides you more artistic images than you can use in your projects. Many quality images are added each week and are free of copyright restrictions.

Mainly two photographers (Ryan McGuire and Bells Design) are involved in capturing the images. They have offered the pictures under Creative Commons Zero license, which means you can freely use all the pictures of their collection without providing any attribution.

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2. Unsplash

Unsplash is another source of magnificent images to use for your blog. It adds 10 new images every 10 days, and also delivers them directly to your inbox. The images in this site are captured by artists from different backgrounds, so the site contains a variety of photographs.

All the images this source provides fall under Creative Commons Zero license. Once you download the image, you can use it for any purpose from setting up your blog to printing brochures, without worrying about who to credit.

3. Superfamous

Superfamous was designed by Folkert Gorter. You can use varieties of images from different categories such as nature, technology, and abstract. Most of the images in this collection are taken from aerial view.

This source provides images under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, which means you can use them in any way you like but you have to give the credit.

This site also contains links to other sites such as Cargocollective, which provides a collection of selected images from selected artists.

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4. Pexels

Pexels contains thousands of images and adds 10 new images each day. All the images in this site falls on the Creative Commons Zero license which allows unrestricted use of high quality images from its collection for personal and even for commercial use. You can even modify, copy and distribute the images.

In this source, most people search images under categories like summer, business, abstract and art. It guarantees to add 3600 new images each year, which makes it to be one of the biggest stock image sites.

5. Pixabay

Pixabay has a large collection of stunning images. With over 450,000 free photos, vectors, and arts illustrations, it offers you royalty free stock photos which you can use for commercial application. You don’t need to provide any attribution in digital or printed form to use Pixabay images.

This site also has the option of browsing by category. You can browse images from different categories like animals, education, backgrounds/textures, nature/landscapes, and many more.

6. Flickr

Flickr is the biggest image hosting web platform, which provides you 1,000 GB of free storage. Flickr also has a collection of millions of free stock images. It has always been a reliable source of high quality free images.

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Flickr has eight different license categories. Some are royalty free and some need credits. If you don’t want to give credit to the creator, then you can use images from ‘Free Use Photos’ section.

7. Stocksnap

Stocksnap selects the highest quality, highest resolution pictures and adds to its database regularly. Users consider it to be one of the best place on internet to find beautiful free stock photos.

All the images stored in this site fall under Creative Commons Zero license and hence do not require attribution. It collects best stock photos from the web and also uploads images from selected photographers. The motto of the site is to create a community of great photographers who want to share their art with the world.

8. Picography

Picography is the simplest site in this list. It has no options to search or browse by category. You can simply scroll down through the gallery. It offers you random photos from great photographers. It adds new photos to its gallery on a regular basis.

All the images are provided free of charge and under the Creative Commons Public Domain CC0 license. But it doesn’t allow you to advertise the photographs as your own.

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9. FreeImages

If you’re involved in web projects, then the best place to find free stock images is Freeimages. It has search options and lets you browse by category. These options can save you incredible time when you’re working. Most of the images in this site are of textures and backgrounds.

Three different forms of right are granted by the site: perpetual, non-exclusive and unlimited. You can use any image to copy, reproduce, modify, edit, display and publish in your work.

10. Picjumbo

Picjumbo is the latest free stock image site. It offers you high quality free images as well as a premium membership option. New images are added on a daily basis. So, you can check this site regularly to find images you may like. You can use a Picjumbo image for commericial use, HTML/PSD/PowerPoint templates and also print them on T-shirts.

The main drawback of this site is that it is an ad-funded site, so the ads may distract you.

Featured photo credit: Great Ararat via upload.wikimedia.org

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Published on September 25, 2020

10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

How to Choose a VPN

  • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
  • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
  • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
  • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
  • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

Why You Should Trust Us

Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

1. NordVPN

The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

Buy this VPN.

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2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

Buy this VPN.

3. Surf Shark

With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

Buy this VPN.

4. CyberGhost

Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

Buy this VPN.

5. IPVanish

IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

Buy this VPN.

6. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

Buy this VPN.

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7. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

Buy this VPN.

8. TunnelBear

As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

Buy this VPN.

9. Norton

Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

Buy this VPN.

10. StrongVPN

The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

Buy this VPN.

Bottom Line

Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

Reference

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