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Is Printing Photos In The Digital Age Necessary?

Is Printing Photos In The Digital Age Necessary?

Taking photos is so handy today that we can just do it anywhere at anytime with our phones and digital cameras. We don’t even need to worry about making room for storing lots of photo albums because we can simply store and even share the photos online.

We’re taking more photos but are keeping fewer of them physically. Should we be worried about it?

Rollfilm is not limitless like digital photos, so every single photo we took used to be very precious.

Given the many benefits of digital photos, you may not even consider printing out the images. It’s likely that if you really will print some photos, you’ll have a hard time deciding which ones to print!

However, some people do appreciate having physical photos, such as your grandparents who hang up framed family photos, or hipsters who like to cover their bedroom walls with Polaroids. To them, hard copies are much more special.

Such difference in attitudes makes us wonder why we’re taking more and more photos these days—is it just because it’s easy, or do we actually treasure our memories? Are we overlooking something about old-school print-out photos?

Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider printing photos again.

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We’re taking more photos but we’re also losing more of them.

As we’re taking more and more photos, we may even forget about having taken them. Sometimes when we go through the photos in our phone, we may stumble upon photos that we don’t even remember taking.

It’s ironic how too many photos are making us worse at remembering precious moments in our lives, when those moments have driven us to take photos in the first place. That group selfie you took at a dinner party last week is probably drowned in the photo stream of your phone by now. Another week from now, you’ll probably have trouble looking for it—that is, if you still remember it.

On the other hand, prints are concrete.[1] If there’s a photo you really like (that you have printed), you can put it in a picture frame and place it on your desk.

You can still see it even after you switch off the computer or lock your smartphone. It’s there, literally.

Not everyone we know is active on the internet or knows how to use the computer, so they can’t share our memories if we stop printing photos.

Another reason why printing photos is a good idea is that it makes sharing easier sometimes.

Think of your parents, or your grandparents, they are the ones who want to remember the time they’ve spent with you more than others. Perhaps they can’t handle a smartphone or a computer very well, or perhaps you don’t want to add them on Facebook. Either way, the photos you’ve taken with them are important to them, and they probably want to look at them every day.

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The more digital photos we take, the more difficult it is to manage them digitally.

Other than losing track of our memories, digital photos also make it difficult for us to stay organized.

Even though they don’t take up physical space, storing them can be trickier than you think. For instance, just as your computer no longer has a slot for floppy discs, there is no guarantee that future computers can continue to read DVDs or USB flashdrives.[2]

Keep in mind that technology advances quickly nowadays. Digital photos may not last forever.

Even the Internet pioneer warns us not to rely on digital photos, or else we may risk losing them forever.

Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet, believes that digital information is at risk of disappearing.[3]

Digitalization does not preserve photos. What it does instead is to allow us to view images we have ‘stored’ in digital form whenever we want. Unfortunately, with the rapid development of computer technology, file formats change. Older formats may become unreadable on new softwares. Even hard drives, that is, the physical form of storage, may crash or become incompatible as time passes by.

Which is to say, if you want to keep your memories, printing photos is actually a more reliable!

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If you want to keep your offline family and friends in the loop, print the photos out.

This makes sense if preserving and sharing memories is your goal for taking photos. For instance, it makes sharing with people who don’t use a computer or the internet easier.

But besides printing photos, you can also try some ways to organize your digital photos better to preserve your memories.

If you don’t want to lose track of your digital photos, store them on a single platform and ensure they’re synced across different devices.

Since losing track of your photos is a real concern, storing all of them in the same place would be a great idea.[4] This would save you from having to remember where you should go to when looking for particular photos. You can do this on your computer hard drive or a cloud storage, etc.

But don’t forget about your photos after organizing them. Check your collection regularly to make sure everything’s backed up and in the correct order.

For example, if you take photos on your phone and upload them to Flickr for storage, keep your Flickr up-to-date just in case missing out anything from the last sync.

To even better organize your photos, label them and put them in order.

To better organize your photos, you can sort them into folders. Make sure to name your folders properly with dates and the occasions, e.g. 2016/11/25 Graduation Ceremony.

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Try to use tags such as “Graduation”, “2016”, and “Winter” for quicker photos search.

Including the names of the people in the photos can also be helpful, e.g. 2017/02/06 Birthday with Chris and Ashley.

Make sure you are consistent about the way you name your folders over time, e.g. the year always comes before the month.

Lastly, since technology advancement happens so quickly, it’s be good to stay informed about the latest storage methods. Here’re several helpful websites you can follow: Lifehacker (Digital Photos Secion), TechRadar, Gizmodo.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Wen Shan

Proud Philosophy grad. Based in HK.

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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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