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11 Excellent Apartment Search Tools You Need To Know

11 Excellent Apartment Search Tools You Need To Know

Finding the perfect apartment can be a real pain. Trust me, I just spent four months doing that exact thing. You end up looking at specific features, making calls to see availability, and doing tours to see if that’s a place you want to live. It can be daunting and overwhelming. Where do you start? Try these apartment search tools to get your search started!

Apartment.com

Apartment Search tools

    First up is the most obvious one and that’s apartment.com. It’s one of the most recognized apartment websites on the planet. It’s the most frequently updated and typically has most of the apartment complexes in your area. You can search by city, state, and zip code and sort by bedrooms, bathrooms, and price. The descriptions and floor plans are easily accessible and sending emails or making phone calls is pretty easy to figure out. It’s where every apartment hunter should start.

    Craigslist

    Apartment search tools

      If you think this doesn’t work, then take it from someone who has tried it. I found my current apartment on Craigslist. You can find some decent selections on Craigslist that you can’t find on other sites. This is especially great for stuff like condos and very small, independent apartment complexes because they don’t want to go through the trouble of signing up for the other websites. You should always be weary of scammers but a good way to make them prove they are who they say they are is to simply meet up with them at the property. If they’re unable to, they’re probably scammers. Otherwise, you can find some amazing diamonds in the rough on Craigslist.

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      Hotpads

      apartment search tools

        Hotpads is kind of a mix between Craigslist and Apartments.com. It has all of the main places like you’d find on Hotpads but it also has a lot of the smaller, out of the way, and independent places that you probably wouldn’t find elsewhere. It also features a map-based interface so you can browse around in the area you want to live. You click on the building icons and see quick stats and contact details. This is a great way to see things on a wider perspective.

        LiveLovely

        apartment search tools

          If you want to view Craigslist places but don’t want to use Craigslist bland interface, give LiveLovely a try. It’s another map-based website like Hotpads that lets you see places on a map rather than a list form. It sources information from Craigslist and also lets propery managers and owners sign up and post their stuff. It comes with a number of other features like the ability to pay your rent online, receive alerts, and messages. It’s a very robust site and worth checking out.

          Trulia

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          apartment search tools

            Trulia is one of those all-in-one property sites. You can search for houses or apartments for rent, properties to buy, and pretty much everything else property related. It offers more options than other places because it also shows places that you can buy but since you’re likely looking for just apartments, those other features won’t matter. You can save places on a favorites list for future reference, contact properties, and sort by a number of categories. Don’t forget to try their crime map beta to see if the neighborhood you’re moving into is safe!

            Zillow

            apartment search tools

              Zillow is pretty much Trulia’s direct competitor so it should also be included on the list. I actually liked Zillow a little better than Trulia because it felt like a more comprehensive experience. It has pretty much all of the same features but like every site on this list, there always seems to be a few places that the others missed. They’ll even be so kind as to let you know when property owners trip red flags that could mean that they’re scammers and that’s always a nice feature to have. It also includes such features as integrated Walk Score scores, estimates on how much the property is worth, and other information.

              Rent Jungle

              apartment search tools

                This place is the Google Search of apartments. It has over 12,000 websites indexed so when you search on Rent Jungle you’re actually searching pretty much everywhere. There are some places that won’t show up like the independent places that only post on Craigslist or newspaper ads, but otherwise you’ll probably be able to find it here.

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                Walk Score

                apartment search tools

                  Walk Score is kind of a dual purpose site. You use it to see if the apartment you want has a good walk score. This essentially measures how much you can do within walking distance. Some people don’t mind driving everywhere but there’s something to enjoy about being able to walk places. It also has an apartment search tool that allows you to search based on, you guessed it, walk score.

                  For Rent

                  apartment search tools

                    For Rent offers similar features and reliability as Apartments.com and includes one of the nicer interfaces that we’ve seen. They make it very easy to contact the property management so you can get information you need. It’s a sleek interface and it has most of the options you’d find on these other sites.

                    PadMapper

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                    apartment search tools

                      PadMapper is one of the original sites that lets you search for your perfect apartment on a map view. It features easy-to-use sliders to filter your results until you find the ones that you’re really looking for. It also lets you search for individual rooms for rent, sublets, and vacation housing for those of you looking for something a little different.

                      My Apartment Map

                      apartment search tools

                        Last and certainly not least is My Apartment Map. This awesome website lets you search using a variety of filters. You can search based on what pets you want, what amenities you may need, whether or not the apartment is furnished, and more. A fun strategy is to find a good number of apartments on the other sites then narrow them down further using the search on this site.

                        Apartment hunting is a rough process. You’re looking for a place where you’ll be spending a good percentage of your life. You need a place that’s best for you in terms of finances and the amenities you need. Having the right tools will only get you so far and there will come a point where you just need to go with the place that feels right for you.

                        Featured photo credit: World Property Channel via worldpropertychannel.com

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                        Joseph Hindy

                        A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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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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