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21 Interesting Apps To Train Your Brain

21 Interesting Apps To Train Your Brain

Want to improve your memory or train yourself to relax? Grab your smartphone – with thousands of interesting apps for all devices, there are many ways you can train your brain with technology. Here are twenty of the most interesting brain training apps for all types of goals. They’re sorted below by category, including apps that train your brain to concentrate, relax, learn, accomplish goals, and even memorize better.

Apps That Train Your Memory

Improving memory for names, faces, information and other data can be helpful for anyone’s daily life.

1. Eidetic (iOS)

The Eidetic app aims to help make memorizing numbers and facts easier by using spaced repetition. It allows users to add banks of phone numbers, quotes or other facts to memorize, with built-in formats for several popular categories. Eidetic sets retest reminders with different options, with the idea that spacing out tests helps long-term memory. Eidetic is available on iOS, and is free to try, but the full version costs $1.99.

Eidetic App

    2. Lumosity (iOS / Android)

    The Lumosity brain-training app is fairly well-known, based on scientific principles, and gets very good reviews. It incorporates different games and exercises to train different areas of your mind including attention, memory and problem solving. The program sets reminders and allows you to track your progress. Limited access is free via iOS, Android and browser apps. The full range of functions is accessible for a monthly subscription of $11.99.

    Lumosity App

      3. Peak (iOS)

      Similar to Luminosity, Peak is an app designed to train several areas of the brain, including memory, focus, problem solving, agility and language. It includes 21 games and creates personalized brain workouts and goals for users. Peak provides analytical feedback and graphs for tracking performance, and gets very high reviews from users. Peak is available on iOS, and is free to use. Unlimited access and more in-depth tools are available in the pro version for $4.99 per month.

      Peak App

        4. Memory Trainer (Android)

        The Memory Trainer app is one of the more popular brain games on Android with pretty good reviews. It includes different workout sessions designed to excercise spatial and visual memory, focus and concentration with different simple activities such as matching. Memory Trainer is available on Android for free with ads.

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        Memory Trainer App

          Apps That Train Your Brain to Learn

          One focus of many brain training apps is developing better brain plasticity, or the ability to analyze situations, make decisions, apply logic, and absorb new information.

          5. Real Kakuro (iOS / Android)

          If you like Sudoku or want a different challenge, then Kakuro is definitely a must-try. Kakuro involves larger and more complex grids in which you must identify the digits in the rows and columns based on their sums. It involves a little more math than Sudoku, and is good for exercising your mental math and problem-solving skills. Real Kakuro is one of the more popular apps in this genre, and it is free on iOS and the Google app store (with ads).

          Real Kakuro App

            6. SAT Vocab by Mindsnacks (iOS)

            Though designed with SAT test-takers in mind, this app can help anyone expand their vocabulary. SAT Vocab trains on you on 500 words using nine professor-designed games derived from proven memorization techniques. It trains you on spelling, context, antonyms and other facets of vocab building. SAT Vocab is available on iOS. It is free to try, but the full version costs $4.99. Other language packs in French and Spanish are also available.

            SAT Vocab App

              7. Math Tricks (Android)

              If you want to improve your speed at mathematical calculations or learn helpful mental tricks, this app can help. It contains problems and step-by-step solutions to train your brain to solve basic and complex equations better. Math Tricks includes sections for adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and squaring. Math Tricks is available on Android, and is free with ads. On iOS, Mathemagics offers similar math training for $2.99.

              Math Tricks App

                8. Vocabulary.com (iOS / Android)

                The app from Vocabulary.com takes a less intensive approach to vocabulary building. It allows you to look up the meanings to words with plain-text explanations, grammar tips and pronunciations. But, it also includes a game with a point-based achievement system to encourage you to learn new words. Vocabulary.com’s app is available on iOS and Android for $2.99.

                Vocabulary.Com App

                  9. Duolingo (iOS / Android)

                  Want to train your brain to learn a new language? Duolingo offers programs focused on beginner and intermediate learners for around 20 languages, including Spanish, German, French, Chinese and more. It is very highly-rated and very popular, with several games and training methods, goal setting and progress monitoring. Duolingo is completely free, and available on iOS, Android, Windows and browser apps.

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                  DuoLingo App

                    Apps That Train You to Relax

                    If your mind keeps you up at night or you struggle with stress, there are several types of apps designed to help promote relaxation and encourage deep sleep.

                    10. Calm (iOS / Android)

                    This app by Calm.com offers different types of guided meditation and relaxation in sessions as short as two minutes. It also offers different nature scenes, ambient sounds and more. Based on the free meditation sessions at Calm.com, these tricks allow you take a short break from daytime stress or relax at night for better sleep. Calm is available in iOS and Android, and on browsers. It is free to use, with premium options available.

                    Calm App

                      11. Brain Wave – 32 Apps Advanced Binaural Brainwave Entertainment Programs (iOS)

                      Using binaural beats, the Brain Wave app claims to encourage certain brain wave patterns for specific reactions. This version includes programs for a variety of brain training, including sleeping and napping, studying, concentrating, energy, alertness, critical thinking, stress relief and more. The binaural beats can be paired with white noise, nature noises, or iTunes music, and the app gets good ratings. The Brain Wave app is available in iOS for $3.99. Individual apps with fewer programs grouped by category are available for $0.99.

                      Brain Wave 32 App

                        12. Binaural Beats Music (Android)

                        For Android users, the Binaural Beats Music app offers 15 binaural tracks for sleeping, studying and meditation. Background noise levels can be adjusted and the app is well-rated and has a hypnosis function as well. This app is available for free in the Google appstore for Android.

                        Binaural Beats Music App

                          13. Long Deep Breathing (Android)

                          Breathing is an automatic function, but training your brain to consciously control your breath rate and depth is helpful for relaxing and beating stress. The Long Deep Breathing app uses visual and audio cues help you practice and master deep, slow breaths. In the app, you can adjust the length of a session and the duration of breaths to match your level. A timer with a gauge helps you space out breaths, and verbal instruction can also be turned on for beginners This app is available for free in the Google appstore for Android.

                          Long- Deep Breathing App

                            14. Headspace.com (iOS / Android)

                            If you want to train yourself to meditate, this app is ready to help. The free version includes 10 sessions of 10 minutes each that guide users through meditation and mindfulness. You can track progress, partner with a friend, and get reminders and rewards for achievements. The premium version offers additional levels and lengths of programs for further meditation training. This app is available for free in the iOS and Android app stores, with premium features for a monthly subscription of $12.99.

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                            Headspace App

                              15. Relax and Sleep Well by Glenn Harrold (iOS / Android)

                              Insomnia is often a result of stress or not being able to turn off thoughts before bed. Guided relaxation techniques can be helpful in this regard, as they distract you from normal patterns and help you enter that sleep state. The Relax and Sleep Well app by Glenn Harrold also includes one 27-minute guided hypnosis session voiced by a professional therapist for deep sleep paired with relaxing background sounds. A longer session is available in the premium version. Relax and Sleep Well is available on iOS and Android for free, with the longer sleep session available for $2.99.

                              Relax And Sleep Well App

                                Apps That Train Your Brain to Concentrate

                                Concentration and focus are important brain skills for getting things done at school and work. Some apps help you minimize distractions, while others provide exercises.

                                16. Concentration Aid with Classical (Android)

                                Since music with words can be distracting, the Concentration Aid app offers a list of classical songs to promote focus while working or studying. Based on the concept of the Baroque effect and the Mozart effect, specific songs are chosen which are structured in a way that promotes mental activity. If you aren’t sure what classical songs to add to your collection, this app could provide you with a good introduction. This Concentration Aid app is available on Android for free.

                                Concentration Aid App

                                  17. Pomodoro Timer (iOS)

                                  Based on the scientifically-proven Pomodoro technique, this app is designed to help you manage focus and energy in order to improve productivity. The app allows you set it for a specific amount of time – 25 minutes is suggested – during which you have a specific goal in mind to complete. When it reminds you, you take a short break and then repeat. After the fourth interval, you take a longer break. The idea is that the periods of work with scheduled breaks helps maintain focus and prevent burnout and procrastination. The Pomodoro Timer app is available on iOS for $1.99

                                  Pomodoro Timer App

                                    18. Pomodoro Challenge Timer (Android)

                                    For Android users, the Pomodoro Challenge timer offers the same timed focus and break functionality. You set your goal or subject to work on, start the timer, and work until the designated break time. This app also provides data on activity and productivity to track yourself and projects, as well as achievements The Pomodoro Challenge Timer app is available on Android for free with optional upgrades.

                                    Pomodoro Challenge Timer App

                                      Apps That Train You to Be Healthier

                                      One of the biggest parts of developing better habits is training your mind to get used to doing them, and remembering to include them in your day. Several apps are designed to promote a healthier you by providing reminders and motivation.

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                                      19. Stand Up! The Work Break Timer (iOS)

                                      Several recent studies have highlighted the health risks of sitting and being inactive for hours on end, but when you’re hard at work it can be difficult to remember to take a break. This app lets you set timed reminders for different intervals with quite a few functions, and comes pretty well-rated. Stand Up is available on iOS; the app can be used for free, with the full alarm package for $0.99.

                                      Stand Up App

                                        20. Happify (iOS)

                                        The Happify app features games and activities designed to boost mood and build skills for happiness. Using research from psychologists and neuroscientists, the activities work on skills like thankfulness, self-confidence, savoring and empathy. There is even a social aspect to the app. Happify is available on iOS; the app can be used for free, with pro features for additional costs of $12.99 per month.

                                        Happify App

                                          21. Lift (iOS / Android)

                                          The Lift app aims to help you improve your life in more ways than one, from fitness to better moods, to productivity and more. Like a life coach in your phone, this app lets you choose a goal, choose from three types of coaching – advice, motivation or prompting – and then work towards your achievement in a community-based setting. Users can also hire real-life coaches through the app Lift is free, and is available on both iOS and Android.

                                          Lift App

                                            If you’ve tried any of these brain training apps or have other favorites, share in the comments below!

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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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