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PS4 vs Xbox One: Which gaming console should you choose?

PS4 vs Xbox One: Which gaming console should you choose?

So, you’ve decided to purchase a gaming console. The two options you will most likely be considering are the PS4 and Xbox One, the two current generation offerings from Sony and Microsoft.

Which should you get? I’ll investigate that question, and compare the two consoles in a number of ways.

Specs

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    I could paint an overly technical picture for you, but let’s not over-complicate matters too much. The bottom line is that both the PS4 and Xbox One are about five times more powerful than their predecessors, the PS3 and Xbox 360. Each is equipped with a CPU that, for all intents and purposes, is an exact copy of the other. The only difference is that the Xbox One’s CPU is clocked faster, meaning it has about a 10% edge over the PS4’s CPU.

    On the other hand, the PS4 has a more powerful Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Truthfully, you really won’t notice the difference while playing games. At the end of the day, both consoles are around the same strength, with the PS4 taking a slight lead in some instances.

    Both consoles come with eight gigabytes (GB) of RAM, though each console uses a different format. The PS4 uses GDDR5, which is faster than the DDR3 in the Xbox One. The end user won’t really feel the difference, as the Xbox comes equipped with a few megabytes of embedded memory that allow it to match the PS4 in most instances where RAM performance is a factor.

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    If you are choosing on specs alone, there really isn’t a clear victor. For context, both consoles perform about as well as a current low-end gaming PC.

    Price

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      Were this article written in the fall of 2013, the PS4 would be the winner of this category. However, since then, Microsoft has shifted its strategy. Whereas the Xbox One used to be $499, $100 more than the PS4, it now sells for $349, and often comes bundled with a game worth $60.

      The Xbox One’s original price hurt it greatly, causing gamers to flock to the $399 PS4, which had greater apparent value at the time. Now that the tables have turned, you’d probably be better off choosing the Xbox One if you want to save a few bucks, especially if you can find one of the better bundles.

      Today, the PS4 is still $399, while the Xbox One can be bought for either $349 without the Kinect camera, or $449 with it included. That said, be on the look out for special deals and bundles that pop up from time to time, as you may be able to save even more by going with those.

      Design

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      Designz3

        Design is of course as much about personal preference as anything. That said, it’s an important factor in determining what you buy. The Xbox One has something of a monolithic design, sacrificing portability for a boxy, weighty, unassuming look. To me, it looks like a large VCR or DVD player. Perhaps that was the intent, as Microsoft’s hope is for the Xbox One to be the main attraction of your home entertainment setup.

        The PS4 is less generic, with a stylized design that seems to harken back to the PS2. It’s far more compact compared to the Xbox One, and looks more like a gaming machine than the Xbox.

        If you want something that will blend in seamlessly next to your DVD player and cable box, the Xbox One is a good choice. If you want to have something a bit more flashy, the PS4 will probably appeal to you more.

        Games

        Gamesz4

          By and large, the game libraries on these consoles are essentially the same. If you are mainly into sports games or cross platform shooters, like Call of Duty, both consoles will serve you well.

          Where the two consoles diverge is in their exclusive offerings. At the moment, neither really has a decent library of exclusives, but that will change by the end of this year with blockbusters like Uncharted 4 and Halo 5 being released for the PS4 and Xbox One, respectively.

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          If you grew up playing Halo and enjoy the lore and gameplay of that franchise, the Xbox One is your console. On the flip side, if you loved traversing the globe as Nathan Drake, the PS4 is for you. PS4 owners also have access to a larger indie game library, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.

          Again, it’s a personal choice, and really depends on which consoles you’ve owned in the past. Those of us who owned Xbox 360s will feel more of an affinity to the exclusives on the One, and vice versa.

          Controllers and peripherals

          Controllerz5

            As strange as it may seem, many gamers choose a console based on the feel of their controller. Having used both, I have to say that I prefer the Xbox One’s controller a bit more, mainly because my hands are pretty large and I feel a little cramped using the analog sticks on the PS4 controllers.

            Of course, your mileage may vary. Both controllers have received a lot of praise from gamers of all shapes, sizes, and experiences, so what might be a good idea for you is to test each and see what works for you.

            Additionally, both the Xbox and PS4 can be used with a high-tech camera device that you can purchase separately. If you are choosing mainly on the capability of this peripheral, the Xbox’s Kinect is better than the PS4’s offering, as it was designed to integrate seamlessly into the Xbox experience (originally, it shipped with every Xbox, which is, in part, why it used to cost so much).

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            Backwards compatibility

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              Sadly, neither consoles have backward compatibility capabilities, meaning you can’t play your old 360 or PS3 games on the new machines. If either Microsoft or Sony figure out a way to include this feature at some point in the future, that would be a huge factor in picking one console over the other (since so many of us have a large library of last-generation games).

              Conclusion

              In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with either the Xbox One or the PS4. To me, the most important factor is whether or not you will enjoy the exclusive games offered by each console. Are you a Halo devotee? A Fable fanatic? A Gran Turismo phenom? An Uncharted aficionado? If you picked the first two, get an Xbox. If you chose the latter, the PS4 is for you. These are gaming consoles, after all, so the other factors really don’t matter all that much compared to the joy you get from playing actual games on your device.

              I hope this outline helped in your decision making process. Whichever console you choose, I have no doubt that your craving for gaming will be sufficiently satisfied for the next several years.

              Featured photo credit: Gaming Consoles/Mark Farrell via flickr.com

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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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