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Top 12 Online Resources for Total Coding Beginners

Top 12 Online Resources for Total Coding Beginners

Learning a new skill can be overwhelming, to say the least. And with a complex and constantly evolving skill like coding, it can seem impossible to figure out where to begin. Thankfully, there are many high quality – and free! – online resources that are ideal for even the most novice programmer. Follow along for my list of top 10 online resources for beginners learning to code, tried and tested by our very own team of star developers.

Turtle Academy. This web-based tutorial teaches programming in a fun and very simple way by helping you write code through moving a turtle around the screen. Turtle Academy is a great way to introduce yourself to programming and get familiar with the basic paradigms.
Price: Free

TurtleAcademy-Lifehack3
    Lego Mindstorms

    . Through “Learn to Program” on Lego’s website, you complete 25 “missions” with their free software. It’s a great introduction to some programming principles, and really quite fun. As they say on the website, “make your robot do exactly what you want it to do!” – whether that’s move, drive or respond to touch.
    Price: Free

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      Udacity. 

      Udacity gives you a huge online library of courses for all levels and all kinds of subjects. Click on “Intro to Computer Science” or “Developing Android Apps” – or any one in a big roster of classes to help you hone your skills and develop your training.
      Price: Free access to course materials, pricing structure for more

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        Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers.  This video game-style game is educational and fun, and works for all levels. Go from beginner to coder extraordinaire while also having fun. You’ll learn the ins and outs of JavaScript while also engaging in head-to-head robot wars on the battlefield. Only drawback? The app has been known to be a bit buggy, but recent updates seem to have resolved many of the lingering issues.
        Price: Free on iTunes, Free on Android

        HakitzuRobot-Lifehacker3

          My Robot Friend. While this app for iPhone & iPad is much more geared towards kids, it’s still very informative and gets the basics across. Anyone can benefit from a number of games and puzzles that introduce you to programming and gradually build on those skills.
          Price: $3.99

          MyRobotFriend-Lifehacker3

            Project Euler. While this website is geared towards those with a grasp of the basics, it’s a great place to keep learning and push yourself. Solve a series of mathematical and computer programming problems and grow your skills in the process.
            Price: Free

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              CodeCombat. Leading with the idea that the best way to learn is to do, CodeCombat gives you a fun and interactive way to learn how to program. It also introduces a multiplayer element, so there’s a built-in community as well as an edge of competition for head-to-head programming wars.
              Price: Free

              CodeCombat-Lifehack3

                L2Code CSS. A very beginner-friendly crash course in CSS that you can easily access and use on your mobile on the go, or sitting at a desk. This app is available on both iOS and Android and gives very clear lessons, examples and step-by-step instructions.
                Price: $4.99 on iOS and Android

                l2code-css-Lifehack3

                  Codea .While Codea is only available on iPad and is on the more expensive end of things, it’s an excellent resource for those who are really willing to roll their sleeves up and dig in. The guidance is a bit limited – so be prepared to really pay attention and teach yourself at parts – but if you’re willing to push through, you’ll learn a lot. Bonus? You can export what you build and sell it on the App Store!
                  Price: $9.99 on iPad

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                    Cato’s Hike. This is a great app for those who learn visually. Program Cato’s movements around the map to make sure he can move and get out of different situations. While it’s definitely a bit more for the kids, this is a very thorough tutorial and you can learn a lot of fundamentals. Light and fun.
                    Price: $4.99 on iOS

                    CatosHike-Lifehack3

                      iPad and iPhone Application Development. This free course through iTunes gives you a series of audio podcasts that take you through what you need to know to develop on the iOS platform. Very thorough explanations, and a great course – used by some of our own iOS devs.
                      Price: Free

                      iPad&iPhoneappDev-Lifehack3

                        W3Schools. W3Schools is a practical introduction to web development that anyone can follow. Full of examples, it covers how different things work together. While other programming tutorials can be abstract and vague on how to apply the things you learn, that is simply not the case with W3Schools.
                        Price: Free

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                          Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK. Bonus resource! While this is clearly not an online resource, sometimes there’s something to be said for being able to hold the resource in your hands and really make it your own. This is an easy to follow read that’s written in very friendly, beginner language. A fantastic resource for beginners to iPhone development!
                          Price: $8.33 on Amazon

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                            What resources have you been using as you learn to code? Let me know and keep me posted on how it goes with these resources in the comments!

                            Featured photo credit: Cindy J Grady via freerangestock.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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