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Best Google Drive Alternatives To Try for Storage Space Best Google Drive Alternatives 2023
1. Acronis Cloud Backup
Acronis Cloud Backup is a cloud backup solution that also arms you with an antivirus. Plus, it even lets you create a backup of your operating system. Whether you risk losing your data to all sorts of operating system failures or whether you risk losing your data to cyberattacks, Acronis Cloud Backup has got your back. The free version offers 1 TB of Acronis cloud space.
Easy to use and easy to manage
Schedule backups as and when you want
Choose to create full or incremental backups
Advanced antimalware protection protects you from cyberattacks
Create restore points and restore system
Web filtering doesn’t let miscreants access your data
No cross-platform functionality
Set up is time taking
Backup speed can be improved
Ice Drive is one of the best free alternatives to Google Drive. Soon after signing up for an account, you get 10 GB of free storage space. This cloud storage medium suits the needs of people from all walks of life. It offers spectacular cross-platform functionality, in that you can sync data seamlessly between your computer and smartphones. Again, in terms of security, Ice Drive moves mountains.
Two fish, zero-knowledge and client-side encryption
A virtual drive is created on your desktop just like the native drives
Intelligent cache-control fastens the application even more
Edit, delete, upload and open files with utmost ease
Built-in media player that can read all popular formats
Absence of selective sync
You may encounter a few bugs and glitches when working with it since the Ice Drive is relatively new
Two-factor authentication is not available
High privacy compliance
Easy file storing and sharing options
Fast file upload speed
Easy data accessibility
Prompt customer support
Annual payments may make it a slightly pricier option
Syncing can at times be slow
If you are looking for a free Google Drive alternative, you can’t ignore Dropbox. It offers you 2 GB of free storage, and you can subsequently increase the free storage through referrals. It has been around for quite a while now and is used both by individuals as well as business organizations. Dropbox is powered by LAN and block-level file sync that makes uploading of especially the larger files much faster in comparison to Google Drive. It integrates well with Google Workspace and Office 365 apps.
Fast uploading of files whether on a laptop, desktop, or smartphone
Synchronization of files is one of the best in the industry
Action history is shown
Dropbox vault lets you secure files using a PIN
Fast and easy setup
Dropbox offers full-text search with the help of which you can search files by extension, file name, and keywords within a file
Drag and copying of files is at times glitchy
Link sharing at times acts up
Although pCloud might be one of the newest Google Drive alternatives, it is one of the best on the block. It has an easy-to-use interface and one of the best cross-platform functionality. It offers you better control over files, so much so that you can well collaborate with friends on single files. If you are heading for the free version, pCloud offers up to 10 GB of free storage.
The selective sync feature helps you select specific folders so that not all information is synced
pCloud offers pCloud Crypto that encrypts the files before they are sent to storage
It has built-in document viewers and media players so that media and other files can be accessed directly from within the application
One of the best cloud storage mediums for storing music
It offers client-side encryption
Offers up to 2 TB storage which can prove to be less for bigger organizations
Zero-knowledge encryption is a payable feature
Nord is renowned in the world of VPNs. But, what’s lesser-known is the fact that it also has a pretty decent cloud storage medium, something that can give GoogleDrive and the likes a run for the money. It is one of those Google Drive alternatives that offers Zero-knowledge security. As for the free version, you get 3 GB free.
No restrictions on file size
Files can be uploaded and shared seamlessly
Automatic data backup functionality
Great integration with Google Drive and Dropbox
Simple drag and drop to encrypt files
Stringent high-end encryption
encrypted cloud helps prevent piracy of shared files
Available only for Windows and Mac
Pricing options can be costlier
OneDrive is one of the leading cloud storage mediums out there and comes from the house of Microsoft which makes it a trustworthy Google Drive Alternative. Being a Microsoft product, it abides with Microsoft 365 products very well. It offers 5 GB of free storage space and also gives you an opportunity to earn extra free space as well. It is used by several Fortune 500 companies.
Windows users especially will find it easier to work with OneDrive and a host of other Microsoft products
Great collaboration features
File syncing and sharing is seamless across devices
Comes preinstalled with Windows
At an organizational level, you can create directories as per department
Uploading and opening large files may be time-consuming
Syncing big files may be a problem
Another Google Drive alternative that you can look at is Koofr which offers 2 GB worth of free storage space. Moreover, with referrals, you can get 2 GB worth of free storage space. It offers remarkable security and great file uploading, sharing, and syncing services. It also lets you connect with multiple cloud accounts i.e. Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. You can look for all your devices and clouds right from within 1 app.
Transfer secured using SSL and TLS encryption
Each of your files is secured at 3 physically separate locations
No restriction on file size limits
Unified search engine
Ability to choose folders that you want to sync
Free storage available is very less as compared to many competitors
Zero-knowledge encryption not available
9. Box Drive
Box Drive is a smart and efficient way to work with your cloud files and that too right from your Windows desktop or Mac. You can edit them just like any file that you would have stored on your Mac or Windows locally. Plus, you can make collaborative workspaces out of your folders and invite team members as well. The free version for individual users offers up to 10 GB worth of free storage space and a 250 MB file upload limit.
Clean and simple interface
Invite team members to work on folders
Highly secured file sharing
Integration with G Suite and Office 365
Prompt customer support
1 file version is supported with the free version
Pricing can be better
Carbonite has carved a niche in the world of online backup services and is a potential contender as a Google Drive alternative. There is no free forever version as many of its counterparts, but, Carbonite lets you try the service for 15 days where you can upload as many files as you want. And, even with the free version, Carbonite provides you with a prompt customer service.
Encrypted and secure cloud storage
Automatic backup facility available
Paid versions also offer antivirus protection and external hard drive backup
When the continuous facility is chosen, Carbonite continuously updates your backup
The cloud storage service is a bit at the costlier end and there is no forever free storage
Restrained version history
Bandwidth allocation cannot be controlled
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Whether you are fond of doodling or love to sketch with Apple Pencil or like to plan your ideas with precision, Apple Freeform app can elegantly fit your bill. Despite being feature-rich, the app sports a neat user interface and is easy to use. But that doesn’t mean the app is perfect in all aspects. Apart from being incompatible with older devices, the Freeform seems to be rather buggy.
Issues like ill-fated syncing with iCloud and crashing have taken away the scene from it. But fret not, this is where third-party apps have a role to play. Check out these best Freeform alternatives for iPhone and iPad that are more than capable to fill up the void.
Best Freeform Alternatives for iPhone and iPad
Though most drawing apps claim to live up to the mark, very few are able to walk the talk. Having given a close look at several apps, I have handpicked the 5 most capable apps that can rival Apple Freeform.
Both in terms of versatility and ease of use, these apps can give strong competition to Apple’s offering. Since they also support older versions of iOS and iPadOS, you can even use them on older yet capable iPhone and iPad.
In more ways than one, Procreate stands out as one of the most feature-rich drawing apps for iPad. So, if you are hunting for a top-notch drawing app with all the bases covered, give this noted app a serious look. Boasting a pretty solid collection of neatly crafted brushes, the app has got enough variety to let you pick a more suitable brush to paint images.
If you aren’t pleased with the pre-defined settings, you can customize the brush settings so that they are in line with your preference. Not to mention, Procreate also offers you the desired freeform to design your own custom brushes. Another feature worth mentioning is the over 25-layer blend modes that allow you to compose art with enhanced precision. Though the $13 price tag upfront puts this app in the expensive category, you can’t go wrong with the pro-grade tools that it comes with.
2. Drawing Desk
If you want to have a highly-rated drawing and sketching app without having to shell out any bucks, Drawing Desk could be the right answer to your needs. Packed with over 25 sketching tools such as neon, pencil, spray, and more, the app is designed to let you sketch with better control.
If you have a penchant for doodling, you would be glad to know that it comes with a dedicated “Doodle Desk” with a wide range of doodling tools such as watercolor, highlighter, fill the bucket, and more. Hence, it can make you fall in love with doodling.
What has caught my attention the most in this app is over 250 eye-catching 3D brushes that can play a vital role in boosting your creativity. Not to mention, the kids’ desk with a great collection of coloring pages and the photo desk with plenty of fun-loving filters and frames are no less impressive.
Install: Free, $4.99/week
3. Ibis Paint X
For folks who are in quest of a rich painting app, Ibis Paint X can be the go-to destination. What gives it an edge over other apps is the gigantic library of over 15000 brushes. That means you will always have the opportunity to try a different brush. If you are someone who likes to use a wide variety of brushes, Ibis Paint X could be the ideal foil for your preference.
Install: Free, $2.99/month
Having garnered 4.8 stars out of 5 from more than 200k ratings, Sketchbook has long been a popular app for drawing, painting, and sketching. Oh yes, the app also does not require you to spend bucks upfront to ensure you can take it for a long drawing spree before deciding to upgrade to the pro variant that is available for a comparatively low price of $2.
Beyond affordable pricing, Sketchbook comes with beautifully designed brush types including airbrushes, smear, pencil markers, and more. Hence, you have the much-needed liberty to choose your preferred brush type, especially when creating adorable drawings is on top of your mind.
Not just that, it also lets you tweak the brushes and create custom ones for a more personalized experience. Even better, you can use this app to extract color palettes even from photos which can play a decisive role in adding wings to your creativity.
Install: Free, $1.99
5. Drawing Pad
There is a lot to like about the Drawing Pad. For one, the app seems to be a complete package for drawing, doodling and sketching. So, if you need a Freeform alternative that checks off all the essential boxes, there is a good chance that it won’t disappoint you.
Drawing Pad comes with a dedicated doodle and sketch desks so that you can carry out your tasks with improved focus. If you have a liking for creating stunning effects for images, the photo desk may win you over – right from the word go.
The magic brush stoke effects are super cool as they make your images look pleasing to the eyes. For times when you may want to take the customization to the next level, the vibrant frames and hilarious frames can deck up the show for you. Ditto!
Install: Free, $8.99/month
Fully-Equipped Apple Freeform Rivals Lined Up For You…
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Speaking of top-notch music production software, “FL Studio” aka FruityLoops has long been a go-to platform for many including aspiring music composers and professional artists. The digital audio workstation stands out on many fronts like versatility, customizable interface and more significantly; high efficiency. That said, FL Studio does have some drawbacks including clunky recording, complicated editing process, and more that can dampen productivity especially if your workflow is too demanding. The complex editing process means newbies find it rather hard to master the tricks of the trade. Not to mention, the software warrants a premium price tag that starts from $99 and goes all the way up to a whopping $899. And that’s exactly why some folks would look its alternatives. Well, if you are one of those folks, here are the best FL Studio alternatives in 2023.Best FL Studio Alternatives in 2023
Fortunately, there are a plethora of digital audio workstations like FL Studio. Both in terms of high-end tools and proficiency, they can make a match with what it has to offer. For those who are looking for cheaper and free FL Studio alternatives, there are also quite a few pretty solid options. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are hunting for a music production software for creating a masterpiece or willing to cut your novice audio editing teeth with a super handy app with all the basic tools, this roundup can help you find the right answer to your needs. That all being said, let’s explore similar DAWs like FL Studio!1. Avid Pro Tools
“Avid Pro Tools” is a powerhouse when it comes to composing and editing audio. And, if you no longer find FL Studio’s features more productive, you should keep this top-notch digital audio workstation in mind. The DAW comes with a wide range of tools to let you record, edit and mix audio with the desired flexibility. Equipped with 64-bit architecture and robust audio/video engines, it’s more geared to live up to pro demand.
As someone who has always appreciated FL Studio’s project collaboration and found it pretty seamless, I must say that Avid Pro Tools feels up to the mark (if not superior). You can use multiple collaboration tools to stay in sync with your team and enjoy working together seamlessly. Not to mention, the offline bounce attribute that works efficiently in accelerating the final mix and low-latency input buffer that makes it incredibly straightforward to keep track of record inputs.
Highly intuitive user-interface
Wicked fast 64-bit recording and mixing engine
Top-notch project collaboration tools
The free version is more than good enough for most users who are starting out
The paid version is very expensive
Involves plenty of learning curve
Platform Availability: macOS and Windows
Visit: Website2. Logic Pro X
If you are into creating music professionally, chances are pretty high that you may have already heard of “Logic Pro X”. Both in terms of efficiency and high-end features, it can outshine FL Studio – hands down. Interface-wise, Logic Pro can also come very close to what its noted counterpart has to offer. The software has an ever-growing collection of tools to let you create a masterpiece at will.
Another department where it has an edge over many other rivals is a good collection of professionally recorded instrument loops that can add the missing X-factor to your creativity. Are you a newbie? Don’t worry, the software also offers plenty of tricks and tips to help you master pro audio editing tools.
Though this music production software may seem to be expensive upfront, it’s got the tools to outmatch even the apps that are three times more expensive. If there is any downside, it’s the unavailability for other platforms like Windows and Linux. Overall, it’s certainly one of the best FL Studio alternatives and a must for the folks who want a highly efficient music production software.
Highly efficient in composing producing music
Professionally recorded instrument loops
Limited to only macOS
Platform Availability: macOS
Visit: Website3. Audacity
Fed up of expensive music production software? Look no further than Audacity, if you are on the hunt for super handy audio composing and editing software to create impressive music without burning a hole in your pocket. The app may lack an elegant interface but it has got enough appreciable tools to stake the claim of being a fairly good substitute for FL Studio.
The software also has support for 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit. As for converting sample rates and formats, it’s as proficient as FL Studio thanks to the use of top-quality resampling and dithering. And if you are someone who loves to try out all-new plugins to create stand out music, you would really appreciate the support for LADSPA, LV2, Nyquist, VST, and Audio Unit effect plug-ins. In a nutshell, Audacity is by far the best free alternative to FL Studio.
Pretty easy to use
Supports 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit
Works with LADSPA, LV2, Nyquist, VST, and Audio Unit effect plug-ins
Less impressive user-interface
Visit: Website4. Ableton Live
As a pro music producer, if your priority lies with excellent tools, “Ableton Live” should be an obvious choice for you. Packed with a huge library of modern tools, the software ensures you have maximum liberty to compose and edit music in a way that works best for you. And it’s this aspect that makes this software very close to FL Studio.
Talking about the interface, Ableton Live has kept everything pretty straightforward so getting a hang of all the essentials is never a big deal. I have found its info-view window very handy as it offers a brief description of the workspace components that play a significant role in memorizing the icons. Of all the drum and synth plugins that I have tried, I must say that none of them have appealed to me more than the ones found in this DAW.
Huge library of modern tools
Excellent drum and synth plugins
Less audio and MIDI tracks
Restricted to record only up to four sources simultaneously
Pricing: Free trial, $99 starting price, Full version comes at $749
Platform Availability: macOS and Windows5. Traverso DAW
Should you wish to compose exciting music without getting into complexities, “Traverso DAW” would be a safe bet for you. Featuring a very simple user-interface, the software seems to be familiar right from the moment you dive into it. Apart from being highly scalable, it’s also fully customizable. That means you get more freedom to compose your music.
Beyond personalization, Traverso DAW has a useful album mixer that can let you rev up your music with a lot of cool effects. So, if FL Studio’s collection of audio effects doesn’t seem to live up to your wish, chances are high that it can fill up the void with aplomb.
Another feature that has caught my eyes in this software is the ability to record tunes onto a CD with ease. Times when you are gearing up to light up a party with crazy music, it could come into the picture seamlessly. Just like FL Studio, it’s also got an optimized audio engine that delivers better results consistently. Long story short, Traverso DAW can foray onto your scene without costing an arm and a leg which makes it one of the top free alternatives to FL Studio.
Super handy album mixer
Ability to record tunes onto a CD
Optimized audio engine
Doesn’t have many pro editing tools
Editing isn’t fast-paced
Platform Availability: macOS, Windows, and Linux
Visit: Website6. Cubase
Cubase’s library of virtual instruments, effects and thousands of sounds can make a match with what FL Studio has to offer. On the customization aspect, I consider it a touch better than the latter. So, if the personalized experience is what you are after, it would be worth giving a close look.
Another area where Cubase seems to be having an edge over FL Studio is the regular updates with all-new features and improvements. Therefore, the app always feels pretty new and more significantly; delivers the required output without any issues. As for the price, it’s almost even-steven.
Intuitive MIDI engine
Advanced editing features
Best-in-class stock plugins
Pricing: $111 starting price
Platform Availability: macOS and Windows
Visit: Website7. GoldWave
Though nowhere near as feature-packed as some of the biggest names included in this roundup, GoldWave deserves to find a safe place as one of the best apps like FL Studio. With over 25 years of expertise, it’s known to provide reliable audio editing experience. Putting simplicity at the forefront, the software is good at all the important aspects including recording, editing, audio processing, conversion and more.
Speaking of user-interface, GoldWave’s UI and UX look decent. But if you are fond of FL Studio’s intuitive interface, it may not appeal to your liking. Even though the tools are nowhere near as versatile and proficients as the ones found in the latter, they are good enough to live up to the task.
Talking about adding uniqueness to your audio, GoldWave can hold the fort with over 40 audio effects. They are all professionally crafted and can go a long way in augmenting the quality of your music. But there is one department where I find it doing a touch better than FL Studio – analyzing audio. And it’s all thanks to the real-time visuals that make it more convenient for you to have much better insight. Lastly, it’s also a much cheaper alternative to FL Studio; coming in at just $45.
Over 40 audio effects
Much better at analyzing audio
Less productive interface
Comparatively slow at converting audio
Platform Availability: Windows
Visit: Website8. Reaper
For all the folks who want a fairly cheap alternative to FL Studio without compromising much on quality, “Reaper” (aka Rapid Environment for Audio Production, Engineering, and Recording) seems to be a smart pick. What makes it a fine asset is the ability to record MIDI and audio bits from many inputs together with the utmost ease. Besides, it also lets you splice your recordings more efficiently than FL Studio.
On top of all, it also comes with some really useful features like seamless branching and undo system as well as native plug-in and firewalling that can make a decisive difference in the way you handle your audio.
Ability to record MIDI and audio bits from many inputs together
A large collection of MIDI and audio-processing effects
Native plug-in and firewalling
A bit long drop-down menu
Lacks consistency when rendering a track
Pricing: $60 (Commercial license costs $225)
Visit: Website9. LMMS
Frankly speaking, I have saved “LMMS” specifically for the folks who want to get a hang of music production before spending tons of bucks on high-end tools. As a beginner, you would find this software more user-friendly and productive than the feature-rich FL Studio which may seem clunky at times for the newbies.
Whether it’s creating melodies and beats, synthesizing and mixing sounds or arranging samples, it can let you go about your business conveniently. The playback instruments and samples are pretty easy to deal with. If you love to put your hands on plugins, you would like having a go at a range of plugins that can bring in the missing charm into your music.
Elegant looking MIDI keyboard
VST and SoundFont support
Great asset for beginner
Pitch bending doesn’t work efficiently
Platform Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux10. Ardour
Last but not least, Ardour is not only very affordable but also a highly user-friendly substitute for FL Studio. That’s the reason why this DAW didn’t have to work too hard to catch my attention. That said, the software is designed for both the ones who are trying to master the art of music production and those who live for music creation.
Ardour interface has put more emphasis on simplicity so that getting a hold of it remains an easy affair. And as a starter, you would indeed appreciate the whole setup. Moving onto the editing aspect, the software does have a variety of tools to let you cut, copy, paste, move, stretch and even delete a specific design without any hiccups.
If FL Studio claims to have an exceptionally flexible mixer architecture, Ardour is not behind in the race either. Therefore, you will truly relish mixing and matching your audio to create adorable music. For the folks who never seem to get enough of plugins, they would find the roster of hundreds of plugins right on the money. Not to underestimate, the floating-point fidelity and external control surfaces that can simplify the whole process.
Exceptionally flexible mixer architecture
Handy floating-point fidelity
External control surfaces
Too many plugins seem to clutter the whole experience
Builds are paid
Pricing: Starts at $1/month
Platform Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux
Visit: Website11. Adobe Audition
The highlight of Audition is the ability to accelerate video production and audio finishing thanks to the better-optimized interface. The precision editing tools also make it a safe bet for podcasting and sound effect design. One of my favorite features of this app is the super handy sound panel which plays a key role in creating pro-grade audio without having to get into complexity. It’s in stark contrast with FL Studio’s sound panel that takes some time to get used to.
Another feature worth taking note of is the automatic rearranging of a song to fit any duration. This neat feature plays a key role in speeding up music editing. Even in terms of fixing audio, Audition is quite efficient. The app repairs and restores audio without distorting the quality. Keeping these notable features in mind, Adobe Audition is one of the better alternatives to FL Studio for both pros and newbies.
Excels in podcasting and sound effect design
Repairs and restores audio efficiently
Automatic rearranging of a song
The subscription-based pricing is quite expensive
Pricing: $20.99/month on an annual plan
Platform Availability: Windows and macOS
Visit: Website12. Sound Forge
With over 20 years of experience, Sound Forge (aka Sonic Foundry) by Magix Software GmbH is a highly-rated digital audio editing suite designed to cater to both the professional and semi-professional markets. The software comes in two variants: Sound Forge Pro and Soun Forge Audio Studio. Both the DAWs perform well in all the essential aspects including recording, audio editing, audio mastering, and processing audio.
When it comes to audio editing efficiency, Sound Forge can give a strong competition to FL Studio. Not to mention, it’s known for rapid audio processing without sacrificing quality. So, Just in case FL Studio seems to be stuttering while processing audio, you should give a try to this software. Another department where it has looked quite good to me is a vast library of professional effects which can go a long way in giving a pro touch to your music.
Whether you wish to make your audio sound retro, embrace cult classic or get on with the fast emerging trend, Sound Forge’s collection has got you fully checked off. Though Magix Software GmbH’s offering lacks variety in terms of plugins unlike FL Studio which boasts one of the biggest collections of plugins, it’s got enough to take care of basic needs.
Fast audio processing
Wide range of professional effects
Pretty neat user-interface
Doesn’t have a huge library of plugins
Platform Availability: Windows and macOS
Visit: WebsitePick Out the FL Studio Alternatives
There are plenty of portable hard disk drives (HDD) as well as much-faster solid-state drives (SSD) to choose from and we’ve reviewed and ranked some of the best ones. We are focussing on SSDs here but hard drives like the WD Black P10 get an honourable mention.
Portable USB drives are powered by the connected computer, so you can use them on the move without the need to plug into the mains or use batteries. Some will even connect your phone or tablet and let you extend storage that way, or allow you to transfer or open files.Best portable hard drives & SSDs 2023
1. Crucial X6 – Best Overall
Lacks hardware encryption
No activity light
500GB model slower
Best Prices Today:
SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 836MB/s
It might not be quite as fast as the Adata SE760 but a recent upgrade to the 1- and 2TB models makes the X6 unbeatable in terms of value for money with the 1TB model costing well under £100/$100.
Furthermore, it comes in an ever more portable form factor than its bigger brother, the X8, which is still drop tested to 2m and comes with the same three-year warranty.
As an all-rounder goes, it’s our top pick, even if it lacks things like hardware encryption and an activity light.
Read our full
2. Adata SE760 – Best Value
Type-A & Type-C cables
Limited to 1TB
Best Prices Today:
SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 934MB/s
Adata has come up with an excellent rival to the Crucial X8 and importantly done so at a cheaper price.
Like the X8 there are no features like a rugged design or encryption but there are alternative options if you need those things.
Instead, the SE760 provides a hassle-free way of carrying around a large amount of speedy storage without breaking the bank. It even comes with Type-C and Type-A USB cables included.
A solid choice if you want between 250GB and 1TB of capacity.
Read our full
3. Kingston XS2000 – Affordable Performance
Small and lightweight
Needs USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 for full speed
Limited SLC cache size
No USB Type-A adapter
Best Prices Today:
SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 1986MB/s
If you want the top performance then the XS2000 is aptly named as it offers headline speeds with read peaking at 2092MB/s, though you will need a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port to access this level of performance.
That’s around double many rivals if you do and the price here is surprisingly affordable, plus this is a very portable drive.
On the downside, the limited cache means you won’t get sustained performance for larger files and Kingston doesn’t provide a USB adapter to use the XS2000 with older Type-A ports.
Read our full
4. Seagate One Touch (2023) – Best Backup Software
Up to 2TB
Free Sync Plus software
Could be more robust
Best Prices Today:
SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 1,007MB/s
As long as you don’t need hardware encryption then the latest version of the One Touch SSD is an excellent choice.
Plug it into the right USB port and you’ll get double the speed of the previous version, matching many rivals. Capacity goes up to 2TB and Seagate provides useful and free, Sync Plus software to make backing up files easy.
It’s also highly portable and although it’s not as rugged as some alternatives, it’s hardly fragile. The main pain point here is the ridiculously short cables, but that’s not uncommon either.
Read our full
5. CalDigit Tuff nano – Best Speed and Durability Combo
Not the cheapest
SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 891MB/s
The CalDigit Tuff nano blew us away with its super-fast speeds, which are twice as fast as comparable portable SSDs. using NVMe technology, the 512GB drive we tested achieved Read and Write speeds close to 1,000MB/s!
It’s also robust, being IP67 certified – meaning that it can be immersed in water and is dust-tight. It can also withstand drops up to 3M.
It is compatible with most computers (it comes with USB-C and USB-A cables), and, being USB-C, can also work with Apple’s iPad Pro.
While it might be a little pricy for the casual user, professionals such as photographers and filmmakers will appreciate its blistering speed and tough travel credentials.
Read our full
6. Crucial X8 – Good Value Performance
Best Prices Today:
SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 1,015MB/s
The Crucial X8 is a great option for those looking for reliable portable SSD.
It’s well-made, compact and offers excellent speeds via USB 3.2 Gen 2 and offers great value for money, too.
There might not be any encryption but for many users, this won’t be an issue. If it is, then there are plenty of other options such as the Samsung T7 Touch and SanDisk Extreme.
Read our full
7. Samsung T7 Touch – Best Encryption
No admin backdoor
Best Prices Today:
SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 929MB/s
Samsung has improved on the popular T5 with a portable SSD that’s both faster and is more secure.
The fingerprint scanner works well but the drive is lacking in a simple way to reset it should you not have the registered finger so just be careful. You’ll also need to be using the right port to get the most out of the T7’s potential speed.
Those are just caveats for an excellent drive which has a lot to like. If you won’t make use of these new features then you may as well grab the cheaper T5.
Read our full
8. SanDisk Extreme Portable SDD V2 – Most Portable
Faster than SATA SSDs
USB-A + USB-C
Best Prices Today:
SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 930MB/s
SanDisk has done a great job of improving its rugged portable SSD with this new model, although the naming is a little too similar with just ‘V2’ at the end which isn’t even on the box.
If you make sure you’re buying this new model, you’ll benefit from double the speed as well as built-in encryption. The Extreme Portable is also one of the lightest drives we’ve ever seen if that’s important and also has an IP55 water and dust rating.
The drive offers both USB-A and USB-C, just note that you’ll need a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port on the device you plug this SSD into to benefit from the fastest speeds.
Read our full
9. WD Black D10 – Best Gaming Storage
Short USB cable
Can’t run all console titles
Best Prices Today:
HDD, Average Read/Write speed: 625MB/s
If you’re lacking in space for your console or PC games then the WD Black D30 is a decent option to gain a lot of storage in a small and stylish package.
The metal container style shell is really the only gaming element of this drive, but it is highly portable and ready to use out the box. You’ll get decent speeds from the USB 3.2 standard.
As usual, we’d like the cable to be longer. If you need more space than 2TB and can cope with slower speeds, the Black P10 goes to 5TB.
Read our full
10. SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 – Best Performance
Headline performance on Thunderbolt
No USB Type-A adapter included
Best Prices Today:
SSD, Average Read/Write speed: 2682MB/s
Those looking for serious speeds in an ultra-rugged casing that will survive the likes of water, drops and more have just found it.
The PRO-G40 gets close to 3000MB/s in read speeds if you use it over Thunderbolt. With USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds significantly slower, it’s not worth the high cost of this drive compared to rivals.
That’s the main issue here, with seemingly most of the cost going on the casing, while the drive inside only comes in 1- or 2TB sizes at launch. At this price, a longer cable and some kind of carry pouch would be nice. The G40 will be a better buy once it starts getting discounted.
Read our full SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 reviewHow to choose a portable SSD
Even the smallest portable drives are likely to be 128GB in size, which is enough to space thousands of CD albums in lossless FLAC format, or even more in lower quality MP3 or AAC formats. Off-loading your music collection alone from a computer to a portable drive can be a godsend in freeing valuable space if your laptop has limited storage.
Another popular application of portable storage is for keeping critical backups of your data held on a PC or laptop. You may be able to keep a perfect clone of your entire computer’s internal drive, on standby and ready in the event that the computer is lost or its drive should malfunction.
Alternatively, you may choose just to back up the most important files and documents from your user libraries, such as text documents, photos, films, music and stored email. Some portable drives include software that can help automate this process, keeping your selected directories in sync whenever you plug in the drive or by a daily schedule.Performance
Now that USB 2.0 has been banished from all self-respecting storage, we find USB 3 as the standard for connection, letting these portable drives perform as quickly as the little disks inside will allow.
USB 3 is confusing, as USB 3.0 was retrospectively renamed to USB 3.1 Gen 1. There’s also a newer version, USB 3.1 Gen 2. This doubles the potential throughput from Gen 1’s 5Gb/s to 10Gb/s. In megabytes per second, these equate to 625 and 1,250 respectively. Pretty fast, then.
In reality, most SSDs top out at around 1000MB/s (although you can get faster), and this speed is highly dependent on the device you’re connecting it to so don’t automatically blame the drive if you experience slower speeds. Note that USB-C Gen 2 won’t go any faster when USB 4.0 arrives.
Check out the average speeds in the summaries above, and go to the full review for more detailed benchmark results.Protection
A rugged exterior will be handy if you want the freedom of being able to throw around the unplugged drive with less worry that it will damage the unit, and more importantly, lose your data.
Look out for shock-resistance ratings such as the US military MIL-STD-810F 516.5 (Transit Drop Test). This means that it should withstand being dropped 26 times onto a hard floor, once on to each face, edge and corner, from a height of 1.22m.
Flash storage – more commonly known as SSDs – can survive more brutal treatment, and some portable drives are even water-resistant. If you were to accidentally drop a portable SSD drive in water, then as long as the port covers are firmly closed, it will work fine to use it after it has been fully dried.
Some drives have an IP waterproof rating like phones.Reliability
It’s tough to say definitively which manufacturer makes the most reliable hard drives. While there’s a big difference between the technology used in traditional hard drives and SSDs, both have a limited lifespan, and this is why warranties are relatively short – typically two or three years.
What’s important is that you have a well-thought-out backup process and you don’t rely on any single drive to store precious files. Ideally, you should have three copies: one on a PC, phone or tablet, one on a backup drive and one in the cloud.Value
For many users, a portable storage drive may be an unavoidable commodity, and price will be the deciding factor.
Often an older drive will be cheaper thanks to a drop in price so you might get a bargain, but make sure you’re not missing out on new tech you’d benefit from.
Professionals will be willing to pay more for the faster and tougher SSDs out there.Security
The larger the drive, the more you can store – and the more you stand to lose in the event of losing the drive or having it stolen. This is where it pays to lock down that drive.
There are two ways to ensure the data is unreadable by other users. You can scramble the contents through hardware encryption. Or you can use a software application to encrypt either parts or all of the drive.
Google Authenticator is widely regarded as the first choice for generating two-step verification codes. However, limited updates and missing features have left many of its users searching for an alternative. Let’s take a look at some of the best alternatives to Google authenticator for securing your online accounts.1. Lastpass Authenticator (Android / iOS)
Separate from its popular password manager, LastPass’s Authenticator app is a solid 2FA choice, especially for anyone already entrenched in the LastPass world. TOTP compliant, the app is available for all apps and websites that similarly support Google Authenticator. That means managing all of your services directly from your Android or iPhone/iPad is a breeze.
Push notification-based verification is a helpful differentiator and already supports popular services like Amazon, Evernote, Dropbox, Facebook and more. Downloading the app itself is free. Logging in uses your existing LastPass username and password or set one up to start from scratch. SMS and QR code are also present giving LastPass Authenticator a rich and deep feature set that makes it a strong alternative to Google’s own offering.2. Authy (Android / iOS)
When it comes to Google Authenticator alternatives, Authy (iOS / Android) is definitely one of the more prominent names. You can add an account by scanning a QR code or entering a code manually. All your codes are backed up securely to the cloud and are protected via password or face/fingerprint unlock. This ensures that even if you lose your smartphone, your data is secure. Owners of multiple devices will also love that Authy adds multi-device sync, so adding codes to a tablet will sync right back to a smartphone and vice versa.
Best of all, Authy can generate secure tokens that can be used offline. If you ever find yourself in Airplane mode, you’ll still have total access to all of your 2FA secured accounts. Last, but certainly not least, Authy adds a whole new level of functionality by protecting your Cryptocurrency as the default 2FA provider for services like Coinbase, BitGo and more.3. 2FA Authenticator (Android / iOS)
Another popular free Google Authenticator alternative, 2FA Authenticator (iOS / Android), is a simple app with an easy-to-use interface that gets out of your way. Similar to Authy, adding apps is handled via QR code or by entering a secret key manually. Access to the app is handled via fingerprint (Touch ID) or through Face ID, making it secure and inaccessible if your phone is ever lost or stolen. Once you begin with 2FA Authenticator, you can set up an online account and sync across multiple devices, so any saved passwords on a tablet are passed back to an Android or iOS smartphone.
All codes are stored locally, but the software developers have already released a cloud solution for iOS and are gearing up for a release on Android. Whereas other apps like to add features like Bitcoin security, 2FA Authenticator wants to keep things simple and easy and focus solely on securing your online accounts.4. Duo Mobile (Android / iOS)
Duo Mobile (iOS / Android) from Cisco is another app that makes it easy to authenticate login requests on your online accounts. It offers a differentiating feature called “Duo push” that allows you to receive login requests on your phone and make a single tap to authenticate it. If you receive a request that you aren’t expecting, you can also deny the request and report it as fraudulent. In addition, you can deny a request without marking it as fraudulent.
Duo also supports fingerprint protection for users running both Android and iOS enabled smartphones or tablets for securing all of your passwords. If you are ever offline, you can still authenticate your accounts using passcodes which are generated even without an Internet connection. While the rest of the apps on this list are geared for personal use, Duo, owned by Cisco, has a wealth of security protections that make it ideal for securing a small business or enterprise-level accounts.5. Microsoft Authenticator (Android / iOS)
Backed by the Microsoft name, Microsoft Authenticator (iOS / Android) has quickly become a strong rival to Google Authenticator. This beautifully laid out app ensures that you can quickly access all of your online accounts with one-time passwords. In fact, with Microsoft accounts, the app takes an additional step and removes the need to enter a password, enabling you to just add your username and confirm the sign-in with your smartphone. That’s good for Microsoft account apps like OneDrive, Outlook, Office and more.
An added bonus is that the app can even autofill passwords for you. Inside the app, on the Password tab, you can sync passwords, including those that are saved in Microsoft Edge. This dual-purpose allows Authenticator to lay claim to being one of the most feature-rich competitors to Google Authenticator. Like Duo Mobile, Authenticator is also ideal for work or school environments, though it likely needs to be registered as part of any organization so that it can be added to the list of trusted devices.6. Step Two (iOS)
Modern, intuitive and moderately priced, Step Two for iPhone and iPad is a simple 2FA solution. With iCloud backup, all of your two-step codes are available across all of your devices – including Apple Watch. An additional Safari extension ensures that you can sign into Safari on either the iPhone or iPad with ease.
If an online account supports time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) for 2FA, Step Two works. The app initially limits users to a total of 10 one-time passwords, but a one-time $9.99 in-app purchase removes that restriction and syncs with the available Mac app as well.7. Aegis Authenticator (Android)
Whereas most 2FA apps are available on both Android and iOS, Aegis Authenticator is an Android-only option. However, what it lacks in cross-platform capabilities, it more than makes up for with simple features, a free price tag and an easy-to-use interface. It comes with multiple layers of protection, including a top-layer password to access the app. In the event someone did have your password and could access the vault file that holds one-time passwords, they would still be unable to access the file due to heavy encryption. In other words, Android users should feel safe and protected with Aegis Authenticator.8. Apple Two-Factor Authentication
With the introduction of iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple has introduced its own two-factor authentication solution. Best of all, it’s totally free. To be clear, this is not the same as the 2FA solution required for your Apple ID, instead – this is a similar service to Google Authenticator.
As you may expect, the process is seamless and integrates directly with the operating system, so everything is baked directly into Safari. It’s not as feature-rich or even as aesthetically pleasing as an option like Step Two and is not as enjoyable to use if you choose a third-party browser as your default. Once it’s active and you have scanned a website’s QR code to pull it into he phone, you’ll be able to receive authentication codes via text or automated phone call.Frequently Asked Questions 1. How is a two-factor authentication app different from a security key?
For one, a universal security key is a physical item – like the Yubikey or Google Titan, that requires plugging into a USB port to authenticate logins. They can be slightly more troubleshoot to use than a 2FA app, but these keys are waterproof, dust resistant, crush-proof, and more importantly, more secure than the software tool.2. Should I trust Apple’s built-in more than third-party alternatives?
If all your tech devices are Apple products, then you can just use Apple built-in 2FA tool. If you are concerned about cross platform compatibility, then any of the tools listed above (other than Apple’s) will be more suitable for you. All of them are equally good and secure and it is down to your preferences which one to use.3. How susceptible are these services to hacking?
That’s really the million-dollar question, isn’t it? None of these services can provide a 100% guarantee that they will always be free from evildoers. That said, 2FA app hacking is not a frequent occurrence, and millions of users around the globe use all of the apps daily without issue. The likelihood that someone will be more vulnerable without using 2FA whatsoever is a far bigger security concern.
Image credit: 2-step authentication by chúng tôi
David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.
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Numerical Analysis Software for Engineering: 3 Best to try
If you want to simplify the engineering process, you need the best numerical computing software for Windows 10 PCs.
We provide a tool for product designers, mechanical engineers and even machinists.
Another great program can design, create and visualize incredibly complex neural networks.
You can also choose software to solve both linear and non-linear problems.
INSTALL BY CLICKING THE DOWNLOAD FILE
To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool
Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:
Download Fortect and install it on your PC.
Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem
Fortect has been downloaded by
readers this month.
In order to create complex projects that involve large mathematical equations and calculations, it is recommended that you use specialized software to do so. Fortunately for you, there is a wide range of numerical computing software options found on the market, but choosing the best one can be a daunting task.
This type of design, mathematics, rendering and visualization software is also known as CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering).
This software allows you to streamline the entire process of engineering for a specific project, and includes useful tools to help you manage the design process, offers support for the engineering process, performs high-end tests based on the physics and mathematical equations that apply, and also incredibly powerful rendering.
The most commonly used simulation and analysis types that are included in CAE software:
Finite Element Analysis
Computational Fluid Dynamics
In this article, we will explore some of the best software options found on the market this year, that can help you streamline the process of engineering, and offer other great features and options. Read on to find out more.
Fusion 360 is an incredibly useful software that can be used by product designers, mechanical engineers, and even machinists. This software combines the features that can be found in design, engineering, and manufacturing, into one all-encompassing hub.
This software is a fully featured CAD, CAM, and CAE software that allows you to generate designs, use 2.5 to 5 axis machining, and also offers great processing power when it comes to high quality and real-life renderings.
This program combines the professional capabilities of high-end CAD programs with a user-friendly interface, making it one of the best software options in this domain.
Here are some of the best features found in Fusion 360:
CAM – create tool paths to machine your components or create a prototype using the 3D printing workflow
Great engineering and simulation features – allows you to test the fit and motion, can create assemblies, and produce extremely good looking rendering and animations
Solid modeling – very useful sculpting tools
Data translation – transforms mathematical data into visual representations
Joints & motion studies – gives you the opportunity to test any renderings in a virtual environment
Freeform modeling & sculpting
If you are a bit overwhelmed by the large range of features found in Fusion 360, you can find a step by step tutorial on the official Fusion 360 webpage.
Get it now from the official website
Matlab is one of the best numerical computing software option found on the market in this year that can be used for developing algorithms, analysis of data, visualization, and also numerical computations.
This software is incredibly complex, being a CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) system that brings together the desktop environment (with design, iterative, and analysis features), with a programming language that is built specifically to make matrix mathematics understandable and applicable to your project.
Matlab allows you to program, simulate, model different processes for analyzing data, model creation, and algorithm development. The tools included in this software are completely documented.
Here are some of the best features found in Matlab:
Great user-friendly debugging tools
Wide range of functions found in the built-in library of mathematical and statistical functions
A great online community that constantly creates great new tools and resources
Comprehensive help tutorials
Can design, create, and visualize incredibly complex neural networks
Access to the latest deep learning features – VGG-16, VGG-19, GoogleNet, ResNet-50, Inception-v3, and AlexNet
Great image processing features
This software can be used in a variety of fields, here are some of the most common ones:
Image Processing and Computer Vision
Signal Processing and Communications
GNU Octave is another greatly powerful that uses syntax oriented mathematics to help you in the process of plotting and also visualization. This software is completely free and has a wide range of very useful features.
This software is similar to the Matlab option we explored before, but the main difference between them is the syntax that they use. If the software developer wants to build the project from scratch, then GNU Octave is a lot more useful than Matlab.
In the case that the programming starts at a level that includes pre-built structure, it is recommended that you go with Matlab.
Here are some of the best features found in GNU Octave:
A high-level language that was built specifically for numerical computations
Can solve both linear and nonlinear problems
Incredibly powerful syntax based on mathematics
Great built-in plotting and visualization tools
Drop-in compatible with Matlab scripts
Easily solve linear algebra operations on vectors and matrices
Great visualization tools in both 2D and 3D
Features can be extended to be used to solve nonlinear equations, integration of ordinary functions, etc.
Completely free to redistribute and modify
If you want to know a bit more information about this software, you can visit the official Support page, and if you want to go even in depth, even more, you can visit the official documentation page.
Download GNU Octave
In this article, we explored some of the best software options found on the market in 2023 that allow you to streamline the entire process of engineering.
By using this type of software, you can design, edit, manage, visualize and then transform your projects into real life elements/projects/designs.
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