How to Use Tor Browser

We live in the era of the data gold rush. Governments tracking your movements, corporations keeping a tab on your digital footprints to give you targeted ads, desktop programs and smartphone apps using clauses in user license agreements to record and sell data like your browsing habits and shopping preferences—no one likes that feeling of constantly being watched. While common forms of private web browsing like using Chrome’s Incognito mode, or Microsoft Edge’s InPrivate mode will prevent others who use the PC or smartphone from going through your browsing history, their degree of “privacy” is limited. You’re not really anonymous, since your ISP can still monitor the sites you visit. The Tor Project comes in for complete anonymity. 

Short for “The Onion Router”, Tor has been developed to keep you anonymous while browsing, ensuring that your location and identity are always private, and that there won’t be any tracks of your online activities. This software was initially developed in the 90s by the United States Naval Research Lab to cloak their activities and ensure that they wouldn’t be traced back to them.  It uses an onion-like layering technique—hence the name, concealing information on location and user activity. While it has its roots in military use, it is now free and open-source, and used all over the world—from fostering democracy and dissemination of information within authoritarian states, to the average internet Joe simply looking to surf the web without feeling that they are under a microscope.  Here is how you can use it:

Installing Tor Browser

  1. Head on over to Tor Project and download the software version that suits your operating system. 
  2. Run the installer, and once it’s complete click “Finish” to launch it. 
  3. A settings dialog will pop up, with settings to connect to the Tor network. Simply click the “Connect” button. However, if you’re connecting to the internet via proxy, click the “Configure” button and key in the settings.
Tor Browser - Connect

For the initial connection, the program may take several minutes—and it warns of this, since it is making the connection through relays. However, after this is done, the Tor browser launches, ready to be used.

Tor - establish connection
Tor - establish connection

If you’ve surfed with Mozilla Firefox, then you’ll find Tor to be familiar, since they are based on the same code. You don’t have to have used Firefox before to get a hang of Tor though. There are similarities to Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari, so you will get used to it really quickly. 

Tor - explore privately

Setting the security levels

With the default security settings, they are set to “Standard”. This alone is still far more secure compared to the conventional web browsers. However, you can increase this further, selecting the preferred security level—but keep in mind that some functionalities on the sites you visit will be disrupted.

Tor-Security Privacy Settings

The goal here to achieve a balance between the desired level of privacy, security and web usability.

Understanding How Tor Works

How does Tor work to keep your connection private and anonymous? It avoids direct connection to websites. Instead, the connection gets passed through multiple nodes on the network. These nodes are servers operated by volunteers. As it bounces around the different nodes, these intermediaries won’t know the source of the connection (you) or the target destination (the website you visit). This makes it impossible for the website to determine who you are and track you. For example:


Here’s what happens: The data leaving your computer or smartphone is encrypted, then sent into the Tor network. As it passes each individual node, a layer of encryption gets removed, revealing the location of the next node. When it gets to the last exit node, the final encryption later is removed, for the data to be sent to its destination. The path is randomly generated, the relays do not keep records, and each node just decrypts enough information to know the previous and next node on the path. This mode of operation will be why you’ll notice the slightly lower surfing speed when using Tor compared to other browsers. However, on a good internet connection, the difference in site loading speeds will be minimal. 

In case the performance gets unusually slow, or pages become unresponsive, you can launch a new Tor circuit. This option is on the drop-down menu, shown below:

Tor - Explore Privately

The “New Tor Circuit for this Site” option only applies for that active tab. You may want to go the extra set of acquiring a whole new identity, and that option is also available. Note that selecting this closes and restarts Tor, in order to give you a new IP address and set up a different connection.

Changing your modus operandi

There are some surfing activities that you’re probably used to, which you should change when using Tor browser. These include:

  • Using Google or Bing to make your searches online. It’s recommended that you switch to privacy-focused search engines like DuckDuckGo. 
  • Browser extensions are ill-advised. These can leak out your private information—beating the purpose of using this mode of browsing in the first place. As such, you should avoid installing them.
  • As you browse through the different sites, popups may show up, giving you different warnings- especially when there are items on that site that can be potentially used to track you. These popups will depend on the privacy settings you selected, and the sites you visit. 
  • You should also ensure that you use the HTTPS version of sites, rather than the less secure HTTP. Don’t fret—you don’t have to keep remembering this. Tor Browser by default automatically tries to direct you to the HTTPS version of the site being visited if it is available. Keep your eye on the URL bar just in case. 
  • If you’re keen on staying anonymous, it is recommended that you turn off the plugins and scripts. This is because, just as is with any other browser, plugins and scripts can be exploited to reveal data like your IP address. 
  • Torrenting is also discouraged on Tor. The torrent traffic is not protected, and this can be used to reveal your IP address. It will also be slower, given the number of relays that the data is passed through.
  • Visiting .onion sites gives you more privacy. These are the “deep web” or “hidden Tor services”, which can’t actually be accessed by search engines. You’ll need to get the direct links to them. Sounds like a lot of work, right? It’s not like you’re walking around with a list of preferred sites, and you don’t always know the particular onion site which has what you need. Onion directories come in to help you out.
Tor - OnionDir

Crank things up a notch with a VPN

Surfing the net with a Tor browser also draws attention to you. While the ISP cannot exactly know what you’re doing, it can still see that you’ve been connected to the Tor network, thus raising suspicion about your activities. Using it together with a VPN maximizes your privacy. Here, three things will happen when you connect to your VPN before launching the Tor browser:

  • No Tor relay/node sees your IP address
  • The VPN doesn’t see your activity in the Tor browser
  • Network operators won’t know you’re using Tor

5 Ways to Recover Deleted Files on Android Phone

Have you ever lost data from your Android phone?

Data such as SMS text messages, Message Attachments, Call History, Contacts, Photos, Videos, Audio, WhatApp and Documents?

Here’s an outline of the best Android Data Recovery software out there:


It recovers:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Audios
  • WhatsApp – Group and Individual Conversation, Photos, Audios and Videos
  • Text messages
  • Contacts
  • Call Logs
  • Documents – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, HTML, RAR ZIP and more


  1. It recovers data you lost due to, e.g. Accidental Deletion, OS Crash, Without Backup, SD Card Issue, SIM Card not working, Rooting Error, ROM Flashing, and Virus Attack
  2. It supports over 6,000 Phone Models (Android 2.3 to Android 9.0)
  3. It can extract data from broken Android and fix bricked phones
  4. You can recover files from Internal Memory, Android SD Card and SIM Card
  5. It works at high speed, and you can preview the deleted data before recovery
  6. You can backup your Android data onto computer and then restore it completely or selectively

User Guide:

4 simple steps

iCare (Free)

It recovers:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Files
  • Music
  • Calendar
  • Chats
  • Notes
  • Reminders
  • Bookmarks
  • Text messages
  • Contacts
  • And more


  1. It’s Free
  2. It recovers data you lost due to, e.g. Deletion/Format/Factory Reset, System Crash/Virus Attack, Denied Accessibility and Unexpected Power Outage
  3. Supports all Android Operating Systems
  4. Supports all Android Devices
  5. Android Internal Memory recovery
  6. Files can be previewed before recovering them
  7. If your device has been physically damaged or data has been overwritten, then it will most likely not be recovered



It recovers:

  • SMS messages
  • Call Logs
  • Gallery photos
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Audios
  • WhatsApp and Viber chat history
  • Documents


  1. Free Trial
  2. It recovers data you lost due to, e.g. accidental deletion, factory reset, system crash, ROM flash, rooting error, broken or lock screen, virus attack, etc.
  3. Android Internal Memory and memory card recovery
  4. It supports 6,000+ Android Phones and Tablets
  5. Supports Android Operating Systems 2.1 to 9.0

User Guide:

3 simple steps


It recovers:

  • SMS Messages
  • Contacts
  • Videos
  • Photos
  • Audios
  • And more


  1. Free Trial
  2. You can preview the files before recovery
  3. High-speed recovery
  4. It makes a copy to your PC
  5. Backs up Messages and contacts in a .txt file format
  6. Backs up Photos as PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP
  7. Backs up Audio and Video as MP3, WMV, MP4, 3GP, MOV, 3G2, SWF, AVI etc.

Dr. Fone

It recovers:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Contacts
  • Messages
  • Call Logs
  • Documents
  • WhatsApp messages – for rooted devices
  • And more


  1. Recovers data from 6,000+ Android Devices. See the list of supported devices
  2. It recovers data you lost due to, e.g. Accidental Deletion, System Crash, Forgotten Password, SD Card Issue, Rooting Error, ROM Flashing, Damaged, Not Responding, Black Screen and Factory Reset
  3. Can recover from broken Android phones and tablets
  4. Over 50 Million customers
  5. Three recovery modes:
  • From Android Internal Storage
  • From Broken Android
  • From Android SD Card

User Guide:

3 Ways to Remove iCloud Lock without Password

When a person buys an iPhone, they create an Apple ID and Password (Lock Activation details). When done, the iPhone locks itself to this identifier information. This is for security reasons; only they know the Identifier/Lock Activation details.

Scenario: Person buys a USED iPhone that is left locked by the previous owner, that is, the iPhone contains the previous person’s iCloud Activation Lock details – their Apple ID and Password.

Problem: How to unlock it?


Way 1: Ask the previous owner to disable the Activation lock from their end

You must ask he/she to:

  1. Login into with their Apple ID
  2. Click ‘Find my’ button and select ‘All Devices’ and then select the appropriate iPhone
  3. Click on ‘Erase iPhone/iPad’ and then click ‘Remove from Account’

Way 2: Ask Apple to Remove iCloud Activation Lock for You

You can either Call Apple Support or Visit your local Apple Store. 

If the iPhone is new:

 You will need to show that you own the phone, i.e. proof of purchase showing the serial number of the iPhone and your name.

If the iPhone is second hand:

 If you’ve bought a used iPhone, you will need to show proof that ownership was transferred to you from the seller. You will have to provide the sale transaction receipt/proof of payment.

Way 3: Use Third-Party products?

Be careful when choosing third-parties offering unlock services. Some may try to exploit vulnerabilities in Apple’s operating software. Be careful when choosing.

The following is a list of third-party unlock services:

  • LockWiper
  • iCloudin
  • Official iPhone Unlock
  • Open My iCloud
  • Doulci iCloud Unlocking Tool

Have a read of these services

How to Recover Data from Broken Android Phone?

Like most other people, you certainly carry an Android smartphone. What if your Android smartphone falls into the water and gets damaged? What if your smartphone breaks into pieces? How do you recover your precious data from a broken Android phone? 

This guide will help you recover data from broken Android phones with ease. The pain of losing your mobile phone might be there, but you can still retain your precious data if you follow one of the methods mentioned below:

Method 1: Using USB Cable

 When your phone screen or your phone breaks, you can use a USB cable to recover data with ease. Even when your phone display and screen might not work, a USB cable will come in handy to recover data.

 To recover data from a broken Android phone using a USB cable, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Attach your USB data cable to your broken Android smartphone. 
  2. Wait until your PC installs the necessary drivers. Your smartphone will now appear as a new driver.
  3. Navigate to My Computer and find your Android smartphone.
  4. Double click on your smartphone name to find all the multimedia files stored in your internal and external memory.
  5. Select all the items that you want to restore. Copy the items and paste them into your desired location.

This method is suitable for recovering multimedia and document files only. You cannot retrieve call logs, text messages, notes, or contacts using this method.

Method 2: Using third-party applications

If you want to recover important call logs, messages, notes, contacts, etc. from a broken Android phone, you can use third-party applications to do so.


Gihosoft Android Data Recovery Free Software is useful to recover data after accidental deletion, virus intrusion, rooting, restoring factory setting, and also in cases of broken Android phones. To recover data from a broken Android phone using Gihosoft, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Download Gihosoft Android File Recovery Software for Windows or Mac. 
  2. Install the software on your desktop.
  3. Launch the software on your desktop by clicking the software icon. An interface pops up on the screen.
  4. Click Next and click Connect your Android phone to PC. Make sure that the USB debugging mode is toggled on.
  5. Your Android phone recognises the Gihosoft program. Click Start on your desktop to search for the files that you want to get back.
  6. Preview the files that you selected to recover. Click Recover to retrieve data from the broken Android phone.


This method works when your Android phone’s touch screen works partially. If the phone’s touchscreen stops working altogether, use the Android Device Manager to unlock your screen remotely and put the mobile into USB debugging mode.

Android Data Extraction

Android Data Extraction is another third-party software specifically designed to recover data from a broken Android phone. Available both on Windows and Mac, it works with over 600 smartphone models. 

To recover data from a broken Android phone using Android Data Extraction software:

  1. Download and install the Android Data Extraction software in your Windows or Mac PC. 
  2. Launch the software by clicking the software’s icon. An interface pops up on the screen.
  3. Connect your damaged smartphone to your PC using a USB data cable.
  4. Select the kind of data that you want to recover. You can choose to recover messages, music, contacts, videos, documents, etc.
  5. Choose the kind of problem that you are facing with your smartphone. Select the black/broken screen option for this case.
  6. Enter your device name and model and click Next.
  7. Reboot your Android phone by pressing the Home, Volume Down, and Power buttons together. The software downloads the necessary recovery package in this duration. This may take some time depending on your internet connection.
  8. Select all the files from the software interface and click Recover. Doing this saves all the recovered data into your PC.

Broken Android Data Recovery

The Broken Android Data Recovery is another application that can help you recover data from a broken Android phone with ease. It helps extract contacts, SMS, call logs, music, photos, videos, and WhatsApp messages from the internal memory or SD card.

To recover data from a broken Android phone using the Broken Android Data Recovery software, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Download and install the Broken Android Data Recovery software on your Windows or Mac desktop.
  2. Connect your damaged smartphone to your PC using a USB data cable.
  3. Select a proper mode for data recovery. If you have a black/cracked screen or if your screen is unresponsive, click on the Start button.
  4. Input your device name and device model from the drop-down menu. 
  5. Enter the download mode by following the on-screen prompts. A repair package is downloaded to your phone so that the existing data can be scanned out.
  6. Press and hold the Volume Down, Home and Power buttons at the same time to reboot your phone. Hold the Volume Up button to enter the download mode. In the download mode, the program scans your device for data. An interface appears on the screen.
  7. Choose the kind of data to extract and click Recover. The extracted data will be saved into your desktop.

How to erase data from Samsung Galaxy phone

If you are a tech geek or someone who wants to regularly upgrade your phone to buy a newer, better phone, then you might need to erase data from your Samsung Galaxy phone. There might also be cases when you need to send over your mobile phone for service or repair.

Your mobile contains a lot of private and personal pictures, videos, chats, messages, and music. You would not want any stranger to look at them. So, this guide will help you erase data from Samsung Galaxy phone with ease.

Method 1: Factory Reset

A factory reset is the best option to clear everything on your phone and revert it to the initial state when you first bought it. However, before you perform a full factory reset of your Samsung Galaxy phone, make sure to take a full back up.

Using the Settings menu – Soft reset

  1. Open the Apps menu in your Samsung Galaxy phone. The Apps menu is a menu of all apps installed on your device.
  2. Tap the Settings icon to open the Settings
  3. Scroll down and tap Backup and Reset. If this option in not in the Settings menu, go to General management > Reset. In some phones, the Backup and Reset section is under this menu.
  4. Tap Factory Data Reset. A new page opens up.
  5. Tap Reset Device.
  6. Tap Erase Everything. For older versions, this button may appear as Delete All.

It takes a while for your device to reset. The Samsung Galaxy phone will restart once the reset process is complete.

Recovery Mode – Hard reset

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy. This is essential to access recovery mode in your boot menu.
  2. Press and hold down the Home, Volume, and Power buttons at the same time.
    This powers up your device, and you can see the Android system recovery On some devices, you might have to press the Volume up button instead of the Volume down button.
  3. Select the Wipe Data/ Factory Reset
  4. Press the Power The power key acts as the Enter button.
  5. Confirm your action by selecting the Yes – Delete All User Data option on the screen that appears next. Select this option using the Volume up/down

This action resets your device and erases all data in it. It takes a while for your device to reboot. The Samsung Galaxy phone will restart once the reset process is complete.

A factory reset erases all of your personal information and downloaded applications. You cannot recover this data once it is lost. It is strongly recommended that you backup of all your data correctly before resetting your Samsung Galaxy phone.

Method 2: Third-party Apps

You can also utilise some third-party applications to erase data from your Samsung Galaxy phone.


SafeWiper is a desktop software that helps remove data from Samsung Galaxy phones completely. It wipes out all sensitive files, unused disk space, etc. To erase data from Samsung Galaxy phone using SafeWiper:

  1. Download the SafeWiper software from its official website.
  2. Install the software on your computer.
  3. Connect your Samsung Galaxy phone to your PC using a USB data cable. The software automatically detects the phone.
  4. Enable USB debugging on your Samsung Galaxy phone.
  5. Select the Erase All Data option in the SafeWiper software, from the four available options.
  6. Click the Erase Now button to begin erasing.
  7. Type Erase in the given box to confirm the action.
  8. Click the Settings item to choose the level of wiping. You can choose one from Low Level, Medium Level, and High-Level Wiping.

The erasing process takes some time to complete. Do not disconnect your Mobil from the computer in this duration. Once your data is erased from your Samsung Galaxy phone, the phone will be like new.

Dr. Fone toolkit – Android Data Eraser

Dr. Fone toolkit is another desktop software that can help erase everything from your Samsung Galaxy phone. To erase data from Samsung Galaxy phone using Dr. Fone toolkit:

  1. Download the Fone toolkit from its official website.
  2. Install the toolkit on your computer.
  3. Connect your Samsung Galaxy phone to your PC using a USB data cable. The software automatically detects the phone.
  4. Enable USB debugging on your Samsung Galaxy phone.
  5. Click Erase All Data in the pop-up that appears.
  6. Type Delete in the given box to confirm the action.
  7. Choose the Factory Reset option that appears after a few minutes. In this stage, the data is erased completely.

The factory reset option takes a few minutes to complete. Once your data is erased from your Samsung Galaxy phone, the phone will be like new.

How to Remove Screen Lock from Android Phone Without Losing Data?

One of the most underrated yet a highly secure feature of Android phones is the lock screen feature. It acts as a barrier between your personal data and an unwanted user.

However, if you forget your lock screen password, PIN, or passcode, there is no way to unlock the device without resetting it. In this article, however, we discuss the methods that can be used to remove screen lock from an Android phone without losing data.

Method 1: Remove screen lock from Android phone without losing data – Using Unlock Tools

There are several Android screen unlock tools that you can use to remove screen lock without losing data. Some of these tools are mentioned below:

1. iMyFone Lockwiper
2. Dr. fone

iMyFone Lockwiper

iMyFone Lockwiper is an unlock tool for Samsung mobile phones. It has a number of features that can be used for unlocking a smartphone. iMyFone Lockwiper is a complete unlocking package and is recommended for the non-savvy.

The downside to this application, however, is that it offers screen unlock without data loss for Samsung phones. The screen unlock feature works for other Android smartphones but erases all data.


• Remove screen lock from Android phone without losing data – for Samsung devices.
• Fast bypass of screen lock, Pin lock, FRP lock, and password lock.
• Free trial version available.
• Works on most Android devices.
• Fluid and easy to use interface.


1. Download and launch the iMyFone Lockwiper app on your PC.
2. Select the Remove without Data Loss mode for Samsung devices. Select the Remove Screen Lock for other Android phones.
3. Click Start.
4. Connect your phone to PC with a USB cable. If your phone is not recognized, then follow the link to put the device in recovery mode. Lockwiper detects your device info. Double-check to inform and click Start to Unlock.

Lockwiper downloads a data package and installs it into your device. The screen lock removal process completes after a few minutes.

Dr. fone

Dr. fone is another Android unlock app that removes pattern, pin and password lock on Samsung phones. It offers removal of screen lock on LG, Huwaei, Pixel, and other smartphones.


• Remove screen lock without losing data for LG phones.
• Remove screen lock, pin, and password without losing data for Samsung mobiles.
• Free trial.
• Easy to use interface.
• Fast bypass of screen lock, pin, and password lock.


1. Download and launch the FoneCope app on your PC.
2. Choose the Lock Screen Removal icon from the home screen of the app.
3. Connect your Android device to the system using a USB cable. The software automatically detects the device.
4. Click Start to commence the lock removal process.
5. Enter the device into its Download mode. To do this, power off the device and hold Power, home, and Volume down button simultaneously. Press the Volume Up button to enter the Download mode now.
The interface starts downloading the recovery package as soon as your device enters the Download mode.
6. Perform the instructions on the screen to remove the device’s lock.

An on-screen message will indicate the completion of the lock screen removal process. You can now disconnect your device safely and access it without a lock screen.

Method 2: Remove screen lock from Android phone without losing data – Using Android Device Manager (ADM)

The Android Device Manager (ADM) is useful in situations where you need to ring, lock/unlock, wipe, and erase your device remotely. The only catch is that you need to have ADM enabled in your device for it to be usable.

You can enable ADM by visiting Your device must also be connected to the internet with GPS activated, and it should be running on Android 4.4.


1. Visit from a computer or a mobile.
2. Sign in with the account of the device you wish to unlock.
3. Choose the device and click on the Lock button.
4. Input a temporary password and type Lock again. A confirmation pop-up appears with the Ring, Lock, and Erase buttons.
5. Enter the temporary password on the phone screen.

After some time, the lock screen is successfully bypassed. You can now go to Settings and disable the temporary password.

Method 3: Remove screen lock from Android phone without losing data – Using Android Debug Bridge (ADB)

The Android Debug Bridge (ADB) method works if USB debugging is enabled on your Android device before you forget your screen lock or password. Another requirement for removing screen lock using ADB is to set your personal computer as a trusted device. This method also does not work for devices with encryption enabled. If all these requirements are met, you can easily remove screen lock from an Android phone without losing data.


1. Plug the Android device to your trusted computer using a USB.
2. Open the command prompt (in Windows computer) or the terminal window (in Mac) in the ADB installation directory.
3. Type the following command and press enter:
adb shell rm /data/system/gesture.key
4. Restart your Android device. The secure lock screen is temporarily gone.
5. Set a new lock (password, pattern, or PIN) before restarting the Android device. If you set a new lock before restarting the Android device, your device will be locked again.

Method 4: Remove third-party app screen lock from Android phone without losing data – By rebooting mobile in safe mode

You can remove third party app screen lock of your Android phone (not the default screen lock), by booting your Android phone in Safe mode. Doing this will disable the third-party screen lock temporarily.


1. Press and hold the Power button until the power menu appears on the Android screen.
2. Tap and hold the Power Off button.
3. Tap OK in the Do you want to reboot into safe mode? Confirmation box.
4. Uninstall the third-party screen lock application.
5. Restart your Android device.

You can later download the third-party screen lock app again and set up a new screen lock pattern.

Method 5: Remove screen lock from Android phone without losing data – Using Forgot Password feature and Google account

On devices running Android 4.4, you can reset your passcode by using the Forgot Password feature. To bypass Android lock without a reset, you can tweak this feature after successive failed attempts.


1. Try to unlock the passcode five times with a wrong one.
2. Enter the wrong passcode one more time. You will be asked if you want to unlock with a security question or a backup PIN. With a security question or a backup PIN, you can easily unlock the screen. If you do not have the answer to the security question or a backup PIN, proceed to step 3.
3. Hit the Forgot Pattern button at the bottom of the page.
4. Input the Google account credentials and sign in to your account. You will obtain an email that will allow you to create a new passcode.
5. Configure the new login and use this code to bypass the previous Android lock screen without losing data.

Method 6: Remove screen lock from Android phone without losing data – Using Emergency Call trick

The emergency call trick is another Android feature that you can use to remove the lock from an Android phone without losing data. This method works only on Android versions 5.0 and 5.1.1. These versions have a bug that crashes the lock screen when too many characters are input into the emergency call field. Hence, this is a temporary solution that might sometimes work.


1. On the lock screen, select the Emergency Call option.
2. A dialer pops up on the screen. Input 10 asterisks from the dialer highlight the asterisks, copy them and paste them to the dialer.
3. Keep pasting the asterisks until the field is full.
4. Return to the lock screen, open the camera and swipe down from the top of your screen.
5. Click the Settings icon from the notifications menu.
6. Paste the copied asterisks into the password field and continue doing so until the lock screen crashes and opens your home screen.

Remove screen lock from Android phone by a factory reset.

If any of the above methods do not work for you, you can also remove screen lock from Android phone by performing a factory reset. Please note that factory reset will erase all the data in your phone and you will be unable to access it if you have not backed up your data.

How to backup Android smartphone data

Android phones are becoming extremely popular when it comes to storing personal data like a loved one’s contact information, embarrassing photos, funny personal videos, interesting chats, daily schedules, and what not. While many Android smartphones are getting smarter on backing up data, there is always the possibility that you might lose vital personal data by getting your phone stolen, accidentally performing a factory reset on your smartphone, or perhaps by dropping it into a swimming pool unintentionally.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can backup your personal data safely, to avoid accidental loss. These are some situations when you might need to backup your Android data:

• Before factory reset.
• Before selling your Android phone to another person.
• To transfer old phone data to a new phone.
• To clean up the memory of the phone when it is full.

Whether it be through Google, through a third-party application, or by merely transferring android data to a computer, use one of the numerous ways to backup Android smartphone data.


Google is not just a library for everything possible, but also an easy way to take care of your smartphone backup woes. Backing up data with Google is pretty easy, and once you turn on the setting, you can forget about it before you need to restore the data.

Backing up photos and videos with Google

If you are one of the few people who do not use Google Photos, then you should adopt it at once. Google Photos is an excellent backup tool as it automatically uploads every photo or video on your device to Google cloud. Just turn on the automatic backup setting, and you are good to go.

1. Download the Google Photos app.
2. Open the app.
3. Click Settings from the menu.
4. Tap Backup and Sync.
5. Turn on the switch.

With Google Photos, you can upload as many files as you would like for free. The photos and videos can have a maximum upload quality of 1080p. To keep the original resolution quality, you can do so, but that will count against your Google Drive storage limits.

To check your Google photos upload quality:

1. Open the Google Photos app.
2. Click Settings from the menu.
3. Tap Backup and Sync.
4. Tap Upload size.
5. Choose the desired option. There are two available options:

  • High-quality upload with free unlimited storage.
  • Original quality upload with storage limits.
Backing up other files with Google

You do not just store photos and videos on your smartphone. To backup other smartphone data, you can use Google Drive.

Google Drive lets you store files in the cloud, meaning that it is accessible from any connected device. To upload folders and files manually, follow these instructions:

1. Download the Google Drive app.
2. Press +.
3. Click Upload.
4. Select the files that you want to upload.

The files are now uploaded to the drive and can be accessed and restored anytime in the future.

Backing up Settings and Applications with Google

You can use the Android Backup service to backup settings and applications of your phone to Google. Android Backup Service backs up the applications that you use and the settings you have selected in Google apps, making it easier to restore these settings to a new phone or the same phone after a factory reset.

The full list of the items that are backed up with Android Backup Service is:

• App data along with settings
• Contacts
• Call history
• SMS text messages
• Photos and Videos
• Device settings (Wi-Fi passwords, default apps, wallpapers, etc.)
• Google Calendar events and settings
• Wallpaper
• Display settings
• Date and time
• Language and input settings
• Settings and data for non-Google applications

There are different ways to backup your settings and app data using Android Backup Service. The method and the types of data that are backed up using the service vary from device to device.

Personal Computer

Another way to effectively backup your important smartphone photos, videos, and files are to upload everything to a personal computer. You can simply plug your smartphone to your PC or Mac and copy the files over to your hard drive.

While backing up essential data to a computer is not a long term or perfect solution, you can rest assured that simply losing your smartphone will not mean a total loss of all your essential data.

Plug in the smartphone to your computer. A pop-up should appear on the screen, showcasing your connected smartphone as a drive. You can then copy the content from this drive to your computer’s drive.

If the drive pop-up does not appear on the screen, pull down the notification shade on your smartphone. A notification that looks like Charging this device via USB appears on the screen. Tap on the notification and change the option to File Transfer. Your personal computer will now treat the smartphone as a drive, and you can copy your critical content to a safe hard drive with ease.

Third-party applications

Third-party backup and restore applications offer a more robust, comprehensive alternative to Google backup or PC backup. Numerous great apps can back up your data, and some of them are mentioned below:

My Backup Pro

My Backup Pro is a straightforward backup system for Android mobile phones, that effectively backs up smartphone data to take regular backups of your smartphone and store the backup to an SD card, the phone itself, or to the cloud.

My Backup Pro backs up the following:

• Photos
• App data
• Browser bookmarks
• Contacts
• System settings
• Home screen shortcuts
• Alarms
• Calendars
• MMS messages
• SMS messages
• Music

The good thing about My Backup Pro is that it allows you to take backups at convenient times, even when sleeping. Your backed-up data is instantly accessible from the My Backup Pro site. Hence, even if you lose your phone or switch to a new one, you can restore your backed-up data with ease.

SMS Backup and Restore

Do you want to save your very last message to a loved one for a long time? Use the SMS Backup and Restore app.

This free app integrates easily with your email account, Google Drive, or Dropbox. You can use the app to back up your SMS messages in XML format. The app can also schedule regular backups.

Backup the SMS messages in your computer and send them anywhere via email. You can view and restore your messages selectively, or you can restore everything all at once.

Super Backup and Restore

The Super Backup and Restore app allows you to selectively backup the items of your phone. You can choose to backup your apps, contacts, SMS, voice calls, calendars, etc. You can also select the location where you want to store your backed-up files. Schedule automatic backups at regular intervals and store your backed-up files to the cloud for safekeeping purposes. You can restore these backed-up files later, with ease.

Titanium Backup

Titanium backup is another awesome app that backs up app settings, Wi-Fi passwords, as well as system data along with the basics. Titanium Backup app sure looks a little outdated but is extremely powerful when it comes to taking care of your data.

Titanium Backup offers you the Batch Actions column, allowing you to select the items to backup. You can also opt to create a recovery compatible .zip backup. Doing this ensures that you can restore the backup with ease, even if your phone’s system file becomes corrupt.

Device Manufacturer’s Software

The last but not the least option for effectively backing up your crucial smartphone data is to use your manufacturer’s software. Almost every smartphone manufacturer offer their own backup solution. While manufacturer software was initially computer-based, all companies are slowly switching to creating easy to use backup apps that can store backups in the cloud and can be restored with ease. Some examples of device manufacturer backup software are mentioned below:

• Motorola Migrate
• LG Mobile Switch
• Sony Xperia Transfer
• Samsung Smart Switch
• HTC Backup
• OnePlus Switch
• Xiaomi Backup app
• Huawei Backup app

Backup Now

As mentioned above, there are a number of ways you can back up your Android data safely in a scheduled manner. You lose nothing by backing up your data, but not doing so always puts you at risk of losing your data. Backup now, don’t delay and save yourself from trouble today.

Best VPNs for Smartphones

VPNs are used particularly on computers/laptops to create a secure connection to another network over the internet. While it is less common to use VPN services in smartphones, it is recommended that you do so to ensure anonymity. When on the move, people tend to use the available free Wi-Fi. Because free Wi-Fi services have no encryption, it can be monitored by anyone. You are much safer when using a VPN service in your smartphone to remain safe from prying eyes and Wi-Fi sniffers.

How to choose the best VPN application for smartphones?

Choosing the best VPN application can be a matter of personal preferences and price requirements. There are, however, some basic things you need to look out when choosing the best VPN application for your smartphone:

  1. Smartphone support

Any VPN application that has a dedicated application for Android/iOS/Windows is preferable over a VPN application that focuses more on offering services for computer/laptops.

  1. User-friendly

A proper smartphone VPN application should be user-friendly, easy to use, and should have an excellent user interface.

  1. Features

Features like kill switch are desirable in a VPN application. Look out for a VPN service that offers multiple simultaneous sessions, and more than one supported protocols.

  1. Security

One of the main reasons to use a VPN in your smartphone is to ensure security. Tight security, support of different protocols, privacy policy, and compliant terms of service are hence essential when looking for the best VPNs for smartphones.

  1. Pricing

Another important consideration when selecting a good VPN for smartphones is pricing. Some vendors have double pricing than the others but are limited in terms of features. Some, however, have the best value for money. Money back guarantees and longer trial periods also add points to the suitability of VPN applications for smartphones.

Best VPNs for smartphones


Guarantee offered: 30-day money back guarantee.

NordVPN supports a huge number of platforms and has a strict no-logging policy. You can connect up to six devices simultaneously on one account. It also offers a selection of protocols and security features. You can stream content across national boundaries with ease using NordVPN.

This application has a double VPN policy, which means that your connection passes through two separate VPN servers for additional security. The app is basic, easy to use, and has the ability to connect whenever you join a Wi-Fi network. It is reasonably priced, and the 3-year offer is clearly the best choice in terms of value.

Private Internet Access

Guarantee offered: 7-day trial.

Private Internet Access has a low per year price and is a VPN application which does not log any data. It is a perfect combination of performance and economic value. It actively supports open source projects, and you can pay for services anonymously. Another awesome fact that makes this VPN service worth using is that you can utilise a variety of gift cards to pay for the subscription.

PIA app is easy to use and has an abundance of options and settings that can be tweaked. It supports port forwarding, UDP and TCP protocol settings, local and remote port settings, proxy support, and custom encryption mechanisms. It has a favorable privacy policy, and the 2-year plan gives you the best savings with three additional months for free.


Guarantee offered: 30-day money back guarantee, 7-day free trial.

TorGuard uses strong and fast protocols to secure smartphones. It does not keep any logs, and the company offers a wide range of security protocols. TorGuard is a boon for travelers who want to protect their communications fully. It offers support in more than 50 countries, and the company accepts payment in bitcoin.


Guarantee offered: 30-day money back guarantee, 7-day free trial.

ExpressVPN is also one of the all-rounder VPNs for smartphones. It has a well designed Android app which is user-friendly and straightforward. It has an excellent location picker and boasts AES 256-bit encryption. The application, however, is devoid of a kill switch. It offers quality apps for a wide range of devices, and its website features an array of content and videos that help you use their apps.

ExpressVPN is not the cheapest VPN out there, but its 24/7 support is well worth the money paid. It has a 30-day money back guarantee and a free 7-day trial. Of the different payment options available, the 12-month plan is the most economical one, as it gives you an additional of three months free.


Guarantee offered: 7-day money back guarantee

IPVanish has to be one of the fastest VPN applications for smartphones. It has some unusual yet great options like split tunneling but is devoid of a kill switch.

This VPN application has impressive download speeds, and it does not log user activity. It offers exceptional 24/7 support and 256-bit AES encryption with OpenVPN protocol. IPVanish is a little pricey, but the 1-year subscription is the best choice available.


Guarantee offered: No free trials.

VyprVPN is a good mix of speed and security. It offers excellent services for smartphones and is dedicated, well optimised, and has a speedy performance. It supports multiple protocols such as PPTP, Chameleon, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenVPN.

VyprVPN has a clear interface, auto-connect option for untrusted networks, kill switch, protocol switching, DNS options, URL filtering, and fast connectivity. While other VPN applications focus on smartphones as an afterthought, VyprVPN has put its focus on creating a world-class smartphone app. It has both basic and premium payment options.

Buffered VPN

Guarantee offered: 30-day money back guarantee.

Buffered VPN keeps some connection information, but is exceptional when it comes to the generous amount of simultaneous sessions, unlimited bandwidth, and client support it offers. You can try out their application for a 30-day test drive and assess its easy to use interface.

The VPN service is relatively new, but it is committed to providing quality support, and to support Internet freedom. They do not offer the least expensive plan, but it is worth giving them a try.

CyberGhost VPN

Guarantee offered: 30-day money back guarantee.

CyberGhost’s three-year subscription comes with a free McAfee subscription. The application supports IPSec, L2TP, and OpenVPN protocols. It comes with a connection kill switch feature.

CyberGhost has servers located in 115 locations all over the globe. Hence you can use any of the 1400 individual IP addresses when on the road. The company does not log connection data, has custom app protection, and offers IPV5 support. CyberGhost is hence one of the best VPNs that offer great value for money.


Guarantee offered: 30-day trial.

Unlimited device policy is one of the best features of GooseVPN that makes it stand out in this list of best smartphone VPN’s. The application indicates the servers that are best for media streaming and has one of the lowest per-month prices. It, however, has bandwidth constrained to 50GB or less per month in the basic version. You can amp it up by using the premium version of the app.

The new version of GooseVPN also has a kill switch but only for the Windows version. In the upcoming versions, it is expected that the kill switch feature will be there for other platforms too.


Guarantee offered: 7-day money back guarantee.

PureVPN offers excellent support. It logs some technical information but has a strict no-browsing log policy. The most intriguing part of PureVPN is its advanced protection, antivirus protection, and real-time malware detection. The application also offers all the usual protocols, a kill switch, app filtering, web filtering, and firewall style function.

The price range of PureVPN is not the cheapest, but its support, its security features, and ease of use make it worth the money paid.