Reliance Jio 4G offers fastest download speed in September, Idea leads in uploads

Reliance Jio has once again topped the 4G downloads speed test for the month of September as per a report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Bharti Airtel, India’s biggest telecom operator has been ranked fourth in both download and upload speeds.

This is the eighth consecutive time that Reliance Jio has come on top of TRAI’s 4G download speed report. It is followed by Vodafone, Idea and Airtel. On the other hand, Idea has taken the lead in upload speed followed by Vodafone, Reliance Jio and Airtel.

In the month of September, Reliance Jio recorded an average download speed of 18.433Mbps, followed by Vodafone at 8.999Mbps, Idea Cellular at 8.746Mbps and Bharti Airtel at 8.550Mbps. In comparison to the results of August, all the telecom operators have witnessed a decrease in speed.

In August, Reliance Jio had recorded an average download speed of 18.831Mbps, followed by Vodafone at 9.325Mbps, Airtel at 9.266Mbps and Idea secured the fourth position with an average download speed of 8.833Mbps. Coming to the upload speeds, the top position is held by Idea with an average upload speed of 6.307Mbps, followed by Vodafone at 5.782Mbps, Reliance Jio at 4.225Mbps and Airtel at 4.123Mbps.

Interestingly, OpenSignal, a London based wireless coverage mapping company had earlier reported that while Reliance Jio had the biggest 4G network in India, Airtel had better average download speed. As per OpenSignal, Airtel recorded an average download speed of 9.15 Mbps, followed by Vodafone at 7.45Mbps, Idea at 7.4Mbps and Reliance Jio came last with a download speed of 5.81Mbps.

After receiving criticism from telecom operators for improper testing standards, TRAI chairman RS Sharma had earlier revealed that the telecom regulator is taking various steps to improve its services and TRAI had also contacted Ookla and other data testing agencies to improve its MySpeed app.


Are VPN safe? Not when you’re a cyberstalker

An internet stalker in the US has been tracked down by the FBI thanks to help from the VPN provider PureVPN which assisted the government agency by combing through its logs to reveal the IP address of the suspect.

On Friday, the Department of Justice announced that it had arrested 24-year-old Ryan Lin from Newtown, Massachusetts on charges of cyberstalking.

The complaint against Lin revealed that he had used a number of attack methods to target Jennifer Smith which include “doxxing (publicly posting the credentials to her online accounts), posting intimate photos and suggesting they depicted Smith, searching through her personal journal and sending private information to her contacts, creating fake profiles of Smith on sites dedicated to prostitution, fetishes and other sexual acts, bomb threats and death and rape threats as wel”l.

Lin used a number of privacy services to conceal his actions such as logging in via the Tor Browser and using a VPN to help conceal his IP address. He also utilised anonymous international texting services as well as offshore private email providers.

By using a work computer in some of the attacks against Smith, Lin made a critical error that left traces of his activity that law enforcement agencies were then able to use to associate him to the 16-month long cyber campaign.

Investigators also discovered that Lin used the website TextNow to send anonymous SMS messages and that he sent emails using the end-to-end encrypted email service ProtonMail.

Artefacts discovered on his work machine also indicated that he used the VPN provider PureVPN and that he had accessed his own personal Gmail account from the computer.

Ironically in June, Lin sent a tweet attacking IPVanish over its claim that the company kept no logs, saying:

“There is no such thing as a VPN that doesn’t keep logs. If they can limit your connections or track bandwidth usage, they keep logs.”

The law does not make exceptions when it comes to committing a crime and cybercrime is a serious offense.

  • If you want to protect your privacy or add an additional layer of security between your devices and the networks you connect to then check out TechRadar’s Best VPNs of 2017.


du announces partnership with BlackBerry

At GITEX Technology Week 2017, the UAE telco du announced to offer a variety of BlackBerry enterprise software solutions and services to customers, including BlackBerry AtHoc.

BlackBerry AtHoc is a Networked Crisis Communications platform, built to empower cities, organisations and people to respond quickly and efficiently in times of crisis. BlackBerry AtHoc is used worldwide for every type of emergency and is used by numerous global government agencies and commercial enterprises.

“We are thrilled to be working with such an established partner in the UAE and are confident that du will be well placed to deliver the best possible experience to business customers.” commented Richard McLeod, Global VP, Enterprise Software Channels, BlackBerry.

Additionally, this partnership will enable du to offer a variety of BlackBerry enterprise software solutions and services to customers, such as Enterprise Mobility Management through BlackBerry UEM for iOS, Android, Windows 10 and MacOS. Customers will also benefit from BlackBerry Workspaces, a secure file sharing solution that enables users to share, edit and control their files on every device with the highest level of security.

“We are proud to offer BlackBerry’s innovative and secure software portfolio to our enterprise customers in the UAE. In today’s digital economy, we understand that businesses must be able to operate efficiently and securely,” said Fahad AlHassawi, Chief Commercial Officer, du.

The BlackBerry software platform will offer solutions suitable for a variety of enterprise sizes – both large and small enterprises – and can be purchased from du as part of a bundle or standalone, at highly competitive rates and different price points.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news and announcements coming out of GITEX Technology Week 2017 with TechRadar.


Face ID could be coming to the iPad Pro next year

We’ve not really had chance to put the Face ID recognition system on the iPhone X properly through its paces yet – but according to those in the know, Apple is planning to add Face ID, and the TrueDepth camera that powers it, as an upgrade in its 2018 edition of the iPad Pro.

That’s based on a report from well-placed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who has a decent record of predicting Apple’s plans. Whether or not the home button will also get ditched on next year’s iPads isn’t yet clear, however.

We’re also waiting to see whether Apple will switch its tablet screens from IPS LCD to OLED, as it did with the iPhone X this year. The rumor is that the Cupertino company wants to roll out the new display tech across all of its devices in the near future.

Face the future

Putting Face ID on the iPad – or at least the iPad Pro – does make a lot of sense for Apple. It gives developers more reasons to start supporting the technology, for a start, and it shows Apple is serious about moving from fingerprints to faces as its default security method.

Touch ID took the same route to market, appearing first on the iPhones before gradually rolling out to iPad models, and it sounds like Apple could have the same plans this time around. During the unveiling of the 2017 iPhones the company promised that Face ID was much more secure than using a fingerprint, even if it did fail on stage.

All this depends on multiple factors, not least whether users take to the new tech and whether Apple can start making the required modules in high enough numbers – the complexity of Face ID and TrueDepth is said to be one of the reasons why the premium iPhone has been hit with delays.

Via AppleInsider


Intel’s next laptop processors could use AMD’s Vega graphics

Intel could be about to produce a mobile CPU which uses AMD’s Vega graphics technology, according to the rumor mill.

This speculation stems from a leaked Intel slide posted by Wccftech with a caption that reads ‘Vega Inside, Mobile Performance Outside’ suggesting that we could see a mobile processor which has, well, Vega graphics inside.

First off, note that this potential move has to be taken with a truck-load of salt, but the theory is that Intel might look to incorporate AMD’s Vega tech with either Coffee Lake-H – the next series of mobile processors following on from the current 8th-gen (Kaby Lake Refresh) models – or Cannon Lake-Y CPUs (due later in 2018) which are truly next-gen as this architecture marks the shift to 10nm.

The latter would seem more likely, purely in terms of timeframe if nothing else, but of course this is all pure speculation. The leaked slide could even simply refer to discrete Vega graphics in Intel-powered notebooks, although the way the caption is worded doesn’t suggest that, and certainly makes it sound like integrated AMD graphics.

Wccftech suggests that Intel could plump for an on-die MCM chip design utilizing a multi-die interconnect bridge to allow for a high-bandwidth connection to the GPU, particularly as this is technology Intel talked up in a recent keynote.

AMD inside?

Adding further weight to this rumor is the fact that we’ve previously heard speculation along these lines; there was talk of the prospect of ‘Intel Radeon graphics‘ last summer.

And this move certainly seems like a good way for Intel to juice up its mobile processors in terms of their raw pixel shifting power, providing a lid can be kept on any thermal issues (i.e. overheating, which is an ever-present problem when it comes to cramming more powerful components into laptops).

All that said, we have to be realistic at this point, and bear in mind that this leak does look rather sketchy, being based off a single rather blurry slide.

Meanwhile, it shouldn’t be long before we see Ryzen mobile CPUs with integrated Radeon Vega graphics, so we can get an idea of how powerful these might be – although benchmarks have already been leaked on that score.


Still using a Windows 10 version from 2015? You must upgrade now

Come the end of today, Microsoft is dropping support for those folks who are still running Windows 10 version 1511, the first major update for the OS which was released back in November 2015.

This means that people still using this version – or indeed the original launch release of Windows 10 (1507) – will no longer receive any updates from Microsoft, and so won’t get any security patches, leaving their PCs potentially exposed to vulnerabilities that hackers and malware pushers can exploit.

As Microsoft notes, the firm forces users to upgrade from older versions of the desktop operating system because Windows 10 has been implemented in a ‘service’ model, meaning it won’t have a successor, but rather major new features are added on a rolling basis in twice-yearly updates.

Security first

Microsoft explains: “Since version 1511 was released in November 2015, Microsoft has released additional feature updates that build upon each other, delivering the newest features and more comprehensive security.”

In other words, the software giant wants the user base to be on the latest release (or at least not two-year-old versions) to benefit from that bolstered security.

And it’s not really a question of whether you want to make the move, rather that you have to do so, because lacking security updates just isn’t an option (you’re effectively joining the ranks of those folks who are still running the likes of Windows XP or Vista).

For help when it comes to upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10, check out Microsoft’s advice on the relevant support page. And if you haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10, maybe you can pick up a software bargain come Black Friday.

  • Windows 10 is the OS of choice for many of our best laptops


InfoWatch’s new ‘Hi-Tech’ phone to prevent data leaks

InfoWatch Group, a Russian company that produces end-to-end enterprise cyber-security solutions, will showcase its new Taiga smartphone at GITEX Technology Week 2017, which the company claims is designed to prevent data leaks.

The technology behind the smartphone has been worked on by experts at InfoWatch and Taiga Systems for four years, and will protect against leakage of sensitive data like contacts, SMS, geodata, photos, videos and documents stored on an employee mobile devices.

“With the rising risk of data leaks through consumer mobile devices, smartphone manufacturers, and software developers, the best way for corporations to reliably protect their information on a mobile device is the Taiga system that eliminates software backdoors and integrates DLP (Data Loss Prevention) Software,” said Kristina Tantsyura, General Manager of InfoWatch Gulf.

While the specs of the smartphone is yet unknown, it is at least said to be running on a “proprietary Android 6.0 firmware”.


Your computer could be being used to mine for cryptocurrency

Your computer may be harvesting cryptocurrencies without your permission thanks to a large number of popular websites reportedly being infected with malware that uses visitor’s computers to mine cryptocurrencies.

According to a BBC report, a scan of some of the most popular websites on the web found hundreds to be harbouring malicious mining code.

Mining cryptocurrencies require a lot of computational power; rather than having one central computer that monitors the spending of cryptocurrencies, they depend on a large number of computers doing the complex calculations to establish the spending path of the currency.

For the average ‘miner’, an investment in a computer with a greater number of GPUs will pay dividends as performing the computation will reward them with an amount of the currency in exchange for the use of their computer.

Outsourcing the heavy lifting

For some though, it makes sense to outsource the heavy lifting to other computers. This is where mining software comes in. There are perfectly legitimate pieces of software out there like one created by company Coinhive, that companies can install into their websites that outsources the computational requirements to the computer of those visiting the site.

If users are informed that this is happening, it could potentially stand to be a new alternate revenue stream for websites, possibly replacing or supplementing adverts. The problem lies in if users aren’t told.

In recent times, there have been stories about The Pirate Bay and Showtime users reporting higher-than-usual GPU usage from their computers, and it turning out to be mining software running on the sites.

While this may seem like an obvious thing for websites to keep their users informed about, it gets more complicated when websites don’t know that they are running the software. Because of the slightly shady nature of The Pirate Bay, it’s easy to assume that it knew the software was running, but Showtime could have potentially been hacked.

Taking steps

When the BBC contacted the UK based websites that it found were running the mining script, many responded that they did not know who had added it to the site.

When Coinhive was asked about surreptitious use of its code, it responded: “We had a few early users that implemented the script on sites they previously hacked, without the site owner’s knowledge,” it said in a message to the BBC. “We have banned several of these accounts and will continue to do so when we learn about such cases.”

If you think that your computer may be affected by one of these mining scripts, a quick fix is to use an ad-blocker, but if you want more robust security for your computer, make sure you have a good antivirus package.


Virgin Media’s broadband flash sale deals are here…but only for three days

Here we were, poising ourselves for Black Friday bargains to blow our tiny minds – and then, all of a sudden, Virgin Media struck early with a broadband flash sale that features some of the best internet deals on the market.

The Virgin deal that really stands out is a reduction of its cheapest VIVID 50 plan. Delivering speeds of 50Mb – or around 6.25MB per second – the monthly price is down to a super cheap £25 per month.

If you’re in a packed household with tribes of people all needing to use the internet at the same time, or want to enjoy unblemished 4K streaming, you’ll be glad to know that the sale extends to higher speeds, too. Virgin’s 100Mb VIVID 100 plan is down to £30 per month, with 200Mb and 300Mb plans going for £35pm and £40pm respectively.

But you’ll have to get in quick…the flash sale ends at 11.59pm on Wednesday.

Virgin Media broadband flash sale deals

VIVID 50: £27pm Now £25pm

VIVID 100: £32pm Now £30pm

VIVID 200: £37pm Now £35pm

VIVID 300: £42pm Now £40pm

Each deal is on a 12-month contract and requires a £20 activation fee. No separate phone line is provided.

Virgin broadband and TV deals

Virgin Media has extended the savings frenzy to one of its broadband and TV packages, too. This one is going to appeal to sports fans, who can now get the Full House Sports Bundle with 200Mb fibre broadband for a tenner per month less than it was available for this time last week.

For £65 per month (down from £75) you get potential download speeds of up to a blistering 25MB per second, over 230 TV channels, Virgin’s TV V6 box for recording your favourite programmes and – the clincher – ALL Sky Sports and BT Sport channels. Now that’s a lot of football, rugby, cricket and Formula 1 action.

And if you’re looking at 200Mb broadband and still thinking that it simply isn’t fast enough (you speed demon, you), then an extra tenner a month will upgrade you to 300Mb. Rap-id.

Is Virgin fibre broadband available in my area?

Around 60% of the UK households are now able to receive superfast Virgin broadband. It’s easy to discover whether you’re one of the lucky 3-in-5 – head to our dedicated Virgin broadband deals page, enter your postcode where indicated at the top of the page and if deals show as available then you’re laughing.

If no results are returned, then head to our best broadband deals page instead and do exactly the same thing to see whether you can get superfast fibre broadband with another provider, such as BT Infinity.

Existing Virgin Media broadband customers

Sorry, the Virgin website confirms that the sale prices are fore new customers only. But there’s no harm in trying to get your hands on the new rate, so if you’re already a Virgin broadband customer then we suggest that you check with customer services before trying to place an order.

Virgin TV and Phone

Pay an extra £4 per month, and you can add a phone line to your Virgin Media broadband plan. This includes Talk Weekends – unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin Mobile numbers.

At the moment, you can’t add Virgin TV to VIVID 50 (you can if you upgrade to VIVID 100 or higher), so you’ll have to subscribe to any TV channels you want separately.


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