It has been shared on multiple subreddits so I have no idea where to even post this. But I'd like to come up with a follow-up thread with some more information. The internet is the most powerful tool that mankind has ever invented. You have the ability to reach thousands, millions and even billions of people with just a computer and some internet access.
If you're on this subreddit, chances are you're already playing Tibia and you already have a computer and internet access. It doesn't need to be the best internet, but as long as websites will load (eventually) you are good to go.
In this topic I will go more in-depth on web development and software engineering. If you have a very slow internet connection, you may want to look into web development instead of software development. An application/software is much heavier (larger file size) than a website. And most developer jobs require that you send and download files, back and forth, between you and your company's server. So if you feel like your internet is too slow to send a lot of files - do not worry! There are plenty of jobs.
First, I will go through some more details on how to learn web development and software development. After that, I will list a few other kinds of jobs that you can do remotely. These types of jobs can be done from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access.
Part 1: Some languages you should learn
What is web development? Well, it can be a lot of things. You perhaps make websites for shops/restaurants/hair dressers/dentists, or you work for a big company and work on their web application, like Outlook, Discord or Spotify (which can all be accessed via a browser: their web app). You can also work with design and user experience, instead of programming. Being a web developer can mean so many different things, it's impossible to name them all. But most web developers are just developers: they program. They make websites, and they either sell the websites to companies (as a consultant) or you work full/part-time for a company.
I can not provide in-depth information about every single thing, but I can give you some pointers. The very basics any web developer should know is this:
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) - it's what almost all websites use as a foundation. This is not a programming language, but it is a markup language. If you want to build websites, you pretty much have to know this language. Don't worry though, it is easy. Not so much to learn. You can learn all about it in a few weeks.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - it's what will add colors and shapes to your website. If you want to focus more on design (also known as front end development) then this is where you want to gain a lot of knowledge.
Python - A very simple language to learn. This language is very often the first programming language that developers start using. You can use it for a lot of things. This language is used in the back of a lot of websites. Google has been using Python for years and still is. It's great for web scraping and making web requests. If you want a language to practice your algorithms, then this language is awesome.
PHP - This used to be a very popular language, but not so much these days. However, it is very good to know how this works because it's very simple to learn and also very functional in some cases. If you want to transmit or withdraw information from a database to your website, then this (in combination with SQL) is a great way to do so. Whenever you make a login system or a contact form, the data must be sent somehow to a recipient or a database. PHP will help you do that. It is a server-side language, which means it will run in the back of the website.
SQL - To be able to communicate with databases (for example: save data, update data, or insert data) you can use different languages for that. But SQL is probably the most widely used language for this. It is basically just a bunch of commands that you tell your website or app to do. If you have a web shop for example, you will need a database to store all your product information in. You can for example use MySQL as your database and then use the SQL language to extract data from your database and publish it as a list of products on your website.
Java - This is pretty much 90% identical to C# as I wrote above. Widely used, relatively easy to learn the basics and there's plenty of jobs. If you like making android apps, this language is for you.
Part 2: Technologies and useful tools
To become a web developer you will need a few tools. You need a text editor, a FTP client, a SSH client and some other things. Also a good browser.
Text editor: Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, Brackets - There are many different text editors but at the moment, I highly recommend Visual Studio Code. It has so many built-in features it's honestly the only thing you may need.Don't forget to install Notepad++ as well - this very basic editor is so handy when you just quickly need to edit some files.
File archiving: WinRar, 7-Zip - You need some way of archiving projects and send it to your customer or employer. These are basic tools anyone should use. I personally use Winrar.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol): FileZilla - This tool will allow you to connect to your website's file manager and upload your files to it. There are many tools for connecting to an FTP server but this is the most popular one, it's simple and it works great.
VPS (Virtual Private Server): Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud - If you want to practice building web applications or want to host your own website as a fun project, it's great to use a VPS for that. Both Amazon and Google offers 365 days of free VPS usage. All you need is a credit card. However, they will not charge you, as long as you stay below the free tier limit. A VPS is basically a remote computer that you can connect to. I highly recommend that, if you have a slow internet connection. Those VPS-servers (by Amazon and Google) usually have 500mbit/s internet speed, which is faster than most countries in the world. You simply connect to them via Remote Desktop, or by SSH. Depending on what type of server you are using (Windows or Linux).
SSH (Secure Shell): Solar-PuTTY, PuTTY - If you for example have a web server where you store applications and files, a great way to connect to it is by using SSH. PuTTY is pretty much the standard when it comes to SSH clients. But I really love the version created by SolarWinds. When you download that one, do not enter your personal details. Their sales people will call you and haunt you! Haha.
File Searching: Agent Ransack - When you have many files and try to locate a specific document or file, you may want to use something like Agent Ransack. Much faster than the traditional search feature in Windows and it is much more accurate.
IDE / Code Editor: Visual Studio - Great tool to use when you want to create applications in C# for example. Do not confuse this with Visual Studio Code. These are two very different tools. This tool (Visual Studio) is more designed for Windows applications. Not just websites. I only recommend getting it if you plan to make programs for Windows.
Web host & domain: NameCheap, Epik, SiteGround - If you develop websites on your own, or maybe want to create a portfolio website, you will need a domain name and web hosting. I have personally used all of these 3 and they are very cheap. NameCheap has some of the cheapest domains and great web hosting for a low price. Their support is also great. Same with SiteGround. And if you want to buy a domain anonymously (with Bitcoin for example), then you can use Epik. Low prices and great customer service on all these 3 websites.
Web Browser: Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge Insider, Google Chrome - You need one of the latest web browsers to create websites these days. Since I prefer privacy over functionality, I've always loved Firefox. But recently, Microsoft has been improving its new version of Edge a lot (based on Chromium) and it's also very popular. If you want all your personal details to be saved and have good tools for web development, then use Google Chrome. Don't forget to utilize the built-in developer tools. You can access it in any of these browsers by pressing F12.
Other things you may want to look into:
Web services, SSL certificates, Search Engine Optimization, Databases, API, Algorithms, Data Structures
If you want to learn in-depth about algorithms, data structures and more. Then you can take a look at the curriculum of the top-tier universities of USA. Such as: UC Berkeley, Harvard and MIT. These courses are very hard and are specifically for people who want to become experts in software engineering. You can enroll some of them for free, like the one on Harvard. And by having a such diploma (which costs $90 extra) can get you a lot of job opportunities. You can enroll those courses if you want, but it can have a fee. But just take a look at what they are studying and try do their exercises, that is 100% free. Get the knowledge. It's mostly on video too! These course below are the very same courses that many of the engineers at Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Uber, AirBnb, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, etc. has taken. It's what majority of people in Silicon Valley studied. And it's among the best classes that you can take. These course are held by some of the world's best professors in IT.
[META-Resource] Compilation of the creative works we see in Mr. Robot
Last updated 09/03/2019 09:50 This post is a subreddit cumulative effort! A list of all Redditors (so far) are at the bottom of the post. I thought maybe we could compile a list of all of the art, literature, music, movies, etc. that we see in Mr. Robot. Who knows, it may help with understanding, theorizing, and our enjoyment of an already enjoyable show. I will add to this list based on the comments to the post.
Reddit - “I’m a huge Redditor...I remember being a little bummed out during the second season, that everybody figured out the big reveal, but at the same time, it just made me realize that wow, we have a really strong fanbase that’s really going to break it down and make the effort to really try and understand the show...We were also not hiding it necessarily. We were foreshadowing a lot of that.” - Sam Esmail quote
For what I hope are obvious reasons, I don't want, and probably will never post my threat model publicly online. However, regardless of that, what I'm sure you will extrapolate from this post is that I live my life, digitally in particular, with a fairly high level threat model. This is not because I'm some super sophisticated criminal mastermind, but rather, I am at this level because I genuinely love playing around with this stuff. And I just happen to understand the importance of privacy and just how vital it is to a truly healthy society. I would like to extend a thanks to ProgressiveArchitect for the sharing of the knowledge they have done on this subreddit, /privacytoolsio, and the like. We may have never interacted, but nevertheless, your input into this community is truly interesting and extremely informative and educating. I'm sure those of you familiar with PA's setup will be able to draw some parallels with mine and their's. Thank you. I hope you all enjoy reading this write up.
I run Qubes OS on a Lenovo ThinkPad X230 laptop. Specs for it are as following: - i7-3520M - 16GB RAM - 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD - Qualcomm Atheros AR9285 wireless card Additionally, I used a Raspberry Pi Model 3B+ and a Pomono SPI clip to replace the stock BIOS firmware with coreboot+me_cleaner. This wasn't done out of any "real" concern for the Intel ME (though of course proprietary black-boxes like it should be avoided at all costs and not trusted), but rather for open source enthusiasm and for increased security and faster boot times than what the stock BIOS firmware allows for. On that note about the ME, I don't believe the conspiracy theories that claim that it is a state-sponsored attack method for surveillance. I believe that Intel had good intentions for improving the lives of IT professionals who need to manage hundreds, if not thousands of remote machines. However, it has proven time and time again to be insecure, and I don't need the remote management and the "features" that it provides on my machines. In Qubes, I use a combination of AppVMs and StandaloneVMs for a variety of different purposes. All VMs use PVH over HVM, except for the Mirage Unikernel Firewall, which uses PV, and the sys-net and sys-usb StandaloneVMs which have to use HVM because of PCI device passthrough. Right now most of my VMs are AppVMs, but for maintenance and compartmentalization reasons, I am considering moving more towards StandaloneVMs, despite the increase in disk space and bandwidth usage for updates. General route of from Qubes to the Internet for anonymous browsing, general private browsing, accessing Uni services, and Uni-related anonymous browsing respectively: 1. Qubes->sys-mirage-firewall->sys-vpn-wg->sys-corridor->sys-whonix->whonix-ws-15-dvm to the internet. 2. Qubes->sys-mirage-firewall->sys-vpn-wg to the Internet. 3. Qubes->sys-mirage-firewall->uni-vpn-wg to the Internet. 4. Qubes->sys-mirage-firewall->uni-vpn-wg->uni-corridor->uni-whonix->uni-anon-research to the Internet.
(Note: the VPN name is substituted in the "vpn" above. I had to remove it to comply with this subreddit's rules. It is easy to identify what VPN it is as it randomly generates a long numaric string and has fantastic support for WireGuard.)
fedora-29-minimal: Base for the minimal VMs.
fedora-29-uni-persist: Template for uni-campus and uni-home AppVMs.
crypto: A work in progress VM for handling crypto transaction using cleansed Bitcoin and Monero.
printing: Exactly as it sounds like. It is firewalled to only be able to connect to the network printer on my home network.
sys-corridor: corridor is a Tor traffic whitelisting gateway that provides network to sys-whonix. It helps to provide an additional failsafe to defend against clearnet attacks.
sys-mirage-firewall: A version of the Mirage Unikernel to act as an extremely minimal and resource light firewall. It is configured to only allow connections to the individual IP addresses my VPN's WireGuard servers as well as a select few internal IP addresses on my home network (router, home server, and Pi-Hole).
uni-corridor: See sys-corridor for description. Provides network to uni-whonix.
sys-usb: USB stack isolation VM. Uses fedora minimal now.
uni-vpn-wg: A Uni ProxyVM for my VPN.
uni-net: A ProxyVM for all Uni-related domains. Based off fedora minimal.
uni-shared: Acts as an SMB network share for uni-campus and uni-home so that the documents and emails can be accessed easily between them.
fedora-29-dvm: Default disposable Fedora VM.
whonix-ws-15-dvm: Default disposable Whonix VM. This is where I do 95% of my online browsing.
calendar: Exactly as it's named. Has a firewall rule to only allow connections to posteo.de.
nas-access: Used to access my NAS and to watch content on it.
pihole-access: Used to access my Pi-Hole through Firefox. Has a firewall rule to only allow connections to its IP address.
router-access: Used to access my router through Firefox. Has a firewall so its only able to connect to 192.168.0.1.
personal: Personal domain. Used to check personal emails, read rss feeds, stream YouTube videos, and internet banking.
repos: Local copy of my repos. Has a firewall rule to only allow connections to the site hosting my git repo.
uni-anon-resarch: Research for Uni.
uni-campus: Domain for doing Uni work on campus.
uni-home: Domain for doing Uni work at home.
uni-whonix: Seperate Whonix gateway for Uni research.
offline-archive-manager: For managing the offline archives that I burn to DVDs.
personal-archive: Exactly as it's named.
sys-whonix: Default Whonix gateway ProxyVM.
vault: For storing GPG keys and other files.
vault-dvm: DVM with no internet access. The Vault VMs use this as their DisposableVM.
work-archive: Storing work archive documents (payslips, employment information, etc).
Phone: Motorola Moto G5s running Lineage OS 16.0 Pie no G-Apps or micro-G with the following Apps: - AdAway: Open Source hosts file-based ad blocker. (Requires root.) - AFWall+: Linux iptables front end. (Requires root.) - Amaze: File manager. - andOPT: 2FA app. I like it since it can export the entries to an AES encrypted file. - AntennaPod: Podcast manager. - AnySoftKeyboard - Simple Calendar - Simple Contacts Pro - DAVx5: CalDav syncronization with my calendar on my Posteo email account. - F-Droid - Fennec F-Droid: Web Browser. Has the same Firefox addons like on Qubes minus Vim Vixen. I used the app Privacy Settings to configure the about:config. - KeePassDX: Password manager. - KISS launcher - Magisk Manager - NewPipe: YouTube app replacement. - S.Notes: Standard Notes. - OsmAnd~: Maps and navigation. - Red Moon: Blue light filter. - SELinuxModeChanger: Exactly as it sounds. (Requires root.) - Shelter: Work profile manager. - Signal: Messaging. - Vinyl Music Player: Music player. - WireGuard: VPN protocol frontend. Is configured to use my VPN account. Is setup as an always-on and connected VPN. As mentioned, I use Shelter to manage my work profile. In it I isolate the following apps: - Clover: *chan browser. - Orbot: For routing apps through Tor. Is setup as an always-on and connected VPN. - RedReader: Reddit client. - Tor Browser Over the last several years, I have started using my phone less and less and taking advantage of less of what it has got to offer. I don't check email on my device. I have no real need to browse the Internet on it outside of watching videos using NewPipe, browsing Reddit, and various *chan boards. On the Smart Phone side of things, I am considering purchasing an older used iPhone SE or 6S for use with MySudo when outside of my home as well as an iPod Touch for use on WiFi only for use inside my home. The iPhone would be kept inside of a faraday bag when I am at home and not using it. It would also be kept in the faraday bag whenever at home to avoid associating that device with my home address. The iPod Touch would be used for MySudo calls instead. Future outlook and plan for my privacy and security: To avoid as much deanonymisation of my privacy as possible, I'm only going to specify enough so that anyone reading this can get the jist of my situation in life. I am quite young (age 16 to 25) and I started along this privacy journey when I was even younger. I was never a very heavy social media user, however I did have an online presence if you looked hard enough. My name fortunately is a very common and short name, so that does help to bury information that I was not able to remove further in the vast trenches that is the Internet. On the digital side of things, I mentioned that I have a dedicated Crypto AppVM for handling crypto currency transactions using Bisq. I have setup a dedicated bank account that I have periodically been transferring money into so that I can trade crypto. Unfortunately, I do not live in the US, so being able to effectively start trades with others is more difficult. I also do not have access to a credit card masking account like privacy.com (that I absolutely would use given the ability). I plan on getting an anonymous VPS to host my own Tor exit node for better speeds and to mitigate the possibility of malicious exit nodes. The country I live in has been a proponent of absolute dragnet surveillance on all activities occurring online and in real life, though the former is far more visible on this subreddit. I will be using crypto with cleaned Bitcoin (as seen with ProgressiveArchitect's setup) for purchasing my VPN service, etc. With future hardware, to replace my aging laptop, I am very hopeful for Xen, then eventually Qubes OS getting ported to Power9. When that happens I'll be getting a Raptor Computing Blackbird as a desktop. Maybe in the future I'll get a Purism Librem laptop, but for now my corebooted X230 works perfectly for my use cases. On that note, I have successfully build the Heads firmware for the X230 and I was able to get the minimal 4MB image flashed on my laptop. I did revert it back to my coreboot setup after playing around a little with it, and unfortunately I haven't had time since to do a full, complete flash of it. On the physical/real life side of things, I plan on making use of various Trusts in order to hold assets, say to keep my name from being immediately visible on the title of my car. As of right now I am fortunate enough to have the title of my car under the name of someone who I trust. Unless I am legally required, and where there are immediate and absolute consequences, I use fake names in real life. With Uni, I am enrolled under my real name and address. This is a requirement and it is verified, so there is nothing that I can realistically do about it. As for other services, I plan on setting up a personal mailbox (PMB), etc if possible to use as a real, physical address that is associated with my real name and that is used for things like Government issued ID. In the future when I move again, I plan on renting a place in cash to try and keep my name dissociated with my real address. For those looking for reasoning on why one would want to do that, please read How to be Invisible by J.J. Luna. It's truly the Bible of physical privacy. At this stage I am just going off on a ramble, so I should cut it short here. I have just started and I live for this shit.
AMA/Tutorial: Run a full node on AWS free tier with local LAN storage
This is a tutorial/AMA on how you can be running a full node, in the AWS cloud, for very low cost or even free. I used to run a node on my local network but there is a problem with this; your public IP is broadcast, and then it gets associated with Bitcoin. Node owners are likely to own Bitcoin, and this raises your personal threat profile, validated against my IDS/IPS logs. Run a VPN? Many VPNs are automatically blocked, or sketchy. Tor is also blocked on a large portion of the internet. Neither provide you with a real static IP, and that helps out the network. There is a easy solution to this; run a node on the AWS free tier, and use an elastic IP so you have a static address. Bandwidth is free in, and low cost out, and you can control how much of that you use easily, and control your spent. The problem is that Amazon charges a LOT for online storage and even with a 1MB blocksize, the blockchain is very large and growing steadily! We mitigate this by using a VPN back to your network, where you can store the blockchain on a SMB share. It is not complicated to do, but there are very many moving pieces to keep track of and configure. In order to fully trust your node, the best way is to build it from scratch. This is my goal in walking you through the process. There are lots of ways to accomplish this same task; I only want to present one that works, and you can go from there. Once you have access to the blockchain in the cloud for reasonable prices, you can also look at things like the Lightning Network. This article makes four major assumptions:
That you have a OpenVPN server on your network and know how to configure it. I use pfSense and OpenVPN; others will work just as well, but you'll need to do a little work to figure out the particulars. If you don't know how, do not fret! There are loads of good tutorials for just about every platform. Or ask below. I also limited the user with access to the share at the firewall specifically to the IP hosting the share to lower the threat envelope.
That you have the blockchain downloaded locally and reasonably up to date. If you don't, head on over to bitcoin.org and download it for OSX or Windows or Linux, whatever you use for your workstation. Follow the directions to set up the software and download/synchronize it to the network. This will take awhile! Once you've synchronized, copy the data directory to your SMB share you want the AWS instance to access. You could also synchronize everything directly on AWS too, but it will likely take longer and may cost a bit for the bandwidth.
That you're on windows. OSX and Linux will have slightly different processes to connect to the instance via the terminal and SSH. If you need help, ask, and I am sure we can get you fixed up.
With that, on with the show! First: Head on over to https://aws.amazon.com/ and make yourself an account. Once you've set up you'll need to start the process of creating a virtual machine on AWS. Look for this graphic and click on it: Start by launching a new machine Follow the rabbit hole, and you'll be looking to create a plain jane Amazon AMI Linux instance. It looks like this: Pick the basic AMI instance Keep in mind you want to pick the x86 version, which is the default. Continue clicking, you'll want to select the t2.micro instance that is eligible for the free tier for new accounts. Pick the free tier. You can also upgrade to the smaller tier for more ram, but the micro works for now. Now, you're going to need a way to connect to your soon-to-be-created node in the cloud. Amazon uses SSH keys to do this, so the next step means you're going to make some. You need to save this file, as if you lose it, you won't be able to access your node anymore. Much like your wallet private keys! Beware losing your keys! If you've made it this far, you're almost launched! Now we need to convert the key to a format that we can use to connect to the instance from Windows. I recommend using Putty! https://www.putty.org/ if you don't have it already; if you're on OSX or Linux, you likely have what you need already. Follow the guide here to get connected: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/putty.html Next you'll need to set up a opening in the firewall if you want incoming connections. This is done by adding to the security group in the "Network and Security" section; edit it to look like this: Change the inbound security rules for the instance to accept incoming connections on 8333. The hard part is over! Optional: Configuring a static IP. Amazon calls their implementation "elastic" IPs, but it's really a static IP that you can move around between instances very easily. It will ensure your public address on AWS does not change; it isn't required, but it is better if you intend on allowing outgoing connections. Go back to the main dashboard display. In "Network and Security", click on "Elastic IPs". Select Allocate New Address (blue button on top) and then select it in the table. In actions, you will see "Associate Address". Select this then assign the address to the instance you have previously configured. Done! Next up: Log into your machine, and immediately update everything. Use the IP provided by Amazon, or the Elastic IP if you assigned one to the instance in the last step. type: "sudo yum update" Now, let's get the VPN configured. First step is to install OpenVPN. We need to install the extended package library to do this. type: "sudo amazon-linux-extras install epel" type: "sudo yum-config-manager --enable epel" Now you can install OpenVPN. type: "sudo yum install openvpn" You will need your credential file from OpenVPN; it's a file you generate that will have a .ovpn extension. But you're going to need to upload it to the instance. You can do this through the scp command on OSX or Linux, but if you're on Windows, you'll need another utility. Get WinSCP here: https://winscp.net/eng/download.php But we'll have to tell it where your key file is so you can login. Select "New Session", then use the same IP and username as you did to connect before. We'll need to tell it about the key file though! Select the "Advanced" tab then under the SSH section, click on "Authentication" and then select your private key file you generated in the tutorial above. Connect and upload the .ovpn file that you generated when you added a user for the VPN. This step depends on your OpenVPN configuration - ask below if you have problems. Next, let's verify we can connect to the VPN! type: "openvpn --config my-configuration-file-made-by-openvpn.ovpn &" You will be prompted for a password if you configured one. Verify operation by pinging your LAN router, e.g. type: "ping 192.168.2.1" or the address of the SMB server where you shared the information. Allllrighty! Next up is getting connected to your blockchain. Create a directory where the data directory will be mounted. type: "mkdir blockchain" We need to install samba and some utilities to get things mounted. type: "sudo yum install samba" type: "sudo yum install cifs-utils" Now let's mount the folder: type: "sudo mount -t cifs //192.168.2.100/Bitcoin ./blockchain -o user=bitcoin,vers=2.0,uid=ec2-user,gid=ec2 user,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777" Where " //192.168.2.100/Bitcoin" is the address of the SMB server and share where you put the data directory from your initial sync. If you didn't, and just want to sync everything from AWS, then make sure it's a folder where your user has access. In this case, I'm assuming you've made a SMB user with the name "Bitcoin". The command will prompt you for the password to access the share. The other bits ensure you can have read and write access to the share once it's mounted in AWS. Now we're ready for some Bitcoin! Props to the tutorial here: https://hackernoon.com/a-complete-beginners-guide-to-installing-a-bitcoin-full-node-on-linux-2018-edition-cb8e384479ea But I'll summarize for you: Download and then re-upload with WinSCP, or download directly to your instance with wget, the most current Bitcoin core. In this case, it's bitcoin-0.18.0-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz downloaded from https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-core/. Let's verify it hasn't been tampered with once you have it uploaded to the terminal: type: "sha256sum bitcoin-0.18.0-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz" Then compare that with the hash value that's listed in the SHA256SUMS.asc file on bitcoin.org. In this case, "36ce9ffb375f6ee280df5a86e61038e3c475ab9dee34f6f89ea82b65a264183b" all matches up, so we know nobody has done anything evil or nefarious to the file. Unzip the file: type: "tar zxvf bitcoin-0.18.0-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz" There is a warning about a symbolic link; everything seems to work OK regardless, but if anyone knows what or how to fix, please comment. We'll need to get some missing libraries before we can run it; these aren't in the basic AMI instance. type: "sudo yum install glibc.i686" type: "yum install libgcc_s.so.1" FINALLY! We are ready to launch the program. Go to the "bin" directory inside where you unzipped the Bitcoin Core tarball. (e.g. /home/ec2-useblockchain/bitcoin-0.18.0/bin) ./bitcoind -datadir=/home/ec2-useblockchain/data You will see the program either start to sync and download, or start to read the existing blockchain file that you put in the share from before. Congrats! There are a couple extra steps to have it automatically start on reboot, but let's see if anyone gets this far first. I use the "screen" program to do this, but there's also a daemon mode, and some other functionality that is discussed in the hackernoon tutorial. The primary cost will be outgoing bandwidth. AWS charges $0.10/GB beyond 15GB; You can limit the outgoing bandwidth easily according to your budget: https://bitcoin.org/en/full-node#reduce-traffic Hope this encourages people to try running a free, or very low cost, cloud node, with a substantially reduced threat profile.
The importance of being mindful of security at all times - nearly everyone is one breach away from total disaster
This is a long one - TL;DR at the end!
If you haven't heard yet: BlankMediaGames, makers of Town of Salem, have been breached which resulted in almost 8 million accounts being leaked. For most people, the first reaction is "lol so what it's just a game, why should I really care?" and that is the wrong way to look at it. I'd like to explain why everyone should always care whenever they are part of a breach. I'd also like to talk about some ways game developers - whether they work solo or on a team - can take easy steps to help protect themselves and their customers/players. First I'd like to state that there is no practical way to achieve 100% solid security to guarantee you'll never be breached or part of a breach. The goal here will be to get as close as possible, or comfortable, so that you can rest easy knowing you can deal with problems when they occur (not if, when).
Why You Should Care About Breaches
The sad reality is most people re-use the same password everywhere. Your email account, your bank account, your steam account, your reddit account, random forums and game websites - you get the idea. If you haven't pieced it together yet the implication is that if anyone gets your one password you use everywhere, it's game over for you - they now own all of your accounts (whether or not they know it yet). Keep in mind that your email account is basically the holy grail of passwords to have. Most websites handle password changes/resets through your email; thus anyone who can login to your email account can get access to pretty much any of your accounts anywhere. Game over, you lose.
But wait, why would anyone want to use my password? I'm nobody!
It doesn't matter, the bad guys sell this information to other bad guys. Bots are used to make as much use of these passwords as possible. If they can get into your bank they might try money transfers. If they get into your Amazon account they might spin up $80,000 worth of servers to mine Bitcoin (or whatever coin is popular at the time). They don't care who you are; it's all automated. By the way, according to this post (which looks believable enough to be real) this is pretty much how they got into the BMG servers initially. They checked for usernames/emails of admins on the BMG website(s) in previous breach dumps (of which there are many) and found at least one that used the same password on other sites - for their admin account! If you want to see how many of your accounts are already breached check out Have I Been Pwned - I recommend registering all of your email addresses as well so you get notified of future breaches. This is how I found out about the Town of Salem breach, myself.
How You Can Protect Yourself
Before I go into all the steps you can (and should) take to protect yourself I should note that security is in a constant tug of war with convenience. What this means is that the more security measures you apply the more inconvenienced you become for many tasks. It's up to you to decide how much is too much either way. First of all I strongly recommend registering your email(s) on https://haveibeenpwned.com/ - this is especially important if your email address is associated to important things like AWS, Steam developer account, bank accounts, social media, etc. You want to know ASAP when an account of yours is compromised so you can take steps to prevent or undo damage. Note that the bad guys have a head start on this!
You probably need to have better password hygiene. If you don't already, you need to make sure every account you have uses a different, unique, secure password. You should change these passwords at least once a year. Depending on how many accounts you have and how good your memory is, this is your first big security vs convenience trade-off battle. That's easily solved, though, by using a password manager. You can find a list of password managers on Wikipedia here or you can search around for some comparison articles. Some notable choices to consider:
1Password - recommend by Troy Hunt, creator of Have I Been Pwned
LastPass - I use this at work and it's generally good
BitWarden - free and open source! I use this at home and in some ways it's better than LastPass
KeePass (and forks) - free, open source, and totally offline; if you don't trust "the cloud" you can trade away some more convenience in exchange for taking full responsibility of your password security (and backups)
Regardless of which one you choose, any of them is 100x better than not using one at all.
The problem with all these passwords is that someone can still use them if they are found in a breach. Your passwords are only as strong as the website you use them on. In the case of the BMG breach mentioned above - all passwords were stored in an ancient format which has been insecure for years. It's likely that every single password in the breach can be reversed/cracked, or already have been. The next step you need to take is to make it harder for someone else to login with your password. This is done using Multi-Factor Authentication (or Two-Factor Authentication). Unfortunately not every website/service supports MFA/2FA, but you should still use it on every single one that does support it. You can check which sites support MFA/2FA here or dig around in account options on any particular site. You should setup MFA/2FA on your email account ASAP! If it's not supported, you need to switch to a provider that does support it. This is more important than your bank account! All of the big email providers support it: GMail, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, etc. The type of MFA/2FA you use depends on what is supported by each site/service, but there is a common approach that is compatible on many of them. Most of them involve phone apps because a phone is the most common and convenient "thing you have" that bad guys (or anyone, really) can't access easily. Time-based One-time Password or TOTP is probably the most commonly used method because it's easy to implement and can be used with many different apps. Google Authenticator was the first popular one, but it has some limitations which continue the security vs convenience battle - namely that getting a new phone is a super huge chore (no backup/restore option - you have to disable and setup each site all over again). Many alternatives support cloud backup which is really convenient, though obviously less secure by some measure. Notable choices to consider:
Authy - probably the first big/popular one after Google Authenticator came out (I think) - NOTE: They let you use it on your desktop/browser, too, but this is TOO much convenience! Don't fall for that trap.
LastPass Authenticator - conveniently links up with a LastPass account, some sites support extra features (like not needing to type a code, just answer a phone notification)
Yubikey - A real physical MFA device! Some models are compatible with phones, too.
Duo - this one is more geared towards enterprise, but they have a free option
Some sites/services use their own app, like Blizzard (battle.net) and Steam, and don't allow you to use other ones. You will probably have a few apps on your phone when all your accounts are setup, but it's worth it. You'll definitely want to enable it on your password manager as well if you chose a cloud-based one. Don't forget to save backup codes in an actual secure location! If you lose your backup codes and your auth app/physical key you will be locked out of accounts. It's really not fun recovering in that situation. Most recommendations are to print them and put in a fireproof safe, but using some other secure encrypted storage is fine. There is such a thing as bad MFA/2FA! However, anything is at least better than nothing. A lot of places still use SMS (text messaging) or e-mail for their MFA/2FA implementation. The e-mail one has the most obvious flaw: If someone gets into your email account they have defeated that security measure. The SMS flaws are less obvious and much less likely to affect you, but still a risk: SMS is trivial to intercept (capture data over the air (literally), clone your SIM card data, and some other methods). Still, if you're not a person of interest already, it's still better than nothing.
What Does This Have To Do With GameDev?
Yeah, I do know which subreddit I'm posting in! Here's the section that gets more into things specific to game development (or software development in general).
Secure Your Code
Securing your code actually has multiple meanings here: Securing access to your code, and ensuring your code itself is secure against exploitation. Let's start with access since that's the easier topic to cover! If you're not already using some form of Source Control Management (SCM) you really need to get on board! I'm not going to go in depth on that as it's a whole other topic to itself, but I'll assume you are using Git or Mercurial (hg) already and hosting it on one of these sites (or a similar one):
First, ensure that you have locked down who can access this code already. If you are using private repositories you need to make sure that the only people who have access are the people who need access (i.e. yourself and your team). Second, everyone should have strong passwords and MFA/2FA enabled on their accounts. If 1 person on the team does not follow good security practices it puts your whole project at risk! So make sure everyone on the team is following along. You can also look into tools to do some auditing and even automate it so that if anyone's account becomes less secure over time (say they turned off MFA one day) they would automatically lose their access. Additionally you should never commit secrets (passwords, API keys, tokens, social security numbers, etc) to your code repository. Probably 90% of cases where people have their AWS/Google Cloud/Azure accounts compromised and racking up huge bills for bitcoin mining is due to having their passwords/keys stored in their git repo. They either accidentally made it public or someone got access to the private repo through a compromised account. Never store sensitive information in your code repository! Next topic: Securing your code from vulnerabilities. This one is harder to talk about for game dev as most engines/frameworks are not as susceptible (for lack of a better word) to these situations as others. In a nutshell, you need to keep track of the following:
Is my code doing anything "dangerous"? (system-level stuff, memory access, saving passwords anywhere)
Could someone get the keys to the kingdom (API key, server password, etc) by just opening Cheat Engine and looking at memory values? Or doing a strings/hex edit/decompile/etc on my game executable?
Am I using outdated libraries/framework/engine? Do they have any known security bugs?
Secure Your Computer
I'm not going to go in depth on this one because at this point everyone should have a handle on this; if not there are limitless articles, blogs, and videos about the how/what/why. In summary: Keep everything updated, and don't open suspicious links.
Lock your computer when idle - use a password (or PIN or face unlock or whatever your OS uses) - no one should ever be able to walk up to your computer and use it if you're not looking, nor should they be able to get in if they grabbed your closed laptop off the table at starbucks (thanks u/3tt07kjt for reminding me of this one)
Use full disk encryption (especially on laptops)
Update your OS for security updates ASAP
Use anti-virus (yes, Windows Defender is fine) and keep it updated
Update your web browser ALWAYS (this is your 99% chance attack vector, so don't postpone it!)
Don't install browser extensions that you don't need - a LOT of extensions are either malware from the start or become malware later (my favorite emoji extension started mining bitcoins, FFS!) - check reviews regularly after extensions update
DO use adblock and privacy extensions - ads are a common attack vector - I recommend uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger at a minimum (note that some legit sites can break and so you'll have to fiddle with settings or whitelist)
Don't open suspicious or unknown links on e-mail, social media, discord, etc (be sure to hover over the links in this post before clicking them)
Don't open attachments, ever - unless you were expecting it from that person at that time
Don't fill out ANY forms (comments, login, registration, etc) on websites that don't have HTTPS (secure) connection - your browser will show this in the address bar, usually
In general, be suspicious of everything that comes from people you don't know - and even from people you do know if it was unexpected
E-Mail is (probably) the least secure form of communications ever invented - so try not to use it for sensitive things
Secure Your Website
I will have to add more to this later probably, but again there are tons of good articles, blogs, and videos on these topics. Hopefully the information in this section is enough to get you on the right track - if not feel free to ask for more info. Lots of guides can be found on Digital Ocean's site and they are relevant even if you don't use DO for your servers.
Use HTTPS (SSL/TLS) secure connections - it's FREE and EASY thanks to Let's Encrypt
KEEP EVERYTHING UPDATED - automate as much as you can
If you have control over the server, you MUST update the OS, the web server, and any backend application servers/languages/frameworks involved. Equifax breach was due to having out of date server software. BMG breach was worsened by having out of date server software. YOU MUST STAY UPDATED, ALWAYS
Don't store sensitive personal information - it's a huge pain to be PCI compliant, it's a huge fine if you mess it up - avoid storing any customer information that you don't actually need (see also: GDPR )
Do not allow access to SSH/Remote desktop/Database services from the whole world; the general public should only ever be able to reach ports 80 and 443 on your web server (and 80 should permanently redirect to HTTPS)
Use SSH keys instead of passwords on Linux servers
Don't run your own email server - it's just not worth it; use google apps for business, office 365, zoho, or something else for business email
Secure your domain registrar account! Don't lose your domain to a bad password or lack of MFA/2FA or an old email address! If your registrar doesn't support actual security then transfer to one that does. (namecheap, namesilo, google domains, amazon aws route53, even godaddy, the absolutely worst web company, has good security options)
A lot of this will apply to your game servers as well - really any kind of server you expect to setup.
That's it, for now
I ran out of steam while typing this all up after a couple hours, but I may revisit it later to add more info. Feel free to ask any questions about any of these topics and I'll do my best to answer them all.
TL;DR (y u words so much??)
Use a password manager so you can have different, random, secure passwords on every account on every website/service/game
Use MFA/2FA on every account, if possible
Lock your computer when idle/away
Use full disk encryption on laptops
Update your operating system (we all hate Windows Update, but it really is for our own good)
Use anti-virus (Windows Defender is fine)
Update your browser
Use good adblockeprivacy blocker browsers extensions
Don't use browser extensions that you don't really need (they could be a trojan horse of bitcoin mining later)
Don't trust anything sent by anyone, unless you were expecting it and know it's safe
E-mail is the least secure form of communications in use these days; don't trust it for sensitive things
Use source control for your game code (git, mercurial, etc)
Lock down access to your source code
Don't put secrets (passwords, API keys/tokens, social security numbers, credit card numbers) in your code repository
Don't do dumb things like store your AWS keys in your game for players to just find with simple tools
Check your code dependencies for security bugs, update them when needed
Use HTTPS on your website
Update your web server OS and software
Use secure password storage (don't reinvent this wheel, it's been solved by way smarter people)
Use SSH keys instead of passwords for Linux servers
Use a firewall to block the world from getting in with SSH/Remote desktop/database direct connections
Only allow your own IP address (which can change!) into the server for admin tasks
Don't run your own email server, let someone who knows what they are doing handle that for you
Secure your domain registrar account, keep email address up to date
... in general... in general... in general... I sure wrote those 2 words a lot.
Why Should I Trust This Post?
Hopefully I have provided enough information and good links in this post that you can trust the contents to be accurate (or mostly accurate). There is certainly enough information to do some searches on your own to find out how right or wrong I might be about these things. If you want my appeal to authority answer: I've been working at a major (network/computer) security company for almost 7 years as a software developer, and I've had to put up with pretty much every inconvenience brought on by security. I've also witnessed the aftermath of nearly every type of security failure covered in this post, via customers and the industry at large. None of the links I used are related to my employer or its products. Edit: Fixed some typos and added some more links More edit: added a few more points and links
Introducing NanoVault, an open source wallet for Nano
Hello /nanocurrency, my name is Andrew and over the last few months I have been building and fine tuning my open source wallet, NanoVault, which after extensive testing from the community is now ready for public usage! It aims to make Nano dead-simple to use and is available on your desktop (Windows/Mac/Linux) or on the web at nanovault.io
Late last year I heard about Nano (Then RaiBlocks) and was drawn in to investigate further by its incredible claims to solve many of the potential problems we see in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. After reading the white paper and witnessing the strength of the community I decided to invest and quickly became an advocate to all of my crypto friends. I loved that Nano could deliver on all of its promises, but thought the original wallets weren’t quite doing justice to the technology. So I set out to create my own version of the wallet that was simple, easy, and safe to use. It started as a simple wallet that used your local node, and through lots of feedback and testing from community members, evolved into the more fully featured client side wallet that is ready for everyone to use today.
What is NanoVault?
NanoVault is an open source wallet application for Nano which makes it quick and intuitive to use, while remaining as secure as possible. It is fully client-side signing which means your seed and private keys are generated in your browser and transactions are signed locally. None of your sensitive wallet data is ever sent across your network or stored on any server in any format (Encrypted or otherwise).
Some of the main features
Available everywhere with no sign up or email required - use the native desktop wallet on your Windows/Mac/Linux, or use the web wallet from any device at any time.
Security focused: All of the handling of sensitive information happens locally in your browser only and even that data is encrypted when the wallet is locked. (So there is no need for server-based authentication measures such as 2FA)
Store labels for your own accounts and others in the address book, which is fully integrated for easy usage into every part of the wallet.
Track the balance of your accounts in your local currency/Bitcoin (Or hide it and only show Nano)
Use your client side GPU or CPU to compute Proof of Work, or use our blazing fast GPU cloud server to show off the true speed of Nano.
Easily and safely export your wallet to your other devices using a QR code, link, or file that is encrypted by your wallet password.
Fully configure how the wallet operates - change the display denomination, wipe your data on every usage (Like MyEtherWallet), automatically lock the wallet on close and after inactivity and more.
Plus more to come - new features are being added based on all of the feedback provided by users of the community.
Create a new wallet or import your seed from any existing Nano wallet Make 100% sure to save your seed, it is the master key to your accounts, and the only way to recover your wallet
Set a password for your wallet. This is used to encrypt your sensitive information, and is used to unlock the wallet. (While the wallet is locked, new blocks cannot be signed so sending, receiving, creating accounts, etc is disabled)
You are now ready to send and receive Nano with your accounts!
How does it work?
How is data stored?
By default, your wallet data is stored in your browsers local storage, encrypted by the password you set on your wallet (If desired, you can change the application settings to never store any wallet data). Other data related to the application, such as your settings and address book are also stored in your local storage. They can be cleared completely using the application settings page if needed. No data at all is ever stored on a server, and only public Nano network transaction information is ever sent across the network.
We have a list of things we are looking at adding in the very near future which you can see on the NanoVault Road Map. What ends up being focused on first will be highly driven by what the community requests, so make your opinion heard! Join us on Discord, keep up to date on Twitter, or submit any bugs or feature requests on GitHub.
Our NanoVault Representative
In an attempt to help decentralize the network, I have also made our node available as a representative. The node is hosted on Amazon AWS and has proven incredibly reliable, even through all of the best stress tests we have undertaken so far. If you have not changed your representative yet, consider using ours at: xrb_3rw4un6ys57hrb39sy1qx8qy5wukst1iiponztrz9qiz6qqa55kxzx4491or
Thank you to the many people in this amazing Nano community who have helped me test the application and improve its features to gear it up for this public launch. It has been incredibly helpful, and I have no doubt that it is only the beginning for both NanoVault and the Nano community at large!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them below or in our Discord server, and I will do my best to respond. You can also find me in the Nano Discord servers @Cronoh - Thanks everyone!
CyberGhost VPN is one of the most established VPN services around. It was founded by Robert Knapp in 2011, and it quickly became one of the most popular free VPNs. CyberGhost currently has over 30 million users and its popularity keeps growing but the question is, how does it compare to other top VPN providers? In this review you will learn what is good and what is not so good about CyberGhost, and you will find answers to popular questions like: Is using CyberGhost safe? Is it legal and does it really work? Does CyberGhost still have a free version? Does it work with Netflix? Is torrenting & P2P allowed? Before we answer all these questions (and many more), lets first examine CyberGhost VPN’s pros and cons: Pros Fast speeds: 64Mbps (global average) Unlocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & other streaming sites Optimized servers for torrenting/P2P traffic Strong logging policy & no IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks User-friendly apps for PC, Mac, iOS, & Android Great server network across 60 countries Cons Torrenting not available on US & Australia servers Doesn't work in high censorship countries Not recommended for Kodi 14-day refund guarantee on 1-month plan Works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting Available on Windows Mac Ios Android Linux Price from $2.75/mo As you can see CyberGhost is without a doubt an impressive VPN, but there are a few drawbacks that you need to know about in more detail. Lets start off our in-depth review by looking at how fast CyberGhost really is. Speed & Reliability Very fast speeds, especially for same-country connections CyberGhost will match almost any VPN service for fast download and upload speeds, but what it occasionally lacks is consistency. CyberGhost VPN’s same-country (for example, London to London) download and upload speeds are impressive and reliable, but CyberGhost users connecting to international servers may notice a drop-off in speed, with ping times also increasing. Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server. Before using CyberGhost: DOWNLOAD Mbps 95 UPLOAD Mbps 97 PING ms 2 When connected to CyberGhost: DOWNLOAD Mbps 54 UPLOAD Mbps 77 PING ms 13 Download speed without CyberGhost: 95 Mbps Download speed with CyberGhost: 54 Mbps Our download speed loss when CyberGhost is running: 43% We put all of the VPNs on the site through a rigorous scientific speed testing process, determining the average speeds from multiple locations across the globe. These are the average speeds you can expect to pick up from these locations: USA: 51Mpbs (download) & 41Mbps (upload) Germany: 78Mbps (download) & 74Mbps (upload) Singapore: 28Mpbs (download) & 15Mbps (upload) Australia: 32Mbps (download) & 7Mbps (upload) Server Locations 4,600 servers around the world Globe with a blue flag 60 Countries Image of a city landscape 84 Cities Image of a pink marker 4,680+ IP Addresses See all Server Locations CyberGhost’s servers cover the whole world, with great server coverage in Europe and North America. A choice of over 4,680 servers is paired with a similar number of IP addresses. Screenshot of CyberGhost VPN server locations in Windows app 4,600 servers is a very good number, and one of the highest server counts on the market. While it’s considerably less than NordVPN‘s 5,000 plus servers, it is still a very high number of VPN servers. Similarly to IPVanish, CyberGhost owns all of its DNS servers meaning that it doesn’t rely on rented servers to provide VPN connections. The countries with the most CyberGhost servers are the US (1085), Germany (608), France (324), the UK (665) and Canada (223). At city-level, CyberGhost covers 13 different US locations, and 3 locations in Australia, Canada and the UK. Streaming & Torrenting Great for Netflix, Torrenting and More CyberGhost provides many dedicated Netflix servers, which is great. They are very east to find in the app and we’ve never had any issues unblocking Netflix when using CyberGhost VPN. CyberGhost has also its own dedicated BBC iPlayer server, too, and CyberGhost is currently our highest-recommended VPN for BBC iPlayer. That’s not all, though. CyberGhost subscribers also report that they can successfully stream: Amazon Prime Video Hulu HBO Sling TV Sky Now TV PlayStation Vue Torrenting CyberGhost is also a good choice for torrenting, although there are a couple of caveats: It doesn’t allow torrenting on its US or Australian servers Torrenting on mobile is a hassle compared to Windows and macOS applications You can torrent from mobile while using CyberGhost if you check and select the existing P2P servers on the desktop app or on the website. P2P torrenting is allowed on mobile, but there is no tab to find out which work. If you’re ok with these P2P limitations, then CyberGhost is a safe, fast and reliable VPN for torrenting. CyberGhost doesn’t log, it has a VPN kill switch and when we checked for IP/DNS leaks, we found none. If however the torrenting limitations above are putting you off, then take a look at our best VPNs for torrenting. Bypassing Censorship No good for China and highly censored countries We can’t recommend CyberGhost as a VPN to use in high censorship countries, as it simply can’t guarantee to bypass aggressive web censors. Unfortunately CyberGhost doesn’t have the obfuscation tools that make ExpressVPN and VyprVPN better VPN services to beat online censorship in countries like China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran. CyberGhost even warns that you use of a VPN in certain countries is forbidden and CyberGhost VPN shouldn’t be used in these nations. CyberGhost does mention that workarounds to make its VPN work in these countries are available, but that you shouldn’t try them. Basically, CyberGhost doesn’t want people to use its VPN in countries where VPNs are not legal. Platforms & Devices Compatible with popular devices, including routers Apps Windows Logo Windows Mac Logo Mac iOS Logo iOS Android Logo Android Linux Logo Linux Router Logo Router Whatever your device or operating system, CyberGhost has you covered with either a custom VPN app, or a manual workaround for you to configure your device and use CyberGhost VPN with it. CyberGhost VPN is compatible with all Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices. You can also use CyberGhost on multiple devices at once, up to 7 in total (depending on the plan chosen). Games Consoles & Streaming Devices AppleTV Logo AppleTV Amazon Fire TV Logo Amazon Fire TV Chromecast Logo Chromecast Nintendo Logo Nintendo PlayStation Logo PlayStation Roku Logo Roku Xbox Logo Xbox You can also use CyberGhost with a range of gaming consoles and streaming devices, by installing the VPN onto your home router and connecting the devices to it. You can also piggyback off the CyberGhost VPN connection from another device running the CyberGhost app, such as your laptop. The recent addition of a native VPN app for the Amazon Fire TV Stick is also a big plus. Browser Extensions Chrome Logo Chrome Firefox Logo Firefox CyberGhost has VPN browser extensions available for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. These extensions are entirely free but, regardless of whether or not you’re a paying customer, you’ll only get access to eight servers in four locations (2 servers each) through them: United States, Germany, Romania and the Netherlands. These VPN add-ons are only proxies though, so they will only protect your web traffic. We recommend you use CyberGhost’s VPN extensions with the main VPN application or VPN client at all times. Encryption & Security One of the best VPNs for security Protocol IKEv2/IPSec L2TP/IPSec OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) PPTP Encryption AES-256 Security DNS Leak Blocking First-party DNS IPV6 Leak Blocking VPN Kill Switch Advanced features Split Tunneling TOR via VPN Server Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more. CyberGhost is an excellent choice for privacy, with one of the most advanced security suites of any VPN available today. The CyberGhost apps default to our favorite protocol, OpenVPN, and it encrypts your web data traffic with the ultra-secure AES-256 encryption and has a kill switch to make sure your identity stays protected in the event of a connection drop. Rest assured that your true location is safe and hidden with CyberGhost: we ran several IP or DNS leak tests and we found no leaks. Logging Policy Based in EU but no logs policy assures privacy This is a list of all the anonymous information that CyberGhost collects (taken from their logging policy): “CyberGhost VPN records the log-in of an anonymous account for statistical purposes. We do this once a day (all other log-ins will be ignored) and sum up each daily log-in for one month. The daily log-in data will be deleted after 24 hours, the monthly sum at the end of each month.” CyberGhost claims that this data is the bare minimum required to keep its VPN service running optimally. CyberGhost’s logging policy makes it clear that no personally identifiable information is collected and therefore there is nothing stored on CyberGhost’s servers that could be used to identify you, should anyone ever seize their servers. Excerpt from CyberGhost Logging Policy Excerpt from CyberGhost Logging Policy Jurisdiction CyberGhost VPN is operated by the Romanian company CyberGhost SA, which was acquired by Kape Technologies PLC (previously known as Crossrider) in 2017. The fact that CyberGhost is headquartered in Romania may seem less than ideal since Romania is part of the EU which has aggressive data-retention and sharing agreements in place with other nations. However we are not concerned by where CyberGhost is located given that it doesn’t collect any personally identifiable connection data. CyberGhost is a VPN you can trust with your online privacy. Ease of Use Extremely easy to use How to Install & Set Up CyberGhost CyberGhost download in our CyberGhost VPN review Find the relevant software on CyberGhost's website and click 'Download'. CyberGhost download in our CyberGhost VPN review #2 OPT Follow the simple installation prompts and agree to the Terms and Conditions. CyberGhost login in our CyberGhost VPN review The app will automatically open once installation is complete. Simply type in your login details. CyberGhost connected screen in our CyberGhost VPN review After connecting the main screen will show the time you've been connected, your chosen server location, and new IP address. CyberGhost main screen in our CyberGhost VPN review The main screen is compact and simple, with a connect button in the middle and your chosen server location below. CyberGhost connected screen in our CyberGhost VPN review After connecting the main screen will show the time you've been connected, your chosen server location, and new IP address. CyberGhost main screen in our CyberGhost VPN review The main screen is compact and simple, with a connect button in the middle and your chosen server location below. CyberGhost connected screen in our CyberGhost VPN review After connecting the main screen will show the time you've been connected, your chosen server location, and new IP address. CyberGhost extended screen and server list in our CyberGhost VPN review Click on the arrows in the bottom left to open up the extended app interface. Here you can see the full server locations list and choose optimized servers. CyberGhost settings in our CyberGhost VPN review Click the cog symbol to open up the setting menu where you can change the VPN protocol and switch on leak protection. CyberGhost connection features in our CyberGhost VPN review Under the Connection Features tab you can activate the ad blocker feature and other privacy extras. CyberGhost split tunneling in our CyberGhost VPN review Click the Smart Rules tab to the left and then Exceptions. Here you can decide which apps you'd like to route outside of the VPN tunnel. CyberGhost is still one of the easiest VPNs to use, even with all of its bells and whistles. Menus in the apps are clearly labeled and come with helpful contextual tooltips. There’s even a set of demonstrative videos on the CyberGhost website that show you just how simple its VPN apps are. Browser Extensions CyberGhost’s browser extensions couldn’t be simpler. You just have to click the icon and select a location. Customer Support Live chat and extensive troubleshooting 24/7 Live chat support Online Resources The round-the-clock live chat support agents are always friendly and responsive, usually managing to solve our queries in a matter of minutes. There’s a good chance you won’t ever need to use live support, though, as the online troubleshooting guides are pretty comprehensive. Pricing & Deals A great value VPN made very cheap with long-term plan CyberGhost Coupon CyberGhost logo CyberGhost Get 79% off CyberGhost's 3-year plan TestedEnds 31 Aug Get CodeED Terms CyberGhost Pricing Plan CyberGhost used to provide a free VPN service, however that is no longer the case. At its very cheapest, CyberGhost costs $2.75 per month – a 79% saving – but this requires a 3-year commitment. We think it’s worth the money, but if you don’t want to commit for 3 years then a monthly subscription plan jumps to $12.99 per month while a 6-month plan will cost $7.99 per month (a 39% saving). CyberGhost has a 45-day money-back guarantee in place, which is one of the longest we’ve come across, but it only applies to subscriptions of six months or longer – one-month subscriptions have a 14-day refund guarantee. There are no hidden catches or restrictions. If you want your money back then CyberGhost will refund you in 5-10 working days. To get a refund, simply contact CyberGhost support (live chat or email) and request a refund before the 45-days are up. You may be asked to fill in a short survey. CyberGhost also offers a one-day free trial (or seven days for mobile devices). The free trial grants you the full VPN experience with no personal or payment details asked for. A handy pop-up will remind you of your remaining runtime every time you use the VPN service. Monthly US$12.99/mo Billed $12.99 each month 6 Months US$7.99/mo Billed $47.94 every 6 months Save 39% 3 Years US$2.75/mo Billed $99.00 every 3 years Save 79% All plans have 45-day money-back guarantee Payment & Refund Options Credit Card PayPal Bitcoin CyberGhost accepts a range of payment options including most major credit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin. Unfortunately, it doesn’t currently accept any other international options like Alipay or UnionPay.
[META] New to PC Building? - September 2018 Edition
You've heard from all your gaming friends/family or co-workers that custom PCs are the way to go. Or maybe you've been fed up with your HP, Dell, Acer, Gateway, Lenovo, etc. pre-builts or Macs and want some more quality and value in your next PC purchase. Or maybe you haven't built a PC in a long time and want to get back into the game. Well, here's a good place to start.
Make a budget for your PC (e.g., $800, $1000, $1250, $1500, etc.).
Decide what you will use your PC for.
For gaming, decide what games and at what resolution and FPS you want to play at.
For productivity, decide what software you'll need and find the recommended specs to use those apps.
For a bit of both, your PC build should be built on the HIGHEST specs recommended for your applications (e.g., if you only play FortNite and need CPU power for CFD simulations, use specs recommended for CFD).
Here are some rough estimates for builds with entirely NEW parts: 1080p 60FPS ultra-settings modern AAA gaming: ~$1,200 1440p 60FPS high/ultra-settings modern AAA gaming: ~$1,600 1080p 144FPS ultra-settings modern AAA gaming: $2,000 4K 50FPS medium/high-settings modern AAA gaming: > $2,400 It's noted that some compromises (e.g., lower settings and/or resolution) can be made to achieve the same or slightly lower gaming experience within ±15% of the above prices. It's also noted that you can still get higher FPS on older or used PCs by lowering settings and/or resolution AND/OR buying new/used parts to upgrade your system. Make a new topic about it if you're interested. Also note that AAA gaming is different from e-sport games like CSGO, DOTA2, FortNite, HOTS, LoL, Overwatch, R6S, etc. Those games have lower requirements and can make do with smaller budgets.
Revise your budget AND/OR resolution and FPS until both are compatible. Compare this to the recommended requirements of the most demanding game on your list. For older games, you might be able to lower your budget. For others, you might have to increase your budget. It helps to watch gaming benchmarks on Youtube. A good example of what you're looking for is something like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eLxSOoSdjY). Take note of the resolution, settings, FPS, and the specs in the video title/description; ask yourself if the better gaming experience is worth increasing your budget OR if you're okay with lower settings and lowering your budget. Note that you won't be able to see FPS higher than 60FPS for Youtube videos; something like this would have to be seen in-person at a computer shop.
After procuring your parts, it's time to build. Use a good Youtube tutorial like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhX0fOUYd8Q) that teach BAPC fundamentals, but always refer to your product manuals or other Youtube tutorials for part-specific instructions like CPU mounting, radiator mounting, CMOS resetting, etc. If it everything still seems overwhelming, you can always pay a computer shop or a friend/family member to build it for you. It might also be smart to look up some first-time building mistakes to avoid:
If you have any other questions, use the search bar first. If it's not there, make a topic.
BAPC News (Last Updated - 2018/09/20)
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-9000-series-cpu-faq,37743.html Intel 9000 CPUs (Coffee Lake Refresh) will be coming out in Q4. With the exception of i9 (8-core, 12 threads) flagship CPUs, the i3, i5, and i7 lineups are almost identical to their Intel 8000 (Coffee Lake) series, but slightly clocked faster. If you are wondering if you should upgrade to the newer CPU on the same tier (e.g., i5-8400 to i5-9400), I don't recommend that you do as you will only see marginal performance increases.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDrpsv0QIR0 RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti benchmarks are out; they provide ~10 and ~20 frames better than the 1080 Ti and also feature ray tracing (superior lighting and shadow effects) which is featured in only ~30 games so far (i.e., not supported a lot); effectively, they provide +25% more performance for +70% increased cost. My recommendation is NOT to buy them unless you need it for work or have lots of disposable income. GTX 1000 Pascal series are still relevant in today's gaming specs.
The calculator part. More GHz is analogous to fast fingers number crunching in the calculator. More cores is analogous to having more calculators. More threads is analogous to having more filing clerks piling more work for the calculator to do. Microarchitectures (core design) is analogous to how the internal circuit inside the calculator is designed (e.g., AMD FX series are slower than Intel equivalents even with higher OC'd GHz speeds because the core design is subpar). All three are important in determining CPU speed. In general, higher GHz is more important for gaming now whereas # cores and threads are more important for multitasking like streaming, video editing, and advanced scientific/engineering computations. Core designs from both AMD and Intel in their most recent products are very good now, but something to keep in mind.
The basic concept of overclocking (OCing) is to feed your CPU more power through voltage and hoping it does calculations faster. Whether your parts are good overclockers depends on the manufacturing process of your specific part and slight variations in materials and manufacturing process will result in different overclocking capability ("silicon lottery"). The downside to this is that you can void your warranties because doing this will produce excess heat that will decrease the lifespan of your parts AND that there is a trial-and-error process to finding OC settings that are stable. Unstable OC settings result in computer freezes or random shut-offs from excess heat. OCing will give you extra performance often for free or by investing in a CPU cooler to control your temperatures so that the excess heat will not decrease your parts' lifespans as much. If you don't know how to OC, don't do it.
Intel CPUs have higher GHz than AMD CPUs, which make them better for gaming purposes. However, AMD Ryzen CPUs have more cores and threads than their Intel equivalents. The new parts are AMD Ryzen 3, 5, or 7 2000 series or Intel i3, i5, or i7 8000 series (Coffee Lake). Everything else is outdated. If you want to overclock on an AMD system, know that you can get some moderate OC on a B350/B450 with all CPUs. X370/X470 mobos usually come with better VRMs meant for OCing 2600X, 2700, and 2700X. If you don't know how to OC, know that the -X AMD CPUs have the ability to OC themselves automatically without manually settings. For Intel systems, you cannot OC unless the CPU is an unlocked -K chip (e.g., i3-8350K, i5-8600K, i7-8700K, etc.) AND the motherboard is a Z370 mobo. In general, it is not worth getting a Z370 mobo UNLESS you are getting an i5-8600K and i7-8700K.
CPU and Mobo Compatibility
Note about Ryzen 2000 CPUs on B350 mobos: yes, you CAN pair them up since they use the same socket. You might get an error message on PCPP that says that they might not be compatible. Call the retailer and ask if the mobo you're planning on buying has a "Ryzen 2000 Series Ready" sticker on the box. This SHOULD NOT be a problem with any mobos manufactured after February 2018. Note about Intel 9000 CPUs on B360 / Z370 mobos: same as above with Ryzen 2000 CPUs on B350 or X370 boards.
CPU Cooler (Air / Liquid)
Air or liquid cooling for your CPU. This is mostly optional unless heavy OCing on AMD Ryzen CPUs and/or on Intel -K and i7-8700 CPUs. For more information about air and liquid cooling comparisons, see here:
Part that lets all the parts talk to each other. Comes in different sizes from small to big: mITX, mATX, ATX, and eATX. For most people, mATX is cost-effective and does the job perfectly. If you need more features like extra USB slots, go for an ATX. mITX is for those who want a really small form factor and are willing to pay a premium for it. eATX mobos are like ATX mobos except that they have more features and are bigger - meant for super PC enthusiasts who need the features.
AMD Ryzen CPUs: go for X470s for Ryzen 7 and B450s for everything else. B350s will also work as a sub for B450 mobos and the same can be said for X370s for X470s, but they are being phased out and may require a BIOS update to support the Ryzen 2000 CPUs if it doesn't have a "Ryzen 2000 Series Ready" sticker on the box.
Intel Coffee Lake CPUs: go for Z370s for unlocked -K CPUs and B360s for everything else.
If you are NOT OCing, pick whatever is cheap and meets your specs. I recommend ASUS or MSI because they have RMA centres in Canada in case it breaks whereas other parts are outside of Canada like in the US. If you are OCing, then you need to look at the quality of the VRMs because those will greatly influence the stability and lifespan of your parts.
Part that keeps Windows and your software active. Currently runs on the DDR4 platform for new builds. Go for dual channel whenever possible. Here's a breakdown of how much RAM you need:
2x4GB = 8GB is the minimum recommended
2x8GB = 16GB recommended for gaming
2x16GB+ for workstations
AMD Ryzen CPUs get extra FPS for faster RAM speeds (ideally 3200MHz) in gaming when paired with powerful video cards like the GTX 1070. Intel Coffee Lake CPUs use up a max of 2667MHz for B360 mobos. Higher end Z370 mobos can support 4000 - 4333MHz RAM depending on the mobo, so make sure you shop carefully! It's noted that RAM prices are highly inflated because of the smartphone industry and possibly artificial supply shortages. For more information: https://www.extremetech.com/computing/263031-ram-prices-roof-stuck-way
Part that store your files in the form of SSDs and HDDs.
Solid State Drives (SSDs)
SSDs are incredibly quick, but are expensive per TB; they are good for booting up Windows and for reducing loading times for gaming. For an old OEM pre-built, upgrading the PC with an SSD is the single greatest speed booster you can do to your system. For most people, you want to make sure the SSD you get is NOT DRAM-less as these SSDs do not last as long as their DRAM counterparts (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybIXsrLCgdM). It is also noted that the bigger the capacity of the SSD, the faster they are. SSDs come in four forms:
2.5" SATA III
M.2 NVME PCI-e
The 2.5" SATA form is cheaper, but it is the old format with speeds up to 550MB/s. M.2 SATA SSDs have the same transfer speeds as 2.5" SATA SSDs since they use the SATA interface, but connect directly to the mobo without a cable. It's better for cable management to get an M.2 SATA SSD over a 2.5" SATA III SSD. M.2 PCI-e SSDs are the newest SSD format and transfer up to 4GB/s depending on the PCI-e lanes they use (e.g., 1x, 2x, 4x, etc.). They're great for moving large files (e.g., 4K video production). For more info about U.2 drives, see this post (https://www.reddit.com/bapccanada/comments/8jxfqs/meta_new_to_pc_building_may_2018_edition/dzqj5ks/). Currently more common for enterprise builds, but could see some usage in consumer builds.
Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)
HDDs are slow with transfer speeds of ~100MB/s, but are cheap per TB compared to SSDs. We are now at SATA III speeds, which have a max theoretical transfer rate of 600MB/s. They also come in 5400RPM and 7200RPM forms. 5400RPM uses slightly less power and are cheaper, but aren't as fast at dealing with a large number of small files as 7200RPM HDDs. When dealing with a small number of large files, they have roughly equivalent performance. It is noted that even a 10,000RPM HDD will still be slower than an average 2.5" SATA III SSD.
SSHDs are hybrids of SSDs and HDDs. Although they seem like a good combination, it's much better in all cases to get a dedicated SSD and a dedicated HDD instead. This is because the $/speed better for SSDs and the $/TB is better for HDDs. The same can be said for Intel Optane. They both have their uses, but for most users, aren't worth it.
I recommend a 2.5" or M.2 SATA ≥ 250GB DRAM SSD and a 1TB or 2TB 7200RPM HDD configuration for most users for a balance of speed and storage capacity.
Part that runs complex calculations in games and outputs to your monitor and is usually the most expensive part of the budget. The GPU you pick is dictated by the gaming resolution and FPS you want to play at. In general, all video cards of the same product name have almost the same non-OC'd performance (e.g., Asus Dual-GTX1060-06G has the same performance as the EVGA 06G-P4-6163-KR SC GAMING). The different sizes and # fans DO affect GPU OCing capability, however. The most important thing here is to get an open-air video card, NOT a blower video card (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0domMRFG1Rw). The blower card is meant for upgrading pre-builts where case airflow is limited. For cost-performance, go for the NVIDIA GTX cards because of the cryptomining industry that has inflated AMD RX cards. Bitcoin has taken a -20% hit since January's $10,000+ as of recently, but the cryptomining industry is still ongoing. Luckily, this means prices have nearly corrected itself to original MSRP in 2016. In general:
Part that houses your parts and protects them from its environment. Should often be the last part you choose because the selection is big enough to be compatible with any build you choose as long as the case is equal to or bigger than the mobo form factor. Things to consider: aesthetics, case airflow, cable management, material, cooling options (radiators or # of fan spaces), # fans included, # drive bays, toolless installation, power supply shroud, GPU clearance length, window if applicable (e.g., acrylic, tempered glass), etc. It is recommended to watch or read case reviews on Youtube to get an idea of a case's performance in your setup.
Part that runs your PC from the wall socket. Never go with an non-reputable/cheap brand out on these parts as low-quality parts could damage your other parts. Recommended branded PSUs are Corsair, EVGA, Seasonic, and Thermaltake, generally. For a tier list, see here (https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/631048-psu-tier-list-updated/).
Wattage depends on the video card chosen, if you plan to OC, and/or if you plan to upgrade to a more powerful PSU in the future. Here's a rule of thumb for non-OC wattages that meet NVIDIA's recommendations:
1050 Ti: 300W
1060 3GB/6GB: 400W
1070 / 1070 Ti: 500W
1080 Ti: 600W
There are also PSU wattage calculators that you can use to estimate your wattage. How much wattage you used is based on your PC parts, how much OCing you're doing, your peripherals (e.g., gaming mouse and keyboard), and how long you plan to leave your computer running, etc. It is noted that these calculators use conservative estimates, so use the outputted wattage as a baseline of how much you need. Here are the calculators (thanks, VitaminDeity).
Pick ONE calculator to use and use the recommended wattage, NOT recommended product, as a baseline of what wattage you need for your build. Note that Cooler Master and Seasonic use the exact calculator as Outervision. For more details about wattage, here are some reference videos:
You might also see some info about modularity (non-modular, semi-modular, or fully-modular). These describe if the cables will come connected to the PSU or can be separated of your own choosing. Non-modular PSUs have ALL of the cable connections attached to the PSU with no option to remove unneeded cables. Semi-modular PSUs have separate cables for HDDs/SSDs and PCI-e connectors, but will have CPU and mobo cables attached. Modular PSUs have all of their cables separate from each other, allowing you to fully control over cable management. It is noted that with decent cooling and airflow in your case, cable management has little effect on your temperatures (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDCMMf-_ASE).
80+ Efficiency Ratings
As for ratings (80+, 80+ bronze, 80+ gold, 80+ platinum), these are the efficiencies of your PSU. Please see here for more information. If you look purely on electricity costs, the 80+ gold PSUs will be more expensive than 80+ bronze PSUs for the average Canadian user until a breakeven point of 6 years (assuming 8 hours/day usage), but often the better performance, longer warranty periods, durable build quality, and extra features like fanless cooling is worth the extra premium. In general, the rule of thumb is 80+ bronze for entry-level office PCs and 80+ gold for mid-tier or higher gaming/workstation builds. If the price difference between a 80+ bronze PSU and 80+ gold PSU is < 20%, get the 80+ gold PSU!
Warranties should also be looked at when shopping for PSUs. In general, longer warranties also have better PSU build quality. In general, for 80+ bronze and gold PSU units from reputable brands:
These guys are engineering experts who take apart PSUs, analyze the quality of each product, and provide an evaluation of the product. Another great website is http://www.orionpsudb.com/, which shows which PSUs are manufactured by different OEMs.
Operating System (OS)
The most common OS. You can download the ISO here (https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10). For instructions on how to install the ISO from a USB drive, see here (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/install-windows-from-a-usb-flash-drive) or watch a video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLfnuE1unS8). For most users, go with the 64-bit version. If you purchase a Windows 10 retail key (i.e., you buy it from a retailer or from Microsoft directly), keep in mind that you are able to transfer it between builds. So if you're building another PC for the 2nd, 3rd, etc. time, you can reuse the key for those builds PROVIDED that you deactivate your key before installing it on your new PC. These keys are ~$120. However, if you have an OEM key (e.g., pre-builts), that key is tied specifically to your mobo. If you ever decide to upgrade your mobo on that pre-built PC, you might have to buy a new Windows 10 license. For more information, see this post (https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/feature/windows/windows-10-oem-or-retail-3665849/). The cheaper Windows 10 keys you can find on Kinguin are OEM keys; activating and deactivating these keys may require phoning an automated Microsoft activation line. Most of these keys are legitimate and cost ~$35, although Microsoft does not intend for home users to obtain this version of it. Buyer beware. The last type of key is a volume licensing key. They are licensed in large volumes to corporate or commercial usage. You can find lots of these keys on eBay for ~$10, but if the IT department who manages these keys audit who is using these keys or if the number of activations have exceeded the number allotted on that one key, Microsoft could block that key and invalidate your license. Buyer beware. For more information on differentiating between all three types of keys, see this page (https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/49586-determine-if-windows-license-type-oem-retail-volume.html). If money is tight, you can get Windows 10 from Microsoft and use a trial version of it indefinitely. However, there will be a watermark in the bottom-right of your screen until you activate your Windows key.
If you're interested in using MacOS, look into Hackintosh builds. This will allow you to run MacOS to run on PC parts, saving you lots of money. These builds are pretty picky about part compatibility, so you might run into some headaches trying to go through with this. For more information, see the following links:
Please note that the cost-performance builds will change daily because PC part prices change often! Some builds will have excellent cost-performance one day and then have terrible cost-performance the next. If you want to optimize cost-performance, it is your responsibility to do this if you go down this route! Also, DO NOT PM me with PC build requests! It is in your best interests to make your own topic so you can get multiple suggestions and input from the community rather than just my own. Thanks again.
Here are some sample builds that are reliable, but may not be cost-optimized builds. These builds were created on September 9, 2018; feel free to "edit this part list" and create your own builds.
Updated sample builds to include both AMD and Intel builds
Sorry for the lack of updates. I recently got a new job where I work 12 hours/day for 7 days at a time out of the city. What little spare time I have is spent on grad school and the gym instead of gaming. So I've been pretty behind on the news and some might not be up-to-date as my standards would have been with less commitments. If I've made any mistakes, please understand it might take a while for me to correct them. Thank you!
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