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1 week ago

These are all the ways you can save data and monitor your data usage

16

Check how much data you're using and control how it's used with these simple tools.

Most people don't need an unlimited data plan. With contract data plans offering up to 10GB per month and off-contract plans from carriers both big and small, there is a data plan that works for almost everyone and chances are using one will save you money. Add in free hotspots from your carrier or even your cable TV company and the need for an expensive unlimited plan gets even less.

Don't pay for data that you aren't using!

There is a small adjustment you need to make if you go this route: watching how much data you use. Your carrier will either slow your data down to 3G speeds, let you run up large overage fees or just cut you off when you've out of data, none of these is a great experience, and neither is buying too much data every month because you're worried it will happen. Luckily monitoring how much data you use is pretty easy, and so is managing how you use it.

Monitoring your data usage

Step one is finding a way to check how much data you have used during a billing period. There are several ways and they are all effective. Pick the one that suits you best.

Get the total from your carrier

This is the best solution for knowing how much data the carrier thinks you have used. It's important to realize that how much data your phone says you used might not match what your carrier says. And they are the ones who decide when you've used it all.

You can use the web browser on your phone to log into your account at the carrier's website and they might have an app you can install that tells you about your usage for the billing period. Not all carriers will have an app for your phone, and even if they do it might not keep track of your data usage, but it's worth checking for. Take a look at your carrier's website or in Google Play and see what's offered.

A word of warning: While great at giving you access to your account, carrier applications can do a lot more. Sometimes they can be a little intrusive, especially if they came pre-installed. Be sure to read everything you're agreeing to when you install or first use one.

From your phone settings

Android comes with a way to check how much data you've used during a billing period. Some features can vary from phone to phone, but every phone will have a way to see how much data has been used during a set time period. You'll usually find this in your settings menu under Wireless & networks. Look for an entry called Data usage.

For this to be useful you'll need to tell your phone when a new billing period starts. Since it's monitoring how much data comes into the phone itself it doesn't ask your carrier for the numbers. While the way Megabytes and Gigabytes can be rounded and calculated, it can be slightly different from what your carrier says, but usually not by very much. It's a good way to see if you're close to using your monthly allotment.

When you open the Data usage setting you'll see an entry to set up the billing cycle. Tap on it and enter the starting day of the month and it will reset on that day every month. Remember, it can't go back and check what you might have used before you set it up!

Now all you need to do to check how much data your phone has received is look in the settings.

Third party apps

Google Play has well over a Million apps and there are quite a few that can be used to check your data use. You can see a list of them all here. We're unable to recommend any particular app over the other but most of them work the same way and will give the same numbers. Remember that these measure data coming into your phone from your carrier and the numbers won't be exactly the same as what you'll see on your bill. But they'll be close, just like the number found in the settings.

As with any app, you need to look at feedback and permissions before you install an application that can look at the data coming in and out of your phone. While we like checking from the Android settings instead of another app, they can offer features like widgets and custom alarms so it's worth looking.

Controlling data usage

If you find that you are using more data each month that you would like, there are ways to decide which apps can use data while not on a Wi-Fi connection, as well as settings in most apps that let you control how much data is being used.

Data Saver

Android 7 makes watching how data gets used easily with a super-functional tool called Data Saver.

On the Data Usage screen, you'll see Data Saver listed. Tapping on it allows you to toggle data saver on and off. When Data Saver is on you'll see a notification reminding you about it. You need to know it's on because unless you change the settings it will stop every app and service on your phone from using any data unless you have it open and are using it.

That's great, but to get the most from Data Saver you need to tell it about apps that are allowed to use data if you want them to. That's easy, too. Tap the entry that says Unrestricted data access and you'll get a list of everything on your phone that can use data. You'll know what some of the things are and others will be things Android does you might not have ever heard about. Beside each entry is a switch: Turning the switch on means that app or service is allowed to use data without you asking for it.

Once done, when Data Saver is turned on only the apps you selected can get data from the internet while they aren't open on your screen. This can make a dramatic difference when your phone is idle in your pocket. Remember, things like your email or Twitter apps aren't going to get any notifications if you didn't whitelist them because they aren't allowed to refresh and check for them. You'll still get text messages and phone calls, though.

App settings

Many apps that can use data in the background have a setting that controls how data is used in the background. If you aren't using a phone with Android 7 this can be a great way to get those data hog apps under control.

Every app will be different, but if an app lets you decide what and when it can refresh you'll find it in the settings of the app. Look for things like Background refresh or Automatically update and turn things down or off as needed.

If all else fails, you can still tell Android to cut off background data on a phone not yet running Android Nougat. Head back to the Data usage screen and tap on an app that's been using data. A screen for the app will open and you'll see an entry labeled Background data with a switch beside it. Turn this switch Off to not allow the app to use data unless you're on Wi-Fi. You'll need to do this for each app you want to check.

The kill switch and Airplane mode

In the settings of your phone, you'll also see a setting to turn off the cellular connection completely. you can do this to actually disable the cellular radios so your phone doesn't even try to connect.

You also have what's called Airplane mode. This shuts down your connection to everything, but you are able to turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi back on after you enable Airplane mode.

While not a great long-term solution, these are easy ways to stop using data altogether with one switch.

Third party apps

Advanced users might want to look at third-party apps that try to restrict how apps can use data. Apps like Greenify can reduce your data usage significantly but aren't that easy to use. Most of the ones that actually work as advertised require you to root your phone as well.

Root apps can save your data but might be complicated to use.

Any time you manually control how apps can use background data, whether through Android N's tools or an app like Greenify, you need to remember that any app or service which requires a data connection isn't going to work if you break that connection. If you don't know what an app is or what it does, you're better off leaving the setting for it alone until you find out if it can be safely changed.

Using these tools you'll be able to take charge of how much data you use each month. That's a great way to only pay for the data you're actually going to use versus paying your carrier for nothing!

Android Nougat

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1 week ago

Master Microsoft Office for just $39

Understanding Microsoft Office and how it all works is very important when looking for a job. Don't get left behind at the interview table because you don't know how to use formulas in Excel or analyze data with ease. With Microsoft offering so many apps under the Office umbrella, it can be hard to learn them all, especially if you don't know where to begin. Luckily, getting started doesn't have to be hard.

This great bundle is just $39 Learn More

For just $39 you can get access to a year of amazing Microsoft Office information to help you master the suite of apps. From the basic features and functions to data analyzing, you'll have access to it all.

The courses in this bundle include:

  • Microsoft Excel Course
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel Course
  • Microsoft Word Course
  • Effective Outlook Course
  • PivotTable Course
  • SharePoint Course
  • Microsoft PowerPoint Course

Each course is broken down into sections and units, so that it's easy to work through them at your own pace. You get 12 months of access to these online courses so make the most of it for this incredible price!

Master Microsoft Office for cheap! Learn More

That's quite a lot of information, and for a limited time you can get it for just $39. This is huge savings from the original $1,559 price tag that you would pay for all these courses. Whether you think you are good at Office or know you need to get better, you won't want to miss out on this deal.

Be sure to grab this mastery bundle for 97% off before the deal ends.

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1 week ago

HTC U Ultra is now on sale for $599, HTC 10 down to $499

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HTC is serving up exciting discounts in its Easter sale.

HTC is running a week-long Easter sale that sees the HTC U Ultra discounted to $599, a $150 price cut. HTC's latest handset doesn't quite manage to live up to expectations owing to the average camera and lack of a headphone jack, but at $600, it becomes a much more palatable option. The discount is valid on all three color options of the HTC U Ultra, and whatever its deficiencies, the phone looks absolutely stunning in the Sapphire Blue hue.

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1 week ago

Best Unlocked Phone

Update April 2017: Google's Pixel still remains our top unlocked choice, and we've added an entry for the Galaxy S8, which is available unlocked in Europe, but not the U.S. at the time of writing.

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

When you're buying an unlocked phone, our recommendation is unchanged from our overall best Android phone pick: it's the Google Pixel. Google's first own-branded phone is absolutely hit in just about every way, from its understated hardware design to its lightning fast performance, full-day battery life and of course its top-of-the-line camera.

The Pixel does everything simply faster than the competition, and does so while integrating with all of Google's excellent services. It's also going to be the most up-to-date in terms of software, getting monthly security updates and also being at the front of the line for big platform jumps.

You'll pay for the privilege, but if you want the slickest and cleanest Android phone that you can buy unlocked and pick your carrier(s) later, the Pixel is the way to go.

Bottom line: For the fastest, simplest and best-supported experience, you can't go wrong with Google's own phone.

One more thing: You can opt for the 5.5-inch Pixel XL if you want more screen to work with and longer battery life.

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1 week ago

Moto Z2 Force won't be exclusive to Verizon, 3.5mm jack making a comeback

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The headphone jack is coming back to the Moto Z series.

According to the ever-reliable Evan Blass, the Moto Z2 Force won't be exclusive to Verizon, with the phone set to be available on T-Mobile and Sprint. With no exclusivity contract in place like last year, the phone could be offered unlocked directly from Motorola as well. We've known as much considering Sprint was using the device during its Gigabit LTE trials.

There hasn't been much in the way of leaks, but recent 3D CAD renders obtained by Android Authority show off the return of the 3.5mm jack, dual cameras at the back, dual-LED flash up front, and a rounded fingerprint sensor that looks similar to the one on the Moto G5 Plus.

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1 week ago

AC readers recall their first cell phones

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What was your first phone? We asked, and here are some of your answers.

Can you believe what used to pass for a cell phone in the beginning? Or how much we used to spend just to make a phone call? And do you remember how excited we used to get over a carrier-provided app store on our phones, merely so that we could download color games?

Interestingly, roughly only 17 percent of you mentioned wielding a Nokia mobile device as your first. That's still a fair number, but it's far fewer than what we had initially imagined. In fact, about 25 percent of you actually started your mobile lives with a Motorola brick of sorts. (For those who are wondering, these numbers are based on a quick count of the comments at the original time of publishing, and some simple math.)

The Motorola DPC-550. (Via.)

TheNexxuvas:

Motorola Micro Tac Elite II analog with a whopping 10-speed dial memory and a lithium-ion slim line and regular size battery back when NiCad was the norm. The phone was touted as a business unit, and came with a dual slot desktop battery dock charger, too.

eahinrichsen:

My first cell phone was a Motorola StarTAC on Verizon. That thing was awesome. Remember charging your phone every third day?

ottchris:

The first cell phone I used at work was a Motorola DynaTAC. Hard to be inconspicuous using one of those!

The Motorola Bag Phone (Via.).

Quite a few of you had also started your mobile lives in a decidedly not-so-mobile manner. The Motorola Bag Phone was a thing in the early Nineties, and they were particularly popular with truckers, boaters, and people in rural areas. The actual Bag Phone handset wasn't as high-tech as some of the other cell phones offered at the time, but they were considered reliable out in the field.

trekmario:

I had a Motorola bag phone. Man, I never lost a call on that one even in the woods lol.

NokiaBeast:

My first phone was a Motorola bag phone, too. It rode on the transmission hump of my truck. Man, it was huge.

zr2s10:

My first one, at 17, was a BAG PHONE that had to be plugged into the cigarette lighter (that thing you kids plug your USB chargers into) to run, because it had no battery. No presets, no voicemail, etc. Just enough display digits for 1-555-555-5555, and they were green. You know — like original Game Boy screens.

The QCP 860. (Via.)

There was also a surprising number of you who started out with a decidedly plain Qualcomm cell phone. Phones like the QCP 2700 still seem to be making the rounds on eBay, and some Amazon listings even list it as a co-production with Kyocera.

colorado_al:

1999 Qualcomm QCP-2760 on Sprint. It was awesome! SMS was 10 cents per message. It replaced my Motorola Gold pager. So nice to be able to call on the go!

aaronwe:

Qualcomm 860! Insanely thin at the time.

Some of you even took the opportunity reminisce about the pains of living life without cell phones back in the day, including lamenting about how frantic it felt to call into a radio station in hopes of winning concert tickets. Those were the days!

cwcheese:

Remember how hard it was to dial the local radio station to try and win the contests for albums and concert tickets? I can still feel the pain on the side of my index finger from dragging the dial around to get set for the next number. That must be why the radio stations always had so many 7, 8, 9, and 0 digits in their call-in line. ;-)

It appears that while a majority of you are certainly enjoying the era of the smartphone we're living through right now, you're also definitely thankful for your humble beginnings. Thanks to everyone who took a second to reminisce with us about your first cell phone.

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1 week ago

LG G6 finally goes up for pre-registration in India as Galaxy S8 launch nears

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The LG G6 may launch in India before the end of April.

Samsung is getting ready to launch the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in India later this week, and it looks like the announcement made LG realize that it also has a flagship that's yet to make its debut in the country. The South Korean company has finally started taking registrations for the LG G6 in India, which means that a launch isn't too far away.

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1 week ago

Xiaomi's latest headphones are designed to be supremely comfortable

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Xiaomi is bringing the Mi Headphones Comfort to India.

Xiaomi is adding to its arsenal of affordable audio products by launching the Mi Headphones Comfort in India. The 3.5mm closed-back on-ear headphones are set to go on sale in the country starting tomorrow, April 18, and will retail for ₹2,999 ($45). The headphones incorporate a lightweight construction and ear cups made out of breathable polyurethane foam that make them comfortable to wear throughout the day. The have a frequency range of 20Hz to 40,000Hz, and are Hi-Res certified.

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1 week ago

How to restore the app drawer button on the Galaxy S8 — or disable it altogether

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Galaxy S8

It's easy to bring back the 'all apps' button, or disable the app drawer altogether and see all your apps on your home screens.

Samsung's new home screen launcher on the Galaxy S8 introduces many new features, but most notably it changes the way the app drawer works. Instead of having a button on the right of the favorites tray allowing you to view all your apps, you now access the app drawer by swiping up or down, similar to how the Google Pixel Launcher works.

It's a new and simplified approach, and one that frees up some space in the favorites tray for an extra app. However, if you prefer to go back to the old way of doing things, a simple setting change will restore the "all apps" button. Alternatively, if you prefer no app drawer at all, like the iPhone's home screen, that's also possible on the GS8.

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1 week ago

Can Huawei's 2017 flagships compete against the Galaxy S8 in the UK?

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Huawei P10 Plus

Huawei isn't targeting the same super-high price tier as Samsung with its new flagships. Nevertheless, the P10 series has a formidable high street presence.

If you're used to the Apple/Samsung duopoly as it exists in the U.S. right now — sure, with a bit of LG and Motorola thrown in — then it might be a surprise to learn that Huawei is a major force in the UK market. The Chinese manufacturer has slowly but surely been building its presence across the four major network operators, all of which carry its new P10 phone. (The larger P10 Plus has three of four onboard.)

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1 week ago

HTC U rumored to ditch headphone jack, pick up IP57 water resistance

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HTC logo

HTC's first global flagship with water resistance.

HTC's next flagship phone will follow in the footsteps of last year's Bolt in a couple of significant areas. According to seasoned HTC tipster @LlabTooFeR on Twitter, the phone will carry an IP57 rating for water and dust resistance, while also doing away with the 3.5mm headphone jack.

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1 week ago

Best Google Pixel Deals for April 2017

145

What is the best deal you can get on a Google Pixel?

When shopping for a new gadget, like the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, you should be looking for the best possible deal available. But hunting them down can be difficult since most retailers change them weekly — but don't worry, we've got you covered. Whether you are looking to save finance your purchase, get some freebies with it, or try and save some money on the purchase there are a few places to check out.

Let's take a look at some of the best deals on Google's Pixel and Pixel XL that are available right now.

Refresh often! This page is constantly being updated as we discover new Pixel deals. Check back soon!

Google Pixel

Want to pick up the smaller of the two Pixels but avoid paying full price? Retailers are offering a variety of deals on these phones as Google continues its marketing push, and some will offer discounts in the future and others will include some extras at no cost. If you want to check out the best deals, these are the ones you want to look at.

Google Pixel XL

If you are looking for the larger version, you'll want to check out the deals on the Pixel XL. Odds are that most of the times retailers will offer the same deals on the Pixel and Pixel XL in terms of discounts or freebies, but there may be some specific sales that offer incentives to go bigger. Here are some of the best deals that you can find right now on the Pixel XL.

Other deals

As time passes you'll start to see these appear on other sites like eBay and Swappa, offering great deals on second-hand units. Some people may turn around and sell theirs at launch for a profit, but if you are looking to save you'll have to wait a bit longer.

Have you noticed any other deals on the Pixel or Pixel XL? If so, be sure to drop a line in the comments letting us know where the deal is and why other people may be interested.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 week ago

From the Eggitor's Desk: Do we need a Galaxy Note 8?

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Galaxy Note 7

Happy Easter! Let's talk about the next Samsung Galaxy Note.

At the start of Galaxy S8 launch week, the last thing Samsung wants to do is reflect on the Note series. However, the imminent arrival of a 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ (albeit in the same sized body, roughly, as the Note 7), poses an interesting question: Do we need a Galaxy Note this year? And if we do, how can it sensibly coexist with the larger GS8?

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1 week ago

Get this 200-hour network security training bundle at 98% off!

Network security is an issue that plagues plenty of internet users, especially corporations with important data they must safeguard. To ensure their security is up to snuff, they call in a professional who understands the risks involved and who can test their systems. These professionals are in high demand, but the training needed to pass the certification exams is usually quite expensive.

Get 200 hours of network security content for $49! Learn more

Anyone interested in becoming a network security ninja needs a course that won't break the bank — it's tough switching careers, but it's usually a move that pays off.

Right now, Android Central Digital Offers has an incredible offer on a network security mastery bundle. Normally priced at $2719, you can grab it right now for $49. That's 98% off the regular price.

For this amount of money you might expect a small number of courses — not so. There are 200 hours of content within eight complete courses, which include:

  • Certified Ethical Hacking
  • CompTIA SY0-401: Security+
  • Cisco 210-260: CCNA Security
  • Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)
  • Data Security Compliance
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Pro (CISSP)

By the time you've completed all these courses, you'll be ready to tackle the key certification exams required to become a network security professional.

Ace your network security certification exams with this amazing bundle Learn more

If you've been waiting for the right time to get the training needed for a new, in-demand career, the time is now. Don't wait too long; this deal won't last forever.

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1 week ago

Grab Samsung's Level U Pro Bluetooth headphones for just $50 today

1

Bluetooth headphones have become more popular in the recent years, especially as manufacturers drop support of headphone jacks and Samsung's Level U Pro are a great option. They have an around the neck design that lets them rest comfortably when not in use, and today you can pick up a pair for just $50.

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