End-to-end encryption (E2EE) ensures that your data is encrypted (kept secret) until it reaches an intended recipient. Whether you’re talking about end-to-end encrypted messaging, email, file storage, or anything else, this ensures that no one in the middle can see your private data. In other words: If a chat app offers end-to-end encryption, for example, only you and the person you’re chatting with will be able to read the contents of your messages. In this scenario, not even the company operating the chat app can see what you’re saying. Encryption Basics First, let’s start with the basics of encryption. Encryption is a way of scrambling (encrypting) data so that it can’t be read by everyone. Only the people who can unscramble (decrypt) the information can see its contents. If someone doesn’t have the decryption key, they won’t be able to unscramble the data and view the information. (This is how it’s supposed to work, of course. Some encryption systems have security flaws … [Read more...] about What Is End-to-End Encryption, and Why Does It Matter?
One of the biggest promises VPN services make is that they don’t keep logs. It’s plastered across their websites and features prominently in their marketing material. But what are logs, exactly, and what makes for a “no-log” or “zero-log” VPN? What Are Logs? In short, a log—also called a log file—is the record of events between two servers. When you visited this web page, your computer reached out to How-To Geek’s server through your internet service provider’s networks. Both the ISP and our server made note of that in their logs. Logs are available to your systems administrator (your ISP or boss, if you’re at work) as well as the websites you visit. The log contains your IP address , the time you connected, and the duration of your connection. Though it seems like pretty innocent information, it can be worth its weight in gold to marketers. They can determine somebody’s general location using their IP , then figure out some of their browsing habits thanks to the … [Read more...] about What Is a No-Log VPN, and Why Is That Important for Privacy?
Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or a casual viewer, you’ve likely heard the term “GOAT” before. Here’s what being the “GOAT” of a sport (or anything else) means. “Greatest of All Time” GOAT stands for “greatest of all time.” If you’ve participated in online sports talk, you may recognize that the term is used to refer to the greatest athlete in the history of a professional sport. Alternatively, some use it to refer to the best currently active athlete in the field. Because of its prominence, it has also become a general term for an all-time great at topics outside of sports. The acronym is frequently found in every part of the internet where sports are talked about. This includes message boards, social networking sites, and video sharing sites like YouTube. It is also used between smaller groups of sports fans, whether in chats or real life. Many sports media outlets have also adopted the term, frequently writing articles about who they think the GOAT of a particular … [Read more...] about What Does “GOAT” Mean, and How Do You Use It?
High-quality sound on PCs from drop-in sound cards and external DACs is a weird subject. It’s not as necessary as it once was. In fact, nobody even thinks about it much anymore. There’s no song or game that you won’t be able to listen to because of underpowered gear. Sound vs. Graphics Hardware Your computer’s built-in sound is pretty good for most tasks. Contrast that with gaming, where if you want to play the newest AAA games at high frame rates, you need a graphics card. A CPU’s integrated graphics processor simply isn’t up to the challenge. Nevertheless, some people still want better sound than a motherboard can offer. When that’s the case, it comes down to two primary choices: a sound card or an external DAC (digital-to-analog converter). A quality listening experience needs a minimum of electrical interference, which is a problem because a PC motherboard is a hotbed of electrical activity. That’s why onboard motherboard audio has shielding to protect itself as best … [Read more...] about What Is an External DAC, and Do You Need One for a PC?
Is there a topic you don’t understand and would like explained in the simplest way? You might want to use the acronym ELI5. Here’s what it means, and how to use it to get a helpful explanation. “Explain Like I’m 5” ELI5 stands for “explain like I’m 5.” When people use it online, they’re asking others to explain a complex or obscure topic in the simplest of terms. So, if taken literally, they would explain something in a way that a 5-year-old would understand. However, this acronym is rarely used literally. ELI5 means breaking down a topic into reader-friendly layman’s terms. Some popular ELI5 topics might include science, technology, law, and economics. Questions about astrophysics or global affairs might not have any easy answers readily available online. So, an answer in response to “ELI5” might be the best way for the average person to grasp a concept. The standard format is to just type the acronym followed by the question you want to ask: “ELI5: Why does a day last … [Read more...] about What Does “ELI5” Mean, and How Do You Use It?