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This post talks about Solid State Hybrid Hard Drives (SSHD), how they work and what are the benefits,  their features to see if you would want one. Now we know that a cache in a system is generally placed between RAM and CPU to hold recently fetched data for further use. This saves some time and computing is faster. Hybrid drives too use a cache but that is between Hard Disk Drives and RAM (other than a cache between RAM and CPU).

What is a Hybrid Hard Drive (SSHD)

Late until 2012, manufacturers were making either HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) or SSDs (Solid State Drives) or both and kept them separate for use with computers. Hard Disk Drives were regular ones, but with huge amounts of storage space and still very cheap compared to Solid State Drives. SSDs are also called Solid State Disks sometimes (but there is no disk inside). The inside of a SSD is a complex integrated circuit that stores data even when there is no power. There is no mechanical action involved as in the Hard Disks and hence, saving of time in retrieving and writing data.

A Hybrid Drive (SSHD) is a combination of Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and a Solid State Drive (SSD) with the latter acting as a more as a cache rather than just a storage device. Its firmware checks what data sets are being “fetched” more frequently and stores those data sets on the SSD part of the Hybrid Drive so that the next time the CPU needs it, the data residing on the SSD part can be provided quicker. Thus, a Hybrid Drive is essentially a Hard Disk with Solid State Drive type cache for saving time in “fetch” operations.

A Quick Look at HDD vs SSD

Obviously, SSDs are costly compared to HDDs. If you need faster actions such as with gaming, SSDs are good for you and if you need more storage space and the average speed is okay, such as while working with video editing software, Hard Drives are better.

Reading Data on Hybrid Drive – Saving Time

By now, you know how data is read on HDD and on SSD. A mix of this is applied to reading data on Hybrid Disks which are but normal Hard Disks with a bit of SSD. A firmware is added to the design. This firmware keeps an eye on what data is “fetched” more regularly on a computer. The frequent data is stored on SSD so that the next time the CPU needs it, the Hard Disk’s disks need not be rotated. Instead, the data is provided from the SSD part of the Hybrid Drive.

This is more like reading data from RAM directly – no need to trace disk, track, sectors and rotating the disk to “read” the data. Essentially, parts of OS are more likely to be stored on the SSDs in addition to the regularly used programs.

The first time you read data on a Hybrid drive, it won’t be any faster. However, as you keep using the Hybrid drive, the firmware understands the frequently used data and makes it fast enough to satisfy.

To sum up, Hybrid Drives are new but popular alternatives to SSDs as the latter are priced costly at the moment. People needing large storage spaces and some extra speed may go for this type of storage device.

Tomorrow we will take a detailed look at Hybrid Drive vs SSD vs HDD.

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What Is Venmo And Why Is It Better Than Paypal?

If you want to send someone money quickly, you have many choices. But the two most popular services more people use than any other is PayPal and Venmo.

The main purpose of both is the same: to get money out of your bank account into someone else’s (or the other way around). However, the process of doing so is slightly different between Venmo and PayPal.

Table of Contents

Even if you already know everything there is to know about PayPal, you may be wondering: What is Venmo, and is it a better option than PayPal?

What Is Venmo?

Venmo lets you send someone money instantly using either a credit card, a debit card, or your bank account. Many people don’t realize that PayPal actually owns Venmo. Venmo is essentially a simpler, alternative payment service offered by the same company.

Adding Payment Details

Once you sign up for a Venmo account, you’ll just need to add payment methods to start sending or receiving money. You’ll find this in the app menu under Payment Methods.

Just select Add bank or card and fill out the account details in the payment method form.

Once you have a payment added, you’re ready to start using the app. 

Sending or Requesting Payments

From the main app screen you can tap the blue Send Payment icon to create a new payment to someone, or request a payment. 

The other user will need a Venmo account so that you can search for their name or Venmo user ID to send payment.

You’ll simply need to:

Select the user you want to send money to

Enter the amount

Enter the reason you’re sending the money (optional)

Set the privacy of the transaction (Prive, Friends, or Public)

Select Pay (or Request) to request the amount from that person

You’ll see this transaction appear on the main page of the app. You can tap that transaction at any time in the history to view the payment details.

Transfer Money to Your Bank Account

Whenever someone sends you money, you’ll see that appear in your Venmo balance. At any time you like you can tap the Transfer Balance link at the top of the menu to transfer money to your bank account or credit card.

The Transfer Balance page will show your full balance available to transfer. You can do an instant transfer to your bank or credit card for a 1% fee, or allow it to take up to three days with no fee.

Get a Venmo Debit Card

You might have already heard about the Paypal debit card, which lets you access your Paypal funds instantly for payments at any offline or online store.

Now Venmo offers the same feature: the Venmo debit card. 

You can sign up for one by tapping Venmo Card in the app menu.

Just work through the wizard to sign up. You can choose from 4 basic colors. It’s a Mastercard debit card so works at mostly any business. It is also a Rewards card so you can earn points every time you use it – and there’s no credit check or monthly fees associated with it.

Venmo vs. Paypal: What Are the Differences?

You may have noticed that Venmo and Paypal have a lot in common. Other than a very different user interface, the two services are very similar.

One of the main differences is Venmo is almost like a payment service and social network combined into one. You can add friends on the service, which makes it more convenient to send or receive payments from them later.

Fees and Charges

There are a number of other differences, some slight and others significant. For example, here are the differences in fees.

Venmo charges 3% for credit card payments; PayPal charges 2.9% plus a $0.30 fixed charge.

No fees for bank transfers with either service.

No fee for debit card payments with Venmo; Paypal charges 2.9% plus a $0.30 fixed charge.

Venmo has a transaction limit of $4,999.99; Paypal only limits transactions at $10,000.

Withdrawing money to your bank is faster with Venmo, which only takes 1-3 days. Paypal withdrawals can take from 3-5 days.

Which Is More Accessible?

You can access both services on the same platforms, including the mobile app, or both the mobile or desktop browsers. There is one big difference you’ll notice when you visit Venmo on a browser and log into your account.

You won’t see a Send or Request blue button on the lower right corner like you do in the app. This is because with Venmo, you can only send or request payments using the mobile app. 

You can still use the website to review your transaction history, update settings, or request a transfer to your bank account or credit card.

Also, Venmo is only available for use within the United States. On the other hand PayPal is available to people in over 200 countries.

Paypal is also more commonly accepted across many online and offline businesses.

Venmo being much newer, is still getting a foothold. 

Being able to pay for things directly in stores using these services means you don’t have to transfer money to your bank account before you can buy things with your balance.

Sending Money to People

Without a doubt, the process of sending money to people with Venmo is much simpler and more streamlined. Using the Venmo app, it’s really just a quick three step process without any confusing options or other choices. 

If the user has a Venmo account, you type the amount, a reason (if you want), whether to share the transaction publicly, and you’re done. Your user will have to pay a fee for receiving the money but Venmo doesn’t bother you with those details.

Paypal, on the other hand, has Send, Request, Crypto, and More buttons on the main page, mixed among all kinds of other information cluttered around the main dashboard. It’s also not very easy to find the link to transfer money to your bank or credit card.

And once you do select Send, the process isn’t a simple form. It’s a step by step wizard that changes the next options depending on your choices and who you’re sending money to.

The first step of the wizard looks simple enough.

But then after you select Continue, you’ll see details of the transaction that apparently you can change, like currency, whether you’re Sending to a friend, and what account you’re sending with.

If you choose to change the account, you’ll see you can use your Paypal account or send directly from your bank account.

Why are there so many choices with Paypal while Venmo is such an easy 3-step process?

It’s because Paypal has layered in more complicated fee structures depending on whether payments are international, and what is being paid for.

For example if you’re sending money to a friend you can choose to pay the fee or have the recipient pay it. Or you can choose to pay for goods or services, in which case the recipient has to pay the fee and have it covered by Paypal Purchase Protection.

Other Considerations

A few other important differences to take into account before you make your choice between Venmo vs. Paypal:

Paypal offers Buyer Protection peace of mind when you’re purchasing from a business.

Paypal offers business loans.

You can buy or sell cryptocurrency with Paypal.

In comparing Venmo vs. Paypal, we used two full-membership accounts to examine the user interface, transaction process, features, fees, and balance transfers.

Ultimately, Venmo and Paypal do the same thing. They both get money out of your bank account or credit card and into someone else’s. The difference is that Paypal is a little bit more complicated to use, but offers many more features and services. 

Venmo is best for someone who doesn’t want to deal with bells and whistles, and just wants a simple app to send someone some money as quickly and easily as possible.

This Dockcase Hdd/Ssd Enclosure Sports A Status Screen And Power Loss Protection

The new Dockcase HDD/SSD enclosure provides up to ten seconds of power loss protection to keep your data safe. It sports a handy status screen and looks great.

Dockcase HDD/SSD enclosure keeps your data safe

This dedicated SATA III enclosure from Dockcase supports 2.5-inch hard drives (HDD) and flash storage (SSD). The company’s previous Kickstarter campaign successfully funded an NVMe SSD version of the product.

The enclosure houses 2.5-inch HDD or SSD devices between 7-15mm in height, for a maximum of eight terabytes of total storage capacity.

The accessory works on all modern platforms and devices like iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Android, Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, PlayStation 5, Harmony and others.

It uses several technologies to protect the HDD/SSD and is compact enough to carry around with you. Two integrated USB-C ports provide connection to the host device along with 15 watts of external power (if needed).

The included USB-C to USB-C cable supports fast 10Gbps speeds and features an integrated USB-A adapter so that you don’t have to worry about the ports.

The sturdy accessory comes with a resilient silicone cover in vibrant orange that provides 360-degree shock protection for the HDD/SSD against sudden drops.

Secure your Dockcase SATA III HDD/SSD enclosure for $69 on Kickstarter.

10 seconds of power loss protection

Perhaps most importantly, the smart enclosure runs for ten seconds after power loss to ensure everything is written to the disk should you lose power.

With integrated capacitors storing an electric charge, it can sustain power to the HDD/SSD long enough for buffered data to be written out to the disk and its mapping tables updated. Read: How to manage volumes on macOS with Disk Utility

Without power loss protections, you may lose your work because files may not be entirely saved when a power failure occurs. It’s not uncommon for a power failure to damage the disk structure, making the data unreadable.

A built-in display with status information

A small 240×240 LCD screen gives you glanceable information about the state of your external storage, power loss protection and other features while enabling easy function switching. Three touch keys make it easy to cycle through the menus, choose multiple functions, check detailed info about the HDD/SSD, and so on.

You can even get various information about the type of storage device without mounting it, such as model, capacity, number of partitions, etc.

The accessory sports a fins cover that reduces heat dissipation by more than thirty percent over a regular flat cover. The aluminum alloy is built to withstand shocks and complements your Apple aesthetics.

Performance and data transfer speed

So how fast is this thing? Think USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) fast. In ideal circumstances, you could transfer two HD movies or 150 RAW images in about ten seconds.

Your mileage may vary because actual transfer speeds depend on the type and brand of your HDD/SSD. The enclosure uses accelerated transmission protocols (UASP and TRIM) to deliver 70 percent faster speeds than your typical 5Gbps HDD enclosure using the traditional micro-B USB3.0 port.

Unfortunately, Thunderbolt connectivity isn’t offered at this time.

Pricing and availability

There are two models offered, the Dockcase and Dockcase Pro. The regular Dockcase offers five seconds of power loss protection and its Pro counterpart ten. You can get the DockCase Pro for $69 on Kickstarter ($99 at launch) and the DockCase Pro for $89 ($129 at launch).

You may want to hurry up and back the project as the campaign ends by the middle of October. First shipments are expected within days of the campaign’s end. You may also want to check out the Dockcase M.2, the company’s smart enclosure for NVMe SSD storage. For further information, visit the Kickstarter page for the Dockcase SATA III HDD/SSD enclosure.

What is Dockcase?

Dockcase is a brand focused on designing and producing smart USB-C accessories. Head over to the Dockcase Amazon store to check out its USB-C hubs and other accessories the company makes.

Sabrent Rocket Q Nvme Ssd: 8Tb Is A Beautiful Thing

What can we say? 8TB in a single NVMe SSD has a lot of appeal for those working with large data sets. Excellent overall performance just sweetens the deal. At the time of this writing, it was the only game in town if you need that much capacity.

This review is part of PCWorld’s ongoing roundup of the best SSDs . Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.

If you just did a double-take, welcome to the club. While a bit dazed, I soldiered on and tested Sabrent’s super-capacious beastie. Guess how it felt not having to worry about running out of space!

Sabrent’s 8TB Rocket Q caps a few weeks of mind-blowing news for NVMe SSDs. It seems like only yesterday when 2TB was the largest-capacity NVMe SSD, or any SSD for that matter. Actually, when I started this article it was yesterday. Now we have the 4TB OWC Aura P12 , and the 8TB Rocket Q.

The Q in Rocket Q stands for QLC (Quad-Level Cell/4-bit) NAND, which is put through its paces by a Phison E12S NVMe controller. There’s 16GB of DRAM cache on board, and up to 25 percent of the NAND may be employed as SLC cache, writing only one bit rather than four. With the 8TB drive I tested, that’s a whopping 2TB available for cache!

The Rocket Q is the standard M.2 2280 (22 mm wide, 80 mm long) form factor and is x4 PCIe 3. Note that with QLC NAND on both sides it may not fit into some super-thin laptops or chúng tôi warranty lasts for five years from the time you register the drive, and drives are rated for 120TBW for every 500GB of capacity. Not a particularly high rating, but modern wear-leveling generally means the drive should last far longer than the warranty. 

Performance

The Rocket Q delivered top-notch performance. However, that’s partly because I reviewed the big dog with 8TB, meaning that a lot of the QLC can be treated as SLC (again, 25 percent, according to Sabrent), writing only one bit instead of four. 

A shout-out to Sabrent for being extremely up-front about the differences in performance according to capacity. It’s spelled out in detail on the Rocket Q product page. Sustained transfers will drop significantly once primary cache is exhausted, and that will happen sooner in the lower capacities. However, if Sabrent is consistent across all capacities with 25-percent cache, then even the 500GB model should ace our 48GB single file write test. I did not have that drive to test.

IDG

Sabrent’s Rocket Q (black bar) was a bit slower reading, but faster writing that the majority of the competition listed in this chart. Shorter bars are better.

As you can see above, while the Rocket Q didn’t quite match the fastest drives reading, it was on point with writing. 

IDG

CrystalDiskMark 6 rated the Sabrent Rocket Q (black bar) as fast as the competition with 1Gb data sets. 

IDG

The Sabrent Rocket Q had no issues at all writing our huge 450GB single file. In fact, it set a new record of 4 minutes, 14 seconds for the transfer.  

I did finally manage to slow down the Rocket Q to around 700MBps while writing 900GB immediately after another 450GB file write, with the drive almost half full. That’s hardly a tragic decline, and if the Rocket Q had had more time to sort out its caching the drop might not have occured. The odds of your hitting a scenario like this in real life are infinitesimal, at least until the drive gets closer to being filled. The same is true for all NVMe SSDs that tap the main TLC or QLC as SLC for their caching. 

IDG

Sabrent’s Rocket Q finally slowed down after writing about 1,200GB worth of data, but the drop, while almost 50 percent, was still not tragic. The odds of this happening to you are close to zero with the 8TB model, but will occur more often as you fill up the drive’s capacity. 

Testing is performed on Windows 10 64-bit running on a Core i7-5820K/Asus X99 Deluxe system with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (Nvidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, and an Asmedia ASM2142 USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) card. Also on board are a Gigabyte GC-Alpine Thunderbolt 3 card and Softperfect’s Ramdisk 3.4.6, which is used for the 48GB read and write tests. 

You want it if you can afford it

The Sabrent Rocket Q in its 4TB or 8TB flavors is the stuff SSD dreams are made of. Who doesn’t want to have their cake (performance), and eat it too (capacity)? During my review, I found it curiously relaxing to shed my worry about balancing the two. If you can scrape up the cash, you won’t be disappointed. 

What Is A Wpa2 Password?

WPA2 password is the second generation protocol of Wi-Fi Protected Access. WPA2 password is used to protect your home Wi-Fi network from unauthorized access. Released in 2006, it has survived the test of time when it comes to network protection.

When connecting to a WPA2-guarded WiFi, you need to enter the WPA2 password first. Once you connect successfully, your device can access the internet for however long.

WPA2 passphrase and wifi passwords are the same. Although, it is not the same as the router login password.

What Are The WPA2 Password Requirements?

WPA2 itself doesn’t have any password requirements. But, you can enter a combination of the following:

Upper and lowercase letters

Numeric characters

Special keyboard characters

On top of that, you need to make sure you don’t use common keywords. Never use something as obvious like your name or the street name. In fact, any expert would tell you to use a random set of characters as your password.

Few websites tells us that a password length of at least 16 characters is enough. Anything less than that can easily be cracked by a hacker. A hacker uses computer tools to guess millions of passwords per minute. The only way to protect your WPA2 password is to increase the odds of them not cracking it soon enough.

How Do I Find My WPA2 Password?

It is normal to forget your WPA2 password from time to time. I mean, you only enter it once in your new device and it will remember it forever. You can find your WPA2 password either from the router itself or from one of the connected devices.

What Is A Good WPA2 Password?

A good WPA2 password is one that is a lot harder to crack in real-time. Common words found in the dictionary are easier to guess and crack by an attacker. A good password should be a random set of characters sufficiently long to be harder to guess by a computer.

In order to check the strength of your password, use an online tool like this password checker. If your password is weak, it may be time to switch to a better WPA2 password. Remember that whether WPA2 or not, any password is crackable. It is just a matter of how long it takes.

How Do I Set a WPA2 Password?

Normally, you set your WPA2 password during your router setup. If you have used a step-by-step process, the router page asks you to set a Wi-Fi name followed by the WPA2 password.

If you need to change or set up a new one, you need to log into your router settings page. Some models may allow changing passwords from a companion mobile app too. Remember to set a strong WPA2 password for better Wi-Fi protection.

Is WEP Safer Than WPA2?

Actually, WPA was released after WEP was successfully cracked in 1999. WPA2 is a much better version of the original WPA standard. WEP is absolutely unsafe to use as a password system.

Most consumer devices still support WEP passwords. So router manufacturers have had a hard time withdrawing support from WEP. In fact, only the devices made in the last five or six years may have removed WEP support entirely.

WEP only uses numeric characters as passwords and is hacked within minutes. WPA2 is a lot stronger and difficult to hack than WEP. All modern routers recommend using WPA2 password protection for better safety.

Is WPA2 Enterprise Better Than WPA2 Personal?

WPA2 enterprise and WPA2 personal both use the same encryption technology. Just as the name suggests, WPA2 enterprise is focused more on the enterprise. While WPA2 personal is targeted for home and small businesses.

WPA2 personal has a single password setup for all your devices. The password can be entered once on any device and it will work as long as the router is not reset. Also, it is much easier to share and use the same password on all your devices.

On the other hand, WPA2 enterprise lets you add an extra layer of security to your devices. A separate RADIUS server manages passwords for every device in your network. The network setup becomes more complex but means your devices are safer. 

On WPA2 enterprise, if a password is compromised, only the associated device becomes unsafe. Other devices are protected from hackers and have no trouble accessing the network. This is different from WPA2 personal. As you should change your password immediately if your device is hacked.

What Is Iota? — A Short Guide

Related: What is a blockchain? – Gary Explains

Traditional blockchain technology works by bundling various transactions in each block. Then paid miners verify each transaction. Things are different with Tangle, where making and validating transactions go hand in hand. To make a transaction, you have to participate in the network by approving two past transactions.

What is IOTA, how was it created, and where can I buy it?

10 best cryptocurrency apps for Android

App lists

IOTA first came onto the scene in 2014. It’s not mined like the majority of other cryptocurrencies. All IOTAs that will ever exist have already been created with the genesis transaction. This means the total supply of coins will always stay the same.

And how much is the total supply? A lot — exactly 2,779,530,283,277,761 coins. IOTA is designed for machines, so the high supply makes the cryptocurrency optimal for nanotransactions.

Getting your hands on IOTA isn’t as straightforward as buying Bitcoin — you can’t buy it directly with your credit card. You first have to get a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum and then transfer it to an exchange that supports IOTA, where you can trade one cryptocurrency for the other. Binance is a great option for US citizens, while those in Europe and other regions should also check out Bitfinex.

Is IOTA a good investment?

Now that we know What is IOTA, what is its mission? Namely to become the backbone of IoT. On the other hand, Bitcoin aims to become a globally adopted currency that could improve or even replace conventional money, and Ripple mainly serves as a payment network for financial institutions. Nevertheless, the majority of people today still only see cryptocurrencies as an investment opportunity.

IOTA is the seventh largest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap. At the time of writing, one IOTA will set you back around $5 — see up to date price below — making it far less valuable than Bitcoin.

Is IOTA a good investment? That question is almost impossible to answer. Financial experts all have their own views, but the fact is that no one knows in which direction the price will move.

But so far, IOTA has proven to be a fantastic investment. If you had bought $1,000 worth of IOTAs in July 2023 when you could get one for around $0.40, you would now have $12,500. That’s a fantastic return on investment, and a remarkably quick one. Try putting $1,000 in a savings account at your local bank and check how much interest you’ll get after only six months — not much.

IOTA’s value has increased dramatically in recent months, but that doesn’t mean the trend will continue in the future. Some financial experts see cryptocurrencies as a bubble that will eventually pop, while others still believe that they should be a part of everyone’s investment portfolio.

Hopefully, we have answered the question, “What is IOTA?” for you. These are only a few basic facts about IOTA. The technology is still relatively new, and while we may treat it primarily as an investment opportunity today, IOTA might soon become a bigger part of our daily lives.

Although people mostly talk about Bitcoin (and occasionally Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dash), there are more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies out there. Some could impact our lives in major ways, while others will quickly be forgotten. It’s hard to predict which camp IOTA will fall in.

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