The best Kodi VPN in 2018

If you're looking to add a VPN to your Kodi box, you've come to the right place! For those not familiar with Kodi, it’s one of the most, if not the most popular media players around thanks to its excellent interface, not to mention the fact that it’s free and open source – and boasts some impressive capabilities when it comes to add-ons which support various streaming services.

Some of those add-ons are perfectly legal, and others – not so much. Naturally, we, at TechRadar, we don’t endorse any form of piracy or illegally viewing copyrighted material.

The best Kodi VPN in 2018

[57% Off] IPVanish (Official Promotion) – Get up to 57% Off TechRadar's #1 Rated VPN Service  with IPVanish's top-tier network delivering some of the fastest speeds in our tests. Zero logs gives you total privacy. 

IPVanish provides superb performance levels complemented with a wide range of server locations. In testing, our download speeds improved by around 15% compared to our normal rates.

The service offers native clients for Windows and Mac, along with Android and iOS, plus it has setup instructions for other platforms. The native Windows client, in particular, is a sterling effort with an intuitive interface and a bundle of advanced features (although on the downside, we found it could potentially be susceptible to more network issues than rival VPN software).

IPVanish has a strict no logs policy and all the necessary security in place for a smooth and carefree VPN experience. If there’s one thing that somewhat spoils the fun, it’s the cost of the service as it’s a bit on the pricey side. There is no free trial available, but the three plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee. The 1-year subscription is the best and most affordable option. The packages available are:

This British Virgin Islands provider has an impressive collection of servers spread across 94 countries with some great performance. In our tests, we recorded good speed consistency with no fluctuations of any kind.

ExpressVPN offers quality clients for every major platform with setup instructions for various other devices. iOS and Android (which you can also install on Android TV) clients are especially well made and are very user-friendly.

On the security and privacy front, the service doesn't disappoint either. The 256-bit encryption is available and you can choose from OpenVPN via UDP, OpenVPN via TCP, L2TP – IPSEC, PPTP or SSTP protocol. The service has a favorable privacy policy with zero logging of any kind.

The service is a bit pricier than most and there is no free trial, but you do get a 30-day money back guarantee. There are three plans available, with the yearly plan being the most affordable (you also get extra three months). The packages available are:

Streaming content requires a fast connection and it doesn’t get much better than VyprVPN in this respect. Our performance tests revealed that this provider offers superb download speeds – twice as fast as the rates we get with the VPN turned off, in fact. Add the firm’s widespread server coverage and you have a service tailored for HD and 4K content.

There are easy-to-use clients for all relevant platforms and devices, supported by strong security aspects. Along with the expected range of protocols and encryption, the provider’s own Chameleon technology aims to defeat VPN blocking and throttling for a faster connection. A kill switch, NAT Firewall, and VyprVPN’s own DNS solution complete the efforts on the security front. On top of that, there is no logging of traffic or online activities, but there is some logging occurring in the form of recording connection times and IP addresses.

Would-be users have a free 3-day trial at their disposal, which is particularly useful as VyprVPN doesn’t allow refunds. Commercial plans are based on monthly and annual billing, with the monthly plans carrying an expensive price tag. Your best bet is the Premium plan with annual billing as it includes all the bells and whistles (like the Chameleon protocol) for a reasonable price. The packages available are:

NordVPN offers an impressive level of overall server coverage, being one of the largest VPN networks around. Its performance is far from shabby, too, providing consistently fast connections throughout much of that expansive network. 

This provider also has user-friendly applications for all major operating systems (there is also a dedicated app for Android TV). These are packed with useful features, along with plenty of beef on the security front. There’s Double VPN (double encryption) for maximum privacy, Onion over VPN, a CyberSec feature for blocking intrusive adverts and malicious online threats, an automatic kill switch, and more besides. NordVPN has a clear ‘no logs’ policy, too.

There is a free 3-day trial to take this VPN for a test spin, but it’s rather hidden away on the website. With the monthly billing being rather pricey, the cheap 3-year subscription provides the best value for your money. The packages available are:

TunnelBear is first and foremost a user-friendly service. You get a wide array of desktop and mobile software that focuses on keeping things simple. As such, more advanced users may be somewhat dismayed at the lack of low-level options, but bear in mind that these clients aren’t barebones – there are a few settings that you can tweak.

Performance-wise, the Canadian-based provider – now owned by McAfee – was speedy with local connections during our testing, although long-distance connections were slower, as is usually the case. Still, TunnelBear's free plan delivered solid enough performance levels, and indeed it’s faster than some paid products.

The only restriction with the free plan is a cap on data usage, and the good news is you get full server coverage at your disposal. As for data, TunnelBear allows for 500MB of traffic each month, but you can tweet about the service to get an extra 1GB (plus TechRadar’s special offer ups the limit to an impressive 5GB).

As for security, this provider employs the standard security protocols, as well as its very own GhostBear protocol which aims to defeat VPN blocking. The privacy policy is transparent and clear, stating that there is no logging of any of its users’ online activity.

Aside from the free offering, there’s not much variety when it comes to commercial plans: there’s one subscription on a monthly or annual basis. If you’re happy to pay, the yearly plan offers the best value as it gets you unlimited data for a very reasonable price. The packages available are:

Windscribe offers a generous free plan that allows you 10GB of traffic on a monthly basis (if you register your email address, 2GB if not). As is the case with some other providers, tweeting about the service will earn you an extra 5GB of data, and you’ll get an additional 1GB each time you invite a friend to join.

You’re restricted to 11 server locations, although a major benefit is that you aren’t limited on the device front – you can connect as many devices as you wish. Performance isn’t anything to write home about, with this VPN offering average but acceptable speeds. There are clients for all major platforms, and some great browser extensions, too.

On the security front, you get 256-bit encryption and the OpenVPN protocol by default. The privacy policy goes into detail to explain that there’s no logging of historical sessions or records of incoming or outgoing IP addresses, or individual user activity.

For a free service, Windscribe is certainly a good option, but if you want more, the paid subscriptions don’t offer much choice. Your only option is the Pro plan billed monthly, yearly or biennially – it comes with unlimited data usage, and you get more locations to choose from (100+). The packages available are:

Speedify’s channel bonding feature uses multiple connections – Ethernet, Wi-Fi, a tethered mobile, and so forth – to boost overall performance. Assuming you have more than one internet connection, you’ll likely see the benefit, and we certainly did in our testing when the aforementioned turbocharging tech help speed things up nicely.

The free plan allows full access to over a hundreds servers in more than 20 countries, with the only restriction being the amount of data you can download: you get 1GB per month. You can get Speedify for all major platforms, and the native clients are pretty simple, with only a few available settings for tweaking the service.

In terms of security, this provider offers ChaCha-based 256-bit encryption, multiple VPN protocols, and an automatic kill switch. Speedify has a clear privacy policy stating that it doesn’t log any form of user activity.

Should you like the free service enough to want to upgrade, there are only two commercial plans available: you can subscribe and get unlimited data on a monthly or annual basis, with the latter offering the best value, as ever. The packages available are:

Coming from the people behind ProtonMail, the popular Switzerland-based encrypted email service, ProtonVPN Free’s main draw is unlimited bandwidth – you can use this freebie as much as you like. However, there are a few catches. You get just three locations to choose from (US, Japan, Netherlands), there's support for only one device, and free users are bottom of the performance priority list, so speeds could be variable.

And our performance tests bore that out, as we saw some relatively speedy results at times (better than some commercial providers, in fact), but we also experienced low speeds in other instances. It’s a mixed bag, in other words, so prepare yourself for some inconsistency.

Native software is provided for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. Security shouldn’t be a problem, either, given that this VPN is delivered by a respected team with a lengthy track record in maintaining tight security. The company states its logging policy very clearly on the website: there is no tracking or recording of your internet activity.

With its unlimited data allowance, this is one free VPN that’s certainly worth considering. Although if you feel the need to upgrade, there are three paid plans, including a very pricey top-end product (Visionary) which boasts ProtonMail encrypted email with all features as part of the package.

Overall, this isn’t a cheap provider, although the Plus plan isn’t too expensive on an annual subscription, and will give you full access to the service. The packages available are:

This Singapore-based VPN proved to be consistent in our testing. The service delivered fast and reliable connections even over long distances with almost no difference compared to our regular download speeds. Ivacy's desktop clients are novice-friendly, but also offer more than enough settings to tweak for more advanced users. Unfortunately, the mobile apps are a different story, being overly basic and rarely updated.

There are no logs kept here, and the service handles privacy and security quite well. Still, you may want to pay attention to the refund policy as there are some conditions attached to it. Namely, it doesn't apply if you've used Bitcoin or Paymentwall to pay for the service.

Ivacy offers three subscriptions that could use a bit more variety, although they all have a 30-day money-back guarantee (except the monthly plan, which has a 7-day guarantee). The monthly plan aside, the subscriptions are quite affordable, especially the 2-year plan which is really cheap. The packages available are:

Hide.me has the smallest server selection of any VPN on this list, but makes up for it with great performance – in our tests, it actually increased download speeds by just a touch compared to our normal rates.

The service provides clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone, and there are setup instructions for other platforms. The Windows client is compact and quite simple to use, and with just one click you can connect to the fastest server currently available. There is a strict no logging policy in place, too.

The service offers a 2GB per month free plan which is more than enough to properly test things out. If you want unlimited data, then you’ll need the Premium plan, but it’s rather expensive. Otherwise, the only other option is the Plus package which has certain restrictions (75GB data allowance, no port forwarding, a miserly one simultaneous connection, and other limitations). The packages available are:

How to choose the best Kodi VPN

As ever when it comes to streaming content – particularly if it’s HD – you want one of the best VPNs which gives you fast download speeds to avoid those dreaded pauses while the ‘buffering’ icon hogs the screen. A large web of server locations also helps as you’ll have more options to find the fastest connection possible.

And as always, you’ll want good levels of security and a ‘zero logs’ privacy policy. An intuitive dedicated client is highly desirable as there might be some initial tweaking and fiddling required. Those who prefer viewing on the go should look out for mobile device support, and preferably native clients for iOS/Android.

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The best cheap laptop deals in August 2018: prices start at just £139

If you're looking for the best cheap laptop deals, then you've come to the right place. Many retailers are slashing prices for the summer sales, so our team of dedicated deal hunters are on the lookout to find the best laptop deals from the most reliable retailers. So, for the best value cheap laptops, with genuine discounts over the trumped up fake 'deals' take a look below.

If you're after a cheap laptop for web browsing and other simple tasks, or you need a new laptop for school or work, or you simply need a really powerful laptop for as little money as possible, we've got you covered.

At the top of the page you'll find our selection of the latest and best cheap laptop deals of the week followed by a selection of popular quality laptops that retailers like to discount on a regular basis. Underneath those laptop deals you'll find our pick of the latest best laptops and the best available prices. If you're an Apple fan, be sure to take a look at our cheap MacBook deals page too.

If you're from the States or Down Under, be sure to check out our selection of the top laptop deals in the US or in Australia in our always-updated guides.

The best cheap laptop deal of the week

Other brilliant laptop deals this week

We'll continue adding the best laptop deals in the latest sales as we find them. Up next, you'll find the latest prices on some of the most popular laptops around, followed by the best deals on TechRadar's favourite laptops.

laptop deals

Where to find more cheap laptops:

  • Amazon: retail giant is often the cheapest in the UK.
  • ebuyer: the UK computing specialists have some great promotions
  • Argos: home delivery or pick up a cheap laptop locally today.
  • AO: lots of cheap laptops at this growing electronics specialist.
  • Currys: the retailer that's seemingly always having a sale.
  • John Lewis: models come with at least two-year guarantee.
  • Very: often has plenty of voucher codes or 'buy now pay later' options.
  • Laptops Direct: specialist UK store has a huge selection of laptop deals.
  • Dell: Get a great laptop deal direct from Dell.

laptop deals

Popular cheap laptop deals

laptop deals

cheap laptops at john lewis

There have been some generous offers lately for this popular Lenovo laptop series. Any choice between the 4GB and 12GB RAM options should run multiple applications at once. Hard drive sizes vary from 256GB SSD to 1TB in regular form. Some options also include dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 940MX graphics.

Flex 10

At around £200, the HP Stream 14 is decent value if you're after something to cover the basics like web browsing or document editing. It's competitively priced again the cheaper Chromebooks out there despite the 14-inch screen and Windows 10 operating system.

cheap laptop deals

There's some hefty grunt under the shell of these HP 250 G4 and G5 models  and there are some great prices this week. The Intel Pentium processor and 4GB/8GB of RAM mean this laptop will whip through pretty much any day-to-day activity you can throw at it without the juddering performance of cheaper laptops. Hell, it'll even have a decent crack at playing a few of the less demanding games out there.

Satellite Click Mini

A sturdy choice for a study laptop for school/college/uni. The HP Pavilion 15 has more power that the average pupil needs while keeping the costs sensible. If you're not needing extra power of an expensive laptop for video/photo editing, this is more than enough for web browsing, playing some tunes on Spotify and editing coursework.

Asus3

From afar, this laptop might be mistaken for a MacBook Pro which tells you a lot about its level of quality. Don't expect a full metal chassis at this price, but this is probably one of the best looking plastic bodies in its category. There are plenty of ports (old and new), 4GB of RAM and a massive 1TB hard drive. The cheapest models have a respectable i3 processor, but you can get the more powerful i5 versions for not much more if you need that extra kick. Asus saw it fit to include a DVD writer as well as a 15.6-inch full HD screen. Despite this large display and the presence of a numeric keypad, it's just a tad thicker and heavier than an Ultrabook.

Why not upgrade your storage with a cheap hard drive or SSD? See the best hard drive and SSD deals. 

cheap laptops on ebay

This is the newer version of the Asus Transformer Mini series. This upgrade includes a fingerprint sensor and double the RAM at 4GB for speedier performance. For your money, this is one of the most impressive two-in-one transformer models out there.

This is one of the larger Chromebook experience out there for someone looking for a full-sized laptop with an excellent screen at a super low cost. The 4GB of RAM running the Chrome OS is super fast and will allow you to really pile up tabs and apps without slowing down. The battery will easily last the best part of a day for most users too.

The best deals on our favourite laptops

We've reviewed loads of laptops over the years: we've seen the good ones, the great ones and the ones to avoid. Sometimes the best laptops pop up online at some truly deal-tastic prices. So in this section, we list the very best laptops out there and the best deals on each one.

Best laptops

The Dell XPS 13 is, bar none, the best laptop you can buy today. It features a revolutionary design that's astonishingly thin and light. Fitting a 13.3-inch screen into such a small frame means Dell has created a nearly borderless Infinity display. It's a powerful and long lasting machine even by today's Ultrabook standards. The XPS 13 comes outfitted with Intel's latest Skylake processors plus lighting, quick storage and memory, all while coming in at a very affordable starting price. For these reasons, it easily takes the top slot as the best Ultrabook, the best Windows laptop and the best overall laptop.

Looking for a quality gaming laptop but want to keep things under that unappealing £1000 mark? Then Dell has you covered with the Inspiron 15 Gaming range.

Best Chromebook

The Asus Chromebook Flip isn’t perfect, but it’s an impressive little piece of kit. Plus, it’s so affordable that you might want to pick one up just to have a Chromebook on hand – even if you already own a MacBook or Windows laptop. Aside from the budget price tag, the Flip is one of the best-built Chromebooks to blaze the trail onward for more convertibles. Touchscreen functionality feels more logical, with a screen that actually rotates. The Flip meets all the core tenants of an ideal Chrome OS device.

cheap laptop deals

This 10-inch hybrid comes packing a surprising amount of goods considering its small size. It’s outfitted with an HD screen and more than enough power to get you through a simple day of web browsing and even image editing. When you’re ready kick back with some media streaming, you can pop off the 10-inch tablet.

Best gaming laptops

The Asus Strix GL502 is undoubtedly one of the best gaming laptops around for gaming in 1080p. It'll run with the settings cranked with games like Overwatch not dipping below 60fps. The battery life isn't the best, but the display, performance and built-in sound system more than make up for it.

Lenovo has crafted a brilliant, forward-thinking device that could very well create a subcategory in computing all of its own. The modest specs hold it back from taking on the big boys in terms of raw power, but the innovative digital touchpad keyboard and drawing surface look like trendsetters to us. The Android version is currently about £100 cheaper than the Windows one.

cheap surface pro deals

Can a tablet really replace your laptop or home PC? That’s still up for debate, but the best tablet trying to make that happen is the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – and it does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10, an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment. Great for for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike – it’s only the premium price that push it down the list, but if you’re willing to pay for it, you’re getting a lot of power. A LOT.

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New iPhone 2018: everything you need to know on the latest iPhone leaks

If you're looking for information on the new iPhones rumored to arrive this year, you've come to the right place.

Update: We've done some investigating to work out the new iPhone launch date – find out when we think Apple will take to the stage this year, below.

Current rumors point to three new devices, with an upgrade to the iPhone X arriving alongside a larger version of Apple's most premium smartphone to date, plus there's a third, cheaper device that could launch as well, making the range a little more accessible.

Things are getting a little confusing, what with the sheer quantity of new iPhone leaks and rumors regarding three devices with yet-to-be-confirmed names. Luckily, we're here to help you make sense of all the new iPhone news.

We have detailed pages on all three rumored new iPhones, and you can find overviews and links to them below.

New iPhone 2018 launch date

Apple has yet to send out invites to its annual September special event, but we've gone through its iPhone launch history and studied the 2018 calendar to work out when we expect the new iPhone 2018 launch to happen.

TechRadar's new iPhone 2018 launch date prediction: September 12, 2018

iPhone 11 / iPhone XI / iPhone X2

The second generation iPhone X

As the heading suggests, it's not totally clear what Apple will call the first of three new iPhones for 2018. 

Current rumors point towards the cleaner iPhone 11 name, but this is a handset that's set to replace the iPhone X, so names such as the iPhone XI and iPhone X2 are not out of the question.

iPhone 9 Plus / iPhone 11 Plus

A super-sized version of the iPhone X replacement

The iPhone 9 Plus would be an obvious new iPhone candidate for 2018 as it would follow on from the iPhone 8 Plus, but the more iPhone leaks we see the less confident we are that it'll arrive.

Instead, it looks like we'll get a super-sized version of Apple's premium handset, with the iPhone 11 Plus tipped to arrive alongside the iPhone X replacement (the iPhone 11).

iPhone 9

Apple’s entry-level new iPhone won’t be cheap

The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Plus are set to be pricey additions to the iPhone Hall of Fame, and Apple would be wise to offer a more affordable option as well.

This is where the rumored iPhone 9 comes in, offering up a smaller display than the other two handsets, but still maintaining the notch and slender bezels.

It won't be cheap, as we expect it to be priced similarly to the iPhone 8, but it will at least offer a slightly more accessible option in the new iPhone lineup. 

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Asus ROG Zephyrus S is ‘world’s thinnest gaming laptop’

Asus has announced a brand-new successor to the first-ever Nvidia Max-Q gaming laptop, the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501. This one is known as the Zephyrus S GX531, and it’s substantially thinner than before.

With that in mind, the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531 isn’t the powerhouse that the original model was. Currently only Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 graphics options are available here – and both are in the Max-Q design that allows for thinner laptop hardware.

The idea is to bring a similar, if slightly inferior, level of power to a device that’s even more portable. To that end, the Zephyrus S measures 14.95mm at its thinnest point, while the original model comes in at 16.9mm. This, by Asus’s measure, makes it the world’s thinnest gaming laptop yet again.

The weight of the Zephyrus S is an impressively-light 4.63 pounds (2.1kg)

The new Zephyrus keeps the 144Hz display of its predecessor while updating the platform to the hexa-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor – one the latest and most powerful available.

Asus also claims to have improved the laptop’s thermals even further by refining its Active Aerodynamic System, which opens vents that widen as the users lifts the screen when opening the laptop.

Asus achieved all of this in a laptop that’s not only thinner but smaller in width, thanks to narrower bezels than ever producing a 15.6-inch screen within a 14-inch laptop frame. 

If you’re interested, both Zephyrus S models will be up for pre-order in the US on August  31, with the GTX 1070 variety generally available September 15 starting at $2,199 (about AU$3,038). The entry-level GTX 1060 model with a 1TB NVMe SSD will land in mid-October at $2,099 (about AU$2,938).

This model will be the only model available in the UK, and will be available from mid October for £1,999.99.

Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704

The Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704 barely looks like a 17-inch gaming laptop.

Also introducing … the smallest 17-inch gaming laptop

Asus has also unveiled the Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704, which it calls the ‘most compact 17-inch gaming laptop.’ Fitting a 17.3-inch screen into a 15.7-inch laptop frame, this model employs a similar thinning of its bezels as the new Zephyrus.

Like the Zephyrus, this laptop fits all of Asus’s usual features, like Aura Sync RGB keyboard and system lighting as well as a HyperCool Pro cooling system. The laptop then proceeds to cram it with the latest in gaming laptop hardware.

Specifically, your choice between the latest 8th-generation Intel H-series Core i5 and i7 processors paired with an Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics chip. From there, the laptop supports up to 32GB of DDR4 memory at 2,666MHz as well as up to a 1TB SSHD at 5,400 rpm, a 1TB spinning HDD at up to 7,200 rpm and an NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD at up to 512GB of capacity for storage.

The display comes in 4K UHD or 1,920 x 1,080 resolution at either 60Hz or 144Hz refresh rate. It also features a bevy of ports, including one USB-C port and four USB 3.1 ports with one being Generation 2.

This laptop also marks the debut of Asus’s new Armoury Crate software, which unites all of the firm’s gaming PC software into a single app. From here, players can assign lighting and macro profiles to games as well as fan speed settings from Turbo to Balanced and Silent.

Asus is charging $1,699 (£1,699.99, about AU$2,345) for an ROG Strix Scar II with the 144hz display option, the Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of memory and a 1TB (5,400 rpm) paired with two 256GB SSDs when it launches in late September (or mid October in the UK). The firm has yet to disclose the starting spec and price as well as international availability.

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