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RoboForm vs Bitwarden: Security & Affordability Compared Detailed comparisons of two of the leading password managers




RoboForm and Bitwarden are among the leading password managers currently available.

These two tools rank similarly in terms of security with just a few separating factors.

RoboForm tips Bitwarden on the ease of use front.

There is a series of top-notch and secure password management tools, with RoboForm and Bitwarden among the leading ones. These tools have some features in common with a RoboForm vs Bitwarden comparison but a lot of differences too.

What is the very best password manager?

There are different password managers for different purposes. There are top-notch tools with emergency access that you can access from just about any location.

Also, some password management tools are best used by families, while you can opt for software with multifactor authentication.

So, it is hard to choose one as the very best. However, if you are looking for the ideal tool that ranks well in all parameters, you should consider RoboForm.

Is RoboForm better than Bitwarden? 1. Security and Privacy 1.1. Encryption

Regarding security, a RoboForm vs Bitwarden comparison is closer than one would expect. The two software use 256-bit AES encryption, the most secure mode of encryption.

Also, they employ a zero-knowledge encryption policy. This means that both encryption and hashing are done locally on your device.

1.2. Mult-factor authentication

Another important security feature is the use of multi-factor authentication. RoboForm supports all major multi-factor authentication, including Google Authenticator and Authy. But you must be on the paid plan to enjoy all the MFA options.

Bitwarden also supports emails and other authentication apps on its free version, while premium users can enjoy additional two-factor authentications like Yubikey and Duo.

So, both RoboForm and Bitwarden are adequately set up to secure your data. The only aspect RoboForm tips this comparison is its user-friendly privacy.

2. Ease of use 2.1. Password importing

RoboForm is the go-to option when it comes to ease of use. It has a password-importing feature that allows you to import your data from various sources like CSV files, browsers, and other password managers.

Also, you can import bulk passwords, which is pretty straightforward.

Bitwarden, on the other hand, also boasts impressive options you can import passwords from – more than what is available on RoboForm. However, it does not support bulk importation.

2.2. Password sharing

However, Bitwarden is pretty limited in this area and requires you to be on the premium plan to use it. Also, you can only share your password with one user unless you are on the family plan.

With the family plan, you can share your data with as many as 6 users.

2.3. Autofill

There is also an autofill feature on Bitwarden, but most users prefer not to use it. This is because it requires you to go through a long process to select the data you want to fill in before the app does the needful.

3. Affordability

Both RoboForm and Bitwarden are pretty affordable. However, RoboForm’s free version offers more features than Bitwarden.

You get to enjoy most of the core features of the app. But to enjoy the full package, you need to upgrade to RoboForm Everywhere or the Family plan.

The Everywhere plan is available for just $1.99/month for 1 user, while the Family plan goes for $3.98/month for 5 users.

With Bitwarden, most of its features are only available in the premium version, with just a few left for a free trial. To upgrade to the Everywhere plan, you only need to pay $0.83/month for 1 user, but the Family plan is $3.33/month for 6 users.

4. Interface

On the interface front, RoboForm is pretty easy to use and boasts a user-friendly interface. The good thing about it is that all its apps on different platforms look similar.

So, you need some minutes to get used to it, and you are good to go. Bitwarden, on the other hand, needs some getting used to.

This is because some of its features are hidden and require one to find them. Fortunately, the interface is clean and not complex.

5. Platforms

RoboForm and Bitwarden are available on all major platforms, like Windows, Linux, iOS, macOS, and Android. Also, they have browser extensions for major browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox, and Opera.

So, you are not short of options, irrespective of your device.

6. Customer support

RoboForm provides more customer support options than Bitwarden. It provides both live chat and 24/7 ticket support. However, only premium users can access priority online and live chat support during business hours.

Bitwarden, on the other hand, is limited to just online support via email, community forums, and the Q&A session.

RoboForm vs Bitwarden: Verdict

RoboForm and Bitwarden are, without a doubt, among the leading password managers available. While they rank equally regarding security, RoboForm edges its counterpart in just about other parameters that matter.

So, on the balance of things and overall suitability, we can conclude that RoboForm is the better option. However, you won’t regret using either of the two tools.

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Agile Vs Scrum Vs Waterfall

Difference Between Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall

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It allows complex software and product development to work on an iterative approach. Fixed iterations that exist for one or two weeks are carried out, and they are named sprints, allowing for shipping software on a regular accent. The following steps are decided at the end of each sprint. Waterfall methodology follows a chronological, linear procedure and is the most popular version of the SDLC in engineering and IT projects. Once each stage is completed, the development progresses toward the next step. In this process, it is not possible to achieve the movement of the previous stage, and the entire process must be restarted from the beginning. We will review and approve the requirements at every stage of the process.

Principles of Agile Manifesto

Customer satisfaction through continuous valuable software delivery

Fit-in requirement changes in the phase of development

Shooter delivery scale

Collaborations within business teams and developers daily

Deliver Greater support, trust, and higher autonomy to the team members.

Face-to-face communication significantly facilitates the transmission of information within a development team.

working software measures the progress of the project

Maintaining a constant pace provides sustainable development

The main focus is Technical excellence.

The teams should reproduce to be effectively regularly

Major Principles of the scrum manifesto

Empirical Process Control:  The three key concepts that form the foundation of Scrum are transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

Self-organization: This principle focuses on delivering significantly superior value when self-organized, providing better buy-in and an inventive and imaginative environment that contributes more to growth.

Collaboration: It expects articulation, awareness, and appropriation. Project management is a value-creation process, delivering more excellent value through teamwork and interactions.

Value-based Prioritization: This principle focuses on how Scrum helps to deliver maximum business value from the early stages of the project and continues all through.

Time-boxing: This describes the role of time in a scrum and manages time elements effectively. Time-boxed elements in Scrum include Daily Standup Meetings, Sprints, Sprint Review Meetings, and Sprint Planning Meetings.

Iterative Development: This principle defines iterative development as how changes can be managed better, and customer needs are satisfied with built products.

Advantages of the waterfall model

Easily manageable process

Every phase in the Waterfall has a start and endpoint, and it’s easy to share progress with stakeholders and customers.

It always expects a documented procedure

Head To Head Comparison Between Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall(Infographics) Key Differences Between Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall

Both Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall are popular choices in the market; let us discuss some of the significant Difference Between Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall

The Waterfall provides more confidence in what is going to be delivered very priorly itself. Agile works on the best practices of a development environment. Constant review of output in the project enables the handling of several risks effectively.

When using the waterfall methodology, the team members and project do not require being in the exact physical location. At the same time, agile and Scrum expect the co-location of workers.

Agile settles with a lesser rework of projects; also, changes should be picked up much earlier. Scrum also allows earlier identification of changes, whereas Waterfall doesn’t react similarly.

Agile and Scrum provide a smaller blueprint for the end product. This makes a pain point regarding the stated commitments to the customer. At the same time, the waterfall picture is a better image of the end product to the customers and developers.

All these methodologies have their tools for managing and modeling their development tasks.

Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall Comparison Table

Below is the topmost comparison between Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall



The sequential and planned approach High possibility of changing the requirement An adaptive and iterative approach

Less responsive to change Continually responsive to change It involves a lot of change

Launch date and iterate never Set a launch date and iterate as necessary. Launch date and iterate often

A task is fixed, and time is variable A task is variable, and time is variable The time remains constant, even though tasks may vary.

Failure avoidance Fails small Fails small

Conclusion- Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall

Agile and Waterfall are very different end products. Almost all types of IT projects can apply the Waterfall methodology, while Agile and Scrum methodologies have restrictions based on the type of project they involve.

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This has been a guide to the top difference between Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall. Here we also discuss the key differences between Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall with infographics and a comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more.

Qled Vs. Oled Vs. Mini

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So many choices when it comes to television. It starts with the size and resolution, but there are competing backlight technologies to consider as well. So before you plunk down serious cash, make sure you’re getting the lighting style you want by understanding the differences in QLED vs. OLED vs. Mini-LED.

What is LED?

LED is an acronym for “light-emitting diode.” You likely interact with LED tech in some form multiple times per day, including the screen in your phone, light bulbs, and many other sources of illumination. LEDs are the small elements of a television screen that light up in order to produce an entire image on the screen. 

Basically, when an electrical signal runs through these cells, they emit light, and the television controls the electrical impulses in order to produce the image it wants to show. QLED, OLED, and Mini-LED are all variations of this basic technology, which was used in electronic devices as early as the 1960s and became popular in TV technology thanks to refinement and eventual adoption by Samsung in 2007. 

LED replaced CCFL (cold-cathode fluorescent lighting), which typically illuminated the screen from the edges. Some LED TVs use this edge-lit formation, others have moved on to more sophisticated setups. LED arrays with many points of light behind the screen now offer manufacturers more meticulous control over how each segment of the screen is lit. In some cases, like with OLED, the black areas of the screen can go completely dark to give the picture more contrast and dynamic range.

What is QLED TV?

QLED is a Samsung technology that builds on the typical LCD (liquid crystal display) television with LED backlighting. This is the same tech, many iterations over, which Samsung introduced in 2023. The Q in QLED stands for “Quantum Dot.” They are embedded directly into the stack of materials that make up the LCD display, such as in the flagship Samsung QN90A NEO QLED. When light hits them from the LED backlight, these dots emit their own light to enhance the image on-screen. The goal is to lessen one of the main weaknesses of LED technology, which is the “blooming” effect of brighter parts of an image slightly lighting the areas around the image, and color bleeding. 

While QLED offers some improvement over traditional LED, it doesn’t always mitigate this blooming and the contrasts between light and dark are not as stark as with some other technologies.

What about color?

When it comes to color, QLED is excellent. There is a tremendous amount of color variety available in QLED screens, with good color contrasts. QLED also tends to be cheaper at larger sizes than other backlighting techs, meaning that QLED is the best budget-conscious choice when it comes to a new higher-end TV. QLED also tends to result in screens that can reach a higher level of overall brightness, which may be desirable depending on your screen needs.

If you want to experience this type of screen, a strong budget 4K UHD option is Samsung’s 43-inch TU-8000 series from 2023. This Samsung QLED TV is a very cost-conscious choice that delivers 4K and is great for a dorm room, a child’s room, or as a second/third display. At only $379.99 MSRP, it’s about as cheap as you want to go. But if you’re looking to build a home theater set-up, or care about getting the best picture quality and options, this is not the television for you. QLED TVs can climb into the higher-end, and you can check out our recommendations for some of the best QLED TVs, but they face stiff competition from OLED and now Mini-LED.

What is OLED TV?

OLED is “organic” LED. An OLED consists of organic materials that produce similar effects when current runs through them. But OLED displays work fundamentally differently than typical LED-lit LCDs. 

LCD TVs rely on a backlight to shine through a stack of display materials to create an image. This puts them in a category called transmissive screens. OLEDs, however, are different. OLED screens consist of many tiny diodes that emit their own light, which lands them in a category called emissive displays. When an OLED display wants an area of the screen to show black, it simply turns off the pixels in that area, which creates much darker tones without concern for light bleeding through from brighter surrounding areas.

When it comes to color, OLED can have some lifespan issues. While red and green OLED pixels have a pretty long lifespan (over 45,000 hours), blue OLED pixels tend to have one-third of that lifespan. This means that long-term, an OLED display may have issues with color accuracy as the blues start to die off. Displays inside businesses experience this even more often than sets in homes. Of course, for the average home user, the 15,000-hour lifespan of a blue OLED pixel may never become an issue.

QLED vs. OLED: Other drawbacks

Sony’s flagship OLED TVs cost thousands of dollars for top-end features. Stan Horaczek

OLEDs are more expensive than QLEDs and are much more difficult to scale at size. The larger an OLED screen gets, the more you end up paying for the tech. OLED qualifies as a more “premium” technology and is featured in high-end products, such as the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

If you’re going to spring for an OLED TV, you might as well get one of the best OLED TVs available. The king of the current crop of OLEDs is Sony’s Bravia XR A90J Master Series, available in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 83-inch models and one of the best gaming TVs on the market. If you have a PS5 or Xbox Series S/X and can afford to throw down several thousand dollars on a new television, the Sony A90J will get the most out of those high-end consoles. The 55-inch has an MSRP of $2,799.99, 10 inches more will cost you $1,000 more, and the big boy, the 83-inch, runs $7,999.99 MSRP.

Another top-tier option among the best TVs for PS5, etc., is the LG C1, assuming your budget still starts in the multi-thousands. If that price tag turns you off, consider VIZIO’s OLED H1 televisions, available in 55-inch and 65-inch models, which are about almost half the price but don’t offer quite the level of picture. It’s an acceptable compromise for a picture quality that can still be considered stunning.

What is Mini-LED TV?

Mini-LED is similar to QLED, but the backlights get even smaller. These LEDs are so small they can be almost as small as a single pixel. QLEDs are significantly larger than one pixel, while OLEDs are the size of a single pixel. 

Mini-LED represents the halfway point between QLED and OLED, taking the older tech and trying to approximate what the newer tech can do. Mini-LED offers noticeably better than QLED or typical LCD and it may be hard to discern a difference between the contrast on Mini-LED and OLED, as the Mini-LED diodes can get almost to the pixel level. The deep blacks that OLED promises are essentially available with Mini-LED.

You won’t be able to get the same pixel-level control over black levels as you would with OLED, but some Mini-LED TVs promise up to 3,000 backlight zones. It’s likely this difference is barely noticeable to the average consumer. Mini-LED scales to cost at a more expensive clip than QLED, and is essentially the “premium” version of that same base technology, at least for now until it becomes more widespread.

Still accessible

Being the newest technology of the three, you’d think Mini-LED would have the highest price tag, but there’s actually an option that is a “best of both worlds” solution between price and quality. TCL’s 6-series Mini-LED televisions (available in 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch, and, at some point, 85-inch variants) offer image quality that far surpasses the expectations for their price. The 55-inch 4K R635 slides in at just under $1,000 MSRP but has all the features even high-end users would look for. While it’s not the best television on the market overall, it may be the best television on the market dollar-for-dollar.

Expect to see some large variations in Mini-LED prices here at the beginning of its run in the TV world as companies try to nail down the sweet spot between price and performance when it comes to determining the number and type of backlight zones.

What does this mean for streaming, movies, and gaming?

Backlight tech is just one of several things to consider when buying a TV. On the whole, OLED and Mini-LED TVs will produce attractive pictures, but there are some variables within the segments. 

Contrast is important for deep black and low levels of light bleed, giving images a much more sharp and film-like image. When it comes to movies, where light is very important to set moods, contrast is extremely important. When looking for the best TVs for gaming, certain genres (like horror games and games inspired by the “Dark Souls” series) really improve with great contrast, as you can get light and show without the “foggy” greys that you’d need to settle for on worse displays.

Brightness will matter depending on how much light pollution you have in your room. Mini-LED can produce a brighter picture than OLED, which comes into play if you get a lot of ambient light on your screen during the day. OLEDs really shine when you can control the environmental illumination. Anyone who buys a high-end screen wants rich colors in everything they watch, but to truly get rich colors you need media with rich colors. OLED excels in this arena, but Mini-LED has made the contest surprisingly close already. 

QLED vs. OLED: What kind of TV technology should I buy?

For now, OLED and Mini-LED are premium technologies that will deliver the kind of images you want with a high-end system. OLED promises slightly better contrast, with the drawback of a possibly shorter lifespan. Mini-LED sits just below in terms of performance, but the technology itself is a little more reliable. In effect, they are both good choices. If you’re looking to get value, I’d recommend the TCL 6-series. If money is no object, go with the A90J Sony OLED.

But before you simply take those recommendations, it’s really going to come down to see for yourself. Even if you plan to buy online, you should visit some stores and look at OLED and Mini-LED displays to determine which one looks better to your eye. Don’t be afraid to ask at the store to fire up some different demos on the screen, so you can get a sense of what different media looks like. While I stand by the suggestions above, a price drop or sale could make the difference, as could an aesthetic that you enjoy more in your room when the television is turned off. Don’t be afraid to sleep on a decision like this, especially if you’re going to shell out a grand or more for the higher-end models.

Keep in mind that TV prices tend to fluctuate a bit more widely than a lot of other electronics, with the best deals coming around Black Friday in late November. Another great time to pick up a television is late January and early February, when the upcoming Super Bowl, combined with stores starting to try to open up shelf space for new models that get released in June.

The future is soon

A new iteration of Mini-LED, called Micro LED, is available on some ultra-high-end models. Micro LED miniaturizes LED technology even further. Micro LED is considered by many to be even better than OLED, but it comes with a price tag that reflects that assessment, with televisions whose MSRPs start to match those of low-end cars.

Ms. Vs. Mrs. Vs. Miss

The words Ms., Mrs., and Miss are all titles used to address women formally (e.g., at the start of an email). Which one you should use depends on the age and marital status of the woman, as well as on her own preference about how she should be addressed.

Ms. (pronounced [miz]) is a neutral option that doesn’t indicate any particular marital status. It’s most commonly used for older unmarried women and for women whose marital status you don’t know, but you can use it for any adult woman.

Mrs. (pronounced [miss-iz]) is used to address a married woman of any age.

Miss (pronounced [miss]) is used to address a young unmarried woman or girl.

Examples: Ms. in a sentence Examples: Mrs. in a sentence Examples: Miss in a sentence

Ms. Nielsen is a talented pianist. I hope she’ll play for us at the party. I’ve known Mr. and Mrs. Jayna for a few years. Excuse me, miss. Is this your backpack?

Have you met Ms. Sofi before? Mrs. Thompson is an entrepreneur; she started her own business last year. I always get too much homework from Miss Jonas.

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Miss vs. Ms.

People sometimes mistake Ms. for an abbreviation of Miss, since other titles are conventionally abbreviated in writing (e.g., Mrs., Mr., Dr.). In fact, they’re two different terms with different pronunciations, and Miss has no abbreviation but is always written in full.

Since both titles can refer to unmarried women, it can be difficult to decide which is the right choice. Always follow the preference of the woman being addressed, but if you’re not sure of her preference, the following general guidelines may help:

Miss is the form always used for girls—Ms. is only used for adult women (18 or older).

Miss is a common title for unmarried women up to roughly the age of 30.

Ms. is generally used for unmarried women past the age of 30. It’s also a safe option for women of any age whom you are unsure how to address.

Ms. can also be used (instead of Mrs.) for a married woman. Miss cannot be used in this way.

How to use Ms.

Ms. is a title invented in the 20th century to refer to a woman whose marital status is unknown to the speaker. It was embraced by the feminist movement as a way of referring to a woman without defining her by her marital status (equivalent to the masculine “Mr.”). As such, it’s often used even when the woman is known to be married.

Ms. is written with a period because it’s based on Mrs., but unlike that word, it’s not actually an abbreviation of anything. When you say it out loud, pronounce it [miz] (not [miss]); but you should never write it as “Miz.” Ms. is always capitalized. The plural is Mss. (pronounced [miz-iz]).

Examples: Ms.She’s married, but she prefers to be addressed as Ms. Laurie in a professional context.

I’d like to introduce you to Mss. Andrej and Elenora.

Dear Ms. Adeline, …

NoteMs. is neutral in terms of marital status: it doesn’t specify whether the woman is married or not. But it is not gender-neutral: it can only refer to women. If you’re looking for a gender-neutral title, Mx. can be used instead.

How to use Mrs.

Mrs. is a title used for a married woman. The more neutral title Ms. can be used instead for a woman whose marital status is unknown or irrelevant or who expresses a preference for this mode of address.

Mrs. is written with a period because it originated as an abbreviation of “mistress.” However, it’s now pronounced [miss-iz] and only written in this abbreviated form. It’s always capitalized. The plural is Mmes., short for the French “Mesdames.”

Examples: Mrs.Mrs. Hull says I would make a good mathematician.

I’d like to thank Mrs. Pavel for all her support during the renovations.

Dear Mmes. Smith and Amit, …

How to use Miss

Miss is a title used for an unmarried woman. It’s used mainly for young women and girls (roughly up to the age of 30); it can also be used for older unmarried women, but Ms. is more common in that context. Many young women also prefer Ms., so it can be safest to simply refer to any adult woman with Ms. instead.

Unlike other titles, Miss is written in full and cannot be abbreviated. It’s pronounced as it’s spelled: [miss]. It’s capitalized when it’s followed by a name, but it’s also used without a specific name, in which case it’s lowercase. The plural is Misses.

Examples: MissMiss Justina will show you to your office and explain the basics.

May I ask you a question, miss?

Misses Claudia and Jayendra arrived together.

Dear Miss Marijke, …

What does Mx. mean?

Mx. is a gender-neutral title invented more recently as a way of referring to someone without specifying their gender. Like the singular “they,” it’s used to refer to someone who doesn’t identify as either male or female, or to someone who simply doesn’t want to be identified by their gender.

Mx. is primarily used in writing; when said aloud, it can be pronounced [mux] or [mix]. It’s always capitalized. Like Ms., it’s not an abbreviation of anything in particular; it’s just formed to look like other titles of the same kind.

Examples: Mx.Mx. Lochan would like to speak next.

Dear Mx. Johnson, …

Punctuation with Ms., Mrs., Miss, and Mx.

Most common titles used before people’s names are written in abbreviated form. The way to write these abbreviations varies between US and UK English.


US English

, abbreviation is indicated with a period at the end: Mrs., Ms., Mx.


UK English

, no period is used with such abbreviations (e.g., “Dr Philips,” “Ms Jamison”). If you’re writing in UK English, write Mrs, Ms, and Mx with no period after them.

Miss is not an abbreviation; it’s always written out in full. Because of this, it has no period in either version of English.

Example: Titles in US and UK EnglishFrom left to right, you can see




McLachlan, Miss Becka,




Catrine, and





Other interesting language articles

If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

Frequently asked questions Cite this Scribbr article

Caulfield, J. Retrieved July 17, 2023,

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Building Blocks Of Cyber Security

Building Blocks Of Cyber Security Cyber Security Building Blocks:

Let’s discuss the 6 main cyber security building blocks one by one:

1. Network Security

The main purpose of a firewall is to closely check all the incoming and outgoing network data for any suspicious content and filter it accordingly.

Firewall is the elementary building block that plays the most important role in providing a defense mechanism to any organization and should be taken seriously.

2. Endpoint Security

Another major building block is endpoint security. The major role of any endpoint security system is to protect possessions present on any network and comprises of device firewalls and the anti-virus applications used in the organization.

Also Read : 9 Biggest Security Threats of 2023

Endpoint security plays an important role since it safeguards the possessions even after the external security is compromised by hackers.

3. Information Management

While it is important to manage network security as well as endpoint security, other major building block is to have tools that can gather and manage information regarding unusual activities and traffic requests and any abnormal changes in organization’s database.

SIEM(security information and event management) are management tools that plays an important role in defining the effectiveness of cyber security of any organization.

4. Cloud Mechanisms for Providing Services to Organizations

Cloud services are vastly used by organizations as they cut down the expenditure needed to manage the physical resources. Cloud computing platforms provide service infrastructure, by saving the database on the cloud.

This, however, cannot be considered as a standalone major security platform since the organization should incorporate different mechanisms to provide security to the information stored on cloud.

5. Manage Vulnerability

Irrespective of the strongest of cyber security aspects and measures, data is always susceptible to attacks. Hence, every organization must keep a close watch on the latest security weaknesses and exposure to provide enough security measures to their data.

Vulnerabilities can be managed by organizations by running regular security tests and checking for the changes required to maintain the required security. These tests help to identify the nature of vulnerabilities so that solutions can be implemented accordingly.

Must Read : Top 10 Cloud Security Threats

These were the 5 major cyber security building blocks any organization must maintain. Other than this organizations must also conduct training session and awareness programs to educate employees and people to manage the cyber security.

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Practical Security: Creating Ssh Tunnels

In a previous article, I went over some of the basic functions of ssh. In that article, I mentioned that simple remote shell access was not the most interesting thing you can do with ssh. I pointed out that remote command execution was more interesting than mundane remote shell access. In this article, I’ll discuss something that I think is even more interesting than remote shell access or remote execution: tunneling.

Reasons for Tunneling

There are two primary reasons to use ssh for tunneling. Before I give those reasons, I’ll describe what tunneling is.

Tunneling with ssh is the process of wrapping some network communication with the encrypted ssh protocol. Tunneling involves an ssh client connecting to an ssh server, just as in “regular cases.” But when the ssh client connects to the server, the client specifies the source and the destination for the tunnel.

The source is simply a bound network port that other processes can connect to. This port must either be managed by the ssh client or the ssh server.

The destination is another bound network port; but this time, it’s some other network server that the other end of the ssh tunnel can communicate with. If this seems a bit unclear, don’t worry; I’ll get into more detail shortly with an example. For now, you can just think of ssh tunneling as secure port forwarding.

You may be able to derive from this description one or both reasons I’m about to give for using ssh tunneling. The first reason I’ll give for using ssh tunneling is to connect two networks that do not have open access to one another. As an example, suppose you have an imap server setup on your home LAN. Also suppose that you have a laptop and want to be able to connect to your home imap server regardless of where you are. You could just open access on your home imap server to the world, but that’s a scary proposition. You could setup a VPN on your router, but that’s probably overkill. Or, you could create an ssh tunnel from your laptop to your home network when you want imap access. I’ll give an example of this in the next few paragraphs.

The second reason for using ssh tunneling is that it encrypts the network communication. In the imap example, an added benefit of using ssh is that the email data is encrypted. Your private communications with friends, family, and potential employers are secure as they travel over the tunnel on the internet. But be aware that communication before it hits the tunnel and after it leaves the tunnel are not encrypted.

There are two types of secure port forwarding using ssh: local forwards and remote forwards. For local forwards, the ssh client manages the source port. For remote forwards, the ssh server manages the source port. Whether you select a local or remote forward will depend on which system is able to initiate the connection, which has an ssh server running on it, and where you need the source of the tunnel.

Here is an example of a local forward. Continuing the imap connection, suppose that I have a laptop named “dink” and I want to access an imap server on a machine named “ezr.” Why not just connect directly to “ezr?” If “ezr” is behind a firewall and you can’t connect to port 143, then using ssh tunneling is a great alternative. Here is an ssh command that will allow you access to imap on “ezr”:

The “-L” in the command specifies that this is a local forward. The “8143” specifies that I want to bind as the source of the tunnel. The “localhost:143” specifies where to forward traffic on the remote end of the tunnel. While I specified “localhost” on the remote end, I could have specified any address and port that the remote machine could communicate with. Finally, “ezr” is the machine I want to ssh into.

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