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Do you know what’s confusing about wireless Internet? Everything.

If you’ve been researching wireless routers for home or wifi adapters for gaming, you’ve probably noticed that there is an abundance of terminology — PCIe, USB 3.0, 802.11ac, Ghz, WPS, Mbps, MBps (those last two are different). Bewildered yet?

One of the most common terms that you might notice with any of these devices is “dual-band.” While some older equipment may not feature this option, most modern network routers and adapters provide dual-band capability. In today’s computing environment, it’s almost a necessity for your wifi devices.

So what is dual band wifi? Let’s take a closer look at what it is, how and why it’s used, and why it’s vital. You may already know more about it than you think.

What Does Dual-band Mean?

Dual-band — it sounds really cool, and all the new products are touting it. So, what does it mean? We’re not talking about rock bands, rubber bands, or even a band of merry men. What we’re talking about are frequency bands.

To better understand the meaning of dual-band, let’s first examine what the term band refers to and what it has to do with wifi. Remember, the band part of dual-band refers to a frequency band. A frequency band is what wireless devices use to communicate with each other.

Wifi is technically a radio signal. That’s all it is, really — radio. It’s transmitted just like other radio signals — hand-held radios, cordless phones, cell phones, baby monitors, over-the-air television, local radio stations, ham radios, satellite tv, and many other types of wireless transmission.

All these different types of signals are transmitted on different frequencies or groups of frequencies. These groups of frequencies are referred to as bands.

The bands shown in the image above are then broken down further into smaller sub-bands. They’re each reserved for specific uses. Take a look at the picture again — the parts marked VLF, LF, MF, HF, etc. — those are bands.

Notice that UHF (300MHz – 3GHz) and SHF (3GHz – 30GHz) both have wifi listed. Each sub-band is then divided into channels… but we won’t dive any deeper than that here. You might be starting to get the picture now of what dual-band is referring to.

You see that wifi sits in both the UHF and the SHF bands, and you may wonder why. This is because the original technology developed for computer wifi was designed in the 2.4GHz sub-band of the UHF band.

If you haven’t already figured it out, dual-band means that the wireless device can use either the 2.4GHz or the 5GHz frequencies. Dual-band routers are capable of providing networks on both bands at the same time. In other words, if you have a dual-band router in your house, you will be able to have two separate networks — one on each band.

The wifi adapter that your computer, phone, or tablet use will only connect to one of those networks at a time. If that adapter is dual-band, it can communicate on either 2.4GHz or 5GHz. However, it can’t communicate on both at the same time.

Why not just use 5GHz? Great question.

Why Do We Need 2.4GHz?

If routers can broadcast on both bands, but our devices can only talk to them one at a time, what is the purpose of having dual-band? As technology stands today, there are at least three important reasons that we need dual-band capability. We’ll take a brief look at them here.

Backward Compatibility

The primary reason that we want to have devices that are dual-band capable is for backward compatibility. If you set up a router in your home, there is a good chance one or more of your devices can only work on 2.4GHz. If not, you might have guests in your home with devices that are only capable of using 2.4GHz. There are still plenty of older networks out there that only have 2.4GHz available.

Crowded Bands

An abundance of wireless devices may cause overcrowding on either frequency location. The 2.4GHz band is also used by other radio devices like cordless landline phones, baby monitors, and intercom systems. The 5GHz group can also get overcrowded with desktop computers, laptops, phones, game systems, video streaming systems, and so on.

In addition, your neighbors may have network routers that are close enough to interfere with your signals. Overcrowding causes interference, which slows down networks, sometimes causing signals to be intermittently dropped. In short, it might create an unreliable network. Having dual-band allows you to spread your usage out if needed.

Band Advantages

So, having both bands available allows you to choose the one that works best for your environment. If you’re connecting from a basement, for instance, and it’s far away from the router, 2.4GHz may work better for you.

If you are in the same room as the router, 5GHz will give you a fast and reliable connection. In any case, dual-band gives you the option to select the one that will work the best for your particular device.

Final Words

Hopefully, this helped you understand what dual-band wifi is, what it is used for, and why it can be an important feature for any wireless hardware.

You're reading What Is Dual Band Wifi, Exactly? (Quickly Explained)

What Is The Product Life Cycle? Stages And Effects Explained

Every product has a shelf-life. It doesn’t matter if it’s your car, your phone, or exercise equipment — eventually, its sales potential and use will end. Every product has a life cycle.

It is a life cycle that sees it go from being the next big thing to becoming something everyone knows about and then eventually forgotten all about.

This is a constant process that all businesses must be aware of and understand how it affects their products. Let’s look at how to leverage the product lifecycle to manage your business.

What is a product life cycle?

Product life cycles are the time between the introduction of a product to the market and its eventual decline or discontinuation. This cycle can be broken up into different stages, including–development, introduction, growth, maturity, saturation, and decline.

What are the stages of the product life cycle?

Each stage has its costs, opportunities, and risks, and individual products differ in how long they remain at any of the life cycle stages. There are many opinions on whether there should be four, five, or six stages in the product’s life cycle. However, all options include the following steps.

1. Development

The product development phase is the research phase before a product launch. Although technically this is not part of the product cycle, it is an important step to know. It’s used to confirm the product’s viability, determine when it should be launched, and plan your official launch.

Research and development are often funded by revenue from existing products. This stage is usually funded by the founder of the startup business from their personal resources. For those developing a new product, it may be wise to land on a minimum viable product (MVP) as early as possible.

You can make a simple sketch or a detailed prototype of your product. You just need enough to show how your product will work to potential investors and customers. You will be more likely to get investment and launch your product if you validate its market potential sooner.

2. Introduction

Your product’s introduction stage is the moment it is launched to the market. It’s where you step beyond the product itself to develop a market for the product and build product awareness.

Here, you’ll work to carve out a target market, conduct a market analysis to understand the competitive landscape, and ideally land your first few sales.

This stage is where intellectual property rights protection can be obtained. Product pricing can be high depending on the market situation. This is to cover development costs. You may also find that it is lower.

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3. Growth

The product is now accepted by customers and you are trying to increase your market share. This means that revenue and demand are increasing, but hopefully at a steady pace. The time it takes to achieve steady growth depends entirely on the product and market conditions.

If you’re entering an already crowded market with a product, you’ll likely see competitors react fairly quickly. You’ll probably see slower responses from current or new entrants if you have entered a market that has less competition or is the first to market in a breakthrough industry.

In both cases, you should respond during this phase by fine-tuning your messaging, strengthening your brand presence, and expanding into new distribution channels. You might also consider adding services to help differentiate your product.

You can also consider adding add-ons or support services to your product. These add-ons, or at the very least, in development, can help you respond to your competitors and increase the return on investment (ROI), from a customer.

4. Maturity and saturation

Sales will begin to slow down in the mature stage. You won’t experience the same rapid growth, but this doesn’t mean that you stop growing. This is typically when you’ll lower your prices, offer free add-ons, or make other adjustments to ensure that your products remain competitive.

You’re also more efficient. As production costs decrease, costly errors in manufacturing can be avoided. This stage is where marketing spends are likely to be more effective and refined. Despite not growing in volume, this stage is likely to be your most profitable.

It’s important to remember that your competition may have already established its offerings at this stage. This is a sign that your competitors have seized a larger market share, which can lead to slowed growth for your product. Most consumers are likely already using a version of your product and have begun developing brand preferences.

Any adjustments that you make to your product or services should be done at this point. Once you reach the point that no real adjustments are possible, your messaging, add-ons, and services should be fully focused.

Although you may not be able to make major changes, it is possible to still market the product as a refresh with new features and benefits.

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5. Decline

The decline stage of the product life cycle is associated with decreasing revenue due to market saturation, high competition, and changing customer needs. Companies at this stage have several options:

Discontinue the product

Sell the manufacturing rights to another business

Find new uses for the product

Tap into new markets

This is the stage where you will need to weigh both the benefits and costs of each option. Is it possible to revise the product? Are there any other features that you haven’t explored? Are there other markets that you haven’t explored that could be benefited from your product?

If you can, look to run different forecasting scenarios during this time to see what each decision could lead to depending on product performance.

You should have other products that can support your business in the event of a product failure. It’s ideal to have multiple products, or iterations, at different stages of the product lifecycle.

How do you know what stage your products are in?

It is impossible to predict how long a product will remain in one stage. It can be difficult to identify the stage in which you are and when you have entered the next.

You can identify your current situation by understanding the characteristics of each stage. It’s easier to look at the performance of your business to see where it is now and where it is going.

You can leverage this actual performance to then help paint the picture of what to expect in the future. This exercise can be tied into your financial forecasts and compared directly to your financial statements.

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How to use the product life cycle to manage your business

It is possible to develop a strategy for your product by knowing what stage you are at. As we have seen, your stage can influence both your sales and marketing decisions. This is how to use your knowledge of the product cycle to grow and manage your business.

Establish authority

You can position your product to be cheaper, better, or have other benefits than the competition during the introduction stage. This is where you establish your brand and business.

Are you looking to be the low-cost option? You are the local or eco-friendly solution. Or maybe you want to focus on your company mission and how your business operates.

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Set a pricing strategy

Pricing can be affected by each stage. The introduction stage is about positioning yourself against your competitors and trying to offset development expenses.

A new product version or price drop will almost guarantee the decline stage. This will start the pricing conversation all over again, with the performance of the original product directly influencing your initial price position.

You will be able to adjust your pricing if necessary if you have a better understanding of where your product is in the price cycle.

Create a marketing strategy

The growth stage is where you have refined your channel selection, created winning copy, and streamlined your spending.

You can also test new channels or adjust your strategy during the maturity and decline stages. Perhaps you start a blog and sell the product through a channel that you have not yet used.

In any case, each stage presents more opportunities to research and test new concepts that help solidify your marketing strategy.

Product use can be extended or varied

You can make adjustments by knowing the stage of your product and what lies ahead. If you are in the growth stage, and you begin to notice signs of maturity, or even decline, then you can start exploring ways to increase the product’s value.

As we’ve said before, this could involve doing a refresh, adding on additional services, or looking to tap into adjacent markets.

What factors affect the product life cycle?

You have complete control over the product’s positioning, marketing, and creation. It’s important to remember that external factors can have a direct impact on how your product performs at a given stage.

The market in which you are entering your product can have a direct impact on its success or failure. This can also impact the number of potential competitors who try to enter the market.

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Advancements in technology

However, some industries, products, and locations only see limited progress, so a single iteration might be more relevant.

Some models can achieve 8K resolution but most sales and support are focused at 4K resolution. It may be a good idea to be the market leader and then focus on high-end sales depending on your market position.

If you are a distributor of mid-range TVs and monitors, it may make more sense to limit your product output to 4K with some 8K options to test for relevance.

Rate of market acceptance

The acceptance rate of consumers is a key factor in determining the product’s life expectancy. Although 4K televisions are available for years, they are just now being accepted as the standard. This is not due to the lower price but also support from streaming services, traditional cable, and other hardware manufacturers.

This has resulted in a long product life cycle. It took several years for the product to be accepted by the market. The promised 8K replacement is still years away so the growth and maturity stages could take even longer.

To find out what the acceptance rate might be, it is often possible to look at historical life cycles. Keep in mind that the benefits of a shorter or longer life cycle depend entirely on the stage.

It may not be able to provide a return on investment if it remains in the introduction stage too long. It may be worthwhile if it is expected to enter a long growth stage.

Economic forces

The economic state can have a direct impact on the product’s life cycle. A sudden dip, brought on by a global pandemic, for example, may stretch out the introduction phase due to less or selective spending by consumers. Recovery from a financial crisis may also reduce the introductory or even growth phase.

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Keep your product life cycle in mind

It is essential to understand the product life cycle to manage and grow your business. This can help you to create a better business plan, make better strategic decisions, and help you prepare more accurate financial forecasts.

Make sure you are reviewing your business plan regularly to determine your market position. While you may be already researching every aspect of the product’s life cycle, it is worth taking the time and establishing the market position for your product regularly.

Artificial Intelligence Vs Machine Learning Vs Deep Learning: What Exactly Is The Difference ?

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.

range of applications has changed the facets of technology in every field, ranging from Healthcare, Manufacturing, Business, Education, Banking, Information Technology, and whatnot!

Although these words are familiar and used widely, they are often used interchangeably. But there is a vast difference between all of these.

In this article, we will explore these buzzwords and learn the difference between them.

Artificial Intelligence

Simply put, “Artificial Intelligence is the ability of machines to function like the human brain.”

Whenever we think of Artificial Intelligence, the first thing that strikes our mind is Robots. A few decades ago, ‘Robots’ fascinated us the most with movies showcasing Robots / Superhumans performing insanely tough jobs effortlessly and living on par with humans. Now Robots like Sophia are a reality and we find AI everywhere. Right from robotic vacuum cleaners, virtual assistants like SIRI, robots that perform surgeries in healthcare, robots that write codes, and of course the self-driving cars and trucks – most of these are a reality and the world of Artificial Intelligence is rapidly evolving. Starting with IBM’s chess-playing computer ‘Deep Blue’ which won a chess match against World Champion, to ‘Google’s AlphaGo’, we have seen fascinating discoveries in this AI revolution.

In simple terms, Artificial Intelligence is all about training machines to mimic human behavior, specifically, the human brain and its thinking abilities. Similar to the human brain, AI systems develop the ability to rationalize and perform actions that have the best chance of achieving a specific goal.

Artificial Intelligence focuses on performing 3 cognitive skills just like a human – learning, reasoning, and self-correction.

The evolution of Artificial Intelligence is considered the fourth Industrial Revolution ~ UBS

Experts say, just like how the first 3 industrial revolutions changed the course of the world, the fourth revolution, powered by Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Cloud will surely change the course of humanity and our planet Earth. And enthusiasts are running to learn any AI Course Online.

Let’s have a quick look at the three broad categories of Artificial Intelligence and how we are rapidly evolving in these areas!

1. Artificial Narrow Intelligence

2. Artificial General Intelligence

3. Artificial Super Intelligence

Artificial Narrow Intelligence

Artificial Narrow Intelligence systems are designed and trained to complete one specific task and are often termed as Weak AI / Narrow AI. The chatbots that answer questions based on user input, voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, facial recognition systems, AI systems that search the internet, are examples of Weak AI. They are intelligent at performing the specific tasks that they are programmed to do so.

Narrow AI doesn’t mimic human intelligence, rather it just simulates human behavior based on a set of parameters and input data. Weak AI still requires some amount of human intervention in terms of defining parameters for learning algorithms, feeding relevant training data, and ensuring the accuracy of prediction.

You can think of it as an infant who listens to instruction from adults and performs the functions as directed.

Artificial General Intelligence

Artificial General Intelligence is when the AI systems/machines would perform on par with another human. This also means the ability of the machine to interpret and understand human tone and emotions and act accordingly. This is also called Strong AI and we are still scratching the surface of Strong AI. As Machine Learning capabilities continue to evolve, AI will progress and we will reach there soon.

Artificial Super Intelligence

Artificial Super Intelligence/Super AI is when an Artificial Intelligent machine would become self-aware and surpass human’s intelligence and ability. Although there is so much exciting research happening around this area, there are warnings from scientists as well.

Oxford University Professor and New York Times best-selling author of the book “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies”, Nick Bostrom says,

” The biggest threat is the longer-term problem, introducing something radical that’s super intelligent and failing to align it with human values and intentions. This is a big technical problem. We would succeed at solving the capability problem before we succeed at solving the safety and alignment problem.”

Okay! That’s a lot about Artificial Intelligence!

As we have a fair idea of Artificial Intelligence; are you wondering how the computer system/machine can mimic human actions and perform predictions, automation, and make decisions?

That is where Machine Learning comes into the picture.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning is naturally a subset of AI. It provides the statistical methods and algorithms and enables the machines/computers to learn automatically from their previous experiences and data and allows the program to change its behavior accordingly.

Machine Learning provides many different techniques and algorithms to make the computer learn. Decision trees, Random Forests, Support Vector Machines, K Means clustering – these are just to name a few.

Demand forecasting sales of products, predicting customer behavior, gauging customer sentiments from their social media behavior – these are some use cases where machine learning models are used. Machine learning algorithms work well when the input data is reasonably good enough. When the size of data explodes, we need to look at more efficient algorithms and techniques and that is where Deep Learning finds its hotspot.

OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime use Machine Learning to recommend movies based on the user’s past viewing data and it constantly improves by learning from past experiences.

Image Source: Scrabbl

In e-commerce, companies like Amazon and Flipkart use Machine Learning to learn the user’s preferences and give product recommendations based on previous purchases and viewing history.

The application of Machine Learning in the real world is humongous!

Now we have a clear idea that Machine Learning and AI are not just the same. Machine Learning is one of the ways to achieve Artificial Intelligence.

Just like anything else, Machine Learning has its shortcomings and that is where Deep Learning comes into the picture!

Machine Learning models don’t perform very well when the volume and complexity of data increase multifold. They need some sort of human intervention and guidance whereas Deep Learning models learn from data and previous experience and correct themselves progressively.

Let’s look at the next buzzword – Deep Learning!

Deep Learning

Deep Learning can be thought of as the evolution of Machine Learning which takes inspiration from the functioning of the human brain. Deep Learning is used to solve complex problems where the data is huge, diverse, less structured. Deep learning models are built on top of Artificial Neural Networks, which mimic how the human brain works.

Let’s look at the basic functioning of our brain to understand how Neural Networks work. Our human brain has neurons which are the basic functional units of our brain. The neurons transmit information to other nerve cells, muscles, and glands and also receive input from other neurons, enabling the brain to make decisions.

Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay

Imagine, you are a small kid and you see a pot filled with hot water. When you see it you wouldn’t understand it’s hot unless someone says so. If you touch the hot pot, the nerves in your fingers carry this information to the brain, and the neurons process this information and send the signal back to your fingers and you would sense the heat. Next time you see a hot pot, your brain will remember the previous incidents and will remind you that you will feel hot if you touch it.

And our brain continuously learns from inputs from the environment and previous experiences and makes the best possible decision in every scenario. This is pretty much what Deep Learning does! It learns progressively from raw data and previous experiences and corrects itself without explicit programming.

Image Source: DukeToday

Artificial Neural Networks, Convolutional Neural Networks, and Recurrent Neural Networks are some of the Deep Learning algorithms used to solve real-world problems.

Self-driving cars and trucks, Virtual Assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, Speech recognition systems, Computer vision, Robotic Surgeries are all interesting applications of Deep Learning.

” At the beginning of 2023, the number of bytes in the digital universe was 40 times bigger than the number of stars in the observable universe” ~ World Economic Forum

To summarize, a lot of AI systems are powered by Machine Learning and Deep Learning algorithms. AI is achieved through Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and they are not the same.

I hope this article gave you a fair idea of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning.

If you would like to drop your thoughts or connect with me on LinkedIn, here is the link- LinkedIn

Happy learning!

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What Is Icloud Drive On Iphone? Icloud Drive Vs Icloud Explained

iCloud has been the driving force behind iOS since it was first released back in 2011. Since then, the service has expanded largely to introduce new features and storage options to its user.

Every iPhone comes bundled with iCloud and if you are new to iOS then here’s all you need to know about it.

What is iCloud Drive?

iCloud Drive is the dedicated cloud storage space within iCloud for all your unrecognized files, documents, and folders.

Got JPEGs, PNGs, SVGs, text files, zip files, RAR files, or more unsupported file types on your iOS device? Then you can back them up to your iCloud drive. The iCloud drive is an all-in-one solution to backup all your other data that is not a part of default or third-party apps on your device. 

iCloud Drive vs iCloud: Differences explained

As discussed above, iCloud drive is the dedicated user-managed storage space in iCloud that you can use to store all kinds of files including the ones that can not be opened on iOS or macOS for that matter. 

iCloud on the other hand is the cloud storage and backup service from Apple that backs up and stores all your data in the cloud.

If iCloud is a closet then iCloud drive would be a dedicated section for your unsupported files in that closet. iCloud also backs up data from your default and third-party apps including the likes of Safari, notes, Mail, Gmail, Photos, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram, and more.

iCloud additionally also gives you access to privacy-focused features as well as the ability to backup and sync your settings across all your devices using the same Apple ID. 

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What is iCloud drive used for?

As discussed above, iCloud drive is a part of iCloud and it is a user-managed storage space in the cloud. You can use this storage space to store all kinds of data including supported and unsupported file types.

You can even use it to store desktop backups and important files that you wish to transfer between unsupported devices. 

What is Google Drive?

Just like Apple, Google too has its own alternative to Cloud Storage called Google Drive. You can store all kinds of files in Google Drive, access them from all your devices, and even make changes to supported file types directly in the cloud.

iCloud’s equivalent on Android would be Google Sync. Just like Google Sync helps store your passwords, app data, settings, and more in the cloud, iCloud helps store your keychain, default app, settings, and preferences data in the cloud. 

Related: What Does Share Focus Status Mean?

How to manage iCloud sync

You can manage your iCloud sync from your Apple ID settings. You can toggle backups, app syncs, and more individually or turn off iCloud sync altogether. Follow the guide below to get you started.

Open the Settings app and tap on your Apple ID at the top.

Tap on ‘iCloud’ now.

Now turn off the toggle for apps you do not wish to sync.

For certain apps, you will be prompted if you wish to keep the synced data on your device or delete it. Make the desired choice by tapping on the corresponding option.

Additionally, tap on ‘Photos’ if you wish to turn off sync and backup for your Apple Photos.

Turn off the following toggle to disable sync and backup for Photos.

iCloud Photos

My Photo Stream

Shared Albums

Tap on iCloud Backup if you wish to turn off backup on your current device.

Turn off the toggle for iCloud backup at the top.

Tap on ‘Keychain’ if you wish to stop syncing your passwords with your Apple ID. Tap and turn off the toggle at the top.

If you have subscribed to iCloud Plus then you can use Private Relay and Hide My Email as well. Tap on ‘Private Relay’ to get started.

Tap and turn on the toggle for ‘Private Relay’.

Tap on ‘IP Address Location’ to change how your location is shared with online sources.

Now go back to the previous screen and tap on ‘Hide my email’.

Tap on ‘Create new address’. 

Now tap on ‘Continue’.

Enter an easily identifiable label for your new temporary email address. You can also add a description of it if needed. Tap on ‘Next’ now.

Now tap on ‘Done’. You can now hide your email address by tapping in a compatible email field and selecting ‘Hide my Email’ from the context menu popup.

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How to manage iCloud drive data

You can control the data stored in your iCloud drive in various ways. If you are looking to manage your iCloud data from the desktop then you can try using this dedicated guide from us.

If however, you wish to manage your data from your iOS device then you can use the guide below instead.

1. Toggle iCloud Drive on your device

Open the Settings app and tap on your Apple ID at the top.

Now tap on ‘iCloud’.

Now turn on or off the toggle for iCloud Drive depending on your preferences.

2. Use iCloud Drive

Open the Files app and tap on ‘Browse’ in the top left corner.

Tap and select ‘iCloud drive’ under ‘Locations’.

You will now have access to all your iCloud drive files. You can now tap and hold on to a file and select the desired option to manage it.

You can even tap the ‘3-dot’ icon in the top right corner to access ‘Select’. This will allow you to select multiple files and make changes to them at once.

In addition to the ‘Select’ option, the 3-dot menu icon also gives you access to the following features.

New Folder creation

Scan Documents using your camera

Connect to a remote server

Related: What Is Website Tinting on iOS 15?

How to manage iCloud storage space

You can manage your iCloud Storage space from the Settings app on your iOS device. Use the guide below to get you started.

Open the Settings app on your device and tap on your Apple ID at the top.

Tap on ‘iCloud’.

Now tap on ‘Manage Storage’.

You will now get a list of all the apps and locations taking up the most storage space on your iCloud account. Tap on the desired app to manage its data. For this guide, we will be using the Photos app.

Now tap on ‘Disable & Delete’ to disable Photos sync and delete data from your iCloud. All your data will be deleted after 30 days.

You can download and backup your data locally during this period.


What happens if you turn off iCloud?

You will lose the ability to sync data across your devices, your setting won’t be synced on your other devices and no data from your iOS devices will be backed up to the cloud. However, you will be able to use privacy-focused features like Private Relay individually on your device even if you have iCloud disabled on your device.

What happens if you only turn off iCloud drive?

If you turn off iCloud drive then you will no longer have a user-managed cloud storage space. Your files will no longer be synced to the cloud from the Files app and your documents will no longer be backed up as well. Additionally, if you used iCloud drive to share files with your colleagues and friends, then you will use the ability to do the same as well.


What Is A Private Mac (Wifi) Address On Ios And How To Use It

Starting with iOS 14, Apple bolstered iPhone privacy with lots of exciting additions. Most of them—such as App Tracking Transparency (ATT)—made constant headlines and significantly impacted the way apps function. 

But a feature that mostly flew under the radar was MAC randomization. Its built-in functionality goes a step beyond by helping you preserve your anonymity from unscrupulous Wi-Fi networks.

Table of Contents

If you want to figure out what MAC randomization does and how you can use it to set up or change your private MAC address on the iPhone, then keep reading.

What Is a Private MAC Address on an iPhone?

Your iPhone comes with a hard-coded set of twelve hexadecimal characters called the MAC (or Media Access Control) address. It’s what helps Wi-Fi networks distinguish the device from other smartphones, laptops, and desktops around you. If you’re curious, here’s how MAC addresses work in detail.

However, each MAC address is unique, and that presents privacy-related implications. For example, a network operator can track you across locations when your iPhone joins (or probes) for public Wi-Fi hotspots.

That’s where MAC randomization comes into the picture. If you have iOS 14 or later installed, your iPhone now sports the ability to change (or mask) your real MAC address on your iPhone with a randomized string of hexadecimals. 

Better yet, your iOS device generates separate (or private) MAC addresses for each network it joins. That makes it next to impossible for Wi-Fi providers to profile you based on your MAC address alone. MAC randomization is also active by default, so you don’t have to do anything to protect your privacy. 

However, you may run into instances where you’ll have to double-check the private MAC address for a specific Wi-Fi network, change it to something else, or delete it altogether.

How to Find a Private MAC Address on iPhone

Any iPhone running iOS 14 uses private MAC addresses for each Wi-Fi network it joins (or attempts to join). If you want to double-check or reference it for network troubleshooting purposes, then here’s how:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Tap Wi-Fi.

3. Tap the Info icon next to a Wi-Fi network. You should see the private MAC address listed next to Wi-Fi Address.

Note: If the switch next to Private Address appears disabled, you’ll see the iPhone’s actual physical address instead. Turn it and tap Rejoin (if the device is actively connected to the network) to conceal it with a private address.

How to Change a Private MAC Address on iPhone

Your iPhone uses separate private MAC addresses for each Wi-Fi network to reduce the chances of being tracked. However, iOS continues to use the same address that it initially assigns to a network even if you disconnect and rejoin. Forgetting a hotspot and rejoining also won’t regenerate a different MAC address. 

The only way to change the private MAC address for a Wi-Fi hotspot is to reset the network settings on your iPhone. That’ll also change the private addresses for every other hotspot that you’ve joined in the past.

If you want to go ahead with a network settings reset, then here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Tap General.

3. Scroll down and tap Reset.

4. Tap Reset Network Settings.

5. Enter your device passcode and tap Reset Network Settings again.

Note: A network settings reset wipes all network-related preferences and settings on your iPhone. You must reconnect to each Wi-Fi network manually afterward.

How to Disable a Private MAC Address on iPhone

You may come across Wi-Fi networks that prevent you from joining unless you use your iPhone’s actual MAC address. In addition, some operators may let you join but prevent you from accessing the internet. When that happens, you must manually deactivate the private MAC address for the network. Here’s how:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Wi-Fi.

2. Tap the Info icon next to the network.

3. Turn off the switch next to Private Address.

If you’ve already joined the network, tap Rejoin to reconnect to it. If not, tap Join This Network.

Protect Your Privacy with MAC Randomization

Private MAC addresses are a terrific way to protect your privacy if you switch between Wi-Fi networks regularly. The best thing about MAC randomization is that your iPhone handles everything for you on its own. You may want to look up a private address or disable it if you have connectivity issues with a specific network. 

Google One Explained: Is It Worth Subscribing To?

If you have a Gmail address, you can also access Google’s entire suite of online services. That includes Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and more.

Unfortunately, free users only get about 15GB of free storage to cover all of the storage for those services. A Google One subscription plan lets you pay for extra storage, offering more benefits. But is it worth subscribing to? 

Table of Contents

How Google Drive Storage Works

The storage with your Google account is unified, except for compressed Google Photos. This means that your emails, Drive contents, device backups, and anything that has to be stored in the cloud count against the total pool.

If you’re just a mail user and dabble a little in Google Docs, then the 15GB storage is probably enough for you. However, if you’re taking full-quality photos and videos with your snazzy smartphone camera, you may also find your cloud backups eating into that drive quickly. So there’s a case for those invested in the ecosystem.

Storage Plan Pricing

Google One offers three tiers of storage to new subscribers:

5TB Plan: For $25 per month or $250 paid annually, you get five terabytes of storage, with all the perks on lower tiers, except you now get 10% back on Google Store purchases.

10TB Plan: At $50 a month or $600 per year, you get lower perks but no annual discount.

20TB Plan: At $100 a month or $1200 per year, you get lower perks but no annual discount.

30TB Plan: At $150 a month or $1800 per year, you get lower perks but no annual discount.

Family Group Sharing

Google One allows you to share your storage allocation with up to five family members for a total of six members.

There’s no household restriction in our experience with the service. The different members don’t have to be different. We’ve used Google One with multiple accounts belonging to the same user. This makes it easy to share storage across your other Google accounts.

Adding or removing members is simple. From the Google One app or home page, simply go to 

Getting Expert Help and Support Priority

Google’s services are excellent when they work correctly, but things can go wrong now and then. It’s easy to depend on tools like Google Drive and Google Docs, but you aren’t entitled to timely support if you’re a free user.

The best place for free users to go is the community forums where other users can help. But if you’re a Google One subscriber, you get priority access to Google experts who can help you in minutes or hours.

Most people will never need this feature, but if your work or business relies on Google’s products, this access to priority help is worth the entire price of a Google One subscription.

Premium Google Photo Editing

The Google Photos app is a simple interface to let you see and manage photos that have been backed up to your Google account. Many people may not know that you can also edit your photos right there in the app.

You’ll find several “Suggestions” to spruce up your photo in one fell swoop. These include Dynamic, Vivid, Color Pop, Luminous, Afterglow, and others.

These features won’t work with just any phone, however. You need Android 8.0 or iOS 14 and at least 3GB of RAM, regardless of your operating system.

The Google One VPN

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) create encrypted data tunnels through the web so that neither your ISP nor anyone on the same Wi-Fi network can spy on your browsing.

Free VPNs are usually dangerous or perform poorly, so many people fork out a monthly fee for fast and reputable services. If you’re a Google One subscriber on the 2TB plan or higher, you can also access Google’s VPN service. There’s no one in the world with the global network infrastructure of Google, so their VPN is undoubtedly good.

However, it’s currently only available on iOS and Android phones, with plans for Windows and macOS still in the pipeline. Also, if you want to use a VPN to unblock content restricted in your country, Google’s VPN won’t be much help there. On the other hand, if you wish to protect your privacy on your smartphone, it’s a fantastic perk. Speaking of perks…

Google One Perks (AKA Member Benefits)

Depending on your country, Google One offers an ever-rotating selection of extra benefits. Some may be from third-party partners, and others are from Google themselves.

You might get free Google Play Store credit to spend on content like movies or apps. You may also receive free Google hardware, early access to Google stuff, or big members-only discounts. It’s hard to quantify whether this should be part of Google One’s value proposition since benefits are unpredictable and currently seem US-centric.

Getting Google One for Free

Google sometimes partners with companies like Samsung to bundle a Google One plan with handsets or mobile contracts. For example, Three (a UK network operator) offers its subscribers three months of the 100GB plan.

What Happens to Data When You Unsubscribe?

If you downgrade your Google One account, cancel it, or otherwise lose access to your expanded data, Google will adjust your quota accordingly. However, your data won’t disappear. You have at least two years to either download and delete your data yourself or pay to expand your storage again. 

While you’re over your quota, you can’t upload or create new files. You won’t be able to sync anything, and you can’t edit or copy any of your files. So don’t be worried that you might suddenly lose your data if you can’t pay or your card expires, and you don’t notice!

Is Google One Worth It for Mac and iOS Users?

There’s plenty to like about Google One, even if you’re an iPhone or Mac user. There’s a macOS version of the Google Drive desktop client just like Microsoft Windows, and mobile apps are available for the iPhone and iPad.

We think Apple customers would be far better off buying their additional cloud storage through iCloud. The integration of Apple devices with iCloud goes beyond what Google can do on the platform, so if we had to choose as Apple users, that would be the sensible choice. Of course, you can use both at the same time!

Who Should Subscribe to Google One?

This subscription service is undoubtedly an incredible deal, even if you only look at it from a dollars per gigabyte perspective. Still, anyone who relies on Google’s tools and apps will benefit significantly from paying a little to expand their unified storage space.

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