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Fitbit Premium is Fitbit’s, well, premium subscription service. As such, it provides additional data, guidance, and exercise routines to Fitbit users. Think of it like any other freemium service you might use — anyone can download and use the Fitbit app for free, but it’ll cost you a monthly fee if you want everything the Fitbit ecosystem has to offer.

Fitbit devices already collect plenty of fitness and health stats. The goal of Fitbit Premium is to help you understand how those stats affect various parts of your daily life. In Fitbit’s own words, Premium “turns stats on your wrist into personalized guidance.”

Fitbit Premium offers four main benefits that aren’t available in the standard Fitbit app: guided programs, workout videos, personalized insights based on your health and fitness level, and an exclusive Health Metrics dashboard. We’ll dive into each one of these later, but for now, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

How much is Fitbit Premium?

Fitbit Premium costs $9.99 per month in the US and £7.99 per month in the UK. If that’s too expensive, you can save by purchasing a yearly subscription for $79.99 or £79.99. At the time of this review, Fitbit is offering a free 90-day trial to new users for a limited time. You can sign up at chúng tôi or in the Fitbit app.

We’re no longer taking new memberships for Health Coaching, but existing members can continue to use Health Coaching through the Fitbit App.

It’s unclear whether or not new users will be able to sign up for the health-coaching tier in the future.

Fitbit Premium availability

Fitbit Premium availability is dictated by language, not by country. Currently Fitbit Premium is available in the following languages:

English

Czech

Dutch

French

German

Italian

Norwegian

Polish

Romanian

Russian

Spanish

Swedish

Chinese (Traditional or Simplified)

Japanese

Korean

Indonesian

Portuguese (Brazilian)

Read our Fitbit device reviews:

As mentioned, Fitbit Premium gets you access to guided programs, dynamic workouts, personalized insights, and a Health Metrics dashboard.

Get Active: A two-week plan that encourages you to start becoming more active by offering bonus video workouts, as well as stories and tips

Push-Up Prep: A three-week plan that will help you strengthen your arms, create core strength, and master the art of the push-up

Run Training: A three-week plan that will help you increase speed and endurance by offering a structured workout plan, cross-training video workouts, and daily tips

Beginner Bodyweight: A three-week program that will teach you the basics of fitness while helping you increase strength and mobility

Intro to HIIT: A three-week program that will teach you the basics of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and challenge you with cardio and strength workouts

Personalized Insights

If you’ve used the Fitbit app in the past, you’ve probably seen little “insights” crop up from time to time. Insights are bits of analysis found around the Fitbit app that tell you how you’re doing and what you could be doing better. Fitbit Premium users will see more of these insights show up, and they’ll be more personalized based on your health and fitness data.

These personalized insights are generally pretty helpful. Whenever I’m not using Fitbit Premium, I tend to dismiss insights more often than not. A simple “Try getting more sleep” message from Fitbit is hardly helpful, but putting my actual sleep data into context makes a world of difference. “On days that you get more than your average 22 minutes of exercise, you also get an extra 7 minutes of deep sleep,” one insight read. That’s useful!

Speaking of sleep, Fitbit Premium users also get a more detailed sleep score breakdown as well as access to Fitbit’s Sleep Profile program. This program evaluate’s users sleep habits over the course of each month and identifies what type of sleeper each person is habitually. It then offers users guidance to improve their sleep quality. In short, sleep data available in a free account is already quite useful, but a Premium plan, again, helps make more sense of the data.

If you’re constantly struggling to fall asleep at the right time or struggling to stay asleep, the Fitbit app will also suggest you enroll in a Guided Program to improve. Likewise, Premium users also get a useful sleep restoration graph that shows your sleeping heart rate and a percentage for how much you’re tossing and turning each night.

Fitbit Health Metrics dashboard

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

You might have noticed another section in your Fitbit app’s home screen called the Health Metrics dashboard. This is where Fitbit displays historical health data for you to keep track of over time. The dashboard includes five metrics, which can be viewed in weekly or monthly graphs:

Breathing rate: shows your nightly average breathing rate in breaths per minute

Compatible devices: Fitbit Alta HR, Blaze, Charge 2, Charge 3, Charge 4, Charge 5, Inspire 2, Inspire 3, Inspire HR, Ionic, Versa family, Sense family, Google Pixel Watch

Heart rate variability (HRV): shows your nightly average heart rate variability in milliseconds

Compatible devices: Fitbit Alta HR, Blaze, Charge 2, Charge 3, Charge 4, Charge 5, Inspire 2, Inspire 3, Inspire HR, Ionic, Versa family, Sense family, Google Pixel Watch

Skin temperature: shows variation in your nightly skin temperature from your baseline

Compatible devices: Fitbit Ionic, Versa family, Sense family, Charge 5

Oxygen saturation (SpO2): shows your nightly average SpO2

Compatible devices: Fitbit Ionic, Versa family, Sense family, Charge 5

Resting heart rate (RHR): shows your average resting heart rate in beats per minute

Compatible devices: Fitbit Alta HR, Blaze, Charge 2, Charge 3, Charge 4, Charge 5, Inspire 2, Inspire 3, Inspire HR, Ionic, Versa family, Sense family, Google Pixel Watch

Fitbit Premium

See price at Fitbit

Not at all. Cancel your subscription on Android, iOS, Microsoft devices, or Fitbit’s desktop platform by following the prompts under your account settings. For more step by step directions, head to our dedicated guide which covers how to cancel your Fitbit Premium from any platform.

Apple Watches are hands down the best smartwatches available for iOS users. They offer unmatched app support and tons of tracking features. On the other hand, we consider Fitbits great picks for casual activity tracking or for anyone new to health and fitness tracking. For a more in-depth breakdown of the two ecosystems, read our Fitbit vs Apple guide.

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S2M Explains : What Is Applecare+ & Is It Worth It?

Whenever you buy a new Apple device, you will have the option to pay an additional fee for something known as “AppleCare+” The asking price for this offer isn’t insignificant, so is it really worth it? 

Let’s look at what exactly Apple is selling with AppleCare+ and whether you’d be better off spending your money elsewhere.

Table of Contents

How Is AppleCare Different From The Standard AppleCare Warranty?

Apple devices generally come with a standard 1-year warranty which is simply referred to as “AppleCare”. But what is AppleCare?This warranty covers you against manufacturing defects and not against any sort of accidental damage. In other words, if Apple messed up and your device develops a problem, not due to your abuse, then they will fix or replace the device at no cost to you. 

Some specific components are warrantied for longer than a year, depending on the device you have. For example, all MacBooks with the butterfly keyboard switch design have a keyboard warranty of four years from the date of purchase.

Similarly, certain MacBook models that suffer degradation of their anti-reflective screen coating are eligible for display replacements for up to four years from purchase as well.

AppleCare+ is often described as a sort of extended warranty. While it does extend the standard warranty, there’s quite a bit more to AppleCare+ than just a longer AppleCare period.

What Do You Get With AppleCare+?

During that extended time, you’ll get the full cover of the standard warranty. This means any manufacturing defect will be repaired for free. However, you also get two accidental event coverages, but these aren’t entirely free. You’ll pay a fixed amount for certain repairs, but nothing more than that. For example, if you break your iPhone screen the repair cost is $29.99 at the time of writing.

Apart from a longer standard warranty and heavily discounted repair bill, you can also add theft and loss coverage to iPhones by buying the more expensive AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss package. This is basically an insurance add-on that means you pay a fixed deductible amount if you need to claim for a new phone.

Apart from all this hardware coverage, AppleCare+ customers also get priority tech support for the full duration of the plan. Whereas you only get 90 days of complimentary coverage with a new Apple product.

AppleCare vs Insurance

Since AppleCare+ offers coverage for accidental damage, it means you need to compare it to other insurance options. For iPhone users, it’s even more appropriate since you can also pay for additional theft and loss coverage which is not included in standard AppleCare+.

The big difference here is that you pay a one-off fee for the protection plan. With insurance, you’ll pay a monthly coverage fee, which you can stop at any time. So you’ll have to compare the once-off cost against the total cost of insurance over the course of the number of years your AppleCare+ plan would cover the device. Be sure to also compare deductibles and the number of incidents covered.

It’s also worth remembering that the AppleCare+ price also includes other perks, such as warranty extension. So an apple-to-apples cost comparison isn’t really possible.

What Does AppleCare+ Cost?

There is no fixed answer to this question. Apple charges different amounts for its AppleCare+ coverage depending on the device and sometimes even the specific model. You can generally expect a price somewhere around the $200 mark, but you’ll need to confirm this for each individual case.

Do I Have to Buy it Immediately?

One of the biggest problems with AppleCare+ is that you are already spending a heap of money on your new Apple goodie and spending a few hundred bucks on something intangible is often a hard pill to swallow. Luckily, it has never been the case that you have to buy it right away. 

Originally, iPhone users had 60 days from initial purchase to upgrade. Mac users had a full year to take the plunge, so it made sense to wait until the standard warranty is about to run out before buying AppleCare+. In 2023 Apple extended the same 1-year time period to iPhone users as well. 

Eligibility varies by device and country, so be sure to use the official Apple Eligibility Checker to make sure how long you have to buy AppleCare+.

Arguments FOR AppleCare+

So what are some strong reasons to shell out for AppleCare+? Oddly enough, it turns out that the extension of the standard AppleCare warranty may very well be the most valuable aspect of the AppleCare+ offer after all. 

Why? Well, insurance will cover accidental damage, loss, or theft, but it won’t cover device failures that are out of warranty. The sort that Apple will fix for free under warranty. These can be incredibly expensive. For example, if your MacBook’s logic board fails and needs to be replaced, it could cost more than $1,000! Often in these cases, people simply opt to buy a whole new laptop, but if you pay the (relatively) small AppleCare+ fee then that repair will cost you just about nothing.

The chances of that sort of component failure over the course of 2-3 years aren’t trivial. Especially with MacBooks, which run hot and have exhibited a whole host of issues over the years. Yes, if an issue is widespread then Apple will usually cover it regardless, but only AppleCare+ is going to cover your bad luck with getting a lemon off the assembly line.

The other major plus point may also surprise you, but it’s the included technical support. Having a direct line to Apple can be invaluable, especially if your device is essential for work purposes.

Arguments AGAINST AppleCare+

The weakest part of the AppleCare+ offering is the accidental repair coverage. You need to do some serious comparative shopping with third-party insurance companies. 

Phone carriers often also offer in-house insurance for iPhones bought on contract. Your household insurance is likely to make you a better offer for similar coverage as this component of AppleCare+, so be sure to get some quotations before pulling the trigger on the Apple offering.

The Bottom Line

We think that, based on the extended warranty alone, AppleCare+ is worth it. The main reason for this is how tightly Apple controls the aftermarket repair industry of its products and how expensive out-of-warranty repairs can be. So getting 2-3 years of warranty coverage is well worth the asking price. 

In normal use, Apple devices rarely give any trouble, but there are enough horror stories out there that this peace of mind is worth the price.

If you’re happy to roll the dice on Apple’s hardware quality, but don’t trust yourself not to accidentally damage or lose the unit, then it’s more likely you’ll get a better deal from a third-party insurer. Especially one you are already using for home insurance, which will net you better rates, where you aren’t subsidizing the behavior of other, riskier customers.

It also means you aren’t pre-paying for years of coverage you may not use if the phone gets sold or upgraded before the AppleCare+ period runs out. 

What Is Adobe Creative Cloud & Is It Worth The Cost?

We all know about Adobe, but what is Adobe Creative Cloud and is it worth paying for? Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of more than 20 desktop and mobile apps designed for creativity, design, UI, UX, and video work. 

Adobe Creative Cloud is also packed with other features, such as font packs, online storage and backup. 

Table of Contents

There are different bundles available for Adobe Creative Cloud, so whether it’s worth it for you will come down to your own needs and whether there are suitable enough free alternatives in the market.

The Full Adobe Creative Cloud Package – 20+ Apps For $52.99/month

Let’s take a closer look at the full Adobe Creative Cloud package first, which costs $52.99 per month and features more than 20 apps, alongside other features.

There is a month by month fee that can be cancelled at any time, similar to most other online subscription services. However, this costs $79.49 per month. Thankfully you can buy individual apps for $20.99/month on an annual plan or $31.49 monthly on a month-by-month basis. There are also savings for students and teachers.

Ultimately though, Adobe Creative Cloud is on the expensive side of things and unlike the past, there’s no way to just outright buy a one-time license for their software. 

So, what apps are included in Adobe Creative Cloud? 

Photography & Design

The following photography and design apps are included in the full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Photoshop – Create graphics, photo, and art.

Illustrator – Create illustrations and vector art.

Adobe XD – Design and prototype website/app UX.

Dimension – Create realistic 3D images and product branding.

InDesign – Page design and layout for print.

InCopy – Allow copy editing in tandem with InDesign.

Spark – Create custom graphics and web pages quickly.

Animate – Create interactive vector animations for video or games.

Dreamweaver – Create responsive website designs.

In some cases, there will be apps in this list that are crucial for your work, but if you just need general graphic design and editing then Photoshop can do most tasks here with some practice. There are also some free alternatives to Photoshop such as GIMP or Paint.NET.

Even so, Photoshop can’t be beaten in many ways. Adobe has worked on the app for two decades, so they’ve really refined themselves in the industry.

Photoshop isn’t a necessity – you can get the basics with other apps for free, However, many would argue Photoshop is the number one option. Photoshop also has the largest support for official and community tutorials.

Animate shares a similar story, being one of the best options for vector animation work, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t free alternatives that can be used for basic work. 

The other apps in the bundle may be worth considering, for example if you need better tools for animation, or UX design. Even then, there are always free alternatives too. For example, Canva is a great free alternative to Spark, which can be used to create eye catching posters, social posts, images for web design, and much more. Google Web Designer could be a great free web design alternative to Dreamweaver. 

Ultimately it’s a case by case basis with Adobe’s photography and design apps. Sometimes you can get by with a free alternative, and sometimes Adobe really is the best choice. It will depend on your specific needs but with how the annual commitment can work with Adobe, it’s always worth trying the free alternatives first before committing to a full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Video & Audio

Adobe Creative Cloud also comes with a number of great tools for video and audio editing. Here is a brief overview of what’s available.

Premiere Pro – Professional level video and film editing.

Premiere Rush – Fast video editing and sharing tool.

After Effects – Create great visual effects for video.

Audition – Audio recording and mixing.

Let’s first start with Premiere Pro – it’s one of the most well known video editing tools in the industry. Perfect for everything from clipping together a YouTube video to creating fully fledged films. Fortunately this is a very competitive market, which means you can find free video editing alternatives. 

There are also other great paid video editing suites such as Sony Vegas Pro.

Sony Vegas Pro can be purchased with a one-time license which can be appealing to some. 

To many, it’s the inclusion of After Effects that makes it worth sticking to Adobe Creative Cloud. After Effects is the most powerful tool out there for creating great visual effects and learning After Effects can take your video production to the next level. If After Effects already costs $20.99 per month on an annual plan, throwing in Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and every other app for a grand total of $52.99 suddenly doesn’t seem so far fetched.

The Extra Functionality

Besides the apps and their individual functionality, subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud gives you access to more features. For example, you get 100GB cloud storage which is perfect for both backing up your creative work and making it easier to collaborate with others in real time.

Adobe Fonts allows you to get free access and commercial usage to thousands of fonts, all of which can be used across all Creative Cloud apps. You also have tools for showcasing your creative work through Adobe Behance and you can save and collaborate on assets such as brushes, materials, and designs through Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries.

Is Adobe Creative Cloud Worth the Price?

Adobe Creative Cloud can be worth the price, but is it worth it for you? That all comes down to your individual needs. In most cases, a free Photoshop and free Premiere Pro alternative could suffice, but sometimes the individual apps will be far superior.

We would suggest starting with free alternatives first, and if you can’t get access to the features you need, consider paying for Adobe Creative Cloud after.

Apple Music Diary: Decision Time – Is It Worth The Money?

My first impressions of Apple Music weren’t great. I loved the first ‘For you’ recommendation it made, but the service then seemed to be completely ignoring what it should already know about my taste in music and offering me a lot of what I already owned. I also had a number of complaints about the user interface.

One week in, I was still unhappy with it continuing to offer to ‘introduce me’ to artists whose music I already owned, and was pretty unimpressed with the radio stations, but I was enjoying its hit-rate in recommending artists new to me.

With the three-month almost at an end, it’s time to make a decision about whether the service is worth paying for … 

My complaints about the user interfaces of both iTunes and the iOS Music app mostly remain. Apple has done a little tinkering around the edges, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Apple has at least acknowledged that, iTunes International VP Oliver Schusser stating that the company is “adding features and cleaning up certain things” – which I’m hoping goes beyond the changes seen in iOS 9.

My disillusionment with Apple Music’s radio offerings – both old and new – also continued. Beats 1 was never going to be for me, but none of the old radio stations grabbed me either. As I said last time, the one station that should have been tailor-made for me, Singer-songwriter, was a massive disappointment. Whoever curates it seriously needs to be fired. Alternative was okay-ish for background listening, but the ‘ish’ won out over the ‘okay’ and I abandoned that too.

For that reason, I do still check on on it every now and then, just to see what’s new, but mostly I view it as junk. Which brings us back to the all-important For You tab. If Apple Music was going to win me over, it needed to get this right.

Like any streaming music service, I needed to give Apple Music a chance to learn my tastes. Spotify has literally years of data on my listening preferences, and here I was going to be making the decision on whether or not to switch based on just three months’ usage of Apple Music. I decided that to be scrupulously fair, I would make a religion of training it.

Sure, there were times when I just left it playing in the background, but as someone who doesn’t own a TV, I’m a pretty active music listener a lot of the time. So a good 90% of the time, I religiously used the Love or Dislike options on every track that I felt strongly about one way or the other.

Which brings me to a brief aside on the lack of joined-up design between the Apple Music experience on OS X and iOS: in iTunes, you dislike a track or album by selecting the ‘…’ menu and choosing ‘Recommend Less Like This’; in the iOS Music app, you press on the recommendation and select ‘I don’t like this suggestion’ – despite the fact that the ‘…’ menu exists in the Music app too. Different method, different wording.

I also noted what we learned from The Loop – that Apple Music doesn’t care if we skip a track, as that could be just because we’re not in the mood at the time, but it does give credit for tracks listened to in full, assuming we like those. So I tried to ensure I listened to the very end of any track I liked, even if I was keen to listen to something else immediately afterwards.

I complained at length in my previous diary pieces that Apple Music didn’t seem to take into account my own music library, recommending albums I already owned, and even offering to ‘introduce’ me to some of my favorite artists. Phil Schiller insists that Apple Music does learn from our libraries, and presumably intends to resurface albums we own but haven’t listened to for a while. I was skeptical, because it seemed to recommend albums I not only own but have played recently. In the above clipping, for example, are three albums I own, one of which I’d played within the past week (no, it’s not Shania Twain).

So I decided I’d look on recently-played examples as bugs, and ignore the wording of ‘Introduction to’ recommendations and simply treat those as a way to play a different mix from an artist whose work I already owned. That mental shift made a surprisingly big difference, no longer finding myself irritated by those suggestions, viewing them instead as a ‘Hey, are you in the mood for some …’ prompt instead.

And you know what? Sometimes I was. In the first week, I was very focused on its ability to introduce me to new artists – on which more in a moment – so just viewed already-owned music as a distraction. But once I settled more into a mix of old and new music, sometimes its suggestions were good ones. I haven’t figured out if there’s any particular methodology behind them – like gentler music in the morning and louder music later – so maybe it’s just randomly pulling stuff from my library, but I can live with that.

But music discovery remains key for me. I don’t need a streaming music service to listen to my own music, even if it does give me prompts I wouldn’t otherwise get. And it’s here that Apple Music really has excelled. Even a week in, I found it was broadening my musical horizons significantly, and it’s continued to do so, recommending artists I’d likely never have discovered any other way. Some of those artists have become favourites.

In three months, it has introduced me to more new artists I like than Spotify has in literally years. More than I’ve discovered through recommendations from friends. More than I’ve found by Shazamming tracks in bars and coffee shops.

That’s huge. And while the UK does get a raw deal on pricing, it’s still less than than the cost of one album per month. So yes, for me Apple Music is worth it, and I’ll be continuing my subscription once Apple starts billing me in a week’s time. My Spotify subscription got cancelled a week in, and I won’t be renewing it.

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Is The Tiktok Creator Fund Worth It? Everything You Need To Know

TikTok launched the Creator Fund in spring 2023 with an initial investment of $200 million. But reviews from participants have been mixed.

It’s hard to imagine what viral moment will take the world by storm this year, but we can almost guarantee it’ll trend on TikTok first. And the app’s endless popularity means there are plenty of ways to monetize.

Among them is the TikTok Creator Fund, which launched last year with a whopping initial investment of $200 million USD and a promise to reach $1 billion in the next three years.

Yes, there’s presumably a large bag of TikTok money just waiting to be claimed by the smartest, most engaging content creators. But what exactly is the TikTok Creator Fund, and is it worth your time?

We’ve answered all of your questions about this exciting (and potentially controversial) new program.

Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.

What is the TikTok Creator Fund?

@tiktok_uk

The Creator Fund is open! We’re so excited to celebrate creativity with a European fund of €254 million. See link in bio for more info 🥳

♬ Originalton – TikTok UK

It’s right there in the name: the TikTok Creator Fund is a monetary fund for creators. It’s not an ad revenue sharing program like YouTube’s AdSense, nor is it a form of arts grant. It’s simply a way for TikTok to share income with creators who are killing it on the platform.

TikTok first launched the Creator Fund in the spring of 2023 with an initial investment of $200 million USD. In the company’s own words, the fund was launched “to encourage those who dream of using their voices and creativity to spark inspirational careers.”

The TikTok Creator Fund was an instant success (although not without its controversies, as you’ll soon read). The fund is so popular, in fact, that the company will increase it to $1 billion within the next three years.

TikTok has been decidedly secretive about their payout structure, but the general idea is that users who meet their requirements will be compensated for well-performing videos. How TikTok calculates their payouts is based on factors like views, video engagement and even region-specific performance.

It should go without saying, but the videos also need to adhere to the Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, so you’ll have to rack up your views without breaking the rules.

How much does the TikTok Creator Fund pay?

When TikTok users first learned about this enormous fund, they understandably had dollar signs in their eyes (no filter necessary). But even with multiple millions at play, high-performing TikTok users shouldn’t expect a life-changing payday just yet.

There are no hard rules about how much the TikTok Creator Fund pays its contributors. But plenty of creators have gone on record to explain their own experience with the Creator Fund.

The general consensus is that TikTok pays between 2 and 4 cents for every 1,000 views. Some quick math suggests you might expect $20 to $40 after reaching a million views.

At first glance, that might look pretty bad. But remember: the fund should inspire creators to, well, keep creating. Master your TikTok game and you could be hitting millions of views on a regular basis.

Once you’ve racked up at least $10 from the Fund, you can simply withdraw your Creator Fund payout using an online financial service like Paypal or Zelle.

Who can join the TikTok Creator Fund?

The TikTok Creator Fund is available for users based in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Yes, Canadians and Australians are out of luck for now, but rumour has it the fund will launch in their respective countries later in 2023.

As long as you’re in the right location, there are a few other requirements to join the Creator Fund.

You need to have a Pro account (and it’s easy to make the switch if you don’t)

You need to have at least 10,000 followers

You need to have received at least 100,000 views in the last 30 days

You also need to be 18 or older and make sure you’re following the TikTok Community Guidelines and terms of service. And in order to make money off your work, you should be making original content.

If you meet those requirements, you’re good to sign up for the Creator Fund. But should you?

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Is it worth it to join the TikTok Creator Fund?

As with any new social media feature, there has been plenty of debate (and downright drama) over the TikTok Creator Fund. From valid concerns to surprising benefits, let’s dig into the pros and cons of the fund:

Pros Money!

It goes without saying that getting paid for your work is always a good thing, so payouts from TikTok are an obvious pro. Even if the amounts are small, money is a great motivator to keep uploading.

Unlimited Money!

Another great thing about the Creator Fund is that TikTok hasn’t set a limit for how much money one user can make. So if you do master the platform and break into the multi-million view zone, you could theoretically start raking in some decent cash.

Friendship!

The Creator Fund is also a great way to foster community and set apart users who have shown a dedication to the platform. From TikTok’s perspective, it’s also a great way keep their high-performing users dedicated to the app rather than switching over to YouTube or Instagram.

Cons Conspiracy…

Some users have claimed that their views have been cut (by the algorithm?) since they signed up for the Creator Fund. TikTok has denied this theory, explaining that participation in the fund has no bearing on the algorithm. Others think view counts might seem lower because there are so many more Fund recipients flooding the feed.

Confusion…

While they’re decent with general analytics, TikTok is super secretive about how they calculate payouts. The 2-4 cents rule is based on hearsay from users, as is just about everything else from the Fund. In fact, the user agreement states that reporting metrics and other private information about the fund are meant to be kept confidential.

Commitment…

Outside of hearsay, the biggest potential downside of the Creator Fund is the simple fact that you’ll need to create a ton of content, and have it perform incredibly well, in order to make cash from the app. For some, that might make TikTok feel more like a job than a fun hobby.

So is the TikTok Creator Fund worth it? It really boils down to personal choice. Knowing what we know, you’re not going to be buying a TikTok hype house with the money you make from the program, but it’s also a low-risk way to create more passive income on your content.

Assuming you meet the requirements, it doesn’t hurt to try it out. Plus, you can always quit if you’re not feeling it.

Think of it like another tool in your influencer toolbox. Pair it with other monetization options like sponsored posts via the TikTok Creator Marketplace or merch sales, brand deals, crowdfunding and other strategies.

How to join the TikTok Creator Fund

If you meet all of the requirements listed earlier in this article, it’s super easy to apply for the Creator Fund. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Make sure you have a Pro account.

If you’re already signed up for TikTok with a Pro account, you can skip this step. Otherwise, simply open the app and tap Me to go to your profile.

2. Head to Settings and Privacy. 3. Read the fine print.

It’s probably a good idea to actually read through the TikTok Creator Fund Agreement before you agree to anything. You’ll also need to confirm that you’re over the age of 18.

4. Submit and wait.

TikTok will let you know if they decide to approve your application. And don’t worry — if you get rejected, you can apply again in 30 days.

Grow your TikTok presence alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts for the best times, engage your audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.

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Surfshark Vpn Review: Is It Good? (My Test Results)

Surfshark VPN

Adrian Try

Effectiveness: It’s private and secure

Price: $12.95/month or $59.76 yearly

Ease of Use: Simple to set up and use

Support: Chat support and web form

Why Trust Me for This Surfshark Review?

My name is Adrian Try. I’ve been computing since the 80s and surfing the net since the 90s. Over my career, I’ve set up office networks, home computers, and internet cafes. I ran a computer support business. In the process, I discovered that too many people wait until they are hacked before protecting themselves.

VPN software offers a solid first defense. I recently spent months installing, testing, and reviewing popular VPN software, comparing my own discoveries with industry experts’ test results and reviews. To prepare for this article, I subscribed to SurfShark, then installed it on my Apple iMac.

Detailed Surfshark VPN Review

Surfshark is designed to protect your privacy and security online. In this review, I’ll list its features in the following four sections. In each subsection, I’ll explore what the app offers and then share my personal take.

1. Privacy Though Online Anonymity

You’d be surprised how visible your online activities are. Your IP address and system information are sent to each website that you connect to.

That makes what you do online Iess anonymous than you may realize.

But there is one significant exception. Your VPN service sees it all! That makes the VPN provider you choose a crucial decision.

That’s one reason to avoid free VPN services, for instance. What’s their business model? It may include selling your personal information.

Surfshark has an unambiguous and complete privacy policy. They keep no record of your IP address, the sites you visit, or any other private data.

Some governments place a legal obligation on VPN providers to log activities. Surfshark is strategically located where this is not a requirement. They have excellent privacy practices, such as RAM-only servers that automatically lose all data when turned off.

Surfshark does collect anonymous usage and crash data, though you can easily opt-out in the app’s settings.

My personal take: While there’s no such thing as a 100% guarantee for online anonymity, choosing a reputable VPN service is a good start. Surfshark has an excellent privacy policy, doesn’t log your activities, and uses computers that don’t retain any data when turned off.

2. Security through Strong Encryption

Another source of concern is other users on your network. That’s particularly true if you’re on a public wireless network with strangers, like at a coffee shop.

They can use packet sniffing software to intercept and log all information sent between you and the wireless router.

They can redirect you to fake websites in an attempt to steal your passwords and accounts.

Hackers sometimes set up fake hotspots meant to look like they belong to a coffee shop. They’ll then log as much of your information as possible.

This is another area where VPNs can keep you safe. They create a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN server.

Surfshark had their security practices audited independently by the German company Cure53. They found Surfshark robust and unexposed.

The trade-off for this added security is a potential speed hit. First, adding encryption takes time. Second, running your traffic through a VPN server is slower than accessing the websites directly. How much slower? That depends on both the VPN service you choose and the distance of the server you connect to.

My download speed is typically around 90 Mbps when not connected to a VPN.

I connected to several Surfshark servers around the world to see how it would affect my speed. Here’s the full list of speed tests I performed.

Australian servers (closest to me):

Australia (Sydney) 62.13 Mbps

Australia (Melbourne) 39.12 Mbps

Australia (Adelaide) 21.17 Mbps

US servers:

US (Atlanta) 7.48 Mbps

US (Los Angeles) 9.16 Mbps

US (San Francisco) 17.37 Mbps

European servers:

UK (London) 15.68 Mbps

UK (Manchester) 16.54 Mbps

Ireland (Glasgow) 37.80 Mbps

That’s quite a wide range of speeds. I can choose a server close to me—say the one in Sydney—and still achieve around 70% of my usual download speed. Or I can connect to a server in a specific part of the world—to access content only available in that country—and accept that my connection will be slower.

The fastest server was 62.13 Mbps; the average of all the servers I tested was 25.16 Mbps. How does that compare to other VPN providers? Quite well. Here are the fastest and average server speeds over six VPN providers I tested when writing the Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick review:

NordVPN: 70.22 Mbps (fastest server), 22.75 Mbps (average)

SurfShark: 62.13 Mbps (fastest server), 25.16 Mbps (average)

Windscribe VPN: 57.00 Mbps (fastest server), 29.54 Mbps (average)

CyberGhost: 43.59 Mbps (fastest server), 36.03 Mbps (average)

ExpressVPN: 42.85 Mbps (fastest server), 24.39 Mbps (average)

IPVanish: 34.75 Mbps (fastest server), 14.75 Mbps (average)

Another is MultiHop, a form of double-VPN that connects to more than one country at a time, taking your privacy and security to another level. For even greater anonymity, they offer TOR-over-VPN. Two further security settings will automatically open Surfshark whenever you log in to your computer, then maintain the connection when another user logs in. This makes sure that you’re always protected when online.

A final setting protects you by blocking web access if you’re unexpectedly disconnected from the Surfshark server. This is commonly known as a “kill switch” and is enabled by default.

3. Access Sites that Have Been Blocked Locally

On some networks, you may find you can’t access certain websites. Your employer, for instance, might block Facebook and other social networks to foster productivity. Schools typically block websites that are not suitable for children. Some countries block web content from the outside world.

One benefit of a VPN is that it can tunnel through those barriers. Surfshark calls this “no borders mode.

But be aware there may be consequences. Your school, employer, or government won’t be thrilled that you’re bypassing their firewall. You could lose your job or worse. Since 2023, China has been handing out hefty fines to individuals who do this.

My personal take: Surfshark can bypass online censorship, giving you access to sites that your employer, school, or government are actively blocking. Consider the consequences, though, before attempting this.

4. Access Streaming Services that Have Been Blocked by the Provider

Some blocking happens at the other end of the connection: the website itself may block you. VPNs help here too.

A prime example: video streaming services need to respect licensing agreements that vary from country to country. They may not be allowed to stream certain content in some locations. So they set up geoblocking algorithms that determine your location from your IP address. We cover this in more detail in our article, Best VPN for Netflix.

If you use a VPN, those providers see the IP address of the server you connected to. Connecting to a Surfshark server in the United States makes it appear that you’re located there, giving you access to content you wouldn’t normally have.

As a result, Netflix now attempts to identify and block users who use VPN services. BBC iPlayer does the same to ensure their viewers are located in the UK. These measures work with many VPNs, but not all.

When I tested Surfshark, Netflix never realized that I was using a VPN. I could access content when connected to each of nine different servers around the world:

Australia (Sydney) YES

Australia (Melbourne) YES

Australia (Adelaide) YES

US (Atlanta) YES

US (Los Angeles) YES

US (San Francisco) YES

UK (London) YES

UK (Manchester) YES

Ireland (Glasgow) YES

I had the same success when connecting to the BBC iPlayer from servers within the UK:

UK (London) YES

UK (Manchester) YES

Ireland (Glasgow) YES

How does Surfshark compare with other VPN providers? They have 1700 servers in 63 countries around the world, which is quite competitive:

PureVPN: 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries

ExpressVPN: 3,000+ servers in 94 countries

Astrill VPN: 115 cities in 64 countries

CyberGhost: 3,700 servers in 60+ countries

NordVPN: 5100+ servers in 60 countries

Avast SecureLine VPN: 55 locations in 34 countries

It was more successful than half of the other VPNs when connecting to Netflix:

Avast SecureLine VPN: 100% (17 out of 17 servers tested)

Surfshark: 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)

NordVPN: 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)

PureVPN: 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)

CyberGhost: 100% (2 out of 2 optimized servers tested)

ExpressVPN: 89% (16 out of 18 servers tested)

Astrill VPN: 62% (15 out of 24 servers tested)

IPVanish: 33% (3 out of 9 servers tested)

Windscribe VPN: 11% (1 out of 9 servers tested)

My personal take: Surfshark can give you access to content that’s only available in other countries. When you connect to one of their worldwide servers, it looks like you’re actually located there. In my experience, Surfshark could successfully stream Netflix and BBC content meant for different locations every time.

Reasons Behind My SurfShark Ratings

Effectiveness: 4.5/5

Surfshark offers the features you need and additional security features such as double-VPN, a kill switch, and an ad blocker. They have servers in 63 servers around the world that offer fast enough speeds to stream video content. I was successful at connecting to Netflix and the BBC iPlayer every time I tried.

Price: 4.5/5

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Surfshark is easy to configure and use. The kill switch is enabled by default. You can select a server from a list sorted by continent. Finally, the app’s settings are easy to navigate.

Support: 4.5/5

Surfshark’s Help Center offers easy-to-follow video and text guides; a FAQ and Knowledge Base are also available. You can contact support via chat or a web form. I tested it out, reaching out by chat. I received a reply in about two minutes.

Alternatives to Surfshark

NordVPN (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Firefox extension, Chrome extension, Android TV, from $11.95/month) is a reliable, easy-to-use VPN service.

ExpressVPN (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, router, from $12.95/month) combines power with usability.

AstrillVPN (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, router, from $15.90/month) is easy-to-configure and offers reasonably fast speeds.

Avast SecureLine VPN (Windows or Mac $59.99/year, iOS or Android $19.99/year, 5 devices $79.99/year) includes most of the features you need and is easy to configure and use.

Conclusion

Surfshark is one of the most highly-rated VPN apps on the market. It’s effective and easy to use. We named it the winner of our Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick roundup. The service offers apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, and Firefox.

The app’s official website’s FAQ speaks of a free trial period, but that’s no longer available on desktop platforms. I confirmed this with Surfshark support. They gave me a workaround. First, install the mobile app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, where you’re offered a free 7-day trial. After that, you can sign in on other platforms using the same username and password.

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