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Would your lifestyle change if your website was ranked #1 on Google? In 2006, Carol Sprague was earning $8.00 an hour as a full time administrative assistant. But this wasn’t the real reason she had to have a job. Too young for Medicare, Carol and her husband Dwayne couldn’t afford the high price of health insurance. This all changed when Carol and Dwayne attended our basic 2-day, hands-on SEO workshop. Four months later, Carol launched her Tire Pressure Monitor website. Within two months, she had taken over the #1 position on Google! Today Carol and Dwayne manage their 7 figure online business while crisscrossing the USA and Canada in their spacious motor home.
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What’s clear when using eToro is the simplicity and ease of use of the eToro social trading platform, OpenBook (AKA Copy Trader).
Their aim is to make the financial markets accessible to more people and they achieve this by offering a fully integrated solution. Because eToro is both managing the social investment network and acting as a broker, investors can manage everything through the same interface (i.e. no need to sign up with a different broker). The information made available in OpenBook about the past performance of the traders you may consider copying (i.e. the “Professional Investors” previously known as Gurus) is also kept basic, making it easy for novice investors to use, though lacking the depth more serious investors may look for. I.e. past performance is mainly represented in terms of % gains over the past week, 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1, 2 and 3 year periods. Unfortunately the way the gain % is calculated is not transparent. The formula should ” take into account all the relevant numbers and transactions in the trader’s account”. However, because the full trader’s history is not available (a massive omission in our view), the gain % calculations cannot be replicated. Solely making investment decisions on these often very large % gain numbers may set some wrong expectations. However, eToro allows you to trade with a free fully functioning demo account (click here to try). This allows you to follow “Professional Investors” using virtual money to evaluate and review their performance in $ gain terms. This will give you a more realistic view of what you can expect when you allocated say $1000 to a certain “Professional Investor”.
The amount of ”Professional Investors” available on OpenBook is large and by joining the eToro social trading network, anyone becomes a potential ”Professional Investor” (i.e. you cialis can follow anyone you like, even people who only follow other people can become “Professional Traders”, and likewise, so can you). As such, eToro stays true to their vision to create a completely open network where everyone can share, learn, copy, interact and compete with one another. It’s also worth noting that anyone who becomes a “Professional Investor” displays their real name and photo in their profile (verified by eToro customer services), which adds some level of trust that you’re following real people. There are a few tools in Openbook to help you find the traders/Professional Investors/Gurus you want to follow and copy. You can use the ‘People Rankings’ to list the best performing traders and for example sort them by number of copiers, which is always a good starting point since over time, profitable traders will amass a larger following on the social trading platform. In March 2014, eToro also released the ‘Discover People’ tool which allows you to filter through their traders using a wider range of parameters, such as Profit Percentage, Trading Consistency, Country and many more. This tool is certainly a significant improvement to the search capability on offer before. eToro is free uw madison school of pharmacy to join and use (no annual fees or commissions). The only costs you incur are the broker spreads and overnight rollover fees. The eToro spreads on each trade which are arguably slightly higher than with most brokers (e.g. 3 pips for EURUSD). However, when you automatically copy trades from other traders you’ll notice (in WebTrader) that in most cases (>90%) there’s no slippage, which makes up for the higher spread. (Slippage is the difference in price the trader you copy gets and you get, and with networks that use other brokers this is normally 1-2 pips per trade.) The overnight rollover fees charged by eToro are arguably also a bit higher than with most brokers. This should be taken into consideration since most of the buy cialis traders you can copy have a tendency to keep positions open for weeks or months, meaning over time these rollover fees can advicare pharmacy add up if open trades aren’t managed carefully. If you’re a novice trader there’s a wide range of training materials available to get you up to speed (targeted at any level). There are also weekly webcasts, reviews and daily news to keep you informed on current events. The eToro OpenBook social network is also very active and any questions you might have are normally answered very quickly by your fellow investors.
Can you make money with eToro? The simple answer is yes, but it’s not easy. Obviously all will depend on your risk level and targets. If you expect to double your account in 1 week, then you have to accept the risk of losing all your equity in that period as well. Our personal preference is to find low risk but profitable “Professional Investors” to copy, though these are very difficult to find. Many of them also have the tendency to leave trades open for months with wide stop levels which means your equity will fluctuate over time and you have to see this as a longer term investment opportunity. Your actual results are also unlikely to match those displayed in the eToro rankings, because the popular ”Professional Investors” can use the monthly payments they receive for each copier to offset their losses or account drawdown.
Is it as easy as ‘sit back and relax’? No, as some serious is required to select the traders you want to copy and which meet your risk reward level. Just selecting the most popular ”Professional Investors” will not be enough. Once you’ve built your ‘people based’ portfolio you’ll have to regularly monitor the progress and re-evaluate your allocations since even traders ranked in the top 10 can get you into trouble. E.g. investing $10,000
evenly across the top 10 eToro Gurus on May 1st 2012 would have left you with $8,778 by April 1st 2013. Doing the same with the top 10 eToro traders at the beginning of June would have left you with $9,367 by this date.
eToro Review: Pros
- simple interface
- integrated social trading network (OpenBook) and broker (WebTrader)
- free, fully functional demo account
- integrated risk and money management features
- can trade on currencies AND major indices AND commodities (oil, gold and silver) AND shares
- active social network and excellent training materials
- low slippage
- the “Professional Investors” you can copy all display their real and verified full name & photo
eToro Review: Cons
- unable to view the full history of all the previous trades by the “Professional Investors”
- historical gain % calculation in OpenBook is confusing and not transparent
- for every good performing trader to choose from, there are still plenty of poor ones (most are also longer term traders)
- Trader Finder/Discover People functionality can still be improved (though currently much better than what it was)
- actual results in your account will often not totally match the ones displayed for the trader you copy in the eToro interface (mainly because they often use their commission payments to add to their balance at the end of each month)
- higher overnight rollover fees than most brokers
- currently only able to manage your account in $ USD
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To-do lists are great for keeping track of the myriad little tasks we must accomplish every day. “Submit expense reports,” “Take cat to vet,” “Buy coffee,” and so on. But what about the really big things–the dreams we want someday to come true? A to-do item like “get company onto Fortune 500 list” or “write prize-winning novel” may look a bit silly. But such lofty goals are made up of numerous subgoals, each of which can probably be broken down further. Goalscape Desktop (89 euro, $117 on March 12, 2012) is a tool for realizing your goals that does away with the list metaphor and uses an innovative circular interface instead.
Goalscape’s interface is very eye-catching, but its beautiful form has everything to do with function. This cross-platform, Adobe AIR-based application puts your “master goal” in the center of a circle, with subgoals surrounding it. So if you are trying to get to the Olympics as a competitive sailor and must perfect your boat handling, “boat handling” would take center stage, surrounded by specific areas of handling, such as “upwind,” “downwind,” and “start.”
This particular example is interesting because that’s what Marcus Baur, Goalscape’s managing director, used to get to the Sydney Olympics in the 49er class. This was done on paper, before Goalscape existed as an application, but makes for a great use case for the methodology.
There are only so many hours in a day, and we all have just so many resources to work with. Having subgoals arranged as pieces of a pie reflects that, making for a clearer use of resources. You can also adjust each subgoal’s size to reflect its relative importance, and track your progress by moving a slider from 0 percent to 100 percent. As you move the slider, the subgoal gradually fills with color, as does its “master” goal, proportionately to the subgoal’s importance.
Goalscape Desktop avoids breaking things down to a to-do list, preferring to focus on the greater view. Even so, every goal can have a start and end date, tags, and a responsible person assigned to it. You can filter goals by these attributes, and there’s also a search-as-you-type feature for quickly finding goals, no matter where they are located on the Goalscape.
The main drawback is that Goalscape doesn’t tightly integrate with a to-do based workflow, so using the tool must be an intentional act: You must decide when to open Goalscape and start reviewing your progress. It’s a habit that isn’t always easy to build, and the biggest barrier for adoption (at least for me). Goalscape’s iPhone companion app does offer a list view, and the company is considering integrating such functionality in future desktop and Web versions as well.
Since each subgoal can be further broken down, goalscapes can become very detailed. In my own use, I easily got to five levels of nested subgoals. Goalscape offers two ways to manage this visual overload: You can limit the depth of the current display, or you can double-click a subgoal to drill down into it, making it the center of the circle. You can also print out your entire Goalscape or a specific view of it, to make an interesting motivational poster.
Since Goalscape is so open-ended, it can be used for more than project management. I used it to get a bird’s-eye view of my entire day-to-day existence, subdividing my life by areas such as family, work, health, learning, and so on. Having to resize each such area made me consider my priorities, and setting specific subgoals for each area made me consider what would make that area “successful” (reading enough books, planning to avoid overload, and so on). I wish Goalscape Desktop offered an easy way to transform those insights into complete to-do lists for implementation, but the application is more focused on the big picture view of things.
Goalscape also offers an online subscription-based service called Goalscape Connect that teams can use to set their priorities and monitor their progress. If you are looking to get a clearer picture of your activity and make tangible progress, Goalscape Desktop offers a unique and compelling way to get there.
Note: Clicking the Download link takes you to the vendor’s site, where you can download Adobe AIR (if necessary) and install the desktop software.
Raw Living has been in business since 2002, when it was a simple five-page website selling juicers, algae and tahini…since then we have grown to become Europe’s largest resource for cutting edge plant nutrition. We have the largest selection of super foods in Europe, as well as all the tastiest raw food snacks from around the world. We pride ourselves on being more than just a shop: we hope that we can go some way towards introducing you to the raw lifestyle and helping you set off on what we believe is a wonderful and thrilling path.
To this end, we have a ton of free resources here for you. There’s a Where To Start section, which breaks it down as simply as possible. A free 46 page e-Book with articles and recipes for when you’ve got a bit more time. And a free Super Food Spotlight e-course, which introduces six of the most popular super ingredients you might well be considering including in your diet.
If you’re wanting to get busy in the kitchen, you can browse our Recipe section with over 30 of Kate’s recipes, and if you’re looking for further information on the products, you can browse our Blog which has tons of product reviews, more recipes, and interesting articles.
When you’re done with all that, you might want to check out our YouTube, which has a load of great introductory videos.
If you still need questions on the raw lifestyle answering, please don’t send them to our office, where they are so busy making sure all the orders get sent out as quickly as possible. Your best bet is to join our members’ site, Kate’s Magic Bubble, where you can post your questions to Kate and get access to even more recipes, articles, interviews and videos.
If you want some live action, Kate puts on events all across Europe, or if you’re the kind of person who prefers to learn from the comfort of their own sofa, you can check out Kate’s talks on The Raw Magic Academy (as this is a new site, there’s only one talk on there for now, but we’ll be adding more over the coming months).
Actually, the site used to house even more information on the raw food lifestyle, but sadly, we were ordered to remove it in July 2013.
it is currently illegal to share this information, which we have spent decades researching, with you. Primarily down to EU legislation that was passed at the end of 2012, we are allowed to tell you very little about the products we sell, why we recommend them and what they have historically been used for.
To be able to share information, we need to have registered our products with the EU permitted claims register. This process takes years and costs over £100,000 per product, so obviously is not possible for small businesses such as ourselves. For now, we are still allowed to sell the foods on our website, although there are plans in process within the EU to change that as well, and outlaw all herbs, supplements, and seeds. Yes, crazy, but true! For now, the legislators have decided that it is in the public’s interest to be sold herbs without any qualifying information that might help with guiding customers why to use them, or how much and how often to use them. We are forbidden to use words such as “health”, “energy”, “benefits”, “vitality”, “pure”, “antioxidants”, “superfoods” and “probiotics.”
We think this issue goes far beyond whether you believe herbs have medicinal properties or not, and extends to freedom of choice and freedom of speech. But for now, it is not illegal for you to share information. Please tell your family and friends how much you enjoy these foods. Tell them where they can find the best quality at the best prices. Tell them how our right to choose what we put in our bodies, and our rights to share information that has been in the public domain for centuries, are being violated. Do your research and learn about who makes the laws (unelected groups of “experts”, who work closely with the giant pharmaceutical, agrictural, and chemical companies), and what the real intentions of the laws are.
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The company initially said that they accidentally took an additional $7.5 million in hosting fees in the space of one day. After this blog was written, the figure was downgraded to $2.1 million. In another high-profile news story, DreamHost’s FTP passwords across all accounts were hacked. Customers were advised to change their passwords. DreamHost Control Panel Fans of Cpanel or Plesk may be disappointed to hear that neither is provided onDreamHost. Instead, the company offer a completely custom control panel which was created entirely in-house. Login to DreamHost’s control panel and you’ll find access to everything to do with the hosting account, from billing, Django, ImageMagick and account details to MySQL and email accounts. Although it’s very capable, people who have previously used Cpanel may feel frustrated once they realise they have to re-learn a new administration system to perform basic tasks, such as increasing the phpmemory limit or accessing phpmyadmin. DreamHost Extras DreamHost are proud of their One-Click Installer software which allows users to quickly install common packages. The One-Click Installer covers WordPress, phpBB, Moodle, Joomla, Drupal and other bits and pieces to handle discussion, wikis, ecommerce and blogs. With every package, you’ll also enjoy a free domain name for a year. The domain is registered in the customer’s name and can be transferred away from DreamHost at any time. DreamHost also offer free CloudFlare performance and security services. They offer limited support for Java and full support for Jabber (including running your own Jabber server) and Jquery. DreamHost Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy DreamHost offer a comprehensive 97-day money back guarantee. Should you change your mind about hosting with them, you can close your account with a click and receive a full refund. In order to qualify, you’ll need to pay your fees via credit card and your account must not have been closed for spamming or violating DreamHost’s terms. As with most money-back offers, any fees for domain registration can’t be refunded. DreamHost Summary DreamHost are built on the ‘stack it high, sell it cheap’ philosophy. By using their own control panel, they retain a certain amount of control over what customers can do with their domains. In addition, by offering extremely limited support options, the company don’t expose themselves to high after-sales costs, helping them achieve more competitive pricing. If you want an easy, low-cost way to get a few websites online, DreamHost provide most of the features you’ll need for a good price, particularly on their shared hosting plan. If you don’t get along with their control panel, you can simply cancel the contract within that 97-day period and get your money back. However, fans of Cpanel would be best advised to look elsewhere. And if you rely on live chat or phone support to get things done, be sure to factor in the extra cost when comparing hosting providers.
PRICING & PLANS
CyberGhost offers 3 pricing plans, Free, Premium and Premium Plus, and in its FAQ explains that its real aim is to provide a free VPN service, with the premium plans introduced as a way to help fund this.
FREE VPN (GRATIS)
CyberGhost offers completely free anonymous surfing through its Free VPN plan, and users are under no obligation to upgrade or do to anything else. The plan does however come with a number of important restrictions:
- A 1 Mb/s speed cap
- Advisements – users will be shown at least 17 seconds of advertisements when they first connect, plus some more ads every 2 hours
- No free choice of servers – free VPN users are automatically connected to an available server, although CyberGhost do say this will usually be located close-by
- Automatic disconnection after 6 hours of use (users can immediately reconnect, but see below…)
- Users must manually reconnect after disconnection (no auto-reconnect)
Users of the free plan are connected via the secure OpenVPN protocol, but only its weakest (128-bit) version.
VPN PREMIUM (£4.49 / $6.99 P/M)
The Premium plan is quite reasonably priced compared to the competition, and offers the following advantages:
- Unlimited bandwidth – CyberGhost claim an average throughput of 6Mb/s, which we will put to the test later in this review
- Unlimited traffic
- Free choice of servers – over 50 are available, however all but 5 are located in Europe, with the other 5 being located in the US
- No adverts, waiting queue, automatic disconnection after 6 hours, or other such restrictions placed on the free service
- Automatic reconnection
- Not mentioned on the website, but when you open a new account in the VPN client you are offered a 30 day absolutely free trial of the Premium VPN service.
Open VPN encryption is still 128-bit, but Premium users can also connect via PPTP and L2PT with IPSec (all also with 128-bit encryption).
VPN PREMIUM PLUS (£6.99 / $10.99 P/M)
The Plus plan builds on the VPN Premium package, offering the following additional advantages:
- Up to 5 devices can be connected simultaneously
- Access to VPN servers on an extended server park, which have been configured for secure 256-bit OpenVPN encryption
Direct customer support is available via a ticket system or live online chat. There is also a good FAQ area, with a useful search function which we found handy while researching this article. We also liked the fact that it is possible to rate the usefulness of each FAQ article, which should assist the CyberGhost team in making further improvements. In addition to the FAQ, there is a bulletin board which supports threads in both English and German, and while not over busy, is active.
The CyberGhost website is very neatly and attractively laid out, with navigation intuitive, and information easy to find. A regularly updated blog, and fun but informative bios and photos of the CyberGhost team members, Twitter, Facebook and merchandise pages, all help give the impression that CyberGhost is a professional outfit.
FREE WEB PROXY
A nice touch is the inclusion of a free web proxy service, so that casual users can surf the web anonymously without even the need to download CyberGhost’s free VPN software. We will check this out in a bit more detail later in the review.
PRIVACY & SECURITY
As we have noted in other reviews, we consider 128-bit OpenVPN encryption to be absolutely fine, exceeding the security requirements of most people. It is however difficult to get excited about, and we prefer to see at least 256-bit encryption, which is available from CyberGhost, but at an extra cost…
Much easier to get excited about is that CyberGhost keep no logs. No content, visited websites, IP addresses or personal communication is kept all. Anonymous log-in records are kept for 24 hours for statistical purposes, but are deleted every day. Also, no payment account details are stored once the payment process is over.
Apparently CyberGhost did receive demands from the German authorities to hand over user information, but thanks to their no logs policy they had nothing with which to comply. Top marks.
REGISTRATION AND SETUP
Registration took a matter of seconds, and no personal information whatsoever was requested.
The installation process was as simple and uneventful as you could wish for, but a Flash guide explaining the steps which appeared in the browser download page was a nice touch.
Even nicer was the offer of one month’s free Premium VPN membership! This is not mentioned on the website, and therefore came as a complete surprise. We like surprises like that, and this is by far the most generous free VPN trial we have yet encountered.
On logging-on for the first time (and whenever reconnecting) we were presented with an advert for CyberGhost’s Premium services. Similar adverts also pop up every two hours you are logged on to the service, but they can be dismissed after a few seconds. We did not find them particularly intrusive and, frankly, felt this very small price to pay for a no cost VPN service.
The VPN client itself is styled to match the CyberGhost website, and is similarly attractive and well laid out. As a free user you cannot choose which server to connect to, so connecting is simply a matter of hitting the big button and letting CyberGhost do the rest.
Et voila! You are connected.
The first time that you use the client you are warned that emails cannot be sent when using CyberGhost as an anti-spam measure. However, email accounts can be added to an exception list, so this not really a problem.
An interesting and welcome addition to the CyberGhost client is the Antispy add-on module, which provides a wealth of options that give you very precise control over a large number of settings that can compromise your anonymity on the internet.
The client’s Settings tab gives you plenty options for making the software work as you would like it to.
On our 10 megabyte UK broadband internet connection we achieved the following results when automatically connected to a London based server.
Of course, each time you connect using the free VPN service you are connected to random server, so connection speeds are likely to vary somewhat, and the results would be disappointing for a paid service. However, for a free service they were in our view quite impressive, being easily plenty fast enough for casual anonymous web surfing, and more than double the supposed cap quoted on the CyberGhost website.
Taking advantage of the free one month trial, we took a look at CyberVPN’s Premium VPN service. The client is of course the same one, but we could now choose to connect to any of the Premium VPN servers.
Servers can be sorted through in order of speed or anonymity
CyberVPN even provide a pretty server map to reassure you that you are indeed connected as you should be.
The Video Portal is, to be honest, an unnecessary gimmick that provides links to a very limited number of popular TV shows via their broadcaster’s web TV portals. This is nothing that simply visiting the relevant web portals yourself could not do, but at least does no harm and doesn’t get in the way of the otherwise excellent service.
Again, on a 10 meg UK connection to a London server:
An excellent result!
Instructions and relevant configuration files are provided for using CyberGhost OpenVPN with iOS, Linux, OSX and Android. The instructions for Android require that the device be rooted, so we did not perform our usual tests, although we imagine that configuring OpenVPN for Android would work just fine. In addition to this, configuring Android, iOS, etc. to work using the PPTP protocol (only available to Premium or Premium Plus customers) should be straight forward enough, although instructions are not provided. The tutorials that are provided appear easy to follow, although they are not accompanied by screenshots.
FREE WEB PROXY
GhostVPN are nice enough to offer a free Web Proxy service. Although nowhere near as fast, good at protecting privacy, or handing complex webpages (we could not get YouTube to work for example), it is quick and dirty way surf the web anonymously.
The main real problem with the Web Proxy service is why on Earth would you want to use it when the free VPN offered by CyberGhost is so good?
- Completely free VPN service that worked very well. Although ad supported, these were very rarely seen
- The speed test results for the Premium service were excellent
- One moth free trial for Premium service with no up-front payment
- No logs or user details kept#
- Good looking and functional VPN client
- Antispy add-on is packed with great features to help keep your online identity a secret
WE WEREN’T SO SURE ABOUT
- No servers outside Europe and the US
- The 128-bit OpenVPN encryption on most serves is ok
To be honest, we absolutely loved using CyberGhost, and struggle to find a valid criticism of it. The free service provides an outstanding experience, with minimal advertising and better than expected speed test results, while the Premium VPN service expands upon this to give great speed test results and an overall excellent user experience.
We think that reserving 256-bit OpenVPN encryption for Premium Plus customers is a fair decision given how much is provided for free. Given that the basic Premium VPN service come with an immensely generous 1 month free trial, can think of little reason not to give it a try.
The only real caveat comes from this being a primarily Europe based service. Of the 54 Premium VPN servers, only 5 are located outside Europe, and those in the US. Asian and other users worldwide will suffer slower connection speeds due to the distances involved, but may still find this service valuable thanks to the high level of anonymity afforded by CyberGhost not keeping any logs and user details.