Mobile Broadband Plans and the 5 GB Limit

As the world rushes head long into becoming more and more mobile and as more employment becomes the virtual variety, an increasing number of people will be looking into mobile broadband plans. Mobile broadband plans when combined with a wireless data card will allow just about anyone with a laptop to plug into the internet from anywhere and cruise just like they were in front of their computer at home. The mobile broadband plans come in a number of shapes, sizes and flavors, but a common theme among them is the 5 GB (GigiByte) data limit that has been imposed.

The big question in relation to the 5 GB is “What does it mean to me? How much time on the internet is that?” Let’s face it, it’s confusing, it’s not like we have anything like an odometer on our computers telling us how much we are using and it would be pointless if we did, since home internet connections have no limit these days. So let’s dive into the numbers and see if we can clear up some of the confusion.

I’m sure it will not surprise you that mobile broadband plans come in a variety of prices for 5 Gb of data, ranging from a low of $39.00 per month to a high of $59.00. How much of a data stream is your money buying you? Below is a chart that might help, each line equals 5 GB.

  1. Email with a 3 MB attachment. (You can send 1,706 of those)
  2. Web page lookup (150k) (You can perform about 34,000)
  3. Lo-resolution photos (500k) (Over 20,000 of these)
  4. Mp3 downloads (1,280 songs)

OK so your still confused and have no idea how much of each of these you use. Then let’s really simplify it. A 5GB limit on data will last the average person for about 250 hours of browsing or up to 20 hours of streaming video¬†

Now that you know how big the basket is, let’s see just how much the basket is going to cost. Every provider has a different pricing plan and below is a breakdown of the more popular providers.

  • T-Mobile at the moment appears to be the cheapest of the providers, coming in at $39.00/month, but that is only if you have a phone with them, if not it jumps to $49.00/month. This may seem like a lot until you notice that T-Mobile doesn’t charge over usage fees if you exceed the 5 GB, they simply slow down the 3G connection to 2G speeds.
  • Verizon has pretty much the same setup, except they charge $10.00 per GB over usage fees.
  • Sprint has a 5 GB limit on their 3G networks and unlimited usage on their 4G network at a cost of $59.00/month. Thing is 4G is not that widespread yet so you will more than likely be using 3G most of the time and be tied to the 5 GB limit, also there is a 5 cent per megabyte over usage fee as well.

As you can see the data usage is just one aspect of mobile broadband plans and as usual the devil is in the details, so choose wisely. There is little worse than opening up your cell phone bill to see that the cost of your data plan doubled because of those movies you just had to download. As another word of caution, just remember that these plans can change in a heartbeat, similar to the cell phone plans. The prices and details mentioned above are just guidelines and you will want to re-verify them.

Next…

Shocking Ways The Internet Is Being Misused Today

The paper and print era is finally dying out and it appears the internet is now setting the pace for global digitization. We bank on it, we study on it, we shop on it, we leisure on it, and apparently, we date on it too! But everybody today is too busy surfing to question its vicious nature and given that its leads strongly outweigh its cons, it’s not surprising at all. Even then, we can’t overlook the fact that the internet is, in fact, destroying the world, so slow that it’s almost transparent for us to see. So without much ruckus, let’s visit the top eight dangerous ways the internet is being misused today.

1. Identity theft

If you’re reading this, I’m almost certain that you own an account on at least one social website. Basically, when you sign up for an account online, you are required to submit your personal information for identification purposes. But what happens if the platform is fake? What happens if the platform only exists to amass data from people all over the world for malicious reasons? The internet offers spammers and hackers a good opportunity to collect personal information and use it to their advantage. Those pictures you post online could be posted on porn sites, you could be a victim of blackmail, extortion for money, and the list goes on. And that’s not even the scary part. Other than the fact that you might be completely unaware of how your information is being misused online, it would take you forever to follow up on the case should you ever find out.

2. Cyber bullying

The internet is flocking with millions of fake profiles that pose as valid users. The fact that everything is online makes it easy for insensitive internet abusers to anonymously threaten other gullible users. Cyber bullying has been a major issue for many years and many victims have ended up with psychological issues. Several cases of suicide have been reported, all owing to the cyber menace. All the teasing, insults, threats, harassment, lies, and rumors: it all never ends well.

3. Piracy

There was a time when artists and media owners enjoyed the fruits of their hard work. Then people got indecently ‘smarter’ and piracy grew into a pattern. Today, thanks to the internet, people can shamelessly copy and download copyrighted material online, without pondering on the losses the owner is set to face. Even worse, black markets have now moved online and for just a few bucks, you can get your hands on almost anything. Bootlegging is the term nowadays. And for some reason, the larger population supports this form of ‘soft’ victimization. It’s like watching a mob snatch ice-cream from a little kid, and then joining the mob to have a taste, while the poor kid watches!

4. Porn

Porn is one of the most despicable uses of the internet today. Kids are being exposed to sexual thoughts too early, thanks to the internet, and Lord knows young minds are ready and willing to learn. Sure, being a strict parent could work, but the results are not always that promising. Today, we are seeing 13-year olds updating statuses online about heartbreaks and break-ups and it’s all too confusing. Youngsters are unable to gauge the purity of sex and what they see in porn confuses them even further. Teenage pregnancies, abortions and emotional abuse are some of the upshots of this early exposure to the internet.

5. Spamming

Email spamming is probably not new to you. You signed up for an account somewhere and now the emails just keep coming and honestly, they are really annoying. Junk emails are sent in bulk to numerous recipients at once and the process is often automated. Such spam emails consume large network bandwidth and slow down your network. They are also used by hackers to inject malware into other computers. You’ll get an enticing ad or file via email and once you open it, boom! You naively invite a virus into your hardware and your simple private life on the internet will never be the same again.

6. Hacking

Passwords are crucial when it comes to internet use. Forgot to log out your account while leaving the cyber caf√©? Used an obvious password? Then you are to blame for the attack on your account. Internet use calls for extreme vigilance. The moment you expose a weakness in your system, hackers are always ready to pounce and believe me when I say, they will surely get you well. Imagine walking into the bank one morning and finding all your accounts fully drained. That’s as bad as the situation gets. And with the introduction of digital currency, hackers don’t even need to be robbers to siphon money from your account. They just need to access it online, via the internet.

7. Fake advertisements

People today, especially teenagers, are passionate about making money working online. Who wouldn’t want to earn at the comfort of their home? The internet makes it easy for advertisers to hook up with potential workers and recruit them for work. But this is a perfect opportunity for fake advertisers to run ploys and get work done for free. Many online workers have had to deal with defiant clients and have ended up losing a lot of money and time. In other cases, advertisers ask for bank account details promising to directly wire advance payments. Workers who innocently give out such sensitive information often end up being victims of hacking and the cyber delinquents posing as advertisers always get away with it.

8. Time squandering

The internet is meant to save us time by making global information easily accessible from anywhere. But ironically, the internet is the main reason why people today are idling around, doing nothing constructive by all means. The theory that human beings are easily manipulated strongly applies here. You are surfing the internet, looking for some urgent and important information. Then suddenly, an enticing ad pops up on your screen, probably an online game ad or even a shopping ad. Forgetting what you were doing, you naively click on the ad and the inept navigation begins. Before you even realize it, two hours have passed and you have accomplished absolutely nothing. And when you settle down to continue with your work, you can’t because the thrill is already gone and everything now seems too boring. Sound familiar?

Human is to err, and if we are not perfect, then everything manmade can consequently never be perfect. But the trick lies on how we decide to use these inventions. The internet has undoubtedly revolutionized the world and with the better communication it has empowered, we can only expect greater things. We must, however, be alert for all these teething troubles that are killing us slowly, day by day. Refrain from visiting suspicious websites, keep your personal information private and passwords safe, and above all, parents and guardians need to be more careful of what their children access on the internet before we have a sexual catastrophe on our hands.

What Is the Internet of Things (Iot)

Smart connected devices, ubiquitous wireless connectivity and scalable cloud-based computing have created the platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). These IoT platforms are enabling organizations to monitor, control, optimize and automate their operations in ways that were previously unimaginable. In many industries, IoT is disrupting traditional business models causing companies to ask the fundamental.

This is leading to many private and public sector organizations asking how they can use IoT to create new sources of value. Some are using it to deliver new operational efficiencies. Remote asset management allows organizations to track assets in real-time and make much more efficient use of their field teams. Predictive maintenance reduces downtime by replacing parts before they fail. Real-time analytics help employees make better decisions. And smart IoT systems can automate repetitive and predictable processes.

IoT Systems

The Internet of Things extends internet connectivity beyond traditional devices like desktop and laptop computers, smart phones and tablets to a diverse range of devices and everyday things that utilize embedded technology to communicate and interact with the external environment, all via the Internet.

But, for the moment, there’s a vast array of technology out there that can accurately be described as enabling IoT. Just at the networking level, there’s Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, RFID, Wi-Fi, cellular, Z-Wave, 6LowPAN, Thread, NFC, Sigfox, Neul, LoRaWAN, Alljoyn, IoTivity, Weave, Homekit, MQTT, CoAP, JSON-LD, and plenty more that can and do play a part in IoT implementations.

IoT Applications

IoT systems have application development across industries through their unique flexibility and ability to be suitable in any environment. They enhance data collection, automation, operations, and much more through smart devices and powerful enabling technology.

IoT is everywhere, but there are certainly a few verticals where it’s more prevalent. Heavy industry is arguably the sector that’s been working with IoT concepts for the longest, thanks to SCADA and robotics, and it’s got its own sub-type of IoT – industrial IoT, or frequently just IIoT. Sharing data for maintenance and operational purposes make industrial equipment a lot more responsive and useful and create a much safer working environment, as well.

IoT Security

IoT security is the area of endeavor concerned with safeguarding connected devices and networks in the Internet of things (IoT). The first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of IoT security is encryption. If you are one of those people, then don’t worry, you are not totally incorrect. Encryption is an important component of security, but it is just one part of the whole story. However, by itself, encryption does not provide security in the way that most people tend to think.

Security, like most things, has a curve of diminishing returns versus cost. What IoT requires is a good balance of reasonably strong security measures that are economical and massively scalable. first major issue is that a compromised IoT device can, in some cases, offer a way onto a company’s network for a malicious actor. A badly secured smart TV, a security camera – anything that accesses the network is a potential vector for an attack.

IoT Interoperability

The full benefits of the Internet of Things are only realized when large enough numbers of devices are able to interact with each other – and therein lies a big problem. The number of different players in the market covers a wide range, both horizontally, in terms of functionality, and vertically, among different industries.

With a huge number of companies “doing IoT,” – most big-name tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Intel, and IBM have various types of IoT play – all working to bring as many users as possible into their respective ecosystems, motivation to make sure IoT systems and devices from different companies all work with each other is sometimes lacking.

IoT Platforms

One IoT device connects to another to transmit information using Internet transfer protocols. IoT platforms serve as the bridge between the devices’ sensors and the data networks.

The following are some of the top IoT platforms on the market today:

Amazon Web Services

Microsoft Azure

ThingWorx IoT Platform

IBM’s Watson

Cisco IoT Cloud Connect

Salesforce IoT Cloud

Oracle Integrated Cloud

GE Predix