Best VPN for Croatia in 2019

Looking for the best VPN to use in Croatia as of 2019? Today’s guide is for you. We’ll present the top 5 VPN providers currently on the market, talk about the state of the Internet in Croatia, and show you how to get a foreign IP to hide your identity and unlock content from anywhere in the world.

Why is it important to stay safe online in Croatia? There are many reasons. First of all, Croatia is part of the EU: a territory known for government surveillance and cooperation with major world governments (like Japan’s and the US’s). Given that many of us don’t have much trust for world governments, given their track record on privacy and Internet freedom, being able to use the web with no restrictions or surveillance is important.

Furthermore, Croatians are limited to smaller content catalogues with online streaming services like Netflix, while channels like Hulu are unavailable altogether. If you want to visit beautiful Croatia without sacrificing your access to the free and open Internet, opt for a VPN. With one of these apps, you can overcome geo-blocking, censorship, spying, and and throttling.

The best VPNs for Croatia in 2019

The VPN market is saturated with providers, some of which command a hefty monthly fee, while others offer seemingly the same service for free. How do you choose? As with most things, the sweet spot occupies the middle ground, and each of our recommended VPNs was picked for performance, privacy, and price.

Here are the best VPNs for Croatia:

1. ExpressVPN

Whether you’re living, studying, or traveling in Croatia, ExpressVPN is the best VPN you can get to use in the country. Everything starts with the service’s massive server network: over 3,000 nodes in 94 countries. With so many servers, it’s easy to get an IP in any country you want. It’s also easy to connect to a server that’s physically close to where you are, minimizing the physical distance data has to travel. Since all servers are equipped with high-speed Internet connections and modern servers, the connections you get are fast and reliable. It helps that ExpressVPN generously offers no limits on traffic, bandwidth, orr rserver switches. With support for all modern device types, you can use the outstanding service to your heart’s content without worrying about paying extra or running out of proverbial mileage.

In addition to being high-quality, ExpressVPN is tight on security. It features all the modern, state-of-the-art encryption protocols, from fast OpenVPN to legacy device-friendly PPTP. It uses 256-bit AES keys that have more possible combinations than there are atoms in the known universe. It has an outstanding zero-logging policy that covers traffic, DNS requests, IP addresses, browsing history, and more. Throw in the fact that the holding company is based in the British Virgin Islands – a neutral territory that doesn’t report to the US, UK, or the EU – and you get one of the most secure VPN services available, period. Security extras include an automatic kill switch and a built-in DNS leak test that helps make sure your ISP isn’t secretly watching what you do.

Find out more about this service in our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services
  • 94 countries, 3,000+ servers
  • OpenVPN, IPSec & IKEv2 Encryption
  • Strict no-logging policy
  • Great customer service via chat.
Cons

  • Priced slightly higher.
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2. NordVPN

Although Croatia isn’t the most repressive country in the world, it’s not known for perfect Internet freedom either – and NordVPN can help protect you no matter what device type you use and what you do online. Everything starts with a range of special, security-first servers. These include the Double VPN feature which routes your data through two separate servers, thereby encrypting your data and spoofing your IP twice. Another popular choice is the obfuscated server, which hides the fact you’re using a VPN from your ISP and other third parties. In addition to these specialty servers, NordVPN uses a selection of traditional and ultramodern encryption protocols with 256-bit AES encryption keys to keep your data safe while you’re online. When you factor in that NordVPN also has an outstanding no-logging policy that’s one of the best in the industry, you get an outstanding security package for privacy and anonymity.

In addition to being safe, NordVPN is fast. It has one of the biggest server networks that’s ever existed in the VPN industry: 5,300+ nodes in over 60 countries. With so many servers, it’s always easy to find an IP you need on a server that’s got plenty of free bandwidth. It’s also easy to find a server that’s geographically close to you if you want to minimize the distance data travels to and from you. Apps for every popular device and operating system, including routers and video game consoles. Last but not least, bandwidth, traffic, and server switches are all unlimited, meaning you can use NordVPN to your heart’s content whether you’re at home or on the move.

Want to know more? Then check out our full review of NordVPN.

Pros

  • Unblocks American Netflix
  • 5,400+ servers globally
  • DNS leak protection, kill switch
  • Retains no metadata of your browsing
  • Money back guarantee policy.
Cons

  • Some servers can be slow and unreliable
  • Apps can be a bit cumbersome to use.
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3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a slightly different type of VPN. While most others focus on customization and flexibility, CyberGhost is the rare service that offers a rich feature set in an easy, intuitive interface. When you log in using the desktop apps, you don’t have to make a half-dozen manual choices before getting the connection you need. Instead, you simply choose from one of six easy configuration profiles, which include “anonymous torrenting” and “anonymous surfing”: two use cases perfect for Croatian users. Once you choose a configuration profile, you can further customize your connection with an array of easy toggles like “data compression” and “extra speed”. At the same time, CyberGhost has a remarkably powerful VPN network – 3,700+ servers in nearly 60 countries – and has a versatile feature set. This combination of usability and power is what makes this VPN so great.

One area in which CyberGhost is especially outstanding is security. Its no-logging policy may be the best one in the entire VPN business. The service logs virtually nothing, not even your email address, meaning that tracing your VPN usage back to you is effectively impossible. The encryption keys used are 256-bit AES: military-grade passcodes so tough that not even the world’s major governments can crack it consistently. Encryption protocols range from the speedy L2TP, which is good for gaming, to OpenVPN over UDP and TCP ports for speed and security. Add in some cybersec extras, like a connection guard and a kill switch, and you get a service that’s as safe as it is easy to use.

To learn more, see our full review of CyberGhost.

Pros

  • LOW PRICE: 6 EXTRA free months (79% off – link below)
  • Special profile designed for torrenting privately
  • No leaks detected
  • No logs policy
  • 24/7 Live Chat Support.
Cons

  • WebRTC leak detected
  • Doesn’t work well in China.
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4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN may be the last entry on our list, but it’s got a few outstanding features that make it a top choice for many users. For starters, PrivateVPN’s network has its Internet capacity purchased directly from the IP transit provider. If you’re not sure what that means, consider that most other VPNs opt for shared hosting services, which physically route your data through crowded, rather than dedicated, connections. The result is a boost in speed and stability. Sure, PrivateVPN’s 80+ servers in 59 countries may seem smaller on paper, but each one of those nodes counts.

No matter how you connect, you’ll enjoy 256-bit AES encryption, which has more key combinations than there are stars in the known universe. Specific encryption protocols range from OpenVPN to the even more modern IKEv2 technology, meaning you get state-of-the-art data protection no matter what you’re doing online. Moreover, PrivateVPN has a tight no-logging policy that helps make sure your data stays protected at all times. If anonymity in Croatia is what you want and need, PrivateVPN is an outstanding choice, true to its name..

The service is also generous in features and extras. For starters, it has a unique remote installation service available for desktop users. If you opt into it, a remote support staffer helps you get up and running in just minutes – even if you have absolutely no technical knowledge. Bandwidth, speed, and server switches are all unlimited, meaning you can freely use PrivateVPN to your heart’s content without ever worrying about paying extra or running out of anything. The service is compatible with all common operating systems and devices and comes with 6 simultaneous connections, meaning you can connect multiple devices and share logins with other household members.

Check out our complete PrivateVPN review.

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5. PureVPN

PureVPN is a service that’s noteworthy for its expansive server network. With 2,000+ servers in over 140 countries, PureVPN has one of the farthest-reaching networks in the industry. You can use it to get virtually any IP you want, bypass geo blocking, access international content libraries, and even shop for local deals in any part of the world. If you want a VPN to open up the Internet for you, PureVPN is an excellent choice. It helps that bandwidth, server switches, and traffic are all unlimited. With 5 multi-logins and compatibility with all modern devices and operating systems, you can use PureVPN no matter where you are and with no restrictions. If you ever run into any problems, 24-hour live chat support is always available; a feature that’s rarer even for premium paid VPN services.

In addition to being rich in features and IP choices, PureVPN is strong on fundamentals. It uses 256-bit AES encryption to help you overcome Croatian censorship and protect your data. All modern encryption protocols, from PPTP to OpenVPN, are available. There are P2P and streaming-optimized services for specific use cases. Each server is equipped with a 1 Gbit connection – and PurreVPN helps overcome ISP throttling, wherein your Internet provider sets artificial limits on speed. You can even choose to get a dedicated IP if you don’t want to share one with other Internet users. If you want a strong feature set and the ability to “turn off” geo blocking at will, PureVPN just may be the optimal VPN for you.

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The Internet in Croatia

In terms of Internet usage and connectivity, Croatia is perhaps a step behind most other European countries. You may get faster speeds in cities (where wired connections are common) than in the countryside with limited coverage. Nevertheless, broadband and 4G Internet are essentially ubiquitous. For better or for worse, Croatia also doesn’t regulate its Internet as strictly as other EU nations. For example, hate speech and discrimination isn’t always flagged as such when it happens online. This is unlikely to impinge on your personal Internet use, but is worth noting for a more complete look at Croatian Internet.

What’s censored in Croatia?

At face value, there should be no censorship to Internet usage in Croatia. The country is an EU member and is supposed to follow the area’s laws on Internet freedom. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is somewhat divorced from the theory. Since the EU has opted out of ACTA, some online content gets filtered out in unnecessarily harsh, strict ways. For example: for most Croatian ISPs’ users, search results are filtered regardless of personal preferences. For example, you may find that you can’t find nude images through Google – even if you want to use them for art or your own personal entertainment. You may also find that your access to gambling websites is severely restricted or completely removed, even if what you’re doing isn’t technically illegal. All in all, nothing crazy harsh – but definitely a little inconvenient if you want to use the web freely. A bigger problem is geoblocking.

Geoblocking in Croatia

A lot of Internet users believe that websites like Hulu are unavailable outside the US because of censorship. This is (mostly) incorrect. The reason is that content publishing and distribution companies – from Warner Bros. to Disney – have licensing agreements with international partners that work on a country-by-country basis. That sounds like a mouthful, but it really just means that different companies are responsible for handling copyright-protected music, TV series, films, and more, depending on which country you go to. The result is that while Netflix may have the right to broadcast a show like House of Cards in the US and Canada, it may not be able to do so in, say, China or Russia. This is called geoblocking – and it’s the main reason content isn’t freely available when you live or travel abroad.

In Croatia, geoblocking restrictions mean that services like Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, and Hulu are either unavailable or tightly restricted. The reason is that Croatia is a very small market that there’s little business sense to target. If you want to enjoy the best the web has to offer in terms of content, shopping deals, and more, we strongly recommend that you get a quality VPN to improve your online experience.

How does a VPN help you use the free Internet in Croatia?

A VPN service does two things. First, it encrypts your data before it leaves your computer. This is important because data is usually unencrypted, meaning anyone who gets a hold of it can access and view it freely. From this point of view, getting a VPN is just common sense. Otherwise, important personal details – including bank account numbers, personal correspondence, login information to your favorite websites, and more – could easily fall into the wrong hands. It helps that the VPNs on this page all have strict no-logging policies that prevent them from storing any of your unencrypted data.

In addition to the above, a VPN helps you digitally relocate anywhere in the world (except Antarctica). It does this by routing your data through a remote server rather than your Internet Service Provider’s nodes. This creates a kind of “tunnel” between your device and a remote server, making it seem as if everything you do – whether it involves sending or receiving data – is happening through a server in a remote country. This feature helps beat geo blocking, overcome censorship restrictions, avoid ISP snooping and government surveillance (by making it seem as if you’re not in the country), and more.

Closing words

We’ve given you a brief look at the Croatian Internet, plus more depth into the VPN providers you can use to bolster your cybersecurity within the country. Do you currently live or often travel to Croatia, and have some experiences to share? What will you use your VPN for? Let us know in the comments below.

Read Best VPN for Croatia in 2019 by George P.H. on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to skip conditional formatting blank cells in Microsoft Excel

Conditional formatting is applied based on a single criteria. A rule will only check whether a cell’s value matches one condition and if it does, the formatting will be applied. Fortunately, you can apply multiple conditional formatting rules and you can use this to skip conditional formatting blank cells. Here’s how.

Skip conditional formatting blank cells

Open the Excel file that you’ve applied or intend to apply conditional formatting to. In the screenshot below, conditional formatting is applied to the C column so that all values that are less than 500 are highlighted in red.

Select the column, or rows that you intend to apply the conditional formatting to. Go to Conditional Formatting>Manage Rules.

Click the New Rule button in the rules manager and from the list of conditions, select ‘Format only cells that contain’ and select ‘Blank’ under the ‘Format only cells with’ dropdown. Click OK.

You will return to the rule manager window. The new rule you added will be listed there. Select the ‘Stop if true’ option. After that you can add additional formatting conditions. If you have other formatting condition rules already in the list, make sure the one you created for blank cells appears at the top.

To move it, select the rule and use the up arrow button to move it to the very top. Click Apply and all conditional formatting rules will skip blank cells within the column you selected.

There’s no condition on when you should add the rule to skip blank cells. You can add it before or after adding other rules. The only thing you need to make sure of is that the blank cell rule appears at the very top of the list and don’t forget to check the Stop if true option.

By default, this will keep empty cells free of all formatting however if you need the blank cells to be highlighted as well, you can give it a format when you create the rule. Click the ‘Format’ button next to the large ‘No Format Set’ box and select the fill color for the cell.

This is a great way to highlight empty fields in your data and to have them formatted as soon as they’re filled up. You can also use the order that the rules are applied in to apply more complex conditions and format cells accordingly e.g., you can apply a rule to highlight cells if their value is greater than a certain number, but less than another, or just find duplicate values.

Read How to skip conditional formatting blank cells in Microsoft Excel by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10” error on Windows 10 May 2019 upgrade

The next major feature update for Windows 10 is expected to arrive in May 2019. If you wait, it will eventually show up in Windows Updates. That said, you can get it early from the Release Preview ring. This will get you the update one month, or a few weeks early but it’s rarely worth it. The build can still have bugs which is what happened with the October 2018 update and it has happened again with the May 2019 update as well. When users try and upgrade to it, they get the “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10” error (image via Microsoft).

This bug has been acknowledged by Microsoft and the fix comes from them as well.

This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10

This error appears when you run try to upgrade via the media creation tool that’s available on MSDN or when you try and install it via Windows updates. The cause is external drives connected to your system at the time of the upgrade. All you need to do is disconnect them from the system and then run the upgrade.

Remove everything including memory cards, USB drives, external hard drives, and even any phones that are connected to your system. After that, run the update and it should go through without any problems.

Cause

The cause behind this error has been documented by Microsoft. It has to do with drive lettering and how it’s assigned by the OS. The connected drives/devices cause the drives to be lettered so that Windows 10 ends up looking in the wrong drive for boot information. The drive letters have been reassigned so that the wrong one is labelled as the C drive or the backup/restore/boot drive.

It goes beyond saying that Microsoft needs to get its act together. This isn’t the first time a release build, one that’s meant to roll out to users on a stable build in one month, has had a major bug. Microsoft is lucky this bug is so easy to resolve but not enough people will be able to know about it before they actually start the upgrade.

There’s is a small possibility that Microsoft releases a new build that doesn’t have this problem but it’s a small one. The fix is simple as far as the target machine is concerned but the build itself will take a lot of work to fix and then it has to be tested. Fixing it now will require delaying the update (again).

Read How to fix “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10” error on Windows 10 May 2019 upgrade by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix Bluetooth missing after upgrade on Windows 10

Bluetooth technology, like every other type of technology, tends to evolve over time. It gets better with both hardware and software improvements and that means that eventually, the hardware will become obsolete. The technology doesn’t update often but that doesn’t mean it will never update and often it happens without you ever knowing. If you find Bluetooth missing after an upgrade on Windows 10, it is very likely because of the update. Here’s how you can fix it.

Limitations

This will only get Bluetooth working on Windows 10 again. It will not force it to be compatible with services that require the latest driver or a modern chipset to work. Bluetooth will work with whatever is still compatible with it though and this may very well include most of your peripherals and Bluetooth audio devices.

This fix is only for if you’ve recently installed a Windows update, regardless if it’s one of the monthly updates or a major feature update. The monthly update, on occasion, will install new drives which is often the cause of the problem.

Fix Bluetooth missing after upgrade

First, check if you’ve installed a recent Windows update. Open the Settings app and go to the Update & Security group of settings. Select Windows Update and check your update history. If you’ve recently installed an update, try the fixes below.

Roll back driver

Open the Device Manager and look for the Bluetooth group of devices. Expand it and select your Bluetooth chip. Right-click it and select Properties from the context menu. On the Properties window, go to the Driver tab. Click the Roll back driver button and return to the older driver for your device. You may have to restart your system for the change to take effect.

Manually install Bluetooth driver

If the Roll back driver option isn’t available, you’re going to have to manually install an older Bluetooth driver. The question is which driver to install and where to get it from.

The best place to get an older version of your Bluetooth driver is to go to your chip manufacturer’s website. You can find the manufacturer name from the Device Manager (the previous screenshot shows that mine was made by Intel). Alternatively, you can check your laptop/PC manufacturer’s website where you will find older versions of drivers for various components on your system.

Download an older driver; it should be either the last one that you know worked or the very earliest version that’s available. Uninstall the current driver from Device Manager and then install the one you downloaded by choosing to manually select the driver that’s installed.

Turn on Bluetooth

Once everything is done, you will have to enable Bluetooth from inside Windows 10. You can do this from the Action Center toggle or, from the Devices group of settings in the Settings app under the Bluetooth tab.

BIOS Updates

On some systems, Bluetooth can be turned off from the BIOS. If you’ve recently updated your BIOS firmware, it’s possible that the update turned it off. Check your BIOS and see if Bluetooth has been turned off. If it has, turn it back on.

If you’re unable to turn it back on, you might have to downgrade back to the older version of your BIOS firmware.

Read How to fix Bluetooth missing after upgrade on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter