5 Best CPU For Streaming on the Market in 2021 (Buying Guide)

If you’re already somewhat tech-savvy, you may be able to anticipate some of the choices that we’re going to make. Spoiler: you’re going to see a lot of AMD representation in this article, due to their stellar streaming-while-gaming performance with their CPUs, and their strong multi-threaded performance in general. However, we’re going to give a detailed rundown of how you can expect each of our selected CPUs to perform, and even discuss an alternative to CPU-based encoding for live-streaming your games.

Even if you aren’t tech-savvy, however, this is still an article for you! We’re going to break down everything that you need to know in order to make an informed buying decision. In these times- especially in these times- it’s important that your purchases are treated as long-term investments. You don’t want to buy a CPU that you’re going to regret right away, so we’re going to work to tell you all of the need-to-know information!

Best CPU For Streaming

In this article, we’re going to help you find the best CPU for streaming. Here are our top 5 picks.

#1. AMD Ryzen 5 1600 AF

Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Boost Clock: 3.6 GHz | Overclockable?: Yes | Out-of-Box Supported Chipsets: B450, X570, and newer AM4 chipsets (older chipsets may require BIOS update)

  • Fairly cheap
  • Adequate CPU for 100+ FPS in most modern games w/GPU encoder
  • Should be capable of streaming older or lightweight titles w/ GPU or CPU encoding
  • Not recommended for CPU-based streaming with modern games: there will be a severe performance penalty

AMD RYZEN5 1600 AF Socket AM4

The Ryzen 5 1600 AF has become particularly popular for budget gamers, thanks to its strong pricing and the fact that it’s more or less a rebranded Ryzen 5 2600. This gives it the absolute best multi-threaded performance you can get for under $100 (when it’s at its proper MSRP, anyway), and makes it the obvious choice for anyone looking to stream or render video on a tight budget.

In addition to streaming, the 1600 AF should perform fairly well in most games, so long as the rest of your hardware can keep up. While it’s unquestionably the best in its price range for streaming and other heavy multi-threaded tasks, however, it’s beaten in raw gaming performance by the new Ryzen 3 3100 and competing Intel CPUs. If streaming is your most important use case, though, this shouldn’t matter too much.

For dual-PC streamers, this CPU is basically perfect: its gaming performance penalties don’t matter, and it offers more than enough power for meeting Twitch video quality.

Verdict: Best Budget CPU For Dual PC Streaming / Best Streaming CPU Under $100

This CPU not available? Consider the Ryzen 5 2600 or the 3600 (listed below) instead!

Want to save some money? The Ryzen 3 3100 is available for cheaper and should perform slightly better in games, but has less threads- consider if you’re primarily streaming older games, which benefit from more per-core power but can’t utilize all the available threads as well. You will definitely want to use a decent GPU encoder, too.

#2. AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Boost Clock: 4.2 GHz | Overclockable?: Yes | Out-of-Box Supported Chipsets: B550, X570, and newer AM4 chipsets (older chipsets may require BIOS update) 

  • Excellent performance per dollar in streaming and gaming
  • Good enough for 120+ FPS in modern games, though even with a GPU encoder you may dip below this target
  • Perfect for a dual PC setup with super high-quality streaming and recording
  • Not recommended for CPU-based streaming with modern games while targeting 120+ FPS

The Ryzen 5 3600 is our pick for best value CPU for streaming. Whether you’re doing a single-PC or dual-PC streaming setup, it’s hard to beat the Ryzen 5 3600 for the value on offer.

For gaming, the 3600 boasts enough raw CPU power to push 120+ FPS in modern game engines. If you also choose to use a GPU encoder, this should allow for single-PC Twitch streaming setup with only marginal in-game performance loss.

For streaming and recording, the Ryzen 5 3600 is a multi-threaded beast- especially if you’re able to slap this CPU into a 2nd PC. While this is somewhat overkill for meeting Twitch streaming requirements with a dual PC build, this extra power can prove invaluable for high-quality recording, fast video rendering, and streaming to higher-bitrate services.

Verdict: Best Value CPU For Streaming / Best Streaming CPU Under $200

#3. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Boost Clock: Up to 4.4 GHz | Overclockable?: Yes | Out-of-Box Supported Chipsets: B550, X570, and newer AM4 chipsets (older chipsets may require BIOS update)  

  • Great price
  • Good enough performance for high refresh rate gaming and streaming
  • Ideal for super high-quality 1440p+ recording and streaming with a dual PC setup 

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Processor

The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is our pick for best single-PC streaming CPU, due to its great pricing (relative to similar options) and superb performance in gaming and streaming alike. While it may be outmatched in pure gaming performance by competing options from Intel (not by much, but Intel does still have a meaningful lead in single-core performance), it’s the uncontested king of streaming CPUs within this price range- so much so that we’re genuinely hard-pressed to say something negative about it.

That being said, let’s focus on what this CPU can do. 

For one, single-PC streamers have basically the perfect setup here. The GPU encoder in tandem with this CPU should ensure that you don’t see noticeable performance loss when streaming.

For dual-PC streamers and content creators, maenwhile, you’ve made a fairly significant step up in cores and threads that can be dedicated almost wholly to video processing. This makes the Ryzen 7 3700X great for super high-quality recordings in a secondary streaming PC.

Verdict: Best CPU For Single-PC Streaming / Best Streaming CPU Under $300

#4. Intel Core i7-10700K

Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Boost Clock: Up to 5.1 GHz | Overclockable?: Yes | Out-of-Box Supported Chipsets: Intel 400 Series Chipsets  

  • The best CPU for FPS in modern games
  • The best CPU for maintaining high refresh rates while still streaming
  • Superb for gaming and CPU-based recording, though this will come at a cost to 144 Hz gaming
  • High price

Intel Core i7-10700K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.1 GHz Unlocked  LGA1200

The Intel Core i7-10700K is the best overall CPU for single-PC streaming use. While its cores and threads match the previous entry, the per-core speed is far faster- enabling industry-leading gaming performance, whether you’re streaming or not. The 10700K is essentially a retooled version of the previous-gen Core i9-9900K- which previously wore the same crown.

The only real downside worth noting here is the pricing, which is well above competing AMD options. If you want the best of the best for a single-PC streaming setup, this is the CPU for you, but that comes at a price premium.

The i9-10900K is pretty good, too, but for today’s workloads doesn’t really justify spending the extra money just yet. If money isn’t a concern and you want to future-proof a little, though, the 10900K linked below is basically just the 10700K+ when it comes to this particular use case.

Verdict: Best Overall CPU For Single-PC Streaming & Recording

Want a little more power and don’t mind overspending? Consider bumping up to the Intel Core i9-10900K!

#5. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Cores: 12 | Threads: 24 | Boost Clock: Up to 4.6 GHz | Overclockable?: Yes | Out-of-Box Supported Chipsets: B550, X570, and newer AM4 chipsets (older chipsets may require BIOS update)  

  • Superb gaming performance
  • Streaming and recording have negligible impact on in-game FPS due to the sheer number of free cores
  • High price
  • May not reach FPS as high as 10700K or 10900K, though this should still exceed 120 Hz in most modern game engines

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Processor

Last but absolutely not least is the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. This 12-core, 24-thread monstrosity offers the absolute best streaming and CPU-based recording experience you’re going to find on the market. (Like with the 10700K you can also opt for the slightly higher-end 3950X or 3900XT, but the gains are legitimately so marginal that we don’t recommend it.)

Honestly, there are so few caveats here that we’re struggling to talk in very much depth about this CPU, at least when it comes to streaming or recording. The only real downside compared to competing Intel options is that the gaming performance is technically lower, but realistically still well beyond the demands for playing modern games at 120+ FPS. If you’re a true framerate savant then you may want to go Intel, but if you’re willing to buy a CPU with streaming as your first priority, chances are that minor compromise is more than worth it.

The Ryzen 9 3900X will come at a significant price premium, but there’s no questioning it: at the time of writing, this is the best CPU for streaming and recording, period.

Verdict: Best CPU For Streaming & Recording (Single or Dual PC)

Best Streaming CPU: FAQ + Buying Guide

In this section, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know in order to make an informed buying decision.

Is this article for single PC (gaming & streaming in one) or dual PC users?

Both, but we’re going to specify the difference between the two use cases now.

Streaming with a GPU encoder (for single-PC streaming and high-quality recording)

Now this section might be a little bit shocking considering the article you just read, but we’d be remiss not to mention a potentially better option for most users: using your GPU encoder to stream instead of your CPU.

If you aren’t sure what we’re talking about, we’ll explain in short order. Basically, all modern graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia come with built-in video encoders. These can be used to accelerate certain workloads (ie rendering videos) where supported, but most prevalent for this particular use case is using these built-in encoders for streaming your games. By streaming without increasing the burden on your CPU, you should be able to maintain roughly the same framerates that you’re used to, since the encoders should have much less of a noticeable performance impact in your games. If you’re looking to buy a GPU with this in mind, we recommend choosing Nvidia over AMD, since their built-in encoder offers superior image quality over AMD’s.

We believe that this is the ideal solution for most users, but CPU-based streaming is still worth considering if you want to offer the best possible image quality for your stream. Additionally, certain other tasks- like professional transcoding- aren’t really suited for GPU encoders at all, and getting a properly hefty CPU will be a much better use of your money.

Streaming with a CPU encoder (for dual-PC streaming and super high-quality recording)

CPU encoding is favored by some streamers and content creators, especially professionals. While a GPU encoder can certainly do the job for 1080p web content, it’s still not perfect. The best possible image quality can only be achieved with a CPU encoder, but there are a few questions to consider.

If you plan on using a CPU encoder, you first need to decide if you’re doing a single-PC or dual-PC setup.

If you’re doing a single-PC setup, then you must opt for a high-end processor, ideally a Ryzen 9 or Core i9 processor. These will have both the superb single-core speed needed for high framerates in modern games, and all the extra cores and threads to spare for CPU encoding.

If you’re doing a dual PC setup, then you don’t need to worry nearly as much about raw CPU power. One of our budget options should do the job just fine for high-quality recording from your main machine, but if you plan on recording/streaming at 4K resolution or higher, you should still opt for a higher-end CPU.

Why not go Intel? Don’t they have better gaming performance?

They do have better gaming performance, but unfortunately (for the most part) their multi-threaded performance doesn’t stack up to AMD’s. Where it does, the price point isn’t competitive, and Ryzen CPUs at large seem to be better-equipped for simultaneously streaming and playing games.

Despite those drawbacks, we did still include the Core i7-10700K, since it offers the highest in-game FPS in a realistic single-PC streaming scenario where assisted by a GPU encoder. The Core i9-10900K is technically better, but by such small margins that it wouldn’t be our first recommendation for this purpose.

What are cores and threads?

In a CPU, a core refers to a physical processing core. 

Once upon a time, CPUs did not include multiple cores- instead, they had a single physical processing core, which was seen as a single thread by the operating system. When dual and quad-core CPUs were introduced to the market, many considered it to be the rough equivalent to having 2-4 CPUs on one chip, which isn’t an entirely inaccurate description.

Since the early 2000s, multi-core processors have become the standard. Older applications are only built to utilize a core or two at a time, but evolving game engines and software have become MUCH better at utilizing multiple cores at one time. 

In particular, live-streaming, video rendering, and high-end modern gaming all benefit from multi-core processors.

So what’s a “thread”?

There are a few different meanings for “threads” in relation to CPUs, but when you see it in a spec sheet or in marketing material it’s referring to the “thread” seen by the operating system, which you can think of as a virtual core tied to the physical one. For most processors, this means that the ratio of threads to cores will be 1:1. i.e., a dual-core processor from the early 2000s will only display 2 threads to the operating system.

However, there is a way around this! 

With a technology called SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading, also called Hyper-threading by Intel marketing), the ratio of threads-to-cores now becomes 2:1. This means that every physical core is seen as 2 threads by the operating system. While there isn’t really a gaming performance benefit or drawback to SMT in the majority of the scenarios, it does make quite a big deal for professional workflows, especially for streaming purposes.

What are clock speeds?

Clock speed refers to the operating speed of a CPU. Unless specified as a boost clock with an “Up to” or similar phrasing, clock speed in a product specification will usually refer to base clock speed. For instance, a quad-core CPU with a base clock speed of 3 GHz will guarantee that as long as the chip isn’t overheating, all 4 cores should be able to reach 3 GHz when under load. In order to pass that minimum base clock speed, though, you need either a boost clock or an overclock/

What is boost clock and overclocking?

Boost clock speeds are the highest clock speed that the processor is officially rated to handle, and often will not apply to every single core on the chip unless you’re using a high-end motherboard and cooling setup. These can be reached without the need for a user to overclock.

Overclocking is only possible on unlocked processors. Pretty much every modern AMD processor allows overclocking, but Intel overclocking is limited to their K and X series CPUs for the time being.

An overclock is an increase to clock speed applied by the user instead of the manufacturer: more on that in a moment.

How much of a difference will overclocking make?

Probably not much, but especially not for streaming purposes. Overclocking is more likely to impact single-core performance than multi-core performance, which makes it ideal for gamers but not much other users.

For professionals, we don’t really recommend CPU overclocking unless you’re already an expert. While overclocking does provide a nice performance boost, it also generates more heat, consumes more power, and makes random system crashes far more likely.

Additionally, while overclocking is good, an overclock will not magically turn a bad CPU into a good CPU. Buy the best CPU you can afford, and overclock it if you know what you’re doing- otherwise, don’t bother.

What makes a good streaming CPU?

The main thing you need in a streaming CPU is a CPU with great multi-core performance. Tasks like streaming and video rendering benefit more from multi-core performance than anything else, but gaming is a little bit different.

If you’re doing a dual-PC setup, you don’t really need to worry about the gaming performance of your streaming machine’s CPU, since all of its resources can be easily allocated to the stream. You can fairly safely opt for one of our budget picks for your streaming PC.

If you’re looking to stream with a single-PC setup, however, you’ll need to spend a lot more on your CPU. This is because gaming doesn’t scale as well to multiple cores. Modern game engines are getting better in this regard, but until very recently most games were not built for utilizing more than the first four cores of a processor particularly well.

For this reason, we recommend a Ryzen 5 3600 or better for single-PC streamers!

Why not go for a Threadripper, Xeon, or Intel Extreme processor?

Simply put: it’s not necessary to do so! While we would technically make more money off of getting you to buy the most expensive CPU possible for the job, that’s not what we’re here for- we want to give you the best options, and that requires some consideration of practicality.

Additionally, in many cases, these processors can actually be worse. Not for CPU encoding, to be clear, but for actual gaming performance. These CPUs having such a high density of cores comes at a cost to per-core power, which is one of the main factors to consider when gaming. Even though modern game engines are well-equipped for multiple cores, they do not scale as high as a Treadripper, and the individual core strength still matters too much to be compromised on.

Parting Words

And that’s it! We hope that you taught you everything you needed to know in order to make an informed buying decision. If you have any lingering questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below, and we’ll try to help you as soon as we can!

The post 5 Best CPU For Streaming on the Market in 2021 (Buying Guide) appeared first on AddictiveTips.

Best VPN for TikTok: How to Unblock TikTok from Anywhere (Working in 2021)

TikTok has been the social media phenomenon of 2020 and has taken the world by storm. But it has also courted much controversy due to its links with the Communist regime in China. TikTok has already been banned in India and the US Government looks likely to follow suit.

If you want to unblock TikTok, you can do so with a VPN, and in this guide, we will list the best TikTok VPN services to let you access the site wherever you are.

If you live in India, you will already know what having TikTok blocked is like. Along with 58 other Chinese-based apps, TikTok has been blocked by the Indian government to prevent the company behind the app, Bytedance, from passing user data to the Chinese Communist regime.

Other countries look likely to follow India’s lead on this, which will be a source of huge frustration to the millions of TikTok fans around the world. Searches for a TikTok VPN are already spiking in India and if other countries ban the site too, this is only going to grow.

That’s why we have created this simple guide to show you the best VPNs for TikTok. The VPNs we recommend are also secure and private VPNs that are able to unblock TikTok in any country around the world without governments or your ISPs finding out.

We will also tell you everything you need to know about how to unblock TikTok and whether you really want to do so.

Best VPNs for TikTok

  1. NordVPN – One of the best-known VPNs, NordVPN comes with a whole host of security features and can unblock anything anywhere.
  2. SurfShark – A newish VPN but a rising star and one that ticks all the boxes for unblocking TikTok.
  3. ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN offers the strong privacy and security you need to unblock TikTok as well as fast speeds that allow you to get the most out of the service.
  4. CyberGhost VPN – CyberGhost VPN offers a user-friendly and well-designed platform that still offers all the features of its competitors.
  5. Private VPN – A smaller name but one which offers some unique security and privacy features while still offering the speeds and usability users crave.
  6. IPVanish – IPVanish has improved its service considerably in the past twelve months and now offers a secure, private, fast, and reliable VPN.

Why is TikTok being blocked?

The Indian government is the first to decide to block access to TikTok across the country. But others are considering doing the same, including the USA, where TikTok has become hugely popular with young people in the past couple of years. So why are government’s around the world considering blocking it?

The company behind TikTok is called ByteDance and while that sounds like the name of a San Francisco tech start-up, they are actually based in Beijing.

This is problematic for two reasons. As a Chinese company, ByteDance is required to comply with Chinese law. China is currently controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and operates as a single-party authoritarian dictatorship that is extremely hostile to a lot of countries around the world, including India and the USA.

Chinese law requires that all Chinese tech companies must share user details with the regime if requested to do so and for the Indian government, the prospect of the Chinese regime having access to the personal details and internet data of millions of Indian TikTok users was simply too much of a threat to national security. Other governments are beginning to reach the same conclusion.

That is why TikTok is already blocked in India and is likely to be blocked in the USA and other countries sooner rather than later.

Is it safe to unblock TikTok?

An analysis of the coding behind TikTok strongly suggests that the site does indeed hoover up huge qualities of user data. It is unclear whether this data is shared with the Chinese Communist Party or not, but Chinese law suggests that this is likely.

This is obviously not a good thing but it is something that will bother some people far more than others. If you just use TikTok to share funny videos with friends and the world in general, you might not be too bothered about whether the Chinese regime is collecting your data or not. This is a matter of personal choice.

In India, while TikTok has been blocked nationwide, it is not currently illegal to use a VPN to unblock it. Other countries that are considering a block are also unlikely to make the use of a VPN with TikTok illegal either.

This means that if you decide to use a VPN to unblock TikTok, you shouldn’t face any consequences under local law. But you should make an informed decision based on the facts and should be aware that TikTok is sharing your data with the Chinese regime.

How to unblock TikTok using a VPN

If you do decide to unblock TikTok, you can do so remarkably easily. The hardest part is choosing which VPN to use. Once you have chosen, all you need to do is follow these few simple steps:

  1. Choose a VPN and using a link on this page, click through to their website and sign up to your preferred package.
  1. Download the VPN app onto your device or devices. You should always do this from either the VPN provider’s official website or your local app store.
  1. Install the VPN app and then log into your account using the details provided.
  1. Choose a VPN server to connect to. This should be a server located outside India or any other country where TikTok is blocked. Ideally, you should choose a server as close to your actual location as possible.
  1. Once your VPN has connected, you should be able to use TikTok as usual.

Some users may find that they are still unable to access TikTok. If this is the case, it is likely to be because the region your VPN is connected to does not match the region linked to your App Store or the Google Play store. You will need to change your App Store region to match your VPN servers location and then the issue should be resolved.

Choosing the best VPN to unblock TikTok

The toughest part of using a VPN to unblock TikTok is deciding which of the many VPNs on the market are the best ones to use. There are a lot of VPNs around and some are much better suited to the job than others.

We consulted our various experts to see what features and qualities you should be looking for when choosing a TikTok VPN. They have compiled a list of features that are needed to unblock TikTok, stop people spotting that you are doing so, and also to help you get the most out of the app:

  • Strong encryption – You need to make sure your VPN is able to encrypt all of your data to ensure that neither your government nor your ISP can see that you are unblocking TikTok.
  • A No User Logs Guarantee – To ensure that your online privacy is guaranteed.
  • A Kill Switch – This ensures that if your VPN connection drops out, your internet connection is cut to so there is no risk of your TikTok usage being spotted.
  • DNS Leak Protection – This ensures that there is no risk of your VPN leaking your DNS requests, which could reveal that you are using TikTok.
  • Fast connection speeds – TikTok is primarily a video app and to get the most out of it you need to have the fastest internet connection possible.
  • A larger server network – Choose a VPN that has servers in plenty of countries especially those nearby. These will allow you to unblock TikTok while still retaining decent speeds.
  • Compatible apps – People use TikTok on the go, so you need to make sure your TikTok VPN has apps for all the devices you use it on.

Best VPNs for TikTok

Using the criteria outlined in the previous section as our benchmark, we have been testing all the top VPNs to see which are best at unblocking TikTok in India and around the world. On the basis of these tests, our list of recommended VPNs is:

1. NordVPN

Pros

  • Huge sever network
  • Great security and lots of features
  • Super low prices

Cons

  • Was a security issue with one server last year

NordVPN is an exceptional VPN and the best one we’ve tested to work with TikTok. It offers a huge range of features and an exceptional all-round service at an astonishingly low price.

NordVPN also uses uncrackable 256-bit AES encryption as standard and this also comes with the widest range of extra security features we have seen, including a kill switch and DNS leak protection.

It is based in Panama which means it’s no user logs guarantee is absolutely watertight and independently verified. There is a large server network and you can connect up to six devices at the same time.

In recent years, NordVPN has invested heavily in its infrastructure which means it is currently one of the most consistently fast VPNs on the market. These speeds come with excellent apps available on all devices, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and unbelievably low prices.

BEST VPN FOR TIKTOK – Get a huge 70% discount for signing up for the 2-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $3.49.

2. Surfshark

Pros

  • Excellent security and privacy protections
  • Impressive speeds
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Mobile apps still quite basic

Surfshark is a new arrival on the VPN scene but it has really made waves thanks to its impressive features and competitive prices.

If you want to unblock TikTok, Surfshark ticks all the boxes. It has impressive 256-bit AES encryption and a dependable no user logs promise, which sits at the heart of a well-thought-through privacy policy.

There is a wide range of apps for almost every device you can think of. These apps are well designed although the mobile apps still lack some of the features found on the desktop apps.

Speeds are impressive and also consistent across what is a decent-sized server network for such a young VPN.

Prices are also extremely competitive and once you sign up you get unlimited connections. Surfshark may be young but it is already an impressive VPN and does everything you need to unblock TikTok around the world.

BEST BUDGET OPTION: Surfshark is a great low-cost option to unblock TikTok. It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

3. ExpressVPN

Pros

  • Fantastic connection speeds
  • Unsurpassed security and privacy protections
  • Big server network
  • Exclusive 49% discount + 3 months free.

Cons

  • Only 5 simultaneous connections
  • A bit pricier than some competitors

ExpressVPN is the perfect VPN for unblocking TikTok thanks to its wealth of security and privacy features and its super-fast speeds.

It offers unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption as standard as well as a no user logs policy that is rock-solid thanks to ExpressVPN being headquartered offshore in the British Virgin Islands. On top of this, ExpressVPN also has a whole host of additional security and privacy options available too including DNS leak protection and a kill switch.

Speed is ExpressVPN’s big calling card and in our tests, we have found it to be one of the fastest VPNs around despite the strength of its encryption. This makes it ideal for using with sites like TikTok.

ExpressVPN has a huge range of apps for just about every device you can think of. These apps are well designed and really user-friendly. Even a complete VPN novice will have no trouble navigating their way around.

It also boasts one of the largest server networks of any VPN. Prices are reasonable for the quality of service provided and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee on offer too.

UNBLOCKS TIKTOK EVERYWHERE – Choose ExpressVPN today for its incredible security and privacy provisions and lightning-fast speeds. Our readers get an exclusive 49% off the yearly price, plus 3 extra months free on signup.

4. CyberGhost VPN

Pros

  • Terrific user-friendly apps
  • Big server network
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Privacy policy not independently verified

If you are new to VPNs and a bit of a technophobe, then CyberGhost VPN might be the best choice for you. It has a huge range of superb apps that are beautifully designed and tailored to suit users of all abilities. You can manage the features if you wish, but alternatively, just choose the setting to unblock censored content and CyberGhost VPN will automatically unblock TikTok for you, no matter where you are.

It comes with 256-bit AES encryption as standard, a decent no user logs promise, and a range of features that you can use as much or as little as you like.

Connection speeds with CyberGhost VPN are up there with the very best and their server network is a big one too.

Prices are extremely competitive and with CyberGhost VPN you get a huge 45-day money-back guarantee which means you have more than six weeks to try them out before you have to commit any money.

5. PrivateVPN

Pros

  • Excellent security features
  • Strong encryption
  • Good apps

Cons

  • Speeds can be mixed

PrivateVPN is a fairly small provider that heralds out of Sweden. But it punches way above its weight on all the things that matter, including security.

The encryption used by PrivateVPN is among the very strongest and it comes alongside a range of great security features including the obligatory kill switch and DNS leak protection.

There is a trustworthy no user logs guarantee and while the range of apps is not as extensive as some others on this list, all the major devices are covered and the apps are simple to use and beautifully designed.

PrivateVPN does have a modest server network and speeds can be a bit mixed on some servers. But if security is your top priority and you want to be sure you are unblocking TikTok safely, PrivateVPN is an excellent choice.

6. IPVanish

Pros

  • Great apps
  • Good speeds
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections

Cons

  • Some historic privacy concerns

IPVanish had gone off the boil a little in the past couple of years but it has come roaring back with its trademark top-quality service and a selection of new deals.

As before, you still get 256-bit AES encryption as standard, a kill switch, various other security protections, and a no user logs guarantee as standard.

There is a big network of servers on offer to all users and connection speeds that are both quick and, perhaps more importantly, consistent.

Apps have always been a strong point of IPVanish and this remains the case with just about every device catered for. These are still as well-designed and easy to use as they always were.

IPVanish remains reasonably priced but they have now extended their money-back guarantee to the industry standard 30 days. They have decided to allow users to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. This means IPVanish is ideal for using TikTok on multiple devices and even sharing your VPN account with your family.

Can you use a free VPN to unblock TikTok?

It is highly inadvisable to use free VPNs to unblock TikTok. Many of these VPNs are an even greater threat to your online security and privacy than TikTok itself. A lot are also based in Communist China and most will routinely hoover up user data and sell it to third parties to cover their costs and generate profit.

Other risks posed by free VPNs include injecting malware and adware onto your devices that can put your online security at risk and have a hugely detrimental impact on your user experience.

Perhaps the biggest problem with free VPNs for TikTok users is performance. Free VPNs offer have caps on connection speeds or data usage that makes them completely useless for TikTok users. They will slow down the app and stop you from being able to watch a lot of content.

In contrast, the VPNs we have recommended in this guide have no such limitations on your security, your privacy, or the online performance of the app. They do come at a cost, but this is only a few dollars a month and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee on offer from most providers (some offer an even longer money-back guarantee).

This represents excellent value for money and the benefits of using a premium VPNs far outweigh the small cost of signing up.

Summary

TikTok is already blocked in India and it looks inevitable that other countries will follow their lead.

As we have explained in this guide, there are some good reasons for this, but whether or not you want to use TikTok should be an individual decision which is why we have created this guide.

We have explained why a VPN is the best way to unblock TikTok around the world and how to do it. We have also provided a detailed list of the best VPNs to use to unblock TikTok as well as cautioning against the use of free VPNs.

Do you have any questions about using any of these VPNs to unblock TikTok? Any tips or advice for our readers that we haven’t covered in this guide? If so, we’d love to hear from you, so please do leave your thoughts in the comment box below. We always try to respond to them all.

The post Best VPN for TikTok: How to Unblock TikTok from Anywhere (Working in 2021) appeared first on AddictiveTips.

How to set PhysX Configuration in Nvidia Control Panel on Windows 10

Many computers have a GPU. These systems may or may not be intended for gaming but they will still have a GPU for the added and improved performance it brings. 

A GPU is used when it’s needed. It’s not the default, go-to hardware component for games or other graphics-intensive tasks. If you have an Nvidia GPU, it likely makes use of a technology called PhysX.

What is PhysX?

PhysX has been developed by Nvidia to offload intense processing calculations from a CPU on to a GPU. What sorts of processing does PhysX offload? It offloads things related to action and rendering in 3D physical environments e.g. think of rain in a game and how it looks when it interacts with the objects in the game. 

To get hyper-realistic rain in a game, the CPU needs to calculate how often a raindrop falls, where it falls, and the impact of each one on the environment. This sort of thing requires a lot of processing which, with PhysX, can be offloaded to the GPU.

Benefits of PhysX

Generally speaking, if you use PhysX to offload tasks to the GPU;

  • Your games will run better and more smoothly.
  • Your games will look better.

If you’re thinking that all games use the GPU, they do indeed mostly use the GPU but for rendering screens. PhysX allows certain functions that are still handled by the CPU to instead be handled by the GPU.

Set PhysX Configuration

PhysX configuration is set from the Nvidia Control Panel app. If you have an Nvidia GPU, this app will be installed on your system. If not, you can get it from the Microsoft Store.

By default, PhysX is set to the CPU or it’s set to Auto which means tasks that can be handed off to the GPU are not being handed off or the game is deciding when it needs to hand the tasks off instead of it being the default.

  1. Right-click an empty area on the desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Go to the 3D Settings tab.
  3. Open the dropdown and select your Nvidia GPU chip.
  4. Double-click the value for OpenGL rendering GPU and select your Nvidia GPU chip.
  5. Click Apply.

  1. Go to the Set PhysX Configuration tab.
  2. Open the Set a PhysX processor dropdown.
  3. Select GPU.
  4. Apply the change.
  5. This will set PhysX to use the GPU instead of the CPU. 

PhysX: GPU or CPU

PhysX can be set to use the GPU, or the CPU, or it can decide on a per-app basis what to do which is what the auto setting does. The question is, which setting is better?

If you’re unsure, you can always stick to the auto setting but it is generally a good idea to set it to use the GPU instead of the CPU. You should do this regardless of how fast/new your CPU is.

There will be exceptions. With PhysX set to use the GPU, you will usually get better game performance but there will be times when a game doesn’t run as well. If you have a stuttering game, set PhysX to either auto or to use the CPU instead.

The post How to set PhysX Configuration in Nvidia Control Panel on Windows 10 appeared first on AddictiveTips.

4 Best Wireless Keyboards for Linux Users in 2021 (Buying Guide)

Wireless keyboards are all the rage, as they make it possible to have a clean desk without cords. If you’re a Linux user looking for a good wireless keyboard, we’ve got you covered. Here are the 4 best wireless keyboards for Linux!

Linux support with wireless keyboards

Most keyboards have support on Linux thanks to the hard work of Linux contributors as well as the keyboard manufacturers themselves. However, there are some wireless keyboards that simply don’t work on Linux very well.

In this list, we’ve been careful to find wireless keyboards that support Linux via plug-n-play driver support in the Linux kernel. That said, 100% of Linux operating systems may support the keyboards on this list. For best results, try using a mainstream Linux OS like Ubuntu Linux or Fedora, or Linux Mint.

Best Wireless Keyboards for Linux

Here’s what our research revealed when we reviewed the best wireless keyboards for Linux users.

1. Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

If you’re trying to find an excellent wireless keyboard for your Linux PC, consider the Logitech MK270. It’s a full-sized wireless keyboard. it comes with a Numpad (something that nobody should live without on a keyboard) and has various hotkeys that users can program to increase productivity. And, as a bonus, it comes with a nice wireless mouse too!

In terms of wireless connectivity, the MK270 uses a 2.4 GHz signal that ensures you keep a stable connection with your PC.

On Linux, the MK270 works out of the box, as all Logitech devices do. The keyboard is powered by AAA batteries, and the mouse is powered with a single AA battery (both of which are included).

Overall, the devices are both very efficient with power and you should see quite a lot of power before needing to recharge.

Pros

  • Logitech makes quality products that always support Linux in one way or another, and do not require a driver to use.
  • Comes with a free mouse at no extra cost to the user.
  • Batteries are included in the package so users don’t need to spend extra on batteries to start using their new wireless keyboard and mouse.

Cons

  • Key macros, while neat, don’t have direct support on Linux. Users will need to install a third-party app like Solaar to use it.
  • No direct support from Logitech with a configuration app. Must install a third-party app like Solaar to get the most out of the device.

2. Logitech MK235 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

Coming in at number 2, we have the MK235 — another Logitech MK series wireless keyboard.

Much like the MK270 in #1, it is a full-sized wireless keyboard and mouse combo. Because this device is created by Logitech, you can be sure that it’s supported on a wide variety of Linux operating systems, and even Chrome OS! However, there are a few differences. The key one being that unlike the MK270, the MK235 does not come with programmable button combos. That said, it’s still a great pickup, and it makes up for the lack of programmable buttons by including function keys, such as media controls, email buttons, volume controls, etc.

The MK235 has an impressive wireless configuration, and Logitech says that the wireless signal is encrypted over 128-AES over a 2.4 GHz dongle. The keyboard itself is powered by 2 AAA batteries, while the mouse uses a single AA battery. Both of these batteries are included with the purchase.

Pros

  • Logitech makes quality products that work well on Linux. Even if not fully supported via an app, no drivers are required to use the device.
  • It comes with a free mouse that the user does not have to pay for.
  • Batteries are included in the package, so users don’t need to spend extra on batteries to start using their new wireless keyboard and mouse.

Cons

  • Lacks programmable buttons that users can use to make custom functions that can increase productivity.
  • No direct support from Logitech with a configuration app. Must install a third-party app like Solaar to get the most out of the device.

3. Arteck 2.4G Wireless Keyboard Stainless Steel Ultra Slim Full Size Keyboard

Are you looking for a sleek, beautiful metal keyboard for your Linux PC? Check out the Arteck 2.4 G wireless keyboard.

It’s full-sized, includes a Numpad, media controls, volume controls, and a huge battery all packed into a steel chassis. Best of all, the company behind the Arteck wireless keyboard promise that no drivers are necessary, even on Linux! Just plug it in and go!

Like many of the other keyboards talked about on this list, the Arteck 2.4G wireless keyboard connects wirelessly to Linux via an included 2.4 GHz dongle. However, what sets it apart is that it is powered by a powerful 6-month rechargeable battery. If you’re sick of buying disposable batteries for your devices, this keyboard could be for you!

Pros

  • The stainless steel design means the keyboard will be harder to get dirty and will last a long time.
  • No need to buy batteries as the keyboard is rechargeable and lasts for 6-months.

Cons

  • Unclear if the built-in battery is replaceable.

4. Wireless Keyboard and Mouse, Jelly Comb 2.4G Slim Compact Quiet Small Keyboard and Mouse Combo

Need a compact keyboard for your Linux setup and want something wireless? Check out the Jelly Comb compact wireless keyboard. It’s a slim, compact keyboard that only includes the essential buttons to save space. And, it comes with a wireless mouse, so no need to go out of your way to get one in addition to the keyboard.

The Jelly Comb wireless keyboard connects to Linux like most other wireless keyboards, through a USB 2.4 GHz wireless dongle. The device itself is powered by 2 AAA batteries. The mouse also requires 2 AAA batteries.

Both the keyboard and mouse are very efficient with power usage, ensuring a decent battery life. However, these batteries are not included.

Pros

  • Comes with a free mouse included at no extra charge.
  • Devices are very efficient with power resulting in decent battery life.

Cons

  • Batteries are not included in the package, which means users will need to spend extra on batteries before being able to use their new keyboard.

Conclusion

In this list, we covered 4 excellent wireless keyboards to use on your Linux PC. But these 4 keyboards aren’t the only wireless keyboards out there that are compatible with Linux.

What is your favorite wireless keyboard to use on Linux? Let us know in the comments below!

The post 4 Best Wireless Keyboards for Linux Users in 2021 (Buying Guide) appeared first on AddictiveTips.

Is TikTok Safe? Here’s All You Should Know About Safety on TikTok

TikTok is the social media phenomenon of the decade so far. But it is not without its controversies and a lot of people are questioning just how safe it is to use. In this guide, we will address all of the facts in turn, consider the risks that can be posed by TikTok and suggest some solutions that can make it a much safer app to use.

TikTok is wildly popular at the moment. It claims to have an astonishing 800 million users around the world and is widely available.

It can be downloaded in 141 countries around the world and, according to its own data, it features in the top 25 app downloads in 135 of them. In the first three months of 2020, there were more global downloads of TikTok than Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

But TikTok is not just a fun and friendly video-sharing app. It has been dogged by controversy since it first entered popular consciousness. It’s links to the Communist regime in China has seen a number of security and privacy accusations being leveled at it.

Meanwhile, concerns have also been raised by parents in many countries about the sharing of adult content and other inappropriate material among younger users while some have reported incidents of youngsters being groomed by older users.

Understandably, this has resulted in many people questioning whether TikTok is actually safe to use. In this guide, we will address all of the principal concerns that have been raised about TikTok and provide some solutions that can make TikTok safer for everyone.

TikTok and China: Security and Privacy

TikTok is owned and operated by a company called ByteDance which is headquartered in Beijing. This means that TikTok is a Chinese company and subject to Chinese law. For users outside China, this is a major problem.

Chinese law requires all companies based in China to hand over any relevant data or information to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) if requested to do so. ByteDance has always denied that it does this, but as a Chinese company, the reality is that it has no choice.

There is no lack of images of ByteDance staff waving CCP flags and being lectured by Party officials in their Beijing headquarters, so the idea that the company doesn’t comply with CCP laws is frankly not credible.

Analysis of the code that underpins TikTok doesn’t appear to support the company’s claims either. There is evidence of connections between the apps downloaded onto your devices and servers in China which strongly suggests data is sent back to China from all users.

Reverse engineering of TikTok has also revealed the huge amount of data that the app hoovers up. One analyst has described TikTok as being “a data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network”.

Just some of the data collected by TikTok includes all personal information, details about your device, the other apps you use, all details about your internet connection, and more. Even more concerningly, the TikTok app appears to be designed to stop more tech-savvy users from stopping it from collecting this data.

Given the company’s close links to the CCP and its legal requirement to hand over data, it doesn’t take a great leap to conclude that the CCP is using TikTok to build up a database of users.

If this sounds a bit fanciful and conspiratorial, let’s take a look at how democratic governments around the world are dealing with the issue.

Where TikTok is banned

Outside of China, TikTok’s largest user-base in India where the app had an estimated 119 million users. But a couple of months ago, the Indian government banned TikTok nationwide, along with 58 other Chinese-based apps it accused of collecting data and spying on its citizens.

In the USA, President Donald Trump has signed an Executive Order which gives TikTok just 90 days to sell its US operations to an American company or separate it entirely from the rest of its global operations.

In a statement announcing the move, President Trump said, “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

There is talk that a number of other democratic western countries are considering following the lead of India and the USA and banning Tik Tok.

Should you unblock TikTok?

There is plenty of evidence that TikTok does hoover up user data and is a threat to your online privacy and security. But, as advocates of a free and open internet, we think it is important that people make their own individual decisions about whether or not to use apps like TikTok.

These should be informed decisions, so it is important that everyone is aware of TikTok’s links to the Chinese regime and the extent of personal information it hoovers up. But, if you still choose to use it knowing all of this, that is up to you.

If you live in a country like India or the USA where TikTok is either already banned or soon to be banned, it is possible to unblock TikTok and continue to use the app with the help of a VPN.

How to unblock TikTok using a VPN

Unblocking TikTok with a VPN is actually extremely easy. All you need to do is follow these few simple steps:

  1. Choose a VPN from our list of recommended providers below and sign up for your preferred package.
  1. Download the VPN app. You should always do this from either the VPN provider’s official website or your local app store.
  1. Install the VPN app and then log into your account using the account details they have given you.
  1. Connect to a VPN server located outside your current country in a nearby location where TikTok is not banned.
  1. Once connected to the VPN server, you should be able to use TikTok as usual.

In some cases, users have reported still being unable to connect to TikTok. If that happens to you, it is likely to mean that you need to switch the location of your app store to match that of your VPN. Once you have done this, TikTok should work normally.

Best VPNs for Tik Tok

Perhaps the hardest part of using a VPN to unblock TikTok is choosing the right VPN for the job. Not every VPN is suited to unblocking TikTok, so it is important to choose the right one.

Take a look at our guide to the Best VPN for TikTok for more details on how to identify the best TikTok VPNs, but here is a rundown of our top 6 recommended providers:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is the best VPN for unblocking Tik Tok. It has uncrackable 256-bit AES encryption as standard and a massive range of extra security which includes a kill switch and DNS leak protection.

It is based in Panama so the privacy policy and no user logs guarantee are absolutely watertight. NordVPN has a huge server network with almost 5,500 servers in 59 different countries. You can also connect up to six devices at the same time.

NordVPN is one of the most consistently fast VPNs on the market and it has a wide-ranging selection of apps that are really user-friendly. OP top of that, users can benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee and extremely affordable prices.

BEST VPN FOR TIKTOK – Get a huge 70% discount for signing up for the 2-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $3.49.

2. SurfShark

Surfshark is a young VPN which has really hit the ground running thanks to its impressive range of features and competitive prices.

It offers 256-bit AES encryption to all users and a dependable no user logs guarantee which is at the heart of Surfshark’s comprehensive privacy policy.

Surfshark has a huge selection of apps for most devices and these are generally well designed and user-friendly, although the mobile apps do lack some features found on the desktop apps.

The connection speeds on offer are impressive and also consistent across a reasonable-sized server network. Prices for Surfshark are very reasonable and they also allow unlimited simultaneous connections making it a great choice for unblocking TikTok.

BEST LOW-COST OPTION: A low-cost VPN that works great with TikTok and puts your security first. Connect any number of devices. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers all users a wealth of security and privacy features and its super-fast speeds make it perfect for the video-sharing app.

ExpressVPN has unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption and a no user logs policy that is unsurpassed thanks largely to ExpressVPN being based in the British Virgin Islands. There are also a variety of additional security and privacy options on offer including DNS leak protection and a kill switch which should help your ISP or government spot that you are using TikTok.

Our tests found that ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN available and, crucially, these speeds are consistent across their entire server network. That network is a huge one too with more than 3,000 servers in 160 locations across 94 different countries around the world.

ExpressVPN offers a huge range of apps for almost any device so you can unblock TikTok no matter what you use it on. Their apps are well designed and really user-friendly.

Prices are fairly reasonable too and in addition to a 30-day money-back guarantee, our readers can also benefit from an exclusive discount.

GREAT ALL ROUNDER – Choose ExpressVPN today for its incredible security and privacy provisions and lightning-fast speeds. Our readers get an exclusive 49% off the yearly price, plus 3 extra months free on signup.

4. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN is the perfect VPN for VPN novices thanks to its huge range of extremely user-friendly apps. You can automatically set up CyberGhost to unblocked censored content like TikTok, meaning it does all the hard work for you with a single click.

It offers 256-bit AES encryption as standard, an impressive no user logs promise, and a good range of features if you want to be a bit more hands-on. CyberGhost VPN connection speeds are among the best we have tested and their server network is a sizable one as well.

Importantly, the CyberGhost VPN prices are extremely competitive and there is a huge 45-day money-back guarantee available. This means you get more than six weeks to try CyberGhost VPN out before you buy.

5. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a modest-sized Swedish VPN that offers impressive security protections as part of an impressive all-round VPN.

PrivateVPN’s encryption is among the strongest we have seen and it comes alongside a great range of security features which include a kill switch and DNS leak protection to stop you TikTok usage leaking out.

They offer a good no user logs guarantee and although there aren’t a wide range of apps available, they do cater to all the most popular devices and their apps are very well-designed and user-friendly.

PrivateVPN has a fairly small server network and speeds can be a bit mixed on some servers. But if your main issue is security and you want to use TikTok without getting caught, PrivateVPN is another good option.

6. IPVanish

IPVanish has enjoyed a huge resurgence in the past year or so and its excellent all-round service makes it ideal for unblocking TikTok.

With IPVanish, you still get 256-bit AES encryption as standard, a kill switch and other security features, and a no user logs guarantee as standard.

They also offer a large server network and impressive and consistent connection speeds while continuing to maintain their reputation for superb apps that are as easy to use and well-designed as they always have been.

IPVanish is still reasonably priced but they have extended their money-back guarantee to 30 days and also now allow an unlimited number of devices to be connected to their network simultaneously.

Child safety on Tik Tok

As well as the various security and privacy concerns that we have already outlined, the other big concern that has been expressed about the app is around user safety. Particularly, since TikTok’s user-base largely consists of children and young people, there have been a number of concerns about child safety.

The aim of TikTok is to make videos that attract the largest number of users possible. Some TikTok users have achieved fame and fortune and it is seen as an ideal platform for musicians, actors, comedians, artists, and other influencers to attract a following. A lot of young users are keen to follow in their footsteps.

This is a problem because if you use TikTok in its default state, videos uploaded by children and young viewers can be viewed by anyone. If it does go viral, this could amount to millions of people seeing it.

Like a lot of social media platforms, people can register on Tik Tok anonymously and while most of the users are children and young people, there is also no shortage of stalkers, cyber-bullies, pedophiles, and other predators using the platform too.

TikTok’s handling of these individuals has been pretty unimpressive so far and many parents continue to have ongoing concerns.

Making a TikTok account private

If you want to protect your child from these risks, an obvious solution is to make their TikTok account private. This may meet with some resistance from your child, but if their well-being and safety on TikTok is your top priority, it is a sensible step to take.

Making a TikTok account private is not too tricky. All you have to do is following these simple steps:

  1. Open TikTok and visit the accounts profile page which can be found in the top right corner of the screen.
  1. Go to the Settings menu. This is the icon with three dots in the top right corner of your profile.
  1. Click on the Privacy and Security option.
  1. Click Enable Private Account.

This will help to limit the number of people who can see your child’s videos and uploaded content.

But it doesn’t stop your child from potentially being contacted by other random TikTok users. This can be done either by the app’s private messages function or in the comments underneath videos.

If you want to stop strangers from being able to contact your child in this way, you can do so by disabling TikTok’s ‘Allow Others To Find Me’ function. You can do this quite easily too by following these few steps:

  1. Open TikTok and visit the accounts profile page which can be found in the top right corner of the screen.
  1. Go to the Settings menu. This is the icon with three dots in the top right corner of your profile.
  1. Click on the Privacy and Security option.
  1. Switch off the ‘Allow Others To Find Me’ function.

If you are worried that your child might access inappropriate content on TikTok, the platform is more geared up to help. Adult content is routinely blocked from accounts of people who register themselves as being underage.

However, some children have been known to use a fake date of birth to register for an account and this would allow them to view adult content. A simple way to stop this is to check your child’s account details, to make sure they have used an appropriate date of birth.

TikTok Family Pairing

TikTok has faced no shortage of criticism of its failure to protect young users and recently, it has finally reacted with a positive development; family pairing.

TikTok family pairing works by allowing an adult TikTok account to a child’s one. Once the accounts are paired, parents can turn on TikTok’s “restricted” mode to limit the potential for inappropriate content to be served and turn off or limit who their child can send direct messages to.

Family pairing is a definite step in the right direction, but it is not a panacea to all of TikTok’s safety issues. It also presupposes that parents have an account of their own, which many won’t. Some cynics have even suggested it is a ploy by TikTok to drive up account numbers.

We would advise readers to use the Family Pairing’ feature if they can but they still need to closely monitor what their kids are doing on TikTok if they really want them to be safe.

Dangerous TikTok challenges

TikTok is home to all sorts of different content, some of which is far more family-friendly than others. One popular content type which has caused all sorts of different safety concerns is challenges.

Challenges are when young people encourage each other to record themselves doing various outlandish or dangerous tasks and to upload what happens. Often these videos are highly entertaining, but sometimes the challenges go too far and can be extremely dangerous.

A few dangerous challenges that have attracted attention and concerns in recent times include:

  • The Plug Challenge – This challenge involves kids pushing a coin behind a partially inserted phone charger to see what happens. Often this is sparks and blackened sockets, but the challenge has also caused major house fires and even resulted in deaths.
  • The Skullbreaker Challenge – In this challenge, a young person jumps into the air and their friend kicks their legs out from under them. This challenge has resulted in numerous injuries including serious spinal and skull fractures.
  • The Concussion Challenge – This challenge involves a group of kids standing together in a group and throwing an object in the air before seeing whose head it hits. Inevitably, numerous head injuries have been incurred as a result.
  • The Cereal Challenge – This involves TikTok users lying on their back and their mouths being used as a cereal bowl. It has a huge risk of choking and also the spreading of coronavirus.

There are many more and they can be extremely dangerous, yet TikTok users can often face a huge amount of peer pressure to participate.

The only real way to keep your child safe from this particular safety threat is to communicate the risks to them and try to make sure they use their common sense when making videos and having fun online.

TikTok scams

Like much of the rest of the internet, TikTok’s success has drawn the attention of hackers and fraudsters from across the globe looking to make a fast buck from unsuspecting users.

TikTok is packed full of fake accounts and scams and, as with other safety threats, the platform has so far offered very little to help protect its users.

Because any TikTok users can be approached by anyone else on the site (unless you change your account settings as we have highlighted above), all users can be susceptible to these scams.

Some of the TikTok scams that are seen most frequently and which all TikTok users should be aware of are:

  • Phishing scams and data thefts

Some scammers have crafted carefully worded TikTok scripts that are designed to play on user’s emotions, fears, or desires, to extort either money or personal data from them. Don’t fall for these. Be aware and never share personal or financial information with anyone on TikTok.

  • Get More Follower scams

TikTok is all about getting more people to watch your videos and follow your account so it is no surprise that there are plenty of scams that prey on this. Lots of users and accounts will promise you free followers or other such things before diverting you to fake accounts which mine you for data and use your information to try and hack your accounts. Remember, there is no such thing as free followers.

  • Influencer Scams

In the age of the influencer, young TikTok users can be particularly vulnerable to scams involving their favorite influencer. Fake accounts will often promise access or contact in exchange for payment but once money has exchanged hands, the account dries up.

  • Romance Scams

Romance scams are common on all social media and TikTok is no exception. Fake accounts with attractive pictures who show a romantic interest in you will often engage in lengthy communication before trying to get you to either give them money or share personal information. Don’t do either.

  • Link Scams

A lot of scammers will try and lure users off TikTok and onto other platforms with links to different sites and promises of romance or financial rewards. But all too often these links are scams and can inject malware or spyware onto your device or con you into paying for access to another site. Just like emails, you should never click a link sent by a stranger on TikTok.

Conclusion

It is difficult not to reach the conclusion that TikTok is not a safe social media platform. There are a myriad of different security and privacy concerns and also a wide variety of safety issues with young users particularly vulnerable to these.

But that doesn’t mean that TikTok cannot be made safer to use, if not completely risk-free.

In this guide, we have outlined the various threats TikTok can pose in more detail. But we have also offered some solutions too.

Using a VPN will let you unblock TikTok in countries where it is already banned. Parents can use the in-app settings to make their children safer on TikTok, and with a little awareness and common-sense, the risks posed by challenges and scams can be mitigated.

Do you have any questions or safety concerns about TikTok that we haven’t touched on in this guide? Do you have any advice for TikTok users that we haven’t put forward?

We always welcome the questions and comments of all our readers and try to respond to them all. So why not share your thoughts with us using the comment box below.

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