The best SIM-only plans in Australia (Updated May 2018)

A SIM-only plan is a mobile phone contract that offers calls, texts and data in return for a monthly fee, but doesn’t come bundled with a phone. Leaving the phone out of the equation means SIM-only plans can be much cheaper than general mobile phone plans which makes them ideal if you already have a handset or are eyeing up a SIM-free phone.

A SIM-only plan is a mobile phone contract that offers calls, texts and data in return for a monthly fee, but doesn’t come bundled with a phone. Leaving the phone out of the equation means SIM-only plans can be much cheaper than general mobile phone plans which makes them ideal if you already have a handset or are eyeing up a SIM-free phone.

To make things easy for you, we’ve gone through and combed through all of Australia’s available SIM-only plans to picks the ones we think offer the most bang for your buck. Our choices start from $16 per month for a basic plan, but we’ve also looked at more expensive plans at $40 and $60, and there are some great options for power users who need loads of data.

Discover our picks for the best outright mobile phones on the planet

Below, you’ll find the very best SIM-only plans in Australia as of May 2018. Whether you’re after the cheapest plan possible, want to dig out the best-value big data SIM plan or just want an all-round great deal but don’t know how much to spend, you should find a recommendation here that suits your needs.

Best SIM-only plans for under $25 a month

Virgin Mobile| 12-month contract | 5GB data | Unlimited national calls and text | Unused data rollover | $24 per month | Optus 4G Network

A good SIM-only plan for those who don’t mind being on a contract, you get unlimited calls and texts within Australia, $50 worth of international calls and 5GB of monthly data for $24 per month. Best of all, any data you don’t used gets rolled over to the next month. Minimum cost $288 over 12 months.

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Amaysim | No contracts | 2.5GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $20 per 28 days | Optus 4G Network

With its new SIM-only, pay-as-you-go plans, Amaysim is offering terrific value when it comes to data, talk and text. $20 will get you 2.5GB of data, unlimited national talk and text, all on the Optus 4G Network.

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Vaya | No contracts | 3GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $24 per month | Optus 4G Network

A plan that offers terrific value, Vaya’s Unlimited 3GB plan offers unlimited national calls and texts with 3GB of data for just $24 per month. Best of all, there are no contracts involved, so your minimum cost is the initial monthly payment.

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Best SIM-only plans for under $40 a month

Amaysim | No contracts | 15GB data | Unlimited national calls (international calls included) | Unlimited texts | $40 per 28 days | Optus 4G Network

A fantastic package on a pay-as-you-go plans, Amaysim is offering 15GB data, plus unlimited national talk and text. You’ll also get unlimited international calls to 10 specific countries, and 300 minutes to a further 22 countries. Amazing value for only $40 per 28 days.

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Virgin Mobile | 12-month contract | 15GB + 13GB bonus data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $300 international calls and text |$40 per month | Optus 4G Network

If data is what you crave, you can’t go wrong with this exceptional deal that offers 28GB of total monthly data (with data rollover), unlimited talk and text, and $300 worth of international calls for only $40 per month. The catch? You’ll need to go on a 12-month contract. Still pretty great, if you ask us. Minimum cost $480 over 12 months.

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Optus | 12-month contract | 10GB + 5GB bonus data | $300 international calls (select countries) | Unlimited national texts | $40 per month | Optus 4G Network

While this plan does require you to sign up to a 12-month contract, there’s plenty of value included here for just $40 per month. You get 15GB of total monthly data (10GB + 5GB bonus when you sign up or recontract), as well as data-free streaming through selected apps, with an Optus Sports subscription also included. Minimum cost $480 over 12 months.

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Think Mobile | No contracts | 10GB + 10GB bonus data | Unlimited national calls and texts | $37 per month | Vodafone 4G Network (in available areas)

With up to 4G speeds in available areas on the Vodafone network, Think Mobile’s Ultimate 10GB plan offers double data for the first 12 months (so long as you sign up before February 28, 2018), giving customers a total of 20GB to play with for only $37 per month. You also get unlimited calls and texts. If the ‘4G in available areas’ thing has you hesitant, you’ll be happy to know that there are no contracts involved in this SIM-only plan, meaning you opt out at any time.

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Best SIM-only plans for under $60 a month

Amaysim | No contracts | 20GB data | Unlimited national calls (international calls included) | Unlimited texts | $50 per 28 days | Optus 4G Network

Another terrific pay-as-you-go plans from Amaysim gives you 250GB data, plus unlimited national talk and text. You’ll also get unlimited international calls to 10 specific countries, and 300 minutes to a further 22 countries. Unbeatable value at $50 per 28 days.

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Optus | 12-month contracts | 30GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts |$50 per month | Optus 4G Network

Offering a huge amount of data at an appealing price, Optus $50 SIM only plan on a 12-month contact is great value for power users. You get a whopping 30GB of monthly data, unlimited talk and text, data-free streaming of certain apps and an Optus Sports subscription (if that kind of thing excites you),

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Optus | 12-month contracts | 50GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts |$60 per month | Optus 4G Network

A whopping good deal from Optus that’s heavy on the data, you get 50GB of data per month, as well as unlimited talk and text, data-free streaming from certain apps and an Optus Sports subscription – all for just a tenner more than the previous deal. You’ll need to go on a 12-month contract, though, which carries a minimum cost of $720 over the year.

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Should I go SIM-only?

If you a) want to save some money; b) don’t want to be tied into a lengthy contract; or c) both of the above, then going SIM-only is well worth considering. In fact, you’re probably in one of two situations if your thoughts are turning to a SIM-only mobile plan:

You’re coming to the end of your contract and your network is calling you a million times a day to get you to upgrade. Well if your phone is dying a death or you just fancy a change, head to our best mobile phones deal page to see what bargains are lurking, but otherwise going SIM only on your current phone is a no-brainer. You’ll wind up paying much less than you are under contract, and you can stick to a rolling 30 day contract so that if your circumstances change, you can get out of the arrangement tout suite.

It’s time for a shiny new smartphone and you want to get the best value humanly possible. You’ll have to find a few hundred bucks up front for the handset (be sure to check our SIM free comparison chart) but box clever and you’ll end up paying less over the next 24 months (see below). Plus, if you’re a commitment-phobe, most SIM-only plans don’t require you to sign up for two years like you would with a normal contract.What SIM card size do I need?

There are three sizes of SIM card that you can get for your phone, and the one you need will depend on your handset. It’s been a while since the traditional, so-called standard SIM (15 x 25mm) has genuinely been the staple in new phones. Instead, any phone you’ve bought within the last five or so years is much more likely to require a micro (12 x 15mm) or nano (8.8 x 12.3mm) SIM – the iPhone 5 was Apple’s first mobile with a nano SIM, while Samsung began using the smallest size in its Galaxy S6.

Before you purchase your new SIM, double-check the manufacturer’s website to see what size you require. And if you’re simply not sure, most networks now simply send out a triple SIM, so you’ll get one of each size.

What contract length should I get?

Unlike with a contract, there’s a lot more flexibility available when it comes to how long your SIM-only plan will last. Two year commitments are virtually unheard of, with the norm being either one year or rolling one month contracts for ultimate flexibility. You can often get better prices if you tie yourself in for 12 months, especially on larger data tariffs. But sticking to one month at a time means that you can effectively hand pick a new plan to suit you every 30 days or so.

How much data do I need?

Because you can change your plan up more regularly than a normal, lengthier contract, it’s less crucial to get this nailed from the start. But if you’re thinking of grabbing a 12-monther or just put a personal pride on getting things right first time, then we’ll help you pick out the sweet spot of data for you.

Firstly, check your phone to see how much data you’ve been using to date, and whether you have the tendency to use more than your current allowance every month. Then, if you’re still unsure, check out our guidance:

0-1GB Tiny amounts of data on SIM only plans could be a blessing or a curse. If you’re putting it in a rarely used phone that will scarcely be away from wi-fi then you’re quids in. But if you end up with one because your head’s turned by the incredible price, then you could end up paying more if you continually go over your allowance.2-3GB For anybody who needs data for little more than the occasional Google Maps route planning, 2GB and 3GB plans come cheap and give you much more freedom to check the football scores and scroll Facebook away from the wi-fi without danger.4-8GB If you can’t leave the house without having a music streaming service like Spotify pouring into your ears, then it might be worth paying for some extra GBs of data.10-16GB This is a significant amount of data and some networks offer it for a very appetising price. Whether streaming music, downloading podcasts, watching social media videos, or all three is your thing – you should be covered.20-30GB Only smartphone junkies that need regular (and hefty) data fixes need bother with this avalanche of GBs. You’ll be able to rinse Netflix, Spotify and online games without too much fear of topping out.Do I need unlimited calls and texts?

Call it practicality, call it greediness, call it what you want – it’s human nature to want ‘unlimited’ anything if offered. But you should think genuinely about whether you really need it in a world where the likes of WhatsApp and Skype let you call and text for free over wi-fi or 4G. If you decide that a few thousand monthly minutes and texts should do you, then you could shave off some cash from your bill.

The SIM-only plans on this page are checked regularly, so make sure you visit often if you want to get the most up-to-date information on the plans that are currently available!

Atari’s new retro console is ready for your money … but it won’t ship until 2019

Since the Atari VCS was announced (and then known as the Ataribox), we’ve had a lot of questions about it. While many remain unanswered, the pre-sale date has been announced in a press release for the Atari VCS: It will go on sale May 30.

Since the Atari VCS was announced (and then known as the Ataribox), we’ve had a lot of questions about it. While many remain unanswered, the pre-sale date has been announced in a press release for the Atari VCS: It will go on sale May 30.

Just how much is Atari expecting you to fork over for the new console? Well, you’ll be able to find the Atari VCS on sale at Indiegogo with packages starting at $199.

Packages? Plural? Atari has confirmed a few different packages, including an Atari VCS Collector’s Edition with a retro wood front and an Onyx version in all black. Atari will also have packages that bundle in a “Classic Joystick” or “Modern Controller” at what will likely be higher prices.

Now comes the bad news: Despite what has already been a long wait since the announcement of this product, orders aren’t expected to ship until Spring 2019.

Speak up before taking my money

Beyond the dates, new details on the Atari VCS remain sparse.

The press release says the console will run on a custom but unspecified AMD processor with Radeon graphics. It will also support 4K, HDR, and 60fps content (note: this should not be confused for gaming at 60fps in 4K HDR). It will include expandable on-board storage, and support connectivity via dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and USB 3.0, all of which will be hooked into a proprietary version of Linux that has a custom Atari interface.

The Atari VCS will include access to 100 classic games in the Atari Vault, but whether it will be able to handle more current titles is up in the air.

From out hands-on experience with the Atari VCS, it seems unlikely that the console will come close in performance to an Xbox One S or PS4 despite having a similar price. Think of this one as more of a collectors item than Atari’s attempt to re-enter the console market proper.

Speaking of Xbox, these are the best games on Xbox One

Atari VCS preorders start May 30, but it’s not shipping until 2019 – CNET

Atari had said it would announce in April when preorders for its early anticipated Atari VCS retro console would start shipping, and sure enough, the announcement made it just under the wire: May 30, via Indiegogo, with some limited-time offers for folks who fork over the bucks well in advance of its spring 2019 ship date.

Atari had said it would announce in April when preorders for its early anticipated Atari VCS retro console would start shipping, and sure enough, the announcement made it just under the wire: May 30, via Indiegogo, with some limited-time offers for folks who fork over the bucks well in advance of its spring 2019 ship date.


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Up close with the Atari VCS (formerly Ataribox)

The offers include a Collector’s Edition featuring the wood front, as well as the black version; there will be packages starting at $199.

Once it goes on presale, we’ll finally get to see the complete list of specs, as well as the list of bundled games. Since it’s taken so long to get it out, it’s got some more modern specs, including 4K resolution, HDR, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.

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This app lets your smartphone help fight cancer while you sleep

A new app has launched which fights cancer while you sleep by harnessing the processing power of your charging smartphone.

The DreamLab app is a partnership between the Vodafone Foundation and Imperial College London, the latter of which is currently running a project called DRUGS (Drug Repositioning Using Grids of Smartphones).

A new app has launched which fights cancer while you sleep by harnessing the processing power of your charging smartphone.

The DreamLab app is a partnership between the Vodafone Foundation and Imperial College London, the latter of which is currently running a project called DRUGS (Drug Repositioning Using Grids of Smartphones).

Its aim is to use the processing power of idle smartphones to help process a huge amount of data which would take an eight-core processor running 24-hours a day, 300 years to process.

However, it’s claimed that a network of 100,000 smartphones running the app six hours a night could do the job in just three months.

The Vodafone Foundation DreamLab app

Plug in, tap open, fall asleep

All you have to do is to remember to open the app on your Android or iOS smartphone before you fall asleep (and plug it in to charge), and it will automatically run in the background while you’re dreaming.

If you’re connected to WiFi then the background data processing won’t even eat into your monthly data allowance/cost you anything if you’re on PAYG.

Vodafone customers needn’t worry about WiFi though, as the network will foot the bill for any data costs incurred while running the DreamLab app.

Imperial’s research aims to use genetic profiles to find the best cancer treatment for sufferers and it believes that the work could speed up access to effective drugs and enable tailored treatments for patients.

The DreamLab app will be available from May 1 on both iOS and Android.

Nokia’s CEO thinks wearables may soon be able to spot cancer

Expedia’s Airplane + Hotel Etiquette Study Reveals the Latest in Travel Annoyances

“Whether you’ve been on one vacation or 100, you’ve likely experienced some form of annoying behavior while traveling,” says Nisreene Atassi, Global Head of Communications for Expedia brand. “At Expedia, we want to ensure that every leg of a traveler’s journey is enjoyable.

“Whether you’ve been on one vacation or 100, you’ve likely experienced some form of annoying behavior while traveling,” says Nisreene Atassi, Global Head of Communications for Expedia brand. “At Expedia, we want to ensure that every leg of a traveler’s journey is enjoyable. Our goal with this study is to better understand travelers’ biggest pet peeves and offer tips to help them maximize comfort and minimize annoyances.”

This year’s findings highlight the sometimes-unwritten etiquette rules that, if followed, ensure getting to the destination is half the fun.

The Seat Kicker Reigns Supreme as the Worst Passenger to Encounter During a Flight
For the fourth year in a row, more than half of global respondents identified the passenger who constantly kicks, grabs or bumps their seat as the most annoying. With the average amount of legroom decreasing on some airline carriers to accommodate more seats, this behavior is likely to remain one of the most common and most hated.

Travelers might find some insurance against seat kicking by upgrading to premium economy or choosing a seat in front of an exit row. Or join the 62 percent of travelers who politely notify airline staff about the annoyance and save themselves hours of irritation.

Top ranked list of worst flight passengers:

The Seat Kicker/Bumper/Grabber (51 percent) The Aromatic Passenger (43 percent) The Inattentive Parent (39 percent) Personal Space Violators (34 percent) Audio Insensitive (29 percent)

Bare Feet Are A Flying No-No
Over 90 percent of global respondents agree it’s not ok to be barefoot during a flight. This is particularly true for nearly 75 percent of Americans who said they always keep their shoes and socks on. Getting comfy on a long flight is tough, but there is a happy medium to avoid grossing out seatmates. Only remove shoes, and never prop feet up on the seatback or encroach into the next row.

Shhh… Do Not Disturb
Whether in-flight or in bed, people just want peace and quiet. Nearly 90 percent of Americans prefer to keep to themselves during a flight, while 66 percent always or frequently use the privacy indicator to prevent hotel staff from entering their room. To pass the time while flying, Americans would rather sleep (69%) than talk to other passengers (28%). And flying isn’t the time to ramble – our study shows 77 percent of Americans dread sitting next to someone who talks too much.

Carrying a pair of headphones or earplugs is an excellent way to cancel out unsolicited chatter on a flight. For light sleepers, requesting a high-level, corner guestroom away from elevators and street level could also minimize noise.

Top ranked list of worst hotel guests:

The Inattentive Parents (45 percent) The In-Room Revelers and The Hallway Hellraisers (41 percent) The Complainers (29 percent) The Party-goers and The Bar Boozer (27 percent)

Fees and Freebies Drive Booking Behaviors
Travelers are extremely budget conscious; price and associated fees are among the biggest factors people take into consideration when booking a flight or hotel. There’s some notable commonalities and differences in how travelers go about saving money, but overstuffing carry-ons to avoid checked baggage fees is the most common behavior. Americans lead the way here, far surpassing any other country and illustrating the deep impact of changes in fee structures.

The thriftiness doesn’t stop there. 75 percent of travelers deem freebies such as Wi-Fi, breakfast, resort credits, free parking, and room upgrades as very or somewhat important when booking a hotel. Twice as many Americans would volunteer their seat on an oversold flight in exchange for a free voucher compared to other countries. Only one in four travelers would pay to upgrade their seat, while even fewer would pay for in-flight Internet access.

Other fascinating findings include:

Across the globe, travelers are most annoyed to find bed bugs, a used condom, cigarette smoke or foul smell upon checking into a hotel room – while dirty surroundings are the main reason travelers request to switch hotel rooms, more than half rarely or never sanitize items like the remote and phone, or wear shower shoes to protect their feet. South Koreans are the most likely to get drunk on a flight – Thai and American travelers round out the top three. Travelers typically recline their seats for two reasons – only if it’s a long flight, three hours or more, or when going to sleep. A quarter of Americans said they never recline their seat because it’s rude. Europeans tend to be more likely to ask fellow passengers to un-recline their seat. 54 percent of people agree it’s ok to wake snoring passengers – and when it comes to passing a sleeping passenger, most don’t hesitate to wake them and ask them to move. 20 percent say it’s ok to just climb over with your back to them. Online and mobile check-in are taking the world by storm, just over a third of travelers still check-in at the airport – 50 percent of Americans check-in online for their flights. Meanwhile 72 percent still print a boarding pass and less than 30 percent use a mobile boarding pass. Hotel habits – most travelers admit to hiding valuables from housekeeping and taking items from a hotel room.

Visit the Expedia Viewfinder Blog for a full analysis of the 2018 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study.

About the 2018 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Survey
This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm. The survey was conducted online from February 22-March 19 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels. The study was conducted among 18,229 respondents across 23 countries.

About Expedia.com
Expedia.com® is one of the world’s largest full service travel sites, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (https://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top vacation destinations, affordable airfare, hotel deals, car rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination activities, attractions, services and travel apps.

© 2018 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. Expedia and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia Group, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. CST# 2029030-50. Visit our web site https://www.expedia.com/ or use our mobile app to book cheap flights and hotels.

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SOURCE Expedia.com

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Bezos’ Blue Origin launches a used rocket, and fleas, to space – CNET

After a number of delays Sunday morning, a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket blasted off from the west Texas desert just after noon Central Daylight Time, sending a crew capsule carrying a dummy named “Mannequin Skywalker” on a brief trip to space.

After a number of delays Sunday morning, a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket blasted off from the west Texas desert just after noon Central Daylight Time, sending a crew capsule carrying a dummy named “Mannequin Skywalker” on a brief trip to space.

For the eighth time, Jeff Bezos’ commercial space company successfully tested the system it hopes to use to send paying passengers on suborbital flights in the coming months.

The spacecraft reached an altitude of 350,000 feet (106,680 meters), or about 5 percent higher than previous New Shepard test flights. That height sent the rocket beyond the internationally accepted boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space, called the Karman Line.

The goal was to “push the system a little bit harder,” according to launch webcast host Ariane Cornell, who also works on business development for Blue Origin.

The blastoff came about three and a half hours after the opening of the launch window Sunday morning, following delays due to weather and a handful of other holds for unspecified reasons. The liftoff finally came at 12:06 p.m. local time.

The New Shepard spacecraft that blasted off from Blue Origin’s west Texas test facility is actually a reused rocket and capsule, so Bezos’ company now joins Elon Musk’s SpaceX as pioneers in the new age of recyclable rockets.

Blue Origin’s plans for its rockets in the near term are a little different than what Musk and SpaceX have been doing with Falcon 9, and now Falcon Heavy, in recent years. While those rockets have been busy launching commercial satellites and sending cargo to the International Space Station, New Shepard is designed to lift human passengers to visit space, perhaps as soon as the end of this year.

Sunday’s New Shepard flight was the first to test a crew capsule equipped with acrylic windows. However, instead of paying space tourists, Mannequin Skywalker was the only face peering out of those panels.

Wild Blue OriginBlue Origin’s New Glenn rocket concept will give you deja vuBattered Blue Origin rocket survives test without exploding

A handful of experimental payloads also joined the dummy for the flight, including new sensors sent by NASA, a demonstration of a system to provide Wi-Fi in space and an experiment packed with “water fleas” to record the impact of microgravity on the tiny invertebrates.

Several minutes after launch, the rocket landed safely at a nearby pad and three large parachutes slowed the crew capsule’s fall back to Earth to around 20 mph (32 km/h). Just before hitting the desert floor, retrothrusters on the bottom of the capsule fired to provide a soft landing.

There’s been no word yet on the condition of Mannequin Skywalker or the water fleas.

Crowd Control: A crowdsourced science fiction novel written by CNET readers.

Solving for XX: The tech industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about “women in tech.”

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Major Win for Silicom: Selected by Tier-1 US Telco to Deliver Edge Devices for Its SD-WAN-Based Small Business Gateways

KFAR SAVA, Israel, April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Silicom Ltd. (NASDAQ: SILC) today announced that a Tier-1 US telecommunications company has selected one of Silicom’s innovative edge devices for a new SD-WAN-based Small Business Gateway offering that it plans to launch soon.

KFAR SAVA, Israel, April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Silicom Ltd. (NASDAQ: SILC) today announced that a Tier-1 US telecommunications company has selected one of Silicom’s innovative edge devices for a new SD-WAN-based Small Business Gateway offering that it plans to launch soon. The customer has already placed nearly $1 million in preliminary purchase orders to be delivered during Q2-Q3 2018, and forecasts that a several additional million dollars worth of products will need to be delivered by the end of 2018. During 2019, the customer expects to ramp up its program gradually to a steady run rate of $15 to $20 million per year.

In parallel, Silicom is working with the customer to obtain all necessary certifications for the selected edge devices that, in accordance with the customer’s decision, will include LTE and Wi-Fi interfaces. Once these certifications are received, the customer will be able to begin deployment of the devices including in LTE and Wi-Fi environments.

The client is also currently engaged in an evaluation process regarding another huge Universal CPE (uCPE) program for its NFV deployments, and Silicom’s edge devices have reached the “shortlist” stage in this program.

“We are very excited to initiate a relationship with this giant telco for edge networking products at the focal point of the exploding SD-WAN and NFV markets, which are highly strategic for all major telcos today,” commented Shaike Orbach, Silicom’s President & CEO. “Our selection by this industry leader confirms that we are considered a ‘go-to’ company for telco edge devices – and indeed we are currently engaged in a variety of discussions, both with this customer regarding its NFV project and with additional telcos looking to launch new SD-WAN and NFV-based services. All of them are struggling with the daunting challenge of handling the massive volumes of data that are now coming to the edge. They have a clear need for our edge devices to help them integrate a variety of technologies as the basis for a new business model.

“Telcos and other clients understand that we offer them the ‘whole package’: not just superb technology, but also exceptional development capabilities and a commitment to total support. That is why we expect to continue being chosen to deliver what telcos need at the edge – and that’s why we expect our edge offerings to become a major growth driver for us.”

About Silicom
Silicom Ltd. is an industry-leading provider of high-performance networking and data infrastructure solutions. Designed primarily to improve performance and efficiency in Cloud and Data Center environments, Silicom’s solutions increase throughput, decrease latency and boost the performance of servers and networking appliances, the infrastructure backbone that enables advanced Cloud architectures and leading technologies like NFV, SD-WAN and Cyber Security. Our innovative solutions for high-density networking, high-speed fabric switching, offloading and acceleration, which utilize a range of cutting-edge silicon technologies as well as FPGA-based solutions, are ideal for scaling-up and scaling-out cloud infrastructures.

Silicom products are used by major Cloud players, service providers, telcos and OEMs as components of their infrastructure offerings, including both add-on adapters in the Data Center and stand-alone virtualized/universal CPE devices at the edge.

Silicom’s long-term, trusted relationships with more than 150 customers throughout the world, its more than 400 active Design Wins and more than 300 product SKUs have made Silicom a “go-to” connectivity/performance partner of choice for technology leaders around the globe.

For more information, please visit: www.silicom.co.il

Statements in this press release which are not historical data are forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, or other factors not under the company’s control, which may cause actual results, performance, or achievements of the company to be materially different from the results, performance, or other expectations implied by these forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, Silicom’s increasing dependence for substantial revenue growth on a limited number of customers in the evolving cloud-based market, the speed and extent to which cloud-based and cloud-focused solutions are adopted by the market, likelihood that it will rely increasingly on customers which provide cloud-based and cloud-focused solutions in this evolving market, resulting in an increasing dependence on a smaller number of larger customers, difficulty in commercializing and marketing of Silicom’s products and services, maintaining and protecting brand recognition, protection of intellectual property, competition and other factors detailed in the company’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such because the context of the statement will include words, such as “expects,” “should,” “believes,” “anticipates” or words of similar import. Similarly, statements that describe future plans, objectives or goals are also forward-looking statements. In light of significant risks and uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, the inclusion of such statements should not be regarded as a representation by the company that it will achieve such forward-looking statements. The company disclaims any duty to update such statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Company Contact:

Eran Gilad, CFO

Silicom Ltd.

Tel: +972-9-764-4555

E-mail: erang@silicom.co.il

Investor Relations Contact:

Ehud Helft

GK Investor Relations

Tel: +1 646 201 9246

E-mail: silicom@gkir.com

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SOURCE Silicom Ltd.

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Best antivirus for Windows 10 in 2018

From ransomware to fileless attacks and blended malware, hackers are always looking for new ways to access your data and control your PC.

The danger is just as great on Windows 10, so no matter how careful you are online, the reality is you still need a regularly updated antivirus package to keep you safe from the very latest threats.

From ransomware to fileless attacks and blended malware, hackers are always looking for new ways to access your data and control your PC.

The danger is just as great on Windows 10, so no matter how careful you are online, the reality is you still need a regularly updated antivirus package to keep you safe from the very latest threats.

This doesn’t have to be expensive. Some of the best products around offer basic protection for free, and if you check the small print, many commercial packages can end up being cheaper than you expect. If you need to cover multiple PCs, for instance, and are willing to pay for two or three years subscription up-front, the costs can drop to as low as £6 ($8.40) or £7 ($9.80) per year per computer.

Which are the best products? Good question – keep reading to find out more.

Also take a look at the best internet security suites

Kaspersky Antivirus

Kaspersky has been one of the top antivirus companies for a very long time, and its products regularly appear at or near the top of the scoreboard for most of the main testing labs.

Kaspersky Free Antivirus gives you the company’s top-rated antivirus engine and intelligent blocking of malicious links for absolutely nothing. You don’t even have to put up with ads – just leave the app running in your system tray and you’ll barely know it’s there.

Kaspersky’s commercial antivirus and security suite products add features including online banking protection, parental controls, password management, file backup, and coverage for your Windows, Mac and mobile devices. They’re priced from £24.99 ($35) for a one computer, one-year licence.

You might have seen Kaspersky making the headlines for less welcome reasons, recently, with both the US and UK governments restricting the use of Kaspersky products by some government agencies to avoid possible security risks.

While this is a concern, as we’ve seen no evidence to support the restrictions, we’re not going to allow them to influence our current thinking. We suspect you’re far more likely to be targeted by hackers and malware than Kremlin surveillance, and overall Kaspersky Anti-Virus does an excellent job of keeping you safe.

You can download Kaspersky Antivirus here

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2018

Monitor the testing lab reports on most antivirus products and you’ll normally find results varying over time: one generation works well, the next edition has some problems initially, the company goes to work and performance improves.

Bitdefender is far more consistent. AV-Test, for example, has been running its in-depth antivirus tests since 2010, and Bitdefender has achieved a 100% protection rating in 17 out of the 20 reports produced to date (the last ‘fail’ was in December 2014). That’s important as it suggests Bitdefender’s products aren’t just accurate right now, but they’re likely to be just as good next month, next year, and on after that.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2018 combines its excellent core antivirus engine with an array of smart technologies to keep you safe from harm. Accurate web monitoring detects and blocks malicious links; a vulnerability scanner alerts you to missing security patches or poorly chosen system settings which could compromise your PC; a secure browser prevents malware from snooping on your banking and online shopping transactions; and specialist ransomware protection ensures that even if something does penetrate your defences, sensitive documents will still be safe.

Bitdefender’s starter price looks higher than some £24.99 ($35) in year one, rising to £39.99 ($56) after that. That covers up to three devices, though, and if you also extend your subscription, the price continues to drop. For example, a five device, three-year licence costs £104.99 ($147), or around £7 ($9.80) for each device year.

You can download Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2018 here

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security

Trend Micro may not have the profile of some of the big-name antivirus competition, but don’t let that put you off – its products have a lot to offer.

The baseline Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security has all the essential features you need – antivirus, ransomware protection, email checks and web filtering – but isn’t weighed down by unnecessary extras you’ll never use.

Independent testing reports that Trend Micro delivers excellent results. As we write, the last five AV-Comparatives Real-World Protection Tests – September, October and November 2018, and February and March 2017 – all show Trend Micro protecting against 100% of test threats.

Pricing is fair and transparent. The headline prices aren’t only available if you pay for two or three years up-front, and they don’t suddenly jump up after the first year: they’re just good value, full stop. A simple one PC, one-year licence is cheap at only £19.95 ($28). Extend the term and add support for more PCs and the costs fall even further, so for example a three computer, three-year licence costs only £53.27 ($74.60), or £5.92 ($8.29) per year per PC.

Moving up to the top-of-the-range Trend Micro Maximum Security gets you protection for Android, iOS and Mac, as well as Windows, and adds features included parental controls, password management, social media monitoring, device optimisation and more. Prices start at £34.95 ($48.93) to cover any mix of five devices for one year.

You can download Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security here

Panda Free Antivirus

Panda Security has been developing quality antivirus software for many years, and its latest Windows detection engine is one of the best around.

For evidence, just point your browser at the results for AV-Comparatives Real Word Protection tests. These are a tough check of antivirus ability, but the last summary report – July – November 2017 – ranked Panda Free Antivirus in first place as the only product to receive a consistent 100% protection score.

If you’re on a budget, then, Panda Free Antivirus may be your best option, but the company also produces more powerful commercial tools which could be interesting.

Panda Dome Essential takes the core antivirus features and adds a personal firewall, wifi protection and a secure browsing environment to protect online shopping and banking activities. It’s priced at £26.24 ($36.75) a month for a one device, one-year licence, rising to £34.99 ($48.99) in year two.

Moving to a higher plan could get you specialist ransomware protection, parental controls, app locking, a call blocker, anti-theft, device optimisation, remote device management, unlimited VPN use and more.

Dome can be licenced for 1, 3, 5, 10 and even an unlimited number of devices, and these can be any mix of Windows, Mac and Android systems.

For us, Panda Free Antivirus is the star product here, but if you’re looking for more of a security suite, the Dome range may also be interesting. Take the free month trial for a spin if you’d like to find out more.

You can download Panda Free Antivirus here

Windows Defender

Windows Defender has been trying to protect PCs from viruses since the days of Vista, but originally with little success. Independent testing regularly placed Defender at the bottom of the protection rankings, with detection rates as low as 60-70%.

Today’s product is very, very different. Check out AV-Comparatives’ Real-World Protection Tests and the last summary report (July – November 2017) gave Microsoft a 99.1% protection rating. That translates to 13th place out of 21, so plainly isn’t ideal, but still outperformed several big-name commercial engines: ESET, McAfee, Emsisoft, Fortinet, Adaware and more.

There are plenty of other reasons to like Windows Defender. It arrives with your PC and is enabled by default, so there’s nothing to learn or configure. It’s lightweight, grabs very few system resources and is most unlikely to conflict with anything else. All you need to do is get on with using your PC, and Defender handles everything else in the background.

Windows Defender still has its issues. Test results can be inconsistent over time and between labs, and most reports suggest it raises more false positives than average. But even with these problems, it’s clear that Defender now offers genuinely useful protection at a similar level to many commercial products. If your needs are simple, or you’re familiar with and like the package, it could be a decent choice.

You can download Windows Defender here

May Bank holiday sales 2018: Looking ahead for the best deals this weekend

May’s bank holiday sales are usually a great chance to grab a cheeky deal on a huge range of items. We’re giving you a front row seat to the bargain bonanza too and will be bringing you the latest offers on this very page.

May’s bank holiday sales are usually a great chance to grab a cheeky deal on a huge range of items. We’re giving you a front row seat to the bargain bonanza too and will be bringing you the latest offers on this very page.

Naturally, we’ll be dig out lots of TechRadar-friendly deals on the latest tech, TVs, laptops, gaming consoles and other electronic devices. But if we spot decent offers on other items we think you might like, we’ll give those a shout too. After all, you’ve got better things to do on over the bank holiday than trawling every retailer site’s deals section, like trying to sneak the barbecue out of the shed without those rain clouds noticing.

We usually get an early heads-up on the discounts from the big retailers, so we’ll be able to bring you some great picks as soon as they go live. If you’d prefer to dig out a discounted treasure of your own, you’ll find links to the big stores that will be having a May bank holiday sale below with deal highlights set to go just underneath.

To stay tuned on all our regular deal updates, bookmark our deals page or follow us over on Twitter.

Bank Holiday Sales: Quick Links

The retailers below are bound to be saving some special deals for the bank holiday sales starting in a few days. Some launch pages are live now, but we expect the real discounts to start from Friday.

AmazonAOCurrysArgosTesco DirectJohn LewisVeryeBayebuyerZavviJessopsB&QDyson

When do the bank holiday sales start?

The next bank holiday technically starts Monday May 7th in the UK. But we usually see the bank holiday sales spread over the whole weekend. So in reality, we’re expecting to see the big stores start promoting their best discounts by Friday May 4th.

We’ll round up the latest deals throughout the weekend below. The best bank holiday bargains will be made available on a first come, first served basis, so don’t leave it until the last minute to check out the deals – it might be too late!

If you do miss out though, there’s actually another bank holiday later in the month on May 28th, so we’re be sure to bring you the best deals that weekend too.

What sort of deals do we I expect in the bank holiday sales?

As a taste of things to come you’ll find our picks from an older Bank Holiday sale last August. These are the sort of benchmarks we’re hoping for again, although we’d certainly appreciate prices going a bit lower too. Naturally prices have gone back up on most of these items since.

LG 43UJ634V £449 @ Currys – save £50
This 43-inch 4K HDR screen was £50 cheaper at Currys than at any other UK retailer. For gamer ready to join the world of 4K HDR gaming then this was a great match. Update: You’re in luck today as this same TV is available for just £359 at Currys right now.

Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS running watch £114.99 @ Amazon – was £169.99
Garmin are one of the leading brands in the world of fitness trackers and we were very tempted by this discount as the GPS-fitted trackers are usually much more expensive than the more basic models. If it drops down to £114.99 again though this bank holiday sale might just be the redemption we need after three days of bacon and beer.

Dyson V6 cordless vacuum cleaner £169.99 @ Very – save £30
Very.co.uk usually gets into the bank holiday spirit by discounting a wide range of Dyson vacuum cleaners. This cordless V6 was our pick of the bunch though and a steal at just under £170. The latest version, the V8 Absolute is closer to £500 at most stores so we’re to recommend an older model considering the large savings on offer.

iPad Pro 9.7-inch 128GB £449.98 @ BT, save £100
iPad don’t often get involved in mid-year sales in all honesty, but this was a grerat deal at the time, especially given it was the larger 128GB version. If you want to shop around for current deals, be sure to take a look at our regular iPad Pro deals page.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 £299 @ Currys – was £399
The £100 discount made this one of the best Android tablet deals in the UK last year and we’re keeping our fingers crossed we’ll see it again as we’re really not keen on the regular £400 RRP, especially seeing as the S3 is out now.

Philips Hue Colour Ambiance Starter Kit (Spotlight bulbs) £99.99 @ BT– was £129.99
This excellent £30 saving was one of the best Philips Hue Starter Kit deals we’d ever seen seen for the colour-changing smart bulbs. These GU10, or spotlight bulbs, are generally found in modern-build kitchens or alcove lighting. This Philips Hue Starter Kit contains three bulbs and the Hue Bridge 2.0, the device to connect the bulbs to your home Wi-Fi. If you’d to know more about the full range of Hue products and the latest prices, take a look at the extensive Philips Hue deals guide on our sister site, T3.com.

Acer laptop with bag, mouse and security package £329 @ Tesco
The May bank holiday sales always come up with some decent laptop deals and we’re sure to find some more next week too. This was a great price for the laptop alone, but the bundled kit made it essential for anyone needing a basic work machine. Not that you have to wait for the bank holiday for a cheap laptop as shown over on our regular laptop deals page.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge £449 @ John Lewis – includes 2 year warranty
Older-gen phones tend to get some discount love over the bank holiday sales, like this S7 last year, so we’re expecting the S8 (and hopefully the S9) to get some tempting offers too.

Amazon Echo Dot £39.99 @ Amazon – was £49.99
Amazon likes any old excuse to discount its Echo products and we’re hoping for something similar this year on the Dot and some of the newer Echo speakers. If Amazon come down on price, expect other retailers to follow suit sharply. Handy if you’ve got a preferred store or a gift card burning a hole in your pocket.

Google Home £99 @ Currys, John Lewis, Argos – was £129
Google Home has faced stiff competition from the Amazon Echo devices, but it’s arguably a better fit for you if you enjoy the Google/Android ecosystem already. Plus you can play the free version of Spotify on Google Home – Premium only on the Amazon Echo. This was a great deal last year, but we’re perhaps likely to see a discount on the Google Home Mini too this weekend, especially if rival’s Amazon’s Echo Dot get a discount.

Nintendo Switch £259.99 @ Tesco – save £20
This year should be much better for Nintendo Switch deals as Nintendo kept running out of stock last year. The RRP has remained the same, but discounted games are included regularly now.

PS4 Pro, 90 days PS+, 4 games, £329.99 @ Tesco
PS4 Pro deals have been a bit rubbish of late, so we’re hoping the May bank holiday sales gives retailers the excuse to unleash the bargain beast. The new God of War game has been smashing it in the charts lately and is one of the best-looking games on the PS4 Pro, so we’d love to see some better bundles for that.

Xbox One X pre-order £449.99 @ Argos
We were still in pre-order phase last year and the discounts have been a little slow since the Xbox One X was released. fingers crossed May is the turning point then as we’d like to see at least two newish games bundled with the console for free to be honest.

Beeline smart navigation for bikes £76.09 – was £99.99
Beeline isaninnovative (and super cheap!) gadget that’s essentially a basic sat nav for bicycles. Pop in your destination via the smartphone app you’ll get easy to read arrow-based directions. It’s super simple meaning you only need to glance at it to see which turns to make, making it easier to keep your eyes on the road and fellow road users. It’s waterproof too. Simple, safe and it was over £20 cheaper than anywhere at Amazon. With the weather (hopefully) turning around soon, this could be a great excuse to dust off the bike.

Oral-B Smart Series 4000 Electric Toothbrush £37.99 @ Amazon – save £20
This was one the cheapest bank holiday deals we saw on a decent rechargeable toothbrush in the popular Philips range. It uses a two-pin plug often found in bathrooms. If you don’t have that socket there are plenty of cheap adapters online to charge it in a regular three-pin socket. We’re bound to see a decent electric toothbrush deal, so keep an eye on this page if you’ve been meaning to get a decent cheap one.

Stay tuned for the latest picks from the May bank holiday sales. We’ll be adding lots of fresh items soon once the deal start rolling in.

‘It’s a hacker’s paradise out there’

In what could have been the plot of a Hollywood heist movie, the hackers took great interest in the vast aquarium that a Las Vegas casino had installed in its lobby.

In what could have been the plot of a Hollywood heist movie, the hackers took great interest in the vast aquarium that a Las Vegas casino had installed in its lobby.

The casino’s owners thought that the huge fish tank was an impressive sight that helped create a classy ambience as people arrived.

What they failed to realise was that the aquarium was a easy way to break into the casino’s computer system, and the hackers pounced.

For while the casino had protected its IT network with the usual firewalls and anti-virus software, staff forgot that the futuristic fish tank was connected to its system so that the water temperature and quality could be automatically monitored.

So criminals trying to get their hands on the bank details of the casino’s wealthiest gamblers were able to hack into the network via the aquarium.

Thankfully for the unnamed casino, and in a stroke of good timing, it was just about to try out a new Anglo-American cyber security company called Darktrace that quickly spotted the breach.

“We stopped it straight away, and no damage was done,” says Darktrace chief executive Nicole Eagan. “But as more and more electrical items are connected to the internet it is a hacker’s paradise out there.”

Ask most companies who their founders and key staff are and they happily real off a list. But Darktrace, which was set up in Cambridge, England, in 2013, has to be a bit more discrete.

This is because some of the company’s co-founders, and many of its 650 employees, are former spies. They have joined the business from the likes of UK intelligence agencies such as MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, as well as the US’s Central Intelligence Agency.

While such men and women bring obvious security skills, Darktrace also employs a large number of advanced mathematicians who take the lead on developing Darktrace’s cyber security software.

“We are a mixture of spooks and geeks,” says Ms Eagan, 52, the firm’s American boss.

The company was created five years ago when former MI5 and GCHQ operatives were brought together with mathematicians from Cambridge University by London-based technology investment fund Invoke Capital.

The idea from day one was to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning to improve cyber security. This all sounds very complicated, but in very simple terms it means that Darktrace’s software systems are programmed in such a way that they can learn and update themselves.

And rather than simply looking for a virus, they constantly monitor a company’s computer system to look for abnormal patterns or behaviours.

Ms Eagan says inspiration comes from the human body’s immune system.

“Just like the human body, computer systems have a skin or firewall that keeps most things out, but occasionally a bacteria or virus gets in,” she says.

“Our immune system then has to respond. It has an innate sense of self and it isolates what is not self, and it has a very rapid and precise response to it. That is exactly how Darktrace works.”

Now valued at more than $800m (£580m) after a number of rounds of investment from venture capital firms, Darktrace’s 5,000 business customers include telecoms firms BT and Telstra, global banks, airports, power companies, and multinational retailers.

“We are finding seven threats a minute across our customers at the moment,” says Ms Eagan.

“The attacks are a mix. It can be criminals or a national state, or an intermixing of the two.

“Or it can be a disgruntled employee, such as someone trying to upload data when they leave.”

Cyber security expert Prof Alan Woodward, from Surrey University’s computer science department, says while Darktrace is not the only cyber security firm now utilising AI, it is “in pole position” to be the market leader.

“There is a little bit of an arms race in cyber security, and AI is at the forefront of that.

“Traditionally in cyber security you had to know what the virus looked like in the first place in order the spot it,” he says.

“But by using machine learning you are looking for malicious behaviour, or the early effects of the virus rather than spotting the virus itself, so the aim is to be able to react more quickly.”

In its last financial year Darktrace had revenues of £31m. At the same time it made an undisclosed loss, but Ms Eagan says this was only because the company was continuing to heavily invest in its growth. “We could become profitable at any time,” she says.

Ms Eagan doesn’t herself come from a security service or maths background. Instead she was somewhat of a child prodigy in computing.

Growing up in New Jersey, she was an avid programmer as a teenager after her dad bought one of the first IBM home computers.

She went to university when she was just 16 to do a joint degree in computer science and marketing.

Five years on Wall Street followed, where she built computer systems for some of the largest banks, before she was poached by software giant Oracle and moved to California.

After a number of years with Oracle she moved into venture capital, becoming a founder at Darktrace in 2013, and then its boss a year later.

“Thanks to my background I was able to immediately grasp and understand the technology at Darktrace,” she says. “And I can have meaningful and deep conversations with our chief technology officer and customers.”

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Darktrace now has twin head offices in Cambridge and San Francisco, and 30 others around the world.

This means a lot of travel and staying in hotels for Ms Eagan. But one thing she never does is connect to guest wi-fi systems.

“I’m like ‘don’t do it, don’t do it’. You just don’t know what security system if any is protecting it, so you are putting yourself wide open to possible attack.”