Best Apple TV VPN for 2022 | Digital Trends

Best Apple TV VPN for 2022 | Digital Trends

An Apple TV is a great way to transform your normal television into a smart TV, but whenever you have the capability to connect online, it’s imperative you install and use an Apple TV VPN. A lot of smart TVs come with Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ subscriptions already built-in to the device, but what about those who have an older TV? Using the Apple TV device, you can hook up your streaming subscriptions and watch in Ultra HD as you relax on your couch. Make sure you stay safe and protected with a VPN for Apple TV so that none of your information or personal data leaks or is compromised.

If you’re interested in which Apple TV VPN is for you, this list will be perfect for you as we’ve researched and compiled all of the VPNs that we think are right for our readers. Alternatively, you can check our best VPN list for a broader range of choices. If you’re on the fence about purchasing a subscription and committing to it, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best free VPN services. You can give any of them a go and test them with your Apple TV to see if it’s right for you.


  • Country of registration: Panama
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Standard: $13 / Plus: $14 / Complete $15
  • Number of servers: 5,237+
  • Simultaneous connections: 6

Perhaps the biggest and most popular Apple TV VPN, NordVPN has cemented itself in the industry as the go-to option for customers both new and old. It’s more than likely that you’ve heard of this VPN, regardless of if you have an active subscription yourself. The company flexes its marketing prowess in so many corners of the internet, which brings in a lot of newcomers and brings more attention to the benefits of VPNs.

NordVPN is famous for its sturdy servers and its commitment to user data and protection. Its NordLynx protocol in conjunction with OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec means that you can connect to its servers safely, and more importantly, completely anonymously. When connected, NordVPN’s AES 256-bit encryption ensures stability and prevents any intruders from accessing your precious information.

If you feel safe investing in a subscription from the most popular product in the VPN industry, then there should be no other option for you except NordVPN. It has everything you need, like lightning-fast servers for streaming, world-class security, and great all-around service.


Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 3,000+
  • Simultaneous connections: 5

While typically you could claim that the VPN industry is wide open with only a few titans in the scene, it seems as if ExpressVPN has marketed itself as one of the most complete solutions as an Apple TV VPN. It has a dedicated section of its website regarding connecting your Apple TV to a VPN which is a great way of educating the mass market and making the product accessible.

If you want to unblock geo-locked content, you can do so with ease through ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers. If you can’t watch a highly anticipated or popular TV show due to where your location in the world, you are free to bypass that with a VPN for Apple TV. Never worry about buffering and lag when you’re connected to ExpressVPN’s servers, as they are configured specifically for Ultra HD streaming.

Although many feel that having security on your Apple TV device may not be necessary, it’s still important to have. While it’s true that it’s extremely uncommon for a hacker to target your device, it can and has happened, and any digital platform where your personal information is stored should be treated with utmost caution. That’s why ExpressVPN’s revolutionary security features like Lightway and TrustedServer are worth the subscription — so you can stay safe without doing any of the work!


  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Starter: $11 / One: $17 / One+: $22
  • Number of servers: 3,200+
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Surfshark is an amazing VPN for Apple TV, but it’s also excellent for all smart devices because you can connect your single subscription plan to unlimited devices. Yes, for $13 per month, you can connect an unlimited amount of devices to unlimited global bandwidth. Stream your favorite media without any worries about data caps or bandwidth.

This Apple TV VPN is quickly becoming a fan favorite and, while it’s not as popular as the other titans like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, we can expect that to change soon if Surfshark continues to offer great value to its customers. Connect to a server anywhere in the world with the click of a button, or in the case of an Apple TV, by simply turning on your device.

The 3,200+ servers are optimized especially for streaming capabilities, so you should expect extremely high-quality streams constantly (assuming you have a good enough internet connection in the first place, of course). Gone are the days of VPNs throttling speeds and leaving you on an endless buffer — Apple TV VPNs like Surfshark are changing the way we consume content digitally.

Hotspot Shield

Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • Country of registration: United States
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Basic: free / Premium: $13
  • Number of servers: 1,800+
  • Simultaneous connections: 5

Hotspot Shield is the most budget-friendly option on this list, but its price isn’t an indicator of its quality. This VPN for Apple TV is mostly seen advertised on smartphone app stores, but not many people know that it can be used for your TV as well. As long as you have your DNS IP Address (see the relevant section at the end of this article), you can hook Hotspot Shield up to your Apple TV.

Admittedly, this VPN doesn’t come with as many global servers as the others on this list, but if you’re using it solely for the purpose of watching shows without geo-blocking and you’re on a budget, we encourage you to use this service. If you’re still unsure, feel free to use its generous 500Mbps of free data per day on a different device to grab a feel of the service.

Hotspot Shield is an amazing choice for beginners in the VPN world due to its generous free data plan, so if you want to dip your toes into the ocean of this industry, you might want to start here! After your introduction to VPNs, Hotspot Shield is an accessible choice for a premium plan due to its cheap price point.


CyberGhost VPN
  • Country of registration: Romania
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 7,300+
  • Simultaneous connections: 7

Last but not least, CyberGhost is a unique and trailblazing Apple TV VPN that has burst onto the scene looking like a serious contender for the throne. Through its unique branding and company motif, this VPN looks to catch the attention of customers with its visuals first, then retain them with its reliable product. The cute ghost logo may look playful and charismatic, but the security that is implemented in each server is serious business.

Connect your DNS IP Address to your Apple TV, and then forget about it. Installation is easy, and the unlimited global bandwidth ensures you never have to worry about data caps, but more importantly, you’ll never experience significant lag or buffering. With over 7,300+ servers all over the world, you’ll be able to access content in whatever country you wish!

$13 per month isn’t cheap, but you can connect up to seven devices simultaneously, and you can access thousands of global servers with a click of a button. Whether you’re streaming your favorite shows on your Apple TV, browsing on your smartphone, or conducting business on your laptop, CyberGhost is a valuable and solid VPN no matter the occasion.

Can you use a VPN with Apple TV?

Although there are significantly fewer options for you to choose from, there are still plenty of Apple TV VPNs circulating the internet! The problem many consumers face is choosing the right one. You may see VPNs touting Apple TV support, but some may be scams, so it can be hard to determine the best VPNs from the scams. It’s wise to do your own research on anything you’re spending hard-earned money on, and listening to experts while forming your own opinion with the guide of websites like Digital Trends is a surefire way to find the product that’s right for you. Installing a VPN on your Apple TV isn’t as easy or straightforward as installing it on your smartphone, though, so check out the next section for installing a VPN for Apple TV.

How to install VPN on Apple TV

For this tutorial, we’ll be using ExpressVPN as an example, but this method of installation is applicable to all of the VPNs in the list above.

Editors’ Recommendations

Express VPN joins the growing ranks of VPNs on Apple TV | Digital Trends

Express VPN joins the growing ranks of VPNs on Apple TV | Digital Trends

Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

One of the bigger features added to tvOS 17, at least on paper, was the ability for Apple TV to run a VPN application. That’s a big deal because folks don’t tunnel their entire home network traffic through a virtual private network, both because they’re probably normal human beings who don’t attempt such things and because routers don’t always make that an easy thing to do.

And the news today is that ExpressVPN — one of the bigger players in the space — is now available for Apple TV. It joins a growing cadre of tvOS-capable VPN apps, which at the time of this writing includes VPNify, X-VPN, IPVanish, PureVPN,, LeapVPN, US VPN, and Anycast, for starters.

It’s been virtually impossible to be anywhere online in recent years without running into a VPN somehow — most prominently through extremely heavy marketing. That’s in part because VPNs allow you to make it look as if your device is based in some other country, which can allow you to watch something that’s, say, on Netflix in the U.K., but not available on Netflix in the U.S. It’s also because VPN providers have spent a ton of money on affiliates, getting websites and podcasters and other influencers to hit folks where display ads don’t. (Yes, we also have our list of the best VPNs for Apple TV.) They’re marketed as must-have services for privacy, though their necessity — even on public Wi-Fi networks — can definitely be debated. And to be fair, they’re a simple method to do some basic masking of where you are and what you’re doing online.

In any case, the floodgates have opened for tvOS and Apple TV. The VPN apps have arrived. There will be more. Fortunately, for now, they’re constrained inside the App Store, and you have to seek one out if you want to use it.

Subscriptions, available via in-app purchases, run from $13 a month to $117 a year.

Editors’ Recommendations

Reports says 73 percent of internet traffic is malicious bots | Digital Trends

Reports says 73 percent of internet traffic is malicious bots | Digital Trends

In a concerning revelation by the fraud control platform Arkose Labs, about 73% of internet traffic to websites and apps that was analyzed between January and September 2023 has been attributed to bots engaging in malicious activities. This revelation sparks discussions about the significant drain on valuable resources caused by such nefarious actions.

The third quarter of 2023 witnessed the dominance of five primary categories of bad bot activities, including account takeover, scraping, fake account creation, account management, and in-product abuse. This is similar to the second quarter, with the notable exception of in-product abuse stepping in for card testing.

Among the categories, SMS toll fraud experienced the highest quarter-over-quarter surge, escalating by a staggering 2,141% in the third quarter compared to the previous one2. Equally noteworthy was a 160% increase in attacks on customer support call centers during the same period. Scraping, which had the most significant spike from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2023 at 432%, highlights the dynamic nature of these malicious activities.

Arkose Labs reported a 291% increase in intelligent bot attacks from the first quarter to the second. This surge is linked to the utilization of sophisticated techniques, including machine learning and AI, that enable these bots to mimic human behavior with heightened adaptability. In instances where AI and technology fall short, cybercriminals resort to human-operated fraud farms to execute their attacks. Fraudulent operations are predominantly identified in Brazil, India, Russia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

The escalating trend in bad bot attacks suggests that cybercriminals find this mode of operation highly profitable. The integration of efficient AI is anticipated to aggravate the situation, raising concerns about the efficacy of current defense mechanisms. A few months back, we reported that Microsoft’s Bing Chat was recommending malware advertisements that sent users to malicious websites instead of filtering them out.

While the prevalence of malicious bots is a cause for concern, it’s crucial to acknowledge the existence of beneficial bots that contribute positively to the online ecosystem. Many serve useful functions such as website indexing for search engines, handling basic customer service tasks, and managing social media experiences.

Editors’ Recommendations

Can the Quest 3 replace a PC? I found out the hard way | Digital Trends

Can the Quest 3 replace a PC? I found out the hard way | Digital Trends

Tracey Truly / Digital Trends

When Meta launched the Quest 3 in October, the focus was on mixed reality gaming, but I wondered if it was ready for work. Because the truth is that spatial computing is the latest challenge for VR headsets.

It might sound odd, but VR headsets should be used for more than just games. Most computing devices serve a variety of purposes. Your PC works all day with you, then transitions to entertainment, whether watching movies, browsing the web, or playing games. The best VR headsets can be just as functional —  at least, in theory.

What’s needed for work?

Yamaha SR-C30A compact soundbar seen on a desk in front of dual computer monitors.
Yamaha / Yamaha

Your work demands might vary from mine, but most people simply need basic office computing, not a high-performance video- or photo-editing station. The fact that I’m working in VR doesn’t change the task at hand. I need to access email, post to social media, browse the web, use a variety of web apps, and do some photo editing.

I can achieve all of those tasks with any device with a robust desktop browser that can run multiple web apps. A web-based image editor works, and they keep getting better, but I’d prefer a fast and full-featured image editor. I’d also like to have all the browser extensions I’m accustomed to using in my workflow.

On the hardware side, one or more large screens help when taking in information from multiple sources or moving media from one place to another. A mouse and keyboard are hard to beat for productivity, and if I use my favorites, work goes faster.

Despite its reputation as a VR gaming device, most of these requirements are met by the Quest 3. Meta describes the Quest Pro as a whole new way to work, but the Quest 3 uses the same operating system and apps. That means both devices are spatial computers.

Quest 3 in standalone mode

Most web apps work on the Quest 3, even Outlook's spell-checking and correction.
Most web apps work on the Quest 3, even Outlook’s spell-checking and correction. Digital Trends

The Quest 3 meets most requirements for light office work. With three resizable windows placed side by side, I’ll never need a larger monitor or more screens.

Last year, when I tested the Quest Pro as a laptop replacement for a week, Meta’s browser failed in several ways. For example, Gmail loaded in its basic HTML view. It’s functional, but without any styling, it looks like a sea of text with blue links everywhere. I couldn’t download images from websites unless there was a dedicated download button.

In 2023, Meta solved these Quest browser issues. I can sign into Gmail, iCloud, Outlook, or other webmail providers with Meta’s browser, so email access is simple. In fact, most websites look fine and work as expected on the Quest 3. For example, there are no issues with go-to apps like WordPress, Canva, and Pixlr. Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and other social media networks that support a web browser also work well.

I ran into a strange quirk with Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Each web app suggests installing an uninstallable extension to enable copying and pasting. The Quest browser doesn’t support any extensions. Meanwhile, the clipboard works as expected in Gmail and Outlook. The Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 has enough performance to handle any web app, but Meta still needs to do more work on browser compatibility to enable the use of many popular web apps.

Gmail works in Meta's Quest browser and I can use the clipboard.
Gmail works in Meta’s Quest browser, and I can use the clipboard. Digital Trends

Typing has gotten much better with the new swipe keyboard. It works just like my phone. I drag a controller line or a finger through the letters, and the Quest 3 figures out what word I want. I can also peck at the keys with my index fingers to enter passwords or correct typos. For faster typing, I can pair a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to make my Quest 3 more like a computer. The Quest 3’s mixed reality view makes it easy to glance down at the keyboard.

Despite these advances, there are some jobs that are still best handled on a computer. When I need to quickly edit an image, I don’t want to upload images to a web app. I like the ease and speed of Photoshop or Gimp. While video editing is possible in a web browser, it’s a burden to send source material to the cloud.

That means the Quest 3 isn’t any more of a laptop replacement than the Quest Pro. For more demanding tasks, I can stay in VR and connect the headset to a Windows PC, a Mac, or even a Linux computer.

Quest 3 (plus a PC) gets the job done

Meta's Horizon Workrooms connects to a PC or Mac to show three virtual screens.
Meta’s Horizon Workrooms connects to a PC or Mac to show three virtual screens. Digital Trends

Meta’s Quest 3 is meant to be a gaming device, but it’s actually quite enjoyable to use for work if you accept that you’ll need to connect to your computer sometimes. There are several ways to tap into the power of your computer while enjoying the multiscreen potential and immersive feeling of working in VR. The world disappears so you can focus on the task at hand, but is available anytime by switching to a passthrough background.

Meta also offers Horizon Workrooms as a free remote desktop app. If I use this app, I’m fully committed to using the computer remotely through the Quest 3. The advantage of three large virtual displays is tempting, but since I already have a Geminos display with two stacked physical monitors, I rarely use Horizon Workrooms. Meta’s app is also a bit restrictive, fixing the displays in a side-by-side configuration at a limited size.

When I want more screen space or more control of the monitor layout, I choose the third-party app Immersed. I can move, tilt, curve, and resize up to five virtual computer displays. Immersed also supports most Linux computers.

The Immersed app for Quest VR headsets shows up to five virtual PC screens.
The Immersed app for Quest VR headsets shows up to five virtual PC screens. Digital Trends

If you’re happy working in standalone mode on the Quest 3, but need more on occasion, you can use the Remote Display app. There’s a companion app to install for remote access to Windows PCs and Mac computers. When I launch Remote Display, a window opens showing one of my two PC screens beside the two Meta browser windows. With a click, I can easily switch to see a view of the other physical monitor.

I still need to use my computer’s keyboard, mouse, or trackpad to interact with the computer while my hands or controllers control the Quest 3 windows. I found it surprisingly satisfying to blend these two worlds. There’s no automatic data transfer, however. I need to save to the cloud to access files across devices.

Is the Quest 3 ready for work?

Circling back to the question of whether the Quest 3 is ready for work, the answer is yes. A more important question to ask is whether you are ready to work in VR and if the Quest 3 is the best device for that purpose.

Personally, I still find the Quest Pro more comfortable. All the software improvements I mentioned above came to the entire Quest lineup, except for the discontinued Quest 1.

The Quest 3 delivers sharper graphics, which will make a difference in fine print. On the other hand, I don’t need fine print when I’m looking at three giant screens, so the Quest Pro displays are sharp enough.

A greater concern is how long the headset will be comfortable. After a couple of hours, a 1-pound weight becomes noticeable, even with a refined head strap. In truth, VR headsets are still too heavy for a full day of work.

Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro boasts 4K-per-eye displays, and this spatial computer will make the current generation of consumer VR headsets look bad. The performance should be comparable to a MacBook. However, early testers suggest the headset weighs at least a pound, so even Apple’s spatial computer will spend a large part of the workday on its charging dock, just like the Quest 3.

The Quest 3 is ready for work, but don’t get rid of your laptop yet.

Editors’ Recommendations

What is an RSS feed? Here’s why you should still use one | Digital Trends

What is an RSS feed? Here’s why you should still use one | Digital Trends

With so much new content on the web added daily, it can be tough to keep up with what’s happening online. People try several different ways, including visiting specific websites every day, doing Google searches, or relying on social media to keep them informed. One solution that sometimes gets overlooked is an old-school one: The RSS feed.

What is an RSS feed? It’s a technology that has influenced many modern internet tools you’re familiar with, and its streamlined, algorithm-free format could make it your next great tool for reading what you want online.

What is RSS?

Image used with permission by copyright holder

What RSS stands for depends on who you ask. The main consensus is that it stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” But you may also hear that it stands for “Rich Site Summary.”  At its heart though, RSS essentially refers to simple text files with necessary, updated information — news pieces, articles, that sort of thing. That stripped-down content gets plugged into a feed reader, an interface that quickly converts the RSS text files into a stream of the latest updates from around the web.

As internet content became more complex, so did RSS files, quickly adopting images, video, and more, but still in a stripped-down format for more effortless loading and compatibility across all feed readers. Readers usually automatically update to deliver the newest content right to your device. This approach allows internet users to create their online feeds filled with custom updates from the sites they regularly visit.

I thought RSS was old. Is it still used online?

Yes and no. RSS feeds are certainly still present (more on this later), but they aren’t as dominant as they once were. Social media sites like Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), LinkedIn, and others have become the go-to option for following sites, watching feeds, and learning about the latest content. Other online options such as Google News or Google Discover aggregate full links to the latest stories, with algorithms to pick out stories you may like.

Interest in RSS feeds has gone down over the past several years. Online brands already have to post to social media for their marketing goals, and they may not want to take the extra time to convert content into a bunch of RSS files. This added effort is why a new blog or website may only offer subscription content by following them on social media, but no RSS feed. Google doesn’t even like to support RSS feeds anymore, and Google Reader is a long-dead endeavor. However, RSS feeds still have their place.

How can RSS feeds make my life easier?

Screenshot showing Feedly's interface.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

RSS feeds remain great for an in-depth look at a site’s new content — not just the stuff that gets pushed up on social media. If you are genuinely devoted to a site and want to see everything it has to offer, then an RSS feed is still the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything. It’s an excellent alternative to social media if you want the news and articles without all the baggage that comes with having a X or Facebook account.

Additionally, RSS feeds are often very easy to read at your leisure and will update even if you are not online — they are particularly useful for catching up on the news during your downtime. As such, RSS feeds have grown into a beneficial tool, thanks to the emergence of well-crafted mobile apps that act as feed readers.

What are the best feed readers?

A gaming RSS feed displayed on a tablet screen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are many different kinds. However, some of the most popular include:


Feedreader is a simple, minimalistic reader that makes curation easy with basic categories and accessible tools. It has a fantastic preview option to see what an RSS feed looks like before you sign up, and it gives alternative options if you decide you don’t like that particular feed.


Feedly can be used for entertainment and professional purposes (for example, following competitors and keeping up on industry news). It has a simple interface with basic categories to collect individual RSS feeds and a home page filled with the latest news from everywhere. Feedly is currently one of the most popular feed readers online, although it was the victim of an attack in 2014.


Flipboard has won admiration for its beautiful design that looks particularly good on mobile devices. It’s an excellent choice if you want a more organic, e-zine-like way to peruse the latest news from your favorite sources.

The Old Reader

It might sound antiquated, but The Old Reader’s name is merely highlighting its simplicity. While it still enjoys some social elements, its core function is bringing you an easy to parse and organize news feed with support for tablets, desktops, and mobile devices.

Editors’ Recommendations

Sunbird — the sketchy iMessage for Android app — just shut down | Digital Trends

Sunbird — the sketchy iMessage for Android app — just shut down | Digital Trends

Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

What was supposed to be an iMessage redeemer for Android smartphone users has quickly been consumed in a chaos of security and utter negligence. Merely days after the Nothing Chats app was removed from the Play Store, the tech at its foundation provided by Sunbird is also taking an unspecified leave, intensifying suspicions of something being seriously wrong.

Sunbird appeared on our radar late last year, promising blue bubbles for Android-to-iPhone messages. It also promised to bundle all messaging apps into a single cluster, somewhat like Beeper. Nothing adopted the Sunbird tech, bundled it into its own app for the Nothing Phone 2, and launched it with an ambitious video. “Sorry, Tim.” That’s the message Nothing CEO Carl Pei sent.

Bring on the blue bubbles.

We believe in windows, not walls. If messaging services are dividing phone users, then we want to break those barriers down.

So… we've developed iMessage compatibility for your Phone (2).

— Nothing (@nothing) November 14, 2023

Over the weekend, I noticed that the Sunbird app’s Google Play Store listing returned a blank page. I originally thought it was unavailable due to some geographic restrictions. The company made no public announcement regarding the same, except notifying members in the Sunbird Discord channel.

“We have temporarily shut down the Sunbird app while we do a detailed security analysis,” the alert said, adding that the company will offer further details when it identifies the “exact occurrences.”

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Interestingly, the revelation was first made in the dev-announcements channel of Sunbird’s Discord network. “In an abundance of caution and to protect your confidential data, we are shutting down Sunbird temporarily,” it said.

What I can’t wrap my head around is why it took a day to drop the same information in the public channel. And above all, why did Sunbird fail to make an announcement on its active Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) handles?

In a message that appeared today in the public Discord channel, Sunbird only said “lots going on” but didn’t provide any further technical details or progress on risk mitigations. “We have decided to pause Sunbird usage for now while we investigate security concerns,” says the message.

Digital Trends has reached out to Sunbird’s technical lead, Garin, for more information and will update this story as soon as they respond.

Sunbird only started notifying users via an in-app message. Earlier today, 9to5Google spotted in-app notifications from Sunbird users posted on Reddit, notifying them that the app was temporarily put on hold. It’s the same message that was first shared in the Discord community.

The security risks

The Nothing Chats splash page in the app.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Security specialists at Texts found that the messaging app Nothing Chats was not employing HTTPS security protocols for its messages. Instead, it used the less secure HTTP standard, transmitting messages in unencrypted, plain text. If history has taught us anything about digital security, plain text is bad news.

A separate investigation revealed that all types of communication through Nothing Chats — including text, images, and other media — were sent in this unsecured, easily visible format. Additionally, it was uncovered that all messages sent and stored on Nothing Chats were unencrypted and hosted on a readily accessible Firebase platform.

Further findings showed that after users authenticate using JSON Web Tokens (JWT), which are not secure during transmission, they gain access to Nothing Chat’s Firebase database. This access allows them to view other users’ messages and files, which are sent and stored in real time and in plain text.

Nothing Chats on a Nothing Phone 2 compared with iMessage on an iPhone 15 Pro Max.
iMessage on an iPhone 15 Pro Max (left) and Nothing Chats on a Nothing Phone 2 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

All of this rings giant security alarms about the Sunbird (and the Nothings Chats) app. It’s especially worrying when it asks for your Apple ID credentials, the magic token that links everything from your emails and personal photos to your banking details.

It would be interesting to see where Nothing and Sunbird go from here. But with Apple embracing RCS and filling the feature gulf for Android-iPhone messaging, I don’t think it would be worth risking your privacy and data security for a hack that gives you blue chat bubbles.

Editors’ Recommendations

Here’s why you can’t sign up for ChatGPT Plus right now | Digital Trends

Here’s why you can’t sign up for ChatGPT Plus right now | Digital Trends

CEO Sam Altman’s sudden departure from OpenAI weekend isn’t the only drama happening with ChatGPT. Due to high demand, paid subscriptions for OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus have been halted for nearly a week.

The company has a waitlist for those interested in registering for ChatGPT to be notified of when the text-to-speech AI generator is available once more.

Interest in ChatGPT Plus spiked following OpenAI’s inaugural DevDay developers’ conference, which took place earlier this month and unveiled a host of new functions for the paid version of the AI chatbot. Some of these features include being able to create custom bots with the GPT-4 language model that can be trained on specialized data to perform specific functions. Some of the custom GPTs include a model for Canva, a therapist model called TherapistGPT, and a Tweet enhancer for X. More general models include book creators, SEO assistants, photo critics, QR code generators, and birthday cake designers, according to ZDNet.

we are pausing new ChatGPT Plus sign-ups for a bit 🙁

the surge in usage post devday has exceeded our capacity and we want to make sure everyone has a great experience.

you can still sign-up to be notified within the app when subs reopen.

— Sam Altman (@sama) November 15, 2023

OpenAI also shared more details on GPT-4 Turbo, which is a supercharged version of the language model that can process context at 128k, double that of the standard GPT-4. Other functions enable the web-browsing capability for multimodal GPT-4 access, DALL-E 3 image generation, and advanced data analysis while being able to stay within a current model.

Don’t Miss:

Excitement over the new functions coming to ChatGPT Plus sent users rushing to sign up for the service, which costs $20 per month. CEO Sam Altman then shared on X (formerly Twitter) that the company was reinstating the waitlist for ChatGPT Plus subscriptions due to post-DevDay signups exceeding the service’s capacity to process functions.

This appears to mirror the early days of ChatGPT, when the chatbot experienced capacity issues, which caused it to experience random downtimes. This is what prompted the company to establish a paid subscription tier in the first place. In April 2023, researchers indicated it took $700,000 per day, or 36 cents per query, to keep ChatGPT running. Paid accounts, in addition to various enterprise endowments, have helped keep the chatbot free of incident for some time. ChatGPT notably supports 100 million weekly users — there are also — over 2 million developers on its platform — helping it to outpace competitor organizations such as Meta (formerly Facebook).

The service experienced an outage in early November following its DevDay conference, which left ChatGPT and its API inaccessible to free and paid users and developers for over 90 minutes. OpenAI stated that the excess traffic that caused the crash was due to a DDoS attack and not an inability to support users.

November 14 brought several changes to ChatGPT. In addition to the waitlist for ChatGPT Plus, which is still enabled as of Monday, those who have not logged in recently will be greeted with a notification of updates to the chatbot’s terms and services and privacy policy. Some highlights of the terms and services include clarifications on registration and access, information on how the service can be used, and details about content. Similarly, the updated privacy policy spells out in greater detail the information the company might collect, how it’s used, and what your rights are when using the service.

There is also a new Tips for Getting Started notice for those who haven’t logged in for a while, indicating that you should not input private information into ChatGPT and that you should double-check the information for inaccuracies.

Subscriptions for ChatGPT Plus has paused by OpenAI.

Overnight an underground market for subscriptions for sale on eBay has exploded.

Some folks paying up to 3 times the cost from direct.

We live in interesting times.

— Brian Roemmele (@BrianRoemmele) November 15, 2023

Amid the ChatGPT Plus registration pause, users have been discovered reselling paid accounts on eBay for a premium. While a ChatGPT Plus subscription directly from OpenAI costs just $20, resellers are offering access to the service for two to three times that amount. Mashable noted, that while not wholly illegal, such actions are often a breach of terms of services for many businesses.

OpenAI does spell out in its recently updated terms of use that users registering for ChatGPT must “provide accurate and complete information” when registering an account and accept authority in registering an account on behalf of another. A breach in the terms of use can result in the suspension or termination of an account.

Users who successfully gain access to a resold account advertised as “one-year” might also find that OpenAI could end the account short of that time. It recommends the waitlist update as the best way to gain access to ChatGPT Plus, Mashable added.

Currently, there is no telling how the leadership shake-up at OpenAI will affect ChatGPT Plus becoming available to users once more. The free version of ChatGPT has remained functional throughout this ordeal.

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How to delete or deactivate your Facebook account | Digital Trends

How to delete or deactivate your Facebook account | Digital Trends

Maybe you just need to take a break from using Facebook. Or maybe you haven’t used your Facebook account in awhile and don’t plan to in the future. Whatever your reasons, you should know that you have two clear options when it comes to doing away with Facebook.

If you just need a break and will likely need your account in the future, you can deactivate your Facebook account. If you’ve moved on to greener social media pastures or just don’t need your account anymore, you can delete your Facebook account too.

In this guide, we’ll go over what each option entails and how to use them. Let’s take a closer look at how to delete or deactivate your Facebook account.

Note: If you plan on deleting your Facebook account, you may want to consider downloading your Facebook account’s information first. If keeping a copy of that information is important to you, you should request a copy from Facebook. Take a look at Facebook’s official guide on how to request and download a copy of your Facebook account information.

What is the difference between deactivating and deleting your Facebook account?

As we mentioned earlier, you have two options for saying goodbye to Facebook and it all depends on how long you want stay away from the platform. If you’re absolutely sure it’s a permanent goodbye, you can delete your Facebook account. But if you know you’re going to come back to it, it might be best to just deactivate your account. Here’s what to expect from each option:

Deleting your Facebook account

This is the permanent goodbye option. If you choose to delete your account, you’ll lose access to that account 30 days after sending the deletion request. According to its own Help Center guide, Facebook does give you up to 30 days to change your mind after the request, but after that it’s over. The account is gone. All of the Facebook profiles you had under that account will also be deleted, not just the main profile of the account. You also won’t be able to log into any third-party apps in which you used your Facebook account to log in. All of your content will be deleted, except for messages you sent.

Deactivating your Facebook account

This is the see-you-later option. This is the option you use if you know you’ll come back to Facebook at some point, but for now you just need some time away. With this option, you’ll always have the ability to reactivate and access your account. While deactivated, your profile isn’t visible to anyone and if you have a Facebook Page, that Page will also be deactivated. Deactivating doesn’t affect third-party apps in which you use Facebook to log in. Facebook Messenger will still be available to you.

How to deactivate your Facebook account

The following steps for deactivating your Facebook account, involve the Accounts Center. If for some reason you don’t have access to the Accounts Center, refer to Facebook’s Help Center guide on how to deactivate your account via Facebook Settings instead.

Step 1: Once you’re logged into the Facebook account you want to deactivate, select your Profile picture icon in the top right corner. Then in the menu that appears, select Settings & privacy > Settings.

Step 2: You should see a section labeled Accounts Center in the top left corner. If you do, select Accounts Center.

Step 3: On the Accounts Center screen, choose Personal details > Account ownership and control.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Step 4: On the screen that pops up, select Deactivation or deletion. Then choose the account you want to deactivate from the choices presented.

Step 5: Choose Deactivate account on the next screen. Then select Continue.

You’ll then be presented with a series of screens asking you confirm the deactivation over and over again and to answer some questions. Do so. Keep going until you finally deactivate the account.

That’s it. Your account should now be deactivated.

Selecting the Deactivate Account option in Accounts Center.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

How to delete your Facebook account

As with the deactivation method above, the steps below involve the Accounts Center. If you can’t access the Accounts Center, you’ll need to use Facebook’s alternative method for deletion which can be accomplished via Facebook Settings.

Step 1: Log into your Facebook account and then select your Profile picture icon in the top right corner. From the menu that appears, choose Settings & privacy and then Settings.

Step 2: The Accounts Center section should be on the top left side. Select Accounts Center.

Step 3: Select Personal details and then choose Account ownership and control. A menu will then appear, choose Deactivation or deletion.

Selecting Personal details and Account ownership and control options in Accounts Center.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Step 4: On the next screen pick the account you want permanently deleted.

Step 5: Choose Delete account and select Continue.

You’ll then be guided through a series of screens asking you for further confirmations of your decision to delete your Facebook account. During this process you’ll be asked questions and given the opportunity to do things like download or transfer copies of your Facebook information. Read all of these screens carefully and download your account data if you want to. Keep moving through these screens, until you reach the final confirmation screen. Once you confirm your deletion request at this point, the request is officially sent.

That’s it. Your Facebook account will be deleted after 30 days. You can cancel the deletion any time within those 30 days.

Selecting the Delete Account option in Accounts Center.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends


What is the fastest way to delete a Facebook account?

When it comes to deleting your Facebook account, it’s actually less about speed and more about which method is available to you. If you have access to Meta’s Accounts Center, you’ll use the methods outlined above. If you don’t have access to the Accounts Center, you’ll use another method that takes you through Facebook Settings.

Where is the delete account button on Facebook?

Again, this depends on whether or not you have access to Accounts Center. If you do, the Delete account button will be found during the account deletion process after you’ve selected the Deactivation or deletion option, which is housed under Account ownership and control.

If you don’t have access to Accounts Center, according to the Facebook Help Center, you should find it within Facebook Settings, after choosing Deactivation and deletion which is housed within Your Facebook Information.

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Nothing’s iMessage for Android app is unbelievably bad | Digital Trends

Nothing’s iMessage for Android app is unbelievably bad | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Earlier this week, Nothing did the unexpected and launched the “Nothing Chats” app for the Nothing Phone 2. The premise? Let anyone with a Nothing Phone 2 send and receive texts via iMessage. Nothing partnered with Sunbird to make Nothing Chats work, with Nothing essentially using Sunbird’s own messaging tech to bring iMessage to Android.

It was a bold idea … but one that was short-lived. That’s because Nothing Chats is already dead (for the time being) due to a shocking number of security vulnerabilities that were discovered almost immediately. And by security vulnerabilities, we don’t mean minor oversights that could have been easy to overlook. We’re talking about major, game-breaking design flaws that massively compromise the personal information of anyone who used Nothing Chats.

The problem with Nothing Chats

Nothing Chats on a Nothing Phone 2 compared with iMessage on an iPhone 15 Pro Max.
iMessage on an iPhone 15 Pro Max (left) and Nothing Chats on a Nothing Phone 2 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Nothing Chats launched in beta access on November 17, and within hours of people getting their hands on the app, worrying security concerns started popping up. One of the first reports came from Kishan Bagaria, the founder of Bagaria and their team discovered that messages sent via Nothing Chats weren’t using HTTPS security credentials. Instead, messages were being sent on the much less secure HTTP standard in plain text.

But it wasn’t just Bagaria who discovered these vulnerabilities. Wukko on X (formerly Twitter) also confirmed that anything sent via Nothing Chats — including standard text messages, images, and other media attachments — was done using plain text and clearly visible to anyone who knew where to look.

Furthermore, and even more troubling, Wukko found that all messaging data sent by and stored in Nothing Chats was done unencrypted and via an easily accessible Firebase platform.

nothing chats app (skinned sunbird) is an absolute privacy nightmare that sends/stores ALL data unencrypted on firebase

and for whatever reason it also sends ALL messages and attachments to sentry (again, in plain text)

— wukko (@uwukko) November 18, 2023

These reports were bad enough, but additional reporting from 9to5Google further reiterated just how serious these vulnerabilities really were. Per 9to5’s own findings:

“In our Dylan Roussel’s research, we found that once a user authenticates with the JSON Web Tokens (JWT) that are insecure in transit, they can access Nothing Chat’s Firebase database and see messages and files from other users sent in real-time and in plain text.”

Connecting to iMessage in the Nothing Chats app.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The report goes on to mention how vCards (aka contact cards) were also fully accessible — including people’s names, numbers, email addresses, and other personally identifiable information. And as if that wasn’t enough, 9to5Google also discovered more than 630,000 media files stored in Sunbird’s Firebase server — the company that powers the Nothing Chats app.

In summary, this is what we’re looking at:

  • Nothing Chats is not end-to-end encrypted
  • Messages from Nothing Chats are sent in plain text
  • Media and other attachments are publicly accessible
  • Sunbird does have access to messages and attachments sent from Nothing Chats

In other words, this is all very, very bad. It’s especially worse considering how quick Nothing was to rebuke these initial security concerns, further claiming that messages were end-to-end encrypted when — in reality — they absolutely were not.

Where does Nothing go from here?

The Sunbird information page in Nothing Chats.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

On November 18, just one day after launching Nothing Chats, Nothing announced on X that it was officially removing the Nothing Chats app from the Play Store and “delaying the launch until further notice” so the company could “work with Sunbird to fix several bugs.”

Pulling the app and delaying the launch is the right call on Nothing’s end, but it’s impossible to overstate how much damage has likely already been done by this whole debacle.

At the end of the day, these security issues are Sunbird’s fault. Nothing Chats was built on Sunbird’s backend, and it’s up to Sunbird to address these concerns. However, Nothing still decided to partner with Sunbird to create and launch Nothing Chats, and the fact that the company never discovered these vulnerabilities while creating Nothing Chats is troubling.

If you still have the Nothing Chats app on your phone, we strongly advise you to stop using it immediately. That same recommendation applies if you’re using the regular Sunbird app as well. Having iMessage on an Android phone is a fun convenience, but not at the risk of your personal information being so heavily compromised. You’re better off just waiting for Apple to add RCS to the iPhone in 2024.

As for the future of Nothing Chats, it’s difficult to say what will happen next. Nothing says it’s “delaying” the launch, but to fix all of the issues we just talked about here, Sunbird would have to dramatically overhaul its entire backend process. Is Nothing going to want to wait for that to happen, or will it decide to just cut its losses and pull the plug on Nothing Chats for good? At this point, it seems like the latter may be the better choice.

Editors’ Recommendations