TomJohnston.org Recommends

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Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless is an insane deal. Here's why.

Try out Republic. You'll find out why I love this company and their service.

Grammarly

For anyone aspiring to make money online, a crucial part of the process is creating content so compelling that it drives traffic to your website. This is true whether you are a blogger providing daily content or a website selling a product. Regardless, you have to keep visitors interested and engaged over time.

While not the most important element to driving traffic online, one aspect of great writing is good grammar and ensuring that you aren't making too many egregious writing errors.

Enter: GRAMMARLY.

Learn more about Grammarly here.

Strong VPN

If you ever work on your computer in cafes or on other public wifi networks, you need a virtual private network (VPN) provider. For less than $100 per year, you can take your laptop anywhere and do whatever work you need to--banking, your taxes, whatever--so long as you are signed into your VPN.

I shopped around for VPNs several years ago and settled on Strong VPN.

Strong VPN has treated me well, and will do the same for you.

Dashlane

Have you ever used a password manager? If not, you don't know what you are missing. Seriously.

Password managers help you keep track of all your online passwords in one place. They automatically log you into a website, and they let you know if your passwords are not strong or are duplicated on more than one site. They also help you login on cell phones--no more hunting and pecking as you try to type in your password on a small screen.

My life before Dashlane:

  • Several times a week I am trying to log into a website and totally forget the password. I'm hoping for the best and get locked out after three attempts. Then, the cumbersome process of recovering my password begins.
  • I keep all my passwords fairly simple to try to remember them, and I use the same passwords for multiple sites.

My life after Dashlane:

  • I go to a website, and--boom--I'm automatically logged in.
  • I have a unique, super-strong password for each site that I use. (This is huge from a security point of view.)
  • I no longer avoid logging into sites on my cell phone because I dread logging in and trying to peck in the password on my phone.

I shopped around and tried more than one password manager provider before settling on Dashlane.​ I picked Dashlane over its main competitors because the software is quite user-friendly. Some of the other password managers user interface is really hard to deal with. They just aren't intuitive. Also, with over three million users, I trust that Dashlane is less likely to compromise my passwords. Hugely important. So That's why I picked these guys--they are just easier to use and I trust them.

Give Dashlane a try. You won't regret it.

A2 Hosting or SiteGround

If you are building any websites, or have any ambition to, a word of advice. Don't go for the absolute cheapest deal you can find. For a buck or two more a month (seriously, the cost of a cup of coffee per month), you can get a shared plan with a host focuses on website and server performance. Also, these higher-quality hosts' tech support is generally much stronger than the massive companies like HostGator or Bluehost (owned by the same parent corporation by the way).

I suggest A2hosting.com or SiteGround.com. The beauty with A2 is that you can sign up for two years (and lock in the lower rates for signing up long-term), but if you change your mind at any point, you can cancel and get your money back for any months you didn't use. (Also, the have a thirty-day money back guarantee. Both of these shared hosts are lightning fast.

With SiteGround.com, you get the 30-day money back guarantee, but after that you are locked in to whatever plan you sign up for. The upside of SiteGround is that their customer service is a little more touchy-feely than A2, especially if you are a true beginner (though A2 is fine).

Go Fast For A Buck or Two More - You Won't Regret It

Do you remember when you moved from dial-up internet to high-speed? It's similar moving your website to a faster host. You can do everything much more quickly. Believe me. It's worth it. And when your site inevitably crashes someday, you will be so thankful that you can get competent tech support to address your problem quickly.