Suffering from Ankle Pain? Here’s How To Choose The Best Running Shoes

Finding suitable shoes to alleviate ankle pain

Choosing the best running shoes for ankle problems depends on the kind of ankle problem that you are experiencing. Most ankle problems are as a result of foot problems such as high arches, flat feet, bunions, and hammertoes.

Shoes wear out after about 300 hours of aerobic activity, and therefore it may be time for you to get a new pair. The wrong kind of shoes for the specific activity you are involved in can cause foot and ankle problems, and this is according to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. An improperly fitted shoe is also a recipe for disaster.

It is important to note that although the right shoe will help in reducing the symptoms, they alone will not eliminate the condition. They are just a part of the overall treatment plan which might include proper orthotics or arch supports, rehabilitation exercises, or training modifications among other treatments.

It may, therefore, be important for you to visit a sports podiatrist near you if the recommended shoes do not seem to help.

The three common ankle problems are;

  • Ankles that are painful due to arthritis in the ankles
  • Ankles that are prone to sprains or unstable ankles
  • Painful ankles due to overpronation (flat feet)
Normal & Arthritic Ankle Joints. Image credit: My Ankle

How to pick running shoes for ankle arthritis

If you suffer from ankle arthritis, it is advisable to seek a go-ahead from a doctor before you run on it.

The shoe you pick should provide exceptional cushioning when the foot hits the ground by reducing the force through the joint. It should also have a rocker sole which limits the ankle joint motion.

The rocker sole is a thicker than normal sole that has a slightly rounded heel. It creates a rocking effect which will be useful in alleviating ankle pain. A superb example of shoes that do this are Brooks running shoes – take a look at their Adrenaline GTS 17 models which offer supreme cushioning and comfort.

How to pick running shoes for unstable ankles

If your ankles are prone to sprains, then you most likely suffer from a condition called chronic lateral ankle instability. This condition needs comprehensive treatment.

With an unstable ankle, your running shoes need to be stable on the lateral side (the outside). This kind of shoe will not allow your foot to collapse to the inside, thereby preventing lateral ankle sprains.

The shoes you choose should also have a proper cushion on the inside, but firmer on the outside of the midsole. This will prevent the ankle from going over.

If you have had previous injuries or are just prone to ankle twists, the best running shoes need to provide balance, protect, and keep the ankle area stable.

The use of ankle arch supports has also been shown to improve the stability of the ankle in addition to a good shoe.

How to pick running shoes for ankle pain due to flat feet

If you have an extremely flat foot, the ankle tends to roll in putting an enormous amount of stress on it. In this case, the perfect shoes should be able to limit the excessive pronation.

You may also need to use an arch support inside the shoe if the ankle pain is secondary to an overpronated foot. In most cases, people with flat feet also have wider feet, so you need a support that has adequate width and adequate arch support at the same time.

If your flat feet are very severe, you may also need custom made orthotics to help eliminate your ankle pain. Orthotics will stabilize your feet and therefore prevent ankle pain.

Appropriate everyday shoes

Note that, finding the right running shoe may not be the end of your problems if your other everyday shoes are not appropriate. High heels, open backed shoes, flip flops, and sandals can affect your gait and aggravate your ankle problems. It is, therefore, important to always find shoes that support your ankles at all times so that you can enjoy pain-free runs.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17. Image credit: Running Shoes Guru

Over-the-counter modifications

There are also a few modifications that are available in the shoe stores that do not require a doctor’s prescription. These include arch supports, cushioned inserts, and stiff heel cups, which will soften the blows to the ankle with each step you make. Most inserts slide into your shoe for ankle relief. You can also wrap your ankle prior to putting on your shoes to provide some extra support.

If your ankle problems are chronic and over-the-counter shoe inserts do not seem to work, it is time to consult with a podiatrist who can modify prescription orthotics for you.

Proper fit

Having a shoe that is a size larger than your everyday shoe also alleviates the excess strain on your ankles. This is because it is a proper fit and your feet do not slide around. You can also replace the laces of your shoes with Velcro closures to achieve a tighter and more stable fit. Shoes that provide ankle support like the high-tops used for basketball are also ideal.

How to make a folding wall bed with MDF boards

Creating the ultimate space saving bed is easy!

Wall beds, or Murphy beds, have become very popular lately. Since many apartments are smaller than how they used to be built before, a wall bed is a practical solution to save up on floor space. When the bed is not required, it can simply be folded upwards to fit against the wall, leaving the floor space underneath free and unoccupied. Wall beds are ideal in kids’ bedrooms so as to offer more space for a play area, and in studio apartments. The fact that the bed is hinged at the upper end, and can be folded and stored in a vertical position is both convenient and practical. If you would like to build your own wall bed so as to benefit from these advantages, you can do it quite easily using MDF cut to size boards.

MDF Wall Bed Template. Image credit: Ana White
MDF Wall Bed Template. Image credit: Ana White

The size of the bed is quite standardised of course. A single bed is preferred due to space considerations, as well as for ease of folding. So when it comes to the dimensions you are not going to have to plan much. The first step is to purchase the MDF boards you will be needing for the bed. These will need to be cut so as to have four vertical face frames, and another two for cross pieces. Another ten horizontal pieces should be cut in order to connect the sides of each unit and also to help in supporting the shelves. After you have finished all the cutting, you should have the face frames, the cross pieces, the sides, the tops and bottoms, and the shelves. It is a good idea to try to create a layout so as to see that all these parts will fit together properly.

Afterwards, the assembling can commence. A pocket-hole jig should come in very handy for this. With it you will be able to assemble the face frames by using hidden jig hole screws quite quickly and accurately. Always measure and then mark and clamp the pieces together. All holes should be drilled on the back, or inside face of the frames. The cross pieces can then be secured to the vertical pieces by inserting screws through the pre-drilled holes. This process will need to be repeated until all of the cross pieces have been added throughout the whole length of the two face frames. It is recommended that you cover the screw holes with wood plugs. These should be glued and hammered into place for a better attachment.

Now we can move on to assembling the wall units. The side pieces will need to be inserted into the rabbets at the back of the frame. With glue and finishing nails to further secure them into place, they should then be clamped. Shelves will then need to be inserted into each rabbet and secured once again using glue and finishing nails. Make sure that the shelf tops are flush with the cross pieces’ tops and that they are properly lined up.

At this point the bed box can be built. Cut all the pieces and then assemble together to form the bed box. You will need to use glue and finish nails, and where the boards meet it is best to use wood screws and brackets. Make sure to never put screws in the holes that are too close to the ends as this could lead to splitting. It is also best to add angle brackets to connect the side rails with the bottom surface.

MDF is a good choice for such a project since it has a very smooth surface area and if you want to paint it, it absorbs paint well but do not try to use any form of staining. Also, cut the ledger board which will be connecting the bed box to the wall. To install it you should first install gate hinges to the board, and later, to the bed box. Afterwards attach the ledger board to the wall studs by using lag bolts.

Finally install the box ends and the casters, which will give additional strength. Fasten all the pieces securely. Last but not least, you will need to position the footboard under the bed box. Align it well and attach the face frame to the footboard. Fill any holes with wood putty, and lightly sand the bed box and the footboard for a better finish.

Finished Wall Bed. Image credit: Matrix Space
Finished Wall Bed. Image credit: Matrix Space

The process may seem long and complicated, but in reality it is one of the simplest DIY projects you could undertake. The bed is after all easy to assemble, and the main undertaking is to make sure it will fit neatly against the wall when folded, and that it will come down just as you want it to when you want to use it.

How to Observe Saturn for Beginners

Saturn has been described as “astrophysics become art”, and judging by the image of Saturn as seen through a 12-inch reflecting telescope shown below, it is not hard to see why. The planet has a certain “regal” air about it, and while it is possible to see some of its rich detail through binoculars and retail telescopes, this magnificent planet really only becomes breathtaking when viewed with medium to large instruments. Here is how to see Saturn at its absolute best.

Image credit: Cherdphong Visarathanonth
Image credit: Cherdphong Visarathanonth

Finding Saturn

Although the best time to view Saturn has passed (opposition occurred on June 3rd 2016), there is still opportunity for observers in the UK to view the ringed planet. For instance, during early September, Saturn sets at about 22:50 Local Time as seen from London.

Finding Saturn is not difficult; with the naked eye, it looks like a fat golden star near Mars and the star Antares, in the constellation Ophiuchus. Note however that Saturn is close to the horizon, and observers in the far northern UK might therefore not be able to see the planet at its best through the thick atmosphere near the horizon.

Nonetheless, look for Saturn at one corner of a very conspicuous triangle formed by Saturn, Mars, and Antares. Under really dark skies, it should now be possible to see Mars and Saturn on opposite sides of the Crown of the Scorpion, an arc of three stars near Antares, the heart of the Scorpion.

As with all planets, Saturn is best seen at opposition, when it is directly between Earth and the Sun, and therefore at its point of closest approach to Earth. The next two dates of opposition will be on June 15th 2017, and June 27th, 2018. In the meantime, though, Saturn will remain a conspicuous early evening object until October 2016.

Observing Saturn

Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope
Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope

Consider the image above; the view in the background approximates the best possible view of Saturn under near perfect seeing conditions through a 4-inch telescope, while the foreground image is close to what can be expected through an 8-inch instrument under similar conditions. However, obtaining clear views of Saturn through a telescope has much more to do with local seeing conditions than both instrument aperture and/or magnification.

The reason for this is the fact that Saturn has low colour contrasts. In practice, this means that fine details are easily washed out by atmospheric turbulence, which is magnified along with the image at high magnifications. In really bad seeing conditions, images of Saturn can be so unstable that it looks like the observer is seeing the planet through a layer of running water.

The trick to observing Saturn lies in the three “P’s” of amateur observing- Patience, Practice, and Perseverance. For instance, if seeing conditions are less than perfect, it might still be possible to observe other planets or even deep sky objects, but this does not work with Saturn. Therefore, be patient and wait for perfect seeing conditions, be persistent in your efforts to view Saturn, and when seeing conditions improve, even momentarily, practice observing techniques by experimenting with magnifications and filters to get the best views.

As a general rule, magnifications of between 150 × and 250 × work well in combination with yellow eyepiece filters in large instruments, but less well on smaller instruments because filters tend to dim views of Saturn in small telescopes.

What to expect

Image credit:
Image credit:

The image of Saturn above was taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a distance of about 1.6 million kms, and while it is possible to obtain excellent images of the ringed planet with ground based telescopes, do not expect to achieve the resolution of this image. However, it helps to have an idea of what to look for when observing Saturn, and in 2016, amateur observers can expect to see the ring system almost as it is shown here, inclined towards out line of sight by 26.5 or so degrees. This angle will increase to 27 degrees by 2017.

While the broad gap between the “A” and “B” rings – the Cassini Division – is easily resolved even in modest telescopes, the much narrower Encke Division is a true challenge even for large instruments under excellent seeing conditions. Nonetheless, since the ring system is favourably tilted, its inclination offers an excellent opportunity to experiment with various filters and magnifications to try and “split” the subtle colour differences between various parts of the ring system, but be aware that the best that can often be hoped for is to resolve the Cassini Division when the planet is close to the horizon.

Observing Saturn’s moons

Saturns Moons
Saturns Moons

Resolving fine detail on Saturn is as much an art as it is a science, and the novice observer might find it more profitable to observe Saturn’s’ larger moons when seeing conditions are less than ideal.

The image above was created by a free software program , and it shows the actual positions of five of Saturn’s moons at 20:20 on September 4th, 2016. Note however that while the largest moon, Titan, can be seen with a 2-inch telescope, at least a six-inch instrument is needed to spot the moons Iapetus, Rhea, Dione, but with a little perseverance, it might be possible to spot Tethys as well. Note that to spot the moon Enceladus, a ten-inch instrument is required.

Simply by entering the date, time, and type of telescope into the program, an observer gets an instant plot of the moons and by altering the time zone offset, the moons’ positions can be animated to reflect their relative positions over the length of the planned observing session. Being able to predict the positions of Saturn’s moons adds a lot to any observation of the planet, so go ahead and try it- you’ll be glad you did!

Tree Radar Surveys: Revolutionising the Arboriculture Profession

Tree Root Scanning Technology for the 21st Century

We tend to see a tree and expect it to be there forever unless it gets chopped down. But in reality trees can suffer from a number of problems, and without proper care and maintenance they may not be able to remain as tall and firm as they appear to be. Many trees end up falling over as a result of compromised roots. This could be due to a number of reasons, including decay, constricted growing conditions, or severance as a result of construction works. Thus root inspections need to be carried out so as to avoid these kinds of problems as much as possible. The first and most obvious way of carrying out such inspections is by excavating. However this is a risky procedure because digging or use air guns to remove the upper soil is very invasive.

A great alternative to this is using Tree Radar. This is a non-invasive method of carrying out tree root inspections. The root location is easily found, along with its depth and layout. The layout refers to the density and the direction from the trunk. During this inspection it will also be possible to detect any pipes, ducts and cables that are beneath the ground. Tree Radar can scan through soil and grass, as well as paving, tarmac and concrete. The depth penetration is very good and it requires minimal setups and scanning. Multi-line scans can be carried out within an hour generally. One can also scan in straight lines parallel to the tree, or else in concentric circles around the tree. Even small structural roots can be detected. Thus there is no doubt that Tree Radar is the more effective and accurate tool for tree inspections. It is often referred to as a virtual excavator, and it is indeed so since it is totally non-intrusive.

Tree Radar Process. Image credit: My Wallpaper
Tree Radar Process. Image credit: My Wallpaper

Once the inspection is carried out a Tree Radar survey will need to be made. Tree Radar surveys offer a comprehensive overview of what was discovered during the inspection. These surveys are very important as a foundation for certain decisions that may need to be made. There is no denying that tree roots play a significant role in sustainable forest productivity. As a result these tree radar surveys shed some light as to how natural disturbances could have had an effect on tree productivity, carbon sequestration and other important aspects. Tree radar surveys also offer valuable information to ecologists and foresters when it comes to learning how different techniques, such as site preparation, harvesting methods, and cultural practices, might have had an effect too. Property owners where there are trees, and those who are interested in construction works at a site where trees are present, will also need the information acquired from tree radar surveys to assess the feasibility of certain projects as well as establishing protection zones during construction works. Tree radar surveys are also used by local authorities to ensure that proactive steps are taken to help urban trees thrive, since these surveys can actually shed some light to the tree health.

So evidently tree radar surveys offer a lot of valuable information to a wide spectrum of people who may be interested in the health and safeguarding of trees. The Tree Radar is an instrument that has enabled the inspections to be carried out in a whole new way, and being able to understand the structure of trees and their root mass is very helpful. Both the health as well as the structural integrity of a tree are important considerations, and they actually have an effect on various people and numerous decisions. Besides it is quite simple to carry out the tree survey. The subsurface root scans can be made and mapped in about half an hour, and through this scan it is possible to map not only the structural root density but also its location and depth. Not to mention the fact that there is no need for any trunk preparations. The trunk gets scanned in multiple elevations and that will be enough to map the decay of the trunk accurately.

Tree Radar Unit. Image credit: Utility Locating
Tree Radar Unit. Image credit: Utility Locating

The quantitative as well as graphical results that are derived from tree radar surveys are very valuable. It is important that these surveys are carried out by professional arborists and arboricultural specialists as they are best used in conjunction with other diagnostic techniques. This will lead to detailed results and a proper assessment of a tree’s health and structural integrity.

What Services Do Construction Contractors in London Provide?

Nowadays, construction contractors are able to supply a variety of services, each in order to meet all of your construction needs. Today, we will be speaking about some of the most common construction contractor services for residential and commercial properties.

So, what do the construction services include – and how can you find and select the best construction contractors for your needs?

New Build Construction

Constructing your new home is something that construction contractors are heavily involved in. They are there from the start to the finish of the process – listening to your needs and creating a plan for your dream home. Taking care of the smallest details will assure you that you have chosen the right construction team to work with. Also, the most experienced and knowledgeable construction contractors in London usually have a number of pre-built plans available which can be modified to your requirements.

Home Extensions

If you love your current home but are struggling with not having enough space – a home extension is something worth considering. In fact, it makes a great deal more sense than going through the hassle and stress of having to sell your own home and buying a new one. Luxury refurbishments and home extensions can be great for your home and are able to give it a new facelift.

However, it is up to you to decide what type of extension to choose. Obviously, every great construction contractor will help you in this manner and be able to advise you on what type of extension is best for you home, based the current positioning of the rooms in your home. Home extensions are more than just upgraded rooms – they are something that gives you that extra space you need and increases the value of your home, once done right.


Your existing home can be a great fit for a renovation. For example, the most popular renovation processes that construction contractors provide include ‘opening up’ the house to create more light, open and airy spaces. This is very popular especially for kitchens – so that the dining and kitchen space you enjoy with your family and friends gets the look it deserves. The most common process is the removal of adjoining walls, rearranging the furniture or providing you with other solutions is what construction contractors specialize in when it comes to renovations.

Multi-Development Units

If you want to build a townhouse, block or flat – some construction contractors can be of assistance. These projects are known as multi-development projects and can be managed only by a construction contractor that specialises in this field. Ensuring that the construction process stays on budget and it is completed on time is among the biggest requirements in such projects.

How Do you Find Construction Contractors In London?

Basically, there is no secret formula to finding the most reliable construction contractor to bring your building or room to life. However, there are some details you can take advantage of and consider when choosing contractors in your area.

First of all, all the major construction contractors nowadays have a website that clearly shows all of the services they offer along with their contact information. Their website may also include a portfolio of past projects or references you can refer to or speak with.

If you want to find a construction contractor in your area, you can simply open up your favourite search engine and type in ‘construction contractors London’ and see the top results until you find a company that you like the look of. You should also know that asking a lot of questions prior to choosing to work with such companies is one of the best ways to ensure that they are right for you. Your questions can include things like checking if they had experience with your related project or checking if their staff members are highly qualified and experienced to do it.

In the end, taking a look at the portfolio of your chosen construction contractor is the best way to determine if they are the right choice for designing and constructing your home or office.

Hiring Family Solicitors in Kent & the South East

There is no denying that family matters are among the most difficult and problematic ones. Such legal matters become even more difficult when children are involved. Separations, divorce and other matrimonial disputes however exist and are quite common. As a result, the assistance of a family lawyer becomes indispensable when the case cannot be settled between the spouses.

Such cases can sometimes be quite overwhelming and very stressful, and for many people finding a good solicitor will only add to the problems as there are many solicitors in Kent that they can choose from. So chances are they are going to opt for the first local law practice found listed on a directory or from an advert, as they do not want to bother themselves with looking up any reviews or comments. Then there are going to be several others who feel overwhelmed with the countless solicitors in Kent who specialize in family law, and they have no idea how they are going to choose one out of so many.

However, it is important to take the time to find out a bit about a solicitor before actually deciding to hire him or her. A divorce attorney is indispensable in leading you through your divorce from start to finish and you will need his/her help to come to the best decisions which will ultimately impact your future, and that of your kids, if any.

The solicitor will start by checking out if you and your spouse are considering drafting your divorce agreement. In such a case the solicitor’s input will be more limited. But in the vast majority of cases a solicitor will be needed for advice, guidance, feedback and evaluations. Most people have no idea how to go about the legal proceedings of a divorce or separation, and they barely understand half of the legal jargon that is used. Thus a solicitor who specializes in family law is a must.

There are hundreds of solicitors in Kent, one of which is Worthingtons Solicitors who are very reputable and based in Folkestone. But you need to understand that not all competing firms are experts in family law. There are some who will be Law Society certified in family law and these are the ones from which you should choose as they are those who specialize in cases dealing with divorce and other family law issues.

If you have children you need to make sure that the solicitor that you hire is on your same page. Make it clear from the very beginning that your kids are what matters the most to you and you want to make sure that you get reasonable child support for them. The solicitor needs to be emphatic and understand how important this is for you, and he will thus also work hard to secure proper child custody and visitation agreements.

Tips to finding a suitable Office Cleaning & Maintenance Company

The only way to make your office the best working place is to hire the right office maintenance company. You do not want to spend your working days in a dirty or disorganized office, especially considering how many hours people spend at an office every day. Let us discuss 5 tips to help you find a facilities management service that can make your office the best place to be in. A good service will make your office look impressive, so even when customers come to your office, they will feel they are doing business with a reliable and professional business.

The task of choosing the right company for a great service is challenging considering the huge number of service providers available. Most people focus only on the fees and charges, which even though are important, they are not everything either. There are other factors to take into account to make sure that you are choosing a truly reputable company. The following tips will help you to narrow down your search and save you a great deal of time, money and energy.

First and foremost it is vital to look at the portfolio of the company to determine if they offer all the services you need, and if they have created a strong rapport with their customers and received positive reviews in the past. Through an evaluation of the performance record of the company, you can tell if the company has what it takes to deliver to your expectations. In addition, testimonials from previous clients provide a great source of information to give you a clear picture of the kind of service to expect.

It is always important to make sure that you are choosing a company that is equipped with professional people. These are people who have knowledge and passion for what they do. If you have a checklist of requirements, use it to determine the proficiency of the company and hence quality of its services.

The date of establishment of the company is also an important thing to look at as reputable companies have been in the business long enough to have what it takes to offer professional services. However having said that you might also wish to check out relatively new companies, as there are companies that may not have been in the market for long but they have the right cleaning and maintenance strategies. Possibly their rates and their schedules may be more feasible for you too.

Friendliness and professionalism of the employees may also need to be considered, as these will be at your office daily, or very often. Professional service providers know how important a clean office is, and they would never dare compromise the quality of the service they provide to you. If the company has a team that believes in teamwork, then it definitely makes the right company to work with.

Do not hire a company that is working with office cleaning and maintenance freelancers. The bad thing about freelancers is that they may not know the kind of results you want although they may still be able to do a good job. The best thing to do, therefore, is to make sure the company you intend to hire has only in-house workers. It is important to remember that you are not only looking for a one-time service provider, because you will need maintenance services from time to time.

Sunreaders are Sunglasses with a Difference!

There is a lot that people can do outdoors if they can spare the hand that shields their eyes from the harsh sunlight. Sunglasses were made to prove this fact. Indeed sunglasses let people move in the sunlight without crinkling up their faces or placing one of their palms above the eyebrows, involuntarily, like an awning.

Daytime is better utilized with sunglasses, be it for shopping or sightseeing. Being at the beach from mid-day may not seem as dreadful anymore thanks to tinted sunglasses. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can finally be no threat, at least to the eyes. But as is human nature, we all want more from everything, and so did we in the case of sunglasses. The tinted glasses were replaced by photochromic lenses, which changed shades depending upon the light, so that the discomfort of adjusting suddenly to changing lights became easier for the eyes. But even this was not enough. The sunglasses manufacturers then came up with sun readers.

The simplest sun readers were essentially for those who loved reading. All that sunglasses manufacturers had to do was to replace the non-prescription glass in the tinted sunglasses with prescription glasses, and we had sun reading glasses. But that also meant using two different types of sunglasses which is cumbersome. Soon sun readers evolved into glasses that were bifocals. The upper part of the glasses did their job of protecting the eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, while the lower part of the glasses let the user read books or do other close up activities outdoors, with personal lens prescriptions.

The sun’s warmth in spring and summer is certainly the most pleasant thing to enjoy either in the countryside or by the pool, after the harsh cold winter. The seamless transition of these bifocals was the next step. The transition was facilitated by high grade plastics, which were already popular in non-prescription sunglasses.

The developments did not stop here! This time, it was Amazon’s Kindle that forced sun readers to change. With Kindle traditional books became slimmer, and lighter. Therefore, the device became extremely popular among avid outdoor readers, and soon highlighted the drawback of existing sun readers. The glare from the screen made reading books on Kindle by the pool or beaches a difficult proposition. This was because Kindle’s white screen reflected the sun’s rays and these could cause serious eye damage. Polarized glasses solved the problem as these prevent distortions of color, and glare.

Effectively, sun readers now can be bifocal or completely made from prescription glasses. For aesthetic reasons, care has been taken to ensure that the bifocal nature of these sun readers is not obvious. There are several tints to choose from in fact. Plastics have become a popular material to make these glasses because they are less likely to cause injuries, and offer more variety.

Sun readers obviously reduce strain on the eyes because they have prescription lenses incorporated in them. Because of the Polarized technology that is incorporated in these glasses, the eyes are less likely to feel tired, and so in general vision would be prolonged considerably. Thanks to the bifocal sunglasses people do not have to carry multiple sets of sunglasses around either. They also do not have to remove them immediately upon entering into some room or leaving the room because the photochrome technology adjusts to such variations very easily. So it is surely much more convenient and practical. This new technology also ensures that the material of the lens, whether made from glass or plastic, does not develop scratches easily, and it can easily be wiped clean should the need arise.

MAG 250: The must-have set-top box to watch UK TV overseas

IPTV Set-Top Box Overview

The MAG 250 is an IP TV set top box that streams UK television channels live. The device is especially useful for UK citizens who live abroad or for any other person anywhere in the world who is a fan of UK television channels. The first thing many relocating UK citizens miss is their TV. Channels like BBC and Sky Sports are very popular and nobody wishes to miss them.

Now, you don’t have to worry about missing any of your favorite channels while being abroad though. The MAG 250 connects to your TV set or computer HDMI port, giving you a spectacular picture and all the UK channels you may possibly hope for. Reputable vendors such as DemandUKTV supply the streaming channels direct to your box so you can take the channel you want with you, anywhere you go!

Watch live TV

The MAG 250 gives you access to live TV anywhere anytime. When moving abroad, simply get the device and ensure you have a stable internet connection and you are good to go. Connect the device to the internet using your internet router or use a WIFI connection. For WIFI connections, you may need an adapter since the device does not have an inbuilt one. For good results, ensure your internet runs at least at 2mbps. There are hundreds of channels available via the device.

Movies on Demand

Apart from watching many live UK channels, many movies on demand are made available via the device. This is true if you are on a premium subscription. Watch blockbusters, such as “The Story of Wikileaks”, “The Internship” and “The Heat”, among hundreds of other movies. Moreover, you may also access some old classics and some of your old-time favorite movies. The icing on the cake is that new movies are added to the device every week. Bored with TV? No problem: just watch the movies on demand at the click of a button.

Listen to radio stations & music

The MAG 250 device approaches the whole issue of entertainment holistically. Apart from watching your favorite UK television channels, you can also tune in to your favorite radio channels from abroad. Virtually all the radio channels are available on this device. In addition, the device comes with a standard USB port where you can plug in your USB audio devices and listen to your favorite music. The device can also play MPEG files, meaning that you can also watch the movies you have stored on your flash drive. You can also view your pictures on the TV screen, presented in HD format.

No need for a PC!

Watch TV channels on your 50 inch television screen, not on your PC. It is very convenient and user-friendly. You can’t imagine gluing your eyes to a PC screen for several hours to watch TV. It can get so uncomfortable. With the MAG 250, you can recline in your seat and watch your favorite UK TV channels comfortably. So, when you are abroad, make yourself comfortable by acquiring the MAG 250 set top box.

SmartDNS: The new tool for streaming UK TV

Smart DNS is a new technology for streaming down media and gaming content from anywhere on the web. So far people have been using VPN or the Virtual Private Network for streaming content. There are many advantages of such streaming. For starters, it allows people to watch the movies or programs that were telecast at timings that are convenient to them. There is no need to record the content as was done in the past. Programs that come concurrently on different channels can be streamed and watched when it is convenient for the viewer, rather than having to miss one or more of them. Even movies can be watched in this way instead of waiting them to arrive in any of the theaters or searching for the DVDs and taking those on hire.

Basically, a VPN software program is essential for such streaming. This software establishes a link right up to the source of the content weaving through the web.

Smart DNS on the other hand is an intermediate system responsible for facilitating networking based on host names and domain names. Therefore, networking is faster and connectivity more reliable. In fact the major problem with VPN based streaming is that connections are lost frequently. In contrast streaming with SmartDNS is almost free from connectivity problems provided the IP address is not frequently altered. But there are tools that take care of such alterations as well, because of which SmartDNS scores over VPN based streaming.

Another major advantage of using it is a SmartDNS can be used on multiple devices. Unlike it, the user has to install VPN software in multiple devices. In order to use SmartDNS in more than one device, the user needs to make a few changes in the Network settings.

Therefore, the major advantages of SmartDNS streaming over VPN as well as OpenVPN streaming are:

  1. Much higher speed of streaming
  2. Easier access to content on multiple devices
  3. Cost benefit
  4. Trouble free connectivity

In so far as reliability is concerned both the VPN software as well as SmartDNS rank on par. Both seem to offer a guarantee of 99.9 percent but issues like change in IP address and other problems with the Internet protocol can affect the reliability of both these services. In general, both services do manage that percentage of uptime.

It is not as if Smart DNS VPN streaming is completely trouble free. The speed, cost benefit, and other advantages offered by this latest streaming system comes at a price of two major problems with this system that need to be acknowledged-

  1. SmartDNS does little to protect the privacy of the individual. This when compared to the elaborate system integrated in VPN software programs is indeed a striking drawback, and the user needs to be sure if such compromise is likely to cause any major harm before using this service. This, also is the reason VPN software is costlier and the price of such software continues to increase since additional development becomes a continuous process;
  2. Installing and setting up SmartDNS is not as easy as installing and setting up VPN. While this is a one-time problem, it does require considerable care in set up and networking;


In these days of social media, privacy concerns are not exactly high on people’s minds, especially if the devices that are being used for streaming are not the devices that they would use for personal purposes. Therefore, many people are likely to switch over to SmartDNS streaming, if they have not already.