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We all know that dating can be expensive at the best of times, especially if you're going out for dinner and drinks on the reg, and these days free dating sites can be hard to come by.

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What are the best totally free dating sites It can be a pretty speedy process dating star you want it to be, and most users just looking to hook up will let you know right off that they're not trying to make small talk. Free-but-not-really apps are the ones that are technically free to use, but you have to pay to do just about anything including read or respond to messages. The bottom line: If you're a gay man, an app that's specifically for you is your place to shine. See this guide to use; paid services including all emails! If something like smoking cigarettes is a deal breaker, you can indicate that, too.
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A VPN is a piece of software that that helps to make you more anonymous online, encrypts your internet use, and lets you effectively trick your laptop or mobile device into thinking it's in another location. And in case you're wondering In short, VPNs have become really handy, everyday tools and mean by choosing the best VPN service out there, you'll be equipping your laptop, PC, mobile — even your games console — with a potentially game-changing bit of software.

For many, downloading a VPN service will be all about privacy. You may want to use them to help keep your online life completely anonymous from prying eyes — especially now that so many of us are working or schooling at home. Or perhaps its the eyes of your government that you want to avoid.

But because the best VPNs also let you change your IP address to one in a completely different city or country, these services have taken on a much wider use. VPNs are fantastic for streamers, for example, who want to have access to a whole world of shows and films on Netflix and more. It ticks all of the boxes: fast server connections, serious security smarts, ridiculously easy to use - even free cloud storage thrown in.

It's the very best around and you can try it for days risk-free. View Deal. NordVPN - the biggest name in the business NordVPN is jam-packed with features, unblocks loads of streaming services and boasts extra privacy perks like 'Double VPN' security and an independently audited no-log policy. And right now, it will give you an extra month or one year extra for free when you sign up for its two-year plan.

Surfshark - easy to use VPN that's great value If you're more concerned about grabbing a bargain than going for the all out best above, then Surfshark should be on your shortlist. It impressed in every test we threw at it and the 5-star rating we've given it is testament to the fact it can barely be improved upon.

So let's get in to some specifics. It starts well right from the off, as you you'll immediately note that ExpressVPN gives you the choice of over 3, servers in locations across 94 countries. But perhaps most exciting is that it has now begun rolling out its very own Lightway protocol that seeks to increase speed and reliability even further.

Really fast, with fantastic connection speeds across servers in multiple countries. And that was using OpenVPN in our tests - the aforementioned Lightway option should increase that further still. We also love just how easy to use this service is. That might seem obvious, but not every VPN provider out there has worked out how to make its tools intuitive, regardless of what device you're using it on.

From desktop and mobile, to TV streamers and browser extensions, ExpressVPN is a doddle to set up and operate for both pros and inexperienced users. In terms of additional features, ExpressVPN goes above and beyond. Its support website is stuffed with detailed guides and tutorials to get you up and running. It really works, too - we got a helpful response from a knowledgeable support agent within a couple of minutes of posting our question.

Frankly, we don't mask the fact of how highly we rate ExpressVPN. It's very simple Don't believe us? And the great news is that TechRadar readers get three extra months free when they sign up for an annual plan, as well as a year's access of unlimited Backblaze cloud storage. Plus, you can also give it a try first with a day money back guarantee. NordVPN 's current product matches or beats virtually all of the competition in just about every area.

In our latest round of testing, it improved again notably and it isn't too far behind ExpressVPN in its hunt for the title of very best VPN. In large part, the jump up in our rankings is thanks to the rolling out of the provider's custom NordLynx protocol.

It has helped to make Nord's connection speeds even faster and more reliable, even from servers that are further afield. The server speed might be new and improved, but the levels of security NordVPN has to offer have been impressing us for some time now. While it too offers AES as standard, you also have the option to turn on its Double VPN system where all your internet traffic is encrypted not once, but twice. Handy to know where your internet anonymity is paramount like when you're on public Wi-Fi or, perhaps, torrenting.

It actually bests ExpressVPN on pure server count, cranking things up to an eye-watering 5, in roughly 60 countries and it allows for one more simultaneous connection at six. Like its main competitor above, other features include strong DNS leak protection, kill switches application-specific and system wide , proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers, and payment options that include Bitcoin, PayPal and credit cards. And it is also strong on unblocking Netflix and other services - although Brits abroad do have to resort to a workaround to access iPlayer.

The steps to take are all explained out in one of NordVPN's myriad troubleshooting articles. Not only are they plentiful, these guides are also really useful. We also have a lot of love for Nord's dedication to putting the tarnishing news of historic data breaches behind it. It now brings in PricewaterhouseCooper to carry out a thorough audit of its no-logging policy every year.

If we have one quibble, it would be with the user experience that NordVPN supplies. Just little things like the destination cities not being listed in alphabetical order or searching through menus for specialist task functions left us scratching our heads about whether Nord has done enough user testing. That's especially the case when it comes to its otherwise effective mobile apps.

But, these are pretty minor minus points. NordVPN has a few options available included monthly subscriptions and an excellent value two-year special offer. If you want to give the service a whirl before you commit, NordVPN provides a day money back guarantee. For a limited time, you'll also get up to an extra one year added on top absolutely FREE! Surfshark has really got its teeth into the VPN market in the last couple of years, offering a killer service with one blatantly obvious USP We'll come on to features, spec and the like in a moment.

But there's no getting away from the fact that the main draw here is Surfshark's scarcely believable pricing. Look up and down this guide and you won't find too many of its competitors getting close to that. And that's for unlimited connections, too.

And theoretically you could even let friends and family members use your sub, too. We'd also let Surfshark's laid-back and playful branding take some of the credit, which helps to make a potentially scary sounding bit of software look like a really user-friendly product.

If you're somebody who is easily bamboozled and, ultimately, put off by complicated menus and myriad options, Surfshark - like ExpressVPN above - could be the ideal VPN for you. It keeps its interface completely stripped back and free from complication. All you'll really see are options for 'Quick connect' and 'All locations', accompanied by a Settings icon, and nothing else at all really. Whether that level of detail or lack thereof is a boon or a drawback entirely depends on your perspective.

That all said, when it comes to keeping you and your online identity secure, Surfshark is all business. Surfshark offers a day money back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to give it a try before committing for a longer period. So where does it lose marks? Not too many places, but competition is tough these days - especially when Express and Nord have managed to improve their server speeds so substantially, while Surfshark's have remained merely 'good'.

Surfshark is also now lagging behind in terms of audits of its no-logging policy, too it had a partial one carried out back in and we'd welcome a more obvious alert on Windows when the connection drops or disconnects. But hey And the above considerations are unlikely to put off the bargain hunters among you. Hotspot Shield has long been a popular name in the world of VPN providers, predominantly for its well-used free VPN , but we can really tell that it's been working harder and harder on its premium VPN product.

And that means it's climbed our rankings nicely. It's yet more evidence that taking the plunge and paying just a few dollars a month gets you a far superior VPN experience. Those specs on paper are fairly unspectacular in the context of what some other providers give. But it's what our in-depth testing revealed that really stands out - and that's pure speed.

If your main consideration when picking a VPN is speed perhaps you're a gamer, streamer or torrenter. Performance was a major highlight in our tests, with Hotspot Shield's proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol helping to deliver some of the fastest and most consistent download speeds we've seen and an average of Mb when using US servers. Speeds remain high to some of the most distant locations, too. As well as being able to run the service on devices where you can run its native Windows, Mac, Android or iOS apps, Hotspot has added functionality to support use on routers, Linux and TV streamers, too.

A SmartVPN feature - that let's you select websites on which the VPN will be bypassed - is another welcome recent addition, especially if you only wanted to keep your VPN on when shopping, banking, streaming, etc. If Hotspot uses to bring in some independent auditors to verify its logging practices, we'd be happier still. Especially as the provider does admit to logging VPN sessions, bandwidth, domains accessed and IP addresses.

All of these are reasoned out on Hotspot's website, but we'd welcome an auditor's view on things. There's also room for improvement on its apps, which just don't match the desktop experience. Subscribe for more than just a month at a time, and Hotspot Shield becomes one of the best priced premium VPNs on the market. And if you try it and still aren't impressed, then there's a generous day money back guarantee that will let you get your money back without issue.

Save big by committing to Hotspot Hotspot Shield has come on in leaps and bounds and you can try it for 45 days risk free to discover that for yourself. On the subject of support, we really like that you can access it directly from your Android or iOS app on mobile. There's something about IPVanish that just feels immediately comforting when you get started.

It's probably the reassuring graphs and charts in the desktop app that does it. But rest assured, it's not just about looks as IPVanish has the speeds above average, but not quite as fast as some of the names above and security smarts AES encryption, kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection to fit the bill as a great choice for the privacy conscious.

While the Android and iOS apps don't seem to get updated or refreshed that often, there's probably a good reason for that - they function really well. The Android VPN app is a particular feather in IPVanish's cap, with more settings and options than most of the competition and the ability to really configure it to your ideal set up.

With the likes of Nord, Express and Hotspot all rolling out their own proprietary security protocols, IPVanish is beginning to look a little bit left behind in terms of modernisation and speeds as we plough on into the s. It doesn't even offer WireGuard yet. And our latest round of testing showed struggles to unblock Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer, which makes it hard to wholeheartedly recommend if you're looking to uncover a new world of content to stream.

But overall, if you need its unbarred simultaneous connections or the power and configurability of its apps, take the plunge with this VPN service. And if somehow you end up unhappy you're protected by a 30 day money-back guarantee. It may not be quite the fastest VPN, or the cheapest, or the most powerful, but Private Internet Access often stylized as simply PIA is still a likeable VPN provider with more than enough features to justify a place on your shortlist.

Its most notable claim of recent times is a huge increase in PIA's server count. That puts it way ahead of the rest when it comes to pure server numbers, and the network only seems to be growing. That sure sounds impressive, but it wouldn't be worth a thing without the usability and security aspects. Fortunately, PIA offers a healthy mix of privacy features and security protocols including WireGuard - this extends to its first rate Chrome extension, which adds in the option to block location access, third-party cookies, website referrers and more.

That's not just us saying that either, as the user reviews on the App Store and Play Store are generally really positive. And there's support here for up to 10 simultaneous connections, so it's easy to cover pretty much all of your devices on one reasonable subscription. It isn't the slowest around and won't significantly hold you up for most 'normal' web activity.

But for gamers looking for an edge, streamers who hate the merest hint of buffering and torrenters not wanting to hang around, maybe you should go from one of the better options on this list. VPN service CyberGhost has been a firm favorite of ours for some time now, and it's no surprise that it has a user base of over ten million subscribers. The company covers the basics well, with more than 6, servers spread across odd countries, apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, torrents allowed and speedy live chat support.

If you're somebody who will largely be using your VPN on a Windows desktop or laptop, that's where CyberGhost really shines. Beneath its clean, easy to follow interface lies a sea of fantastic features and functionality. It will quickly connect you to the right server for you if you're specifically looking to stream or torrent, for example.

And extra touches like its Smart Rules panel shows that the engineers at CyberGhost have really put some thought into the user experience. It allows you to automatically connect to your preferred server launch a particular app such as your default browser in incognito mode when you boot up your computer.

A genuinely useful added bonus. That's not to say that the mobile apps are weak - they just don't quite reach the same wow-factor levels. Website unblocking is generally strong here, with most streaming services causing us no issues to unlock at all - Netflix is on that list, too, but only in certain regions accessing Canadian and UK exclusives caused us trouble.

But we need to spend just a bit of time mentioning the speeds CyberGhost demonstrated in our most recent tests. Although further afield like in New Zealand , these began lagging behind a little. With a meaty day money back guarantee, CyberGhost is well worth a closer look - especially if you're not really intending to use it on an iPhone or iPad. The service offers you a lot of unusual functionality for a very fair price, and it's well worth a closer look.

Windscribe is a trusted name in the realm of VPNs and it delivers a high quality product with plenty going for it. A single subscription covers unlimited devices, too, so you can cover them all with Windscribe. The backroom boys over at Windscribe HQ really seem to have put a whole lot of effort in to improving the speed of the VPN's server connections.

When using the default OpenVPN protocol via a UK location , we saw speeds that outranked the likes of Surfshark and CyberGhost - and that was before we even turned on the newly added WireGuard protocol that promises lower latency again. That makes the provider a sound option for streamers that want to watch overseas content or their own programming from abroad.

The network has locations in cities spread across more than 60 countries, but its odd servers in total are far fewer than what most other providers have on offer. That seems like a big miss these days, with all of the big competition offering an on the spot advisor to pick up queries.

Windscribe doesn't tick every available box then, then, but the service does have a lot of interesting features. If you're looking for a new VPN, use the free plan to find out what Windscribe can do for you. The free plan limits you to ten locations but gives you an exceptionally generous 2GBGB data allowance a month.

ProtonVPN has had a busy 12 months - our most recent round of VPN testing showed that it added loads of new server locations growing its network by more than a third and making solid improvements to its iOS and Android VPN apps and Linux client. That all only improves our opinion of a VPN provider that does things a little differently.

There's nothing revolutionary here, but the service does have plenty of appealing aspects to help it stand out from the crowd. And it's even begun auditing its apps to show they comply with today's rigorous privacy standards. On to your desktop clients next please, Proton.

It's based in Switzerland - already feels safer, right? Pay by Bitcoin, if you like, and enjoy solid P2P support for torrenting and a range of streaming services unlocked. Of all ProtonVPN's plus points this year, it has begun lagging behind the rest when it comes purely to server speed, and it's yet to adopt WireGuard to help it compete.

And, like Windscribe above, it's high time it hired a few customer support staff to answer queries readily at all times of the day. Feels like poor form, although at least Proton has a very useful free version if you do want to give it a try without any cost whatsoever. So ProtonVPN isn't perfect. This is a powerful and trustworthy service, though, and if that's your top priority, we'd recommend you take a look.

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Coffee Meets Bagel is aiming to bring that easy-going atmosphere to the world of dating apps. Millions and millions of active users is usually a plus. It is nice to know that your options are virtually limitless, but things go from flattering to chaotic real fast when people hit you up 30 seconds after matching. This happens on eharmony and Tinder alike — people want that connection, and they want it NOW.

CMB's slow and steady approach is great for singles who are rusty, a bit more introverted, or who simply don't feel like scrolling every time they have a free minute. Every day, CMB offers seven of its best matches bagels for you, chosen by your answers to prompts, who you said yes or no to in yesterday's batch, and who has already expressed interest with you, too.

CMB encourages users to get the ball rolling by only keeping your match for seven days. It's less pressure than Bumble's hour time limit but still eliminates a list full of matches who don't care enough to plan a meet-up. Your bagels are limited regardless of if you upgrade to a paid account, which doesn't offer much past increasing your allowance of daily likes. Premium perks can also be earned for free just by using the app.

Best serious swiping app. Hinge Millennials finally have an algorithm-based swiping app that's less "Wanna bang? Unlimited matches with free account: No Unlimited messaging with free account: Yes Hinge Preferred perks: Extra filters like weed use or height and a grid view of everyone who has liked you See Details. Young people looking to at least go on a few dates with the same person instead of everything turning into a friends with benefits situation was a major blind spot for dating sites — until Hinge blew up.

The premise and user base might be in the same realm as Tinder and Bumble, but Hinge's unique profile criteria and algorithm based on that criteria set the scene for matches with real-life potential. Despite the fact that we're actively seeking out new dating apps and feel a rush every time a cute contender swipes right back, no one looking for something serious wants to be on these. The whole point of online dating is to find your person so you can stop looking for your person.

That's the whole idea behind Hinge's rebrand to "the dating app designed to be deleted. Thankfully, these Hinge statistics offer a vote of confidence for anyone who's skeptical about whether dating behind a screen can actually foster connections IRL.

Beta trials of a feature called "We met" asked Hinge users how the first date went. There's a common understanding among users that Hinge isn't just for sex, but there's no pressure to rush into a relationship either. Instead of extensive cheesy questionnaires and spam emails about the 50 winks you were sent, Hinge uses your personal prompts, ethnicity, religion, education, and more to find you anywhere from five to 15 matches per day.

Prompts range from "The most spontaneous thing I've ever done" to "Two truths and a lie. Best for lesbians who hate Tinder. Her Connect with queer women who want something real and free yourself from Tinder's focus on threesomes. Unlimited matching on free account: Yes Unlimited messaging on free account: Yes Paid perks: None, because it's completely free See Details. Between creepy men pretending to be women and straight girls looking for another girl to have a threesome with their boyfriends, most heteronormative dating sites don't give lesbians or bi women a great shot at finding a relationship.

HER, an award-winning app made for queer women by queer women, is the perfect place to go if you're tired of the only lesbian you know being your ex girlfriend. The app that wants to "introduce you to every lesbian you've ever wanted to meet" is growing rapidly: HER has grown to 4. If you tried HER a few years ago and were discouraged by swiping through the same people, your experience will be much different this time around. In , HER revamped its minimalistic profiles to let users get more creative in categories like gender, sexuality pronouns, diet preferences, and star signs, as well as a "What does this mean?

There's also a space for a text bio where you can showcase your sense of humor describe what type of relationship you're looking for. The lack of any real science behind the matches past age and location is a bummer, but unlike Tinder, this doesn't mean you'll be suffocated with a hookup vibe.

Searching wemetonHER on Instagram should be all the beautiful, adorable success story proof that you need. Best no-frills site. Plenty of Fish Reddit users love POF's pond of singles who actually reply, but the design needs a total overhaul. Unlimited matches with free account: Yes Unlimited messaging with free account: Yes Paid perks: Viewing extended profiles, see who has viewed your profile, and no ads See Details. Some people just don't trust match or eharmony.

The Reddit community has been particularly skeptical of these sites in the past year or two, as users have simply had enough of paying for a site where other users literally don't respond. As long as you can tread around the extremely obvious bot accounts, Plenty of Fish offers one of the most extensive collections of matching questionnaires and a pool of users who generally have open minds. POF came out in and essentially looks like it hasn't been updated since.

Though it has gotten a lot of shit for being taken over by fake accounts and not deleting profiles that have been inactive for five years, it has still managed to rake in 90 million users over the past 15 or so years. People in this Reddit thread insist that some real chemistry — or at least a few good dates to give you hope — are possible as long as you have a strict vetting process. The lengthy questionnaires and profiles are extremely traditional, making it a safe bet for people over 30, divorcees, and single parents who aren't in the mood to mess around.

One covers psychology, one covers relationship needs, one covers sex, plus the expected questions about interests and hobbies. POF finds out what makes you tick and lays it on the table in your profile, hopefully ensuring that the people who slide into your DMs resonate with something you said. Each test is ish questions, but you're only required to compete one. That said, POF suggests filling out as many as you can to help the algorithm fine tune its pickings and find you someone who complements you on all fronts.

Your best option overall. NOTE: Though not free, this site is great for long-term love. Dive deeper into our picks for the best dating sites for finding something serious by going here. Long-term relationships are the name of the game at Match. You can admit that it's kind of comforting that you've been seeing TV commercials about the success of Match formerly branded as Match. Launched in , its decades in the business help Match bring a comforting level of experience to the table for singles wary about online dating.

The OG site is so confident in the blueprint it's been perfecting over the years that it guarantees that you'll find someone in six months. If you don't, you get six months for free. Match continues to solidify its spot as a well-rounded choice for all ages because it refuses to get lost as an antiquated, corny dating site.

You're at least tediously scrolling through people Match thinks you'll like based on shared interests like volunteering or clubbing, pet preferences, whether you want or have kids, and more. If something like smoking cigarettes is a deal breaker, you can indicate that, too.

Match has so many online daters in its arsenal more than the population of New York City, in fact that it's hard to avoid the notification onslaught even if you live in a less-populated area. However, it should slow down once the algorithm starts learning about your swiping behaviors. But they're working to make this better. In fact, Match is set to follow Tinder as the second Match Group app to utilize location-based emergency services via Noonlight as well as photo verification to authenticate users and ensure that they're the same person that's in their profile pictures.

Best for those dating to marry. Ever see a commercial for eharmony and wonder if a dating site that corny actually works? Find out more. Like Follow. Best for something more serious than swiping. The Good. OkCupid OkCupid has a huge dating pool, and uses a whole bunch of algorithms to find your perfect match. I've said this a million times before and I'll say it again: OkCupid's advertising is outstanding.

They deserve endless applause just for that, but I realize many people on dating apps care about more than aesthetics. Good thing OkCupid is so much more than that, taking compatibility factors into account that other sites haven't even thought of.

Who it's good for: This is the place for, well, pretty much everyone who takes dating seriously, but still wants to have fun. Though OkCupid's advertisements may have "DTF" plastered all over them, the site's intentions and matchmaking process are no joke. We also want to mention that OkCupid and its user base is pretty liberal. The ads with same-sex couples are an obvious giveaway, but OkCupid has snuck in other little features to weed out more conservative-minded people.

For instance, they'll ask questions about whether you're for or against the defunding of Planned Parenthood or same-sex marriage, and if you feel obligated to help fellow human beings — all as a way to tell right off the bat if your potential match leans left or right.

This can help you avoid awkward date conversations in the future. It might take some time and genuine effort to make a profile, but that's what you want if you're looking for something real. You'll fill out a questionnaire with your answers as well as what you would like your ideal match to answer.

This makes the application-building process a lot more fun than other apps, making it feel like an online quiz. It asks a range of questions, from simple stuff to if you smoke and drink to more intimate things like how many dates you typically wait before sleeping with someone.

Pro tip: The app says the more questions you answer, the better your matches will be. The deeper you go, the more accurate your profile is — and in turn, OkCupid will have a way easier time finding matches for you. The downsides: While building your profile can be fun, it can get tedious — so it's probably no surprise that this isn't the site to use if you're looking for something quick and casual.

Also, though OkCupid has a super sturdy user base around 30 million users , variety of results won't be nearly as good if you're not in a populated area. For city dwellers, this is fine, but singles in smaller towns may want to opt for a different app. The bottom line: OkCupid is the perfect happy medium for people who don't want anything to do with trendy swiping apps, but who also don't want to feel like they're desperately looking for marriage. OkCupid genuinely wants dating to be a good experience for you, and their multi-faceted matchmaking and modern vibe help you steer clear of feeling like a loser talking to people online.

Best comprehensive free version. Hinge Hinge is a nice middle ground between mindless swiping and marriage-focused apps. The gist: Hinge gives the modern feel and no-patience-required matching like Tinder, but with the relationship rather than hookup mindset that sites like eharmony or Match offer. Pretty much everyone is on the same page and knows that that this app isn't for sex, but there's no pressure to rush into marriage either. It's chill, it's legit, and traditional swiping apps should be worried.

Who it's good for: Hinge is the place for people who want a real relationship but don't want to commit to a full-fledged dating site with extensive questionnaires. Hinge calls itself the app "designed to be deleted" because you're meant to find a relationship so you can stop using dating apps.

While Hinge first started by showing you Facebook friends of friends, their algorithm has been getting smarter and smarter, and is now able to surpass friends of friends as a predictor of compatibility. This means you won't be matched with someone all wrong for you simply because you know the same person. Rather, Hinge will help you get to know the other person more deeply by having users answer prompts to show off personality and interests.

The downsides: Hinge only lets you send 10 likes per day, which is a slight bummer. But it means you have to be a little more selective and thoughtful about who you like, which is more conducive to finding a compatible relationship. Hinge isn't meant for constant swiping — and everyone I know who uses Hinge including myself has never felt the need to upgrade past the free version.

Having endless potential matches is overwhelming, and if you're trying to find someone you genuinely connect with, there's no point to viciously rushing through every person in a 50 mile radius. The bottom line: We love Hinge. It's a step up from hookup apps but the perfect level of serious for 20 and 30 somethings who want something real, but don't need anyone asking how many kids they want just yet. Tinder Tinder is where everyone is, and the setup is easy. The gist: We'd look like total frauds if we didn't include Tinder.

As much as we bitch about this swipe happy app, it's just too popular and works too well to leave it off the list. It has its obvious negatives, but the user friendliness, instant connecting, and massive potential match pool make it most people's first download choice when they need a quick hook up or confidence-boosting attention. Though it's technically in the "dating app" category, I'm not so sure that everyone's intentions on the app are to find a serious relationship — but it's definitely possible.

Whether you love it or think it's trash, it's going to be one of the best for the foreseeable future, and those are just facts. Everyone and their mother is on Tinder, and the wide variety of people means you'll never not be able to find someone close.

Tinder is great for finding a quick hookup with someone nearby where you live, and it's especially handy if you're looking for a vacation fling or a local to show you around while you're traveling. It's pretty much online dating without the commitment: You can use it when you're bored, ignore it for three weeks, and come back to find new matches and a new crowd to swipe through.

This isn't to say that Tinder is only used for finding a one night stand or friends with benefits situation, though. A lot of people are truly on Tinder to find a real relationship, and it's likely that you know at least one couple that met on Tinder if you don't, just look at these mushy Tinder success stories. Because you're making your swipe decision based on someone's photos and a tiny bio that's usually just a Parks and Recreation quote, Tinder gets a lot of shit for being superficial.

But let's be honest with ourselves, guys — photos are still the first thing we'd notice on any dating site, even the ones that are supposed to be super deep and connection oriented. And if you're only looking for a casual encounter, this speedy, no-frills process is exactly what you want. The downsides: You mean, other than the obvious fact that you'll probably get carpal tunnel from having to swipe through so many profiles? Well, there is no real matchmaking process, so Tinder will suggest literally every single person in the age range and distance radius that you set.

There's a disadvantage to the whole swiping-based-on-photos thing, too: Because true matchmaking is nonexistent, that face of that hottie who you matched with might be the only thing you like about them. Matching based solely on physical attraction is just asking for awkward conversations, horrendous disagreements, and unsolicited dick pics down the road.

You'll be lucky if you avoid being messaged something totally raunchy and uninvited, but most users are nice humans and will state their intentions in their bios. The bottom line: Say what you want about Tinder , but it gets the job done. Everyone shits on the shallow matching, but that fast-paced action is exactly what many young people want.

If it didn't work to some extent, Tinder's user base would have gone downhill a long time ago. Each time you open Tinder it's a complete toss up, meaning your next match could be your future spouse — or it might just be some rando asking if you're DTF.

Love is a gamble, after all. Best for setting clear intentions. Bumble Find something serious or casual on Bumble, where women make the first move. The gist: If you combined Tinder and Hinge, then gave women most of the control, you'd get Bumble. You create a profile with a bio and personal traits, and you're even able to include what you're looking for in your profile, so people will know straight up whether you're looking for a relationship or something casual.

Bumble is a classic like and match sort of dating app, but there are a couple catches. In heterosexual pairings, women have to make the first move and each person only has 24 hours to respond once the match has been made. In same-sex couples, either person can initiate the conversation. Who it's good for: Because women have most of the control, Bumble is ideal for women who are sick of unsolicited messages from creepy dudes and for men who are tired of always having to make the first move.

It's also for people who want transparency in what kinds of relationships potential matches are looking for.