10 Best Rowing Machines under $500 Reviews for 2021

Rowing Machine Under 500

Rowing machine is a great way to strengthen your cardiovascular health and build most muscle groups. Combined with a healthy diet, it burns a lot of calories, which can help you to lose weight. It is also easy to use and perform powerful sequences at a fast pace.

However, choosing the right Rowing machine is not always easy because of the huge number of models available on the market. From the inexpensive entry-level to the expensive high-performance, reliable and even luxury model. So what is the top of the current rowing machine that you can find under 500 dollars?

Well, it will depend on each person. Here is our selection of the best rowing machines that you can buy for less than 500 dollars, as well as we included a comparison, useful advice and our opinion. We work mainly with well-known brands, which are well established and recognized for their quality and customer service.

Checkout: Our Comparison Table of Top 10 Best Rowing Machines Under $500 in 2021.


  • Load Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Resistance: 8-Level
  • Tablet Holder: Yes
  • Weight: 56.2 lbs
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  • Load Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Resistance: 8-Level
  • Tablet Holder: No
  • Weight: 43.6 lbs
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  • Load Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Resistance: 8-Level
  • Tablet Holder: No
  • Weight: 93.0 lbs
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  • Load Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Resistance: 8-Level
  • Tablet Holder: Yes
  • Weight: 65.7 lbs
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  • Load Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Resistance: 8-Level
  • Tablet Holder: No
  • Weight: 55.1 lbs
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  • Load Capacity: 264 lbs
  • Resistance: 8-Level
  • Tablet Holder: No
  • Weight: 53.5 lbs
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  • Load Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Resistance: 8-Level
  • Tablet Holder: Yes
  • Weight: 75 lbs
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  • Load Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Resistance: 10-Level
  • Tablet Holder: Yes
  • Weight: 51.0 lbs
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  • Load Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Resistance: 8-Level
  • Tablet Holder: No
  • Weight: 69.0 lbs
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    • Load Capacity: 250 lbs
    • Resistance: 8-Level
    • Tablet Holder: No
    • Weight: 70 lbs
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1. Bluefin Fitness Magnetic Resistance Rower Machine

Bluefin Fitness Rowing Machine under 500

Our first choice of best rowing machines under $500 is from Bluefin Fitness which is ideal for training in competition. You can train according to your level, from beginners to professionals. The quality of this indoor exercise equipment is excellent. Its seat is very comfortable and the ball bearing makes the movement fluid and efficient.

It has a large LCD Display that tracks all the information necessary for a good workout such as duration of the session, number of strokes, movements per minute, distance traveled and number of calories burned. The non-slip footrests also provide good support and safety during exercise.

The rowing action is very smooth and the foot straps are also great. Its magnetic braking system makes this unit very quiet and offering eight resistance levels to be adjusted manually. Once your training is finished, you can simply fold and store your ergometer.

You can also easily stow the magnetic rowing machine away when not in use by gently lifting the base, which rotates on its axis and stands fully upright. However, we recommended that you unplug the machine after each use in order to protect it from power surges.

Strong points:

  • Foldable
  • Quiet and smooth
  • Price-performance ratio

You just need basic assembly, but it is not very difficult to assemble because the instructions are very clear. The handle grips are also comfortable and simple to use. One of the biggest perks is that the display allows you to track your workout and even has an app.

It is one of the best rowers on the market. Although the rails can get damaged after a while, this indoor rowing machine is a very good investment, both for beginners and seasoned athletes.
  • Pleasant design and easy to store
  • Large and easy to read LCD display
  • Ergonomic grip handlebars
  • Anti-slip secure foot pedals
  • Smooth belt drive
  • Startup time is pretty slow
  • One image looks a little confusing
  • Assembly instructions are terrible


2. SereneLife SLRWMC10 Rowing Machine – Editor’s Choice

SereneLife Rowing MachineThe SereneLife rower has been designed by experts and offers unrivaled comfort. This rowing machine offers a top-down workout that sheds upper back fat. With 8 adjustable resistance levels, this is an indispensable piece of rowing machine that you will never outgrow.

It is also very quiet and the rolling seat is comfortable and can hold up to 200 lbs. You can also sync effortlessly via Bluetooth with your smart device. The adjustable tension is also a great feature and the digital readout helps to track each workout. It takes around 20 to 40 minutes to assemble.

This budget rower has a solid appearance and allows smooth and constant rowing without jerking. For less than 500 dollars, the SereneLife is a professional rower that you can meet in the weights and fitness rooms and an inexpensive way to get exercise while shelter in place is on.

Strong points:

  • Robust and compact
  • Smart connectivity
  • Ruggedly constructed
  • 1-year quality warranty

It has wheels so it is easy to move out of the way when not in use and can be stood up on end to save space. One other thing they could have done though is to have calories or miles per hour on the computer. It also helps to motivate one if you can see what your rate is.

The only downside is the brightness of the LCD screen, hard to see the numbers in a darker room. The Bluetooth function is rather ridiculous. You have to remove the computer and the batteries, and insert them again in order to be able to connect every time!
  • App & Bluetooth connectivity
  • Pretty good for its price
  • Clear digital LCD read-out
  • Comfortable to use
  • Great adjustability
  • Bluetooth function is a little bit hard to get working
  • Takes 45 minutes to assemble


3. Circuit Fitness AMZ-986R Deluxe Rowing Machine

Circuit Fitness Rowing Machine Under 500

The Circuit Fitness AMZ-986R is a folding rowing machine ideal for all types of training at home both for beginners and professionals. As well, it is one of the most practical rowing machines for those with limited space available. Once your workout is finished, you can easily fold and store it.

The design is simple with a stable and safe line. The comfortable ball-bearing seat slides on a 15 ° inclined high-quality steel rail and the feet rest on non-slip platforms held in place by adjustable straps. However, it should be noted that the rails deteriorate over time. The handlebars are large and give more rowing safety.

You may be noticed that the resistance of this unit is magnetic and therefore very silent and its intensity is manually adjustable according to the user’s level and the training to be carried out through 8 different levels. The pedals are 4.5 inches wide and 12 inches long.

Strong points:

  • Ecological and beautiful
  • Fluid, robust and stable
  • Compact and easy to store

It has a very simple and intuitive multifunction display, which provides the main training data and a chest strap for detecting heart rate. The monitor operates with batteries and life can be up to 6 months. You can also watch TV or play music in the background without having to raise the volume.

It supports people up to 6 feet in height and 300 lbs in weight. For the rest, it is compact and moves easily thanks to the integrated wheels. It is the ideal choice for those who do not have much space in the house and he wants to put it away after training.

  • Hard-wearing construction
  • Variable resistance settings
  • Digital easy to read display
  • Build-in intelligent design
  • Durable injection-molded seat
  • Doesn’t have a phone holder
  • Doesn’t come ready to assemble


4. TUNTURI R30 Cardio Fit Series Rowing Machine

TUNTURI Rowing Machine Under 500Tunturi R30 puts all the major muscle groups to work without the stress of high impact workouts. With this fitness equipment, you work specifically on building muscle mass and endurance. It has 8 resistance levels which help you customize your workout and gain your target fitness goal in an easy way. It will allow you to enjoy high-end and professional equipment that you can use for at least 10 years.

Another great advantage of this unit is to adapt to the activity of its user. This is a reliable rowing machine and you can buy it without any hesitation because it comes with 2 years warranty. 

With this model, you can adapt your level and your progress by increasing the difficulty gradually. It also allows you to enjoy constant progression. The seat track is very smooth and the magnetic resistance is pretty smooth. You can use it to tone your body and improve your endurance as much as you want without fear of premature wear.

The eight levels of resistance should be sufficient for many users but some people may want a few more higher levels of resistance as their conditioning improves.

Strong points:

  • Intelligent design
  • Intuitive monitor
  • Heavy flywheel

The easy-to-read monitor allows you not only to monitor your performance but also to create your own workouts adapted to your needs. This model also features a handy tablet holder that allows you to break up the monotony of indoor training with your favorite show or sports coverage.

TUNTURI R30 is perfect for home use, you can easily store it because it can disassemble into two parts and will only take you a few minutes to fold and unfold. However, it is a perfect choice for small and medium-size people because its maximum capacity is only 242 lbs.

  • Convenient and space-saving design
  • Very good quality for the money
  • Easy to install and move
  • Includes tablet holder
  • Ergonomic compact
  • Not compatible with the app
  • Instructions are not the best


5. XTERRA Fitness ERG200 Folding Rowing Machine

XTERRA Fitness Rower Under 500The XTERRA Fitness ERG200 rowing machine has everything a rower looking for a full body exercise. It is quite durable and will remain sturdy for a long time. It is the best rowing machine model on the market at a reasonable price considering the level of professional quality.

The XTERRA frame can be folded in half very easily and can be stored in a corner. This model has a robust form and aesthetics and exemplary professional quality. The seat is non-slip which provides good support and safety during exercise. Although it is a little bulky, it is suitable for home use and you can install it in any room of the house.

The seat is at a height of 35 cm from the ground and the max user weight is 250 lb. The set-up dimensions are 73.2 x 20 x 31 inches, and the folded are 36.4 x 20 x 47.2 inches. It was designed to allow quality cardiovascular exercise and avoid injuries.

Strong points:

  • Ecological and elegant
  • Large LCD monitor
  • Transport wheels

The max user height is 6’2″. Its design is ergonomic and the position to adopt for the arms and legs allows really comfortable use. It is also designed to distribute the effort over as many muscles as possible in the body and thus allow balanced training.

The computer is very simple and easy to set your time to count down. The screen keeps you constantly informed about your results during exercises and your goals. The highest resistance is not that high, but it doesn’t have to be if you are going for more than 15 – 20 minutes.

  • Adjustable console angle
  • High RPM flywheel
  • Compact frame design
  • Super easy to assemble
  • Very cheap price
  • Directions are a little hard to read
  • Distance is displayed in miles
  • The resistance is a bit low


6. Merax Magnetic Exercise Adjustable Rowing Machine

Merax Rower Under 500This rowing machine from Merax is ideal for home gym. Merax won numerous awards because of their innovative fitness devices. This model caught our attention for its good price-performance ratio. And this entry-level model is a great deal for beginners or occasional training.

This unit is equipped with a silent magnetic brake system and manually adjustable resistance on eight levels. The ball-bearing seat is very comfortable and slides smoothly on the aluminum rail.

Using the built-in display, you can choose one of the 6 pre-installed training programs, check the training time, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes, heart rate and calorie consumption. It is also combined with a standard quality chest strap.

This Merax magnetic exercise rowing machine weighs around 74 lbs. It also has wheels at the back for ease of movement and can be stored upright. The function is very straightforward, but the operation is quiet. To ensure quality, it also comes with 1 year warranty.

Strong points:

  • Very lightweight
  • Silent magnetic braking
  • 15 Degree angled seat rail
  • Several levels of resistance

It is easy to assemble and the parts fit very well. Also, the instruction is simple and well-illustrated. It is robust and space-saving. The max weight capacity is 264 lbs. Merax is an excellent quality rower, especially for the price and a great functional piece of home equipment.

It doesn’t have Bluetooth or a video monitor to show you movies while you row but it works great. The electronic display is largely useless because it’s too small. It’s a pretty basic rower and costs about 1/4 of the price of the high-end rowers.
  • Assembly is very simple
  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Excellent price-quality ratio
  • Comes with great instruction
  • Easy to store and carry
  • Seat could be a little softer
  • Electronic panel is pretty basic
  • Only 264 lbs capacity


7. Circuit Fitness AMZ-979RW Magnetic Rowing Machine

Circuit Fitness AMZ-979RWThe Circuit Fitness AMZ-979RW magnetic rowing machine is very simple to use, therefore perfect for beginners. It has a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs. This machine is ideal for home training because it is easy to use, carry, store, well done and cheap.

It reinforced with a 9-pound flywheel which allows you to regulate the intensity of training according to your preferences. This model has 8 levels of magnetic resistance and a large screen that indicates the distance traveled, speed, training time, calories and beats per minute. Go light if you want to work on endurance, go heavy if you want to tone.

This ergonomic indoor fitness machine allows a natural position of the arms and hands during the effort and provides you with ideal comfort. The pedals are non-slip and have adjustable straps. It has transport wheels, so you can easily store after each use. It is even reasonably easy to put together.

Strong points:

  • Generous size
  • Pleasant to use
  • Slide quietly and smoothly

This unit is very smooth and quiet, you won’t have any problem watching TV or listening to music while doing exercise. This budget rowing machine features a space-saving design and you require minimal floor space. It is also well built and sturdy which provide you long time service.

It features a foldable design that allows you to store it conveniently. And it is easy to move because of the transport wheels. But one thing to note is the rower itself when fully assembled and in use – it’s quite long so you will need to have a minimum of 6 feet of space to put it.

  • Great material quality
  • Nice smooth motion
  • Good quality for the price
  • Excellent foldable design
  • Solid and secured workout
  • Not made for a basketball player with long legs
  • Not Bluetooth compatible
  • Assembly is time consuming
  • Flywheel weight only 9 lbs
  • Poor resistance level


8. Goplus Magnetic Foldable Rower – Beautiful Design

Goplus Rowing machine under 500The Goplus rowing machine is designed for regular home training. It works with magnetic brake with 10 lbs inertia flywheel and central pull oar. The tension control settings go from 1 to 10, and while the top setting isn’t super hard, you definitely feel the burn with repetitions.

The electronic screen indicates the number of rowing per minute, the total number of rowing, the training time, the consumption of calories and the pulse. It closes easily and has practical wheels that facilitate transportation.

As for its assembly, it is quick and easy. In a few seconds, you will have installed your rower and can use it without a hitch.

The device has solid performance and durability and is constructed with iron material. It comes with soft and durable seat and large pivot footplates with a safety strap that fit different foot sizes perfectly. The handle is also non-slip for better handling.

Strong points:

  • Superb design
  • Great stability
  • Injection Molded seat

The weight limit is 265, and it is very lightweight. If you aren’t a bodybuilder this machine is more sufficient for you. The movement is also smooth and silent with a comfortable workout. For less than $500, the Goplus is a professional rower that you can meet in weight training and fitness rooms.

It built with foldable design, so you can easily store it in a small space. It takes only 15 minutes to assemble, and it fits nicely off to the side. It’s not the fanciest machine out there, but for those looking for a reliable machine at a good price, this hits the spot.

  • 10-level adjustable resistance
  • Excellent quality-price ratio
  • Comfortable and durable design
  • Easy to transport and store
  • Compact and silent
  • Not made for professional bodybuilder
  • Not good for up to 6-feet person


9. Marcy ME-1018RE Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

Marcy ME-1018RE Rowing MachineThe Marcy ME-1018RE folding rowing machine features a permanent magnetic brake with 8 computer-adjustable resistance levels. Because of its magnetic resistance, it is limited in its actual ability to resist but that also means it will never really lose its resistance. Marcy ME-1018RE rowing machine has a maximum capacity of 300 lbs.

The large display monitors all training parameters and allows you to choose from 12 pre-set training. This durable rower machine built with safety features and the handles provides a solid and comfortable grip. The pedals are also large enough to get a firm footing while rowing.

The ball-bearing seat on an aluminum rail is very comfortable. This rower is a sturdy, tough, monster and has a convenient tablet holder. And it is a great magnetic rower on the market if you compare to the price point.

The foot pedals also can be moved forward and back to adjust for stride length. Quietness is one of the strengths of this device, and its stability is excellent. This home gym equipment is well made and highly recommend if you have a tight budget. And it is ideal for losing weight, burning calories and keeping fit.

Strong points:

  • Multi-angle monitor
  • Space-saving design
  • Secure and safe

When folded for storage, the assembled dimension for this unit is L. 37 x W. 19.5 x H. 46 inches. The machine is designed to accommodate individuals 5ft to 6ft tall. It is also very easy to put together. The only part you really have to put together is the area where the seat goes.

They use cheap plastics and the craftsmanship doesn’t inspire confidence at first glance. For example, the computer only measures in miles. Also, the tension settings are insufficient.
  • Straight forward directions
  • Foldable and easy to transport
  • Very smooth operation
  • Big and clear display
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • It doesn’t show distance
  • Tension is not too strong


10. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rower

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515Last but not least, we think the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is the best rower for beginners. It has a very good quality/price ratio and several interesting features. Its adjustable elastic resistance offers 8 different levels which allow fluid movement and deep muscle work. If you don’t know which rower to choose and you love the decor, this is probably the model for you!

The LCD monitor of this ergometer is placed under the pull handle which allows you to follow all the useful information during training: speed, duration, distance traveled, heart rate and calories burned. The noise level is minimal which would be perfect for a living situation.

Compare to others, Sunny Health & Fitness indoor rowing device is ergonomic and functional. And the strap is made of reinforced nylon that makes it more durable. The cushioned seat gives you a comfortable rowing experience. For the price, the quality of the machine is pretty amazing.

Strong points:

  • Oversized footrests
  • Full body exercise
  • Anti-slip handlebars

This machine can be stored very easily. Indeed, it is foldable and can slip into a closet or a corner of the house. Casters also make it easy to move. The pulling motion is also stable, smooth and quiet. We recommend lubricating the monorail regularly to avoid squeaking.

This apartment rower is powered by battery, which means you won’t need to connect it to the mains and you can therefore use it anywhere, even outside. To ensure quality, this unit comes with a 180 warranty for parts and a 3-year structural frame warranty. The low price is just a bonus.

  • High-quality for the price
  • Comfort and ease of use
  • Easy to assemble and store
  • Minimal footprint
  • Incredibly quiet
  • No way to track how many meters you’ve rowed
  • Only 250 lbs load capacity


Buyer’s Guide

We evaluate each rowing machine according to its characteristics for its price range such as entry, middle, high-end, and select those which seem to us to be better value for money. See the important purchase criteria to take into account when choosing your rowing machine.

Type of resistance

While the rowing machine is fairly standard in design, one of the most variable features is the type of resistance it uses. you should know that each type of resistance has its own advantages and sensations, and you will have to decide which one will suit you best.

There are 4 different types of resistance, including water resistance, air resistance, magnetic resistance and hydraulic resistance.

Magnetic rowing machines are very quiet if they are well made. These models control the resistance using electromagnets which actuate a mechanical brake. The disadvantage of a magnetic rowing machine is that their resistance is constant and does not change if you pull harder on the handle.

Size & dimension

When thinking about your rower model, you will need to consider its size and the space in which you want to install it. The typical size of rowers is at least 2 m in length and around 60 cm in width.

However, many rowing machines are foldable and therefore easy to store. Others are also fitted with wheels that facilitate their movement. Some of the larger rowers also offer many ergonomic possibilities that make them more compact once you have finished your workout.

Namely, small rowers are certainly less bulky, but they generally use resistance with hydraulic pistons, less qualitative in terms of feeling. That said, don’t forget to take a look at the space you have for your legs before choosing this fitness equipment.

Comfort & ease of use

Rowing Machine Comfort Level

Some apartment rowing machines are designed to be both easy to install and use. If you are looking for an easy-to-use model, make sure to check its simplicity of installation and the features it has to facilitate its storage and use. It can be interesting to look at the comments of customers who give their own feedback.

If you want an easy-to-see screen and an easy-to-use rower, look at the models with a large screen and large buttons. Also, if you plan to put away your rowing machine after using it, check if you can easily fold or put it away. Even some large rowers fold easily or stand upright which makes them easier to store in a small space.

The seat should be comfortable, ergonomic and if possible wide. And ensure that it won’t make noise when it is moving on the frame. Also note that your pedals should be strong, wide, stable and comfortable. The central draft bar must be pleasant to handle to avoid blisters.

The price

This is of course the criterion that will be the most determining for your final decision. The price varies according to the models. If your budget is tight, there are many affordable rowing machines that will not ruin you. However, you have to keep in mind that it will probably have a shorter lifespan.

Premium rowers will have a longer lifespan, which can save you money in the long run. They will also be much more pleasant to use, which may make you want to work out more.

Available Options

  • Data screen: the monitors on the rowers display different types of data. The cheapest rowers tend to provide only a few pieces of information, such as time, distance, and calories burned. More expensive machines generally provide much more information, including the total number of repetitions, the number of repetitions per minute, heart rate, etc.
  • Training programs: many rowers have integrated training programs. They help make a session more fun by setting specific goals in terms of calories burned, elapsed time, number of strokes, and much more.

Max. weight capacity

Before purchasing, you must check the weight capacity. Indeed, the maximum weight must be at least 10 kilos greater than that of the user. This parameter guarantees the correct functioning of the product over time. Indoor rowing machines generally offer a maximum weight of 100 to 150 kg or even up to 200 kg.


Why you buy a rowing machine?

What could be better than waking up one morning especially on a cold winter, and knowing that you have your own gym at home? No need to get in the car, drive in traffic in the morning, park and wait for a machine to be released in a gym. Instead, you take advantage of your own installation in the warmth of your home with the purchase of quality equipment.

If you’ve never rowed before, you may don’t know how enjoyable and relaxing a good rowing session can be. While it’s not as relaxing as a good nap, once you’ve hit your pace, it’s easy to forget that you’re doing cardio.

What are the most durable rowing machines?

Most rowing machines using water-resistant materials which enhance the service life. They are distinguished by their quality design and doesn’t require much maintenance. However, most of them are very expensive. If you cannot afford to take one of these water rowing machines, look instead at the magnetic rowers. These rowers are also durable and can save you a lot of money.

Should I check the height of rowing machines?

It depends on the space you plan to install. If your space is limited, you will need to make sure that the height of the machine meets your needs. Because some rowing machines are not very tall, while others can be quite tall if they are on raised feet.

These differences do not mean that one design is better than the other. It is more a matter of personal preference. Depending on your configuration, it is therefore up to you to choose either a slightly raised rower or a rower near the ground.

How much weight allowed on a rower?

Most rowers are very resistant, even if they are not expensive, and they generally offer a load capacity of at least 300 lbs. The maximum load indicates the weight that the device can support when you exercise. So you have to make sure you buy one that can support your weight.

If you want a rower that allows a heavier weight (some go up to 500 lbs), you will probably have to turn to a high-end device.

Is a rowing machine a complete weight trainer?

Compare to other home gym products, the rowing machine is the most complete fitness device. It works with almost all the muscles in the body and effectively burns fat, especially after exercise. But we encourage you to check the all over features and comfort level like seat, rudder, pedals, stability, silence, etc.

Is the rowing machine bad for the back?

If you already have back pain, the rowing machine is not recommended for you. Logically it shouldn’t be a problem if you stand up straight, but it is actually very complicated to stand perfectly straight and you risk doing yourself harm. Due to the nature and dynamics of the movements to be carried out, the rower naturally encourages performance, which is good for most of us but not for people with back pain.

Positions to avoid:

Even if the use of an apartment rower seems particularly simple, there are still positions to avoid so as not to injure yourself: Be careful not to go too far behind and do not pull the handle up. Never round the back with the shoulders relaxed in the front. Also be careful when starting on the back that your knees are not too tight but always parallel. So always keep your knees in line with your feet and leave a little bit of flexibility in your joints.


Fitness experts and professional athletes agree that rowers are the best training equipment available. Training on a rowing machine allows you to target the vast majority of the muscles in the body and makes them work. Compared to treadmills, rowers work more muscles and have a lower negative impact on the joints.

If you want to buy a rowing machine, you are likely to be a little lost with all this choice of rowers. At the start of the article, we pre-selected the rowers with the best ratings in their price categories. If you choose from our selection we guarantee you that you will be satisfied in the future.

Sabbir is a journalist, editor, communicator, blogger, web community manager, explorer… He enjoys learning, meeting people and having the privilege of sharing his knowledge and discoveries. He is a fan of sports and travel. Read More...

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