Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade to all Windows 8 users, but you normally can’t install Windows 8.1 with a Windows 8 product key. Luckily, you can get around this limitation if you really want a fresh install of Windows 8.1.
Windows 8.1 allows you to limit and monitor data usage, which isn’t just useful if you have a Windows tablet or laptop with mobile data. It’s also useful if you’re tethering your PC to your smartphone.
Many Internet service providers are now giving their customers combined devices that function as both a modem and a wireless router. With these devices, you don’t have to buy a router — but you can, if you like.
Macs have a thriving ecosystem of software, but some programs still only support Windows. Whether you want to use business software or play Windows PC games, there are many ways to run Windows programs on your Mac.
If you use Windows 8.1 on the desktop, you can’t ignore the new “Windows 8-style” interface entirely. There are some important options you can only access from the PC Settings app, not the desktop Control Panel.
It’s common wisdom that deleted files can’t be recovered from solid-state media, only from traditional mechanical hard drives. But this only applies to internal drives — USB flash drives and external solid-state drives are vulnerable to file-recovery attacks.
If a Windows system is badly infected with malware, running an antivirus from inside Windows often won’t help. You can more easily find and purge malware by scanning from outside Windows.
When you sign up for cable Internet service, you need a modem. You’re often asked to choose between renting the modem from your Internet service provider for a monthly fee or buying it outright.
Many computers give you the option to set a “hard disk password” along with operating system passwords and BIOS passwords. This is different from encryption — a hard disk password doesn’t actually encrypt your files.
Macs can automatically download and reinstall their operating system. This process normally keeps your personal files, but you can choose to erase them. You can also create USB installation media to speed up installing OS X on multiple Macs.
You can reinstall Windows from scratch using the product key that came with your PC, but you’ll have to find installation media yourself. Microsoft offers free Windows ISO files — if you know where to look.
Windows XP isn’t dead and buried yet. Microsoft will be creating security updates for XP for years to come, but those updates won’t be available to normal users. No, they’re just for large businesses and governments with money to burn.
The numbers in the title will vary from carrier to carrier and phone to phone, but we show how we came up with these numbers below. They illustrate how you’re paying more when you buy a phone on contract, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first.
Microsoft is done supporting Windows XP. If you want security patches, you’ll have to buy an new boxed copy of Windows or a new PC — or you can switch to Linux and get free security updates for years to come.
Video chat was once the future. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the video phone was supposed to be an awe-inspiring example of future technology. Well, that future is here — video chat has been with us for many years.
Go anywhere people are taking photos and you’ll see someone taking photos with an iPad or some sort of Android tablet. Everyone’s already pointed out how silly this looks — but is it really a bad idea?
A Windows, Linux, or Mac password just prevents people from logging into your operating system. It doesn’t prevent people from booting other operating systems, wiping your drive, or using a live CD to access your files.
We all know we should create secure passwords. But, for all the time we spend worrying about our passwords, there’s a backdoor we never think about. Security questions are often easy to guess and can often bypass passwords.
Chrome is a powerful browser, whether you’re using a desktop PC, smartphone, or tablet. These tips will help you browse faster and take advantage of Chrome’s features on the go.
Microsoft’s OneNote is now free. Once a Windows-only note-taking application included with Office, it’s now a free cross-platform note-taking service for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and the web. This is Microsoft’s free Evernote competitor.
If you’re buying a new laptop for Linux, you shouldn’t just buy the Windows laptop you like and hope for the best — you should plan your purchase to ensure it will work well with Linux. Thankfully, Linux hardware compatibility is better than ever.