Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

On our Comcast Xfinity router, WPA2-PSK (TKIP), WPA2-PSK (AES), and WPA2-PSK (TKIP/AES) are all different options. Choose the wrong option and you’ll have a slower, less-secure network.

about 12 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Chromebooks allow you to set a custom DNS server, but Google doesn’t make the option easy to find. There are many reasons to change your DNS server, after all.

about 12 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Despite what you may have heard, closing apps on your iPhone or iPad won’t speed it up. But iOS does allow apps to run in the background sometimes, and you can manage that in a different way.

about 12 months ago - by  |  7 Replies

MAC address filtering allows you to define a list of devices and only allow those devices on your Wi-Fi network. That’s the theory, anyway. In practice, this protection is tedious to set up and easy to breach.

about 12 months ago - by  |  12 Replies

By now, most people know that an open Wi-Fi network allows people to eavesdrop on your traffic. Standard WPA2-PSK encryption is supposed to prevent this from happening — but it’s not as foolproof as you might think.

about 12 months ago - by  |  12 Replies

Amazon Instant Video uses the Flash plug-in, so you might imagine that it would “just work” with Flash on Linux. You’d be wrong, but you can get Amazon Instant Video to work with minimal tweaking.

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Every camera — whether it’s a dedicated digital camera or the Camera app on Android or iPhone — places the photos you take in a DCIM folder. DCIM stands for “Digital Camera Images.”

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A “text expander” autocorrects short combination of characters you type to longer phrases. They can be used anywhere in any operating system. For example, you could type “bbl” and have this always automatically expand to “I’ll be back later.”

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Do you know who’s connected to your router’s Wi-Fi network? Take a look at the list devices connected to your Wi-Fi network from your router or computer to find out.

about 1 year ago - by  |  19 Replies

With iOS 8, your iPhone or iPad can now have a local file system like the one Android users have. Store files for use offline, access them in any updated app, and save files directly to the file system from other apps.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Chromebooks are supposed to have amazing, all-day battery life — but not all of them do. Follow these tips to squeeze more battery life out of your Chromebook.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Hollywood doesn’t understand technology and “hacking.” That’s what we thought, anyway. But many of the ridiculous things we’ve seen in movies turned out to be completely true.

about 1 year ago - by  |  7 Replies

MacBooks are known for their excellent battery life, but we always want more. This is especially important if you have an older MacBook with a more power-hungry CPU and mechanical hard drive, but everyone can benefit from these tips.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Firefox themes — also known as “personas” — can change the way your browser looks, making it more personal. If you like theming the applications you use, there’s no better application to theme than your browser.

about 1 year ago - by  |  4 Replies

TrueCrypt’s dramatic shutdown in May, 2014 left everyone shocked. TrueCrypt was the go-to recommendation for full-disk encryption software, and the developers suddenly said the code was “not secure” and halted development.

about 1 year ago - by  |  11 Replies

Zip files can be password-protected, but the standard Zip encryption scheme is extremely weak. If your operating system has a built-in way to encrypt zip files, you probably shouldn’t use it.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Thanks to bad design decisions, AutoRun was once a huge security problem on Windows. AutoRun helpfully allowed malicious software to launch as soon as you inserted discs and USB drives into your computer.

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You don’t need third-party software to access FTP servers, WebDAV sites, and other remote files shares. Popular desktop operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux can all do this out-of-the-box.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Apple introduced iCloud Drive in iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite. It’s designed to be a more easily understandable cloud storage location, working more like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Chromium is the open-source project that forms the basis for Google Chrome. Because it’s completely open source, Chromium is available in many Linux distributions’ software repositories for easier installation.

about 1 year ago - by  |  9 Replies

USB devices are apparently more dangerous than we’ve ever imagined. This isn’t about malware that uses the AutoPlay mechanism in Windows — this time, it’s a fundamental design flaw in USB itself.

about 1 year ago - by  |  11 Replies

Chromebooks offer built-in support for SSH tunnelling with their included crosh shell and SSH command. An SSH tunnel allows you to use an SSH connection like a VPN or encrypted proxy, sending your browsing traffic through the secure tunnel.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Android’s user-visible file system is one of its advantages over iOS. This allows you to more easily work with files, opening them in any app of your choice. But Android doesn’t include a file manager app by default.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Some people spend hours — maybe even days — trying to clean an infected Windows system and ensuring it’s actually clean and safe afterward. It’s usually not a good idea to do this — just reinstall Windows and start over.

about 1 year ago - by  |  58 Replies

You may want to switch to another cloud storage service — perhaps moving to Microsoft’s OneDrive to get that now-infinite cloud storage. Yes, you could just download and re-upload all your files, but you can also do this a faster way.

about 1 year ago - by  |  5 Replies