Roku’s line of streaming boxes are still the most popular, beating out Google’s Chromecast and the Apple TV. Roku recently refreshed their hardware, but there are still four different options to choose from — not the single option you get with competing devices.
You can capture video (or screenshots) from any device with an HDMI cable or composite video outputs with a basic device. You could live-stream gameplay on Twitch TV with such a device, too.
Mac OS X has built-in support for connecting to most common types of VPNs. If you want to ensure your Mac automatically reconnected to your VPN or connect to an OpenVPN VPN, you’ll need a third-party app.
Windows doesn’t have an integrated tool like Preview for Mac OS X — it doesn’t even come with a PDF printer. Here’s how to split, merge, reorder, sign, and mark-up PDF files with the least obnoxious software possible.
VPN setup can be complex, especially for less experienced users. It may involve installing various certificate files as well as configuring server settings. Create a configuration profile and this will be as easy as downloading and tapping a file.
Apple’s Time Machine typically backs up to an external drive or wirelessly to a Time Capsule. But, if you have a spare Mac, you can turn it into a Time Machine server. All your other Macs can back up to it over the network, just as if it were a Time Capsule.
Chrome isn’t the minimal web browser it once was. Originally named Chrome because it was designed to get out of your way, Chrome is no longer just a minimal browser — it’s an entire application platform.
iPhones and iPads don’t have file systems you can access. Instead, each app has its own “library” of files. iTunes File Sharing allows you to copy files to and from these per-app libraries.
Many modern smart TVs have support for the Chromecast-like DIAL protocol built in. You can cast videos to your TV from YouTube and Netflix — on your phone or computer — without getting a Chromecast.
How fast is your Internet connection? Sure, your Internet service provider has given you some numbers, and your cellular provider probably says you get blazing fast 4G LTE. But how fast is it, actually?
Need to sign a document and email it? Don’t print, sign, and then scan it back in again. Skip the entire process and apply your signature electronically. It saves time and you don’t need a printer or scanner.
Many boxes you plug into your TV, including the Roku, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 3 offer DLNA (“Digital Living Network Alliance”) streaming support. They can stream video files and music over the network from your PC — as long as you set up a DLNA server first.
There are several reasons why you might end up with a protected partition you can’t delete on a drive. For example, Macs create 200 MB partitions at the start of an external drive when you set up Time Machine on it.
So you’ve got a nice big widescreen TV and an amazing home theater setup. Your speakers offer excellent sound — there’s just one problem. You want to use it while people are sleeping or otherwise busy. That means turning to headphones.
YouTube has an integrated remote-control feature. Pair the YouTube app on your phone or the website on your computer with YouTube on any streaming box, smart TV, or game console for easy, Chromecast-style browsing and playback controls.
Google’s Chromecast makes it easy to browse for videos and watch them on your TV, but what if you want to quickly pause playback without reaching for your smartphone or computer? You can now do this right from your TV’s built-in remote.
Google’s Chromecast allows you to launch videos and control them from your phone, cast your entire screen to your TV, and generally use a smartphone instead of a remote. You can do a lot of this with your Roku, too.
Roku devices recently gained a “screen mirroring” feature. With a few clicks or taps, you can mirror a Windows 8.1 or Android screen to your Roku. It works a bit like Apple’s AirPlay or Google’s Chromecast screen-mirroring.
Your Roku can do more than just stream from the web. Use it to watch video files you’ve downloaded or ripped yourself, or even play your personal music collection. You can do this with a USB drive or over the local network.
Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite introduced a new Notification Center. It’s similar to the notification center found in iOS, bringing together widgets and notifications into one location.