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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+.

Wi-Fi isn’t the same in every country. Regulatory agencies in countries around the world limit Wi-Fi to different parts of the radio frequency spectrum. Some routers broadcast the countries they think they’re in.

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Not everyone has unlimited cellular data. If you find yourself going over your cellular data allowance and paying overage charges or getting throttled, you can make your iPhone use less data.

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Two-factor authentication systems aren’t as foolproof as they seem. An attacker doesn’t actually need your physical authentication token if they can trick your phone company or the secure service itself into letting them in.

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Ubuntu’s installer offers an easy “Use LVM” checkbox. The description says it enables Logical Volume Management so you can take snapshots and more easily resize your hard disk partitions — here’s how to do that.

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Apple’s new MacBook has a single USB Type-C port, but this isn’t an Apple-only standard. This is a new USB standard, and — given time — it’ll spread to everything that currently uses an older, larger USB connector.

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Macs offer a way to hide files and folders, just like other operating systems. But Mac OS X hides these options and doesn’t make it as easy as it is on Windows and Linux.

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Keyboard shortcuts aren’t just for web browsers themselves. Most of those web apps you use — everything from Facebook and Twitter to Gmail and Outlook.com — offer keyboard shortcuts you can use to speed things up.

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Apple has added an increasingly sophisticated app permission system to iOS over the years. It’s up to you whether an app gets access to everything from your device’s sensors and personal information to notifications and cellular data.

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Modern smartphone embed GPS coordinates in each photo they take. Yes, those photos you’re taking have location data embedded in them — at least by default. Many modern digital cameras also do this.

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Too many browser tabs! It’s a problem everyone has at some point. For all the window-management tricks built into our desktops, we often just use a single browser window packed with tabs.

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uTorrent recently made headlines for bundling cryptocurrency-mining junkware. Out of all the junkware programs bundled with installers, cryptocurrency-miners like Epic Scale are some of the worst.

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Want to use a VPN? If you’re looking for a VPN provider or setting up your own VPN, you’ll need to choose a protocol. Some VPN providers may even provider you with a choice of protocols.

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Ctrl+Alt+Delete isn’t just necessary on Windows and other desktop operating systems. Applications can freeze or get stuck in bad states on modern iPhones, iPads, and Android devices too.

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Windows has Ctrl+Alt+Delete and Macs have Command+Option+Escape to force frozen applications to close. Linux has its own ways of “killing” those misbehaving processes, whether they’re graphical windows or background processes.

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Migrating your files, settings, and programs to a new PC can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re not completely organized. These tools and simple tips will help you get started.

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Always-listening voice commands are a big thing now. You don’t need an Xbox one or Amazon Echo for this — just make your phone, tablet, or computer always listen for voice commands.

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Remember when uTorrent was great? The upstart BitTorrent client was super-lightweight and trounced other popular BitTorrent clients. But that was long ago, before BitTorrent, Inc. bought uTorrent and crammed it full of junkware and scammy advertisements.

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Macs include a Wireless Diagnostics tool that can help you speed up your Wi-Fi network and improve its signal strength. It also includes many additional tools for power users.

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All modern smartphone, tablet, and desktop operating systems offer secure ways to give a guest access to your computer. Lock them to a specific app or give them restricted access to your PC. Forget looking over their shoulder!

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Put your Chromebook into “Developer Mode” and you’ll get full root access, including the ability to modify your Chromebook’s system files. This is often used to install a full Linux system with something like Crouton.

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Most characters you can type don’t appear on your keyboard, whether you’re using a physical keyboard or a touch one. Here’s how you can type them on your computer or mobile device.

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Apple hides a lot of additional information and useful options in your Mac’s menus. You can access these hidden options by holding down the Option key.

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Upgrade to Windows 8 or 10 and you may be surprised to find that you can no longer play video DVDs or Blu-ray. Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 and 10 don’t include built-in support for playing DVDs.

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If you use Google Chrome, there’s a good chance you’ve seen files with the “.crdownload” extension in your Downloads directory. Google Chrome creates one each time you begin downloading a file.

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Mac OS X has a desktop app store, unlike Windows. Get a new Mac and you may be excited to open the Mac App Store and install all your favorite software — but you won’t find all your favorite apps in the store.

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