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Cell phone contracts are bad. You get a seemingly cheap phone up front, but you more than pay for the cost of the phone over two years. Prepaid phone plans are surging in North America for a reason.

about 9 months ago - by  |  27 Replies

Ransomware is a type of malware that tries to extort money from you. One of the nastiest examples, CryptoLocker, takes your files hostage and holds them for ransom, forcing you to pay hundreds of dollars to regain access.

about 9 months ago - by  |  33 Replies

iPads and Android tablets can’t run Windows apps locally, but they can access a Windows desktops remotely — even with a physical keyboard. In a pinch, the same tricks can be used to access a Windows desktop from a smartphone.

about 9 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Heat is a computer’s enemy. Computers are designed with heat dispersion and ventilation in mind so they don’t overheat. If too much heat builds up, your computer may become unstable or suddenly shut down.

about 9 months ago - by  |  28 Replies

Printer ink is expensive, more expensive per drop than fine champagne or even human blood. If you haven’t gone paperless, you’ll notice that you’re paying a lot for new ink cartridges — more than seems reasonable.

about 9 months ago - by  |  47 Replies

We’ve shown you how to run your own blocktastic personal Minecraft server on a Windows/OSX box, but what if you crave something lighter weight, more energy efficient, and always ready for your friends? Read on as we turn a tiny Raspberry Pi machine into a low-cost Minecraft server you can leave on 24/7 for around a penny a day.

about 9 months ago - by  |  18 Replies

Concluding that your computer has a hardware problem is just the first step. If you’re dealing with a hardware issue and not a software issue, the next step is determining what hardware problem you’re actually dealing with.

about 9 months ago - by  |  9 Replies

Your computer seems to be malfunctioning — it’s slow, programs are crashing or Windows may be blue-screening. Is your computer’s hardware failing, or does it have a software problem that you can fix on your own?

about 9 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Buy something at an electronics store and you’ll be confronted by a pushy salesperson who insists you need an extended warranty. You’ll also see extended warranties pushed hard when shopping online. But are they worth it?

about 9 months ago - by  |  21 Replies

A security researcher recently discovered a backdoor in many D-Link routers, allowing anyone to access the router without knowing the username or password. This isn’t the first router security issue and won’t be the last.

about 9 months ago - by  |  15 Replies

Windows 8.1 is available to everyone starting today, October 18. The latest version of Windows improves on Windows 8 in every way. It’s a big upgrade, whether you use the desktop or new touch-optimized interface.

about 9 months ago - by  |  35 Replies

You turn on your computer one day and Windows refuses to boot — what do you do? “Windows won’t boot” is a common symptom with a variety of causes, so you’ll need to perform some troubleshooting.

about 9 months ago - by  |  8 Replies

There was a time when every geek seemed to build their own PC. While the masses bought eMachines and Compaqs, geeks built their own more powerful and reliable desktop machines for cheaper. But does this still make sense?

about 10 months ago - by  |  58 Replies

Ask a geek how to fix a problem you’ve having with your Windows computer and they’ll likely ask “Have you tried rebooting it?” This seems like a flippant response, but rebooting a computer can actually solve many problems.

about 10 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

You should never have to hunt down a lost file on modern versions of Windows — just perform a quick search. You don’t even have to wait for a cartoon dog to find your files, like on Windows XP.

about 10 months ago - by  |  10 Replies

We’ve previously covered the standard ways to free up space on Windows. But if you have a small solid-state drive and really want more hard space, there are geekier ways to reclaim hard drive space.

about 10 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Windows is big, complicated, and misunderstood. You’ll still stumble across bad advice from time to time when browsing the web. These Windows tweaking, performance, and system maintenance tips are mostly just useless, but some are actively harmful.

about 10 months ago - by  |  28 Replies

Windows 8.1 will automatically encrypt the storage on modern Windows PCs. This will help protect your files in case someone steals your laptop and tries to get at them, but it has important ramifications for data recovery.

about 10 months ago - by  |  69 Replies

Windows 8.1′s Assigned Access feature allows you to easily lock a Windows PC to a single application, such as a web browser. This feature makes it easy for anyone to configure Windows 8.1 devices as point-of-sale or other kiosk systems.

about 10 months ago - by  |  17 Replies

Antivirus programs aren’t perfect — especially Microsoft Security Essentials. If you’re relying on your antivirus alone to protect you, you’re putting yourself at risk. You should still follow basic, common-sense computer security practices.

about 10 months ago - by  |  18 Replies

A bad sector on a hard drive is simply a tiny cluster of storage space — a  sector — of the hard drive that appears to be defective. The sector won’t respond to read or write requests.

about 10 months ago - by  |  8 Replies

Now that Skype has been merged with Windows Live Messenger, it’s more popular than ever. There’s no way to use Skype with a third-party client, but Skype does offer hidden features that can make it more powerful.

about 10 months ago - by  |  9 Replies

Browser extensions are useful, but they can increase your browser’s memory consumption, make it take longer to open, and slow it down in general. But how do you measure the impact a browser extension has on your system?

about 10 months ago - by  |  8 Replies

Chromebooks don’t normally run Windows software — that’s the best and worst thing about them. You don’t need antivirus or other Windows desktop junk, but you can’t install Skype, full Microsoft Office, or other Windows desktop applications.

about 10 months ago - by  |  9 Replies

Programs that automatically start with Windows can slow down your computer’s boot time, making you wait to get a useful desktop while icon after icon loads into your system tray. Fortunately, it’s possible to prevent these programs from automatically starting.

about 10 months ago - by  |  18 Replies