FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

There’s a good chance your smart TV is spying on you. Smart TVs often analyze the videos you’re watching and report back — whether you’re watching live TV, streaming videos on a service like Netflix, or playing local video files. Worse yet, this can be a security problem.

about 1 year ago - by  |  7 Replies

Microsoft’s Edge browser receives media-casting support as part of Windows 10’s first big update. Edge can now cast media to MIracast and DLNA-enabled devices. This isn’t compatible with Google’s Chromecast, but it can be used for similar purposes.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Amazon’s $50 Fire Tablet only comes with 8 GB of storage, but it also supports MicroSD cards. A MicroSD card is an inexpensive way to add additional storage to your tablet and use it for music, videos, apps, and other types of content.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Modern versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox prevent you from installing unapproved add-ons. This is a good thing, and helps block malware from your browser. But you may sometimes need to install an unapproved add-on from a CRX or XPI file.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Your Wi-Fi router comes with a default network name and password, and both are often printed on the router itself. But you can change the name and password to anything you want in just a few clicks.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

The first big update to Windows 10, which should be arriving today via Windows Update, fixes a lot of problems with Windows 10. Microsoft is streamlining activation, restoring colored window title bars, integrating Skype, and improving the Edge browser. But they’ve also added advertisements to the Start menu.

about 1 year ago - by  |  37 Replies

Windows 10’s Start menu — or Start screen, in tablet mode — allows you to “pin” more than just apps. You can pin folders, websites, settings shortcuts, email folder, notes, and contacts.

about 1 year ago - by  |  4 Replies

Wireless charging is overrated — at least in its current form. The dream of wireless power sounds great, but current wireless charging technologies are more “plugless” than “wireless.” They’re also less convenient, slower, and less-efficient than just plugging your phone in.

about 1 year ago - by  |  43 Replies

Want to update your computer’s hardware drivers? Don’t use driver-update utilities. Avoid bad freeware-download sites, too. Get your driver updates from Windows Update or your device manufacturer’s website.

about 1 year ago - by  |  43 Replies

Google’s new YouTube Gaming and Google Play Games apps allow you to record your Android device’s screen and create screencasts. They’re designed for recording mobile games while you play them, but you can use them to record any app.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Amazon’s Fire tablets run Amazon’s own “Fire OS” operating system. Fire OS is based on Google’s Android, but it doesn’t have any of Google’s apps or services. Here’s what that means, and how exactly they’re different.

about 1 year ago - by  |  4 Replies

Wouldn’t it be great to have a smart TV? Well, not really. Smart TVs have a lot of problems. If you do have a smart TV, you’d be better off combining it with a cheap set-top box rather than actually using its smart features.

about 1 year ago - by  |  74 Replies

Amazon’s Appstore has quite a few big-name apps, including Microsoft’s. But Google hasn’t put its own apps in the Amazon Appstore. It’s still possible to access Google’s services in other ways — or even use Google’s actual Android apps on your Fire Tablet.

about 1 year ago - by  |  7 Replies

Whether you’re dealing with images, music, or video files, it’s important to understand the difference between different types of formats and when to use them. Using the wrong format could ruin a file’s quality or make its file size unnecessarily large.

about 1 year ago - by  |  12 Replies

Amazon’s Fire Tablet normally restricts you to the Amazon Appstore. But the Fire Tablet runs Fire OS, which is based on Android. You can install Google’s Play Store and gain access to every Android app, including Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps, Hangouts, and the over one million apps in Google Play.

about 1 year ago - by  |  20 Replies

Windows 10, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One all have integrated ways to record your gameplay and post clips online. Now, Android devices, iPhones, and iPads are gaining integrated ways to capture videos of mobile gameplay and post it to YouTube or elsewhere.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Antimalware programs like Malwarebytes pop up warnings when they detect “potentially unwanted programs” you might want to remove. People call PUPs many other names, including “adware” and “crapware.” You almost certainly don’t want these programs on your computer, but they’re categorized differently for legal reasons.

about 1 year ago - by  |  8 Replies

Broadband is the lifeblood of the modern household and it’s incredibly frustrating when your Internet connection is flaky. Read on as we walk you through our tried and true troubleshooting techniques so you can pin down exactly where your connectivity problems are coming from.

about 1 year ago - by  |  4 Replies

Many online services offer two-step verification or two-factor authentication. Enable this for an account and it’ll require more than just your password to sign in. You’ll also need something else — and there are many different types of additional authentication methods you can use.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

On a Chromebook, only apps from the Chrome Web Store typically get their own taskbar icons and separate windows. But you can give any website its own taskbar icon and make it open in a separate window, effectively turning any website you like into an “app.”

about 1 year ago - by  |  4 Replies

The setup process for the Apple TV is pretty user friendly but that doesn’t mean a walk through and some helpful configuration tips aren’t in order. Whether you’re setting yours up right now or considering purchasing one, follow along to see how the process works.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Google Cardboard is cool. It’s a way to try virtual reality with a cheap headset made of cardboard and your current Android phone or iPhone. But, compared to devices like the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard is just a parlor trick.

about 1 year ago - by  |  5 Replies

For years, pundits and publicist alike were chanting that PC gaming had finally met its match. That after years on top of the gaming world as the technologically superior option, consoles had finally caught up to the aging platform, and asserted their dominance as the go-to option for anyone who took their top score seriously.

about 1 year ago - by  |  3 Replies

U2F is an emerging standard for physical authentication tokens. Current U2F keys are all small USB devices. To log in, you won’t need to enter an authentication code provided from an app or SMS — just insert the USB security key and press a button. Here’s how they work.

about 1 year ago - by  |  11 Replies

U2F is a new standard for universal two-factor authentication tokens. These tokens can use USB, NFC, or Bluetooth to provide two-factor authentication across a variety of services. It’s already supported in Chrome for Google, Dropbox, and GitHub accounts. Microsoft is working on implementing it in Edge.

about 1 year ago - by  |  22 Replies