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You can enjoy the convenience of a whole-house land line without shelling out your hard earned money to your local telecommunications provider. Read on as we show you how to ditch the phone bill, keep the land line, and enjoy free local and long distance calling in the process.

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Windows Defender replaces Microsoft Security Essentials in Windows 8, but it does not include the ability to quickly right-click folders and scan them. However, you can add this option yourself with a quick registry hack.

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After the hubbub surrounding the release of Windows 8 had died down, Microsoft had another software staple to unleash – the latest version of Office. But this time things are a little different from previous years. There’s not only the choice between Home and Professional to make, but also the Office 365 and Office 2013 variants; but what is the difference?

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Updating your operating system and software is important. On the other hand, we have previously covered why you shouldn’t generally update your hardware drivers, although gamers will definitely want to update their graphics drivers. But what about BIOS updates?

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If Internet Explorer is crashing and burning, your problem likely lies with a buggy browser add-on. However, Internet Explorer crashes can have a variety of other causes, including incompatibilities with hardware rendering and possible malware.

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A graphics driver is the software that allow your operating system and programs to use your computer’s graphics hardware. If you play PC games, you should keep your computer’s graphics drivers updated to get the best performance out of your hardware.

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Compared to a PC, phones and tablets are fairly locked-down devices. Jailbreaking, rooting, and unlocking are all ways of bypassing their limitations, and doing things that manufacturers and carriers don’t want you to do.

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There’s some 81 million unique IP addresses that expose UPnP functionality from the internet, and more than 6900 different devices are potentially vulnerable, at least, to being hacked from the outside. This means, theoretically, that your router could end up being hacked to forward ports from the outside world, which leaves you open to more hacking.

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Email viruses are real, but computers aren’t infected just by opening emails anymore. Just opening an email to view it is safe – although attachments can still be dangerous to open.

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If you are regularly seeing the “Whoa! Google Chrome has crashed” message, there is likely a problem on your system. An occasional crash can happen, but regular crashes are probably caused by something you can fix.

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Firefox can crash for a variety of reasons, but you can quickly fix most crashes with Firefox’s Safe Mode and Reset features. However, even these tricks won’t fix every crash.

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Previously, we have covered what VPNs are and how you can easily connect to them in Windows. Android also supports VPNs – if you have an Android phone or tablet, you can easily connect it to a VPN.

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Hard drives use S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) to gauge their own reliability and determine if they’re failing.  You can view your hard drive’s S.M.A.R.T. data and see if it has started to develop problems.

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If Windows won’t boot, recovering your files can be a headache.  You do not have to pull the hard drive or use a Linux live CD – you can use a Windows installer disc to quickly back up your files.

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For years, Java has been the top source of browser exploits. Even after a recent emergency patch, Java is still vulnerable. To protect ourselves, we should assume that Java is always going to be vulnerable.

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Google’s Chrome Web Store offers a variety of themes for Chrome, which include background images for your new tab page and custom colors. Even better — you can create your own theme in just a few minutes.

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We’ve covered virtual private networks and when you might want to use them before. Connecting to a VPN is easy, as Windows and most other operating systems offer built-in VPN support.

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A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.

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The NTFS file system used by Windows has a built-in compression feature known as NTFS compression. With a few clicks, you can compress files, making them take up less space on your hard drive. Best of all, you can still access the files normally.

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Open home Wi-Fi networks are still too common. The situation has improved as wireless router manufacturers began shipping with wireless passwords enabled by default, but there are still too many unsecured Wi-Fi networks out there.

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The Professional edition of Windows 8 comes with “downgrade rights.” If you’re not happy with Windows 8 on a new computer, you can downgrade it to Windows 7 for free – as long as you have Windows 8 Pro.

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Computer repair places like Best Buy’s Geek Squad do a lot of things that you can easily do yourself. Instead of paying for a pricy malware removal or computer tune-up, you can do it yourself.

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You’ve got WEP encryption enabled, your network’s SSID is hidden, and you’ve enabled MAC address filtering so no one else can connect. Your Wi-Fi network is secure, right? Not really.

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Facebook, Twitter, Google, Dropbox, and all the other web services out there can be accessed by various applications and other services. Here’s a couple of links that you can use to quickly remove anything that has access.

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If you’re looking to purchase Windows 8, there are two main editions you need to concern yourself with: Windows 8 (similar to the Home edition in previous versions of Windows) and Windows 8 Pro.

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