FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

Philips Hue lights are cool, but are you using them to they’re fullest potential? Sure, you can control them from your smartphone and turn them on from anywhere, but there are so many other useful tricks you can take advantage of. Here are a handful of clever uses for your Philips Hue setup.

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I need to listen to music while I work. It’s either that, or listen to the sound of my own breathing, which is enough to drive me into a state of existential despair. But the hardest part of listening to music every day is deciding what to put on. I just want to press play and go so I have something to fill the silence.

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Data is data…except when it’s not. T-Mobile makes things a little confusing by giving you a certain amount of data, then offering unlimited music and video streaming that doesn’t count against the allowance–but only for certain services.

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Android’s launcher is one of the most important parts of the user interface. It’s the first thing you see once the device is unlocked, and it’s the primary way you interact with the home screen. It’s where your widgets live, where the app drawer is found, and where you customize the look of your phone.

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If your “Open With” right-click menu is getting a little cluttered, why not get rid of entries you don’t use? With a little Registry hacking, it’s easy to do.

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Windows 10’s Start menu is very customizable. Add website shortcuts to your Start menu and you can quickly access your favorite websites by clicking a tile. This works with Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or any other browser.

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If you aren’t using Android’s “Wi-Fi Assistant”, you should. It automatically secures unsafe public wireless networks by using a Google VPN, so attackers can’t access your data.

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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 crapware and scammy advertisements.

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Increasingly sophisticated phones and data-hungry applications make it easier than ever to blow through your cellphone plan’s data cap…and incur nasty overage charges. Read on as we show you how to manage your data use.

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Website addresses that end in “.onion” aren’t like normal domain names, and you can’t access them with a normal web browser. Addresses that end with “.onion” point to Tor hidden services on the “deep web”.

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Microsoft’s Xbox One can now play a limited number of Xbox 360 games. But it’s not as simple as inserting any old disc and starting it up. Only some games will work, and the Xbox One runs them in an emulator.

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Amazon’s $50 Fire Tablet may be one of the best deals in tech—especially when it occasionally goes on sale for $35. It may feel limited, but with a few tweaks—no rooting necessary—you can turn it into an almost-stock Android tablet perfect for reading, watching, and even light gaming.

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You’ve heard it in commercials, seen it plastered across billboards, and maybe even read about it in your cellphone plan. But what is 4G LTE, and how do its speeds and coverage compare to other 3G and 4G networks?

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If you need to access an FTP server, you can install dedicated FTP clients with lots of features –but you don’t necessarily have to. Windows itself offers several ways for connecting to an FTP server, allowing you to download and upload files in a pinch.

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When you sign up for Insider Preview builds, Windows warns that you “may” need to reinstall Windows to get back to the stable version of Windows. But this is a worst case scenario, and there are other ways to get off the Insider Preview track.

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Android phones and tablets can fill up quickly as you download apps, add media files like music and movies, and cache data for use offline. Many lower-end devices may only include a few gigabytes of storage, making this even more of a problem.

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Android’s user-visible file system is one of its advantages over iOS. It allows you to more easily work with files, opening them in any app of your choice…as long as you know how.

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Apple is working on a new file system known as the Apple File System. APFS will probably become the default file system on macOS and iOS in 2017, but it’s available as prerelease software on macOS Sierra.

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Did you know there’s a version of Windows 10 that doesn’t get big feature updates, and doesn’t even have the Windows Store or Microsoft Edge browser? It’s called Windows 10 LTSB, short for Long Term Servicing Branch.

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If you want access to all the features of your HomeKit powered smart home when you’re away from home sweet home, you can–as long as you have an Apple TV or iPad sitting in your house. Read on as we show you how.

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Windows 10’s Game DVR feature can slow your gaming performance by recording video in the background. If you don’t care about recording your gameplay, disable Game DVR for performance reasons.

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The Windows Search feature provides fast file searches by building an index. This index is used by the Start menu, the search box in File Explorer and Windows Explorer, and even the Cortana assistant on Windows 10.

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Not everyone can afford to deck out their homes with Wi-Fi lights, outlets, and voice control. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your home has to be dumb. Here are a few ways to make your home a bit smarter, without spending a lot of money.

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iOS 9 brought a useful new feature you may not have noticed yet. Known as “Facedown detection”, your iPhone can detect when it’s placed face down and won’t turn the screen on when notifications arrive. This can save a lot of battery power if you regularly receive notifications.

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You’ve seen it on plenty of PC help sites. “Uninstall fonts to speed up your computer!” Don’t follow this advice–it’s a myth. Uninstalling fonts is a troubleshooting tip for fixing a specific problem, not a general performance tip for speeding up your computer.

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