We recently looked at the many reasons you might want to use a third-party DNS server. You can change the DNS server for your entire network on your router or set it individually on a PC or other device.

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Windows 8.1 brings some great new features, from a Start button and boot-to-desktop option to SkyDrive integration and a much more robust Modern interface. However, Microsoft is removing some features that were present in Windows 8.

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Over the years, we’ve created many Registry hacks to customize and tweak your Windows computer. Today we’re going to give you the keys to making your own registry hack files that you can use on any computer.

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Microsoft is restoring the Start button and adding a boot-to-desktop option in Windows 8.1, but they aren’t giving up on the Modern interface. The Modern interface has been dramatically updated, and it no longer feels quite as half-baked.

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SuperUser reader user31073 is curious whether he should really heed those short-password warnings:

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Apple offers a “Find My Mac” service to track a lost or stolen stolen Mac computer. However, Microsoft doesn’t provide an equivalent service for Windows PCs — not even for tablets running Windows 8.

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If you are a one man development team, you probably don’t really have the need for a full blown version control system, yet creating source code backups for each released version is undoubtedly important.

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More and more Internet connections are being filtered, from public Wi-Fi and workplace connection filtering to ISP and country-level censorship. However, there are still ways to get around this filtering and view blocked websites.

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When you open an Office 2013 program, a start screen automatically displays showing you the various templates available and a list of recent documents opened in the left column. If you find this screen annoying and would rather pass it by, it’s easy to disable.

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Your Internet service provider runs DNS servers for you, but you don’t have to use them. You can use third-party DNS servers instead, which offer a variety of features that your ISP probably doesn’t.

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Domain users are not allowed to sign in with a Pin by default. However, using a little bit of GPO, we can change that.

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If you’ve heard one thing about Windows 8.1, you’ve probably heard Microsoft is bringing back the Start button. Windows 8.1 includes many features that should have been included with Windows 8, and it can feel much less awkward on a desktop PC.

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One of the biggest changes in Windows 8.1 is SkyDrive integration. In Windows 8, SkyDrive was available as a Modern app and a desktop app that you could install. In Windows 8.1, SkyDrive is integrated at the system level.

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There may be times you want to remove a row or column from a spreadsheet, but you don’t want to permanently delete it from the worksheet file. Excel has a feature that allows you to temporarily hide a row or column from view.

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The Windows Device Manager is an important troubleshooting tool. It displays all your installed hardware devices and allows you to view which ones have problems, manage their drivers, and even disable specific pieces of hardware.

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If you’ve copied text from another document and it’s not formatted the way you want, or it has some strange or mixed up formatting, you can easily remove all the formatting from the text and return the text to the default style.

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Windows 8.1 includes online search results from Bing whenever you search for something on your system. Since many people aren’t going to want this, here is how to get rid of this behavior.

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You want to link your home network to an outbuilding, like a garage or workshop, and wired is the only way to go. How do you run the Ethernet cable safely to the secondary building?

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Have you entered some text in columns separated by tabs and you want to convert it to a table? Word provides a useful feature that allows you to quickly convert text to a table and a table to text.

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Stores like Best Buy will charge you $49.99 to “optimize” and “tune up” your PC — either in-store or online. These services are generally a complete waste of money — you can easily do this all yourself for free.

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Have you created a long table in Word only to discover that the rows need to be rearranged? Luckily, it’s very easy to move rows up and down within a table using an easy keystroke combination.

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Back in the day, it was common to apply dozens of tweaks to Windows XP to get things just the way you wanted and to significantly improve performance. Are there equivalent tweaks for the modern incarnations of Windows?

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Jumping to a specific page in Word is a common task and easy to do using the Find and Replace dialog box. You can also use this same tab to jump from one table directly to the next table in your document.

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When it comes to hidden gems in Windows, nothing beats the Reliability monitor tool, hidden behind a link inside of another tool that you don’t use either. Why Microsoft doesn’t shine more light on this really useful troubleshooting tool, we’ll never know.

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Recent revelations about government surveillance have raised the question: why don’t cloud services encrypt your data? Well, they generally do encrypt your data, but they have the key so they can decrypt it any time they like.

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