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You don’t really need a full Internet security suite. However, many people like having them — and they pay dearly with subscription fees. But you can assemble your own security suite for free.

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Whether you’re switching to a new PC, reinstalling Windows, or just ensuring you don’t lose hours of gameplay if your hard drive dies, you’ll want to make sure your save games are properly backed up.

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Have you ever downloaded a file only to find it has a strange .rar file extension? By the end of this article you will be able to view the file no matter if you are running Windows or Mac OSX.

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We previously reported that the system image backup feature was removed in Windows 8.1. This isn’t entirely true — while the graphical interface for creating system images was removed, you can still create system images with a PowerShell cmdlet.

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Windows has had support for themes, also known as visual styles, since Windows XP. By default, Windows will only load Microsoft-signed themes — but you can get around this fairly easily.

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If your main language is not English, you may have set your PC’s input setting to something else. On Windows 7, this was a per application setting, however that changed on Windows 8.

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By default, Windows 8′s Refresh or Reset your PC feature restores Windows to its initial state. However, you can also create custom recovery images containing your favorite programs and system settings.

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Windows 8.1 brings us Internet Explorer 11. To maximize screen real estate, they decided to hide your open tabs and address bar by default. Here is how to get them showing.

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Digitally signed drivers include an electronic fingerprint that indicates which company the driver was produced by as well as an indication as to whether the driver has been modified since the company released it. This increases security, as a signed driver that has been modified will no longer have an intact signature. Drivers are signed using code signing certificates.

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Parental controls can filter the web, blocking inadvertent access to inappropriate websites. There are a variety of ways to do this, from configuring network-wide parental controls on your router to using the parental controls built into Windows or third-party software.

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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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