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.
Windows 8 no longer includes the Windows Classic theme, which hasn’t been the default theme since Windows 2000. If you don’t like Windows 8’s bright colors, you can get classic-style themes for your Windows 8 desktop – or create your own.
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.
Windows 8 no longer comes with Windows Media Center by default. To get it, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro and purchase the Media Center Pack. It’s free until January 31, 2013, but this will soon be even pricier.
Windows users regularly reinstall Windows (or restore from a recovery partition) to fix system problems. Windows 8 includes easier-to-use “Refresh” and “Reset” options that quickly restore Windows to a fresh, factory default configuration.
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.
Windows 8’s advanced startup tools function differently than the tools on previous versions of Windows. If your Windows 8 system can’t boot properly, the tools will appear automatically so you can fix the problem.
Windows 8 allows you to create a recovery drive (USB) or system repair disc (CD or DVD) that can be used to troubleshoot and restore your computer. Each type of recovery media gives you access to Windows’ advanced startup options.
Windows 8 has a new File History backup system that replaces Windows 7’s backup tools. However, Windows 8 still contains the Windows 7 backup tools. They’re particularly useful for creating full system image backups.
Who doesn’t love animations? They make everything look so cool. But in some cases, animations are a distraction, and the same is true for Windows 8’s start screen (the “Modern UI”). Fortunately, there’s a very simple way to disable all those animations. Keep reading to find out how it’s done.
The Mail app included with Windows 8 only supports IMAP, Exchange, Hotmail/Outlook.com, and Gmail accounts. Mail offers POP3 as an option when setting up the account – but if you select POP3, you’ll be informed that Mail doesn’t support POP.
Windows 8’s default blue window border color isn’t the only option. Windows 8 automatically selects the appropriate color depending on your wallpaper – you can also select a different color or use a third-party tool to easily select other colors.
The window borders on Windows 8’s desktop are fairly thick by default, but they don’t have to be – you can customize the side of the window borders with an easy-to-use application or a quick registry tweak.
The average Windows 8 user can only download apps that Microsoft has approved from the Windows Store. Windows 8 offers two ways to sideload unapproved apps, which are intended for developers and businesses with internal apps.
One of the new features in Windows 8 is the improved Task Manager, which provides access to more information and settings. If you don’t want to upgrade, there is a way you can use a simple Windows 8-like Task Manager in Windows 7, Vista, or XP.
Windows 8 includes an all new Task Manager, which brings a whole bunch of new features. One of my favorites is the App history tab, which allows geeks like us to monitor our applications resource usage. Sometimes you may wish to reset the counters though, so here’s how.
Although you can use metered connections to get the most of your bandwidth in Windows 8, at times you may want to know how much data you have used for a single browsing session. Here’s how to do it.
Many people think Aero is completely gone in Windows 8, but this isn’t true. Microsoft hasn’t helped matters by saying they’ve “moved beyond Aero” in several blog posts. However, hardware acceleration and most Aero features are still present.
Windows 8’s new touch-first Modern interface includes quite a few apps. Before you start looking at the Windows Store to find new apps, take a look at the included apps and what they can do.
Aero Glass is gone in Windows 8. If you really miss Aero Glass, there’s a trick you can use to re-enable the transparent window title bars and borders – although Microsoft doesn’t want us to.
Windows RT and Windows 8 aren’t the same thing. While Windows RT has a desktop that looks just like Windows 8’s, Windows RT’s desktop is very limited. The difference doesn’t just matter to geeks; it matters to all Windows users.
Whatever you think of it, Windows 8 isn’t just a new interface slapped on top of Windows 7. Windows 8 has seen a lot of security improvements, including an integrated antivirus, an application reputation system, and protection from boot-time rootkits.
It’s easy to focus on how Windows 8’s new interface doesn’t feel at home on a traditional desktop PC or laptop. But that’s only one part of Windows 8 – the Windows 8 desktop includes a variety of useful improvements.
Upgrade to Windows 8 and you may be surprised to find that you can no longer play video DVDs. Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 doesn’t include built-in support for playing DVDs.