How to Make Your Car Smarter with an OBD-II Adapter

While you’re still waiting on your refrigerator or your microwave to be as smart as your phone, the car in your garage is already ahead of the curve. If you own a vehicle made after 1996, you can connect to it with a simple device called an OBD-II adapter and find out your fuel efficiency, diagnose check engine lights, and gather a ton of other useful data.

SmartThings vs. Wink vs. Insteon: Which Smarthome Hub Should You Buy?

Three of the biggest names in the smarthome hub world are SmartThings, Wink, and Insteon, all of which offer a consumer-friendly hub that allows users to connect all sorts of smarthome devices together and manage them in one place. But which one should you buy? Here are some things to know about the two hubs and which one might be best for you.

When Should You Replace Your Major Home Appliances?

You probably replace something when it breaks down and no longer works (or repair it if the costs aren’t too high). However, that’s usually not a good strategy for large, expensive appliances in your home that you rely on every single day. Here’s what you should know about the lifespan of most appliances and when they should be replaced.

How to Easily Reinstall Windows 10 Without the Bloatware

The “Reset Your PC” feature in Windows 10 restores your PC to its factory default settings…including all that bloatware your PC manufacturer included. But the new “Fresh Start” feature in Windows 10’s Creators Update makes it much easier to get a clean Windows system.

How to Secure Your Gmail and Google Account

Out of all your online accounts, there’s a good chance that Google holds most of your information. Think about it: if you use Gmail for email, Chrome for web browsing, and Android for your mobile OS, then you’re already using Google for almost everything you do.

Do You Really Need a Mouse Pad?

Computer mice have been around in one form or another for the better part of 50 years (or longer, based on your definition of invention), and for most of that time they’ve been paired with mouse pads. But modern optical and laser mice can track on just about any surface, unless you’re somehow using your computer on a sand bed. So do those nerdy-looking pads even serve a purpose anymore?

How Computers Generate Random Numbers

Computers generate random number for everything from cryptography to video games and gambling. There are two categories of random numbers — “true” random numbers and pseudorandom numbers — and the difference is important for the security of encryption systems.

What Is Snapchat?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard someone mention the social network/chat app Snapchat. Depending on how you measure things, it’s now more popular than Twitter and Pinterest, with only Facebook and Instagram having more users daily. The difference is that most of Snapchat’s users are millennials and teens, so it’s flown under the radar of a lot of older internet users.

What Kind of Extension Cord Should I Use?

Extension cords are one of the most common household items, but there are many different kinds of extension cords built for different purposes. Here’s what you should know about extension cords and when they can and can’t be used.

What’s the Equivalent of Ctrl+Alt+Delete on a Mac?

If you switch to a Mac after becoming familiar with Windows, you’ll quickly find that the standard Ctrl+Alt+Delete shortcut doesn’t do anything. Mac OS X does have its own version of the Task Manager, but it’s a bit different than Windows’, and you access it by pressing Command+Option+Esc.

How to 3D Print Anything (Even If You Don’t Own a 3D Printer)

There are plenty of reasons you might want to 3D print something, but few that justify owning one. You could print anything from a custom GPS mount for your bike to Dungeons & Dragons miniatures to wearable armor for your next Star Wars cosplay. Unless you’ll be printing a ton of stuff on the regular, though, none of them are worth the hundreds you’d need to spend for a 3D printer (or the thousands you’d spend on a really good one).

How to Clear Your History in Any Browser

All web browsers remember a list of the web pages you’ve visited. You can delete this list at any time, clearing your browsing history and erasing the tracks stored on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Each browser has its own separate history, so you’ll need to clear the history in multiple places if you’ve used more than one browser.

How to Manage Your PC’s Fans for Optimal Airflow and Cooling

Building a modern desktop PC is surprisingly easy, thanks to modular parts and a lot of solid engineering. It’s often explained as “LEGO for adults.” But managing the air cooling system within a PC is considerably more complex.  We’re talking about physics, thermodynamics, all sorts of fun stuff. But there are a few basic principles you can apply to almost any build to get optimal airflow, and thus, optimal cooling.