FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

A solid-state drive, or “SSD”, is much faster than a traditional hard disk drive (or “HDD”). SSDs have been around for awhile, but a new breed of SSD, called PCIe SSDs, are slowly starting to rise. But how are they different than normal SSDs?

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Sony’s DualShock 4 controller is actually a standard gamepad, and you can connect it to any PC with a USB cable, standard Bluetooth, or Sony’s official wireless USB adapter. It will work in a variety of games, too, since Steam now offers official support for DualShock 4 controllers.

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Unlocking your Android phone’s bootloader is the first step to rooting and flashing custom ROMs. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s actually fully supported on many phones. Here’s how to unlock your bootloader the official way.

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Most antivirus programs–or “security suites”, as they call themselves–want you to install their browser extensions. They promise these toolbars will help keep you safe online, but they usually just exist to make the company some money. Worse yet, these extensions are often hideously vulnerable to attack.

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So you want to play Minecraft with your family, but you only have one account. You won’t be able to play online, but with a few tweaks to the configuration files, you should all be able to play over the network together at home with no extra accounts necessary.

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Google Photos may seem like a simple image hosting service, but it’s actually quite powerful. Google Photos bridges the gap between cloud storage, image hosting, and image sharing services, giving stiff competition to Flickr, iCloud, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

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If you recently built or bought a new PC, you may be wondering if you can just transfer your old hard drive into the new computer–thus migrating your entire installation in one fell swoop. But it’s not as easy as it seems.

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Nintendo’s Wii U has apps for watching Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and all kinds of other streaming video. But Nintendo doesn’t offer an app that will play media files from an external drive or media server. Here’s a little trick that will let you stream videos from your home network to your TV with your Wii U.

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Hulu doesn’t work out-of-the-box on modern Linux distributions. While Netflix “just works” if you’re using Google Chrome, Hulu’s DRM has gotten old and clunky. You can get Hulu to work on Linux, but it’ll take a little tweaking.

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Windows can create “system image backups,” which are essentially complete images of your hard drive and all the files on it. Once you’ve got a system image backup, you can restore your system exactly as it was when you backed up, even if your installation is badly corrupted or completely gone.

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A new year is upon us, and millions of us are still using absolutely awful passwords. It doesn’t have to be that way. You’re going to make this year the year of excellent passwords and we’re going to show you how.

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Netflix recently announced it plans to crack down on VPN, proxy, and unblocking DNS users trying to access content in other countries. The good news: watching streaming sites through a VPN may get a bit more difficult, but it will always be possible.

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Microsoft is technically selling  two phones with Windows 10 built-in, but it hasn’t released the update for older phones just yet. If you have a Windows phone, though, there’s a good chance you can upgrade it to Windows 10 now, even if your cellular carrier is planning to delay or block the update.

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There are a staggering number of articles on the Internet trumpeting the dangers of “Wi-Fi radiation” and how risky it is to your health. Don’t worry: it’s a bunch of nonsense.

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Like the Roku and Chromecast, Sony’s PlayStation 4 can play video and music files from a USB drive or another computer on your network. Your PS4 can even play local music files in the background while you play a game.

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Amazon advertises that their ebook readers only need to be charged once a month, but heavy readers will probably find that they need charge more often. Not anymore: read on as we show you how to blaze through your book collection without constant recharging.

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The Lord of the Rings is easily my favorite movie of all time. (Which one, you ask? All three, obviously.) But the latest Blu-Ray collection has one glaring problem.

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If you have a Comcast Xfinity Internet connection and you’re renting your cable modem from Comcast, it’s probably hosting a public Wi-Fi network that passers-by can connect to. If you don’t like this, you can disable that “xfinitywifi” network.

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Windows 10 has an awful lot of options in its new Settings app, but from time to time, you may encounter a setting that’s grayed out, with the message “disabled by company policy” or “Some settings are managed by your organization”. Here are a few reasons that may be happening.

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You don’t need a smartwatch, fitness band, or pedometer to track your steps. Your phone can track how many steps you take and how far you walk all by itself, assuming you just carry it with you in your pocket.

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Windows enables device encryption on many Windows 10 and 8.1 PCs out-of-the-box. It also uploads your recovery key to Microsoft’s servers, allowing you to regain access to you encrypted drives even if you forget their passwords.

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The Amazon Echo can do a lot more than play music and check the weather. As futuristically as you’d expect, it can actually control a wide range of smarthome products so that all your home comforts are just a voice command away. Read on as we show you how.

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The Windows 10 upgrade process drags old files, settings, and programs from your previous Windows system to your new one. If you want a completely fresh system, though, you have a couple options.

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It’s easy to invest a lot of energy in your Minecraft creations. Thankfully, it’s just as easy to back them up. Read on as we show you how to ensure your Minecraft Realms worlds are safe and sound.

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Dangerous root certificates are a serious problem. From Lenovo’s Superfish to Dell’s eDellRoot and a number of other certificates installed by adware programs, your computer’s manufacturer or a program you installed may have added a certificate that opens you to attack. Here’s how to check if your certificates are clean.

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