FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

Your providers—from your cable company to your trash company—are more than happy to raise your rates and gouge you for money. But unless you get in their face about it, they’ll never lower them. The key to saving a pile of money is strategic negotiation.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Want to set a web page aside and come back to it in the future? If you use Microsoft Edge in Windows 10’s Creators Update, you don’t have to leave the tab open or bookmark it and remember to come back. You can tell Cortana to remind you about the address in the future and forget about it.

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Steam offers a generous refund system. You can refund any game you purchase through Steam, for any reason—whether it isn’t working properly on your PC or you just don’t find it fun.

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Windows includes a variety of “troubleshooters” designed to quickly diagnose and automatically solve various computer problems. Troubleshooters can’t fix everything, but they’re a great place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer.

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All of a sudden, it seems all the mobile carriers are offering unlimited plans. So, how do they stack up?

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All-in-one PCs are the domain of the novice, the hotel business nook, or the interior decorator who can’t stomach seeing a “real” PC in a pristine living room. With the exception of the iMac, they were seen as boring, underpowered boxes with laptop components stuffed behind a cheap screen. But that’s changing.

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Renovating a living space can get real expensive real quick, especially if you’re remodeling an entire kitchen or bathroom. However, there are a ton of low-cost home improvement projects that you can tackle yourself and that make a huge difference.

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Barring any kind of accidental damage, your laptop’s keyboard and touchpad are the parts that start to show wear as soon as you use them. Not only are they some of the only moving parts left in modern laptop design, they’re the ones that are constantly being touched by us fleshy humans, absorbing tiny amounts of skin oil and wearing away the legends on the keys. After a year or so, the keyboard deck can start to look noticeably aged.

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You may want to turn your Wi-Fi off to save battery power on an airplane or somewhere else where there’s no Wi-Fi available. With Windows 10’s Creators Update, you can now have your PC automatically re-enable your Wi-Fi so you don’t have to remember to do so later.

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Modding Android is far from a new idea, and when it comes to bending the OS to your will, Xposed is one of the most powerful tools out there. While there are dozens of Xposed modules available, we’ve picked a handful of our favorites to help you step your Android game to the next level.

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If you’re lucky, you can place your TV antenna wherever you want and get crystal-clear HD channels over the air for free. However, most of the time you need to go through a little trial and error to get everything working properly.

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Nintendo is apparently allergic to money. After creating an instant and profitable hit with the NES Classic, the company decided to end production of the cheap little emulation machine just a few months after its introduction. No matter: tech savvy Nintendo fans who couldn’t get a hold of one (or didn’t want to line the pockets of scalpers) have other options.

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Windows 10 includes a telemetry service that automatically sends diagnostic and usage data about your computer to Microsoft. These settings have caused a lot of controversy since Windows 10’s release, but what do they actually do?

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When it comes to computers, more is better. Well, sort of. Most users understand that a faster processor, with speed expressed in megahertz or gigahertz, is more desirable. Likewise, it’s fairly obvious that having more gigabytes of memory (aka RAM) is a good thing. But your RAM has another stat you might be confused about: speed.

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Microsoft’s “Shared Experiences” allow you to start a task on one device and finish it on another, or easily set up a remote control or other companion app on a smartphone.

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Remote controls are so 1950. If you have a Kodi media center and an Amazon Echo, you can play all your favorite movies and shows with a well-placed voice command…if you’re willing to do a little setup.

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There are so many options to choose from when it comes to home security cameras. Most, however, fall into one of two categories: easy-to-set-up Wi-Fi cameras (like the Nest Cam) and wired surveillance systems that come with a DVR-like box and a handful of cameras.

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Paint 3D is a new application included with Windows 10’s Creators Update. You can use it to work with 3D models and put together 3D scenes. Your work can be shared online or even printed on a 3D printer.

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In 2016, PC game distributor Steam grew its already-impressive library by 4,207 new games—nearly 40% of its total at the time in just twelve months. The platform is growing almost exponentially. That’s a good thing if you like a little variety in your PC games…but with all that variety, it becomes harder and harder to find the gold among the dross.

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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.

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Tools can be pretty expensive. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, it’s important that you maintain them regularly so that they last as long as possible.

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