FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

Many people might feel a bit wary installing a smart thermostat in their home, considering how often modern technology screws up. But don’t worry, manufacturers have thought of that: here’s what happens if your smart thermostat ever stops working.

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If you’ve done even some casual searching for digital comics online, you’ve certainly come across plenty of files with the .CBR and .CBZ file extensions. Let’s take a look at these ubiquitous comic formats, why they’re so popular, and how you can read them.

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Bitdefender, like other antivirus tools, is more than just an antivirus that quietly protects your PC. Install Bitdefender and you’ll get a password manager, separate web browser, and a variety of other notifications and advertisements you might not want to see.

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When Chromebooks first hit the scene, I’m not sure anyone could’ve predicted how popular they’d become. They’ve gone from ultra-low cost, overly-simplistic laptops to legitimate daily-use machines—they even outsold MacBooks in Q1 of 2016. The real question most people have about Chromebooks, however, is “Can I live inside Chrome?”

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When Google introduced Google Drive in April 24, 2012, they promised Linux support “coming soon.” That was nearly five years ago. Google still hasn’t released an official version of Google Drive for Linux, but there are other tools to fill the gap.

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If your home’s Wi-Fi network has dead spots, or doesn’t reach across your entire house, then you might have recently considered getting a mesh Wi-Fi system. They’ve skyrocketed in popularity, but what exactly is mesh Wi-Fi and how is it different than a traditional Wi-Fi extender?

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Google’s Chromecast is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to stream just about anything on your TV. Here’s how to set it up.

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Avast is an unusually noisy antivirus application. It speaks notifications aloud, displays ads, and bundles a lot of additional software. You can disable some (or all) of these annoyances to quiet Avast down.

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You’ve probably heard the term “chipset” tossed around when talking about new computers, but what exactly is a chipset, and how does it affect your computer’s performance?

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Steam trading cards are basically free money. Assuming you own a few games on Steam, you’re probably generating Steam trading cards without even realizing it—and you can sell them on the community market for Steam Wallet credit, which you can use to purchase games.

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There’s a piracy app that lets users find any TV show, movie, or song you can imagine. Streams and downloads are both easy to find, and the software is already used by hundreds of millions of people.

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Portable applications offer some definite advantages over their traditional counterparts. They’re lightweight and they allow you to move between computers while taking your applications and settings with you. Here’s why they’re different and why they’re sometimes—but not always—a good choice.

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U2F is an emerging standard for physical authentication tokens. Current U2F keys are all small USB devices. To log in, you won’t need to enter an authentication code provided from an app or SMS—just insert the USB security key and press a button. Here’s how they work.

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The lock screen on Windows 8 and 10 isn’t just a background image or slideshow. It can display notifications and detailed status information from a variety of apps. You can also access Cortana directly from this screen.

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If you’ve ever toyed around with the idea of moving to a online streaming cable replacement, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Sling TV. But it can be kind of confusing to figure out if Sling is a good fit for your lifestyle. Fear not, would-be cord-cutter—we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you want to know about Sling TV.

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Web browsers include a few search engines for you to choose from, but you can easily add more. Even if a website doesn’t offer an official search plugin, you can add any custom search engine you like with a few tricks.

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Email services automatically classify messages as “spam” if they look spammy. And in general, they do a pretty good job. But those filters aren’t perfect, and occasionally you may see messages you want getting sent to the spam folder.

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We all have old photos that are important to us. Vacations, family members who are no longer with us, good times in our lives—you know, important stuff. The thing is, pictures fade. The best way to keep these precious memories safe is by digitizing them, and what was once a lengthy process can now be done—with pretty exceptional results—directly from your phone.

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Mac webcams include a light that turns on when your webcam is in use. With the right command, you can check which application is actually using your webcam.

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You like tabs, we like tabs. Tabs are the coolest thing to happen to web browsers since private browsing and bookmark syncing, but just how much of a tab guru are you?

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Microsoft is heavily pushing their Windows 10-exclusive browser, Edge. Ads built into Windows 10 are now claiming that Edge is “safer” than Chrome and Firefox. How did Microsoft determine that, and is it really true?

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If there’s an Android application you really love and wish you could run on your computer, now you can: there’s a dead simple way to run Android apps on your PC or Mac without the fuss of moonlighting as an Android developer.

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AVG Antivirus includes browser extensions, notifications, and other features sure to distract you. If you just want an antivirus to silently protect your system in the background, here’s how to slim AVG down.

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Whether you want to occasionally test a website in Safari, or try out a little bit of software in the Mac environment, having access to the latest version of macOS in a virtual machine is useful. Unfortunately, you’re not really supposed to do this—so getting macOS running in VirtualBox is, to say the least, tricky.

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The Voice Memos app included with your iPhone is a convenient way to record quick voice messages, or anything else you can hear. Voice memos normally stay on your iPhone, but you can move them to your computer through the Share feature or via iTunes.

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