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This is the most recent feed available as of 04/11/2021 at 08:07 AM

Logitech officially discontinues its line of Harmony universal remotes
Logitech promises to continue supporting its Harmony service for “as long as customers are using it.”

Online backup: We test the best services—Carbonite, iDrive, and Backblaze

Online backup is an essential hedge against physical data disaster. Whether it’s an act of theft or an act of God (earthquakes, floods, hard-drive devouring locusts), you never know what could hit your PC or phone, and when. This is an especially important issue for mobile-centric users, who stand to lose a lot of their digital possessions if their device disappears.

Uploading your data to an online service covers a lot of the bases. Some people call these “cloud” services, but in reality, your data is stored on servers at the other end of the connection—that is, someone else’s hard drives. But that’s part of the plan! The backup Rule of Three says you should maintain three copies of your data: the original, a copy, and a copy of the copy. One copy should be in a safe place away from the original and secondary.

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Carbonite Safe review: Cleverly integrated online backup

It's been a few years since we reviewed the Carbonite backup service and, outwardly, things have changed a bit. There's a new owner, OpenText; the name of the service has morphed from Carbonite Online to Carbonite Safe; and there's been a very slight drop in price. What remains intact is its status as the most elegantly realized and integrated online backup service in the industry.

See how well it compares to the competition in our online backup roundup

Note: For more about data backup, see also our best free backup software/services and best Windows backup software roundups.

Data selection and clever OS integration

Carbonite Safe offers unlimited data backup, but by default it intelligently targets only the most common data and locations: the Windows Documents, Pictures, Music, etc. folders. If you store important data outside those locations, it requires a bit more user intervention than, say, competitor Backblaze, which backs up everything, lock, stock, and barrel—a safe but unnecessarily wasteful approach.

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Corsair K65 RGB Mini: Hands-on with the 60-percent mechanical gaming keyboard

Mechanical gaming keyboards are the way to go if you’re looking for a superior typing or gaming experience, and size doesn’t always matter. Corsair’s K65 RGB Mini is a 60-percent mechanical keyboard—meaning it trims off some of the keys and focuses on offering a smaller footprint compared to a full-size keyboard with a dedicated function key row and number pad. It straddles the line between form and function, but it packs in quite a few features for its price tag ($110 on Amazon).

The K65 RGB Mini comes with more durable PBT double-shot keycaps that don’t wear down over time as much as traditional ABS plastic. Per-key RGB lighting is controllable inside Corsair’s iCue software, and an all-white tray underneath provides a radiant glow across the whole board. A whole host of on-board shortcuts are side-printed on keys and offer over 30 different controls to make up for the lack of dedicated keys—like the function and arrow keys.

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What’s the fastest solution for local or private game streaming? | Ask an expert

Q: What’s the fastest solution for local or private game streaming?

A: All options work pretty well. You can pick whichever suits your preference (Steam Remote Play, AMD Link, Nvidia GameStream, etc), as the service is less of a restricting factor for speed than your network setup. As with cloud gaming, you can run into issues with local or private game streaming when you’re on Wi-Fi, especially when you live in a congested situation like an apartment building.

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Pioneer DJ VM-70 powered speaker review: This versatile speaker delivers accurate sound at a reasonable price
The VM-70 offers pleasing sound for recreational listening along with the sonic definition and connections you look for in a studio monitor—all at an affordable price.

You should probably buy your memory now before prices get worse

After months of warnings that DRAM prices would spike, prices are, in fact, edging up again. We looked on camelcamelcamel at historical memory prices for the top 10 RAM modules sold on Amazon, and they're all trending upward. 

For example, we looked at historical pricing of a pair of 16GB DDR4/3200 G.Skill TridentZ RGB modules, which were introduced on Amazon in 2017. As the camelcamelcamel chart below indicates, the modules made their debut above $400 and reached $500 during the painful price hikes of 2018.

Last fall, the modules sank to as low as $200. More recently, prices have slowly moved back up to $290 on Amazon.

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Another day, another data breach. Here’s how to see if you’ve been exposed

In early April, security experts made public the details of yet another Facebook data breach, this one affecting over half a billion users. As originally reported by Business Insider, personal information on 533 million Facebook users spanning 106 countries surfaced in a hacking forum, with records including email addresses, phone numbers, full names, locations, birthdays, and relationship statuses. This data traces back to a vulnerability fixed by Facebook in 2019, which allowed the scraping of profiles.

If you’re included in that data set, you’ll want to protect yourself in the future. The first step is to check whether you’re part of the breach.

To read this article in full, please click here

The best CPUs for gaming

Buying a processor for a gaming rig isn’t as hard as it used to be. Now that Ryzen 5000-series and Intel’s 11th-gen Core CPUs come with more performance and cores than ever before, it’s hard to buy a stinker these days—especially because most games favor graphics firepower over CPU oomph. All that said, there are specific chips that stand out from the horde as the best gaming CPUs due to their price, performance, or nifty extras.

How to install a power supply in your PC

Don’t underestimate the importance of your PC’s power source. A good power supply serves as the cornerstone for a low-maintenance and highly reliable computer. But more often than not, boxed, pre-built desktops ship with the cheapest power supplies that meet the criteria of their product warranties.

This means that two or three years after buying your computer, you may find yourself with a perfectly functional desktop that one day decides either not to power on or to emit a puff of black smoke. Upgrading your graphics card can also push your PC’s power supply past its limits, depending on the model.

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Wyze Home Monitoring review: A tremendous value for the price, if you can live with its limitations
Focused primarily on home security, this wireless system also supports smart lighting.

Which CPU do I have and how fast is it? How to check

Do you know which CPU you have, and how fast it runs?  And is it fast enough to run Windows 10 at a capable clip? The latter question we can answer right away: As long as you have a PC-compatible CPU manufactured in the last five years, there’s little reason to think it can’t run Windows 10. The minimum Windows 10 processor spec is just 1GHz, after all. 

There are some restrictions for older processors, though, and in these cases you’ll want details on which CPU you’re running. Sandy Bridge processors from 2011, for example, can run earlier versions of Windows 10, but those chips have been phased out and aren’t supported by newer builds of the operating system.

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Where should you buy monitor cables? | Ask an expert

Q: Where do you buy your cables for your monitors? They’re not all made to equal specifications, especially DisplayPort.

A: Monoprice gets our staff’s vote for being a source for reliable, affordable cables, whether they’re HDMI or DisplayPort. You can buy them either through Monoprice directly or via Amazon. The direct site offers periodic sales in addition to overall lower prices (which helps offset shipping), while Amazon has slightly higher prices but free shipping for Prime members.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphones: The best and worst features

The new Samsung Galaxy S21 family has gotten a mostly positive reception, thanks to some notable hardware and software improvements. These phones are faster and more feature-rich compared to last year's S20s.

However, it's not all roses in Samsung-land. The S21 series has its fair share of disappointing features you'll have to accept. Here are the best and worst features you need to know about before buying Samsung's latest devices.

More stories: 

The best features

Galaxy S21 Ultra camera

samsung galaxy s21 ultra cam Ryan Whitwam/IDG

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's camera offers two optical zoom cameras, in addition to the 108MP primary and 12MP ultrawide.

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Got the Fire TV update? Cord-cutters can make the most of it with these tips
Fire TV update: 11 tips to make the most of it

It's a big deal: An Alienware laptop will pack an AMD CPU for the first time

If you want proof AMD's Ryzen 5000 laptop CPU has really  made it, look no further than the new Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 which, as its name tells you, will feature an AMD CPU for the first time in history.

The new Alienware m15 will pack either an 8-core Ryzen 7 5800H or an 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HX. Having covered Alienware gaming laptops since the very beginning, we can tell you AMD CPUs have never made it this far.

Sure, you can say Asus, MSI, Gigabyte and other gaming laptops would like to have a word, but in the "making it" world, getting an AMD Ryzen into such a high-profile brand as Alienware is a crowning achievement for AMD's Zen 3 cores and its award-winning Ryzen 5000 chips.

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How to choose the best PC power supply

Power supplies are a frequently misunderstood—and overlooked—PC component. Many users choose a PC power supply based on total wattage alone, assuming that higher is always synonymous with better. Others pay no attention to their power supply unit (PSU) selection at all, and settle for whatever abomination arrived with their machine. But considering how important a good power supply is to a system’s stability and long-term reliability, it’s a shame that PSUs get so little attention in comparison to sexier components like graphics cards and SSDs.

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Turn Google Photos into Windows backgrounds with this awesome app

One of the best features of Google Photos is the way it can bring your picture collection to lots of different screens.

If you’ve got a Google Nest Hub, for instance, Google Photos essentially turns it into a smart picture frame. On Android TV and Chromecast devices, Google Photos can supply the pictures in “Ambient” screen saver mode. You can even turn Pixel phones into a place for Google Photos when you use Google’s Pixel Stand wireless charger.

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Ring unveils the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, with radar-powered bird’s-eye view
Ring’s radar feature is coming to its new wired floodlight cam, while the new Video Doorbell 4 gets a color pre-roll mode.

How to disable start up programs in Windows 10 to make boot times faster

You can find plenty of Windows programs to help cut down boot times, but they’re not necessary. Everything you need to make Windows faster is already waiting for you in an old, built-in utility: the Task Manager.

This storied program isn’t just the place to stop annoying processes that refuse to shut down. The Task Manager can also help manage startup times. Open the Task Manager by tapping Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Alternatively, hit the Windows Key, type “Task Manager,” and select the Task Manager from the search results that appear.

taskmanagersimplified IDG

The Task Manger in Windows 10 in simplified mode.

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Blueair HealthProtect 7410i air purifier review: A silent operator for scrubbing your air
Ultra-quiet operation is this imposing purifier’s greatest strength.

Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) review: Alexa's got her eye on you
The rotating screen on Amazon’s latest smart display is the big attraction, but there’s plenty more to like about this excellent smart home hub.

VeePN Review: Passable speeds and crazy-good five-year deal

VeePN in brief:

  • P2P allowed: Yes
  • Business location: Panama
  • Number of servers: 2,600+
  • Number of country locations: 52
  • Cost: $70 (billed annually)
  • VPN protocol: OpenVPN
  • Data encryption: AES-256-CBC
  • Data authentication: TLS 1.2 with 2048-bit Diffie-Hellman
  • Handshake: SHA-512

VPN services are everywhere these days, and new ones pop up all the time. The one we’re looking at today is called VeePN. Based in Panama, VeePN debuted on mobile in 2017, and over the four years since has built up a service with connections in 52 countries and over 2,600 servers. There are apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and support for routers and other set-top boxes.

To read this article in full, please click here

Sonos Roam review: Now you really can take the exceptional Sonos sound anywhere
Small, lightweight, packed with great networking features plus your choice of Alexa or Google Assistant, the sweet-sounding Sonos Roam just became the portable smart speaker to beat.

How to find a quieter keyboard

Everyone wants a quieter keyboard now. Up until a year ago it may have been “cool” to sport an RGB mechanical keyboard at home, and to geek out on what kind of Cherry switch you preferred. But when everyone’s working from home, clackety keyboards quickly lose their charm.

Sure, you could buy everyone headphones. But maybe, just maybe, it’s time to buy a quieter keyboard—for everyone. That means a rubber-dome design, rather than mechanical switches. 

Further reading: The best wireless keyboards

We won’t get into the quality of the typing experience, which can be very subjective. Quiet keyboards can be measured objectively—not just by your frayed nerves. 

To read this article in full, please click here

How to pick the perfect password

Picking the perfect password comes down to a battle between two competing priorities: creating safe passwords that are lengthy and unique, and creating ones you can remember. You might think to yourself, I already have more passwords than I need! I’ve created passwords for years!  But with the rise of password breaches, and with more passwords exposed that are linked to usernames, a solid password strategy is becoming more essential every day.

We’ll start out with the basics: the best ways to store passwords, and how to avoid using popular, easily-guessed passwords. Next we’ll dive into the fun stuff: strategies to pick complex, memorable passwords that have a good chance of surviving a password breach so you have time to change it.

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Sony SRS-RA5000 wireless speaker review: A promising idea falls short
360 Reality Audio virtualization works great on headphones, but not from this speaker.

Windows 10: Guides, tips, tricks, and everything you need to know about Microsoft’s OS

Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is constantly being updated, with major feature drops such as the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, plus smaller enhancements to new, built-in apps. Meanwhile, new builds are being tested as part of the Windows Insider updates, and we have some cool new features on their way.

We’ve built this guide to present you with the most recent Windows 10 review, notify you about new Windows 10 Insider (beta) news, and list a number of new tips, tricks, and other hints to help you get the most out of Windows 10. Bookmark this guide and check back, as we’ll be updating it with new information as it comes in.

In this update, we've added new information about what's coming in upcoming releases of Windows 10, including some cool new features that have shown up in the Windows 10 Insider Dev Channel. More tips and tricks are in here, too, like using a local admin account to increase security. Read on!

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How to install a hard drive in your computer

Installing an internal hard drive is one of the more straightforward upgrades out there—and is often a better option than using external drives that may be dropped or misplaced. 

The process usually requires no more than mounting it, connecting a couple of cables, and formatting the drive for use. Still, there are a few things you should know to make installation as smooth as possible. 

Installing a hard drive in your PC doesn’t necessarily follow the same procedure as installing an SSD. If you’ve opted for a solid-state drive, be sure to check out our companion guides explaining how to install an SSD in a desktop and a laptop. SSDs tend to offer much faster speeds than hard drives, but hard drives offer significantly more capacity at lower prices.

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Android loses a huge innovator as LG quits making phones

One of the biggest innovators in Android is bowing out. On Monday morning, LG revealed that it is exiting the phone business to focus on other “growth areas” like smart home devices, robotics, and electric vehicles.

Existing phones will remain available until the stock is sold through, and the company says “LG will provide service support and software updates for customers of existing mobile products for a period of time which will vary by region.” Don’t expect to see that nifty rollable phone that LG showed off a CES, though. And an OS update to Android 12 in the fall probably isn’t in the cards either, since many of LG’s phones haven’t gotten Android 11 yet.

To read this article in full, please click here



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