PCWorld7 min read
The Best Free Software for Your PC
The best free PC software programs aren’t about the cost (lack thereof), they’re about a fresh opportunity— collections of code that puts the dumb hardware in your computer to smart use, tools that could accomplish anything from balancing your househ
PCWorld5 min read
Online Backup: We Test the Best Services—From Backblaze to Carbonite, iDrive, Mozy and More
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 especially import
PCWorld2 min read
Microsoft Announces Office 2019 for Customers Who Don’t Want to Pay Forever for Office 365
Microsoft would really like you to sign up for one of its productivity subscriptions: Office 365, or better yet, the new Microsoft 365. But for those old fogies who prefer standalone software, Microsoft announced Office 2019 on Tuesday. Office 2019 w
PCWorld6 min read
Total War: Warhammer II: Dinosaurs Battle Rat-Men for the Fate of the World
“Kill the warmbloods!” The cry resounds over the battlefield, no doubt instilling fear in the hordes of rats who face me. Still they march on, pouring out of desolate ruins towards my scaly soldiers. To the left, a division of spear-wielding chameleo
PCWorld4 min read
Why the Internet Is Worried That Microsoft’s Consumer Services Are Doomed
The question rattled around the Twitterverse: Now that Microsoft has unexpectedly shuttered Groove Music Pass, can it be trusted to sustain other consumer products and services? It’s not an idle question. Every cancelled consumer product—the Zune mus
PCWorld7 min read
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 10 Killer tips and tricks
Samsung has come back from last year’s Note 7 disaster with the Galaxy Note 8, a phone so jam-packed with features, you might still be learning things about it when the time comes for your next upgrade. The Note 8 includes all the cool stuff Samsung
PCWorld3 min read
CCleaner Hacked With Malware: What You Need to Know
It seems that CCleaner, one of PCWorld’s recommendations for the best free software for new PCs, might not have been keeping your PC so clean after all. In an in-depth probe of the popular optimization and scrubbing software, Cisco Talos has discover
PCWorld10 min read
How to Buy the Perfect PC Case
No matter whether you treat your computer as the centerpiece of your home office or just stuff it under your desk, buying the right PC case matters. At a minimum, you want to pick a PC case that’s the right size for your needs and has room for all yo
PCWorld4 min read
3 Billion Yahoo Accounts Hacked: 5 Things You Should Do to Stay Safe
If you had a Yahoo account in 2013, your name and password were stolen. Yahoo expanded the scope of its massive data breach on Monday. In December, the Internet giant announced a hack that affected over a billion accounts, making it by far the larges
PCWorld4 min read
Microsoft Excel: Why Your Spreadsheet Is so Slow
When your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet slows to a crawl, you can’t help but notice. It may take longer to open and save your files, longer for Excel to calculate your formulas, and longer for the screen to refresh after entering data, or sorting and f
PCWorld3 min read
HP’s Spectre X360 13 Promises Up to 16 Hours of Battery Life in a Faster, Cooler Design
The he HP Spectre x360 13 is already one of the most popular 360-degree convertible laptops, and it’s about to get faster and cooler, thanks in part to Intel’s latest 8th-generation Core CPUs. Announced Wednesday, the refreshed Spectre x360 13 also o
PCWorld2 min read
Farewell, AIM: AOL Instant Messenger Is Signing off Permanently
It’s the end of an era that realistically ended a decade ago. On Friday, AOL announced that AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) will shut down permanently on December 15, 2017. When I heard the news, my mind flashed back to the boxes full of America Online C
PCWorld4 min read
How Google Is Using the Pixel 2 and Oreo to Take Android Back From Its Partners
With the Pixel 2, Google’s message is clear: For the best Android experience, come to us. Call it the Google stamp of approval. Where the Nexus phones were born of partnerships with the likes of HTC, Huawei, and LG, Google’s name was purposefully abs
PCWorld6 min read
How Loot Boxes Are Turning Full-Priced PC Games Into Pay-to-Win Games of Chance
Supply Crates. Battlepacks. Nitro Crates. War Chests. Prize Crates. Card Packs. Pioneer Crates. Treasure Chests. Loot Boxes. Whatever you call them, they’re the latest controversy to hit gaming. Not a new controversy by any means— these so-called “ga
PCWorld13 min read
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update: This could be Microsoft’s biggest Windows yet
Microsoft’s Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is what every sequel shoots for: bigger, better, more ambitious than the original. As it rolls out in phases (see Microsoft’s blog post for details), our review focuses on Windows’ big, risky bet on mixed r
PCWorld15 min read
Google Pixel 2 XL: A.I. Magic on a 6-Inch Display
You’ll want the Google Pixel 2 XL if you’re looking for the most elegant Android experience possible in a 6-inch phone. You’ll want the Pixel 2 XL if you’re looking for a stunning display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, amazing portrait photography, and a
PCWorld12 min read
Core I7-8700K: Intel’s Response to Ryzen Is Faster and Cheaper Than Ever
Intel’s 6-core 8th generation Core i7-8700K CPU is the reality check to high-performance, high-priced CPUs like the $2,000 Core i9 and $1,000 AMD Ryzen Threadripper. The real battle for the desktop and consumer’s wallets is with this amazingly afford
PCWorld3 min read
Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB: Speedy, Spacious Proof That the Hard Drive Isn’t Dead
Seagate’s Barracuda Pro 12TB reminds us why at least some hard drives can remain relevant despite the swift encroachment of SSDs. Until we reviewed its predecessor the Barracuda Pro 10TB last year and tasted its 250MBps read performance, we hadn’t gi
PCWorld3 min readTech
Crucial BX300 SSD: One of the Fastest MLC SATA Solid-State Drives We’ve Tested
You may color us surprised any time we receive an SSD such as Crucial’s new BX300 that’s not based on 3D TLC NAND. Actually, you may color us delighted. MLC NAND, even 3D (aka stacked, layered, tiered, etc) like that used in the BX300, can consistent
PCWorld5 min read
Divinity: Original Sin II Impressions: Saving the World as a Face-Stealing Skeleton
Divinity: Original Sin II is the highly anticipated sequel to an unanticipated hit. Divinity: Original Sin took me by surprise in 2014. For the most part, the revival isometric RPG revival focused on reviving the classics of old—Pillars of Eternity i
PCWorld3 min read
Equifax Hack: How to Know if You’re Affected
Credit monitoring agency Equifax revealed shocking news late September 7: A data breach of the company’s servers from mid-May through July 2017 resulted in the theft of the personal information of up to 143 million U.S. consumers—a huge chunk of the country’s 324 million population. Equifax says the breach leaked highly sensitive information, too, including “names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.” That’s everything crooks need to open up credit lines in your name, or worse. And now it’s in nefarious hands. Shamefully, Equifax wo
PCWorld5 min read
Galaxy S8 Battery Life Tips: How to Control Battery Drain
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are two of the best Android smartphones available, but if you’re going to get any use out of features like Bixby Voice and Samsung’s stellar camera, you’ll want to implement a few powersaving strategies. Fortunately, Samsung bundled in a helpful power-saving mode to keep the Galaxy S8’s battery steadily pumping throughout the day. We’ll teach you how to set it up, as well as how to implement some best practices for prolonging the life of your shiny Samsung phone. The best part is that you don’t need to download anything to improve the health of your Galaxy S8’s battery. A
PCWorld2 min read
Google Drive Is Being Replaced by Backup and Sync: What to Expect
Google Drive for both the PC and Mac will begin to die on December 11, Google said in early September. Depending on whether you’re a business user or a strict consumer, it will be reborn as one of two new apps: Backup and Sync, for consumers, or Drive File Stream, for businesses. Here’s what to expect during the transition. Note that Google doesn’t appear to be making any changes to the Drive service itself, just the apps. Google currently offers 15GB of online storage with Drive, and those files are accessible with any device with a Drive app installed. Those devices include Android devices,
PCWorld9 min read
How to Get Started With Linux: A Beginner’s Guide
The world of Linux is ready to welcome you, with a shower of free open-source software you can use on any PC: hundreds of active Linux distributions, and dozens of different desktop environments you could run on them. It’s a far cry from the one-size-fits-all, this-is-just-what-comes-with-your-PC vision of Windows. Everything from software installation to hardware drivers works differently on Linux, though, which can be daunting. Take heart—you don’t even need to install Linux on your PC to get started. Here’s everything you need to know. The first step is choosing the Linux distribution you’l
PCWorld2 min read
Acer’s Switch 7 Could Overpower the Surface Pro and MacBook Pro
Acer’s Switch 7 Black Edition is big, black, and ready to stomp on the Surface Pro and MacBook Pro 13. Sporting the latest quad-core CPU from Intel plus discrete graphics, it offers serious horsepower in a surprisingly slim package. Acer says the Switch 7 Black Edition will be available in North America in December with prices starting at $1,699. Specs are still sparse, but so far we know that the 2-in-1 device with detachable keyboard (which Acer describes as a “laptop” rather than a tablet) features a 13.5-inch IPS touch screen with a resolution of 2256x1504. It uses a Wacom EMR digitizer wi
PCWorld2 min read
Google Chrome Will Start Blocking Noisy Autoplay Videos in January
Google is taking aim at one of the biggest scourges of the modern web. Starting in January 2018, the Chrome browser will automatically block noisy autoplay video on webpages. “One of the most frequent user concerns is unexpected media playback, which can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing,” Google wrote in a blog post. “To address this, Chrome will be making autoplay more consistent with user expectations and will give users more control over audio.” In Chrome 64, autoplaying videos will be blocked by default unless they’re muted, or if “the user has indicated an i
PCWorld2 min read
The Timing Is Perfect for a New Chromebook Pixel
One thing is certain about Google’s fall event: A Pixel will steal the show. It might not be the one that fits in your pocket. A rumor published by Android Police says Google is working on a follow-up to its discontinued second-generation Chromebook Pixel, which hasn’t been available for purchase since mid-2016. A new model would be a pleasant surprise for fans of the Google laptop, which was hailed at the time as the best Chromebook ever made. The third model could be the charm that brings premium Chrome devices mainstream. The story behind the story: When a new Chromebook Pixel didn’t arrive
PCWorld3 min read
Comcast Is the Fastest ISP, and T-Mobile Is the Fastest Wireless Carrier, Ookla Says
Comcast is the fastest broadband ISP in the United States, according to Ookla, the developer behind the popular speedtest.net website. Ookla also named T-Mobile as the fastest wireless carrier in the U.S. Ookla found that Comcast Xfinity narrowly topped Verizon’s FiOS service as the fastest broadband ISP, while T-Mobile just edged out Verizon Wireless as the fastest wireless carrier. The data reflected 26 million unique broadband users, performing over 111 million tests across Ookla’s service. In the mobile space, about 3 million unique devices were used to generate 14 million tests, generatin
PCWorld22 min read
AMD Radeon RX Vega: Vega 56, Vega 64, and liquid-cooled Vega 64 tested
After months of teases and delays, the wait for Vega is finally over. First, AMD launched its flagship Radeon RX 64 lineup: the $499 Radeon RX Vega 64 and the $699 liquidcooled Radeon RX Vega 64, which is only available as part of a convoluted “Radeon Aqua Pack” bundle. (After the initial wave of availability, virtually all available air-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64 cards are only available in $599 Radeon Packs as well.) Then on August 28, the $399 Radeon RX Vega 56 hit the streets. And for the first time in a long time—over a year, in fact— the Red Team is fielding high-end graphics cards capable
PCWorld8 min read
Acer Predator 21 X: The Most Insane Laptop Ever Built
There are three things you should immediately know about Acer’s Predator 21 X laptop. First, it’s hands down the fastest laptop we’ve ever seen. Period. Second, it’s the widest laptop we’ve ever seen: 22.4 inches wide, 12.4 inches deep, and 2.71 inches to 3.28 inches high, front to back. And third: It’s the most expensive laptop we’ve seen in a long time. Sure, at $9,000, you’d think it would be the priciest ever in PCWorld history, but a 1990-era 286 laptop that cost $6,000 adjusted for inflation would be $11,367 today. So, the Predator 21 X is almost a deal, right? But seriously, Acer’s Pred
…Or Discover Something New