AskBob's Best of 2014 - Part One

Category: Reference

I want to send a big THANKS to the 41,000 readers who made the AskBob website a busy place in 2014! Over 250 new articles were published this year, and many of you contributed your own comments. Since I'm a numbers guy, I asked my robot to scan the logs to find the most popular articles, based on your views, clicks, and recommendations. Here are ten of the top articles for you to review. I hope you'll read each one, leave your own comments, and forward this to a friend...

Your Favorite AskBob Stories of 2014

Getting smarter and more productive... staying safe... saving money. Those phrases seem to sum up the most popular items published here during 2014. If those things appeal to you, you'll enjoy reviewing my Top Ten list below, whether you're a long-time reader, or a recent subscriber.

1. Free Online College Courses

Everyone knows that college is not cheap. But did you know that some college courses are free, online? Some of the most prestigious universities in the world offer thousands of courses free of charge to anyone with a Web browser. See this three-part series, and then check out Massively Open Online Classes (MOOCs) from top universities that provide opportunities to learn at your own pace, from wherever you happen to be, free of cost. Explore these links to see how much you can learn!

AskBob - Best of 2014

2. HOWTO: Connect Your PC to TV, Wirelessly! Wouldn't it be great to beam whatever is on your computer screen directly to your big-screen TV? Now you can wirelessly send Netflix, Hulu, YouTube videos, photos and computer games from your PC, Mac or mobile screen directly to your television. Even browse the web on your fancy big-screen HDTV. Here's how to make a wireless connection from your desktop, laptop or mobile device to your living room TV set.

3. Free Internet Faxing Services

Why use an expensive, complicated and obsoletet fax machine when there are so many Internet alternatives? Some even allow you to send and receive faxes online for free. See my roundup of free Internet fax services, learn how to Get a Free Inbound Fax Number and don't miss my Six Reasons to Trash Your Fax Machine.

4. How to Get FREE Satellite TV

Can you really get free satellite TV? Yes! If you're paying for satellite TV service, it may surprise you to learn that there's a free version, too. "Free to air" (FTA) satellite TV delivers thousands of channels of broadcast content via satellite to consumers all over the world. Read all about it, and also, learn about the Free Satellite TV on PC scam you should avoid.

5. Free Anti-Virus Programs

Are you stll paying for Internet security software? If you're using the Norton or McAfee antivirus package that came with your computer, you need to know about some excellent free alternatives. When you've digested that, see my list of Free Microsoft Security Tools and then learn how to Deep Scan for Malware.

6. Get Your Free Credit Report Online

Yes, Virginia, there is a free credit report clause. Readers often ask me about getting free credit reports online, concerned that they'll be scammed or tricked into paying a fee. So is it true that you can get a free credit REPORT once a year? YES! Read on to learn how it's done, how to avoid the potential pitfalls, and how it's different than your credit SCORE. Along those lines, don't miss Why You MUST Check Your Credit Report and Ten Ways to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft.

7. Can Roku Replace Cable TV?

If you're thinking about dropping your cable TV in favor of online TV and movie streaming, you should know about the Roku box, which makes it simple to bring online video to your big screen TV. Here's my take on whether it can replace your cable TV subscription, along with some competing devices in Roku and Friends: Can You Cut the Cable?

8. A Free Windows XP Alternative

Windows XP officially reached "end of life" status in April 2014. I've written that sticking with Windows XP is like driving with bald tires on an icy highway. But here's good news for those who don't want to spend even a dime on another version of Windows. Fortunately, there's a free alternative operating system that will do pretty much everything that Windows XP does. Read on to learn if Ubuntu Linux is a good choice for you.

9. Ten Ways To Boost Your WiFi Signal

Wireless devices are everywhere now... from laptops to smartphones, tablets and ebook readers. Even printers and hard drives can be connected to a wifi network. So it's important to get the best possible signal from your wireless router. Here are 10 ways to boost or extend your WiFi signal, and most of them won't cost a penny. Oh, and you'll also want to read about Five Wifi Security Mistakes you must avoid.

10. When Your Phone is Lost, Stolen or Dropped in the Bathtub...

So you lost your phone... it can be more than a nuisance or expensive mistake, with all your personal info and passwords stored there. But before you run off to get a new one, there are a few tricks you can try to locate a lost or stolen phone. And for the future, here are some tips you can use BEFORE a phone is lost, to help you get it back. And if you drop your shiny toy in the sink, toilet or a mud puddle, learn what you must (and must not) do right away in How to Rescue a Wet Phone. Along those lines, don's miss SCAM ALERT: Mobile Device Insurance and Extended Warranties.

I hope you enjoy reading (or re-discovering) each of these, and of course, leave your own comments! Tomorrow I'll have Part Two of AskBob's Best of 2014, and then I'll close out the year with a surprise you'll love!

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This article was posted by on 29 Dec 2014

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Prev Article:
Geekly Update - 24 December 2014

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
AskBob's Best of 2014 - Part Two

Most recent comments on "AskBob's Best of 2014 - Part One"

Posted by:

29 Dec 2014

These are just a few articles that show why your newsletters are a MUST read. Thanks for all the knowledge you provide us.

Posted by:

John Wood
29 Dec 2014

Hi Bob, I've been reading your articles since the big bus left the station. I really appreciate your balanced approach, reminiscent of Sergeant Joe Friday - "Just the facts, ma'am." Best wishes for a Happy New Year, and I look forward to the continuing excellent standard of your work.

Posted by:

Ralph C.
29 Dec 2014

Thanks Bob for all of your articles. I read each and every one and i feel much more informed about computing and keeping thigs safe and secure. Good job well done.

Posted by:

29 Dec 2014

Happy New Year, Bob.

Thank you for this very useful list (with more to come) but most of all, thank you for your hard work throughout the year. How you manage to find and write such interesting and useful articles on virtually every day of the year is beyond me! Your output is phenomenal. Bravo!

Posted by:

29 Dec 2014

I love Top 10 Lists. Thank you for all that you do to help me understand the dark corners of Cyberspace. Happy New Year. (I hope this sentiment is still PC.)

Posted by:

29 Dec 2014

Thank you for this wrap up. I keep this email handy all year for reference when I encounter a fellow senior citizen who needs help with their computer.

Posted by:

R Thiessen
29 Dec 2014

Thank-you for explaining so even an "OLD" pensioner can understand. Your web-page has made my computer an enjoyable addition to our family.

Posted by:

Bob K.
29 Dec 2014

Hello Bob,

Thank you for all that you do. Through the years, several of your articles have helped me. One observation: Of the top ten most popular articles, six had the word "free" in the title.
Again, I can't thank you enough for all your help.

Best Regards,
-Bob K.

Posted by:

Frank Rohenes
30 Dec 2014

Hi Bob. I have been reading your articles for some time now. Their subjects are important, interesting and practical. They are well written, very clear and right to the point. Thank you for your work and your time. May the 2015 be the best year ever for us all!

Posted by:

31 Dec 2014

I can't believe that 2015 is just the day, after tomorrow! I am like everyone else, I want to thank you, for all that you do, to help us, keep our computers clean and happy.

I have read all of those on this list and thoroughly, enjoyed them. I also, learned. I think, you know that I am your #1 Fan and always, will be. You are down to earth, with your explanations and yet, so knowledgeable with geek speak. You have the talent, to translate the geeky things, into everyday language, that all of us can understand. For that, I thank you personally.

May you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and the Best 2015 ever!

Posted by:

31 Dec 2014

Using Cromecast can I look at my computer files i.e.My Pictures.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes, you can.

Posted by:

Thos. Vanides
01 Jan 2015

Your site is the most valuable of all the "computer info" sites on the Internet. Every article (and I don't know how you do it) contains valuable, practical information. And no fluff!

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- AskBob's Best of 2014 - Part One (Posted: 29 Dec 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved