Recent Comments


Comment by Mahbub on [SOLVED] The Out of Memory Error (March 29, 2017 04:50 AM)
I often get this issue. If my laptop which has 8 gb ram is continuously open for few days and as inise lots of tabs in chrome i cme accross this issue...
Comment by Rick on [WARNING] Five WiFi Security Mistakes (March 29, 2017 12:09 AM)
Robert: In my experience, Router manufacturers - or ISPs that supply them - have stopped using short/weak passwords in lieu of long/strong ones. So.....
Comment by Robert on [WARNING] Five WiFi Security Mistakes (March 28, 2017 08:23 PM)
I am using the wifi password that came with the router. It is 12 characters long with multiple types of characters, caps, numbers, special characters...
Comment by Cho on [WARNING] Five WiFi Security Mistakes (March 28, 2017 07:34 PM)
@Perry....I had same issue....BUY your own Modem and Router...way less expensive in the long run......
Comment by Rick on [WARNING] Five WiFi Security Mistakes (March 28, 2017 06:51 PM)
Perry , John is correct, you opt out - see https://wifi.xfinity.com/ ...
Comment by john silberman on [WARNING] Five WiFi Security Mistakes (March 28, 2017 05:27 PM)
@Perry, I believe you can opt out "xfinitywifi". If not you can always buy your own cable modem and wifi router. ...
Comment by Perry on [WARNING] Five WiFi Security Mistakes (March 28, 2017 04:47 PM)
I use Comcast down here in Texas, and although I have always kept my WiFi secure with encryption and firewalls, I feel I am still somewhat vulnerable....
Comment by john silberman on [WARNING] Five WiFi Security Mistakes (March 28, 2017 04:47 PM)
What about using a WPS PIN? I thought I read somewhere that WPS PIN can be easily hacked with software such as Reaver. No need to hack WPA if the WP...
Comment by Joe M on [WARNING] Five WiFi Security Mistakes (March 28, 2017 04:33 PM)
Er, you did what? Trusting Verizon to set up your security was your very first mistake and not one that a pro should admit to!...
Comment by jphuf on [SCAM] Gadget Insurance and Extended Warranties (March 28, 2017 01:04 PM)
A few years ago, purchased the Epson WF-7620 from OfficeMax. Had a 1-year plus got an extended 2-year for $35. Near end of 3-yr, I called and said the...

Mobile Articles

 

Which Mobile Carrier Has the Best Signal?

When choosing a mobile service provider, you want to know which one has a good strong signal and a fast 4G data connection, in the places where you need to use your cell phone. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint all make various claims about network coverage, reliability and speed. But is there a way to honestly compare which one is best where you live and work? Read on...

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The Return of Unlimited Data Plans

Verizon announced the return of “unlimited” data service on February 12, 2017. For the first time in five years, all four major service providers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon) are offering “unlimited” plans. You'll note I put the word in quotes, so let’s see how they compare, and what limits you may encounter in actual practice...

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Should You Switch to Project Fi?

It’s been nearly three years since Google introduced Project Fi, a hybrid WiFi/LTE mobile service. While there have not been any game-changing innovations, Project Fi has kept the features that consumers love, improved upon them, and added some others. Will switching your mobile carrier to Fi save you money? Here's the scoop...

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Run Android Apps Under Windows

Back in March, 2016, I asked, “Is Desktop Software Dying?” The short answer is “yes.” Most new software is released first for mobile platforms these days; in some cases, a desktop version never appears. Fortunately, there are several ways to run Android apps on a Windows PC. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Read on for my take on several of the best options...

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The New “Unlimited” Data Plans

Language evolves over time. One of my friends likes to illustrate this point by startling people with, “I used to be gay, but when a certain segment of society took a shine to that word I became joyful to avoid confusion.” But what cellular service providers are doing to the word “unlimited” isn’t evolution; it’s mutation in the B-grade monster movie tradition. Read on for the scoop on so-called unlimited data plans...

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Are You Charging Batteries The Wrong Way?

“My phone is dead.” How many times have you said or heard that one? Running out of juice in the middle of the day is frustrating. But maybe you're part of the problem, without even knowing it. Now, here is a different approach to charging the battery in your mobile devices…

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[FLIP] The Rise of Anti-Smartphones

Those of us old enough to remember 90s-era flip phones often wax nostalgic about their elegant simplicity and ruggedness. They were good for phone calls and texts, and not much else. But it seems that those so-called “dumb phones" are making a comeback, and you'll be surprised at some of the people who are sporting them. Read on to learn why, and which models are available...

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[STOP] Wasting Money on Your Cell Phone

Your smartphone bill is probably one of the major monthly expenses in your budget. The average smartphone user spends $90 per month, while lucky iPhone owners spend about $111, according to a survey by Cowan and Co. Here are some tips for paring down that bill and keeping it under control…

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[SHARK] Are Tablets Dead?

The IBM-Mobile World Congress wrapped up recently. And remarkably, virtually no new tablets were hawked at the world’s biggest trade show for mobile device makers. Apple was entirely absent. Samsung, Sony, HTC and LG had no new tablets to announce, and didn’t even mention tablets in their presentations. Have tablets jumped the shark, gone the way of the 8-track, or become obsolete? Read on to see what's happening here...

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How Secure Are Shopping Apps?

Retailers are encouraging shoppers to download their smartphone apps with the promise of extra savings, convenience and other benefits. But do those benefits outweigh the potential privacy and security hazards? Let's take a look…

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It's Mobile Madness Time!

The holiday shopping season is in full swing and cellular carriers are taking full swings at each other, hoping to knock customers loose from the competition. Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T are all duking it out in the mobile phone arena. The deals (bribes?) being offered to tempt people into switching mobile carriers can amount to hundreds of dollars per account if you switch. Here is a round-up of who is offering what…

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Best Smartwatches of 2015

Smartwatches comprise a very young product category, but already it’s becoming crowded and confusing. Here is a beginner’s guide to smartwatches, what features are important to look for, and some best-of-breed examples. Read on…

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Angry Android Users Defecting To Apple?

Apple CEO Tim Cook says disaffected Android users bought 30% of the iPhones sold during Apple’s 4th fiscal quarter. That’s the highest rate of Android “switchers” ever, said Cook. Apple reported sales of 48 million iPhones during the quarter, so 14 million went to Android switchers. Read on for the interesting back story…

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No Frills Phones and Service Plans

If you still cling to a humble flip phone with no Internet access, touchscreen, or apps, you are not alone. According to Forrester Research, 29% of Internet-using Americans do not use smartphones as their main phones. If you're looking for a no-frills phone, or an inexpensive mobile calling plan, here's my roundup of some of the best deals available...

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Save Money on Mobile with Ting

Mobile phone plans (and the monthly bills) can be maddening. You pay a certain amount for a bucket of minutes, text messages, and mobile data. But at the end of each month, you may see that you didn't use all you paid for. Or worse, you have to pay EXTRA for going over your allotments. Ting feels your pain, and has a solution that can save you money on your mobile phone bill...

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Free WiFi Calling On Major Carriers

If you have a mobile calling plan that limits the number of minutes or text messages you can use each month, you'll be interested in today's article. Likewise, if you spend time in buildings where the cellular signal is poor, you'll want to learn more about WiFi Calling. Read on...

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Android - Now in Marshmallow Flavor!

Android v6.0, code-named “Marshmallow,” was released on October 5, 2015, and I think you're going to want it on your Android-powered smartphone or tablet. Here are the most significant new features in the latest edition of Google’s mobile operating system...

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Hey, Apple and Amazon… Google This!

Google joined the fall hardware fashion show last week, hot on the heels of new product announcements by Apple and Amazon. The search giant is signaling it’s serious about flexing its muscles in the realm of tangible goods. Read on to learn about Google's new gadgets, and how they intend to compete...

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Google Hangouts - Finally Usable?

Has Google Hangouts worked out the annoying kinks, and removed the hoops through which users formerly had to jump to enjoy free phone calls, video chat and messaging? Hangouts promises to be the "one app for all your conversations" on desktop or mobile devices. So are we there yet? Read on...

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Should You Get a Laplet?

When it comes to computers, there are more choices than ever before: desktop PCs, laptops/notebooks, tablets, “phablets” which fall somewhere between a smartphone and tablet, and “laplets” – a cross between a laptop and a tablet. Let’s take a look at the wonderful world of laplets…

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Stagefright: Worst Android Vulnerability Yet

Remember back in June when you snickered at your iPhone friends, because a specially crafted text message could shut down their phones? It's payback time. A similar vulnerability in Android phones can do much scarier things. Here's what you need to know, and do…

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Voice Recognition Hacking

Voice-activated technology is so easily hacked that it should be disabled on all devices that support it, according to the chief technology officer of AVG, a leading Internet security firm. Here's what you need to know, and do...

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Best Mobile Security and Privacy Apps

The world has gone mobile, in case you hadn’t noticed. Smartphone unit shipments exceeded PC shipments way back in the 4th quarter of 2010, and there’s no going back. But there’s been a mass migration of hackers to the mobile terrain, too. Here's what you need to know about mobile security…

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Comparing Unlimited Phone Plans

Sprint has launched a new “unlimited” voice/text/data plan called “All-In.” The fourth-largest mobile carrier says that “All-In” means all the charges are in one advertised price, eliminating unpleasant surprises. Let’s see how true that is…

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MUST SEE: Fairphone - The Next Generation

When it comes to electronics, some people care about “fair trade” and recycling, but most base their buying decisions on performance and price. But what if you could have the best of both worlds? Read on to learn about the Fairphone…

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Boost Your WiFi Signal: Ten Tips and Tricks

A reader asks: 'How can I boost my wifi signal? I finally got high-speed internet with a wireless router, but the wifi signal is weak in some parts of the house. What tweaks or gadgets do you recommend to boost wireless signal strength and distance?'

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Read This Before Selling Your Smartphone...

Before recycling, donating, or selling your smartphone, it’s a good idea to wipe it clean of all your contacts and other personal data. The easiest way to do that is the “factory reset” function; just tap it, confirm, and your phone is returned to the state it was in when it left the factory. All your personal data is gone. Or not. Read on to learn more...

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A Secret Radio Inside Your Phone?

Remember the good old days when cell phones included FM radio receivers? Well, most modern mobile phones still do, but you can’t use them. Why is this handy feature, which can provide free music even when you can’t get cellular signal, disabled and hidden? Read on to learn the reason...

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Prepaid Phone Plans for 2015

The prepaid phone market has changed a lot in the past few years. Prepaid plans used to be all about talk-minutes and text messages; today, data is the central selling point. Emphasis has switched from pay-as-you-go to monthly or even daily plans. But one thing hasn’t changed: carriers still don’t know the meaning of “unlimited.” Read on for details of the various plans available now...

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Mobile Malware: No Big Deal?

Verizon’s security research team wants you to know that the odds of catching a truly serious malware infection are about 0.03 percent, about the same as the average odds of being struck by lightning during a lifetime. So should we worry? Read on for the details, and my recommendations...

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Tech That Stops Distracted Driving

As of 2014, “distracted driving” causes more accidents than drunk driving, according to U. S. government statistics. Some may point fingers at mobile makeup artists, rambunctious children, cheeseburgers, and other distractions. But we all know that mobile phones are the real problem. Read on for some solutions…

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Project Fi - This is BIG!

A reader asks: “I've heard that Google just started their own mobile phone service, with rates that are surprisingly low. Is that true, and is it a better deal than Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile?” My answer is “Yes, sort of, and yes, maybe." Here's the scoop on Project Fi. Read on to find out if switching will save you money…

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Save Money With a WiFi Phone

Would you give up cellular phone service if you could still get unlimited voice, text, and data? How about if it costs $20 to $50 a month less than “unlimited everything” plans from major cellular carriers? Read on to learn how…

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Wireless Phone Charging

The biggest problem with rechargeable batteries is... recharging. For every “cordless” device you carry, you also have to carry a cord and a transformer to recharge the device when its battery runs down. But soon, you may be able to throw away that tangle of cables in your briefcase, purse or backpack. Wireless charging is the next big thing in mobility...

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REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S6 Smartphone

Samsung just unveiled the latest iterations of its high-end Galaxy smartphone, the S6 and the slightly more expensive S6 Edge. Let's take a look at the S6, how it differs from the Galaxy S5, and how it stacks up against the iPhone...

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Get Your Phone Unlocked For Free

A reader asks: “I want to switch to another mobile provider, but I love my current phone and don't want to buy a new one. Can I unlock my phone so it will work on any cellular network?” It's a tricky question, and the best short answer is MAYBE. Here's the long answer, and what you need to know about unlocked mobile phones...

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5 Best Android Phones for 2015

The Android smartphone landscape has much in common with the weather. If you don’t like either, just wait a few minutes and it will change. Two of the five Android phones described below will be superseded by newer, presumably better versions soon, according to their makers. That said, here are my picks for the five best Android phones currently available.

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Forward Emails to Your Phone

Most people prefer not to be notified (bothered) by their phones every time an email hits their inbox. But email from a spouse, child, boss, or other important contact may be something you want to know about right now. Here is a free, easy way to receive a text message when those things happen…

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Can We Trust Uber?

It can be hard to get a cab in a busy city. Fares are high, wait times are long, and taxi drivers often don't have good English skills. Uber is one attempt to solve this problem with smartphones, GPS technology and the Internet. But can we trust them? Read on…

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Sprint Price Cut or Shell Game?

Sprint says “Bring us your Verizon or AT&T bill and we’ll cut your rate in half” for the same service. Whenever a phone company makes you a simple, compelling offer, you’d better read it carefully; then have a lawyer read it too. Let’s unravel the truth in Sprint’s brand-new “half price” offer...

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Will Hybrid Phone Service Save You Money?

There's a new breed of mobile phone that routes your calls, texts and data usage over free wifi connections, and uses your expensive cellular minutes and megabytes only when necessary. Check out these three hybrid mobile phone service providers, and see if switching will save you money on your mobile phone bill...

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New Mobile Malware Threat

A well-known predator named “Koler” has ramped up its game from “drive-by download” to “self-replicating virus,” accelerating the spread of this ransomware from one smartphone to all its owner’s contacts. Read on to learn about a secret feature that will zap this and other mobile malware apps...

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New iPads: Worth a Look?

The iPad seems to be running out of gas. Apple reports that sales of its tablets are down 13% from last year. Even more significantly, this year’s new iPads have nothing compellingly “new” about them for the average user, or even the power user. Let's take a closer look at the new models...

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Is Your Flashlight App Spying On You?

Almost every app you install on a mobile device or a social media network asks for permission to access some of your private user data; many also ask to perform actions on your behalf, such as writing to your Facebook timeline or Twitter feed. Sometimes it’s obvious that an app needs the permission it’s requesting in order to work at all. But how can you tell when an app’s request for permission is unreasonable, suspicious, or malicious?

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Amazon No Longer Kindles Its Fire

Amazon recently reshuffled its mobile device product lines, adding new models and renaming everything to draw a bright line between tablets and ereaders. If you're confused about what is and isn't a Kindle, or what makes a Fire so hot, now is a good time to review the Amazon mobile gadget lineup…

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Time to Sell or Trade Your Smartphone?

Apple’s iPhone 6 won’t start shipping until September 19 (and delays of 2-3 weeks have already been announced) but carriers are already using the much-anticipated phone to compete for new customers and tempt existing customers into renewing their contracts for another two years. It's also created a hot market for used smarpthones. Read on to see how you can benefit...

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Apple's Triple Play: What You Need to Know

On September 9, 2014, Apple unveiled three new products: the iPhone 6, the long-awaited Apple Watch, and Apple Pay, the company’s foray into electronic payment systems. Let’s see how much they matter…

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Which Hybrid Laptop Tablet is Best?

The computing industry has finally figured out what Windows 8.1 is good for: selling hybrid laptop-tablet machines. Win 8’s touchscreen interface was made for tablets, not traditional clamshell laptops. Yet Win 8’s strongest market is business, where a keyboard is essential. So manufacturers have settled on a hybrid form factor that just might work. Here are five examples of this breed:

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NEWS FLASH: You Can't Trust Any App

A new vulnerability that hackers can exploit to steal passwords and even take pictures of checks for fraudulent uses has been found in the Android operating system, and it probably exists in other mobile platforms, too. Like the recently discovered USB flash memory vulnerability, this one is deeply embedded in many, many products. And neither flaw is going to be fixed any time soon. What to do? Read on...

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Are You in a Mobile Phone Dead Zone?

It’s a minor nuisance to experience poor cellular reception as you pass under a bridge, through a tunnel, or between tall buildings. But it’s a much bigger deal if your home or office (or just certain rooms) are in such a “dead zone.” Here are some gadgets that can help to bring your cellular signal where you need it the most...

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Which e-Book Reader Should You Buy?

Amazon has a big hit in the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. There’s a lot to like about this portable, single-purpose device that does its job so well. But there are other excellent alternatives available. Read on to see how they compare...

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Wireless Phone Chargers

You've got a wireless phone, but more often than not, it's tethered to the wall charger with a wire! The advent of wireless phone chargers promises to eliminate that hassle. Read on to learn more...

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Old Androids Never Die, They Just Become Bots

Is there a horrible, terrible security vulnerability lurking in your Android-powered mobile gadget? Are evil Russian hackers controlling Richard Engel's smartphone at this very moment? Read on...

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Warrants Required to Search Phones?

You get pulled over for speeding, and officer demands that you hand over your cell phone, so he can check to see if you were yacking or texting while driving. Are you justified in saying 'Show me the search warrant'? Read on to learn how the U.S. Supreme Court just ruled on this matter...

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Should You Set Your Phone on Fire?

Last week, Amazon unveiled its latest mobile device designed to lure users into buying something from the e-commerce giant by being extraordinarily useful, convenient, and cool (or perhaps hot) to them: the Amazon Fire Phone. Here's what you need to know about the Fire smartphone...

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Send Free Text Messages, With or Without a Phone!

If your mobile phone carrier charges you to send or receive a text, here's good news. There are several ways to send a free text message, and with some of them you don't even need a mobile phone. If you've ever wanted to send a quick text message and you didn't have a phone handy... or there's no cellular service where you are... or you hate paying international texting rates, read on!

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WhatsUp With WhatsApp?

Facebook blew everyone’s minds recently by announcing its $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, an instant messaging app for smartphones. If you haven’t tried WhatsApp, you may be puzzled by Facebook’s valuation of it. Here is how WhatsApp works, how it might save (or cost) you money, and why Google tried but failed to keep it out of Facebook’s clutches...

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Getting Personal: Siri, Google Now, and Cortana

Smartphone personal assistant apps are becoming more involved in our daily lives. They watch, listen, and then offer a variety of information that's supposed to make your life easier. But are they getting a bit TOO personal? Let's look at the offerings from Apple, Google, and some rumors about Microsoft's upcoming personal digital assistant app...

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More Confusing Phone Plans

The major mobile phone service providers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) are coming up with new plans faster than ever. Consumers are tempted to switch carriers, service plans, and phones, with the promise that they'll save money on their monthly bills. AT&T has their 'Next' plan, Verizon offers you 'More Everything' and Sprint wants you to join a 'Framily'. But the fine print can be baffling! Here's my analysis…

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Should You Start a FRamily?

Customer aggregation seems to be the new marketing strategy for cellular service providers. Sprint's new 'Framily Plan' idea is to get a lot of people signed up under one account, offering everyone discounts if they pool their minutes and data consumption. Let's check out the pros and cons of this offer…

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Top Five Android Phones 2014

As we roll into the New Year waving our credit cards at smartphone makers, everyone is asking, 'What’s the best phone to buy?' If you’re an Apple fan the answer is obvious, even if it’s wrong. If you’re an Android droid, then it gets more complicated. Here's my advice...

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Five Low-Cost Mobile Phone Plans

If you have only occasional use for a mobile phone, it makes little sense to sign a two-year contract and pay high monthly rates. There are no-contract, prepaid phone plans that can provide anything from simple voice calls, to texting, to Internet access on a pay-for-use basis. And a basic phone doesn’t cost very much. Here are some options to consider if you're looking for an inexpensive cell phone plan...

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Word Processing on Smartphone or Tablet

When you walk away from your home or office computer, you don't have to say goodbye to your documents or spreadsheets. There are plenty of apps for iPhone, iPad and Android users that let you do word processing and other Office-y tasks on your smartphone or tablet. Here's my roundup of the best options for editing your documents while on the go with a mobile device...

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HOWTO: Boost Cell Phone Battery Life

There are two kinds of mobile device users: one rants constantly about the uselessness of the battery in his phone, tablet, laptop, etc.; the other kind shrugs and says, “Mine’s not so bad.” The difference is partly one of temperament; some mobile users take simple steps to extend the time between recharges. Here are some simple ways to conserve a battery’s charge and extend the life of the battery itself...

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Save Money With Hybrid Cellular Phone Service

How does this sound to you, savvy mobile communications customer? A mobile smartphone that does talk, text, and web over WiFi for only $5/month? Or unlimited talk & text even without WiFi for $10 a month? Or talk, text and data for $25/month? Read on to learn how it's possible...

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Microsoft, Nokia and the Snowgun

The first Monday in September saw a whole lot of desperation: Microsoft announced plans to buy Nokia’s entire mobile business for $7 billion. Will this transform Microsoft into a mobile device powerhouse? Or is it more like trying to come from behind to win the Kentucky Derby on a horse with a broken leg by flogging the beast with money? Here's my analysis...

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More Prepaid 4G Smartphones

Fans of prepaid phone service are finally getting 4G service and smarter phones. The good news is faster data speeds without a contract. The even better news is that you won’t have to pay the full retail price of a compatible smartphone, although they’re still not cheap. Here’s the scoop on prepaid 4G mobile, and a little-known way to use a smartphone with no contract or monthly fees...

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Android Security Update

Hey, the U.S. government is stealing my gig! The nice folks at the Department of Homeland Security (yes, the same people who brought you free irradiations, body scanners and airport gropings) are now turning their attention to everyday 'cyber threats.' So what do they (and other scare mongers) have to say about Android mobile gadget security? Read on...

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Google + Motorola = Moto X

The first smartphone born of Google’s marriage to Motorola was as hotly anticipated as the latest UK Royal baby. Let’s take a look at the coolness of the Moto X...

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Is Google Nexus 7 the Best Tablet?

If you have been waiting patiently for the 'perfect' 7-inch Android tablet, your wait may be over. Google’s revamped Nexus 7 nails it, setting a new standard for build quality, features, and price. For just $229 you can own what is NOT arguably the best 7-inch Android tablet on the market; it definitely is the best. Here's why...

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A New Phone Every Six Months?

T-Mobile disrupted the mobile communications market earlier this year with its 'no-contract' offering. Now, T-Mobile is upping its game with 'Jump!' -- allowing customers to upgrade phones every six months. Read on to see how the no-contract, frequent-upgrade paradigm works, and how AT&T and Verizon are responding to this move...

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Should I Buy a Laptop or a Tablet?

'My old PC finally died, and I need to replace it with something portable. But it still needs to be powerful enough to handle email, web and typical office software. For someone with my requirements, would you suggest a laptop, an Ultrabook, the iPad or an Android-based tablet?'

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Rooting and Jailbreaking

The terms “rooting” and “jailbreaking” refer to the same thing: the process of obtaining full administrator-level control over a smartphone or tablet's operating system. Why would you want to do that? Well, there are some advantages, but a few potential pitfalls as well. Here's what you need to know...

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Unlocking Your Cell Phone

A reader asks: 'I want to switch to another mobile provider, but I love my current phone and don't want to buy a new one. Can I unlock my phone so it will work on any cellular network?' It's a tricky question, and the best short answer is MAYBE. Here's the long answer on how to save money with an unlocked mobile phone...

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Locate a Stolen Laptop or Smartphone

A reader asks: 'I travel often with a smartphone and a laptop, so I'm looking for something to help me locate these gadgets if they are ever lost or stolen. What do you recommend?' Read on for my tips on recovering (and preventing) a lost or stolen laptop, tablet, or smartphone...

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HOWTO: Securing Your Smartphone

Your smartphone offers many conveniences, but it carries some risks as well. You may love having access to your email and other apps while you're on the go, but have you ever considered the potential damage that might result if your phone was lost or stolen? Here are some tips on securing your phone, and all the data that it carries...

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Facebook Phones Home

The long-rumored Facebook phone is finally here. Except it's not really a phone. It's YOUR phone, with a new face. But is it a friendly face, or another 'in your face' intrusive reach by Facebook into your privacy? Here's the scoop on Facebook Home, and your phone...

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Is The Two-Year Mobile Contract Dead?

The big three mobile phone carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) have used the same pricing scheme for a long time: sell phones at steep discounts and make it up on service contracts that lock customers into monthly payments for at least two years. T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier, seems to be challenging that paradigm in a way that gives consumers more flexibility. But does it really? Read on to learn more about T-Mobile's new 'no contract' mobile service plans...

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Backup for Smartphones

I have an iPhone and my wife uses a Samsung Galaxy Android phone. We're both a little nervous about losing all the data we store on our mobile phones, such as contacts, messages, and apps. Can you recommend any good backup utilities for smartphones?

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Send Text Messages for Free

A reader asks 'How can I send a text message for free? My mobile phone carrier gives me a small number of free texts, then charges me ten cents to send or receive a text. Is there a way to send a free text message?' Actually, yes! Here's how it works...

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Send Text Messages for Free

A reader asks 'How can I send a text message for free? My mobile phone carrier gives me a small number of free texts, then charges me ten cents to send or receive a text. Is there a way to send a free text message?' Actually, yes! Here's how it works...

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The Worst Place to Buy a Mobile Phone?

72 year-old Gerry Soubly went to a Verizon store with a friend to buy a new phone. Shortly after they entered, the place was invaded by three armed men who shot out the glass front door. 'I felt helpless,' Soubly said, despite having the presence of mind to shield his friend and dial 911. The suspects were quickly captured, and then the real robbery began...

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How to Track a Cell Phone

There are many reasons you might want to locate a cell phone and track its movements. Perhaps you lost your phone and would like it back. You might be an anxious parent, an employer, or you could be part of a group of friends who want to keep tabs during a night on the town. Whatever your reason for tracking a cell phone, there are several ways to go about doing it. Here's the scoop on cell phone tracking...

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Do You Need Mobile Security Protection?

A reader asks: 'I am seeing more about viruses and malware on mobile devices. My wife has an iPad and I have an Android smartphone. Should we be concerned enough to look into anti-virus or other security software for these gadgets? Or is it all hype at this point?' Read on for my opinion of mobile security software...

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Top Five Android Phones for 2013

The market was flooded with Android phones in recent months. Many of them are extraordinary, as both the Android software and hardware have improved at a rapid rate. These five are my picks for the best Android smartphones, heading into 2013...

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Five Cheap Mobile Phone Plans

If you have only occasional use for a mobile phone, it makes little sense to sign a two-year contract and pay high monthly rates. There are no-contract, prepaid phone plans that can provide anything from simple voice calls, to texting, to Internet access on a pay-for-use basis. And a basic phone doesn’t cost very much. Here are some options to consider if you're looking for an inexpensive cell phone plan...

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Find a Lost or Stolen Cell Phone

A reader asks: 'Yesterday I lost my cell phone in a restaurant, and have not been able to recover it. Before I get a new one, are there any tricks I can try to locate a stolen phone? And for the future, what options do I have BEFORE a phone is lost, that will help me get it back?'

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The iPad Mini is Here!

Apple unveiled the long-awaited iPad Mini on October 23, 2012. The smaller, cheaper version of the popular tablet will be available for pre-order on November 1. Here's what you need to know about the Mini, and how it compares to other 7-inch tablets...

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Is Your iPhone Tracking Every Move?

Every move you make... Every step you take... I'll be watching you. You remember that song by Sting. But has Apple adopted this as their new iPhone advertising strategy? Read on to find out what you should know about a new feature on your iPhone that lets advertisers track and target you online...

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Who Has The Best 4G Service?

Choosing a mobile 4G service provider can be confusing. Verizon claims "More 4G coverage than all the others combined," while AT&T boasts that they are "The nation's largest 4G network." Can they BOTH be telling the truth? Read on for help with unravelling these claims, and some tips on selecting 4G mobile phone service...

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Cell Phone Signal Boosters

Sometimes your cell phone can't pick up a good signal inside a building, on the road, or in remote areas. In some cases, a cell phone signal booster might help. Here's the scoop on which ones work and which to avoid...

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Announcing: The Microsoft Surface Tablet

On June 18, 2012, Microsoft unveiled its answer to the iPad, as well as the unspoken question, "What are we supposed to do with Windows 8?" The Microsoft Surface tablet is pretty slick, and may set a new standard for the tablet industry. Here’s a first look at the new device...

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OnLive Desktop - Windows on Your Tablet?

For a service that is only four months old as of this writing, OnLive Desktop has been through a lot of changes. First, it was Windows 7 on the iPad. Next, it was a "gigabit-accelerated" Web browser. Then it was a flagrant violation of Microsoft's licensing terms. Now it's an app that offers iPad and Android tablet users a PC desktop in the cloud. But how well does it really work? Let's take a look...

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Free Skype Calls on a Cell Phone?

Can I use Skype to make free calls on a cell phone? I'm almost always in a wifi zone, so why not use Skype or other VoIP calling services to make calls, instead of burning up my minutes? Seems logical, but I've heard that some mobile carriers force you to use your minutes even when calling on Skype. I'd love to have this subject clarified, thanks!

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The Best Mobile Phone Web Browser?

I use both Firefox and the Google Chrome browser on my desktop computer, so I miss some of the features they offer when I'm using my tablet or smartphone. We have both iPhone and Android devices in our home, and would love to have the same browser across all of them. What do you recommend?

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Top Five Android Phones for 2012

The number of Android smartphones on the market keeps growing; at this point, the selection is vast and bewildering. But competition among phone makers is a good thing, pushing the envelope of features and speed to new heights. Here are five of the best-performing Android phones on the market today...

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What is Windows Phone 7?

Is Windows Phone 7 as good as iOS or Android? I'm shopping for a new smartphone, and have been intrigued by the Mango interface. But there aren't many phones that offer it. Can you tell me more about Windows Phone 7, and compare it to the alternatives?

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Tap to Pay with Google Wallet?

I was just in Macy's and saw a sign at the checkout, inviting me to pay with Google Wallet, by tapping my smartphone on the credit card reader. It also said something about NFC, which I don't understand. Can you tell me more about this, and how it works?

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4G Mobile Hotspots

What exactly is a 4G mobile hotspot? I have a 4G phone and a wireless router at home. Am I correct in thinking that this device would somehow enable me to take my wireless internet connection with me when I leave the house?

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What's New in Android 4.0?

Android 4.0, the latest update to Google's mobile operating system, is here. The Android 4.0 release - also known as Ice Cream Sandwich - will first be available on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone, due to be released in early November, 2011. Android 4 is full of new features; here are some of the coolest...

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Droid Bionic review

The Motorola Droid Bionic has been a long time coming. First announced in January, 2011, at the CES trade show, this Verizon Wireless smartphone didn't actually go on sale until September. But after getting mine a week ago, I can tell you the Droid Bionic has been worth the wait. Here's my review of the newest 4G Android smartphone from Verizon…

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Should You Buy a 4G Phone?

Should I buy a 4G phone? I'm ready for a new mobile phone, and not sure if 4G is the right way to go. I use my smartphone all day, for email, web browsing and apps. So speed is important to me, but I need something reliable too. Do you think 4G is ready for prime time, and if so, what models do you recommend?

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The Feature Phone is Dead! Long Live the Feature Phone!

Most of my friends have an iPhone or an Android smartphone. I'll admit to some level of 'Angry Birds Envy' but I really don't do much with my phone except for calling and text messages. Email would be nice, and sometimes I could use a GPS, but is it really worth it?

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Is Your Smartphone Bill About to Explode?

Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T have implemented new tiered pricing plans that could result in hefty overage charges for mobile data users. Here's how to track your data usage and avoid a big surprise in your next bill...

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Netflix on Mobile Devices

Netflix first made its name (and dug Blockbuster's grave) in the rent-by-mail DVD business. Today, Netflix is going all out to push its streaming video service, called 'Watch Instantly' to computers, game consoles, tablets and smartphones. But does it really make sense to watch movies on a 'small screen' mobile device? Here's my take...

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Which 4G Phone is Fastest?

Smartphone makers and cell phone carrier services are touting 4G, as in fourth generation. A lot of hype surrounds the term 4G, and many consumers just want to cut to the chase: what is the fastest 4G phone? Unfortunately, the answer isn't simple or final...

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Is The iPhone Doomed?

Apple's iPhone has long held a commanding lead among smartphone users, but sales of Android phones have recently gained ground fast, eclipsing the iPhone. Is the iPhone losing its crown? Here's my take on the situation...

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Is Your Smartphone Telling Secrets?

I recently heard that some mobile phones tag all photos with the GPS coordinates where they were taken. Is this true, and if so, what can be done about this privacy exposure?

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What To Do With a Used Cell Phone

Got a new cell phone, and wondering what to do with the used model? Don't throw it in the trash, or toss it in the junk drawer. You have several good options for dealing with a used mobile phone, and some of them may even put cash in your pocket...

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Verizon iPhone

If you're a Verizon customer longing for an iPhone, or, like many AT&T iPhone owners, you are unhappy with your AT&T Wireless service, relief is on its way. On February 10, 2011, Verizon Wireless will launch its Verizon iPhone. Existing Verizon Wireless customers can pre-order the iPhone starting February 3. Learn more about the Verizon iPhone, and what it means to AT&T customers who have iPhones…

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Buy Calling Cards Online

Prepaid calling cards help you save money on long-distance calls under many common circumstances. International calling cards are especially thrifty when traveling abroad. While long-distance calling cards are sold in many retail stores, you can buy calling cards online to get a broader selection of options and the best per-minute rate...

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International Cell Phone Rental

When you travel abroad you may find that your trusty cell phone does not work in foreign countries, or extremely remote locations if you're that adventurous. Savvy travelers take advantage of international cell phone rentals to temporarily serve their needs in different countries. There are even satellite phone rentals that can keep you connected in the Sahara desert or the Amazon River basin. Read on...

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Downloading Free Ringtones

I've been chasing down offers for free ringtones, but most of them look like scams. I was able to download one ringtone, but I can't figure out how to get it on my phone. Help...

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4G Wireless

4G wireless is the fourth generation of cell phone communication technology. Each generation is fundamentally different from earlier ones, and presumably better in ways important to consumers. Read on to learn about the advantages of 4G wireless, and where you can get super-fast 4G mobile today...

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Should I Buy a Blackberry?

How does the Blackberry smartphone operating system by Research In Motion (RIM) stack up against Apple's iPhone and Google's Android? A smartphone's OS is the foundation of an entire ecosystem of vendors, phones, accessories, and apps. Let's compare the three leading smartphone operating systems in the U.S. and see what sorts of users benefit most from each...

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Prepaid Wireless Phone Service

I just saw a new prepaid mobile phone service offering a 7 cents/minute rate. I currently pay about 20 cents/minute for wireless calling with Tracfone, but my monthly bill is always over $40. Now I'm wondering if I should stay with a prepaid plan, or go with a service like Cricket that offers unlimited calling for $30 a month. It's all so confusing... what is your opinion of prepaid wireless and other options?

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Microsoft KIN SmartPhone

Microsoft Corp. recently announced two versions of a new Windows smartphone. Dubbed the KIN, this phone targets your kin -- family and friends with whom you want to share. Is the KIN really a smart phone, or a dumb idea? Read on...

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Unlocked Cell Phones

I want to switch to another mobile provider, but I love my current phone and don't want to buy a new one. How can I unlock my phone so it will work on any cellular network?

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The Droid Phone

There's a certain segment of the population that is addicted to gizmos and gadgets. They're always waiting for the Next Big Thing. Those people are anxiously awaiting November 6, 2009, when the Motorola/Verizon Droid smartphone will be released to the masses. If you can't wait to get one in your hands, here is a sneak preview of the latest in a succession of iPhone killer devices…

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Palm Pre Versus iPhone

I'm a Sprint customer, and thinking about buying a new smartphone. I like the iPhone, but it's only on AT&T. Sprint's Palm Pre also looks good, but how does it stack up to the iPhone?

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Which Blackberry Should I Buy?

So you've decided that the time is right to join the BlackBerry revolution, but there are so many options. RIM offers 5 different Blackberry models -- Pearl, Curve, Storm, Bold and Tour -- so let's take an in-depth look to find which one is right for you.

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Voyager Versus iPhone

Some people are calling the new LG Voyager a potential iPhone killer. I'm considering buying the Voyager so I'd like your take on how it stacks up against the Apple iPhone.

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Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

Are you concerned about the risk of getting cancer from long-term cell phone usage? Finally, some scientific studies assessing the link between cell phones and cancer have been conducted. The results are in, and I for one was surprised...

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