AskBob's Best of 2018 - Part Two

Category: Reference

On Wednesday I published Part One of my Best of 2018. Today, I've got another batch of ten very popular AskBob articles for you. These have been selected using input from autonomous robots, surveillance drones, artificially intelligent monkeys, eye-tracking devices, and machine learning software that I stole from a secret underground laboratory. I hope you'll read each one, leave your own comments, and share them with your Email, Facebook and Twitter friends.

Your Favorite AskBob Stories of 2018

In AskBob's Best of 2018 - Part One, some of the topics were focused on dealing with robocallers, defending against malware, and web browser options. Looking at today, some of the key concepts that jump out at me are router security, cord cutting, free stuff, protecting your privacy, and hard drive health. I hope you'll enjoy today's final Top Ten of 2018...

1. PC Matic - An Overdue Review

In one of the most significant changes I've made regarding computer security in many years, I switched my anti-virus software. Many AskBob readers have recommended PC Matic by PC Pitstop over the years, but I had never done a comprehensive review. So I bought a copy, took it for a test drive, and loved it! PC Matic has a unique "white list" approach to virus fighting that works very well. Read my review and check it out for yourself...

2. Get Your Free Credit Reports Online

In the wake of the massive data breaches of 2018, many people are asking how to get free credit reports, so they can check for fraudulent entries. So is it true that you can get THREE credit reports every year for free? YES! Read on to learn how it's done, and how to avoid the potential pitfalls. You'll also pick up some tips on avoiding scams and identity theft, and learn the difference between a Credit REPORT and a Credit SCORE...

3. [READ] Millions of Free Ebooks

Since the days of the Egyptian pharaohs, libraries have offered access to the printed wisdom and folly of humanity, but only to “authorized personnel” in the beginning. Most people had to travel and pay for books, and that was hard on budgets. But now the Internet makes available more good books, old and new, than one person can read in a lifetime. Here are a few examples of where you can find quality reads free of charge...

Best of 2018 - Part Two

4. [HOWTO] Protect Your Router Now

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” they say. Yet most of us do exactly that with all of our expensive “smart” home electronics, and the consequences can be as calamitous as the old proverb implies. The latest cyber attacks are targeting home internet routers. This was the first article in a series detailing what you need to know to defend yourself against router attacks. For further reading, see
UPnP - The (almost) Forgotten Vulnerability, Router Security: Closing Unnecessary Ports, and
Does Your Router Auto-Update? (it should...).

5. [HOWTO] Receive Faxes Without a Fax Machine

A reader asks: 'Occasionally I need to receive an inbound fax, but I don't have a fax machine. Going to Staples or the local print shop to pick up a fax is a nuisance, and nothing is private there. Is there some way to get incoming faxes on my computer, but still have a real phone number that people can use to send faxes to me? Oh, and free is nice...' The answer is YES -- here's how to get your own free fax number. If you're looking for a free OUTBOUND faxing service that requires no fax machine, check out my companion article Send a Free Fax for the scoop on free Internet faxing.

6. Boost Your WiFi Signal: Ten Tips and Tricks

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.

7. [MONSTER] Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology

“There’s a monster on the loose! It’s got our heads into a noose! And it just sits there, watching…" (Steppenwolf, “Monster/Suicide/America,” 1969) The U. S. Department of Homeland Security is pursuing a monstrous vision: a unified data warehouse of everything known, suspected, or merely speculated about every person in the “land of the free,” citizen or non-citizen. They call it HART, but you're not going to love it…

8. New Roku Models for Cord Cutters

Millions of consumers are "cutting the cord" by cancelling their expensive cable TV subscriptions. Instead, they use a streaming media gadget like Roku to bring movies, TV shows and online video to their television screens. Check out the latest Roku models, and see also Best Streaming Devices for 2018...

9. WiFi 6 Is Coming... Fast!

When the first standard for wireless networking was released in 1997, it supported a maximum data speed of only 2 Mbps. Subsequent advances brought us new wifi standards known as IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. In 2009, devices using the 802.11n standard achieved 600 Mbps. The latest standard, 802.11ac, can hit 1,200 Mbps over short distances, but in early 2019, eye-watering wifi speeds of 4,800 Mbps will become available. Along with that blazing speed will come other changes to wireless network naming and features. Here's what you need to know...

10. [HARD DRIVES] Is Yours SMART Enough?

Readers sometimes ask me, “How long will my computer's hard drive last?” Lacking a crystal ball, all I can say is that some factors can be monitored to provide you with early warnings that it’s time to get serious about making frequent backups and shopping for a new drive. Learn more about S.M.A.R.T. and other tools to monitor the health of your hard drive...

I hope you enjoy reading (or re-discovering) each of these, and of course, please leave your own comments! If you're not a subscriber, you can sign up for AskBob Updates, or forward this to a friend who would enjoy it. Soon I'll publish Part Two of AskBob's Best of 2018, so stay tuned!

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Most recent comments on "AskBob's Best of 2018 - Part Two"

Posted by:

Jim Horn
04 Jan 2019

Enjoying your best of 2018.

You discussed router security in one of the articles.

I just changed providers (from Verizon/Frontier to Mediacom) and a new router was part of the package.

Notg very geeky, I need to know how to access my router to check and update my password, etc.

Posted by:

Jim Horn
04 Jan 2019

Enjoying your best of 2018.

You discussed router security in one of the articles.

I just changed providers (from Verizon/Frontier to Mediacom) and a new router was part of the package.

Notg very geeky, I need to know how to access my router to check and update my password, etc.

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