AskBob's Best of 2019 - Part One

Category: Reference

I want express my sincere THANKS to YOU and the 42,366 others who made the AskBob website a busy place in 2019! I celebrated the 14th anniversary of this newsletter, and there are over 2700 articles here now. Many of you are regular readers and contribute comments, which I love. And since I love numbers almost as much as words, I asked my robot to scan the server logs to find the most popular articles of the year. Here are ten of the top articles for you to review. I hope you'll read each one, leave your own comments, forward this to a friend, and tell them to sign up for more...

Your Favorite AskBob Stories of 2019

As always, there were some key concepts that dominated the year in tech. Windows 10... Security... Cord Cutting... and Streaming. Those phrases also popped up often in the most popular items published here during 2019. Whether you're a long-time reader, or a recent subscriber, I'm sure you'll enjoy reviewing the first installment of my "Top Ten" list below. Part Two will be arriving tomorrow...

1. Here's How to Get Free Satellite TV

By an overwhelming margin, the most popular reader question this year was 'Can I get satellite TV for free?' Have you heard about free satellite TV channels one can receive with a free-to-air satellite receiver and dish, and wondered if this is true? And if so, what satellite channels can you get, what equipment do you need, and is it legal? The short answer is YES, you can. Read on to learn about free satellite TV options...

2. Try These Tips to Boost Your WiFi Signal

Many frustrated readers asked: 'How can I boost the wifi signal in my home? I finally got high-speed internet with a wireless router, but the wifi signal is weak in some parts of the house. What tweaks, tricks or gadgets do you recommend to boost wireless signal strength and distance?' I've got some, read on!

3. Try These Windows 10 Tips and Tricks

The latest updates for Windows 10 are chock-full of handy new features that are worth exploring. Some will improve security or privacy. Others will save you time or trouble. Here are few tips and tricks you should know about if you're using Windows 10...

Along those same lines, my article FIFTEEN Windows 10 Features You Didn't Know About is for those who have recently made the jump from Windows 7 to Windows 10. There are many new and useful features in Windows 10 that most people don’t know about. Here are some of the most useful, interesting, or at least amusing ones...

4. Is Cloud Storage Secure and Private?

Are you using cloud services like file storage, online backup, webmail and document sharing? Most people don't know much about the safety and security of cloud computing. The parade of high-profile data breaches in the past year has some people worried about the security of cloud services. Are your files and sensitive data safe and secure in the cloud, or are they vulnerable to hackers, snoopers and other threats? Here's the scoop on cloud storage security...

5. Here's How to Send a Fax From Your Computer

The Fax is Dead! Long Live the Fax! Sending a fax from your computer is a convenient, money-saving way to communicate with people who insist on paper documents. Skip the trip to the office store -- there are several ways to send a fax right from your computer, even if you don't have a fax machine. Here's how you can start faxing from your PC, Mac or mobile device...

And for those who occasionally need to receive an inbound fax, but don't have a fax machine, see How to Receive Faxes Without a Fax Machine. Going to Staples or the local print shop to pick up a fax is a nuisance, and nothing is private there. Learn how to get a real phone number that people can use to send faxes to you... for free.

6. WOW... What Happens To Amazon Returns?

The post-holiday season has FedEx, UPS, and postal service workers busy sending package back to where they originated. Easy, no-hassle returns of merchandise have been critical to Amazon’s success. The e-commerce giant does not publish returns figures, but analysts estimate the MSRP value of returns runs into billions of dollars annually. Have you ever wondered what happens to all that returned merchandise? The answers may surprise you... read on!

7. Check Out These Roku Models for Cord Cutters

The Roku family of streaming video players has become the go-to product for those who want to drop cable TV and rely on Internet video sources like Netflix, Hulu and Youtube for their entertainment needs. 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. Let’s see if one of these Roku devices can turn you into a cord cutter...

8. SECURITY: Foistware Blocker in Windows 10

Did you know that Windows 10 has a little-known feature that will block installation of 'potentially unwanted apps' that try to install themselves during another program’s installation? This feature is the answer to one of my most fervent tech prayers! I also have a solution for people still using Windows 7 or 8. Here's what you need to know...

9. Free Wifi Hotspots - A Big Risk?

It's convenient when coffee shops, bookstores, airports, hotels, and other public places provide free access to wireless Internet hotspots. But along with that convenience comes the danger of being digitally mugged. Here are some some simple tips you can use to make sure you're not broadcasting your business to snoops and hackers while using wifi hotspots...

10. Free Credit Reports Online (have you checked yours?)

In the wake of massive and frequent data breaches, 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 FOUR credit reports every year for free? YES! Read on to learn how it's done, how to avoid the potential pitfalls, and pick up some tips on avoiding scams and identity theft...

Your credit score is just a number, but it is one of the most important numbers in your financial life. This one number summarizes your creditworthiness, and it's the first thing lenders look at when you apply for a loan, and often the last. Learn how a credit SCORE is different from a credit REPORT, and find out how to get your credit score, for free. See Here's How to Get Your Free Credit Score.

I hope you enjoy reading (or re-discovering) each of these, and of course, 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. Tomorrow I'll publish Part Two of AskBob's Best of 2019, so stay tuned!

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Most recent comments on "AskBob's Best of 2019 - Part One"

Posted by:

30 Dec 2019

Bob, have a greater new year.

Posted by:

Bernie Crowley
30 Dec 2019

I live in a retirement community and am the "go to" guy for computer problem solving. I carry a flash drive with me loaded with programs that you have recommended, and together with some of your essential tips and tricks that I have printed out in a 3 ring binder, you and I have been solving everyday computer problems for the past 10 years. Residents here think I'm great . . if they only knew.

Posted by:

vicki Lang
30 Dec 2019

Thank you for the great articles over the years. Happy New Year.

Posted by:

31 Dec 2019

Wishing you the happiest of New Years! Thank you for the great articles you have shared with all of us over the years. I have most of them saved in my archives in case I need them some day--and I have!
I especially thank you for your recommendations on a good backup program and schedule. Your recommendation of Macrium Reflect has been a real winner, as has your ebook on backups. Keep 'em coming, please!

Posted by:

Marge Teilhaber
31 Dec 2019

Thanks for your great work, Bob.

Posted by:

31 Dec 2019

All the Very Best for 2020, Bob. Keep up the great work - you really do make a difference.

Posted by:

31 Dec 2019

Hi Bob, I have been with you for many years and always welcome your emails & advice. Many thanks from the UK
Have a great New Year

Posted by:

31 Dec 2019

Hi Bob,
I do not post often, but I read with pleasure your many valuable articles and professional tips.
Many thanks.
Happy and successful 2020!

Posted by:

01 Jan 2020

Best Wishes for the New Year, Mr. Rankin,
I am a first time poster (in 2020) but I wonder how many of your great 2700 articles I must have read in over a decade.

Posted by:

02 Jan 2020

I have been following you from the days of Tourbus!

As a result, my son can brag to his friends about his computer literate 80+ year-old dad. A lot of the credit goes to you for that, Bob!

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- AskBob's Best of 2019 - Part One (Posted: 30 Dec 2019)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved