AskBob's Best of 2020 - 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 2020! I celebrated the 15th anniversary of this newsletter, and there are almost 3000 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 2020

As always, there were some key concepts that dominated the year in tech. Windows 10... Security... Wifi... and Smartphones. Those phrases also popped up often in the most popular items published here during 2020. 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. Review: PC Matic Gets a Zero!

After years of hearing from AskBob readers about PC Matic, I finally decided it was time to give the popular antivirus and PC optimizer software a test drive. So two years ago I did just that, and was impressed enough to ditch my current security software, and entrust my home and office computers to PC Matic. But now, I'm giving PC Matic a ZERO. But wait... that's actually a GOOD thing! Read on for my updated review and recommendation...

3. Windows 10: Did You Know...?

I've been using Windows 10 for a while, but I'm always finding new things and features that are worth sharing. 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, check out Yes, You Can Still Get Windows 10 For Free. The last 'official' day to get a free upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 was July 29, 2016. Many of us chose to let that opportunity pass, for a variety of reasons. Maybe you saw no need to upgrade, or perhaps you just got busy and missed the deadline. Or did you? Now, over four years later, there is still a path to upgrade your Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 for free. Here's the scoop…

4. 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!

5. No Fax Machine? No Problem! Send a Free Fax

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[HOWTO] Inbound Faxes Without a Fax Machine. Is there some way to get incoming faxes on your computer, but still have a real phone number that people can use to send faxes? The answer is YES -- here's how to get your own free fax number...

6. The Dark Side of Amazon Returns

Each year, 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. TEN Easy Ways to Destroy Your Smartphone

All too often, smartphones make you feel dumb. Even the most imperturbable Zen Masters among us have felt the perfectly understandable urge to wreak utter destruction upon that pocket-sized device that makes us feel so clumsy and stupid. But in most cases, a phone’s demise is deemed “accidental.” Here are ten easy ways to destroy a smartphone, and how to avoid those inconvenient mishaps…

8. Will Discount Inkjet Cartridges Void Your Printer Warranty?

Here's a common AskBob reader question: “Are discount inkjet cartridges really a good deal?” Will they ruin your printer, void your warranty, or have poor print quality? Some people say they're great and can save you lots of money. So what's the scoop on those cheap ink cartridges?' Read on for my advice about discounted, refilled or remanufactured inkjet cartridges...

9. Try These Free Online Research Tools

The World Wide Web is at once a gold mine and a cesspool, so how can you find answers to your questions, and the helpful, authoritative information you need? Check out my list of the best free online reference and research tools...

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

Cybercriminals never let a crisis go to waste. So it's no surprise that we're seeing scams related to the current pandemic. Add to that, massive and frequent data breaches, and 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 Get Your Free Credit Score (here's how...).

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 2020, so stay tuned!

Ask Your Computer or Internet Question

  (Enter your question in the box above.)

It's Guaranteed to Make You Smarter...

AskBob Updates: Boost your Internet IQ & solve computer problems.
Get your FREE Subscription!


Check out other articles in this category:

Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

This article was posted by on 30 Dec 2020

For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
HOWTO: Searching the Deep Web and the Dark Web

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
AskBob's Best of 2020 - Part Two

Most recent comments on "AskBob's Best of 2020 - Part One"

Posted by:

Robert Hall
30 Dec 2020

I bet I am not alone in saying thank you for all the articles. I would not have a working computer, several times over, if you had not written just what I needed...

Posted by:

30 Dec 2020

Amen... and I say Amen again and again.....

Posted by:

30 Dec 2020

What a timely collection of articles. Thank you. It just so happens that since Comcast is no longer offering FREE Norton as of Jan 1 I am shopping for an anti-virus program and PC Matic seems to fit the need.


Posted by:

31 Dec 2020

Keep up the great work, Bob! Enjoy reading your articles and frequently learn something from you and fellow readers!

Posted by:

31 Dec 2020

I read all of your newsletters going back to when it was you & Pat. Thanks for doing what you do!

Posted by:

31 Dec 2020

I echo the sentiment above Bob; always find something interesting in Your insightful newsletters.

Thanks, and keep it up.

Posted by:

31 Dec 2020

Keep going, Bob! Always an interesting read. :)

Posted by:

31 Dec 2020

Hi Bob,
I hadn't heard about Norton ending the free protection. I just read a lengthy article that claims HP is deliberately causing malfunctions in their printers, for people that use ink, from other sources. These malfunctions are serious it was claimed, and cause many to either take it in for repairs, or purchase a new printer. Have you heard anything about this??? If so it might be worth an article. There was a long list of affected printers.

Posted by:

31 Dec 2020

This is for Beau. I live in NJ and got this email from Xinity on 12/11/20.


Reminder: Norton Security Online will be unavailable soon

Discover more about your options

As of January 1, 2021, Norton Security Online will no longer be available through Xfinity. But don't worry—we've ensured you have options to stay protected: You can add xFi Advanced Security to your Internet service or choose a new Norton plan.

xFi Advanced Security

When you rent the xFi Gateway (an all-in-one device with a modem and router), you'll get xFi Advanced Security at no additional charge, along with the many other benefits that come with our xFi Gateway. Advanced Security protects your devices from cyber threats and delivers a smarter, personalized, and more secure home WiFi network.

Plus, when you rent the xFi Gateway you get ultimate control of your home network with the ability to view and control connected devices, pause WiFi for family time, set kid-safe browsing, and more.

It's easy to get started. Learn more about renting an xFi Gateway.

Norton 6-month trial exclusively for Xfinity customers

You can also choose to continue your protection through Norton. Norton has two exclusive offers for Xfinity customers using Norton Online Security. These two plans give you comprehensive device security, including antivirus, password manager, and more. When you sign up, your free 6-month trial will begin right away.

No matter which option you choose, we suggest you uninstall Norton Online Security. You can learn how with these easy step-by-step instructions.

We're dedicated to keeping your connection safe, secure, and private. We hope these options give you complete peace of mind. If you have any questions, we're always here to help. Thank you for being an Xfinity customer!

Posted by:

31 Dec 2020

Thanks as always for all the excellent articles throughout the years.

We have just bought the lifetime PC Matic and are happy we did.

Windows 10 is something else though. Just bought a new laptop and really dislike the way cannot stop hover to open and highlighting without clicking. Don't like not seeing a small version of open window from taskbar either. Cannot close the window without expanding it first now.

Maybe 2021 needs to be the year of LINUX for me???

Posted by:

Nancy A Korotka
16 Jan 2021

I want to thank you for your very knowledgable web-site. I have learned much already! I also forwarded it to all my family and friends. I was able to upgrade my Windows 7 to 10, and it works great! Thank you again!

Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions

*     *     (* = Required field)

    (Your email address will not be published)
(you may use HTML tags for style)

YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important! Comments of a political nature are discouraged. Please limit your remarks to 3-4 paragraphs. If you want to see your comment posted, pay attention to these items.

All comments are reviewed, and may be edited or removed at the discretion of the moderator.

NOTE: Please, post comments on this article ONLY.
If you want to ask a question click here.

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter

Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
About Us     Privacy Policy     RSS/XML

Article information: AskBobRankin -- AskBob's Best of 2020 - Part One (Posted: 30 Dec 2020)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved