AskBob's Best of 2021 - Part One
I want express my sincere THANKS to YOU and the 129,688 others who have subscribed to the AskBob newsletter since 2005. I celebrated the 16th anniversary of this newsletter, and there are over 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 check out each one, leave your own comments, forward this to a friend, and tell them to sign up for more...
Your Favorite AskBob Stories of 2021
As always, there were some key concepts that dominated the year in tech. Windows... Security... Privacy... Wifi... and Smartphones. Those phrases also popped up often in the most popular items published here during 2021. 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...
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...
I’ve been a happy user of PC Matic since September 2018, after having finally given in to the many reader suggestions that I try it and post a review for AskBobRankin readers. Long story short, I was pleasantly surprised -- enough so to ditch the antivirus program I was then using, and give my enthusiastic recommendation to PC Matic. Find out why I gave PC Matic a ZERO, and why that's actually a GOOD thing! See also my review of PC Matic 4.0...
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…
Is your home WiFi connection sometimes mysteriously slow? It's possible that your Internet connection is being 'borrowed' by a stranger. So how can you tell if a neighbor (or a malicious hacker) has tapped into your wifi? There are many possible reasons why your wireless Internet connection might suddenly slow to a crawl. Read on to learn how you can bust bandwidth bandits, and give digital leeches the boot...
Speaking of privacy, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn't compile data dossiers about their users and sell that information to advertisers. See Is DuckDuckGo Better Than Google? to find out if DuckDuckGo can be your primary search engine, and if this fast-growing, privacy-focused option is likely to knock Google off its perch as the top search engine...
Wireless devices are everywhere now... from laptops to smartphones, tablets, portable speakers, and ebook readers. Printers, hard drives, even light blubs and refrigerators can be connected to a wifi network. So it's important to maximize the wifi signal where it's needed in your home. Check out my recommended tweaks, tricks and gadgets to boost wireless signal strength and distance?
It's true that personal computers are complex machines. But under the hood, they basically consist of modules that plug together. You can build your own computer without a soldering iron or a degree in electrical engineering. You will learn a lot about the inner workings of a PC, and end up with exactly the system that you want, not some vendor's idea of what you should buy. So, you want to build your own PC? Grab your screwdriver, and read on for my advice...
I was checking out a new free antivirus program that scored well on Virus Bulletin’s detection tests. I was about to download it for a thorough review when I discovered it’s made in China. That got me thinking: does it really matter where antivirus software is made? Are the good guys who defend us against bad guys all completely good? Can we trust them implicitly just because they make antivirus software and get it tested by independent labs? Well, it seems we do. But should we? Read on...
Are you seeing Out of Memory or Low Memory errors? Should you delete some files, get a new hard drive or is it something else? A number of different things can cause "out of memory" error messages. Lack of hard disk space is one of them, in some circumstances. But when your computer complains about not having enough memory, it's (almost always) referring to RAM -- the working memory that's installed on your computer's motherboard, not your hard drive. Here's the solution to this common problem...
Are you limping along with limited RAM memory? See my related article Do You Need More Memory? for help with the task of selecting and installing additional RAM memory in your desktop or laptop computer.
Some people are concerned that searching for their name on PeekYou reveals details they assumed were private. This includes their address, and in some cases a map which pinpoints their home address. You might be shocked at the personal information they have compiled about you. How does PeekYou find this information, and is it evil to make it accessible to anyone with a computer and a mouse? Let's dig into PeekYou and render a verdict...
My article Can You Remove Yourself From The Internet? explores whether it is possible to wipe all traces of yourself from the Internet. It's not easy, but there are some things you can try.
To keep your computer running smoothly, I always recommend removing all the non-essential programs that came preloaded. Next, you should load the best freeware for everday computing. There are thousands of free programs available online. But there are only a handful that I consider essential, and I download them to every new computer. From security to web browsing, to graphics, productivity, and troubleshooting, here are seven of the most popular and useful free downloads.
On a related note, see my article How to Clean Up Your Hard Drive, for some tips on cleaning out computer clogging "crapware" and reclaiming that space on your hard drive.
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 2021, so stay tuned!
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 30 Dec 2021
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- AskBob's Best of 2021 - Part One (Posted: 30 Dec 2021)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved