The Top Twenty

Category: Reference

Every night a friendly robot looks through the Ask Bob logs to see which articles were the most popular over the past week. Here are the current Top Twenty, ranked by readership volume. If you missed any of these, take a few minutes to read and comment!

Top 20

  1. Reverse Directory Lookups: Searching in Reverse

    Can you find the name of a certain person or business if all you know about them is a phone number or street address? What if all you have is an email address or a photo? This type of search is called a reverse directory lookup. There are other tools to help you search backwards, to find people, places, names, photos, songs and more. Learn about the free and fee-based reverse search tools you can find online...

  2. Turbocharge Your Chrome (or Edge) Browser

    Google Chrome is the most popular Web browser, with a dominant worldwide market share. Perhaps you've been using it for years, but there's always a new trick to discover. And now that Microsoft Edge is built on the same Chromium codebase, they look and work much the same. Read on to learn about some awesome, advanced, and semi-secret features of Chrome, Edge (and other Chromium-based browsers) that can make them even more useful...

  3. [HOWTO] Boost Your Laptop Security Now

    Laptops are great because they offer computing with convenience and mobility. But that makes it imperative for users to take steps to secure their laptops, and the sensitive data often stored on them. There are several simple things that you can do to keep your laptop safe. Read on to learn how to protect your laptop from theft, snooping and data loss...

  4. Will Your Antivirus Software Fail You?

    The latest report from AV-Test, an independent anti-virus testing lab, has some surprising results. Is your favorite Internet Security tool on the list of the top 16 products tested? Read on for my assessment of this report...

  5. [TIPS] Inkjet, Laser or All-In-One Printer?

    Are you in the market for a new printer? You might be wondering if you should you look for an inkjet printer or a laser printer. Or how about a basic printer versus an all-in-one (AIO) printer, scanner, copier, fax, and toaster? The choice -- inkjet vs. laser, and dedicated printer vs. all-in-one -- depends on what you print and how often you print it. Here's a look at the tradeoffs, and factors to consider when buying a printer...

  6. 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 18 months ago, I did just that, and published my PC Matic review. At the time, I was impressed enough to ditch my current security software, and entrust my home and office computers to PC Matic. A year and a half later, I'm giving PC Matic a ZERO. But wait... that's actually a GOOD thing! Read on for my updated review and recommendation...

  7. Creating an RSS feed

    RSS stands for Rich Site Summary (or Really Simple Syndication), and it is one of the most effective ways to promote the content that you add to your Web site. Basically, an RSS feed sends brief summaries of newly posted content to people who subscribe to the feed, providing a link in each summary to the full content on your site. Here's how to create an RSS feed...

  8. Can You Get a Virus By Opening an Email?

    A concerned AskBob reader wants to know... “Is it possible to get a computer virus by simply opening an email?” It's true that email has been and remains one of the most popular attack vectors for hackers, spammers, scammers, phishers and other cyber-miscreants that are jiggling the latches on the door of your inbox. But is it really that easy to slip in, and wreak havoc on your computer? Let's find out...

  9. Adding Memory: A Silver Bullet for Your Computer?

    Does your computer seem slow or sluggish? The problem may be too little RAM memory. But “add more RAM” is not the solution to every case of poor performance, and buying more RAM memory than you need or can use is just a waste of money. Read on to learn the ins and outs of adding RAM memory and how much memory is the “sweet spot” for Windows and Apple computers...

  10. Five Best In Class External Hard Drives

    What's the best external hard drive? That depends on how and where you want to use it. They're great for backups, for freeing up space on your computer's internal drive, or for adding portable storage to a laptop, tablet or smartphone. If you're looking for the biggest, the fastest, the most durable, the most secure, or just the best value in an external hard drive, read on…

  11. Yes, You Can Get Free Satellite TV

    An AskBob reader asks: “Can I really get satellite TV for free? I've heard about free satellite TV channels one can receive with a free-to-air satellite receiver and dish. Is this true? If so, what satellite channels can I get, what equipment do I need, and is it legal?” The short answer is YES, you can. Read on to learn about free satellite TV options...

  12. [ALERT] Nine WiFi Security Mistakes to Avoid

    Wireless internet (WiFi) is convenient and essential if you have a smartphone, laptop or tablet. But if you aren’t careful, using WiFi to access the Internet can leave you open to hackers and unauthorized moochers of your Internet service. Here are some of the biggest mistakes that people make with WiFi, and how to avoid them. Read on!

  13. Here's Why You Must Keep Your Software Updated (and how to do it for free)

    The most common computer problems can be fixed or avoided altogether, simply by keeping all of your software up to date. Updates include patches for security vulnerabilities as well as fixes for bugs, new features, and improvements of existing features. Check out these free programs that will help you keep all your software updated, with just a few clicks...

  14. Windows 10 Makes Privacy Concessions

    Windows 10 has been embroiled in controversy with privacy advocates since the moment it was released in August, 2015. Now, Microsoft is making changes to Win 10 that please privacy advocates overall. But will the changes increase your privacy or make Win 10 even more complicated? Read on…

  15. HP Playing Dirty Tricks?

    I've used replacement inkjet cartridges from third-party vendors for years; they've always worked fine and cost a fraction of the price for brand-name (OEM) cartridges. But two days ago, my HP 8610 suddenly informed me that ALL of my inkjet cartridges “appear to be damaged,” and I can't print at all. Read on for the real story, which will likely make you mad...

  16. Laptop Docking Station

    A laptop docking station is a powered system of ports into which a laptop computer is plugged, allowing the laptop to recharge its battery and connect to various desktop devices. A laptop docking station allows a laptop to double as a desktop computer with more resources than will fit in a shoulder bag. Learn more about connecting your laptop with a docking station...

  17. How Many Windows Keyboard Shortcuts Have You Tried?

    Windows 10 and 11 keyboard shortcuts can save time, wrist motions, and for some people, carpal tunnel pain. Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two or more keys (or a key and a mouse button) that, when pressed simultaneously, perform a task that would normally require moving the mouse around, clicking, and possibly navigating sub-menus. There's even a useful super-secret keystroke that very few people know! Here are some keyboard shortcuts you should know, and try for yourself...

  18. Will This Gadget Replace Your Landline?

    In its advertising, Magic Jack appears to be a device that you can plug into your computer and fire the phone company. It sounds too good to be true. So is MagicJack a scam, or does it actually work? Can it really replace your landline, and eliminate your monthly phone bill?” Read on for the surprising answer, and some news about Magic Jack for those who may have considered it in the past...

  19. What’s New in PC Matic 4.0?

    PC Matic 4.0 was just released, and is a major update that improves the usability, stability, and appearance of the program, read on for my review of the computer security tool that I use and recommend...

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This article was posted by on 4 Mar 2009

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The Top Twenty
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Most recent comments on "The Top Twenty"

(See all 78 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Sandy Lumsden
01 Apr 2016

why oh why does windows behave the way it does, I seriously considered using a Linux operating System but Microsoft even make that difficult, so I will continue using windows 10 until I can afford an Apple Mac.One thing I am sure of I will not be using Windows for ever,for I am fed-up with programs not working.

Posted by:

Yvonne Mathis
02 Apr 2016

Wrote once before and since I am not computer savy, I was saying Linksys was tryin to hi jack router. Now A friend says modem, Linksys has removed my isp and entered their own code and now are controlling my computer,has removed my security which is Norton, who by the way cleaned my computer and said all was good, after that, noticed the Icon disappeeared and then reappeared, but is not functioning, I am redirected to sites other than the one I try to get to. I am elder female, other than a pricey computer service, can you help?

Posted by:

11 Apr 2016

I need virus clen my drive

Posted by:

04 Jun 2016

My internet speed is slow and if I have my grandchildren streaming a movie, it constantly buffering and my PC too.
I have a dual web-band and a range extender 3 yrs. old and Verizon router is over 5 yrs. old
Base on your expertise, what step should I take.
Greatly appreciate your help

Posted by:

06 Jun 2016

can you go back and read articles further back than the last 20, if so how?

Posted by:

Ken Fisher
21 Jul 2016

Upgraded my Win 7.1 Dell computer to Win 10 last December. Two weeks ago, it downgraded itself by dropping the Start Button and screen, the info button on the left and Cortana. It has not corrected with updates. Pressing the Start produces a critical error and a restart.

Posted by:

08 Aug 2016

Bob, My Microsoft Publisher software gas disappeared from my computer sometime since I downloaded Windows 10.

Also, the names of my directories have been eliminated. I used to have one called Pat and Ray Computer and it no longer exists. There were two directories called mydocuments, one inside the other directory that I can no longer find.

I did a backup of 7 before I installed 10 (thanks for you publication!) HELP!!!

Posted by:

Jd hackhowsar
15 Jun 2017

Hi Mr Bob

We have 600 plus pages for years as a tech support user club for European industrial machines at in html now https posted.

After the https all picture links quit working.

Also with google nobody can find us any more. Since the page content applies often to the same subject, the keywords are the same.

Reading googles requirements it would be a lot of volunteer work to vamp it all up.
We started in the 80s out with DOS 6 based Clarks bulletin boaerd sw.

Having a good site content search function is imporatant.
We used since the 80s macromedia robohelp and dreamweaver sw, now all Acrobat.

Thanks for your wisdom.
Lots of virtual hugs.


Posted by:

29 Jun 2017

In using Outlook 2003 I need to know how to increase text size as now the inbox shows about 31 one line emails info, I would like about 15 with larger more readable text. The new Dell computer has Windows 10 and I have just started using it. Appreciate any help provided.

Posted by:

Alexander Harkes
25 Sep 2017

When using my printer and trying to send a copy of a photo or send a email it says i do not have a connection and everything is working ok. the mail recipient will not work also how can i change the mail recipient from fax recipient.

Posted by:

stanley westell
23 Jun 2018

I wondered if you had a topic regarding India's people constant attack upon the US?
I recently have been receiving all kinds of so-called free gift cards $1000 gift card Walmart, Nike gift cards, I recently have received several different grant scams from India and they even tried to use US sounding names and received a phone call claiming it was the IRS preparing to open a file if I didn't call them then there is a computer tech support company that claims they are Microsoft and tell you your personal information that risk and if you don't call them they'll stop your computer from working there are several of those I will admit being on Social Security disability that I was extremely hopeful and I had filed for grants and unfortunately before I caught on. Already swindled me out of $200 their goal was to swindle me out of $1000 so knowing that the IRS never calls they only send mail and I started asking the questions will qualify me for these grants where did you get this information clearly they are attaching themselves or spying on websites or setting up these free card giveaways to get information I was just wondering if you had set up a page on warning the elderly which is clearly their target I think the most important thing is think first asked questions on how you qualified how they got the information and so forth and before you know it they hang up the one thing I have seen is that their phone calls are being rerouted through the US and there clearly well-versed insome of the information needed regarding grants the address of the grant building in Washington DC and basic info for their scam I saved many of the phone numbers and names used but you know they're all fake or they're using untraceable SIMM cards well I was just wondering if you had a page that would help protect people against India's ongoing attack upon the US? you need not reply it was just a suggestion or if you have created this page thank you.

Posted by:

Andy Baldwin
21 Sep 2019

Dear Bob,

I am a technical IDIOT!

But, somehow this ADD brain of mine can understand what you have to say. Can you help me understand what this particular tool does?

Also, can you tell me if you cover computer issues pretty much from A to Z? If so do you cover different kinds of email like

I ask because I got hacked with 'free' email and there are things I can't seem to understand sometimes with private email.

I simply want to thank you for being there helping very low tech guys like me!

Warmest Regards,

Andy Baldwin

Posted by:

Bonnie R
02 Oct 2019

The links in my emails on my phone will not open

Posted by:

Daniel Swist
26 Nov 2019

I got hacked about a month ago. Changed password, etc. But now all my incoming email(YAHOO) goes to my "Archive" folder and has to be manually transferred to my INBOX. Called ATT several times , but the idiot agents (in India) can't help me. I tried to call ATT in the US, but never got connected. Someone on a blog told me to go to Settings- Filters and remove filters/ add filters. But that doesn't work. Any suggestions?

Posted by:

17 Apr 2020

very very GOOD Bob and thanks for all those great possibilities

Posted by:

Phil Biggins
23 Apr 2020

How to fix printing problems for windows 10 ,only wants to save an not print.

Posted by:

25 Apr 2020

Your top 20 is great, Thanks

Posted by:

Edward E.Weeter
21 Jul 2020

I have been a reader for many years, but due to long-term health issues, my reading time and comprehension have slipped. Now my wife wants a divorce and most of my investment profits I am 74, a Type 1 Diabetic for 60+ years with many other health issues!. She is 71 and in her second round of cancer. We have I married daughter who caters mainly to her wishes and live about 5+ hours from us. My problems utherwise are my AOL.COM account (blocked for over 9 months. Any idea who in gov’t I can contact? Thanks for everything! She has blocked my use of many things also!pp

Posted by:

WJ Stewart
15 Dec 2021

How can I make my 2 year old laptop faster? I have to wait almost 10 minutes for it to start up so I can use it

Posted by:

WD Nelson
30 Mar 2022

I signed up for IDrive last week!! Only 5TB Can I still get the discount you are offering?

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Top Twenty (Posted: 4 Mar 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved