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. NINE Tips For Online Holiday Shoppers

    In last year's holiday shopping season, spending totaled $887 billion, up over 14 percent from the previous year. Post-pandemic shoppers are back in stores, but ecommerce sales are expected to rise again. Fortunately, some tools have emerged to help consumers find the best deals. Check out these clever tips to help you save money when you shop online for the holidays...

  2. Want Safer Internet? Just Add Onions

    I don't spend much time in dark corners of the Web, but every once in a while I fire up the privacy-focused Tor browser. I just installed the latest version and spent some time exploring the Tor network. It was an interesting and surprisingly non-geeky sojourn! Here's what you need to know about the Tor browser, and how it can improve your online safety and privacy...

  3. Stop Using Microsoft Office - Here's Why...

    Since the Dark Ages, Microsoft Office has been the standard for home, school, and office productivity suites. But it's always been a rather expensive software package. Today's prices range from $249 for Office Home & Business, up to $439 for Microsoft Office Professional. The subscription-based Microsoft 365 Family product costs $100/year. Fortunately, there are plenty of good, compatible alternatives to Microsoft's word processor, spreadsheet tools and related office tools. Many are free, and even those that are not cost much less than Microsoft Office. Here are some of the best free and low-cost office suites to replace Microsoft Office.

  4. 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...

  5. My Near-Perfect Spam Filter

    Researchers estimate that about 45 percent of all email traffic is spam. But I rarely see any spam in my inbox. That's because Gmail blocks 99.9 percent of all spam, phishing and malware emails. Read on to learn how you can get near-perfect spam filtering, even if you don't use Gmail for your inbox...

  6. Why Is My Internet Connection SLOW Sometimes?

    A frustrated AskBob reader says: 'My Internet connection is usually pretty fast, but sometimes it slows to a crawl, for no apparent reason. Is it likely that I have a virus, or are there other possible explanations for the slowdowns?' Yes, several! Read on for my advice on diagnosing (and fixing) a slow Internet connection...

  7. [TIPS] Trouble Seeing Your Computer Screen?

    Ben Franklin opined that nothing is certain except death and taxes. I would add "aging eyesight" because it affects everyone eventually, diminishing the pleasure and productivity of computing. Various adaptive technologies are available to compensate for loss of visual acuity. Some are built into Windows. But these options all have limitations, and using them in certain combinations can actually make it more difficult to make sense of what’s before your eyes. Read on for a look at Windows display settings and how to use them to best advantage...

  8. My Tech Support House Call

    I received a call from a friend, who was seeing random freeze-ups, the dreaded 'Blue Screen' and some other problems on her computer. So I popped in to see what I could do to cure this pestiferous PC. Come along for this tech support house call, and learn the tools and techniques I use to diagnose problems like these...

  9. A Virus Destroyed Your Hard Drive?

    Occasionally I hear from readers who say a virus “destroyed” their hard drive and they had to buy a new one. But are there actually viruses that can physically damage a hard drive? Is it even possible for a virus to damage hardware, or is this an urban legend? Read on to find out the truth...

  10. Power User Search Tips and Tricks

    The Web is a window to a world of wonder and wisdom. But as the amount of online information grows, finding what you want in search engines is getting harder. A casual search for a keyword or phrase can produce millions of hits, but they are not always ordered by relevance. On the other hand, search engines can quickly tell you things that you wouldn’t expect a search engine to know. Here are some tips to get more out of search engines, or less if that’s what you need…

  11. Geekly Update - 21 September 2022

    Are those repetitive radio signals from deep space actually coming from Nigerian scammers? Was your investment portfolio auctioned off due to an astonishing data protection failure? And will new tech from T-Mobile put Smokey the Bear on the unemployment line? Get answers in today's Geekly Update... it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

  12. Faster and Safer Internet? Here's How...

    Today’s topic might sound geeky, but I promise I'll explain it all in plain English and show you how to make your Internet usage both faster and safer, for adults and curious kids. In the past, I have recommended using alternative DNS as a means to a faster and more reliable Web browsing experience. But faster Web surfing isn't the only benefit of switching your DNS servers. Read on...

  13. Convert Your Old VHS Tapes to DVD or Digital

    Unfortunately, those old VHS video tapes with treasured family memories won't last forever. Even if the VCR doesn't eventually jam and eat the tape, a VHS recording uses fragile magnetic tape that degrades over time, whether you watch it or not. Don't count on those VHS tapes (or your VCR player) lasting forever -- convert your VHS tapes to DVD or digital format today, and save those memories for posterity. Here are some tips on how to get it done…

  14. Time to Break Up With Your Phone Company?

    A few years back, I published an article that started with these words: “Everyone hates the phone company.” But since then, every time I write on the topic of mobile phone providers, the feedback from AskBob readers is loud and clear: “We Love Consumer Cellular!” I've been a Verizon customer for 20+ years, so I decided to take a closer look at Consumer Cellular and find out why folks think it's so great. Read on for my review of Consumer Cellular and see what this mobile phone company does that others do not...

  15. Hacker Defense: Your SEVEN Point Tuneup

    If it seems the online world gets more dangerous every day, you’re not wrong. The AV-TEST Institute reports over 450,000 new malware samples are discovered DAILY. (That's up from 350K two years ago.) Thousands of social media accounts are hacked every day; and untold millions of consumer records compromised in data breaches are used by hackers in increasingly clever attacks. Your defense systems must be kept in tip-top shape. Here are seven ways to harden your system against hackers…

  16. Eggs and Router Security (my advice...)

    “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” some wise person opined. 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. In addition to attacking your computer, cyber-crooks are targeting home internet routers. Here's my advice on what you need to know to defend yourself against router attacks...

  17. Will a VPN Boost Your Online Privacy?

    A confused AskBob reader says, “Do I really need a VPN to be safe online? A friend advised me to subscribe to a free VPN service to protect my privacy, but I don’t really understand why. What is a VPN, anyway?” Read on to learn about virtual private networks, what they can (and cannot) do, and find out if you need one...

  18. Geekly Update - 15 September 2022

    How soon will a super-intelligent AI wipe out humanity? Will astronauts on space horses survive the apocalypse? And what's the best way to prevent hackers from stealing your PIN code at an ATM machine? Get answers in today's Geekly Update... it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

  19. Is Your DNA (and your privacy) For Sale Online?

    At-home DNA test kits sold online are popular holiday gifts, promising to reveal facts about your family history and susceptibility to various diseases. But could sending in your DNA sample have a negative impact on the privacy of yourself, your family, and your close relatives? Here's what you need to know, especially if you've submitted a DNA sample to Ancestry or 23andMe...

  20. [TIPS] Start Taking Better Smartphone Pictures

    The ubiquitous smartphone seems to have replaced dedicated cameras among all but professionals and photography hobbyists. Here are some tips for taking great photos with your iPhone or Android smartphone. (Actually most of them apply to old-school digital cameras as well.) Read on...



 
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!


Email:

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 4 Mar 2009


For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
Is Pirate Bay Sinking?

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
My New Phone is an iPod Touch

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:

John
11 Apr 2016

I need virus clen my drive


Posted by:

Peggy
04 Jun 2016

Greetings
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:

Calvin
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:

Pay
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 eeuc98.net 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.

Johann


Posted by:

Mr.Pic
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 Reagan.com?

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?
Thanks.


Posted by:

Harold
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:

Gary
25 Apr 2020

Your top 20 is great, Thanks
Gary


Posted by:

Edward E.Weeter
21 Jul 2020

Bob,
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?
WD


There's more reader feedback... See all 78 comments for this article.

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
Privacy Policy     RSS/XML


Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Top Twenty (Posted: 4 Mar 2009)
Source: https://askbobrankin.com/the_top_twenty.html
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved