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Computeractive is the UK’s best-selling computer magazine and your friendly guide to PCs, gadgets and the web! It includes regular news updates, project ideas, help and advice on popular reader queries, articles on anti-virus software, features on consumer rights, and a whole lot more to help you get the very best out of your computer. Get PC advice in plain English today – get Computeractive!

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

One of the consolations of not being a billionaire is that I can’t afford a luxury basement the size of three football pitches. Just think how many Wi-Fi extenders you’d need to get a decent signal down there. I find it hard enough staying connected throughout my modest 1930s semi. Who needs any more hassle? Not that I want to deter any billionaires from reading this issue. Our Cover Feature should prove helpful whatever the size, shape or age of your home. Different rooms provide particular challenges, so we’ve split our advice accordingly in classic Cluedo style (it was Colonel Mustard in the billiard room with a snapped router antenna, after all). I’d love to hear about how you’ve solved problems with your Wi-Fi. Did a mesh finally fix years of frustration?…

2 min.
windows warns you not to install ccleaner

Windows 10 is now warning users when they try to install the junk-removal program CCleaner, claiming it’s a ‘potentially unwanted application’. The message comes from Microsoft Defender (formerly called Windows Defender), which is the built-in antivirus tool in Windows. Explaining the warning online (www.snipca.com/35623), Microsoft said it applies to the free and 14-day versions because “they come with bundled applications, including applications that are not required by CCleaner or produced by the same publisher Piriform”. As an example, it published a screenshot (pictured) of a page that appears when you install CCleaner, showing a pre-ticked box that means you’d also install Avast Free Antivirus. Avast bought CCleaner’s maker Piriform in 2017, and has faced criticism since for promoting its security tools through the program. Microsoft points out that your existing antivirus software might be switched…

1 min.
microsoft fixes ‘edge crashing’ bug

Microsoft has fixed a bug that was causing Edge to crash when you typed something in the address bar. It initially advised a temporary fix on Twitter (www.snipca.com/35625), advising users to type edge://settings/search into the address bar, then turn off the blue slider to the right of ‘Show me search and site suggestions using my typed characters’ (see screenshot). Doing this means Edge will show only search suggestions from your favourites or browsing history. Hours later Microsoft tweeted again (www.snipca.com/35627) to say the flaw had been “resolved”. It encouraged users who had disabled the ‘Search suggestions’ option to turn it back on again.…

1 min.
3.2m more remote homes to get full-fibre broadband

BT Openreach has pledged to deliver full-fibre 1Gbps broadband to 3.2 million “hard to reach” homes by 2025. If completed, it will cover roughly a third of the UK’s remotest homes, adding to the 20 million properties Openreach has already promised to connect within five years, at a cost of £12bn. The company said the latest announcement covers 251 market towns and villages, including Alloa, Bangor, Dawlish, Nantwich and Tadcaster (for the full list visit www.snipca.com/35591 and scroll down). Clive Selley, Openreach chief executive, said the network will “boost productivity, cut commuting and carbon emissions, and connect our families, public services and businesses for decades to come”. However, he warned that the Government’s commitment to connect the whole of the UK to gigabit (1Gbps) broadband by 2025 was under threat unless it delivered the…

1 min.
wills can now be witnessed by video

The Government has changed a 183-year-old law to allow people to witness wills ‘virtually’ using video software like Skype or Zoom, updating rules that state two witnesses must be physically present. The existing law, passed in 1837, is intended to protect testators (the person signing the will) from unfair pressure or influence, but during lockdown many people were unable to attend signings. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) says the changes will be backdated to 31 January, two days after the UK’s first coronavirus cases were recorded. It means any signings witnessed by video since then will be considered legal. It added that virtual witnessing should be considered only as a last resort, when social distancing or self-isolation prevents people from attending physically. The change will stay in place until 31 January 2022, or “as…

3 min.
in brief

CHARGE YOUR PHONE IN JUST 15 MINUTES US company Qualcomm has said the fifth version of its Quick Charge technology will charge Android phones to 50 per cent in just five minutes, and 100 per cent in only 15. The firm claims it’s 70 per cent more efficient than Quick Charge 4, and is the first “commercially viable” charging technology to support more than 100 watts of power. It’s expected to arrive in devices from the autumn. Read more at www.snipca.com/35584. WATCH 80 FREE LIVE CHANNELS ON PLEX Media player Plex has launched more than 80 free channels broadcasting live shows. Called Live TV, the service is available across a range of devices, including Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads, Amazon Fire, Roku and smart TVs. Channels cover news, sports, wildlife and…