Computeractive 595


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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from the editor

One thing our writers tried to do more of in 2020 was give their first-hand experience of testing and upgrading equipment at home. I want our advice to feel like it’s coming from real people in real situations, encountering and solving the same problems you face. Our Deputy Editor Will Stapley is real. At least, he tells me he is. His garage is real too, and it plays a central part in this issue’s Cover Feature. He explains different ways he tried to boost his home Wi-Fi so that he’s prepared for everything 2021 will throw at it. I hope his efforts inspire you to try to do the same. It’s been the most difficult year since I started editing Computeractive in 2013, but it’s also been the most rewarding. I’ve received…

update drivers to fix bluetooth and stop your pc crashing

Intel has released updates for its Wi-Fi and Wireless Bluetooth drivers to fix problems that were causing Windows 10 computers to crash and Bluetooth connections to fail. The Bluetooth flaw was preventing devices like mice, keyboards, headsets and styluses from working properly. Following a reboot on some computers, a warning triangle with an exclamation mark would appear next to the disconnected device in Device Manager. The problems were causing some computers to show a stop error, which is informally known as the ‘Blue Screen of Death’ (pictured at www.snipca.com/36902). To find out whether you’re affected, you need to check whether you have the drivers installed. For the Wi-Fi driver, visit www.snipca.com/36899 then scroll down to the bottom and look at the drivers listed under the heading ‘This download is valid for the product(s) listed…

facebook to ban false vaccine claims

Facebook will remove false claims about coronavirus vaccines to prevent “imminent physical harm”. It says it will speed up plans to ban misinformation following the Government’s announcement of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being approved for use. The site will take down claims “that have already been debunked by public health experts”, including lies about what’s in the vaccine’s ingredients and conspiracy theories that the vaccine contains a microchip to control patients. It added: “Since it’s early, and facts about Covid-19 vaccines will continue to evolve, we will regularly update the claims we remove based on guidance from public health authorities as they learn more”. The new policy is much stricter than Facebook’s normal rules, which label false claims as misinformation but don’t remove them. In October, it banned advertisements that discouraged people from taking vaccines. You’ll like…

make amazon pay to collect old products, insist mps

Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay should be made to collect, recycle and repair their products to cut the UK’s “tsunami of waste”, MPs have said. In its report on electronic waste (www.snipca.com/36815), the Environmental Audit Committee said Amazon and eBay are dodging their legal responsibility to reuse products because they’re seen as marketplaces, rather than retailers. The report said that given “the astronomical growth in sales” this year, online marketplaces should be forced to collect products and pay for their recycling. This would create a “level playing field” with high-street retailers. The committee also blamed Apple for gluing and soldering internal components in its products, making it “nearly impossible” for customers to repair them. The fees charged by Apple for repair are “so expensive” that it’s often cheaper to buy a new…

govt downgrades 2025 gigabit target

The Government has downgraded its target of delivering gigabit broadband to every home by 2025. In his spending review in November, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the aim now was to have a “a minimum of 85 per cent coverage” by that date, though the Government will work with providers to “get as close to 100 per cent as possible”. One industry source told the BBC that for people living in rural or semi-rural areas the news will seem like a “kick in the teeth”. Gigabit broadband delivers speeds of 1Gbps, which is 1,000Mbps. In 2019, while campaigning to become Conservative leader, Boris Johnson pledged to provide “full-fibre” gigabit speeds everywhere by 2025. This was changed to “gigabitcapable” broadband in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, meaning connections could be partly delivered by 5G phone networks and…

in brief

NOW TV ENDS TESCO CLUBCARD DEAL Now TV will end its partnership with Tesco Clubcard at the end of January 2021, meaning you’ll no longer be able to convert your Clubcard vouchers into credit to spend on the TV-streaming service. At the moment you can convert 50p of Clubcard vouchers into £1.50 to spend on Now TV. SOPHOS WARNS OF SECURITY LEAK Antivirus firm Sophos has emailed a “small subset” of users warning that their details have been exposed in a security breach. It didn’t say how many people were affected, but confirmed that the leaked details were customers’ first and last name, their email address, and their phone number. In the email (www.snipca.com/36816) Sophos said it “quickly fixed the issue” and affected customers don’t need to take any action. TOMORROW’S WORLD After a successful…