PC Magazine July 2018

PC Magazine provides lab-tested reviews, detailed tips and how-tos, insightful feature stories, expert commentary, and the latest tech trends to help you at work, at home, and on the road. And for a limited time, we're offering a copy of Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined a Generation with new subscriptions. This brand-new book is all about what made Atari's computers great: excellent graphics and sound, flexible programming environment, and wide support.

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Ziff Davis
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2 min
driving toward 5g

I’m writing this on the first full day of summer—officially road-trip season. But PCMag drivers have already hit the road this year, testing phone-carrier signals across the country. Welcome to our Fastest Mobile Networks 2018 issue. As always, we checked for data speeds and reliability on the top four networks—AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless—in and around 30 US cities. We did regional drives as well to get a sense of how well carriers perform outside urban areas; read our cover story to see the winners. The bottom line, though? Everything is getting speedier. As PCMag’s Lead Mobile Analyst Sascha Segan wrote: “Compared with 2017, we’re seeing faster, more consistent LTE connections on all four major US wireless networks. Peak speeds have jumped from the 200Mbps range to the 300Mbps range, average…

2 min
is a vpn a must?

Surprising to hear that only 29% of readers use VPNs. I’ve been trying (and failing) to recruit my friends for years. —Henry It’s having one more frigging bill to pay that keeps me and many others from using a VPN. I don’t want more bills. Also, I’ve been online for 20 years without one. Why start now? I have only one thing I care to protect, and that is my bank account password. Anyone can steal my family pictures, music, and game saves. Have at it! My computer would bore a hacker to death. —Chris Terry I recommend using a VPN on the router level, so that you can encrypt your entire network—even devices that have no native VPN support, like a Playstation or smart TV. You will need to flash your router with…

3 min
mozilla: facebook data leak is like a ‘nuclear waste spill’

Mozilla is best known as the maker of web browser Firefox, but the organization also has a philanthropic function. As part of that function, Mozilla has compiled a massive, graphic-laden assessment of the internet itself, dubbed the Internet Health Report 2018. I sat down with Mozilla’s Executive Director Mark Surman to discuss some of the report’s key findings, including the scourge of fake news, the consolidation of industry power, and how leaked data should be treated as “nuclear waste.” “If you look at the headlines, it looks like we are having a pretty bad year for the internet,” Surman says. “On the question of data protection and the problem with the centralization of power in the hands of just a few tech companies, this is not a healthy place.” Most consumers don’t understand…

3 min
the coolest things in ios 12

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote in June was all about software; those hoping for updated MacBooks were likely disappointed. This was truly an event just for Apple developers, a group now 20 million strong, CEO Tim Cook announced. Though we heard about updates coming to watchOS and macOS, iOS 12 was top of mind for many developers (and iPhone/iPad owners). New features coming to Apple’s mobile operating system this fall range from serious to silly. Here are some of the most interesting announcements. GROUP FACETIME In iOS 12, you will no longer be limited to one-on-one FaceTime chats. With Group FaceTime, you’ll be able to talk to up to 32 people at once—which might seem excessive, unless Apple is planning for enterprise users to pick it up. During a chat, your image will appear…

7 min
the best of computex 2018

Computex, the giant annual electronics trade show in Taipei, Taiwan, was full of eye-opening, future-looking announcements this year. A 32-core mega-CPU, a laptop with a touchpad that doubles as a second display, a PC case with lighting you control via voice: We saw a ton of technology to look forward to, and much of it will be available before the end of 2018. We roamed the halls of the Nangang Expo Center, took a trip to the Asus world headquarters on the outskirts of the city, and looked everywhere in between for the best of what Computex had to offer. BEST LAPTOP: ASUS ZENBOOK PRO 15 A touchpad that moonlights as a 5.5-inch full HD display will grace the 2018 version of the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 laptop. Dubbed the ScreenPad, this funky…

3 min
apple ignores what’s wrong with the mac

Apple makes great software. I use Windows and macOS daily, and macOS is cleaner, smoother, and more stable for basic tasks. Windows gives me the power I need to do great work, but I relax into a macOS browser window at home. Apple’s Mac shipments have been steady year over year in a declining PC market, according to Gartner. So you could be excused for thinking Apple doesn’t have a problem at all; everything’s fine. That’s not the sense I’m getting from tech-savvy users, though. They’re buying new Macs because of macOS software, and they’re grumbling increasingly about the hardware. But they’re trapped, because, of course, no hardware runs macOS other than Macs. That raises the question of when, if ever, these users will snap and jump ship. Last year, I needed…