Tech & Gaming
Windows Help & Advice

Windows Help & Advice December 2019

Windows Help & Advice features all the best ways to get more from your Windows PC, along with in-depth advice on new hardware, the latest technology and the internet. And it's 100% jargon free!

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
Back issues only
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in this issue

1 min.

Hello, and welcome to Windows Help and Advice issue 168. This month you can discover the 50 best free apps with which to put your PC through its paces. There’s everything from office suites to photo editors to security software, all the programs you could want, without spending a penny. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got a full guide to the latest wireless network technology, Wi-Fi 6, which promises to shake up an otherwise dull sector. There’s also a look at what to do if your PC runs out of space. Elsewhere, you’ll find the usual mix of tutorials and reviews. There’s a look at the new Dropbox app, a guide to the freshly released Luminar 4, and tips on using Alexa with Windows 10. We review a ‘portable’ PC…

2 min.
keep your web browsing private

Services like Facebook and Google have tentacles that reach far across the web, and they’re watching what you do. Although they rarely tie your activity to any personal information, that which they do learn is sold to advertisers, who target you with ads that theoretically fit your interests. Ever looked at a sofa online then been bombarded with ads for sofas for the next month? That’s why. If this makes you uncomfortable – it’s mostly benign, but we can certainly understand being against it – there are a few things you can do to stop it. First, consider changing your web browser. Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge don’t (yet) include any significant technology to stop tracking, though it’s apparently coming to Chrome in a future version. Try using Firefox (getfirefox.com), Opera…

2 min.
the knowledge…

Windows 10 X Is that a roman numeral? It is not. This isn’t Windows 10 10: the ‘X’ is Microsoft’s favourite cool letter (see: Xbox, Surface Pro X et al), and it’s the designation given to a special version of Windows made specifically for dual-screen or folding devices. Microsoft calls it an ‘expression’ of Windows, enhanced for gadgets like the Surface Neo. Why create a special version of Windows for that? It’s not so much that Microsoft has created a special version, more that Windows has now become a lot of things all at once. Significant parts of Windows run on loads of different devices and have done for some time, often imperceptibly. To use a car analogy, Windows is the engine which the rest of the chassis is built around. But it doesn’t look…

2 min.
password problems

Passwords are a big issue for security. They’re the keys to your accounts, yes, but imagine that someone had swiped a copy of your house key without you knowing: they’d be able to get in whenever they liked until you wised up and changed the locks. If one of the services you use online has had some kind of password breach – perhaps their own security was not strong enough, or a hacker stumbled upon a master key – the problem could be even worse than that. Your credentials could be floating around any number of illicit communities, your house keys copied and handed out to every ne’er do well in the dark corners of the pub. But how would you know? First of all, you’ll need to keep a close…

1 min.
the 60-second quiz

1 Which of these is typically used by a laser printer? A Toner B Ink C Paint 2 How many inkjet cartridges are used worldwide per year? A 11 million B 101 million C 1.1 billion 3 According to Which?, what would a litre of top brand printer ink cost? A £123 B £1,890 C £9,921 4 What temperature does a laser printer’s fuser reach? A 205ºC B 50ºC C 425ºC 5 Which company made the first commercial laser printer? A Xerox B Hewlett Packard C Canon 6 Which of these is not a printer technology? A Dot matrix B Daisy wheel C Hammer action…

1 min.
download this…

Unchecky unchecky.com We all love free software, but we don’t love sneaky software – if you’ve ever clicked through an installer and not paid quite enough attention while doing it, you’ll know how painful dealing with the little ‘extras’ many packages tack on can be. Unchecky makes that process so much easier: it knows when you’re running a software installation, it can sniff out those devious checkboxes and, as its name suggests, it can uncheck them on your behalf. No more unwanted software, no more bundled adware. If an installer is dodgy, if it’s going to install that software anyway, but it’s likely Unchecky already knows about it. Install something suspect and it’ll flash up a big warning so you know exactly what you’re getting in to. Unchecky has a minimal performance impact…