PC Magazine September 2021

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.

United States
Ziff Davis
R 63,66
R 318,92
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
5g clinches the win for t-mobile

Longtime readers, you’ll know what time of year it is: Time for PCMag to take to the road and measure mobile-network speeds across the country. It’s our twelfth annual Fastest Mobile Networks drive test, and that includes last year—we didn’t let a pandemic slow us down. This year, as 5G slowly takes over, one carrier shone brighter than the other two: T-Mobile won our national award for the very first time. As you’ll read in our cover story, it accomplished that win by expanding 5G coverage into mid-band spectrum: “T-Mobile’s new mid-band 5G network is the only nationwide 5G that’s markedly faster than 4G, earning the carrier its first-ever PCMag award for America’s fastest mobile network.” We also report the winning network for each of 50 major cities and for six regions…

4 min
your (neil) questions

To Neil: I wonder if you have any suggestions as to which paid service is best to accomplish removing all of my public records data, and removing all of my email/phone data online. Any guidance will be most appreciated. —Iris Neil’s reply: Basically, you can’t remove public records. They’re public. In the movies, hackers dig into databases and erase data for individuals. Given that’s an illegal act, a kind of vandalism, there aren’t any services advertising this kind of treatment, at least not that I know of. You can get your data removed from the data brokers that base their business on aggregating public data and packaging it for consumption by spouses, employers, or anybody who wants to know. Abine’s DeleteMe is the primary provider of this type of removal. It’s not…

3 min
wtf is the metaverse?

The metaverse is in the air. Mark Zuckerberg won’t stop talking about turning Facebook into one. Zombie-strewn Fortnite says it’s on the way to becoming one. Microsoft is going to develop an enterprise one, which sounds fun. But what is it? If you’ve been nodding along and hoping that eventually people will stop talking about it, we have good news and bad news. Metaverse news is only going to increase. This is obviously the bad news. In better news, we have a quick primer to help you with the basics. So here are your questions (hopefully) answered. Hi. Hi. This is going to sound weird, but are you really here? Sure. Let’s say yes. I ask because I was just reading about Mark Zuckerberg and this metaverse thing, and it has thrown me into an existential…

2 min
spacex preps ‘ruggedized’ starlink dish for cars, boats, and planes

SpaceX is working on a “ruggedized” version of its Starlink dish designed to work outside cars, boats, and planes and in harsh climates. The company filed an application with the FCC in August to operate the so-called “high-performance” Starlink dish. The hardware still relies on a phased array antenna to receive the high-speed internet from SpaceX satellites in orbit. “But these high-performance (‘HP’) models will operate with higher gain and lower transmit power (thus maintaining a consistent EIRP compared to other SpaceX Services user terminals), a higher scan angle, and features that ruggedize the unit for use in harsh environments,” the company wrote in the application. “The hardware still relies on a phased array antenna to receive the high-speed internet from SpaceX satellites in orbit.” In March, SpaceX filed another application to operate…

2 min
why 5g desperately needs the new samsung galaxy fold

One of my first real 5G experiences was chatting with my wife on a foldable phone in early 2020. When I opened a Samsung Galaxy Fold and set it on a table at a coffee shop in Seoul, the high bandwidth and low latency made me feel like she was right there with me having coffee, even though she was 7,000 miles away. New folding phones and improvements to 5G could soon bring this experience to the US, if Samsung and the carriers play their cards right. Samsung announced its Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 on August 11, and the fate of 5G—especially T-Mobile’s 5G—rides in part on their success. Price is going to be the biggest question around “bringing more people into the fold,” to quote Samsung…

5 min
covid-19 upended how we test vpn speeds

We recently released a new batch of results from our VPN speed testing that contained a surprising result: One VPN appeared, on paper, to actually improve internet performance. As with most things, this miraculous result is probably too good to be true, but it gives us the chance to explain how we’ve been doing VPN testing during the COVID-19 era and what that means for the future. OUR OLD TESTING METHODS Back when standing less than six feet from another person still seemed like a good idea, PCMag tested VPNs very differently. At that time, VPN testing was a marathon of back-to-back sessions that ended with the results being released all at once. This approach to testing came from a desire to control for as many variables as possible, which is a…