9 malware defenders

Keeping your computer clean and secure requires more than removing viruses. Many pieces of malicious code are designed to circumvent antivirus protection. These applications can range from minor annoyances like potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) to advertisements (adware) to outright malicious software (malware and spyware) that can cripple your day-to-day usage. We tested some of the latest and greatest antimalware kits that can help you before your PC is compromised. These Windows apps will work in conjunction with your... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Security And Spyware

First Look: Office 2016 Preview for Mac

Want to try Office 2016 Preview for Mac? Microsoft's offering free access for everyone, no account required, though you must be running OS X 10.10 Yosemite. If you already have Office for Mac 2011 , you can run the preview alongside it. Office for Mac Preview comes with freshly rebuilt Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, alongside the full Outlook and OneNote versions released last year. Each build is available for 60 days, and updates will keep coming automatically until... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software

7 puzzle games for casual play

Puzzle games are at that sweet intersection of simple and compelling -- they're easy to pick up and put down...and pick up again. That's why they're perfect for lazy summer days, work breaks, and commute time (as long as you're not the driver). Here are seven of our favorite mobile puzzle games.

Home: Boov Pop (iOS, Android)

Home: Boov Pop, based on recent DreamWorks movie "Home," has you bopping off on an effervescent... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

First look: Microsoft Office 2016

This week Microsoft released a public preview of its upcoming productivity suite, Office 2016. You can download and try Office 2016 Preview for 180 days, as long as you're running Windows 7, 8.1, or 10, or Mac OS X. However, the Windows Office preview can't run alongside a current version of Office unless you set up a virtual machine. Read on for our sneak peek at what you can expect in Office 2016, before its expected final release... Read More »

Topics: microsoft_office , Windows Software

How to run Windows 10 on a virtual machine

If you want to play with Windows 10 or Office 2016 but aren't ready to abandon Windows 7 or 8 or Office 2013 just yet, there's an easy solution: a virtual machine. Broadly speaking, a virtual machine (VM) is a sandbox that tricks one operating system into running inside another.

Setup requires a more-than-entry-level PC, since you'll be running two resource-hungry OSes at once. But a virtual machine is well worth the effort, because it means fewer headaches than fully upgrading... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

6 VPNs for more secure Internet connections

A VPN (virtual private network) can let you surf privately on an untrusted network, access blocked websites from work or school, view geo-restricted content, or cloak yourself from the prying eyes of advertisers. Here are six of our favorite VPN services.

Hotspot Shield VPN (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)

Nervous about your privacy while surfing the Net? Hotspot Shield VPN shields your online activity with banking-level encryption, no matter which network... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Microsoft Build: seeking to build a unified Windows

Microsoft's annual Build conference in San Francisco has, in recent years, become the place for product announcements, but there have been few surprises -- until now. Today's three-and-half-hour keynote had a long, geeky start, discussing cloud computing and databases, seemingly leaving few crumbs for those eager for news about Windows 10, Office 2016, and the Project Spartan Web browser. Then Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, came onstage. Sharp readers may... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows , browser , Office

10 YouTube improvers

Ten years ago today, YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim uploaded the site's first video, an 18-second clip called Me at the Zoo shot at the elephant enclosure. In the decade since, we've seen far more engaging videos, from the Evolution of Dance to Leave Britney Alone to "Gangnam Style." Now boasting over a billion users worldwide, YouTube has become a place to learn how to do things, break new recording artists, and document social unrest. Whether you... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions , Android Software , iOS Software

5 apps to save resources and money

You don't have to be an environmentalist to be concerned with sustainability. With Earth Day this week, we're thinking outside the recycling bin, examining ways that software helps conserve resources , from paper and batteries to money and time.

BatteryBattery Doctor (iOS, Android)

Your battery is your phone's most precious resource, and Battery Doctor helps conserve it. This essential app monitors your battery status, notifies you about CPU and memory usage, and offers tips to save your... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

7 mobile payment apps

Cash is dirty, requires counting, and is easily lost or stolen. Credit cards have high fees, lead to overspending, and consume precious pocket space. That's why many savvy spenders are turning to convenient and secure mobile payment apps for their transactions. Here are seven of the most popular for paying retailers or making peer-to-peer payments.

PayPal (iOS, Android)

PayPal, which launched in 2010, is perhaps the most established mobile payment app. With it you can send... Read More »

Topics: iOS Software