How to reset your broadband router’s username and password

netgear-routerThere are times when everyone needs to log in to their broadband router to change a setting or two, most often the network key for the Wi-Fi connection.

But what happens if you can’t log in because you forgot the router’s username and/or password?

As luck would have it it’s very easy to reset a router’s username and password back to the factory defaults. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Will charging a phone or laptop overnight damage the battery?

inateck-30w-4-port-desktop-usb-travel-chargerQuestion from Harlan D.:  Hi Rick. I just recently found your blog and I love your tips. Great stuff!! I have a question for you if you don’t mind.

A friend of mine told me that letting my phone and laptop charge overnight will damage the battery by overcharging it.

I do this all the time and I’ve never noticed a problem. Is it ok to charge my gadgets overnight or should I avoid it?

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

The fastest way to open links in a new window

computer-mouseIf you’re like me you probably want many of the links you click to open in a new window. Most people do this in one of two ways:

1 – Hold down the Ctrl key while clicking the link.

2 – Right-click on the link, then click on Open in new window.

Both of those methods work great, but there’s an even faster way to get a link to open in a new window: [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Are the cheap laptop cooling pads they sell at Walmart any good?

cooler-master-laptop-cooling-matQuestion from Jarrod:  I have an Alienware M17x gaming laptop. It gets really hot after I’ve been playing a game for about half an hour. I’m afraid it’s gonna end up getting fried.

Do you think the laptop cooling mats sold at Walmart would keep my laptop cool enough to protect it? Basically, are they any good?

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

3DP Chip inventories your PC’s hardware and helps you back up and install the proper drivers

3dp-chip-logoSometimes when we re-install Windows one or more hardware drivers will simply fail to be installed. Who know’s why this happens, but when it does we’re often left with the task of tracking the driver(s) down and installing them manually.

Depending on the device in question, finding a suitable driver can be difficult, if not impossible, especially if you can’t even identify the device in question.

A handy free tool called 3DP Chip can help you identify and track down the correct drivers for every hardware component in your computer. No more guesswork! It can also back up your computer’s current drivers and restore them at a later date and time. [Continue Reading]

Great deal: Save $30 on an awesome Samsung 850 EVO 120GB SSD!

daily-dealAs I explained in this post, the best and most “bang for the buck” upgrade you can make to virtually any computer is to install a super-fast Solid State Drive (SSD) as the boot drive.

And thanks to a fantastic deal from Amazon, right now is the time to do it.

Our friends at Amazon are currently selling the awesome Samsung 850 EVO 120GB SSD for just $69.99. That’s a savings of $30, and the deal even includes free shipping!

The 850 EVO line of SSDs are among the best consumer grade SSDs you can by. In fact, they are so reliable that they come with a full 5 year limited warranty.

Bottom line: If you want to put your PC in the fast lane without breaking the bank, this deal makes right now the perfect time to get it done!

Note: This drive will work right out of the box in your laptop, but you’ll need an inexpensive 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter bracket if you plan to install it in a desktop PC that doesn’t have an open 2.5″ drive bay.

Click here to read more about this fantastic deal on the Samsung EVO 850 120GB SSD at Amazon, including over 1,000 overwhelmingly positive user reviews.

Notes: The links in this post are affiliate links. Prices on Amazon change frequently, so the savings listed in this offer could change at any time.

Bitdefender’s free Adware Removal Tool offers extra protection against malware

bitdefender-art-logoRunning a good full-time anti-malware program such as Avast is a must for keeping your PC safe from malware in today’s world, but even the best of these programs will miss a threat on occasion.

That’s why it’s so important to make regular use of on-demand malware scanners as well. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Can I just renew Norton Antivirus when it expires or will I have to buy a new copy?

renew-nortonQuestion from Margo N.:  I bought a new laptop that included Norton Antivirus for free for 6 months. I’ve had the laptop for a while now and the 6 months will be up in a couple of weeks.

Will I be able to renew my current Norton software or will I have to buy and install a new copy? I’d rather just renew the copy I already have if I can.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]