[Ask The Readers] Winamp vs. iTunes, MediaMonkey, Xbox Music: Your Favorite Windows Music Player?

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We've previously discussed and asked you about your favorite archive manager, and now it's time for discussing a subset of the media player category: music managers. I'll be discussing why I prefer a certain music manager, before leaving the stage to hear your opinions about your favorite software for managing your ever-growing digital music library. Read More

Easily Password-Protect & Hide Folders Without Installing An App

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Keep your computer locked when not in use and chances are unlikely that someone’s gonna tinker with your confidential data. But one can't be too careful, and may end up leaving an unlocked computer unattended at times, especially when it's a shared computer used by different family members. In such cases, application that let you lock specific folders can come handy? When it comes to finding a good application for the purpose, portability is often an attribute users seek, especially for locking folders on their thumb drives. Anvide Lock Folder is a portable Windows application built for that very purpose. It allows you to hide or lock multiple folders via a master password. You can use it on your hard disk, or place its tiny executable on a USB flash storage and slip it into your pocket for keeping your files secure on the go. From its intuitive UI to its easily understandable set of options, the tool keeps things dead simple. Read More

Separate Devices & Drives In ‘This PC’ Section Of Windows 8.1 Explorer

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Most users of Windows must aware of the Windows 8.1 update that was released back in October as a free update to existing Windows 8 users via Windows Store. While the update brings many welcome additions to the table, it has also made a few changes that users are finding fiercely annoying. Once such nuisance is the Devices and Drives section in This PC. In contrast to Windows XP, 7 and 8, This PC displays all hard disk drives, USB devices and CD/DVD drives under one combined section labeled 'Devices and drives' section, while earlier versions of Windows had separate sections for ‘Hard Disk Drives’ ‘Devices with Removable Storage’. While you cannot bring the exact same functionality to Windows 8.1, Vishal Gupta at AskVG has shared an awesome tip that will let you separate hard disk partitions and USB or CD/DVD drives shown under This PC. Read on for full step-by-step instructions. Read More

Flipboard Comes To Windows 8.1 & RT; We Go Hands-On [Review]

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When we talk about news readers and magazine apps for different mobile platforms out there, Flipboard has got to be among the first names that comes to mind. The popular virtual magazine has gained a lot of praise across both iOS and Android from users and critics alike, for offering an immersively pleasant experience of reading popular as well as self-curated news stories from around the world and social media in its beautiful interface. With the rather moderate yet steady rise in the popularity of Windows 8.1 and RT platforms, and with more and more tablets as well as other touch-screen computers sporting the OS hitting the market, it was only a matter of time before the developers behind Flipboard would notice the natural demand for their app on these devices, and the release of Flipboard for Windows 8.1 on Windows Store is testimony to that. The app brings its same highly visual reading experience to computers and tablets sporting Windows 8.1 or RT, complete with all its gestures, flipping animations as well as magazine discovery and curation tools that it has come to be known for. Join us, as we take an in-depth look at the app and all its features. Read More

Drawboard PDF Is A Modern UI PDF Editor & Annotation App For Windows

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When recently looking for a PDF editor on Windows Store, I came across Drawboard PDF a Modern UI PDF annotation tool for Windows 8/8.1 and RT platforms – and found it to be extremely handy. What makes this app different from others I've seen in this genre is its user-friendly layout. Moreover, I had yet to see a fully-featured PDF editor for the RT platform, so this made it even more interesting. Drawboard's purpose is to allow you edit all your PDF documents using Windows 8’s touch-enabled UI. It supports a radial menu that contains an extensive array of tools designed to let you add custom shapes, text and other tidbits to your PDF document and save it as a new file. The app supports both stylus and finger touch gestures. Details after the jump. Read More

Drag & Drop Files & Folders To Securely Delete Them From Your PC

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When you delete files in Windows, they are actually not completely erased ; only the links to where the files are located on your hard disk are removed from the operating system. So, even if you delete everything personal from your computer before selling it to someone else, it will not be enough to make sure your data has been permanently erased from that disk. The best method to permanently get rid of that data is by using a file shredder. File shredders come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all of which have one basic purpose: to permanently wipe files from the hard disk itself by rewriting blank sectors on it. Previously, we've covered a lot of file shredders for Windows such as Moo0 File Shredder, EraserDrop, Freeraser etc. Securely is another such user-friendly tool that sports an intuitive design and offers a variety of shredding methods. Read More

How To View The Date & Time When Windows Was Installed

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So, you want to find out when was the last time you installed Windows on your machine? Since you're reading this post, the answer to this question is probably yes. I’m not sure about you, but many simply feel that re-installing Windows at regular intervals – after a year, let's say – keeps the system in optimal state. I wouldn't argue with that theory, but in such a case, having a reference date of your last Windows installation does make sense. Or you might want to know about the date and time of your Windows installation just out of curiosity. Fortunately, then there are several different ways available to do that, which I will explain step by step, right after the break. Read More

Easily Create & Schedule Copy & Backup Operations On Windows With Cyotek CopyTools

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So, you turn on your PC one fine day and bang! The hard drive isn’t working anymore, all your files are lost for good, and it's no longer a fine day. That’s why keeping a backup of your data is a wise choice. Though having to manually create one regularly can be a hassle. If you want to automate backup operations for all your data from local hard drive to network location or USB flash drive, look no further than Cyotek CopyTools. This Windows application is designed to let you copy, mirror and move files from source to destination directory with a single click. You can also use it to create compressed ZIP archives of your files to save disk space. What’s more, it lets you create multiple backup profiles and assign different run schedules to them so you don’t have to manually do the whole thing. Details after the jump. Read More

Keeper Is A Cross-Platform Password Vault With WiFi Sync & Cloud Backup

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Many of us use weak passwords and to make things worse, reuse the same ones on different websites. The reason behind this is the difficulty in remembering different passwords; the lengthier and more complex a password is, the more secure it is, but at the same time, the harder it becomes to remember. Password managers provide a handy solution to this problem by letting you store your login information for different websites in one secure vault, and reuse it whenever needed. There are the basic kinds of password managers that store information offline on your computer’s storage, and then there are more advanced ones that not only save login data online, but also have apps for smartphones like iPhone and Android. Keeper is one such application that is quite feature-rich. Sporting a really great design, it protects your login information in an encrypted database, and sync it across Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, iOS and Android.

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Roccat Power Grid Is A Customizable PC Remote Control, Gamepad & System Monitor For Android & iOS

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Roccat is a popular name among PC hardware enthusiasts. The Germany-based company is completely focused on developing accessories for computer gamers and keeping a close connection with them as one of their strengths, which enables them to produce high quality peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and headsets that meet the requirements of their users. The company has built an app by the name of Roccat Power Grid that enables you to manage your PC from Android and iOS. It’s a fully customizable PC remote that lets you create custom controllers to monitor your system and even play games without touching the keyboard or mouse. Read More

Block Incoming Connections From Malicious Websites With Bot Revolt Anti-Malware

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Computer security is a crucial factor for everyone with an online presence or activities. Most of us use an antivirus program of some sort to get rid of viruses and other malware, and keep our computers protected from them. However, from time to time, a malicious piece of software still manages to get its way through our defensive measures. On the bright side, as these malware are continually evolving, the security experts are fighting back with equally robust, top-notch security solutions. Bot Revolt Anti-Malware, for instance, is a Windows application that provides effective protection against viruses and malware by blocking potentially harmful incoming connections to your PC via the internet. Read More

Cometdocs For Desktop Adds A PDF Converter To Windows Context Menu

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A common situation many users face when dealing with digital documents is having to convert PDF files to other formats such as Word, JPEG, TXT etc. Fortunately, there are a bunch of PDF converters out there that can get the job done, though finding the best one can become tedious at times. Back in February, we reviewed a handy online service dubbed Cometdocs that allows you to host any kind of document to the cloud and perform PDF conversion to other formats via its web-based interface. Cometdocs for desktop a standalone tool by the same developer – brings the same conversion features to Windows. The tool makes document conversion a breeze, thanks to its context menu integration. And besides converting PDF to many other formats, it also lets you easily create PDFs out of other files. Details after the jump. Read More

Auslogics Browser Care Is An All-In-One Maintenance Solution For Chrome, Firefox & IE

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If you’re one of those people who install a ton of extensions, add-ons and toolbars on their browsers, you shouldn’t overlook the fact that too many of these can eventually slow down or even crash your web browser and hinder your browsing experience. While many of these extensions and add-ons can be quite useful, unwanted toolbars like the infamous one from Ask toolbar and Babylon usually come bundled with freeware and are unintentionally installed by users. And even besides their shady installation methods, getting rid of such toolbars can be a tedious task. Previously we’ve reviewed a few applications such as Avast Browser Cleanup and Toolbar Cleaner that are designed to rid your system of the aforementioned pesky toolbars. Auslogics Browser Care is yet another great tool that aims to mark its name in this genre by letting you get rid of unwanted add-ons and toolbars, reset your browser home page and search engine, and clean up temporary browser data. Even better, it supports Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer all in a single package. Read More

Easily Compare, Copy & Sync Files Between Two Folders With PathSync

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Folder synchronization tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We’ve covered quite a handful of Windows applications that let you sync directories remotely, locally, or both ways. Backup Folder Sync, for instance, is an exceptional desktop app that can easily create backups and copy files between two directories. CryptSync is another nice tool that not only syncs files but also encrypts them during the process. And then there’s CodeTwo Folder Sync that synchronizes a pair of Outlook folders pretty quickly. PathSync is yet another handy, open-source application in this genre that allows you to compare and sync two different directories. It lets you seamlessly copy files from source folder to destination folder, destination to source folder, or in a two-way manner. Detailes to follow. Read More

[Ask The Readers] iPad Air vs. iPad Mini 2013 vs. Nexus 7 / 10 vs. Surface Pro 2

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I have not one, but two primary computers. The first is your standard Windows laptop that, when connected with a nice ergonomic keyboard and mouse, along with a mid-sized LCD monitor, acts as a proper desktop. I create most of my content - whether it's writing blogposts, typing long emails, or editing images - with this setup. The second 'computer' is my iPhone 4S that I use on the go, mostly for consuming content from Facebook, Reddit, and for reading emails. Whenever I think of buying a tablet, what I have trouble understanding is where does it fit in? My laptop is great for content creation and consumption, and for on-the-go basic computing my iPhone does all I need. With ever-decreasing tablet prices, that question - despite not having a clear, attractive answer - seems easier to dismiss as overanalysis. Read More

Analyze Your Chrome History Trends Over All Time With This Extension

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Google Chrome comes packed with its very own history manager that allows you to view all of the websites that you've previously accessed, and reopen links you didn't get the chance to bookmark. Though have you ever wanted to analyze that data to help you determine what sites you visit the most on your weekdays, or how many times did you search for a particular keyword? Well, there’s a really neat extension for that purpose called History Trends, which is designed to analyze your entire browsing history and display a variety of charts and statistics. The only caveat with that tool is that it doesn't allow you to analyze data beyond 3 months period due to limitations in Google Chrome itself. If you find History Trends useful and want to overcome this limitation, History Trends Unlimited takes care of it for you. Read More

Monitor Hard Drive Or SSD Health & Performance With HDDExpert

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Manufacturers are always pushing boundaries trying to make hard disks as robust and reliable as possible. Despite that, HDD failure and data loss remains an inescapable reality. Therefore, there are RAID configurations, backup systems and other solutions designed to prevent data loss and minimize the impact to an organization when drives simply stop working. While there are various ways to help you prevent data loss, one of the easiest methods is to keep a check on your hard drive’s health using monitoring tools. One such utility goes by the name HDDExpert. It is a free Windows application by KC Software that displays health & performance of your HDD or SSD, decodes S.M.A.R.T. attributes into readable form and recommends ways to maintain the health of your drives. Read More

What’s New In Windows 8.1: Here’s Everything You Need To Know

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Windows 8 has been pretty controversial among desktop and laptop users because of the way it forces the whole Modern UI shebang in your face. 99% of the time I'm using my laptop is within the 'Desktop' environment, which I strongly believe is a big improvement over Windows 7, so I don't mind the tablet-esque, touch-optimized UI of the rest of the OS. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft has solved many of the problems Windows 8 had in terms of usability while adding a bunch of lovely new features, and in usual fashion, we have covered them all in good detail. If you're considering making the switch to Windows 8.1, be sure to go through our list of articles first so you know what you are getting into. Read More

Easily Backup Windows Drivers & Restore From Within Device Manager

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Let’s face it, we've all been in a situation where we needed to reinstall Windows due to some issue, or after getting a warranty replacement because of some faulty component. In such scenarios, reinstalling everything from scratch can be a very tedious task, especially when it comes to hardware drivers that you had configured to a state where they were all working perfectly. While I've always been meticulous regarding creating PC backups, hardly have I ever thought of backing up all my device drivers to avoid extra time that would be wasted should I ever need to redo everything from scratch. That’s why when I came across Free Driver Backup – a Windows app that specifically creates driver backups – I found the idea very useful. With one mouse click, it creates driver backups to your computer’s storage that you can restore later at any time. Read More