Computers Reviews

Best Antivirus for Windows PCs 2017: Reviews and guidance

Antivirus software ranks nearly as crucial as a PC’s operating system. No matter how careful you are, some threats can’t be prevented without the additional help of an antivirus program—or a full antivirus suite. You could visit your favorite website when it’s unintentionally displaying malicious ads. You may accidentally click on a phishing email (it happens!). You could also get caught by a zero-day threat, where an undisclosed bug in Windows, your browser, or an installed program allows hackers to install…

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Don’t be fooled: Windows Mixed Reality headsets are just VR headsets

On October 17 Microsoft released the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. It adds a ton of new features, but the most important may be Windows Mixed Reality. Timed alongside the Fall Creators Update release is the first slate of Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets, sourced from third-party manufacturers like Acer, Lenovo, HP, Dell, and more. Now you might be thinking, “I’ve heard of Virtual Reality (VR) and I’ve even heard of Augmented Reality (AR), but what is Mixed Reality (MR)?”…

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Avast Premier review: An attractive antivirus suite with limited install options

Avast is one of the more popular free, third-party antivirus programs. For anyone willing to pay for more advanced features, however, Avast’s premium products also have a lot to offer. At the top of the company’s line-up is Avast Premier for $80, which comes filled with features. Though it only offers two additional extras compared to Avast’s $60 Internet Security product, those particular features are potentially useful for those who want them. The first is Data Shredder, which deletes files by…

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AVG Internet Security Review: A premium antivirus suite that you can put on all your household PCs

AVG has a big advantage in the free antivirus space since it owns both Avast (acquired in 2016) and its homegrown product, AVG Free. The hope is that you’ll love the free stuff so much that you’ll eventually upgrade to one of its paid products. In the case of AVG, most people go with its Internet Security program. Priced at $70, it’s one step down from the company’s flagship product, AVG Ultimate, and lacks a number of Ultimate’s less crucial…

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Windows Defender review: Basic protection at the right price

In 2006, Microsoft added built-in security software to Windows for the first time. Since then, it’s appeared under various names, but currently it’s known as Windows Defender Security Center (WDSC). What started out as a basic antivirus detection feature has slowly grown into something that resembles a security suite. It doesn’t have anything close to the features you’d see in a third-party suite, but it does a fair job at antivirus and malware scanning. Note: This review is part of…

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Comodo Internet Security Pro 10 Review: It works well, but read every install screen closely

When we previously looked at Comodo’s Internet Security Pro, the company had a habit of bundling software with its security suite—and that trend hasn’t changed with Internet Security Pro 10. Underneath the hassle of warding off extra installs, however, is a security suite that does a good job of detecting threats. Note: This review is part of our best antivirus of 2017 roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them. Ian Paul/IDG Comodo wants to change your default…

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The Best Cheap Desktop Computers of 2017

Budget Isn’t a Dirty Word Budget desktop PCs used to have a bad reputation: You would have to resign yourself to buying a new one in a year or at most three. Thankfully, today’s inexpensive systems will last at least twice that if your needs are as modest as your bottom line. These PCs are certainly able to surf the web, stream videos to a TV, or work on Office documents and other everyday productivity tasks. Heck, you can even…

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How to build the best free PC security software suite

If you have a PC, you’re a target. You need security software.  That’s as true today as it was a decade ago, despite significant security improvements to Windows over the years. But you have a choice: You can continue paying a security software vendor an annual fee for protection or take matters into your own hands. If you choose the latter you’ll need to put together a custom security suite using various free products.  The pros and cons of free AV …

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Dell XPS Tower Special Edition (8930) Review & Rating

With the arrival of Intel’s new Coffee Lake processors, PC manufacturers have good reason to update their lines. Dell’s XPS Tower Special Edition (8930) (starts at $999; $1,524.99 as tested) is the latest take on one of our favorite general-purpose desktops, and the first Coffee Lake PC to come through our labs. This time around, The XPS Tower Special Edition packs an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, and the added speed is nothing to sneeze at. It also maintains what we…

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Oculus Santa Cruz hands-on: Truly standalone wireless VR

Going into my hands-on demo with Oculus’ Project Santa Cruz headset, think I forgot how it felt to be surprised by virtual reality. We’re coming up on three years since the last major advance in VR, which I’m going to peg as the first time I tried the HTC Vive’s room-scale experience. Since then we’ve seen a few refinements—Oculus Rift’s built-in headphones and lighter form factor, the remarkably comfortable and intuitive Oculus Touch controllers—but the fundamental tech has stayed pretty…

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