Monthly Archives: April 2017

How To Get The Windows Experience Index Score In Windows 10

Windows 7 introduced the Windows Experience Index. It scored the hardware capabilities of your system against Microsoft’s benchmarks. It’s usefulness was contested. Some users were of the opinion that it isn’t accurate because Microsoft’s benchmarks just aren’t meaningful enough and the way they arrive at them isn’t public knowledge. The scores were generic and gave users only a vague idea about their hardware’s capabilities. Microsoft removed it in Windows 8 and it didn’t come back in its original form in Windows 10. That said, you can still get the Windows Experience Index Score in Windows 10. You don’t need to install any third-party apps to do so.

Generate System Diagnostics Report

The Windows Experience Index Score in Windows 10 is calculated via the Performance Monitor tool. Type ‘Performance Monitor’ in Windows search, or type ‘perfmon’ in the run dialog to open it.

On the left column, go to Data Collection Sets>System>System Diagnostic. Right-click System Diagnostics and select ‘Start’ from the context menu. This will run a fresh diagnostics on your current hardware. The System Diagnostics tool will show a play button while the diagnostics are being run. It takes no longer than 2 minutes.

Once the play button disappears from the System Diagnostics tools, you’re ready to read the Windows Experience Index score in Windows 10.

Windows Experience Index Score

On the Performance Monitor tool, go to Reports>System>System Diagnostics. Select the most recent report.

Scroll down and expand ‘Hardware Configuration’. Under Hardware Configuration, expand ‘Desktop Rating’. Expand all options under it to view your Windows Experience Index score in Windows 10.

The tool will score your CPU, memory, disk, and graphics both on-board and dedicated.

Limitations

Windows Experience Index was popular with less tech savvy users. It was a simple way to check the hardware capabilities of a system. It was easy to compare scores and get a vague idea as to how well your system could perform.

With the index no longer easily accessible as before, it is less useful in that regard. You can’t easily compare scores with other Windows 10 users.

One way this tool differs from the original index introduced in Windows 7 is that it doesn’t assign your entire system an overall score. Your individual components are scored but your system isn’t given the same rating as the lowest score in the index.

You can still use the index to get a general idea as to how well apps will perform on the system but it’s a general idea. Without other stats, or good stats to look at, you can’t tell if a 5 score is bad. Users will likely think anything below 5 is bad given how a component can score as high as 9 on the index. The point is, you should still take this with a grain of salt.

The Best VPNs for Linux Users

Using a virtual private network at home and while traveling has become an unfortunate necessity. Online privacy is on everyone’s mind as ISPs collect and sell personal data and hackers snoop public networks for credit card details. In addition to encrypting and securing your data, VPNs also allow you to bypass censored and region locked content to access certain Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer videos that aren’t available in all areas.

 

Finding the best VPNs for Linux

Despite being deployed on servers, mobile devices, and computers around the world, a surprising number of VPN providers overlook Linux when developing their custom apps. Whether you’re running Ubuntu or plain Debian, Red Hat or openSUSE, the services below are reliable, affordable, and offer Linux clients to make your VPN usage as easy as possible.

Evaluating The VPNs

Picking the right VPN can be a mess of security details and pricing structures. You’re looking for a service to handle your private data and keep you safe while you surf, so even a minor privacy policy change could be a deal breaker. We combed through a variety of well-established VPN providers to find services that focus on delivering a fast and secure VPN experience for Linux users as well as other operating systems. Below are the criteria we used to evaluate each service.

  • Linux software support – Not every VPN service offers software for Linux, let alone multiple distributions. Custom apps for Ubuntu and other Debian distros are a minimum requirement to be featured below. All support OpenVPN as well.
  • Logging policy – One VPN feature that’s non-negotiable is a provider’s logging policy. Even if data is encrypted, keeping server logs builds a trail that leads back to every user on the service, nullifying the privacy effectiveness of a VPN. The providers below have a strict zero-log policy, no exceptions.
  • Speed – Having a slow connection to your VPN can be a deal breaker. The overhead introduced by encryption and routing traffic through servers located across the world carries the risk of lag, but many VPN providers have developed clever workarounds to ensure a fast connection without sacrificing security.
  • Traffic limitations – Occasionally a VPN provider will impose bandwidth and file type restrictions on its users, cutting out things like P2P sharing or torrent traffic. All of the services below allow unrestricted downloads with absolutely no speed throttling or other limitations.
  • Server distribution – VPNs are great for privacy, but they also give users the ability to swap virtual locations at the press of a button. Anyone looking to bypass censored content or stream Hulu, YouTube, or Netflix videos from other regions can use a VPN to quickly change IP addresses. The featured VPNs below all have strong networks of servers located around the world and allow unlimited switching between them.
  • Company location – Legal jurisdiction plays a big part in finding a good VPN. If the company is registered in a country with strict data retention policies, the provider must adhere to those laws, nullifying the effectiveness of the VPN. We’ve made sure the services below are based in stable locations with more lenient data laws that allow for zero-logging policies.

ExpressVPN

 

ExpressVPN – best VPN for Linux

Accessibility is ExpressVPN’s main selling point, but the service also offers fast speeds, strong privacy features, and easy to use software. The network is SSL secured with 256-bit encryption optimized for unlimited bandwidth and speed, opening the doors for seamless video streams and fast downloads for any file type, including P2P and torrents. All of this is available through 145 VPN locations spread across 94 countries.

The wide server availability also gives ExpressVPN powerful access to videos and content from a number of regions around the world. Censorship is no longer an issue, nor is accessing streams from YouTube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. Although the feature isn’t available in Linux builds, ExpressVPN offers an in-software speed test that lets you diagnose bandwidth problems from inside the app.

ExpressVPN plans are available for monthly or yearly rates and come with a 30 day money back guarantee. There’s also an easy referral program that offers a month of free service to both parties. Linux support is some of the best in the VPN business, as ExpressVPN offers downloads for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS distros along with detailed instructions to use OpenVPN with other Linux varieties.

SAVE BIG: ExpertVPN is giving AddictiveTips readers a special offer by adding another THREE MONTHS FREE on the annual subscription, with this link. Not only that, but they also allow you to test drive the service for 30 days, risk free.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access wants to make the digital world safe for everyone. The company focuses on fast connection speeds and unbeatable anonymity with programs so simple to use that everyone in the family can operate them. The service also bundles the firewall capabilities of the Netfilter Project to help keep malicious connections from ever reaching your computer or mobile device.

Like the name suggests, Private Internet Access goes out of its way to protect user privacy through strong security protocols. Anonymity is boosted through an IP cloak that switches local addresses out with anonymous IPs to prevent tracking and allow for unrestricted content access through censorship blocks. It also makes streaming Hulu videos from other regions as easy as clicking a menu option.

Private Internet Access offers software for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android, along with a Chrome extension any operating system can use. Linux support focuses on Ubuntu distros with a quick terminal driven installation process that only takes a few seconds to complete.

Private Internet Access has some of the most affordable plans of any VPN. There’s even a 7 day money back guarantee along with an affiliate program that offers rewards for referring visitors. Combine that with zero-logging, unlimited bandwidth, over 3,000 servers in 25 different countries, and no file type restrictions and you’ve got a great candidate for a Linux VPN provider.

StrongVPN

Open and private access are StrongVPN‘s biggest selling points. The service has a straightforward zero-logging policy and encrypts connections with PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, and IPSec protocols, perfect for thwarting snoopers from stealing data as well as stopping ISPs from tracking and selling your information.

StrongVPN’s most unique feature is StrongDNS, an extra layer of anonymity for anyone looking to bypass censorship or region blocks. On its own, StrongDNS makes it easier to switch virtual locations so websites and video streaming services think you’re in a different country, all without sacrificing speed or anonymity. Servers are available in 46 cities spread across 24 different countries, giving you plenty of room to find a location that’s both fast and open. StrongDNS is included for free with all VPN plans.

Linux support for StrongVPN includes builds for Debian/Ubuntu as well as Fedora. There are a few quick tutorials to help guide you through setting up the service for other Linux distros via OpenVPN, as well. All StrongVPN packages are competitively priced and come with a 5 day money back guarantee.

Grab the discount: StrongVPN is running an offer giving our readers a 15% discount if you use the code “SAVE15” at checkout.

VyprVPN

VyprVPN runs a large network with over 700 servers in 70 different countries. The company offers its own DNS service to ensure users get unrestricted access to the internet, and with the VyprVPN Chameleon technology, even VPN blocking and throttling measures can be thwarted. This makes it a prime choice for freedom of information fans or anyone looking to bypass censorship or region blocked content. Users can even deploy VyprVPN to defeat local ISP throttling or bypass network congestion for faster Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu speeds with very little effort.

All of VyprVPN’s software was designed with ease of use in mind, including the Linux builds. Downloadable software can be obtained through the command line for Ubuntu and Mint systems with complete set-up guides provided by VyperVPN’s support section. Security is another one of VyprVPN’s concerns. The service uses multiple encryption protocols to ensure data stays scrambled along with a fantastic zero-logging policy.

VyprVPN’s plans are some of the most affordable in the VPN market and include unlimited data usage and three to five simultaneous connections. The premium plan includes the Chameleon technology mentioned above along with VyperVPN’s own private cloud service.

One downside of VypVPN is that it is not suitable for torrenting, as this is forbidden on its network.

Deal alert: VyprVPN allows you to try their service free for three days. If you decide to stay, a 50% discount on the first month’s bill will be applied to your account.

Benefits Of Using A VPN

Keeping your information secure in the digital world has become a major issue in recent years. VPNs are extraordinarily useful tools for anyone concerned about privacy, as well as users who need to get around region blocked content or censored websites. They’re easy to use and offer a wide variety of options for both basic and power users, making them a truly indispensable part of your online world.

Benefits of using a VPN include:

1. Stop ISPs from tracking you – Every time you log onto the internet you send traffic through a local service provider. That information is collected and stored unencrypted on the ISP’s servers where it can be sold or shared with third parties at their discretion. Your online activities and your identity simply aren’t safe. With a VPN in place, all data leaving your computer is encrypted. Instead of knowing your shopping habits and location, ISPs get a string of random numbers and letters. This anonymity is why VPNs are popular with torrenters who don’t want their surfing speed throttled or a letter from their ISP.

2. Secure public Wi-Fi- Using an unencrypted home network is risky enough, but public Wi-Fi is even worse. Connecting through a portable device while traveling opens your data up to snoopers, the business providing the wireless connection, and the service provider. With a VPN active, however, your data gets encrypted before it leaves your device, securing everything down the line so you stay safe while you travel.

3. Access restricted content – Some users swear by VPNs simply because they offer freedom and flexibility. Geo-locked content is common in a number of countries, blocking access to websites or videos simply because a user lives in a certain part of the world. With a VPN, however, anyone can change their virtual location at the push of a button. Can’t watch a YouTube or Netflix video because it’s blocked in your country? Change that through a VPN.

VPN Limitations

A VPN can’t do everything. The general rule is VPNs are great at securing data and activity that takes place outside of your devices. What happens on your computer or mobile phone generally isn’t affected by a VPN. Firewalls and virus protection software still play an important role keeping you safe online.

Devices aren’t automatically protected – If you install and use VPN software on your Linux computer, other devices that connect to your network aren’t automatically protected. Each computer, tablet, phone, Chromebook, or e-reader that accesses the internet needs the VPN’s app installed and running in order to be safe. A workaround for this limitation is to install software on your router to encrypt the entire connection as it leaves your home. Note that VPN providers usually limit the number of devices that simultaneously connect using this or other methods.

Viruses and malware are still a threat — VPNs do nothing to protect your computer from viruses or other forms of malware. A few of the more security conscious VPN providers do offer firewall-type solutions alongside their VPN, but for the most part you’ll still need to be mindful of downloading suspicious files, especially through torrent and P2P networks.

Speed issues — It’s almost a given that using a VPN will slow your connection speed by 10-25%, sometimes even more. There are workarounds to tweak this number slightly, but due to the distance your data is traveling as well as encryption overhead, expect to lose at least a little speed when your VPN is active.

Free VPNs Can Be Dangerous

With the rise of privacy awareness comes disguised malware that attempts to take advantage of unsuspecting users. The vast majority of these programs are advertised as VPN solutions that offer unlimited, unrestricted access at no cost to the user. Sometimes they come in the form of browser extensions, sometimes as installable desktop programs or marketplace apps. No matter the source, always be wary of free VPN providers.

If a VPN service doesn’t charge its customers, the company has to bring in revenue from some other stream. The most common source is selling the very user information the VPN promises to protect. If you aren’t paying for the service, you’re not the customer, you’re the product. This holds true for nearly every free VPN service out there, though there are a few moderate exceptions. It’s always best to stick with trusted and reliable paid sources.

Running VPN Software On A Router

VPN providers offer a wide variety of solutions for protecting your devices at home and on the road. One method is to deliver software that installs on your home router to encrypt all data that passes through it, regardless of the source. This has the distinct advantage of not having to run a program on each device that connects to the internet.

The set-up process for each VPN provider will vary from the list below. You’ll also need to configure different options depending on which protocol your VPN supports (PPTP, L2TP, etc.)

  1. Make sure your router is compatible with the VPN software. If it’s not, custom firmware such as DD-WRT or Tomato are widely supported.
  2. Navigate to your router’s configuration page.
  3. Open the setup tab.
  4. Enter your VPN provider’s IP address and credentials.
  5. Set the DNS servers as supplied by your VPN service.
  6. Save the settings and reboot your router.

Using OpenVPN

OpenVPN is a free and open source VPN software solution packed with useful features designed by the community. Many VPN providers officially support OpenVPN as an alternative to their own apps, especially where unusual or less popular Linux distributions are concerned.

If your VPN supports OpenVPN, the set-up process will be fairly straightforward:

  1. Install OpenVPN from the website or command line.
  2. Navigate to the OpenVPN configuration directory, usually /etc/openvpn
  3. Download the OpenVPN configuration files from your provider’s website.
  4. Extract the files.
  5. Start OpenVPN with your provider’s configuration.
  6. Enter your credentials.
  7. Surf and stream with complete VPN privacy.

How To Run NES Games On Windows

The Nintendo Entertainment System was the best gaming console of its time. Gaming platforms have since evolved. The games themselves have evolved but there is still a solid fanbase for those 8-bit games. Modern mobile games often use the 8-bit art style though, given the improved technology, they look exponentially better. The NES is extinct for the most part, unless you have one lying around in your attic. Those who still want to play an NES game, can do so on their desktop. To run NES games on Windows, you need an emulator. There are quite a few NES emulators available so you’re spoiled for choice. If you’re looking for something easy to set up and use, give Nintaco a try. Games not included.

In order to run NES games on Windows, you need an emulator but you also need to download a game built for the NES. These are available online but we have to caution you here. Don’t download these games from websites that push other content like extensions or EXEs on to you. Your game is supposed to download as a zipped file. You don’t need additional software to download these files.

Nintaco is a Java based tool. You need the latest version of Java installed on your system to run the Nintaco JAR file. Download it, and open it with Java.

The emulator is ready to use right away. You don’t have to install anything.

Make sure you have a game downloaded. You don’t need to extract the game if it’s in a zipped file. Nintaco can read files from an archive.

To run a game, go to File>Open and select the zipped game file.

If Nintac asks you to select a file from the archive, select the file with the NES extension. That is the main game file. The game loads in seconds but it’s going to take a while to figure out all the controls. You will probably die a few times during the course of your investigation.

Nintaco supports quite a few input devices. To select a different input device, go to Options>Button mapping. You can select a different device, and you can remap buttons.

Nintac also lets you connect to a Netplayer server, connect additional devices, select the screen size of the game and even play in full screen mode, and use cheats.

Nintaco has one shortcoming; updates. If you update the app instead of doing a clean install, there is no guarantee your games will be safe. It is possible that you lose your saved games.

That said, you can now run NES games on Windows. Enjoy the 8-bit little wonders that enthralled a generation.

Download Nintaco

How To Create A Collection on Instagram

At the end of 2016, Instagram introduced a bookmarking feature. Users can save a post in their home feed by tapping the bookmark button under it. Instagram saves the post to your account. The post i.e. the image itself is not saved to your camera roll. The saved image will be deleted if the account that shared it decides to remove it. It won’t make any difference that you saved it. Initially, the save feature was basic. Instagram has now added a way to organize saved posts. You can add saved posts to a folder i.e., collection on Instagram. Users can create as many collections as they want.

You should probably update the Instagram app. The feature wasn’t in the change log but it’s better to be on the safe side. At this point, it is probably rolling out slowly to users.

Create A Collection

Open Instagram and go to your profile tab. Tap the ‘bookmark’ button. This is where you can see all your saved posts. If the Collections feature has rolled out to your account, you will see two tabs. The ‘All’ tab contains all posts that you have saved. The ‘Collections’ tab contains all collections that you’ve created.

The Fastest VPN Providers

When most people look for a VPN, their main concern is privacy. Hide your identity, protect your data, and do it with the most secure VPN around, end of story. An important consideration that often gets overlooked in the quest for anonymity is speed. The nature of encrypting and rerouting traffic can make a VPN slower than your average local service provider. Streaming movies suddenly take forever to load, and you can forget about online gaming and file sharing.

 

Fastest VPN Providers

Extra privacy doesn’t have to come at the expense of speed. A number of high quality, reliable VPN services understand the importance of a solid internet connection and have taken extra steps to ensure downloads remain fast without giving up anonymity or privacy.

Evaluating VPN Providers

When looking for the fastest VPN providers, download and upload speeds were naturally at the top of our list. Some services boast fast downloads but don’t have the data to back it up, third party or otherwise. We chose VPNs that have been thoroughly tested and verified and who are upfront with their speed policies, traffic restrictions, and connection information.

It’s important to note that speeds will vary greatly depending on your location as well as the location of the server you’re connected to. To remedy this, a good VPN will offer unlimited and uncapped bandwidth, allow multiple devices to connect at once, and let you switch servers to find a faster connection without penalty, all without sacrificing the same data protection features offered by other providers.

  • Up and Down Speed Test – This is where raw numbers carry a lot of weight. We looked at reported download and upload speeds for each VPN provider along with average pings and latency. The figures vary depending on location and who was running the test, but several services stood head and shoulders above the rest.
  • Server availability – Although it can be useful to route your traffic through a server located on the other side of the globe, the added distance can create noticeable lag. Some providers offer more server location options than others, giving you more choices when it comes to finding a fast, closer connection.
  • Simultaneous Connections – Almost all VPN providers limit the number of devices that can connect to the service at one time. This can quickly cause problems if you have downloads running on a PC while trying to surf on your tablet or play games on a console.
  • Traffic limitations – Some VPNs block certain types of traffic, including P2P file sharing and BitTorrent. If you want to stream movies or download torrent files, you need to make sure the VPN will allow it, otherwise those blazing fast speeds will go to waste.
  • Bandwidth limitations – Apart from connection limitations and file type restrictions, a few VPNs insist on throttling bandwidth after a certain transfer amount has been met. We made sure the VPNs below don’t put a cap on the amount or speed of the data you use.
  • Logging policy – Privacy is still top priority in choosing a VPN. Each VPN below follows a strict zero-logging policy and encrypts all traffic that passes through its servers, keeping your information safe and anonymous.

ExpressVPN

 

ExpressvPN – fastest VPN provider

The aptly named ExpressVPN takes its network speed seriously. The service doesn’t just promise fast downloads, it builds the tools you need to test server lag right into the software. While running the Windows, Mac, and Android versions of the ExpressVPN app, simply access “speed test” from the menu to run a quick check on the current server’s latency, download speed, and overall speed index. Your connection will vary depending on your location and which server you’re trying to access, but with 145 VPN server locations in 94 countries, you won’t be spoiled for choice.

The only potential downside to ExpressVPN is the device limitation. The default is three devices connected to the network at one time, meaning you can have a PC, phone, and gaming console sipping data, but that’s it. You can purchase additional device licenses to get around this limitation, or you can install the ExpressVPN app for routers and manually set up your home Internet to connect as many devices as you need.

Putting security to one side for a moment, ExpressVPN is a great way to watch geo-restricted content like Netflix, Hulu or BBC iPlayer. If you’re surfing from China with this goal in mind, ExpressVPN is one of the only VPNs that works in that market.

Rounding out ExpressVPN’s offers are unlimited speed, unlimited bandwidth, and no restrictions on what types of files you stream or download. The service also hits all the right marks as far as privacy and anonymity are concerned, making it a solid choice for a fast VPN that doesn’t skimp on security.

Expert Tip: ExpressVPN is so confident you will like the product you can sign up with a 30 day money-back guarantee here. This means you can cancel for any reason up to 30 days and receive a refund, effectively giving you the service free of charge.

IPVanish offers a massive variety of servers to connect to, over 750 in 60 different countries. Speeds can vary greatly depending on your location and the server’s origin, often more so than some of the other providers on the list, but IPVanish’s US-based servers show consistently high speeds that may be the fastest on the market. Further sweetening the deal, IPVanish doesn’t monitor or throttle bandwidth, allows unlimited server switches, and doesn’t restrict P2P or torrent access (though these downloads may be noticeably slower).

IPVanish allows up to five simultaneous connections to a VPN, giving you plenty of room to connect and stream without worry. If you need more than that, however, you’ll need to set up a router using the IPVanish network details. The process can be a bit technical, but the company offers several guides to walk you through the process.

NordVPN has a stellar reputation for making privacy and anonymity a top priority. The service is no slouch when it comes to speed, either, with over 799 VPN servers spread across 57 countries, representing every continent except Antarctica. That list continues to grow over time, as well, ensuring easy access to nearby servers for optimum speed no matter where you’re located. You can also connect up to six devices to one account, the highest base number in the services we tested.

One of NordVPN’s standout speed features is servers customized for specific types of online access. Ultra Fast TV servers, for example, are made for video streaming and can deliver consistently high speeds around the world. There are also VPNs designed for P2P and torrent use, all of which are included in NordVPN’s unlimited bandwidth promise.

On the security side of things, NordVPN has a strong zero-logging policy, uses a DoubleVPN for an extra layer of encryption security, and has a kill switch to stop software from connecting to the internet if your VPN service drops.

Best deal: NordVPN ran a very popular end of year deal which a huge 72% discount on the 2 year plan. The deal is running again although there is no mention of when it expires. It’s a little hidden on the website but you can find it here.

VyprVPN

VyprVPN bills itself as the network made for speed and is a popular choice with gamers. The company owns all of its servers, writes code optimized for fast connections, and uses hardware specifically designed to handle high speed traffic, even under a full load. You won’t encounter any bandwidth or speed cap restrictions, either, and VyperVPN allows unlimited server switching so you can find the connection that’s fastest for you. With 700 server locations in 70 countries, you’ve got plenty of options at your disposal.

The security features for VyprVPN are also top notch. Multiple encryption protocols ensure data stays scrambled, and zero-knowledge, zero-logging policies provide the maximum amount of privacy possible, all without sacrificing speed. VyprVPN also offers incredible geo-location options to bypass censorships and region-locked content. If you are looking for a VPN to use when torrenting look elsewhere, VyprVPN doesn’t allow torrenting on its network but is a good choice for everyone else.

Try it free: VyprVPN  has a 3 day free trial here, this link also gives you 50% off your first month’s access if you continue after the trial period.

Why Do VPNs Tend To Be Slow?

Most speed issues with VPNs can be traced back to three basic causes: low-quality service, high encryption overhead, and geographic location. The service issue is easy to circumvent if you choose a well-known VPN like the ones listed above. These providers don’t skimp on good hardware and keep fast connections a high priority for all users.

Geographic location is probably the most important factor in slow VPN connection speeds. There are many advantages to connecting to a server in another country, including bypassing region locked content and gaining an extra measure of data privacy. But the physical distance can create a stuttering connection simply because packets have to travel a longer distance. To work around this, VPN providers offer dozens of servers in dozens of countries and give customers the ability to pick and switch which ones they connect to on their own.

Encryption is a benefit with some drawbacks. The process of taking data and encrypting it requires adding extra data to make it difficult to decipher. This eats up available bandwidth, making every packet larger and more difficult to download. Weaker encryption makes for faster speeds, but it also reduces your security by a notch or two.

How To Speed Up Your VPN

If you’ve chosen a reliable, fast VPN provider but are still having trouble with slow speeds, don’t worry, there’s hope! More often than not sluggish internet is a result of too much traffic passing through a single server. It may be the middle of the night where you’re sitting, but if your server is in a different time zone, it could be rush hour. If waiting for the congestion to dissipate doesn’t correct the problem, try the speed tips below.

Change servers – The physical distance between you and the server you’re connected to has a profound impact on VPN speed. If you don’t need to connect to a certain country’s servers, try switching to a closer location to see if the connection issue resolves.

Switch devices – Some internet connected devices just aren’t built for speed. If the internet feels sluggish on your phone, try connecting from a laptop, desktop PC, or tablet to see if the problem persists.

Use a wired connection – Wi-Fi can be unreliable when it comes to speed, especially if you live in an area where lots of other wireless networks are in close proximity. Simply switching to a hard network cable connection can fix a number of speed issues.

Disable local security software – Firewalls and antivirus software can cause serious lag issues with internet connections as they scan incoming packets of data. Disable them temporarily to see if that clears up the speed issue.

Change ports or protocols – VPN software connects using a specific port number and protocol. Some local networks restrict the speed of these ports which will cripple your connection no matter how fast the service provider delivers. Check your VPN software’s options to switch ports for an instant boost in speed.

Reboot – When all else fails, close your VPN software and restart your device.

Your ISP Is Still The Limit

No matter how fast your VPN service and no matter how thoroughly optimized your hardware and software, internet service providers are still the ultimate determining factor in how fast your connection is. Most high tier VPNs clock in with download speeds around 50-60 megabits per second. The average internet speed offered by service providers in the US is 50 megabits per second, with most low level and mobile plans barely reaching half of that. There’s plenty of room for overlap, but be sure to perform speed tests of your own to make sure the limiting factor isn’t your ISP, not the VPN provider.

Speed Without The VPN

Some VPN users follow the slightly controversial advice of disabling their VPN connection when engaging in bandwidth heavy but data-light tasks. Online gaming is a prime example of this, as very little private information is being sent across the internet, just vague location details associated with your service provider’s IP.

Because a local ISP will usually have better speeds than a remote VPN, temporarily disabling the connection software while gaming online is a valid method of squeezing out a little extra speed. Just don’t forget to re-enable it when you’re done.

Beware Of Fake Speed Boosters

There are a number of browser extensions and third party apps that claim faster VPN connections on any device. Some come with promises of free VPN service, while others tout a mysterious ability to speed up your connection no matter which VPN provider you use. The rule for virtual private networks is that if it’s free, you don’t want it. This holds true for third party apps as well. Unless the software was made by your VPN service, it won’t speed up your connection and is simply not worth downloading.

The 12 Best Glass PC Cases For Your Custom Builds

A Custom Built PC can be a work of art, if done right. Some people prefer their custom gaming rigs to be built using whatever material is readily available, while others go through incredible lengths to customize every little facet. The internet has seen Chassis Free PCs go viral, PCs that fit into the body of a Playstation 3, and even using ludicrous objects like packaging boxes, go viral. However, glass casings have started presenting an interesting blend of creative liberty and ready-made objects. Following are our recommendations for the best glass PC cases available in the market.

Preamble

The selection criteria is based solely on aesthetics and popular user opinions. We will be using the word ATX to describe the chassis. ATX (Advanced Technology Extended) comes in a variety of configurations. ATX Tower is a traditional standing desktop casing, miniATX is a more compact design for desktops while microATX are for smaller components.

Also, all chassis come with the standard 2 x USB 3.0, line-in, line-out and power ports, if a chassis has anything unique, it is mentioned there, presume it is standard where not mentioned. Similarly, lighting is mentioned only when some effort has been put into it. Assume no out of the box lighting options exist if not mentioned.

1. Phanteks Enthoo Luxe

Build And Components

The Phanteks Enthoo Luxe chassis has an aluminum assembly with one tempered glass side panel, on hinges. The faceplates can be sandblasted (already come with Sandblasted company branding). Most importantly, it is ready for liquid cooling with reservoir mounts and a pump bracket. This is a Full Tower ATX case.

Lighting

There is ambient lighting to give a better view inside the chassis as well as an LED control (for upto 10 colors) and support for RGB LED Strips. It is also Asus Aura and Mystic Light Ready, out of the box. Additionally, it features an LED strip that lines the outside of the glass.

Ports

The casing comes with Phantek’s velcro cable ties for improved cable management, USB 3.0 x 2 ports, USB 2.0 x 2 ports, Headphones/Line in, Mic, Reset Button, LED Switch, 2 x SSD Brackets and removable HDD cages.

Phanteks Enthoo Luxe

2. Thermaltake Core X5

The Core series of Thermaltake chassis are a stackable solution with a glass side panel. It is gorgeous and easy to maintain but it does not have the flexibility of the P series.

Build And Components

The Core x5 has dual 4mm tempered glass panels for easy viewing. It supports Thermaltake’s cooling and lighting solutions out of the box. Is optimized for liquid cooling.

Ports

The case has interchangeable side I/O panels (from left to right), two USB 3.0 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports, line in and line, out located on either side.

Thermaltake Core X5

3. Corsair Carbide Air 540

Build And Components

The Corsair Carbide series chassis has a dual-chamber direct airflow path for dust free ventilation. It has a stackable design which leaves plenty of room for additional fans. It comes equipped with Corsair’s Air Series fans and has rubberized cabling paths for native cable management.

Lighting

The Corsair’s Air series fans come with lighting, but the chassis itself does not.

Corsair Carbide Series Air 540

4. Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV

Build And Components

The Phatneks ATX casing is a durable 3mm thick aluminum build with a glass preview panel that sits inside an aluminum bracket with dust filters on the front. The Enthoo Evolv comes with hidden PSU and HDDs. It also ships with with two 140mm fans in the front and another in the rear. It features three different locations for 120mm or 140mm radiators and it accommodates reservoirs for 120mm as well as 140mm with vibration dampeners. It also ships with built in cable-ties for easy cable management and quick release panels for easy access to fans and dust filters. The side panel access is tool-less (no screws) and swings open like a car door.

Lighting

The power button has 4 customizable lights settings, but that is about it. It is a more cooling-centric device than light-centric. Though lighting is not supported out of the box, this kind of design usually just requires one LCD strip at the bottom to illuminate the innards of the Chassis.

Ports

The ports on the Enthoo Evolv are the standard two USB 3.0 ports as well as a line-in and line-out behind a small shutter on the top of the front panel.

Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV

5. Phanteks Enthoo Pro M

Build And Components

The Enthoo Pro M chassis has a brushed aluminum exterior and a clean interior with a hidden PSU and HDDs. The side panel is tempered glass. Much like the EVOLV, it has a glass panel on only one side. This glass panel attaches and detaches with screws. It also ships with an optical drive cage that you can easily remove if you want to increase space or install something else. The Radiator bracket is designed such that it will not interfere with the memory. It also has a reservoir mount and pump slots for liquid cooling.

Lighting

This case has no out of the box lighting added but is compatible with Phanteks LED strips and RGB Motherboards.

Ports

This case has two USB 3.0 ports, a line-in, line-out, Mic and reset button on the front. It also has Modular HDD System (requires separate add-on) support.

Phanteks Enthoo Pro M

6. Thermaltake Core P5

Thermaltake’s core series happens to be a stand-out design realm in that it does not exactly qualify as a chassis, but it is still quite exquisite. If you want added space, the Thermaltake Core P7 is the same as P5 but with 2 added mounts.

Build And Components

This case has an open frame design that consists of a glass cover and a steel base held together by reinforced pillars. This chassis can be mounted on a wall,  stand erect, or lay down horizontally. The downside is that it is bound to attract plenty of dust. It is designed to immediately accommodate Thermaltake’s propritery cooling solutions. The whole assembly comes with a 3-year warranty.

Ports

The front panel supports four USB 3.0 ports (spaced apart from each other in groups of two), line-in and line-out ports.

7. Thermaltake Suppressor F31

Build And Components

This particular chassis comes fully covered but it also has a glass option and it is quite a gorgeous assembly with the glass. The Suppressor F31 has everything the Thermaltake Core X5 does, with the additional bonus of shipping with a riser GPU support bracket. It has removable optical drive brackets as well as HDD and SSD brackets, adjustable as needed.

It also comes with brackets for reservoirs and radiators which, when assembled look quite good especially with a good light scheme.

Lighting

The entire casing is not illuminated, but it ships with a quiet fan with adjustable lights.

Thermaltake Suppressor F31

8. NZXT S340 Elite

Build And Components

The NZXT boasts an all-steel construction with a giant tempered glass side panel. It has filtered intakes, steel-plated audio jacks, captive thumb screws, and built-in cable management solutions. It comes in black, green and white.

Ports

This case has a power button, HDMI (for VR) and USB 3.0 slots on the top as well as line-in and line-out jacks.

NZXT S340 Elite

9. Corsair 570X RGB

Build And Components

This steel built glass encompassed mid-tower case comes with fan mounts in the front, rear and top. It ships with 3 front mounts and has three locations for radiator mounts ranging from 120mm to 140mm at the front, top, and rear. It comes with 2 SSD drive bays as well as 2 HDD drive bays. Is compatible with major corsair liquid coolers and supports a GPU of upto 370mm (the biggest commercially sold GPU is ~270mm long). The whole thing comes with a 2 year warranty.

Lighting

The three front mounted fans this chassis ships with are RGB LED.

Corsair 570X RGB

10. Phanteks Eclipse P400S

Build And Components

The Eclipse boasts a completely metal body, a steel exterior and a tempered glass side panel. The chassis comes with magnetic dust proof filters and soundproof panels. Despite all of that, it still supports optimal air flow directly to the CPU as well as the GPU. It can support a 360 water-cooling radiator. It also comes with cable ties for easy cable management.

Lighting

This case has 10 color RGB downlight  and an RGB power light with on/off switch as well as a 300mm RGB LED strip included to go wherever you please.

Ports

It comes with a hidden front I/O, two USB 3.0 ports, Line-in and Line-out jacks, LED Control, Reset, and a 3-Speed fan controller.

Phanteks PH-EC416PSTG_BK Eclipse P400S

11. DeepCool TriStellar

Build And Components

This chassis is in the list due to its unique design. Everything else on it is pretty standard. Other than the fact that it looks like an Imperial Cruiser from Star Wars. It has Three 1-way slots for expansions. It supports a Mini-ITX Style motherboard and is made of SPCC (thin, cold rolled steel) and features a 0.6mm glass panel.

Lighting

There is an LED strip at the base of each expansion bay.

DeepCool TriStellar

12. Thermaltake Tower 900

Build And Compontents

This case is available in both black and white. The Tower 900 is truly a showcase of your build. The GPU mounts are vertical and prevent sag which builds up over time, especially with water cooling. It supports dual 560mm radiators (big ones) on either side allowing for dual loop liquid cooling configurations. The 2-sided glass is a 5mm thick tinted tempered glass panel secured with rubber cushions to keep things flexible and durable at the same time. The warranty on this thing lasts 3 years.

Ports

On the top are Four USB 3.0 ports as well as the standard audio ports. On the bottom there are control gauges with temperature readouts and dials on the front of the panel to control all the fans inside.

Thermaltake Tower 900

How To Get A Feature Rich Image Viewer In Chrome

Chrome can open common image formats. You can view a PNG, a GIF, a JPG, and an SVG file in Chrome without needing any extra tools. The thing is, Chrome is essentially a web browser. It supports viewing quite a few file types but that is to facilitate its main function i.e. opening web pages. It isn’t built to be a smart image viewer. If you want to do anything other than view an image, you have to save it to your desktop and use a different app like IrfanView. Enhanced Image Viewer is a Chrome extension that gives you a feature rich image viewer in Chrome. You can set the default background color for an image, zoom in/out, pan around, rotate the image, and more.

Install Enhanced Image Viewer and right-click an image in Chrome. The extension adds a ‘View image in current tab’ option to the context menu. You can use this option to open an image or you can use the default ‘Open image in a new tab’ option. In either case, the extension will take over the image viewer function.

By default, Enhanced Image Viewer sets the background color to white. It also centers the image. Chrome by default snaps images to the left. You can zoom in freely on the image by scrolling up. Tap the Q key to rotate it counter clockwise.

Of course, Enhanced Image Viewer can do much more than this. It lets you choose the default size an image opens in. Open the Extensions page in Chrome and go to Enhanced Image Viewer’s options.

The Default size dropdown lets you choose if an image should fill the window, open at its actual size, or fill the window only if its large. The Background color field lets you select the background color for an image. For a solid image, this color is what the empty space surrounding the image will be. For an image with transparency, this color will fill in the transparent area.

You can change the default alignment of an image. Chrome aligns an image to the left and the extension aligns it in the middle. You can choose left, middle, or right aligned. For larger images, you can hide the scrollbars that appear. Enhanced Image Viewer lets you pan and zoom around the image by clicking and dragging your mouse cursor.

Enhanced Image Viewer doesn’t let you edit images. It isn’t meant to. It simply gives you better options for viewing images in Chrome. The extension will not allow you to view images that Chrome doesn’t support. It relies on the browser’s image support and gives you a more feature rich image viewer in Chrome.

Install Enhanced Image Viewer From The Chrome Web Store

How To Enter Fullscreen In A UWP App In Windows 10

Windows 10 users complain that Microsoft Edge doesn’t have a fullscreen mode. Every modern browser has one but Edge doesn’t. It seems odd that Microsoft would develop a new browser only to have it missing essential features. The truth is that Microsoft Edge does have a fullscreen mode. If you’re using Windows 10, every single UWP has a fullscreen mode. This fullscreen mode is a Windows 10 feature and you can use it only if you know the correct keyboard shortcut. This shortcut is, surprisingly, not common knowledge. It lets you toggle fullscreen in a UWP app in Windows 10.

Fullscreen Shortcut

The keyboard shortcut is;

Shift+Win+Enter

The shortcut works exclusively in UWP apps. We tried it out on Edge, the default Settings app, and Netflix. It worked in all three and will likely work in any other UWP app you have on your system.

To exit fullscreen, tap this same shortcut again. Alternatively, you can move your mouse to the top right corner of the screen. Wait a split second and the title bar will appear with an exit fullscreen button. Click it to exit fullscreen mode.

In fullscreen mode, the app continues to respond to swipe gestures. Both in-app swipe gestures and system wide swipe gestures will continue to work. In Edge, for example, you will be able to swipe right and left to go to the next and previous pages in a tab’s history. You can also four-finger swipe to go to the next or previous virtual desktop.

Windows 10 Full Screen For UWP

Using the Windows 10 fullscreen mode for UWP apps is exponentially better than using an app’s own built-in full screen mode. The Windows 10 fullscreen mode lets you access the Taskbar when you move your mouse to the bottom of your screen. Desktop apps like Chrome that have a built-in fullscreen feature don’t let you access the Taskabr.

The fullscreen mode does have its shortcomings. It fails to work in some UWP apps like Slack. This might be a shortcoming of the Slack app itself but it does add a limitation to the feature nevertheless. You can’t have more than one app in fullscreen mode and swipe between them.

When you enter fullscreen in a UWP app in Windows 10, it isn’t accompanied by an on-screen alert. There’s also no exiting full screen by tapping the Escape button. These are shortcomings because users are accustomed this behavior with other apps. Something of an alert should be there to let users know they’re in fullscreen mode. At the very least, a prompt should be there to tell users how to exit fullscreen mode.

How To Enable The Dark Theme On YouTube

YouTube has a dark theme that it hasn’t made public knowledge. It’s likely YouTube is showing it to select visitors just now but it’s live on the site. The dark theme will only be visible to you if you sign into YouTube and you turn it On. To check if it’s already available, click your profile icon at the top right and check if there is a dark mode option. If not, you’re going to have to make a small edit in your browser’s console to enable the dark theme on YouTube. Here’s what you need to do.

Enable Dark Mode

Visit YouTube and sign in. Open your browser’s console. Right-click inside the YouTube tab and select ‘Inspect’ (in Chrome), or ‘Inspect Element’, (in Firefox) from the context menu.

chrome open console How To Enable The Dark Theme On YouTube

Your browser’s development tools will open. There is a tab called ‘Console’ on the development tools. Go to this tab and paste the following code. Tap Enter.

var cookieDate = new Date();
cookieDate.setFullYear(cookieDate.getFullYear( ) + 1);
document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=fPQ4jCL6EiE; expires=" + cookieDate.toGMTString( ) + "; path=/";

On Firefox, you will get a warning saying you should be careful when pasting content. Type ‘allow pasting’ in the bar, and then paste the above code snippet. It will generate an error the first time. Paste it again, and tap Enter.

youtube dark mode code How To Enable The Dark Theme On YouTube

Refresh YouTube. You will see a difference in the UI. Click your user profile dropdown at the top right and select ‘Dark Mode: Off’ from the menu.

A menu will open at the top right with a switch to turn Dark Mode on.

Here’s what it looks like.

How It Works

If you want to know how this works, or what the code that you’re pasting in the console is, we’ve got answers. You are essentially changing the value of a YouTube Cookie. To be specific, this cookie is called “VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE”. By default, YouTube sets a different value for it. The value is what tells YouTube what interface to show you.

When you paste the above code in the Console, you give YouTube a specific value for the VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE cookie. Users who have this value set for the cookie can enable dark mode in YouTube. You will notice that changing the value of the cookie also makes other UI changes to YouTube. The dark mode isn’t the only change. The entire menu that opens from your profile button is new.

This only works if you’re signed into YouTube. If you’re signed out, the VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE cookie’s value cannot be set manually. This cookie will expire after one year. By then, if YouTube hasn’t rolled the dark theme out to everyone, you can set the value of the cookie again.

How To Move An App Installation To Another Drive In Windows

When you install an app on your PC, the installer asks which drive you want to install it in. By default, the apps are installed in the C drive where the operating system is installed. Windows 10 lets you change the default drive for installing apps. In some cases, it also lets you move an app installation to another drive without uninstalling it. This option is available only in Windows 10 and it is limited to certain apps. For the most part, this option is available for UWP apps and some desktop apps. FreeMove is a free open source Windows app that lets you move an app installation to another drive. It makes sure the files don’t break in the process. All you have to do is select the source and target folders.

You need administrative rights to use FreeMove. You don’t have to install it but moving apps from the C drive is something that will require elevated privilege. If possible, back up any work that you can. FreeMove works great but you don’t want to risk anything. If you’re moving a game, it’s a good idea to back up your progress.

Run FreeMove. In the ‘Move From’ field, select the current app installation folder. Select the app’s root folder. If you’re moving Firefox from the C drive, select the ‘Mozilla’ folder and not one of its sub folders.

In the ‘To’ address field, select where you want to move the installation to. You can move it to the root of another drive or you can move it to a folder in a different drive. Click ‘Move’ to continue. The move time depends on the size of the application.

Firefox is a pretty small app and FreeMove was able to move it in roughly two minutes. All your shortcuts, whether they’re on the desktop, Start Menu, or Taskbar will continue to work like they did before. The whole point of using FreeMove to move an app installation to another drive is to make sure nothing breaks in the process.

You will still see the app folder in the original location that it was installed in. The files aren’t actually there. What FreeMove has done is create a file junction. The junction points the OS to the new folder location when it looks in the original one. The files you see are merely symbolic links.

If your OS drive is running low on space, this is an easy way to move installed apps to a drive with more space without going through the entire installation process again.

Download FreeMove

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