Top Story

How a packet sniffer reveals local net traffic

How often have you looked at an ostensibly idle PC’s flashing drive-access light and wondered: “What’s my computer doing?” Some of that activity is internal, but much of it also involves external devices and services. Here’s how to get a peek at that otherwise hidden network chatter.

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Win10 build 10074: What’s new, what’s unknown

With the recent release of build 10074, Windows 10 Technical Preview should be nearing the feature-complete phase. But while there’s lots to see in the latest build, there’s also much that’s still unknown. Here’s a look at what’s new, what’s been killed, what’s likely, and what’s still obscure.

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How to defend yourself from ransomware

Despite the CryptoLocker headlines, ransomware is still a growing threat to both individual PC users and small-to-medium businesses. Though our malware defenses have improved, ransomware authors are finding new ways to infect our systems. Fortunately, we have options and solutions.

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How to safely test file and image backups

Imagine this: You’ve lost important files, but when you go to restore them, you discover that your backups are completely unusable — and your next words are unprintable. Fortunately, this nightmare is completely avoidable; here’s how to ensure that your backup files are valid, complete, and usable.

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Linux for Windows users: Installing Ubuntu

In a February article, we gave a brief introduction to Linux and its history, showing why some Windows users might want to experiment with this open-source OS. This follow-up story will tell you how to install and run one of the more popular Linux distributions — Ubuntu (pronounced, “oo-boon-too”).

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Changing names again: ‘Metro’ becomes ‘Windows’

An obscure notice that ‘Metro apps’ are now ‘Windows apps’ leaves more than a few Windows observers confused. Microsoft has a long history of bungled product branding, but its latest decision plumbs new depths.

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Working with Windows 10 Preview, build 10041

After a nearly two-month hiatus, Microsoft has finally released a new Windows 10 Technical Preview build. You might run into a few hurdles when installing build 10041, but the changes and new features are worth the effort.

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Microsoft touts Universal apps, once again

Microsoft has spent a great deal of time and money trying to convince developers and customers that “Universal” (formerly “Modern,” formerly “Metro”) apps will drive the future of Windows. This is the third time we’ve heard variants of the same spiel, but it (finally!) just might work.

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New ways to get free Windows-installation media

Sooner or later, you’ll need to repair, refresh, or reinstall Windows — a task that will require your original Windows installation/setup files. But most new PCs no longer come with classic Windows setup discs; the vital recovery files are typically stored on the hard drive — where they are vulnerable to loss or damage.

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