CLOUD BACKUP SERVICES

Cloud backup is becoming more is popular at the moment taking away the need to save your files to either an external hard drive device or online storage services such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive (both of which I happen to use).  The backups can happen automatically in the background and if you have large archives of files then cloud backups are worth looking at. 

Here's a quick rundown of the some of the best currently out there.

CRASHPLAN

  • Price £49.00 per year
  • Unlimited storage
  • 5 GB data uploaded in about 2 hours
  • Able to backup from external drives or network shares
  • Scheduled backups hourly, monthly,
  • Can select specific files or folders to backup and specific times

ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE 2017

  • Price £29.99 per year
  • 50 GB Limit
  • 5 GB data uploaded in about 2.5 hours
  • Able to backup from external drives or network shares
  • Online storage and cloud backup options
  • Good value for money if you don’t have huge amounts of data to backup

CARBONITE

  • Price £49.00 per year
  • Unlimited storage
  • 5 GB data uploaded in about 1.5 hours
  • Online storage and cloud backup options
  • Continuous/running all the time backup features
  • Windows Explorer integration

BACKBLAZE

  • Price £40.00 per year
  • Unlimited storage
  • 5 GB data uploaded in about 4.5 hours

LIVEDRIVE

  • Price £60.00 per year paid monthly
  • Unlimited storage
  • 5 GB data uploaded in about 2.5 hours

Do you use Cloud backup services or had good/bad experiences?

Let me know by leaving comments below.

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Useful Apps….and they’re free, free, free!

There are loads of free apps available for mobile phones and tablets on the Android and iOS (Apple) platforms. 

Some are great and we wonder how we got by without them in the past and some are so lame we wonder why we bothered installing them in the first place.  I tend to make sure I’ve at least read the reviews before installing which is a rule to live by these days.

Below is a shortlist of some highly rated apps according to Web User magazine.  There are plenty more so I will no doubt be posting more on this topic in future.

METEOR

Platform: Android

What does it do?  Wi-Fi speed and performance checker 

This useful app tests your internet connection over Wi-Fi to get the best out of resource intensive apps such as Facebook, Netflix or WhatsApp.  Useful for checking which apps perform best on mobile devices around different parts of the home.

CHROME FOR ANDROID

Platform: Android

What does it do?  It's a web browser app

For mobile devices such as phones or tablets, Google have updated their Chrome app for Android to allow download of web pages quicker and easier.  Useful for downloading WebPages offline to read later.

NATS Airspace Explorer

Platform: iOS (iPad only)

What does it do?  For geeky stats on aeroplanes.

If you’re interested in Air Traffic Control then knock yourself out with this app from National Air Traffic Services. It allows you to view stats and information on planes in flight in real time.   Uses radar information to track aircraft (not military) in UK airspace. 2D and 3D modes give a pictorial view of the planes as they move through the air.  As it happens, I used to be a plane spotter – fact.

TUBI TV

Platform: Android, iOS

What does it do?  TV & movie streaming

A free movie and TV show streaming service.  Not in the same league as the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime and not somewhere to go for the latest blockbusters or new TV shows but still a good range of content.  If you like streaming older movies or TV shows then it’s worth a look.

EXPENSE IQ

Platform: Android

What does it do?  Manages finance, income and expenses

This app used to be called Easy Money and was updated in its version 2.0.  Handy for managing personal income, spending, bills, savings etc.  The initial set up means entering your income and expense information manually in preset categories or create your own.  It then arranges the information into nice graphs and tables with an overview to track things such as overspending.  It doesn’t link to your actual bank account (which is probably a good thing for security purposes) so it’s a case maintaining the records manually to show an accurate view of your finances. 

AVAST PHOTO SPACE

Platform: iOS 8

What does it do?  Photo library manager

Designed specifically for iPhone or iPad this app manages and automatically backups up your photo library securely online.  Displaying only a thumbnail version of the photo on the device then allows you to download a high resolution version whenever you need to.

Also comes with its own camera app which automatically transfers the photos to your chosen online storage service such as iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive.

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Windows 10 – Love it or hate it? Here’s a few handy tips

Install Windows updates when it suits you (sir)

Windows 10 is designed so that you have to accept software updates to the operating system when you are told to.  There is the option available to change the install time and delay for up to six days later. 

Follow these steps:

Open the Start menu

Goto Settings, then Updates and Recovery

Choose Notify to schedule restart

Open Windows File Explorer to 'This PC'

You may have noticed that Windows 10’s File Explorer (the tree of folders on the left where all files, network drives and directories are stored on the machine) by default now opens to a view of your recently used files and folders.  It’s supposed to be for quick access but I find it a bit annoying.

So if you’re a creature of habit like me, you can change it back to the more familiar view setting by following these steps:

Click on the View ribbon at the top of File Explorer

Click on Options

Change the drop down menu from Quick Access to This PC

Bypass the Windows 10 login screen

You can skip straight to the Desktop screen when starting up your PC/laptop instead of going through the process of logging in.  This only really applies if you are the only person using it with no other user accounts set up.

Follow these steps:

In the Start Menu type ‘Run’ which brings up the Command prompt box

Press Enter

Type netplwiz in the Command prompt box

Click OK

Highlight your account shown in the list

Untick ‘Users must enter a username and password to use this computer’

Click Apply and enter your password twice to confirm

Restart your PC/laptop to make sure it has worked

It should then go straight to the Desktop screen upon Start up

*If you want to restore the original settings just repeat the process and add the tick back into ‘Users must enter a username and password to use this computer’

Turn off unwanted features

This is useful if you need to remove stuff you don’t need in Windows 10 to free up storage space and resources on your PC/laptop. 

Follow these steps:

Click Start and type ‘Programs and features’

 Select ‘Turn Windows features on or off'

Make sure you know what it is you are uninstalling and what it does before continuing!  If in doubt don't uninstall it.

Recommended things to remove are:

Internet Explorer 11  - Windows 10 comes with a default web browser called Edge so there isn’t really a need for both.  Chrome and Firefox are also widely used web browsers these days also

Legacy Components: DirectPlay – Only keep this if you like to play installed games on your PC/laptop that are over 10 years old

Media Features – The old Windows Media player which is pretty much buried in Windows 10.  A better option is VLC Media Player

Print and Document Services – Entries such as ‘Windows Fax and Scan’ are no longer much use and can be removed

Windows Process Activation Service – Used by developers only

Work Folder Client – Used in businesses and start ups.  Not much use in home computing

Remote Differential Compression API Support – Rarely used and can be removed

Windows Powershell 2.0 – This is an old version of Powershell and the latest version 5.0 should already be installed in Windows 10

XPS Services and XPS Viewer – Alternative to PDF and rarely used

 

 

Source:

Web User magazine

www.pcworld.com

 

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