The 4 Best Bluetooth Car Adapters to Connect Your Smartphone

car-bt-adapter

Most modern cars are equipped with technology to easily listen to music with your phone. But there’s no reason older car owners should be left without entertainment. Bluetooth car adapters can bring almost any car into the 21st century. Depending on which option you choose, you’ll need one of three options in your car: a lighter socket, a cassette deck, or an auxiliary input. If you own an iPhone 7 or later or an Android device without a headphone jack, you’ll have a slightly more clunky setup. This requires using a dongle that restores the much-needed headphone jack for these…

Read the full article: The 4 Best Bluetooth Car Adapters to Connect Your Smartphone

Most modern cars are equipped with technology to easily listen to music with your phone. But there’s no reason older car owners should be left without entertainment. Bluetooth car adapters can bring almost any car into the 21st century.

Depending on which option you choose, you’ll need one of three options in your car: a lighter socket, a cassette deck, or an auxiliary input.

If you own an iPhone 7 or later or an Android device without a headphone jack, you’ll have a slightly more clunky setup. This requires using a dongle that restores the much-needed headphone jack for these products.

1. Best Bluetooth FM Transmitter: Nulaxy

Nuxay-Bluetooth-Transmitter-Car

Nulaxy Wireless in-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Adapter Car Kit W 1.44 Inch Display Supports Tf/SD Card and USB Car Charger for All Smartphones Audio Players Nulaxy Wireless in-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Adapter Car Kit W 1.44 Inch Display Supports Tf/SD Card and USB Car Charger for All Smartphones Audio Players Buy Now At Amazon $18.99

An easy way to cut back on errant wires in your car is to use a Bluetooth FM transmitter. You’ll need an FM radio and a cigarette lighter/power socket for this to work. An FM transmitter allows you to select a frequency on your radio, and listen to the audio on your phone through the car radio.

The Nulaxy Bluetooth FM transmitter is a popular choice that comes in six different finishes. It allows you to charge your phone, plus it includes an auxiliary jack and SD card slot for more reliable audio.

The Nuxaxy transmitter is not a small device, but it gets plenty of points for sound quality and reliability. That said, it’s definitely not the only option available in this crowded category of Bluetooth car adapters.

If you’re looking for a more compact FM transmitter, the Anker Roav takes up far less space when plugged into your lighter socket. In addition to a compact design, it also has two USB ports for charging your phone.

Roav SmartCharge F2, by Anker, FM Transmitter/Bluetooth Receiver/Car Charger with Bluetooth 4.2, Car Locator, App Support, 2 USB Ports, PowerIQ, AUX Output, and USB Drive to Play MP3 Files Roav SmartCharge F2, by Anker, FM Transmitter/Bluetooth Receiver/Car Charger with Bluetooth 4.2, Car Locator, App Support, 2 USB Ports, PowerIQ, AUX Output, and USB Drive to Play MP3 Files Buy Now At Amazon $26.74

2. Best Hands-free Calling Adapter: SoundBot

Soundbot-Bluetooth-Car-Adapter

SoundBot SB360 Bluetooth 4.0 Car Kit Hands-Free Wireless Talking & Music Streaming Dongle w/ 10W Dual Port 2.1A USB Charger + Magnetic Mounts + Built-in 3.5mm Aux Cable SoundBot SB360 Bluetooth 4.0 Car Kit Hands-Free Wireless Talking & Music Streaming Dongle w/ 10W Dual Port 2.1A USB Charger + Magnetic Mounts + Built-in 3.5mm Aux Cable Buy Now At Amazon $19.99

If your primary concern is safely taking phone calls in your car, you have several options worth considering. One of the best is the SoundBot SB360 hands-free kit. You can mount the device in your car, allowing you to select the ideal spot for phone calls based on your car’s dashboard design.

The SoundBot connects to your phone using Bluetooth. It plugs into your car’s audio system using an auxiliary cable, so your car must have an aux input for this to work.

For hands-free calling, the SoundBot also has a little clip that makes it possible to attach the device to your clothes. This keeps the mic as close as possible for better sound quality during phone calls.

Another option for hands-free calling that operates in a similar way is the Besign BK01. The Besign turns on automatically when you start your car and syncs up with the last connected phone. It also brings voice assistant capability to your car without the need for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

Besign BK01 Bluetooth 4.1 Car Kit Hands-Free Wireless Talking & Music Streaming Receiver with Dual Port USB Car Charger and Ground Loop Noise Isolator for Car with 3.5mm AUX Input Port Besign BK01 Bluetooth 4.1 Car Kit Hands-Free Wireless Talking & Music Streaming Receiver with Dual Port USB Car Charger and Ground Loop Noise Isolator for Car with 3.5mm AUX Input Port Buy Now At Amazon $24.99

Speaking of Siri or Google Assistant, you can add them to your car with the Avantree CK11. This little device is different from others in that it doesn’t actually connect to your car speakers. Instead, the Avantree is a mini-speaker that clips onto your visor, placing the audio and mic right in front of you.

2018 Avantree CK11 Bluetooth Hands Free Car Kit, Connects with Siri & Google Assistant, Auto On Off, Wireless in Car Handsfree Speakerphone, 2W Powerful Speaker, Dual Link Connectivity & Visor Clip 2018 Avantree CK11 Bluetooth Hands Free Car Kit, Connects with Siri & Google Assistant, Auto On Off, Wireless in Car Handsfree Speakerphone, 2W Powerful Speaker, Dual Link Connectivity & Visor Clip Buy Now At Amazon $29.99

3. Best Bluetooth Aux Adapter: TaoTronics

Taotronic-Bluetooth-Receiver-Car

TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver/Car Kit, Portable Wireless Audio Adapter 3.5mm Aux Stereo Output (Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, Built-in Microphone) for Home Audio Music Streaming Sound System TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver/Car Kit, Portable Wireless Audio Adapter 3.5mm Aux Stereo Output (Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, Built-in Microphone) for Home Audio Music Streaming Sound System Buy Now At Amazon $14.99

Another compact option among the best auxiliary adapters for your car is the TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver. You can connect two phones to this device simultaneously using Bluetooth. It offers convenient access to volume and playback controls right on the receiver. However, its placement in your car might make it difficult to access those controls while driving.

The device offers up to 10 hours of listening or hands-free calling.

Another solid option is the Mpow Bluetooth Transmitter, which will cost a little more. This is due to its dual purpose: you can use it outside your car by plugging it into your non-Bluetooth headphones or home speakers and beam music straight from your phone.

In addition to giving your car radio Bluetooth capability, you can, of course, also use it to take calls in your car.

Mpow Bluetooth 4.1 Receiver and Transmitter, 2-in-1 Wireless 3.5mm Audio Adapter, Pairing with 2 Bluetooth Headphones At Once In TX Mode, Built-in Mic for Hands-free Calling in RX Mode Mpow Bluetooth 4.1 Receiver and Transmitter, 2-in-1 Wireless 3.5mm Audio Adapter, Pairing with 2 Bluetooth Headphones At Once In TX Mode, Built-in Mic for Hands-free Calling in RX Mode Buy Now At Amazon $29.99

4. Best Cassette Adapter: Sony

Sony-Cassette-Adapter-Car

Walkman Car Connecting Pack for MD Walkman and CD Walkman (Model# CPA-9C) Walkman Car Connecting Pack for MD Walkman and CD Walkman (Model# CPA-9C) Buy Now At Amazon $18.97

If your car is pretty old, it probably doesn’t have an auxiliary input. But it likely does have a cassette deck. Even if you’ve still got tapes from the 80s and 90s, a cassette adapter will put that cassette deck to much better use.

Just place the cassette adapter in the slot and insert the 3.5 mm audio plug in your phone’s headphone jack, and your phone is connected to your car’s stereo. Unsurprisingly, there aren’t too many options for cassette adapters, but a few have distinctive features and a pretty low price point.

The Sony Car Connecting Pack is among the highest rated in its class on Amazon. It’s compatible with tape decks where you insert the cassette with the tape opening facing the side. It comes with a four-foot long cable, which is probably longer than you need.

While this Sony product won’t cost you much, it’s actually one of the most expensive options. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly choice, you can snag the Insten Cassette Adapter for a bargain price.

The Insten adapter has a 3-foot long cord and is currently Amazon’s best seller in the cassette adapter category.

Which Bluetooth Car Adapter Is Right for You?

Should you have a choice of more than one of these categories, you might need a little more information before deciding which one to buy. If making phone calls is more important than listening to music, stick with one of the hands-free options.

If music and podcasts often keep you company as you drive, you’ll find that these options are among the best ways to play music from your phone to car stereo. But some are better than others. For reliability, go the auxiliary route. FM transmitters are a convenient and universal option. Cassette adapters aren’t recommended unless they’re your only option.

Read the full article: The 4 Best Bluetooth Car Adapters to Connect Your Smartphone

8 Adobe Photoshop Workflow Tips to Improve Your Image Editing

photoshop-workflow

Working in Photoshop can be time-consuming, but there are a few tips and tricks you can use to speed up your workflow. This will ensure that you spend your time being creative, rather than wasting time doing things the long winded way. 1. Clone Photoshop Layer Styles You’ve spent a ton of time perfecting your design using Photoshop’s layers and styles. Instead of painstakingly applying the same styles to a new layer or design, you can “copy and paste” the styles. To access Layer Styles, right-click the layer and select Blending Options. You can add outlines to your Photoshop designs,…

Read the full article: 8 Adobe Photoshop Workflow Tips to Improve Your Image Editing

photoshop-workflow

Working in Photoshop can be time-consuming, but there are a few tips and tricks you can use to speed up your workflow. This will ensure that you spend your time being creative, rather than wasting time doing things the long winded way.

1. Clone Photoshop Layer Styles

You’ve spent a ton of time perfecting your design using Photoshop’s layers and styles. Instead of painstakingly applying the same styles to a new layer or design, you can “copy and paste” the styles.

To access Layer Styles, right-click the layer and select Blending Options. You can add outlines to your Photoshop designs, along with drop shadows, bevels, and strokes.

To quickly copy one layer style to another, right-click the layer with the styles applied and click Copy Layer Style.

Click on the layer where you want to apply the styles. Right-click the layer and select Paste Layer Style.

Copy-Layer-Style-Photoshop

You can also drag and drop the layer style in the layers panel, but this will remove it from the original layer.

Drag-Photoshop-Layer-Style

2. Batch Resize Images

You can easily resize a large batch of photos in Photoshop using a script. (Don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.)

Go to File > Scripts > Image Processor, and you’ll find a few options available. You can run the script on images that you currently have open in Photoshop or better yet, you can apply the settings to an entire folder of images.

You can also select the location on your computer to save the resized images, the file type (jpeg, PSD, or TIFF), and the quality.

Once you’ve selected your file type, you can now select your image size by checking Resize to Fit. You can select a specific width or height, depending on your needs.

Once you’ve made your selections, click Run.

Photoshop-Scripts-Batch-Resize-Images

3. Quickly Select a Photoshop Layer

If you’re working with a ton of layers, it can be tedious scrolling to find the exact one you’re looking for.

There are a few faster ways to get straight to the layer(s) you want to adjust without touching the layers panel.

  1. Select the Move tool from the Tools menu or use the keyboard shortcut V
  2. In the menu at the top of the screen, make sure Auto-Select is checked and that Layer is selected from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the item in your canvas that you want to select and it should now be the selected, active layer in the Layers panel.

Auto-Select-Layers-Photoshop

You can also use this feature to quickly select Groups by choosing Groups from the Auto-Select drop-down menu.

There’s another option. With the Move tool selected, press the Ctrl/Cmd button on your keyboard and then click the layer you want to select.

If you have a crowded canvas, you can get more specific with the following:

  1. With any tool selected, use the Ctrl+Cmd+Right click combination to bring up a menu panel. (Make sure that you’re clicking in the area where the item you want to select is on the canvas.)
  2. Click on the name of the layer you want to select.

Select-Layers-Photoshop

If you want to select all of the layers at the same time use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+A on a Mac or Ctrl+Alt+A on Windows or go to Select > All Layers.

4. Zoom In and Out Simultaneously

If you’re working on an image, it can be helpful to see a closeup at the same time as the entire image. This means you can make small edits in a detailed view, and see how they affect the overall image at the same time.

To view a zoomed and 1:1 version of the image simultaneously, do the following:

  1. Go to Window > Arrange > New Window for [FileName.PSD]. This will open a second version of your image in a second tab.
  2. Go to Window > Arrange > 2-up Vertical to display both canvases side by side.
  3. With one of the canvases selected, zoom in. (You can easily zoom in and out using the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl+ and Cmd/Ctrl-.)

Dual-View-Zoom

5. Automate Using Actions and Scripts

There are plenty of ways to automate your work in Photoshop using a combination of actions and scripts.

Photoshop Actions cut your editing time by allowing you to apply the same editing techniques to your photos or images with the click of a button.

You can download Photoshop Actions or you create your own Actions for your personalized editing style. You can use also Actions for repetitive tasks like adding watermarks to your images or creating diptychs and triptychs.

And as we’ve mentioned, you can use Photoshop Scripts to automate repetitive tasks like batch resizing images.

In addition to Actions and Scripts, you can also use Photoshop filters for quick work. For example, filters make it easy to quickly add realistic trees to your Photoshop designs.

6. Create Custom Photoshop Shortcuts

You can create custom shortcuts and workspaces that suit your workflow.

Let’s say you want to set a keyboard shortcut for toggling the 2-Up vertical view used in the fourth tip in this article:

  1. Go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts or use keyboard shortcut Option+Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+K.
  2. In the panel that opens up, you can set or change existing keyboard shortcuts for Application Menus, Panel Menus, and Tools.
  3. In the drop-down menu for Shortcuts For select Application Menus.
  4. Scroll down to Window and click the arrow to expand the selection and see all the items you’d find under the Window menu.
  5. Scroll down to the menu item you want (in this case 2-Up Vertical) and click to select.
  6. Enter the keyboard shortcut you want to use. If the keyboard shortcut is already in use for another feature, Photoshop will let you know.
  7. Click OK.

Custom-Keyboard-Shortcuts-Photoshop

To create a custom workspace, open up all the panels you use frequently, and then go to Windows > Workspace > New Workspace to create a customized interface.

7. Hide All Photoshop Layers Except One

While we’ve shown you a few easy ways to get right to the layer you want to work with, Photoshop also offers the option to hide all layers except one. To do this, you’ll need the Layers panel open:

  1. If you don’t see the Layers panel to go to Windows > Layers to open it.
  2. Hold down the Alt/Option key and click the visibility (eye) icon next to the layer you want to keep open.
  3. All other layers will be toggled off with the exception of the one you clicked.

Toggle-One-Layer-On-Photoshop

This method will also toggle off your background.

8. Organize Your Photoshop Layers

Keeping your layers organized can be a little time consuming, but in the long run, it can save you time.

Properly naming your layers makes it easier to navigate the Layers panel and to select your layers using the tips on how to quickly select a layer.

To rename a layer, open the Layers panel and find the layer you want to rename and double-click the text of the name. You can then type in the new name.

You can also name your layers as you create them by using the menu item Layer > New > Layer or use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N. You can then type in the name of the layer before you create it.

New-Layer-Name

To add your layers to groups, open the Layers panel:

  1. To select multiple layers, hold down the Ctrl/Cmd key and click the layers you want to select.
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd+G or right-click the layers and click Group from Layers.

When it comes to organizing your layers, you can use whatever approach suits your workflow best, but here are some tips if you need a hint on how to get started with keeping your layers in check:

  • Group your layers by type. If you’re creating a button, for example, group all the items that make up that button: shapes, text etc. in one folder.
  • Position your layers in the panel similarly to how they appear on your canvas. Place the items at the top of your design at the top of your Layers panel.

To quickly navigate between layers, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Select layer beneath selected layer: Alt/Opt+[
  • Select layer above selected layer: Alt/Opt+]
  • Move layer down one position: Cmd/Ctrl+[
  • Move layer up one position: Cmd/Ctrl+]

Keep Speeding Up Your Photoshop Workflow

The more you use Photoshop, the more you’ll learn about speeding up your workflow. As it becomes clearer to you which features you use most often, you can search for more tips and tricks to speed up your workflow.

If you’re still getting the hang of Photoshop, these tips will come in handy, but first be sure to take a look at everything you need to know to learn the basics of Photoshop.

Read the full article: 8 Adobe Photoshop Workflow Tips to Improve Your Image Editing

10 Best Things to Buy on Black Friday That Save You the Most Money

save-on-black-friday

Black Friday, the biggest blowout sale day of the year, is approaching quickly, and if you’re going to capitalize on the huge savings, you’re going to need a plan. If you know what to shop for, you can save hundreds of dollars on high-quality items that will make great gifts (or upgrade your own tech). These 10 items are the best you should buy on Black Friday if you’re looking for great deals. Tablets and E-Readers Both tablets and e-readers have been hot Christmas gifts for the past several years, and retailers will offer great prices to entice you to…

Read the full article: 10 Best Things to Buy on Black Friday That Save You the Most Money

Black Friday, the biggest blowout sale day of the year, is approaching quickly, and if you’re going to capitalize on the huge savings, you’re going to need a plan.

If you know what to shop for, you can save hundreds of dollars on high-quality items that will make great gifts (or upgrade your own tech). These 10 items are the best you should buy on Black Friday if you’re looking for great deals.

Tablets and E-Readers

Both tablets and e-readers have been hot Christmas gifts for the past several years, and retailers will offer great prices to entice you to buy one.

Apple 9.7" iPad (6th Generation, 128GB, Wi-Fi Only, Silver) Apple 9.7" iPad (6th Generation, 128GB, Wi-Fi Only, Silver) Buy Now At Amazon $389.50

You’ll often find the best deals on tablets that are a year or two old, but with new models coming out all the time, last year’s will still be a great choice. You’ll even find some good deals on the latest models. A 6th gen iPad would normally set you back around $329, but you could save up to $80 on Black Friday.

Black-Friday-Deals-Tablets

Popular e-readers, like the Kindle Paperwhite, and the Nook often get deep discounts on Black Friday. This year, you can get a 25% discount on the Kindle Paperwhite with a trade-in.

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 7th) Kindle Paperwhite E-reader - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 7th) Buy Now At Amazon $119.99

In the past, Kindles have been marked down $20 to $30, which is a big discount on the $60 to $150 base prices. There are discounts on e-books as well, especially on Cyber Monday.

Laptops

Like with tablets, the laptops that go on sale for Black Friday are often last year’s model, a refurbished model, or a mid-to-low-range option that doesn’t pack as much power as some of the more expensive machines.

It’s likely the vast majority of people will be fine with a less-than-ridiculously-powerful laptop, and nabbing one on Black Friday could save you a pretty penny. This year, you’ll find decent deals on MacBooks, Chromebooks, and even some Microsoft Surface models.

Black-Friday-Laptop-Deals

Like with anything else, impulsively buying a laptop on Black Friday is a bad idea. Even if it’s 50% off, it’s not a good deal if the device doesn’t fit your needs. Be sure to think about what you need out of your computer and make a list of the features you’d like if you’re considering buying a Black Friday laptop.

Besides major electronics and online retailers, you’ll also find laptop deals directly from manufacturers like HP, Dell, and Microsoft.

TVs

The most iconic of Black Friday’s deals, TVs often get massive discounts. It’s certainly not uncommon to see deals on TVs that will save you anywhere from $300 to as much as $800. As with laptops and tablets, though, remember that it’s not usually the top-of-the-line TVs that are on sale (those tend to go on sale in January, before the Super Bowl).

Black-Friday-TV-Deals

Again, you probably don’t need the absolute best. Even a mid-range TV will give you a great picture with decent sound, and if you can get one for $500 or $600 when it usually costs $800 or $1000, it could be worth buying. You don’t even have to splurge that much. Best Buy also offers steep discounts for smart 4K TVs under $400 you can check out.

For instance, Best Buy’s Doorbuster promotion showcases a Toshiba 43″ LED 2160p Smart 4K UHD TV for $129.99 (in-store discount).

Just know that TVs go fast, so if you’re going to grab one on Black Friday, you need to get out early!

Video Games, Consoles, and Movies

If you’re looking to upgrade to the latest and greatest game console—or just to make a few additions with discounted video games—Black Friday is a great time to do it.

Games often go down in price too, and you’ll probably find the best discounts on games that aren’t new releases. But if there’s something you’ve been meaning to pick up for a while, this would be a good time to do it.

Black-Friday-Deals-Video-Games

You can purchase plenty of discounted games at Target, and you can also score a PS4 for $100 less than retail. A logical place to look for video game consoles and games on Black Friday is GameStop. You can also get a $70 pre-owned Xbox console for $0 with a mail-in rebate (mail back the rebate, and GameStop will reimburse for your purchase).

In addition to console and game deals, you can also get discounted accessories, online gaming memberships, and even collectibles on Amazon.

PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console Buy Now At Amazon $279.99

You probably use Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu to watch movies, but some of us still enjoy owning a hard copy of our favorites on DVD or Blu-Ray. Black Friday is a great time to snatch them up, as some titles can get as low as $4, but only if you already have a DVD player. While you used to find great deals on DVD players on Black Friday, they’re few and far between now.

Cameras

You can also get great bundle deals on cameras (but first, here are five money-saving tips you need to know before buying a DSLR). Purchasing a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, or a point-and-shoot is rarely just about the camera—there are lenses, bags, straps, SD cards, and other accessories to buy.

On Black Friday, many of these accessories will come with your camera in a bundle for a reduced price (but remember, there’s a strong case for never buying a new DSLR).

Black-Friday-Camera-Deals

Target and Best Buy are both offering the Canon EOS Rebel T6 (listed among one of the six best cheap cameras) with a standard 18–55mm lens, an additional 75–300mm zoom lens, and a bag for $400, saving customers about $350. That’s a solid setup for a very reasonable amount of money, particularly if you’re just getting started.

If you’re serious about your photography though, these kit lenses will only get you so far.

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Premium Kit, EF-S 18-55mm and EF 75-300mm Zoom Lenses, Backpack, 16GB Memory Card, Wifi Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Premium Kit, EF-S 18-55mm and EF 75-300mm Zoom Lenses, Backpack, 16GB Memory Card, Wifi Buy Now At Amazon $430.51

If you’re not looking for something as complicated as a DSLR, you’ll also find point-and-shoot cameras, Instax camera bundles, and of course, accessories to add to your collection.

Smartphones

As with many of the other electronics that go on sale on Black Friday, you can often find the last version of a smartphone at a significant discount. How significant? Amazon actually sold the HTC One for $0.01 with a two-year contract. Best Buy also sold the HTC One for $30, both huge savings on the list price of $200.

Black-Friday-Phone-Deals

If you’d prefer to go with a recent and popular iPhone, Samsung, or Google Pixel, you might be able to find discounts of up to $150, or you could also snag a gift card valued at up to $300.

Of course, many of the phone deals will require that you purchase a contract, which will end up costing you a lot of money in the long run, as you’ll just pay full price for the phone over the course of two years. So be sure to check out all of the terms and conditions, as well as compare the plan prices and see if an affordable cell phone plan and an unlocked phone would save you even more money.

You can also save with a cheap pre-paid plan with unlimited everything or some of the cheapest mobile plans in the US.

Small Appliances

Often the butt of Black Friday jokes, small appliances like blenders, toasters, microwaves, and coffee makers drop down to extremely low prices after Thanksgiving. If you want to get more serious about your coffee (or anything else in your kitchen), this is a great time to start. You might need to make another purchase at a particular store to get these deals, but that’s not usually very difficult.

Black-Friday-Appliance-Deals

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you need an Instantpot, you can get one on Black Friday for $59, saving yourself $40. For even bigger deals, you can save $110 on a Dyson vacuum or $230 off the retail price of a KitchenAid mixer.

Do Your Research

The most important thing to remember when you’re trying to save cash is to head to the stores on Black Friday with a plan. Don’t go to a store planning to look at what’s on sale and make a game-time decision—that will only end up in impulse buys and spending more money. See what’s on sale, see if it’s a good thing for you to buy, and then find the best price. That’s all there is to it!

Read the full article: 10 Best Things to Buy on Black Friday That Save You the Most Money

The Best eBay Black Friday Deals in 2018

ebay-black-friday

Slated for November 23, Black Friday is best known for knock-down, drag-out fights in brick and mortar stores. That doesn’t mean you have to line up early in the morning and struggle to get the best deals. Instead, you could turn to a site like eBay and benefit from some good deals from the comfort of your own home. In an effort to make sure you’re fully prepared for Black Friday, we’ve put together a guide to what deals to look out for on eBay. And like we’ve said in the past, there are certain things you should buy on…

Read the full article: The Best eBay Black Friday Deals in 2018

ebay-black-friday

Slated for November 23, Black Friday is best known for knock-down, drag-out fights in brick and mortar stores. That doesn’t mean you have to line up early in the morning and struggle to get the best deals. Instead, you could turn to a site like eBay and benefit from some good deals from the comfort of your own home.

In an effort to make sure you’re fully prepared for Black Friday, we’ve put together a guide to what deals to look out for on eBay. And like we’ve said in the past, there are certain things you should buy on Black Friday to make sure that you’re getting a great deal including laptops, tablets, TVs, video games and consoles, and cameras.

When to Log On?

eBay started dropping its Black Friday deals long before November 23. But as is the case with most Black Friday deals, sale items are limited in quantity so something that might have been available at the time of writing could already be out of stock.

Your best bet is to jump on eBay’s Black Friday sales page right now and see what you can find. It also appears that the deals will keep on coming long after Black Friday has come and gone.

(And if you’ve completely missed the boat and Black Friday is long over—remember—eBay actually offers year-round daily deals.)

One thing to note about the eBay deals: All discount percentages are based on the retail price. So, when you find a great deal that’s 70% off, you might very well find a similar deal from another retailer, so be sure to do a quick search to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Laptops

laptop-ebay-black-friday

If you’re in the market for a new laptop, eBay has some solid deals. Whether you’re looking for a Windows laptop, a MacBook, or a Chromebook, you’ll find brand new and refurbished options. But when selecting a laptop, be sure to ask yourself if buying a cheaper laptop model is a waste of money.

If the laptops are refurbished, you can expect the discounts to come with some cosmetic blemishes and signs of use in some of the laptops including scratches, scuffs, dents, and dead pixels. (And the bigger the discount, the more likely it’s a refurbished device.)

If you need help figuring out which laptop is right for you, consider these guides:

Tablets and eReaders

tablet-ebay-black-friday

You’ll find the full range of iPads, from the iPad Mini to the iPad Pro, in all sorts of configurations including dirt-cheap first gen models, along with Samsung and Amazon Fire tablets, but no Kindles to speak of.

If you pick up a tablet that’s great for reading books, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for the best eBook subscription services.

TV, Video, and Home Audio

Among the best deals you can find on Black Friday are the discounted TV prices. Along with TVs, eBay is also offering deals on other home entertainment products like Bluetooth and smart speakers.

Video Games, Consoles, and Movies

video-game-ebay-black-friday

Xbox consoles aren’t significantly discounted on eBay this year (at least not yet), but there are a few decent PlayStation console deals as well as Xbox and PlayStation games and accessories to choose from.

If you’re planning on buying a PlayStation controller, you might want to pick one of the 6 best PS controllers out there, some of which are among this year’s eBay Black Friday deals.

Cameras

The cameras available on eBay are a mixed bag of DSLR bodies and bundles, as well as a few mirrorless cameras, but not as many as we’d like to see.

The Canon Rebel T6, for example, which is also one of the best cheap cameras to buy, comes as part of a bundle with two kit lenses, the 18-55 and the 75-300. Now if we’re being completely frank, these are not great lenses. The body alone will cost you around $300 anywhere else, but this set will set you back around $400 with eBay’s Black Friday deal. If you’re just getting started and don’t want to splurge on nicer lenses, this might be a good place to start.

Smartphones

smartphone-ebay-black-friday

Popular phone models from Apple and Samsung are available on eBay, as well as some cheaper brands like Huawei and LG.

Home Appliances & Smart Home

If you’ve been thinking about bringing some smart technology into your home, or even any small home appliances, Black Friday is a great chance to do just that.

More Black Friday Tips and Deals

eBay isn’t the only place to look for great Black Friday deals. There will be plenty of deals for gamers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With so many great deals to choose from, you’ll definitely want to do your homework and make sure that you are getting the best deal possible.

eBay isn’t the only site already doling out the Black Friday sales. Amazon’s 2018 Black Friday deals are live all week, as are Costco’s Black Friday TV deals and GameStop’s Black Friday sales.

Other stores like Target are offering a sneak peek into the deals you’ll get on Black Friday

There are also sites to help you find the best Black Friday ads for the year. These sites offer up all the necessary information like business hours, as well as great online deals you can get without leaving your couch.

Read the full article: The Best eBay Black Friday Deals in 2018

How to Screen Print Your Own Geeky T-Shirts

screen-print-tshirt

Creating your own t-shirt can be a great way to show a little bit of your own personality and can also make for a really thoughtful gift. Screen printing can seem like an overwhelming experience, so we’ve broken down each step for you. What You’ll Need to Print Your Own T-Shirt Ready to create your own t-shirt? You’ll need a few things before you get started, so collect together: A screen printing frame (you can DIY or purchase a screen or kit) Squeegee (or a piece of stiff cardboard) Photo emulsion and sensitizer A lamp with a bright light bulb…

Read the full article: How to Screen Print Your Own Geeky T-Shirts

screen-print-tshirt

Creating your own t-shirt can be a great way to show a little bit of your own personality and can also make for a really thoughtful gift. Screen printing can seem like an overwhelming experience, so we’ve broken down each step for you.

What You’ll Need to Print Your Own T-Shirt

Ready to create your own t-shirt? You’ll need a few things before you get started, so collect together:

  • A screen printing frame (you can DIY or purchase a screen or kit)
  • Squeegee (or a piece of stiff cardboard)
  • Photo emulsion and sensitizer
  • A lamp with a bright light bulb
  • Transparencies
  • Inkjet Printer
  • Cardboard (or something else) to place inside the t-shirt.
  • Fabric Ink (Speedball)

You’ll also need a dark space to place your screen with the emulsion until it dries.

Step 1: Prepare Your Design

You can create a design using any design program of your choice. You could even create the design in Word. If you can create a logo in Word, why not create a t-shirt design in Word as well.

You could also just use text for your design, and we have dozens of geeky oneliners and jokes to get you started.  Basically, all you need is a design that can be printed, preferably one with large solid lines.

If you want to keep it super simple, you can use a geeky slogan or a simple free vector image downloaded from a site like Pixabay.

As a beginner, it’s probably best to start with a solid, one color design. When you first start, layering colors when screen printing is quite a challenge. To keep it super simple, you can also choose a design that will look the same when reversed.

Once your design is ready, print it onto a piece of paper to make sure it’s positioned on the page how you want. Then you can print it on your transparency, preferably using an inkjet printer. If you don’t have one at home, look into office supplies stores in your area and see if they offer transparency printing services.

Step 2: Create or Purchase a Frame

You can purchase pretty inexpensive screen printing frames or even a screen printing kit that includes the frame, fabric paints, and emulsion.

Speedball 4526 Intermediate Screen Printing Kit Speedball 4526 Intermediate Screen Printing Kit Buy Now At Amazon $17.66

But if you want this to be a DIY project from A to Z, you can make a frame yourself. You can either purchase the wood and assemble the frame, or you can purchase a cheap canvas. Simply remove the canvas, and keep the frame in place. You will, of course, have to purchase a canvas that is larger than your printed design.

If you’re assembling your own frame, 2×2 pieces of wood are probably best, and you can create a square frame at the exact size you want. For an adult sized t-shirt, 16 by 16 is probably best. You can also place pushpins into all four corners of the frame if you want to be able to lay it flat without the screen touching the surface where you’re working.

For the fabric you can purchase silkscreen printing mesh, or even give certain fabrics a try like organza or voile. Stretch the fabric of your choice over the frame, and staple it in place.

Soply White 3 Yards 50Inches(1.27m) Wide 140 Mesh(55T) Silk Screen Printing … Soply White 3 Yards 50Inches(1.27m) Wide 140 Mesh(55T) Silk Screen Printing … Buy Now At Amazon $11.99

Step 3: Prepare the Photo Emulsion

Now that your screen is ready, you can prepare the emulsion that you’re going to spread over it. The emulsion is made up of a sensitizer and an emulsion. Make sure that you follow the instructions on the bottle—particularly paying attention to light sensitivity. You’ll want to perform this step in a dark room or you can use black light to see what you’re doing without ruining the emulsion.

And remember, a small amount goes a long way since you’ll be spreading it thinly over the screen.

You’ll want to work on a surface that you’re not worried about dirtying – or better yet, place your screen over a plastic drop cloth or large trash bag. Pour the emulsion onto the screen, and using a squeegee, spread it out over both sides of the screen. You’ll need to make sure that the liquid is spread thinly and evenly over the screen, but that you can’t see through it.

Using an emulsion scoop coater is a good way to avoid using more of the liquid than you need.

Set aside the screen in your dark space until its dry. It’s best to follow the instructions of the emulsion manufacturer when it comes to the drying time, but you can also use a fan to speed up the drying process.

Step 4: Transfer the Image

Once your coated screen is dry, you’re ready to transfer your image on to the screen or “burn the image.” This is a step that you’ll want to do quickly since the emulsion reacts quickly to the light. Or if you can also do this step in the dark room where you let your screen dry, even better.

Lay your printed transparency reversed in the center of the screen. You’ll place it on the side of the frame that will lay down on the t-shirt. It’s very important to make sure that you lay it backward so that your design isn’t reversed when you go to print it.

Screen-Printing-Diagram-How-To
Image Credit: Harry Wad/Wikimedia Commons

Next, you’ll want to place a very bright light directly over the transparency for about 30 to 40 minutes. (Again check what your emulsion recommends.)

Once the image has been exposed, you can remove the transparency and spray off your screen with water. You can also use a soft toothbrush to make sure that the design is completely transparent, but don’t brush too hard. You don’t want to remove part of the dried emulsion that you need.

No paint will get through in areas where the green emulsion remains intact. Paint will get through anywhere that coated surface has been scratched or completely removed.

Step 5: Paint, Paint, Paint!

Now it’s time to crack the paints open and get to the fun stuff. Lay your frame face down on the t-shirt. The design should be facing up so what you see is not reversed. If you want to make sure that your t-shirt remains wrinkle free as you apply the paint, place a piece of sturdy cardboard inside the shirt.

Place a small amount of paint on the screen above your design. Using a squeegee, holding the frame down, run your squeegee down quickly over the design once or twice to spread the paint onto the t-shirt. Lift the screen off of the t-shirt.

This step is probably the most challenging. It’s a bit of a trial and error process to figure out how much paint you should use, how hard to press down with the squeegee etc.

You can create as many t-shirts using the one frame as you need.

Follow the instructions on your paint of choice. This will probably mean you should throw your shirts in the dryer once you’re done to make sure the paint doesn’t peel after the first wash.

To see the process from beginning to end, check out this video:

Finish Off: Clean Your Frame

If you don’t want to purchase or make additional frames, and decide you’re done with that design, you can wash off the emulsion and exposed design. To do this, you’ll need to pour a little bit of Photo Emulsion Remover and wipe it across the frame on both sides using a cloth or toothbrush.

Next, just wash it off with water, and you can start working on your new design.

Alternatives to Traditional Screen Printing

If the idea of screen printing still overwhelms you, there are other options out there for making your own t-shirts. You could use an embroidery hoop and a fabric like organza or voile. Use mod podge or vinyl stickers to block out your design and then use the embroidery hoop as you would the screen printing frame.

Another, but pricey option is to purchase a die cutting machine, and create and cut your designs out of heat transfer vinyl. It’s even possible to create a vinyl stencil or freezer paper stencil and create your geeky t-shirts in a snap.

Image Credit: thaisign/Depositphotos

Read the full article: How to Screen Print Your Own Geeky T-Shirts

The 7 Cheapest Phone Plans With Unlimited Everything

unlimited-phone-plans

Picking an affordable phone plan with unlimited calling, texting, and data can be pretty overwhelming. Each mobile carrier—whether prepaid or postpaid—offers additional perks from Netflix subscriptions to mobile hotspots. While unlimited calls and texts really are unlimited, data is more complicated. Most carriers throttle your data after you pass a certain threshold. Let’s take a look at different unlimited plans and how they compare. Prepaid Unlimited Plans for Phones Prepaid carriers—also known as mobile virtual network operators (MVNO)—rely on major carriers for their networks. But they allow you to get many of the same perks, often at a lower price and…

Read the full article: The 7 Cheapest Phone Plans With Unlimited Everything

unlimited-phone-plans

Picking an affordable phone plan with unlimited calling, texting, and data can be pretty overwhelming. Each mobile carrier—whether prepaid or postpaid—offers additional perks from Netflix subscriptions to mobile hotspots.

While unlimited calls and texts really are unlimited, data is more complicated. Most carriers throttle your data after you pass a certain threshold. Let’s take a look at different unlimited plans and how they compare.

Prepaid Unlimited Plans for Phones

Prepaid carriers—also known as mobile virtual network operators (MVNO)—rely on major carriers for their networks. But they allow you to get many of the same perks, often at a lower price and without a contract.

1. Boost

boost-Unlimited-Data

Boost offers an unlimited plan in three tiers, the cheapest of which comes with 480p streaming and an 8GB hotspot. Bumping up to one of the more expensive tiers gets you 1080p streaming and a 20 or 40GB hotspot respectively.

For the cheapest tier, as with other carriers, the price drops the more lines you add:

  • One line: $50 per month.
  • Two lines: $80 per month.
  • Three lines: $110 per month.
  • Four lines: $140 per month.

Boost’s data deprioritization applies during congestion regardless of how much data you use.

2. MetroPCS

MetroPCS-Unlimited-Data

MetroPCS has two new unlimited data plans. With the lower tier, you get a 5GB hotspot and 100GB on the cloud storage service Google One. You also get Music Unlimited, which allows you to stream music from specific services (Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and iHeartRadio) without using up your allotted data.

For the cheapest tier, as you add lines, the price will drop:

  • One line: $50 per month.
  • Two lines: $80 per month.
  • Three lines: $110 per month.
  • Four lines: $140 per month.

On MetroPCS, exceeding 35GB per month could see your speed throttled during “congestion.”

3. TextNow

TextNow users get an unlimited data plan at $40 for one line. But there’s a catch. Unlimited on TextNow translates to 23GB, after which you’ll experience 2G speeds. Even then, you could run into further restrictions.

If you do any of the following:

  • Use over 170MB of data per day while using unlimited 2G data (after exceeding your plan’s 3G/4G data allowance), for two or more consecutive days
  • Use more than 1GB of data in a five-day period while using unlimited 2G data
  • Use unlimited 2G data as a substitute for home internet

you could lose access to unlimited 2G data, until you take “corrective action.” This includes connecting to home Wi-Fi, minimizing the streaming of video and audio without Wi-Fi, and restricting background data usage on your phone.

Prices for TextNow are as follows:

  • One line: $40 per month.
  • Two lines: $70 per month.
  • Three lines: $100 per month.
  • Four lines: $130 per month.

The Best Prepaid Plan for Phones

Looking purely at the cheapest tier, MetroPCS gives you the best value for money with the most gigabytes before data deprioritization kicks in.

Postpaid Unlimited Plans for Phones

With a postpaid plan, no matter which carrier you choose, enrolling in autopay and paperless billing ensures the lowest bill possible. You’ll also find that the more lines you add to your plan, the cheaper each line becomes.

4. AT&T

ATT-Unlimited-Data

AT&T offers two unlimited plans: AT&T Unlimited &More and AT&T Unlimited &More Premium.

The lower-tier package comes with a unique perk. You can watch over 30 channels of live TV including CNN, TNT, BBC, IFC, TBS, and more. Streaming is available at DVD (480p) quality.

In addition to the entertainment options, you also get unlimited texts to 120+ countries, and unlimited calls and roaming in Mexico and Canada.

The cost depends on how many lines you add to your plan. These prices are based on a discount ($10 for single lines or $20 for multiple lines) for enrolling in autopay and paperless billing.

  • One line: $70 per month.
  • Two lines: $125 per month.
  • Three lines: $146 per month.
  • Four lines: $160 per month.

AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds when the network is congested after you cross the 22GB threshold.

5. T-Mobile

T-Mobile-Unlimited-Data

T-Mobile’s unlimited plan comes with a two-screen Netflix subscription with two lines. If you travel to Mexico and Canada, you’ll still get unlimited talk, text, and 5GB worth of 4G LTE. You’ll also get texting and data in over 210 countries while traveling, in-flight texting, and one hour of in-flight data.

You can stream video at 480p, and while T-Mobile also offers a hotspot option, it’s limited to 3G speeds.

The cost also depends on how many lines you add to your plan:

  • One line: $70 per month.
  • Two lines: $120 per month.
  • Three lines: $140 per month.
  • Four lines: $160 per month.

If you don’t want all the extra perks, you can get T-Mobile Essentials. This provides unlimited talk, text, and data for $60 per month for one line, or $120 for four lines.

T-Mobile may temporarily slow data speeds when the network is congested after you cross the 50GB threshold. The prices above are based on a $5 discount for enrolling in autopay, but they do include taxes and fees so there are no additional surprises in your bill.

6. Sprint

Sprint-Unlimited-Data

Sprint offers three unlimited packages: Basic, Plus, and Premium.

With a limited time offer, you can get five lines of Unlimited Basic for $24 per line per month. If you take advantage of this offer, you’d get the discounted pricing for six months, after which it goes up to a sliding scale:

  • One line: $60 per month.
  • Two lines: $100 per month.
  • Three lines: $120 per month.
  • Four lines: $140 per month.
  • Five lines: $160 per month.

Perks that come with Sprint Basic include Hulu access, unlimited talk, text, and 5GB 4G LTE in Mexico and Canada, roaming in 200 countries, 480p streaming quality, and a 500MB hotspot.

The prices above are based on a $5 discount for enrolling in autopay. Sprint may temporarily slow data speeds when the network is congested after you cross the 50GB threshold.

7. Verizon

Verizon-Unlimited-Data

Verizon offers three plans to choose from.

The basic Verizon plan is comparable to basic plans on other lines, but with more limited features. You get DVD quality streaming, and an unlimited mobile hotspot at 600Kbps.

While the pricier tiers give you a threshold ranging from 22GB to 75GB before your speeds are throttled, the lowest tier will be throttled during congestion.

  • One line: $75 per month.
  • Two lines: $130 per month.
  • Three lines: $150 per month.
  • Four lines: $160 per month.

The prices above are based on a $5 discount for enrolling in autopay and paperless billing.

The Best Postpaid Plan for Phones

Phone-Comparison-Unlimited-Data

Looking purely at the cheapest options offered by each carrier, there are a couple of winners. T-Mobile and Sprint both offer the highest amount of data—50GB each—for the lowest monthly fee.

If you’re a frequent traveler, T-Mobile will save you money in the long run with its roaming and in-flight perks. The carrier’s no-frills $120/month unlimited data plan for four lines is also one of the cheapest available.

Sprint also gives T-Mobile a run for its money with added value, including a Hulu subscription and a 500MB hotspot. While it won’t last forever, Sprint’s special offer also lets you start out at a greatly reduced price.

In addition to unlimited data and perks, there are other considerations to keep in mind when choosing one of the major carriers, including coverage, travel features, and budget-friendly plans.

Keep Your Mobile Data Speeds Up

Even with unlimited data, you might find your cell service slowing down. If that happens, you should know how to speed up a slow mobile data connection. And we’ve covered some tips worth keeping in mind if you want to avoid or bypass data caps.

Read the full article: The 7 Cheapest Phone Plans With Unlimited Everything

How to Find Free Unlimited Wi-Fi Internet Access Almost Anywhere

WiFi certainly doesn’t come cheap, but in a pinch, there are quite a few ways to find free WiFi, no matter where you are. You can use WiFi Hotspot Finders and arm yourself with information before you set out for the day to find free WiFi. Remember, there are always security issues with public WiFi, which can leave you susceptible to hackers. Karl teaches you how to protect your personal information while enjoying free WiFi connectivity. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you get what you pay for. In many instances, free WiFi can be slow and frustrating. Free Wi-Fi…

Read the full article: How to Find Free Unlimited Wi-Fi Internet Access Almost Anywhere

WiFi certainly doesn’t come cheap, but in a pinch, there are quite a few ways to find free WiFi, no matter where you are. You can use WiFi Hotspot Finders and arm yourself with information before you set out for the day to find free WiFi.

Remember, there are always security issues with public WiFi, which can leave you susceptible to hackers. Karl teaches you how to protect your personal information while enjoying free WiFi connectivity. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you get what you pay for. In many instances, free WiFi can be slow and frustrating.

Free Wi-Fi at Businesses and Hotels

With a Starbucks on just about every corner of every major US city, it’s no wonder this coffee shop is a popular option for people looking for free WiFi (and a hot drink.)

free WiFi startbucks
Image Credit: Natee Meepian/Shutterstock

Tons of coffee shops, restaurants, fast food joints, malls, and retailers in the United States are also the site of free WiFi. You can get free WiFi at the following locations, among other places:

  • Starbucks
  • Apple Stores
  • Barnes and Noble
  • McDonald’s
  • Panera Bread
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Whole Foods
  • Staples
  • Best Buy
  • Target
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Michaels

Some hotels also offer free WiFi if you join their loyalty or rewards programs—just don’t expect blazing speeds through these networks. Kimpton Hotels and Omni Hotels, for example, offer free WiFi through a free loyalty program. You can check out this list of hotels that offer free WiFi and how to get it.

There are also quite a few random places you might not think to look for WiFi including laundromats, courthouses, museums, bookstores, and gyms. The hotspot finders listed below are a great way to find more of these locations.

Using Wi-Fi Hotspot Finders

To find out which businesses or locations offer free WiFi in your area, you can use one of the following Hotspot finders:

WiFi Free Spot

The global database includes free WiFi locations in the United States, Europe, Australia, Canada, South and Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Locations are divided by country, state, and city, and includes libraries, hotels, restaurants, and even modes of transportation. The database includes addresses of the locations and links to their websites.

WiFi Map

If you want to take the database on the go with you, there are some great mobile apps worth considering. WiFi Map, available as a free iOS and Android app, boasts over 100 million hotspots in America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa.

The app also includes user-provided passwords for networks that are password protected and will let you know how far that WiFi hotspot is from your current location. (To view these passwords, you will have to put up with some advertising.) With the free version, you can view nearby hotspots within a 2.5 mile radius of your current location on a list. You can also look at hotspots elsewhere by panning and zooming on the map.

If you register for an account using the app, you will also get access to offline maps, which will definitely come in handy when traveling so you can avoid exorbitant roaming charges.

Download: WiFi Map for iOS | Android (Free)

WeFiPro

If you’re looking for even more options, check out WeFiPro, also available for iOS and Android users. In addition a database of crowdsourced free WiFi information, the app automatically connects to what it considers the fastest network based on your location.

Download: WeFiPro for iOS | Android (Free)

Free Wi-Fi at Airports and on Airplanes

Airport WiFi is often either password protected or, if free, it’s notoriously bad. Still, when you’re stuck in an airport with a long layover, any WiFi is better than no WiFi. If you want to access the password-protected networks often associated with airport lounges, there are a few ways to find out that information.

WiFox

Available as a paid app, or for free through the website, WiFox is a crowdsourced and regularly updated map of wireless passwords for airport lounges around the world. It’s easy to filter down to the airport of your choice to see all passwords listed.

Wifi-Map-Airport

The advantage to using the paid app is that you get offline access to saved maps, which will obviously come in handy when you’re traveling.

Download: WiFox for iOS | Android ($1.99)

Airline WiFi

When traveling, it’s also worth thinking about which airlines offer free WiFi onboard, because it just might not worth paying for. JetBlue offers free WiFi to all travelers, while airlines like Southwest and Alaska Airlines offer free in-flight messaging using apps like iMessage and WhatsApp.

When you know which airline you’ll be flying, do your research ahead of time and find out if they offer any free options.

T-Mobile customers can also take advantage of an offer that gets them one hour of free in-flight WiFi.

Free Wi-Fi in Your Town or County

Municipal Internet Access, or Muni WiFi, seems to be an on-again-off-again project for most communities. County residents can sign up for a free account and access the internet for little to no cost—a service covered using taxpayer money.

Municipalities also often provide totally free, unlimited internet access at locations such as municipal offices, libraries, and some schools. To find out more about what your community offers, take a look at your local government websites. Free wireless access is a staple of most large libraries, and often no username or password is required. In some cases, you can also use public computers in these libraries.

New York provides a service for families that can’t afford ISP charges. Families with at least one child attending a public school who don’t have at-home internet can apply for free WiFi service at home provided through The New York Public Library’s Library HotSpot program. New York also offers free WiFi on select subway stations.

Free Wi-Fi via Your ISP or Cell Phone Provider

Another place to check for free internet access is through your ISP. Many of them offer free hotspots, many of which you will find concentrated around major cities. Use your zip code to find out where to find hotspots from Xfinity, Cox, Time Warner CableVerizon, and Optimum, among others.

Some US cell phone providers also offer hotspots. AT&T customers can take advantage of a similar free service, which T-Mobile customers will have to pay an additional $9.99 per month for access to hotspots. (That said, these hotspots can be crippingly slow.)

ISP-Wifi-Finder

All Free ISP

As an absolute last resort, you could give All Free ISP a try. The searchable database covers the United States and Canada, making it easy to find a service provider near you. The catch is that most of the services that are completely free are offering dial-up Internet—which if you’ve ever used it—you know it’s going to be painfully slow.

In addition, many of the providers, like Juno for example, will display large banner ads for the privilege of using their service. And of course, if you don’t have a landline, this site really isn’t for you. Depending on where you live in the US or Canada, you simply might not find free dial-up service. It all depends on what constitutes a long distance phone call for you.

Free-ISP-FInder

To find out if you can get free dial-up in your area, you can either select your state or province from a drop-down menu or enter your telephone area code. All Free ISP breaks the list down into cities, includes a rating system, and lets you know what platforms are supported.

Alternatives to Free Wi-Fi

If you can’t find any free WiFi in your area, you can use your cell phone to create your own private hotspot. You will obviously need to take certain things into consideration including your own data limits. If you have unlimited data, some mobile networks can throttle your speed to limit your hotspot use when you tether your phone to your computer.

Read the full article: How to Find Free Unlimited Wi-Fi Internet Access Almost Anywhere

How to Repost a Video or Picture on Instagram

While most Instagram users tend to post original content, there are plenty of accounts featuring other people’s work. There are multiple ways to repost photos or videos to your Instagram feed or Instagram Stories. A third-party app can also make quick work of reposting images straight into your feed. Repost to Your Feed With an App There are plenty of iOS and Android apps for reposting photos and videos to Instagram, and for the most part, they offer a similar experience. Most of the available apps are free, but will often have additional features limited to paid upgrades. (iOS app Regrammer…

Read the full article: How to Repost a Video or Picture on Instagram

While most Instagram users tend to post original content, there are plenty of accounts featuring other people’s work. There are multiple ways to repost photos or videos to your Instagram feed or Instagram Stories. A third-party app can also make quick work of reposting images straight into your feed.

Repost to Your Feed With an App

There are plenty of iOS and Android apps for reposting photos and videos to Instagram, and for the most part, they offer a similar experience.

Most of the available apps are free, but will often have additional features limited to paid upgrades. (iOS app Regrammer is one of the few options available that is completely free, with no strings attached.)

Repost for Instagram

Repost for Instagram is a popular option available for both Android and iOS users, and all the key features in the app are available for free.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use the Instagram app to find the picture or video you want to repost. Tap the three grey dots at the top right corner of the post and tap Copy Link
  2. You should receive a phone notification. Tap the notification Get Copied Link to open up the image in the Repost for Instagram app.
  3.  You can choose where a subtle watermark with the Instagram user’s name will appear and choose between a light or dark theme. (To remove the watermark completely, you’ll have to pay for a $4.99 upgrade).
  4. Tap Repost</strong >and the caption will automatically be copied to your clipboard. (If you’re reposting a video, you may have to wait a minute or two for this step to complete.)
  5. In the popup window that opens up, tap Open in Instagram.
  6. Go through the usual steps of posting the image: crop, add filter, tap and hold to paste the caption, and tap Share.

The beginning of the caption will include: #Repost @username (@get_repost) but you can remove this before posting if you’d like to.

If you have multiple Instagram accounts, make sure that you search for and select the image using the Instagram account you want to post from. This way when Instagram reopens, you’ll be logged in to the correct account.

Download: Repost for Instagram for iOS | Android (Free)

Repost Photos Using Screenshots

instagram post

If you’d rather not use a third-party app, a simple way to share a photo to Instagram is to take a screenshot on your phone and upload it to Instagram. That said, be sure to add the original Instagram user’s name to your caption so that you can properly credit them.

Take the Screenshot

How you take a screenshot will depend on what kind of phone you have.  Taking screenshots on Android differs by manufacturer, but the most common method is to hold down the Side and Volume Down buttons. Samsung users can take a screenshot by holding down the Power and Home buttons.

If your iPhone has a physical Home button, you can take a screenshot by pressing the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons together. To take a screenshot on an iPhone X, you’ll want to press the Side and Volume Up buttons.

Get Your Screenshot and Caption Ready

You don’t need to crop your screenshot before posting it as you can just pan and zoom to show only the part of the screenshotted image you’re reposting.

In the caption, be sure to add the original photographer’s username so you can let them know you’re sharing their work. You can tag the user by tapping Tag People when adding a caption.

If you want to copy their original caption, it will probably be easiest to do it using the Instagram web interface.

You can also use a handy little trick to post images to Instagram using Chrome if you’re saving the Instagram images or screenshots to your computer instead of your phone.

Repost Downloaded Videos

If you’d like to repost a video, you can also download it from Instagram first. There are a few ways you can download an Instagram video to your phone or computer:

  • You can create a rule using IFTTT and automatically download any Instagram videos you’ve liked.
  • Download the video to your phone using Android app QuickSave for Instagram or iOS app Repost for Instagram Photo Video (which both also have repost features built-in.)
  • Or download the video using a website like Dredown. This site works across desktop and mobile browsers. If you download it on your desktop, you’ll have to transfer the video file to your phone.

Once you’ve got the video on your phone, you can post it to Instagram as you would any other video, using the same guidelines above for captioning and tagging.

Repost to Your Stories

If you want to repost an image or video to your Instagram Stories, Instagram has incorporated this feature into the app. Once you find the post you want to add to your Stories, do the following:

  1. Tap the Send button directly beneath the image.
  2. At the top of the list, tap Add Post to Your Story.
  3. The image will open up in the Instagram Stories interface with the Instagram user’s handle included beneath the photo. You can add stickers, text, and more. You could, for example, use the text feature to tag the Instagram user so that they are notified that you added their image to your stories.
  4. Tap the + button to publish your Story.

Videos reposted to your Stories won’t play until your followers tap and open the original post.

It’s also worth noting that while this feature may be available to all, if an Instagram user has the option disabled, you won’t be able to share their images to your Stories.

To check if you have the feature enabled go to Settings > Resharing to Stories > Allow Feed Resharing, and make sure the feature is toggled On.

Don’t Forget About Copyright!

There are a few things to keep in mind when reposting other people’s content. Not everyone likes to have their content reposted on Instagram, so be prepared that someone may reach out to you and ask you to take down their image.

And when you do repost someone else’s content, be sure to always give credit where credit is due by including their username in the caption. This way, your followers can go to their feed and see more of their work, and they’ll also be notified that you posted their photo or video.

If you’re looking for more ways to liven up your Instagram feed, don’t forget about these Instagram apps everyone should be using.

Read the full article: How to Repost a Video or Picture on Instagram

How to Factory Reset Your iPhone and iPad

factory-reset-ios

Whether you’re selling your device or want to give it a new lease on life, resetting your iPhone or iPad to factory settings is a straightforward but important task. Here’s a complete guide to factory resetting and how to do it safely. Prepare Your iPhone or iPad for a Factory Reset There are a few steps you should do before resetting your iPhone or iPad to factory settings. You’ll need to back it up, turn off Find My iPhone, and—unless you have another Apple device or a way to confirm your login—disable Apple’s two-factor authentication. How to Back Up Your…

Read the full article: How to Factory Reset Your iPhone and iPad

factory-reset-ios

Whether you’re selling your device or want to give it a new lease on life, resetting your iPhone or iPad to factory settings is a straightforward but important task. Here’s a complete guide to factory resetting and how to do it safely.

Prepare Your iPhone or iPad for a Factory Reset

There are a few steps you should do before resetting your iPhone or iPad to factory settings. You’ll need to back it up, turn off Find My iPhone, and—unless you have another Apple device or a way to confirm your login—disable Apple’s two-factor authentication.

How to Back Up Your iPhone or iPad

Before resetting your device to factory settings, you should back up your iOS data. This is so you can easily restore it or move your contacts, apps, and settings to a new iPhone or iPad.

You can back up your data directly on your iPhone or iPad, or by connecting your device to a computer with iTunes installed. The process on your phone is far simpler, but requires a good amount of iCloud space.

iCloud Backup:

To back up your iPhone or iPad, you’ll want to make sure that you’re on a Wi-Fi connection. The method will differ slightly depending on which version of iOS you’re using.

If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier:

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup.
  2. If it’s not already toggled on, turn on iCloud Backup.
  3. Tap Back Up Now.

If you’re using iOS 10.3 or newer:

  1. Go to Settings and tap your name at the top of the list of options. Then select iCloud.
  2. If you’ve backed up your device in the past, you should see a list of apps using iCloud storage. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and tap iCloud Backup. If you haven’t backed up before, make sure that iCloud Backup is enabled on this page.
  3. Tap Back Up Now.

Your device will estimate how long the back up will take. Feel free to use your phone as normal as it backs up.

iTunes Backup:

If you prefer to use a wired connection, you’ll need to connect your iOS device to a computer that has iTunes installed on it.

  1. Open iTunes on your computer, and plug your iPad or iPhone into the computer using a Lighting to USB cord.
  2. If prompted, tap Trust This Computer on your phone and enter your passcode.
  3. Click on the device icon to open up the device summary panel in iTunes.
  4. Under Backups, you can select the backup method: iCloud or This computer.
  5. After you make your selection, click Back Up Now.

iTunes Backup iPhone

Note: If you plan on backing up your Health and Homekit data, you’ll also need to check Encrypt [Device] backup and enter a password.

Disable Find My iPhone/iPad

Before you can move on with your wiping your device, you’ll need to disable the Find My iPhone feature.

If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier:

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone (or Find My iPad).
  2. Toggle Find My iPhone or Find My iPad off.
  3. You’ll be prompted to enter your iCloud password to switch it off.

If you’re using iOS 10.3 or newer:

  1. Go to Settings and tap your Name at the top of the list of options. Then select iCloud.
  2. Toggle Find My iPhone (or Find My iPad) off.
  3. You’ll be prompted to enter your iCloud password to switch it off.

Restore to Factory Settings

Like backing up your device, there are two ways you can wipe your iPhone or iPad clean: either right on your device or using iTunes.

On Your iPhone or iPad

Like earlier, the easiest way to reset your iPhone or iPad to factory settings is to do so on your device:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset.
  2. To restore your device to factory settings, tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  3. Since you should have just performed a backup, you can tap Erase Now. (If you haven’t backed up, now would be a good time to do so by tapping Backup Then Erase.)

If you have a passcode on your device, you’ll be prompted to enter it. In the dialog box that pops up confirming that you’re about to wipe your device, tap Erase [Device]. Up to this point, it’s still possible to exit the process without wiping your device.

Another dialog box will pop to confirm you want to continue. Once you tap Erase again, there’s no going back.

You should see a white screen with the black Apple logo and can keep an eye on the progress bar.

Once your data is wiped, your phone will restart and you’ll be prompted to go through the steps of setting up a new device. (This is where your backup will come in handy).

Using iTunes

If your device is working normally, getting back to factory settings using iTunes is also a pretty simple task.

Open iTunes on your computer and connect your device using a USB cable. If prompted, enter your passcode or accept the prompt that says Trust This Computer. Then click on the device icon to open up the iPhone or iPad summary panel.

Factory-Reset-iPhone-iPad-iTunes

In the summary panel, click Restore [Device].

Factory-Reset-iPhone-iPad-iTunes

You’ll be prompted to back up your device. If you’ve just backed it up, you can click Don’t Back Up. (If you haven’t backed up, this is a good opportunity to do so.)

Click Restore (or Restore and Update if there’s a new version of iOS available) to confirm.

How to Restore Your Backup

Now that your iPhone or iPad feels brand-new, you can restore your backup using iTunes or iCloud.

Once again, you can do this directly on your device or using iTunes.

Restore on Your Device

When your iPhone or iPad powers back on, you should see the Hello screen that prompts you to set up your device. After you select to set up your phone manually and connect to your Wi-Fi network, follow the onscreen steps until you reach the Apps & Data step. From here:

  1. Select Restore from iCloud Backup.
  2. Sign into your iCloud account using the Apple ID you used to create the backup.
  3. Choose the most recent backup and follow the onscreen instructions for choices related to Location Services, Siri, App Analytics, and other settings. You may also be asked to enter your old passcode.
  4. You can view a progress bar as the backup restores, which will also show you the time remaining for the restoration to complete.

Once complete, your phone will restart. If there’s an iOS update available, your phone will automatically update.

After the update completes, and your phone restarts again, your data will begin to reappear and your apps will reinstall.

Restore Using iTunes

If you’ve created your backup using iTunes, you can also restore your backup by hooking up your iPhone or iPad to the computer you used.

Open iTunes on your computer, and plug your iPad or iPhone in. You should see a screen prompting you to restore your iOS device with a dropdown of backups to choose from.

Restore iPhone from iTunes

Select the most recent backup and click Continue. The restore will begin, and you can view how long it will take in a progress bar in iTunes.

Once the restore is complete, your device will restart. You’ll need to manually connect to your Wi-Fi network and log into with your Apple ID to start using your phone again.

Your iPhone, Restored

That’s all it takes to factory reset your iPhone or iPad. It’s not difficult, and as long as you’ve backed up, you can restore everything with relative ease.

However, if you’ve forgotten your iOS passcode, the process is a little more complicated. You’ll be required to enter Recovery Mode to gain access to your device again, so check out our guides on this for more help.

Read the full article: How to Factory Reset Your iPhone and iPad

How to Upload Photos and Videos in HD on the Facebook Mobile App

When uploading photos or videos to Facebook using the mobile app, it defaults to standard quality. Frankly, most people would probably prefer to upload standard quality photos and videos, particularly if they’re using their mobile data to do so. If you’re a pixel peeper and would prefer to upload the best quality possible, you can do that by changing a setting in the app. The process is slightly different depending on whether you’re an Android or iOS user. Uploading HD Photos/Videos on Facebook iOS Tap the hamburger menu button in the bottom right corner. Go to Settings & Privacy and tap…

Read the full article: How to Upload Photos and Videos in HD on the Facebook Mobile App

When uploading photos or videos to Facebook using the mobile app, it defaults to standard quality. Frankly, most people would probably prefer to upload standard quality photos and videos, particularly if they’re using their mobile data to do so.

If you’re a pixel peeper and would prefer to upload the best quality possible, you can do that by changing a setting in the app. The process is slightly different depending on whether you’re an Android or iOS user.

Uploading HD Photos/Videos on Facebook iOS

  1. Tap the hamburger menu button in the bottom right corner.
  2. Go to Settings & Privacy and tap the arrow to expand the menu. Tap Settings.
  3. Scroll down to Media and Contacts, and tap Videos and Photos.
  4. To upload HD video, under Video Settings toggle Upload HD on. To upload HD photos, under Photo Settings toggle Upload HD on.

Uploading HD Photos/Videos on Facebook Android

  1. If you’re using Android, tap the hamburger button in the top right corner. (The rest of the instructions should be the same for both operating systems.)
  2. Go to Settings & Privacy > Settings.
  3. Tap Media and Contacts.
  4. To upload HD video, toggle Upload Video in HD on. To upload HD photos, toggle Upload photos in HD on.

If you do happen to prefer to upload HD video, we’d definitely recommend doing it over WiFi given the time and expense that can be involved with uploading a pretty large file using your data.

If you’re looking for a way to download video from Facebook rather than upload it, there are plenty of easy ways to download Facebook videos.

Read the full article: How to Upload Photos and Videos in HD on the Facebook Mobile App