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20 Private and Hidden Roku Channels You Should Install Now

Roku devices come in a variety of different models and specifications, but at their core, they all operate in the same way: you add channels and watch the content you want.

There are two sources of Roku channels. One is the Roku Channel Store; it offers more than enough free Roku channels to keep you entertained. However, the Roku really comes into its own when you start adding private or hidden channels.

Keep reading to learn how to add private Roku channels and discover the best hidden Roku channels you can install right now.

How Do You Add Private or Hidden Channels to Roku?

Before you can add a private channel to your Roku box, you’ll need two things:

  • The channel’s code (we have included the codes in our list below)
  • A Roku account (set one up for free on the Roku website)

Once you have created an account and know the channel code, it’s easy to start adding channels.

To begin, head to your account portal and click Add a channel with a code. Insert the code, accept the on-screen confirmation, and you’re done.

The channel should immediately appear at the bottom of the channel list on your Roku’s home screen. If it doesn’t, you can force a refresh by going to Settings > System > System Update > Check Now on the device.

(NB: Some private Roku channels are restricted to certain countries or regions.)

1. RokuCast (CL9D5D)

RokuCast lets you stream HTML5 content from the Chrome browser on your computer to your Roku device. You’ll need the Chrome extension and this private Roku channel to make it work.

2. El Cartel TV (chibchombiatv)

El Cartel TV offers dozens of live TV channels from South America, with a particular focus on Colombian channels.

Popular channels such as TeleSUR, Canal Capital, and Canal Uno are all available.

3. AOL On (aol)

AOL On Roku channel

AOL On offers content from 17 TV networks, including BBC News, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, ET Online, Food Network, and HGTV.

It used to be in the regular channel store, but is now only available as a private channel.

4. EuroRoku (296XJKP)

EuroRoku is a paid private Roku channel that provides access to 24/7 streams of European TV stations.

The service costs $15/month and offers more than 300 channels, including networks from France, Germany, Bulgaria, Moldova, Spain, Holland, and Belgium.

5. Armchair Tourist (ArmchairTourist)

Branded as “Free HD Wallpaper for your Television,” Armchair Tourist is a live stream of tourist hotspots around the world. Each stream has a four-digit code that you can enter of the Armchair Tourist website for more information about the location in question.

6. FOX Business (FOXBIZ)

FOX Business Roku channel

Along with Bloomberg and CNBC, FOX Business is one of the three big American news networks about finance, business, and global markets.

7. RokuMovies (zb34ac)

Not to be confused with the official The Roku Channel, RokuMovies focuses on bringing you the world’s strangest and most outlandish low-budget films.

Give it a try if you like giant monsters and forgotten kung-fu flicks with ridiculous storylines.

8. Video Games (T6PH2V)

If you love video game walkthroughs, give this channel a try. It includes complete playthroughs of nine classic video games from 1988 to 2004.

The games available include The Legend of Zelda; A Link to the Past, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Metroid.

9. DISHWorld (DISHWorld)

DISHWorld Roku channel

Owned by Sling, DISHWorld is an international TV service that lets you watch live TV in more than 15 languages. In addition to the private Roku channel, the app is also available as an APK for Android.

10. Pro Guitar Lessons TV (ProGuitar)

Feeling creative? It might be time to learn a musical instrument. Of course, the web has no shortage of free resources for musical beginners, but Pro Guitar Lessons TV is worth adding to your list.

11. Food Matters TV (foodmatterstv)

Foodies need to install Food Matters TV. It has a selection of videos covering cooking shows, recipes, diets, healthy eating, and more.

12. Happy Kids (HappyKids)

Happy Kids Roku channel

Happy Kids TV offers a broad mix of kids programming, including music, rhymes, activity guides, and some popular kids’ TV shows and movies.

13. Relaxation Channel (Relax)

Soothing sounds paired with stunning imagery, the Relaxation Channel is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy a peaceful few hours to themselves.

14. Kinda Classics (GK9NH5Z)

Kinda Classics is one of the secret Roku channels that everyone needs to have on their device. It offers a wide range of classic shows and movies from around the world.

15. Emby (Emby)

Emby

Emby is an open-source alternative to media center apps such as Plex and Kodi.

If you’d like to learn more about how the app stacks up against its two rivals, check out our comparison of Emby, Plex, and Kodi.

16. Silent Night (SilentNight)

Silent Night is the first of two hidden Roku channels on our list that caters to silent movie fans. They both offer a different selection of films, so complement each other well.

17. Harvest Eating (harvest)

Another private channel for foodies, Harvest focuses on providing recipes using fruit and vegetables that are in-season during a particular time of year.

18. 5ik.TV (5ikTV)

5ikTV Roku channel

5ik.TV lets you watch live TV channels from the Far East, including China, Japan, and South Korea. The channel’s interface isn’t in English, but if you can recognize the logos of TV networks in the region, it’s relatively easy to navigate to the content you want to watch.

19. Spanish Time (spanishtime)

If you speak Spanish and would like to keep abreast of the latest goings-on in Latin America, you could subscribe to Spanish Time for $9.99/month.

It offers more than 150 live streaming channels from across the region, including all of the biggest networks in Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia. There’s also a broad selection of miscellaneous Spanish-language sports and entertainment channels.

20. Silent Movies (RLQXKG)

French movie The Artist might have cleaned up at the 2012 Oscars, but the real heyday of silent film was back in the 1920s.

The Silent Movies channel lets you relive the glory days of Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, and Buster Keaton.

How to Install Even More Roku Channels

Private Roku channels have something for everyone. If you’re not using them, you’re going to restrict your enjoyment and limit the potential of your Roku device. But they are only one piece of the puzzle.

To learn more about how to get the most out of your Roku device, here’s how to watch local channels on Roku for free.

Read the full article: 20 Private and Hidden Roku Channels You Should Install Now

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The Best Instagram Alternatives for Photographers

With the quality of smartphone cameras these days, everyone’s a photographer now. But some of us take this hobby more seriously than others, and some even make money from smartphone photography.

Whatever kind of smartphone photographer you are, you’re probably on Instagram. But what if you’re bored of seeing over-the-top food pics, selfies, and other staged-for-Insta photos?

Thankfully, there are a number of great Instagram alternatives available. We’ve compiled a list of the best alternatives to Instagram, so you don’t have to go searching for them.

1. Dayflash

Are you tired of Instagram’s square format for photos? Dayflash is an Instagram alternative which puts the emphasis on an immersive, full-screen experience.

It’s free to sign up for Dayflash. Simply create an account and start sharing your full-screen photos with the world. All images captured with the built-in camera retain high-resolution quality at 1080p. Although in order to reduce clutter, they don’t get saved to your device automatically.

The viewfinder takes up the entire screen of your device. This format leads to even more aesthetically-pleasing photos, making it one of the best camera apps for Android and iOS.

You can dump photos into Dayflash from your Camera Roll or Photo Library, which means you’ll never lose an opportunity to share. Photos appear in the original resolution, but they look slightly more zoomed-in thanks to Dayflash’s fullscreen focus. Dayflash’s photo editor also allows you to make edits to your images, giving you the tools to make basic adjustments, use filters, or add effects.

When you feel the need to get creative, Dayflash is more inspiring than Instagram. It recommends other popular users on the service to help you discover others who share your passion. It even comes with a collaboration feature that lets you find and team up with other users for your next post or shoutout.

And if you can’t give up Instagram just yet, Dayflash lets you add your Instagram username to your Dayflash profile. This way, others can check out your Instagram in one tap.

Download: Dayflash on iOS (Free)

2. SmugMug

SmugMug offers a community of photographers built by photographers. It’s definitely one of the best places to show off your photographs.

To join SmugMug, you need to create a free account. This begins a 14-day free trial, after which you choose one of four plans: Basic, Power, Portfolio, and Pro. The prices start at $7/month for Basic and go up to $42/month for Business.

SmugMug lets you easily add new photos directly from your photo library or camera roll, and gives you unlimited storage. It even has an auto-upload feature that transfers any new pictures on your device to the app, as long as you’re connected to WiFi.

For moments when you have less-than-reliable internet connections, SmugMug’s option of making entire galleries available for offline viewing is a lifesaver (and makes it a great Instagram alternative for photographers on-the-go). That way, you’re still able to show off your best work to friends, family, or clients.

If you want to better organize your photos, just favorite certain collections for quicker access. SmugMug lets you share images and video through SMS, email, Twitter, or Facebook, so it’s not limited to in-person viewing.

When you need a jolt of inspiration, follow other members of the SmugMug community. The app makes it easy to look up friends, family, colleagues, and anyone else whose work you admire. And when you follow someone, you can view all of their public galleries.

Download: SmugMug for iOSAndroid (Free for up to 14 days)

3. EyeEm

If you want to join a community that rivals that of Instagram then EyeEm is your best bet. EyeEm’s community is over 20 million strong, and it’s a fantastic way to find inspiration and even sell your photos.

Upon signing up for EyeEm, you’re greeted with a fresh feed of amazing pictures from talented photographers. Here, you’ll find featured photographers, pictures taken near you, photography tips, and several other themed galleries. It’s a great way to get your creative juices flowing.

EyeEm lets users snap new photos from the app, or import images from your phone’s gallery. The EyeEm Selects feature scans your images and picks out photos with the highest aesthetic score, according to its algorithm.

After you select your photo, you can do basic edits or apply filters, and it’s all free. Once that’s done, add a caption, pick out tags (this helps others discover and possibly buy your images), and then bam, it’s uploaded to EyeEm.

When you’re on EyeEm, it’s not just about getting likes. EyeEm focuses on inspiring other members to get more creative with their photos, not to mention that you have the potential to make money from your work as well.

Download: EyeEm on iOSAndroid (Free)

4. 500px

For those looking for a serious photography community, then 500px is another option. 500px has a community of over 15 million photographers who are passionate about their work.

As you check out other users, it’s easy to find your muse among such talent. The community encourages feedback from others, helping you grow and mature as a photographer.

When you’re ready to share, 500px lets you upload full-resolution photos directly from your smartphone. 500px allows you to get instant feedback from others, and you’ll gain recognition for your work.

500px also hosts a number of contests in which you can put your photography skills to the test. Winners typically receive a cash prize, photography gear, or even trips.

Connecting with other photographers is also important in 500px, and once you start following people, they’ll become a connection. There’s also curation in 500px, so you get recommendations based on your own personal tastes, and the app’s editors are able to provide guidance as well.

With 500px, you get a serious community that’s focused on quality photography, not just the amateur photos you’ll find on Instagram. If you consider smartphone photography important, then you should consider joining the 500px collective.

Download: 500px on iOSAndroid (Free)

5. Retrica

If you like Instagram selfies, then Retrica will up your game. The focus of Retrica is primarily on selfies and the freedom to express yourself through them.

Retrica provides users with a huge arsenal of fun filters that focus on your beauty, so you don’t have to spend time editing them to perfection. And if you can’t decide which selfie looks best, a built-in collage maker lets you add multiple images in the format of your choice, and share it with the community.

Not only is Retrica perfect for snapping selfies, but it’s also one of the best GIF maker apps for your smartphone. Switch to Retrica’s GIF feature, and it’ll take rapid shots of your subject, resulting in an awesome GIF.

Once you’ve perfected the selfie of the day, share it with the community or to your favorite social networks. Retrica’s populace is also quite large, so it’s a great way to make new friends and find more inspiration.

Download: Retrica on iOSAndroid (Free, premium version available)

6. VSCO

VSCO, also known as the Visual Supply Company, is well-known for its photo editing software, but did you know it’s also a community?

This app provides users with a powerful camera replacement, as well as a fully-featured photo editing studio. Everything comes in a minimally designed package. The editing tools let you create the perfect picture, and VSCO’s filters are super high quality.

The VSCO community is packed with creators from all over the globe. Your VSCO profile serves as a page where you can upload your best shots to share with others, or you can keep a photo journal or collection on the service as well.

When others follow you or like your pictures, you’ll get notified. The curated collections in the Discover tab let you find other talented photographers to connect with, eventually leading to inspiration. This Instagram alternative has a strong emphasis on hobbyist photographers, which is great when you’re trying to build your skills and share your shots.

VSCO is free to download and use, but there is an optional paid membership. This premium subscription costs $20/year and provides full access to all of VSCO’s preset libraries, more editing tools, and educational content. It may be worth investing if you’re looking to expand your photography skillset.

Download: VSCO on iOSAndroid (Free, premium subscription available)

7. Agora

Agora encourages you to explore the world through photographs. This awesome alternative to Instagram has an impressive community of photographers from over 193 different countries, making it easy to find inspiration and discover new cultures.

When you first open the app, Agora presents you with a feed of incredible pictures, as well as a carousel of some of the app’s best photographers. From here, you can start scrolling through pictures and finding users who you want to follow.

Agora hosts several photography contents. While some have a specific theme, there are other general competitions done on a weekly and annual basis. It’s a fantastic way to win some extra cash doing what you love!

But what really makes Agora unique is its emphasis on vote-based competitions. It doesn’t have a group of judges that deliberate on winners—instead, it lets users vote for the winning photographs.

Download: Agora for iOS | Android

These Instagram Alternatives Make Your Photos Look Good

The chances are, you’ve acquired a lot of photographs on your device—so why not share them with the world? While Instagram might be trendy, it isn’t the only place for your photos. The above Instagram alternatives offer more serious communities for photographers, allowing you to show off your work and gain inspiration in the process.

In case you do decide to stick with Instagram after all, take a look at the best Instagram photo editors.

Read the full article: The Best Instagram Alternatives for Photographers

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The Best PowerPoint Templates for Educational Presentations

Whether you are teaching a class, giving a lecture, creating a tutorial, or running a training session, these PowerPoint templates are perfect. Some give you tables, charts, and diagrams while others give you a simple educational theme for your situation.

With a template, you do not have to waste time creating a presentation from a blank canvas. Instead, you can concentrate on the content that goes into it.

If PowerPoint is your slide-creating tool of choice and an educational theme is what you need, check out these awesome options.

1. Back to Elementary School Presentation

back to elementary school powerpoint template

For grammar school teachers, this Microsoft Office template is a great way to show your class what to expect throughout the year. You can use all or just some of the 23 slides with an upbeat autumn theme. The widescreen template includes a classroom schedule table as well as bulleted lists for goals, subjects, and supplies.

For more help with the back-to-school season, check out these Microsoft Office templates for teachers heading back to class.

2. Schoolyard Kids Education Presentation

schoolyard kids powerpoint template

When you need a template for your daycare facility, elementary school class, or child-specific program, this template is ideal. With a cartoon-style theme, the slides are colorful but not overdone. A few of the slides have spots for photos, making it easy for you to pop in your own for the presentation.

3. Educational Subjects Presentation

educational subjects powerpoint template

This template from Microsoft Office is suitable for math, science, or geography with its chalkboard drawings. With six populated and five blank slides, you can create a complete presentation. You will find bulleted lists, a bar chart, a table, and a diagram. So, use those that apply to the subject of your discussion and just remove the others.

4. Academic Course Overview

academic course overview powerpoint template

For high school teachers or college professors, this template provides several slides that give your students a good overview. Complete the course description and objectives, required materials, schedule, assessment criteria, and resources. Just swap out your details and make a few adjustments for this presentation to be ready to go.

5. Education Concept Template

educational concept free powerpoint template

If you work at a college or university and just want a plain and simple yet educational-themed template, this one is for you. From Free-Powerpoint-Templates-Design.com, this gives you a nice, two-tone green design with a minimalistic education concept. When you want your viewers to concentrate more on the words than the images, this template works well.

Note: To download this template, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the site’s page. Then, click the link for either widescreen or standard as shown in the screenshot below.

download note free design powerpoint template

6. Human Body Template

human body free powerpoint template

For science subjects, nursing classes, or any medical-related presentation, check out this template. It shows anterior views of the male and female bodies. You can use that image on the main title slide and use imageless slides for the rest. Or mix it up with the two different styles.

Note: This template also comes from Free-Powerpoint-Templates-Design.com. Remember to scroll to the bottom of the template page and choose widescreen or standard as shown in the above screenshot.

7. Math Education Presentation

math education presentation powerpoint template

With a small Pi image, this math education template from Microsoft Office is both appealing and useful.

Use it for your high school or college class, presentations to your mathematics department, or your accounting firm interns. Like other templates on this list, the slides include bulleted lists, a chart, a diagram, and empty slides for you to use as needed.

8. Dictionary Template

dictionary powerpoint template

This cool dictionary template zooms in on the word “education” and includes four eye-catching slides.

It is ideal for journalism courses, English classes, university lectures, or school board meetings. Alternate the slides for a different look or just use the ones you like. Either way, this is a handsome template.

9. Physics Template

physics lesson powerpoint template

For science projects, physics lessons, online tutorials, or presentations of experimental data, this nice and neat template is spot-on. You receive the title slide and two additional blank ones to add whatever you need. The atom image carries over to each slide for a consistent theme throughout.

10. Group Project Presentation

group project powerpoint template

When you need to plan a group project for your class or a team project for a program, provide participants this template. It is intended for multiple authors and includes slide sections for the front matter, closing, and three group members. You and your group will find the charts, tables, and bulleted lists really handy.

11. Graduation Template

graduation powerpoint template

With graduations happening at different times throughout the year at colleges, having a template ready will get you ahead of the game. This casual and attractive option from FPPT.com gives you the cap and diploma on each slide. Then, you are free to add whatever you want to the slides, but keep the look and feel consistent.

12. Widescreen Graduation Template

widescreen graduation powerpoint template

Another graduation template with an alternate appearance is this option from SlideHunter. You get two simple slides so you can add in lists, photos, images, or text easily. For academic graduations, this widescreen template offers style and simplicity.

13. Chalkboard Education Presentation

chalkboard education powerpoint template

A chalkboard design is suitable for various types of presentations such as academic, training, coaching, seminars, educational administration, and even business. The template includes charts, lists, and diagrams and as you can see, they really pop on the blackboard background.

14. Pencil and Notebooks Template

pencil and notebooks powerpoint template

Another template suitable for a variety of situations like the chalkboard template is this one from Free-Powerpoint-Templates-Design.com. It has a professional look and layout on three simple slides. Remember, you can add slides in PowerPoint for lengthier presentations while still keeping the template theme.

15. Weekly Lesson Plan

weekly lesson plan powerpoint template

If what you really need a PowerPoint template for is a lesson plan, this is a clean and clear option. From SlideHunter, this template helps you and your class can stay on track. Pop it up on the projector to go over it with your students and then print copies for the class.

16. Simple Lesson Plan

simple lesson plan powerpoint template

For more flexibility with your lesson plan, this option also from SlideHunter lets you clearly state class guidelines. List the objectives, details, and verification for both the teacher and student. Like the weekly lesson plan, you can print it and hand it out. Or save a copy to include in your digital syllabus.

The Best PowerPoint Templates for Students of All Ages

These templates are sure to get you off to a great start with your educational presentation. Whether your students are in grade school, high school, or college, you’re covered.

Want to create infographics to make your presentation more engaging? You can start with the lovely templates you’ll find in these free infographics tools online!

Image Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Read the full article: The Best PowerPoint Templates for Educational Presentations

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How to Sideload Any File Onto Your Android Phone or Tablet

Once you move beyond the basics of Android, you’re likely to come across the term “sideloading.” And while sideloading is useful and not particularly complicated, if you’re not familiar, the process might confuse you.

Let’s look at what sideloading is, how it works on Android, and the various types of media you can sideload.

What Is Sideloading?

You’ve heard of downloading and uploading, but what is sideloading? In general terms, sideloading means transferring files between two devices of your own. It doesn’t necessarily require an internet connection, hence the “side” instead of “up” or “down.”

In the context of mobile devices, sideloading typically refers to moving files from your desktop computer to your phone so you can use them on your mobile device. For Android specifically, sideloading often means installing apps from outside of the Play Store.

However, because Android gives you the freedom to install and launch media from anywhere, sideloading works for more than just installing apps.

What Can You Sideload on Android?

Let’s look at the different types of files you can sideload on Android, then we’ll discuss how the sideloading process works.

Apps

Much of the time, people use Android sideloading to install apps from sources outside the Play Store. These come as APK files, which are Android package files (similar to EXE files on Windows).

There are many safe places to find APK files, such as APKMirror. You should be careful not to download APKs from random sites, as they could harm your device. Plus, don’t forget that downloading paid apps for free is piracy.

We have a guide specifically for sideloading apps on Android, so have a look at that for everything you need to know.

Music, Books, Videos, and Other Media

If you’re interested in sideloading something other than apps, you have plenty of options. With the right apps on your device, you can enjoy music, ebooks, movies, and other kinds of content:

  • Music: Install one of the best offline music apps for Android and you can enjoy your MP3 collection anywhere.
  • Books: Using Google Play Books or another Android ebook reader, you can load up free ebooks to read on your device or transfer your collection.
  • Movies and TV: VLC is a great all-around choice, allowing you to enjoy any kind of video files you have saved locally.

You could sideload podcasts as well, but it’s much more convenient to just use an Android podcast app to subscribe to your favorite shows and download them automatically.

Custom ROMs and Other Modding Tools

Finally, Android sideloading is an important tool when you’re modifying your device. Using the Android Debug Bridge, or ADB, you can push files from your desktop to install custom ROMs on your Android device.

This is an advanced use, though, so we won’t go into detail about it here.

How to Move Sideloaded Files to Your Android Device

Once you have an appropriate app installed on your phone to handle sideloaded content, the next step is moving the files to your device. This assumes you have content ready on your desktop to move to your phone, so download anything you want to move first.

No matter which method you use, when you place files in your phone’s storage, don’t forget where you put them. Android has several folders already set up for common types of media, such as Music, so either use those or make new folders if needed.

Using a USB Cable

Access Android File Explorer

The most straightforward way to move files to your Android device is by connecting your phone and computer using a USB cable. This lets you simply move the files from your PC to your phone like you would across other folders. While connecting a cable isn’t as convenient as other ways to do this, it’s faster and more reliable than wireless methods.

On Windows, you don’t need anything special to move files over USB. However, on a Mac, you’ll need the free Android File Transfer tool installed first.

Download Files Directly on Your Phone

If you don’t want to bother with a USB cable, it’s often convenient to download files directly on your phone. For instance, if you want to sideload an app, you can just visit the APK download site using a browser on your phone and download it there.

This saves you from having to connect your phone and PC physically. However, it might not be an option if the media you want to sideload only exists on your PC, such as a large MP3 collection.

Move via Cloud Storage, Bluetooth, or Similar

To move data from your PC to phone without a cable, you can rely on wireless methods. If you use a cloud storage app like Dropbox or OneDrive on both devices, put the files in your cloud storage folder on your computer and then open them on your phone.

We’ve also shown how to connect your Android device and PC using Bluetooth. While wireless methods are convenient, keep in mind that they’re slower than transferring over USB and more susceptible to interference. If you have a large file to transfer or are on a slow network, you’re better off connecting physically.

If none of the above methods work for you, see other ways to transfer files from Android to PC.

Accessing Sideloaded Files

Now that you’ve placed files on your device, all that’s left to do is open them. For this, you’ll need an Android file explorer app, so download one of those if you don’t have one already.

Using the file explorer, navigate to where you saved the sideloaded content, then tap to open it. Depending on the type of media, Android will either launch it in your default app, or ask which app you’d like to open the content in.

If it opens in an app that you don’t want to use (such as music opening in YouTube Music instead of a new local music manager you installed), see our guide to managing default apps on Android to change it. Otherwise, you can open the content in any supported app and enjoy it there.

For some kinds of content, you might be able to launch the files through the given app instead of your file manager. For instance, an ebook manager might ask you to specify a folder where your ebooks are stored. If you point this at the folder containing the books on your phone, the manager app will update its content when you add new files to that folder.

Installing sideloaded apps requires additional steps, so be sure to check the guide linked earlier for more help with that.

Take Advantage of Android Sideloading

Now you know how to sideload any type of content on your Android device. Your phone can handle pretty much any type of entertainment file that a computer can, making it easy to take your favorite media on the go. Once you establish a routine for moving new files to your device, it won’t take much time at all.

For more on things worth sideloading, check out the best alternative Android app stores.

Read the full article: How to Sideload Any File Onto Your Android Phone or Tablet

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The 7 Best Lightweight Operating Systems for Raspberry Pi

Your Raspberry Pi isn’t like a standard PC. Sure, it can act as a desktop replacement, but generally speaking, it’s a more versatile device.

One of the trade-offs is that it doesn’t have massive resources. Raspberry Pi OS is more compact than most distros with some features missing. It’s lightweight, and for good reason: many features usually found in Linux desktops aren’t required on a Raspberry Pi.

By keeping the operating system (OS) lightweight, processing power and RAM can be dedicated to whatever project you plan to run. To keep things more efficient, install one of these lightweight Raspberry Pi operating systems.

1. Raspberry Pi OS Lite

The most obvious choice for anyone looking for a lightweight Raspberry Pi distribution (“distro”) is Raspberry Pi OS Lite.

Based on Debian Buster, Raspberry Pi OS is the new name for the Raspbian operating system. The Lite build is a minimal image without the X-server window manager, related components, and other modules.

There’s also less software, fewer modules, and the operating system uses fewer system resources. The main result of this is that there is more RAM and processing power. While the full Raspberry Pi OS is a 5GB image, Raspbian Stretch Lite is just 1.8GB.

As a result, this “lite” distribution is “headless” (i.e. it has no desktop) and ideal for server use. You’ll see some performance gains, particularly if you use the Pi as a file server or for any other headless task

2. DietPi

DietPi launcher options

Another lightweight Raspberry Pi distro that has its roots in Debian Buster, DietPi is available for several single-board computers. While Odroid, Pine boards, and ASUS Tinker Board are supported, primarily this is for Raspberry Pi boards. DietPi is for all models of Pi board and is based on a compact 589MB version of Debian.

DietPi can fit on a 2GB card and comes with a software tool for installing optimized apps.

While bigger cards obviously offer more storage, with such a lightweight OS, that storage can be maximized for your project.

Optimized apps for the DietPi OS include desktops, media systems, gaming tools, cloud, file, and web servers, and more. If you’re looking for the fastest Raspberry Pi OS, DietPi is the place to start.

3. piCore/Tiny Core Linux

You’ve probably heard of Tiny Core Linux, as it regularly appears on lists of the most compact Linux distributions. Incredibly lightweight, Tiny Core Linux’s Raspberry Pi version, piCore, has a remarkably small download. It’s just under 90MB.

It boots fast, too!

The ultimate minimal Raspberry Pi OS, piCore is fast and flexible, but comes almost devoid of software. Instead, you’ll need to download and install your own web browser, email client, text editor, and other apps.

Smooth and stable, piCore comes with internet connectivity and even manages to squeeze a traditional desktop into the compact package. Without the desktop, piCore uses even fewer resources!

4. Arch Linux ARM

Arch has long been the most popular alternative to Raspbian and Raspberry Pi OS, and with good reason. This ARM-focused version of the 32-bit Arch Linux has all the features and functionality you would expect from a Raspberry Pi operating system.

The end result is a slick distro complete with the Xfce desktop. It’s fast, efficient, and ideal for the various Raspberry Pi projects you might want to run. Full access to the GPIO is also available with Arch Linux, making it a great, lightweight Raspberry Pi operating system.

5. RISC OS

This is a lightweight, non-Linux operating system that you can run on the Raspberry Pi. The original ARM-based operating system, RISC OS dates to the 1980s, and remains useful. Available for several devices, RISC OS has a compact footprint. On the Pi, you’ll need just 119MB of space on your microSD card, although a 2GB card will be needed.

As RISC OS is unrelated to Linux, you’ll need to learn a few new commands. The GUI can be a little challenging at first, as there is no “start” button or dock. Instead, applications are grouped in desktop folders, and prefixed with “!”

Meanwhile, ensure you’re using RISC OS with a three buttoned mouse—a clickable wheel will suffice as a middle button.

While not Linux, this is a good lightweight Raspberry Pi OS. See our walkthrough on installing RISC OS on the Raspberry Pi to find out more.

6. Raspup/Puppy Linux

Another extremely lightweight operating system for Raspberry Pi is Raspup, a version of Puppy Linux. With versions available for all Raspberry Pi models, Raspup brings the Puppy Linux experience to the Pi. This means that if you don’t save your session at the end of use, the next boot will be like a brand-new install.

Clearly this has some disadvantages, but it is excellent for privacy and keeping the operating system lightweight. On the other hand, if you have installed packages, you’ll need to save sessions in order to use the software on subsequent boots.

While installation is lightweight, you should be able to find most of the usual software via the Raspbian repositories.

7. Sugar on a Stick/Sugar OS

You may have heard of the OLPC project (One Laptop Per Child) which began in 2007. It’s aim was to create and distribute educational computers for the developing world, and featured Sugar OS.

The aims of OLPC aren’t that different to those of the Raspberry Pi Foundation (namely, education) so it isn’t too surprising to find Sugar OS available for the Pi. While you can run Sugar as an app on Raspbian, the full version is based on Fedora.

Called Sugar on a Stick, the user interface can take some getting used to, but it is packed with tools. Particularly ideal for younger users, Sugar on a Stick is easy to use, intuitive, and suits the Raspberry Pi perfectly.

Which Lightweight OS Is on Your Raspberry Pi?

With so many lightweight distros for the Raspberry Pi, it should be simple to run projects with maximum system resources. To recap, the lightest Raspberry Pi operating systems are:

  1. Raspberry Pi OS Lite
  2. DietPi
  3. piCore/Tiny Core Linux
  4. Arch
  5. RISC OS
  6. Raspup/Puppy Linux
  7. Sugar on a Stick/Sugar OS

Have you tried any of these out? For the lightest experience, you should look at piCore or Arch.

However, if you want something lightweight, but recognizably part of the Raspberry Pi experience, try Raspberry Pi OS Lite. You might also consider installing Android on Raspberry Pi. For a Windows-like experience, set up Raspberry Pi as a Windows thin client.

And to get more out of your Pi device, consider these top Raspberry Pi accessories.

Read the full article: The 7 Best Lightweight Operating Systems for Raspberry Pi

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How to Download Apps From the US App Store in Any Region

Although developers release most of their apps worldwide, some American apps are only available to download from the US App Store. To get these apps, you need to create a US Apple ID account to use with that App Store instead of your local one.

All you need to create a US Apple ID is a new email address and an American billing address. We’ll show you how to get each of these for free so you can download American apps in Canada, the UK, and any other country.

Why Can’t I Use My Existing Apple ID in the US App Store?

Country/Region setting for Apple ID account

Your first instinct might be to change the location settings on your existing Apple ID to work with the US App Store. This option appears simple at first, because you only need to manage a single Apple ID account instead of creating a second one.

But there are big problems that come with changing your App Store location. These issues include needing a valid American credit card to change your store location and that you might lose access to all your existing purchases afterward.

In contrast, you can create an entirely new American Apple ID account without adding any payment method at all. Plus, you can easily switch between accounts to keep access to all your existing purchases.

How to Create a US App Store Account

To create an American Apple ID account you can use with the US App Store, you need a new email address and a billing address in the US.

The email address can be any address that isn’t already linked to an Apple ID account. If you don’t have a spare email address, create a free one using Gmail, Outlook, or another popular provider.

As for the American billing address, either pick a random spot on the map or generate your own American address for free using ViaBox.

With your email address and billing address in hand, follow these steps to create a US Apple ID account from any device:

  1. Visit the Apple ID website on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  2. Select Create Your Apple ID, then choose United States as your country and fill in all the requested details. You can use any international phone number with this account, as long as the dialing code is correct.
  3. When given the option, choose None as your payment method and enter your American billing address to use alongside it.
  4. Enter the codes sent to your phone number and email address to verify your identity and finish creating your US App Store account.

Switching Between App Store Accounts

After creating an American Apple ID, sign into that account on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to get apps from the US App Store.

To change the account you’re using with the App Store on your iOS device, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iTunes & App Store. Tap your current Apple ID account to sign out, then sign in again with the new account. This keeps you signed in to the original account for iCloud and other Apple services.

In iOS 14 and later, you need to sign out of every Apple service to change your Apple ID account in the App Store. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Sign Out to do so. Then sign in from the same page using your US Apple ID.

Use American Apps With Your Local Apple ID

Switching between Apple ID accounts doesn’t delete any apps or media you already downloaded to your device. This means you can still use your existing apps after signing in to the US App Store.

But it also means you can download American apps, then sign back into your original Apple ID account to continue using those apps. This is the method we suggest you use, so that only a small selection of apps are linked to your American Apple ID account.

You need to change accounts again any time an American app needs to update. Just make sure you switch back to your regular account after the update is complete.

Buy American Apps Using App Store Gift Cards

iTunes gift cards graphic

After following the instructions above, you should have a US App Store account with no payment method connected to it. This is fine for downloading free apps from the US App Store. But you can’t use it to buy anything unless you have an American credit card or PayPal account you can add to your Apple ID.

The only way to get around this problem is to use App Store gift cards to add a balance to your US Apple ID. You need to purchase American App Store gift cards for this—which are in US dollars—because gift cards aren’t transferable across different regions.

Unfortunately, you can’t use your US App Store account to buy these, since there is no payment method linked to it. And you can’t use your original App Store account, because that will link the gift cards to the wrong region.

Instead, buy gift cards for the US App Store using Apple’s American website and checking out as a guest. Alternatively, buy gift cards from highly-reviewed sellers on eBay. But beware of common eBay scams when taking this route.

Gift cards are available from $10 to over $100. Keep in mind that you might pay a small fee for the currency conversion if you use a foreign payment method to buy them.

After buying a physical or email gift card, open the App Store with your US Apple ID to redeem the code and add a balance to your account.

You Also Need a VPN to Stream American TV Shows

Now you know how to use a US App Store account from anywhere in the world. However, if you wanted to know how to get American apps because you wanted to stream Hulu in Canada, for example, you also need a VPN that makes it look like you’re trying to stream video from within the US.

This is because streaming services are only licensed to broadcast content in certain countries. The same is true whether you want to stream video from other US-only streaming services or whether you want to access the American version of Netflix.

Unfortunately, not all VPNs work with streaming services. If you want to stream American TV shows from abroad, make sure you use one of the VPNs that work with Netflix.

Read the full article: How to Download Apps From the US App Store in Any Region

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The Best Free Online File Converters for Your Formatting Needs

A file you receive may not be in the format you want it to be. But don’t worry as you can convert formats like PDF to DOC, JPG to BMP, or MP3 to WAV, documents, images, audio, and video files with ease.

Each of these free online services is ideal because they provide various types of file conversions in one spot. You do not have to bookmark several sites to cover the most common kinds of conversions or those you need most often.

Pick any tool from this list and don’t let your work stall.

1. Online-Convert.com

free online file converter tools

Before you even try your first file conversion on Online-Convert.com, you can quickly check for supported file types. In the small box on the top right, pop in the file types to convert to and from. Hit Go and see if the site supports what you need. Then, when you are ready to go, you can choose from audio, video, image, document, ebook, or archive converter right on the main page.

Select your target format from the drop-down box in the applicable section. You will land on a new page where you can browse for your file, enter its URL, or upload it from your cloud storage service. Click Convert File to finish.

As a bonus, Online-Convert.com offers a hash generator on the home page.

2. Convert.Files

free online file converter tools

Convert.Files is another simple option that covers a variety of input and output file formats. Browse for your file or enter its URL to get started. Select your formats from the document, drawing, presentation, ebook, video, image, archive, or audio types. If you upload your file, the input method may populate in the correct format automatically if it is easily detected.

Next, you can mark the checkbox to have a direct link emailed to you or simply hit the Convert button to grab your file right away. When the conversion is complete, click the link provided to obtain your new file. And if you are looking for a specific yet rare file type, you can review all of the supported formats.

3. Convertio

free online file converter tools

To convert files quickly from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive, or a URL, check out Convertio. Snag your file and then choose your conversion type from an image, document, ebook, presentation, or vector format. What’s nice about Convertio is that you can convert multiple files at once by clicking the Add More Files button. And you can save your converted files to Dropbox or Google Drive if you like.

Click the Convert button when you are ready and you can see the progress of the conversion along with the file size. Then, hit that Download button for each converted file. You can also download a ZIP file containing all of your conversions, which is another handy feature.

4. Zamzar

free online file converter tools

Zamzar supports over 1,100 file conversion types for most any need. You can review the popular conversion kinds right on the main page if you want to be sure before you start. Then, browse for your file or enter its URL and choose the output format. You can pick from image, document, music, video, ebook, compressed, or preset video options.

Zamzar works a bit differently than the other converters in that you must enter an email address to obtain your new file. The site also offers an inbox to manage your files with a paid account. If you do not mind using your email address to receive your file, or even prefer it, take a look at Zamzar.

5. FileZigZag

free online file converter tools

FileZigZag is an email-based file converter similar to Zamzar. It also supports document, audio, image, video, and archive file formats. Just upload your file, select the output format, enter your email address, and click Convert. When you receive the email, follow the link to obtain your converted file.

After your file is converted, FileZigZag offers a few options to review before you head over to your inbox. You can delete the file from their server (which is stored for three days), upload the converted file to your cloud storage, or convert the source file or converted file to a different type. Again, if you like having an email with a link to your file, FileZigZag is a good free service.

6. FreeFileConvert

free online file converter tools

FreeFileConvert supports a whopping 8,700 conversion combinations. So, if you have an uncommon one, this is the site to visit. You can add up to five files to convert at once, just note that they must be the same file type. Once you upload your file, the output format box will adjust automatically with suggested formats. Click Convert when it is ready, and then get your file with a click on Download.

With FreeFileConvert, you can convert archive, document, ebook, audio, image, presentation, vector, CAD, and font file formats. And, by clicking one of these supported types on the home page, you can quickly review all file formats available.

7. File-Converter-Online.com

File-Converter-Online Free

It doesn’t get much easier to convert a file online at no charge than with File-Converter-Online.com. Click the Choose File button to upload your file, select the file type you want to convert to, and hit Start Converting. Then, grab the converted file from your download location.

File-Converter-Online.com offers conversions for audio, video, images, and documents. There’s also an Others category if you need to convert an ebook file like EPUB or MOBI, or you can look at the other uncommon types of files. You can see all of these kinds of conversions along the right side of the Home page under All filetypes and converters.

Be sure to check out the site’s additional tools for compressing a PDF or video, creating a GIF, and merging PDFs.

Pick Your Online File Converter

With so many types of file conversions, from the common to the rare, having one tool to handle them all is the perfect solution. Each of these offers something a little different than the rest, so be sure to save the one that covers all your needs.

If it’s just audio that needs converting, be sure to see our top free online audio converters.

Read the full article: The Best Free Online File Converters for Your Formatting Needs

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Can You Actually Hire Computer Hackers Online?

In films and TV shows, there are always hackers for hire. From action movies to crime procedurals, a skilled computer hacker can help disable security systems, locate confidential information, or piece together a crime in seconds.

It’s easy to dismiss this as fiction and creative license, though. That said, it does make you wonder whether there really are genuine hackers for hire.

Is Hacking Legal?

glasses in focus on a laptop

In most people’s minds, hacking is an illegal activity. Reported hacking incidents often involve criminal behavior for harmful or unlawful outcomes. Despite this common impression, hacking covers a wide range of technical skills, only some of which are illegal. Before hiring a hacker online, it’s important to note the difference between white hat, grey hat, and black hat hacking.

While many of the techniques are the same, the intent and expected outcomes differ between the three groups. When most people discuss hacking, they are usually referring to black hat hackers. This group is traditionally classed as cybercriminals as their primary objective is often personal or financial gain. However, they could also be working on behalf of government agencies involved in nation-state cyber attacks.

White hat hackers use similar methods, but their goals are different. In place of personal gain, white hat hackers help organizations and individuals to improve their security by performing penetration testing. These tests are pre-agreed, and the objective is to highlight security weaknesses.

Given the positive outcome, this is also referred to as ethical hacking. As you have permission to compromise systems, ethical hacking is legal as well. Grey hat hackers sit somewhere between the other two categories, often compromising systems without permission but to strengthen security rather than profit from the lack of it.

Can You Hire Black Hat Hackers?

a person editing code on a laptop

Given how lucrative illegal hacking can be, there are black hat hackers for hire available online. However, you won’t find them advertising their services on a professional website or listing their achievements on LinkedIn. The most common way to find a black hat hacker is through online forums, chat rooms, and the dark web.

Most also won’t accept traditional payment methods like credit or debit cards. Instead, you’d be expected to pay with something less traceable. In many cases, this will be a pseudonymous cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Even if they did offer card payments, it’s probably unwise to trust a black hat hacker with your personal information.

Though, just because you can find black hat hackers online, doesn’t mean that you should purchase their services. Even if you aren’t performing the hack itself, you have initiated an illegal activity, making you party to the crime. Unless you are already experienced with criminal practices, you will often be easier for law enforcement to identify as well.

Popular sites like hackers24hrs, hirehacking, and thoriumhacks have prominent search result positions. However, reviews and comments elsewhere do not paint them as reputable services. Generally, if you want to hire a hacker to break into someone’s account, install malware, or obtain sensitive information, this will not fall under white hat or ethical hacking.

Additionally, there is no guarantee or legal agreement once you hire a black hat hacker. There’s always the possibility that they will take your money but fail to deliver the service. It’s also likely that your target will be a person or organization you know or have been affected by. In which case, the hacker could find information with which to blackmail you.

Overall, we strongly recommend that you don’t hire black hat hackers or involve yourself in illegal activity.

Can You Hire White Hat Hackers?

two keys in a door lock

As a white hat hacker’s objective is to identify weaknesses so you can improve your security, their services are widely and legally available online. However, very few organizations add a white hacker label to their business or website, so it’s essential to thoroughly research a company before entrusting them with this work. That said, you can use these websites to teach yourself how to hack legally as well.

Additionally, if you search the internet for legit hackers for hire or similar, you’ll be presented with a broad set of results. It won’t be immediately obvious which services fall under which category, and the legal status of what’s on offer. This makes it even more critical that you research the company before purchasing their services.

Although white hat hacking is a descriptive grouping for many kinds of ethical hacking, you’ll need to determine the most suitable type of hacking service you require. Penetration testing—attempting to break through security measures—comes in many forms. For example, one of the most popular segments is network pen-testing.

One of the most critical areas is your connection to the wider internet, so it makes sense that this is the most common ethical hacking service available. Likewise, physical pen-testing, where hackers attempt to break into real-world spaces, is an offline equivalent. However, you may also want to test the effectiveness of your software and hardware too.

It’s often said people are an overlooked security risk. Social engineering is a form of white hat or ethical hacking explicitly focused on your systems’ human element. The social engineer will attempt to trick, confuse, or gain other people’s trust to bypass security measures and extract information.

Beware of Scams and Set Boundaries

Someone paying for goods using the NFC on a credit card.

As hacking is a generic term for a wide range of services—some legal, some not—it can be a challenge to find reputable hackers. To exploit those who are aware of the work’s illegality, some hackers and criminals operate scams, knowing that victims are unlikely to report the crime to the police or authorities.

As such, you must research your chosen hacker or hacking firm before investing in their services. Most white hat hacking groups are legitimate businesses offering a legal and vital service. However, as you would with any other product or service, look for reviews, comments, and complaints before handing over your money.

Although white hats aren’t hacking for malicious reasons, you should also set boundaries for their work. If you only want them to test specific systems or software, or break into them, but without accessing personal or confidential information, be sure to agree on this before the work starts.

Finding Hackers for Hire

Although the terms can be confusing, it is possible to find genuine hackers for hire online. However, it’s important to note the difference between illegal black hat hacking and ethical white hat hacking. Before purchasing their services, be sure that you feel comfortable with the service and the agreement’s terms.

If you’d prefer a career in the industry rather than hiring hackers, legal options are open to you. For instance, it is possible to earn a living as an ethical hacker.

Read the full article: Can You Actually Hire Computer Hackers Online?

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The 10 Best Windows Apps Worth Paying For

When you want to download a new desktop program, your first instinct is probably to look for a free option. And while that’s great in a lot of cases, there’s some software that’s worth paying for.

Let’s take a look at the best paid software for your Windows PC. We’ll focus on generally applicable apps that most users will get something out of for their money.

1. Backblaze

If there’s one kind of paid software that’s worth the cost, it’s a backup tool. Without a backup of your computer, years’ worth of photos, documents, and other data could disappear in an instant.

While Windows has a solid local backup option built-in, that doesn’t protect your backup drive from physical damage, such as a fire or theft. A cloud backup service like Backblaze is thus an essential part of your setup.

For a flat fee, you can back up as much data as you want from one computer. Backups run automatically and you can exclude certain folders if you like. It’s easy to restore one file or your entire backup when needed.

Backblaze offers a great “set and forget” backup solution for those who want protection but don’t want to worry about setting it all up manually.

Download: Backblaze ($6/month or $60/year, free trial available)

2. Groupy

Tabbed browsing is so convenient that you might wish other apps on your computer had the feature too. That’s where Groupy comes in—it’s a straightforward Windows utility that brings tab grouping to all apps.

Simply drag one app window on top of another to group them together. This lets you, for instance, keep tabs from multiple apps together when you’re using them to work on one task. You can save tab groups to easily re-open later, as well as setting Groupy to always group multiple instances of certain apps together.

If you love tabs, this is a few dollars well spent. It’s a great way to organize the dozens of app windows you have floating around.

Download: Groupy ($4.99, free trial available)

3. Microsoft 365

We’ve previously discussed how you might not need Microsoft Office, thanks to the wealth of free alternatives like LibreOffice and Office Online. And while that does hold true for many people, Microsoft 365 is worth paying for if you fall into the right use case.

Microsoft 365 Family costs $100 per year and includes full Office access for up to six people. As a bonus, it also includes 1TB of OneDrive storage per user, plus 60 minutes of Skype calling per month.

Considering that many cloud storage providers charge $10/month for 2TB of cloud storage, getting 1TB of cloud storage each for 6 people at $100/year is a great value. Plus, if everyone uses Office on at least one computer and their mobile device, you’re getting a lot for the money, compared to $70/year for one person.

We’ve compared the value of Microsoft 365 and Office 2019 standalone if you’re interested in more info.

Buy: Microsoft 365 ($99.99/year for Family or $69.99/year for Personal)

4. DisplayFusion

If you work with multiple monitors, you’ve probably noticed that Windows doesn’t do a whole lot to let you customize them. DisplayFusion adds a ton of functionality in this area, making it well worth the cost if you want to optimize your screen real estate.

Features include customization options like multiple wallpaper profiles, allowing you to create “mini monitors” on each display, dimming inactive monitors, and even scripting that lets you run actions based on triggers. While there’s a limited free version, the Pro licenses start at a one-time $29 purchase for a single computer.

Download: DisplayFusion ($29, free trial available)

5. A Paid VPN

We’ve spoken before about how a VPN is a great tool for enhancing your online privacy, accessing content from other regions, and browsing securely on open networks.

No matter which paid VPN you go for, having it installed on Windows is a worthwhile purchase. Check out our favorite VPN services and how to use a VPN with Windows 10 to find out more.

6. Spotify

Why pay for individual song and album downloads when you can have it all with one subscription? Spotify charges $10 per month (less per person with the Family, Duo, or Student plans) for unlimited access to millions of songs.

With Spotify Premium, you get high-quality music streams, the ability to save music offline on your device, and no ads. It’s a huge value if you listen to music all the time on your computer, so give it a look if you don’t already use another streaming service like Apple Music.

Download: Spotify (Free, subscription available)

7. Breevy

Chances are that you type the same snippets of text multiple times per day. How many times have you entered your home address, email address, or a canned email into a text field this week?

Text expansion is a huge productivity booster that’s worth the cost, and Breevy is a great choice for it. The application lets you set up shortcuts (such as @@) that let you expand to a larger block of text (like your email address). This saves you a ton of time—you won’t have to worry about repetitive blocks of text anymore.

Breevy offers more than just text expansion, including thousands of autocorrect entries, folder organization for expansions, dynamic input, and much more. Give the trial a spin and you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Download: Breevy ($34.95, free trial available)

8. Malwarebytes Premium

For most people, Windows Defender does a good enough job of protecting your PC. If you’re looking for extra layers of protection, then Malwarebytes Premium is a great second line of defense.

In addition to the trusted on-demand scanning of the free version, Malwarebytes Premium includes always-on shields, ransomware protection, scheduled scans, and more. If you want to pay for a security tool, this is one to consider. You can also opt for the five-device plan to protect additional computers.

See our overview of Malwarebytes Premium for more reasons to consider upgrading.

Download: Malwarebytes (Free, $39.99/year for Premium)

9. A Password Manager

We’ve talked before about how everyone should use a password manager to generate secure passwords and keep them safe. While some password managers are available for free, such as LastPass, there are many paid password managers that are worth the few dollars per month.

For example, 1Password provides a smoother interface than LastPass. It also has handy features like the Watchtower, which alerts you to password breaches, and Travel mode, which lets you remove some passwords from your device when crossing borders.

LastPass also has a Premium plan, which unlocks one-to-many sharing, secure file storage, and a few other features. Have a look at our comparison of password managers to find the right one for you.

10. Grammarly

While it’s one of the most expensive apps on the list, Grammarly is worthwhile for anyone who writes on their computer a lot. Whether you want to improve your papers for school or have a second set of eyes while you blog or work on a novel, it’s a huge help.

Grammarly has a free plan, but Premium unlocks advanced readability features, vocabulary suggestions, and a plagiarism detector. It starts at $29.95/month, but the price drops to $11.66 a month if you pay yearly. If you’d benefit from stronger writing, give it a look.

Download: Grammarly (Free, from $29.95/month for Premium)

The Best Paid Software for Windows 10

This is just a sample of the best paid software for Windows that’s worth your time. There are many other apps worth checking out, such as screen recorders, screenshot tools, and creative apps. But what’s worth buying in those categories depends on your individual needs, while we tried to focus on broadly applicable apps here.

For more Windows software, check out the Windows 10 apps we recommend downloading on a new computer.

Image Credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Read the full article: The 10 Best Windows Apps Worth Paying For

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How to Use an Android Tablet as a Raspberry Pi Display

The Raspberry Pi is a great computer, but it’s not always the most convenient device to access. Unless you have it permanently connected to a display, you probably access it via SSH, VNC or RDP.

But what if you don’t have a suitable display? How will you use it? One solution is to use an old Android tablet as a Raspberry Pi display.

What You Need to Use a Tablet Display With Raspberry Pi

Looking to set your Android device up as a display for your Raspberry Pi? It’s simpler than you’d think.

Use a tablet as your Raspberry Pi display

All you need is:

  • A Raspberry Pi 3 or later (older versions will need a wireless networking dongle)
  • Both devices connected to the same network
  • A keyboard and mouse connected to the Raspberry Pi (USB, Bluetooth, or wireless)
  • A tablet stand or suitable case for your Android device to use it as a monitor

This works.

Sadly, directly connecting your tablet display to a Raspberry Pi is not possible. Neither the GPIO nor the DSI port are compatible with tablet displays. This means using an old tablet screen for a Raspberry Pi display is impossible. Even if you manage to connect the devices, there won’t be any pleasing images.

And you might need a new Raspberry Pi.

Using an Android Tablet as a Screen for Raspberry Pi

Rather than connect the Raspberry Pi directly to your Android tablet, you can use remote desktop software.

You have two options available for using an Android tablet or phone as a display for your Raspberry Pi.

  1. RDP: Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol
  2. VNC: Virtual Network Connection

Each of these options can provide full desktop access to your Raspberry Pi via Android. Fortunately, neither is difficult to set up. Both have been tested with a Raspberry Pi 3, but should work with older versions, and even the Pi Zero.

Important: you’ll need to ensure that your Raspberry Pi and the Android tablet are on the same network. Also, this won’t work if you use the Android device as a wireless access point.

(In that scenario, you would need two Android devices; one for the WAP, and another for the display.)

For both options, first ensure that SSH is enabled on your Raspberry Pi. This will make “headless” set up simpler, allowing you configuration of RDP and VNC from your PC. Then you can establish the connection from your Android device.

You can enable SSH in three ways:

  1. Via the command line: use the raspi-config screen and select Interfacing Options > SSH > OK. Reboot when prompted.
  2. Via the Raspbian desktop: go to Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration > Interfaces and select SSH. Click OK to confirm.
  3. With your Pi powered down, eject the SD card and open it in your desktop PC’s file browser. In the boot directory, create a new file called “ssh”, with no file extension. Safely remove the card and replace in your Raspberry Pi. When you power it up, SSH will be enabled.

Enable SSH on the Raspberry Pi

You can connect to your Raspberry Pi via SSH using the terminal app in Linux and macOS. You’ll find several good options for using SSH on Windows.

To use SSH, you’ll need to know the IP address of your Raspberry Pi, which you can find by entering

ifconfig wlan0

Make a note of the IP address, as you’ll need it later.

Connect Android to a Raspberry Pi via RDP

First, let’s try it with RDP. This is the better option, as you can do more with the remote device. For instance, graphic-intensive sessions will run over RDP, but may struggle with VNC. Linux has its own RDP software, known as xrdp.

You’ll need:

  • RDP software installed on your Raspberry Pi
  • An RDP app on your Android device

Connect to your Raspberry Pi via SSH then enter the following to update the package list and install xrdp.

sudo apt update

sudo apt install xrdp

Tap Y when prompted.

Install xrdp RDP client on the Raspberry Pi

Next, find an RDP app for Android. Microsoft Remote Desktop is a good option.

Download: Microsoft Remote Desktop for Android (Free)

To connect to Raspberry Pi over RDP from Android:

  1. Launch Microsoft Remote Desktop
  2. Tap the + button
  3. Select Desktop
  4. Input the hostname or IP address of your Raspberry Pi
  5. Click Save
  6. When you’re ready to start, tap the connection tile
  7. Observe the warning that the remote PC cannot be verified, (this is due to your Pi’s Linux OS)
  8. Click Connect

Configure RDP to use Raspberry Pi and an Android display

You’ll then see the xrdp login screen. Input your usual Raspberry Pi account credentials (the default is pi:raspberry, but you should change these) and click OK.

Connect a Raspberry Pi to an Android Tablet With VNC

The second available option to use a tablet as a Raspberry Pi screen is to use VNC software. Simply set this up on your Raspberry Pi and Android device to get desktop access. With a keyboard connected, it will feel like you’re connected directly to the Pi!

VNC is a popular option for remote connecting to a Raspberry Pi from a PC, but how does it work on Android?

For this to work, you’ll need:

  • VNC server software installed on the Raspberry Pi
  • VNC viewing software installed on your Android device

When you’re ready, install a VNC server. Although the Raspberry Pi OS ships with RealVNC built in. However, by default it is not enabled.

You can enable VNC in two ways:

  1. Via the raspi-config screen select interfacing Options > VNC > OK. Reboot when prompted.
  2. Via the Raspbian desktop: go to Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration > Interfaces and select VNC. Click OK to confirm.

Next, find a VNC client for Android. Several are available—the VNC Viewer from RealVNC is perfect.

Download: VNC Viewer for Android

With the app installed and the Pi booted up:

  • Open VNC Viewer
  • Click + to create a new connection
  • Input the IP address and session number (e.g. 192.168.10.21:1)
  • Click Create

Use VNC with Android as a monitor for Raspberry Pi

At this stage, you’ll be informed that the connection is unencrypted. Accept the connection (you should be safe on your home network) and then input the password. Click Continue when you’re ready, and the connection will open.

Enter a password when prompted and enjoy access to your Raspberry Pi via keyboard and your Android tablet as a display!

Use an Android tablet as a Raspberry Pi display

When you’re ready to end the connection, click X.

Add a Simple Raspberry Pi Display With an Android Tablet

Using an Android tablet as a display for a Raspberry Pi is a great way to use an old device. It’s simple to set up, and if the battery remains charged, it should be reliable. You can also look into these handy ways to power a Raspberry Pi for portable projects.

Better still, with a keyboard and mouse, and a handy battery recharger, you can make your Raspberry Pi fully portable. Having an internet connection via your Android’s 4G connection could also prove invaluable. And combining a Raspberry Pi with a tablet touchscreen gives you even more portability. Take this further with our guide to build your own Android tablet with Raspberry Pi.

Read the full article: How to Use an Android Tablet as a Raspberry Pi Display