Best antivirus for PC 2017 | Best antivirus for laptop | Best security software for Windows

How to secure your PC. Remove virus from your laptop or PC with these best antivirus for Windows. The best free antivirus, and best antivirus you can buy.

Every Windows PC and laptop needs to have security software to prevent viruses, destroy spyware and remove all types of malware. In this article we explain how to make your PC more secure by installing antivirus software. See also: Best antivirus for Mac.

Best antivirus for Windows: antivirus buying advice

Not all antivirus is made equal, however. If your laptop or PC runs a recent version of Windows it comes with Microsoft’s own antivirus baked in. This may be enough to ward off all but the most evil or recent of internet nasties. But it might just be those threats that catch you out.

Virtually all modern antivirus will catch virtually all known threats. But only the best products kill brand new threats based on how they affect your PC or laptop.

The other key factor in deciding what is a good, bad or indifferent is the negative affect the security software will have on the general running of your computer. All software takes up resources that might be used elsewhere, and the intensive process of checking both your PC and the internet to make sure your protection is up to date can cause even the quickest laptop or PC to perceptibly slow.

In the past all security software was a drain, more or less. But modern packages tend to be much more light-footed. Still, in our assessment of the best antivirus for PC or laptop we are judging based on how well it protects, how much impact it has on your PC, and how little it will cost you.

Best antivirus for PC | Best antivirus for laptop

We review the five best antivirus programs for Windows PC and Windows laptop. These best antivirus programs are ranked from one to five, but represent the very best you can buy. Any one of these antivirus packages comes with the TechTop100 seal of approval.

5. Best antivirus: Avira Antivirus Pro

Avira gets into our best antivirus list because in AV-Test’s lab it produced better than average protection against both known threats, and those nasty zero-day threats that fox less stellar packages. Avira Antivirus Pro successfully disabled 99 percent of known threats and 99 percent of unknown threats. This is excellent.

Moreover the Avira package was excellent in terms of its impact on performance, slowing down even a low-end PC only rarely, and hardly ever on frequently used applications. And, critically, it turned up only one false positive when scanning an infected PC.

Avira Antivirus Pro costs from £29.99 for a one-year licence. Click here to find out more.

Avira Antivirus Pro
Avira Antivirus Pro

4. Best antivirus: Trend Micro Internet Security

Trend Micro’s antivirus product offers similar levels of protection to Avira’s, dealing with 99 percent of known threats but ‘only’ 97 percent of the unknown threats chucked its way in AV-Test’s lab. This is an excellent level of security.

Things remain great in terms of system overhead, with Trend Micro’s software slowing things down to a similar extent as does Avira’s (not very much).

We favour Trend Micro ever so slightly simply because it produced no false positives. Not a single one. That is a superb result.

Trend Micro Internet Security currently costs on £34.99 per year, which is more than Avira Antivirus, but as a full security suite offers great value. Click here to find out more.

Trend Micro Internet Security
Trend Micro Internet Security

3. Best antivirus: Kaspersky Internet Security

Kaspersky is a well-known antivirus brand for your average consumer, and its most recent AV-Test results suggest that this popularity is well earned. Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 offers excellent protection, in tests killing off 97 percent of zero-day threats and 99 percent of known threats. There is no room for complacency here, but Kaspersky is most likely going to keep your PC and data safe.

System overhead is as light as a feather, with AV-Test finding the program had exactly zero effect on download of frequently used applications. That is about as good as it gets.

The same could be said of Kaspersky’s performance in AV-Test’s false positives test, with not a single rogue notification in the lab. These are truly excellent results from a security software package on which you can rely.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 costs just £34.99 for a one-year licence, which represents excellent value for a full-featured internet security suite. Click here to find out more.

Kaspersky Internet Security
Kaspersky Internet Security

2. Best antivirus: Norton Security

Norton is probably the biggest name in internet security software, and in times gone by you would see its distinctive yellow box in every high street PC store (remember them?). This most recent set of AV-Test results suggests that Norton Security 2016 lives up to the company’s reputation for excellence in securing PCs and laptops.

Norton’s results suggest it is market-leading in protection, detecting 100 percent of even unknown zero-day threats, as well as 99.9 percent of known threats (don’t you just hate that 0.01 of all threats?).

In the past Norton products had a reputation for slowing down PCs. That hasn’t been the case for some time now, and in this set of tests Norton Security 2016 had virtually now recognisable effect on Windows performance.

In fact the only thing that keeps Norton from being top of the shop is a single measly false positive during a scan. Just the one, so this is far from a bad result. Indeed, it is a great set of scores: Norton Security is brilliant.

You can pick up a copy of Norton Security for £39.99 (although it seems to be permanently on discount if you buy direct from Norton). Click here to find out more.

Norton Internet Security
Norton Internet Security

1. Best antivirus: Bitdefender Internet Security

Our number on best antivirus comes from Bitdefender. It is all but perfect in terms of protecting your PC without you knowing about it. In AV-Test’s latest lab testing Bitdefender managed to see off every piece of malware thrown at it, including all known threats and even those new net nasties chucked in the mix. Needless to say, this is the best protection on the market.

The impact on system performance is similarly market-leading, virtually no effects felt in tests. Literally no other antivirus can match Bitdefender in this regard.

Indeed, the only area in which Bitdefender isn’t demonstratively the best is in the arguably less important aspect of false positives. Here Bitdefender did cry wolf three times in all tests.

Bitdefender offers top-class protection without hitting your system performance. Bitdefender Internet Security costs £39 for a one-year licence. Click here to find out more.

Bitdefender Internet Security
Bitdefender Internet Security

Best antivirus for laptop | Best antivirus for PC | Best antivirus for Windows: verdict

The main thing to consider: this year’s crop of antivirus products are great. If you need to protect your PC or laptop any one of these five best antivirus packages will do a great job. Bitdefender does the best job of all, Avira is the cheapest.

See also: Best antivirus for Mac.

Best free email service 2017 | Best webmail | Gmail vs Outlook vs Yahoo!

We test, rank and rate the best free email services you can use in 2016. The best free email. Best free email for storage, best free email for privacy, best free email for features. Check out our list of the best free webmail services you can use.

We’ve listed the best free email services by alphabetical order, which is just as well. Gmail and Outlook are the best services there are, and unless you have privacy concerns, you should check them out. (Also see: Best cloud storage service 2016 | Best online storage | Secure online storage | Cheap cloud storage.)

Best free email service 2017: AOL Mail

Huge in the 2000s, but still knocking around, AOL Mail is actually a decent free email service for those who wish to be retro. But retro it is.

Log into AOL and most of the screen is taken up by a news feed. It’s like 2002 all over again. This combined with the multitude of themes and customisation options makes AOL feel more like a home page than an email tool. Depending on your needs this may be no terrible thing.

You get the usual left-sided folder list including inbox, drafts, sent and the rest. And you can create and edit your own folder list, as well as moving messages around and creating rules and filters.

But that is about it. Like iCloud, it is for basic users rather than the office. Check out AOL if you need a basic and pleasingly retro email service.

Find out more about AOL Mail.

AOL Mail
AOL Mail

Best free email service 2017: Apple iCloud

One to use only if you are an Apple obsessive. Gmail and Outlook are better. Although iCloud’s iPhone and iPad integration are good, the web interface is crap. Like most Apple software, this email service exists to get you to buy its hardware.

On your iPhone and iPad, Apple Mail can be set up to access other email accounts, such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo!. Not on the web interface.

You have the standard three-pane view with email and folders on the left, inbox listing all the messages in the middle and the selected email on the right. Just don’t expect to be able to customise things: that is not Apple’s way.

Folders can be edited, rules and filters can be set up. If you are an Apple user on the hunt for a simple and non-technical email service you could do worse. But you could also do better.

Find out more about Apple iCloud Mail.

icloud mail

Best free email service 2017: Gmail

Google’s free email device is often considered the number one free email service, and with good reason. It looks great on laptop, tablet or smartphone. You don’t get mail folders, as such, rather you can tag emails t make them easier to find. But, trust me, Google is pretty good at finding stuff, so in time you learn to worry less about archiving your messages, and more about usefully using email as a work tool.

By default Google displays email conversations in date order. Priority inbox puts at the top messages Gmail thinks are important. Indeed, Gmail can automatically sort messages into primary, social, promotions, updates and forums. Due to Google’s scanning and search skills this is super accurate, and allows you to use email in the most useful way for you.

You can change the way the interface looks in your browser, by using a Google theme or your own images, too. In general Gmail is intuitive and user-friendly, useful and customisable. It also offers a huge amount of storage for free – 15GB of free storage across Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos. So why wouldn’t you choose Google?

The only real reason is that like some other free email services Gmail scans your messages in order to deliver contextual advertising. That is a problem for some privacy conscious users.

Find out more about Gmail.

Gmail
Gmail

Best free email service 2017: Outlook.com

The artist formally known as Hotmail, Microsoft’s free email service is alive and well worth your consideration.

Via your web browser Outlook doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel. You will see a folder list on the left, including inbox, drafts, and sent. Folders are used to organise emails, and you can drag messages from folder to folder. Adding new folders is a cinch. The rest of the screen lists the contents of the currently selected folder. There is also a reading pane, so you can browse- and read emails from the same view.

Staying in the traditional email box, you can set rules to automatically sort incoming mail. Microsoft’s Quick views tool automatically categorises messages like Gmail’s tabs, but there are more categories. Messages can be archived, which moves them to the relevant folder, or flagged so they appear in Quick views rather than the inbox.

Outlook is up there with Gmail as the big beast of the free email world. Like Gmail it is generous with storage limits (storage space for your Outlook.com email increases monthly). But like Gmail it will target adverts at you based on your email messages. That’s really the only down side.

Find out more about Outlook.com.

Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Best free email service 2017: Yahoo! Mail

Yes, it still exists. A good-looking email web interface with occasionally unsightly adverts, Yahoo! is actually pretty useful. And you get 1GB of storage, free of charge.

You get the classic panel with inbox, sent, spam, trash and other folders, as well as a list of email on the right from the selected folder. You can preview messages and the folders themselves. And, of course, you can create folders and edit your folder list. You can auto sort messages into your folders by setting up filters.

You can open multiple emails in different tabs, and compose new messages in the same way. Each tab is in essence a new email browser. It works well.

Like Google and Microsoft’s email tools, you can import into Yahoo! other email accounts. We like Yahoo!, it is okay with us. But given the choice we would go with Outlook or Gmail.

Find out more about Yahoo! Mail.

Yahoo! Mail
Yahoo! Mail

Best free email service 2017: Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail is a pretty useful business-friendly email tool. You get the now expected multi-layer folders, labels, flag, and filters that allow you to organise your messages. One nice touch is the ability to share an entire folder with a colleague.

Streams is an interesting and potentially useful feature of Zoho Mail that brings social media style comments and likes into standard email. You can tag individual correspondents to untangle complicated multi-person email threads.

For free you get 5GB of storage for your mail, and 5GB for other files. The latter relates to the point that Zoho is principally a web-based office suite that has a calendar app and allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Zoho doesn’t charge or show ads, which is great. But it does attempt to get you to shell out. The free version allows emails of only up to 25MB, and doesn’t support Google Calendar. Shell out £2 a month and the Google Calendar restriction is lifted, you get twice the storage, and a 30MB email limit.

Even with the restrictions, however, Zoho Mail is a good free email service.

Find out more about Zoho Mail.

Zoho Mail

Best free email service 2017: Verdict

It is difficult to look beyond the big two of Gmail and Outlook. They offer the best software with good storage options, and easy-to-use and -customise interfaces. The only real objection could be for the privacy fan who wants ad-free email that cannot be read by the provider. Those people should look at encrypted email tools such as Protonmail and Tutanota. For everyone else, go claim that Gmail or Outlook address.

Best cloud storage service 2017 | Best online storage | Secure online storage | Cheap cloud storage

We find the best online storage services. The best, cheapest and secure cloud storage services of 2017. It’s Dropbox vs iCloud vs Amazon Cloud Drive vs Microsoft OneDrive and more.

These days we all have myriad files, photos, music and video cluttering up our inboxes. And multiple devices from which we want to access and edit those files. Here we outline the best 13 cloud storage services of 2016. We’ve listed them alphabetically, so read on: there is something for everyone. (See also: Best FREE VPNs of 2016 UK | Disguise identity, protect privacy | The 5 best FREE VPN services for UK users in 2016.)

Best cloud storage service 2017: Amazon Cloud Drive

Is there anything Amazon doesn’t sell? Certainly not storage, as the Everything Store’s Amazon Drive offers secure online storage, automatic photo backup, with access to your files from phone, computer or tablet.

It is well priced, too. You can start with 5GB of storage for free. And if you are a Prime subscriber, you get unlimited photo storage, for the duration of your Prime account. Another reason to sign up for Prime.

Other plans start at £6 a year for 20GB of storage, and £16 annually for 50GB. The 100GB plan costs £32 a year, and 200GB sets you back £64 a year. Spend £160 a year and you get 500GB, and the 1000GB option costs £320 a year. If, you know, storage is really your thing.

Amazon Drive
Best cloud storage service: Amazon Cloud Drive

Find out more about Amazon Cloud Drive

Best cloud storage service 2017: Box

A big name in cloud, Box promises all of your files, anywhere. Sign up for Box and you can store and share files, online or off, from any advice. According to Box you can view files in more than 120 formats, as well as saving them for offline access.

In-document search is a good features, as is the ability to keep your desktop-, web- and mobile content synched. And if you are an iOS user, you can instantly send photos or videos from your iPhone or iPad directly to Box. Pretty useful given the criminal lack of expandable storage on Apple’s pricey devices.

Speaking of price, with Box the free option offers you 10GB of storage, but can upload files of only 250MB. Shell out £7 per month and you get 100GB storage with a 5GB file upload image. Amazon is cheaper and offers more options, but Box offers an excellent service.

Box
Best cloud storage service: Box

Find out more about Box

Best cloud storage service 2017: Dropbox

The daddy of the cloud storage world, Dropbox offers a great range of cloud storage services at a good price. Get access to- and share all your files from anywhere, on any device. The desktop- and mobile apps offer a truly market-leading experience.

The free Basic account is barely worth the price, coming as it does with just 2GB of storage. You can upgrade to the 1TB plan for £7.99 per month.

Dropbox offers some interesting incentives, however. At the time of writing you can get 500MB of additional free storage for each friend you introduce: up to a decent limit of 16GB. There are other, similar free deals that can make Dropbox considerably more affordable.

Dropbox
Best cloud storage service: Dropbox

Find out more about DropboxFind out more about Dropbox

Best cloud storage service 2017: Google Drive

With Google Drive you get up to 15GB of free storage, spread across Drive, Gmail and Google Photos. Really, if you are a Gmail user it is a no-brain decision. It lets you save files from Gmail attachment and works beautifully with Google’s Docs, Slides and Sheets. There are desktop- and mobile apps, of course (and being Google the Android app is fully developed).

If 15GB isn’t enough you can upgrade to 100GB for £1.59 a month and 1TB for just £7.99 a month.

Google Drive
Best cloud storage service: Google Drive

Find out more about Google Drive

Best cloud storage service 2017: iCloud

Apple’s iCloud is limited in that although you can use it on Windows PC, there is no app for Android or Windows Phone. Sign up for free and you get 5GB of storage. You pay 79p per month for 50GB, £2.49 per month for 200GB, and £6.99 per month for 1TB.

It feels like a work in progress, however. iCloud Drive has some of the collaboration and storage features offered by rivals such as Dropbox. But it isn’t as good a user experience as are any of the services we have mentioned thus far.

If you’re an Apple Mac, iPad and iPhone user and are willing to pay at least 79p per month for the privilege then it could be a good tool for you.

Best cloud storage service: Apple iCloud
Best cloud storage service: Apple iCloud

Find out more about Apple iCloud

Best cloud storage service 2017: KnowHow Cloud

KowHow is the delivery, installation and repay branch of Currys and PC World, and KnowHow Cloud is the cloud storage service run by those high-street stores. So, good news: it is unlikely to take your money and disappear. Bad news: KnowHow is not a known software as a service provider. Just as well KnowHow Cloud is a rebadged service from reputable cloud specialist Livedrive.

Choose between three different levels of storage: 200GB, 2TB and 4TB. Then select the number of devices you want to use and the number of years for which you are prepared to sign up. Confused? Us too. It’s not bad value, though: 2TB of storage accessed from five devices will cost just £30 a year.Verdict

Once you are in KnowHow Cloud is easy to use with useful features. And it is secure. If you have a lot of data it may prove to be good value.

Best cloud storage service: KnowHow Cloud
Best cloud storage service: KnowHow Cloud

Find out more about KnowHow Cloud

Best cloud storage service 2017: MediaFire

MediaFire claims to store all your media, making it available to any time you want it, anywhere you go, on any device you have. Sound familiar?

You can access MediaFire files from web interface and mobile app, and you get up to 50GB of storage for free. So what is not to like? For a start, MediaFire started life as a file-sharing service, and its interface and feature set reflect these beginnings

Also, in truth you get only 10GB of storage for free, earning the other 40GB through a variety of simple tasks. The main limitation on the free service is that files can be only 200MB or less. And unless you pay you will see adverts when sharing files.

Pony up for a Pro account that costs only $4.99 a month for 1TB of space, up to 20GB file sizes, and no ads. Which is pretty sweet. MediaFire is simple to use if a little basic, but really well priced. Check it out.

Best cloud storage service: MediaFire
Best cloud storage service: MediaFire

Find out more about MediaFire

Best cloud storage service 2017: Mega

Mega is the cloud storage service from controversial Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. It calls itself ‘the privacy company’, and promises end-to-end encryption of your data and files. Mega can’t access your information, so it can’t give it away to government or worse.

The free package affords a whopping 50GB of space. If this isn’t enough you can upgrade to 500GB for only €99 a year, 2TB (€199), or 4TB (€299). You also get increased bandwidth with each additional package.

If security is important to you, Mega is a good value cloud storage service.

Best cloud storage service: Mega
Best cloud storage service: Mega

Find out more about Mega

Best cloud storage service 2017: Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft’s OneDrive is our final cloud storage service from the big boys of tech. It offers all the storage, access and sharing features of Google’s Drive or Amazon’s Cloud Drive. Namely – wherever you are, whatever device you are on, you can access your files via the web.

For free Microsoft coughs up a paltry, Amazon-like, 5GB of storage. Shell out £1.99 a month and you can upgrade to 50GB. If you are an Office 365 subscriber you get 1TB of storage as a free add on.

Being an existing user of Microsoft’s cloud tools may be the main reason to opt for OneDrive, because despite its ease of use, feature set and clean design it doesn’t really compete in terms of storage and price.

Best cloud storage service: Microsoft OneDrive
Best cloud storage service: Microsoft OneDrive

Find out more about OneDrive

Best cloud storage service 2017: Mozy

Mozy offers a very limited free service with just 2GB of storage space. You can get more via referrals, as is standard. Starting at £4.99 per month you can increase storage in what is a pretty standard online storage package. You can save to and access files from Windows and OS X, as well as iOS and Android devices.

Mozy comes into its own when it comes to security. The versioning support is good, local encryption is an important feature. Basically if you value security under keeping down costs, Mozy may be a good choice.

Best cloud storage service: Mozy
Best cloud storage service: Mozy

Find out more about Mozy

Best cloud storage service 2017: pCloud

pCloud describes itself as ‘your personal online storage space for your memorable photos and videos, your favorite music or important work documents’. It would.

In truth it is a fairly standard cloud storage service, offering access to files via smartphone or desktop app, or web browser. Out of the box the free version offers 10GB of storage, and you can upgrade to 20GB by various fairly painless means (recommend a friend, complete a tutorial etc).

500GB will set you back around $3.99 per month, while 1TB is available for around $7.99. This is good pricing. pCloud imposes no file size restrictions, so you can upload anything that your storage space allows. You can get additional security and encrypt your sensitive files with pCloud Crypto, too.

Best cloud storage service: pCloud
Best cloud storage service: pCloud

Find out more about pCloud

Best cloud storage service 2017: Spideroak

Our final two cloud storage services pride themselves on their security credentials. Spideroak encrypts files on your desktop before you upload them to the cloud, meaning like Mozy it can’t access your data even if it wanted to.

A central online hub takes care of sharing and accessing those encrypted files, and the experience is really rather slick.

Which is good, because you won’t choose Spideroak for reasons of value. The free trial lasts for only 60 days and gives you just 2GB of storage. Really it is a true trial. For $7 a month you can use 30GB of storage, which would be madness when for $12 you can get 1TB. $25 a month gets you 5TB of storage, and that should be enough for anyone.

Best cloud storage service: Spideroak
Best cloud storage service: Spideroak

Find out more about Spideroak

Best cloud storage service 2017: Tresorit

Tresorit describes itself as a business tool offering end-to-end encryption, and makes great play of its ability to thwart hackers. It sells itself on being able to share files amongst colleagues, and share and send them to clients. Oh, and the fact that it hasn’t been hacked.

Enterprise users need to get a specific quote for their business, but small businesses will pay £15 a month – per user – for 1TB of encrypted storage space. If you are a small business user with a need for security Tresorit is well worth a look.

Best cloud storage service: Tresorit
Best cloud storage service: Tresorit

Find out more about Tresorit

Read next: Best antivirus for PC | Best antivirus for laptop | Best security software for Windows

Best antivirus for Mac 2017 | Do Macs need antivirus?

We reveal the best antivirus for Mac. Best Mac antivirus and best Mac security software. Best security software for Apple Mac. PLUS: do Macs need antivirus? Why you need to install security software on your Mac.

Here’s how to secure any Mac. We rank and rate the best free and paid-for antivirus for Mac, and security software for Apple computers. It’s the best Mac antivirus of 2017.

(In a rush? Our current number one best Mac antivirus is Bitdefender for Mac. Click here to find out more about Bitdefender for Mac.)

6 best antivirus for Mac 2017

Best antivirus for Mac: 1. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

Bitdefender remains the undisputed leader of the pack in terms of Mac security. In AV-Test’s lab Bitdefender detected and protected against literally every piece of malware thrown at it. And it had no recognisable negative impact on performance.

Bitdefender costs from £39 for a one-year licence for a single Mac.

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

Click here to find out more about Bitdefender for Mac

Best antivirus for Mac: 2. ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac

ESET is another excellent Mac antivirus, offering exactly the same perfect protection as did Bitdefender in AV-Test’s lab. It also causes very little grief to Mac performance, but loses out of Bitdefender on the basis of a tiny amount of system impact.

ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac costs from £39 a year for a single Mac.

ESET Cyber Security Pro
ESET Cyber Security Pro

Click here to find out more about ESET for Mac

Best antivirus for Mac: 3. eScan Anti-Virus Security for Mac

Cheaper than both ESET and Bitdefenr is ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac. This program offers perfect protection, as do those other Mac antivirus packages. So what is the catch? Sadly, eScan takes quite a hit on your Mac’s performance. Or at least that is what AV-Test’s report suggests.

If you can stand that system impact, ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac costs only £23 for a one-year licence for one Mac.

eScan Anti-Virus Security for Mac
eScan Anti-Virus Security for Mac

Click here to find out more about eScan for Mac

Best antivirus for Mac: 4. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac

Kaspersky ‘failed’ to hit a perfect protection score in AV-Test’s lab, picking up a mere 99.17 percent of the net nasties chucked its way. And although it had more of an impact on system performance than either Bitdefender or ESET, this excellent Mac antivirus has nothing like the impact of eScan, according the AV-Test lab results.

You can pick up a one-year, single-user licence of Kaspersky for Mac for £39.

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac
Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac

Click here to find out more about Kaspersky for Mac

Best antivirus for Mac: 5. Symantec Norton Security for Mac

Security giant Symantec will likely be unhappy that Norton ranks only fifth in AV-Test’s run-down of the best Mac antivirus programs, but it is a really close-run thing. Norton picked up 99.17 percent of the filth AV-Test threw at it, which is by any stretch a good result. Its system impact was about the same as Kaspersky’s – a little more impact on some elements, less on others. Let’s call it joint fourth.

A two-year, one-device licence of Symantec Norton Security for Mac costs £39.

Symantec Norton Security for Mac
Symantec Norton Security for Mac

Click here to find out more about Norton for Mac

Best antivirus for Mac: 6. Mac Premium Bundle X9

It is not cheap, and according to some independent tests doesn’t offer the very best security against known or zero-day threats, but the £69.99 Intego offers an unsurpassed feature set.

Antivirus, anti-phishing and anti-spyware are a given, as is firewall network protection even outside your home. You may appreciate the parental controls with website and application blocking, and there are also backup and Mac speed up functions.

Intego Mac Premium Bundle
Intego Mac Premium Bundle

Click here to find out more about Intego Mac Premium Bundle

Now let’s look at the best Mac security freebies.

4 best free antivirus for Mac

Best free antivirus for Mac: 1. AVG Antivirus FREE

In AV-Test’s lab AVG offered perfect protection against known and unknown threats. And its system impact was middle of the pack – great for s free Mac antivirus.

AVG Antivirus FREE
AVG Antivirus FREE

Click here to find out more about AVG for Mac

Best free antivirus for Mac: 2. Sophos Home FREE

Another free Mac antivirus that picked up 99.17 of malware in AV-Test’s lab, Sophos didn’t do too badly at all on the system impact test, either.

Sophos Home FREE
Sophos Home FREE

Click here to find out more about Sophos for Mac

Best free antivirus for Mac: 3. Avast Free Mac Security

Only just behind AVG is Avast, protecting against 99.17 of known and unknown threats in AV-Test’s lab. System impact wasn’t great on test however, in particular when downloading test files. Still, free is free, right?

Avast Free Mac Security
Avast Free Mac Security

Click here to find out more about Avast for Mac

Best free antivirus for Mac: 4. Avira Free Antivirus for Mac

Avira picked up a respectable amount of the malware AV-Test exposed it to in the lab, protecting against around 93 percent of threats. That’s good, but you don’t want 7 percent of viruses infecting your Mac. Nor do you want the system impact that Avira saddled the Mac with on AV-Test’s watch.

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac
Avira Free Antivirus for Mac

Find out more about Avira for Mac

Best antivirus for Mac: Do Macs need antivirus?

Simply, yes. Many people will tell you the opposite, of course. And it is true that the threat is much less urgent if you are a Mac user than those Windows-using clowns. But if you have a Mac you care about, and it is connected to the web, you ought to install security software.

Macs are less vulnerable than are Windows PCs and laptops for two reasons. Firstly, there are fewer Macs. All cybercrime is based on plucking low-hanging fruit, so the much larger group of Windows users in the world is a much bigger target. That may change, however, as the Apple user base grows. Lest we forget, Macs are expensive so Apple users are a lucrative target.

Which brings us to the other point: Macs are harder to attack than are Windows PCs. That’s because the Mac OS (previously OS X) is a UNIX operating system, built in the dim-and-distant past on a UNIX derivative. This means that it is sandboxed. Unlike a Windows PC or laptop, if a crook infects a Mac in one area, they can’t get it all. Not easily, anyway.

This makes Macs less attractive to hackers. But that is a long way from making them invulnerable. So if you value your computer and the information on it, get yourself some security software. These are the best.

We base our ranking on the most recent AV-Test group review of Mac antivirus products, as well as price and ease of use. The tests look at efficacy in terms of detecting and destroying known and unknown web threats, and the impact each program has on system performance. We’ve split the best Mac antivirus products into those you pay for and free Mac antivirus. In general the best free products offer high levels of protection, but tend to have a greater negative impact on system performance when compared to their paid brethren.

Windows users should read our piece: Best antivirus for PC | Best antivirus for laptop | Best security software for Windows.

Best FREE VPNs of 2017 | Disguise identity, protect privacy | The 5 best FREE VPN services for UK users in 2017

We test the best free virtual private network tools. Surf the web with privacy, with VPN private browsing. And spoof US IP address with a free VPN. Best free VPNs.

And if you want to know why you might need a free VPN, see our piece How to watch US Netflix from the UK.

Best FREE VPNs of 2017 UK: CyberGhost

CyberGhost is our favourite free VPN service, with servers in a variety of countries including the UK and the US, as well as many European territories. There is an excellent paid-for Premium version of CyberGhost offering users the choice of 24 countries, but the free tool is excellent, offering access to 14 countries. Unusually CyberGhost says that it doesn’t limit bandwidth for free users. That is a big win. As is the speed we have enjoyed when browsing through CyberGhost.

Indeed, there are only a couple of restrictions on the free version of CyberGhost, and neither is particularly onerous. You can’t use the free CyberGhost on iPad or iPhone, for instance. And with the free version you’ll be logged out after three hours of browsing. In our tests you could log in again immediately, however.

CyberGhost FREE
CyberGhost FREE

Find out more about CyberGhost.

Best FREE VPNs of 2017 UK: Opera

Our second favourite free VPN is… the Opera web browser. Yup, this free web browser includes a VPN client. It offers a free VPN with no limit on the amount of data you use per month.

At the time of writing you can pick server sites from only US, Canada or Germany. In our tests it works really well. Simply go to the O menu, then Settings, then Privacy & Security and toggle the free VPN on.

Opera VPN
Opera VPN

Find out more about Opera VPN

Best FREE VPNs of 2017 UK: Total VPN

Total VPN is a brilliant paid-for VPN service, but the freebie – although good – can’t stack up to CyberGhost. The paid-for Total Premium costs £5.99 per month.

Total VPN Free VPN offers you only three locations, limited bandwidth, limited data transfer and one device connection. The Premium version offers more than 30 locations, unrestricted bandwidth and transfers, three device connections and more.

Total VPN
Total VPN

Find out more about Total VPN

Best FREE VPNs of 2017 UK: Tunnel Bear

Tunnel Bear is another great paid-for VPN service with a so-so free offering. The service operates servers in US, UK, Canada, Germany, France and Japan. There is one in Australia too, but this is for paid customers only.

The free version has a data allocation of 500MB (although you can increase this to 1GB by asking Tunnel Bear via Twitter. Yeah, weird). When we used it web speed was pretty good. The paid-for version offers unlimited data and extends the service to smartphones and tablets.

TunnelBear
TunnelBear

Find out more about Tunnel Bear

Best FREE VPNs of 2017 UK: PrivateTunnel

The free version of PrivateTunnel is limited to just 100 MB of data when you first try it. Consider it a trial rather than a viable service. Still, it is worth trying because after the free trial as you use more data you simply pay for the amount of data you use. There is no limit on the number of devices you can use, and no time limit within which to use the data. There are prices for 50GB, 100GB and 500GB.

You can choose between servers in the UK or US, Canada, the Netherlands or Switzerland. Download speeds were steady without being the fastest.

PrivateTunnel
PrivateTunnel

Find out more about PrivateTunnel

Best FREE VPNs of 2017 UK: Verdict

There really is no reason not to try CyberGhost. It’s a great VPN tool with a free version that has very little in the way of restrictions. Indeed, the only reason not to plump straight for CyberGhost is that the Opera VPN tool may satisfy your needs. And the restriction there is just that you have to use a very good web browser – but not the web browser of your choosing. The other tools are great if you are paying, but the free versions are cut down too much to be truly competitive free tools.

See also: Best antivirus for Windows.

7 best power banks | How to charge your phone wherever you are – best power banks

Read our reviews of the eight best portable chargers you can buy for your phone or tablet. Simply, the best power banks you can buy.

Until the smartphone battery is radically improved, it’ll be impossible to get a full day’s work out of your mobile. This is annoying, but help is at hand in the shape of the humble power bank. A power bank is a portable battery. A gadget roughly the size of phone that you charge from the plug, and then acts as a second battery from which you can charge your devices wherever you are.

Portable, stylish and oh so useful. Power banks are great. But not all are made equal. So here is our list of the best power banks you can buy.

Best power banks: Anker PowerCore 10000

The Anker’s chief calling card is its low, low price. It is not the fastest charger or the biggest capacity, and it has no LCD screen, but at £20 it is staggeringly good value. Portable and stylish, it will charge your phone quickly without ruining the lining of your suit.

Anker PowerCore 10000
Anker PowerCore 10000

Find out more about the Anker PowerCore 1000
Buy the Anker PowerCore 1000 from Amazon

Best power banks: Zendure A2

Less than a tenner more than the Anker is the Zendure A2. Another cheap but very cheerful portable charger. The Zendure is compact, good-looking, andfast. It’s extremely durable, and has a hefty capacity that allows you to charge a phone multiple times on one charge.

Zendure A2
Zendure A2

Find out more about the Zendure A2
Buy the Zendure A2 from Amazon


Best power banks: Omnicharge Omni 13

Let’s step up to a higher state of power bank – with a price to match. The Omnicharge Omni 13 will set you back more than £100, but it is worth every penny. It has all the bells and whistles, including and LCD that lets you know exactly what is happening at every step of the day. And there is pretty much nothing with a plug that the Omnicharge can’t charge, or indeed take a charge from.

Omni 13
Omni 13

Find out more about the Omnicharge Omni 13


Best power banks: RavPower PowerStation Series 20100mAh Portable Power Outlet

The Omnicharge’s closest rival is this beast from RavPower. Slightly cheaper, it offers similar levels of flexibility and power. But it lacks the LCD screen, and at this price that is a shame.

RavPower PowerStation
RavPower PowerStation

Find out more about the RavPower PowerStation Series 20100mAh Portable Power Outlet 
Buy the RavPower PowerStation Series 20100mAh Portable Power Outlet from Amazon

Best power banks: Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank

This brilliantly priced device is an absolute bargain. The £16 Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank has similar power and portability to the top two power banks in this chart. Indeed, it ranks this lowly only because it is tricky to get hold of in the UK.

Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank
Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank

Find out more about the Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank
Buy the Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank from Amazon

Best power banks: DXPower Armor DX0001

Despite its relatively low price, the DXPower Armor DX0001 power bank offers a killer feature: it is rugged. You can drag it through dust and mud and it will come up smiling. It’s even waterproof, so long as it is not charging – but then there aren’t many plugs in the sea.

DXPower Armor DX0001
DXPower Armor DX0001

Buy the DXPower Armor DX0001 from Amazon 


Best power banks: CHJGD Magnum Opus

The Magnum Opus is the portable power bank for this who want lots of power for not lots of money. It’s not the most stylish or portable charger, but it gets the job done and has additional features such as an LCD screen.

CHJGD Magnum Opus
CHJGD Magnum Opus

Buy the CHJGD Magnum Opus from Amazon 

So there you have. Seven great power banks you can buy today. Portable charges for smartphones, tablets and more. Each of these power banks offers something a little different from the others. All come highly recommended.

10 Best Powerline adapter starter kits 2017 – Boost your broadband with the best Powerline adapters you can buy

Powerline technology can revolutionise your home, bringing speedy downloads and fast Internet access to the farthest corners of your house. Here we explain the simply speedy home-network technology (relax, it’s super easy to install) and pick our ten favourite Powerline adapter starter kits.

Best Powerline adapters: the problems Powerline solves

Many houses these days have more than just their laptop or PC crying out for Internet access. Smart TVs connect to catch-up TV and movie-download services, games consoles are the gateway to multi-player action, and all sorts of smart-home devices need to be linked to your home network and mobile devices.

Yet most homes boast just one lonely wireless Internet router, whose job it is to pump out data to all these devices, often located rooms away from its position tied to the telephone line and modem.

Wi-Fi is great but even at relatively short distances it starts to wane in its powers to shift data around where it’s most needed. When you’re trying to download a high-definition movie or keep up with the action in a multi-player game (or worse, both) a fading Wi-Fi signal is not helping you maintain an even mood.

Wired access to the Internet is what you need, but no one wants to snake metres of Ethernet cable round their house. That coil of cables near your router is ugly enough, and power and HDMI cables already lurk behind your TV.

The answer is Powerline, an amazingly simple yet effective means of creating a near-invisible yet speedy home network.

Powerline, as the name suggests, uses the power lines/cables that already exist in your house. If you have more than one wall-mounted power socket you can use Powerline to solve your data-distribution problems.

how-powerline-works-house

Best Powerline adapters: how does Powerline work? Simple plug-&-play set up

Powerline uses the mains wiring in your home as proxy Ethernet cables, taking the data from your Internet router into rooms any distance away from your modem/router without losing signal strength to the same degree as Wi-Fi.

Data (that movie / web page / streaming music / gameplay you’re downloading) runs from the router not just to the connected computer but also to the base Powerline adapter that you simply plug into a nearby wall power socket and connect via Ethernet cable to the router.

Now take the second Powerline adapter and plug it into a wall socket near the devices that require fast Internet access. You then connect this second adapter to those devices via the supplied Ethernet cable, and you’ve got yourself a fast home network.

Powerline set up is as easy as that. Plug in the adapters and connect one to the router and the other to your TV, etc. It really is Plug & Play. Any power outlet becomes a potential Internet connection. You can add multiple Powerline adapters around your house, but two will be plenty for most of us.

powerline-graphic

Best Powerline adaptors: Powerline explained -what’s in the box

You need a Powerline Starter Kit to begin with. This will include at least two Powerline adapters: one base adapter for the room where you keep your Internet router, and the other for the room where you need the fast wired Ethernet access for TV, Sky box, Tivo DVR, games console, laptop, and so on.

These adapters are often exactly the same. Sometimes the base unit has less Ethernet ports as you only really need one here to connect the Powerline with the router.

Each starter kit should also include two Ethernet cables. If you want to connect more than one Internet-hungry device you may need to buy more cables.

powerline-ethernet-ports

Powerline Ethernet ports: Consider how many Ethernet ports you need at either end of your Powerline set up. If you want to connect more than one device (smart TV, Sky/Tivo, games console, etc) then having more than one Ethernet port is important. It’s not essential, though, as you can add an Ethernet Switch (such as the xx) that operates as a hub with multiple Ethernet ports, and may well save you money on the pricier multi-port Powerlines. But if you need just two or three then having that number on the second adapter is your easiest solution.

Ethernet comes in different flavours and strengths. 10/100 Ethernet is the most common, but will limit any speed to 100Mbps. Stronger Gigabit Ethernet removes that limit, and is a must-have for faster 1,200Mbps and faster Powerline sets. Thankfully, all these faster Powerline starter kits we tested do include Gigabit Ethernet ports and cables.

powerline-wifi

Powerline Wi-Fi: The second unit may also offer wireless functionality – the ability to add a new Wi-Fi hotspot in a different part of your house. This is handy if your wireless connection is particularly weak in your house away from the wireless router. It creates a new Wi-Fi hotspot, using the strong signal from the Powerline rather than merely “extending” the weak signal as you get with so-called Wi-Fi extenders.

The best Powerlines allow you to “clone” the wireless signals so both appear to be from the same source – meaning you use just the one password.

powerline-pass-through-sockets

Powerline pass-through sockets: Look out for adapters that feature a pass-through socket; that is, a power socket on the front so that the adapter doesn’t use up one of your valuable wall sockets. There is also some evidence that a pass-through socket will shield the adapter from electrical noise that could weaken a signal.

Don’t try to cut corners by plugging the Powerline adapter into a power strip, as that will reduce its performance.

Best Powerline adapters: Powerline manufacturers

There are many makes of Powerline adapter. The most respected are from Devolo, TP-Link, Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, TrendNet, Solwise, and Zyxel. Some are branded by broadband providers. For example, BT has a range of Powerline adapters.

All adapters that are certified to the HomePlug standard are compatible and work together, regardless of manufacturer.

Best Powerline adapters: Powerline speed reality and myth

Powerline starter kits are available in a range of speeds. The original 200Mbps Powerlines were superseded by 500Mbps kits, so this should be your minimum speed for a Powerline. Later, faster 1,200Mbps-rated Powerlines will further increase your network speed.

But, and this is an important point, you will not get 1,200Mbps from one of those Powerline set ups, and you won’t get 500Mbps from a 500Mbps-rated Powerline.

These rated speeds are theoretical maximum speeds only. All sorts of environmental factors will pull back Powerline performance; distance, the state and age of your home’s electrical wiring, other electric devices in your house, and much more.

In our testing environment (a three-storey Victorian house) we struggled to get over 70Mbps on many Powerlines, but you may get faster (or slower) performance depending on your house and its wiring.

Don’t despair, though, as 70-100Mbps is going to be a marked improvement on using a weak Wi-Fi signal to download movies, play games, etc.

Best Powerline adapters: Best budget Powerline

zyxel-hd-powerline-adapter

ZyXel 500Mbps Powerline Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Speed: 500Mbps

Wi-Fi: No

Pass-Through socket: No

Ethernet: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet per adapter

RRP: £79.99

Amazon price: £57.40

Amazon.com price: $34.95

This Powerline starter kit of two 500Mbps adapters has a retail price of £79 (US$) but are available from Amazon for just £29.99.

It’s basic in features – no extra Wi-Fi, no pass-through sockets and just the one Ethernet port per adapter – but it achieved more than respectable speeds in our real-world tests. The ports are Gigabit Ethernet, too, which means potential speeds aren’t limited by the older 10/100 Ethernet standard.

The adapters are dinky little things so you’ll hardly notice them.

 

netgear-powerline-1200-plp1200-adapters

Netgear PLP1200 Powerline

Speed: 1,200Mbps

Wi-Fi: No

Pass-Through socket: Yes, on each adapter

Ethernet: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet per adapter

RRP: £79.99

Amazon price: £59.99

Amazon.com price: £75.30

Again, the online discounts on this Powerline starter kit are impressive. Instead of the £79 list price we’ve seen this on Amazon for just £44.99.

It’s the faster 1,200Mbps Powerline, so the price looks even better, and you get pass-through sockets on both adapters. It is restricted a bit by having just one Ethernet port per adapter but you can add an Ethernet Switch to create more ports if you need them. There’s no added Wi-Fi functionality, but if that doesn’t bother you this is a bargain set.

 

trendnet-500-av2-powerline-adapters_thumb800

 

TrendNet Powerline 500AV2

Speed: 500Mbps

Wi-Fi: Optional

Pass-Through socket: No

Ethernet: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet per adapter

RRP: £68.99; £69.99 with Wi-Fi

Amazon price: £62.49; with WiFi, £42.98

Amazon.com price: $79.98; with WiFi, $70.99

The TrendNet Powerline AV2 Adapter Kit (TPL-408E2K) comes with the two standard adapters – each of which has one Gigabit Ethernet port. The TrendNet Powerline 500 Wireless Kit (TPL-410APK), however, boasts not just an extra Wi-Fi hotspot but two Ethernet ports on the second-room adapter (although of the slower 10/100 variety of Ethernet). The non-Wi-Fi model was super-fast wired, even rivalling some of the 1,200-rated Powerlines we tested. This is a very speedy set of Powerline adapters for a bargain price. At the time of writing the Wi-Fi model was actually cheaper than the one without!

 

tp-link-av500-powerline-adapters_thumb800

TP-Link AV500 TL-WPA4230P Powerline

Speed: 500Mbps

Wi-Fi: Yes

Pass-Through socket: Yes, on each adapter

Ethernet: 2 x 10/100 Ethernet on base adapter, 3 x 10/100 Ethernet ports on second adapter

RRP: £89.99

Amazon price: £59.99

This budget 500Mbps starter kit has all the Powerline bells and whistles: multiple Ethernet ports, the ability to create a new Wi-Fi hotspot in your home, and pass-through sockets on both adapters. The TL-WPA4230P KIT is actually two separate adapters boxed as a starter kit. The base unit, which you plug into your internet router, is the TL-PA4020P, with two Ethernet ports. The second adapter, which sits near your TV, Sky box etc, is the TL-WPA4230P, with three Ethernet ports and the Wi-Fi hotspot.


Best Powerline adapters: Best fast Powerline

tp-link-pa9020p-kit-powerline_thumb800

TP-Link AV2000 2-Port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline

Speed: 1,200Mbps

Wi-Fi: No

Pass-Through socket: Yes, on both adapters

Ethernet: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per adapter

RRP: £99.99

Amazon price: £99.95

Amazon.com price: $138.99

This Powerline starter kit claims it’s even faster than the latest 1,200Mbps standard, achieved by some clever tech tricks. We’re not absolutely sure about that but we do know that it performed very well in our tests – indeed was the fastest we’ve tried out. The two Gigabit Ethernet ports and pass-through sockets per adapter are handy, although there’s no extra Wi-Fi hotspot created using these adapters.

 

solwise-1200-powerline-800

Solwise SmartLink 1200AV2 HomePlug Powerline

Speed: 1,200Mbps

Wi-Fi: No

Pass-Through socket: Yes, on both adapters

Ethernet: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per adapter

RRP: £81 (two adapters)

Amazon price: £37.76 (price for one adapter, you need two)

You need to buy two of these Powerline adapters as there’s no starter kit available, so watch out for that if buying online. It’s not the best in looks but matches and beats some of the other 1,200Mbps-rated Powerlines in performance. The two Gigabit Ethernet ports and pass-through sockets per adapter are a plus, but there’s no extra Wi-Fi hotspot. Buy two (or more) and the price is one of the best available.

 

devolo-dlan-1200-powerline-kit_thumb800

Devolo 1200+ WiFi ac Powerline Starter Kit

Speed: 1,200Mbps

Wi-Fi: Yes

Pass-Through socket: Yes, on both adapters

Ethernet: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per adapter

RRP: £159.99

Amazon price: £134

This Powerline starter kit has it all: two Gigabit Ethernet adapters and pass-through sockets on both adapters, plus the ability to create a new, strong Wi-Fi hotspot in the second room. There’s a cheaper version with just one Gigabit Ethernet port and no Wi-Fi but we like the fully featured version for the bells and whistles.

 

tp-link-powerline-wpa8630p

TP-Link AV1200 Gigabit Powerline Wi-Fi Starter Kit (WPA8630P)

Speed: 1,200Mbps

Wi-Fi: Yes

Pass-Through socket: Yes, on both adapters

Ethernet: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet on base adapter; 3 x Gigabit Ethernet on second

RRP: £124.99 / US$164.99

Amazon price: £99.99

Amazon.com price: $139.99

This Powerline starter kit has everything the Devolo 1200+ WiFi starter kit has, plus a third Gigabit Ethernet port on the second adapter, although just the one on the base unit. The second room is usually where you need multiple Ethernet ports. If you can live without the extra Wi-Fi then the TL-PA8030P version (RRP: 89 and Amazon price around £70) is great value and with even more Gigabit Ethernet ports (three per adapter).

 

trendnet-500-av2-powerline-adapters_thumb800

TrendNet Powerline 500AV2

Speed: 500Mbps

Wi-Fi: Optional

Pass-Through socket: No

Ethernet: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet per adapter

RRP: £48; £69.99 with Wi-Fi

Amazon price: £62.49; with WiFi, £42.98

Amazon.com price: $79.98; with WiFi, $70.99

Although rated at only 500Mbps the TrendNet Powerline AV2 Adapter Kit (TPL-408E2K) rivalled some of the 1,200-rated Powerlines we tested, and so gets in both our Best Budget Powerlines and Best Fast Powerlines listings. It comes with the two standard adapters – each of which has one Gigabit Ethernet port. The TrendNet Powerline 500 Wireless Kit (TPL-410APK) boasts not just an extra Wi-Fi hotspot but two Ethernet ports on the second-room adapter but uses the slower 10/100 variety of Ethernet so is not as fast as the fully wired model.

How to build apps for iPhone | Learn to code iPhone apps with these 5 best Swift coding courses

Here we show you how to learn to write Swift. The 5 best courses for learning Swift, how to code iPhone apps, and how to learn to code. Here’s how to build iPhone apps.

Swift is Apple’s coding language, designed to make it easy for anyone to build apps for Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad. ‘Easy’ is a relative term, however. Although Swift and Xcode are freely available vi the Apple app store, and that will help you get started.

If you are not a professional coder you will likely need some kind of support to get grips with Swift. But such support is readily available. In this article we outline the best free and paid-for courses that will help anyone build iPhone apps with Swift.

How to write apps for iPhone: 10 best courses for Swift

There are loads of courses that will help you to learn to build iPhone apps. But not all such courses are made equal. In all cases you will need motivation, and discipline.

We recommend the Udemy course as it is the best, if not the cheapest, offering the best chance of you making it. But we present all options so that you can make the right decision for you.

How to write apps for iPhone: Apple Swift developer resources

Every aspiring iPhone app writer should start by visiting Apple’s Swift developer resource page. Here you can download Xcode 8 and get started with Swift 3. Use the migrator in Xcode 8 to convert your existing Swift code to use the new Swift 3 features and syntax. You’ll find sample code, and links to reference material.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what means. You will if you keep reading.

How to write apps for iPhone: Udemy

Hands down the best way to learn Swift is to take this hugely popular and well reviewed course via the Udemy learning site. The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course is brand new for Apple’s latest iOS, but has already garnered rave reviews from some of its tens of thousands of students.

Udemy courses are normally very expensive, and this one retails for £200. That is good value if you are a novice coder who is serious about writing apps for iPhone. But if the price makes you balk right now there is an amazing offer by which you can do this course for just £19. Take advantage!

You should also check out some of Udemy’s other iPhone app writing courses.

Udemy iPhone app writing course
Udemy iPhone app writing course

How to write apps for iPhone: Lynda.com

Lynda.com is the doyen of the online education world, and as you might expect it has courses that will help you to learn to code iPhone apps.

You will find a tonne of such courses here, but for the beginner we particularly recommend iOS 10 App Development Essentials 1: Create Your First App. It is short, and easy to follow, but gives you all the basics.

Lynda is a subscription service, and after a free 10-day trial it costs £22.95 a month or £227 a year. If you are serious about learning to code for iPhone, that year-long deal may make sense given the sheer volume of iOS coding courses included.

Lynda iPhone app writing course
Lynda iPhone app writing course

How to write apps for iPhone: Totsplus

A much cheaper option that will suit those on a budget but doesn’t offer as much depth as Udemy, is Totsplus. We like this course Learn iOS SDK Development From Scratch, and you can sign up for just $15. Pretty cheap, even post Brexit.

Totsplus iPhone app writing course
Totsplus iPhone app writing course

How to write apps for iPhone: iTunes U

Our final option is to use Apple’s own iTunes U. Here, via iTunes you can get access to course materials, videos and resources that will help the motivated iPhone coding newbie get to grips with Swift.

We like this one, and this one.

It’s inexpensive, and a little like guesting at a university. You can sit in on lectures and download and use all the resources you need. But you have to set your own pace and mark your own work, and this can be a little lonely.

How to download YouTube videos | How to download YouTube videos to iPhone | How to download YouTube videos to Android

How to download YouTube videos. Download YouTube clips to iPhone, Android and more. 

We show you how to download any YouTube video to your iPhone, or Android phone. The methods aren’t straightforward, but that is the nature of the beast. Google doesn’t really want you to download someone else’s copyright material, and it isn’t going to make it easy for you to do so.

Fortunately, we are here to show you how to download YouTube videos. How to download YouTube clips to iPhone, and how to download YouTube clips to Android. (See also: How to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone.)

How to download YouTube videos to iPhone

This is much more involved than you might expect. But the process is basically install a media download app, find the URL of your preferred video, and then get the one to suck down the other. There are some clunky limitations here, so if you find a better way to do it please let us know.

On your iPhone, go to the App Store and search for ‘Documents 5’. Documents 5 is a free app that is useful for this exact purpose, although it isn’t straightforward – Apple doesn’t like to be seen to be promoting the downloading of copyright content. Install Documents 5, launch the app, and tap the bottom-right icon (it looks like the Safari compass).

This will display a web browser where you can search for ‘savefromnet’. Find ‘en.savefrom.net‘ in the search results, and tap it.

No you need to find the URL of the YouTube video you wish to download. Either find it via your iPhone web browser, or open the YouTube app. Then find the video you want, tap it to show the controls and hit the share icon (the bendy arrow pointing right). One of the options is ‘Copy Link’, and that is the one you want.

Once you have copied the link, return to the Documents 5 app. It is best to do this, the download stage, on Wi-Fi. Much data will be used here. Tap in the white box to select it, then tap again to bring up the Paste option. Paste in the video URL you copied from YouTube.

Download YouTube clips to iPhone
Download YouTube clips to iPhone

Now hit the green tick. You will see a list of resolutions. Choose the quality you want, remembering that higher quality means a bigger file on your phone. When you have chosen a quality that suits, hit the relevant green link, give your video file a name, and hit done. The video will now download to the Downloads section of the Documents 5 app.

Apple really isn’t going to make this easy for you, so you can’t then save the video file to your native Video app. But you can move it to the Camera Roll, by tapping holding the video file, and then dragging it to the Camera Roll. Head to that app to watch it any time you want. (Also see: How to stop running out of data on iPhone.)

How to download YouTube videos to Android

As with iPhone there are free apps available that help here. In this case they make it easier, because Android is more open than is iOS. However, it’s not all gravy. The app we are using isn’t on the Google Play store. Such is life. Follow our instructions and you will be okay.

The app is TubeMate: head to tubemate.net on your Android browser, and click to download a recent version from the provided list of verified sites. Your Android pone will want you that the file downloading can harm your device – this is only because it is software from outside the Play store. It’s cool. But you do have to open up your Android’s permissions.

Go to Settings, Security, and enable the option to allow installation from unknown sources. You will be warned again, but click through this. And remember to reverse this process when you have installed TubeMate.

Now install TubeMate. Use a File Manager to navigate to your phone’s Downloads folder, and find the relevant .apk file. Tap the file to begin the installation.

Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7

TubeMate will prompt you to agree to some permissions, so do so and click Install. Once it is installed, tap Open. Accept the Terms of Use. Once TubeMate launches, use the Search option to find the YouTube video you want to download and select it. At the top of the screen you’ll see a green arrow – tap this.

You will be offered a range of quality options for your download. Quality means big, remember. And also it makes sense to be on Wi-Fi at this stage. Make your choice and press the Download button.

Once your video has downloaded you’ll see a notification in the drop-down bar at the top of the screen. Tap it and TubeMate will open. Swipe in from the right to access your downloaded videos, or use the three dots icon at the top right and select Download List. Either way tap on any video to begin playing it.

The video files themselves are automatically saved into your smartphone’s Video folder. So you can move them from your device on to a PC and then another device. (See also: How to fix Android insufficient storage available error message.)

TubeMate
TubeMate

How to unlock iPhone: Use any SIM in iPhone | Unlock iPhone 6S | Unlock iPhone 7

We explain how to unlock any iPhone. How to unlock iPhone 6S, unlock iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and more. Here’s how to use any SIM in your iPhone.

Unlock your iPhone: Is your phone locked?

If you purchased your iPhone new in 2016 the chances are it is already unlocked. Huzzah! But check by first inserting a SIM from a network different to the one you use.

If it doesn’t work: you need to unlock your iPhone. (Error messages to look out for include ‘Invalid SIM’, ‘SIM Card Not Accepted’, or ‘Insert Correct SIM Card’. (See also: How to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone | Transfer backup from old iPhone to new iPhone.)

Unlock your iPhone: What kind of SIM?

So, your iPhone is locked to one network, and you need to unlock it. The first issue with which you need to wrestle is what size of SIM you need.

If you have an iPhone 4S or older you will need a MicroSIM. The iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE use a nanoSIM. Before you go for the unlock make sure you source the right size.

Unlock your iPhone: Is it legal to unlock iPhone?

Yes! Well, yes mostly. It is legal to unlock your iPhone if you bought it outright, or you have finished paying the contract with which you bought it from a network.

Do bear in mind that if you are still in contract you haven’t technically bought your phone – it still belongs to the network. If in doubt, contact the network.

Unlock your iPhone: Use a third-party unlocking service

Ideally you should use the network to which your phone is locked to unlock it. This is the simplest and cheapest way to do it. Below we have listed out how to unlock phones from all the major UK networks.

If for some reason you don’t want to do that, you could use a third-party unlocking service. There are myriad of these online. Our only real advice is to read all of the small print. There are often hidden charges. And once your phone is under the control of a third-party, you may have no choice but to pay the (legal) surprising fee they are charging you. Better to go through the network. We’ve listed them alphabetically.

How to speed up iPhone
How to unlock iPhone

How to unlock iPhone on 3

Three says that iPhones purchased from it after 1 January 2014 will be unlocked as soon as connected to iTunes or activated over WiFi.

To unlock an iPhone running iOS 7 or above that wasn’t purchased from Three in that time you need to back it up, put in the new SIM, connect it to iTunes and do a safe restore.

If in doubt fill out Three’s online form.

How to unlock iPhone from EE, Orange and T-Mobile

Bought an iPhone from EE? The company says you need to have had your account for at least six months and be fully paid up. So far so nice, but EE says it’ll take up to 20 days to unlock your iPhone. Oh, and it will charge you £8.99 for the privilege. Oh, and if you aren’t an iPhone EE customer but have an iPhone locked to EE, your only option is to chance it with a third-party service. Sorry.

The process itself is simple if you are still an EE customer: just fill out this online form.

How to unlock iPhone on O2

Like EE, O2 simply requires you to fill out an online form. O2 Pay Monthly customers can unlock their iPhones at any time, but they remain on the hook for the full cost of the contract. So probably don’t do that.

O2 says it will now unlock all iPhones for free, however. So that bit won’t cost you.

If you’re not an O2 customer, simply put a non-O2 SIM card into your iPhone, plug it into your computer and open iTunes.

How to unlock iPhone from Tesco Mobile

Good news for Tesco Mobile customers: you can unlock your Tesco iPhone by calling 0345 301 4455, and choosing the “unlock your mobile” option. You’ll get a code with which to unlock your handset.

The bad news is that Tesco says it will only provide you with this code if you have been a subscriber for at least 12 months. Bummer.

How to unlock iPhone from Virgin Mobile

Recent iPhones purchased from Virgin Mobile should be unlocked. Some older iPhones may be technically locked, but Virgin advises to update the software to a recent iOS and it should automatically unlock. If for any reason you can’t do that a full restore should solve the problem. Still having problems, contact Virgin Mobile.

How to unlock iPhone on Vodafone

Like EE Vodafone says it requires you to either be the iPhone subscriber, or to know all of the details of the person who purchased it. With those details, it is simply a case of filling in this online form.

Unlocking through Vodafone is free if you are a contract subscriber and you’ve had your plan with the company for more than 12 months. Otherwise it’s £19.99.

Voda says it will get you sorted within 48 hours, but caveats this by saying it could take up to 10 days.

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