10 Best Powerline adapter starter kits 2016/2017 – 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.

 

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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

10 best antivirus for Mac | Do Macs need antivirus? Best free Mac 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.

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.

6 best antivirus for Mac

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

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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