At some point in your life, you will need or want to save an important voicemail. Maybe it's the last message you received from a loved one or important information. Regardless, you want to make sure you do not lose that voice mail.
All voicemails are stored in your voice mail box, but storage is limited by space and age. So, your voice mail box is not a good long-term storage option. Additionally, getting a new phone or switching phone providers will most likely result in voice mails getting deleted as well. Thankfully, we will go over a few options for storing voicemails that are important to you.
iPhone users can export a voicemail message with the iPhone's share function.
After you have exported your voicemail, make sure to backup the file up to a couple of locations, such as iTunes backup or cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
Android users can also save their voicemails too. But, the process is a little bit different. The differences depend on your service provider, the voicemail application, and the model of Android phone. Because of this, we will go over some general steps on saving your voicemail on Android phones. This should get you pointed in the correct direction.
Most stock phone and voicemail apps, from major phone providers, will include an option to save copies of your voicemails. Simply open up your phone's voicemail app, locate the voicemail you wish to save, tap or tap and hold the message. This should open up a list of options for the voicemail message. Select the option Save or Save to phone or Archive, the option should be similar to those words. After selecting your preferred option, select a storage location, if prompted, to save your message. Once again, after the voicemail message has been saved, make sure to back it up to additional locations.
You also have the option of using third party apps as well. The only problem here is that all voicemails received prior to installing the app will still be unavailable to save. Google Voice, for example, has an option to send your voicemail messages as MP3s to your email. The other issue, is some third party apps require to buy them to get all the features for your voicemail messages.
If you are still having issues saving your voicemails from your phone, you can always record the message through your PC. This option takes a little work, some software, and some additional hardware. However, this option will work for Android and iPhone.
You will need a microphone compatible 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable or an attached microphone for your PC. If your phone does not have a headphone jack, you will need an adapter as well. Lastly, you will need the software to record the voicemail as it plays back. A great, free and open source, option is Audacity. Other programs, such as Adobe Audition or Garageband will work as well. Now just follow these simple steps:
Lastly, take those Audacity recordings and back them up to additional locations as well. The last thing you want is to lose the recorded voicemails you just created.
Deleting your personal data, like web searches, can be a daunting activity. You need to take it seriously. If you do not, then other people have the potential to find that data. Below, we break down how to better delete your personal data.
We have all been here, you're selling an old phone or tablet, or donating it to someone or some place. Regardless, the device is will no longer be in your possession. Because of this you want to be 100% sure everything is gone from said device. No body wants to find out their Facebook account was accessed from an old device being used by someone else.
Thankfully, most smartphones have made it relatively easy to securely wipe data from them. As long as your data has been encrypted, your data is protected. Most Android and iOS devices are encrypted right out of the box. Because your data is encrypted, factory resets make it almost impossible for any data to be recovered. Here's how your factory reset your devices:
Note: For either device, make sure you have all of your photos, music, or anything else backed up and securely stored somewhere.
Windows and macOS make securely wiping your pc or laptop easier, and more secure, than it used to be. By default, Windows 10 does not encrypt your data. The upside, Windows 10 can securely erase your files during a reset. Meaning that recovery programs will not be able to grab any data after the reset.
By default, OS X Yosemite and newer will encrypt Mac's with a tool called FileVault. Make sure this feature is running via Apple > System Preferences >Security & Privacy > FileVault. Enable this encryption if it is not already enabled. Once encrypted your data will be impossible to recover after a full reset.
Going through every web account and how to delete it is an impossible task. Therefore, we can provide you with some general guidelines on what you should do though. Most websites will maintain your data, post delete, for 90 or more days.
Google maintains a lot of data about you. Thankfully they provide you that data via your My Activity page. From this page you can adjust various data logging levels by clicking Activiy Controls. Lastly, clicking Delete Activity will take you a page where you can choose what data you want deleted from your account. If you choose to delete everything, make sure to get a copy of your data from Google Takeout.
Apple also makes things pretty painless for deleting your data they have collected. Simply go online, sign into your Apple ID account, click Request to Delete Your Account, read through the disclaimer, and confirm your choice to delete the account.
PCs, laptops, phones, tablets, and social media accounts are not the only areas that have collected personal data from you. For example, smart home speakers, like Amazon Echo or Google Home, collect data on you as well. The data Google Home collects can delete be delete from the same My Activity page we wrote about earlier. Amazon will allow you to delete your Echo's voice recordings from your Amazon Devices page.
Cloud Storage services, like Dropbox, will probably keep copies of deleted files in case you need them at some point in the future. Features like this are great when you need to recover something you realize you still need. However, this feature is not great if someone gains access to your account, because they can easily go digging around and recover those files as well. In the end, if you have something sensitive that you need to delete, especially from cloud storage, you need to make sure it's actually deleted.
Unlike Dropbox, Google Drive allows you to permanently delete multiple files or all of your deleted files.
Empty your entire trash
Delete an individual file forever
OneDrive, like many cloud storage services, will store deleted files in a Recycle Bin. From there you can restore files, if you need to. You can select Recycle bin in the OneDrive left side navigation
Regardless of the device or web account or service, it is always a good idea to make sure your data is deleted properly. We have only listed a handful of examples and how to delete your data properly. A simple web search should help you figure out the best route for deleting your data from whatever device, account, or service you use. If anything, you will learn more about the data you leave behind, something you do with out realizing it. Trust us, it's worth the extra effort to protect yourself and your data from leaking out into the wrong hands.
No matter the reason, having people gather around your laptop or computer to show off a video or photos can be a pain. Below are six ways to get your laptop or computer displayed on your TV. The best part? Minimal effort, hardware, and cash required.
By far the easiest option is using Google's Chromecast. Any tab from Google Chrome can be cast to your TV. And you have three ways to accomplish this too:
Note: You can continue to browse the internet by using another Chrome tab. Casting will only occur from the tab you start the cast from.
Casting from the browser can result in some lag on certain websites. With this option, we recommend casting just websites and photos over videos.
All Roku devices come with the ability to Miracast. With this option, you will find it easiest to mirror Window devices vs Mac. Using miracast through Roku is very similar to Chromecast.
From your Windows device:
Roku will prompt you for approval of any device that is attempting to connect and mirror content to it. You can learn more about approved devices here.
AirPlay is Apple's version of casting/mirroring. You will need an Apple TV to accomplish this as well. All things considered, this is the best solution for Apple users.
Configure your AirPlay device and ensure the Apple device you wish to mirror is connected to the same WI-FI as your AirPlay device. If everything is configured properly then you will see the AirPlay button in your menu bar. From the AirPlay menu, select the device you which to mirror your screen to.
Plex does not actually have any mirroring capabilities, it is a media server. All videos, music, and photos on your computer can be served to your TV via Plex. Plex is a great solution for many people because of support for so many streaming devices.
In order to get yourself up and running, you need to download and install Plex on your computer (Windows or Mac). Thankfully, the team behind Plex have this handy guide to get your up and running. Once you have everything setup, anything you tell Plex to index on your computer should be available on your TV.
AirParrot 2 requires an Apple TV or Chromecast device in order to work. You will also have to pay for the software, though there is a free trial available. I would recommend giving it a try before you purchase a license.
Once you have the software installed on your computer, it will find all available devices that support mirroring. You also have the option to steam videos, music, and photos to your TV. And you can do so without the need to see the whole computer screen, similar to Plex.
The biggest draw to AirParrot 2 is the ability to mirror to multiple devices at once, high quality streaming, and you can mix and match streaming devices. So, your Windows PC can now stream to your Apple TV or your Mac can stream to your Chromecast.
This is the easiest solution for most people. Take an HDMI cable and connect your laptop or PC to your TV directly. The connection is fast and stable, guaranteed. Once you connect your computer to your TV, your computer should prompt you, almost immediately, with an option on how you want to use your TV. Treat the TV as an additional monitor? Check. Duplicate your computer's screen to you TV? Check.
Both of the above options are available for Windows and Macs. If you have any issues or would like to switch between extending to your TV or duplicating your computer screen, just look below:
One thing to note is that many ultra thin and small laptops will have limited or no HDMI ports. If that is the case, then you will need to buy an adapter for your USB/Lighting port. In the end, if you need to keep the lag between what you see on your computer and your TV low, then this is the best option.
We all pay a lot of money for our internet access and blazing fast internet speeds. What's worse is a vast majority do not check to see if they are getting the speeds they pay for. The reason being is most users will not realize they have an issue because the internet just works when browsing the web. People will take notice when trying to watch YouTube or Netflix and they get stuck buffering more. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have instilled "heavy usage" hours that most people will write of issues as that. You should not do that and you should always ensure that you are getting what you pay for.
One of the first things you need to do when testing is check your bill and see what you are speed package you are paying for. Most ISPs will also state that your package are for "speeds up to XYZ Mbps." This gives ISPs some wiggle room on the speeds they provide to you. Typically, most ISPs will state that 20% speed difference is normal, especially during peak hours. Once you know the speeds your are paying for, you can now run some tests to ensure you do get those speeds. For this article, we will assume you are paying for speeds up to 150 Mbps.
When testing your internet speeds it is best you use a desktop or laptop with a wired connection. Most modern day desktops and laptops will have a gigabit connection. You will want to also check that your router supports a gigabit connection as well, which most modern day routers do. It is best to consult your owners manual for both devices you use during your tests. If you do have to test via wireless, make sure your router supports wireless-ac and that your wireless device supports that connection type too. Wireless-n devices speeds tests are not reliable for internet speeds over 150 Mbps, because they only support up to that speed.
Now that you are read to test, head over to SpeedTest.net, Fast.com, and TestMy.net. These are some of the better speed test sites to test from.
There are several factors that could impact your internet speeds. Maybe your router does not support gigabit speeds? The wire for your network is bad? Your ISP truly has some network congestion? The speed test website is having issues? The point of all this testing is to attempt to find slow spots in your network and to see if they stay constant or only occur during certain times / days of the week.
Point and case would be if you are paying for up to 150Mbps and your speed test results are showing you are only get around 80Mbps, then there is a problem. And you need to address it with your ISP, especially when you are paying a small fortune for speeds than that.
At this moment, let us assume you are currently getting speed test results close to what you pay for. A week later your speed tests start to change.
You should do weekly speed checks for your network to ensure you are always getting what you pay for. There is nothing worse then not getting your money's worth.
After a speed test, compare it to what your ISP's plan states you should be getting. Is it with in 20% of that speed? If you are paying for 150Mbps, your 20% margin is 120-150Mbps. If your speed test results are within that range, then that is considered normal. Note this in a report that you keep. Now you can perform the same type of test again in about a week or so, and note any changes. When you do see come noticeable drops in speed, think about the following items to help troubleshoot:
If you determine the fault is with your ISP. Give them a call and talk to them about your findings. One thing that goes a long way is to remain calm and be respectful about it. Screaming and yelling will get you nowhere. Ask them how they are going to help resolve the issue for you. Maybe they have an area wide issue? The line from the tap to your modem is bad? There are several factors that could cause the issue, but a tech on site or over the phone should help track that down. Remember, the data you have collected from your speed tests can go a long way. Never just talk about one speed test, always include several speed tests from more than one day.
Now, if the speed problem is on your end, troubleshooting can be easy or difficult. The difficult depends on you and your knowledge of the devices and equipment that makes up your network. Maybe the modem is old or does not have the rating to handle the speed your ISP provides. If that is the case, you will need to purchase a new modem. Maybe a network cable in your home is bad? Sometimes a firmware update for your router will resolve the issue.
In the end, you do not want to waste money on your internet service if your ISP is not providing you with the speeds you pay for. Troubleshooting is never a fun task, but wasting money is not fun either. Many people do not pay attention to their internet speeds, just as long as "it just works." Do not be one of those people, and always ensure you are getting the performance you are paying for.
Getting through the day without using a web browser is not a thing. We rely on them for everything. When your browser is acting up, the impact to your productivity, or sanity, or Netflix binge can be serious. Below are several of the more common problems users might experience with their web browser, and what you can do to fix those problems.
Troubleshooting issues with your web browser is not entirely difficult. Most of today's web browsers have built-in tools that will take care of numerous issues or at least help you get back to running smoothly in no time.
First things first, check the speed of your internet. Speedtest.net, Fast.com, or TestMy.net are good tools for this. Now that you know your connection speed is fine, poor browser performance and page loading can be the result of several different issues.
Most modern day web browsers will keep themselves up to date, but just in case, check to make sure you're running the latest version of your browser. Below are the most common browsers and how to check for updates:
Sometimes your browser performance is linked to extensions you might be using. Disabling them all and then enabling them one by one, seeing the impact to performance can help determine which extensions are causing your problems. Below are the most common browsers and how to disable/enable their extensions:
If you find that there are no extensions causing performance issues, then the browsers cache might have issues impacting performance. Clearing that data is like changing the oil for your browser. But, once you do this, you will most likely be logged out of all your favorite websites, so be ready to log back into them. Below are the most common browsers and how to clear their website cache:
Your last option, if you are still experiencing problems, is to uninstall and then reinstall your browser. This is what many call a clean reinstall. While uninstalling the browser, if given the option, to tell the uninstall to remove all data, related to your browser, from your computer. This will ensure the uninstall will remove settings, extensions, cookies, cache, and anything else. Now reinstall the browser. If you are still seeing performance issues, then malware could be to blame. Which we will discuss about in a little bit.
As time browsing the web goes by, your web browser will start to suggest URLs based on what you type into the address bar. This is a handy feature at times when you are trying to browse and do not feel like typing out a full website address. The problem is you will undoubtedly start seeing suggestions for stuff you do not want or want other people to see. The most successful way to stop this is to delete your browsing history, which I explained above. But that's a pretty extreme option.
Removing a single URL is a less extreme option and very easy to do. In any browser, start typing in the address bar until you see the URL suggestion you want to remove. Once it appears, use the arrow keys to select that suggestion and then hit the following keys to delete the URL from suggestions:
For Edge, you will have to clear your browsing history, as listed above, to remove URL suggestions.
When a web page starts looking odd compared to what to you normally expect, it can become frustrating. The first few things you can do is try refreshing the page, visit the page in another browser or another computer. If the web page looks odd on all browsers or devices, the issue is due to your internet or something was changed by the website. Double check to make sure the website address is correct and that you have not been redirected to fake version of the website. That can happen due to scammers.
If the page does not look odd on other browsers, then a safe assumption would be that there is a problem with your browser. A few steps you can take to fix the issue are 1, clear your browser history, or 2, disable browser extensions to see if they are causing issues, or 3, uninstalling and reinstalling your browser. All of these options I explained how to do earlier in this article.
Auto-Fill is super handy when filling out information during the checkout process or a sign up form. But from time to time it'll not always work how you expect it to. Other times, the data will just not show up.
The first step you want to take to is ensure auto-fill is actually turned on. Below are the most common browsers and how to check autofill settings:
Once you have verified auto-fill is enabled, then we come back to the usual suspects, bad data in the browser cache or browser extensions. Follow the steps from earlier about clearing your browser's cache and the steps to disabled and enable extensions. If you do find out that an extension is to blame, double check to see if an update is available for that extension. Otherwise, you might want to consider removing that extension or disabling it.
Solving this problem is the same as the steps we outlined for the browser performance section. If you've followed those steps and the browser is still randomly crashing it's time to move onto other factors involving your device.
Sometimes new hardware, like a printer or webcam, can cause issues with your browser. If you just installed a new device, try uninstalling it and seeing if that fixes the issue. Unfortunately, trying to figure out if hardware on your computer is causing your browser to crash is difficult. Basically troubleshooting boils down to uninstalling and reinstalling hardware devices and software. This is tedious to do and sometimes may not help you find the problem.
The best advice we can recommend is to ensure all of your device drivers, software, and operating system are up to date. Most software has a "Check for Updates" under an About menu. And most drivers will be updated by the operating system or have an update feature. Make sure to go through all of those updates on a regular basis.
Pop-ups are a pain to deal with in the web world. Thankfully they are not as bad as they used to be. But, every once and awhile you might notice a large number of websites will start showing pop-ups. When that happens, malware or adware could be on your computer and causing these headaches.
The adware or malware might be running as an extension on your browser or as a separate program on your computer. It could even be hiding it’s activity from you. One of the first steps you should take is run a full system scan with whatever antivirus software you have installed on your computer. Another step after that could be doing a secondary scan with Microsoft Safety Scanner or ClamWin Portable.
For your browser, run the the steps in section one to find what could be causing the issues with pop-ups. Also, take a moment to install an ad-blocker, which are especially helpful on pop-up heavy sites. Just remember to white-list your favorite websites.
Having internet problems can be a real bummer, but they probably extend beyond just browser. The first thing to check is if the issue is with all of your devices or just one device.
If the issue is isolated to one device, you will want to see what is using your bandwidth. You can do this by searching for Task Manager on your Windows task bar or, if you have an Apple device, searching for Activity Monitor in the macOS Spotlight. These tools will show you applications running on your device and how they are using system resources, such as CPU power, hard drives and your network.
You might find that a weird application is using bandwidth. If you do not recognize the application, try running some system scans, as detailed in section six of this article. If you notice bandwidth is being used by a browser, it's time to dig into what's wrong with the browser.
When trouble shooting internet connection issues with a browser, you will want to go through several of the items already cover in this article. This includes, disabling add-ons, clearing the browser cache, checking for updates, and so on and so forth.
If you find that the issue occurring on all devices, the issue may be outside of your control. Check for updates on your router and try rebooting your modem. Otherwise, you may have to call your service provider for help.
When a web page is not displaying images or videos, it could be an issue with the website's hosting provider. Other times it might be due to your internet connection, so run through the steps in the previous issue. Websites might not work properly when you have certain settings set on your browser.
If, after checking your browser's settings, you are still seeing issues, then it's time to run through all the troubleshooting steps we have gone over earlier. Third-party extensions can cause issues with images and videos, especially ad blockers.
The homepage for your browser can change at times. Installing other browsers might do this, sometimes installing an application, like anti-virus, will update your browsers homepage. That is kind of normal if you do not pay attention when installing new software.
The issue is when your homepage changes, without your permission, and keeps changing after you have attempted to change it back. When this happens, it's a sure sign that either an extension or malware is causing your homepage woes. These extensions or malware could be attempting to further infect your computer or get you to visit websites with affiliate links, in an attempt to earn some money.
We hate to sound like a broken record, but now is the time to run through steps outlined in section one. Disabling extensions, updating your homepage, and restarting the browser to see if the homepage does not change will be a quick red flag you have a bad extension. Running a security scan is also a good safety measure as well. See section six of this article for more information.