Reza Pahlevi

News, tips and reviews from the experts on PCs, Windows, and more

How to work from home: Pro tips from PCWorld's editors

When you're working from home for the first time, you quickly realize that it requires more thought than plunking your laptop on the coffee table. 

Nailing down the tech is a large part of it. But we realize, too, that there’s a “softer” side: what hours you keep, how to stay in contact with coworkers and friends, and even what to wear. PCWorld's editors are ready with all the tech tips we’ve learned from years of working from home ourselves.

Define your workspace

First things first: As we’re learning, there’s no “normal” with the coronavirus. But that also applies to where you live. “Home workers” now include apartment dwellers, Millennials who share a house, Midwesterners with basements, suburbanites in McMansions, and more. You’ll have to figure out what works for you, within your own unique environment. Still, some rules apply to just about everyone.

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Apple acquires Dark Sky weather app

Apple now has its own weather service. And Android users will have to find a new weather app.


How to prevent Zoom bombing by being smarter than Boris Johnson

Even heads of state need some help with Zoom. A screenshot of a Zoom meeting shared publicly by the UK’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, included its Zoom Meeting ID. Don’t do that! Here’s why.

With more and more people using the convenient Zoom videoconferencing app to communicate while working from home, “Zoombombing” is becoming a thing. “Zoom bombing” is as bad as it would be in real life: When an uninvited guest suddenly shows up in your Zoom meeting and starts acting up, swearing, or sharing inappropriate pictures, everyone loses. 

boris johnson zoom personal meeting ID Boris Johnson / Twitter

Zoom in far enough, and you can clearly see the Zoom meeting ID in the upper left-hand corner of this Zoom meeting UK prime minister Boris Johnson shared on Twitter.

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Best gaming laptops: Know what to look for and which models rate highest

The gaming laptop landscape is about to change, because both AMD and Intel are coming out with new performance chips for mobile this year. While the first Ryzen 4000 laptop is a gaming laptop—the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14—it's too early to tell whether the new CPU will have any effect on gaming performance. 

Not everyone needs to wait for Ryzen 4000 and Comet Lake H CPUs, though. Budget-minded and entry-level to intermediate gamers already have a lot of great choices—and they may see discounts as the new CPUs come online. Check out our top picks immediately below, and keep reading to catch up on the latest news and reviews. 

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The best laptops: Premium laptops, budget laptops, 2-in-1s, and more

The best laptops of 2020 are about to be turned upside-down. With the launch of AMD's Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs, Intel finally has a formidable rival—and we expect competition to be fierce. At the same time, a lot of mainstream users actually don't need to wait for Ryzen 4000 and Comet Lake H), and they stand to get good deals on laptops with existing processors that already have solid performance and great battery life. On the gaming side (where the GPU matters more than the CPU), you can already find discrete GPUs in thinner, lighter, and faster gaming laptops, and more news there is coming soon. Check out the latest news and reviews below. 

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The Full Nerd ep. 132: AMD's Ryzen 4000 mobile arrives, and it's amazing


Spotify Kids beta app finally arrives in U.S., Canada, and France

Available for months in other territories, the family-friendly Spotify Kids music app is making its stateside debut.


How to test your home Internet speed

Testing your internet connection’s performance is even more important with millions of extra workers working from home. You don’t need any extra software—a web browser will do. But there are also a few things you can do to make sure you are getting the most accurate reading of your internet connection. Here’s what to do!

Get ready

Essentially, what we're trying to do is compare the amount of bandwidth that's coming into your home with what your ISP is promising you. First make sure that you know what your Internet plan is, and what your ISP promises is the minimum connection speed. Consult your bill or your ISP's Web site for that.

Let's turn to the PC. For best results, you'll want to use a wired connection if at all possible; that way, you don’t have to worry about interference and performance fluctuations that can occur while you’re on Wi-Fi. If you have any other wired devices on your home network, plug your test computer directly into the modem so those don’t interfere. Again, we're trying to learn how much bandwidth is coming directly into your home, before it begins getting divvied up among connected devices.

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