Stories by Preston Gralla

20 great, free, open-source downloads

The very earliest days of the PC revolution were soaked in idealism. People shared their knowledge with one another freely; the very idea of charging for software was an anathema. The early days of the Internet had a similar rosy view of the world.

15 great, free security programs

From the moment you switch on your PC, y your system faces countless Internet-borne dangers, including spyware attacks, viruses, Trojan horses, home-page hijackers, and hackers trying to weasel their way into your system. And the Internet isn't the o...

101 Fantastic Freebies

Want to make your PC more productive, secure, informative, and entertaining? These downloads and services will do the trick -- and they don't cost a cent.

25 Web Sites to Watch

What's tomorrow's YouTube? The Web's next breakout hit may be one of these innovative, useful, and fun new sites.

Keep Yourself Safe When You Surf

The Internet is a dangerous place full of scammers, privacy invaders, and hackers intent on turning your PC into a junk-message-purveying bot. And sometimes it seems as though your options for protecting yourself are pretty sparse.

Turning a home router into a powerhouse

There's a lot more power lurking in your home or small-office router than you realize. It may be capable of tricks that powerful, multihundred dollar enterprise routers can do. So why can't you get at them? Because of the firmware built in to your ro...

Techie Tools for the Internet and for Home Networks

Where do you spend most of your computing life? Probably on a network and online, either at work or at home. But while you probably know quite a bit about how to master problems with applications such as word processors, you may feel out in the cold ...

Downloads for Getting the Most out of Vista

Microsoft unleashed Windows Vista on a complaisant world several months ago, and already 20 million people have installed it (according to the company). If you're one of those 20 million, you're undoubtedly wondering, "Where are all the Vista downloa...

Wireless hot spot protection

Wi-Fi hot spots in airports, restaurants, cafes and even downtown locations have turned Internet access into an always-on, ubiquitous experience. Unfortunately, that also means always-on, ubiquitous security risks.

Hidden costs of a Windows Vista upgrade

The shiny, new Windows Vista beckons, and an upgrade is mighty tempting. But before you take the plunge, be aware that you may end up forking out a lot more money than just the cost of an operating system upgrade.

New Vista firewall fails on outbound security

Microsoft has touted Windows Vista as giving significant security improvements over Windows XP, and it offers the Windows Firewall, with its new two-way filtering feature, as one reason for that better security.

Windows Vista: 15 reasons to switch

Windows Vista is almost here. To anyone who has been sitting on the fence over whether to upgrade to Microsoft's new operating system, I'll say it loud and clear: It's time to make the jump. There are plenty of reasons to leave Windows XP and install...

Internet Explorer: Top dog for good reason

Common wisdom holds that it takes Microsoft three versions to perfect a product. That's not quite the case with Internet Explorer -- it's taken Redmond all the way until version 7 to get it right. But now that IE7 is here, there's little reason to us...

Just say yes to Internet Explorer 7

It's been a long time coming, but Internet Explorer 7 is here at last. If you're dying to get your hands on the new browser, you can go download it right now, but there's really no need -- IE7 will soon come knocking on your door.

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PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

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