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The best free tech gifts you can give

por Vanita Wetzel (2020-02-03)


3 months agoid="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.

LastPass automates all of that for you. And it's free! Of course, if you use multiple PCs and/or a mobile device, you should definitely consider LastPass Premium ($12 annually), which will sync all your data between everything. Don't like LastPass? Use RoboForm. Don't like RoboForm? Use Dashlane. Just use something! Repetitive keystrokes make me sad. (See PhraseExpress.)

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Although TeamViewer QuickSupport doesn't show you what's happening in real-time, it does provide a lot of info about the connected mobile device. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET There are plenty of apps that allow you to control a remote PC from your phone or tablet, but what if you want to go the other way? What if you need to help a friend, relative, or employee with his or her mobile device?

Suppose, for example, your uncle is constantly griping about how slow his computer has gotten. You probably know some tricks to try: Check it for viruses, run a system-optimization utility and so on. An hour or two of work could result in a computer that's nearly as good as new. How much would your uncle love that? Thiiiiiiiiiis much.

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Recently a friend asked for help setting up her new cable modem and router. I was only too happy to help, and she was as grateful as if I'd given her an expensive gift.

Assuming you've figured out how best to master your own photo mountain, take the time to do likewise for an organization-strapped friend. It might involve training them to use the likes of, say, Flickr or Google Photos, which offer 1TB and unlimited free storage, respectively. (See CNET's roundup of the best ways to store your photos online for guidance.) But once you've done the initial setup and upload, it should be smoother, easier sailing for their photo future.

Specifically, if you want to scroll within a particular window, you have to click in it first. Otherwise your mouse's scroll wheel won't work. That's so dumb! Thankfully, WizMouse fixes this problem. Just point your cursor and scroll away.

But perhaps the most enjoyable of all is observing just how many people in your office are applying for other jobs. Thirty-nine percent of IT managers said that, oh, yes, they'd seen job applications flying on work computers.

I should also mention Join.me, a free screen-sharing tool that can be used for remote support. It's not quite as straightforward as TeamViewer, as it's clearly intended for online meetings, but the end result is the same.

Put your wallets away, cheeps! (Well, until you get to the bonus deal, anyway.) Assuming your Big Football Game (TM) squares didn't pay out yesterday, you probably don't have extra cash to throw around today. And I know you don't have extra time to burn, which is why I've rounded up four free utilities designed to help you work faster.

Bottom Line
If you need a solution that will allow you to access your own computers remotely, or to connect with your friends' or family's machines, the free version of TeamViewer is a very good option. Even a non-technical person should have no problem establishing a connection.

iOS Keyboard support. It's now little more than a footnote in iPad history, but Apple did offer a keyboard accessory for the first iPad; no one would praise it as bringing the iPad closer to a laptop.These days, dozens of Bluetooth keyboard models are used with the iPad, including Apple's own. However, iOS' offers minimal keyboard UI support beyond nearly universal cut and paste. Apple might fear a slippery slope of being asked for mouse/trackpad support as well in iOS, which doesn't support a cursor. But Android and Windows' Modern UI do, without appearing to compromise the touch experience. Now that Apple has embraced buttons for game controllers, perhaps it might be willing to offer better support for devices with QWERTY buttons.

Bonus deal: When it comes to remote PC access, TeamViewer is my preferred freebie option. However, it limits you to one computer; if you need more licenses, prices get steep in a hurry. For a limited time, you can get a one-year RemotePC 3-PC subscription for $9.90, a savings of 80 percent. With it you can remotely access up to three PCs from just about any device: laptop, tablet, phone, etc. Features include chat, file transfer, session recording and more.

PhraseExpress also offers robust auto-correct features, handy if you frequently misspell certain words. The learning curve is a little steep, if only because it's not immediately clear how to get started, but it's worth the effort. I use the program all day, every day, and couldn't live without it.

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web TeamViewer Alternative For Windows great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.