Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Software & Apps You Should Never Download

Software & Apps You Should Never Download

Just because a program is popular, doesn’t mean it deserves to be. Wayne Williams explains why you should steer clear of certain software and suggests free alternatives that do a much better job

For you recommend the best new, free software to download to help you make the most of the web on your PC and mobile device. But what about all those programs and apps that don’t meet our high standards, yet are still installed by tens of thousands of users every week?

Normally, we wouldn’t waste space covering them, but in this feature we make an exception by naming and shaming the 25 most overrated tools for your computer, phone and tablet. We also recommend the best free alternatives to these duds and explain how you can remove unwanted software for good.

Contactless payment

Contactless payment

Fed up with fumbling around for your cash and cards? David Crookes explains how Apple Pay and other contactless payment services are turning our phones into wallets

What is it?

Contactless payment marks the latest move towards a cashless society. Not only does it let you make physical financial transactions without notes or coins, but it also removes the necessity to insert a card into a chip-and-PIN machine.

Best Android browsers

Android browsers

If you own an Android device, it probably already has Chrome installed on it. Edward Munn compares Google’s browser to five of its toughest competitors, to see if it’s worth switching


What we liked

Firefox for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X is fast, stable and easy-to-use, and the Android version is equally impressive. Like its computer-based counterpart, Firefox for Android has an impressive range of add-ons that you can install to enhance your browsing experience, including Adblock Plus.

So-called smart TVs make fools of us all

So-called smart TVs make fools of us all

Barry Collins reveals the truth about smart TVs and why they’re a waste of money

Smart television. It’s a phrase as incongruous as “nutritious Big Mac” or “charismatic Piers Morgan”. There’s nothing smart about a television, no matter what the likes of Samsung, Philips or LG tell you. At least, not for long.

These days it’s actually pretty tough to buy a big, living-room flat screen that doesn’t claim to be smarter than Stephen Hawking. They come with apps, browsers, voice recognition and more ports than an off licence in the Algarve. Unbox the telly, and the first thing it demands is your Wi-Fi password and three hours to download the latest updates. You didn’t want to watch Coronation Street now, did you?

Access websites that are blocked in the UK

blocked websites

Beat the restrictions imposed by the government and your ISP to go where you want to online. Robert Irvine explains how to bypass blocks

Internet providers in the UK now block or partially block hundreds of websites, although the exact number is unknown. Wikipedia has an incomplete list at or you can enter a web address at to find out if your ISP is blocking that site.

In this feature, we look at the main categories of website blocked by the default filters of the big UK ISPs – BT, EE, O2, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Sky – and provide details of how you can get around the blocks to access the sites (at your own risk, of course, because some blocks are in place for legal reasons). We haven’t covered sites blocked by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF,, such as those with child sexual abuse content which, for good reason, cannot be accessed using the advice provided in this feature.