Top free PDF to Word converter 2017

Complimentary PDF to Word converters

Portable information File (PDF) documents are designed for sharing information, and look exactly the same despite which equipment and computer software is used to look at them.

PDFs are not created for editing however, if you need modification or draw out text or images, the simplest way would be to convert it up to a term document, which you can then start utilizing the workplace software of your option (whether that’s Microsoft term or even a free alternative like LibreOffice Writer). There are many free programs that will get the job done, utilizing various ways to identify and draw out

PDFs don’t constantly convert perfectly to Word format – especially if they normally use fonts that aren’t set up on your personal computer, or plenty of images – however these free PDF to Word converters will give you the perfect outcomes.

1. WPS PDF to term Converter


A brand new PDF to Word document converter that delivers breathtaking outcomes
WPS PDF to Word Converter is just a new tool through the designers behind our favorite free office computer software, WPS Office. It’s extremely simple to use – just drag the file on the computer software’s primary screen and pick the export structure (choices consist of DOC, DOCX, and RTF) and then click ‘Start’.

Document converted making use of WPS PDF to Word Converter
As it’s a desktop application, WPS PDF to Word converter is noticeably faster than online tools, and will process files in batches. The free version will transform PDFs as much as five pages very long, so if you desire to convert bigger documents you’ll need certainly to divide it into chunks first using a tool like PDFSAM.  As An Alternative, the premium form of WPS PDF to Word Converter costs £22.95 (US$29.95, AU$39.95), without any restriction on pagination.
The exported term papers are particularly impressive – easily the best of all the PDF to Word converters we tested. Images were preserved and aligned correctly, text formatting was retained, and font designs and loads had been accurately reproduced. If you would like transform a PDF to an editable Word document, WPS PDF to term Converter is the better device by far.
Download here: WPS PDF to Word Converter

2. Complimentary On Line OCR

install UniPDF free
Optical character recognition produces neat documents that look perfect having a little tweaking
Due to the fact name recommends, Free Online OCR is really a internet app utilizes optical character recognition to determine text in PDFs. This implies it really works with scanned papers in addition to original files – crucial if you would like convert and modify a printed handout from a lecture, including.

Document converted utilizing Totally Free On Line OCR

Complimentary on the web OCR can only transform one file at the same time, around 5GB in size. Pick your PDF, choose a language, pick out a structure (Microsoft Word, Excel, or plain text), after which enter a Captcha to start the transformation. After having a few seconds you’re given a link to download the converted file. Unlike some internet apps, there’s you should not offer an email, then wait for the link to be delivered.

Within our tests, complimentary on the web OCR did a great job of preserving our PDF’s formatting, presenting text in editable columns. We were particularly impressed your image ended up being formatted being a header, and locked in position. 

The limitations of OCR were visible in a couple of places – text on colored backgrounds ended up beingn’t always identified, and there were a few rogue tabs and line breaks – however it wouldn’t take much tweaking to get the Word document looking almost identical to the PDF. Totally free on the web OCR is extremely impressive – we just wish it was available as being a desktop app so we didn’t need certainly to upload files one-by-one.

Test it online: Complimentary On Line OCR

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3. Nitro PDF to term Converter


Ideal for extracting and formatting text, but not a good choice for image-heavy papers
There are two main versions of Nitro PDF to term Converter – a desktop application for Windows and an on line variation – but just the latter is absolve to utilize forever.

Document converted using Nitro PDF to Word Converter

It is possible to upload numerous files, and there’s the ideal choice of import and export platforms (including Word, PowerPoint and Excel), but there are a few significant drawbacks. Unlike Free on the web OCR, Nitro PDF to term Converter emails your converted file for you, and each current email address is restricted to five file conversions per month – a fairly serious limit that seriously restricts its effectiveness.

Text had been maintained quite well inside our converted document – such as the keylines between columns, which was a pleasant shock – however the main image didn’t endure the alteration of format. There were also some rogue areas and line breaks, though these wouldn’t take very long to improve manually. 

Check it out on the web: Nitro PDF to term Converter

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4. UniPDF


A PDF to term converter Works well with easy papers, but struggles with formatting
UniPDF is just a Windows desktop software, which means it prevents the problems of sluggish upload and down load rates, and means you don’t must trust your write-ups to a alternative party that may have them cached.

Document converted utilizing UniPDF

The test version of UniPDF can only just transform three pages – to convert more you’ll should either upgrade towards paid version, or separate your PDF employing a tool like PDFsam, then recombine the resulting Word papers.

In our tests, UniPDF preserved the entire look of our mag page, including pictures, but struggled with complex text formatting. Columns went into the other person, and perhaps the transformed text was a significantly various size on original, making it tricky to regulate. Several letters were additionally lacking here and there, making united states with quite an extensive cleaning work to have the Word document to a practical state. 

Down load here: UniPDF

5. Complimentary File Converter


A jack of trades, although not a master of PDF to Word transformation, handling text but not images
Free File Converter is another online-only tool, and it’s capable of way more than PDF to Word conversions; it can handle a massive range of formats, and its own key welling point is its ability to conserve files from video clip websites including DailyMotion and eHow.

Document converted utilizing Totally Free File Converter

It is possible to only convert one file at a time, however the procedure is simple – simply click ‘Convert file’, choose an output structure and then click ‘Convert’. Just like OnlineOCR, there’s no need to offer an current email address and wait for a note – the download website link seems on-screen straight away. 

Regrettably, the results were disappointing. The text from our PDF was converted well enough. But all pictures and formatting had been lost, including headings, columns and font designs. Line breaks also starred in embarrassing places, therefore even although you simply desired the writing, you’d should invest some quality time with discover and substitute, or your backspace key. If you just want what, you’d be best off converting the document to plain text format.

Test it online: Complimentary File Converter

Apple Watch 3 could have a more convenient charging stand

While all eyes are on Apple's rumored iPhone 8 to see whether or not the company will fully embrace wireless charging, the Cupertino tech overlords has already dipped its toes in the waters with its wirelessly-charged Apple Watch.

It wasn't a perfect implementation however, with the timepiece's contact points requiring a relatively precise positioning in order to ensure there is a consistent charging flow.

Apple is likely looking to improve that for its future smartwatch evolutions, and a newly-uncovered patent filing suggests that convenience is high on the agenda.

Flexible power

The patent, as seen at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, describes a method with which how a device (specifically a wearable) could be charged no matter how it is placed on its induction base:

In some elements of the patent, it's as simple as putting the core charging plate of the power supply on a hinge, letting an Apple Watch sit on its side as well as flat when charging.

It seems a simple addition, and one that will please owners of bedside tables – the Apple Watch would make for a perfect alarm clock, if only it could draw power when resting at an angle to make its screen viewable. Sure, there are third party options, but for Apple purists, only something with that Cupertino branding will do.

The 10 best mirrorless cameras in 2017

Once upon a time, keen photographers bought a DSLR – it was the established order of things. But the mirror mechanism of a DSLR is complex and noisy and adds to the weight of the camera, and that’s where the mirrorless camera, or compact system camera comes in. They keep the big sensors and interchangeable lenses of DSLR cameras but ditch the mirror to produce a smaller, lighter and simpler camera.

In fact, there are still pros and cons to both designs. If you want to find out more, read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: 10 key differences.

Some mirrorless cameras have a compact, rectangular body, some are styled like DSLRs with a ‘pentaprism’ on the top – though this houses an electronic viewfinder rather than the optical viewfinder you get with a DSLR.

Be aware, too, that cheaper mirrorless cameras don’t come with viewfinders at all – instead, you compose the photo on the rear screen, just as you do with a compact camera or a smartphone. (If you’re still not sure what kind of camera you need, read our easy to follow guide: What camera should I buy?)

No two photographers are exactly the same – we’re all looking for slightly different things, so we’ve ranked the 10 best compact system cameras you can buy right now based not just on specs, handling and performance, but size, simplicity and value for money too.

Fuji X-T2

Fuji's update to the X-T1 may look similar at first glance, but there have been some big improvements and perhaps the biggest of all is the autofocus system. It's a huge leap forward compared with the system found in the X-T1, with AF tracking of moving subjects now much more precise and swift, while the level of sophistication and customisation is impressive too. Add in 8 frames per second burst shooting, a clever double-hinged rear display, bright EVF, Fuji's excellent 24.3MP X Trans III CMOS sensor and plenty of body mounted controls that's all wrapped-up in a tactile body, and you're left with one of the best cameras available today.

Read the full review: Fuji X-T2

Olympus E-M10 II

We loved the original E-M10 for its size, versatility and value for money, but the E-M10 II adds features that take it to another level. The old camera’s 3-axis image stabilization system has been uprated to the 5-axis system in Olympus’s more advanced OM-D cameras, the viewfinder resolution has been practically doubled and the continuous shooting speed, already impressive at 8fps, creeps up to 8.5fps. Some will criticise the smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor format (roughly half the area of APS-C) but the effect on image quality is minor and it means that the lenses are as compact and lightweight as the camera itself. It’s small, but it’s no toy – the E-M10 II is a properly powerful camera.

Read the full review: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Sony Alpha 7R II

Despite being small enough to fit in unnoticed amongst other CSCs, the Alpha 7 series of cameras have a full-frame sensor. That means the sensor is the same size as a piece of 35mm film, which is good news for image quality and depth of field control. The A7R II has proved especially popular because it has a pixel count of 42.2 million, so it generates huge images that have bags of detail, and noise is controlled well. What’s more, it can also shoot high quality 4K footage and there are lots of professional-level video features available. In addition, there’s an excellent stabilisation system and Wi-Fi/NFC technology built-in.

Read the full review: Sony Alpha A7R II

While not quite perfect, the G80’s (G85 in the US) feature set and performance make it one of the most compelling mid-range mirrorless propositions around. Autofocus is very good, whether you’re using it for static or moving subjects, and processing speeds are fast, while the image stabilisation system is very effective whether you’re recording stills or movies. Image quality is generally very good, with the removal of the low-pass filter making a positive difference overall, and this is matched by strong 4K video quality, with plenty of video-related options. Together with a great EVF and LCD partnership, plenty of options over customisation and a broad range of compatible lenses, the G80 is a smash on a number of levels.

Read the full review: Panasonic Lumix G80 / G85 review

Fuji X-t10

We're actually in the middle of testing the new X-T20, but if the X-T2 is a little beyond your budget, then take a look at the X-T10. Sharing many of the same features as the outgoing X-T1, we love the compact DSLR-style body, great handling, superb Fuji image quality and film simulation modes. It may lack the weather-sealing found on the X-T1 and also sports a smaller (but still very good) viewfinder, but that doesn't detract from what is a brilliant mirrorless camera. The 16-50mm kit lens is good, but if you can stretch to the 18-55mm, it's worth the extra investment. That's not forgetting Fuji's growing range of premium lenses, both prime and zoom. With the arrival of the X-T20, you might be able to grab a bargain as well.

Read the full review: Fuji X-T10

Fuji XPro2

The joint flagship camera in the Fuji range alongside the X-T2, the X-Pro2 is designed for photographers who prefer to shoot with compact primes. Using the same 24.3MP sensor as the X-T2, the AF isn’t quite as advanced, it’s still very capable. Unique to mirrorless cameras though is the X-Pro2’s Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, offering both the option of an EVF and optical viewfinder, as well an Electronic Rangefinder feature that overlays a small version of the electronic finder in the corner of the optical one. One of the more expensive options out there, but you’ll be rewarded with a great shooting experience and pin-sharp images.

Read the full review: Fujifilm X-Pro2

Sony A6300

You don’t have to go full-frame to get the benefit of Sony’s great camera technology and this APS-C format model makes a great choice for enthusiasts looking for an alternative to big, heavy SLR. One of the challenges for CSC manufacturers has been to make their autofocus systems as good as the ones in SLRs. The A6300’s comes very close, especially in bright light; it’s able to track moving subjects around the frame and as they move towards or away from the camera. There’s also an excellent electronic viewfinder that makes it easy to see when the subject is sharp and correctly exposed. Image quality is very high and there’s built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity to allow to share images via a connected smartphone.

Read the full review: Sony A6300

Pen

While the design follows that of the original film Pen-F camera from the 1960s, that’s pretty much where any similarities stop, with this modern-day Pen-F featuring Olympus’s latest 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor. Unlike previous Pen models we’ve seen which rely solely on the rear screen for composition unless you want to invest in an optional attachable electronic viewfinder, the Pen-F incorporates a high-quality OLED EVF integrated into the body with with a resolution of 2.36m dots. There’s also an advanced 5-axis image stabilisation system built in to combat camera shake, while no Olympus CSC could be complete without a selection of Art Filters – the Pen-F has 28 to choose from. Offering plenty of customisation and a host of clever features, there’s also built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to boot.

Read the full review: Olympus Pen-F

GX80

With the GX80 (known at the GX85 in the US), Panasonic’s taken the well-liked GX8 and streamlined some of the features to end-up with an appealing alternative that’s more competitively priced. Despite sacrificing the clever tilting EVF, resolution is actually improved on the fixed EVF on the GX80, and while it also forgoes the 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds sensor and replaced by the older 16MP chip, the AA filter has been removed for sharper images. The GX80 also comes with 4K video capture, with the ability to capture 8MP stills from recorded footage – it’s like a ultra-fast 30fps burst mode). Handling could be a bit more polished, but AF is fast and accurate, compact body and lens combination, very effective in-body anti-shake control and 4K video make this a very well-rounded camera.

Read the full review: Panasonic Lumix GX80 / GX85

Sony Alpha 7II

With 24 million pixels the A7 may not be able to able to capture quite the same amount of detail as its high resolution sibling, the A7R II, but as it has the same sized sensor you get the same level of control over depth of field. That means you can make your sharp subject stand out from a blurred background, while the level of detail is excellent. This second-generation model benefits from a number of improvements, including 5-axis image stabilisation, an all-magnesium body and a wide selection of supported video formats.

Read the full review: Sony Alpha A7 II

The 7 best Chromebooks of 2017: the top Chromebooks ranked

Update: Perhaps the first laptop ever to be designed from the ground up with Android apps in mind, the Samsung Chromebook Pro now inhabits our list at number 2. Read on to find out why this stylus outfitted Chromebook is one of the best you can buy!

Though it’s been all but confirmed at this point that Microsoft is working on its own lightweight operating system to challenge Chrome OS, using Windows proper on a cheap laptop or tablet is a historically frustrating experience. Besides, Microsoft tried this before with Windows RT and lost out to none other than Google’s Chromebook lineup.

Not only are they powered by one of the best browsers in the business, but every new Chromebook that releases will ship with Android app support via the Google Play Store out of the box. Some offerings even boast premium features, such as touchscreens and versatile form factors, without administering highway robbery, making Chromebooks perfect for everyday, casual PC use.

Although they don’t approach the imposing specs of some of the best laptops on the market, Chromebooks are exceptional in their own right. In many instances, they pack little more than 720p screens and basic Intel Celeron processors. At the end of the day, however, Chromebooks are designed with accessibility and portability in mind, extensive battery lives being a priority.

Speaking of which, Chromebooks usually claim somewhere between seven and nine hours of battery life on a single charge, whereas screen size can fall anywhere between 11.6 and 15 inches. Some even shake up conventional notebook design by taking on the role of a 2-in-1 convertible laptop, complete with 360-degree hinge rotation and often even styluses.

Here we’ve gathered the best of the best Chromebooks and lined them up in a list for your convenience. Everything from the pixel-dense HP Chromebook 13 to the handsome, new Asus Chromebook Flip  has been considered. Without further ado, let’s explore the options!

1. Asus Chromebook Flip

Premium Chromebook specs, economic Chromebook pricing

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare | Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC

Elegant tablet mode

Tactile keyboard

No out-of-box Android app support

Middling speakers

Before the Asus Chromebook Flip came around, pickings were slim when it came to affordable Chromebooks with full-on Intel Core processors and full HD 1080p displays, not to mention touchscreens, backlit keyboards and USB-C ports. It may take advantage of an Intel Pentium chip on the low-end, but the Asus Chromebook Flip is by means low-end. Compared to what’s offered by the competition, the Asus Chromebook Flip’s value is unparalleled, and that’s without getting into its pristine tablet mode, which blows other hybrids completely out of the water.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip 

2. Samsung Chromebook Pro

Cultivating the marriage of Chrome OS and Android

CPU: 0.99Ghz Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, QHD (2,400 x 1,600) touchscreen | Storage: 32GB eMMC

Stunning, gorgeous design

Stylus support on Chrome OS

Cramped keyboard

Weak speakers

The Samsung Chromebook Pro is the result of Google’s efforts in converging Android and Chrome OS. With the Google Play Store now supported on every new Chromebook that comes out, it only makes sense to design a Chromebook with a 12.3-inch QHD touchscreen, a 360-degree hinge and stylus support to boot. It may have a keyboard that’s too compressed for comfort, but the Samsung Chromebook Pro more than makes up for it doubling as a tablet that puts most Android slates to shame. It even managed to nail pen input on the first go, which took Microsoft three tries to get to that point with the Surface Pro.

[Editor’s Note: The Samsung Chromebook Pro won’t be available for purchase until later this Spring.]

Read the full review: Samsung Chromebook Pro

Best Chromebook

3. Dell Chromebook 11

Dell’s updated Chromebook is a star in almost every regard

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1366 x 768) touchscreen | Storage: 16GB SSD

Rugged design

180-degree barrel hinge

Touchscreen not standard

Small keyboard

On this Chromebook 11, you’ll find a 180-degree reinforced hinge, sturdy design, sealed keyboard and trackpad and a punchy typing experience accompanying a perfectly portable package. In addition to using the Chromebook for classwork, bass-happy students will appreciate the loud stereo speakers for music and videos. Everyone else will appreciate the Dell Chromebook 11’s ability to lay flat using a 180-degree barrel hinge, an effective inclusion for touch-based activities. Don’t worry about dinging it, either. This device remains the most rugged Chromebook on our list.

Read the full review: Dell Chromebook 11

best chromebook

4. Acer Chromebook 15

The colossus of Chromebooks

CPU: Intel Celeron – Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics – HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) – FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD

Fast processing speed

Long battery life

Very heavy

Awkward keyboard

Rather than “Think Different,” Acer’s spin on Apple’s catchphrase would be “Think Bigger.” Unlike most in its class, this Chromebook is blessed with a 15.6-inch Full HD screen made better only by its optional Intel Core i5 processor. You probably won’t need all that power on a Chromebook (luckily, there’s a newer, even cheaper model that’s been added recently), but it sure is nice to have the option. When it comes to larger Chromebooks, there isn’t much selection, but luckily, Acer has devised a no-brainer.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15

Acer Chromebook R11

5. Acer Chromebook R11

360-degree flips for days

CPU: Intel Celeron N3150 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD

Convertible

Good battery life

HD-only display

Terrible trackpad

The R11’s minimalist design may not win any fashion shows, but behind that plain shell is a surprisingly fit laptop destined to endure an entire day’s work. It’s even among the first Chromebooks to support Android apps by way of the Google Play Store. So, if you’ve ever wanted to use Firefox on a Chromebook, well, now you can. The R11 packs day-long battery life, punchy performance and a 360-degree hinge with touchscreen. It won’t break the bank, thereby making flaws, like an iffy trackpad and barely-HD touch display, a little easier to swallow.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11

best chromebook

6. HP Chromebook 14

A well-balanced Chromebook

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 – N2940 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) BrightView | Storage: 16GB – 32GB eMMC

Excellent keyboard, trackpad

Crisp, vivid screen

Slower than some rivals

Average battery life

With a rock-bottom starting price, the HP Chromebook 14 is the best choice for those seeking a basic web browsing machine. While Acer’s Chromebook 15 serves up similar components (save for SSD storage rather than eMMC), HPs’ 14-incher is a bit more compact and better looking to boot. The HP Chromebook 14 sports a bright blue finish and a screen devised to surprise. Overall, this machine boasts the best value out of every Chromebook you could buy. Albeit average in both battery life and performance, the HP Chromebook 14 is a sublime offering considering the cost.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14

best chromebook

7. HP Chromebook 13

Flashy and functional, this Chromebook means business

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080) – QHD (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 32GB eMMC

Ultra-thin and sharp design

High-resolution display is a beauty

Lacks touchscreen

QHD+ display hikes price and lowers battery life

This Chromebook offers a handful of distinct features from what you might find on a comparable Windows laptop. You’re guaranteed at least a 1440p screen – above average for a Chromebook. Even better are the not one, but two USB-C ports. And, if you’re willing to shell out just a bit more cash, you can also nab yourself an Intel Core-M processor rather than a Pentium. All of this is complemented by incredible style, a metallic design that exudes Pixel influence. Given that Google discontinued its own Chromebook earlier in the year, the HP Chromebook 13 wins the best high-end Chromebook position handily.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 13

Juan Martinez and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article.

Threats to Online Privacy: What a Trump Administration May Do to Cyberspace

This feature has been brought to you by IPVanish

This is a follow-up to the story ‘How Trump’s Cybersecurity Quest May Reshape the Internet’.

 President Trump has been vocal about his fondness for mass online surveillance; “I want surveillance of these people,” he announced in reference to Muslim Americans during his campaign. According to Edgar, it may not be as difficult to implement such surveillance as one might think. In his essay, Edgar explains: “If Trump decides to build a great firewall, he may not need Congress. Section 606 of the Communications Act of 1934 provides emergency powers to seize control of communications facilities if the president declares there is a ‘war or threat of war’ or ‘a state of public peril.’”

In 2010, a Senate report concluded that Section 606 ‘gives the President the authority to take over wire communications in the United States and, if the President so chooses, shut a network down.’ With a signature, the former reality television star could invoke it. Section 606 has never been applied to the internet before, but there is no law stating that it cannot be. Edgar adds, “If Trump wants to ‘close that internet up,’ all he will need is an opinion from his Attorney General that Section 606 gives him authority to do so, and that the threat of terrorism is compelling enough to override any First Amendment concerns.”

Online Freedom

While on the surface it may seem that Trump champions protecting the people with cybersecurity, he doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of online freedom. “We have to talk … about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some way,” he stated at a rally in South Carolina during his campaign. He also warned that “certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country,” such as policies that “were frankly unthinkable a year ago.” It is this kind of minatory rhetoric that seems to show Trump’s true colours, and frighten those who believe that the right to personal privacy from the government should not be limited to the physical.

At least Donald Trump’s stance on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and net neutrality are crystal clear, though it still comes with glaring discrepancies. Net neutrality — the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) should not restrict access to, favour, or block certain content or services delivered online — was brought about in the early 2000s by Columbia University media law professor, Tim Wu. Issues concerning net neutrality had been practically nonexistent until 2014 when FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, proposed a plan that would have allowed internet giants like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to create “pay-to-play” fast lanes. But Americans spoke out, causing Wheeler to throw out his original proposal and release new net neutrality rules based on Title II of the Communications Act, which would regulate broadband as a public utility and put internet users’ protection as the number one priority. Still, net neutrality has not come without backlash from Congress, the courts, and now the incoming President.

Obama Legacy

Trump is seeking to reverse the Obama administration’s policies concerning net neutrality and loosen the regulations that govern ISPs and data. He advocates for reclassifying broadband from a public utility like electricity or water to an information service, and charging it as such. Supporters of the previous administration want to prohibit paid prioritisation and blocking because it would be bad for consumers, whereas supporters of the incoming administration believe that this kind of broadly-offered service would benefit business. Trump plans to expedite this process as soon as he takes office, which means we could be witnessing a widely discriminatory internet very soon. 

 Some of the most pressing items on the conservative President’s to-do list are to replace FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and to end the FCC’s involvement in the telecommunications market. This decision to replace Wheeler has been supported by The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a nonprofit public policy think tank in Washington D.C., who believe that the FCC overstepped its boundaries when it changed broadband regulations. “A Trump-appointed FCC chair has a chance to fix that mistake,” stated Robert Atkinson, ITIF President.

But by cutting the FCC out of internet regulation altogether, privacy oversight of ISPs would fall to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC); and instead of having the FCC regulate the behaviour of users or determine what is unfair or deceptive, the responsibility falls on trade groups in different industries.  The FCC released rules in October of 2016 that allowed broadband users “increased choice, transparency, and security over their personal data.” These rules would automatically be nullified if the 2015 FCC’s TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order is thrown out. So, with laxer regulations and an FCC that does not oversee internet regulation, results will likely include higher internet and cable bills, worse customer service, and fewer, less varied choices for service. With laxer regulations, it will also easier for cable and phone companies to mine the browsing habits of and other information relating to customers in order to target ads. Many companies have already expressed excitement over Trump’s reduced regulation plan, like Verizon, who has been attempting to build a digital ad-business to compete with Google and Facebook but has been met with recent privacy rules that require them to ask for customers’ permission before using their data.

What’s next

While it remains unseen whether Donald Trump will actually put an end to net neutrality as we know it, the threat still looms over us. Without net neutrality, access to certain web services may be manipulated by local cable and phone companies. Matt Wood, policy director for the public-interest group Free Press, stated that “Internet providers could use subtle tactics and behind-the-scenes manoeuvres to change people’s behaviour and make more money,” and many consumers could see a decline in the number and variety of services offered, and an increase in prices. While these kinds of alterations could lead to a censored internet where information is not so free, network encryption apps provide the best way to combat this.

While Trump does not seem to have a very firm grasp on modern technology, he has promised tech leaders that his administration will continue to support the furthering of new technologies and support their innovations every step of the way. As President-elect, Trump met with various tech leaders to discuss job creation, innovation, free trade, and cybersecurity. Representatives from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Oracle, and Cisco were in attendance, however, one innovator was notably missing. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, did not receive an invitation to meet with Trump, a snub which struck many as odd considering the conservative’s frequent and controversial use of the micro-blogging platform. 

Despite the threats to online privacy and internet freedom that have been made apparent in Donald Trump’s rhetoric, it’s been proven time and time again that he cannot always be held at his word. We can only hope that the new administration puts the right policies and practices in place that will protect the integrity of our online environment and put an end to privacy threats before they even begin. Even with hope, it is imperative that the American people do not take the issues of online privacy lightly.  What matters most now, is that President Donald J. Trump’s powers to survey and control the internet do exist. The people of America must prepare themselves for “turnkey tyranny,” as Edward Snowden put it in his first interview — and the fact that some new leader, someday, may “find the switch.”

15 best PC gaming headsets 2017

Update: We’re constantly updating our list of the best gaming headsets, so make sure you check back here regularly to find our expert opinion on the latest and greatest headsets.

Having a great set of gaming headphones can revolutionise your gaming experience. Not does high quality sound quality make you feel like you’re part of the action, 7.1 surround sound can fully immerse you and make you feel like you’re really in the game.

Surround sound can also help improve your scores, as you’ll be able to hear enemies sneak up behind you.

Without the best gaming headset, you’re depriving yourself of full-on immersion from every angle – after all, who says you need VR for 360-degree fun? Pick the right pair of headphones outfitted with a clear quality mic and you’ll immediately notice a difference in the way you experience games.

Whether you need a USB or 3.5mm headset, a surround sound or stereo pair, or simply one to communicate with friends online, we’ve picked out the very best PC gaming headsets for your needs.

Though we haven’t had the chance to fully review every headset on this list, rest assured that each has been tested comprehensively prior to its consideration.

1. Astro A50 Wireless

The best all-round headset just got better

Interface: Wireless | Features: Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround Sound; Works with PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and mobile; Astro Audio; 5.8GHz wireless tech with MixAmp; 6.0mm uni-directional noise cancelling mic; USB charging with base station

Full-bodied Dolby 7.1 Surround sound

Supremely comfortable

Finnicky charging cradle

We called the original Astro A50 a “game-changing, experience-enhancing headset”, and thankfully its wireless successor follows the “ain’t broke, don’t fix” rule. Astro’s latest headset does what it says on the tin and adds wireless connectivity to an already stellar package. Though not the cheapest headset on the block, the Astro A50 Wireless has transferred amp controls from its predecessor’s cable right into the headcups themselves, giving you the ability to balance in-game audio and voice chat on-the-fly.

Add to that the A50’s solid aluminum construction, effective noise-cancelling microphone, booming bass and impressive mid-range sounds, and you have one headset that’s ready to rock on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It’s also suitable for using with the HTC Vive and other VR headsets thanks to the accommodating shape of the headband. We’ve found that few headsets can rival the A50’s comfort’s plush ear cups, which are large enough to give you a realistic sense of sound coming from all directions.

Siberia 840

2. SteelSeries Siberia 840

A fantastic all-rounder that’s hugely comfortable

Interface: Wireless or wired | Features: Closed back earcups, Dolby virtual 7.1 surround sound, Retractable directional mic with mute indicating light, Two hot-swappable Li-Ion batteries, Sound share audio recording, Click wheel, Memory-foam ear cushions, Works with Xbox 360, PS3/4, PC/Mac, Apple TV/Roku, Home entertainment and mobile devices

Dolby 7.1 surround sound

Comfortable

Pricey

Sometimes you’re prepared to pay a premium for a PC gaming accessory that does the lot, and in the headset category that’s the Siberia 840. Following on from the already impressive Siberia 800 (and the H Wireless before that from 2014), the upgraded Sibera 840 now works with Bluetooth and is lag-free within games. It also supports SteelSeries Engine 3 – a gorgeous and user-friendly app that lets you manage and tweak every element of the Siberia 840 – from profiles to equalizer settings and what to show on the OLED display on the side of the accompanying base unit.

All of that is, of course, secondary to the Siberia 840’s sound qualities which are nothing less than sublime. Activating Dolby 7.1 surround sound is like dropping you into the game. Enemies’ footsteps can be picked out across a room including behind you, leading to some heart-in-mouth moments in shooters like DOOM.

3. Asus ROG Centurion 7.1

10 drivers, 7.1 channels and one impeccable headset

Interface: Wired (USB) | Features: 10-driver 7.1 surround sound, dual-USB amplifier, Sonic Software compatibility, HDMI passthrough, amplifier with audio profile and channel volume controls, unidirectional microphone

Excellent spatial sound

Speaker passthrough

Can only be used with its amp

Heavy and bulky

Who cares about style when it comes to gaming headsets? Certainly not Asus. Neglecting all the unwritten rules of fashion, the ROG Centurion 7.1 is a spectacle to behold, both for its garish looks and unruly knack for omitting crystal clear sound waves. It may be a living hellscape to set up, requiring that a pair of USB cables be connected to an amplifier at all times, but that’s not to say it doesn’t offer plenty of room for expansion. 

In fact, the Asus ROG Centurion 7.1 not only bolsters full-fledged surround sound passthrough for an external set of speakers, but the onboard amp controls grant you complete control over the audio profiles and channel volumes being outputted. You can even take advantage of Asus’s own Sonic Studio software package, which gives you even more dominance over the headset’s functions. There’s a steep learning curve, but for those who don’t mind, this headset is a mighty surround sound offering.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Centurion 7.1 headset

V MODA

4. V-MODA Crossfade Wireless

Stylish with powerful bass-driven tones

Interface: Wireless or wired (USB) | Features: Bluetooth connectivity, built-in microphone (Boom Microphone available for gamers), Lithium-ion battery with up to 12 hours of continuous music, Dual-diaphragm 50mm driver, Metal construction with leather, Military-level MID-STD-810 tested

Huge, eardrum-filling sound

Comfortable padded cups

Divisive design

Don’t fold

If you’re more interested in the sounds coming out of your gaming headset, rather than glowing LEDs, macro keys and other nonessential extras, then the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless is the headset for you. These stylish cans are a treat for the ears, emitting booming sound that’s bass-heavy with fantastically crisp treble at the other end. Whether you’re being rocked by explosions in Battlefield or can hear the roar of the crowd in Fifa, they bring games to life and are equally suited to listening to music; You’ll be able to pick out parts of your favorite tracks that you never previously thought existed.

Stepping out of the soundscape for a moment, the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless feature comfortable memory foam ear cups that don’t irritate the ears even after hours of use, and you’ll get around 12 hours out of its battery life when connected via Bluetooth. This headset’s rugged build quality, funky travel case and optional USB connectivity add up to make it one of the best headsets on the market.

Read the full review: V-MODA Crossfade Wireless

5. Turtle Beach 350 Stealth VR

The best gaming headset for virtual reality

Interface: Wired (3.5mm) | Features: Battery-powered amplification (30 hours on a single charge), Variable bass boost, Full-range audio, Mic monitoring, Removable noise-cancelling microphone, Ergonomic VR design. Swappable cable system

Ergonomic design suits VR headsets

Battery amplification provides full-bodied sound

Mic monitoring lets you hear yourself

Feel flimsier than more expensive headsets

No surround sound

With VR headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift making their way into PC gamers’ rooms, specially-designed audio headsets for virtual reality were bound to follow. The Turtle Beach 350 Stealth VR is one of the most flexible out there, featuring a generous amount of adjustability thanks to its sturdy headband which can fit over the top of VR headsets worn on even the biggest heads. Sure enough, the 350 Stealth is designed for practicality rather than sharp looks. Its black-and-white color scheme isn’t the most exciting design out there, but an abundance of features makes up for that. There’s mic monitoring, which allows you to hear your own voice inside the headset, bass boost for booming lows, a detachable noise-cancelling headphone mic, and a groove in the ear cups that lets you tuck the audio cable out of the way. While it’s perfectly suitable for owners of PC-based VR headsets, it’s quite literally a great fit for PSVR gamers too.

6. SteelSeries Arctis

High performance with a low profile

Interface: Wireless or wired (3.5mm) | Features: 2.4GHz wireless technology (Arctis 7 only); 15-hour battery; built-in digital audio control; Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound; Steelseries Engine software, Compatible with PC, Mac PS4, Xbox One, smartphones, tablets and VR

Sterling bass and treble quality

Professional design

Ugly suspension headband

Unlike some of its competitors, SteelSeries stresses subtlety in its headset designs. The Arctis continues this trend by flaunting sound quality and comfort over gaudy appearances. 

When you pop an Arctis on your head, the goal is for your audience to see a professional environment rather than, say, a Dorito stain on your chair. The customizable lighting, however, gives you plenty of wiggle room, though, if the monochrome look isn’t your thing.

The SteelSeries Arctis comes in three distinct flavors: Arctis 3, Arctis 5 and Arctis 7, each one more expensive than the last. The Arctis 3 is pretty analog protocol while the 5 ships with an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and the Arctis 7 is wireless with 2.4GHz connectivity. Each model comes with digital audio control built-in, with an app available for those looking to take this one step further.

The only drawback, then, is a less-than-attractive suspension headband.

Razer ManO War

7. Razer ManO’War

Surround sound without the fuss

Interface: Wireless | Features: Software-based 7.1 surround sound, Earcup-mounted controls, Chroma RGB multi-color lighting, 14-meter range (using an extender, 12 meters without)

Great surround sound

Easy to set up

Multi-color lighting

Slightly bulky

No wired option

Quick and easy to setup using an inconspicuous wireless USB receiver that stores inside the headset for transportation, the Razer ManO’War is a user-friendly unit that’s primed for surround-sound gaming. Sure, it’s a little chunkier than most other headsets, but two soft leatherette ear cups make it comfortable to wear for extended periods. They’re easy on the eye too thanks to customizable Chroma RGB backlighting configured through Razer’s Synapse software.

Though delivered through software, the ManO’War’s 7.1 channel virtual surround sound does a fine job of ramping up immersion in-game. Doom’s Imps are no longer somewhere around you – they’re breathing down your neck. The ManO’War’s range can reach up to 14 meters using the supplied USB extender, and its battery life is capable of stretching to just as many hours.

As a more affordable alternative, Razer has launched the ManO’War 7.1 Wired Gaming Headset. It comes with a USB digital-to-analog convertor (CAV) that provides superb surround sound and the same eye-catching design as the wireless edition (only without the RGB lighting).

Read the full review: Razer ManO’War

Best gaming headset

8. HyperX Cloud Stinger

Great sound at a price for everyone

Interface: 3.5mm analog wired | Features: Closed back earcups, Swiveling noise-cancellation microphone, Onboard volume slider, Multi-platform compatibility, Memory foam earcups

Lightweight

Excellent ergonomics

Unremovable microphone

Light on bass

Arguably one of the most affordable gaming headsets available today, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is designed to give players eSports quality audio at a bargain. While there isn’t much to write home about with the red on black plastic design of the headset, the stereo sound is superb. It also feels comfortable to wear for extended play sessions thanks to a set of memory foam earcups. Although this isn’t the ultimate gaming headset, it’s a great starting point if you’re trying to game on a budget.

9. Sennheiser GSP 350

Stellar Sennheiser audio quality for less

Interface: 3.5mm and USB (for 7.1 surround) | Features: Closed acoustic earcups, Memory foam ear pads, Right ear cup volume control, 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound, Broadcast quality noise-cancelling microphone, Automatic mic mute, Split headband design

Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound

Sturdy build quality

Comfortable memory foam earpads

Dolby surround only works with PC

More affordable than Sennheiser’s flagship PC 373D while still packing an audible punch, the GSP 350 carries over that headset’s stellar 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound and closed ear-cup design. It’s equally a suitable for marathon  gaming sessions thanks to its huge comfortable ear cups, with the right cup once again featuring a volume dial. The headset uses a closed-back design with an adjustable split headband, rather than the PC 373D’s more solid and thicker continuous band. The GSP 350’s noise-cancelling microphone is equally as good and once again mutes when lifted up while blocking out breathing sounds, much to the relief of your in-game team-mates. If you like the look of Sennheiser’s flagship gaming headset but can’t quite stomach its price tag, this one is a little lighter and slightly less solid, but still superior to many of its rivals.

G33 Artemis Spectrum

10. Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum

A command center on your head

Interface: Wireless or wired (3.5mm) | Features: 7.1 Surround Sound, Cup-mounted G-Keys (macro), Programmable RGB mutli-color lighting

Attractive design

Cup mounted macro keys

Comfortable

Average battery life

Logitech’s flagship gaming headset packs in plenty of bells and whistles, the most useful being its cup-mounted G-keys that provide handy shortcuts to performing actions in-game. In terms of design, The G933 is certainly one of the snazziest headsets around and oozes gamer appeal, and if you’re fed up of round ear-cups on headsets then you’ll appreciate its large and comfortable ear-shaped ones. Logitech has ran a multi-colored lighting strip all the way down the cup, rather than placing a flashing logo on the side, which in our eyes is more appealing than the small glowing areas on Corsair’s and Razer’s flagship headsets. On the negative side, this cuts down battery life to around 10 hours. Turning off the flashing goodness will help you eke out a few more,

Corsair Void RGB

11. Corsair Void RGB

Lights up the room and your ears

Interface: Wireless or wired (USB) | Features: 7.1 software-based surround sound, 2.4GHz wireless, 40-feet wireless range, 16-hour battery life, Mic on indicator, RGB lighting, Corsair CUE software, 50mm neodymium drivers, Noise-cancelling microphone

Well-built

Long wireless range

Surround sound works well

Cloth (rather than leather) ear cups

Microphone isn’t great

If you’re looking for a pair of 7.1 surround sound cans with RGB lighting that won’t break the bank, Corsair’s latest entry should be high up your list. Its excellent 40-meter wireless range means you can go for a wander without your team-mates’ chatter cutting off, and the Void is capable of emitting fist-pumping bass that’s powerful without muddying the mix. You can configure its lighting colors using Corsair’s intuitive software and even make it dance in tandem with the company’s K65 or K70 mechanical keyboards. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way for adjusting the fold-down mic so its clarity often suffers, but it doesn’t put us off what is a solid and affordable option for surround sound gaming.

Cloud Revolver

12. HyperX Cloud Revolver

Affordable and comfortable with punchy bass

Interface: Wired (dual 3.5mm) | Features: 53mm drivers, Ear cup memory foam, Noise cancellation mic, Audio volume and mute controls, Detachable microphone

Good value

Decent build quality

Punchy, bass-driven sound

No surround sound

No headset controls

Here we have a no-frills headset that offers build quality that comes close to pairs that cost almost twice the price. You may have already come across Kingston’s HyperX Cloud Revolver headset. Used by a number of eSports teams, its large interchangeable over-the-ear memory foam cups help block out unwanted noise, and the retractable mic allows clear and distortion-free communication with team-mates.

Despite its affordable nature, the Cloud Revolver is ready to rock. Its 53mm drivers have been tweaked to blast out punchy mid-range tones and pounding bass that’s best described as in-your-face. Subtle they ain’t. There’s no surround sound support or RGB lighting to be found here, and you’ll have to reach for the Cloud Revolver’s braided cable to get to its in-line volume and mic controls. If those factors don’t bother you then this value-focused headset comes highly recommended.

ROG STRIX WIRELESS

13. Asus ROG Strix Wireless

Low-input lag makes these great for gaming

Interface: Wireless | Features: 2.4GHz wireless technology; 900mAh battery; Headset-mounted control buttons; Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound; Sonic Studio software’ Compatible with PC, PS4, Xbox One, smartphones, and tablets.

Great 7.1 surround sound

Soft padded earcups

Bulky plastic design

Looking like something straight out of Quake 2, Asus’ Strix 7.1 wireless gaming headset immediately caught our eye thanks to its large black-and-orange ear cups that are decked in a circular pattern resembling an owl’s eye. Those oversized ear cups makes them comfortable to wear for extended periods but there’s no RGB lighting on them, which on the plus side provides up to 10 hours of continuous gameplay using 2.4GHz wireless to connect.

Asus claims that it provides lower latency than Bluetooth, and while it’s difficult to verify that, bullets whizzing past our head in-game synched up pretty well thanks to virtual 7.1 surround sound being blasted into our ears from all directions. Asus’ Sonic Studio software provides an easy method of tweaking sound settings, and we found cranking up the (already sufficient) bass in the app’s equalizer particularly satisfying for both gaming and listening to music.

Turtle Beach

14. Turtle Beach Elite Pro

Like kicking back on your favorite comfy couch

Interface: Wireless or wired (3.5mm) | Features: 3.5mm upstream and downstream jack, 50mm drivers, Memory foam earpads, Glasses relief system, Optional Tournament Audio Controller, Standard microphone included

Comfortable

Tactical Audio Controller

No surround sound

Pricey with TAC

Aimed at PC and console gamers, using Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro feels like sitting down at a command station and gearing up for war. This headset oozes gaming appeal, right down to the subtle orange ruler-type markings on the headset’s automatically adjusting headband. It’s a funky piece of kit that’s reassuringly chunky while remaining supremely comfortable at all times thanks to its gel-infused Aerofit ear cushions. Most importantly, they sound great in the heat of battle. That’s down to Turtle Beach’s 50mm NanoClear drivers, which do an especially great job of bringing you into the heart of the action in shooters.

If you’re particularly hardcore, you might want to shell out for the Tactical Audio Controller. At $199 (around £149) it’s not cheap, but it grants an intuitive and fun of adjusting settings such as the game/chat mix, your own microphone level, in-game sounds, and there’s also a mute button to cut game sound out completely. It also lets you chop and change between four surround modes (Game, Music, Movie and off), which is a lot easier than fiddling around with controls on the headset itself.

15. Cougar Immersa

Powerful sounds and an eye-catching price tag

Interface: Wired | Features: Compatible with PC and consoles, 100mm ear padding, Noise cancelling microphone, 40mm drivers, 100mm extra-large ear pads, Retractable microphone, Leather headband design

Big comfortable ear cups

Powerful bass

Headband feels flimsy

There are an increasing number of PC gaming headsets impressing at the lower end of the price spectrum, including the new Cougar Immersa. Decked in the company’s trademark orange-and-black color scheme, this gaming headset is big, bright and bold. Its massive earcups envelop the ears and are comfortable when worn over long periods. The Immersa’s mid-range and bass tones are punchy and bright, though treble is a little lacking. The retractable microphone is convenient, and online gamers had no trouble hearing what we were saying in Counter Strike: GO. HyperX Cloud Stinger aside, there are few gaming headsets in this price bracket that have impressed us like the Immersa.

The best AT&T phones available in February 2017

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The best AT&T phone for February 2017 now includes Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. That’s not to mention two already great Samsung phones have been on the network for months, not counting the discontinued Samsung Galaxy Note 7, of course. No need to fret about decisions, because we’ve gone ahead and thoroughly tested then ranked all of the best AT&T phones available, from the iPhone 7 ($650, 32GB) to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge ($794) to help you decide which phone you want in your pocket for the next year or two. This is handset shopping made easy! Read on for the easy way to choose a new phone on AT&T.

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AT&T phones: The options explained

TechRadar’s guide to finding the best AT&T phone for you

To rank the best AT&T phones out there, we reviewed just about every contender and balanced the value of the phone compared to AT&T’s asking price. We also disregarded any personal preferences and/or biases towards specific operating systems, be it Android, iOS or Windows. All of these phones are available through AT&T’s main Mobile Share Value plan and can be financed with AT&T Next, which spreads the cost of the phone over a set amount of time. For this article, we’ll be looking at the AT&T Next 24 plan, which spreads the cost of the phone over 30 months, with an option for upgrade after 24 months. If you’re still shopping for a plan with AT&T, check out our breakdown of the best plans the carrier has to offer.

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How to choose the best AT&T phones for you:

AT&T features a wide range of handsets, ranging from around $5/month to over $30/month and everything in between. Essentially, you as the customer can pay as little or as much as you like, but naturally your phone will reflect the investment. A solid, cutting-edge phone will likely run you above $22/month every time, with a few notable affordable exceptions falling below that threshold. Instead of you having to manually peruse the AT&T site for a decent phone, we’ve compiled a list of the best the network has to offer, ranked as we see them. Let’s dive in and find the perfect phone for you before we rank all of the available options a bit further down the page.

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The best AT&T phone options for every budget:

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Best of the best: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Overall we found that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the very best handset that AT&T has to offer, boasting a brilliant 12MP camera, a removable SD card slot and arguably the best display on the market. On top of it all, the phone is natively water resistant for 30 minutes in over 4 feet of water, adding some much needed peace of mind. We also like the newer and even bigger Galaxy Note 7, but Samsung has temporarily recalling its phablet. The S7 Edge is also cheaper, starting at $26.50/month.

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Best Apple phone: iPhone 7 Plus

AT&T’s best phone running iOS is the iPhone 7, or the iPhone 7 Plus if you like them big! Was Apple late to the phablet party? Of course. Does it matter? Not really. The iPhone 7 Plus makes up for its tardiness with Apple’s best camera because it has a dual lens system. It also has a brighter display and the longest lasting battery to date. This is the best Apple phone this carrier currently offers and starts at $25.67/month.

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Best Android: LG G5

The best Android is technically the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention at least one of the many other excellent Android phones that AT&T has to offer, including the surprisingly impressive LG G5. This phone also runs at lightning speeds on a glorious 5.3-inch IPS display with a 16MP camera that’s nothing to scoff at. This could be the Android dark horse on this carrier.

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Best value phone: Apple iPhone SE

If you’re like Bono and still haven’t found what you’re looking for, you’re probably waiting around for a stellar value. The best bang for your buck at AT&T is without a doubt the iPhone SE. Don’t let its size fool you – the iPhone SE runs on the same guts as the ultra-powerful iPhone 6S and boasts a 12MP camera with 4K video capture. Starting at only $13.34/month for the 16GB version, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better value.

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g vista 2

Best cheap phone: LG G Vista 2

If you’re not looking to spend much money, AT&T has no shortage in excellent affordable smartphones. The best is the LG G Vista 2, an oft-overlooked phablet that has some pretty impressive features, including a full-HD 5.7-inch display, a 13MP camera and an embedded stylus. Most impressive is that this behemoth starts at only $9.97/month, making this a perfect choice for the penny-pinchers out there.

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The 10 best AT&T phones for you…

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1. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge | Android 7.0 | 5.5-inch screen | 12MP/5MP camera | From $26.50/month
Simply put, this is the best phone on the market at the moment. As we mentioned, the native water resistance paired with a sharp camera and an even sharper design make this a phone to covet. I highly recommend this phone to anyone living an active lifestyle, especially around water, or to someone who simply wants the best phone available at the moment. It’s that good.

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2. Samsung Galaxy S7 | Android 7.0 | 5.1-inch screen | 12MP/5MP camera | From $23.17/month
This phone is so similar to the Edge that we’d be lying if we put it anywhere else on the list. The crystal clear 5.1 display along with the joyous return of the SD card slot to Samsung phones are just a taste of what makes the S7 and S7 Edge a cut above the rest.

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3. Apple iPhone 7 Plus | iOS 10 | 5.5-inch screen | 12MP/7MP camera | From $25.67/month
The iPhone 7 Plus is not only bigger than Apple’s iPhone 7, but it is more powerful, with a few groundbreaking features thrown in. The highlight is the dual-camera lenses on the back for better telephoto photography and an all-new portrait mode. Behind the 5.5-inch display is a bigger battery. At launch the iPhone 7 Plus Jet Black was almost impossible to find, so snap this phone up right away in the color of your choice.

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4. Apple iPhone 7 | iOS 10 | 4.7-inch screen | 12MP/7MP camera | From $21.67/month
The iPhone 7 is nearly as impressive as the 7 Plus. In fact, many would prefer the size on the 7 over the 7 Plus, even if it doesn’t come with the fancy dual-camera lens. This ranks just behind its counterpart, but if you’re looking to get an iPhone and still want a phone you can control easier with one hand, the iPhone 7 is probably the one for you. Even coming from the more powerful 5.5-inch iPhone, we greatly appreciate the one-handed operation of the iPhone 7.

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5. Samsung Galaxy Note 5 | Android 6.0.1 | 5.7-inch screen | 12MP/5MP camera | From $29.34/month
The Galaxy Note 5 is Samsung’s oversized phone that’s back on sale due to the troubled Note 7 launch. It’s still a quality big phone with a stylus. It has the same, larger 5.7-inch display and S-Pen stylus you can’t get on any other phone. It’s not water-resistant, like the Note 7, and you can’t swap out the battery. You’ll have to turn to LG for that perk.

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6. Samsung Galaxy S7 Active | Android 6.0.1 | 5.1-inch screen | 12MP/5MP camera | From $26.50/month We really like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active for its durable design that lets you take it almost anywhere. It’s shock, water and dust-resistant, meaning it’s basically the opposite of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. It has a huge 4,000mAh battery (no this one doesn’t explode) and comes in three colors. It’s an AT&T exclusive, so you Verizon friends can’t have this one.

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7. LG G5 | Android 6.0.1 | 5.3-inch screen | 16MP/8MP/8MP camera | From $22.97/month
While this is a stellar Android phone for a host of reasons, its modular design and easy battery access make this an unforgettable entry into the Android lineup. I would recommend this device to anyone who longs for the Android days of yesteryear and needs a steady, no fuss handset.

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8. LG V20 | Android 6.0.1 | 5.7-inch screen | 16MP/8MP camera | From $27.67/month
The LG V20 is yet another impressive entry lately from LG. Otherwise known as the selfie king, the LG V20 can take 135 degree wide angle photos with its front facing camera, negating the need to ever look silly with a selfie-stick ever again. Isn’t that reason enough to buy it? It also includes a second wide-angle rear camera so you can get the entire picture in the shot. Besides the impressive camera, the phone has a rich HD display and would appeal to just about any casual Android fan.

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9. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge | Android 6.0.1 | 5.1-inch screen | 16MP/5MP camera | From $23.84/month
Although the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both went through a bit controversy in the nixing on the SD card slot (a move which was undone by the S7 and S7 Edge,) the fact remains: this is a great phone. This ultra sleek handset is one of the best looking devices Samsung has released and has the features to back it up. While it’s not cutting edge, if you’re looking to save a bit of money compared to the latest generation, this is the ticket.

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10. Microsoft Lumia 950 | Windows 10 | 5.2-inch screen | 20MP/5MP camera | From $19.97/month
If you’re looking for a new flavor altogether, the Windows powered Lumia 950 just may be the way to go. With a high megapixel camera, Windows 10, and Windows’ personal assistant, Cortana on board, this handset is a welcome change up from the Android/iOS rat race. This phone’s for anyone who’s ready for a break from the two main competitors.

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Bonus: 11. iPhone SE | iOS 10 | 4-inch screen | 12MP/1.2MP camera | From $13.34/month
For those longing for the days when the iPhone could fit in the palm of your hand, the iPhone SE is likely exactly what you’ve been waiting for. This thing runs on the same heavy duty guts that the iPhone 6S runs on, with several other features that make it a formidable entry into the iPhone line.

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Apple Park opens in April – new HQ comes complete with sweet Steve Jobs homage

Apple’s futuristic ‘Campus’ HQ will finally open its doors to employees this April under its new name, ‘Apple Park’, situated in California’s Santa Clara Valley.

While there’s no word yet on whether or not it has a T-Rex, it will have a heartfelt homage to former Apple boss Steve Jobs. Jobs, who helped in the early stages of the site’s development, will have the 175-acre campus’s 1,000 seater theater named after him.

The Park, replacing Apple’s current One Infinite Loop base of operations, is fully powered by renewable energy, with its spaceship-like design measuring up at 2.8 million square feet of space.

‘The home of innovation’

“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. 

“The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”

“Steve invested so much of his energy creating and supporting vital, creative environments,” added  Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer.  

“We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same enthusiasm and design principles that characterize our products.”

If a job at Apple didn’t already seem like a dream, the Apple Park has some great perks or its employees, with a 100,000 square-foot fitness center, apple orchards (obviously) and running paths to explore. 

The best AT&T plans in February 2017

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Choosing the best AT&T plan is among the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your phone this year. Don’t fret, we’re here to help you pick it.

You’ve already found a solid network in AT&T – that’s only half the battle; the real challenge is often picking the best data plan that fits your monthly needs. 

If you’ve landed on AT&T, we’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you. After hours of scrupulously research, we’ve broken down every plan and price from nation’s second-largest network.

best ATT plans

AT&T Plans: Explained

Since the days of waiting until 9:00pm to make a call is far off in the rearview mirror, data is the main selling point for the major networks. Following in the footsteps of Verizon’s plans, AT&T sent its various minute-based plan options flying out the window, opting for a more modern and streamlined data sharing option called the Mobile Share Value plan. With this shared data plan, the price is determined by the amount of data you choose to include in your plan, ranging from a measly 300MB to a monstrous 50GB. The best part: no matter which plan you pick, there are no more overage fees. We’ll explain further down.

Another perk with this plan is that the data (read: the cost) can be divided amongst as many as 10 devices, which could significantly diffuse a would-be heartbreaker of a monthly bill. The only catch is that every line on the plan is an extra $20/month (down from $25 per line a few months ago), which covers unlimited talk and text not only in the United States, but in Canada and Mexico as well.

Adding a tablet, dedicated gaming and wearable to your plan, like the SIM-card-accepting LG Watch Sport we just reviewed, costs $10 per device, while laptops and hotspots required a monthly $20 fee.

AT&T’s new Unlimited plan

You can also now get AT&T’s Unlimited Plan, as of February 2017. It’s back on! It’s $100 for a single line, but gets cheaper from there, costing $40 for each additional line. The tablets access fee are $40 or $20 for 1GB per month, while adding a Connected Car or wearable to the plan will run you $10 a month. 

There’s no throttling unless you exceed 22GB of data usage in a single month, and the Stream Saver option helps by that automatically setting video to 480p – you can be turned off and on as needed. That only big downside to this almost-all-inclusive AT&T plan is that you can’t turn your phone into a mobile hotspot.

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll be shelling out month to month for each level of data.

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How much data do you really need?

Unless you plan to constantly stream every season of The Walking Dead via 4G LTE, 15GB of data or less should be more than enough for a single-line customer. If you’re lucky enough to have some unused data when the phone bill comes around, AT&T’s Rollover Data will let last month’s internet scraps feed next month’s data. The only downside is that it’s kept in check by a pretty stingy one month expiration date, meaning you can’t keep rolling data over from month to month. Still, having last month’s extra data lying around is a pretty handy perk to have, especially for heavier-than-average data users.

AT&T Next: Helping you pay for your phone

Good news, you don’t have to pay $800 for the latest and greatest phone, as AT&T has a simpler payment plan by way of AT&T Next. It break up the cost of your device over a set period of time. While the option is always open to put a hefty down payment on your new device, or pay for it entirely before activation, AT&T Next is a reasonable and flexible way to take some of the financial burden from customers, while offering a clear path to trading for a newer device. Extremely well-qualified customers can expect to walk out of AT&T with a brand new phone, and not a penny down. Hard to beat, right? Let’s take a look at each level of AT&T Next, to see which one fits your needs the best.

best ATT plans

ATT plans ATT Next

AT&T Next Every Year

This level breaks up your device payment into 30 monthly installments, with the option to trade-in and upgrade after 24 months, or 2 years. This is the lowest monthly fee that doesn’t require a downpayment for qualified customers. It was formerly called AT&T Next 24. See this plan on AT&T’s website

best ATT plans

ATT plans ATT Next

AT&T Next

The next tier parcels out your new handset payment over 30 months, with the option to trade-in and upgrade every two years. Still no down payment for qualified customers, with a shorter obligation and a few more dollars every month. See this plan on AT&T’s website

best ATT plans

ATT plans ATT Next

AT&T Next with down payment

Credit not exactly where you want it? No worries. After a down payment of 30% of the device cost, the lowered remainder is spread over 28 months and you’ve got the opportunity to trade-in and upgrade after a mere 12 months. In other words, it’ll sting to put down such a big fee upfront, but you’ll save some serious cash every month that follows. Some qualified customers may choose this over zero down payment. Every customer looking for a plan is unique and different in their needs. Only you as a consumer know exactly what your needs are and which financial path on AT&T Next is right for you. Overall, AT&T Next offers some surprisingly flexible payment options for people in all walks of life. See this plan on AT&T’s website

best ATT plans

ATT plans

The best AT&T plans for you:

Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks and break down all of what AT&T has to offer you as a customer. While we’ve done the tough research for you, it’s imperative to understand that every person with a cell phone is different in their needs. Some use data like renewable energy while others treat it as a precious commodity. Thankfully, AT&T has a plethora of pricing options to choose from, whether you’re opening one line or looking for a family solution. 

Good news: There are no more data overage charges, which always had a habit of sneaking onto the monthly phone bill. It used to be that every GB used beyond what’s on your plan amounted to an extra $15 at the end of the month. Now your bandwidth will slow down until you add more 4G LTE data to your plan.

Let’s take a look at each tier of AT&T’s Mobile Share Value plan and see which one fits your needs the best.

best ATT plans

ATT plans

1. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 1GB data | $30 per month
If you’re a moderate or even infrequent data user, this plan is not the one for you. 1GB evaporates quicker than Dasani in Death Valley making this a very specialized tier for users who only use data in a pinch. For most modern mobile users, 1GB is simply not going to cut it these. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

2. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 3GB | $40 per month
For only $10 more, the 3GB tier is a much better deal for the average single line. 3GB should be more than enough for those simply using data to peruse Facebook or check up on emails. But for anyone interested in streaming a fair amount of music or video, 6GB might be more your speed. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

3. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 6GB | $60 per month
Depending on how much you use data, 6GB would either be perfect for a single moderate user, or two lighter ones. For a couple who can live on just a fair amount of data, this plan is extremely affordable. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

4. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 10GB | $80 per month
This brand new AT&T plan fits right in between the otherwise large gap of 6GB and 16GB. Rounding out to 10GB of data could be a perfect fit for a number of situations, ranging from a family of 5 to a Netflix-addicted single line. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

5. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 16GB | $90 per month
As we enter the heftier data plans, we begin to see where the “shared” aspect becomes the main player. Although $90/month sounds steep, it’s only $18/person if you can split the bill 5 ways, which leaves a little more than 3GB of data per person for an unbeatable price. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

6. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 25GB | $110 per month
The same story as the 16GB plan, depending on how you divide this, $110/month for this sizeable chunk of data could save some big bucks. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

7. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 30GB | $135 per month
30GB sounds like a lot, until you introduce a family with 4 data-hungry teens. Still, this price, if you can divide it up across 6 or more lines, is cheaper than any single line you can open. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

8. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 40GB | $180 per month
This is AT&T’s last data plan under $200, and it’s the same old song and dance. Depending on how you slice it, even $180/month can come out as the most affordable option. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

9. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 50GB | $225 per month
If everyone in a AT&T-invested family of 5 wants 10GB per line, this is the best option. You run less a risk of going over at the end of the month. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

10. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 60GB | $270 per month
Adding another 10GB to the previous plan does make the price skyrocket. However, when big families require big data, the price is worth paying without overage fees. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

11. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 80GB | $360 per month
This is AT&T’s second largest data plan and it includes more data than even heavy users on a 5-person family plan can consume in a month. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

ATT plans

12. AT&T Mobile Share Value plan | 100GB | $450 per month
Go big or go home, right? Admittedly, the thought of this monthly bill gives me the nervous fidgets, but for a plan with 7 or more lines, this tier could actually be fairly cost effective. If you max out the allowed devices at 10, each line is allotted and 10GB chunk of data at a surprisingly low price. View this plan at AT&T

best ATT plans

13. AT&T Unlimited plan | Unlimited everything | $100 per month Notice: this plan bucks the trend and gives you all of the data most people need for just $100 for the first line and $40 for each additional line. Granted, you have to stay below 22GB of a month in order to avoid 2G speeds, but that’s a reasonable amount of data for most users. There are very few reasons (like the need to use your phone as mobile hotspot to connect a laptop) to go with other data options if this data scheme suites your monthly needs. View this plan at AT&T

ATT plans

AT&T Prepaid options with GoPhone

If none of AT&T’s plan options sound like the right fit , you may want to look into GoPhone, AT&T’s prepaid service. According to the network, GoPhone allows you to pay for your handset however you’re most comfortable, whether that’s by the minute, day or month. Although the latest smartphones aren’t available for GoPhone, many excellent 4G enabled devices are, including the iPhone 5S. If you’re looking to avoid anything that resembles a contract, don’t care about having the newest handset and are seeking total control over what your money pays for in your plan, GoPhone is certainly worth a look. Remember, it’s not enough to have a great plan — you need a great phone to go with it. AT&T’s entire lineup of phones is available with each plan, including the top of the line iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Each phone on your plan is an additional $20/month, which includes unlimited talk and text in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Best iPad games: the top free and paid-for titles around

You might balk at Pac-Man appearing in a best-of list for iPad games, but this isn’t your father’s arcade game. Sure, the basics remain: scoot about a maze, eating dots, avoiding ghosts, and turning the tables on them on eating a power pill. But Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is significantly faster, has neon-clad mazes and a thumping soundtrack, and the gameplay’s evolved in key areas.

First, the maze is split in two. Clear one side and a special object appears on the other, which refills the cleared side when eaten. Secondly, snoozing ghosts can be brushed past to fashion a spectral conga to shepherd, contain, and not blunder into –  until you eat a power pill, reverse course, and eat your pursuers to amass huge points.

In short, this game is superb, transforming an ancient classic into something fresh and exciting. And importantly, it works best on the large iPad display, because your fingers don’t get in the way of your frenetic dot-gobbling.