Thursday, 2 April 2020

Which Streaming Device Should You Have?

It’s the era of media streaming. The days of having to be a slave to cable TV with limited choices of packages with so many unexplainable charges and fees. Cord cutters, rejoice! Future joiners of the cord-cutting bandwagon, feel free to explore your choices! This is because a streaming device that allows you to watch shows and movies and listen to music has become a hot ticket. For those with older models of smart TVs, or anyone who would want a reliable method of streaming can get a streaming device that will provide them exactly that.

But then, you may ask, “Isn’t streaming already available on computers and mobile devices through Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.?” What do you need a streaming device for?” The advantage of having a streaming device is that you have a gadget that is dedicated only to giving you content, nothing else. Let’s see which of these devices are the most user-friendly, doesn’t lag that much, can play video from the most services, and is easily updated when new services become available.

Amazon Fire TV

Coming in the forms of a cube and a stick, this device is highly recommended, of course, to Amazon fans who also consider Alexa to be their best friend. With Alexa’s integration, you can now use voice commands to look for anything you want to watch. Since Amazon is also a massive content provider, having its massive library bundled with your device gives you great value for your money.

The Fire TV Cube is Amazon’s attempt to combine a smart TV streaming box with an Alexa-powered smart speaker, producing a small black box that doubles as an Echo device.


Roku Premier / Express

With lots of great free content available coupled with its very reasonable price, the Roku line of streaming devices is a great choice for budget-conscious streamers. The design of Roku Premier may have some reviewers dismiss it, though.

If you go down the apps-per-pound route, the Roku Premiere will appear high on your list of prospective purchases, not least because it gives you access to Apple’s unparalleled library of 4K HDR films.


Google Chomecast

For Android fans, the Chromecast is simply the way to go. While it doesn’t have remote, you can use your phone or the Google Assistant to control it.

If you've got a 1080p TV kicking around in your kitchen or guest room, and the set doesn't have smart features built-in, the Chromecast is still one of the best Google Home compatible devices for inexpensively watching Netflix, Hulu, et al. on a big screen.


Nvidia Shield TV

For the solid gamer and streaming enthusiast, nothing comes close to the Nvidia Shield TV. It may be more expensive than most of its rivals, but Shield TV’s extensive library of games can make any insatiable consumer of entertainment gladly pay the price.

Nvidia’s Shield TV is a high-end 4K media streamer with some gaming chops. Now the company has refreshed the Shield TV unit with a cylindrical shape, faster processor, AI upscaling, Dolby Vision support, redesigned remote, and lower price. While the odd, cigar-like shape of the Shield TV itself and the strangely triangular remote control will get your attention, the biggest change to the Shield TV is its newfound ability to harness AI to convincingly upscale HD video to 4K.


Apple TV

The fact that Apple has also been producing its own content is making the decision to buy an Apple TV a good one. As with other Apple gadgets, it boasts of the signature sleek design. With voice control features, its compatibility with Dolby Vision HDR, and user-friendly interface, Apple TV can appeal even to those who aren’t Apple diehards.

Signs of a new Apple TV with an A12 bionic chip were uncovered in the iOS 13.4 beta in January, suggesting Apple is working on a refreshed model that could debut sometime in 2020. Apple often unveils new products in March, so there's a possibility we could see a new Apple TV early in the year.



With these options for consideration, you can choose the one best suited to your preferences. If you’ve accidentally deleted some of your favorite movies and TV shows, we can help!  Read more on how we can get you those precious video files back here:

Which Streaming Device Should You Have? is republished from


Monday, 30 March 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Talks About Windows 10’s Recent Update

Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG), a data recovery firm based in Irvine, California, recently published an article discussing the recent Windows 10 update and its high number of software bugs. This continues a series of posts on the world's most popular operating system.

HDRG expounds on this further in the company's blog post, “Survive And Thrive Despite Windows 10’S Latest Update Bugs”.

A Frustrated User Base

On January 28, 2020, Microsoft released the cumulative Windows 10 update, KB4532695. This update fixed several issues, most notably the File Explorer Search issue.

A Windows 10 user can opt to update through Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or choose to download the update directly through the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

In the never-ending pas de deux of developers and their software, it’s difficult not to misstep. Fixing one problem often leads to two others—and fixing those leads to even more.

This happened with Microsoft’s recent KB4532695 update for Windows 10. One of the main problems the update solved was the File Explorer Search issue.

Ironically, the update gave way to several other problematic bugs. Some of these bugs were especially serious and upset many users, and included connectivity and sound issues, a broken search function, and as is common, bloatware.

Upset users took to social media platforms such as Reddit, Discord, and Twitter to voice out their frustration.

Connectivity and Sound Issues

Recently, users have been notably upset at Windows 10’s “string of broken updates”.

These updates are only released to fix bugs from previous updates and ultimately improve user experience. Unfortunately, these updates always come with a slew of fresh bugs and issues to torment its users.

Some users have found that, after updating Windows 10, their computer systems have taken a hit in terms of internet connection and sounds.

Some users report having lost the ability to connect to the internet at all. More fortunate users have found that, though they can still go online, their connections are more limited.

Even worse is that the issue cannot be fixed using Windows 10’s built-in network troubleshooter. The update must be uninstalled.

On the other hand, some, after updating, noticed their now dysfunctional sound. One user notes that his sound immediately stopped working upon updating, their speakers now being unrecognizable to Windows 10.

Broken Search Function

Some users also report not being able to use the search function at all.

Typing a search query into the search bar would display zero results. Some experienced even worse functionality using the search bar. Right-clicking would do nothing whatsoever.

Due to its prevalence on various social media platforms, the issue seems to be somewhat widespread.


Windows 10 updates usually come with bloatware (AKA crapware or junkware).

Bloatware are files that users typically find useless and are ultimately just there to consume space. Because of this, an abundance of bloatware in a computer tends to slow it down. It consumes disk space and memory and can even compromise security.

Windows 10 installs these bloatware because of partnerships made with the companies who make them. This can be very frustrating for less tech-savvy users as bloatware is notoriously difficult to remove.

Computer cleaner software such as CCleaner and PC Decrapifier do a decent job of cleaning a computer.

But bloatware makers, unsurprisingly, are aware of these tools. So, they will deliberately build their bloatware around evading these tools.

Protecting Your Computer System

Maureen Davies, speaking in place of Hard Drive Recovery Group, states, “It’s unfortunate, especially in these trying times, that users have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. The workforce is more dependent than ever on their home computers to get work done. Especially because of the measures being undertaken to combat the impact of COVID-19.”

As of this writing, confirmed cases worldwide for COVID-19 are at 598,070. The death toll has reached 27,761 worldwide.

“Being able to work remotely can be the difference between being able to pay rent—and starving,” said Davies. “That’s why taking care of our computers is more important than ever. In severe cases such as data loss, data recovery services like HDRG can get you back on your feet to do business as usual.”

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluation for free. Whether it’s a simple laptop SSD or a multiple drive RAID array, HDRG provides safe, affordable clean room data recovery with a 95% success rate.

Interested parties can call HDRG (1-866-341-4374) or visit their website today. They can also connect with HDRG through their official Facebook profile.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Are you Ready for 5G?

All the buzz behind 5G is quite deafening, really. Tech news sites will not be complete without at least one news item every day featuring a country authorizing a particular company to build 5G infrastructure in their area, telcos promoting the technology to be the next big thing to its excited customers, and customers eagerly anticipating what 5G’s benefits are to them.

As its name suggests, 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology and is set to be faster than the current 4G networks consumers enjoy by at least twenty times. Now, isn’t that exciting? But then, this new technology will also require telco providers to modify their network infrastructure and in turn, may also require consumers who want to enjoy it to change their equipment. So, you might want to get ready to shell out for yet another new smartphone.

Let’s get to know 5G technology more and see what its effects are to us, casual technology consumers.

What is 5G, really?

As mentioned earlier, most of us only know 5G as the 5th generation of technology that is going to make internet speeds go faster. But is that all to it? Is it already available in the entire country? Is 5G already available internationally? And what is this about low-band, mid-band, and high-band that I’ve been hearing?

But over the past few months, 5G has gotten very confusing. Three major flavors of 5G have come out: low-band, mid-band, and high-band, all of which are incompatible at the moment, and perform very differently from each other. We've been testing all of them as they appear. The most widespread version doesn't perform much better than 4G.



What do we really know?

So, 5G is coming out as this impressive technology that’s going to make everything faster. What else do we really know about this technology? Is speed all the benefits we can reap from 5G? How will it really affect the ordinary consumer?

However, just over half (55%) of UK consumers say they're able to articulate the benefits of the next-generation networking technology. This awareness seems to be translating into 5G adoption, as 35% of UK consumers plan to purchase a 5G smartphone in 2020, per Amdocs data cited by


What’s is it for IoT?

The benefits of 5G won’t really have a trickle effect on the public unless even ordinary, everyday objects we use and have access to daily will be affected as well. How will 5G affect the Internet of Things? As in the Internet of Things, connectivity available in the objects that we use every day, will 5G have an effect on that as well?

The Internet of Things will involve an astounding amount of data -- and the next generation of wireless communications could play a key role.


Are you ready?

Of course, one of the big questions with regard to 5G is whether everybody’s ready for this new tech invasion. With billions currently subscribed to 4G and earlier technology, how ready are these subscribers to get on the 5G bandwagon?

The first country to deploy 5G will own the economy of the future, establish itself as the worldwide leader in technology and innovation, and have an upper hand in terms of national security. It is crucial that America — not one of our greatest adversaries, such as China — continue to lead the world.


Is 5G all good?

While we consumers may rejoice in the impending benefits to them, larger entities like governments may not be too keen. After all, the race to 5G can be seen by countries as the new frontier of competition, like the space race of the 1950s, the arms race of the 1970s, and the nuclear race in the 1980s.  This time, it seems that China has all the cards. Does the US need to be intimidated?

Already, the battleground for 5G is heating up, with around 190 million 5G ready to enter the hands and pockets of consumers this year, according to the International Data Corporation, or “IDC”. On top of that, one of the leaders in the mobility landscape, Ericsson Mobility has reported that they believe that 5G subscriptions will amount to more than 2.6 billion by the end of 2025.


So, are you ready for 5G? 5G may just be one of the tech-related things you have to deal with, such as losing data mysteriously. Read here: if you need assistance on how to recover files from your laptop. Don’t panic because help is on the way. Click here to get professional data recovery help.

The following post Are you Ready for 5G? is courtesy of Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Why Giving Windows 10 a Chance Isn’t Such a Bad Idea

There is a pattern of consumer behavior when it comes to upgraded stuff – people will hype it in anticipation weeks and days leading to the release date, crucify the developers of inevitable bugs for the earliest adaptors, and then months later, when the release has a gazillion patches and fixes and becomes stable, public opinion will be kinder. Just like most upgrades (particularly Microsoft ones), the launch of Window 10 was quite anticipated in the months and weeks before the release date and a public outcry (or at least those who were earliest to install the 2020 update) happened when bugs were discovered left and right (no audio, no search results, to name a few). Honestly speaking, with the death of Windows 7 still fresh, it might take a while (maybe until the end of the year) before the whole Windows-using public will really cozy up with Windows 10.

To help you in that process, here are a number of features that may come in handy with the ubiquitous OS’s latest update. Who knows, it might get you that closer to full-blown Windows 10 love.

Windows Sandbox

Microsoft shows that it cares for its users by releasing this feature that makes a temporary desktop environment, hereon to be referred to as the Sandbox, where a particular app will be isolated. Sandboxes are both secure yet disposable, so once you've verified the legitimacy of this sketchy app you’ve isolated, you can then just delete the entire sandbox. Quite secure, eh?

Windows Sandbox is an integrated element and is primarily designed to allow you to run untrusted and sketchy apps separate from the rest of the operating system.


Windows Timeline

I’m sure you’re familiar with your web browser history. That’s what Windows Timeline is – a reflection of everything that has happened in your laptop instead of just your browser. It’s basically your laptop’s diary. Timeline records activated on your PC, including the documents you’ve opened and edited, websites you’ve visited, and files like video and audio that you’ve used. It’s perfect for when you need reminders of when an event on your laptop occurred.

Windows Timeline has been around for more than a year but it remains a little-known feature among casual PC users. It allows you to view up to 30 days of previous Windows activity, including websites browsed and files accessed, and dip back into previous tasks — it even works across multiple devices.


Your Phone

Quite the hidden gem, this app. With this app available on your laptop, you can now call, send text messages, and have access to your pictures stored on your phone. It’s practically most, if not everything you can do on your phone, you can do on your laptop or PC.

That is basically the point of the Your Phone app. When you’re working on your computer and you don’t want the distractions of your mobile device, you will still be able to use the latter on the former without having to take the phone out of your bag or pocket. You can reply to important notifications and ignore the ones you don’t need to respond to at the moment. You can send, receive, and sync SMS.



Oh, poor Cortana. It always gets left behind by other more popular and trendier assistants like Alexa and of course, Siri. Moreover, even Microsoft is showing so little love to Cortana, with the company scrapping Android and iOS app versions of it. But for Windows 10, Cortana gets promoted as Cortana it’s now the OS ’primary search tool, not to mention more customizable and personal functions have been added to it.

Today, Microsoft wants Cortana to be your personal productivity assistant — and to be fair, given the overall Microsoft ecosystem, Cortana may be better suited to that than to tell you about the weather.


Windows Hello

This biometrics-based technology allows Windows 10 users to use an iris scan, fingerprint, or facial recognition to get secure access to their devices, online services, apps, networks, and online services with just a fingerprint, iris scan or facial recognition.

Microsoft rolled out a new set of cumulative updates to the two most recent Windows 10 releases today. These cumulative updates are available for the Windows 10 May 2019 and November 2019 updates, and they bring the standard set of fixes and improvements. The one major highlight here is an improvement to the accuracy of Windows Hello, which may make for smoother logins.


See? Windows 10 isn’t as bad as everybody is making it out to be. If you need data recovery services for some fails in your updating process, have a look at our services here: Data recovery need not be such a hassle, as you can read here to take advantage of our expertise.


Why Giving Windows 10 a Chance Isn’t Such a Bad Idea Find more on:


Monday, 16 March 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Warns About COVID-19 Oriented Malware

In light of recent worldwide developments, Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG), a data recovery service based in Irvine, California, has published an article discussing malware attacks motivated by the fear caused by the quickly spreading Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Hard Drive Recovery Group expounds on this further in their blog post, “Coronavirus: Not Just For Humans Anymore!”

Rising Fears Of COVID-19

At the time of writing, the COVID-19 death toll has reached a staggering 4,290, spreading rapidly over different countries and surpassing SARS at 774 deaths at the end of 2002. SARS is a virus associated with being genetically similar to COVID-19.

Because of rising fears among government officials and the general public alike, countries are taking extreme measures to isolate the virus and protect their residents. Currently, Italy is in lockdown, and several other countries might follow suit.

Because of this, fear among the general public is on the rise, prompting them to scour the internet for factual information about the virus. This information will sometimes be buried under piles of misleading information, which can be even more detrimental to the general public.

Malicious Intent

Hackers are capitalizing on the general public’s fears and thirst for information on the virus by creating and spreading malware through email. These emails mask themselves as offering informational guides on how to protect the user from COVID-19.

A malware (short for “malicious software”) is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user. These are written and spread by black hat hackers for personal gain or maliciousness.

These emails will ask a computer user to download "informational" documents riddled with malware which can steal a user’s personal information or damage their computer system or laptop.

Risky Downloads

This specific type of malware is known as “Emotet”. Emotet is a malware strain that spreads primarily through email spam (malspam). This is usually disguised as a document, mp3, or mp4 file attachment that is activated when the user unknowingly downloads the attachment in hopes of seeing something else of value.

“As the internet is a place of creativity and freedom, it can empower us to innovate as well as cooperate for great causes. However, just as easily, it can serve as a tool for malice and greed,” states Maureen Davies, spokesperson for HDRG. “It’s easy to get swept up in widespread panic when it’s all that you see. However, it’s crucial that we dispense our trust with caution.”

Typically, hackers create and spread malware for money by using them to infiltrate computer systems. They then place income-generating ads on your computer, which target you specifically, based on your personal information.

Safeguarding Your Computer System

Maureen Davies, speaking in place of HDRG, states, “Depending on the type of malware, repercussions can be as mild as an ad bomb or as severe as a large-scale data loss. Nevertheless, it’s always preferable not to suffer at all.”

It’s crucial to take the necessary steps to ensuring that one's data is protected. It’s always more expensive to lose data than take the precautions needed to protect it. A user may do the following to protect themselves from Emotet:

Verifying that a sender’s email is legitimate, looks clean, no randomly placed numbers or symbols. Taking extra care not to download suspicious files from unknown senders. Performing regular computer check-ups for malware using anti-virus software.

Davies comments, “In the event of data loss, consulting a data recovery service like HDRG will do wonders. Losing data can be a huge problem for business operations, but, fortunately, it’s completely reversible.”

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluation for free. Whether it’s a simple laptop SSD or a multiple drive RAID array, HDRG provides safe, affordable clean room data recovery with a 95% success rate.

Interested parties can call HDRG (1-866-341-4374) or visit their website today. They can also connect with HDRG through their official Facebook profile.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Getting Your Not-So-New Laptop Up to Speed

We all dread that moment – when your x-year old laptop starts showing signs of wear and tear. It starts working a tad slower; it takes forever to load after you’ve booted it and you’re waiting for an eternity, praying for your desktop screen to appear ASAP. While all signs point to a much-needed upgrade and laying your trusty machine to rest in a recycling facility, you just can’t say goodbye. It can be for sentimental reasons – you’ve been through the best of times, the worst of times with your computer. It can also be because of financial reasons – you haven’t saved up yet for a new machine.

Whatever the cause of your deep attachment to your laptop is, you would need to make sure that your laptop can still function in some sort of serviceable level, especially if you still want to use it regularly for work. There are some things you can do to revive your reliable laptop, not as good as new, but in a way that will serve you well and affirm your decision to not let it gather dust or worse, throw it in the dumpster.

Get an SSD in the mix

Adding a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of relying on the built-in mechanical hard drives of your laptop will cause your machine to speed up. If you choose to have an external SSD, you’ll also have additional storage that could unload your hard drive. If your laptop has a DVD or CD drive, you may have the option of swapping that with an SSD to take its place. There are also external SSDs, so the choice is yours.

When you want to add storage to your computer using the most convenient and fastest-working technology, an external solid-state drive (or SSD) is the best choice. It's a plug-and-play storage option that delivers reliability and quick read/write speeds.


Get the RAM you need

If what you do with your laptop is confined to web browsing and word processing, then the size of your RAM already in your laptop may suffice. However, if you must involve your laptop in some intense tasks like photo or audio editing, you may need to add more RAM. But make sure you’ll only add enough to suit your needs, or you might be wasting money.

Random Access Memory, usually shortened to “RAM” or simply “memory,” is one of the most important parts of any computer. New PCs and similar devices range from around the 4GB mark to 16GB — or more. But how much RAM do you actually need? The amount of memory you require will depend on two factors: What you want to do and how much you’re willing to spend.


Consider a deep clean

By deep clean, we mean cleaning your laptop itself, not its files or contents. Dust may have accumulated on its nooks and crannies, which has compromised the performance of your processor and graphics card. Compressed air, toothpicks, and cotton buds may help your old laptop perform better.

Finding your computer has been acting sluggish and less sprightly than before? Take a look through these seven steps and see if you can put some spring back into your computer.


Time to reinstall Windows

If your laptop has been with you for quite some time already, there’s a large chance that it’s already full of bloatware, forgotten programs, and other junk. A clean reinstall of Windows might do the trick and make your laptop speedier.

A clean install is the ultimate troubleshooting technique, virtually guaranteed to eliminate performance or compatibility problems caused by third-party software, temporary files, configuration errors, and garden-variety malware. Done right, the result is a PC that starts from a known good state, with either the default Windows 10 configuration or a previously tested configuration that includes specific third-party software and drivers.


Consider joining the Windows 10 bandwagon

Windows 10, with its current bugs, may still not be the most stable version, but if your laptop has specs that can accommodate it, you'll be free of apps that came with the older Windows version. With an update comes a more streamlined OS, which your laptop might appreciate. You might seriously consider the 20H1 Windows upgrade.

In addition to giving users more freedom to remove apps they don’t want, the operating system will also upgrade Cortana, allow users to go passwordless and introduce a new tablet-style experience for 2-in-1 PCs.


If in the process of cleaning your laptop’s files, you accidentally deleted very important files, do not despair. Take advantage of our services by clicking here. To know more about what we specialize, read

The blog article Getting Your Not-So-New Laptop Up to Speed Find more on: HDRG Blog


Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Discusses Laptop Options For 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG), a data recovery firm based in Irvine, CA, has published an article discussing how consumers can choose a laptop based on their personal interests or professional needs.

In the post, “The Search For The Laptop That’s Right For You”, HDRG discusses how a user in the market for a new laptop can decide on purchasing one that fits their needs.

The article separates laptop users into four categories based on their laptop usage and preferences.

Casual Surfer

HDRG define these casual surfers as those who “mostly prefer style over function”. Since these users mostly use their laptops for surfing or social media, there is no need for a hardware-focused device. HDRG recommends that these more casual users purchase a Chromebook. The main difference between a Chromebook and a laptop being that a Chromebook is generally less powerful in terms of hardware but more energy efficient and less costly. This makes it a more practical alternative for the casual surfer.


Since students work long hours to complete assignments and requirements, HDRG recommends that students purchase a budget laptop. Budget laptops generally provide the longer battery life and larger storage space that students need to get schoolwork done at extremely affordable prices.

Frequent Travellers

Users such as journalists, writers, and vloggers tend to travel a lot. Because of this, these users will typically appreciate mobility rather than performance. For these users, HDRG recommends that these people buy a hybrid (i.e. a 2-in-1 tablet and laptop). Hybrids can satisfy the user’s need for mobility while still providing the functionality they need to complete their daily workload. In addition to having the same functionality as a laptop, hybrids are lightweight and easier to carry around for long commutes and frequent traveling.


Video game developers continue to push the limits of computer hardware, developing games that demand more and more power out of today’s computers. Fortunately, laptops are keeping up. Memory-intensive video games no longer need to be played on a heavy-duty PC at home. Instead, gamers can choose from a variety of just-as-powerful laptops to satisfy their gaming needs. When looking for a gaming laptop, HDRG advises users to look for one with an adequate graphics processing unit (GPU) and memory (RAM) depending on the type of games they want to play.


Users who need their laptops for creative purposes such as photography, video editing, graphic design, or animation depend on their devices for speed and power. These projects can take hours upon hours of rendering which can be detrimental to productivity. For these users, HDRG recommends looking for a higher-end laptop with more processing power.

Maureen Davies, speaking in place of HDRG, states, “Users should focus on identifying exactly what they need their laptop for. High specs and low prices shouldn’t be the only considerations when choosing a laptop. Sometimes opting to buy a more affordable laptop with okay specs but does the job perfectly can be your best move.”

“Despite cloud storage becoming increasingly more commonplace in today’s work environments, cloud storage is more prone to security and privacy issues since they are under the control of a third-party. Costs can also be quite high,” said Davies.

“Larger businesses with sensitive data will appreciate the security and affordability that external hard drives provide, particularly in today's computing environment. Although, because external hard drives are physical, they can break without prior warning. Data loss can ruin a business if not prepared for or handled properly. In such a case, data recovery services like HDRG can provide a fix that will save your business thousands of dollars in revenue.”

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluation for free. Whether it’s a simple laptop SSD or a multiple drive RAID array, HDRG provides safe, affordable clean room data recovery with a 95% success rate.

Interested parties can call HDRG (1-866-341-4374) or visit their website today.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Which Streaming Device Should You Have?

It’s the era of media streaming. The days of having to be a slave to cable TV with limited choices of packages with so many unexplainable ch...