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This can be done via overclocking. The goal of overclocking is to increase the operating speed of the given hardware and with time it is becoming popular. But only a few users know about the dangers involved in overclocking like increased temperature, permanent damage to the component, etc.

Hence, before we dive in and learn more about overclocking, best free overclocking software for Windows 10. Let’s understand the need for overclocking and what type of CPUs can be overclocked.

Can Your CPU be Overclocked? What is the Need for Overclocking?

The answer to this is very clear, to get a faster CPU speed and to perform quick operations per second we need to do overclocking. Also, with time overclocking has become less critical hence people do it often.

Especially gamers and enthusiasts overclock their hardware to run games much faster with the limited graphics card. But sometimes this doesn’t work hence they overclock GPU to increase performance.

Benefits of PC Overclocking

Enhances system’s performance

Smoothens computer functionality while running heavy software and more.

In this article, we will enlist the best free overclocking software that will help tweak core values to get optimum performance of RAM, CPU, and GPU.

Best Overclocking Software for Windows 10

The process of overclocking depends on the time you are willing to spend. An accurate and safe overclock requires research, cooler and additional parts. But not all can do this manually and this might take a couple of days. Hence to make things easy here we list the best free overclocking software for Windows 10. Before we begin let me answer the most common question.

What to Expect From an Overclocked Processor?

One thing you need to understand is if you use your desktop for standard work like creating documents, excel sheet, browser, etc overclocking is not suggested.

On the contrary, if you run some crucial applications like games overclocking can be done if required.

But in doing so do not forget the ultimate goal of overclocking is the speed with stability. Extreme clock speeds sometimes interfere with running applications reliably.

1. EVGA Precision XOC

First on our list of best overclocking software for Windows 10 is EVGA Precision X. It is one of the most popular overclocking software used by gamers. This overclocking software allows you to tweak NVIDIA graphics cards to achieve maximum hardware performance.

So, what are you waiting for?

Get it here

2. CPU-Z

Next is CPU-Z an effective application that supports major chipsets and processors. This best overclocking software supports and allows you to access CPU and bus frequency, memory frequency, CPU voltage, and other hardware related details. Moreover, CPU-Z overclocking software also includes functions to validate overclocking scores. One thing you need to keep in mind before using CPU-Z is that you should be using the latest version of the software.

Get it here

3. GPU-Z popular overclocking software

GPU-Z is a lightweight, must-have application that displays graphics card information like the name of the card, type of GPU, GPU memory, number of ROPs and other important information. GPU Z takes a backup of your graphics card BIOS and you there is no need for installation.

Get it here

4. MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner is a popular and recognized overclocking software that gives full control of the graphics card to do the required tweaks. This software gives detailed information about the hardware and offers additional features like benchmarking, video recording, etc.

Unlike EVGA Precision X, MSI Afterburner is compatible with both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards. This free overclocking software helps explore and exceed the limits of graphics cards. Its fan speed control feature helps to find a balance between performance and temperature.

Get it here

5. NVIDIA Inspector

Get it here

6. AMD Overdrive

AMD OverDrive Utility as the name suggests is an overclocking software that is compatible with AMD graphics cards. This tool makes overclocking easy for novice users as they can select a pre-tuned memory profile to achieve maximum performance.  Not only this AMD OverDrive makes overclocking super easy as users can automatically overclock the system to achieve optimum performance.

Moreover, the status monitor feature provides real-time insight into the processor.

7. Intel Extreme Tuning Utility & Desktop Control Center

Another performance tuning software is Intel Extreme Tuning Utility for Windows. This overclocking software helps monitor, overclock and manage the system.  Intel Extreme Tuning Utility for Windows offers special features to overclock new Intel processors and motherboards. The tool provides a detailed report about the performance of memory clocks and the motherboard.

8. AMD Ryzen Master

AMD Ryzen Master is last on our list of best free overclocking software. Using this software user can overclock and change default settings to make the processor work outside AMD’s specified settings. AMD Ryzen Master also includes Dynamic Local Mode to get the best performance from the CPU, GPU. This tool provides up to 4 profiles to save user-defined values. Moreover, the integrated GPU with Radeon Vega graphics processor can be overclocked to achieve higher gaming performance.

How safe is it Overclocking?

Undoubtedly, overclocking boosts system performance but in doing so there are several things that need to be kept in mind. First, you need to understand that the results will differ greatly it’s not necessary that all experience the same improvement. Furthermore, if you are ready to take the risk of damaging system components you can do overclocking.

Those who want to do overclocking should do thorough research and then only follow the steps.

How to do safe overclocking?

Before you decide you overclock you should consider the following things:

Know the voltage input, output, thermal limits, etc.

Do proper research to get an idea of what to do and avoid.

Increase voltages and frequencies in a small amount

Final word: Should you do overclocking or not

Overclocking does not give the same result to everyone. Each one gets different results based on skills, hardware components and the way it is done. If you expect a total transformation in system speed but don’t want to spend money or dig deep into hardware management then overclocking isn’t for you.

Those who can control system uncertainty, stabilization and tinker with hardware components overclocking are within your grasp.

For whatever reason you do overclocking,  make sure you take precautions like managing temperature, check on computer stability and functionality.

Although, these overclocking software help do tinkering with the system and don’t harm it but system warranty can still be void. Therefore, if your system is in warranty do contact the manufacturer first.

Moreover overclocking can be done via BIOS but you should first understand what you do. To get help you can use the best overclocking software for Windows 10 listed above.

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Secure Driver Updater – Is It Safe Or Not?

Secure Driver Updater – is it safe or not?

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Try Outbyte Driver Updater to resolve driver issues entirely:

This software will simplify the process by both searching and updating your drivers to prevent various malfunctions and enhance your PC stability. Check all your drivers now in 3 easy steps:

Download Outbyte Driver Updater.

Launch it on your PC to find all the problematic drivers.

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Possible scams or deceptive programs can get downloaded and installed on your Windows 10 system without your consent. Such tools or apps might be flashed alongside other processes especially if you aren’t using a specialized antivirus/antimalware security solution. So, when noticing something with which you aren’t familiar, don’t hesitate and try to find as much info as possible about that certain process, app or program – just use Google since in most situations you will not be the only one who has the same questions.

Anyway, during these lines we are going to discuss about such program: the Secure Driver Updater.

There are many questions around this tool:

Is Secure Driver Updater a virus?

How do I remove Secure Driver Updater?

Is Secure Driver Updater a malware tool?

Secure Driver Updater is a third-party platform designed to help you search and install the right drivers for your Windows 10 computer. It’s not part from the default Microsoft suit, thus it’s not an essential app available for your PC.

Usually, Secure Driver Updater is installed in the background without asking for your permission – it can be applied alongside other apps or it can be downloaded while you navigate towards suspicious webpages.

Expert tip:

As you can tell, this is a deceptive program, a scam through which your PC might get infected with different viruses. So, the best decision you can make is to remove the Secure Driver Updater from your computer, and here is how you can complete the removal operation.

To ensure your OS will remain stable and benefit from the latest drivers, we recommend using professional third-party software that has proved to be efficient without harming your user data or device.

Here’s how to do it:

Download and install the Outbyte Driver Updater app.

Launch the software.

Wait for the app to detect all incompatible drivers.

Afterward, it will show you a list of the drivers found to select the ones to Update or Ignore.

Restart your PC to ensure the applied changes.

Outbyte Driver Updater

Use this software and solve all driver-related issues from your PC.

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Disclaimer: You may need to upgrade the app from the free version to perform specific actions.

Additionally, we recommend installing an antivirus program on your Windows 10 system – if you use Windows Defender, a good idea will be to download and set a more specialized security solution (read this tutorial and learn which antimalware software to use for better protecting your PC). Then, run a full scan and remove the files which might represent a security breach on your computer.

So, now it should be clear for you if Secure Driver Updater is really safe or not. Overall, you should know better what apps and files you recently installed on your Windows 10 computer. Anyway, the main idea is that you should double-check before choosing what to keep and what to remove from your device; and always set up a dedicated antivirus program for protecting your personal files and other general data.

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Some driver-related issues can be solved faster by using a tailored driver solution. If you’re still having problems with your drivers, simply install OutByte Driver Updater and get it up and running immediately. Thus, let it update all drivers and fix other PC issues in no time!

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What Is Safe To Delete In Windows Disk Cleanup?

Good to know: trying to remove a file from your system but can’t seem to do it? Learn how to force delete undeletable files in Windows.

How to Run and Use Disk Cleanup

To get started, you’ll need to launch the Disk Cleanup app. This can be done in a few different ways and will work on multiple versions of Windows.

In the search bar on the Windows taskbar, type “Disk Cleanup,” and press Enter.

Once you’ve selected the drive you want to scan, Disk Cleanup will display a list of all the files that are eligible for deletion. How long this takes is going to depend on a variety of factors, including the overall size of the drive and whether it is a mechanical drive or an SSD, but it’s generally a speedy process.

Once Disk Cleanup finishes its scan, place a check in the box next to each file type you want to purge in the “Files to delete” list. Highlighting each file type will provide an explanation of what the file is and what it does. In most cases, it makes it clear whether they are safe to delete.

Doing so will ask you to choose the disk you want to scan. It will initiate the scan and present you with another list of files you can delete. Since you are now scanning for system files, you need to proceed with caution. Some of these files, if deleted, can cause major headaches down the road.

Tip: fix game stuttering in Windows with these tips, and optimize your experience.

Delivery Optimization Files

These files can easily chew up gigabytes of storage space; however, it’s not clear what they actually are. Disk Cleanup merely says that it’s safe to delete them if you’re not using them. But what are they?

Basically, delivery optimization files are Windows update files. When Microsoft issues an update for Windows, many PCs are set to automatically download the updates. This can put a strain on Microsoft’s servers.

Image source: Unsplash

Therefore, to ensure that everyone gets the updates in a timely manner, individual Windows PCs are set to store copies of those update files to distribute to other Windows PCs. It’s basically the same as torrenting a file. Unfortunately, these files are stored on your PC’s storage drive, taking up space. Thankfully, you can safely delete them.

Language Resource Files

These files are related to various language packages bundled with Windows. They ensure the accuracy of language-related processes when using your PC. The files include a number of different languages, dictionaries, spelling, and grammar rules, as well as keyboard layouts. If you believe you will never need another language on your system, then you can delete them. But do note that it doesn’t recover a ton of space, so you may want to leave them alone.

Image source: Unsplash

Tip: need to do a Windows reset? Find out whether you should opt for a cloud download or local reinstall.

System Error Memory Dump

This one just sounds scary, doesn’t it? System Error Memory Dump files are created whenever your machine experiences a major error or the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. Windows only keeps one of these dump files at a time, overwriting it every time you experience a crash. These files can be pretty large, as they contain a ton of data.

Image source: Unsplash

Featuring the .DMP extension, “dump” files can be used to diagnose problems that the system encounters. Despite this, the average user probably isn’t interested in exploring the technical reasons for a glitch. You can, however, send them to Microsoft for analysis so that they can identify errors and potentially fix them with future updates if you’re feeling charitable. If not, feel free to delete them.

System Error Minidump Files

System Error Minidump Files are like the annoying little brother of System Error Memory Dumps. They, too, offer data that can help a programmer or developer debug a problem that a system has encountered. If that sort of thing doesn’t interest you, delete them.

Temporary Files

Temporary files are created by applications on your PC. They are used by the application to run more efficiently. Usually, they are deleted automatically; however, you can delete them manually if you wish.

Image source: Unsplash

FYI: bring back Internet Explorer to Windows 11 with these workarounds.

Temporary Internet Files

As you browse the Web, little bits of websites are stored on your computer. This is done so that these websites load faster the next time you visit them. This is known as your browser’s cache. You can opt to delete the cache, but may want to give this one a second thought. Deleting these files can actually slow down your browsing experience. Furthermore, the deletion is not permanent. As you browse the Web, your browser will simply collect these bits and pieces again.

Thumbnails

When you open a folder that contains files like documents or photos, Windows creates a thumbnail image for you to quickly identify the file. You can delete these thumbnail images if you wish with Disk Cleanup. But if you access a folder with these files again, Windows will simply recreate the thumbnail images.

Windows Error Reports

Windows Error Reporting (WER) is a function of Windows that stretches all the way back to Windows XP. When a program crashes, or a system experiences a serious problem, a .WER file is created. These reports collect data about the hardware and software configuration of a system and what went wrong. They are automatically sent to Microsoft to be evaluated. Archived .WER files pop up when you run Disk Cleanup. These reports have already been sent to Microsoft, so unless you want to try and solve a problem yourself, they’re safe to delete.

Windows ESD Installation Files

You probably won’t come across Windows ESD Installation Files when you run Disk Cleanup scan. Microsoft removed the option from Disk Cleanup in later versions of Windows. If you don’t keep Windows updated, you may not see them.

Windows ESD Installation files are what enable your PC to reset itself to its factory settings. Generally, these files are quite large. This makes them rather tempting to delete, as you stand to reclaim gigabytes of storage space. However, we do not recommend you remove these files. If you ever run into a major problem that requires you to reset your PC, you won’t be able to.

Windows Upgrade Log Files

These files are a little less mysterious, as they are exactly what they sound like. Whenever Windows upgrades via updates, a log file is created. These log files can be used to identify and troubleshoot problems that occur when your system updates. But if you don’t have any problems with a recent update, it’s safe to delete these.

Image source: Unsplash

Whenever you update Windows, your system retains older versions of the system files on your hard drive. These files enable you to uninstall the updates if you are experiencing issues, to roll back to an earlier, more stable version of Windows. In most cases, these files are okay to delete, provided your PC is running smoothly. However, if you are experiencing persistent problems, you may want to keep these around to roll back an update to determine whether the upgrade is the source of the problem.

Tip: is your Windows update stuck? Learn how to get it working again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Second, there are a bunch of file types that Disk Cleanup targets for deletion that are so tiny they don’t really amount to much. Deleting these files wouldn’t amount to any real gain in storage space, and for that reason, we decided to omit them.

Can I opt out of providing other Windows PCs with update files?

As mentioned above, Delivery Optimization Files are Windows update files that are stored on your computer and distributed to other Windows PCs. Microsoft ensures that there is no way your PC can be compromised by bad actors during this process. However, if the idea of a stranger grabbing files off your PC gives you the creeps, you can opt out of this program.

If I delete Temporary Internet Files via Disk Cleanup, do I need to clear the cache on my browser?

Deleting Temporary Internet Files via Disk Cleanup is the same as clearing a browser’s cache, but there is one major caveat. Deleting Temporary Internet Files only clears the cache of Microsoft browsers (Edge, Internet Explorer). If you use Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser, you will need to clear the cache within the browser.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Ryan Lynch.

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Chatgpt For Kids: Is It Safe To Use? Here’s What Parents Need To Know

ChatGPT is a popular AI chatbot that has gained popularity among users of all age groups. However, with many kids now using chatbots as a source of entertainment and learning, concerns have been raised about the safety of ChatGPT for kids. As a parent or guardian, it’s important to know whether ChatGPT is a safe platform for your kids to use.

In this article, we’ll explore the potential risks and benefits of using ChatGPT for kids. We’ll discuss safety concerns, such as exposure to inappropriate content, and ways to mitigate any potential risks. We’ll also delve into the educational and entertainment value of ChatGPT for kids and examine the features that make it a fun and engaging tool for children. By the end of this article, parents will have a better understanding of whether ChatGPT is a safe and appropriate AI tool for their kids.

Why Are Parents Concerned About ChatGPT?

There are a number of reasons why parents are concerned about ChatGPT. Some of the most common concerns include:

Cheating: ChatGPT can be used to generate text that is indistinguishable from human-written text. This means that students could use ChatGPT to cheat on their homework or exams.

Misinformation: ChatGPT can be used to generate text that is false or misleading. This could lead kids to believe things that are not true.

Inappropriate content: ChatGPT is trained on a massive dataset of text and code, which includes some inappropriate content. This means that kids could be exposed to inappropriate content when using ChatGPT.

Addiction: ChatGPT can be addictive. Students who spend too much time using ChatGPT may neglect their schoolwork, their social life, and their physical health.

Safety: ChatGPT is still under development, and it is possible that it could be used to harm users. For example, ChatGPT could be used to generate text that is offensive or harmful.

It is important for parents to talk to their kids about the risks of using ChatGPT. Parents should also monitor their kids’ use of ChatGPT to ensure that they are using it safely and responsibly.

How To Use ChatGPT Safely For Kids

Here are some tips for parents who want to help their kids use ChatGPT safely:

Start by explaining what ChatGPT is and how ChatGPT works.

Start the conversation early: It is important to start talking to your kids about ChatGPT early, even before they are using it. This will help them to understand the potential risks and benefits of the technology.

Be honest and open: Be honest with your kids about the potential risks of ChatGPT. Don’t try to sugarcoat things or make it seem like there are no risks involved.

Supervise your kid’s use of ChatGPT: Monitor your kid’s use of ChatGPT to make sure that they are using it responsibly. This could involve checking their messages or looking at the websites they visit.

Talk to your kid about online safety: It is important to talk to your kid about online safety, including the dangers of cyberbullying, online predators, and inappropriate content.

Set limits on your kid’s use of ChatGPT: Just like any other online activity, it is important to set limits on your kid’s use of ChatGPT. This will help to prevent your kid from becoming addicted to ChatGPT or from spending too much time online.

Monitor your kid’s ChatGPT conversations: It is a good idea to monitor your kid’s ChatGPT conversations, especially if your kid is talking to strangers. This will help you to ensure that your kid is not being exposed to inappropriate content or that they are not being harassed or bullied.

Use ChatGPT for educational purposes: ChatGPT can be a great tool for learning. You can use ChatGPT to help your child with their homework, to learn about new things, or to practice their writing skills.

Use ChatGPT for creative purposes: ChatGPT can also be used for creative purposes. You can use ChatGPT to help your child write stories, poems, or songs.

Use ChatGPT with your kids: This is a great way to bond with your kids and help them learn how to use ChatGPT safely.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your child uses ChatGPT safely and appropriately.

Pros and Cons of ChatGPT for Kids

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that can be used by kids for a variety of purposes, including learning, entertainment, and communication. Here are some of the pros and cons of using ChatGPT for kids:

Pros:

ChatGPT can help kids learn new things. It can answer questions about a variety of topics, and it can also generate creative text formats, like poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, email, letters, etc. This can be a great way for kids to explore their interests and learn new things.

ChatGPT can help kids practice communication skills. It can be used to role-play conversations, or to simply chat about whatever is on a kid’s mind. This can be a great way for kids to develop their communication skills and learn how to interact with others.

ChatGPT can help kids learn about different cultures and perspectives. It can be used to translate text, learn about different languages, and connect with people from all over the world.

ChatGPT can be a fun and engaging way for kids to spend their time. It can be used to play games, tell stories, or just have a conversation. This can be a great way for kids to relax and have fun.

Cons:

ChatGPT is not always accurate. It is trained on a massive dataset of text, but it is still learning and can sometimes make mistakes. This is something to keep in mind when using ChatGPT with kids, as they may not always be able to tell the difference between accurate and inaccurate information.

ChatGPT can be used for inappropriate purposes. It can be used to generate text that is offensive, violent, or otherwise harmful. This is something to be aware of when using ChatGPT with kids, and it is important to supervise their use of the chatbot.

ChatGPT is not a substitute for human interaction. So it’s important for kids to still spend time with their friends and family.

ChatGPT can be addictive. It can be fun to talk to ChatGPT, and kids may find themselves spending more time on the chatbot than they should. It is important to set limits on how much time kids can spend using ChatGPT.

Overall, ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for kids. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to supervise kids’ use of the chatbot.

FAQ How To Explain ChatGPT To Your Kids?

To explain ChatGPT to kids, you can tell them that it’s a computer program that uses artificial intelligence to communicate with people. It’s like talking to a robot that can understand and respond to what you’re saying. ChatGPT can help you learn about different topics, answer your questions, and even assist with homework. However, because it’s a machine, it may not always provide accurate or safe information, so it’s important to use it responsibly and with adult supervision. Additionally, you can have a conversation with your kids about the potential risks and benefits of using technology like ChatGPT.

Is ChatGPT Safe For Kids To Use?

ChatGPT is not designed specifically for children, and it is important to note that it is still under development. As a language model, ChatGPT is trained on a massive dataset of text from the internet, which includes a wide range of content, including some that may not be appropriate for children. Therefore, it’s not recommended for children to interact with ChatGPT without adult supervision.

With that said, ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for children. It can be used to help them learn about new things, to practice their writing skills, or to simply have a conversation. It is important to use ChatGPT responsibly and to supervise children when they are using it. Here are some tips for using ChatGPT safely with children:

Talk to your children about the risks of using ChatGPT and other online tools.

Monitor your children’s use of ChatGPT and talk to them about the responses that they receive.

Teach your children how to report inappropriate or offensive content.

Use ChatGPT as a tool to help your children learn and grow, but don’t rely on it as a substitute for parental supervision.

Can Children Sign Up For ChatGPT?

No, children cannot sign up for ChatGPT as it is designed for use by individuals aged 18 and above. OpenAI’s terms of service state that the user must be of legal age to use their services, which include ChatGPT. The platform’s content is not appropriate for children, as it is designed to generate responses based on a vast corpus of text that includes diverse topics and content. Additionally, the platform may not have adequate safeguards in place to protect children’s privacy and safety. Therefore, it is recommended that children do not use ChatGPT or any similar language models designed for adults. Parents should supervise their children’s Internet usage and ensure they have access to age-appropriate resources.

Should My Kid Use ChatGPT?

Whether or not your kid should use ChatGPT depends on a number of factors, including their age, maturity level, and the purpose for which they want to use it.

Age: ChatGPT is a powerful tool, and it can be used for a variety of purposes. However, it is important to remember that it is still under development, and it can sometimes generate inaccurate or misleading information. For this reason, it is not recommended for children under the age of 13.

Maturity level: ChatGPT can be a great way for kids to learn about the world and practice their communication skills. However, it is important to supervise their use of the tool and make sure that they are using it in a safe and appropriate way. For example, you may want to limit the amount of time they spend using ChatGPT, and you may want to monitor the conversations they have with the chatbot.

Purpose: ChatGPT can be used for a variety of purposes, including learning, entertainment, and social interaction. It is important to make sure that your kid is using ChatGPT for a purpose that is appropriate for their age and maturity level. For example, if your kid is using ChatGPT to learn about a new topic, you may want to help them find reliable sources of information.

How To Keep Your Food Safe From Hungry Bears When Camping

If you took a poll at a national park you’d find the grand majority of visitors have a bear sighting at the top of their camping bucket list. But those who don’t know how to store their food properly when spending the night outdoors will get a much closer encounter with these animals than they’d wished for. Because when bears sneak up right outside your tent looking for a midnight snack, they look a lot less cute.

In the best-case scenario, they steal your backpack full of vittles, leaving you without a morsel for breakfast. But in the worst-case scenario, your carelessness might result in personal injury and a bear that has to be euthanized.

This is why it’s crucial to be responsible when storing your food and anything else that might attract bears. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to go about it that don’t require installing an electric fence around your campsite.

Food storage is important business in bear country

One free meal for a bear may not seem like a big deal as long as no one is hurt. But it’s still problematic because even if it’s the bear’s first offense, it almost certainly won’t be its last. 

Lana M. Ciarniello, research scientist and co-chair of the Human-Bear Conflicts Expert Team at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, explains that as soon as you reward a behavior, you condition the bear to seek out more of the same opportunities. This is especially true for bears who are used to humans. 

[Related: Bears can run at surprisingly fast speeds—here’s how they vary by species]

So when bears frequently pop up in camping sites it’s not the animal’s fault—more often than not, it’s the humans’. And these encounters usually don’t have a happy ending, as bears that do this are considered a threat and are likely to be euthanized. 

This is why proper storage techniques are paramount to safety in the outdoors. But not just yours—the bears’, too. 

Bears are not only attracted to food

It’s not just your stockpile of instant oatmeal that requires protecting. Food is the first thing you should store safely and out of bears’ reach, but Ciarniello says you should also put away what she calls “attractants”. Translation: Anything that might smell, even if it’s imperceptible to you.

While bears’ olfactory abilities are difficult to measure, experts at the National Park Service assure us they’re good. Really good—better-than-a-bloodhound good. That means these animals can detect the faintest of smells from farther away than you think. This includes your unscented deodorant or lip balm.

So even if an item is sealed (like wet wipes), or its label says it’s odorless, be safe and put it in the stash pile. Once you know what to put away, toss everything in a stuff sack, gallon-sized zip-top, or another durable bag, and get ready to store it.

Use a food locker

The easiest storage solution to keep bears away is food lockers. Many parks have installed these large, metal, cemented, bear-resistant structures in front-country and developed campgrounds, but they’re also popping up in backcountry sites where these animals roam.

So before you resort to more complicated solutions, make sure to check with staff at your destination to see if lockers are available.

Make a bear hang

Perhaps the most well-established method of protecting your food from bears with the munchies is the classic bear hang, where you stash all of your snacks in a durable bag, tie a long cord to it, and hang it in a tree.

Sounds simple, but “it is a pain in the ass,” Ciarniello admits. That’s because you can’t just throw a rope over any old tree limb, tie it off, and call it a day. Contrary to popular belief, bears are excellent climbers, so if you hang the bag less than 8 feet away from the tree trunk, they’ll scurry right up and chow down. And if you don’t hang the bag high enough, bears may be able to snatch it down without breaking a sweat. 

How high you need to hang your food will depend on the type of bears native to the area you’re visiting. If black bears are your only concern, a bag hanging 10 feet off the ground will do the trick, but in grizzly country, the ideal height is closer to 12 feet. So before you set off on your camping trip, make sure to ask a ranger what lives nearby and hang your food accordingly.

Tom Smith, a professor of wildlife sciences at Brigham Young University, says there are two main ways to make a bear hang: the single-tree hang and the double-tree hang. The single-tree hang is the simplest of the two. 

Start with a line about 25 feet long and tie one end around a weight, like a rock or a hefty piece of wood. 

Toss the weight over a sturdy tree limb at least 15 feet off the ground. Make sure you hang on to the other end of the line, as you don’t want the rope to make it all the way over. 

Once the line is over, remove the weight and tie that end of the rope to your food bag.

Pull the remaining end of the rope until your stash is at the desired height. 

Tie the rope off to the tree trunk.

The two-tree hang is more involved and requires a longer cord, closer to 60 feet. But this method is more secure as bears are less likely to swat or chew on the down line. 

Pick two stout trees with limbs at least 15 feet high. 

Attach one end of the rope to a weight. Again, a rock or a hefty piece of wood will do.

Toss the weight over one of the limbs. 

Remove the weight and secure the line by tying it around the corresponding tree trunk. 

Tie your weight to the opposite end of the rope and repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 with the other tree. Make sure you leave enough slack in the middle so the rope can droop to the ground. You want it to form an “M” shape.

Use a carabiner to attach your bear bag to the droopy center of the rope. 

Pull on the loose end of the rope and hoist the bag. When it’s high enough, tie off the rope securely around the second tree trunk.

[Related: Bears can count, take selfies, use tools, recognize supermodels, and even open car doors]

Alternately, Smith explains that if there’s a cliff or escarpment nearby, you can hang the food below the rim and secure the rope to a tree or bush. This approach will require you to be confident in your knot skills and extra careful when retrieving your grub, as slippery hands can result in having to forage your dinner or an early trip home.

Get some bear canisters

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a bear hang, you can use a bear canister or safe.

These typically roundish containers are built to withstand impact and are nearly impossible for a bear to open, as they don’t have opposable thumbs. Some have twist-on tops, while others feature screws to secure the lid, but they’re all designed to fit in a large backpack for easy —albeit heavy—transportation into the backcountry. 

“Bears have been known to bat them around, playing kickball with them deep in the woods, making it very difficult for campers to find them,” Smith says.

Make sure to add stickers or reflective tape to help you identify your canister in high-traffic areas. This will be incredibly helpful if you’re packing up before sunrise.

Whatever method you use, make sure you store your food wisely while in bear country. It’ll help keep you and these majestic animals safe. And don’t forget the bear spray.

15 Safe Websites For Downloading Windows Software

Windows has tons of free software, and of course, there are so many websites where you can download it. The challenge is that a lot of these freeware download sites, each claiming to be the best, routinely saddle the software with custom installers, adware, crapware, and bloatware.

However, there are still quite a few reliable software download websites which don’t complicate the core installer with crapware. The following updated list comprises an exhaustive collection of sites where you can download Windows software, minus the bad stuff.

In listing our recommended safe sources for Windows software, we took the following factors into consideration:

Completely Safe Sources

As this list is primarily of Windows software, the official Microsoft site should be your first port of call. Since it’s the official source of trusted Microsoft apps, you can be 100 percent sure there will be no malware and unnecessary add-ons, guaranteeing a clean installation. Personally, for Windows, Office, and other native Microsoft programs, I prefer downloading only from the official Microsoft page.

On the official link, you’ll not only find all the software packages you need but also optional updates and hotfixes, including the .NET framework, PC security and optimization tools, driver kits, web browsers, developer tools, and service packs for Xbox games, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator. Also, if you need to install older software versions, you can. Naturally, you shouldn’t expect to find third-party software on the Microsoft site.

2. Microsoft Store

Continuing with our “you can’t go wrong with the source” approach, Microsoft Store is a recommended source for downloading frequently used and popular Windows software. Apart from native Microsoft apps available on chúng tôi you also get access to several third-party apps designed for a Windows system. These include Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Facebook, Spotify, VLC, Python, Adobe Lightroom, Pinterest, Ubuntu for Microsoft, Slack, Screen Recorder Pro, Zoom for Microsoft Edge, and plenty of latest games.

One reason Microsoft Store is more popular than other sites is because it is designed to work with Windows systems, and the software gets automatically updated with a PC update. Downloading any non-native apps is so much easier and faster than running a manual installer. Basically, the third-party software developers worked to optimize their offering for a Windows environment. This means there will be absolutely no compatibility issues. However, some users have reported problems with Microsoft Store, for which we have an extensive troubleshooting guide.

3. Developer’s Website

There are many places to download third-party Windows software. But you can always bet on the original download site for a winner. No matter which software you need, you can find it using a simple Google search. In most cases, the official site will be listed as the first search result or at least within the first search page. Whether you want to download a programming language like Python or a full-fledged game, don’t forget to check its official website first.

In latest Windows versions, if you had to choose between Microsoft Store and the official third-party website, you should always opt for the former (if available). This is because the Microsoft Store version has been specifically tested and optimized for performance on your device.

For example, Netflix available in Microsoft Store refits exactly according to your Windows screen size, and looks so much better. But you won’t have any problems with downloading the software from chúng tôi the official site.

Highly Safe Sources

We’ll call our next category of download websites “highly safe” sources. They are a cut above the typical online sources because of internal malware checks, verified user ratings, and a safe, straightforward download experience. If you can’t find something on chúng tôi Microsoft Store, or the official third-party software website, this is where you look next.

4. SourceForge

SourceForge is worth its reputation as a reliable open source and business software download site. What I like most about SourceForge is that it aims to address an important user concern that the third-party software may not be the official one. This is done through a ticker that the software is an “exact mirror” of the official project hosted on the official site. While other download sites also give similar indications, SourceForge has an extra reassuring “feel” about it.

The collection of software is similarly impressive. Currently, SourceForge hosts over 500,000 projects, including nearly 80,000 business software. Although a majority of them are open source programs, there are hardly any Windows (and Mac, Linux) programs you won’t find here. From a user experience perspective, SourceForge is easily a top third-party recommendation for us.

5. AlternativeTo 6. GitHub

While a little intricate to learn, GitHub is increasingly a popular option for sophisticated software versions, as it’s one of the largest repositories of original code. Apart from mainly open source software, you can find thousands of Windows repositories such as its latest Windows Terminal, Skype for Business, Docker, Azure, PowerToys, and much more.

All the software versions are malware free and updated in real time by a global community of developers. If malware is ever detected on a GitHub page, they promptly remove the software.

7. Steam

Are you an avid gamer? If you want to play any game reliably on a Windows PC, Steam gives Microsoft Store a run for its money. It not only has a collection of over 30,000 gaming software for Windows and other OS but also some of the best discounted prices, user reviews, and a community 100 million strong. You have to install the Steam software from the official link and need a Steam ID and library manager. Once done, you can download any game you want. If you’ve run into any issues while working with Steam, try these fixes.

8. Epic Games

Until recently, Steam was the number one source for Windows gaming software, but Epic Games is better in so many ways. The Epic Games US Store has a superb collection of Windows-compatible games, both free and paid. It is the company behind Unreal Engine, the highly portable graphical interface powering Fortnite, Gears of War, Xenon Racer, Ark II, and many other 3D games. With virtual reality (VR) attracting hard core gamers, Epic Games has the single most largest collection of the best game franchises.

You only need to download the Epic Installer for Windows once. It’s available on each game web page, and installing it allows you to securely download anything you want with ease.

Sufficiently Safe Sources 9. Filepuma 10. Ninite 11. Softpedia

Another good thing about this source is that you will always get the latest version of the software you need. Moreover, it also provides you with software reviews and actual screenshots for almost all the popular and most-used software. If you’ve never used Softpedia, do give it a try.

12. DownloadCrew

Among many Windows-centric solutions, DownloadCrew has a superb collection of VPN apps, security and privacy toolkits, audio and video tools, and collaboration/meeting software. With a neat interface and easy-to-read font style, you can easily zero in on your desired software. This is a good site with an exhaustive list of Windows and third-party software solutions.

13. FileHorse

FileHorse offers a handy selection of high-quality software and apps for Windows and macOS. All the software are frequently updated with the latest versions. Along with the download links, you get a complete description on whether the software is free or a free trial, and the key features to expect. You also get a handy list of alternatives to the software, although not as exhaustive as chúng tôi which we have mentioned above.

A prominent security status badge next to each software download reassures you of file safety. If you don’t want to install any software, FileHorse also offers a cloud web version where you can work with various cloud-based software.

14. Chocolatey

Chocolatey is a simple coding platform that helps download any program on a Windows PC. This is useful for developers who work with PowerShell, Windows Terminal, and Command line tools. To download any software through Chocolatey, you have to run PowerShell or Windows Terminal in admin mode and install Chocolatey using the following command.

15. DeviantArt

A sketchy art website as a download source for software seems unnatural. But DeviantArt is a real treasure trove of some of the most brilliant Windows themes, wallpapers, screensavers, sound schemes, icon packs, visual styles, and other Windows customizations. You have to be signed in to the website to complete the download.

If you’re concerned about the lack of imagination in Windows themepacks for your existing Windows version, DeviantArt will astonish you with its sheer variety of beautiful images and posters online.

Frequently Asked Questions How can I download software without viruses?

Malware shouldn’t be a problem if you download software from official sources and safe websites we have listed above. In any case, to prevent downloading any unsafe software, make sure your Windows SmartScreen has been enabled. Although SmartScreen does not always successfully alert you, it will physically prevent the software from downloading on your device.

What do I do if I downloaded unsafe software?

Always check the installer file on VirusTotal. If there are any instances of malware, delete that download immediately.

How do I uninstall all unsafe software on my Windows PC?

The best way to uninstall unsafe software is to remove it from Windows Apps & Features and the Control Panel. But some programs can be particularly stubborn, because they override Windows permissions in removing the software. It is best to not install these programs in the first place, but if you did so by mistake, here’s how to uninstall persistent programs.

Image credit: Sirina Ins @ Pexels

Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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