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    101 Free Excel Templates to Organize Your Life and Business

    101 Free Excel Templates to Organize Your Life and Business


    A well-made spreadsheet can help in almost any part of life and business. From budgeting and workout planning, to debt tracking and project management. But unless you’re a pro with Excel, creating a spreadsheet that does exactly what you want, isn’t...

    A well-made spreadsheet can help in almost any part of life and business. From budgeting and workout planning, to debt tracking and project management. But unless you’re a pro with Excel, creating a spreadsheet that does exactly what you want, isn’t easy.

    That’s where templates come in. Using a template takes the hard work out of creating a spreadsheet that works perfectly. This allows you to get straight to tracking your data, and making better decisions based on those insights.

    And as luck should have it, for a limited time only, you can download 101 high quality Excel templates for free.

    Download 101 Excel Templates For Free!

    The templates included in this free download cover everything including:

    Event organizing Budgeting (for work and home) Expense tracking Wedding planning Sales reports and balance sheets Inventory lists Calendars Project tracking charts Invoices Checklists Health and workout trackers Job application logs Debt and savings trackers Meal planners

    And much more.

    Rest assured, these are quality, well-designed templates that we’ve personally checked out, and we really wouldn’t want you to miss out on this offer. So, claim them today, save them to your computer, and they’re yours to use whenever you like!

    Want in? Simply click here to download 101 free Excel templates from TradePub. You will be required to complete a short form to access the templates, but it’s well worth the two minutes of effort!

    Read the full article: 101 Free Excel Templates to Organize Your Life and Business

    5 Free Sites to Create or Automatically Generate a Logo for Your Business

    5 Free Sites to Create or Automatically Generate a Logo for Your Business


    Every business needs a logo. But not every business owner has the design skills to make it. Even if you aren’t an artist, you can generate a range of basic logos for free at these sites. Some of these sites do a simple job of mixing and matching...

    Every business needs a logo. But not every business owner has the design skills to make it. Even if you aren’t an artist, you can generate a range of basic logos for free at these sites.

    Some of these sites do a simple job of mixing and matching elements.  While others will help you find icons, fonts, or colors to build something of your own. There’s something for everyone. And after this, you won’t need to be an expert who knows how to design a logo in Illustrator.

    1. Launchaco Logo Builder (Web): Simplest Mix-and-Match Logo Builder

    Launchaco is the simplest free logo builder I came across. If you have no design skills and want a few basic ideas to start, this is the web app to try.

    First, type your company’s name, which Launchaco then presents in various fonts. In each pack of three fonts, you have to choose the one you like the most. Launchaco helpfully explains the emotional values attached with each font, thus making your choice easier.

    Next, select a color scheme, where the app again explains the feelings it will inspire in viewers. And then you select up to three icons out of Launchaco’s library.

    Give it a few seconds and Launchaco will show you a range of different logos. It will mix and match the typefaces, color palettes, and icons as it sees fit. Keep scrolling down, and the site will keep generating more logo options. It’s almost endless.

    Even if you like one, you can still edit it further. Change the color, text, icon, or layout as you see fit. There’s a quick-share option to show your business partners, or you can download the whole package as a zip file.

    The package includes icons, options of the icon placed in different positions next to your company’s name, and monochrome options too. A text file tells you the fonts used, as well as the icon’s designer, so you can make further edits or hire a designer too.

    2. Logo Foundry (Android, iOS): Free Logo Builder for Mobiles

    If you’re more comfortable with a mobile screen and want to build a logo, the Logo Foundry app is your best choice. It has a huge repository of free icons and fonts, is easy to edit, and gives you downloadable logos without any watermarks.

    The app provides a grid layout in which you add shapes or text, and the grid helps you align elements easily. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of this grid. The wide range of icons and typefaces is geared for creating logos, so you will see options that are a bit different from simply choosing a font on Google Fonts or other free resources.

    Each shape or text box can be edited as much as you want, with options like opacity, color hues, flipping, mirroring, and so on. A saved logo isn’t necessarily a final product, as you can still change it later, even after downloading it as a PNG or JPEG.

    Download: Logo Foundry for Android | iOS (Free)

    3. Logo Dust and Free Minimal Logos (Web): Free and Open Source Logos

    Professionals, quite rightly, charge for their services when you want them to design a logo for your business. But there are some designers who have made their logos and icons available for free on the internet. Businesses can use these for commercial purposes.

    Logo Dust has a repository of 47 free logos that can be downloaded unlimited times, used by anyone, for both personal and commercial projects. You get the SVG vector file format, which means you can increase the size of the logo without any loss in quality, and easily change other elements like color.

    Free Minimal Logos by Matt Nunney is a similar site with a collection of logos that adhere to minimalistic design standards. These logos come in the form of PowerPoint files, which makes it easier to edit logos with text. But you can easily copy them to an image editor and convert them to SVG or other formats.

    4. Logomak (Web): Understand Color Schemes and Fonts for Logos

    Logomak is a guide for making logos. It doesn’t create a logo for you but helps you narrow down the choices for fonts and colors, based on what you want to convey.

    First, choose the industry you are in, and pick three tags that best describe the values you want to convey. It’s all right if your industry or main value isn’t listed, choose whatever is closest.

    Based on your choices, Logomak will choose three main colors for your logo, along with multiple color schemes based on each color. If you aren’t a designer, this is valuable information.

    Similarly, Logomak will provide font options based on your tags. You can even type your company name to see a preview of what it will look like, and then download the fonts.

    You can download a few logos auto-generated by Logomak, or simply choose to use Logomak as the guideline it is meant to be. Once you have the base points of color schemes and fonts, you’ll find it much easier to tinker with design software and create your own original logo.

    5. Logo Rank (Web): AI Tests How Good Your Logo Looks

    So you made a logo, or your designer made one for you. Brandmark, one of the paid logo making apps on the web, has a free tool to test how good that logo actually is, based on an AI system trained with over a million logos.

    Upload your creation and Logo Rank will test three major parameters. Uniqueness tests whether it is too similar to several existing logos, which is bound to get you confused. Legibility tests if it can be easily recognized from a distance. Color/contrast tests whether people are bound to react positively or not.

    Combining the three tests, you will get an overall score from Logo Rank, which can help you determine if you should stick with that logo or get a new one. If you are creating logos with stock icons, this tool is especially useful to double-check your design skills.

    Design a Logo with Microsoft Word

    You might think that to create a good logo, you need professional software like Adobe Illustrator. But that’s not true. If you have a clear idea of what you want out of the logo, you can use the above guidelines and then use existing software.

    Even a simple image editor like Paint would do, but you can actually make a logo easily with Microsoft Word. Office workers are bound to be more familiar with this software that most design tools, and it’s surprisingly simple to manipulate shapes, text, colors, and even odd characters.

    Read the full article: 5 Free Sites to Create or Automatically Generate a Logo for Your Business

    Sennheiser Reinvents the Soundbar With AMBEO

    Sennheiser Reinvents the Soundbar With AMBEO


    When it comes to home theater systems, the soundbar is, for many, one of the most convenient inventions. It grants access to extremely high-quality sound without the overwhelming amount of space and set up effort required for a traditional surround sound...

    When it comes to home theater systems, the soundbar is, for many, one of the most convenient inventions. It grants access to extremely high-quality sound without the overwhelming amount of space and set up effort required for a traditional surround sound system.

    Sennheiser, a company known for releasing high-quality audio devices, just announced a new soundbar called AMBEO, and it looks like it could be quite the game-changer for anyone who’s obsessed with bumping sound that doesn’t take up too much space.

    Sennheiser AMBEO Features

    Obviously, the main feature of this particular soundbar is the quality of audio it produces. It uses 5.1.4 sound, which the company promises will deliver an “as if there 3D spatial experience.”

    The sound quality comes from a whopping 13 drivers packed into a single bar. It uses those speakers, along with the ability to capture the knowledge of each individual room’s size and reflective surfaces, to replicate the aforementioned 5.1.4 sound without spreading speakers around the room.

    For anyone who’s really into bass (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?) the AMBEO promises deep response as low as 30hz, which should let this speaker bump all the lows in your favorite music and movies. The craziest thing about the bass this soundbar is able to output is that there is no subwoofer—it all comes from the main unit. Sennheiser says it uses “six proprietary 4-inch, long-throw woofers that achieve incredible bass reproduction without an external subwoofer.”

    As for connectivity, the AMBEO comes with Bluetooth and Google Cast support, so you’ll be able to listen to all of your music on it with ease. It also comes with a companion app that you can use to customize the experience of using the high-end audio device.

    Sennheiser AMBEO Price and Release Date

    The AMBEO is certainly not an entry-level device, and it comes with a price tag to match the ultra high-end specifications. When it releases on June 12, 2019, the soundbar will come with a $2499.95 price tag. Obviously, that puts this device clearly in the premium sound space, but it most definitely appears to come with features and specs that make it worthy of carrying such a high price tag.

    If you’re interested in a more budget-friendly soundbar, check out our list of the best options for audiophiles on a budget.

    Read the full article: Sennheiser Reinvents the Soundbar With AMBEO

    You Can Now Sign Up to Try Minecraft Earth

    You Can Now Sign Up to Try Minecraft Earth


    Microsoft has announced Minecraft Earth, a new Minecraft mobile game. Minecraft Earth uses augmented reality to bring Minecraft to the real world. The game isn’t being released until later this year, but you can sign up now for the beta. What Is...

    Microsoft has announced Minecraft Earth, a new Minecraft mobile game. Minecraft Earth uses augmented reality to bring Minecraft to the real world. The game isn’t being released until later this year, but you can sign up now for the beta.

    What Is Minecraft Earth?

    Minecraft Earth is a new free-to-play augmented reality mobile game. It’s due to be released on Android and iOS before the end of 2019, with the final release date yet to be confirmed. However, there will be a limited beta this summer.

    If you’re not familiar with augmented reality, it’s what powered Pokemon GO. Augmented reality essentially places a virtual world on top of the real world, so that when you look through your phone’s camera you’ll see things that aren’t actually there.

    In the case of Minecraft Earth, that means you’ll see the elements you’re familiar with from the existing game in the world around. There’ll be pixelated grass and blocky trees, all designed to blend in with the actual environment you’re inhabiting.

    You’ll find Tappables, which you can tap for resources. You’ll find Adventures, which are mini-games which use your phone as a window into this virtual Minecraft world. There will also be mobs of animals such as pigs and chickens, just like in the main game.

    Potentially the biggest and best part of Minecraft Earth are the Build Plates. You throw one down to create a plot of land, and you can then build whatever you want on it. And when it’s ready you can blow it up to full scale and literally walk around it.

    How Can I Play Minecraft Earth?

    Minecraft Earth is going to be released on Android and iOS later this year. However, if you’re keen to get involved before anyone else you can sign up now for the limited beta coming this summer. Just sign up at Minecraft.net/earth for a chance to participate.

    Even at this early stage, with details thin on the ground, it’s clear that Minecraft Earth is more ambitious than previous augmented reality efforts such as Pokemon GO. And if Microsoft can pull this off Minecraft Earth could be a game everyone wants to play.

    Minecraft Earth represents Microsoft looking to the future of the franchise. However, you can now play Minecraft Classic for free in your browser, giving you the chance to look back at the early days of Minecraft before it became the phenomenon it is today.

    Read the full article: You Can Now Sign Up to Try Minecraft Earth

    How to Run macOS on Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine

    How to Run macOS on Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine


    Windows 10 is a great operating system. It has its quirks and annoyances, but what operating system doesn’t? Even if you’re beholden to Microsoft and Windows 10, you can still shop around. What better way to do that than from the safe confines of...

    Windows 10 is a great operating system. It has its quirks and annoyances, but what operating system doesn’t? Even if you’re beholden to Microsoft and Windows 10, you can still shop around. What better way to do that than from the safe confines of your existing operating system and a virtual machine? This way, you can run macOS on Windows.

    In this tutorial, you will learn how to install macOS in a virtual machine, making a virtual Hackintosh. “Hackintosh” is the name of any unsupported hardware running a Mac operating system. Unsure if you will get along with a Mac? Give this tutorial a try!

    What Files Do You Need to Create a macOS Virtual Machine on Windows 10?

    Before delving into the “how to,” you need to download and install the essential tools. The tutorial details how to create macOS virtual machines using both Oracle VirtualBox Manager (VirtualBox) and VMware Workstation Player (VMware Player). Not sure which to use? Learn more about the differences between VirtualBox and VMware.)

    Download the latest version of VirtualBox. The tutorial uses VirtualBox 6.0.6.

    Download the latest version of VMware Player. The tutorial uses VMware Player 15.0.4.

    You also need a copy of macOS, too. Mojave is the latest macOS version. However, at the time of writing, there is no AMD macOS Mojave build available to those without an existing AMD-based macOS installation.

    That doesn’t mean AMD users are completely out of luck though. You can still install macOS High Sierra in a virtual machine. And in time, an AMD-based macOS Mojave virtual machine build will become available.

    This tutorial will focus on installing macOS in a virtual machine running on Intel hardware. Unfortunately, I do not have access to any AMD hardware so cannot provide a tutorial. However, if you continue reading, you will find links to several AMD macOS High Sierra and Mojave tutorials towards the end of the article.

    Download the macOS Virtual Image

    Download the macOS virtual image for your CPU, virtual machine type, and the version of macOS you want:

    Intel Mojave

    VirtualBox Intel HFS Mojave 10.14.3 Google Drive Mediafire Code for VirtualBox (Required) Virtualbox Intel APFS Mojave 10.14.3 Google Drive Media Fire Code for VirtualBox (Required) VMware Player Intel APFS Mojave 10.14.3 Google Drive Media Fire VMware Player Patch Tool (Both Files Required)

    After the file finishing downloading, right-click, and extract using your favorite archive tool. For instance, I would right-click, then select 7-Zip > Extract to “Mojave Image.” In the folder, you will find a .VMDK file, which stands for Virtual Machine Disk Format. The VMDK file contains the operating system you will use in the next section.

    How to Create a macOS Mojave Virtual Machine with VirtualBox

    Open VirtualBox. Select New. Type macOS. VirtualBox will detect the OS as you type and will default to Mac OS X. However, you need to change this. Under Version, select macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

    Next, set the amount of RAM the virtual machine and macOS can use. I would suggest a minimum of 4GB, but the more you can give from the host system, the better your experience will be. Remember, you cannot assign more RAM than your system has available, and you need to leave some memory available for the host operating system. (How much RAM does a system need?)

    Finally, you need to assign a hard disk. Select Use an existing virtual hard disk file.

    Select the folder icon and browse to the VMDK file, then hit Create.

    Edit the macOS Mojave Virtual Machine Settings

    Before firing up the virtual machine and using macOS Mojave, you need to make a few tweaks to the settings. Right-click you macOS virtual machine and select Settings.

    Under System, remove Floppy from the boot order. Ensure the Chipset is set to ICH9.

    Select the Processor tab. Assign two processors. If you have an i7 CPU with power to spare (or an i9 with multiple extra cores), consider assigning more. However, this isn’t vital. Make sure the Enable PAE/NX box is checked.

    Under Display, set Video Memory to 128MB.

    Now, under Storage, check the box alongside Use Host I/O Cache.

    Use Command Prompt to Add Custom Code to VirtualBox

    Unfortunately, in its current configuration, VirtualBox doesn’t work with your macOS VMDK. To get it up and running, you have to essentially patch VirtualBox before the macOS virtual machine will function. TO do this, you need to enter some code using the Command Prompt. All the details are below.

    Start by closing VirtualBox. The commands will not execute properly if VirtualBox or any of its associated processes are running. Once closed, press Windows Key + X, then select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu. If your menu only shows the PowerShell option, type command into your Start menu search bar. Then right-click the Best Match, and select Run as Administrator.

    The following code works for VirtualBox 5.x and 6.x.

    Use the following command to locate the Oracle VirtualBox directory:

    cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\"

    Now, enter the following commands, one by one. Adjust the command to match the name of your virtual machine. For instance, my virtual machine name is “macos.” Here are the commands:

    VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "macos" --cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 00100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff VBoxManage setextradata "macos" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "iMac11,3" VBoxManage setextradata "macos" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0" VBoxManage setextradata "macos" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "Iloveapple" VBoxManage setextradata "macos" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc" VBoxManage setextradata "macos" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 1

    After the completion of the commands, and presuming you encountered no errors, close the Command Prompt.

    Boot Your macOS Mojave Virtual Machine

    Reopen VirtualBox. Double-click your macOS virtual machine to start it. You will see a long stream of text, followed by a gray screen. The gray screen can take a moment or two to clear, but don’t panic. When it resolves, you will arrive at the macOS “Welcome” screen.

    From here, you can set your macOS Mojave virtual machine up as you see fit.

    Pro Tip: Take a snapshot of your virtual machine once it passes the gray screen. If anything goes wrong down the line, you can return to the Welcome screen setup and start the process again. Once you complete the macOS setup, take another one so you can jump straight into your macOS installation. Head to Machine > Take Snapshot, give your snapshot a name, and wait for it to process.

    Mouse and Keyboard Not Working?

    Turn your macOS Mojave virtual machine off. Now, download and install the VirtualBox Extension Pack.

    Once installed, right-click your macOS virtual machine and select Settings. Open the USB tab and select USB 3.0 (xHCI) Controller, then press OK.

    Start your macOS Mojave virtual machine again, and you are good to go.

    How to Create a macOS Mojave Virtual Machine Using VMware Workstation Player

    Prefer VMware over VirtualBox? You can create a macOS Mojave virtual machine using VMware that works exactly the same as VirtualBox. And, just as with VirtualBox, VMware also requires patching before the macOS Mojave virtual machine will work.

    Patch VMware Workstation Player

    In the “macOS Virtual Image” file list above is the “VMware Player Patch Tool.” Before commencing any further, download the patch tool. Then, browse to the location you downloaded the patch tool to. Extract the contents of the archive. This process works best when the folders are on the same drive (e.g., the VMware root folder and extracted archive are both found on the C:\ drive).

    Make sure VMware is completely closed. Now, in the patcher folder, right-click the win-install command script and select Run as Administrator. The script will open a Command Prompt window, and the patch-script will run. Pay attention. The script whizzes by and you need to keep watch for any “File not Found” messages.

    The most common reason for a “file not found” or a “system cannot find the file specified” message is installing VMware Workstation Player in a different location to the default folder, and executing the patch from a different directory.

    Once the patch completes, you can open VMware.

    Create the macOS Mojave Virtual Machine With VMware

    Select Create a New Virtual Machine. Choose I will install the operating system later. Now, select Apple Mac OS X, and change the Version to macOS 10.14. If you don’t see the macOS options, it is because the patch didn’t install correctly.

    Next, you need to choose a name for your macOS Mojave virtual machine. Choose something easy to remember, then copy the file path to somewhere handy—you’re going to need it to make some edits in a moment. On the next screen, stick with the suggested maximum hard disk size, then select Store virtual disk as a single file. Complete the virtual disk creation wizard, but do not start the virtual machine just yet.

    Edit the macOS Mojave Virtual Machine Settings

    Before you can boot the virtual machine, you must edit the hardware specifications. Plus, you need to tell VMware where to find the macOS VMDK.

    From the main VMware screen, select your macOS Mojave virtual machine, then right-click, and select Settings. Like VirtualBox, bump the virtual machine memory up to at least 4GB. You can allocate more if you have RAM to spare.

    Under Processors, edit the number of available cores to 2.

    Now, under Hard Disk (SATA), you need to remove the hard disk created earlier. Select Remove and VMware will remove the disk automatically. Now, select Add > Hard Disk > SATA (Recommended) > Use an existing disk. Browse to the location of the macOS VMDK.

    Edit the macOS VMX file

    Your final set of edits before switching your VMware macOS Mojave virtual machine on!

    Close VMware. Head to the location you stored the macOS virtual machine. The default location is:

    C:\Users\YOURNAME\Documents\Virtual Machines\YOUR MAC OS X FOLDER

    Browse to macOS.vmx, right-click, and select Open with…, select Notepad (or your preferred text editor). Scroll to the bottom of the configuration file and add the following line:

    smc.version = "0"

    Save, then Exit.

    You can now open VMware, select your macOS Mojave virtual machine, and fire it up!

    Install VMware Tools to Your macOS Mojave Virtual Machine

    Remember the other ISO file downloaded with the VMware patch tool? That contains the VMware tools, a set of utilities and extensions that improve mouse handling, video performance, and other useful things.

    With the macOS virtual machine running, select Player > Removable Devices >  CD/DVD (SATA) > Settings. Select Use ISO image file, then Browse to the location of the VM Tool New.ISO file downloaded earlier. Press OK and head back to macOS.

    On the desktop, you should note the VMware Tools drive symbol. Double-click the drive to open, then select Install VMware Tools. During installation, you will meet a security warning. Select Open Security Preferences > Allow, then click the Padlock icon to confirm the changes. Restart the virtual machine, and you can start using macOS as you please.

    Troubleshooting

    There are a couple of things that can (and probably will) go wrong during the macOS virtual machine installation in VMware Player Workstation.

    If you cannot see “Apple Mac OS X” during the virtual machine creation wizard, then you need to revisit the patch process. Ensure every process associated with VMware Player is off.

    If you receive the message “Mac OS X is not supported with binary translation” when starting the virtual machine, there is a strong chance you need to activate virtualization in your BIOS/UEFI configuration.

    If you receive the message “VMware Player unrecoverable error: (vcpu-0)” when starting the virtual machine, you need to head back to the macOS.vmx configuration file to ensure you added the extra line and saved the edit.

    macOS Virtual Machine for AMD Hardware

    Apple uses Intel hardware to power desktops and laptops. Configuring a macOS virtual machine using Intel hardware is easier because the hardware specifications are very similar. With AMD, the opposite is true. Because Apple does not develop macOS on AMD hardware, creating a macOS virtual machine on an AMD system is trickier.

    Adding to this, I don’t have an AMD system to test macOS virtual machines on, so cannot give you a detailed tutorial. I can, however, point you in the direction of several macOS AMD virtual machine tutorials that do work, so long as you are patient and follow each step accordingly.

    Mojave AMD Vanilla Guide From Windows via AMD OS X High Sierra 10.13.1 VM for VMware Player for Ryzen/FX/APU via AMD OS X Mojave AMD VirtualBox via AMD OS X

    The AMD OS X forum is a great resource for macOS virtual machines. You can find many more forum threads regarding AMD macOS virtual machines, too.

    macOS Mojave Virtual Machine Installation Complete

    You have two options to choose from for your macOS Mojave virtual machine. Both options are great if you want to give macOS a try before making the switch from Windows. You can also use a macOS to some of the best Apple apps on offer.

    You can use a virtual machine to test other operating systems too. For instance, here’s how to install a Linux distro in a virtual machine. Looking to learn more about virtual machines? Check out our VirtualBox User’s Guide, which teaches everything you need to know.

    Read the full article: How to Run macOS on Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine

    8 Secret Google Search Games You Can Play Right Now

    8 Secret Google Search Games You Can Play Right Now


    Did you know Google has hidden games within its default Google Search? You can play these games within the default Google.com itself, without visiting any other site. That means no pesky firewall can stop you.Unlock the "Top Google Search Keyboard...

    Did you know Google has hidden games within its default Google Search? You can play these games within the default Google.com itself, without visiting any other site. That means no pesky firewall can stop you.

    Unlock the "Top Google Search Keyboard Shortcuts" cheat sheet now!

    This will sign you up to our newsletter

    Enter your EmailUnlockRead our privacy policy

    Then there are other games that were part of Google’s famous doodles but aren’t available easily since the doodle keeps changing. Don’t worry though, there are sites where these playable doodles are still active today.

    Here are the fun Google games you can play within Google Search or the browser.

    1. Solitaire

    How to play: Search Solitaire in Google.

    That’s right, you can play a full game of solitaire, right inside Google. You don’t need to click any links or download any apps. It is one of Google’s many Easter eggs, hiding there till you stumble upon it.

    The single-player game works exactly like the classic Windows Solitaire game you’ve played on the computer. Match the cards in chronological order, alternating between reds and blacks. The end purpose is to separate each suit.

    The cool part about this version of Solitaire is that it works fantastically on smartphones too. So you can fire it up on your phone with a simple Google search, and without installing anything.

    2. Minesweeper

    How to play: Search Minesweeper in Google.

    There are two games most associated with Windows computers and whiling away time. If you can play Solitaire, how could Minesweeper be left out?

    The animation is different from Windows, as is the size of the grid. But the basics of the game remain the same. You’ll get a grid of numbers, each denoting how many mines are in the squares around them. Use logic and math to mark some cells as mines, and open the ones you think are safe.

    You’ll need a mouse to play this free game on Google. When I tried it with a laptop’s touchpad, the sensitivity of a left-click versus a right-click ended up in mistaken clicks often, and that will end your game in an instant.

    And yeah, there are easy, medium, and hard levels. Challenge your friends to beat your time!

    3. Tic-Tac-Toe

    How to play: Search Tic-Tac-Toe in Google.

    When you’re bored in the office or out somewhere, play Tic-Tac-Toe with a friend. This works on mobile too, so you don’t need pen and paper for a quick game.

    You can play as the cross or the circle, but know that the cross gets the first turn. Even if you’re alone, you can challenge yourself against Google’s AI. There are different skill settings for the game, so you can start easy and advance to the “impossible” level.

    4. Pac-Man

    How to play: Search Pac-Man in Google.

    Google has taken the classic Pac-Man game but reinvented the maze with the Google letters. And in the process, it’s made Pac-Man more challenging than ever before.

    Like always, the aim is to move your yellow Wakka-Wakka man around, eating all the dots. Avoid the four ghosts who are out to kill you. Eating a large dot turns the ghosts blue for a short time, at which point you can eat the ghosts too.

    Because of the shape of the letters, the maze has some tricky corners. It is not as straightforward as the classic Pac-Man, so you’ll need to maneuver carefully. It’s probably best to play this on a computer keyboard with the arrow keys; it was difficult playing it on a phone by swiping for directional changes.

    5. Snake

    How to play: Search Snake Game in Google.

    The Chinese New Year in 2013 was the Year of the Snake. To welcome it, Google developed a playable doodle of the classic Snake game. That doodle version is gone, and now you have a classic version of Snake.

    Use the arrow keys to move the snake around, eating things in its path. Food will make you grow longer; avoid the barriers or it’s game over.

    Google’s Snake also works on mobile screens, but like with Pac-Man, swiping to change direction is much harder than pressing arrow keys in a game that is all about speed. If you can, play it on a keyboard.

    6. Atari Breakout

    How to play: Search Atari Breakout in Google Images.

    Brick-breaker games will never go out of style. Heck, game developers are still reinventing the classic brick-breaker today. Google has quietly tipped its hat to the grand-daddy of these games, Atari’s Breakout.

    Searching for it in Google Images will activate a neat animation. All the photos jumble up to form a line of bricks, and magically, a paddle and a ball appear at the bottom. Start breaking the bricks, using the paddle to keep the ball from falling off the screen.

    Finish the game and Google will run a new search of a beautiful location, making bricks out of it. And then your next game starts, breaking those bricks of gorgeous places. More fun on the computer than a phone, but hey, it’s entertaining either way.

    7. A Google a Day

    How to play: Go to the A Google a Day page.

    Usually, trivia games and quizzes implore you not to search the question on Google. A Google a Day proudly lets you search the internet, and makes the game about speed and your ability to use Google search wisely.

    Every day, the site poses three trivia questions. The window is split into two halves. The question appears in the bottom half of the screen, with a Google search window in the top half. Once you see the question, use the top half to search for the answer using the right keywords. It’s all a way to improve your Google search skills.

    A Google a Day gets tougher with every day of the week. The quiz on Monday is the easiest, and quizzes on Thursday and Friday take some serious Googling abilities to crack. It makes the perfect homepage for your browser, as you will learn something new every day.

    8. Spooky Cat

    How to play: Go to the Spooky Cat doodle page.

    The large repository of Google Doodle games has some addictive casual games that you should check out, but the best one is the Halloween 2016 Doodle, the Spooky Cat game. It’s great on computers, but even better on mobile.

    Help Momo the cat defend the magical secrets of her school from a bunch of evil ghosts. Above each ghost is a shape. Draw the shape on your screen to kill the ghost. Do it fast, before the ghosts reach Momo and take one of her five lives.

    Spooky Cat has only five levels, so you will finish the game soon. But it’s so well-made that you will want to keep playing it over and over. Lovely animations, great sound effects, and addictive gameplay make this one is a winner.

    Other Great Online Games

    Apart from these hidden games on Google Search, there are several other games tucked away throughout Google products. The most famous among these is probably the Dinosaur Run game in Google Chrome, which starts when you are offline. You can also play the Chrome dinosaur game when you are online by visiting “chrome://dino” in a new tab.

    And of course, you don’t need to restrict yourself to Google. Here’s a collection of awesome games you can play in the browser.

    Read the full article: 8 Secret Google Search Games You Can Play Right Now

    The Best Smart Watch Phone for Apple and Android Users

    The Best Smart Watch Phone for Apple and Android Users


    Smartwatches offer a convenient companion to your smartphone. But what if you want to use your smartwatch throughout the day without carrying your phone? Then you need a smart watch phone. While many smartwatches require a connection to your phone,...

    Smartwatches offer a convenient companion to your smartphone. But what if you want to use your smartwatch throughout the day without carrying your phone? Then you need a smart watch phone.

    While many smartwatches require a connection to your phone, you’ll find some standalone smartwatches that can operate independently thanks to cellular support. A watch phone can’t fully replace your phone, but they’re great for those who are always on-the-go. They can also reduce the temptation to use your phone too often.

    Here are the best phone watches you can use on their own.

    Before You Buy a Standalone Smartwatch

    Buying a smart watch phone sounds exciting, but before you make a purchase, you should be aware of how they work. Because they connect to cellular data, like your phone, your carrier has to activate and link them to your account.

    This depends on your carrier, but almost always results in additional charges. Most carriers charge a fee for the initial activation, plus a monthly charge for having the device on your plan.

    Be aware of this before you decide whether a phone watch is right for you. If you don’t plan to use the LTE functionality all the time, you’re probably better off sticking to the standard model to cut down on cost.

    One other note: we’re sticking to only phone watches that include cellular support. While some smartwatches do offer Wi-Fi connectivity independent of your phone, this is less useful because you’re unlikely to stay within range of one Wi-Fi network while out and about.

    1. Apple Watch Series 4 (and 3) Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) Buy Now On Amazon $449.99

    The Apple Watch Series 4 is unsurprisingly the best phone watch for iPhone users. Both the Series 4 and Series 3 models are available with cellular support. This allows you to make calls, send and receive text messages, stream from Apple Music, get directions, receive notifications, and more—all without your phone.

    Of course, you also get all the features of the Apple Watch. This includes a growing list of compatible apps, customizable watch faces, Apple Pay, and much more. If you don’t need the latest and greatest, you can save some money by getting an Apple Watch Series 3 instead.

    While it’s a great choice for the Apple faithful, Android users should of course look elsewhere.

    These watches include eSIM technology, which copies the SIM info from your phone. You’ll need an iPhone 6 or newer to set it up, which you can do with Apple’s help page on Watch cellular setup.

    See our Apple Watch Series 4 review for more information.

    2. Samsung Galaxy Watch Samsung Galaxy Watch (42mm, LTE) Samsung Galaxy Watch (42mm, LTE) Buy Now On Amazon $239.44

    The Galaxy Watch is Samsung’s newest smart phone watch at the time of writing. This option is probably the best Android watch phone since the Apple Watch is a no-go on Google’s platform.

    With the Galaxy Watch, you get standard smartwatch features like sleep tracking, guided meditation, and workout information. Samsung claims the battery on the smaller model will last for up to three or four days. It’s also built to last, thanks to Gorilla Glass DX+ and IP68 water resistance.

    You’ll find a comparable set of cell phone watch features as the Apple Watch. You can call and text, stream music, and get notifications on your watch no matter where you are. If you shop somewhere that takes Samsung Pay, you can even pay with your watch over LTE.

    Note that this watch runs Tizen OS instead of Google’s Wear OS.

    3. Samsung Gear S3 Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (46mm, AT&T 4G) Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (46mm, AT&T 4G) Buy Now On Amazon $181.28

    Samsung still sells the Gear S3, which is the predecessor to the Galaxy Watch. It’s similar to the newer model, making it a decent way to get a watch phone without spending a lot.

    The older device carries a similar feature set to its successor, despite having a weaker processor, less RAM, and fewer exercise options. The Gear S3 also suffers in the waterproofing department. While the Galaxy Watch is built for swimming, the Gear S3 is only made to survive a drop in water.

    Both have a rotating bezel and offer LTE support for calls, texts, notifications, and Samsung Pay purchases. In effect, paying more for the newer model gets you better battery life and a few extra bells and whistles, but the S3 is still a respectable device.

    If you opt for this, make sure you buy the model that’s compatible with your carrier. Samsung sells several different versions for the different companies.

    4. LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition (LTE , Verizon) LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition (LTE , Verizon) Buy Now On Amazon

    The Watch Urbane 2nd Edition is a few years old, but it’s still available as one of LG’s two standalone smartwatch offerings.

    This device features a classy design with three physical buttons and a full-circle P-OLED display. It’s IP67 resistant, which means it will survive a dunk in water but isn’t meant for swimming.

    It has the usual smart watch phone features we’ve mentioned in the above models, including calling, texting, and music streaming thanks to LTE. You can also store music on the watch to listen locally. The device also supports health tracking, as well as “OK Google” for getting help with your voice.

    Unlike Samsung’s offerings, LG’s smartwatch includes the standard Wear OS. You can pick up the LG Watch Urbane in models for both Verizon and AT&T, so check to make sure you choose the right one.

    5. LG Watch Sport LG Watch Sport (AT&T) LG Watch Sport (AT&T) Buy Now On Amazon

    LG’s Watch Sport is another older device, but the company still sells it. It’s notable for being one of the first smartwatches with Android Wear 2.0 and LTE connectivity.

    It has a crisp screen optimized for bright light outside, and features the power of Wear OS. This includes Google Assistant support and Google Pay for easy purchases.

    Unfortunately, this watch is on the bulkier side and cellular service is only available on AT&T. But if those don’t bother you, this is a solid all-around standalone smartwatch despite its age.

    Can a Smart Watch Replace Your Phone?

    We’ve looked at five solid smart phone watches to choose from. Unfortunately, this market isn’t as exciting as it could be. Only the Apple Watch S4 and Galaxy Watch are recent devices; many major manufacturers haven’t come out with a standalone smartwatch yet.

    This is because cellular smartwatches aren’t quite ready for prime time. Aside from the cost of the device, you also have to pay your wireless carrier a fee to have it on your account. It’s costly and feels like a penalty just for using a new device.

    Additionally, battery life while using cellular data is quite poor. The Apple Watch only lasts for around an hour of calling on LTE before its battery dies.

    However, if you don’t mind the cost and often need to stay in touch without your phone nearby, it might be worth dealing with these drawbacks. Hopefully, smartwatch technology improves in the near future so we can enjoy a better standalone smartwatch experience.

    For more on wearables, check out the best running watches. We’ve also looked at the best phone watches specifically for kids.

    Read the full article: The Best Smart Watch Phone for Apple and Android Users

    The 11 Best Sites for Free Online Computer Programming Courses

    The 11 Best Sites for Free Online Computer Programming Courses


    Right now, there’s an abundant number of in-demand computer programming jobs, and an abundant number of free online programming courses to help you land one of those jobs—even without a traditional computer science degree. We’ll show you where to...

    Right now, there’s an abundant number of in-demand computer programming jobs, and an abundant number of free online programming courses to help you land one of those jobs—even without a traditional computer science degree.

    We’ll show you where to find these excellent online programming classes. If you don’t know the first thing about programming, check out our introduction to what coding is.

    1. MIT OpenCourseWare

    MIT OpenCourseWare is incredible. Many years ago, when I was struggling through a Linear Algebra course in college, MIT OCW came to my rescue. Complete courses are available online for free, and you can go through them at your own pace.

    That Linear Algebra course (no longer available, sadly) is a strong contender for The Best College Course I’ve Ever Taken. It was all video lectures, but the professor knew his stuff and he presented the material in an easy-to-digest manner. It truly validated MIT’s reputation as an educational institute.

    So I’m confident that you’ll love MIT OCW’s Programming courses. The introductory ones are split into General Introductions, Language-Specific Courses, and Follow-Up Courses. For a full listing, browse the Computer Science section.

    2. edX

    edX is a provider of free college-level online courses, jointly spearheaded by MIT and Harvard University. Not only are the courses available without charge, the organization itself is non-profit, so you can rest easy knowing that you won’t be exploited by ulterior motives.

    Courses on edX can be Weekly or Self-Paced. Subjects span the entire range of topics you might find at any accredited university, but there’s a heavy skew towards Computer Science, Engineering, and Business & Management. They’re also divided into Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced levels for your convenience.

    edX also offers Certificate Programs, which are course curriculum that build toward mastery in a specific area, like Front-End Web Development or Data Science. These are handy for deeper learning.

    3. Coursera

    Coursera is a free online course platform that’s backed by Stanford University and venture capitalists. Coursera collaborates with various universities and organizations to provide their courses, and earns revenue through its Certificate programs.

    What’s nice is that Coursera focuses on Specializations: sets of courses designed to build your skills in a particular topic, but not so comprehensively as a full program. For example, the “Data Structures and Algorithms” six-course specialization covers Basic Data Structures, Basic Algorithms, Graph Algorithms, String Algorithms, Advanced Algorithms, and Genome Assembly.

    Note that not all courses are free, but many are. Courses are self-paced but have definite start and end dates, meaning you’ll have to go through them as they’re available. Today’s courses may not be there tomorrow, but new ones may show up in their place. Check out the best Coursera courses worth paying for if you need some ideas.

    4. PVTuts

    PVTuts is a free online repository of video courses for learning programming languages. It hasn’t been updated since 2013, but the video library is still a great resource for newbies. Just know that these courses are strictly about language syntax and nothing else.

    Available topics include four general programming languages (C++, C#, Java, and SQL) and six web programming languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, ASP.NET, and XML).

    5. Udacity

    Udacity is yet another online course platform, but unlike MIT OCW, edX, and Coursera, Udacity strictly focuses on topics related to programming, data science, and engineering. No math, no social sciences, no humanities. It’s all about technology, and arguably better for it.

    The goal of Udacity is to prepare you for occupational success in one of its tech-related fields. The platform places a lot of attention on its Nanodegree Programs, which are compact curriculums (usually completed in under a year) designed to get you job-ready as quickly as possible. But Nanodegrees cost anywhere from $100 to $500 each.

    Don’t want to pay anything? That’s fine. You can eschew the whole curriculum-based approach and stick to individual free courses.

    6. Udemy

    Udemy is an online education marketplace where anyone can create (and even sell) their own courses for others to consume. This is quite the double-edged sword: it allows skilled folks to share their knowledge without an education degree, but you have to wade through a lot of crap to find it.

    The programming courses on Udemy range across all kinds of topics. You’ll find everything from Python-based data crunching to the basics of ethical hacking, from Java fundamentals to master-level web development. You’ll also find a lot of courses related to game development.

    Note: Never pay full price for a Udemy course! The Udemy marketplace frequently holds massive sales, slashing prices anywhere from 50 to 90 percent off. While you wait, check out the best free Udemy courses.

    7. Free Code Camp or The Odin Project

    If your goal is to become a proficient web developer, whether front-end or back-end, then I highly recommend either Free Code Camp (which teaches HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and React) or The Odin Project (which teaches HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails).

    These two are comprehensive courses, both 100 percent free, that will take you from zero to hero at your own pace. Even if you have no coding experience at all, you’ll be fine. Expect to invest several months from start to finish so you can really understand the concepts taught. Don’t rush it.

    8. Khan Academy

    Khan Academy is one of the internet’s greatest treasures. This non-profit education platform has been a wonderful source of free education for the past decade, and it’s only getting better. Want to learn Calculus? Biology? World History? How to do your taxes or invest your money? It’s all here.

    To be fair, the Computer Science and Computer Programming sections are playing catch-up, which is why it’s so low on this list. You can only learn JavaScript at the moment, plus the basics of algorithms and cryptography, but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.

    9. YouTube

    YouTube is very hit or miss. Thousands of tutorial playlists exist, but too many of them are superficial or downright wrong. Of the ones that seem promising, a good chunk of them are incomplete. And of the ones that are complete, a significant portion are outdated.

    That being said, if you have a discerning eye, YouTube can be a great resource for learning how to program. Start with our roundup of the best YouTube programming tutorials.

    10. OpenCourser

    OpenCourser isn’t an education platform like the other sites listed here. Rather, it’s a search engine that aggregates thousands of free online courses from around the web and brings them to your fingertips.

    As of this writing, over 900 free online programming courses are cataloged by OpenCourser, with many more added every day. Yes, you’ll find a bunch of courses from edX, Coursera, Udacity, etc. but you’ll also find some from elsewhere, like Saylor Academy. At the very least, it’s a convenient way to search many of the above platforms at once.

    11. Codecademy

    Codecademy is a series of interactive online courses that aim to teach you the basics of a handful of programming languages and frameworks. Each course is a gamified, step-by-step process that holds your hand all the way from beginning to end.

    But a word of warning before you dive into Codecademy: the things you’ll learn here are extremely basic and superficial. Codecademy teaches you how to write code, but it doesn’t teach you how to think like a programmer. Many first-time newbies end up frustrated because they don’t know what to do with the knowledge they’ve picked up.

    If you have prior coding experience and simply want to learn the syntax of a new language, then Codecademy is actually pretty useful. If you consider yourself a beginner, then you should avoid Codecademy for now.

    Notable Mention: Lynda

    Lynda is home to over 6,000 different online courses spread across 12 tech-related fields (e.g. Animation, CAD, IT, Marketing, Photography) and hundreds of more specific topics of interest. With over 670 courses, the Programming category makes up a huge chunk of Lynda’s content.

    Topics covered include Foundational Programming Concepts, Database Management, Game Development, Mobile Development, Web Development, and, of course, courses for individual programming languages. What’s nice is that courses are divided into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels, so you can always find the ones most relevant to you.

    Lynda is a paid platform that costs $20/mo, but there’s a trick you can use to access Lynda courses for free.

    More Tips for Computer Programming Newbies

    If you stick with it and decide to pursue programming as a career, check out our tips for programming interview preparation. On the other hand, you may find that programming is too difficult: signs that programming isn’t for you.

    Read the full article: The 11 Best Sites for Free Online Computer Programming Courses

    What Is a Static IP Address? Here’s Why You Don’t Need One

    What Is a Static IP Address? Here’s Why You Don’t Need One


    Every device on a computer network has an Internet Protocol (IP) address. It’s just like a phone number, telling other computers how it can be reached. It’s the job of your router to assign a new IP address when a device joins the network and...

    Every device on a computer network has an Internet Protocol (IP) address. It’s just like a phone number, telling other computers how it can be reached.

    It’s the job of your router to assign a new IP address when a device joins the network and maintain a phone book of who has what number.

    A static IP address (also known as fixed IP address) is simply one that doesn’t change. Your computer decides upon the address it wants, and it tells the router. But why would you want to set this up, and is there a better solution?

    What Is a Static IP Address?

    When we talk about IP addresses of home computers, we are usually referring to two types of address.

    First is your public IP address. That’s the one that the world sees, and every internet connection, website, or public-facing web-connected thing will have one. If you ask Google “What is my IP address?”, it’ll tell you what your public IP address is, as given to you by your ISP (note, if you’re using a VPN, this will come from your VPN provider instead).

    Then you have internal, private IPs, which are only used on your home network. Even if you only have one computer, it will have a private IP address assigned by your router. Private IP addresses cannot be routed over the internet and are strictly for private use. They look exactly the same: four numbers up to 255, with a period in between.

    There are a few possible ranges of private IP address, but for most home users this will be 192.168.*.* or 10.0.*.* (where * can be anything).

    Your router itself also has an IP address, likely 192.168.0.1. Your home computers might then be anything in the range of 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.254. Most routers will just assign internal addresses on a first come first served basis.

    The first computer you plug into the router will send out a network request saying “I need an IP address”, and will be assigned 192.168.0.2. The next device will get 192.168.0.3.

    Your public IP address is not generally something you can change—it is given to you automatically by your internet provider. If you’re sure you want a static public IP address, the easiest way is to use a specialist VPN service, which costs around $70/year. You may be able to get one from your ISP, but this is rare, and typically reserved for business customers.

    The truth is that you almost certainly don’t need a static external IP address, and even if you’re sure you do, a Dynamic DNS server might be a better choice.

    But on your home network, you can do whatever you want, free of charge. So let’s look at why you might want to get static private IP for your home PC… and then I’ll show you the much better way of doing things.

    Why Would I Need a Static Private IP Address?

    In the past, you needed a static private IP address for a computer if you were trying to run a server that was open to the internet. For example:

    DIY Web Server

    In order to set up a web server on your home network that is accessible by anyone in the world, you need to forward incoming requests on port 80 (What is port forwarding?) to whatever computer is running your web server. If your server was to restart, it would get a new IP from the router. The port forwarding rule you created to send requests on port 80 to the old server IP address wouldn’t work anymore. Your website would be offline, even though your server itself may be functional.

    Retro Gaming

    With some older routers and gaming consoles, you needed to forward certain ports in order to play online multiplayer games. Modern routers include a system called Universal Plug’n’Play, which sets up port forwarding rules automatically when needed.

    Disadvantages of a Static IP Address

    Fixed IPs need to be configured manually. You will need to make a few changes to your router configuration. In this respect, they are said to have an “administration overhead,” because you need to keep track of the settings yourself. For home networks, this usually isn’t an issue with only a few machines to worry about. But for larger networks, this is quite a problem.

    Incorrect configurations will lead to more IP address conflict errors. For example, if you set one of your machines to the IP address 192.168.0.10, and your router continues to hand out IP addresses automatically, then at some point, another machine will be given the same IP! Basically, static IPs can be quite problematic.

    In short: don’t use static IPs. 

    What You Should Use Instead: Reserved Addresses

    Instead of having to manually configure the settings on every PC we want to give a static IP address to, we will simply “reserve” the address we want to be given from the router’s automatic IP address system. By doing this, we ensure our machines have an IP address that will never change, without actually assigning a static IP address, which would complicate things.

    Instructions on how to do this will vary depending on your router manufacturer and model.

    Learn IP Reservation on Netgear routers. IP Reservation on TP-Link routers. IP Reservation on Linksys routers. For UniFi systems, just inspect the client, go to Settings > Network, and enable a Fixed IP.

    If your router isn’t covered by that list, then generally speaking: look for a section labeled DHCP or LAN Setup. Then find a bit for Static Leases or Reserved Lease Info.

    There are two or more fields that need to be filled in to add a new IP address reservation. First is the hardware MAC address (six pairs of alphanumeric characters), which is unique to every device in the world. Second is the IP you wish to assign it.

    You should be able to see your MAC address in the list of current “leases”. A lease refers to the address that the router has automatically lent to your device. You may also just have a screen that shows an overview of currently connected devices.

    In the following example, we’ve added a DHCP Reservation for the device with the MAC address E0:CB:4E:A5:7C:9D, currently with IP 192.168.0.10.

    You can also change the IP address to something new if you like, but you will need to restart the device in order to get the new address.

    That’s it! You can keep your special routing rules the same, and if a device or server restarts, it’ll simply be given the same IP next time. If you found this tutorial helpful, you should also check out our beginner’s guide to home networking.

    Image Credit: Todja/Shutterstock

    Read the full article: What Is a Static IP Address? Here’s Why You Don’t Need One

    The 5 Best Trail Cameras for All Budgets

    The 5 Best Trail Cameras for All Budgets


    As you leave for work in the morning, you notice animal prints sprinkled across the mud-covered sections of your lawn. Some of them resemble small prints from birds, but you also notice larger pawprints. Aren’t you curious about the creatures that make...

    As you leave for work in the morning, you notice animal prints sprinkled across the mud-covered sections of your lawn. Some of them resemble small prints from birds, but you also notice larger pawprints. Aren’t you curious about the creatures that make an appearance when you’re not around?

    When you have a wildlife camera, you can keep an eye on all the animals around you. These are some of the best trail cameras to give you clear footage of any wild visitors.

    How to Choose the Best Trail Camera

    There are several factors you have to consider when choosing a trail camera: video resolution, flash range, megapixel rating, detection area, trigger speed, and length of battery life.

    If you want HD wildlife footage, look for cameras that have a video resolution of 1080p or higher. All of the cameras on this list have HD video quality, so you don’t have to worry about that. You’ll also want your trail camera to take clear shots of wildlife—the higher the megapixel (MP), the sharper the images.

    A trail camera should have a wide detection range as well. Otherwise, it’ll only be able to detect motion and capture images in a smaller area (which may make you miss out on any action occurring outside of this zone).

    Trigger speed refers to the time it takes for the camera to capture a photo after it detects motion. A fast trigger speed is crucial for getting a picture of an animal before it runs out of sight.

    Best Trail Camera for the Money: Foxelli Trail Camera 14MP 1080p Foxelli Trail Camera 14MP 1080p Foxelli Trail Camera 14MP 1080p Buy Now On Amazon $49.97

    The Foxelli Trail Camera really gives you a bang for your buck. It shoots crisp 14MP photos and HD videos that are just sharp enough to capture all the details. You can also use its built-in 2.4-inch LCD screen to browse through photos and videos before uploading them to your computer.

    The 120-degree wide angle lens combined with a 65-foot detection range will ensure that no animal goes unseen. As soon as it senses motion, it’ll snap a photo within 0.5 seconds. In the daytime, the camera captures photos and videos in full color—at night, the footage and pictures appear clearly in black and white.

    The Foxelli Trail Camera lasts for eight months on one set of batteries. With features like password protection, a waterproof case, time stamps, and a timer, you can’t go wrong for such a reasonable price.

    Although you can store up to 32GB of photos and videos on this device, the SD card (unfortunately) isn’t included.

    Best All-Purpose Trail Camera: TOGUARD Trail Camera 14MP 1080p TOGUARD Trail Camera 14MP 1080p TOGUARD Trail Camera 14MP 1080p Buy Now On Amazon $59.99

    You’ll find that the TOGUARD Trail Camera is perfect for any purpose—whether you use it to watch wildlife, for hunting purposes, or to monitor your home, this camera prevails on all fronts. Not only does it come with the ability to capture high-quality HD videos and 14MP images, but it also can record sound.

    TOGUARD’s camera includes three infrared (PIR) sensors that allow it to quickly detect movement and take a photo within only 0.3 seconds. Like the Foxelli Trail Camera, the TOGUARD also uses a wide-angle lens of 120 feet—however, it has a longer detection range of 75 feet.

    You can also use this camera to capture vivid nighttime photos as well. It uses specific infrared LEDs to take clear pictures, without using a harsh flash that disturbs wildlife.

    Best Trail Camera Under $100: APEMAN Trail Camera 20MP 1080p APEMAN Trail Camera 20MP 1080p APEMAN Trail Camera 20MP 1080p Buy Now On Amazon $89.99

    If you’re looking for a trail camera with a fairly wide detection range and an even faster trigger speed for under $100, you should definitely consider the APEMAN Trail Camera.

    This camera takes photos in a mere 0.2 seconds using a 130-degree wide angle lens. For such a fast speed, you’ll have to sacrifice image quality, as it only shoots 12MP pictures. Despite the low photo quality, it still records HD videos.

    Its waterproof case makes it suitable for any project. Be sure to take advantage of its timelapse feature, timer, interval recordings, automatic time stamping, and keep it secure with password protection. The camera will sound an alarm when it starts to run low on batteries, so you’ll never have to guess when it needs replacements.

    Best Cellular Trail Camera: CAMVILD 4G LTE Trail Camera CAMVILD 4G LTE Trail Camera CAMVILD 4G LTE Trail Camera Buy Now On Amazon $199.99

    The CAMVILD 4G LTE Trail Camera might be a little pricey, but its unique cellular feature makes it worth it. This camera connects to AT&T or Verizon networks, sending photos and videos directly to your phone or email. Its 4G connectivity provides fast deliveries with an adequate signal range. If you don’t want to wait until the images or videos reach your phone, check out the captured clips of wildlife on its two-inch display screen.

    The CAMVILD camera doesn’t skimp on image or video quality either—you’ll still get HD videos with clear 16MP photos. It’s durable in any weather condition and comes with a rechargeable battery. You won’t have to worry about recharging the battery either, as it has a whopping two-year lifespan.

    To make the CAMVILD even better, it even comes with a free 16GB SD card and a card reader. For more storage, you can upgrade up to 64GB. Convenience combined with quality makes it one of the best game cameras and wildlife monitors on the market.

    Top-Rated Trail Camera: Campark Trail Camera 14MP 1080p Campark Trail Camera 14MP 1080p Campark Trail Camera 14MP 1080p Buy Now On Amazon $62.99

    If you’re looking for a device boasting thousands of positive trail camera reviews, then the Campark Trail Camera is your best bet. In addition to having a 120-degree wide angle lens, its 14MP photos and 1080p video quality will ensure that you capture all the best moments. It also comes with a trigger speed of 0.3 seconds, and a detection range of 65-feet.

    You can trust that this reliable trail camera won’t scare off wildlife either. It takes great pictures at night, but it doesn’t use a flash that’s too bright. Like the other cameras, it takes black and white photos during the evening and full-color photos during the day. Before you purchase this camera, don’t forget to buy a microSD card and some AA batteries.

    Keep a Closer Eye on Your Yard

    You’ll get clear coverage of your entire yard with any of these trail cameras. Discover nighttime lurkers, or keep tabs on the birds visiting your feeders. Once you know what type of animals appear in your yard, you’ll feel much more in tune with the wildlife around you.

    When you purchase one of these trail cameras, the chances are that you’ll have to buy a separate microSD card to store your pictures and videos. Don’t make your decision until you’ve considered the most common mistakes when buying a microSD card.

    Read the full article: The 5 Best Trail Cameras for All Budgets