BroadbandNow is a website that helps users find and compare Internet service providers (ISPs) for their local address in the U.S. The site also provides guides for selecting and troubleshooting internet service.
Foxit, a maker of document and imaging software, has a free lightweight PDF Reader app for Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as mobile apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. A list of free and paid Foxit products can be found at www.foxitsoftware.com/downloads.
Downdetector shows outage information and status for widely used websites and services such as mobile and internet service providers, social media sites, banking and financial services, etc. This includes:
- Most recent outages
- Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp
- Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat
- Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint
- AT&T, Comcast / Xfinity, Spectrum, CenturyLink, Frontier and Cox
- Google, Gmail, Google Cloud, and Google Hangouts
- Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and Box
- Apple Maps, iCloud, iMessage, and iWork
- Office 365, Outlook, Sharepoint, Skype and Skype for Business
- Visual Studio, Microsoft Teams, Azure, and Exchange
- Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cloudflare, and Zoom
Android custom distributions (ROMs) are replacement operating systems for Android smartphones and tablets. This allows users to customize older devices that may not have available Android updates and extend their service life. This may erase data and void your device’s warranty. Available security updates are usually based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). More information is at
If a decryption tool is not found, one option is to replace the hard drive and operating system and save the locked drive offline. A decryption tool may become available months later to free the data at that point.
Microsoft has released Windows File Recovery, a new Windows Store app that may help you deleted or corrupted data. Instructions and FAQ for this are available at support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4538642/windows-10-restore-lost-files
iXsystems announced in March 2020 that TrueNAS CORE is the new name for FreeNAS, the popular open source NAS (Network Attached Storage) operating system. This was done to unify branding with its TrueNAS Enterprise product. Additional features were added to the TrueNAS CORE product as well. Documentation for TrueNAS is available at www.truenas.com/docs/hub/.
Google, Microsoft and Facebook all announced changes or updates to their video meeting tools in April 2020. These are alternatives to the popular Zoom video chat software.
Video meeting tool Google Meet is now available free of charge for all users. This will be a gradual rollout within the next few weeks. Users must sign in with their Google account, but Meet works entirely in a web browser and does not require downloads first.
Skype Meet Now is a different video meeting tool which does not require a sign-up or installation. A unique Meet Now link can be requested from Skype or a web browser.
Facebook has also announced its new meeting tool – Facebook Messenger Rooms. Invited attendees do not need a Facebook account to attend the video meeting and downloads are not required. Rooms is not end-to-end encrypted. This is in addition to their Facebook Workplace and Facebook Work Groups services.