Application Reviews

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Google Stadia

Google's experimental game streaming service launches without many of its promised features and just a handful of games. It works, but there's not much incentive to buy in.

DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now delivers an impressive mix of channels for the money, but people who prioritize a cloud DVR should look elsewhere.

Editors' Choice

Adobe Flash CS3 Professional

Adobe has improved the speed of Flash and its integration with other CS3 apps, although flashy new features are few. Plus, Flash now works natively on Intel-based Macs.

SunRocket Internet Phone Service

If you're thinking about ditching your landline, SunRocket is a potential contender. A low price and lots of features are attractive, but the voice quality of your calls may vary.

EarthLink DSL

EarthLink DSL service is perfect for the home user who wants broadband speed without paying cable prices.

Brinkster Web Host

Brinkster offers a reasonable amount of bandwidth and storage for a low price, but its above-average technical support makes it stand out.

Verizon V Cast

While it falls short of TV-quality video, Verizon's 3G V Cast service offers plenty of eye candy and speedy Web browsing for a reasonable price.

Net Nanny 4.0

Net Nanny's default setting filters fewer naughty sites than any major blocking package, but it's by far the easiest to customize and use. Unless you need CyberSitter's strict site filtering, go with Net Nanny.

Editors' Choice
$99.99 MSRP

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 adds even more power to an already top-flight image editor/organizer package. Equipped with a chic interface and a fantastic toolbox, Elements is the best choice for digital photographers who want to put their photo collection in order and share with others.

Adobe Audition 1.5

Audition is a powerful end-to-end environment most suited for audio pros, but it's also handy for quick mixing or restoration of specific clips.

Google Earth

View any location in the world with this spectacular application that gives users a planet's worth of information at their fingertips. A broadband connection is a must and your system better be up to scratch. Be careful if you don't exceed your ISPs monthly download limit, though.

McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006

McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006 packs a powerful protection arsenal--but it's far too slow. Loyal McAfee users should upgrade for the automatic spyware and phishing blockers, but the rest of us should seek security elsewhere, such as ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6.

Deepnet Explorer

Deepnet Explorer may not have the institutional support of Internet Explorer, but it offers more built-in features than Microsoft provides.

Opera 8

There's a ton of great technology in Opera, and it's free to compete with Mozilla Firefox.

Opera 9

We really like Opera 9, but we like it more as the cool, arty browser that it is and not as our everyday workhorse for the Internet.

Amazon Unbox Video Downloads

Amazon Unbox has taken its knocks, but it's a strong choice if you own a Windows PMC, or if you don't mind watching movies on your monitor.

Google Maps for Mobile

Despite some limitations, Google Maps for Mobile is a simple and handy app that brings interactive maps, driving directions, and traffic info to your mobile device.

Google Talk beta

Google's IM client is bare-bones, though it lets Gmail users chat by text and voice for free.

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