DirecTV Now delivers an impressive mix of channels for the money, but people who prioritize a cloud DVR should look elsewhere.
McAfee Total Protection 2010 hits many of the right notes. It's easy to use and it's effective, but years of below-average releases will likely leave many users unwilling to give it a try.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2009 provides adequate protection, but the program itself could use some work in telling the user what's going on.
Norton CleanSweep 2002 is our top pick in the uninstaller category. Its powerful set of cleanup tools, simple interface, and quality support are the best around.
Faster, easier to use, and more powerful than the previous version, Dreamweaver 8 is a worthy upgrade for professionals, but amateurs should stick with a less complicated app, such as HomeSite.
Norton Internet Security 2009 hits all the right security notes and its superior protection technologies might even win back some jaded anti-Symantec folks, though for some technical support may continue to frustrate
Kaspersky Internet Security 6 provides thorough protection against online threats, but ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6 remains a better buy.
Nero 8 shows off a new interface for getting started that makes the many tools easier to find from the get-go. Some welcome new features include HD support, although this rich suite can still confuse.
Flash becomes friendlier and more fun to explore as CS4 introduces a faster approach to animation, making this a worthwhile upgrade for both beginners and seasoned programmers.
GarageBand users who want more sounds and instruments are better off with Apple/M-Audio's USB MIDI keyboard.
For home and student use, we think Norton 360 represents the best value for ease of use, tools offered, and overall system performance. We recommend it over McAfee Total Protection and Microsoft Windows Live OneCare.
Project Spartan is now available for testing on Windows 10.
Google Home is a breezy service that lets you create a custom sign-in page chock-full of news and widgets.
Fresh on the heels of its acquisition of DVR company Meedio, Yahoo's entry in the alternative Media Center front-end sweepstakes, Yahoo Go for TV, is currently available as a beta release from the company's Web site. The program offers easy media management in a free package, but hardware support is limited, and the emphasis on driving branded online content knocks local file browsing to second place.
This app is useful on its own now, but with a concept feature on display at IFA 2014, you might never again have to open your oven door to check on food while it's cooking.
Google Notebook lets you save the text, the images, and the URL of origin for Web sites that interest you, but its features are limited.
Lyve is a fast and hands-off way to organize your photos if you don't want to do it yourself.
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.