Create personalized, universal keyboard shortcuts for 50+ music sites with this awesome Chrome extension

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love keyboard shortcuts. They take a little time to learn, but shortcuts make you far more efficient in front of the PC.

But shortcuts don’t have to be all about work. They can help you have fun too.

Streamkeys is a fantastic Chrome extension that lets you control the music players for more than 50 media sites such as Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud, Spotify, and YouTube. If you can think of a mainstream music site, Streamkeys can help you control it.

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How to turn your smartphone into a remote control for YouTube on your PC

It’s Friday! What better time to kick back with a relaxing YouTube session after a tough week? Whether you’re watching on a PC at the office or at home, you can make it even better by turning your smartphone into a remote control.

No, you don’t need a Chromecast or a TV. Just your PC and a smartphone will do.

Here’s how it works using an Android smartphone, but it works pretty much the same way on iPhones, too.

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How to easily secure your web browsing with TunnelBear's free Chrome extension

Virtual private networks are already easy to use thanks to the simple desktop apps many services offer. But if you live most of your computing life in the browser even a desktop app might be overkill.

Instead, you could use a Chrome extension instead of a desktop app. VPN provider Tunnel Bear, my personal VPN of choice, recently dropped the beta tag from its Chrome extension and made it available as an official stable release.

The extension works with Chrome on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS. TunnelBear's one of the few popular VPN providers with an official Chrome extension—CyberGhost being the other.

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Give Wikipedia a sleek, user-friendly visual overhaul with the Wikiwand extension

Wikipedia is easily the greatest compendium of human knowledge ever created. Sure, academics have their issues with it and pranksters love messing with it, but as a starting point to learn about pretty much any topic you can think of you simply can’t beat Wikipedia.

But it does have its downsides. One thing that’s always irked me is the interface. On the PC, to put it bluntly, it sucks. It’s very busy, with text and boxes everywhere, and the article navigation links are oddly placed.

A Chrome extension called Wikiwand aims to change all that by giving Wikipedia a much-needed visual overhaul. To use it all you have to do is download the extension from the Chrome Web Store and it starts working automatically any time you visit Wikipedia. It’s not perfect, however, and security-conscious users may not like it.

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3 simple tips to get the most out of your webcam

The webcam is such a ubiquitous part of PCs we just don't give them much thought anymore. They're just one component among many on the latest desktops, laptops, and Ultrabooks sitting on store shelves.

That's really unfortunate, because this has led to some horrendous norms for how people use them. You know what I'm talking about: that parent who only ever seems capable of keeping half their face in the frame (and that's on a stationary PC!), and the poorly lit ghoul that usually replaces your sibling on Skype.

People just aren't giving the webcam the respect it deserves. Well, I say enough. Here are three tips to make the most of your webcam—including one tip that has nothing to do with video chat.

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3 surprisingly easy PC repairs you should do yourself

PCs can be confusing, even scary at times, but the truth is they shouldn't be. That's especially true when it comes to simple hardware upgrades, repairs, or software fixes.

Sure, you could pay the overpriced techies at Geek Squad to fix your Windows system for you, but why bother? Tech support is often hiding a dirty secret: You could easily do most of this stuff on your own and save yourself some serious money in the process.

To get you started, here are three fixes you should almost never pay someone else to do.

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How to check if extensions are slowing your browser down

It's time to come clean: My name is Ian Paul and I'm a browser extensions addict. Right now, as I look at my browser I've got close to 40 Chrome extensions and applications enabled and about another 15 installed but disabled. I think some of those come as the defaults in Chrome, but I'm not sure how many. 

There's a downside to my enthusiasm, however. Extensions and apps are great fun, but they can also be huge resource hogs that slow down your browser. (Ad blockers, I'm looking at you.)

If you find your browser is slowing down, one of the first things you should do is see if the culprit or culprits are browser add-ons and extensions.

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