A Preview of Payday 3
When the Payday franchise began in 2011, it was a treasure chest for their developer Starbreeze. Though the bank heist has been a common theme in film for several decades, there were few video game adaptations of it until Payday came along. The thrill of being able to play the villain appealed to a lot of gamers and the game’s success brought a wave of prosperity to the game’s developer.
After Payday 2 (2013) was released, however, Starbreeze’s luck seemed to have run out. The studio was close to going bankrupt after the release of Overkill’s The Walking Dead due to a higher than expected share of sales in countries where the game carried a lower price tag, such as China and Russia.
Rumors of insider training even led to a police raid at their company headquarters in downtown Stockholm. Though the charges were later dropped, it took some time for the studio to recover from its financial and legal woes.
Ten years after the release of Payday 2, the Payday 3 game is finally coming out! Whether you’re a newbie or a longtime fan, keep reading to learn about Payday 3’s release date and platforms, its graphics and design engine, and the Payday franchise as a whole.
The Payday franchise
Payday is a franchise developed by Starbreeze Studios that is well known for its action and flexibility, allowing players to choose whether they want to do a heist in stealth mode or go in guns blazing (literally). The first installment, Payday: The Heist, was released in 2011 with four original characters: Dallas, Hoxton, Chains, and Wolf.
This criminal quartet, infamous for their creepy clown masks, started their professional careers at the First World Bank, where they got away with stealing a ton of cash by using thermite attached to a photocopier to enter the vault. The seven different missions in the first game provide a certain level of randomness that make the game a high-octane joyride.
The second game, titled simply Payday 2, featured the four main characters terrorizing Washington D.C. with the help of two new characters, Pearl and Joy. Since the game was released in 2013, a slew of updates have increased its replayability and allowed the franchise to attract and maintain a steady fanbase. Though the release of Payday 3 comes an entire decade after its predecessor, there are still active communities of players looking forward to the launch.
Payday 3: Graphics, design, and gameplay mechanics
Now that we’ve talked a bit about the Payday franchise, let’s get into some specifics about Payday 3, including its graphics, design, and mechanics.
The game takes place in New York. It features the same characters from Payday 2, that is, Dallas, Hoxton, Chains, Wolf, Pearl, and Joy. As with the previous games, the game is focused primarily on pulling off bank heists through any means necessary.
As to which engine the game is being released on, the studio will release the game on Unreal Engine 4 but plans to update to Unreal Engine 5 sometime after launch. When this switch will take place and what impact this could have on game specs is still an open question.
In terms of actual gameplay, Payday 3 will have four different difficulty modes. While players will face the same enemies, SWAT and Heavy SWAT units, the number, accuracy, and damage of enemies will increase as the difficulty level goes up. However, enemy health will stay consistent across each difficulty level.
Although Payday 3 offers both single-player and multiplayer modes, the game will require Internet access to run. In multiplayer mode you can team up with others either locally or online. Luckily, Payday 3’s multiplayer mode is cross-platform, so you can play with any of your friends no matter which device they’re using.
There is also the option to choose an AI companion, but according to preliminary reviews, the AI characters aren’t very helpful and it’s best to choose human teammates.
Payday 3: Release date, platforms, and pricing
Payday 3 is set to come out on September 21st, 2023 with early access on September 18th for those who purchase a Silver, Gold, or Collector’s edition. It will be available for PC, Playstation 5, and Xbox Series X. Because it was designed using the Unreal Engine, the game will be identical on PC and consoles, so PC users need not worry about having a second-rate gaming experience.
The launch price will be $39.99 USD for the standard version, while Silver, Gold, and Collector’s editions will also be available at an additional cost. Xbox Game Pass subscribers, however, will be able to play the game at no extra cost.
Starbreeze also has announced their plans to release “four additional heists, four tailor packs, and four weapon packs” of DLC (downloadable content) within one year of the game’s launch, which should add to the game’s replayability and overall appeal. In addition to the standard version of Payday 3, Silver, Gold, and Collector’s editions will also be available.
Both the Silver and Gold editions are digital only. The Silver edition includes 3 days of early access, 6 months of the season pass and a special Dark Sterling mask. The Gold edition increases the length of your season pass to 12 months, throws in a Skull of Liberty mask and Gold Slate gloves and also includes everything else from the Silver edition. The Silver edition is available for $69.99 while the Gold edition is $20 more expensive at $89.99.
The Collector’s edition is the only one to include physical items. In addition to everything from the Gold edition, you’ll also receive the Collector’s Mask, a custom deck of cards, stickers, and a membership letter to the Collector’s Club. The Collector’s edition will set you back $129.99.
If you don’t need any of the extras, you can enjoy Payday 3’s pandemonium with an Xbox Game Pass, which comes free with the purchase of any Acer gaming laptop. So, if you’re looking for a quality gaming experience using top-notch technology, check out the Nitro 50 Gaming Desktop or the Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop to ensure you’re getting the most out of Payday 3 upon release at no additional cost!
Though Starbreeze, the game’s developer, struggled for some years, the Payday 3 trailer shown at the recent Xbox Games Showcase promises a strong return to all of the antics, fun, and pure chaos that Payday is famous for. Though the differences between Payday 3 and its predecessors may not be huge, the fresh setting of what the developers call an “enormous, living New York” combined with the revamped characters and scenarios should be a treat for fans of the co-op shooter genre.
How to Upcycle Old Tech Products
Most of us know recycling our old plastics and packaging is good for the environment and can help reduce the need for landfills. The recycling process destroys disused paper, plastic, metals, and glass and turns it into something new and usable. Similarly, upcycling is a process by which our old products are taken in their current state and then modified, repurposed, or readapted to create a new and improved product.
Upcycling is hugely beneficial in industries such as fashion, where discarding used clothing contributes to the 92 million tonnes of clothing that end up in landfills each year. Upcycled clothing reduces the environmental burden and saves water and energy, which are used to excess during the production process. Likewise, upcycling is also becoming more and more popular in the tech industry, helping to reduce the annual 50 million tonnes of electronic and electrical waste produced globally.
What is e-waste?
Electronic waste, known as e-waste, describes electronics nearing the end of their useful life that are discarded, donated, recycled, or upcycled. Laptops, cellphones, gaming consoles, home devices, or anything with a cable or cord is regarded as e-waste. Disposing of e-waste is not always convenient, causing many people to simply throw it away with their regular trash. Doing so can leak harmful chemicals and contaminants into the soil, which can end up in our food supplies and water sources via groundwater.
Why is upcycling and recycling important?
From fast fashion to trendy tech, there is no denying that we live in a world of excess. Upcycling and recycling provide savvy ways to use what we already have, reducing the burden of producing new products on our planet. Moreover, upcycling and recycling teach us how to value and get the most out of our beloved items without giving up on them entirely.
Upcycling vs recycling
Recycling breaks used products like plastic into its raw or base materials. In other words, recycled products go back into production and are transformed into completely different items. This process is repeatable, too, meaning items can be recycled again and again. While recycling is a great habit to get into, the process takes time, and we often do not see the direct results of our efforts.
On the other hand, upcycling lets us get creative with our devices. From wood and containers to picture frames or old clothes, upcycling lets us recreate old goods any way we want. It is a smart way to give dated products a breath of fresh air while turning trash into treasure.
Types of recoverable e-waste
Electronic goods are largely made up of plastic and metal parts. They also include hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and liquids like ink or coolant. E-waste materials all get recycled in different ways, and some are even recoverable.
Ferrous metals: Around 40% of e-waste comprises steel, a ferrous metal that forms the casing or chassis of electronic items. Recovered steel can be smelted and used to make new electronic items, vehicles, machinery, and even food containers.
Non-ferrous metals: Unlike ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and copper do not contain iron. Aluminum is popular for use in electronics due to its durability and high thermal conductivity. It is largely used in the structural areas of electronics like flat-screen TVs and motor casings. Aluminum can be reused and recycled, so it is important to ensure it remains out of landfill sites. In fact, making aluminum is so energy-intensive that recycling it takes only 5% of the energy required to make it from scratch.
Copper is an excellent heat conductor and can be found in electronics that require thermal conductivity. This includes radiators, compressors, and copper wires used in electric motors and circuit boards. Like aluminum, copper is a valuable metal that can be recycled again and again.
How can you upcycle old tech?
Recycling and upcycling sound good in theory, but how can old electronic products like an old computer or laptop be upcycled? Here are some ideas for your next upcycling projects.
1. Use it as back-up
Nowadays, people take so many photos and videos that it is impossible to store everything on one device. How about using an old laptop or computer as a backup? That way, tired but still functioning devices can still be put to good use by safeguarding surplus files, photos, and videos.
2. Use it as an additional monitor
Working from home, gaming, or keeping track of the latest stocks and shares — it can be tiring to stare at one screen for an extended time. Old screens can be reused as an additional monitor, helping to streamline your workflow and boost productivity. Working across two screens minimizes the need to click between tabs and applications, making it easier to compare and analyze data.
3. Build a DIY Chromebook
Turning an old laptop into a Chromebook may be easier than you think. Chromebooks use a simple operating system and do not require aspects such as driver management and regular system updates, making it a viable option if you want to access the web browser or cloud-based programs. Just make sure your old laptop meets the required specifications to get started.
4. Create a Minecraft server
Put your old laptop to use by inspiring young minds! By creating a Minecraft server, kids can learn how to code in a fun and exciting way. The game is not hardware-intensive so most old laptops or computers should be able to handle it. Minecraft provides a safe gaming option for young users and teaches kids problem-solving and communication skills.
5. Make a retro gaming computer
Those looking for a bit of game nostalgia can consider turning old laptops or computers into retro gaming machines. By downloading and installing emulation software for the gaming platform, you can kill two birds with one stone by reliving your old gaming memories and putting an unused computer to use. Gamers looking to take a walk down memory lane should be mindful that while using and downloading emulators is legal, downloading Roms, i.e. games to play on the emulator, is not.
6. If you can't upcycle it, recycle it
If these options aren’t for you, why not recycle old electronics instead? Acer offers multiple recycling programs that help you get rid of old devices, batteries, and accessories responsibly. Each US state has different recycling rules, so US-based customers should check the guidelines for their respective states beforehand. Do your bit to help the planet and clear out old electronic clutter with Acer recycling.
Electronic waste contains substances like metals, glass, plastics, and chemicals, making it more troublesome to dispose of than household waste. But there are options. Upcycling old electronics by making a second screen or even creating a new Chromebook are fantastic ways to put old devices to good use. Moreover, donating tired electronics to schools or local charities means that they can even be used to inspire future generations. Moreover, Acer’s recycling program also lets users get rid of their old devices without harming the planet.
Why Browser Extensions Could Contain Malware
The Internet is an essential tool for many parts of life in the modern world, but it also implies a wide range of challenges and security threats. Browser extensions are no exception. Though a browser extension may appear to be harmless, it can sometimes contain malware that compromises your personal information and does damage to your devices.
Even browser extensions that improve our browsing experience can contain malware lurking beneath the surface. In a digital world where risks are present at every corner, how can we protect ourselves? What are some guidelines for safe use of browser extensions so that we can take advantage of their strengths while also protecting ourselves? Read on to learn some actions you can take today to strengthen your cybersecurity approach as it relates to browser extensions.
What is a browser extension?
A browser extension is a piece of software that modifies the existing capabilities of a web browser. They extend the capabilities of our browser through unique functions that aren’t supported by the browser itself. This means they perform a lot of useful functions: ad blockers prevent pesky ads from cluttering our browsers, while a translator extension like Google Translate can translate any web page as you navigate.
Browser extensions range from commonplace to very niche. For example, language lovers can use Toucan to translate a certain amount of words on each webpage into their target language and learn while browsing. Browser extensions can be used on various browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.
Are browser extensions safe?
Though browser extensions perform a lot of useful functions, malicious browser extensions can infect your computer with browser malware without your knowledge. Google removed 30 malicious extensions from the Google Play Store, all of them with legitimate functionality. One of the removed extensions, AutoSkip for YouTube, works in the way it advertises, but has harmful code written within it.
The difficult part about detecting a malicious browser extension, however, is that you can’t always tell immediately, or at all, whether or not it’s harmful. While some extensions may steal personal data directly after installation, others appear innocent and conceal their activity in such a way that you don’t realize your data is at risk. They can do this by monitoring your keystrokes, obtaining valuable personal information such as credit card numbers and passwords along the way.
This doesn’t mean that all browser extensions contain malware, though - many browser extensions are legitimate and well-intentioned. The problem lies in being able to tell the difference. Let’s take a look at some ways that computer users can protect themselves from malicious browser extensions.
How can I protect myself from malicious browser extensions?
Though you can’t take all of the inherent risk out of using browser extensions, you can take certain steps to minimize your exposure. That way, you can continue to block ads and optimize your browsing experience with peace of mind. Check out the list below:
1. Download from reputable sources
Before you download a browser extension, you should always take a look at the developer’s information. If they’re legitimate, they should have a website or social media presence. Make sure that the information presented on the app store matches the information you find on their other public profiles.
In addition to the developer, you should trust the marketplace you’re downloading from. It’s safest to use an official store, like the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. You can also download an extension directly from the developer’s website, like the popular browser extension Grammarly.
2. Review browser permissions
Another factor you should take into consideration is the browser permissions that the application requests. These permissions should always make sense according to the functionality of the extension. An ad blocker, for example, should not need to access files on your device. If you see anything that is suspicious or seems unrelated to the extension’s apparent purpose, don’t take the risk of downloading it.
3. Read reviews
Reviews are a great way to see what experiences others have had with the extension. Besides usability and interface design, you should also take a look at what others say regarding the legitimacy of the app. Previous reviews can warn you if an extension contains dangerous malware that you should steer clear of.
4. Limit the number of extensions
Limiting the number of extensions on your browser reduces your risk purely due to the rules of chance: the more extensions you download, the higher the chance is that one of them contains malware. Erring on the side of caution is the best mindset when deciding which browser extensions to download. Instead of downloading any browser extension that could potentially be useful, you should only download those which you find to be essential.
If you need to download an extension, you should first go to the Chrome Web Store. On the homepage, you’ll see a variety of extensions available for download. If you have a specific extension in mind, navigate to the search bar and type in the name of the extension you’d like to install. Before you click “Add to Chrome,” don’t forget to review the browser permissions and read the user reviews.
5. Update your extensions & your browser
Another step you can take to protect yourself against malicious browser extensions is to update your extensions and your browser. With each browser update, browsers improve in their ability to recognize and combat malware, so it’s important to keep your software up to date.
Updating your extensions, on the other hand, refers not simply to updating to the latest software version, but reevaluating which extensions you have installed. Ironically, to discover which of your extensions have malware, you might need a separate extension to tell you which are malicious.
Once you find out which, if any, of your browser extensions contain malware, you can remove those malware extensions from Chrome or a different browser. By disabling and deleting those browser extensions, you won’t be exposed to malicious software any longer.
To do this on Chrome, click on the puzzle piece in the upper right hand corner of the browser window, next to the star. Then, navigate to the bottom of the list where you’ll find the option “Manage extensions.” From there, you’ll find a list of all the extensions you have installed, and you can remove any of the extensions by clicking on the “Remove” button.
Though the use of the Internet implies various risks, with knowledge of these risks and containment strategies, we can benefit from the Internet with peace of mind. Because cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, it’s imperative to stay informed and update your knowledge. Whether you’re worried about the impact of AI on your children or IT challenges in education, adopting a growth mindset towards cybersecurity protection can protect you and your family in the long term.
How to Connect Your Laptop to a Projector
Ever fumbled with cables minutes before an important presentation? Or wished your movie nights felt like a cinema experience? Connecting your laptop to a projector can expand your screen and project your ideas onto a bigger canvas.
Why you'll love a bigger projector screen:
* Ace your presentations: Take complete control of your presentation and nail every pitch.
* Collaboration: Easily share your screen in team meetings, making brainstorming more effective. No more "Can you see my screen?" woes.
* Entertainment: Who needs a big-screen TV when you can project movies or games on a wall?
Ready to elevate your screen game? Dive into our step-by-step guide to connect your laptop to your projector.
Is your projector wireless or wired? Know your options
Before diving into cables and adapters, figure out what kind of projector you have. Is it wired or wireless? Knowing this helps set up smoothly.
1) Wired projectors
Wired projectors often provide more stable connections. The downside? You'll need to fuss with cables and potential adapters.
2) Wireless projectors
Wireless projectors make life easier—no cables to tangle or trip over. You can connect using:
But a weak Wi-Fi signal can throw a wrench in your presentation.
Do you need an adapter to connect? Here's how to check
Connecting your laptop to a wired projector isn't tricky, but you must ensure your ports align—or have the correct adapter to make it work. Here's your quick guide.
Check your laptop and projector ports
First, look at your laptop and projector. What ports do they have? If unsure, Google the model or check your user manual to determine its connector specs. Here are the usual suspects:
1) HDMI Port:
HDMI Type A Connector is the standard and can carry HDTV, UHD, 4K, and 8K modes. It's the simplest way to connect a projector to your laptop as it transfers audio and video signals between your laptop and devices. You won't require an adapter if your computer and projector have full-sized HDMI ports. Just plug and play.
2) Mini HDMI (HDMI Type C)
Smaller than HDMI but works the same. You'll need a cable with an HDMI plug on one end and a Mini HDMI on the other, or get an adapter.
You'll find these more on desktop video cards, but some laptops have them, too. This port has a 20-pin connector that sends video and audio signals to external display devices. Use an HDMI-to-DisplayPort cable or adapter to make the connection.
Laptops with USB-C output video through this port. You'll require a USB-C dock with an HDMI port or a USB-C to HDMI adapter. Some newer projectors support USB-C input, so your laptop can connect directly to the projector via a USB-C cable.
Older standard with a limited 640x480 resolution. Connects with a VGA cable if both devices have VGA ports. The port is trapezoid-shaped, with 15 pins in three rows. Note: VGA only transmits video, not audio, so you'll need a separate audio connection.
No adapter is required if your laptop and projector ports are the same. Just plug and play. They don't match? You'll need an adapter or cable with the right connections on each end.
Before you dive in, know your ports - check your user manual or simply Google search (model number + ports). Knowing your specs and having an adapter on standby will prepare you for a stress-free presentation.
How to use a projector with a laptop
To connect your laptop to a projector, you'll need:
* Connector Cable (HDMI Type A, DVI, VGA)
* Any necessary adapter.
Once you've gathered your equipment, here's how to hook everything up:
1) Connect the cable to your laptop and projector
Take your HDMI, VGA, or any other cable, plug one end into your laptop, and connect the other to the projector. If they don’t sync, use your adaptor.
2) Power up both devices
Switch on your laptop and the projector. Most times, they'll find each other automatically.
3) Remove any lens cap
Remember to remove the projector cap.
4) Troubleshoot any issues
Each manufacturer has different troubleshooting guides. For Acer Projectors, follow these steps:
* If the projector displays Lock or Source icons, it's locked onto a specific source type. It means your laptop's input signal isn't detected.
* If the projector displays No Signal, securely connect the signal cables. Hit the Source button again.
* If you connect to multiple sources simultaneously, use the Source button on either the control panel or the remote control to switch between inputs.
Connect wirelessly to your projector with Miracast
Miracast offers a simple, secure way to connect your Windows laptop to a wireless projector. Running on Wi-Fi Direct, it doesn't need to piggyback on your home or office Wi-Fi. This makes it secure against unwanted intrusions. Let's get set up.
* Check for compatibility: Double-check that your wireless projector supports Miracast.
* Initiate quick connect: Hit Windows + K on your laptop. This opens the Microsoft Windows cast menu - a side panel showing devices available for connection.
* Find your projector: Look for your wireless projector in the list and click to initiate the connection.
* Dial in settings: Press Windows + P to open the Project menu. Here, you can choose how to extend or duplicate your display across screens.
Now, you can enjoy a larger screen for your presentations or Netflix marathons.
Customize your projector display from your laptop.
Your projector’s up and running, but the image isn’t quite right? Maybe it’s distorted, or perhaps it’s mirroring your desktop when you want a separate display. Windows Project makes it easy to tailor your viewing experience.
Trigger the ‘Project’ Menu:
Press the Windows logo key + P to pop up your projection options. You’ve got four modes to pick from:
* PC screen only: Everything stays on your laptop’s screen. If you’re wireless, this option changes to ‘Disconnect.’
* Duplicate: Your laptop screen gets mirrored on the projector—useful for presentations.
* Extend: Spreads your desktop across both screens. Now, you can drag and move items between the laptop and projector. Perfect for multitasking.
* Second screen only: Your laptop screen will turn off, and you’ll see everything on the connected screen.
Pick the mode that fits your scenario, and you’re all set up.
Fine-tune your projection
If the projector image looks stretched or squashed, it's time to tweak. You can dive into your computer's display settings for advanced tweaks, like adjusting the resolution to fit the projector's specs. Here's how to fine-tune your setup
* Click Start > Settings.
* On the left-hand menu, click System, then hit Display.
* Select Scale. Adjust the settings until the projector's screen lines up with your expectations.
Your projector should be all set, whether you want it to mirror your laptop or serve as a second screen. Enjoy your pixel-perfect presentation or movie night!
Ready, Set, Project
From acing presentations to enjoying big-screen entertainment, connecting your laptop to a projector opens up a world of possibilities. Whether it's a wired or wireless setup, you're ready to make every moment larger than life.
Everything You Need to Know About International Power Adapters
Travel adapters are a must have travel accessory if you are going abroad. Although much of our power charging needs, especially for popular consumer electronics, are now covered by USB connectors, for things like hair dryers and travel irons, a plug adapter is necessary. There’s more to international power adapters than meets the eye!
If you’re curious about choosing the right international power adapter, read on. In this article we will help you to make an informed decision when purchasing an adapter. We will cover the basics of electricity, from voltage to hertz, and of course current, and how these are different in foreign countries. We will also discuss different types of power plugs, and where they are used, as well as the difference between a power converter and an adapter, and much more!
The shocking truth about voltage explained
Don’t worry, this isn’t a science class, but we need to briefly explain electricity and some related technical terms, before we go on to choose a travel adapter. Firstly, voltage. Voltage, (V) as you will see it written on devices, is the measurement of electrical pressure, or force (also referred to as potential difference) that pushes electric charges through a circuit. The higher the voltage, the more electricity that flows through an electronic device.
There are two principal voltage ranges worldwide. First of these types of voltage is 110V-120V. This lower voltage is used in electrical networks in the US, Canada, Central America, and parts of South America, as well as Japan and Taiwan. Moving on, 220V-240V is the standard voltage for much of Europe, Asia and Africa. The different voltage ranges used today are the result of several factors, including a spat between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison over alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).
Hertz (alternating current)
Easily transmitted over long distances, alternating current (AC) is the standard form of electricity used the world over today. In the electrical context, the term Hertz (Hz) refers to the frequency of AC power, correlating to the number of times AC voltage alternates, or changes direction each second. Globally, 50Hz and 60Hz are used, with most countries choosing 50Hz. The USA and a handful of other nations use 60Hz, thanks to our friend Tesla and his electric power station at Niagara Falls.
Hertz and voltage compatibility is needed for optimal operation of electronic devices, running equipment designed for a 50Hz supply on a 60Hz supply and vice versa can cause overheating, and negatively impact performance. Certain appliances are dual-frequency, while others may require an adapter to work efficiently and safely on a different frequency.
A current affair
Current measured in amperes (A) is the flow of electric charge through one section of the electrical circuit in your device to another. This flow needs to be sufficient to power your device, but not excessive, or problems will occur.
To illustrate the difference between current and voltage, let's imagine a common garden hose. The hose can be thought of as an electrical wire, inside the wire, or hose, the pressure of the water is voltage, and the flow of the water is current. Sticking with this useful analogy, correct current is crucial in safe and efficient operation of electronic devices.
Plugs around the world
There are 15 domestic plug shapes and socket types worldwide. The plethora of plug shapes and sizes are required to fit different electrical outlets and standards in various countries. This makes choosing the correct power adapter something of a location specific exercise, but more about that later.
Plugs of the world have been assigned a letter by the US Department of International Trade Administration (ITA). So, who uses what plugs? Here, we cover the three most common plug types, A,B, and C:
* Type A plugs have two flat pins and are used in North and Central America, as well as parts of Asia.
* Type B plugs are used in the same areas as Type A plugs, and include a grounding pin, for use in three printed outlets.
* Type C plugs, commonly known as Europlugs, have two round pins and are predominantly used in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa.
Power adapters vs converters
Before purchasing an adapter or converter, check the devices that you plan to travel with to find their UL listing. The UL listing can be found on the back of, or underneath most devices, or on the power adapter. The UL listing contains the frequency, current and voltage required to run your device.
If you’re traveling to a destination with the same voltage and frequency, a power adapter will suffice. Power adapters, or travel adapters as they are commonly known, simply allow you to connect your device to a different socket type. Adapters do not change the voltage or frequency of the supply. For this, you will need a converter. A voltage, or power converter changes the voltage level to meet the requirements of your device. For example, a converter is able to convert 220-240V to 110-120V.
Today's devices and dual voltage
The majority of laptops have converters integrated into the power cord/charger. The rectangular box that connects the cords should have information such as 110-240V. Check with your laptop manufacturer if in doubt, but if you are traveling with a laptop computer, you will most likely not need a converter.
If you are traveling with phones, tablets and other devices that charge using USB connections, then an adapter is all that you will require. USB outlet adapters are an increasingly popular charging choice of late, and the charger will convert the voltage to the USB charging standard that your devices require. Some devices are dual voltage, they can be manually switched between 110V and 220V, for example, while others are compatible with a whole range of different standards. Again, devices vary, so check with the original manufacturer to be sure.
Safety and Compliance
When it comes to electricity, it's better to be safe than sorry. Ensure that you purchase travel chargers and converters from reputable manufacturers that meet the electrical safety standards of your home country. Products certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) guarantee compliance with performance and safety standards. Travel adapters should also meet electromagnetic (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) standards. Finally, read the instructions, and ensure that adapters can handle the voltage range of your destination, to avoid frying your devices.
We hope that you have enjoyed this article, and that you are now able to purchase the correct adapter (or converter) for your travels. If you are in doubt of what adapter or converter to buy for a specific product, please contact the manufacturer for advice. Finally, if you are in need of adapters for your Acer products, please check out our online selection of adapters and power kits, here.
How to Setup Parental Controls on a Windows Computer
Navigating the digital world can be tricky for kids. The internet is a double-edged sword, serving valuable educational resources on the one hand and posing risks like explicit content on the other. Parental controls help you strike a balance, allowing your child to explore safely.
Parental controls let you filter content, set screen time limits, and track activities to create a safer digital environment. It's not about prying; it's about protecting. Here's your step-by-step guide to setting these controls up on a Windows 10 and11 PC.
What are parental controls?
Parental controls allow you to monitor and restrict what your child can see and do online. They put you in control of what content your child can see. Think of it like a digital fence offering protection against:
* Types of content they can access.
* Who they can interact with.
* Screen time limits.
* Unauthorized purchases.
From blocking risky sites to setting digital curfews, parental controls help you build a secure online playground for your kids.
How to set parental controls on Windows 10 and 11
Take control of your family's screen time with Microsoft Family Safety, a free app compatible with:
* Windows 10 and 11
* iOS (limited features)
It's ideal for parents looking for help with:
* Web content and search filtering.
* Screen time restrictions.
* App monitoring.
* Live location tracking.
* Managing purchase permissions.
Microsoft Family Group is a seamless way to set up and manage parental controls across all your Windows devices. From one easy-to-use dashboard, you can create child accounts, track online behaviors, and set digital ground rules. It's your all-in-one remote for a safer family online experience. Here's how to sign up.
1) Establish group roles in Microsoft Family Safety
Inside the Microsoft Family Safety app, you'll set up a family group consisting of two separate roles:
* Family Organizers: Think of these as the group admins. They can add members, set screen time limits, and check activity reports.
* Family Members: These accounts, often for kids, share crucial data with organizers—like location or screen time.
Get the ball rolling by inviting everyone you want to monitor to join your online family. You can invite up to 6 family members to sign up via email or phone, requiring them to have a Microsoft account.
2) Create a family group with members of Microsoft Family Safety
Setting up your family group is the first step in establishing a digitally secure environment for your kids. You want to set yourself up as a Family Organizer so you can manage parental controls and view activity reports. Here's how to do it, either via the web or the mobile app:
* Go to family.microsoft.com.
* Click Get started for free. Sign into or create a new Microsoft account to begin using parental controls.
* Select Create a family group.
* Click Add a family member to add your family members to your family group.
* Enter their phone number or email address. Click Next.
* Decide the family member's role (Member or Organizer), then click Next > Invite.
* You've sent an invitation to join your family group. The recipient receives an email that prompts them to sign into their Microsoft account to accept and join the family group.
Family Safety app
* Download the Microsoft Family Safety app from Google Play or Apple App Store.
* Hit Get Started and log in or set up a Microsoft account.
* Scroll down to tap Add a family member.
* Enter your family member's phone number or email address and tap Next.
* Choose the family member's role (Member or Organizer). Tap Invite to family group.
* Follow the prompts to link devices and set up Family Safety features.
3) Device-specific setup
* Universal syncing: Microsoft Family Safety syncs time limits for games and apps across multiple platforms: Windows, Xbox, and Android. Limitation alert: iOS doesn't work.
* Web and search filters: Work well on Microsoft Edge, whether you're on a Windows PC, Xbox, or Android device. If you turn on Filter inappropriate websites, it will block other browsers from functioning.
* Windows accounts: Ensure your child doesn't have admin rights on their Windows account. If they do, they can install whatever apps they like, dodging your controls.
* Android lockdown: You need to physically get your hands on their Android phone to grant the necessary permissions. Also, set a strong password for settings and deactivate the Guest account; otherwise, your kid can defeat parental controls.
* iOS limitations: The app doesn't do app blocking or web filtering on iOS. But location tracking? It's got that—switch your location settings to Always Allow.
Tighten the reins across multiple devices with these guidelines for cross-platform parental control.
4) Limit web browsing with Windows SafeSearch.
Establishing internet boundaries is crucial to protect your family from inappropriate web content. You can configure SafeSearch to block inappropriate websites and images, making the web safer for your kids. Plus, it features an AI-curated list of educational sites, perfect for homework and academic projects.
Reminder: For all these features to work, ensure everyone uses Microsoft Edge and signs in with their Microsoft accounts. Other browsers won't work by default.
* Sign in: Head to family.microsoft.com and log into your Family Safety account.
* Select family member: Pick the family member's profile you want to safeguard. Your child's account is on the right of yours.
* Access content filters: Activate the Filter Inappropriate Websites toggle.
* Handpick sites: Use the Only use allowed websites toggle to have a say in what gets seen.
* Promote learning: Enable Always allow educational websites to access AI-curated educational content.
* Refine the list: Add undesired URLs to Blocked Sites and preferred ones to Allowed sites.
Family Safety App
* Open app: Launch the Microsoft Family Safety app.
* Select member: Tap your family member's name, then go to Content filters.
* Web control: Toggle on Filter inappropriate websites.
* Tailor access: Flip the Only use allowed websites toggle.
* Study support: Turn on Always allow educational websites for school needs.
* Specify sites: Add bad URLs under Blocked Sites, and good ones under Allowed sites.
5) Screen time controls
Use screen time limits to keep tabs on your child's device use and set app or game limits. The feature syncs data from all devices linked to your child's account. Limits can be as specific as you want - use a different daily schedule or the same one weekly.
How to Set Limits
* Navigate to Microsoft Family Safety in your app or on the web.
* Select Screen time to set screen time limits.
* Toggle Use one schedule on all devices to set a universal multi-device schedule. Or, choose Turn limits on to set device-specific limits.
* Pick a day to set time ranges and total hours allowed.
* Set limits, define active hours, and click Done.
6) Block inappropriate apps and games
Control which apps and games your child can access by setting age-appropriate content filters. You can also safelist certain apps, overriding the age restrictions.
How to filter content
* Head to Microsoft Family Safety, either in-app or online.
* Locate your child's profile and select Content Filters.
* Navigate to Apps and Games and set an age limit under Allow apps and games rated for.
* To unblock specific apps or games, add them to the Always allowed list in Content Filters.
This way, you can tailor the digital environment to be fun and safe for your child.
7) Control Microsoft Store purchases
Prevent unexpected bills by managing your child's purchases in the Microsoft Store. You decide what they can buy—or if they can buy at all.
Enable Ask to Buy to prevent your child from making unauthorized purchases.
* Go to Microsoft Family Safety via the app or web.
* Find your child's name, and then select More options > Spending.
* Switch on the Needs organizer approval to buy things toggle.
* Approve or deny their requests through your email by toggling Email me when they get stuff.
Enjoy peace of mind knowing you won't find any surprise charges on your next bill.
8) Access Family Options from Windows Settings
* You don't even have to open a browser for a quick way to the Family Options page. Get there right from your Windows settings.
How to find Family Options
* Type Family Options in the Windows search bar.
* Click on View family settings when it pops up.
This takes you straight to the Family Options page, making managing your family's online safety easier without the detours.
Your guide to empowering digital parenting is complete. For extra tips, check out our guide on setting parental controls on various devices or Windows 10 and Xbox. Tighten those digital reins and give your kids the freedom to explore safely.