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See also: The best antivirus and anti-malware apps for Android

Best antivirus software for Windows

Microsoft Defender — The best antivirus software for Windows

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus — The best premium antivirus for Windows

Norton 360 with LifeLock Select — Versatile protection for Windows

Malwarebytes — The best malware protection for Windows

Best antivirus software for Windows

Windows has a bad history with viruses and malware. It was a massive problem for the operating system, but Microsoft has made some strides to improve Windows security in recent years. If you want a worry-free experience, you can rely on our best picks of the best antivirus software for Windows PCs listed below.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus: The best premium antivirus for Windows


If Windows Defender is not quite your speed, and you want the best of the best, you can pick Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. It’s the best premium antivirus you can get for Windows. It’s subscription-based, but you get a variety of plans by device count and time, so you can get one that suits your usage right.

You get many features, including real-time protection, networking monitoring, vulnerability assessment, and more. You also get some performance-focused features, including priority modes that don’t disturb you with notifications while gaming, watching content, or working. Also, you get a VPN built right in, although it is limited to 200MB per day.

See also: The best laptops you can buy

Norton 360 with LifeLock Select: Versatile protection for Windows


Norton has historically made great antivirus software, and Norton 360 is as good as any of Norton’s best. It’s a solid premium alternative to Bitdefender and offers similar features. Norton 360 is subscription-based as well but costs a bit more than Bitdefender. It’s the way to go if you prefer Norton’s offerings. 

The LifeLock in the title is a unique feature that may make it worth the price for you. It alerts you if any of your details are used in applications for credit cards or other services. There’s also a protection package that can get you reimbursement for stolen funds, personal expenses, and lawyer charges if eligible.

Malwarebytes: The best malware protection for Windows

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Malware protection is crucial for your Windows PC, and nobody does it better than Malwarebytes. It’s the go-to recommendation if you want a no-nonsense malware detection and removal tool. While the other premium offerings on this list are solid, you can get by for free by using Malwarebytes in tandem with Windows Defender. However, if you want to spend, Malwarebytes also offers a Premium version with additional perks.

The free version only gives you the option to clean up an infected system. The Premium version is loaded with features, including real-time protection, ransomware protection, brute force, and uninstall protection, to name a few. 

Best antivirus software for Mac

macOS has been relatively safer from viruses and other exploits, but it still has its fair share. So it’s nice to have some additional protection on your side. We have some great antivirus options for macOS. Some of these are Mac equivalents of their Windows counterparts, while some are Mac-exclusive. Here are our picks of the best antivirus software for Mac.

See also: The best security apps for Android that aren’t antivirus apps

Avast Premium Security: A great low-key antivirus for Mac


Last on the list is another antivirus giant — Avast. Avast Premium Security is a great low-key antivirus for Mac that will cover all your bases while staying out of your way. You can get a Mac-only single-device subscription or go all out and get one with support for ten devices, including Windows, iOS, and Android.

The best part is that Avast has custom-tailored functions according to the platform. So you can expect solid protection for your Mac with this one. You get real-time protection, malware protection, web safety, and more. 

See also: The best Android emulators for PC and Mac

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Download The Best Transcription Software For Pc

Transcription Software For Windows To Use In 2023




Transform your video and audio recordings into text with our selection of transcription software.

Flawlessly transcribe your speech into text by choosing the best transcription app for PC.

Software such as Adobe Premiere or Express Scribe is compatible with any file format.

Dictate and edit your texts by checking out these transcription programs for PC.



To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by


readers this month.

If you’re looking for good transcription software, this article will definitely help you. Transcribing audio recordings is an excellent way to earn a few extra dollars from the comfort of your home.

If you decided to work in audio transcription, you’ll also need reliable and feature-rich transcription software. If you want to download free video to text transcription software, we’ve got you covered as well.

In this article, we’re going to list the best transcription tools that you can use to get the job done really fast.

How to choose the best transcription software? We will help you by answering a series of questions that you might have asked :

Do you need a free or a full-featured version of the tool?

Does it support audio/video-to-text transcription?

Can you edit the text while transcribing?

Does it allow you to use voice commands?

Can you use a foot pedal to control playback?

You can find the answer to these questions below.

Adobe has a habit on adding more and more software tools to its Creative Suite, and many of them have a habit of eventually becoming the best of their domain.

That certainly seems to be the case with Adobe Premiere Pro as well, as it has become an industry-leading video editor that everyone uses.

The timeline-based interface is organized in a way that caters to both new and veteran users, and the toolset makes it so that you can do pretty much anything to your video files, including transcribing them.

Normally these premium-level products would be subscription-based, but you can grab it now for free.

Here are some of the perks of using Adobe Premiere Pro:

Easy import and export to and from other Adobe Products

Compatible with pretty much any video file format

Capable of creating professional-level videos from scratch

Tutorials on how to use it are easy to come by

Can be tested for free

Adobe Premiere Pro

Transcribe your videos into texts easily by using the feature-rich Adobe Premiere pro.

Free trialVisit website

Install Express Scribe on your computer and you’ll literally become a better typist. This tool lets you control audio playback so that you never miss a word.

Express Scribe supports both audio and video playback and plays most formats, including encrypted dictation files. The tool comes in two versions: a free version, and a premium one.

It is worth mentioning that the free version supports only common audio formats, including WAV, MP3, WMA, and DCT.

In other words, if you often transcribe from audio formats that are not frequently used, we recommend buying the Pro version of the tool.

Express Scribe supports professional USB foot pedals to control playback. Of course, you can also use hotkeys to control playback when transcribing into Word or other similar software.

Other features include:

Dock both analog and digital portable voice recorders to load recordings

Works with speech recognition software to automatically convert speech to text

Works with FastFox text expander for entering medical/legal phrases and common phrases with keyboard shortcuts

Express Scribe

Transcribe your audio and video playbacks, play most file formats, and control your audio playback with Express Scribe

Check priceVisit website

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a very versatile speech recognition software that can also help you transcribe audio recordings a lot faster. If you aren’t fast at typing, this tool will save the day.

To transcribe audio with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, you first need to pair the software with a compatible recorder. Then go to Tools and open a DragonPad.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking will then transcribe the audio file into the recently opened DragonPad. The only downside is that there will be no punctuation in the transcription, so you’ll need to add it yourself.

To make sure that that the transcription is flawless, you should also go over the whole text while listening to the audio recording. The tool is accurate only with one speaker at a time.

Expert tip:

On the link below (the official NUANCE webpage) you can choose between multiple versions and you also have a feature list for each version at your disposal.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a great audio transcription software, allowing you to transcribe flawlessly and translate your recordings

Check priceVisit website

InqScribe is a powerful transcription tool that lets you play audio recordings and videos and type your transcripts in the exact same window.

This is an excellent feature as it gives you better visibility over the entire transcription process.

InqScribe is compatible with most media players out there. It can play audio and video files from your hard drive, flash drive, CD, server, or URL.

You can control playback using custom shortcuts and keep your hands on the keyboard at all times. The software also support USB foot pedals, but this is optional.

Once you’re done, you can share your transcripts via file or email. InqScribe can import and export data in the following formats: plain text, tab-delimited text, XML, HTML (export only), Final Cut Pro XML (export only), Spruce STL (export only), Subrip (export only), WebVTT (export only).

⇒ Get InqScribe

Audiotranskription is useful transcription software that allows you to slow down, as well as speed up audio playback.

In this manner, you can adapt the audio to your typing speed, and then speed the audio recording when proofreading your work.

The program comes with an interesting feature that automatically rewinds audio a little when you hit the pause button so that you can hear the last two words again.

Audiotranskription also types the speakers’ names in dialogues and marks them in different colors. The tool automatically inserts timestamps while typing.

This feature comes in very handy if you want to check an incomprehensible paragraph later. However, sometimes the software inserts the wrong timestamp, but in most cases, it gets it right.

⇒ Get Audiotranskription

The automatic transcription software currently available often fails at transcribing audio recordings.

The more variables (multiple speakers, background noise, non-native speakers, etc.), the lower the performance of these tools.

For the time being, nothing replaces the good old manual process of audio transcription. Indeed, this process takes more time and involves more money.

If you really want a good transcription tool, you’ll have to pay for it. Of course, you can use a free transcription tool, but the results are simply not the same.

We guarantee you that the four transcription tools listed above will make your transcription job much easier. Select the one that best suits your needs and start transcribing right now!

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Best Tv Tuner Software For Windows Pc

Do you like the idea of watching your favorite television channel on your computer or laptop?  It is not at all a problem with a TV tuner. Are you looking for a source to turn your personal computer into a complete media center? Then TV tuner would be the best option that can meet your needs. It is a handy peripheral that can significantly expand your computer’s capabilities. TV tuner mission is pretty simple; it will receive audio and video signals and gives them input to your personal computer.

TV Tuner software for Windows 11/10



Plex TV tuner

Media Portal


Now let us take a look at each of them.

1] Kodi

Kodi is the name that you hear when you ask anyone about a powerful media application that not only allows you to stream live TV channels or videos, you will also be able to record the live content. The only negative point in Kodi is it does not have its own embedded television tuning functions. It is the perfect TV tuner software for Windows personal computer.  For capturing the computer signals, you either need to use a laptop or a supporting device. Once when you are done with installing Kodi on your device, you can relax and browse various sections to find the most entertaining channel of your choice.

2] Nextpvr

It is a full-featured Personal Video Recorder that runs on any computer that runs on Microsoft Windows. The main function of NextPvr is scheduling television recording and enabling the user to watch their favorite television channels. The software is largely beneficial for users with a wide range of plug-ins that provide features like weather, Netflix, etc. You don’t need to install any front-end applications for viewing videos on your device using this software. NextPvr boasts of a web application that enables the users to manage recordings. Download it here.

3] Plex TV tuner

Plex is the famous TV tuner which is best known for allowing quick and easy access to your videos or images from anywhere. It enables you to connect a compatible antenna tuner to a Plex server to watch television from any place in the world. Apart from serving as a valuable source to watch television, the DVR feature in it can schedule and play back recordings of antenna shows. We can expect more features that allow the users to pass and resume an ongoing video in upcoming days. Download it here.

4] Media Portal

5] Emby

This innovative and easy to use software organizes your videos and music into a library which can be streamed and accessed from any device that runs on Windows operating system. Emby safety creates a back up for media on the cloud; it comes with a large suite of applications with a central server that manages your library. Bringing all of your personal media together at one place in your computer is easily possible with Emby. You need to subscribe to premium packages for enjoying all the features. However, the free version is pretty well endowed with all the quintessential features. Download it from here.

Let us know if you use any TV Tuner software.

Best Free Dicom Viewer Software For Windows Pc

DICOM stands for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. It is an international standard for the communication and management of medical images and data. The DICOM image format is widely accepted by the medical industry and is used in different medical fields like radiology, cardiology, oncology, dentistry, etc. You can view a DICOM image with the help of dedicated DICOM Viewer software. In this article, we will list some best free DICOM Viewer software for Windows. If you are a medical student, these software will be beneficial for you as you can analyze different medical images using them.

What program can open DICOM files?

DICOM is an international standard for medical images. The program or software that is used to view or open such files is called DICOM Viewer. If you search online, you will find many free DICOM Viewer software for different platforms including Windows, macOS, and Android. We have included some free DICOM Viewer software for Windows computers in this article.

Best free DICOM Viewer software for Windows PC

You can install the following DICOM Viewer software to view DICOM images on your Windows 11/10 computer:





Dicom Image Viewer

Let’s see the features offered by all these free DICOM Viewer software.

1] MicroDicom

MicroDicom is free for non-commercial use. If you are a medical student, you can use it for free. When you run it for the first time, it will ask you to register MicroDicom. Select the desired option. You can open either a DICOM image or select a folder containing the DICOM images.

Apart from the measurement, you can also annotate the DICOM images by inserting text, drawing shapes and curves, drawing free-hand drawings, etc. You can view the patient information and DICOM tags on the right side. You can also apply different presets to the DICOM image, like full dynamic, skull, lung, spine, bone, etc.

It also lets you export the DICOM images in different image formats, including BMP, PNG, JPG, etc. Apart from that, exporting a DICOM image to a video file, DICOM file, text file, and clipboard are also available.

2] Onis

After uploading all the DICOM files, select the Viewer tab to view all the DICOM files. Here, you can perform different actions on your DICOM files. If you have uploaded multiple DICOM files, you can play a slideshow with a particular frequency. Different annotation tools are also available on the Toolbar. You can add text to the DICOM files, draw shapes and free-hand drawings, and measure the distance and angle between two points.

The Export option is also available in the software that lets you export the DICOM files into JPG and BMP image formats.

3] Weasis

Display: The Display tab lets you show and hide DICOM images, annotations, scale, drawings, etc.

Image Tool: This tab lets you change the properties of the DICOM file. You can change the image rendering level by moving the slider, change LUT shapes, select different LUTs for the DICOM file, rotate the DICOM image, etc.

Draw & Measure: This tab has annotation and measurement tools. In addition to this, you can also change the unit of measurement. By default, the unit of measurement is set to millimeters.

You can export the DICOM files into PNG, JPEG, and TIFF image formats. You can download it from

4] 3DimViewer

3DimViewer is one more free DICOM Viewer software on this list. It lets you view a DICOM image in both 2D and 3D modes. The 2D mode displays a separate view for all three planes, i.e., XY, YZ, and ZX. The 3D view shows the 3D image by combining all these three panes. You can enable and disable a particular plane in the 3D mode.

To view the DICOM file, you can select any of the following layouts:

3D View



On the right side, you will find different tabs. These tabs have tools that let you perform different actions on the DICOM files. You can change the brightness and contrast levels of your DICOM image, The Ortho Slices tab lets you vary the position and value of three different planes.

The Measurements menu has two types of measurement tools, namely, intensity measurement and distance measurement. The default units to measure intensity and distance are Hu and mm respectively. You can also apply filters to your DICOM image. The following four types of filters are available in the software:

Gaussian filter

Median filter

3D Anisotropic filter

Sharpening filter

5] Dicom Image Viewer

Dicom Image Viewer is a simple DICOM Viewer software. Unlike the other DICOM Viewer software on this list, this software does not have any additional features. You can use it to open the DICOM files only. Dicom Image Viewer is portable. Hence, you need not install it on your computer.

Read: Best free 3D Human Anatomy software for Windows 11/10.

How do I view a DCM file in Windows?

That’s it.

Read next: Best Free Hospital Management software for Windows.

8 Best Media Center Software For Windows Pc

8 Best Media Center Software for Windows PC [2023 List]




The Windows Media Center (WMC) was a part of Windows platforms up to Win 8.1 but it went under with the newer versions of Windows.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still turn your PC into a multimedia center with the right tools and resources. 

Dedicated third-party software solutions can help you replace WMC’s capabilities with minimum effort, and enjoy multimedia content on your PC once again. 

Plus, you can stream thousands of great shows using very intuitive platforms that offer media support. 



To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by


readers this month.

The Windows Media Center (WMC) was a part of Windows platforms up to Win 8.1. However, Microsoft has now discontinued the WMC, which effectively removed many of its multimedia options from Windows 10.

The Media Center gave you a central place to organize video, images, and music and establish a home theater setup. If you need a replacement for the WMC in Windows 10, there are a number of third-party media centers that can fill the void.

First, note that media center software is not the same as media players. Media players are primarily designed for music and video playback and lack some of the options you would expect to find in standard media centers.

All-in-one media centers enable users to organize their videos, games, music, and images and play multimedia content on both PC and connected TV within a home theater setup.

The software also includes options that enable users to stream TV programs and films, watch and record live TV, and play photo slideshows.

What is the best Media Center software for Windows 10?

PlayOn is a beneficial platform for any user who needs a solid media streaming service. As a media center, it offers one of the most qualitative media content online.

The most important concept of this program is that you can watch shows from streaming resources, using directly your PC to record them. At the same time, it is possible to enjoy your favorite movies offline.

Hence this software is everything you need for media consumption due to its rich library of content. You can practically record any movie you desire from streaming apps like Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Hulu, or Amazon and watch them later.

Either you prefer the desktop version or the cloud one, both are effective and provide satisfying media services. There are some differences between those two, which you can check on their official website. 

Thus on the cloud version, you benefit from better video quality and closed captioning for your movies, assuring relaxing experiences when watching your favorite shows.


Enjoy awesome shows online with this media center that presents high-quality recording services.

Check priceVisit website

Plex is a more unique media center software with a client-server model. In other words, the software enables you to stream, or share, your media with multiple devices.

As such, Plex Media Server software is required along with a Plex front-end app, which you can add to Windows 10 from this web page.

The Windows app might be freely available, but it limits media playback to one minute unless you unlock it with in-app purchase or a monthly Plex Pass subscription.

Plex is a great software to organize music, videos, and image collections with. The software supports almost all music and video formats, and its library UI presents your media with artwork, bios, plot summaries, and more besides.

Users can obtain online content from many sources, such as NPR, Comedy Central, and Spike. The music player can also show you timed lyrics of songs, which is a novelty.

Unlike other media centers, Plex enables you to set up multiple user accounts and place restrictions on unsuitable content. Recent updates have also added DVR recording to Plex with access to 86 of Nielsen’s most-watched shows.

What really sets Plex apart from some of the other media centers is content streaming.

With a Plex Pass subscription, users can sync media between a wide range of devices, such as phones, tablets, digital media players, and game consoles.

You can also sync media to Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box cloud storage. So if you have photos, music, or videos on both a laptop and tablet, you can quickly open all the media on both devices with Plex apps.

⇒ Get Plex

This software was originally XBMC (Xbox Media Center) but is now more widely known as Kodi. Kodi is one of the foremost third-party media centers that’s compatible with various platforms.

Kodi media center supports all the main video and audio file formats for playback, and it enables you to stream content from various online media streaming services.

With a little configuration, users can access expansive TV show and movie libraries that include poster, disc, and banner art. You can watch and record live TV within the Kodi GUI.

The software has extensive GUI customization options with which you can configure Kodi’s skins (or theme), screensaver, background wallpaper, GUI audio effects, home page buttons, font, add-on shortcuts, and more besides.

Kodi also has some amazing music visualization effects.

For instance, with the ROM Collection Browser users can browse and launch retro games within the media center.

Exodus is one of the more notable third-party add-ons for Kodi with which you can stream and watch a plethora of blockbuster movies and TV shows.

⇒ Get Kodi

MediaMonkey is a great choice for all of you which does not organize its video and music collection. If your ‘Music’ and ‘Movies’ folders are a mess – this is the right software. You can tag, categorize and make selections of your files.

If you have to switch from iTunes or Windows Media Player, you will be able to import your playlists and selections in Media Monkey and use it without any problems. You can customize the way it looks so you can personalize the lists with genres, albums, musicians, tracks.

You can install it on your Windows 7, 8, 10 devices without any problems – it is fully optimized for these versions. It can be used in more than 15 languages and it does not slow down your computer.

Thereby using this software you can better organize your media files and find every movie or song in one place, and just press a button when you’re in the mood for enjoyment.

⇒ Get Media Monkey

Expert tip:

Shortly, this app is completely free and offers valuable services like media distribution of movies, music, or TV shows. It is possible to collect any media content you want and access it right away.

Thus the given support is unlimited and satisfies all preferences in terms of entertainment. The server provided by this platform allows free downloading and media streaming in the blink of an eye.

Plus, you can set up your live TV and record any program you prefer to add to your library. And regarding support, you can watch your media on the fly.

Even if you prefer to watch away from the PC, on your Android or iOS device you can. So you can stream content on a Fire TV device or via Kodi installation in order to transport your media anywhere.

⇒ Get Jellyfin

MediaPortal is a Kodi descendent as its original source code was forked from that media center. However, MediaPortal bears relatively little resemblance to Kodi. This is open-source media center software exclusively for Windows.

You can add either MediaPortal 1 or 2 to Windows from this page; although MP2 is the latest version it has fewer skins and plug-ins.

MediaPortal provides a visual extravaganza with some stunning skins to choose from.

The software has a more extensive selection of skins than Kodi that come in a variety of styles and have full-screen fan art, alternative themes, add-ons, and many customization options.

MediaPortal also has skins configured for more specific screen sizes, high-definition resolution, and touch screen devices.

Users can watch live TV from thousands of channels and record programs to their hard disks, and MediaPortal comes with its own TV Guide.

You can listen to and record radio, play image slideshows with transition effects, check the weather, and play Tetris and Sudoku games that come bundled with the software.

There are also 246 official plug-ins for MediaPortal, which include WiFiRemote that enables users to navigate the software with a variety of remote control devices.

⇒ Get Media Portal

Emby is another media center with a centralized database for multiple clients. Thus, Emby has its own server much the same as Plex.

It has apps for lots of operating systems and devices, and you can add Emby Theater to the more recent Windows platforms by pressing the Download button on this page.

Alternatively, you can add the software’s app to Windows 10 mobiles from its Store page. You’ll need an annual Emby Premiere subscription to play media in the apps.

The Live TV Guide is a handy addition to the theater app, and with the Emby DVR, you can schedule TV recordings. Emby also has some handy plug-ins such as Cover Art, which you can enhance media images with, and GameBrowser that enables game support.

Media streaming is Emby’s greatest asset, and for that, it includes centralized database management that users can use with straightforward web tools.

Emby has 20 apps for Android and iOS mobiles and tablets, game consoles and digital media players, which include Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV and Apple TV.

As such, you can bring your media together across a range of hardware. The media streaming also enables you to sync and back up music, video, and photos to cloud storage.

⇒ Get Emby

JRiver MC was originally Media Jukebox, but the publisher has expanded the software so that it’s now a full-blown media center.

This is comprehensive media center software with extensive options and tools and support for audio, images, music, TV, and even DLNA network devices. JRiver MC is proprietary software for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

JRiver MC is especially good for video and TV playback. The software boasts an innovative Red October system that automatically configures DirectShow filters to ensure quality video playback.

The media center supports TV tuners from most manufacturers for live TV playback and even enables users to record high-definition TV.

Users can play online videos with JRiver MC’s integrated YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix services. The software also has five alternative view modes, and its Theater View is ideally suited for TVs and touch screen devices.

JRiver MC isn’t quite in the same league as Plex or Emby when it comes to media streaming, but with its DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) support you can still share your media across desktops, laptops, and other devices that support the DLNA protocol.

The software has a Media Network that you can share media on. The Media Network also supports external interfaces so you can configure Android and iOS devices as remote controllers or servers.

JRiver MC even has its own Id network hardware available in various configurations.

Those are five of the best alternatives to the Windows Media Center. With JRiver MC, Kodi, MediaPortal, Plex, and Emby you can transform your desktop or laptop into a home theater PC connected with TV.

Even if you don’t need a full HTPC, the software still provides a great platform to browse through and organize your music, video, and photo libraries and play media content with.

⇒ Get JRiver Media Center

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The Best Pc Hardware And Software Of 2023/2023

But that doesn’t mean PC vendors took their foot off the gas. We tested some truly impressive hardware in 2023, including blazing-fast next-gen SSDs and notebooks that run laps around yesteryear’s models. Are you into streaming video? Hardware that helps you look and sound as impressive as possible took major strides forward in 2023. And this year we’re expanding our list of top picks to include the best software available, as what you use all that computing power for is just as vital.

For this list, we asked PCWorld’s tech experts to share their favorite picks in their areas of expertise. Without further ado, this is the best PC hardware and software of 2023 and 2023. Yes, we’re looking forward to next year, because until even newer products begin launching in 2023, many of the wins on this list will remain very relevant, especially with no end to the chip shortage in sight.

Editor’s note: This article originally published on November 3, 2023, but was updated November 15 after the launch of Intel’s 12th-gen “Alder Lake” processors.

Best desktop CPU: Intel 12th-gen “Alder Lake” processors

Intel Core i5-12600K

Price When Reviewed:


Best Prices Today:

But the real star in Intel’s 12th-gen lineup is the Core i5-12600K, which inflicts so much pain on AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X that a timeout was called while the Ryzen 5 was carried off the field on a stretcher. What 2023 holds isn’t known, but for 2023, there is one dominant pick when it comes to CPUs: Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake processors. —Gordon Mah Ung

Best thin-and-light laptop: HP Spectre x360 14

HP Spectre x360 14 1Q881AV

Read our review

Price When Reviewed:


Best Prices Today:

PC laptop buyers have an embarrassment of riches to pick from, but for most people, a 360-convertible is the apex machine. Convertibles are basically indistinguishable from traditional clamshell notebooks, but give you all the flexibility of a tablet as well. That means you get touch and even pen support on top of the usual touchpad/keyboard combo.

Our pick for the best thin-and-light laptop easily goes to HP’s wonderful Spectre x360 14, built on Intel’s latest 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU with Xe graphics. It offers screen options ranging from 1920×1080 IPS to a 3000×2000 OLED display, and with its 66 watt hour battery, you can expect all-day battery performance. Its stylish diamond-cut exterior also tells the world that you actually think differently, too. —Gordon Mah Ung

Best gaming laptop: MSI GE76 Raider

MSI GE76 Raider

Read our review

Price When Reviewed:

$2,599 base price, $3,399 as configured

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You know MSI’s GE76 Raider is something special when you have none other than Apple tapping it for comparisons to the hyped-up MacBook Pro with its M1 Max to the GE76. Even better, Apple actually admits that its very best M1 Max MacBook Pro 16 is slower than the Raider in the comparison.

While we don’t think the two laptops are in the same category to even merit the comparison, we’re not surprised Apple focused on MSI’s killer gaming laptop. With its 8-core Intel 11th-gen Core i9-11980HK “Tiger Lake H” processor, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 GPU pushing a smoking 165 watt TGP rating, and a buttery smooth 360Hz gaming panel, this hefty 6.6 pound laptop packs some serious gaming and productivity firepower. Did we mention all the RGB, too? —Gordon Mah Ung 

Best SSD: Corsair MP600 Pro XT

MP600 Pro XT

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Corsair’s MP600 Pro XT passed our portals rather late in the year, but we’re glad it showed up. It matches the blazingly fast Seagate FireCuda 530‘s performance, but is slightly less expensive, and more importantly, Corsair’s ultra-fast drive is generally available in both 1TB and 2TB capacities. Seagate’s barn-burner is often in short supply, tipping the scales towards Corsair’s offering in the battle for the best SSD. —Jon Jacobi

Best antivirus: Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe

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$49.99 for the first year

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It may not be the most exciting choice, but Norton’s long-lived security solution remains our top pick for the best antivirus for Windows. The price is right, at just over $100 for a year of Norton 360 Deluxe covering five devices. The suite offers a good amount of features, and the protection is top-notch. Norton also has a wide variety of products to choose from, including Norton 360 for Gamers, which focuses on gamer-centric features like a game optimizer and a VPN to protect against DDoS attacks, which are sometimes deployed by hackers in certain games. Above all, Norton is one of the more quiet antivirus solutions. It just goes about its business and doesn’t bother you with too many pop-ups and notifications. Norton simply works and does a fantastic job of protecting you. —Ian Paul

Best GPU: Ryzen 5000 APUs

Ryzen 7 5700G

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Usually, this category is called “Best graphics card,” casting a spotlight on the best discrete desktop video card released over the past 12 months. And sure, several new graphics cards were released in 2023, from 1080p-focused offerings like the Radeon RX 6600 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 to heavy-hitting 4K behemoths like the $1,200 GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. But the chip shortage’s effects were felt most acutely in the graphics space, exacerbated by incredible demand from crypto-currency miners who use their graphics cards to mint virtual coins for real-world profits. Understandably—though disappointingly—every new graphics card launched this year hit store shelves with staggering price tags, though they also sold out instantly only to appear on second-hand retailers like Ebay and Craiglist at up to twice the price of those already-inflated MSRPs. Gross.

So, this year we’re switching gears. The best gaming option for most people with modest budgets isn’t a graphics card at all, but the GPU cores integrated into AMD’s game-ready Ryzen 5000G APUs, which remain in stock in both DIY form and inside numerous prebuilt systems. “You can build a Ryzen 5 5700G machine today and get outstanding CPU performance along with OK gaming performance,” we said in our review. Yes, you’ll need to dial down some graphics options for the best performance, but you’ll be able to play esports games and even triple-A titles at a decent clip at 720p or 1080p resolution. At $259 for the Ryzen 5 5600G and $369 for the Ryzen 7 5700G, they aren’t exactly cheap, especially since you’ll also need a motherboard to plop them into. But remember that you’re getting both a CPU and a doable GPU stand-in for the price. And, hey, they’re actually in stock. —Brad Chacos

Best Thunderbolt Dock: Plugable’s Plugable TBT3-UDZ

Plugable TBT3-UDZ

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The catch? It’s extremely hard to find. While this model is clearly the best Thunderbolt dock, the Plugable TBT3-UDC3 is smaller, cheaper, and slightly more available. If you find one, buy it. Now. —Mark Hachman

Best USB microphone for streaming: NZXT Capsule


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Arguably the most important piece of streaming hardware is a great microphone. This year, PC component maker NZXT brought the company’s first microphone to market with the $130 NZXT Capsule, which is dead simple to use and sounds fantastic. The Capsule is packed with killer specs, sports a fairly large condenser capsule, and is plug-and-play over an included USB-C cable. The sound profile is on the warmer side, with plenty of deep vocal reproduction for booming voices, and clean and even highs for clarity. One of the best features of this mic is the included detachable stand. It’s large, heavy, super solid, and something I could actually recommend someone using (which isn’t always the case with these type of desktop mics). To top it off, the design is uniquely NZXT, with trademark grided holes on the back and a two-toned white version that makes it very stylish despite its larger size. —Adam Patrick Murray

Best password manager: LastPass 


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There is simply no excuse for being lazy about passwords—not when a password manager makes using best practices so easy. LastPass is the gold standard when it comes to this essential role. Install the browser plugin, and LastPass serves as a combination password generator, password vault, and form filler, saving you the trouble of memorizing and manually entering any of your often-used credentials or personal information. A Secure Notes feature lets you store sensitive information, like bank account numbers, associated with the various sites you visit. 

The free version is limited to one device type—PC or mobile. The Premium tier ($3 a month) supports unlimited devices and offers dark-web monitoring for vulnerabilities and emergency access to your account. See our full review of LastPass, as well as our roundup of all password managers. —Katherine Stevenson

Best laptop CPUs

It’s been a banner year for laptop buyers shopping for powerful CPUs thanks to intense—and we mean intense—competition between AMD and Intel. We first saw the year kick off with AMD’s Ryzen 5000 H-class gaming processors arriving to smash a folding chair on Intel’s elderly 10th-gen H-class CPUs. AMD then followed up with its Ryzen 5000 U-class or low-power consumption chips, which battled Intel’s 11th-gen “Tiger Lake U chips” to a stand still.

Intel’s 11th-gen Core chips hold the high-ground on lightly threaded tasks and performance while on battery, with Ryzen 5000 U beating Intel’s processors in multi-threaded tasks. 

And just when it looked easy to declare AMD’s Ryzen 5000 H-class the winner, Intel hit back with 11th-gen “Tiger Lake H” CPUs that just slightly edge the Ryzen 5000 H chips.

Rob Shultz/IDG

So what’s the winner? There are really two classes of laptops today—really thin and light, and really fast.

For the really thin and light category, we’d be torn between Ryzen and Core i7, but the 11th-gen Core came out last year. That leaves AMD’s impressive Ryzen 5000 chips as the best CPU for thin and light laptops in 2023. It’s an easy one to argue since you’re getting an unheard-of eight cores of performance in laptops weighing less than 3 lbs. 

In the need-for-speed category, it’s a very close race, but we give the nod to Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake H for two reasons. First, it has the slight edge in performance, giving you a full x16 lanes of PCIe Gen 4, plus support for PCIe Gen 4 SSDs. It’s simply a richer, fuller feature set than AMD’s Ryzen H-class chips. The other reason is the elephant in the room: You don’t buy a laptop CPU without the rest of laptop around it, and Intel’s Tiger Lake H is simply paired with more laptops with faster hardware than their AMD counterparts. —Gordon Mah Ung

Best Windows backup software: Acronis True Image 

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office

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There’s a reason Acronis True Image (recently renamed Cyber Protect Home Office) has remained our top pick for Windows backup software for years now. It offers all the functionality you would expect: full, incremental, and differential backup options—not just from your PC, but also your phone and any remote shared networks—to just about any destination of your choosing, including removable media. Acronis essentially has it all. Backups in our tests were performed quickly and without incident, making this the kind of comprehensive, easy-to-use, worry-free experience you want from a backup program.  

As the program’s new name suggests, it offers more than just backups. Acronis throws in malware and ransomware protection, too. And if you opt for the Advanced or Premium tiers, you can expect bundled cloud storage and blockchain certification of files as part of the mix, respectively. Read our full review. —Katherine Stevenson

Best USB-C dongle: Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB C Hub Adapter

PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB C Hub Adapter

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Ordering a USB-C hub is a little bit like order from an a la carte menu: These slow-speed cousins of Thunderbolt docks are far cheaper and far more ubiquitous, but offer a ton of expansion ports for laptops. Anker’s $35 7-in-1 hub offers everything but Ethernet connectivity, but the upgraded 8-in-1 model with Ethernet costs $90, which seems extreme. Go with the $35 model instead. -Mark Hachman

Best dash cam: Garmin Dash Cam 57 or Nextbase 422GW

Garmin Dash Cam 57

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This year’s best dash cam is a pick’em between Garmin’s compact, low-profile, set-it-and-forget-it Dash Cam 57 and the ultra-versatile Nextbase 422GW. The Garmin is our choice for most people simply because it’s easy to use, has all the features that folks typically need, and hides nicely behind your rearview mirror. We also love the clever magnetic mount.

On the other hand, the 422GW is dual-channel cam, offering a modular interior view, a rear window view, and—uniquely—telephoto rearview secondary cameras. Both come in at around $230, but the 422GW’s modules cost extra. Quite a bit extra, at $100 apiece. So what kind of dash cam do you need? This year, both picks will have you covered. —Jon Jacobi

Best VPN: Mullvad


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$6.88 per month

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Choosing the best VPN is a tough job. Do you prioritize privacy and anonymity, or do you pick something that comes loaded with features? For our money, privacy is still the top consideration when it comes to VPNs, which is why we highly recommend Mullvad. Its speeds are within our top 10, and of all the no-logs VPNs out there, Mullvad has the best approach by far, saving as little information about its customers as possible. Pricing is also good, and the app is easy to use. If features are your main concern, however, then we’d recommend either NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Both have top notch speeds like Mullvad, and both support Netflix overseas viewing. Privacy is good with these services, but it simply isn’t up to the standard of Mullvad. —Ian Paul

Best webcam for streaming: Elgato Facecam

Elgato FaceCam

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Top streamers use mirrorless cameras connected to their PCs, but those setups can be both expensive and finicky. Enter streaming hardware specialist Elgato, which released its first webcam in 2023, seeking to bring top-of-the-line camera specs and deep controls down to affordable webcam prices. It succeeded.

At $200, the Elgato Facecam was made with streamers and experienced camera users in mind, delivering a unique webcam that rivals the best. Elgato focused on the basics with this device and augmented them will killer software that feels right at home for people who know camera lingo like ISO and color temperatures. While the 1080p 60FPS signal sounds generic on paper, the image is nothing but. The Facecam packs a high-end Sony sensor connected via an uncompressed signal for low latency and minimal artificing to whatever streaming program you use. It’s a premium webcam experience that isn’t quite perfect, but brings the right things to the table. The Elgato Facecam should push the industry further. —Adam Patrick Murray


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