Android Police

Tips & Tutorials


The best deals on smartphone data plans in the US right now (single lines and families)

As many of us are spending more time at home, we're also spending a lot more on our Wi-Fi networks, avoiding much drain on our mobile data plans. Equally, as financial uncertainty rises in America for many millions, it's entirely understandable that some of us are looking at cutting down our monthly wireless bill from our current unlimited plan to something a little more economical. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available for every budget, and from multiple carriers.

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Get started with video game emulation on Android: apps, ROMs, and everything else you'll need

Chances are, you're finding yourself with a little extra time on your hands these days, and increasingly looking for new ways to keep yourself entertained. That could spell starting some new projects, catching up on your reading list, or spending some quality time with a video game or two. And while there are plenty of hot new games landing all the time for Android and Stadia alike, you'd be doing yourself a disservice to ignore the utter mountain of classic games just waiting to be checked out right on your phone thanks to the magic of emulation.

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How to sell your old smartphone for the most money possible

New phones can be very expensive, so selling your older devices is a great way to recoup some of the costs. Unless you have an absolutely ancient device, there's a good chance you can get at least a few bucks for your trouble. Best of all, giving your old phone a second life with someone else (or having it e-recycled) is a lot better than having it slowly rot in a landfill for decades.

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Working from home? Get the most out of your old laptop by turning it into a Chromebook

The coronavirus pandemic has most of us staying at home, working or studying remotely. Depending on the age of your laptop and what exactly you need to get done, you might run into the limits of your computer. If you're fortunate enough to be able to get all of your work done inside a browser, you might benefit from turning your aging Windows or macOS machine into a much faster Chromebook. Google officially supports only a handful of devices that are custom-built to fit Chrome OS, but thanks to Neverware's CloudReady fork of Chromium OS, almost any x86 hardware can become a Chromebook.

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Here's another way to watch live news, TV, and movies for free with your phone

There are a lot of different free streaming services out there, and it's tough to know which is worth your time. We've looked at both live and on-demand services from Pluto TV to Plex and Kanopy, and based on our reader's repeated recommendations, now we're taking a dive into XUMO — another option for free live TV as well as on-demand content.

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How to make Android use the DNS server of your choice

The Web as we know it today is powered by a technology called the 'Domain Name System,' also known as DNS. It acts like a phone book for the internet, linking web servers with their corresponding website domain names. DNS is what takes you to Google when you type in, so as you can imagine, DNS is a critical part of the infrastructure of the internet.

While most people simply use the default DNS servers provided by their carrier or internet service provider, alternative servers do exist. Google Public DNS has been a popular option for years, and CloudFlare's DNS is a newer service that is quickly gaining ground.

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How to make your own personal VPN in under 30 minutes

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are a popular way to stay safe online. When you connect to a VPN, all outgoing network traffic is funneled through an external server. Your internet service provider can't tell what sites you visit (only that you're using a VPN) or inject content into webpages. VPNs are also commonly used to bypass blocked websites and to stay safe on public Wi-Fi networks.

Unfortunately, using certain VPN providers can be just as dangerous as going without a VPN in the first place. Many popular providers will log connection details of users, which can then be sold to third parties.

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This app has tons of completely free live TV and movies streaming 24/7

Apparently, I've been living under a rock these last few years. There's a service out there called Pluto TV that offers streaming video with plenty of big-name shows, live news, content from folks like Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, and some sports. Beyond cable-style TV channels (of which it has ~200), it also offers some live TV and even on-demand streaming with a surprisingly decent selection of movies. Best of all, it's entirely free, and you don't even need to make an account to use it.

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This app gives you free access to tons of movies and other video via your local library

Most of us know the big streaming service names like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, but there are a lot of smaller services out there worth your attention. If you have a library card, there's one in particular that you should look into. It's called Kanopy, and it focuses on educational series, independent and award-winning titles, plus a solid dose of the classics. In short, if you're into film and not just "movies" (or if you'd like to be), then it's worth the price. Oh, did we mention that it's free?

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Here's how to read all your local library's books on your phone or Kindle for free

Sometimes, the lists on Netflix and Hulu just seem to get stale, and that's doubly the case these days with so many of us stuck at home. The humble book offers an alternative solution, and if you have a library card, it's entirely free. Check out Libby. It's a free service for supported libraries that lets you rent eBooks from home, and even send them over to your Kindle, if you'd like.

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