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How to Download Recordings from Your Netgear Arlo Cameras

Netgear’s Arlo camera system automatically records video whenever motion is detected, and you can view those video recordings in the Arlo app. But you can also download recordings directly to your phone so that you can share or view it however you’d like.

Netgear keeps Arlo camera recordings for up to seven days if you don’t pay for a subscription plan, which is usually more than enough time to watch them before they disappear. However, if you need to keep a recording for longer than that, you don’t necessarily need to pay for the upgraded plan—just download the video in question.

Open up the Arlo app on your phone and tap on the “Library” tab at the bottom.

Select a date toward the…

How to Set Up the Netgear Arlo Pro Camera System

If you like the idea of a security camera that’s completely wireless in every way, Netgear’s Arlo Pro system is one to consider. Here’s how to set it up and begin keeping tabs on your home while you’re away.

Wi-Fi cameras have their issues—at least when compared to wired cameras—but they certainly offer easier installation. One thing that separates the Arlo Pro from other Wi-Fi cameras is that it’s battery-powered, meaning you don’t need to plug it into an outlet to stream and record video. Most other Wi-Fi cams need to be connected to some kind of power source, even though they connect via Wi-Fi to transmit the data.

Arlo Pro also uses its own central hub (called the Base Station), to which all of your Arlo cameras connect. This is because the cameras use Z-Wave to communicate wirelessly, rather than Wi-Fi like most other consumer-based security cameras (such as the Nest Cam). Because of that, Arlo cameras need to connect to the Base Station, which in turn communicates with your home’s Wi-Fi network.

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Step One: Download and Set Up the Arlo App

Even though you have to use the Base Station, the setup process is pretty painless and only takes about 10 minutes. To start off, download the Arlo app to your smartphone. It’s a free app that’s available for iPhone and Android devices.

Next, open up the app and tap the “New to Arlo” button.

On the next screen, select which Arlo product you’re setting up. In this case, it’s the “Arlo Wire-Free.”

The app then tells you to install the Arlo Base Station hub. To do this, plug one end of the included Ethernet cable into the Base Station and the other end into a free Ethernet port on your router. Plug in the power cord, and then press the “On-Off button next to the power connector on the back of the hub.

Once you’ve got the Base Station set up, hit “Continue” in the app.

Wait for the hub to power up. The app automatically searches for the hub on your network.

You can no longer download Netflix on rooted Android phones

Image: mashable / brittany herbert

If you’re an Android user with a rooted phone — there’s bad news for you.

Netflix may no longer work on your rooted or unlocked device, due to an update to the app. Netflix now fully relies on Google’s Widevine DRM, the company told Android Police. The change comes not long after Netflix enabled downloads for offline…

Netflix is blocking rooted Android phones from downloading its app

Netflix is blocking rooted Android phones from downloading its app

If you’ve rooted your Android phone in order to gain access to more settings than the average user, you will no longer be able to grab Netflix’s app from Google Play, as the company is blocking downloads on such devices.

With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on the Widevine DRM provided by Google; therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store.

While the decision to block downloads from…

Will this ‘slow’ dating app work in the era of fast-swipe dating?

Image: appetence / mashable composite

Speed is of the essence in our modern age of fast-swipe online dating. So much so that the process of swiping, matching, and chatting can feel like a race to to that great (or not so great, depending) finish line we call a date.

But a brand new dating app wants people to take things slow — real slow, in fact — using the ancient art of conversation to seduce matches. It’s pretty groundbreaking stuff for those getting by with the odd “DTF?” message on Tinder.

Appetence, which is free to download on iOS from the iTunes store and claims to be the world’s first “slow dating” app, forces users to talk to each other before they can see each other’s profile pictures.

How so? Upon downloading the app, users are asked to select a bunch of their interests and tastes relating to music, gastronomy, movies, TV, books, and even pets. The app’s “slow matchmaking” algorithm then shows you compatible profiles based on your interests and search settings.

Unlike Tinder, Bumble, and basically every other dating app out there, the…

How to Manually Back Up Your Steam Game Files

Steam has a built-in system for making a backup of its game files, so you don’t have to re-download a full game every time you uninstall it and want to play again later. But like a lot of Steam’s features, it hasn’t been updated in quite a while, and frankly it often manages to break the game restoration process anyway. On top of that, it’s slow, it’s clunky, and you can do better on your own.

Manually copying the files out of Steam’s game folder, then copying them back when you’re ready to play again, is much faster and more reliable. Steam’s caching system means that doing it yourself has no disadvantage versus the program’s integrated tool. If you’d like to back up your game files separately, especially to an external drive for archiving a large, 100GB+ collection or saving space on your primary system backup, here’s how to do it the easy way.

Step One: Find the Game Files

Find your standard Steam game installation folder. By default in Windows, this is located in:

C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam/steamapps/common

In macOS, open the Finder and choose Go > Go to Folder from the menu bar, entering this path:

~Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/common

And in Linux-based operating systems, it’s in the following your local user directory:

~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common

This folder is divided into sub-folders, one for each game installed under Steam’s master game list. Most of them share the same name as their respective game, but some use alternate titles or abbreviations—for example, Age of Empires II HD Edition is shortened to “Age2HD.”

Remember, if you’ve set a custom game folder in Steam, your games will be installed elsewhere.

Step Two: Back Up the Games

To back up the games in the Steam common folder, just copy and paste them into another folder.

That’s it. Really, it’s that simple. Ideally, you want…

The Best Video Player for iPhone

A long time ago, Apple made it difficult for third-party developers to make a good media player for the iPhone. Thankfully, over the years they’ve loosened their restrictions, and now you can get a really solid video player with PlayerXtreme.

Platform: iPhone and iPad
Price: Free ($4.99 for Pro features)
Download Page

Features

  • Supports plenty of video and audio formats: 3gp, asf, avi, divx, dv, dat, flv, gxf, m2p, m2ts, m2v, m4v, mkv, moov, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpeg1, mpeg2, mpeg4, mpg, mpv, mt2s, mts, mxf, ogm, ogv, ps, qt, rm, rmvb, ts, vob, webm, wm, wmv
  • Simple, familiar folder-based interface that feels a lot like Finder, which also includes multiple ways to view and sort your library
  • Various ways to search through your files
  • Supports streaming over SMB, UPNP, and Wi-Fi
  • Download files to the app over your local network
  • Open files from directly from email attachments
  • Great control over the look of subtitles
  • Supports HD playback
  • Change playback speed
  • Hide folders that guest users of the app can’t see but you can
  • Support Chromecast and AirPlay (Pro version only)
  • Boost the volume of soft audio (Pro version only)
  • Passcode protection to lock away files (Pro version only)

Where It Excels

PlayerXtreme can handle just about any file format you throw at it, which means that it can easily become your main video player without much effort. It does just about everything you need a video player to do: you can create playlists, add your own subtitle files, play audio in the background, play files from a variety of sources, and customize playback in tons of ways. If you buy the Pro version of the app for $5, you can stream videos to your Apple TV or Chromecast.

Beyond being just a solid media player, PlayerXtreme also makes it easy to transfer files from your computer to your iOS device using a ton of different methods. PlayerXtreme will automatically search your local network for shared folders, where it can then download or stream any video files it finds. You can…

How to Add Trailers to Your Plex Movies for a True Movie Theater Experience

If you’re a fan of movie trailers, pre-rolls, and the build up of anticipation leading up to the cinematic experience, then we’ve got a treat for you: Plex Media Server makes it dead simple to recreate that theater magic right at home with both trailers from your own movie collection as well as those of upcoming releases.

You may already be aware that Plex supports trailers, but not many people know that you can leverage trailers into something much cooler than something you manually load up now and then. Tucked away in the settings of your Plex Media Server is a neat little bonus feature that can add a little cinema magic and authenticity to your movie night experience. With a little bit of prep work and a few small changes, Plex can do the following things:

  • Play trailers for movies from your personal movie collection (including trailers for all movies or just your unwatched films).
  • Play trailers for new and upcoming theater releases (Plex Pass premium users only).
  • Play trailers for new and upcoming Blu-ray releases (Plex Pass premium users only).
  • Play a custom video pre-roll (a video clip that will play right before the feature film starts—like the THX loto or an old-timey “Welcome to the movies!” clip).

By taking advantage of these features, you can get a gentle nudge to check out great movies already in your collection, or see what’s new in theaters and about to come out on Blu-ray. Plus it’ll feel like you’re actually at the movies.

How to Download Your Trailers and Pre-Roll

Of the four potential features we outlined above, there are only two that require you to do any prep work: trailers from your own movie collection and custom movie pre-rolls. Trailers for upcoming theater and Blu-ray releases are downloaded automatically for Plex Pass subscribers and, if that’s all your interested in, you can skip this entire section and jump down to “Enable Trailers, Previews, and Pre-Rolls”.

Here are the three ways you can add trailers to your movie collection (with their respective benefits and shortcomings):

  • Manually: Labor intensive, but you get the exact files you want and they are stored locally with the movie file in your media directory.
  • Third Party Media Managers: Automated, and stores trailers with movies. Requires additional software and setup.
  • Third Party Plugins: Automated, but stores trailers hidden away in the Plex database, not in your media directory.

If you’re a media purist who wants control over which trailers you have and where they are stored, you’re stuck with the extra work of the first two options. If you just want trailers and couldn’t care less where they’re stored, pick option three and let the plugin do the heavy lifting for you.

Adding Movie Trailers Manually

To manually set a trailer for a movie you simply need to download that trailer video from some source and then placing it in the folder where the movie is located, with the filename set to descriptivename-trailer.ext, where “descriptivename” is the a clear description of what the file is and .ext is simply whatever the existing extension of the movie is.

Let’s say we wanted to manually add a trailer to the 2012 cinematic masterpiece, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. We have the trailer in MP4 format, so we simply browse to the location of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in our collection, paste the downloaded trailer into the directory, and rename it to match the file name of the movie file, like so:

Simply repeat this process for as many movie trailers as you wish to add to your collection.

Adding Movie Trailers with a Media Manager

Manually adding a movie trailer here or there is one thing, but if you want to add trailers to hundreds of movies, that’ll get old really fast. If you want the trailers stored with your movie files but you don’t want to manually download and rename them all, you need to use third party tools like Ember Media Manager or Media Companion.

For our purposes today, we’ll be using Media Companion. The interface is cluttered to the point of being almost overwhelming, but if you know which switches to flip, it makes short work of downloading trailers for even a Library of Congress size collection.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed Media Companion, launch the application. First, make sure “Movies” is selected in the control bar (it should be selected by default) and then click on the “Folders” tab in the GUI, located towards the right hand side of the tab list, as seen below:

Next, look at the bottom of the Folders tab for the entry “Manually Add path to Movie Root Folder”. Put the full directory path to your movie collection here (e.g. C:\Media\Movies\, \\homeserver\movies\, or wherever your movies are located). Click “Add”.

Once you’ve added the directory, Media Companion will scan the folder and populate the file browser. Go to the file browser now by selecting the first tab “Main Browser”. You’ll see a list of movies on the left-hand side. Let’s download the trailer for a single movie now to demonstrate the process. Select a movie and right click on it.

In the right-click context menu, you have two tasks. First, head…

How to Control When macOS Updates Are Installed

Updates are necessary, but annoying. Which is why your Mac, by default, installs them automatically.

System updates protect your Mac from malware and other threats, and occasionally add new features. The same goes for software updates, so it’s important to keep all your apps up to date. But popups asking users whether they want to install updates have a way of being ignored, even when the user knows that updates are important. So automatic updates make sense for most people.

…But not all people. Some of you prefer having control over what is installed when. Happily, there’s a way to take control, and it’s in System Preferences.

Click the “App Store” button and you’ll see the automatic update settings right at the top of the window.

The first two options are about checking for and downloading updates—not installing them.

  • The top option, “Automatically check for updates,” controls whether your Mac regularly checks for new versions or not. There’s no good reason to turn this off: it’s important to know about updates when they’re ready.
  • The next option, “Download newly available updates in the background,” controls whether or not you need to tell the system to download updates. The only reason to disable this feature is the need to manage bandwidth usage. If you don’t have that need, it’s best to leave this enabled.

Again, neither of these options installs updates automatically: they just set whether the system should look for updates regularly, and whether the system should download those updates when available. If you check the above two options, and only those options,…

Popular Mac App Developers Issue Urgent Malware Warning

It’s been a rough week in Mac security. First, Checkpoint warned users of a Trojan spreading in Europe that was the first of its kind. And now, one of the most prominent video transcoding apps for Mac has a malware problem.

The developers of the transcoding software Handbrake have issued a statement that warns one of the mirror sites to download the software has been compromised by hackers. The post explains that anyone who has downloaded the software between May 2nd and 6th of this year has a 50/50 chance of being infected. But, it’s probably a good idea just to double check if you’ve downloaded it anytime recently.

According to yesterday’s alert, the installer file on the mirror…