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Testing your internet connection’s performance is even more important with millions of extra workers working from home. You don’t need any extra software—a web browser will do. But there are also a few things you can do to make sure you are getting the most accurate reading of your internet connection. Here’s what to do!

Get ready

Let’s turn to the PC. For best results, you’ll want to use a wired connection if at all possible; that way, you don’t have to worry about interference and performance fluctuations that can occur while you’re on Wi-Fi. If you have any other wired devices on your home network, plug your test computer directly into the modem so those don’t interfere. Again, we’re trying to learn how much bandwidth is coming directly into your home, before it begins getting divvied up among connected devices.


If you’re stuck using Wi-Fi—say, you have a MacBook Air or a tablet or some other device that doesn’t have an ethernet port—do what you can to minimize interference. Make sure your Wi-Fi router is away from other electronic devices like cordless phones, and temporarily disconnect any other devices from your Wi-Fi network—after all, you don’t want another computer on your network to download a gigabyte worth of software updates while you run your tests.

While you’re at it, double-check to make sure your computer isn’t downloading something in the background. Check the Task Manager on Windows (summoned by pressing control-alt-delete) or Activity Monitor on MacOS, and look for network statistics (it’s labelled “Network”on MacOS, “Networking” on Windows).

Close or quit all apps on your computer to keep apps from downloading software updates while you test your connection. Your bandwidth usage may not drop to zero and stay there, but you want it as close to zero as it’ll get. If your operating system is downloading updates, there isn’t much you can do aside from wait and test your connection later.

If you’re having any problems with your connection, now is a good idea to reset your modem and router. Switch them off and unplug them for a few moments, then plug them back in and switch them on.

Test your connection

Here’s what Bing shows you:

Mark Hachman / IDG

If you use Microsoft’s Bing search engine, you can get your results back from your speed test back in a flash.

Mark Hachman / IDG

You’re perfectly welcome to go elsewhere, too.  Ookla’s chúng tôi is the most common site to test your internet connection; all you need is a web browser with JavaScript turned on (it usually is unless you switched it off) and Adobe Flash installed. There are a couple of alternatives if you don’t have Flash installed (and don’t want it installed). There’s an HTML 5 version of Ookla’s, or you can use chúng tôi which also uses HTML 5.

Speed of Me is an HTML 5-based bandwidth graph that doesn’t rely on Adobe Flash.

Those aren’t your only options for testing your broadband connection; MegaPath also offers a speed test, as well as what it calls Speed Test Plus, which evaluates the quality of your connection in addition to its raw speed. Your ISP might also offer a speed test tool, though you may need to do a little poking around for it. And router manufacturers are increasingly including speed tests in their products’ firmware and/or the mobile apps they distribute with their products (although in that latter case, you’ll be using a wireless connection).

Don’t be surprised if testing on more than one service yields slightly different results. The amount of data each test uses, the latency to and from each server, and the always changing network conditions on the Internet will introduce some unavoidable variability. Time of day will as well; it’s no surprise that you’ll probably note higher speeds at midnight, say, when fewer people will be streaming. That variability is the reason that we run benchmark software multiple times when we test a laptop or CPU, to compute an average. Since the tests take a second or two to run, you can do the same.

Isolate the problem


Many router manufacturers include broadband speed-test utilities in the router’s firmware and/or in the mobile apps that ship alongside them.

Don’t be surprised if you’re not getting the top speed your ISP says it can deliver—almost no one does. But if your connection is significantly slower than what was promised, many different factors could be coming into play. There might be a problem with your equipment, or it could be an issue on your ISP’s end. Most ISPs maintain a tech-support page where you can go to see if they’re aware of any problems with their service. This link will take you to the location of AT&T’s DSL troubleshooter.

If you’ve jumped through all of those hoops, and you’re still have performance issues, it’s time to call your ISP’s tech-support line.

Updated on March 27 with additional details. Additional reporting by Mark Hachman.

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How To Speed Up A Home Network And Wi

We need more of that bandwidth to power Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming TV services, video calls on Zoom, laptops, smartphones and tablet Wi-Fi, video gaming, smart-home devices (doorbells, smart thermostats, lights), voice assistants like Alexa, and more.

US households own an average of 11 connected devices. 30 percent of people own five or more connected devices, according to Google’s Connected Consumer Survey.

If it’s just you living in your house or apartment, then you should be ok. But if you’re in a large family or group of sharers, that network speed is quickly going to fade.

If you see the buffering message or movies take forever to download, you have a speed or bandwidth problem.

We all need to speed up our home networks.

We often don’t think of having a “network’ at home, but that’s exactly what we have nowadays. We take the Internet connection from the router and try to spread that around the house as best we can.

Understanding that we have a home network is the first step to boosting speeds in our homes. Now we can set about making it faster and able to take the strain of so many demanding devices.

Here are our favorite tips for speeding up and optimizing a home network.

1. Your home network will only be as fast as your Internet connection

First, make sure that your broadband connection is as fast as you can get it.

Consider upgrading to cable or fiber connection. To help you, we have gathered the fastest broadband packages we can find, including Hyperoptic, Virgin and Vodafone.

Some of these promise 1Gbps speed (which usually works out at around 900Mbps). Check out the latest broadband deals.

Before you try anything, it’s worth running a speed test to see what you’re working with. We recommend 

2. Turn stuff off to get the best signal

Before we get into physically upgrading your home network, here are a few tips for improving your Wi-Fi signal or wired connection without having to buy any new kit.

If you really need as much bandwidth as you can get at a specific time—an important video meeting or downloading a movie for the whole family—try turning some things off.

First, eliminate Wi-Fi interference from devices such as microwaves, cordless phones, baby monitors and dimmer switches.

Next, switch off Wi-Fi devices that you aren’t actually using: phones and tablets might be using up data bandwidth in the background, updating apps or doing something else that can wait for a while. Those smart speakers can be turned off, too—as they sit there listening to your every utterance, waiting for you to say “Alexa” or “Hey Google”. Yes, they are always listening unless you turn off the microphone, or unplug the speaker.

Ask others in your home to stop hogging the bandwidth. This may not go down well, but if you simply must have all the bandwidth you can get your hands on, then asking Jonny to turn off Netflix, Jane to stop online gaming, and James to get off social media, might be required. Or get strict and install parental controls and scheduling times, which is possible with some routers and Powerline adapters.

Lastly, if you can, connect the essential device directly to the router via an Ethernet cable — or at least to a Powerline adapter (see later).

3. Get a faster router

Your router connects a modem to other devices to allow communication between them and the internet. This will be the first stress point in a busy smart home.

First, a quick explanation on modems and routers: A modem connects to the internet, while a router acts as a hub that distributes that connection to different devices in your home.

A modem is all you need if you need to hook up only one computer to the internet. If you want to connect multiple devices, you need a router. If you want to connect to the internet with Wi-Fi, you need a wireless router.

Internet providers (ISPs) often provide subscribers with a combination router-modem. You probably received a free router or combo modem/router from your provider. These are usually pretty decent, but they are unlikely to be from the best.

Having a separate modem and router makes future upgrades easier, so you can keep up with the latest WiFi technology. Router technology moves forward a lot faster than modem technology.

Even the best router can’t increase your Internet speed—the bandwidth provided by your ISP—but it will certainly boost connection performance.

A top-end router will give you better range and faster speeds thanks to the latest wireless technologies, plus sophisticated network management. Ask your ISP to send you a new one if yours is a few years old, but for real speed boosters take a look at the best Wi-Fi routers — often aimed at bandwidth-hungry gamers.

Upgrade your router to a faster version of Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi 5 is fine, but Wi-Fi 6 improves on it by offering new radio channels that provide more bandwidth. Wi-Fi 6 also improves a router’s ability to manage traffic between devices, and lets routers communicate with more devices at once.

Why you should upgrade to Wi-Fi 6/6E

Wi-Fi 6 is essentially a rebranding of the latest 802.11ax standard that supersedes 802.11ac, and we should all be happy that the industry is starting to give Wi-Fi standards more sensible and understandable names. Read our What is Wi-Fi 6? Feature for more details.

It’s hoped that Wi-Fi 6 will lead to a 4X improvement in throughput. An example of a WiFi 6 router is the Asus Innovaprise RT-AX3000 Dual Band WiFi Router.

Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E are backwards compatible, but performance is constrained to the slowest standard between the two.

For best results, look for at least an 802.11ac WiFi 5 wireless router (preferably get one that supports MU-MIMO) with at least three aerials. Multiple antennas reduce error and boost speed.

According to Tech Advisor lab testing, it doesn’t matter if these are inside or mounted outside the router – although the exterior aerials certainly look the business.

Older routers also have slower processors, which means they can take longer to pass on that data from the source.

Most new routers are “dual-band” so support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands.

What is the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands?

The older 2.4GHz band has a longer range but is slower and likely to be more crowded and susceptible to interference (for example from microwaves). 

The 5GHz band transmits data at faster speeds but doesn’t reach as far, as higher frequencies are worse at penetrating solid objects, such as walls and floors.

So use the 5GHz band if you can for the fastest speeds, but 2.4GHz is you need that signal to stretch further.

If you have a lot of people living with you, look for a tri-band router that has one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz channels to support more simultaneous users.

Also, try to get a router with more than one port—most come with Gigabit Ethernet ports but for the fastest speeds you can buy devices that support 2.5G and even 10G Ethernet, although few homes will have such speedy gadgets so Gigabit (1G) should be fine.

Wi-Fi 6E has a 6GHz wireless band, which has a high frequency that provides very high bandwidth, but can have trouble at long range.

4. Optimize your router

Other than upgrading your router, try rebooting it (turning it on and off again) every so often.

And check if it’s using the latest firmware update, which can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. Most firmware updates are fairly simple as they have a helpful how-to wizard to guide you through the steps—but if you’re struggling, contact your broadband provider for support.

5. Move your router

If your router is tucked away in a distant corner of the house (often to hide the ugly object from sight), then it’s going to have a harder time pushing its signal out to the places you need it most.

The best place for a router is in the middle of your home. If you can, get a telephone extension cable and relocate the router so it’s roughly in the centre of your home and as high off the floor as you can. This will give it the best chance of delivering strong, fast Wi-Fi to all areas of the home and avoid those black spots.

Also, place the router on a desk, table or shelf, and not on the floor, and, if possible, away from other electronic devices. Certainly never put it in a cupboard or behind the telly.

And if it is sat next to a window, half of the signal is pointed outside – maybe useful if you sit in the garden, but pretty useless inside the home.

This is probably our top tip for speeding up your Wi-Fi, but we’ve got a whole bunch of tips to optimize and speed up your router, so take a look at these, too.

And installing Powerline or Mesh (see below for more details) should mean you can leave your router tucked away.

6. Don’t crowd your router

Plants and water may absorb a 2.4GHz wireless signal, reducing its reach. And silver-coated mirrors can also degrade Wi-Fi, as they act like metal shields.

7. Find those Wi-Fi black spots

You can use a Wi-Fi heatmapping tool to measure the impact of distance, frequency changes and home structures on signal strength. Two tools that are great for this job are NetSpot for Mac and Ekahau for Windows.

Download a heatmapping app for your smartphone. Choose one from on the Apple App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android.

Walk around your home to see which areas lack Wi-Fi and which are the strongest. Then look at adding Wi-Fi devices such as Powerline adapters (explained later on).

8. Use a wired connection

If you can, link your computer or connected device to an Ethernet connection. Laptops can use an Ethernet adapter or docking station that features a Gigabit Ethernet port. Check out our roundups of best USB-C hubs and best USB-C laptop docks.

Or use a Powerline adapter; see below.

9. Use Powerline adapters to push data around the home

The best way to route data around your home would be to snake Ethernet cables around each room, but that’s not practical.

But what’s more practical than the power cables that are all through your house? You can use these as proxy Ethernet cables, with the simple creation of a Powerline network.

Fit one in the room with your router by plugging it into a nearby power socket. Then link it to the router with an Ethernet cable. Now take the other Powerline adapter to the room/s where you need fast access.

Plug that in, and then connect it to the smart TV, games console, laptop, Sky box, or whatever with another cable.

It’s that simple.

Some Powerline adapters can add a new Wi-Fi hotspot to the second room.

Powerline is a much more stable and strong connection than you’ll get with a feeble Wi-Fi extender, so these can quickly and cheaply boost Wi-Fi where you need it most.

Powerline Wi-Fi takes the strong signal from your router and brings it to a second or third room, while Wi-Fi extenders just push a fading signal a bit further.

Find out which we think are the best Powerline adapters.

10. Mesh Wi-Fi your house

Not all Powerline adapters have Wi-Fi, so consider setting up a “mesh network” instead. These are especially useful for speeding up a home network in larger properties.

Mesh WiFi creates a whole-home Wi-Fi system that should eliminate dead zones and provide uninterrupted, faster and more reliable WiFi throughout your home.

Traditional routers broadcast Wi-Fi from a single point, but mesh systems have multiple access points. One mesh unit links to the router or modem, and becomes the main hub. The other mesh units (called “nodes”) capture and rebroadcast the router’s signal. This gives you a single Wi-Fi network onto which your devices will seamlessly connect and disconnect in the background as you move around.

Like Powerlines, some products include parental controls and scheduling.

11. Clean up your PC or Mac

Look to software that can speed up your computer and make it run smoother.

Check out the best best PC cleaner software and best Mac cleaner software and optimisation utilities.

Tips To Use A Shared Internet Connection At Home

Let me start off by saying I share an internet connection via a wireless router with my family while waiting on our new home to be finished.  We always have issues where we have slow internet access due to certain family members being online at different times, and thanks to a certain family member getting a new digital camera, I have come up with a few tips to make sharing the internet more pleasant for all involved.

Tips to use a Shared Internet Connection at home

Tip 1: Everyone loves getting that shiny brand new digital camera and the first thing you do is start snapping away with relentless passion. The next step you are most likely to take is inserting that memory card from your camera into your computer and upload them to all of your favorite websites. The steps that most common users are unaware of to take are:

Before taking pictures on your new camera, check the resolution of your camera settings (refer to your camera manual) and set a size that best suits you.

For someone who is just going to take photos and upload them to share without any photo editing, try adjusting the settings to a lower resolution. Camera manufacturers generally by default set the resolution to a larger choice.

For someone who is going to edit their photos before uploading, choose a larger resolution that best suits you for editing. The larger resolutions make editing better as it is always best to work with a larger image and then scale them down after editing before you upload to share. This is also good if you plan to store the images on your computer for editing later on.

Sizing the images before uploading benefits both you and everyone else that may be on the internet in your home. If you check the site you are uploading to as well, chances are you will see a maximum image size that an image can be. Uploading a very large image, it is going to be re-sized once it is uploaded, so why not go ahead and re-size them anyways.

For Example: If you have 20 pictures you have taken at 4320×3240 and you’re trying to upload them to show off on Facebook, that’s almost 100 MB you’re trying to upload at once. Given that younger users maybe even uploading 5x’s that many at once if you might have purchased a camera for a child would be almost 500MB. Another point to make is if you are storing them on your computer, you may find space being taken up quickly.

If you’re a user who likes to play heavy computer games via the internet try picking times that other users on your network may not busy on the internet as well. Those games though awesome to play can be a serious internet resource hog at home.

For Example: If you are downloading a movie that is 700MB and you have your settings set to unlimited download speed, realize that this is taking away speed other users on your network can access the internet.

Tip 3: If you’re playing music from an online playlist, watching videos on YouTube, or doing them all at once.

While the ability to have an online playlist for music is pretty neat, I personally see no reason you don’t just play the music on your computer, be aware that a 300 song playlist being played does affect other users. I have found it proven true from playlists being played especially from sites such as MySpace.

Everyone loves YouTube videos. It’s a great way to share a video with everyone for almost anything you can video record. Try not to have ten open browser windows/tabs trying to load YouTube videos at once.

Tip 4: If you’re the administrator on your home network, keep your router updated.

Make sure you check for updates for your routers. Most have an automatic update but generally do not have this feature set as default.

Some routers have the ability to adjust settings for internet access such as media download. Adjusting these settings while not for every user can help in assuring less lag on all users on a home network.

Choosing the right internet connection from your internet provider and choosing the correct router are the major contributors to a pleasant internet as well.

How To Test Your Vpn Connection For Privacy Leaks

When you rely on a VPN, you certainly don’t want your private information slipping out, revealing details about who you are, where you are, and which sites you’re visiting. That’s exactly what VPN leaks are. They either come from your browser or your DNS connection. In either case, bad configuration can completely subvert your VPN connection.

You should always test your VPN to make sure that nothing is leaking. It doesn’t take long, and there are several places online to check to be sure that you’re not revealing anything about yourself.

1. DNS Leak Test

The first and most obvious place to test your VPN is DNSLeakTest. It’s a site that’s designed to ensure that your DNS connection isn’t connecting to any servers outside your VPN.

DNS leaks are some of the most common VPN leaks. In a DNS leak your primary connection goes through your VPN like it should, but your DNS still goes to your ISP’s servers. Because your DNS reveals where you’re going and where you’re located, DNS leaks effectively render your VPN useless.

Open your browser and go to chúng tôi When you first arrive, you’ll see a message telling you where you’re located and showing you a map. If that location isn’t where your VPN server is located, something is definitely wrong. Hopefully, it is your server location, and you can keep going.

There are two buttons on that main screen, too: one for the standard test and another for the extended version. Run the extended test.

As the test runs through, it will try to find DNS servers that you’re using. When it completes, you’ll see the servers listed. In a successful test, you’ll only see your VPN’s DNS server.

2. DoILeak

Next, you can try Do I Leak. This one is an automated script that tests for both DNS leaks and browser leaks. Browser leaks are settings configured in your web browser that reveal information about you and your computer. They’re usually related to multimedia features, and most can be disabled without causing many issues.

The test will run through and probe multiple potential leak sources. After it’s done, it’ll print out the results of your tests in a convenient table. Each row will show you the results of a different test. Some things are more important than others.

3. BrowserLeaks

Take a look at the basic IP address test first. It’ll give you location and DNS information. From there, you can take a look around. Java, Flash, WebRTC, WebGL, and Canvas Fingerprinting are probably the most important ones for you to look at.

BrowserLeaks takes things a step further by providing information on how to remedy the leaks that it finds at the bottom of each test page. Be sure to check them out if something turns up.

4. Torrents

Finally, if you use your VPN for torrents, you want to make sure that you’re constantly protected. None of these tests specifically target torrenting. There is a great tool for torrents that actually interacts with your torrent client using a magnet link.

The tool is called ipMagnet, and it provides you with a magnet link that you can paste into your torrent client. Allow it to run for a while. It’ll update automatically in your browser to reflect what’s happening in your client. You should only see your VPN IP listed in the ipMagnet results table.

By using these valuable tools and tests, you can ensure that your VPN is working as intended, and your information is secure. It’s not a great situation that you need to run tests to verify security of your VPN connection, but that is the case. Fortunately, once you have everything configured and secured, you won’t need to test or check things as often. They usually stay secure.

Nick Congleton

Nick is a freelance tech. journalist, Linux enthusiast, and a long time PC gamer.

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How To Install A WordPress Test Site On Your Computer

One of the best ways to test a new website you’re developing is by installing a WordPress test site on your computer. Test it locally, make sure everything looks and works good, and then upload it to the live site all at once.

When it comes to WordPress, there are several things to consider when running locally. You’ll need a working WordPress installation, an available SQL database, and a local web server for everything to run on.

Table of Contents

You can set up all three on your local computer without too much effort, using the process outlined below.

Install a Local Web Server

The first thing you’ll need to run a local WordPress test site is a web server running on your local computer. Running a web server involves ensuring the right ports are running, PHP and Perl programming languages libraries are installed, and that the web server software can properly serve pages to your browser.

Similar to setting up an FTP server or a local Minecraft server, there are Windows applications available to run a local web server as well. One of the most popular of those is XAMPP.

To get started, just download and install the XAMPP software to your desktop or laptop PC.

1. Run the installer, make sure all components are enabled, and select Next to continue.

2. Choose a location for your web server. The best option is to choose the default folder at the root of the C: drive where permissions will be set properly. Select Next to continue.

3. Select your languages and select Next. Keep Bitnami enabled, which will help you with installing WordPress after installation. Select Next. Finally, select Next one more time to install XAMPP.

Installation will take about five minutes. Once finished, the XAMPP control panel will open. Close it for now.

Install WordPress on Your XAMPP Web Server

Once it launches, select Start to the right of Apache and MySQL to launch the web server and the SQL database needed for your WordPress test site to work properly. 

You can see the web server’s file structure by looking at the location where you’ve installed XAMPP. In this example, XAMPP is installed in C:XAMPP. This is where all of your web files will go that’ll be viewable from your web browser.

XAMPP comes with Bitnami, which lets you quickly install WordPress on top of your current XAMPP web server. 

1. Open a web browser and type localhost in the URL field. Press Enter. When the XAMPP dashboard comes up, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you’ll see the Bitnami section.

2. Select the WordPress icon at the bottom of the page. On the Bitnami site, scroll down to the WordPress section and select the Windows link to download WordPress.

4. On the next step, configure the Admin login, name, email address, and password that you want to use with your WordPress test site.

5. Select Next when you’re done, type a name for the WordPress test site and select Next. On the next page, you can configure email support so your test site can send notifications to your email. This is optional.

6. You can deselect Launch wordpress in the cloud with Bitnami since this will just be a local WordPress test site on your computer. Select Next to continue. Select Next again to initiate the installation. Once the installation is done, select Finish to launch the Bitnami WordPress module.

This will launch your default web browser with your new local WordPress test site loaded. The link will include your localhost IP address (your computer’s IP address), with /wordpress/ at the end, where your site is stored.

The path to these WordPress files is C:XAMPPappswordpresshtdocs

Now you’re ready to configure your WordPress test site and start using it.

Using Your WordPress Test Site

There are a few things you can do with this new local WordPress test site. 

Import a Copy of Your Live Site

You could export your actual online website and load it into this installation for testing.

To do this, you’ll need to backup your WordPress site and WordPress database. This will provide you with a zipped folder with all of the WordPress files, as well as a *.gz file which is the backup of your mySQL database.

You can copy the backed up WordPress files directly into your local WordPress folders. You can also import your mySQL *.gz database file into your local mySQL database using phpMyAdmin.

2. Select the Import tab, and select the Choose File button under File to import.

3. Browse to your backed up *.gz database file and phpMyAdmin will import all posts and WordPress settings into your test WordPress site.

Once you’re done and you reopen the local WordPress installation using the same link as above, you’ll see your original online site now running on your local computer.

Other Things You Can Do With a WordPress Test Site

In addition to running your live site on your local machine, there are a lot of other useful things you can do with your local WordPress test site.

Install and test any WordPress theme

Test making code changes to your WordPress site

Install and test WordPress plugin configurations

Play around with WordPress configurations to see how it changes your site

How To Add Widgets To Your Iphone Home Screen

Since the iPhone was first released to the world in 2007, its home screen has seen few changes. Sure, there have been redesigned icons and new apps along the way. However, all of that changes with the release of iOS 14, as the icon-only grid is no more. With iOS 14, widgets are reborn in a more dynamic and much more useful way. The best part is that they can be added anywhere on your home screen and in three different sizes. Here’s how to get started with widgets on your iPhone.

How to Add Widgets

In just a short amount of time, widgets have already proven incredibly useful for iOS 14 users. Let’s start with the basics of adding widgets to your iPhone screen:

1. Touch and hold an empty area on your home screen until your apps start jiggling.

2. When you see the “+” sign in the upper-left corner appear, press on it to bring up a menu of existing widgets already installed on your phone.

3. Tap on the widget you want to add. When you select the widget, you can scroll right to see all of the available sizes. The larger the widget, the more info it shows.

4. When you make your choice in size, tap on “Add Widget” at the bottom of the screen.

5. The widget will be added to your home screen. You now have an opportunity to move the widget around on your primary home screen or another page of apps.

How to Create a Widget Stack

Along with individual widgets, iOS 14 also allows you to create a “widget stack” on your home screen. These are exactly what they sound like with a group of scrollable widgets stacked one on top of another.

To create a widget stack:

1. Follow the steps above to create at least two widgets on your home screen. You can stack as many as ten widgets in total.

2. Long press the widget until you can move it around the screen, then place it on top of another widget. Note that in order for this to work properly, widgets must be the same size and shape to stack.

3. Once stacked, swipe up and down on the available widgets to see them all.

How to Create a Smart Stack.

Similar to widget stacks, Apple has included a feature called “Smart Stacks” that are automatically chosen based on your location, apps you frequently use or time of day. iOS 14 already comes with a pre-built Smart Stack so your work will look very similar to that when finished.

To create a smart stack:

1. Touch any area of your home screen until the apps jiggle and then hit the “+” button in the upper right corner.

2. Scroll down until you see the widget labeled “Smart Stack”.

4. After the smart stack is added to your home screen, you can re-order or remove apps you do not want. Just long press on the stack anywhere and select “Edit Stack”. You can also toggle “Smart Rotate” on to have the app automatically adjust according to time of day or when the iPhone believes you will want to see a specific app.

How to Remove Widgets

Removing widgets could not be any easier. Enter jiggle mode by keeping your finger on the widget or stack you want to remove, then tap on “Remove Widget.” It’s that simple. If you want to re-add the widget or delete it accidentally, just follow the steps above.

How to Add “Today View” Widgets

“Today View” widgets have been around since iOS 10, and looking back, was the first glimpse at what iOS 14 would bring to the table. To locate Today View, swipe left on your lock screen where you will see several widgets installed by default. To personalize this space:

1. Scroll to the bottom of your Today View screen and tap edit. If the apps start jiggling, you are ready for the next step.

2. Start adding widgets by pressing the “+” button in the upper-left corner.

3. Scroll down to select a widget and then choose from any of the three default sizes. Tap “Add Widget,” and it will be added to the screen.

4. To remove or re-add previous widgets to the lock screen, scroll down while the apps are jiggling. The last set of widgets should be in a dark gray box labeled “customize,” Tap on it.

What You Can Do with Widgets

Widgets on iOS 14 are still in their infancy, but there is no question that app developers are finding new ways to personalize them every day. Apps like Widgeridoo, WidgetWizard and Widgetsmith will help create personalized widgets that can include any number of informational pieces including calendars, steps, time of day, weather and more. There are widgets for weather, email, news, Reddit sports and so much more.

There is no question that with iOS 14, the home screen is exciting again. Do also check out some of the useful widgets for the control center or the best widgets you can add to your homescreen.

David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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