How to choose the best Linux distro for your laptop

Hearthstone

Note: Our best Linux distro for laptops feature has been fully updated. This article was first published in January 2011.

The smart notebook user shouldn’t overlook Linux. The question is: which distro should you pick to run on your laptop?

Experienced users may recommend Arch Linux for fast performance, Debian for stability and Ubuntu for its collection of user-friendly, pre-installed apps.

If that’s not enough choice to make your head spin, Slackware is also very popular amongst people with older laptops, although it’s only really suitable for advanced users.

In this article, we’ll look at different usage scenarios that should be familiar to users of portable devices and explore Linux distros that are suitable for these particular cases.

To make everybody’s life easier, we’ve limited this guide to pre-packaged Live Linux distros. We’ll also stick to Live installations as much as possible throughout this tour. This is important if you’re working on a corporate laptop and can’t install software, as you can test drive an OS without special permissions.

Hearthstone is available via PlayOnLinux

Linux for gaming

Linux is a wonderful platform for gaming, whatever your preferred genre. There’s plenty to choose from, including real-time and turn-based strategy titles, puzzle games and first-person shooters.

To get started in the world of Linux gaming, one of the best Live DVDs has to be Fedora Games Spin, which comes as a downloadable 3.8GB ISO you can burn to disc or copy to USB. Log in as the Live system user (no password) and use the Application Finder to browse over 100 games spread across genres as diverse as arcade, adventure and sport.

The concept behind the distribution is boot and play – just pop a USB drive, CD or DVD into your laptop, the distro will boot and you can start gaming. This approach is particularly useful if your laptop has been configured by an overzealous system administrator.

If you copy the Live install to a USB stick, you can then install extras such as Wine and other games through the Yum Extender app, which you’ll find under the Administration menu.

Steam and ‘Play on Linux’ (a gaming-friendly frontend for Wine) can also be installed via the RPM Fusion repository – install both free and non-free repos – and the PlayOnLinux RPM repository respectively. Once installed, just reload Yum, let it update and the packages will be accessible.

There are other Live-friendly gaming distros to try too. Live Linux Gamers is getting a little long in the tooth (the latest version was released in 2011) but is available as a Lite edition that fits on a CD if you’re out of DVDs.

Steam for Linux is an official gaming client created by Valve, the people behind Counter Strike and Team Fortress. The client supports hundreds of games such as the Civilization series as well as the original Half Life shooter.

To get started, run a regular version of Linux such as Ubuntu, then follow the instructions on Valve’s website to install the client. There is a separate SteamOS based on Debian Linux but this can’t be booted into a Live environment, rather it must be installed to a hard drive.

Finally, there’s the Ubuntu-based Ultimate Gamers Edition – ignore the Gamer link, which points to an outdated release. Instead, choose the latest build (5.4). Scroll down and you’ll find a link to the current Gamer release. This also includes Wine and the PlayOnLinux app for playing Windows games on Linux.

If Windows games are what you’re after, you’ll also need to download Cedega and CrossOver Games. These tools aren’t included in any distribution, but for maximum compatibility it’s best to download the latest releases from the developers’ original websites.

  • Get a Chromebook with a Linux distro pre-installed

Making music and movies

When it comes to editing movies you’ve captured while on holiday, there’s no time like the present. You’ll find it easier to edit footage when things are fresh in your mind.

To transform your hotel room into a movie editing suite, you should grab a copy of Ubuntu Studio for audio, video and graphic enthusiasts. It can be run as a Live image for those who want to use all its default apps without having to physically install it, and you’ll find versions based on both the latest LTS (17.04) and regular (16.10) releases.

If you’re looking for a pro audio solution, then check out KXStudio, which also offers a Live DVD as well as a fully installable solution. It’s compatible with both Ubuntu and Debian repositories, and comes with lots of applications and plugins aimed at professional audio production.

Other distros worth examining include Music GNU+Linux and VortexBox – the latter will appeal to those looking for a quick and easy way to rip music and run a spare PC as a jukebox or audio server. Currently VortexBox can be downloaded and booted from USB only.

If you want to turn your laptop into a full-blown media centre (with server capabilities), then try LibreElec, an OS designed to run Kodi. This provides an easy way to view and share movies, music and photos.

OpenSUSE is professional-looking and boasts some quality office software including KMail

Office work

Linux is ideal for working on the go, when you need a distro that’s stable, secure and works well with the apps you want to use.

With this in mind, you needn’t look any further than Ubuntu, Fedora or openSUSE.

OpenSUSE in particular looks professional, and is well integrated with the LibreOffice suite and Kontact personal information manager, which includes the KMail email client. It’s available in a variety of Live CD flavours, depending on your choice of desktop environment – the default is KDE.

The latest version of openSUSE ‘Tumbleweed’ follows a rolling release model, meaning stable updates are released as they become available. You can use the installation and administration program YaST (‘Yet another Setup Tool’) to add more software if necessary.

      

The best fibre broadband deals in June 2017

Thanks to the likes of Virgin Media, BT Infinity and Sky Fibre, you can now wave goodbye to the nightmare of sluggish web browsing, interrupted catch-up TV and slow downloads. Faster fibre broadband is now more affordable and widely available than ever before – and we’ve found the cheapest deals this side of Black Friday.

If you thought that the best broadband deals were reserved for slower ADSL internet connections, think again. Fibre optic broadband is a bloody battleground for the major providers, which means frequently fantastic prices for the consumer. You can pick up unlimited fibre broadband from Plusnet for as little as £24 per month.

So check out our fibre broadband deals comparison chart above to pick out the package that suits you – whether you’re after a fibre plan that includes TV channels, a flexible phone offer or simply fibre broadband internet on its own. Below we explain everything you need to know about fibre optic broadband – including fibre broadband availability – followed by more information on providers including BT Infinity, Sky, Virgin Media, EE and more.

See also: Broadband deals | BT broadband deals | Sky broadband deals | Virgin broadband deals

What is fibre broadband?

We don’t want to get too technical here – the main thing to take from this is that fibre broadband is far faster than traditional ADSL internet. It uses fibre optic cables to send and receive data, resulting in a speedier, more reliable internet connection.

So instead of being stuck with maximum standard speeds of 17Mb, you can at least double that to 38Mb for download speeds of around 4.75MB per second. As well as facilitating ridiculously fast downloading, the extra speed is ideal for large households where lots of people are using the internet at once. If you stream 4K films and TV or play a lot of online games, fibre broadband is a must to ensure the highest-quality user experience.

All of the most popular providers – including Sky, TalkTalk, EE, Plusnet, Vodafone, John Lewis and the Post Office – offer a 38Mb fibre broadband plan, while BT goes one better. Its BT infinity fibre broadband starts at speeds of up to 52Mb (6.5MB per second).

If you’re wondering why we haven’t mentioned Virgin Media broadband yet, it’s because its super fast service is slightly different again. It uses coaxial cable instead of copper fibre optics to connect your home to the exchange. That basically means even faster internet speeds for you – between 100Mb (12.5 MB per second) and an incredible 300Mb (37.5 MB per second).

Fibre broadband checker – is fibre broadband available in my area?

There’s one extremely easy way to discover whether fibre broadband is available where you live – head to the top of this page, type in your postcode, hit ‘compare deals’, and if any results come back then you can indeed get fibre. Fibre and cable broadband is currently available in around 90% of the UK’s homes, so the odds are in your favour.

best broadband deals

What contract length should I go for?

Standard 12 month contracts used to be the norm, but more and more providers now set their minimum contracts at 18 months. There are two ways to look at this – on one hand, getting a longer contract some times also means that you are guaranteed the initial price for a longer period. So no nasty surprises half way through the term.

But at the same time, you obviously have less flexibility, being tied in for half a year longer. If you hate the idea of such a long contract, then head back up to our comparison chart and use the filter to see only year-long deals. There will be fewer to choose from, but there are still excellent prices to be had.

best broadband deals

Will I have to pay anything upfront for fibre broadband?

Most providers ask for at least something when you take up their fibre broadband deal. This will usually be an activation fee, which covers the cost of getting you hooked up. There may also be an additional delivery charge to pay to get hold of your new router. In most cases, expect to pay between £10 and £60, although the likes of TalkTalk and Plusnet often run offers where they scrap all upfront costs.

best broadband deals

Do I have to pay more to have a phone line?

Nope, all of the prices in our comparison chart include the land line. Providers used to specify how much you were paying for the phone line and internet separately, but now it’s standard practice just to bundle them up together and give one single price. We welcome this change, as it makes the whole buying process a lot more straightforward. Having the phone line allows you to make calls if you still use a landline, and the basic price sometimes includes free or cheap weekend calls. If you want to add any other usage packages, you can use our comparison table to find more options, like evening, anytime and international calls.

BT Infinity broadband

For most people, BT will still be the first name that springs to mind when they think of broadband. Infinity is the of its fibre broadband packages – choose from the following options:

BT Unlimited Infinity 1 | Up to 52Mb
The maximum 52Mb download speed (around 6.5 MB per second) from BT Infinity 1 is faster than most other providers’ entry-level fibre broadband. You also get the rangey BT Smart Hub router, instead of BT’s standard Home Hub.

BT Unlimited Infinity 2 | Up to 76Mb
Fast enough to keep up with downloading and streaming from multiple members of your household. It doesn’t come cheap, but does include 500GB of cloud storage, the Smart Hub and usually a very generous prepaid Reward Card to spend as you would a Mastercard.

View all BT Infinity broadband deals

Sky fibre broadband

On the face of it, the TV giant’s basic Sky Fibre package looks like an amazing price. But beware – you’re limited to only 25GB of data every month. See what else is on offer:

Sky Fibre | Up to 38Mb | 25GB data limit
Sky Fibre offers a very competitive price point if you want fast broadband but don’t do a great deal of downloading or streaming. You’re limited to 25GB per month, but that’s plenty for dealing with emails and generally browsing the web.

Sky Fibre Unlimited | Up to 38Mb
Costing around a tenner more than Sky Fibre, Unlimited gives you exactly what it says on the tin – there are no restrictions at all on how much you use the internet with this plan.

Sky Fibre Max | Up to 76Mb
Sky’s premium broadband plan throws in some extras to justify the increased price. The 76Mb (around 9.5MB per second) maximum speed matches most of the fastest fibre plans around (Virgin excepted) and you get a Sky Q Hub router for free.

View all Sky Fibre broadband deals

Virgin Media fibre optics broadband

Virgin Media cable broadband offers unparalleled internet speeds – no other provider can touch even its entry-level package. You can choose from:

VIVID 100 fibre broadband | Up to 100Mb
You’ll need to pay over £30 to get Virgin’s cheapest broadband package. But you’re unlikely to feel too shortchanged with the connection speeds. The 100Mb claimed speed translates to 12.5 MB per second.

VIVID 200 fibre broadband | Up to 200Mb
As Virgin proudly points out, VIVID 200 more than doubles the maximum speed supplied by BT Infinity and Sky Fibre’s fastest speed. The ultrafast 200Mb speed is a good fit if you stream 4K films and if there are 10 or so devices connected at once.

VIVID 200 Gamer | Up to 200Mb
There’s more than just the ‘boss-level broadband’ tagline that should appeal to gamers about this fibre package. Pay an extra fiver from the standard VIVID 200 to bag up to 20Mb upload speeds – handy for online gaming. And you don’t have to worry about online traffic management that can slow you down at peak times.

VIVID 300 fibre broadband | Up to 200Mb
Home broadband speeds in the UK don’t come faster than those provided by Virgin’s VIVID 300 fibre plan. It costs almost £50 a month, but you get speeds of up to 37.5MB per second. Extremely rapid.

View all Virgin Media fibre broadband deals

TalkTalk fibre broadband

TalkTalk frequently manages to come up with brilliant, cheap deals on fibre broadband. The added bonus…it doesn’t charge an activation fee when you sign up:

TalkTalk Faster Fibre | Up to 38Mb
The price for TalkTalk’s entry-level fibre broadband includes your phone line and set-up. Unlike most other providers, you can choose your contract length: 12, 18 or 24 months.

TalkTalk Faster Fibre Broadband with Speed Boost | Up to 76Mb
TalkTalk’s superfast broadband offering is one of the most competitively priced, and the absence of a set-up fee only sweetens the deal. This is the TalkTalk plan to go for if you have a multitude of data-hungry folk in your home.

View all TalkTalk fibre broadband deals

Plusnet fibre broadband

Although Plusnet is owned by BT, it is continuing to operate in its own right and tends to be more affordable than its parent company. It has two broadband options:

Plusnet Unlimited Fibre | Up to 38Mb
Choose between a 12 and 18 month contract for Plusnet Unlimited Fibre, and get unlimited usage, 365 days a year support and a Plusnet Hub One router delivered to your door for free.

Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra | Up to 76Mb
The same, only much faster! Take the Unlimited Fibre package above and double the download speed.

View all Plusnet fibre broadband deals

EE fibre broadband

A name more commonly associated with mobile phones, the UK’s fastest 4G network is trying to make EE your one stop shop for landline broadband too. You can choose from:

EE Fibre Broadband | Up to 38Mb
EE fibre broadband prices are quite attractive, but even more so if you’re already a phone customer. Then, you’ll be granted an extra 5GB of monthly data allowance on your mobile contract.

EE Fibre Plus Broadband | Up to 76Mb
It will cost you an extra few pounds to crank up the speed to EE’s fastest Fibre Plus Broadband. Like the entry-level package, you get a free subscription to Norton antivirus and the option to upgrade to EE TV.

View all EE fibre broadband deals

Vodafone fibre broadband

Another name more familiar in the mobile phone world, name more commonly associated with mobile phones, but there are excellent prices to be had for existing Vodafone customers:

Vodafone Unlimited Fibre 38 | Up to 38Mb
You might find that Vodafone’s prices are a little on the high side. But don’t let that put you off if you’re already a Vodafone mobile customer – you’ll get £3 knocked off your monthly tariff. And there’s only a pound to pay upfront.

Vodafone Unlimited Fibre 76 | Up to 76Mb
Faster broadband, but the same £3-off perk if you’re already on Vodafone. That makes Vodafone a very enticing option if you want 76Mb and are already committed to the red network.

View all Vodafone fibre broadband deals

SSE fibre broadband

Already one of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies, SSE is now offering cheap prices on fibre broadband. As you might expect, the prices get good if you use SSE as your energy supplier.

SSE Superfast Fibre Broadband | Up to 38Mb
SSE doesn’t have a 72Mb option, so you’ll have to go elsewhere. But the 4.75MB per second broadband speed will still be ample for most small households and deliver seamless surfing and streaming. Existing SSE energy customers get an automatic £25 credit on their next bill and there’s a 25% saving to be made on an additional landline phone package.

View SSE Superfast Fibre Broadband

      

Google wants to make your job search easier

Google has powered up its search engine to show detailed information about vacant job positions, so that those hunting for employment will be able to see what’s on offer from sources drawn from across the web.

As Google explains, this is the next step in its Google for Jobs initiative that uses machine learning to provide smarter job recommendations and search facilities.

And starting from today in the US, those entering search queries related to job hunting on Google’s main page will receive in-depth results from a multitude of sources which include heavyweights such as LinkedIn, Monster, Glassdoor and Facebook.

This new facility will be active on both desktop and mobile, and will provide a host of extra information in addition to basic stuff such as the job description, including elements like reviews of the employer in question, and details pertaining to the length of the commute (assuming the user has given Google access to their location and so forth).

Filters for the win

The idea is to provide powerful job search functionality right at the user’s fingertips on the main Google search engine, and the company says it plans to add more filters to help job seekers whittle down potential positions in the future, not to mention additional details on available positions.

For added convenience going forward with any job hunt, it will also be possible to turn on alerts for a particular job search, with Google sending a notification via email when relevant new positions are advertised online.

We should hopefully see this functionality introduced in the UK (and other territories) before too long, but for now, as mentioned, this is a US-only proposition.

      

Download of the day: Raft

Raft sets you adrift in an endless ocean, where your life depends on your ability to scavenge flotsam and jetsam, hunt for food, and fend off predators.

As you see items floating past, your first instinct might to be to leap in and grab them, but although you might succeed, you’re also likely to end up as supper for a shark.

It’s a much better idea to use the only tool in your starting inventory – a hook – to grab debris and pull it towards yourself. Once you’ve gathered enough materials you can craft essential tools like a fishing rod to keep yourself fed, a water purifier to turn brine into something drinkable, and a hammer so you can begin extending your raft.

Scurvy and splinters

Once you’ve got to essentials sorted, you can begin adding seed troughs, stoves, and even furniture to bring some home comforts to the high seas. You’ll have to suspend your disbelief a little while harvesting beetroots and tucking into jacket potatoes aboard your waterborne homestead, but it’s great fun.

The game currently has no goal beyond building a palatial raft, but the developers are hard at work and hope to release an updated version on Steam soon so keep an eye on the horizon.

To embark on your voyage, download the ZIP archive (the links are partway down the page), extract it, and double-click the EXE file.

Download here: Raft

      

Microsoft’s Dictate app puts dictation directly inside Office

Anyone with an interview to transcribe, a long essay to write, a speech to caption, or perhaps some kind of typing disability has likely wished at some point that they could just turn their words, or someone else’s, into text in an instant.

Voice recognition software like Nuance’s Dragon programs do have the power to weave speech into text, albeit often for a steep price, but now Microsoft is bringing its own app to the table, Dictate.

More an add-on than a standalone application, Dictate allows users to add text to Word, PowerPoint, and even Outlook just by speaking into a microphone —
ditching the need for any extra third-party software.

The app comes part of Microsoft Garage, the company’s studio for experimental applications that include other projects like the one-handed Word Flow keyboard, the news-aggregating News Pro, and even a facial recognition AI that identified dog breeds.

In addition to supporting spoken word in over 20 languages, Dictate can also provide real-time translation for what you say into one of 60 different languages. English speakers can also enjoy special commands like “new line” or “delete” for extra control over what goes from their mouth onto the screen.

Dictate is available now for download online for both 32 and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office for Windows 8.1 or later. Just be sure to keep an eye on what Dictate’s accuracy — “dictated, but not read” isn’t as valid an excuse for typing errors as it was back in the 20th century.

      

Cyber Monday 2017: everything you need to know about this year’s deals

Cyber Monday is the end of the biggest shopping weekend of the year, which starts with the Thanksgiving holiday and then Black Friday: after celebrating with their families, shoppers hit the stores in droves to pick up any bargains they can get their hands on.

The term “Cyber Monday” was coined more than a decade ago to encourage people to do more shopping online – web retailers offered more discounts, shoppers picked up more stuff, and the cycle has continued to get where we are today.

Last year was another record-breaker, according to the stats: the $3.45 billion that users spent online on Cyber Monday 2016 made it the biggest day in US ecommerce history, according to Adobe Digital Insights.

In the UK a quarter of all consumers were planning to pick up a discounted deal on Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year, and that strong interest shows no signs of abating just yet. Brace yourself for another busy day of online shopping this year.

When is Cyber Monday 2017?

First there’s Thanksgiving on the Thursday, then there’s Black Friday on the Friday, and then there’s Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday 2017 will be on November 27.

Unlike Black Friday, where the focus is traditionally on high street stores as well as online retailers, Cyber Monday is more about shopping on the web. In fact the marketing term was first dreamt up as a way to get people to buy more of their stuff online, at a time when web shopping wasn’t as familiar and as straightforward as it is now.

The weekend as a whole is regarded as the last few days of big discounts before Christmas, and so people are often tempted to splurge the cash on gifts for themselves or their friends and family – total spending was reportedly close to £6 billion last year in the UK over Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

It’s really all about the timing with Cyber Monday. Shoppers are either back at work after the Thanksgiving break or enjoying an extended holiday, and with so many good discounts on offer, that leads to a lot of browsing and clicking.

If you ever need to work out when Cyber Monday falls, Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November in the US. While the holiday isn’t widely celebrated in the UK, the associated shopping days are now usually carried over the Atlantic.

Why Cyber Monday matters

Cyber Monday drives strong sales for retailers, kickstarting the holiday shopping season, and gives consumers access to some very decent bargains – it’s a win-win for both sides, so it’s no surprise that Cyber Monday continues to grow in popularity.

According to Dom Joseph, CEO of ad tech firm Captify: “What works very much in Cyber Monday’s favour is that it is the last significant retail ‘day’ before Christmas, in which people have the opportunity to pick up a heavily discounted bargain.”

It’s hard to ignore the influence of Black Friday as well – without Black Friday there would probably be no Cyber Monday. If you’ve missed out on the weekend sales or not had time to get online, then you’ve got Cyber Monday to fall back on, and to a large extent it’s about shoppers taking up the last opportunity to land a deal before December starts.

As the fame of Cyber Monday has grown and grown, a lot of consumers are waiting for the day (and Black Friday) to come around to spend their cash. That just makes the battle between the retailers even more competitive, which should lead to more attractive deals for anyone with some buying to do.

Shopping on Cyber Monday 2017

All the usual benefits of online shopping apply to shopping on Cyber Monday 2017: you can do it from the comfort of your own home, you can compare dozens of products and prices in seconds, and you can purchase your goods almost instantly.

The only downside is you don’t get your gadgets or other gifts immediately – but with delivery times getting faster and faster and the risk of wasting your time queueing on the high street, many people would consider that trade-off worth it.

While a few Cyber Monday deals have some kind of time restriction on them, a lot are going to be running all day, stats from previous years show. You don’t necessarily have to sneak out of the office to get your order in.

According to the experts, Cyber Monday also sees a broader range of deals across each individual retailer, so it’s less about one-off discounts and more about lower prices across the board. That said, some stores will follow-up Black Friday discounts with further reductions on Cyber Monday if they still need to shift some stock.

The best Cyber Monday deals from last year

For the last few years we’ve been scouring the web on your behalf for the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, helping you nab the best tech at the best prices. These were some of the highlights from Cyber Monday 2016.

Sony PS4 Pro

The PS4 Pro had only just arrived on the scene last year but retailers were still happy to knock a serious chunk of change off it – Amazon was knocking $60 off the console in the US, for example, one of several deals around.

Xbox One S

Sony’s console wasn’t the only one that online stores were happy to flog for a discount, because the Xbox One S featured in many a deal too: on Amazon you could pick up an Xbox One S and two games for less than £200.

Dell discounts

Dell was definitely getting into the spirit of Cyber Monday 2016, knocking a significant 12% off all of its laptops and computers (including one of our favorites) with the code SAVE12. Look for more of the same this year.

Gaming laptops

Speaking of laptop deals, Cyber Monday shoppers could get a bumper £200 knocked off the cost of the ASUS GL552VW 15.6 inch Gaming Laptop, down from £999.99 to just £799.99 during the course of the day.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Retailers weren’t leaving Apple products out of their Cyber Monday 2017 discounts – certain models were being knocked down on contracts so there was no up front cost to pay, just the monthly contract price.

What to expect from Cyber Monday 2017

With each passing year, online retailers get savvier when it comes to planning their Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, but shoppers are getting more discerning too – as we’ve said, it’s already a win-win deal for both sides, but both sides are still continuing to try and get the best deals possible.

You can expect deals to be in place well before November as retailers and manufacturers get their ducks in a row, but they won’t go live until the actual day of Cyber Monday. That said, some deals will carry over from Black Friday, and some might go live on Sunday, so it’s a question of checking in as often as you can for discounts.

In recent years we’ve seen a pattern of sales and discounts continuing across the whole of December, so you can think of Cyber Monday as a starting gun for the Christmas sales – you don’t necessarily have to panic if you miss out on Cyber Monday itself.

Sales were up 12.1% on Cyber Monday 2016 compared with the year before, IBM analysts say, and we’re expecting another strong day of business in 2017. One trend to look for is more people buying from smartphones than on the desktop, making snapping up the bargains even more convenient.

Predicting the best Cyber Monday deals of 2017

Games consoles

Consoles are always primed for discounts come Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and 2017 should be no different. We’re expecting to see some deals done on the PS4 Slim, the PS4 Pro, and maybe even Microsoft’s Project Scorpio – if it’s out in time. Whether or not the new Xbox is around for Cyber Monday 2017, the old ones could well be discounted too.

4K HDR OLED TVs

TV tech continues to advance rapidly, with 4K and HDR now becoming the norm – given that pace, and the fact that expensive new models get out of date quickly, Cyber Monday 2017 could be the perfect time for you to pick up some hefty discounts on a brand new flat screen for your living room. A number of stores will probably be running TV deals.

iPhone 8

It sounds like Apple is planning something very special indeed for the iPhone 8, and given that Apple products are always popular on Cyber Monday, we’d expect to see some decent offers for Cyber Monday 2017. Look for network operators reducing the up-front cost of Apple’s new handset, and Apple itself dishing out gift cards and special offers for the day.

Samsung Galaxy S8

If you’re not taken with Apple’s line in smartphone handsets then you can always look out for a deal on the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. Again, the simple reasoning is that these are very popular products, and very expensive products, so any knock-down is going to have people rushing for the buy button on Cyber Monday 2017.

DSLR cameras

DSLR cameras are similar to big screen TVs in some ways – expensive bits of kit that people don’t necessarily rush to replace very often. With a slew of new models already out this year and due to arrive before the end of 2017, Cyber Monday could be the perfect opportunity to save a few pounds or a few hundred pounds on that camera you want.

Cyber Monday 2017 FAQ: what it is, when it happens and where to get the best deals

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is the first Monday after the Thanksgiving Thursday, marking the end of four straight days of eye-catching deals and the start of the holiday shopping season.

When is Cyber Monday 2017?

Cyber Monday 2017 will be Monday, November 27 this year, so get your credit and debit cards primed for the occasion.

So what’s Black Friday 2017?

Black Friday is the Friday before Cyber Monday, just after Thanksgiving. The two days bookmark the weekend and are often pretty similar in terms of discounts.

Are Cyber Monday deals genuine?

Most of the time, yes, though keep your wits about you and make sure you’re checking a reputable guide (such as this one) for some tips. Many deals have been planned and agreed in advance, though you will sometimes get stores announcing spontaneous discounts in response to market demand.

Where can I find the best Cyber Monday deals?

Here on TechRadar we’ll be doing our very best to pick out the cream of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for you, so you don’t have to refer to any other guide – stick with us and we’ll bring you all the hits and some of the misses from the store sales.

How do I get the best Cyber Monday 2017 deals?

Try not to get too carried away with the thrill of bargain hunting and work out how much you have to spend in advance. Also, do your research online to find out how much goods were selling for before Cyber Monday – sometimes those discounts aren’t quite as huge as they might appear.

There’s nothing wrong with being spontaneous, as long as you can afford it, but the more planning you put in the better – then you can tell which sales are worth going for and which aren’t (watch out for outdated tech that the stores are trying to shift. Finally, keep this page bookmarked for the weekend.

Can I get cashback on Cyber Monday deals?

Sometimes, yes. Your debit card or credit card may offer cashback on purchases, and sites such as Quidco often offer cashback for new customers of big-name online shops. It’s definitely worth looking into, not just for Black Friday but for any online shopping.

Am I protected when I buy on Cyber Monday?

Yes, as with any other day. In the UK, purchases made from a company online are covered by a wealth of consumer protection legislation, including the Consumer Contracts Regulations, which cover areas like delivery and returning faulty goods.

How can I stay safe on Cyber Monday?

Wherever there’s a crowd, the scammers gather too, so stay safe out there. Make sure you’re doing your browsing through a modern, updated browser on a modern, updated operating system with your security tools carefully configured, and avoid any sketchy-looking emails (or indeed Facebook posts) promising Cyber Monday deals that are too good to be true or lead to sites you’ve never heard of.

      

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