How To Be Successful In Affiliate Marketing


With the right training, anyone can be successful in affiliate marketing. When I first started affiliate marketing back in 2009, I had no idea the type of life affiliate marketing would end up giving me. If you want to read my full story, you can read my affiliate marketing success story here as well as […]

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The Best Laptops for School


A good laptop can give your child a fantastic research tool to see them through their school years. The best school laptops can help children to learn vital computing skills, and also give them a powerful research machine for all their studies.

The ideal laptop depends on what your child will be studying, of course. But in all cases, you’ll definitely want it to be good value, dependable and lightweight. It should also last for a number of years, seeing them through many classes – and, of course, great grades!

We pick out some of the best laptops out there for students, with models to fit all budgets.

In this guide:

The Best Laptops for High School Cheap Laptops for School School Laptop Features to Look For Should I Buy a ChromeBook for School? Should I Buy an Apple MacBook for School? Best Back to School Deals The Best Laptops for High School

These are the best laptops you should consider for packing into a school bag:

Apple MacBook Air– It will be a lucky student who gets a MacBook Air. The ‘cheapest’ MacBook is hardly low-cost, but it will breeze through all tasks and last for years. Dell XPS 13 – Lightweight and powerful, this Windows 10 laptop will be sure to impress Samsung Chromebook 3 – A great value Chromebook that’s fast to boot and lightweight Asus Chromebook Flip C302 – A more powerful Chromebook with a flip touchscreen Acer Swift 1 – A fantastic value, if basic, Windows 10 laptop Microsoft Surface – Microsoft’s entry-level Surface tablet/laptop hybrid Apple MacBook (12-inch) – Another Apple choice. Overpowered? Yes. A student’s dream? Absolutely.


macbook air -

Apple MacBook Air – $849

The Air might be Apple’s cheapest laptop, but you’re still looking at $849 worth of tech, so it’s by no means a low-cost choice.

It should, however, last for years – ideally seeing a student through from high school to college.

Packing an Intel Core i5 processor, the Air will happily cope with hardcore homework, and the 12 hour battery means that it can keep going from the breakfast to recess through to evening without needing a charge.

Dell xps 13

Dell XPS 13 – $800

Sticking with powerful laptops, this is another generous model for students. The Dell XPS range is its high-end series of laptops, designed to give MacBooks a run for their money.

It’s the kind of laptop to consider for a senior student with more demanding coursework, perhaps. For any other high school student, it’s overkill. The Dell XPS 13 has a fast processor in a small and lightweight frame, plus with a decent battery life.

A solid state drive means it’s fast to boot up, taking just seconds, so that killer essay idea won’t be lost in the moment.

Samsung Chromebook 3 -

Samsung Chromebook 3 – $280

It may not be a powerhouse, but the Samsung Chromebook is an excellent companion for lectures, thanks to a near instant startup time and the full range of Google apps.

It runs the Google Chrome operating system – all notes and essays are automatically saved to the cloud, so there’s no panic about lost files if the laptop gets left on the school bus.

Chromebooks like this one can open and edit Microsoft Word or Excel documents, though they use Google’s suite of web apps (Docs and Pages) to do so. They’re virtually indistinguishable in practice, and the Google tools have better options for sharing and collaborating on work.

Asus Flip -

Asus Chromebook Flip – $500

Another Chromebook, but this one is more powerful, making it a great choice for those looking to run more demanding apps or keeping lots of browser tabs open at once.

It also has a neat trick up its sleeve – its touchscreen can rotate 180 degrees and double as a tablet.

The touchscreen is useful for making quick diagrams or notes, and the flexible screen makes it easier to comfortably watch videos when it’s in the “upside-down-V” shape.

Acer Swift 1 -

Acer Swift 1 – $300

The cheapest Windows 10 laptop on our list, and for a reason – the low-end Pentium processor isn’t really that powerful.

But, for the money, you’ll get a more than capable laptop that can deal with Word documents and spreadsheets without breaking a sweat. It may not be able to handle demanding programs (forget 3D gaming), but as an essay machine, it’ll do a fine job.

The battery life is good too, meaning that you won’t get caught out with the dreaded battery warning symbol at critical moments.

Microsoft Surface Go -

Microsoft Surface Go $400

Technically this is a tablet rather than a laptop, but it’s a good Windows 10 device to consider.

Microsoft has recently introduced its cheapest entry-level Surface yet, the Go, priced at $400. The price point makes it a compelling alternative. Easy to slip into a bag, offering the full Windows experience and with a long battery life, there’s a lot to like here.

You’ll definitely want the keyboard though, which is sold separately (for an extra $100).

Macbook 12 -

Apple MacBook 12-inch ($1200)

Does any school student truly need a 12-inch MacBook? No. Do they want one? Yes. They really do.

Make no mistake, the MacBook is overpowered for anything your average school student would want it for, but if you’re a family of MacBook owners, then you might be tempted.

The great thing about the MacBook range is that they are designed to last, meaning you can expect it to last the school years and accompany them to college. Don’t forget the generous discount that Apple offers to students, either.

Cheap Laptops for School

If budget is a concern, then rest assured that there are plenty of choices that will serve any school student perfectly well. The Acer Swift 1 mentioned above is a snip at $300, and that price is by no means an anomaly.  Shop around and you’ll find plenty of laptops that fit your budget and can do everything a school child should need. So, how much should you be looking to spend?

Up to $300

This is the starting point for Windows laptops. At this price they will be low powered, and chunky. They’re also likely to not come with too much storage space, but most can be expanded with a cheap SD card. There are also a lot of Chromebooks available at this price point – these are well worth considering. They may be a little more basic than a traditional laptop, but can do pretty much anything a student would want. See more about Chromebooks below.

Up to $500

You’re entering the mid-range territory at this price point, so you’ll be able to pick up a laptop that offers a modest degree of power. Processor and Ram are the key differences. While under $300 you’ll be restricted to around 4GB of Ram, for up to $500 you can get 8GB. More importantly still, the laptop should have a more respectable processor. This will mean faster startup and running speeds and better multi-tasking from the laptop – useful for flitting through the numerous browser tabs open during research, or when going between documents.

Up to $750

With up to $750 at your disposal it’s possible to score a nice laptop. But really, for school students, this price point is diminishing returns. While faster processors mean better performance, it will be mostly under-utilized. You’re paying for the kudos of a more powerful laptop without actually getting to use the power. Imagine buying a supercar, but only ever driving it at sensible speeds on public roads. However, if your child is studying anything like graphic design or coding (or wants a laptop for gaming, too) the price could be justified.


At this price point, you’re certainly being generous. The most likely laptops to fall within this band are Apple MacBooks – they’re brilliant machines, but overkill for essay writing and web browsing. The main things going in their favor are style and reliability. A MacBook will look the part, but being super-slim, they’re easy to put in a bag for the day. Better still, a MacBook should last for years.

School Laptop Features to Look For Portability: You’ll want to pick a laptop that’s slim and light. The good news is that most laptops today weigh less than your average reference book, but always check the weight before hitting the buy button. Screen size: A potential trade-off with portability, so don’t go too big. A 15-inch laptop may come with a nice large screen, but will prove too large to carry around. Aim for 13-inches – smaller laptops aren’t as good for long periods of typing. Processor: A high end Intel Core i7 might be appealing, but you’ll be paying for a laptop with ability way beyond its need. Aim for an i3, or, if you really need the power, an i5. Even the lower-end processors, such as Pentium models, should have enough muscle for daily school tasks. Chromebooks can get by just fine with less powerful processors, for example. Graphics card: A dedicated graphics card is a ‘nice to have’, but unless design or image editing is a concern, not worth the money for school use. If your child wants a laptop for gaming, you may need to up your budget (and the laptop will be a lot less portable). Storage: You’ll be looking at a solid state drive (SSD) or traditional hard drive (HDD). The SSD will mean faster load times, but you get less storage for your files. Consider what the student will be saving on the laptop. If it’s mainly documents and spreadsheets, these barely take up any space. Graphic/video files and additional programs however can soon fill up your storage. Should I Buy a Chromebook for School?

A Chromebook differs from a traditional laptop. These low-cost models run the Chrome operating system rather than Windows or macOS. The ethos behind the Chromebook is “cloud-first” – everything is stored online. Although Chromebooks do come with some built-in storage, it’s usually small.

You don’t get Word or Excel either, but Google’s nearly identical alternatives – Google Docs and Google Sheets – as well as other apps such as presentation software. Importantly, you can open and edit Microsoft files with these tools.

Chromebooks tend to be speedy to start up too, utilizing an SSD and not bogged down by unnecessary programs. It’s a very well streamlined platform that runs the same way your Windows laptop did when you first took it home, but everyday.

Chromebooks are also very light and portable, strengthening their justification as a worthy consideration.

The main reason to go for a Chromebook? Price. You can buy a respectable model for under $300, and it will run fast and look slim and modern. If your child is only going to need a laptop for spreadsheets, essays and web browsing, a Chromebook can be a great choice.

Should I buy an Apple MacBook for school?

There’s bound to be at least one much-envied student in the class with a MacBook, but that doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit.

For a school student, even the entry level MacBook Air is overkill. Yes, of course it’ll run quickly, plus give lots of power and a beautiful screen. But, there are laptops that can do all the same tasks for half the cost (and admittedly, a little less style).

That said, your child will love you forever (or until the next Apple refresh), and that laptop will last a long time. It might even find its way back to you, if your child moves onto the next thing.

The good news is that Apple offers some decent discounts on MacBooks for students – if you want to buy one laptop to last plenty of years, it could still work out as a good investment.

Which MacBook Should I Buy? – our handy guide explains the differences between the MacBook Air, Pro and 12-inch MacBook

Back to School Laptop Deals

If you’re looking to pick up a new laptop for a student, there are a few ways you can save yourself some cash in the process.

Timing is key. The back to school season is a vital one for retailers, and they’ll be slashing prices of school kit. That’s not just pencils and erasers, but laptops too. Check the retail stores before a new term starts to find decent deals on laptops, including Best Buy, Target, and Amazon. You can check the history of Amazon’s product pricing at to make sure that a bargain laptop really is on sale for its cheapest price.

Don’t forget to go straight to the manufacturers either. Both Apple and Microsoft offer student discounts on their laptops. Microsoft gives a 10% discount on hardware, but also offers software to students for free, including Office 365, which includes full versions of Word, Excel and other programs.

It’s also worth checking if the school has an existing program. Some schools offer laptop loans to their students, depending on background. If you qualify, you may be entitled to a free loan of a device for the child’s time at the school.

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iPhone Troubleshooting: How to Fix Common iPhone Problems


Don’t you just hate it when your iPhone starts acting up? We do, too. That’s why we’ve put together this essential guide to help you fix all the common (and some less common) iPhone issues.

These fixes will be quicker than going to an Apple Store and waiting for a Genius Bar appointment, and it won’t cost you a dime.

In this guide we’ll look at, and tell you how to fix the following iPhone problems:

iPhone Won't Connect to WiFiiPhone FreezesiPhone Won't UpdateHow to Recover Lost iPhone DataiPhone OverheatingiPhone Battery Drains too QuicklyiPhone Won't ChargeiPhone Touchscreen Not WorkingiPhone Won't Turn OniPhone is SlowForgotten iPhone PasscodeCan't Back Up iPhone to iCloud

…and, if your problem is that you don’t know which iPhone to buy, read our handy guide to the Apple iPhone range.

iPhone Won’t Connect to WiFi

iPhone troubleshooting forget wifi

The Problem: Your iPhone won’t connect to a public or private WiFi network.

The Fix: Swipe up to reveal the iPhone’s control centre and tap the WiFi button, wait a few seconds and turn it back on.

This will disconnect you from all WiFi networks and then begin reconnecting.

If this doesn’t work, try the same, but with Airplane Mode.

If the problem persists, head into the phone settings and forget the network Settings > WiFi then tap the network you’re trying to connect to.

Tap Forget This Network. If none of these work, it’s likely a problem with the WiFi network, not your phone. Try resetting the router.

iPhone Freezes

The Problem: Your iPhone grinds to a halt in the middle of tasks, leaving you unable to interact with the phone.

The Fix: Try a force restart. This will shutdown your iPhone, ending all ongoing tasks. Don’t worry, you shouldn’t lose any data like photos or contacts, although you might end up losing the email you were in the middle of writing.

The force restart process differs depending on which iPhone you have:

iPhone 6 or older: Hold down the Home button and the Power/ Top button until the Apple logo appears. iPhone 7/7 Plus: Hold the Volume Down button and the Power button (right hand side) until the Apple logo appears. iPhone 8/ 8 Plus and iPhone X: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button, press and quickly release the Volume Down button, press and hold the Power button (right hand side) until the Apple logo appears. iPhone Troubleshooting force restart

Credit: Apple

If the problem continues, check if there’s a software update available – if so, install it. If it persists further, try factory resetting your iPhone, making sure you backup any data before you do.

iPhone Won’t Update

iphone troubleshooting update ios

The Problem: Your iPhone won’t update to the newest version of iOS.

The Fix: Connect your phone to a PC or Mac and conduct a force restart as we mentioned above, this will put your iPhone into recovery mode.

You should then see an option to update it, tap to update the phone and once the update has completed, your phone should be working again.

If the update option doesn’t appear, you’ll have to restore your phone. This will remove all the data from your iPhone and restore it to its factory settings.

You will, however, get the latest software version and you’ll be able to restore your phone with backed-up content.

How to Recover Lost iPhone Data

The Problem: You’ve lost all the data previously held on your iPhone.

The Fix: Providing you have an iCloud backup, this should be straightforward. You’ll need to sync your phone to iCloud – iPhones do this automatically at night when locked and charging.

If you’re missing content you expect to be there, and it isn’t on your iCloud backup, you’re probably out of luck. You could try taking it to an Apple Store, but we can’t promise they’d be able to get anything back.

iPhone Overheating

The Problem: On a sunny day, if you leave your iPhone in the sun too long, you’ll see a warning telling you that your phone is too hot and it needs to cool down before you can use it again.

The Fix: Please, don’t put it in the fridge or freezer. Remove the case (if you have one) and keep it out of direct sunlight, then simply wait and it should cool down. It can be a good idea to switch on Airplane Mode while waiting for it too cool

You may, alternatively, find that your iPhone is frequently running hot, though not giving you the warning message mentioned above.

The Fix: This happens to a lot of electronic devices over time, from phones to laptops and games consoles. There’s rarely a quick fix, as the problems are often hardware related – an aging processor or battery, for example. But, these are some of the things you can do to alleviate the issue.

Remove the case: The more surface area of the phone is exposed, the easier it will be for it to regulate its temperature. Check the holes: clear dirt, fluff or debris from the charging point or headphone jack. Turn off Bluetooth and background app refreshing: The less tasks you processor is having to manage, the cooler it will stay Take a break from games: Sad to say, but you might have to park your mobile gaming for the meanwhile, especially if you play graphically-intensive or AR games, such as Pokemon Go. Turn off location settings: This will stop apps accessing bluetooth, GPS, or Wifi networks to ascertain your location. It’s often best to put apps on the “While using” setting, so you don’t lose functionality when you’re actually using the app. Only charge your phone when it’s cool: Charging the battery causes it to heat up, and charging it while hot only exacerbates the issue.

If your phone is still running too hot, your best bet is to take it to an Apple Store and get a diagnosis on the device or simply buy a new one.

iPhone Battery Drains Too Quickly

iPhone Troubleshooting battery life problems

The Problem: Your iPhone runs out of battery too quickly.

The Fix: The obvious – though not particularly satisfying – fix is to reduce how much you use your phone. However, there are some tricks to help you eke out a bit more time from your phone:

Check the Battery Health: This is a new feature introduced in iOS 11. Head to Settings > Battery > Battery Health (Beta). It tells you how far your battery has degraded over time, and whether you need to change it. This is not Apple ‘planned obsolescence’, either. It’s an issue inherent to all lithium ion batteries. Turn Bluetooth off: You need to head into the settings menu to do this, turning it off via the control centre doesn’t actually turn off Bluetooth. Turn down screen brightness Turn on lower power mode Decrease the auto screen lock time Turn off background app refresh: Head to Settings > General > Background app refresh.

iPhone won’t Charge

The Problem: When plugged in, the battery doesn’t charge up.

The Fix: Check your charging port for dust and debris (a safety pin or paperclip is good to do this with). If your phone still won’t charge, check your charging cable – does it work with other Apple devices? Does other stuff work in the same wall plug? Do other USB cables work in the USB plug?

If that doesn’t work, try a force restart. If that doesn’t fix it, try a factory reset. If you still can’t charge your phone, head down to an Apple Store.

iPhone Touchscreen Not Working

The Problem: Your phone’s screen has stopped responding, or it has frozen and is stuck on a black screen.

The Fix: The first thing you should do is try a force restart. We’ve detailed how to do that above (anchor link). If that doesn’t work, try charging the phone for up to an hour. If you still don’t see the charging screen, or you see the connect to power screen, try cleaning out charging point and headphone jack, check the USB cable and the wall plug.

If your screen is cracked and has stopped responding, it’s likely to be a hardware problem – meaning you’ll need a new screen. Apple is famously finicky with its warranties, so if they won’t fix it, try an authorised Apple reseller. They often fix screens for less than Apple, though you might lose some functionality (force touch, for example).

iPhone Won’t Turn On

The Problem: Your iPhone won’t turn on or it’s stuck on the logo screen.

The Fix: Try a force restart (anchor link). If that doesn’t work, try charging it for an hour – making sure you check that the USB cable and plug are working, as well as ensuring there’s no dust or debris in the phone’s charging port.

If it still won’t turn on, try taking it to an Apple store as it might be a hardware related issue, such as a completely failed battery.

iPhone is Slow

The Problem: Your iPhone seems to run really slowly, all the time.

The Fix: There are loads of ways to speed up your iPhone: Delete apps you don’t use, turn off background app refreshing, clear your the cache on the Safari web browser.

To see the full list of fixes, check out our Why is My Phone So Slow? Guide.

Forgotten iPhone Passcode

iPhone Troubleshooting forgotten iPhone passcode

The Problem: You just can’t remember your iPhone’s passcode, or a message is telling you that your iPhone has been disabled.

The Fix: There’s not much you can do here, other than restore your phone to its factory settings and erase all the data on it. You can, however, promptly restore the phone from a backup.

If you’ve previously synced it with iTunes, simply plug your phone into your PC or Mac and find the “Restore iPhone” button. Then follow instructions, and select “Restore from iTunes Backup”.

If you’ve not synced your phone with iTunes, you can restore from iCloud after putting your iPhone into recovery mode. Again, you’ll need to connect your phone to a PC or Mac then open iTunes – it doesn’t have to be your own computer, either.

While your device is connected, you’ll need to do a force restart, then, when you see the option to restore or update on the computer’s screen, choose restore. iTunes will download the software for your device, and you should be left with a functioning iPhone sans all your old data.

Can’t Back Up iPhone to iCloud

The Problem: Your iPhone won’t backup its data to the iCloud

The Fix: The first thing to do is check whether your iCloud storage limit is full. If it is, you might have to stop backing up or delete some data – photos typically take up a lot of room, and there might be some you don’t need, otherwise, games tend to backup data, as does the Mail app.

If you can’t trim your backup needs sufficiently, it might be worth upgrading your storage plan. For 99 cents a month, you can 50GB’s worth of iCloud storage – ten times the free amount. This small expense is genuinely worth it, and you’re unlikely to fill it up.

Before trying anything else, check if there’s an iOS update available. If that still doesn’t work, try resetting the network settings (this will reset wifi networks and passwords, as well as cellular and VPN settings) to do this, go to Settings > General > Reset (at the bottom of the page) > Reset Network Settings.

If this doesn’t work, try backing it up with iTunes, then deleting your old iCloud backup and then trying the backup again.

What if My iPhone Problem isn’t on Here?

If you can’t find the answer to your problem on here, a good place to start your troubleshooting is with a force restart. This will halt all current processes and will likely stop any sudden software issues you’ve encountered.

If the problem continues to persist, backing up your phone and resetting it to factory settings should stop any strange goings on.

However, if push really does come to shove, take it to an Apple store – but remember that hardware fixes can often be carried out by verified Apple Resellers for a lower price.

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