Walt Mossberg

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Mossberg’s Mailbox

Security Software, Taxes and Wi-Fi for iPads

Q:

I have a Windows PC. Microsoft sends regular updates to their “computer protection” software. Do I still need other security software?

A:

It depends what you mean by “computer protection” software.

If you are using Microsoft Security Essentials, then you already have security software and don’t need another brand, unless you are unhappy with it.

If you are referring to general security updates to Windows, these do close vulnerabilities in Windows, but don’t obviate the need for security software.

Q:

I’m an accountant and do a few tax returns for my clients in my spare time. Would you please give me some recommendations on a computer that I could use for preparing tax returns and filing them electronically?

A:

While preparing tax returns might require some skill on your part, it doesn’t require an especially powerful computer, or one configured in any particular manner. Pretty much any PC or Mac on the shelves can do it.

If you have a favorite tax software program, perhaps one geared more to accountants than to average consumers, you might check its system requirements and be guided by these.

For instance, if it runs on only certain versions of Windows, or requires a certain amount of memory, you should buy accordingly.

Q:

We have two new iPads, the models with only Wi-Fi connectivity. Can I use the Wi-Fi hot-spot feature of an Android phone to provide them with Internet access?

A:

Although I haven’t tested this scenario, I see no reason why not.

The hot-spot feature creates a Wi-Fi network from a cellular data connection and should work with any Wi-Fi capable device, including your iPads.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox and all of Walt Mossberg’s other columns online at the All Things Digital website, http://walt.allthingsd.com. Write to Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.


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