Your computer’s BIOS is the first thing that loads when you start your computer. It initializes your hardware before booting an operating system from your hard drive or another device. Many low-level system settings are only available in your BIOS.
Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and other Chrome OS devices allow you to set a proxy server through which you can route your traffic.This may be required to access the Internet on some networks—for example, on business or school networks.
You’ll sometimes see MD5, SHA-1, or SHA-256 hashes displayed alongside downloads during your internet travels, but not really known what they are. These seemingly random strings of text allow you to verify files you download aren’t corrupted or tampered with. You can do this with the commands built into Windows, macOS, and Linux.
When you configure a proxy server on your Mac, applications will send their network traffic through the proxy server before going to their destination. This may be required by your employer to bypass a firewall, or you may want to use a proxy to bypass geoblocking and access websites that aren’t available in your country.
Some Windows 10 devices ship with “Device Encryption”, but other PCs require you to pay another $99 to get BitLocker on Windows Pro for full-disk encryption. If you’d rather not, you can use the free and open-source VeraCrypt software to get full-disk encryption on any version of Windows.