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Darien Graham-Smith

Darien began his IT career in the 1990s as a systems engineer, later becoming an IT project manager. His formative experiences included upgrading a major multinational from token-ring networking to Ethernet, and migrating a travelling sales force from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95. He subsequently spent some years acting as a one-man IT department for a small publishing company, before moving into journalism himself. He is now a regular contributor to IT Pro, specialising in networking and security, and serves as associate editor of sister title PC Pro with particular responsibility for business reviews and features. In his spare time Darien is a keen amateur musician, and publishes occasional instrument reviews alongside the techie stuff.

 

Avira Free Security review: An effective antimalware suite, but heavy on the marketing
A screenshot of Avira Free Security's main dashboard
antivirus

Avira Free Security review: An effective antimalware suite, but heavy on the marketing

It’s hard to fully appreciate Avira’s malware protection when the packaging feels so manipulative
21 Jun 2022
Best rackmount NAS 2022: Find the rack storage solution that’s right for you
A photograph of the Qnap TS-h1283XU-RP overlaid with the IT Pro Recommended award logo
network attached storage (NAS)

Best rackmount NAS 2022: Find the rack storage solution that’s right for you

Get all the storage you need – plus plenty of business-friendly features – in one convenient appliance
20 Jun 2022
Kaspersky Free review: Effective and lightweight – everything you want from a free antivirus solution
A screenshot of Kaspersky Free's main dashboard
antivirus

Kaspersky Free review: Effective and lightweight – everything you want from a free antivirus solution

It’ll be a real shame if politics means people missing out on this top-class security tool
8 Jun 2022
Microsoft Windows Defender review: An ideal (if unfriendly) business security solution
Microsoft Defender user interface
antivirus

Microsoft Windows Defender review: An ideal (if unfriendly) business security solution

Central management puts Defender head and shoulders above other free options; the fact that it's already deployed doesn't hurt either
1 Jun 2022
AVG AntiVirus Free review: Great malware protection, though the upsell is a turn-off
A screenshot of AVG AntiVirus Free's main dashboard
antivirus

AVG AntiVirus Free review: Great malware protection, though the upsell is a turn-off

AVG serves up the same powerful antivirus engine as Avast, but the trimmings aren’t as generous
26 May 2022
What is Trusted Platform Module (TPM)?
A PC circuit board
components

What is Trusted Platform Module (TPM)?

We investigate that mysterious little component that’s seemingly so crucial to Microsoft’s Windows 11
26 May 2022
Avast One Essential review: A great free antivirus solution with some tempting extra features
A screenshot of Avast One Essential's main dashboard
antivirus

Avast One Essential review: A great free antivirus solution with some tempting extra features

If Microsoft Defender isn’t doing it for you, Avast has you covered with strong protection in a user-friendly package
20 May 2022
Panda Free Antivirus review: A free security tool with a personality all of its own
The Panda anti-virus UI
antivirus

Panda Free Antivirus review: A free security tool with a personality all of its own

There's plenty to like here, including excellent malware protection, but this security package has some notable shortcomings
12 May 2022
What to look for in a cheap printer
office printer changing ink
SMB

What to look for in a cheap printer

How to check you’re getting the right printer for your needs without paying over the odds
11 Mar 2022
How to pick the perfect tablet
An office worker using their phone alongside their tablet
tablets

How to pick the perfect tablet

We explain the key features to look for, and the decisions you’ll need to consider when choosing your next tablet
7 Feb 2022
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro review: A superb Android tablet with a convenient keyboard case
A photograph of the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro
tablets

Lenovo Tab P11 Pro review: A superb Android tablet with a convenient keyboard case

It might not fully replace a laptop, but the Tab P11 Pro makes a capable and versatile travelling companion
13 Dec 2021
Chrome vs Firefox vs Microsoft Edge
Best browsers
web browser

Chrome vs Firefox vs Microsoft Edge

We put the web's three most popular browsers head-to-head
8 Dec 2021
Nokia T20 review: A simple, sturdy Android tablet at an SMB-friendly price
A photograph of the Nokia T20 standing up on a table
tablets

Nokia T20 review: A simple, sturdy Android tablet at an SMB-friendly price

It’s not as luxurious as an iPad, but the T20 makes a fine, functional tablet for business
6 Dec 2021
Eight things you never knew about PCI Express
The PCI Express slot on a motherboard
components

Eight things you never knew about PCI Express

To most of us, PCI Express just means that big old slot where your graphics card sits, but this ingenious interconnect has hidden depths
6 Dec 2021
Can you put SSDs in a NAS?
An M.2 SSD shown inside a PC system
network attached storage (NAS)

Can you put SSDs in a NAS?

Most NAS drives will accept SSDs as well as mechanical hard drives - we look at whether it's a good idea
2 Dec 2021
Samsung 870 Evo review: Ticks all the boxes
A photograph of the Samsung 870 Evo
solid state storage (SSD)

Samsung 870 Evo review: Ticks all the boxes

It won’t set pulses racing, but the 870 Evo gives an old PC a new lease of life with no grumbling
24 Nov 2021
Kingston KC600 review: A reliable upgrade
Kingston KC600 SSD hard drive
solid state storage (SSD)

Kingston KC600 review: A reliable upgrade

Makes the upgrade process a cinch, although look elsewhere if you’re after raw speed
22 Nov 2021
Samsung 980 Pro review: Smashing speeds
A photograph of the Samsung 980 Pro
solid state storage (SSD)

Samsung 980 Pro review: Smashing speeds

Staggering performance and handy extras make this a worthy contender
19 Nov 2021
Samsung T7 Touch review: One smart-looking SSD
A photograph of the Samsung T7 Touch
solid state storage (SSD)

Samsung T7 Touch review: One smart-looking SSD

The diminutive dimensions and biometric scanner make the T7 Touch ideal for life on the road
10 Nov 2021
SanDisk Extreme Pro review: Small wonder
A photograph of the SanDisk Extreme Pro
solid state storage (SSD)

SanDisk Extreme Pro review: Small wonder

The bold design certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, but who cares when the performance is this good?
8 Nov 2021
Samsung 870 QVO review: Cheap and speedy
A picture of the Samsung 870 QVO SSD
solid state storage (SSD)

Samsung 870 QVO review: Cheap and speedy

The QVO can give your laptop or lightweight PC a significant speed boost for a jaw-dropping price
13 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 13in (2020) review: Powerful, portable – and almost perfect
A picture of the 2020 Apple MacBook Pro 13in
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 13in (2020) review: Powerful, portable – and almost perfect

The first business-grade M1 laptop is a huge hit
8 Oct 2021
Seagate One Touch SSD review: A sharp customer
A photograph of the Seagate One Touch SSD
solid state storage (SSD)

Seagate One Touch SSD review: A sharp customer

A tiny SSD that packs a proper performance punch for a modest outlay – if you opt for the 1TB version
8 Oct 2021
WD Black SN850 review: A PCIe 4 powerhouse
A photograph of the WD Black SN850
solid state storage (SSD)

WD Black SN850 review: A PCIe 4 powerhouse

A lightning-fast SSD that comes with a selection of great add-ons – and doesn’t cost the earth
6 Oct 2021
Adata Ultimate SU800 review: A SATA workhorse
A photograph of the Adata Ultimate SU800
solid state storage (SSD)

Adata Ultimate SU800 review: A SATA workhorse

If you’re after a 2.5in SSD that can cope with demanding workloads, the SU800 is here to help
1 Oct 2021
Microsoft Windows Security review: Minimum effort
A screenshot of the Windows Security dashboard
antivirus

Microsoft Windows Security review: Minimum effort

It’s the easiest security solution imaginable – but these built-in protections aren’t without their foibles
25 Aug 2021
AVG Internet Security review: Money for nothing
A screenshot of AVG Internet Security's main dashboard
antivirus

AVG Internet Security review: Money for nothing

An ostensible upgrade from the free Avast package – but there’s very little here to justify the cost
20 Aug 2021
G Data Total Security review: Aptly named, but steeply priced
A screenshot of G Data Total Security's main dashboard
antivirus

G Data Total Security review: Aptly named, but steeply priced

This security suite is bursting at the seams, but that doesn’t mean it’s good value
18 Aug 2021
Norton 360 Standard review: A dependable partner in security
A screenshot of Norton 360 Standard's main dashboard
antivirus

Norton 360 Standard review: A dependable partner in security

It may be a little trigger-happy, but Norton 360 is a terrific deal for the price
16 Aug 2021
Avira Antivirus Pro review: Obnoxious and annoying
A screenshot of the Avira Antivirus Pro dashboard
antivirus

Avira Antivirus Pro review: Obnoxious and annoying

This antivirus tool does the job, but it’s expensive – and the in-app advertising really sticks in the throat
13 Aug 2021
Bitdefender Internet Security review: A solid suite at a fair price
A screenshot of Bitdefender Internet Security's main dashboard
Security

Bitdefender Internet Security review: A solid suite at a fair price

Strong protection against viruses and ransomware make this a fine solution
6 Aug 2021
Avast Antivirus Free review: Our favourite free solution
A screenshot of Avast Antivirus Free showing various protection modules
antivirus

Avast Antivirus Free review: Our favourite free solution

Excellent protection with minimal intrusions and a strong set of bonus features – and it doesn’t cost a penny
4 Aug 2021
Netgear Orbi RBK352 review: Plagued by compromise
Netgear Orbi RBK352
wifi & hotspots

Netgear Orbi RBK352 review: Plagued by compromise

A reasonably priced Wi-Fi 6 mesh system that delivers a strong signal, but make sure its cutbacks won’t annoy
24 May 2021
Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 review: Waiting in the wings
Netgear Nighthawk RAX80
routers

Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 review: Waiting in the wings

The RAX80 offers the best Wi-Fi 6 performance, ports aplenty and a debonair design – what’s not to like?
20 Apr 2021
Parallels Desktop 16.5 review: Windows comes to Apple Silicon (sort of)
Parallels Desktop 16.5
virtualisation

Parallels Desktop 16.5 review: Windows comes to Apple Silicon (sort of)

The best way to run Windows apps on an M1 Mac – but it’s not yet a fully stable proposition
19 Apr 2021
Paragon Backup & Recovery 17 CE review: Free and flexible
Screenshot of Paragon Backup Recovery software
backup

Paragon Backup & Recovery 17 CE review: Free and flexible

It’s free – but does it have what it takes to outshine its paid-for rivals?
16 Mar 2021