Online banks, Instant Pot remote cooking, tech freebies and more: Tech Q&A

Best Online Banks

Q: I never physically go to the bank anymore. I was thinking about moving my checking and savings accounts to an online bank. Are they FDIC insured? Do they pay better rates?

A: Yes, going to the bank has become rarer these days, just like spending an afternoon at the mall. For most practical purposes, an online bank can function just as well as, and you never have to wait in line. But you’re right: you want to make sure the bank is reputable and secure – and you’ll want the best rates you can get. Click here for the top 10 best online banks.

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Instant Pot App

Q: I love my Instant Pot. Can I see how it is cooking things and get updates on my smartphone?

A: There are plenty of “o-matics” out there, gadgets that claim to make your domestic life easier, but the Instant Pot is a rare standout. The idea of remotely cooking sounds silly at first, but the Instant Pot has made this possible, thanks to its free app. The Instant Pot is like a crock pot on steroids, and you can add and customize recipes to your stomach’s content. Click here to get the free Instant Pot app.

Check on Sent Texts

Q: How do you know if someone sees your text messages? My husband is a flake.

A: If you have necessary information to relay, and it's time-sensitive, and you can't easily call or email, it's beneficial to confirm whether your text has been read or not. Then again, this ability can also be abused, and many critics consider it an invasion of privacy. In sum: there is a way, but I would urge you to be honest with your husband about using it. Click here to find out if someone sees your text messages.

Free Tech Goodies

Q: You were talking about tech freebies on your show, such as free cloud space, free Photoshop, and more. Do you have a list of these I could see? I love your show!

A: The internet is a funny place: people give stuff away all the time. Sometimes, a software developer releases a free version of an app, and if you like it, you can upgrade to a “pro” version. Other times, a company wants to test its product or spread the word about its quality, and they hand out samples for free. Most generous of all, you will often find an open source program that was designed for anyone to use. Click here for tech freebies you wish you knew about sooner.

Find the Right Apps

Q: Help! There are a billion apps. What are the best ones to have on your phone?

A: There’s a lot of junk out there, such as lousy games and half-baked marketing vehicles, and you can usually judge an app’s quality by its product reviews and popularity. But if you’re looking for a place to start, there is a short list of apps that I consider essential. Click here for 14 apps everyone should have on their phone.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

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Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.