Most Popular Explainers Of 2011

This year, we broke down some tough subjects, from technical how-tos to psychological theory, many of them inspired by reader questions. Here are some of our favourite explainers from 2011.

Facebook Is Tracking Your Every Move On The Web: Here's How To Stop It

Recent information has come to light showing that Facebook keeps track of where you are on the web without your consent. Here's how to protect yourself, and keep your browsing habits to yourself. More »

What Sugar Actually Does To Your Brain And Body

We consume an enormous amount of sugar, whether consciously or not, but it's a largely misunderstood substance. There are different kinds and different ways your body processes them all. More »

Know Your Network: The Complete Guide

We spent a week learning all about your home network, your routers, and all the cool things you can do with them. Here's the complete guide that will teach you how to pick out the best network hardware, get to know it better, make it perform at its best, and more. More »

Ask LH: Do I Really Need To Eject USB Drives Before Removing Them?

Some computers (like Macs) always warn you about disconnecting flash drives without ejecting, while Windows doesn't seem to have a problem-in fact, some USB drives don't even have an eject option. More »

Ask LH: What Does The IPv6 Transition Mean To Me?

Dear Lifehacker, I've heard that we're running out of IP addresses and we need to switch to a new system called IPv6, but I don't understand any of it. More »

Ask LH: Why Should I Care About HTTPS On Facebook (Or Other Web Sites)?

Dear Lifehacker, I'm not a huge nerd, but everyone's talking about switching to HTTPS on Facebook because it's so much better. Why is it better and why should I care? More »

Does Bitrate Really Make A Difference In My Music?

Dear Lifehacker, I hear a lot of arguing about "lossless" and "lossy" music these days, but I'm having a hard time getting straight answers. Does bitrate really matter? More »

What Stress Actually Does To You And What You Can Do About It

Stress is an unpleasant fact of life. We all experience it for various reasons, and we all try to come up with ways of coping with it-some with more success than others. More »

The Smarter Way To Seek Revenge

Vengeance is evil but often sweet, and it can be hard to pass up when someone really pisses you off. Here's a look at how revenge works, how best to enact it, and if it's really worthwhile at all. More »

WTF Desktop Environments: GNOME, KDE And More Explained

You can customise nearly every last inch of your Linux installation to fit your liking, and it starts with choosing the right desktop environment. Whether you're a Linux beginner or you're just looking for a new interface, here's an overview of how desktop environments work and how to pick the right one for you. More »

Ask LH: What Does My Internet Provider See When I'm Downloading Torrents?

Dear Lifehacker, I've done lots of research about my Internet Service Provider's relationship with my uTorrent activity, but I still don't feel entirely confident in my knowledge about what they see. More »

How To Create A Personal Encryption Scheme

Towing the line between keeping your private information secure and still conveniently accessible is always a challenge, but you can make it a little easier-and fun-by coming up with your own simple encryption schemes that you can decode easily in your head. More »

Ask LH: What The Heck Is Happening With Android Releases

Dear Lifehacker, Google's CEO said something about a new version, but it's coming after Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb"), and it ties in with Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread'), which really hasn't moved out yet, and might also update. More »

How Advertising Manipulates Your Choices And Spending Habits

Advertisements aren't inherently bad, but many use manipulative tactics that influence in ways we don't even realise. Despite how much you think you ignore them, and how little you may believe they affect you, that's not necessarily the case. More »

There you have it. We've tackled some pretty hefty subjects this year, but hopefully we're all a little more knowledgeable on the things that affect us every day. Whether your favourite made the list or not, let us know which explainers were your favourite in 201. And, if you're really thirsty for knowledge, check out our most popular explainers of 2010, too. Here's to a great year!


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