Who we are, how we test, our experience
For over two decades, TechSpot has remained an influential voice in PC technology and we've historically hired mostly from within our ranks of IT professionals and tech enthusiast audiences. During this time, TechSpot has operated with full editorial independence treating our readers with transparency about what we do and how we test. Here are some of the fundamental ethics guidelines by which we abide.
- TechSpot writers are not journalists but are computer engineers, professionals with formal IT backgrounds, or technology enthusiasts with vast experience on the subject matter they report on.
- If you're familiar with what we do, then you know we require our authors to have profound understanding of technical matters and the ability to write about them with accuracy and authority. That’s what we strive for and that’s what our track record shows.
- When performing specific tests and benchmarks, we generally provide the test scenario for the purpose of disclosure and replicability by our readers. We have also on occasion dedicated entire articles to explain how we test and why we do things in a certain manner. Here are a handful of examples:
- Mistakes are inevitable and it is our policy to correct errors and communicate corrections to our readers as soon as possible.
- TechSpot generates revenue from advertising, however our editorial team is separate from the sales department which is managed externally and outsourced to a specialized agent. The only times where some overlap may exist are in executive and administrative positions for the purpose of business planning, but once again, this is entirely separate from editorial content.
- For the purpose of reviewing and testing tech products, we will receive some of these products free of charge directly from the manufacturer or company that sell them. In some instances, we will gain access to products before they are launched to the public. Our mission is to report back to our readers with full transparency about our opinions and findings. We don’t allow any kind of influence over our editorial decisions or coverage by third parties. This goes back to our track record of over two decades of experience and thousands of published stories.
- Our editorial team does not handle sponsorships or any other form of compensation that could influence reporting. Whenever an editorial piece of content is made possible through the support of sponsors (advertorials), the content will be clearly presented with a message (“Presented by” / “In collaboration with” / “Brought to you by”) at the top of the content and at the bottom of the content.
About affiliate commissions
Every time we link products to retailers in reviews, in our news coverage, or in the Product Finder section, we may receive a commission for sales generated from those links through affiliate programs. This was a somewhat controversial topic but most recently a well understood and generally accepted form of compensation.
Our editorial team does not deal with retailers or affiliate programs in any manner. When advertising is sold to any retailer, that’s taken care of by a different group of people. Furthermore, affiliate links are mostly automated through scripts and there is little human intervention in tracking those programs.
When we promote a certain product (via a positive review or news announcement) it is generated organically as a service to readers who may want to learn more or buy such product. In the specific scenario where we are promoting a product or service as a sale and where we may directly generate a commission ("deals"), you will find a disclaimer alongside this promotion every time.
Software downloads: Certified clean program
Our downloads section hosts software essentials for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices. We maintain our own file servers to offer fast downloads with a selection of software aimed at power users -- in other words, we only list and recommend software we'd use ourselves. We've offered this service for over a decade, with the guarantee that our downloads contain no bundles and our focus remains on quality apps only.
In 2018 we launched an in-house certification program as an additional security layer of protection to our readers. All titles showing TechSpot's certified clean badge have been scanned by our team with security applications including but not limited to Avira Prime, Malwarebytes and VirusTotal. In addition to daily scanning before we distribute new files, we perform biannual security audits to our entire file database.