Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) online gaming network has been offline since April 20 2011 as a result of an unexplained "external intrusion".

For the benefit of regular PSN users - avid online gamers, as well as those who use PSN to download films, games and TV shows, listen to music and instant-message their friends - PC Advisor has put together a list of alternatives for the PC.

Here we list ways to play games against your friends online, download media and network socially. None of them are PSN, but we'll help you plug the gap until the network is up and running again.

1: Get back into online PC gaming

4 MMO games you really should play

PC Advisor highlights the most exciting MMOs (massively multiplayer online games) you should try.

5 ways to speed up online gaming

Check out these five tips to help you reduce or eliminate lag, and make online gaming more stable and enjoyable.

How to play classic games on your PC

We explain how to use a software emulator to maximise gameplay, turning your current Windows 7 computer into a classic arcade machine.

Eight DLC gaming packs you really should play

Here's a handy guide to PC Advisor's favourite downloadable games content.

2: Web gaming alternatives

The 12 best games for mobile and web

PC Advisor presents the best games for Google Android, BlackBerry and Apple iPhone, and recommends the best web-based games for your desktop or laptop PC.

The 10 best free games

PC games can be expensive. Fear not, we've rounded up a selection of the best free games downloads out there, ensuring you can game on without burning a hole in your wallet.

3: TV streaming alternatives

BBC iPlayer review

Second-generation Apple TV review

What is Google TV?

Logitech Revue with Google TV review

4: Download online media to your PC

How to: Enjoy online video offline

Using RealPlayer, you can download your favourite YouTube clips for offline viewing and even convert them to a format compatible with your portable player. 

5: Stream media from your PC to your TV or other device

How to stream web content to your TV

Push content from your PC to your TV with QWaves Quicklinks TV.

How to stream media from your PC

ZumoCast turns your PC into a media server, able to stream music, video and other files to another PC, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

6: Social networks to consider




10 must-have downloads for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter