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Helpful Computer Tips

Posted in Helpful Tips - Written by Grant Philipps on October 17, 2011


Which Anti-virus software should I use?

Lets face it, most of the Anti-virus programs out there cost pretty much the same so you may as well have the best right? You want to be protected from any threat, if it be a virus on a website, email or from a file you’ve downloaded.

Over the years I’ve installed and tested heaps of different Anti-virus programs, each with its advantages and disadvantages. But one of them I continue to use over and over again, for three simple reasons. The first is that it easily removes any detected virus easily. Secondly it uses very little computer resources in the background (so it hardly slows your system down). And three, its virus definitions are updated all the time (meaning it will know how to find the latest virus before you have a chance of getting them).

The software I’m talking about is McAfee Anti-virus, its easy to download and install so head on over to http://www.mcafee.com/au/

If your after the best free Anti-virus solution, you can’t go past AVG Free – http://www.avg.com.au/
. It will remove most of the common virus but you will have to upgrade if you the virus doesn’t fit into this criteria.

Do I need a firewall? More like do I need a Hose?

A firewall helps protect your computer from outside threats. Kind of like a security screen on your front door. Its different from antivirus but software like McAfee will come bundled with its own Firewall.

If your running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, you already have a very basic firewall installed by default. This will protect your computer from most of the threats and generally this is enough to prevent any damage from any online attack.

When you install software that requires internet access a popup from your windows firewall should normally ask for permission, depending on your selection this will be saved in your firewall definition to limit or grant access.

My Computer seems really slow!

There are many reasons why your computer would be running slow. Here are some solutions to help.

1. Try clearing your temporary files in your Internet Browser. Normally located on the file menu, under tools and then delete files or clear temporary files.

2. Get rid of unneeded files, best way to do this is goto the start menu, run and then type cleanmgr, click Ok. Then select your drive (normally c:) and select what to get rid of.

3. Try defragging your computers hard drives. On the desktop double click “My Computer” and right click your c: drive. Select Properties and and Tools. Click “Defragment Now”. This will put all your files back in order so things should load quicker!

4. When your computer starts up it loads programs in the background, most of these appear as icons in your system tray, which is located at the bottom right near your clock. You may have programs here you never use, these can slow your computer down heaps. Follow step number 5 the remove these applications.

5. Over the years you’ve probably installed heaps of programs you don’t use anymore. Goto the start menu and then Control Panel. In here find “Add Remove Programs”, carefully go through the list and select “Uninstall” when you find programs you don’t need anymore.

6. It’s not a performance increase, but it’s probably the most important thing to do on a regular basis. BACKUP your data people! Buy and external hard disk drive, or copy all your important data to a CD or DVD. It only takes a few minutes but can save your backside!

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