Monday, August 17, 2009

15 Steps to Speed Up Your Computer

Your question, how do I speed up my computer? You get frustrated when your computer is very slow. You can now save yourself from aggravation especially when you are very busy working. I will show you 15 steps to do to speed up your computer.

Let me enumerate them: As I have also mentioned on my previous articles

1. Defrag your computer at least once every two weeks (I do it once a week). Go to start>accessories>system tools>disk defragmenter. You can click on "analyze" first before you choose defrag, it will tell you if you need to defrag. Just defrag it even if it reports you don't need to.

2. Do Disk Clean Up at least once every two weeks (again, I do this once a week). Go to start>accessories>system tools>disk clean up. It will analyze your disk and will generate reports. I suggest you delete files from the recycle bin and the files located in the temporary files folder. Note: I avoid compressing files. It's your call.

3. Clean up your program files, delete and uninstall unwanted programs on your computer. Go to control panel>add remove programs. Make sure you restart your computer after uninstalling or removing the program so that complete deletion will take place.

4. Delete all files (temporary files and cookies from the computer). Here's how: open a browser. On top of the browser click on tools>internet options>delete files and then delete cookies. Make your history set to (0). Others wants it on at least 10. I always set mine to (0).

5. You have to be very careful in installing or downloading programs. Make sure you need it, if not please just avoid it. Uninstalling them is really hard. Many vendors has all the power to have their program stay in your computer!

6. Always turn on your firewall. I suggest you have only one firewall and one anti virus. You get less safer if you have two anti virus running (I know people who likes to have two anti virus programs running on their computer, I don't know why.)

7. Run anti-spyware programs. I trust spybot, search and destroy and the Adware from Lavasoft. I run SD every week, I do immunize them before I do the the entire program to run. I run adware every week too after I run spybot search and destroy.

8. Run complete scan using your antivirus software at least everyday (some do it once a week). Mine is scheduled at 3:00am everyday.

9. Avoid multi-tasking too much! Meaning to say, avoid opening too many programs all at the same time running at the task bar.

10. I also suggest you get a dual hard drive (which I know is now common in the market), one for the operating system only and the other for all the programs, database and files. This way, the computer boots on one hard drive.

11. Also check the performance of your computer when connected on the internet. Go to control panel >network and internet connections >network connections >right click the mouse on the connection available (e.g. local area connection "connected", "firewalled")>click on "STATUS". Make sure on the status tab, you will see the speed (mine is always 100 mbps). The packets sent and the packets received must not have a very high difference. If it is sending too much packets (as in ten times) than it receive (then try to do number 7!).

12. Always make sure you install the latest updates on your computer.

13. Always make sure all devices (drivers, etc) are properly functioning. Go to control panel >performance and maintenance >system >hardware >click on DEVICE MANAGER. You will see all the devices and adapters available on your computer. Make sure you don't see a yellow question mark (?) or this means there is an error on that device or adapter. If so, you need to update it or install the right drivers. Updated firmware might also be needed.

14. Browsing the internet? well, I have my google toolbar installed on my computer and is my default search engine. Their pop up blocker is really great!

15. A memory of at least 512 RAM might be a good idea installed on your computer

There you go, 15 steps! Good luck!

READ MORE - 15 Steps to Speed Up Your Computer

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Favorite Freeware

Many free programs in a variety of categories are available on the Internet. They range from the very useful to the dangerous. Some references for finding good ones are given here.

The Web is full of sites with lists of freeware so the need for yet another may seem dubious. Because of all the problems with adware and spyware, however, many home PC users that I know are reluctant to download anything at all so I have decided to list some of the sites that I have found to be useful (and safe). This is a purely personal selection with no pretense at completeness. I also mention some software that has made computing easier and more efficient for me. No doubt I have omitted many good sites and programs but life is short.

Please keep in mind that links are subject to change at any time and that freeware sometimes goes commercial after a while.

Lists and General Download Sites
A list of freeware sites. This page is part of a very large assortment of tips and tricks.
Has many programs for downloading. Gives ratings. Excellent site. Some features require paid membership
Large collection for downloading. Gives ratings. Requires (free) login.
A large collection of freeware
A bonanza for those who like to tinker with their system
Last free versions of some good freeware now turned commercial, including JV16 Powertools and its cousin RegCleaner.
Best freeware as voted by newsgroup alt.comp.freeware
Ian "Gizmo" Richards' personal choices for best freeware. Part of a larger site with much good information on computers.
James Eshelman's favorite freeware. Part of a larger site with much good information on Windows.

Some Newsletters

Keeping up with the good freeware that is available can be difficult. In the past, I found certain newsgroups to be helpful but these are now so filled with spam and useless verbiage that I no longer look at them. Your local PC user group newsletter can help. Also publications like PC Magazine and PC World have newsletters. These mostly mention commercial software but do have some information on freeware.You do not have to be a subscriber to be able to receive their email newsletters. Go to their Web sites for information. Some download sites also have email newsletters but they often entail a paid membership. There are, however, several free newsletters that I like and these are listed below.
The LangaList from Fred Langa is very useful general email newsletter on computing that often has recommendations from readers on good freeware that they have found and used.
"Gizmo" Richards' newsletter with picks of the best tech utilities and tech support resources
Newsletter from a good download site listing some of their latest finds and additions
Newsletter from Karen Kenworthy describing the latest free program that she has written

Download Sites for Specific Programs

The biggest freeware download sites may have the program that you are looking for but navigating them can be tedious. Google or other search engines are often a better place to find links for specific programs than the search facilities at download sites. Here I list specific download links for some of my favorite freeware. I apologize if one of them stops working but links come and links go.
The graphics program IrfanView is one of my all-time favorites. It has an astonishing number of features for a free program and is updated frequently. I give more detail here
WinPatrol is another free program with many features. It can help you control what is installed, what runs in the background, and what runs at startup. More discussion is here.
There are many text editors that are better than Windows Notepad but I have been using Notepad+ for years as my replacement for the Windows utility.
Of all the Registry cleaners that I have tried, EasyCleaner is one of the best.
RegSeeker is another good Registry tool. A beta product but seems to work OK.
To find out all the details of what is on your system, use Belarc Advisor
There are many freeware FTP clients but I like the free version of FTP Commander
A collection of many small useful utilities written by Karen Kenworthy. Excellent site. I use Replicator all the time to back up files. I also use her Cookie Viewer a lot.
Another collection of useful small utilities. Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell write everything here. Their programs concentrate on system maintenance and monitoring. Process Viewer is one of a number of their handy utilities. Added later: Sysinternals has been bought by Microsoft but so far the freeware remains available.
A collection of free useful networking and Internet utilities. Also has a number of handy system utilities.

Source Article:
READ MORE - Favorite Freeware

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Top Five Anti Spyware Tools

Top five Anti Spyware Tools as picked by EasyTechReviews. These include spyware removal tools as well as spyware prevention. EasyTechReviews recommends having at least one of these Anti-Spyware Tools.

1. Ad-Aware

Considered the leader of all Anti-Spyware tools. Ad-Aware has been around for many years and does in excellent job at finding and removing Spyware.

2. SpyBot Search & Destroy

SpyBot is another program that has been around for many years. Like Ad-Aware, it has built a great reputation over the years for finding and removing Spyware.

3. SpywareBlaster

SpywareBlaster is designed to prevent Spyware from getting onto your system in the first place. SpywareBlaster has a database of thousands of Spyware that it protects you from.

4. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

One of the newer Spyware Removers, however don't let that fool you. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware does an excellent job at removing Spyware from your system.

5. SpywareGuard

SpywareGuard has been around for a few years. It was designed to prevent Spyware from getting onto your system. However the one downside is that you have to keep SpywareGuard running if you want it to protect your system.

All of these have free versions and all of these are tools EasyTechReviews recommend in fighting Spyware. Good luck!
READ MORE - Top Five Anti Spyware Tools

10 Free Programs You Should Download to Protect Yourself From Spyware, Computer Viruses and Keep Your Computer Safe

For this article, I decided to create a list of 10 free programs you can download to keep your computer secure. This list of programs will help you protect your computer from Viruses, Spyware, and hackers. All of the programs listed here are highly recommended, and like I said, all have a free version available.

I should note though that many websites that carry articles do not allow more then a couple links in the main body of the article. Because of this, I am unable to include download links for each program. However, if you do a search for them on Google, you can find where to download them. Alternatively, you can visit my website where I have uploaded this article and included links inside the article to download each program. The web address is listed in my author info.

Anyway, let's get to the list of 10 programs you should download to protect yourself from Spyware and Computer Viruses and keep your computer safe.


Ad-Aware is one of the oldest Anti-Spyware programs available and also one of the best. Ad-Aware has been around for over ten years now. Over the ten years, Ad-Aware has been a top notch program and it doesn't look to be changing anytime soon. If you do not have Ad-Aware protecting your system, then I highly recommend you download it right now.

AVG Anti-virus

With McAfee and Norton on the market, many people are under the impression that you will have to pay money for virus protection. This is wrong! There are free anti-virus solutions available and AVG is one of the best. AVG has all of the usual features and it's highly recommended that you download AVG Anti-Virus if you don't already have a virus scanner.

Hijack This!

Hijack This! can be a great program for helping you get rid of some tricky Spyware. Beware though, you really need to know what you are doing when you are using Hijack This!. Hijack This! isn't for beginners. However, it's worth downloading and keeping around so if you ever do have a tricky spyware problem, an expert online can help you use Hijack This! to get rid of it. Because honestly, most experts online are going to ask you to download Hijack This!.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is newer then some of the other anti-Spyware products, but don't let that discourage you. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a great tool for protecting yourself against spyware. Like Ad-Aware, it can do a complete scan of your computer and most spyware problems you are having you can say goodbye to thanks to this program.

Spybot Search & Destroy

Spybot Search & Destroy reminds me of Ad-Aware, it has been around a long time and has stood the test of time. Spybot Search & Destroy may not be as pretty as some of the other anti-spyware programs, but that's okay because Spybot Search & Destroy means business. Spybot Search & Destroy should have all of the tools you need to protect you from Spyware even if you don't download any other program listed here.


What can I say about SpywareBlaster? SpywareBlaster is a really cool program. SpywareBlaster isn't a scanner, instead, it's purpose is to prevent Spyware from getting onto your system in the first place. SpywareBlaster has a database of thousands of harmful Active X Plug-ins that it blocks. Just download SpywareBlaster, install it, click to enable the protection, and that's it. SpywareBlaster doesn't even need to be running all the time. A very useful program that should be included in your list of programs you use to protect your computer.


SpywareGuard is simlar to SpywareBlaster, it tries to prevent Spyware from getting onto your system. However, SpywareGuard works in a different way. SpywareGuard works by monitoring your computer for typical Spyware-like behavior. If SpywareGuard spots anything, it will alert you. The downside to this is that you need to keep SpywareGuard open for it to work. On the plus side though, it means SpywareGuard doesn't need to be constantly updated, since it doesn't rely on definition files.

Startup Inspector

Startup Inspector is a program used for monitoring and disabling items that run when you turn on the computer. So how does that relate to this list? Well Startup Inspector can really be handy in fighting Spyware because a lot of Spyware programs will be set to run when you turn on the computer. Before you turn off the computer each night, take a quick look at Startup Inspector and see what is set to run when you turn on the computer next time. See anything suspicious? If so, go ahead and run a scan with another program listed here. But remember, you first noticed something suspicious thanks to Startup Inspector. This is why I included it in this list. :)

Update Windows

Okay, guess what? I lied. This isn't even a software program. Regardless though, this has to be included in this list. One of the biggest ways your computer can be attacked is through security holes that were left open from not updating your operating system. Do your computer a favor and go online to WindowsUpdate and update your computer right away.


Finally, we come to ZoneAlarm. ZoneAlarm is a firewall and will monitor all ingoing and outgoing connections on your computer. This is very useful for keeping your computer safe, because Zonealarm will block unauthorized connections to your computer. Basically, ZoneAlarm stops hackers. Great software!

In all honesty, if you don't want to try all of these programs, even just download one or two. Having one or two of these can still make a big difference with your computer. It can be scary with so much Spyware and Viruses on the internet. But now, you have the information you need to stay protected. Good luck

You can find links to the programs listed in this article on his website at: - Registry Cleaner Reviews, Software Reviews, Articles, Tips, And More!
READ MORE - 10 Free Programs You Should Download to Protect Yourself From Spyware, Computer Viruses and Keep Your Computer Safe

Five Signs Your Computer May Have A Spyware Infection

These days, spyware is everywhere. As Anti-Spyware programs get stronger, spyware continues to become trickier. Because of this, in my opinion, you simply cannot rely on running a spyware scanner to tell you if you have a spyware infection or not. You need to be able to notice other signs that you may have a spyware infection. Because let's face it, unless you have some type of spyware guard that runs 24/7, it's possible you will get an infection between scans with whichever spyware scanner you use. And if you go weeks between scans, the spyware could really harm your computer.

Now, just because you may notice one of these signs doesn't mean for sure that your computer has a spyware infection. It is still possible it doesn't. However, in my opinion, noticing any of these signs is enough reason to run a scan as soon as possible. Anyway, let's get right to the signs. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. IExplore.Exe

Try looking at the list of running processes on your computer. (Ctrl+Alt+Del - Processes (On Windows Xp) ). Do you see IExplore.Exe running? Well, if you are viewing this article in Internet Explorer or have Internet Explorer open in the background, then you shouldn't worry about seeing IEXplore.EXE in your process list. However, if you close out of Internet Explorer or you restart the computer and IEXplore.Exe or IEXplorer.exe is running when you clearly don't have Internet Explorer running, then this is a sign that you may be infected with Spyware. Many types of Spyware and Virus will run as IExplore.exe in the process list to confuse you with Internet Explorer. I have seen this happen many times when fixing computers.

2. Unexplainable Pop-Ups?

Pop-Ups can still be a problem for some internet users who don't use pop-up blockers. It can be common to go to websites and experience many pop-ups. However, if you are getting pop-up windows at times that you don't think you should be any, that may be a sign of an infection. This could be when you aren't surfing the web, when you first turn on the computer, etc. If you are experiencing this, run a scan!

3. Infection Warnings?

Are you receiving numerous warnings of an infection on your computer? If so, the warnings may be the infection in itself! Spyware programs displaying fake warnings to get you to download more spyware is becoming a lot more common these days. Many times they will use pop up boxes from your windows tray to warn you. They do this because these boxes look legitamate and look like they come from Windows. They don't! I can't think of a scenario where you would get any type of box like that unless it is from a
spyware scanner you already use. Even if you feel this box may be from your scanner, play it safe and don't click the box. Just open up your scanner regularly and do a scan.

4. Start-Up Items

Another quick way to look for a possible infection is to look at a list of items set to run on startup. Now, you can do this without downloading any programs. But I recommend downloading a program like StartUp Manager that will easily show you a list of what is running at startup.

Anyway, look at the list of items running at startup. Has anything been added since the last time you checked what is running at startup? If there are new items and you don't recognize them, this may be a sign of a spyware infection that is set to run when you turn your computer on.

5. Different Browser Home Page?

And finally, if you open your internet browser and your homepage has changed, this is definitely a sign that you may have a spyware infection. Changing your browser homepage is one of the oldest tricks in the book for a Spyware Infection. If your homepage has changed and you didn't change it, run a scan!

If you remember to look for these signs, you just may spot a spyware infection before you find out from your spyware scanner. Remember though, before running a spyware scan, ALWAYS update it first!

Stay safe!
READ MORE - Five Signs Your Computer May Have A Spyware Infection

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Computer Security and Maintenance

Now-a-days most people know that how can use computer and use of the Internet, But many people do not know that how they can keep their computer securer and how to maintain it's performance. To keep your computer secure and how it running soothly, you should know some basic maintenance things like cleaning up hard drive, basic knowledge about security indication errors, how to perform updates, how to protect computer against viruses and spywares etc. Let us talk about some general things, which is very important to computer security and Maintenance.

As far as computer Security concern if you can understand these below mentioned keys then you defiantly can prevent your computer against viruses.

Use Firewalls: Firewall can keep your computer secure when you browse the Internet. Firewall protect you computer to remote hacking. It secure your all sharing resources. You can say a Firewall as a barrier that checks all network connection, which is connect your computer. So always enable your firewall protection. > To enable the Firewall. Go to Start>Settings>Control Panel>Security and Firewall

Antivirus softwares: Always use good antivirs software and scan your computer at least once in a week. You should update your antivirus regularly basis. If you dont have, you should get it right away. Here are some good antivirus software listed according to their related web site:

Norton AntiVirus
AVG AntiVirus
McAfee AntiVirus
Spyware protection: Spywares is more dangerous rather then viruses. It can stolen your email passwords, credit card number, your personal information, it can make your computer performance slow as well. Some good antispywares are:

Spy Sweeper
Counter Spy
Spyware Doctor
SuperAntispyware professional
Now take some discussion about computer maintenance. A well maintained computer runs fast and working smoothly without getting any error. There are some simple and useful steps to keep your computer well maintained.

Check Disk and Defragmentation: These two Disk utility is very useful. With the help of Check Disk you can recover your hard drive bad sector and logical error, which improve your hard disk working performance. And other hand Disk Defragmentation utility rearrange all data of Hard Drive, which gives you fast file searching while using computer. >To Perform a full disc clean up. Go to Start> Accessories> System Tools> Disc Clean Up >To Perform a full defrag. Go to Start> Accessories> System Tools > Disc Defragmenter.

Disk cleaning: This is very important. Clean your hard disk every week. For cleaning you can delete files form "temp" folder, Internet temprory folder, Recycle bin etc. You can uninstall those programe which not use often and you can remove any toolbar of Internet browser.> To clean Internet temporary files. Open Internet Explorer > Tools > Internet Option > In General Tab press 'Delete temporary files' button.

About the Author:
Joseph John is a technical expert with iYogi. iYogi on 1-800-237-3901 provides computer help, computer repair, computer support, Microsoft support, dell support, computer repair etc. It is the winner of Red Herring Top 100 Award and helps millions of busy customers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Singapore through their Microsoft certified technicians.

For more information visit:

Author: Joshep John
READ MORE - Computer Security and Maintenance

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