Watch Out For Free Software

Often, a person decides their computer is running slow and they do a search on the internet for a way to speed it up. If you were to do this, what you would get is a bunch of utilities, some free, some not free, that claim to fix problems and speed up your computer. The vast majority of these utilities are either worthless, or they are infections.

It’s hard for the average computer user to know which utilities are good, and which aren’t. That’s where you can rely on us.

Here are some categories of programs that you should watch out for.

Registry Cleaners or Fix-it Programs
Cleaning the registry fixes very few problems. It can be dangerous too. It doesn’t speed up your computer. We don’t recommend that you use a registry cleaner. We clean the registry as part of our Deep Cleaning and Optimization process, but we first make a backup of the registry and we only use proven tools.

Free security programs
Most free security programs on the internet are infections. The ones that aren’t infections don’t provide very good protection. There are only two free security programs that we currently recommend, but these are only for those we would consider light users. That is, people who just check email and go to the same well-known websites. The free security programs that are pretty good are AVG Free Edition and Microsoft Security Essentials.

Free tune up software that promises to optimize your PC and make it run faster.
Most of these optimization programs are either infections, advertisements, or ineffective. We generally don’t recommend them as they don’t really speed up your computer much. You may have seen these late night advertisements for a website you can go to which will speed up your computer. Just because they advertise on TV doesn’t make it legitimate. Every single one of these advertisements are for products that don’t work, cost a lot of money, and often include infections.

Now that you know what not to do,  you may be wondering what you can do to keep your computer running as it should. If Cyber Tek Computer Pros has ever performed a deep cleaning and optimization on your computer, we would have put programs in place to help keep your computer running well. If your computer is a laptop and you only turn it on when you use it, then those maintenance programs probably never had the opportunity to run. If that’s the case, leave you laptop on overnight to allow them to run. Make sure your laptop is plugged in and set so that it won’t sleep or hibernate.

For the rest of you, here are some easy things you can do to help keep your computer running well.

  • Uninstall programs you don’t need or use.

  • When you install or update software, many often want to install other software like toolbars. When updating or installing, read all of the options and deselect any additional software you don’t want.

  • Clean up temporary files. A nice utility program for this is CCleaner.

  • Defrag  your hard drive (don’t do this if you have a solid-state hard drive which is very unlikely). You can find the defrag utility in Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools.

  • When looking to download free software utilities, make sure you ONLY download from safe places. Some safe places to download from include cnet.com, download.com, tucows.com, softpedia.com, amd majorgeeks.com, filehippo.com.

While we are on this subject, you should be extra careful about searching for and downloading free screensavers, toolbars, avatars, smiley, and so forth.

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