Keeping your computer safe and running well
- I prepared the following for information at a recent FTM SIG meeting.I have been requested to post it on dist-gen as many of you might find ituseful to keep your computer in top running order.
If your e-mail reader program messes up the formatting and URL links toobadly send me an e-mail and I would be pleased to send it as anattachment in MS Word .doc format with hot links.
The programs that are listed in the various URLs below can be downloadand can be installed and will run in Windows XP. They may not install orrun in Vista.
Do you need a firewall? YES. You should use both a hardware and asoftware firewall. Routers, which connect between your modem and yourcomputer, contain a hardware firewall. Be sure to configure it and if ithas wireless capabilities, enable the security features (encryption).Software firewalls, which protect you from unwanted outgoing internetconnections, are compared at this website:
The highest ranking free firewall is now Comodo and can be downloaded from:
One of the most popular free software firewalls is Zone Alarm which canbe downloaded from:
You should also test your firewall security. See these tests:
You should have and use an anti virus program. Do not try to run more than one at a time or they may have conflicts. Free programs can be obtained from:
You should also periodically run an anti spyware or anti malware program.A comparison of free programs can be seen at:
Ad-Aware and Spybot are two common programs. Be sure to keep themupdated. See:
If you download any programs to try and then uninstall them, there willlikely be remnants left in the Windows Registry file and it willeventually need to be tidied up to make Windows load and run as quicklyas when first installed. I have tried various free registry cleanupprograms. Some find very few problems while others will flag hundreds oreven more errors? Most of the free ones or good ones with free trialswill only fix a limited number of problems until you purchase the fullversion. I tried about 10 free programs some time age with widelydifferent reports. So different that I would not let any of them loose onmy Registry. This is a case where you should purchase a good program. NBBe sure to backup your Registry files before you let any program changeit! Check that it has a restore capability.
A review of many registry repair programs can be found at:
Registry repair programs were discussed at a Computer SIG meeting sometime ago. If I remember correctly, Registry Mechanic was recommended atthat time. It is listed # 5 on the above review.
Registry Mechanic from PCTools $39.99 (free trial of 6 registry sections)
I´m a bit of a cheapskate and purchased Registry Repair Pro from 3BSoftware some years ago for $9.99 (Special offer). It´s #11 on the aboverating list, but it works for me.
http://www.3bsoftware.com/ Link from the registry repair reviewURL above to get special price
Other Registry review websites rate programs somewhat differently. Look at:
http://registry-repair-comparisons.qarchive.org/ or Google "RegistryRepair" comparison.
Are you getting the download speed that you are paying your ISP for?Some ISP speed tests that I use are at:
Browsers; why would you change from IE? Several other browsers will loadfaster and are more secure the IE. For a comparison of some of thesealternatives to Internet Explorer go to:
Firefox is available from:
You will find Opera at:
A new browser is Google´s Chrome which I have not tried. Each of theabove browsers has an included or companion e-mail program, ieThunderbird.
Karen´s Power Tools, Replicator and other free utility programs:
Another backup and/or data recovery program is available from Acronis. Ifyou have a Seagate or Maxtor hard drive a free version is available fromtheir websites.
And still another good backup program is disk copy 2.
Window´s Secrets newsletter is a good resource for Windows problems andinformation.The current issue has an article on the new security threat,"Click jacking". See:
Magazines and other links:
http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/ Another small browser.
Portable applications for your memory stick:
Happy browsing and safe computing!