Tools & Downloads

Tools & Downloads

ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE

Be Wise, Be Sensible - Secure your pc with (free) antivirus software

Spend the $49.99 upfront by getting an active antivirus software, so that you don’t spend over $100 later to clean viruses, Trojans, malware/adware and worms, and also run the risk of losing your data, pictures, music and other important memories.

Antivirus software is a compulsory tool to have on your PC and Servers even prior to putting it on the internet for the first time. While your firewall software monitors exactly what goes to and comes from the internet, it doesn't prevent getting infected by a virus. Antivirus software scans all incoming files for a virus and prevents getting infected before the virus becomes dangerous for your Windows and personal files! There are many antivirus tools available, some are free (i.e. Free Antivir, AVG Free or Avast), others are well known commercial like McAfee (Network Associates), Norton Anti Virus / Internet Security (Symantec) or Kaspersky. Besides that, there are utilities to detect spyware and adware also like Windows Defender, Ad-Aware, Zone Alarm or Trend Micro.

TIP: Whatever virus scan software used, always make sure the software is current and it is set up to automatically check and install all new virus protection updates from vendor’s website!

Antivirus Download links:

FREE:
AVG Free AVG Free Download
AntiVir AntiVir Free Download
Avast Avast Free Download
COMMERCIAL
Symantec/Norton  Norton Antivirus Download
Mcafee Mcafee Antivirus Download
Kaspersky  Kaspersky Antivirus Download

             

SYSTEM CLEAN-UP & OPTIMIZATION

Our personal computers are like fine automobiles—they need preventive maintenance to run efficiently and to avoid major breakdowns.
The following tips can help improve your computer's performance. By the way, it is not possible for you to blow up your computer or your files with any of these procedures. These tasks use utilities provided within the Windows operating system to help you to achieve the best system performance.

Clean up disk errors (Run once a week)

Whenever a program crashes or you experience some power outage, your computer may create errors on its hard disk. Over time, the errors can slow your computer. Luckily, the Windows operating system includes a Disk Check program to check and clean any errors on your computer and to help keep it running smoothly.

To run Disk Check:

  1. In the Start menu, click My Computer.
  2. In the My Computer dialog box, right-click the drive you wish to check for errors (for most of us, this is the C: drive, unless you have multiple drives on your computer), and then click Properties.
  3. In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab. In the Error-Checking section, click the Check now… button. A Check Disk dialog box displays, as seen here.

The Check Disk dialog box

      4. In the Check Disk dialog box, select all the check boxes. Click Start.

      5. You will see a message box that says you can schedule the disk check to start the next time you restart your computer. Clic k Yes. The next time you restart your computer, it will automatically run through a disk check before displaying your login screen. After the disk check finishes, Windows will automatically bring you to your login screen.

Note: Check Disk can take more than an hour to check and clean errors on your computer.

Remove temporary files (Run once a week)

Your computer can pick up and store temporary files when you're looking at webpages and even when you're working on files in programs, such as Microsoft Word. Over time, these files will slow your computer's performance. You can use the Windows Disk Cleanup screen to rid your computer of these deadbeat files.

Rearrange your data (Run once a month)

Don't be shocked, but your computer can get sloppy. It often breaks files side by side to increase the speed of access and retrieval. However, as files are updated, your computer saves these updates on the largest space available on the hard drive, often found far away from the other adjacent sectors of the file.
The result: a fragmented file. Fragmented files cause slower performance. This is because your computer must now search for all of the file's parts. In other words, your computer knows where all the pieces are, but putting them back together in the correct order—when you need them—can slow your computer down.
Windows includes a Disk Defragmenter program to piece all your files back together again (if only Humpty Dumpty had been so lucky) and make them available to open more quickly.

To run the Disk Defragmenter:

  1. In the Start menu, click My Computer.
  2. In the My Computer dialog box, right-click the drive you wish to check for errors (for most of us this is the C: drive, unless you have multiple drives on your computer), and then click Properties.
  3. In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab, and then in the Defragmentation section, click Defragment Now….
  4. In the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, select the Volume (most likely your Local Disk C:) at the top of the screen, and then click Analyze (disk).
  5. After analyzing your computer, the Disk Defragmenter displays a message stating whether you should defragment your computer. Press Defragment (disk) to clean up your computer if necessary. The Disk Defragmenter will reorganize files by placing them together and sorting them by program and size, as shown here.

    Disk defragmentation in progress

Make Internet Explorer run faster

The web is a sparkling achievement of modern society. It's everywhere—from the home to the classroom. We use it to communicate, to work, to play—even to waste time, when there's not a lot to do.

Yet there's nothing more frustrating than having this technical marvel at our fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, only to wait as our computers access the Internet at a crawling pace. Thankfully, Windows Internet Explorer provides some useful options for quicker web surfing. Let's look at these options now.

Reduce the size of your webpage history

Internet Explorer stores visited webpages to your computer, organizing them within a page history by day. Although it's useful to keep a couple days of web history within your computer, there's no need to store more than a week's worth. Any more than that and you're collecting webpages that will slow down your computer's performance.

To reduce your webpage history:

  1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
    In the General tab, under Browsing history, click Settings
  2. Under History, find the Days to keep pages in history: box. In the box, type 1. Click OK
    .

    Reduce the number of days to keep pages in history.

    Days to keep pages in browser history.

Don't save encrypted webpages

Encrypted webpages ask for usernames and passwords. These pages scramble information to prevent the reading of this sensitive information. You can define Internet Explorer to not save these types of pages. You'll free up space by saving fewer files to your computer, in addition to keeping secure information off of your computer.

To not save encrypted webpages:

  1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab.

In the Settings section, scroll down to the Security section. Select the Do not save encrypted pages to disk option, check box, as shown here. Click OK
The selected
Do not save encrypted pages check box

Automate Windows Update (Configure once)

Microsoft works constantly to release updates to Windows and other Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office. With Windows Update, you can find and install all these updates—not just the critical ones. Often, these updates can improve your computer's performance.

You can make life easier by automating Windows Update so that your computer downloads and installs all the updates without you having to worry about them.