How to Pass a Computer Speed Test

So, you suspect that age has finally caught up with your computer and want to run a computer speed test to verify this?
A slow computer is not a great proposition. However, age has got little do with the sagging speed. Most computers fail a computer speed test because of negligence on the owner’s end. Surprised?
Given below are the most common causes of a slow computer and a few tips that can help you prevent them from occurring in the first place. Why do computers run slow?

The top reasons are:

• Malware infection
• A large number of programs running in the background
• A fragmented hard disk
• A bloated and/or fragmented registry

All these can be easily resolved. Want to know how? Here are the answers:

Keeping your computer safe from malware

Malware infections, without an iota of doubt, are the biggest cause of slow computer speed. To resolve malware-related issues, perform the following steps:

1. Install a reliable anti malware software if you do not have one.
2. Update your anti malware software.
3. Restart Windows in Safe Mode.
4. Run a malware scan on your computer.
5. Take appropriate action (as recommended by the software) against the reported threats.

Once you have removed all threats from your computer, it is necessary that you maintain your computer’s optimum functioning. Here are a few tips that help you keep malware away from your computer:

• Update your anti malware software regularly and run occasional malware scans.
• Stay away from dubious websites.
• Scan the files you download from the Internet before running them.
• Scan email attachments before opening them.

Keeping background programs to a minimum

Most of the programs you install also run in the background without you being aware of it. At any given moment, there could be as many as hundred programs or even more running in the background. While many of these background processes are necessary, a few are likely to be associated with programs that you no longer use or require.

So what’s the solution? Simple- open Add or Remove Programs and remove all the programs you don’t need. Better yet, only download programs that you really need. Also, regularly check the list of installed programs and remove the ones you no longer use.

Keeping the hard disk defragmented

Without going into any technicalities, let us understand the following facts:

1. A defragmented disk improves your computer’s performance, whereas a fragmented hard disk slows your computer’s speed.
2. As you use your computer, your hard disk will become fragmented unless you take corrective action.

So, how you can prevent fragmentation or defrag a fragmented disk?

Disk Defragmenter is a built-in utility which allows you to defrag your hard drive(s). Run this tool regularly (once every 15-30 days) to prevent fragmentation of the hard disk.

Keeping the Windows registry clean

As in the case of the hard disk, the Windows registry becomes bloated over time and fragmented due to prolonged use.

Although Windows computers do not include a registry maintenance software, many such tools are available for free on the Internet. Install a reliable registry maintenance program and run a thorough registry scan to weed out unwanted registry entries. After running a registry scan, defrag your registry files if the option is provided.

To prevent registry-related errors in the future, run a registry scan regularly.

Incorporate the aforementioned tips and run a computer speed test after you are done- you will, more likely than not, have a blazing fast computer. It will easily teach you how to speed your computer [http://www.howtospeedupyour-computer.com]. Visit [http://www.howtospeedupyour-computer.com] for more information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Marosh_Adams/889260

 

Top 10 Tips On Protecting Your Computer

The one question asked most often by people these days may very well be “How to protect my computer?” People of all ages spend more time on the computer than not these days, which makes computer security-and, in particular, learning how to prevent computer viruses-an issue of paramount importance. Following these 10 tips will dramatically improve your computer security and leave you less likely to ask “How to protect my computer?” after you’ve suffered a breach!

1.) Buy and install anti-virus software: This is the one computer security measure everyone can implement easily and quickly. Simply put, the first thing you should do upon buying a new computer is add the anti-virus software. It won’t completely secure the computer, but a computer without anti-virus software is unsafe.

2.) Buy and install anti-spyware software: Spyware is software that is installed on your computer, without your knowledge, that allows outsiders to get a glimpse at your computer activities. Spyware is usually more annoying than damaging-if you’ve been subjected to pop-up ads, you’re probably a victim of spyware-but still, buying and installing the anti-spyware software will cut out that aggravation and allow your computer to run in a smoother fashion.

3.) Password protect your home and/or office wireless router. If you fail to do so, hackers can worm their way on to your wireless and steal valuable personal information from your computers. This has the added benefit of improving the performance of your wireless Internet: Your signal will be stronger without people in nearby homes and offices stealing it.

4.) Shut off your computer when you’re not using it. Many people like leaving their computers on 24/7 so that they can easily resume work after waking up or returning home. But whenever a computer is on, it is vulnerable to attacks from hackers. A computer that is shut off cannot be infiltrated by the bad guys!

5.) Be careful downloading email attachments. This qualifies as an “old-fashioned” computer security recommendation, but it’s still relevant. Someone from work sent you a Word doc? You’re probably OK. A spammer sent you an attachment in a bizarrely worded email? Delete, delete, delete! Also be careful with an email attachment that has been forwarded to you by someone else. There’s always the chance that the attachment picked up some malicious code at some point.

6.) Change up your passwords. A simple Google search will reveal common passwords you should avoid using. Also make sure your passwords aren’t obvious and predictable to those who know you-in other words don’t make your passwords the names of your children and don’t include the digits of your birthday or anniversary. Try, whenever possible, to have different passwords for every site, and keep a written document of your passwords in a safe spot.

7.) Regularly back up important data. This falls under the heading of “you can never be too safe.” If, despite all your efforts, something should go terribly wrong and a virus or a hacker renders your computer unusable, at least you won’t lose your vital files.

8.) Update all your software, from your Internet browser to essentials such as Word and Adobe Reader. These updates come with valuable patches that address any security issues that have cropped up since the software was released.

9.) When making purchases on the Internet, only buy from “secured” websites. Failing to do so leaves you vulnerable to identity theft. You can find information about a website’s security level at the bottom of the page.

10.) Be vigilant! The most pivotal part of computer security is asking yourself, every single day, “how to protect my computer?” Daily maintenance of your computer is the best way to keep it safe and operating at peak efficiency!

Carlos Wardlow has provided consulting services to companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small businesses in the NY/NJ Metropolitan and Central New Jersey areas since 1999. CNK Technical Solutions is dedicated to help leverage technology to make your business as efficient as possible.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Carlos_Wardlow/1266395

 

Tips for Finding the Best Local Computer Repair Technician

Ever feel like computers are taking over? Computers are found in automotive control systems, phones, even some appliances are now computerized. One day, computers may even be embedded within humans!

When they are working well, computers are an essential part of everyday life, but when they malfunction, what an inconvenience, possibly even a liability if you use them regularly in your business or at work.

When to Find a Computer Technician?

The ideal time to begin developing a working relationship with a computer repair technician is now, while your computer is running well, not later when it is acting up. If you wait until problems arise and time is of the essence, you may be forced to accept help from the first technician available, not necessarily the best or most qualified.

How to Find a Computer Technician?

Word of Mouth:

The best way to find a computer technician is through word of mouth. Friends, family, co-workers, etc, likely have needed computer help. Who did they use? Were they satisfied? Start here. If several acquaintances offer suggestions, try to feel them out and find out what they liked, if the tech went above and beyond in their opinion.

Online Tools:

Search engines, online directories, business rating websites, the local chamber of commerce website all likely list computer service providers. Let’s cover the first one.

How to Use Search Engines to Find a Potential Local Computer Repair Technicians:

Using search engines is easy!

In the search box, type “computer repair” plus the town and state that you live in. For example, I live in Sacramento, CA, so I would type “computer repair sacramento ca”. Notice that the town and state are lowercase, which works just fine when using a search engine.

When using the above search criteria, a leading search engine returned between 1 and 2 million results, wow! No one is going to sort through all those results, and the best part of using an online search engine is that we don’t have to. No, we let the search engine do all the work!

Typically, the search engine uses a ranking system to put the most useful or popular pages at the top of the search results or on the front page; therefore, when we search for a specific phrase, there is a good chance a result we can use is on the first results page.

How to Sort Out the Best of the Best:

Although the search engine just narrowed our search from more than one million down to about 10 or 15, we still need to narrow the result down to just one.

This is where the online directories or review sites can help.

This time, use the search engine to search the repair technician or companies name, plus the word “reviews”. This may provided a list of reviews by past business clients, etc. Also, you can look at the technician’s website for a testimonials page. Ratings and reviews help to give you an idea of their business practices and how much they care about their customers.

While you are on their site, try to determine if they offer a full range of computer repair services. Some tech’s specialize only on PC, others only on MAC / Apple computers. Some specialize in a particular field such as laptop repair, virus removal, custom web design, or remote pc support. By selecting a company offering a full range of services, you will only have to go through this process once, not every time you need help something different.

Did you notice any advertisements on their website? Flashing banners, etc. If so, keep looking. Adverts and flashing banners indicate that they are trying to make money through website referrals. When you choose a computer technician, don’t choose one who does computer repair as a side job, you want one who is dedicated to it as their main business.

Computer Repair Technician Credentials:

So you have found a great website featuring a company that offers the services you need, what now?

The final step is to look for the “about” page. The about page should list how long the company has been in business, certifications the company or company technicians carry, and a little company background. This should help you learn more about the company, their mission statement, motto, or objective. Does it make you feel comfortable? Do you still want to do business with them?

Simply put, get to know the company well before calling a stranger into your home. Is the company address, phone number, etc readily listed? Are photographs of the owners and employees displayed? Would you feel comfortable welcoming them into your home?

Finally, call and speak with them. Do you feel treated with respect and dignity?

These tips should help you find good local computer repair help.

About the Author:

Jonathan Warner is an experienced technical writer, computer technician, and technology adviser providing mobile residential computer support and small business computer repair, as well as remote PC support. Visit his website at Computer Repair Sacramento CA.

Jonathan enjoys writing informative blog articles in part to help him remember things, but also hopes you find them useful too: Blog Computer Repair Sacramento CA.

(c) Copyright – Jonathan Warner. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jonathan_Warner/1194836

 

4 Benefits of Online Computer Support for Small Business

If you have never explored the benefits of online computer support, you are missing out on a great deal. Whether you are a novice, somewhat experienced or a small business owner, getting online computer support is quick and efficient. Highly skilled technicians offering computer support online can troubleshoot, repair and install programs as well as increase computer speeds over the internet. Discover four reasons why your small business can benefit from online computer support.

Quick Response/Availability

Online computer support services are highly competitive, usually offering more days and hours of service than local computer shops or in house technicians. Since the concept of repairing personal computers via the Internet is relatively new to many people, online services make a point of being open for the small business owner who has computer or network trouble.

Perform a quick search on the Internet and you will notice that a great many computer support companies are open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It is rare to find this kind of service down the street at a local computer repair shop, much less from an internal IT guy or that guy who knows a little about computers.

Convenience/Quick Repairs

You know what a hassle it is to lug your personal computer into a repair shop, or calling and waiting for a technician to arrive. Older computer models are especially heavy, and hooking them back up becomes a nightmare. To make matters worse, scheduling a tech visit may cost your hundreds or even thousands in terms of downtime.

Delighted small business owners love getting their computers back up and running, without worrying about transporting computers, closing down their offices for PC repair, or waiting for that technician to arrive. With these services, small businesses with large networks do not have to worry about paying for an extra service call when their network needs repair because it is all done instantly through the Internet.

To find help for your small business, just search the web using “computer support,” or “online tech support”. Technicians work remotely from their PC to your computer using the Internet. They can easily scan the components of your computer, run virus scans, execute tests and make repairs almost instantly.

Savings

Small business taking advantage of online computer support save money, time and effort. Most computer shops are not even open on weekends, which means taking time off during the work week for repair services or paying extra for a service call to your office during off hours.

Shop for computer support services online, and you will see that many companies do not charge by the hour. Instead, they charge a flat monthly fee for unlimited support. This means real savings compared to the hourly charges that most computer shops bill.

Watch the Experts Work

Online computer support gives small business owners the opportunity to watch technicians work and make repairs. You can see each operation technicians are performing and even converse through live chat.

Watching a pro run tests and repairing a computer system is very impressive. They work unbelievably fast to fix the problem, and you are likely to learn a bit about computers while watching the repair. In addition, some companies record the repair session for your review.

Get the benefits of online computer support and save your business time, money and aggravation.

Jason Greenwell invites you to get the latest tech news, tips, and advice from his company My Tech Team – a leading provider of computer support – at http://www.mytechteam.net/blog.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jason_Greenwell/1165352

 

Do You Earn a Living On This Computer?

Many of the folks that I provide broadband Internet derive an income in some way with their existing computer. When we bring people online to the modern Internet we ensure that their computers, that they would like to be online, are capable of being online with a fast broadband connection. More often than not we see computers that have been online before and are littered with problems. Before we leave, we will inform the new client that their machines are in need of a little TLC. Most times this advice goes unheeded. Later, in the relationship we develop as their provider of Internet, many of our clients realize that their computer and their broadband Internet connection could make them some money. Some are successful, some are not. Those that become successful still operate this new venture on the old computers that we told them needed TLC. These clients that are now making money online with their computer will call us and tell us that the service we are providing is not adequate for their needs. We will stop by with our company computers that are clean and maintained and show them that the weak link is their computer, and not the service I provide. Remember the advice was not heeded.

The client will then say they need to go buy a new computer to run their new online business. This may or may not necessarily be true. I mention TLC. What do I mean by TLC? By TLC I mean normal computer hygiene.

Your car, like your computer, needs scheduled service like an oil change every so often. Sometimes it needs a tune up. Many people use their car to get to work so it makes sense to keep it running the best it can. You could say they derive their income by the tool we would call a car. The same holds true for your computer. If your computer makes you money, please maintain it. You will be glad that you do.

So what do you mean “normal computer hygiene” you may be asking? On a computer running Microsoft Windows there are utilities built into the operating system that when run frequently, like the oil change on your car every 3000 miles, will extend the life of this money- making tool. These are utilities that you can run without the intervention and expense of a computer guru. These are utilities that a computer guru will run anyways on your computer when you bring it to him or her for service. Unlike an oil change in your car, there are no specialty tools required. The only thing that is required is some time, knowledge of where these utilities are located on your computer, and how to run them.

Please heed the advice that mostly goes unheeded. Maintain that computer so that you can continue to make the money you do from your computer.

Computer Repair And Maintenance Made Easy, [http://www.cramme.net], has simple and easy to follow tutorials that anyone, including you, can follow. These tutorials show exactly how to perform normal computer hygiene.

Steven Grabiel is not a computer repair guru. He is a computer networking guy who has seen several thousand computers on his network that are in desperate need of common computer hygiene.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Steven_J_Grabiel/1252007