Computer Must-Have Tools   1 comment

There are many tools online that are supposed to protect or clean-up your computer.  Anyone trying a lot of them will find that many are not what they claim to be.  Here are a few of my favorites:


Two free tools are widely used with success for anti-virus.  These have full suites as well for full protection just like Norton and McAfee but they are not as bulky.

Avg 2011

AVG has been around for a long time and does a great job.  The FIRST thing one should do upon connecting a computer to the internet is to make sure that virus protection is running.  Actually, this should be done BEFORE connecting but that is not practical for most people so go straight to AVG’s site and download the free version.  They offer a couple other services worth looking at as well, including a great PC Tuneup Tool.

2nd Option


 Although I don’t have experience with it, I am including Avast as it is also very popular with some of my collegues and meets the criteria for inclusion here in that it is not bulky and is FREE.  Head over the the Avast site to check out the download.  On the features section, Avast says it is limited to 3 computers but you simply download it to multiple computers and it claims to protect during ecommerce but as long as your lock is locked on your browser, your connection is encrypted and protected.


In today’s Internet, anti-Virus is not enough.  Anti-Malware is just as essential because the malware that is out there is almost as damaging as viruses.  Malware can hold your computer hostage, it can render your computer unuseable due to “Viruses” that are not there.  Every program you click on gives you the “xxxx.exe is infected with <insert trojan/virus here>” and will not let you run it.  This also applies to System Restore.  There are several good programs that exist but my favorite is Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware.

Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware is a free program that scans just like Adaware and Spybot used to.  It finds and removes most of the known malware variants.  Just like any signature based scanner, it relies on the frequent updates to maintain effectiveness against new forms of malware.  For a one-time fee of $24.95 you can enable real-time protection.  If you choose not to and get infected with one of the Security Malware Applications, reboot to System Restore, go back a couple days and then run Anti-Malware when it comes back up to remove any remnants.

Maintaining the Computer

After awhile, all of our computers slow down and become hesitant.  By routinely cleaning out places that Windows Disk Cleanup and clearing Internet Temporary files doesn’t do can greatly increase the PC’s performance.  Also, cleaning out the registry and taking control of startup programs can greatly decrease the time it takes your computer to boot.  Here are my favorites:

One of my favorite All-In-One computer tune-up devices is CCleaner.  It is 100% free and contains no malware.  What it does is allows you to take control of many PC performance items without having to know things such as msconfig.  I use it from the bottom up, first editing the startup processes (makes the computer slow to boot up), then uninstalling any unneeded files (obviously if you haven’t added any new files after the initial run, this is unnecessary), I run the registry cleaner and then clean the temp files.  This also has the side effect of cleaning out the IE Index.dat files that keep a log of everywhere you have ever been (great for protecting privacy). It is available for download from the Piriform site.

Defraggler is also by Piriform and is a great little defrag program.  It allows you to defrag a single file or the whole disk.  In the past, Microsoft has been accused of having the Windows Defrag put the Microsoft programs at the beginning of a disk during defrag which would make them open faster.  Defraggler places no preference and also is faster.  This is a great little download and a must have.  Head over to the Piriform site to get this.


Posted December 3, 2010 by jcorbintcl

One response to “Computer Must-Have Tools

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  1. Pingback: Maintaining Computer Performance « James Corbin

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