There are a lot of different issues that can cause a computer to run slow, however one issue comes up far more often than anything else; old hard drives. Hard drives are slow and when they start to wear down they get even slower. The hard drive stores all of the system, user files and data. Literally every piece of information on your computer loads from the hard drive. Most computers today operate with a traditional hard drive which bottlenecks the system and slows everything down. This bottleneck exists in just about every computer made in the last decade. Replacing an old hard drive with the newer tech, called Solid State Drives or SSD’s, which are slowly becoming the new standard as the computer industry phases out traditional hard drives. A hard drive and a solid state drive are both large storage devices with the main differences being speed and price. A solid state drive is much faster than a hard drive but is also more expensive, however recently the price for solid state drives has come down enough to make them the best option. Typically a solid state drive is about 5 times faster than a hard drive and even an older computer will usually see a 2-3 fold overall performance improvement when going from a hard drive to a solid state drive.

How can I stay safe from Viruses?

Computer viruses are constantly evolving to be more subtle. A few years ago, if a computer had a virus, it was obvious. Now days that is not always the case. Viruses used to be focused on messing up your computer and trying to sell you a fake fix. While this is often still the case, now days there are lots of viruses that are much less intrusive with your computer but will instead inject ads in your internet browsing and monitor your data for anything useful. Most viruses are annoying yet not capable of any serious harm however some viruses are designed to look for information that can later lead to identity theft. Other viruses pose as helpful PC tools. Things like OptimizerPro, Driver Helper and RegFix and are all common virus names. Truthfully, if your PC has an issue there is virtually no quick fix software that will help and if you go looking for anything like that you will most likely end up with a virus instead. That virus will then try to direct you to a fake support number where someone will ask you to pay for remote service. While there are some legitimate remote services out there, it is best to avoid any remote service without a physical location that you could visit in person. The best way to avoid virus is simple to understand what they are after and never click on any ads that seem too good to be true. A Google search for “computer problem help” will result in a few ads and listing to fake support programs and fake support numbers mixed in with the real ones. I find that most computers infected with a virus become infected when the user attempts to troubleshoot a computer issue on their own and end up installing something that was advertised as a fix. If you search online for computer help, make sure any support business you contact has a physical address local to you.

What is a good anti-virus program?

Viruses and Anti-virus are in a constant arms race. The big brand names such as Norton and McAfee are OK, but usually there are free alternatives that have a higher protection rating. Right now, Avira is one of the best rated anti-virus programs and it is free. No anti-virus program can offer complete protection against viruses but they are usually the best form of defense.

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