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Here's How Windows 8 Offers Better Security Than Windows 7 by Kelly Lynn

  Windows 8 and 8.1 aren't just the same old Windows 7 with an experimental interface tacked on. Under the hood, they include real improvements, especially in the security department. Some of them are deep, low-level changes to the way Windows functions; others are visible ones. Here are 6 ways in which Windows 8 offers you a more secure user experience than Windows 7. Inbuilt antivirus Windows 7 doesn't include antivirus. It requires that you install either Microsoft Security Essentials or a third-party antivirus product. With Windows 8, though, Microsoft Security Essentials comes inbuilt -- only, Microsoft now calls it Windows Defender. Quick-launch anti-malware In Windows 7, antivirus software isn't allowed to start up until well into the Windows boot up process. This is a serious security problem because rootkits are able to start well before antivirus programs do. In … Continue reading

Should You Use a Driver Cleaner Before You Install a New Driver? by Kelly Lynn

  Should You Use a Driver Cleaner Before You Install a New Driver? Gamers usually like to keep on top of driver updates for their graphics cards. It's a good idea because with each improved driver version comes the possibility of improved gaming performance. Most gamers automate the update process. They set the software that comes with their graphics cards to automatically check for updates, download and install them. Some gamers, though, like to be extra thorough. Rather than take the automatic route, they like to first uninstall the old driver themselves, and then run a separate piece of software called a driver cleaner. Only then do they bring the new driver in. What does a driver cleaner do? Each time you install a driver, it doesn't simply get placed in one location. Rather, the installer … Continue reading

Do Your Minimized Programs Take Forever to Become Functional? by Kelly Lynn

  When you need to run a program off and on through the day, it's usually a good idea to minimize the program rather than shut it down altogether. Minimizing ensures that you will be up and running in a fraction of a second when you need to. The problem, though, is that restoring a program that's minimized to the taskbar isn't always quick. Sometimes, these programs can take as long as a minute to become fully functional -- longer than it would take to start the program if you shut it down. Photoshop is one program that frustrates users in this way. Why does Windows behave in this fashion? The problem: Windows takes resources away from inactive programs When programs are minimized for a while, Windows tends to take … Continue reading

Do You Really Use the Latest Version of Chrome? by Kelly Lynn

  If you have the standard Chrome browser that everyone uses, you only get to experience the best features that Google thought of months earlier. If you would like to try very latest that Chrome has -- 64-bit processing, HTML 5 and so on -- you'll need to step out of your comfort zone and try a version that's under development -- or, in Google's lingo, an under-development channel. You may need to put up with a bit of instability in the process. It could be worth it, though. You'd get to be on the cutting edge of browser technology. Google's different channels for Chrome Google makes Chrome available in four channels. The public launch channel, the one that most people run, is named the Stable channel. The three under-development channels are named Beta, Dev and Canary. … Continue reading

Make Your Computer Start Up Faster: Get Rid of Driver Bloatware by Kelly Lynn

  When you install a new graphics card, sound card or even a mouse on your computer, Windows is usually able to make it work by applying a generic driver from its inventory. If you want the latest driver, though, you need to either use the disc that comes with the device or download a driver direct from the manufacturer. When you apply a driver from either one of these sources, it usually comes with a good bit of bloatware -- control panels, startup applications and so on. More often than not, the features offered in these applications are mere fluff. They tend to add to your startup time, too. You could have a better user experience if you could simply get the driver and leave out the bloatware. Here's how you do it. Look … Continue reading

How Do You Catch Your Computer's Unauthorized Internet Use? by Kelly Lynn

  If your computer's connection to the Internet seems to have slowed down lately, it's possible that it has malware that uses your bandwidth without your knowledge.  Finding out about any unauthorized Internet use should be easy enough with a third-party firewall. It should show you a list of all the applications on your computer that try to get on the Internet. Many well-designed malware applications have exceptions added that make it hard for firewalls to report them, though. There is another way to check If your firewall won't tell you much about clandestine attempts by malware on your computer to access the Internet, you could check by hand.  If your computer runs XP or a later version of Windows, the Windows netstat command in command prompt is what you need. To use the … Continue reading