Getting a new computer is a great feeling. It’s faster than your old one, thanks to its newer hardware, but also thanks to it being free of unneeded software you installed (knowingly or otherwise). However, unless you’re a computer whiz, you probably have no idea what to do with your brand new machine. Instead of spending good money for someone to do 10 minutes of actual work, use this guide to get your device in tip-top shape and ready for use, for free.
The main use of most computers is browsing the internet, but Windows only comes with Internet Explorer as a default. Internet Explorer is usually considered to be one of the slowest and least useful internet browsers there are, so you should first start by installing a new browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Most store-bought PCs and laptops come with a lot of preinstalled software that most people don’t need, such as games you never play, backup utilities that don’t work, antivirus software that wants you to pay after a few weeks of use, etc.
PC Decrapifier, while having a crude name, is a very useful cleanup tool. It will scan your computer, find junk software automatically and remove it, and will offer you the option to remove the software it isn’t sure is junk.
Alternatively you can install Iobit Uninstaller, which also goes through your computer and searches for unneeded software and lets you remove it quickly.
Installation of both programs is very short and simple, and both offer an interface that is very easy to use. If you are unsure about the program you consider removing, try searching for its name on Google.
This website allows you to download a bunch of useful programs in a single, unified installer, which removes any junk software that might be bundled with them. Simply check the box next to all the programs you need and Ninite will create a single file that will install the latest version of all of them automatically.
A new computer must have an antivirus installed. Windows 8 users have a basic antivirus installed as part of Windows, but even then, it’s recommended to install a more comprehensive one. The free options are usually just as good as the paid versions (though they often have small pop-up messages asking you to buy the full version). The most recommended antivirus programs are Panda, BitDefender, Avast!, and Avira. (the last 2 are available on Nanite)
Malware can slow down your computer, steal your information and trick you into spending money on useless applications. The best malware protection today is Malwarebytes (also available through Nanite). If you want to know more about malware, read out article, HERE.
After installing and uninstalling various programs and browsing the internet, a lot of useless and potentially harmful files are still left on your computer, which can slow it down. CC Cleaner scans your computer and cleans any unwanted leftovers, and thus keeping your computer speedy and efficient.
Now that you’ve installed the basics, deleted the junk and your computer is protected – time to make sure everything is up-to-date. Older versions of programs can have security gaps, have slower performance, and may miss out on new and useful features. Secunia PSI checks every program on your computer and makes sure it’s the latest version, and notifies you if it isn’t.
It feels like everywhere you go on the internet, you need to enter a password. Using the same one is highly unsafe, but remembering so many different passwords can be tiresome. Luckily, there are a few options: Dashlane, LastPass, and KeePass. They all offer the same functionality, but Dashlane and LastPass offer a better user-interface, while KeePass is more basic, but is available on Ninite.
A productivity suite is a collection of productivity software, such as a word processor, spreadsheet creation and editing, presentation maker, etc. Many people end up buying the Microsoft Office suite, but if you want to save money and have the same functionality, you can use these free alternatives: OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and Google Docs. Both OpenOffice and LibreOffice are available on Nanite, while Google Docs is an online service that requires you to have a Google account (it’s free, and gives you access to other Google services like Gmail).
|Google Chrome||Mozilla Firefox|
|PC Decrapifier||Iobit Uninstaller|