domingo, 20 de março de 2011

6 Important PC Tools Most People Never Use

6 Important PC Tools Most People Never Use: "

pc toolsVirtually everyone who owns a computer and is connected to the Internet knows about the security implications. Most people do worry about malware and I would like to think that only a few run a computer without an antivirus program or other security-related software. However, there are many more important PC tools that most people never use, even though they are essential for running a stable and secure system.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, you might be well advised to glance over this article. I will show you 6 critical tools that will make your work with a computer easier, your data safer, your system more stable, and your overall computer experience much smoother.

Backup Program

Are you feeling guilty already? It’s not like backup programs are secret tools that nobody knows of; yet a lot of people either don’t worry about their data or they just never get around to running backups. It’s time to quit that!

Reasons To Use A Backup Program:

  1. You will always have a second copy of your data in case the other copy gets compromised or is lost.

  2. Your data is valuable! A backup will save you money or time trying to recover damaged or lost files.

  3. Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Which Backup Program To Use:

MakeUseOf recommends FBackup for local backups and Mozy for online backups (2GB free).

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Password Manager

Unless your name is Data, you probably have a hard time remembering things now and then. If you’re human that’s normal. Nevertheless, you should 1. have a different password for every account and 2. change it often to protect yourself from hackers and identity theft.

Reasons To Use A Password Manager:

  1. Never again forget a password.

  2. Use complicated secure passwords and thus protect your accounts from getting hacked.

  3. Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

And you’d better back up your Password Manager!

Which Password Manager To Use:

MakeUseOf recommends LastPass, a cross-platform browser plugin that stores and syncs your passwords wherever you go. For local storage I recommend KeePass.

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Software Or Driver Update Tools

As mentioned in the introduction, almost everyone these days is aware of viruses, hackers, and other security-related threats that linger online. And I’m sure you have all heard about security holes in various programs. While a lot of programs install security updates automatically, many won’t do anything, unless the user initiates an update.

Reasons To Use Upgrade PC Tools:

  1. Fix security holes.

  2. Fix bugs and gain access to new features.

  3. Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Which Upgrade Tools To Use:

Probably the reason why most people do not use these PC tools is that none of them cover all possible software or hardware. However, they are still easier to use than checking for updates manually. I recommend Device Doctor for driver updates and Update Notifier for finding software updates.

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We all install software to test it and then never use it again. So it sits there and takes up space. Worse even, it may start with Windows and come to live now and then and get on our nerves. Why not simply uninstall it?

Reasons To Use An Uninstaller:

  1. Frees up space on your hard drive.

  2. May even speed up your system if the software starts with Windows.

  3. Unclutter your Start menu.

Which Uninstaller To Use:

Windows comes with an uninstaller. However, software dedicated to this task is much better! MakeUseOf recommends Revo Uninstaller and IObit Uninstaller.

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No matter which file system you have on your hard drive, the fuller it gets, the more likely it is that files will be fragmented, and this will slow down the hard drive. Check the article on file systems below for more information.

Reason To Use A Defragmenter:

  1. Speed up your hard drive.

Which Defragmenter To Use:

MakeUseOf recommends Defraggler and Auslogics Disk Defrag.

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System Maintenance Software

System maintenance tools remove temporary and junk files, clean your system and boost its speed. Most system maintenance software actually comes with an uninstaller, a defragmenter, and malware protection. So they are an all-in-one tool to keep your computer in top shape.

Reasons To Use System Maintenance Software:

  1. Remove junk files and free up space.

  2. Fix common annoyances and boost system speed.

  3. Clean all browser browser files in one place.

Which System Maintenance Software To Use:

MakeUseOf recommends Glary Utilities and CCleaner.

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For more software recommendations from MakeUseOf check out our The Best Of: Windows Software page.

Which of the recommended PC tools have you been using? Did I motivate you to start using any of the others?

Image credits: Ivan Montero Martinez, Matthias Pahl, Vladru, Helder Almeida

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