Agile Computing Repairs Redditch – Frequently Asked Question

Which is the best ant-virus / internet security product?

For free products you can’t beat AVG Free or Microsoft Security Essentials (although this no longer is supported on Windows XP). Personally I rather prefer the Microsoft one as it seems to slow your PC down less.

If you want to have more security and want a full security suite then we personally would
look at Kaspersky or AVG’s paid for offering. Norton and McAfee, while they work well
just slow your system down too much for our liking particular on older PC’s. We have found Panda Internet Security works better on older operating systems.

What should I do to regularly maintain my computer?
Checkdisk, defrag, disk cleaner all of which come with Window are all good places to
start. Once a week or once a month is adequate for most users. Running tools like
spybot and adware is also good to get rid of nasty spyware – be careful you don’t install
some of those unknown spyware products as they can be spyware themselves.
Always remember to backup and have anti-virus of some kind on your computer. 

Should I buy a Laptop or Desktop?
If you want to be mobile with where you use your computer then a laptop is best. Just
remember laptops are easier to drop and more expensive to fix than PCs. If you sit at
a desk then you’re better off with a pc tower and monitor setup – which can be a good
bit cheaper too. 

Microsoft Office is so expensive, but my kids use it at school?
It is expensive and while there are student versions available, think about free versions
of software that do the same sorts of things like OpenOffice which is great and is even
used in some schools. 

So what spec PC do my need?
A lot of people get caught up in complicated specifications which they don’t need. For
either standard office use or home use you should be looking at:

  • At least a dual Core processor or better
  • At least 4gb RAM 
  • At least 80gb hard drive
  • Windows 7 or 8

More than that unless you’re a gamer, video editor or do lots or do lots of graphical or
musical work is overkill.

If you are a gamer, video editor etc.. then should maybe think about:

  • A least a dual Core or prerferably a quad core processor or better
  • A 3D graphics card – either nvidia Geforce or an ATI Radeon
  • 6gb RAM+
  • Min 120gb hard drive
  • Windows 7 or 8, or for video or graphical work its worth considering an Apple Mac.

So do I want or need Windows 8 on a new PC?
Ultimately if you are buying new you don’t have a lot of choice with most retailers as its generally all thats available. Its not a terrible operating system, but its really designed with touchscreens in mind and its a lot different to using previous versions of windows.
For new users I think its probably easier as it will be how things move to in the future and if you are buying a PC with a touchscreen its a must. If you’re an existing Windows user who isn’t buying a touchscreen PC then I would suggest going for Windows 7 if you can.

Do I want to upgrade to Windows 8?
Again if you have a touchscreen PC (and use the touchscreen!) its worth it. If you don’t and have Windows 7 then its not worth it. XP computers are also not worth upgrading however if you are running Vista which is notoriously unreliable and often slow it can be worth considering. I personally upgraded one of my vista computers and it does work better on Windows 8. If you hate the way Windows 8 works (the tile system rather than the standard desktop/start menu) you can always change it to work like Windows 7, click here to see how to do it. Although personally I would say get used to the new look as I doubt new versions will be any different.

Do I need to upgrade from Windows XP?

The advice is yes particularly if you’re a business where downtime and security are going to be issues. If you can’t upgrade due to cost then make sure you have robust internet security and if you’re a business try and prevent these computers accessing the web using your firewall.

Do I want an Apple instead?
Apple equipment is beautifully designed and easy to use – although there is a learning curve when switching from using PCs. We use Apple equipment for a number of different purposes and in general there are more reliable, get less viruses and have less problems than PCs. But all this comes with a considerable price tag, with the exception of some specialist software for music that is Apple only you can get the same or similar products on the PC and the computer itself will usually be a fraction of the price. If you are doing graphical, video or music production then you probably need an Apple, if you don’t they are nice but they are an expensive luxury.