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Four critical programs to keep your computer clean and running smoothly

Updated on February 22, 2009

First of all, I would like to start out by saying that although I'm not a computer techie, I have a lot knowledge about computers and would like to share what I have found to be valuable programs that have helped keep my personal computers clean and running smoothly.

Aside from not downloading dangerous files or programs that could inject malicious software into your computer, there are programs that you install that will keep your computer running in tip-top shape.

There are basically four types of programs that need to be installed in your computer if your computer is to run smoothly and efficiently. You need an antivirus program, an antispyware program, a program to immunize your computer, and a program to optimize your computer.

I personally have three PC computers. I have a laptop that runs Windows XP, a laptop that runs Windows Vista, and a Desktop that runs Windows XP Professional. I've used the four types of programs indicated above with a great deal of success on all of my computers.

Next, I wish to share with you what programs have kept my computers running smoothly and efficiently.

ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM

The antivirus program that I have found to be the most useful is Windows Live OneCare. I like that it's a user-friendly program that has a lot to offer. As most antivirus suites, it has a antivirus, antispyware, and firewall features. It does performance tune-ups and what I like the most is that it manages all of your covered PCs from a central hub and makes networking a snap. I personally have all three of my computers networked along with my wireless all-in-one printer and use one of these as the central hub to see the protection status for all three.

Many antivirus suite programs cost near $80.00, but Windows Live OneCare offers all of this for a fraction of the cost

ANTISPYWARE PROGRAM

Recently, back when Internet Explorer was having a little bit of a security issue, one of my computers got infected with a nasty little Trojan virus that I couldn't remove with anything that I tried.  My antivirus program (which shall remain nameless, but at least I can tell you that it was not Windows Live OneCare), could not remove it for the life of it.  I downloaded several antispyware programs and none of them could do the job either. 

Finally, I read online that SUPERAntiSpyware could probably remove it.  I thought it would be worth the try.  I downloaded it directly from their website superantispyware.com, installed it, ran it and much to my surprise, that nasty little Trojan was gone for good.  It made a believer out of me, let me tell ya!

SUPERAntiSpyware is an advanced detection and removal program.  It detects and removes spyware, adware, malware, Trojans, dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, and other nasty little parasites. Another nice aspect of this program is that it doesn't bog down your computer like huge Antivirus Suites.

If you really, really like it you can purchase a CD version of the product and best of all, for another $9.95 you can upgrade to a lifetime subscription that will give you free program updates for the life of the product.  This is a great program for a very low cost and a lot of peace of mind

IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM

Spybot Search and Destroy is a lean and mean freeware program that works as an antispyware program, but it also has a neat little feature to immunize your computer against malicious spyware.  Best of all, because new updates are constant for Spybot Search and Destroy, you can download updates to immunize your computer against new spyware.

I use Spybot Search and Destroy for that feature alone, but you can also run its scanning features to find any spyware that other programs might not find.

OPTIMIZING PROGRAM

Last but not least, a good optimizing program will ensure that your computer is running at maxium performance.  One of my favorite optimizing programs is PC Pitstop Optimize 2.0.  This program performs deep registry cleaning, optimizes your Internet experience and does performance tweaks to help your computer work effortlessly.

In addition to what I mentioned in the paragraph above, Pitstop Optimize actually energizes Internet speeds, maximizes hard drive space, fixes registry errors and revitalizes system performance.  Best of all, it's very easy to use. 

In conclusion, these are easy-to-use and easy-on-the-pocket programs that if used appropriately will keep your computer running smoothly and efficiently.  Though there are many other great programs out there, that I'm sure work just as good and perhaps better, these are programs that I've personally experienced and have had a great deal of success with.

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