Things for free

Computing Matters 3 – Things for free

Republishing an ild newsletter from Aug 2007

Welcome to my third newsletter, now titled “Computing Matters”. In this newsletter I will cover Things for Free.

Well, believe it or not there are things for free on the internet. And good things! Here are four sites to look at:

1. File Hippo
Lots of free software on one website!

This is a website is a compilation of all sorts of useful free software to download. I tend to visit file hippo several times a week to find out what new versions are released such as Acrobat Reader 9 and itunes 8.2.

The main thing I recommend downloading and installing from this site is AVG antivirus (or Avira AntiVir). Both these are completely free antivirus products and work excellently.

Incidentally, in a PC professional magazine this month, AVG got a rating of 83% effectiveness in comparison to 78% for McAfee and 68% for Norton. Avira AntiVir actually got 92% but I still prefer the way AVG works!

Based on years of experience, I always feel that if you have Norton antivirus installed on your computer, one of the best things I personally think you can do for your computer is to uninstall it! It has an amazing tendency to spread its paws all over a system, causing it to be slower with frequent crashing.

Note: never run two anti viruses on one computer. This could lead to constant crashing!

2. Foldershare soon to be called Windows Live Sync
Sharing documents with others

A great free service from Microsoft allowing you to keep the same documents synchronised on two or more computers. I recently ran a business with three others and we used this to maintain a special “my documents” folder between the three of us. If one person added, deleted or changed a document, regardless of where we were in the world, the other two would then see the same changes on their own computer very soon after.

3. Speed testing your broadband connection – How fast is your internet connection?

Today, at a client, we investigated the speed he was getting for broadband. This site does a great graphical job of estimating those speeds…give it a try!

If you are getting only a speed of 512k, then you should call up your internet service provider. Many will now upgrade you to speeds of 2MB or even up to 8MB free of charge!

Finally I received an email of a very amusing clip trying to educate us on fraudsters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=372Ah0Z_L1w
Enjoy and spread the word!

I hope you enjoyed this edition – I hope to over another “things for free” email in a few months time. In the meantime, I will be covering issues like spam, spyware, wifi, outlook backup, domain names, changing internet service provider.

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