laptop and desktop computer

How to Choose Between a Laptop and Desktop Computer

Choosing between a laptop and desktop can be a difficult decision. In a desktop vs. laptop comparison, it is important to determine which features and benefits are consistent with your needs. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each; in order to help you understand which option will best suit your needs.

Listed below are the key areas to consider when choosing between a laptop and desktop computer.

  • Portability
    • The key difference between the two options is portability. If you need a portable device then it would be ideal to invest in a laptop. However, if the laptop will simply act as a desktop with the very occasional need for portability, a desktop is also an excellent choice and far less expensive.
  • Price
    • Laptops typically cost slightly more than an equivalent desktop.  However, recently prices have dropped and laptop prices are extremely competitive.
  • Security
    • Desktop computers are usually more secure than laptop computers due to their lack of mobility. The portability of a laptop makes the device more appealing to be stolen if it is not properly secured.  Security cables can be purchased with laptops in order to reduce this threat.
  • Network Access
    • Both desktops and laptops have equal connectivity to the Internet through the following technologies including dial-up modems, DSL or Cable modems, Ethernet and Wireless networking. Owning a laptop gives users the ability to take advantage of wireless networks that they can access when traveling with their device.
  • Upgrades
    • Laptops may not be as easy to upgrade with the addition of new technology. Be certain to configure a laptop with the necessary features that you will utilize. Desktops are generally much more expandable.  With a desktop you can easily add a new video card, larger hard drive, a new processor, or other components as technology evolves.

The best way to determine whether to buy a desktop or laptop computer is to determine how you plan to use your new computer. If mobility is important and your requirements are everyday functions such as email, surfing the web, and streaming video, then a laptop should be sufficient. A laptop should even suffice for most work projects using software such as Microsoft Office.

If your computer usage extends to programs that require a vast amount of system resources like video and photo editing, streaming high-definition video, and high-end 3D gaming, then a mid- to high-end desktop would be a better option.

If you need help choosing if a desktop or laptop computer is the right fit for you; we are here to help. Here at Everything Computers, we are dedicated to providing high quality computer repair services for residents in the metro Atlanta area. Located in Marietta, we have been in business since 2002, and we are committed to providing you with an excellent customer experience. Contact us today with any questions.

2014 Free Antivirus

Best Free Antivirus Software of 2014

With security attacks and viruses increasing in size and severity, it is important to make sure that you do your part to protect your computer against malware.  Millions of people are impacted every day by viruses such as the recent Game over Zeus Virus, the Heartbleed bug, and numerous other data breaches. To ensure better protection against viruses and hacking, it is vital that every PC owner has effective and dependable antivirus software. Unfortunately, this can be expensive, especially given the cost of annual updates.

No worries, because there are plenty of free antivirus software solutions, many of which are just as proficient as their commercial counterparts. If you’re tired of annual subscriptions, but want to make sure that your PC is properly protected then check out the Best Free Antivirus Software of 2014 according to TechRadar.com and PC Magazine. We’ve selected 5 of the best free Internet security tools to deliver great security to your PC free of charge.

1.    Panda Cloud

Panda Cloud is a lightweight and simple tool that provides free real-time antivirus protection. It can be used in conjunction with many other security tools without any issues. Panda Cloud is a free version of a commercial product, so there are a few missing features, but it is definitely capable of carrying the bulk of the load. Panda Cloud recently released version 3.0, and users of the free software are now able to access a new interface as well as schedule scans and automatic USB vaccinations.

2.    Avast

Avast is one of the most popular security tools around. The program is easy to install and its clear-cut interface makes it simple to use. The software provides a quick first scan that identifies any potential threats on your PC. Another bonus is that Avast has minimal impact on your system performance.

 3.    Malware Bytes Anti-Malware 2.0

When other antivirus products fail, many tech support agents recommend Malware Bytes Anti-Malware 2.0. It is a very successful cleanup tool, and with version 2.0 there is significant improvement in appearance and ease of use. The software installs and scans in Safe Mode and its chameleon technology resists malware attacks.

4.     ZoneAlarm

One issues is that the free antivirus database is updated daily as opposed to the hourly updates provided in the commercial version. However, the program does provide plenty of functionality, with a capable, AV-Test-certified antivirus engine, an easy-to-use firewall and browsing protection.

5.    AVG

Many people have probably heard of AVG, as it is a popular choice for antivirus software. It is a solid package with a fine range of features: an antivirus engine, email scanner, identity theft protection, and LinkScanner Surf-Shield to keep you safe online.

If you believe your computer has a virus, spyware or malware, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Bring it in to the computer professionals at Everything Computers today. We offer many different services to help with all of your computer needs, including:

  • Clean Sweep
  • Data Backup
  • Data Recovery
  • Virus and Spyware Removal
  • System Clean out
  • Software and Hardware Installation

If you need help installing antivirus software, or any other malware protection feel free to Contact us todayfor more information.

GameOverVirusBlog

How to prevent the GameOver Zeus Virus

You may have heard rumors about a new “money-stealing virus” and this time the rumors are true. There is a new virus called GameOver Zeus (GOZ) that can steal your bank account numbers as well as your passwords. The virus sends your bank credentials directly to hackers so they can drain your account. Thus far Zeus has stolen more than $100 million dollars. The Justice Department announced this week that the U.S. just shut down a cyber crime ring that infected between 500,000 and 1 million computers with the Zeus virus.

Follow these steps to prevent yourself from becoming the next victim to Zeus:

  • Invest in good anti-virus software: If you don’t have any anti-virus software on your PC, you should install some ASAP. There are many different types of software from different companies for different prices, so just choose one that fits in your budget and works on your system.
  • Update your current software: Software patches stop attackers from taking advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates, and if this option is available, you should enable it.
  • Take Advantage of anti-malware tools: The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has put together a list of Anti-Malware tools to remove Zeus from your system.
  • Change your passwords: This is a no brainer and should always be done immediately after a large virus or password leak takes place. US-CERT has not specified which passwords are vulnerable, so to be safe you should change all bank account passwords. A good rule of thumb is to change your passwords every 6 months.

GOZ can also send spam emails that damage other computer systems and networks so make sure that you are not contributing to the spread of GOZ. Although the government shut down the group responsible for GOZ, which was led by Russian hacker Evgeniy Bogachev, the malware from the virus still exists. Only PCs are affected, specifically the following: Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and Microsoft Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, and Server 201, according to US-CERT.

If you need help removing the GameOver Zeus virus, or any other virus, Everything Computer can help. Contact us today for more information.

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Tips to speed up your computer

In this fast paced world, nothing is more irritating than a slow computer. Oftentimes this is something we try to fix at home by installing some software that promises to speed up our computer, unfortunately that isn’t always the most helpful solution.

Here are a few tips on how to improve the speed of your PC:

  1. Uninstall unwanted software – Oftentimes PCs come with preloaded software that you don’t actually need, and will probably never use. The issue with these programs is that they start running when you start your computer, causing your computer to run slower. To remove these unwanted programs, open the Control Panels’ Programs and Features page and uninstall the programs you don’t need. You have to be careful however to not uninstall programs that you don’t realize that you actually need. Keep in mind, sometimes programs that claim to speed up or clean your PC, are actually the ones slowing it down.
  2. Disable Startup Programs –The more software you install on your computer, the longer it may seem to take to start up. This is because programs add themselves to the list of programs started when you turn on your computer; the longer this list becomes, the longer it takes to start your computer. You can disable some of these startup programs, however we recommend letting a professional help you with this, as it can be a little tricky and you don’t want to disable something that you need to remain installed.
  3. Run a Disk Cleanup – This simple task can make your snail-like PC move like a much faster machine! A disk cleanup, or Clean Sweep, will scan your system for large, unnecessary files that are slowing your computer down.
  4. Clean out Malware – Malware is the most common factor behind a slow PC. Often malware is able to disguise itself to avoid being cleaned out. To make sure you really remove all malware and spyware, it is best to bring your computer in to your local computer pros, like the ones at Everything Computers, to run virus and spyware removal.
  5. Install More RAM or a Faster Hard Drive – If you do a lot of computer gaming, video editing, or run several applications at one time, you may need to install more RAM or a bigger and faster hard drive to speed up your PC. If you are using up anymore then 85% of your hard drive, installing a bigger one will definitely speed things up.

If these tips don’t seems to help you, or you aren’t very computer savvy, can always bring your computer to Everything Computers to have it looked at. We offer many different services to help with all of your computer needs, including:

  • Clean Sweep
  • Data Backup
  • Data Recovery
  • Virus and Spyware Removal
  • System Clean out
  • Software and Hardware Installation
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The Heartbleed Bug: Still Haven’t Changed Your Passwords?

Back in April of this year, there was an encryption flaw that was known as the Heartbleed bug. It was referred to as the biggest security threat the World Wide Web had ever seen. The bug affected many websites that you probably use every day and could have exposed sensitive information, such as your passwords and/or credit card information. If you haven’t changed your passwords yet, you may want to consider doing so ASAP, especially for the websites that were confirmed affected.

So which websites were affected? And where should you go change your passwords? Fortunately, Mashable put together a helpful list of affected websites. Here are the websites where you definitely need to change your passwords:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Google/Gmail
  • Amazon
  • Yahoo/Yahoo Mail
  • GoDaddy
  • Flickr
  • Netflix
  • Soundcloud
  • YouTube
  • Dropbox

Some of these websites were unclear about how they were actually affected and what information may have been at risk, but these are websites that suggested users change their passwords, according to Mashable. See the full article and list here.

This bug works by allowing Internet users to read the memory of the systems that are protected by vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL cryptographic software library. What this means is that users have access to sensitive information – Just like if someone were to eavesdrop on your private conversation.

The majority of the major websites and organizations have done what they can to fix this problem by now. However, it’s always a good policy to change your passwords periodically. You should also create secure passwords that would be hard for anyone else to guess and make sure that all of your passwords are different.

In the event that your computer is impacted by a virus, spyware, malware or unwanted ad-ware, come on in to  Everything Computers. We will help nurse your computer back to health! Check out our website or call us today for a list of services that we provide.

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What to Do When a Virus Takes Over Your Computer

We have all had frustrating experiences with our computers. These days, so much of our lives are dependent upon computers, and it is essential that they continue to work well. What happens when you get a virus on your computer? It may begin running slowly. It may not function properly. You may not be able to open certain programs. There are certain things that you need to do. Here are a few tips.

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hard drive

Why Data Backup is Essential

No computer is built to last forever. At some point or another, your computer will fail. If you have ever lost an essay the night before it’s due for an important class or lost hundreds of digital pictures you hadn’t gotten a chance to print, you will understand how frustrating it can be to lose data. Many files are important to the day-to-day operations of particular businesses, and losing data can sometimes be a matter of losing money as opposed to just losing files that have sentimental or intellectual value.

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The Benefits of Hiring Professionals for Computer Repair

In this day and age, technology drives much of our lives. In many cases when our gadgets break down, it’s not just an inconvenience, but it can actually be detrimental to our livelihood. There are a million things that can go wrong with your computer, and when something does go wrong, you may think that you will be able to just Google the problem and figure out how to fix it. While this is definitely possible, it’s always better to hire skilled and trained professionals.

Save Time

When you hire a professional computer repair service, it will save you a lot of time. Trying to figure out what is causing the problem can be extremely time consuming if you are not familiar with common computer issues. Skilled professionals will be able to identify the problem quickly and tell you what needs to be done to fix it.

Save Important Data

When your computer is damaged, you may be at risk of losing important data. It could be hundreds of pictures of you and your family. It could be important business documents. It could be your collection of music or things you have written. Whatever the case, it’s important to back up your data, and computer repair professionals will certainly be able to help you with this.

Prevent Further Damage

A computer repair professional will be able to give you some tips on how you can prevent further damage to your computer, depending on your unique circumstances. A skilled professional will also be able to repair your computer without causing further damage. If you have your nephew who is good with computers take a look at it, there is no guarantee that he won’t cause even more damage to your machine. You want to make sure the person handling your machine has the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to get the job done.

Whether you are looking for data backup, virus removal, or a simple diagnosis so that you understand what is wrong with your computer,  hiring computer repair professionals is always a good idea. Your computer is very important to your work, your recreation, and your life, and you want to make sure it is in good hands. Skilled professionals will treat your machines with the care and respect they need, and they will ensure that your machine is repaired in a timely manner.

Here at Everything Computers, we are dedicated to providing high quality computer repair services for residents in the metro Atlanta area. Located in Marietta, we have been in business since 2002, and we are committed to providing you with an excellent customer experience.