Forgot to say new to Vista, and don't know the (newish) computers themselves very well either. Buying them just happened to coincide with broadband becoming available here. I can understand most terms without explanation though, having fiddled about with computers for some time (albeit only with the Sinclair QL, MSDos, and 98SE!)
I can't easily ask in a computer shop; they're a long drive away (& wheels not always available).
(A few timeouts later) It's like the Archers, cliffhangers and all (The sick dialup connection's worsening - will it expire for ever? If it hangs on, will it be strong enough to activate the security software before the new broadband's tested?)