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50 great tools to speed up your Windows PC

Make Windows Vista and XP fly, the easy way

Make Windows go like a bomb, boost your browser and clear out your registry with these tools - most of which are free. If you want a faster system, you could buy a new PC. Or you could read this article instead.

Security optimisation

If your PC is infected with malware, it runs at less than its peak. So if you have a sluggish system that seems to go on the fritz regularly, an infection may be the cause. Use these programs to kill infections and stop them from attacking your machine in the first place.

Comodo Firewall Pro

This excellent free firewall has been rated as one of the top firewalls by the independent testing site Matousec, which found that it has the highest level of "anti-leak" protection (in essence, a measurement of a firewall's effectiveness). It offers two-way protection, and a great view into your system and your internet connection as well.

Avast

A lightweight freebie, Avast won't weigh down your system by consuming too many resources or RAM - yet it does a great job of killing viruses and live-scanning for them. It also scans email (including web-based email) for viruses, and offers protection against instant-messaging viruses, peer-to-peer dangers, and other threats.

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

AVG's excellent free antivirus software is similarly prudent with your system resources and RAM. It's simple to use and easily configurable, and it protects your machine. What else could you want?

SpywareBlaster

Keep your system in top running form by stopping the installation of ActiveX-based malware and other types of spyware. A particularly useful feature is the System Snapshot, which will take a snapshot of your PC so that if it gets infected, you can revert to a clean version.

Spybot Search & Destroy

A longtime favorite free program, Spybot offers live protection from spyware installation, and scans your system for preexisting spyware and kills it. The software has a restore function, as well.

Ad-Aware 2008

Using more than one antispyware scanner is a good idea. So even if you have another, this free one, which has been around for years, is worth trying. It does a great job of scanning, and it lets you put potentially damaging software in a quarantine area, where you can later restore the item if it isn't dangerous.

Trend Micro HijackThis

If you think your PC is infected with spyware, but your spyware killer can't track it down, try this freebie. After HijackThis analyses your Registry and file settings, it creates a log file, which you can upload to a HijackThis Web forum for the community to analyze. Unless you're an expert, you should not try to use this tool to fix problems.

NEXT PAGE: interface tune-up

  1. General tune-up tools
  2. Application and startup optimisation
  3. Hard-disk cleaning and backup
  4. Internet and network tune-up
  5. Browser optimisation
  6. Registry cleanup
  7. Security optimisation
  8. Interface tune-up
  9. Miscellaneous optimisation tools

See also:

The web's 10 best free security downloads

15 fabulous, free PC security programs

PC security: are malware whitelists friend or foe?

The best 15 free privacy downloads

Visit Security Advisor for the latest internet threat news, FREE net threat email newsletters, and internet security product reviews

14 favourite free internet tools


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