Even a cheap computer is probably the most powerful piece of technology in your house. That power comes from complexity, and with complexity, inevitably, causes problems. If you want to avoid those problems, and keep your computer in working order, there are a few programs that you’ll absolutely need.
Antivirus and Anti-spyware
Every computer needs anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Viruses and spyware, collectively known as malware, has many origins and many intentions, but they have one thing in common: they’re bad for your computer, and will cause nothing but trouble if left to their own devices.
With both a free and paid version, Ad-Aware has been the undisputed king of anti-spyware utilities.
Avast Free Antivirus
Avast is the best free anti-virus suite out there at the moment, and it’s better than a majority of paid anti-virus software.
Although a bit on the pricey side, Bitdefender may be the best anti-virus software on the market.
Drivers are responsible for telling the hardware on your computer how to act. There’s no end to the list of problems that out-of-date or damaged drivers can do. While updating them one at a time could take all day, driver update software does the job in a matter of minutes.
PerfectUpdater has a clean, data-rich interface. Of particular use is its ability to tell you exactly how out-of-date your drivers are, and its ease of use.
Device Doctor is one of the most popular free driver update options out there, and works well even on older computer systems.
Driver Reviver has one of the biggest driver libraries on the planet, meaning that even obscure hardware should be no problem at all.
The registry is the most important part of your computer that you’ll probably never see. It holds a massive amount of system and program settings, without which your computer would not even be able to boot up. But, perhaps because the average user never really interacts with the registry, it is easy to forget about.
A free utility that cleans and repairs your registry in just a few minutes, CCleaner also has a number of “Clean-up” options for the rest of your computer.
CleanMyPC will let you clean and repair the registry files on your computer, as well as helping you to control what programs end up running in the first place by letting you change startup programs.
Wise Registry Cleaner
Wise Registry Cleaner is a combination registry cleaner and registry defragger, which will keep your registry in top form and severely minimize the chance of errors.
Most computer maintenance and security is designed to stop problems before they start. However, sometimes things just go wrong, no matter what preparations you make. That’s why every computer needs some kind of backup system. If you have good backup software, and you’re diligent with it, your computer could fall off a cliff and you’d still have all your files right at your fingertips.
Genie Backup Manager
Genie Backup Manager stores your backup as a .EXE file, meaning that all you have to do is double-click the program and your backup will begin unpacking.
Rebit is a powerful backup tool that can support more than three computers, and allows you to copy your files to a USB storage device.