Things that can slow your computer down:
Computer performance is something I have always had problems with, especially since I like to play games. I'm typing this article on an old computer right now. I actually bought this computer refurbished to replace an even older computer that was still running Windows XP! I don't recommend using Windows XP anymore, since it is not supported by Microsoft, I would be concerned about the security.
My old computer (running Windows Vista) works pretty well at surfing the web, watching videos, checking email, etc. If you notice your computer is slow even during theses tasks, there are a couple of things you should check before going out and buying a new computer. In fact, there are a couple of things you may be able to check for free:
1. Internet Connection: The first thing I would check is my internet connection speed; because even the fastest computers will not do any good if the problem is your internet connection. It's pretty easy to check this. I use a website called speedtest.net
Here is a test I just ran on my computer. It looks like my internet connection is decent right now:
You can see here that my download speed is 56 mbps. While many people certainly have faster internet speeds, I shouldn't be having any problems surfing the web, streaming Netflix or YouTube, or downloading most files at this speed. If anyone is interested in more information on internet connections please comment and I will write a blog post on it soon.
2. Check for Malware: In my experience, one of the most common symptoms of malware is slow computer performance. Unfortunately that is not the worst problem malware can cause. If you have malware on your computer you are risking loss of data (this is why backups are so important) as well as your private information being exposed. So you should check for malware on a regular basis.
Malware is an important topic, and one of the most common problems I have been called for in IT support, so I will be posting more information on what you can do to check for it and protect your system in the future. For now, I will just say make sure you have at the very minimum an antivirus, one or more anti-malware programs, and a firewall, and make sure that you update them and run regular scans.
Note that there are some very good free security programs, so you do not have to spend a bunch of money on this. If you buy one of the big ones keep in mind your license is normally only good for a certain amount of time (maybe 1 year, for example). After that it is important to note if you have not paid to update your subscription your computer is not being protected.
Once you have eliminated the above two issues, if you still feel your computer performance is less than desired, then we will go over the next steps to find out the most affordable and efficient way to solve the performance issue, in my next blog post tomorrow. Please leave a comment if you have a question or anything to add.