New Notebook? Make it Secure and Boost Performance for Free!

by Reads (18,622)

Originally published on

Chapter 1 – A New Notebook!

So you just spent a few hundred bucks on a new laptop. You fire it up for the first time and are greeted by your “ninety day trial” of Norton Antivirus to keep your machine protected right from the start. (Or you didn’t get any included trial antivirus software, so you just fork out another $39.00+ for a one-year subscription with updates). Great, virus problem solved!

After using your new notebook for a few days, perhaps you notice that it takes more time to boot up then you’d prefer. Or you notice that your new technological wonder randomly “slows down”. Maybe your mouse pointer stutters for a few seconds. Or does booting seem a bit too sluggish for a brand new machine? Oh and by the way, what’s with all those little icons down there in the Windows task bar? Do you really need all that “stuff”?

Chapter 2 – “Friendly” Advice

You read up on some forums about how “reformatting your hard drive” and reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows will make your laptop run so much better. Your techie friends tell you “there’s a bunch of bloatwear on your computer that you can’t get rid of unless you reformat your drive and start from scratch.” So all you need is a few hours of your time and some knowledge about device drivers and your “new” notebook will run the way it should right? Well MAYBE. But is this the right way to go? Read on for an alternative to this potentially frustrating goose chase that may lead you right back to where you started – being forced to reimage your computer with the manufacturer’s recovery disk.

Chapter 3 – A Better Solution!

Perhaps you are the adventurous type, a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator or work for NASA. Reformatting your tablet is a piece of cake. Well then we say “go for it”! But if you’re like the other 99% of the population, you just want your new computer to work the best it can, stay fast and secure without a big hassle. Sound like you? Read on…

Whether you just purchased a new laptop, already have one or plan to buy soon, our tips will surely help you to get all the security and performance you need without a big hassle. Here we share the best software tools, antivirus software and Windows optimization tips that you need. Best of all, you don’t need to spend a dime!

The Plan

When it comes to establishing basic security of your data and privacy for your notebook, you need two basic tools.

1. Antivirus Software

2. Antispyware Software

Your notebook may or may not have come with these tools. If it did, it is most likely that they are only trial or limited versions. Let’s first touch base with your Antivirus software. You have probably used Norton Antivirus before and if your machine came preloaded with the trial version it seems prudent to simply go with that solution. However, this comes at a cost. Not only will you be up to pay for a subscription renewal in 3 months, but the fact is that the “industry trusted” Norton Antivirus slows down your computer. Not just a bit, but a lot. Think that’s a necessary trade off to keep your computer safe and virus-free? Think again.

Our recommendation? Computer Associates eTrust EZ Antivirus. Did you know that you can get a one year subscription for free? Oh and guess what. CA’s eTrust EZ Antivirus just happens to be what Microsoft uses on their own PC’s within the company. I don’t know about you, but besides being essentialy “free”, nobody knows what protects a Windows-based PC better than Microsoft! In final, this great solution is significantly less invasive then the others like Norton, McAfee and Panda. You would be amazed how much better your computer can run without being bogged down by resource hogging solutions by Norton or McAfee.

You can download your free copy of eTrust EZ Antivirus here.

Moving right along, the next essential you will need is an “AntiSpyware” application. There are many great choices of AntiSpyware software out there, but they are often costly and may be taxing on your system.

Our recommendation? Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta).  This is one of the best things we’ve seen from Microsoft for free! You will enjoy three benefits from this application.

1. Solid, realtime protection from troublesome spyware.
2. Free, consistent updates.
3. Bonus: Easily optimize your Windows startup with a built-in tool!

You can download your free copy of Windows AntiSpyware here.

How to Optimize Windows Startup with Windows AntiSpyware:

On the top right corner of the Windows AntiSpyware home window, you’ll see “Advanced Tools”. Click Advanced Tools.

On the next screen, click on “System Explorers”.

Under “Applications” in the tree menu on the left, click on “Startup Programs”.

You will see a list of programs that start with your computer. Here you can choose unnecessary applications and block them from your Windows startup. Highlight applications you wish to block in the list, then click “Block this startup program” in the blue area on the right side of the window.

You’ll be prompted to confirm your choice.

Finally, the dialog reassures you that the selected program has been blocked and that this process is reversible.

By blocking unnecessary programs from your Windows startup, you will have a clean booting system that won’t be bogged down by unwanted automatic updates and “bloatware” preinstalled by the manufacturer.

Final Words

Should you choose to go with the recommendations we have outlined in this article, you will get the most out of your notebook without spending any money beyond the cost of purchase. Additionally, you will be protected from malicious code in the form of viruses or spyware AND you can stop unwanted programs from hogging the RAM and CPU power you paid to use your way – not for the bloatware your OEM decided to stick you with right out of the box.



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