LangaList Plus

An old PC speed-up hoax reappears

Like bad pennies and Nigerian money scams, those bogus offers to speed up your online connection keep coming back.

Most of these speedup come-ons give bad advice — disable Windows’ networking Quality of Service feature.

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Finding a cure may mean looking elsewhere

Sometimes, what seems to be a networking problem is actually caused by the actions of a totally different PC subsystem.

By making simple adjustments to that second system, you can often resolve the networking problem.

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What speed LAN hardware do you really need?

It’s always tempting to buy the fastest-possible hardware, but sometimes it’s just a waste of money.

Fortunately, some free tests can help you ensure that your networking gear is the right speed for the tasks you actually perform.

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Readers weigh in on MS Security Essentials

A flood of reader mail (and comments in the Lounge) followed my report of a six-month, real-life test of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).

Many reader remarks questioned the uncontrolled nature of the test as well as MSE’s suitability for novices.

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Making sense of Windows’ confusing RAM stats

“Available RAM” statistics can be confusing and even lead to poor hardware decisions.

But once you know what the numbers really mean, you can make an informed judgment about your PC’s RAM requirements.

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Security Essentials test drive — month 6

After half a year of real-life testing, Microsoft’s Security Essentials anti-malware application is batting 1.000.

All nine test computers — a mix of Windows 7, Vista and XP systems (including two portables with 20,000 miles of travel) — remain malware- and virus-free.

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Recover from a disastrous hard-drive crash

Losing Windows’ file names can be almost as bad as losing the files themselves.

Getting all your data back the way it was may be possible, but it’ll take some serious digging.

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