Most PC users take it on wary faith that their firewalls are providing full protection from malicious applications.
A better policy is to use firewall testing services and free applications to ensure your firewall is correctly set.
PC users who have made the jump from Windows XP to Windows 7 are in for a surprise when they go looking for temporary files.
In the Feb. 25 Windows Secrets newsletter, I answered the question, “Where did ‘Documents and Settings’ go in Win7?” This week, a subscriber wants to know where Win7 puts temporary Internet files.
Win7-to-Win7 networking may be easy, but connecting your new Win7 system to older PCs with previous versions of Windows or non-Windows systems can sometimes be a real headache.
Firewalls and Win7′s HomeGroups are usually the primary culprits, but the following step-by-step tips should help solve your networking troubles with minimal hassle.
Tools built into every version of Windows let you create customized shutdown shortcuts.
It’s easy to add shutdown, reboot, suspend, hibernate, or other options to your desktop — if that’s what you want or need.
A little Registry maintenance and tweaking can make your system boot faster.
In fact, free Registry tools can improve all your system’s phases: startup, shutdown, and everything in between.
Are you tired of bloated, multi-megabyte security suites that slow your system down and are packed with features you don’t use or require?
Maybe Microsoft’s small, sharply focused security tool is all you really need — and you can get it without having to spend a nickel.
There are a surprising number of excellent office software suites available, and some of the best don’t cost a dime.
MS Office remains the king of office suites, but if you can’t or don’t want to use it, numerous free and commercial substitutes stand ready to serve.
With proper care and feeding, the expensive lithium-ion batteries in your notebook PCs and other portable gear can run well for many, many years.
On the other hand, common battery-care mistakes will reduce your batteries’ run times and lead to needless and costly early replacement.
Microsoft’s Engineering Windows 7 blog documents a little-known Win7 upgrade path from the Release Candidate.
If you’re using the Windows 7 RC, you can upgrade directly to the final, retail release of Win7 Ultimate, though following this unsupported upgrade path isn’t for everyone.
It’s a little-known fact that all solid-state disks — all of them — suffer inevitable performance declines over time.
It’s also little known that Windows 7 and Server 2008 are currently the world’s only operating systems to fully implement the new trim command that helps forestall this speed decline.