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May 26, 2009

Computer Maintenance

In an increasingly computerized society it's very important to keep your computer clean, virus free, and running efficiently. It's important for bloggers, work at home employees and others that spend a lot of time on their computers to keep them running at peak performance. With so many different anti-virus applications to choose from, it's hard to decide which one to use. Most computers come with a free trial of Norton anti-virus but after the trial runs out you either have to purchase the Norton or find something else.

The hands down, bar none best anti-virus program out there is Bitdefender. About 2 years ago I myself was caught in a dilemma. I had just purchased a new laptop and my trial anti-virus had ran out. I did a little research and the program that was getting voted #1 in all consumer reports was Bitdefender. I decided to take a leap of faith and purchase Bitdefender for my computers. Bitdefender only costs $29.95 for 3 licenses. That means you can install and use Bitdefender on 3 different PCs. I have a work computer and my personal laptop and each year I have purchased the 3 licenses and sold the 3rd one to a friend at cost. Even if you don't have 3 computers pass the other license code to a friend or family member.

Bitdefender offers real time protection, daily updates, scheduled scans, and the best part about it is that it takes up little memory and once you get it installed you will never know it's there. I usually run a deep system scan every 5 days and it almost never finds anything due to the real time protection keeping things blocked before they become an issue.

Click here to purchase Bitdefender Anti-Virus

The next step in keeping your computer clean comes from a very powerful, yet free program called CCleaner. CCleaner is an all in one program that cleans your browser's history, temp files, cookies and other information. It supports all popular browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Google Chrome. CCleaner also allows you to empty the recycle bin, clear recent document lists, deletes temp files in Windows and old log files. CCleaner also features a registry cleaner that contains advanced features to remove unused and old entries, including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more... also comes with a comprehensive backup feature. CCleaner also removes temp files and recent file lists (MRUs) from many apps including Media Player, eMule, Kazaa, Google Toolbar, Netscape, Microsoft Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and many more...

CCleaner is totally free, contains no ads, and is Spyware free. You can click here to download it now!

I used to think computers over time just got slower and less responsive but little did I know they were just getting junked up. Keeping your computer cleaned off and organized will keep it running like the day you purchased it for years to come. I have a 13 year old Dell desktop PC and it still runs like the day I purchased it. The key is to run regular virus scans, run CCleaner to keep junk deleted, and watch what you download and install. I like trying new programs but if it's something I don't like or don't need I uninstall it. Keeping programs you don't need or use anymore off your computer is a great way to keep your computer running fast. CCleaner also has a uninstall feature that allows you to uninstall programs from it.

Not only does the software on your computer require regular maintenance, but the computer itself also requires regular care. I regularly vacuum the dust from the fan on my laptop and my desktop with a Shop Vac. This helps get the air and heat out, and keeps the fan from getting clogged up. If the fan on your laptop or desktop sounds like an airplane taking off, vacuuming the dust out could make it silent again, and make your computer run faster and cooler.