Computers are a lot like any other appliance: they have to be maintained, cleaned (both internally and externally), and treated with some measure of responsibility. Most machines can get by with a little to a moderate amount of care, but I personally prefer to take no chances. There’s a wide variety of software that I use, for purposes ranging from maintenance to security, to just helpful tools.

A very useful tool I picked up early this year is CCleaner. Most applications, when run, will create temporary files that are stored away in your machine, and though small, they add up quickly into huge folders that just take up space. CCleaner seeks them out and deletes them, as well as being capable of deleting unused registries and defragging hard disks, and that’s only scratching the surface of its potential!

Something that every computer needs is an anti-virus or anti-malware scanner, and nothing beats a price tag of $0. Some of the best free anti-virus scanners are MalwareBytes and Avira, the prior being the better option of the two because it runs faster and scans more thoroughly, and it doesn’t give you advertisements. Microsoft’s malicious software scanner is effective too, but don’t make it your sole source of protection.

All the software I have listed is free, and I would give a positive recommendation to use any, if not all, of the above programs to keep your machine running at its peak performance.

~Chris Watson, Technical Intern