Almost everyone has a computer, and Internet Access now. If you need help choosing a computer, advice on how to keep your computer running smoothly, you would like to know which are the best programs to use, or you’d like some pointers to useful or interesting websites read on…

What computer should I buy and where from?

There are many choices to make. I cannot hope to tackle all the possible variations here, but hopefully these short articles will help you make a better informed choice.

Which Internet Service Provider (ISP) should I choose?

Keep your computer running smoothly

What are the best programs to use?

Useful or Interesting Websites

See these on the Links page

AntiVirus (AV) Software

Every computer running Microsoft Windows should have AV software installed.

AV software can identify and block many viruses before they infect your computer. Once installed, it’s equally important to keep it up to date.

To find out more about Anti-Virus, and to see alternatives to AVG, read this post.

Software Firewall

A Software Firewall (or Personal Firewall) helps to keep your computer safe. It can stop malicious crackers on the Internet from secretly gaining access to your computer and either planting malicious code (e.g. a virus) or using your computer by remote control to attack other computers.

Up until recently I always used ZA, and I think it still offers a good level of protection and it’s easy to use. There are some things to be aware of though, so read this post for more information.

Spyware Detection

To scan your computer for spyware, these free programs do a good job:

To read more about why you need to scan your computer for spyware read this post.


It’s important to regularly check for updates to the programs you use, especially your Anti-Virus Software, Spyware Scanner and Operating System.  If you use Microsoft Windows then you will probably need to check each program separately.  If you use Mac OS X or Ubuntu Linux they will check for all available updates for installed programs for you.

I hope to write a short article about why updates are important (security, performance, features) soon, if/when I do I’ll post a link here.


A few minutes each week looking after your computer will keep it running smoothly for longer. Otherwise it will “clog up” and eventually you’ll be persuaded you need to spend money on a new one long before it’s necessary!

The reasons why it’s important to do some regular maintenance, and how to do it, are in this post.

Backup! Do it now, and do it often

Inevitably at some point, something will go wrong. When it does you’ll be extremely relieved that you made regular backups.

There are lots of ways of taking backups, I have explained some and listed some of the software available in this post.