PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/What do you do?

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Hi Bobbert

Do you use free anti-virus and malware software that is on the internet today or do you pay for it? If you use the free products or pay for them on the net who do you go with and why?

I currently have windows 8.1

I use to have windows 8. Now that I have windows 8.1 after the installation windows was asking me then to download and install windows 10. That's strange. What ever happened to windows 8.2 through 9.9?

At the moment I'm using Microsoft windows defender. It says it will protect me from the latest viruses and malware, but it's annoying how the software keeps expects me to keep manually updating it every few hours or at least every day.

How often do you download and install windows updates?

Answer
Generally for Windows, Microsoft's Security Essentials (or "Windows Defender" depending on which version of Windows you're using) is more than sufficient for anti-virus protection. It is free for Windows customers, and will update itself through Windows Update. Paid applications may or may not offer improved security, but more often than not you're paying for a third-party developer's time and/or features that you may not need (e.g. Comodo's anti-virus software includes various testing and development tools that typical users are unlikely to use, but that may be invaluable to a programmer).

You can get Security Essentials from Microsoft, here:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download

Regarding Windows and versioning, Windows 8 is somewhat unique in getting the ".1" name, as opposed to it being called "Windows 8 Service Pack 1." It is currently unlikely that "8.2" will be released, but that can of course change in the future (Windows 8.1 will be supported until 2023, so it's very hard to make any definite statements about what Microsoft will or won't do over the next eight years).

Regarding Windows 10, it is the next version of Windows, and is available as a free upgrade for genuine copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1. There is no "Windows 9" and the commonly held explanations for this are:

- Many applications, historically, would look for "Windows 9" as an id string to determine if a computer was running Windows 95 or 98, and there were concerns over compatibility.

- Microsoft is known to make abrupt changes to their naming scheme, for example Windows XP and Windows Vista which broke the "numbered" releases from Windows 1.x through Windows 2000. Vista also saw a "hardline" re-versioning where all Windows components were upgraded to at least version 6.0 (Vista is technically NT 6.0), even if the prior version was only something like 3.5 or 4.1 or what-have-you. This was done to standardize things moving forward.

This is all largely just a curiosity - there's no worry of "Windows 9" being released, and it is safe to upgrade to Windows 10 if you would like. More information about that is available here:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-upgrade

For the most part, the differences from 8.1 will likely be minimal in day-to-day use, but Windows 10 does include some features that you may find more useful, such as Cortana, the Edge browser, better integration with Xbox One, and so forth. However for running basic applications, like Word, there should be little to no difference. If you do decide to pursue the Windows 10 upgrade, I would encourage you to wait for a month or two for all of the early bugs/kinks to be ironed out (Windows 10 only released a few days ago); the free upgrade period will last until July 2016, so there is no rush currently.

Regarding updates - Windows Defender/Security Essentials should automatically update through Windows Update as needed, assuming your Windows Update settings are configured for automatic operation. This is the advised setting, as it will eliminate all of the manual updating and checking, and depending on the performance of the computer will likely not be noticed while it runs in the background.

If you have further questions, feel free to ask.

-bob  

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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Bobbert

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

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I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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15+ years of experience

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