Andrs Valencia

PC Updating

This page offers information on how to keep your PC updated and increase your productivity.

Business and the Internet:

Will you perish or profit in today's Digital Economy?
By Robert McGarvey

Are you geared up to compete in the new "Digital Economy", the computerized business world?
"Businesses that aren't will be toast", warns Don Tapscott, author of "The Digital Economy" (McGraw Hill), a book that's long held a place on bestseller lists.

Brave New World (Local)

This interview was published in the WWW by the magazine "Entrepreneur".

Windows Operating System:

Windows 98:

On June 30, 1998 Microsoft released 'Windows 98', the successor to Windows 95.
Windows 98 uses the new 'FAT 32' system for allocating the space in your hard disks. This system reduces wasted space and might be somewhat faster.
New hardware and software managing capabilities are introduced, and more integration with the Internet.
Windows 98 was supported until November 30, 2003.

On June 30, 1999 Windows 98 reached it's Second Edition (Windows 98 SE), requiring 24MB RAM, in a step towards unification under a future version of Windows.
Windows 98 SE was supported until March 31, 2004.

On December 31, 2000 Microsoft released Windows Millennium Edition (Me), mainly a multimedia upgrade to Windows 98.
Windows Me was supported until June 30, 2004.

See Windows Life-Cycle Policy.

Do not use an unsupported version of Windows;
its vulnerabilities represent a grave security risk

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7:

On December 31, 2001 Microsoft released Windows XP, mainly an advanced multimedia upgrade to Windows Me on new 32 bit code (DOS is now an emulation), with important new firewall-like security features in its version SP2.  [Windows XP]

The original Windows XP was supported until August 30, 2004.
Windows XP Service Pack 1 was released on August 30, 2002 and supported until October 10, 2006.

Upgrade your Windows XP to the SP3 version (Service Pack 3) that is available from May 7, 2008.
Windows XP was available to be pre-installed in new PCs until June 30, 2008 (or later for small manufacturers).
On April 14, 2009, Microsoft ended basic free support for Windows XP Home and Professional, as well as for Office 2003.
Support from Microsoft for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) ended on July 13, 2010.
Security patches for Windows XP will be developed and released until April 2014.
Microsoft support for Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3) ended on April 8, 2014.

On Windows XP new security updates are only available for versions SP2 and SP3. Service Packs 2 and 3 are free, but are only available automatically to legitimate Windows XP users. The last update was released on April 8, 2014.
[The updates released previously will continue to be available]

 [Windows Vista] The successor to Windows XP was Windows Vista (released on January 29, 2007).
The Windows Vista SP1 (Service Pack 1) was released on April 18, 2008.
The Windows Vista SP2 (Service Pack 2) was released on May 26, 2009 and is available through Microsoft Update and as an automatic download.
Also available at Download details: Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 - Five Language Standalone (KB948465). Upgrade now!
Microsoft support for Windows Vista Service Pack 2 will end on April 11, 2017.

 [Windows 7] The successor to Windows Vista, much improved Windows 7, was released on October 22, 2009.
The Windows 7 SP1 (Service Pack 1) was released on February 22, 2011 and was available through Microsoft Update and as an automatic download.
Microsoft support for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 will end on January 14, 2020.

Determine what versions of Windows 7 your PC can run using the program Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. Windows 7 requieres modern processors (at least 1 GHz) and SVGA graphics processors, and 1 GB of RAM. Also a DVD-ROM drive is required for installation.

To install a 64-bit version of Windows 7, you need a CPU that's capable of running a 64-bit version of Windows. The benefits of using a 64-bit operating system are most apparent when you have a large amount of random access memory (RAM) installed on your computer, typically 4 GB of RAM or more. In such cases, because a 64-bit operating system can handle large amounts of memory more efficiently than a 32-bit operating system, a 64-bit system can be more responsive when running several programs at the same time and switching between them frequently.

 [Windows 8] On May 31, 2012, Microsoft released the Windows 8 Release Preview, and the full version on October 26, 2012. See the new features and hardware requirements for the successor to Windows 7.
Windows 8 Setup will check to see if your PC can run Windows 8 and select the right download. Setup also features a compatibility report and upgrade assistance.
Windows 8 cannot be uninstalled. To go back to your previous version of Windows, you would need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC.
Microsoft support for Windows 8 ended on January 12, 2016.
Systems running Windows 8 should be upgraded to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.
See Upgrade to Windows 8.1. Download and run the Windows 8/8.1 Upgrade Assistant.
The Windows 8.1 update is available online via the Windows Apps Store since October 18, 2013.

Microsoft made Windows RT (a version of Windows 8 that does not run Windows XP or Windows 7 programs) available on new PCs and Surface tablets on October 26, 2012.
MS Office is integrated with Windows RT: Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote are included.
Windows RT also runs Apps from the Windows Apps Store.
The full version, Windows 8 Pro, was released on January 2013 on new Microsoft Surface tablets and via various upgrade programs for PCs. It will run programs for Windows XP or Windows 7.

Windows 10 is available since July 29 '15 in 190 countries and 111 languages

 [Windows 10] Windows has always been global with more than 1.5 billion users around the world.

Within the first 24 hours of Windows 10's release on July 29, Microsoft said its newest operating system was installed on 14 million devices.
On August 26, a little under a month after launch, Microsoft officials said Windows 10 is now on more than 75 million devices worldwide.

Windows 10 - Free Upgrade Offer:

Great news! We will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified new or existing Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year!
And even better: once a qualified Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it up to date for the supported lifetime of the device, keeping it more secure, and introducing new features and functionality over time - for no additional charge.
[After the automatic online activation, your computer's original Windows Product Key will be stored by Microsoft to allow an eventual reinstallation]

Search for anything, anywhere, in your PC and the web from the taskbar to find help, apps, files, settings-you name it. Your intelligent personal assistant Cortana will be your guide.
Project Spartan is an all-new browser built to deliver a better web experience: Microsoft Edge.
Windows 10 offers much improved backup and recovery options, and the upgrade is designed to preserve the installed programs.
Windows 10 switches automatically between the keyboard and mouse mode and the touch tablet mode when you attach/detach the keyboard.

Microsoft Edge, Windows 10's new default web browser, doesn't support ActiveX, DirectX filters, VML vector graphics, or VBScript. But upgrading to Windows 10 doesn't mean your organization's legacy web apps won't work.

To ensure that Windows 10 was compatible with older applications (such as those that require an ActiveX control), Microsoft included Internet Explorer 11 with the new operating system. However, before you can run ActiveX controls safely, you'll need to tweak IE 11's settings.

See The trick to running legacy web apps on Windows 10 (TechRepublic, Ant Pruitt. December 2, 2015)

System requirements:
Basically, if your PC can run Windows 8.1, you're good to go.
If you're not sure, don't worry - Windows will check your system to make sure it can install Windows 10.
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Free hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit Operating System, 20 GB for 64-bit Operating System
Internet access (3 GB download for the Windows 10 upgrade)
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 with Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) [128 MB video RAM minimum]
Display: 800 x 600 pixels

[To see the DirectX diagnostics for your graphics card, run the command "dxdiag" (from the Windows Start button) and select the System and Display tabs]

Physical Address Extension (PAE), NX processor bit (NX), and Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2) are features of the processor, and they're needed to run Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Download and run the Windows 8/8.1 Upgrade Assistant

See What's new in Windows 10

On November 12, 2015 Microsoft released its first major update to Windows 10.
The November update, which includes additional features and improvements, will automatically download and install when it's available. The download is about 3 GB. Your settings will stay the same and you won't lose any data.
After setup is complete, your PC will be running Windows 10 Version 1511. To see what version your PC is running, select the Start button, then select Settings > System > About.

Updates automatically download and install when they're available - which means that your PC always has the latest and best features.

If it's been less than 31 days since you upgraded to Windows 10, you won't get the November update right away; this will allow you to go back to your previous version of Windows if you choose. After the 31 days have passed, your PC will automatically download the November update.

Windows 10 periodically checks for updates. If you want to check for the update now, select the Start button, then select Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Check for updates.

See What's new for you in Windows 10

By default, Windows 10 turns your PC into a server for distributing updates to other machines.

Here's how to make it stop:

The settings for the new Peer-to-Peer (P2P) option default are for sharing updates with other computers over the Internet, not just those on your network, using your upload bandwidth and slowing down your network connection.
First, open the Start Menu and select Settings, then click Updates & Security.
Make sure Windows Update is selected in the left-hand navigation pane (it's the default when you open Updates & Security) and then click Advanced Options in the main pane.
Click on Choose how updates are delivered.
By default, Windows 10 will both send and receive updates from devices on your network and the Internet at large.
You can opt to only allow P2P updates among machines on your local network, or disable them completely.

From How to stop Windows 10 from using your PC's bandwidth to update strangers' systems (PCWorld, Aug. 3, 2015)

For devices running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 with Windows Update enabled, the Get Windows 10 app shows up automatically as a Windows icon in your system tray at the bottom right-hand side of your screen.
See Windows 10 FAQ & Tips

Users on Windows 8 must first update to Windows 8.1.
During the month after upgrading to Windows 10 it will be possible to go back to your previous version of Windows.
Users on Windows XP or Vista with compatible hardware can upgrade to Windows 10, but this will be a clean install, erasing your system disk. They will have to purchase an installation DVD, and then install the upgrade from the optical media and enter their Microsoft Windows Product Key from Windows XP or Vista.

Keep your operating system and networking software (web browser, mail program, etc.) updated. In the MS Internet Explorer menu: Tools, Windows Update. Or visit Microsoft Update.
Install all Critical and Security Updates as soon as possible. Microsoft releases them on the second Tuesday of each month.

If your PC clone came with an illegal copy of Windows, you can buy and install an original without loosing your installed programs or your documents.

If you can not install and keep updated a legal copy of Windows, it is a matter of time before your vulnerabilities will be exploited, even if you expertly use a complete firewall program.
Get your updates from The Software Patch (Download site for patches, upgrades, service packs and hardware drivers).
Do not use an unsupported version of Windows; its vulnerabilities represent a grave security risk.

From September 28 to November 15, 2006, 90% of visitors were using Windows, but 13% of them had unsupported versions.

 [Microsoft Office] Regularly update your Microsoft Office programs: visit Microsoft Office Online, and select "Office Update". Or visit Microsoft Update. Microsoft releases them on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Have your original MS Office installation disks on hand.

Office for Windows 10 offers touch-optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook that work great on small screen devices like your phone and tablet.
These new Office apps will be pre-installed for free on phones and small tablets running Windows 10, and available to download from the Windows Store for other devices.

Simultaneously, we are hard at work on the next release of the Office desktop suite that will be called Office 2016.

See The next chapter of Office on Windows (Office Blogs. January 22, 2015).

Microsoft Mathematics 4.0:

Microsoft Mathematics provides a graphing calculator that plots in 2D and 3D, step-by-step equation solving, and useful tools to help students with math and science studies.

Microsoft Mathematics provides a set of mathematical tools that help students get school work done quickly and easily. With Microsoft Mathematics, students can learn to solve equations step-by-step while gaining a better understanding of fundamental concepts in pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, and calculus.

Microsoft Mathematics includes a full-featured graphing calculator that's designed to work just like a handheld calculator. Additional math tools help you evaluate triangles, convert from one system of units to another, and solve systems of equations.

Available for Free at Microsoft Mathematics.

Also see Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 in the classroom.

Linux Operating System:

For years, Linux has dominated supercomputing. The November 2014 Top 500 supercomputer ranking found 485 out of the world's fastest 500 computers running Linux (97%). UNIX, which once dominated the bi-annual listings is down to a mere 13 systems (2.6%). One system runs Windows, and the other a mix.

See Linux still owns supercomputing (Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. November 18, 2014, ZDNet)



Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support.

Ubuntu is suitable for both desktop and server use. The current Ubuntu release supports 32-bit PCs (Intel x86), 64-bit PCs (Intel x64/AMD64), Sun UltraSPARC and T1 (Sun Fire T1000 and T2000), PowerPC (Apple iBook, Powerbook, G4 and G5) and OpenPower (Power5) architectures.

Ubuntu is available in many languages and with different interfaces (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Edubuntu, and Ubuntu Studio), with different pre-installed applications.


Lubuntu is a variant of Ubuntu that is lighter, less resource hungry and more energy-efficient, using lightweight applications and LXDE, the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment, as its default Graphical User Interface. On the 'Desktop ISO', the graphical installer Ubiquity requires about 800 MB of RAM to run.


Xubuntu looks like a typical linux distro, based on the extremely light XFCE desktop environment and super-fast. Xubuntu is for those who have low RAM old systems.


Kubuntu is a good looking distro based on the KDE desktop environment. Those who prefer Windows would definitely like it. It is slightly heavier than Xubuntu though almost equally fast on a low resource system.

Edubuntu is an education-oriented operating system.
Ubuntu Studio is the most widely used multimedia creation-oriented GNU/Linux distribution in the world.

Ubuntu includes more than 16,000 pieces of software, but the core desktop installation (.iso) fits on a single 700 MB CD. Ubuntu covers every standard desktop application from word processing and spreadsheet applications to web server software and programming tools.
Get it from But first see BurningIsoHowto (at Ubuntu Documentation).
The resulting CD can be used to start your PC and try Ubuntu without modifying it, or to install Ubuntu in one or more partitions on its hard drive, to serve as the primary or alternative operating system.

Warning: Creating partitions is a delicate operation, that could result in the loss of the data on your hard drive.

Wubi is an officially supported installer for Windows XP, Vista and 7 that allows Ubuntu (or any of its interfaces) to be installed and uninstalled in a safe, easy way as with any other Windows application, without creating a new partition. The installed version is accessed as an alternative at the starting of the PC. At this time Wubi does not work with Windows 8 default boot-loader.

Samba is a suite of programs that enables interoperability between Linux/Unix servers and Windows clients. "Samba is an Open Source/Free Software suite that provides seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients." Samba is freely available, unlike other SMB/CIFS implementations, and allows for interoperability between Linux/Unix servers and Windows-based clients.

Wine Allows you to run many Windows programs on Linux.
Wine is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, Mac OSX, & BSD. Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods and allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop. See WineHQ - Installing the latest Wine on Ubuntu.

On July 24, 2014 Canonical Ltd. launched Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS for Long Term Support.
Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS for the desktop marks the fourth long-term support (LTS) release of the world's favourite free operating system, with maintenance updates guaranteed for five years.
Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS will be supported until April 2019.
Before this date updated versions with short term support will be released every 6 months.
The minimum memory for Ubuntu 14.04.1 is near 1.5 GB (more than 2 GB recommended).
Ubuntu 12.04 was the first version to require a CPU supporting "PAE" (Physical Address Extension).

An Ubuntu 32-bit version will be faster than the 64-bit version with less than 2 GB of RAM.
See 32 bit - What are the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit, and which should I choose (at Ask Ubuntu)

See Linux (at

See also Exploring Linux distros Ubuntu 12.04 vs Xubuntu 12.04 vs Kubuntu 12.04 vs Lubuntu 12.04 Results (Arindam Sen, Linuxed, Thursday, April 26, 2012)

Google Chrome Operating System:

Chrome OS:


The Google Chrome Operating System, also known as Chrome OS, is the first operating system for the cloud computing era. The Chrome OS is a web-based operating system, in that it relies on a variety of web-based services and applications to work; it doesn't run traditional desktop applications.

Chrome is an open source operating system, which means that it can be freely distributed without paying expensive licensing costs. It is based on a version of Linux, another operating system that itself is based on the established UNIX operating system.

The Chrome OS interface runs on top of the Linux kernel. The interface strongly resembles Google's Chrome web browser; there is no traditional desktop, as found in Microsoft Windows or Apple's Mac OS. Applications are launched in individual tabs within the Chrome browser; system operations are accessed from a single Command and Control menu. Using Chrome OS is more like browsing the Web than it is navigating a complex operating system.

If you've used the Google Chrome web browser, Chrome OS is going to look and feel very familiar. Using Chrome OS is almost identical to using the Chrome browser, complete with its multiple tabs and Address Box. The big difference is that Chrome OS not only displays web pages in its tabs, but also web applications and system operations; you use the Chrome OS Address Box to enter and search not only web URLs but also web applications. It is designed to be used on small portable computers, known as Chromebooks, which are wirelessly [or wired] connected to the Internet.

From Michael Miller, My Google Chromebook (Amazon Books. Kindle and paperback editions)

The Chromebook is a new, faster computer. It starts in seconds, and offers thousands of applications, mostly free. It has built-in virus protection, and backs up your stuff in the cloud. And with free automatic updates, it keeps getting better.

Chromebooks are a new type of computer. They're fast to use, and don't slow down over time. They have built-in security, so you're protected against viruses and malware. They come with applications for all your everyday needs, and keep your data and software safely backed up on the cloud. Since June 2011 they are being manufactured by Samsung, Acer and HP.

See Chromebooks (at



CloudReady, from Neverware, is a lightweight operating system built on the same foundation as Google's Chrome OS, but able to run on almost any hardware.

Chromium was built without broad hardware support. CloudReady makes it run on virtually any machine by providing a single installer image with broad driver support and compatibility fixes.

CloudReady only runs one thing: a browser. This makes for a bloat-proof and lightweight OS that can keep machines up to 8 years old fast and responsive.

You don't have to settle if you want a headache-free Linux distribution. CloudReady is an alternative to other Linux distributions that gives you a clean, modern, and unobtrusive desktop.

CloudReady is Fast, Beautiful and Free.


Profit from the easy communication and resource sharing facilities offered by simple personal computers networks under Windows. These networks between equals ("Peer to Peer") do not require servers nor other specialized operating systems.

Update your modem to a 33.6 Kbps (or more) unit; almost all telephone Internet Service Providers are offering this connection speeds. Your per-minute cost will be much reduced, and your Web waiting and FTP downloading times will also be decreased. You will also be able to take advantage of the new communication modes now available in the Internet (see below).

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL or DSL):
Update to a wide bandwidth modem offered by some telephone services. It releases your telephone line for normal calling while giving you a permanent Internet connection, at high-speed (hundreds of Kbps).
[1 Kbps = 1,000 bits per second. 1 byte = 8 bits]

 [Speakeasy Speed Test] Speakeasy Speed Test
Measure your Internet download and upload rates (Free)
[Transfer rates in Kbps = Kilobits per second]
(Choose the server nearest to your Internet destination)


 [Get Java Software]

Java is a free computer programming tool and software platform used by every browser in the Internet, and many Web sites. It has been developed by Sun Microsystems since 1991, and in 1995 it appeared the Web with the Netscape Navigator browser. Java brings animated interactivity to Web pages.
Now Java is developed by Oracle.

There's one place Java enthusiasts and developers should go:
Keep your Java updated and delete all old versions.
Test with Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI).

Multiple vulnerabilities have been reported in Java, which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system.

The most severe Secunia advisory affecting Oracle Java JRE 1.7.x / 7.x, with all vendor patches applied, is rated Extremely Critical: Update to version 7 update 11.
This is currently being actively exploited to enable remote system access.
The vulnerability is confirmed in version 7 update 10 build 1.7.0_10-b18. Other versions may also be affected.
See Oracle Java Unspecified Code Execution Vulnerability (Secunia Advisory SA51820, January 14, 2013)

Oracle recommends updating your Java to version 7 update 13, with Java Control Panel maximum security settings. But I still recommend to prevent it for working under you browsers (from the Control Panel), if you don't need it.

See How to disable Java in your browser on Windows, Mac (ZDNet, January 13, 2013)
See Homeland Security warns Java still poses risks after security fix (ZDNet, January 14, 2013)
See Apple releases Java 7 update 11 for zero-day flaw but concerns linger (ZDNet, January 15, 2013)
See Java update 'doesn't prevent silent exploits at all' (ZDNet, January 28, 2013)

 [Get Adobe Flash Player]
Free Adobe Flash Player:

Adobe Flash Player is the standard for delivering high-impact, rich Web content. Designs, animation, and application user interfaces are deployed immediately across all browsers and platforms, attracting and engaging users with a rich Web experience.

Adobe recommends that all Adobe Flash Player users upgrade to the most recent version of the Player through the Adobe Flash Player Download Center to take advantage of security updates.
Test with Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI).

Users of Adobe Flash Player on all supported platforms can manually check whether their installed Flash Player is the latest, most secure version at Adobe Flash Player - Version Information.

Multiple vulnerabilities have been reported in Adobe Flash Player, which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system.
The vulnerabilities were reported for Adobe Flash Player Versions 9 and 10 before Feb 24 '09.
See Adobe - Security bulletins and advisories.

The most severe unpatched Secunia advisory affecting the Adobe Flash Player, with all vendor patches applied, is rated Highly critical; Do not browse untrusted sites, or disable the Adobe Flash Player.
See Secunia Security Advisories

 [Get Adobe Reader]
Free Adobe Reader:

Adobe Reader is the standard for delivering trusted Web content. Verified documents can be deployed immediately across all browsers and platforms, ensuring users with trustable Web experience.

Adobe recommends that all Adobe Reader users upgrade to the most recent version of the Reader through the Adobe Reader Download Center to take advantage of security updates.
Test with Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI).

Multiple vulnerabilities have been reported in Adobe Reader, which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system.
The vulnerabilities were reported for Adobe Reader Version 9.1.1 and earlier.
See Adobe - Security bulletins and advisories.

 [Free RealPlayer G2] Free RealNetworks RealPlayer:

RealNetworks, Inc. RealPlayer:

  • Plays all Real content.
  • Searches for audio and video content.
  • The most striking new feature of RealPlayer is its dramatically improved audio and video quality.
  • ZDNet's awarded RealPlayer a 5-star rating, saying RealPlayer is: "definitely worth the download if you want higher-fidelity audio and better-quality video".

A vulnerability was reported for the RealPlayer from RealNetworks, which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system.
The vulnerability was reported for RealPlayer versions prior to
See RealPlayer 11.x - Vulnerability Information (Secunia Advisories)
See RealPlayer Unspecified Buffer Overflow Vulnerability (Secunia Advisories)

 [Windows Media Player] Microsoft Windows Media Player:

With the new Microsoft Windows Media Player (Free), you can play most multimedia content formats, including Windows Media (formerly NetShow), RealAudio and RealVideo 4.0 and below, QuickTime, AVI, WAV, and much more, from one, easy-to-use application.

  • The most open and flexible player for accessing multimedia content
    The Windows Media Player provides the most extensible, flexible, and convenient player for accessing multimedia content.

  • Highest quality multimedia experience
    Users can select video image sizes of 50%, 100%, 200%, and full screen, or resize the video to any size they want, depending on their preference and image quality.

  • Easily tailored to user preferences
    Users can easily build a playlist with the Windows Media Player for quick access to their favorite content.

The Microsoft Media Player is available in various languages for Windows XP, Vista, and Mac.

If you have MS Internet Explorer, use it to access the links above, for a much smaller download.


Free Internet telephony that just works.
 [Skype] Skype is for calling other people on their computers or phones.
Download Skype and start calling for free all over the world.

High audio/video quality and good security. File transfers, audio/video-conferences and instant messaging.

Keep your Skype updated to avoid known vulnerabilities.


Something new in Internet communications.
 [ICQ] ICQ is a free, innovative, user-friendly Internet tool that informs you who's on-line at any time and enables you to contact them at will. No longer will you search in vain for friends or associates on the Net. ICQ does the searching for you, alerting you in real time when they log on.

The program runs in the background, taking up minimal memory and Net resources.
Among the functions available are: chat, message, e-mail, and URL and file transfer. All these functions are consolidated into one easy-to-use program that integrates smoothly into desktop systems.
But do not use ICQ to read e-mail, this function is not secure.

It's simple. When you install ICQ, the program asks you to register at a server, which is connected to a broad network of servers spanning the Internet. At the time of registration, you receive a unique UIN (Universal Internet Number). In addition, ICQ gives you the option of entering personal information along with your UIN. This allows other ICQ users to recognize you when you log on.

Once you've registered, you can compile a selected list of friends and associates. ICQ uses this list to find your friends for you. Meanwhile, ICQ waits quietly in the background without interrupting any other applications in use. As soon as you log onto the Internet, ICQ automatically detects the Internet connection, announces your presence to the Internet community and alerts you when friends sign on or off.

Microsoft Internet Explorer:

On March 19 2009 Microsoft began to release a new, improved version of their Internet Browser, the Internet Explorer 8; faster and easier to use, and safer.
 [Free Internet Explorer 8]

It was available since May 26 2009 for Windows 7, Vista and XP-SP2 in various languages through the "Microsoft Update" service.

There were many language versions available for Windows 7 and Vista (~13.3 MB) and for XP-SP2 (~16.1 MB).

Internet Explorer 8 was free, but was only available to legitimate Windows users.
Internet Explorer 8 could be uninstalled to revert to Internet Explorer 7.
Microsoft support for Internet Explorer 8 ended on January 12, 2016.
Keep your Internet Explorer browser updated to avoid known vulnerabilities.

The most severe unpatched Secunia advisory affecting Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.x, with all vendor patches applied, is rated Less critical; Do not browse untrusted sites.
See Internet Explorer Charset Inheritance Cross-Site Scripting Vulnerability (Secunia Advisory SA24314 - Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.x/8.x)

On March 14 2011 Microsoft began to release a new, much improved and faster version of their Internet Browser, the Internet Explorer 9; easier to use, safer and HTML 5 compliant.

 [Free Internet Explorer 9]

It was available since March 14 2011 for Windows 7, Vista and Server 2008 in various languages through the "Microsoft Update" service.

There were many language versions available for Windows 7 and Vista (~17.2 MB).

Internet Explorer 9 was free, but is only available to legitimate Windows users.
Internet Explorer 9 could be uninstalled to revert to Internet Explorer 8.
Microsoft support for Internet Explorer 9 ended on January 12, 2016.
Keep your Internet Explorer browser updated to avoid known vulnerabilities.

The most severe unpatched Secunia advisory affecting Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.x, with all vendor patches applied, is rated Not critical.
See Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.x (Secunia Advisories)

On February 26 2013 Microsoft began to release a new, much improved and faster version of their Internet Browser, the Internet Explorer 10; easier to use, safer and HTML 5 compliant.  [Free Internet Explorer 10]

It was available since February 26 2013 for Windows 7 and Server 2008 in various languages through the "Microsoft Update" service.

Internet Explorer 10 was free, but was only available to legitimate Windows users.
Internet Explorer 10 could be uninstalled to revert to Internet Explorer 9.
Microsoft support for Internet Explorer 10 ended on January 12, 2016.
Keep your Internet Explorer browser updated to avoid known vulnerabilities.

The most severe unpatched Secunia advisory affecting Microsoft Internet Explorer 10.x, with all vendor patches applied, is rated Not critical.
See Microsoft Internet Explorer Files and Folders Enumeration Weaknesses (Security Advisory SA53193 - Microsoft Internet Explorer 10.x)

Internet Explorer 11 was officially released on October 17, 2013 for Windows 8.1 and on November 7, 2013 for Windows 7 (at Microsoft Update).

 [Free Internet Explorer 11]

The fastest, most secure and current version of Internet Explorer 11, was officially released on July 29, 2015 with Windows 10 (at Microsoft Update).

To download the program manually, select the graphic "Internet Explorer 11" link.
There are many language versions available for Windows 7, 8 and 10 (~22.0 MB).

To manually download Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, select the link Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7.

On January 12, 2016, Microsoft is officially dropping support for all but the latest version of Internet Explorer 11.
See Internet Explorer End of Support

The Microsoft Outlook Express e-mail and News client program is an excellent application that should be configured for maximum security. Also Windows Media Player and other multimedia enhancements, are separate products. They will be updated with the Windows operating system.

Windows Live Mail:

As of June 30, 2008, Microsoft was to disable the DAV protocol and you would no longer be able to access your Hotmail Inbox via Outlook Express.
As an alternative, Microsoft recommends that you download Windows Live Mail, a free desktop e-mail client that has the familiarity of Outlook Express and much more.
But the DAV protocol will NOT be discontinued at this time, and you can continue to use Outlook Express beyond the June 30 transition deadline previously announced. The Hotmail team will provide an update in the coming months.

Microsoft has developed a new, much more efficient protocol called DeltaSynch that is far superior to DAV especially for large e-mail inboxes.
The new protocol unfortunately is NOT supported by Outlook Express.

Windows Live Mail is Microsoft's next-generation e-mail program. It includes the familiar features of Outlook Express and more. Use it to get multiple e-mail accounts in one place, including Windows Live Hotmail, plus other e-mail accounts that support POP3/IMAP, and seamlessly access other Windows Live services like Spaces and Messenger.
Get spam and virus filters across multiple e-mail accounts, and warnings when it looks like an e-mail message could be a scam.

You can download the new Windows Live Mail client at

To insure a correct transition from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail, before instaling Windows Live Mail, clean, and then compact all of your e-mail folders in Outlook Express:
Menu: File, Folder, Compact all folders.
After installing Windows Live Mail and verifying that it handles all of your e-mail folders and messages, you may uninstall Outlook Express:
Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, Add or Remove Windows Components:
deselect Outlook Express and continue to Next.

The working language for Windows Live Mail can be determined with the Windows Language Bar and the keyboard (left Alt-Shift, by default).
If your installation of Windows Live Mail does not recognize all of the Microsoft languages installed in your PC, see the article "Dutch Spellcheck", by "Ildhund", on 3/16/2008 1:32 PM PST (Discussions in Windows Live Mail Desktop).
You can check the Microsoft languages and keyboards installed in your PC, and activate the Windows Language Bar, in the Control Panel; Regional and Language Options, Languages, Details.

Microsoft Officially Launches
Feb. 18, 2013

Today, Microsoft Corp. announced that its highly popular email service,, is ready for prime time. Since the release of last summer as a preview, millions of people have already actively started using it, making it the world's fastest growing email service, going from 0 to 60 million in just six months.

Starting today, Microsoft will begin to upgrade every Hotmail user to The upgrade is seamless and instant for Hotmail customers; everything including their email address, password, contacts, etc., will stay the same. Now Hotmail customers will get all the benefits from the redesigned experience: a fresh and intuitive user interface, lots of new features, and better performance.


Windows Live Messenger:

See. Hear. Share. Instantly.
Windows Live Messenger allows private video and audio conversations, and file sharing.

This free chat (keyboard conversation) program includes graphics for expressions and much more.

Starting April 8th 2013, Microsoft will begin upgrading customers from Messenger to Skype. The process will take a few weeks to complete. April 8th is the first day you may be required to upgrade.
To keep chatting with your Messenger contacts, simply upgrade to the latest version of Skype using the instructions below and sign in using a Microsoft account (this is the same ID you use to sign into Messenger). Once signed in, your contacts will already be there. You'll be able to instant message and make video calls with them just like before, and start discovering new ways of staying in touch, including Skype on your mobile or tablet.

See Download Skype and chat with your Windows Live Messenger Friends

Windows Live OneDrive:

Share Files Anywhere You're Online, 24/7.

Store, access, and share your files with friends or co-workers, from anywhere online. Free 7 GB online storage means you can easily get to your stuff with just a few quick clicks.

With 7 GB of free, password-protected online storage, you've got the freedom to share large photos, files, and documents.

OneDrive now does a great job with your photos, including large previews, thumbnail views of your photos, captions, and comments.

With personal folders, you can keep your files online and access them with virtually any Web-enabled computer or mobile device - whether it's yours, a friend's, or a public computer.

Password protection: You set the passwords and you decide who sees what, so you have confidence that your data is in your control.

Drag and drop: Uploading content is as easy as dragging and dropping the files from your computer onto the Web.

Shared folders: Working on a project with classmates, co-workers, or family? With shared folders, the whole crew can upload, download, and collaborate with you on documents and other files.

OneDrive folders can be shared with Everyone (public), My Network, Just me, or you can Select the people you share them with, to just view the files, or to add, edit and delete them.

Direct links: Each folder on OneDrive has a unique Web address, so you can save the link as a favorite or copy-and-paste it into e-mail or other documents for direct access, substituting the dangerous and heavy "file attachments".

You can start using the new Windows Live OneDrive at

Mozilla Firefox:

Mozilla is the generic term referring to Internet client software developed through an open source project. Mozilla Firefox does not handle ActiveX controls.

The new and improved Mozilla Firefox is available.
Mozilla Firefox is a fast and secure browser, with multiple functions.

 [Get Firefox] To download Mozilla Firefox (for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android),
select the "Get Firefox" link (for Windows ~19.6 MB).

Keep Mozilla Firefox updated to avoid known vulnerabilities.
[Help - Check for Updates]
(see Known Vulnerabilities in Mozilla)

The NoScript Firefox extension provides extra protection for Firefox, and other Mozilla-based browsers: This free, open source add-on allows potentially dangerous JavaScript, Java, Flash and other plugins to be executed only from trusted Web sites of your choice (e.g. your online bank).
See PC Security - Malicious JavaScript.

WebGL is a new web standard for browsers which aims to bring 3D graphics to any page on the internet. It has recently been enabled by default in Firefox 4 and Google Chrome, and can be turned on in the latest builds of Safari. Context has an ongoing interest in researching new areas affecting the security landscape, especially when it could have a significant impact on our clients.
We found that:

  1. A number of serious security issues have been identified with the specification and implementations of WebGL.
  2. These issues can allow an attacker to provide malicious code via a web browser which allows attacks on the GPU and graphics drivers. These attacks on the GPU via WebGL can render the entire machine unusable.
  3. Additionally, there are other dangers with WebGL that put users' data, privacy and security at risk.
  4. These issues are inherent to the WebGL specification and would require significant architectural changes in order to remediate in the platform design. Fundamentally, WebGL now allows full (Turing Complete) programs from the internet to reach the graphics driver and graphics hardware which operate in what is supposed to be the most protected part of the computer (Kernel Mode).
  5. Browsers that enable WebGL by default put their users at risk to these issues.
See WebGL - A New Dimension for Browser Exploitation (Context Information Security LTD).

Disabling WebGL for Firefox:

  • Type into the URL bar "about:config" and click the "I'll be careful" button.
  • Find the setting "webgl.disabled" and set it to true.
See WebGL - A New Dimension for Browser Exploitation - FAQ (Context Information Security LTD).

Mozilla Thunderbird:

The new and improved e-mail client Mozilla Thunderbird is available.

Thunderbird includes several new features to help you manage your inbox. As you receive e-mail, Thunderbird will help you organize the most important messages to get you through your day.
Import your existing messages and enjoy powerful spam protection.

 [Get Thunderbird] To download Mozilla Thunderbird (for Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux),
select the "Get Thunderbird" link (for Windows ~18.9 MB).


Opera is a fast and secure browser, with multiple functions. Opera does not handle ActiveX controls.

The new and improved Opera is available with interfaces in various languages.
Opera passes the "Acid2 Browser Test" from The Web Standards Project, and is very compact.

 [Download Opera] To download the Opera Browser (for Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2 and QNX), select the "Opera Software" link (for Windows ~12.6 MB).

Keep the Opera Browser updated to avoid known vulnerabilities.
[Help - Check for Updates]
(see Security, Privacy and Cookies in Opera)

Google Chrome:

Google Chrome is available, a new web browser for Windows.
It is a fast and secure browser, with multiple functions.

Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated "sandbox" model technology isolating the Tabs, to make the web faster, safer, and easier.
 [Google Chrome]
Chromium is the open-source project behind Google Chrome.
Google Chrome does not handle ActiveX controls.

Private browsing: Open an incognito window when you don't want to save your browsing history.

WebGL is a new web standard for browsers which aims to bring 3D graphics to any page on the internet. It has recently been enabled by default in Firefox 4 and Google Chrome, and can be turned on in the latest builds of Safari. Context has an ongoing interest in researching new areas affecting the security landscape, especially when it could have a significant impact on our clients.
We found that:

  1. A number of serious security issues have been identified with the specification and implementations of WebGL.
  2. These issues can allow an attacker to provide malicious code via a web browser which allows attacks on the GPU and graphics drivers. These attacks on the GPU via WebGL can render the entire machine unusable.
  3. Additionally, there are other dangers with WebGL that put users' data, privacy and security at risk.
  4. These issues are inherent to the WebGL specification and would require significant architectural changes in order to remediate in the platform design. Fundamentally, WebGL now allows full (Turing Complete) programs from the internet to reach the graphics driver and graphics hardware which operate in what is supposed to be the most protected part of the computer (Kernel Mode).
  5. Browsers that enable WebGL by default put their users at risk to these issues.
See WebGL - A New Dimension for Browser Exploitation (Context Information Security LTD).

Disabling WebGL: For Chrome on Windows, pass the flag "--disable-webgl" when running the executable by changing the shortcut in the start menu. A user can right click on the Chrome shortcut, select properties and add the flag.

See WebGL - A New Dimension for Browser Exploitation - FAQ (Context Information Security LTD).

Comodo Dragon:

 [Get Comodo Dragon]

Comodo Dragon is a fast and versatile Internet Browser based on Chromium, infused with Comodo's unparalleled level of Security!


  • Improved Privacy over Chromium
  • Easy SSL Certificate Identification
  • Fast Website Access
  • Greater Stability and Less Memory Bloat
  • Incognito Mode Stops Cookies, Improves Privacy
  • Very easy to switch from your browser to the Dragon

The Comodo companies are innovative and prolific developers of online security and trust assurance solutions. The Comodo Dragon has taken the latest Chromium technology and beefed it up in the one way necessary to make it the optimum browser to use on today's malware plagued Internet. - Superior Security and Privacy. Comodo Dragon not only gives you the complete compliment of features offered by Chromium (key features listed above), it also gives you Comodo's unsurpassed security and privacy features.

Comodo Dragon will run on Microsoft Windows 7/8, as well as Windows Vista and XP.
Comodo Dragon is absolutely FREE.

There are reports on browser privacy problems. Read about them in the Security Section.

IBM Lotus Symphony:

On June 10 2009 IBM released the much improved version 1.3 of Lotus Symphony for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Get Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 Today!
 [IBM Lotus Symphony]

A Free productivity suite, Symphony consists of word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications. Based on the Open Document Format standard (ODF), Symphony can also open, edit and save Microsoft Office 2007 documents.

IBM Lotus Symphony runs in a single window with a tabbed interface for editing documents, regardless of whether the file in question is a word processing document, spreadsheet, or presentation. Each file is in its own tab.

Lotus Symphony is built on IBM's Eclipse software platform, so it's efficient and tightly integrated. Eclipse's architecture supports plug-ins to extend functionality, such as the Database Connection, which connects an external database to the spreadsheet document, or Exporting Presentation to Flash, which converts presentations into .swf Flash files.

Lotus Symphony is based on Technology and supports the ODF standard, ISO 26300.

Setup is simple in various languages, for Windows, Linux and Mac. Dictionaries for many additional languages can be downloaded and installed afterwards.

Lotus Symphony Documents lets you create, edit, share, and save word processing documents.
Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets lets you create, edit, share, and save a variety of spreadsheets.
Lotus Symphony Presentations lets you create, edit and save graphic presentations that can be shared with audiences via a slide show mode.


Remote Access and Desktop Control Software for your PC.

 [LogMeIn] To be controlled through LogMeIn, a PC needs to have the LogMeIn application installed and its owner has to have a free LogMeIn account.
To be controlled, a PC needs to be running under Windows, and have MS Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox installed.

LogMeIn has a free version that shows the controlling user the screen and mouse of the controlled PC, and transfers keyboard and mouse actions.
The Pro version additionally permits file transfers and remote printing. There are specialized network management and service versions. [with Web pages in various languages]

To control a PC that is online and running LogMeIn, a controlling user needs to receive by e-mail a LogMeIn invitation from that PC.
The controlling user needs to know a user name and password to log-in to the controlled PC.
Invitations are issued for a limited time span.
Connections must be of wide bandwidth; DSL or better.

See LogMeIn Pro - Help & Support.

Correct Spanish (easily) with your U.S. Standard keyboard:

To facilitate writing correct Spanish (and other European languages) on your U.S. Standard keyboard, you can declare it under Windows, as "U.S. International"(See "Control Panel" - Keyboard). This will cause the shifted keys for ', `, ~, " and ^, to behave as "dead" keys:

You press any of these keys, and nothing appears immediately on the screen;
The PC waits for the following key press before responding.
If the following key is a vowel, n or c, this will show as modified by the dead key.
If the following key is a consonant (except for n or c), the dead key's symbol will show, followed by the consonant, as normally.

For example:

With ': , , , , , , , , , , ,
With `: , , , , , , , , ,
With ~: , , ,
With ": , , , , , , , , ,
With ^: , , , , , , , , ,

In the Windows XP Control Panel, open Regional and Language Options, Language Tab, select Details, choose US-International.
In the Windows 7 Control Panel, open Change keyboards or other input methods, on the Keyboards and Languages Tab, select Change keyboards, select US-International as Default input language. In Installed services, add a Spanish (i.e. United States) with US-International keyboard.
Select Apply. Afterwards you may change the Default input language.

You will be able to alternate between English and Spanish with Alt-Shift [on the left side of keyboard].

See How to use the United States-International keyboard layout in Windows 7, in Windows Vista, and in Windows XP.

Ver Cmo utilizar la distribucin de teclado de Estados Unidos - Internacional en Windows 7, Windows Vista y Windows XP.

Powerful shortcuts with your Windows keyboard:

Shortcut: Effect:
[Windows] Display Taskbar and Start Menu
[Windows] + [E] Start Windows Explorer
[Windows] + [F] Find Files or Folders
[Ctrl] [Windows] + [F] Find a Computer in the local network
[Windows] + [M] Minimize All Windows
[Shift] [Windows] + [M] Undo Minimize All Windows
[Windows] + [R] Display the Run Dialog Box
[Windows] + [Tab] Cycle through the Taskbar Buttons
[Windows] + [Break] Display the System Properties sheet

Links to the WWW sites of some important organizations in the PC market:

3Com Network hardware and drivers
3WK Internet Radio Indie Rock and Classic Rock online radio
7-Zip File archiver with a high compression ratio and AES-256 encryption
Acer (PC notebooks and desktops)
Adblock Plus Surf the web without annoying ads!
Adobe (Acrobat PDF Document Reader, Flash Player, Shockwave Player, Photoshop)
Alexa (the Web Information Company)
Amazon Online shopping for electronics, apparel, computers, books, DVDs & more
American Power Conversion Uninterruptable Power Supplies A collection of information assembled for and by actual users of Windows
Anonymizer Anonymous Web surfing, anti spyware, anonymous proxy, & identity protection
AnswersThatWork Database of processes, startups & services - The Ultimate Troubleshooter (TUT)
Anti-Spyware Coalition
Apple Computers and software
Ars Technica - Security Section
Ashampoo Free Ashampoo FireWall for Windows (incompatible with a-squared)
a-squared (a2) EMSI Software Anti-Malware - Free malware scanner and remover software
Audit My PC Firewall Test, Web Tools and Free Internet Security Audit
Autodesk Auto CAD (Computer Aided Design) software
Avant Browser Free Windows web browser, Anderson Che
Avast! Antivirus software - computer virus, worm and Trojan protection by ALWIL Software
 - Avast! 4 Home Edition Free [In many languages]
 - Avast! antivirus Mac Edition Free
AV-Comparatives Independent Comparatives of Anti-Virus software
AVG Antivirus and Security Software Real-time protection against viruses, spyware and malicious websites
 - AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
 - AVG Threat Labs Website Safety Ratings and Reputation (Free)
Avira AntiVir Personal Edition Free Antivirus and AntiRootkit software for Windows
AZZ Cardfile Free-form Personal Info Manager for Windows (replaces MS cardfile.exe) A language portal available in 27 languages - with 38 bilingual dictionaries
BitDefender Antivirus and security software, with Free online scan
Bleeping Computer - Computer Help and Discussion
 - RKill - What it does and What it Doesn't - A brief introduction to the program (Lawrence Abrams)
Broadband Speed tests and problem diagnosis tools (from
Broadgun Software pdfMachine & pdfMachine White (Free .pdf files creation)
Broderbund Print Creativity, Educational, utility software and ExpressIt greetings
Browserscope (Profiling web browsers) Community-driven Certificate Authority that issues certificates to the public at large for Free
Canon U.S.A. Hardware and software Hardware and software mail-order
CERT Coordination Center (Computer Emergency Response Team, Carnegie Mellon University)
Cirrus Logic Display adapters and drivers
Cisco Systems Networking hardware
ClamWin Free Open Source Antivirus Scanner for Windows
 - ClamXav Free Open Source Antivirus Scanner for Mac OS X
ClustrMaps Hit counter map widget shows locations of all visitors to your site - Free

C|net - The Computer Network:

Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE)
Comodo Free Firewall, Anti-Malware, AntiVirus, Email Security Certificate, Secure Browser and more
 - Comodo Antivirus for Mac (Protection against viruses, worms and Trojan horses for OS X computers)
 - Test My PC Security (Firewall leak and host intrusion prevention tests, and test results)
Compaq Computers
Computer Associates (CA) Software
Context Information Security LTD (Independent information security consultancy)
Core FTP Free FTP client, secure file transfer software
Corel (CorelDRAW, Paint Shop Pro Photo, graphics and productivity software)
Creative Personal computer audio
Cyber Secure Institute (CSI)
Dark Reading (Security | Protect The Business - Enable Access)
Dell Computers
DiffMerge SourceGear; Compare and merge files and folders
Dillobits Software Mirroring, backup, time synchronization, password management (Windows)
Diskeeper Defrag Automatically to Maximize Computer Performance and Reliability (Windows)
DLL Files for Free download
DNSInspect DNS checking tool DNS tools and hosting tests, WHOIS, tracert, ping, and other tools
Dot TK Free domain redirection to .tk
DriverAgent Fix your driver problems instantly
Drivers Download for Free PC hardware device drivers for Free download
Eastman Kodak Digital Photography File complaints about online transactions with a foreign company
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Defending You Rigths in a Digital World
Encyclopædia Britannica The Online Encyclopedia
Epson Printers and Computers
ESET NOD32 Antivirus and Smart Security, Free Online Antivirus Scanner
Exploit Prevention Labs (xpl) Keep Your Surfing Safe (Free)
 - LinkScanner Online (type the website address you want to check)
Flight Stats Track Flight Status, Airport Delays and other Flight and Airport Information
F-Secure Security software (Free Blacklight Rootkit Elimination Technology)
 - Trojan-Downloader:OSX/Flashback.K (Manual Removal only)
Franz Inc: Allegro Common Lisp and Common Lisp Products Programming systems
Gateway 2000 Computers
Genius Computer Accesories
Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC)
Gibson Research Corporation Internet Connection Security for Windows Users
GIMP GNU Image Manipulation Program for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring (Free)
Gizmo's Tech Support Alert (Freeware Utilities List)
Glarysoft Glary System Utilities (Free for private use)
GMER Anti-Rootkit (Free)
Google Internet search engine and services
 - Gmail free Web-based e-mail
 - Google Calendar Web-based calendar
 - Google Drive create and store documents in the Web
 - Google Maps free Web-based world map
 - Google Chrome a fast, secure, free Web browser
 - Chromebook a new type of personal computer, faster and easier.
 - Chrome Frame free HTML5 for MS Internet Explorer on Windows
Google Page Rank Checker Google Page Rank checking tool
GoToMyPC Remotely access your computer from any other Internet-connected computer in the world
Gpg4win Free Secure email and file encryption with GnuPG for Windows
GreenDisk Technotrash disposal
GSiteCrawler Free Google Sitemap Generator for Windows
Haute Secure MS Internet Explorer malware protection
Hewlett-Packard Printers, scanners and computers
HitsLink NetMarketShare (Market share for browsers, operating systems and search engines)
Home Networks Help (Home Network, Wireless Network and Computer Networking Made Easy)
Hotspot Shield (Keeps your Internet connection secure and anonymous on public networks)
IBM Computers and software
 - Lotus Symphony Free Office Productivity Software (documents, presentations, spreadsheets)
iDefense Labs Managed security services and information security
ImgBurn Writes most types of CD / DVD images
InBloom Products IBPTime - accurate PC time, LinkAlertPC - links monitoring system for Windows
inSSIDer Metageek - Free Wi-Fi network scanner for Windows 7, Vista and XP
Intel Computer hardware and software
Internet Archive (Web Contents Archive System: Wayback Machine)
Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) Web Contents Rating System
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
Internet Fax Fax distribution services trough the Internet
Internet Traffic Report - South America
Internet Security Systems BlackICE PC Firewall
Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) Combating child abuse images and criminal material online
IObit (Free Malware Fighter, Advanced SytemCare, Game Booster, Smart Defrag, Start Menu 8)
Iomatic Software Software utilities (Free RAM Medic)
Iomega Zip drives
Ipswitch Inc. Software (WS_FTP)
IT Samples Freeware Windows utilities, Igor Tolmachev
iWebTool Free Webmaster tools
JAP -- Anonymity & Privacy Protection of privacy on the Internet
Jarte Free Word Processor based on the Microsoft WordPad Engine
Java Software (Free, Sun Microsystems)
Javacool Software (SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard Free anti-spyware protection)
JavaScript Source (Free JavaScripts, tutorials, example code, reference, resources, and help)
John Wiley & Sons Computer books
JonDonym Anonymity Online | JonDos - Jondonym
KarenWare Free Karen's Power Tools
Kaspersky Lab Antivirus Software - Protection Against Malware and Cybercrime (Free Online Scanner)
 - Threatpost (Security News)
Krebs on Security (In-depth security news and investigation)
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free; blocking, detection/removal of "Spyware"
Lenovo Personal computers
LibreOffice Open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux (Free)
Linksys Networking hardware The enterprise Linux resource
Linux Journal The Original Magazine of the Linux Community
Linux Mint The most popular desktop Linux distribution (Free)
Logitech PC peripherals
LogMeIn Remote access and desktop control software for your PC (with Free version)
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Identify and remove malicious software from your computer (with Free version)
Malware City Stay informed in your every day battle against malware
Malware Research Group (MRG) Independent internet security research team
Matousec Transparent security: security software analyses, research and reviews
McAfee Antivirus software and intrusion prevention solutions
 - McAfee SiteAdvisor Protection from adware, spam, viruses, online scams (with Free version)
Microsoft Software
 - Microsoft Download Center: Windows Time Zone Editor (tzedit.exe) (Free)
 - Microsoft Live Search Maps (Microsoft Virtual Earth) (Free)
 - Microsoft TechNet: Windows Sysinternals Advanced System Utilities (Free)
 - Microsoft Office Live Workspace Store and share documents online (Free)
 - Microsoft Security Essentials Real-time protection against viruses, spyware, and others (Free)
 - Microsoft Bing Translator (Free online translation service)
 - Microsoft Mathematics Graphing Calculator (Free)
 - Technet Blogs - Security Research and Defense (Vulnerabilities, mitigations, active attacks and tools)
 - The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) (Prevents exploits of software vulnerabilities)
 - What is Windows Defender? Malware protection included with and built into Windows
 - What is Windows Defender Offline? Removes malicious and potentially unwanted programs offline (Free)
 - Windows SteadyState Easy XP and Vista Shared Access Computing (Free)
 - Windows Live SkyDrive Store and share files online (Free)
 - Office Web Apps (Free)
 - (Free)
 - Process Explorer (Free)
ICQ Communications software
Mozilla Firefox Web browser, Thunderbird e-mail client (Free)
MSN Online resources (Microsoft)
MSN Computing Central Software, hardware, systems, etc. (Microsoft)
MSN Web Messenger (Microsoft)
Multigraph Interactive Data Graphs for the Web (Free)
MyDefrag Free JkDefrag disk defragmenter and optimizer for Windows (Jeroen Kessels)
National Vulnerability Database (NVD) A comprehensive cyber vulnerability resource
Netcraft Ltd. Internet Research, Anti-Phishing and Security Services
Network Magic Free software for network setup, wireless networking/security, printer sharing, and more
Network World Network information, intelligence and insight
Nitro PDF Free Software Family Create, browse, download and edit PDF files
NoScript JavaScript-Java-Flash blocker for a safer Firefox experience (Free)
NoteTab Award-winning text and HTML editors
NVIDIA 3D graphics display processors
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) A $100 laptop for the world's children's education. Nicholas Negroponte.
Online Armor Security Suite Firewall Protection, Anti Virus, Anti-Keylogger (with Free version)
Ontrack Data Recovery Data recovery services, data recovery software, data loss solutions
OpenDNS A Free, safer, faster, smarter and more reliable way to navigate the Internet
OpenNet Initiative Identify and document Internet filtering and surveillance Free Office Suite: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, and Math (version 2.3.1)
Open Source Technology Group (OSTG) Linux and Open Source software
Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)
Opera Software (Opera Web Browser)
Optimize Guides Free, easy to read, comprehensive guides for Windows 2000, XP and Vista
Outpost Firewall FREE Protect your digital valuables against hackers and identity theft for free
Panda Security (Antivirus, antispyware, antispam, firewall)
 - Panda Cloud Antivirus FREE (free cloud antivirus against viruses, spyware, rootkits and adware)
Patch My PC (Patch Management Made Easy)
PC Decrapifier (Uninstall common trialware and annoyances found on many new PCs)
PC Flank (Tests for vulnerabilities to Internet threats)
PC Magazine
PC Pitstop Free PC Diagnostics, computer help and tuneups
PC Tools Software (Privacy and security software)
 - Spyware Doctor Starter Edition for Google Pack (Free)
 - Anti-Virus (Free)
 - Firewall Plus (Free)
 - ThreatFire - Behavioral Virus and Spyware Protection (Free)
 - iAntiVirus - AntiVirus for Mac OS X (Free)
PC World Magazine
Pegasus Mail (Free e-mail client by David Harris)
PGP International Home Page (Pretty Good Privacy encryption software)
Piriform (The best software is free!):
 - CCleaner (system optimization and privacy tool)
 - Defraggler (disk and files defragmentation)
 - Recuva (file recovery tool)
PKWare Data Protection, Data Compression - Trusted ZIP Solutions
PortableApps Portable software solution, open source free platform, works on portable storage devices
Public Interest Registry When people need to know, they go to .ORG
Ramesh Srinivasan (Windows Fixes, Tips and Tweaks)
RAXCO Software (Perfect Disk defragmenting software)
Real Academia Espaola (Diccionarios del Idioma Espaol)
 - Diccionario de la lengua espaola
 - Diccionario panhispnico de dudas
RealPlayer Web audio and video software
Registry Clean Expert (iExpert Software Windows Registry Clean Utility, Free Registry Defrag) Registry Cleaner software downloads (Free Window Registry Repair)
RKS Software FAX, calendar, label, business card, and other software for Windows
RSA Security Security software
 - Speaking of Security... RSA FraudAction Research Lab Blog Entries
RunScanner Freeware startup, hijack and malware analyzer
Ryan Naraine's Security Watch eWeek
Samsung Electronics PC hardware
Sandboxie Sandbox software for application isolation and secure Web browsing (with Free basic program)
SANS Institute System Administration, Networking, and Security
Secunia Vulnerability and virus information
 - Secunia Online Software Inspector (OSI) (Free)
 - Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) (Free)
SecurityFocus Security news, articles and advisories
SecurityNewsDaily Daily Security News Protecting Home, Internet & Identity Theft
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) DNS anti-spam solution
Shadowserver Foundation Stopping cybercrime
SimpleCount Website visitor counters and statistics
Skype Free Internet telephony that just works
Softi Scan Free Tesseract OCR Software
 - tesseract-ocr downloads - Google Code (Free)
Softpedia Free Downloads Encyclopedia
Sophos Anti-virus, anti-spam and e-mail policy for business
 - Virus Removal Tool (Free)
 - Rootkit Removal (Free)
 - Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition (Free)
Sound Blaster Audio cards Open Source software: Create, Participate, Evaluate
Speakeasy Speed Test Measure your Internet download and upload rates (Free) Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test (Free)
Spybot - Search&Destroy Block, detect and remove spyware (Patrick M. Kolla, Free)
SpyBye: Finding Malware Determine if Web pages install malware (Free)
Spyware & Adware Information Knowing the basics
Spyware Warrior Waging the war against spyware (Eric L. Howes)
SRI Malware Threat Center Threat Intelligence
 - An Analysis of Conficker (SRI Malware Threat Center, February 4, 2009)
Stardock Your Edge In Software Regaining Control of Our Computers
Successful Lisp: How to Understand and Use Common Lisp Programming Tutorial
Sun Microsystems Workstations and PC software
Symantec Norton AntiVirus, Firewall and PC Utilities Software (Ultimate Drivers Database, Driver Download)
TechRadar (Technology News And Reviews)
TerraServer (Online Imagery - Aerial Photos & Satellite Images)
 - Technical log of patches for the Month of Apple Bugs (MoAB) (Landon Fuller)
The Freenet Project The Free Network Project
The Future Office (LiveView - Web Office, Customer Relationship Management package)
the Month of Apple Bugs (MoAB) (Mac OS X and Apple software Security Flaws, LMH and Kevin Finisterre)
The R Project for Statistical Computing (Free software environment for statistical computing and graphics)
The Register, Security (News and Views for the world)
 - Hardware
The Software Patch (Download site for patches, upgrades, service packs and hardware drivers)
The Web Standards Project (Acid2 Browser Test)
TopTenREVIEWS (Security & Privacy Reviews)
Tor (Anonymity Online)
 - Tor Browser (Lets you access blocked sites. Windows, Mac OS X, Linux. Free)
Toshiba Computers
Trend Micro Internet Security (PC-cillin). Free HijackThis registry inspector, RootkitBuster, SysClean, CWShredder (removes CoolWebSearch)
Trident Microsystems Video and audio cards and software
TrueCrypt Free Open-Source On-The-Fly Disk Encryption for Windows Vista-XP, Mac OS X and Linux
Trumpet Winsock software
TUCOWS The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock compliant Software
 - TUCOWS - Venezuela The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock compliant Software (at TelCel)
Ubuntu Free Linux-based operating system and applications (Video howtos for human beings)
Uniblue Windows Software Utilities Download & Free PC Scans
U.S. Robotics Modems
VeriSign Digital ID certificates
Virus Bulletin Independent Malware Advice
VirusTotal Free Online Virus and Malware Scan
VLC media player Free open source cross-platform multimedia player Truth about computer virus myths & hoaxes, by Rob Rosenberger
Voyetra - Turtle Beach Music software and audio hardware
WDG HTML Validator Free Web Design Group HTML Syntax Checker and HTML Editor
Websense Security Labs Discovers, investigates, and reports on advanced Internet threats
Webroot Software Antivirus and antispyware security Is this website down for everyone or is it just me? Website visitor counters and statistics
Wikipedia The free encyclopedia
Wikilengua del Espaol Recurso abierto sobre el uso del Castellano
Windows Secrets Everything Microsoft forgot to mention
 - Carrier IQ: A privacy tempest of what size? Woody Leonard, December 8, 2011 The new version of, the Windows 95 Internet Headquarters
WinMerge Free Windows folders and files differencing and merging tool
WinZip Windows Zip file manager
Wireshark Network protocol analyzer
WiseCleaner Free Disk and Registry Cleaners
Wolfram Research, Inc. (Mathematica: Numeric and symbolic computational engine, graphics system, programming language, documentation system, and advanced connectivity to other applications)
 - Wolfram|Alpha (Computational Knowledge Engine, launched May 18, 2009)
WordWeb Pro (Free English Dictionary, thesaurus, and word finder)
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Specifications, guidelines, software, and tools
 - The W3C Markup Validation Service
xda-developers Android Forums & Windows Phone Discussion
xplorer2 lite Windows File Manager (Explorer replacement) Free for private or academic use only
Yahoo! Widgets
YouTube Broadcast yourself
ZDNet Free advice, technical tips, tricks, software, and more.
 - The Ed Bott Report
Zend2 Free Anonymous online proxy service
Zone Labs Free ZoneAlarm Personal Firewall

Links to some of the best WWW search engines:

Altavista (Digital Electronics Corp.)
Ask (Natural Language Search Interface)
Dogpile (the best results from leading search engines including Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask)
DuckDuckGo (Does not collect or share personal information)
Google (many interface languages)
 - Google Books A searchable online collection of books
 - Google Earth Explore the world from your computer
 - Google Language Tools An online text translator
 - Google Maps Online world maps
Ixquick Metasearch (many interface languages)
MetaCrawlerWeb Search
Microsoft bing - Windows Live Search
Yahoo! Search A Topical Web Index and Search Engine

Search Engine Watch Tips and information about searching the Web

Links to some of the best WWW directories (White Pages):

Internet Address Finder
WhoWhere Home Page (Lycos)
Yahoo! People Search

My specialty is Personal Computing and I work as an independent consultant.

Updated: February 3 '16

Antivirus Information Section

PC Security Section

Castellano: Seccin sobre Actualizacin de PCs

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