Important Steps to Take When Buying a New Computer
Most people today can hardly imagine what it would be like to be without a computer. And given the rate at which technology changes, we typically find ourselves buying a new one every few years. But with the potential cost of buying a new computer, we want to be sure that we are investing in something that will not only do the job that we need it to do but will last us for as long as possible.
So, what are some of the important considerations of buying a new computer? What needs to be considered before we put our money down? Here are some of the steps to take before buying a new computer.
Determine Your Needs
What do you plan on using your computer for? Will it have work-related applications, or will it be primarily for personal use? Will it see much use for gaming, or will be for browsing online?
These questions will help you determine what type of computer you need and the price range that you should expect to encounter. A desktop computer that is intended to help your kids with homework and little else will not have the same system requirements as a high-end gaming laptop.
By knowing what you need, you can avoid overpaying for things that you don’t.
What is Your Style?
This may be partially determined by your intended use of your computer, but consider whether you want a desktop, a laptop, a hybrid, or a tablet.
A desktop may suit your needs better, but it will also typically be installed in a set location within your home. Do you have a workspace where it will stay? Do you want a desk with your monitor, keyboard, tower, printer and more?
A laptop may be what you need if you plan on doing work on the go, or if you want the convenience of being able to work in any room of your house. A hybrid lets you transform your laptop into a tablet, which may ease portability, or make for a more comfortable user experience.
The type of system will determine where and how you use it and impact upon the price.
What Operating System Do You Want to Use?
This is often a question of personal preference.
Windows is the most commonly used OS for home and business tablets and computers but has a reputation for being buggy and less secure. Those using a Mac or MacBook enjoy a smooth-running system that is much less prone to glitches and viruses.
Google’s Chromebook runs internet-based apps and the open source Chrome OS which is based on Linux. Chromebooks and the desktop Chromeboxes typically inhabit the lower end of the price scale.
Linux is a free, open-source OS that gives you direct access to the heart of the system, and which can be installed on just about any Windows or Mac computer. It is the foundation of both Google’s Chrome and Android systems and has a great deal of free apps available.
Determine the Options That You Do and Do Not Want
If you can customize your purchase, think about what you really need. For example, if you do not need a very large screen, do not pay for one. Need more RAM and less processing power?
Check out the options available by visiting the website of your favourite manufacturer. By customizing your build, you may be able to save a not-so-insignificant amount of money on your purchase.
Once You Have Decided
Once you have made your decision, and even once you have made your purchase, there are a few things that you may want to consider for increased performance and safety with your new system.
- Uninstall what you don’t need. You would normally expect a brand-new system to be perfectly safe, as it has not yet been exposed to any online threats, but systems come with a number of programs pre-loaded, some of which security professionals wouldn’t necessarily recommend. They may cause certain issues or may cause slower performance from more vital programs. The simpler your machine is, the easier it is to secure.
- Consider changing your browser. As much as Microsoft has worked to make Explorer more secure, you would probably have some difficulty finding an IT administrator who feels fully secure in using it.
- Ensure that programs are up-to-date. This should be fairly obvious for the smooth functioning of your system, but bears mentioning regardless.
- Customize your AV/ Firewall. This is another one that is rather obvious, but with the number of options available, it is worth checking out what security pros use.
A new computer is a fairly significant investment, and one that should last you around five years or so, so it is worth taking the time both before and after your purchase to ensure that you get what suits your needs the best.
Need help protecting your new computer? Contact Safe Harbour today!