Is your computer too slow?

They say computers double in speed every 18 months.  This is awesome, if you have the cash to buy a new computer every 18 months.  They didn’t mean your computer.  Your computer will just get slower.  It just how it works.  As technology advances, both hardware and software is updated.  The software you use every day requires updates, the server you are connected to when you’re browsing your favorite website gets hardware upgrades, while your computer sits stagnant and just can’t keep up.  This can become especially bad when you don’t keep up with preventative maintenance or complete any upgrades yourself.  Besides that, your computer can become bogged down with software or files and your hard drive fills up or becomes fragmented.  Your system has to work harder to find the files it’s looking for to run the stuff you want it to run.  It can also be a lack of memory – hard drive space (storage for files) and memory (RAM) – are two different things altogether.  You might have a ton of drive space, more than you’ll ever use, but you could be lacking the necessary RAM to run more than one or two programs at once.  As software is updated, generally it starts to consume more of both.  Eventually you start running out of one or the other.  For most people, they have plenty of storage, but a lot don’t have enough memory.  The standard right now is 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a whole lot of you are still sitting on half that.  RAM is an inexpensive upgrade as far as computer upgrades go (say $50-$100, depending on the computer).

Other things that can be done to speed up your computer is deleting unnecessary files, prioritizing and optimizing the files and software you do need, or stopping certain programs from starting when you turn on the computer.  Malware (the Virus’ little brother) can also cause slow downs.  Malware generally comes in the form of sneaky advertising software that’s installed secretly while you’re installing the programs you do want to use.  It hides in the background, causing a lot of pop-up advertisements while you’re browsing the web, and you just think that’s the way it is.  It’s not.  Malware can be avoided (mostly).  Your computer can be cleaned up and made to run better than it was, and in most cases you won’t need to do a hardware upgrade like having more RAM installed – although if you have 4 gigabytes or less, I’d still suggest it.

So if your computer is running like a poor puppy with a broken paw, let me know.  I’m sure there’s something we can do to fix it.