Using Windows 7 to its full capabilities with Windows Essentials

The Windows operating system has been around for a long time. It has infiltrated the average household to the point where a child’s first experience when it comes to computing will be on a windows machine. Even though we have all of this exposure to the computer, most people still do not use the bevy of programs that come in a standard Windows installation.

Most of the machines remain under utilized. With Windows 7, Microsoft has made it easier than ever for the average person to be able use the full capabilities of the system. Microsoft has packaged a group of programs together that you can get with a quick download. They call the package, Windows Essentials. Some of the programs you might be familiar with, others not so much. Let’s talk about what comes in the Windows Essential package and how it can help you in your everyday computing task.

Windows Essential consist of 7 programs that may be helpful to the average person. The package consist of

Windows Messenger
Windows Photo Gallery
Mail, Writer
Movie maker
Family Safety
Microsoft Toolbar.

As we said before, some of these programs you might be familiar with already. They may be programs that you use all of the time. While there is a good chance that you might have been exposed to two or three of these programs, it is very doubtful that you have been exposed to them all.

Windows Messenger, Photo Gallery, Mail and Movie maker are probably the most popular programs in this group and pretty much describe what they do in the name. Lets give the others a brief description of what they do so you can become more familiar with them.

Family Safety program

This program allows you to monitor your child’s activity while they are on online. You can regulate when they access the Internet and what sites they are allowed to go to.

The Microsoft toolbar

Microsoft toolbar gives you quick search capabilities on any web page that you may visit. This is perfect for when you are reading a story online and want to know more about a small detail in the story.checkout latest updates at

Windows 7 write

Windows operating system

Windows 7 write is a program that is perfect if you do any kind of writing online. Especially if you are what they consider a blogger. It allows you to easily log onto your server and post the stories, all without leaving the actual program. It is also good as a general text editor as more information straight from the source.

As you see we have gone over the basic of the Windows 7 Essential package offered by Microsoft. Microsoft is known for a charging a premium price for its products. This time they give you a premium product for no cost at all.

Anti-virus options for Windows 7

The team wouldn’t be very helpful if we didn’t tell you about some of the available antivirus products out there that are compatible with Windows 7. This is where all your Mac friends gloat about not needing to worry about viruses because there are only a few threats to their system. You can laugh at them when they spill coffee all over their shiny macbook air while they are trying to look cool at the Starbucks.

Now, a few thoughts about protection. A good antivirus is an essential part of protecting your data, but it’s just one part – there are a few others.

Before we discuss the software options, there are a few quick tips that you can follow to help keep you and your data as safe and secure as possible:

First – Don’t install it if you don’t know what it is.

-This is something that you should train your family on, or better yet, create a group with restrictions on what can be installed and add your family to this group. If someone wants to put something on the computer, this should be vetted by the admin – or whoever will have to fix it when it breaks.

Second – Use a hardware barrier

-A router provides you with the convenience of wireless, or the ability to have multiple computers to the same device. Another great feature of a properly configured router is it provides an additional level of protection for your system. Let Google be your friend, and take the steps to secure your router to help keep your data safe. A quick search of “how to secure your router” will provide you with a step-by-step tutorial for you to follow.visit this website for more related information.

Third – Make a backup

-OK, really this should be the first, second, and third steps. If you don’t have a backup, plan on losing data. If you only have one backup, you might as well not have any. Proper and regular backups include multiple copies on multiple mediums. The original on your hard drive, backup numbers one and two on a raid network setup, on multiple drives (or you could choose to use some of the available online backup services). You should have at least one copy of your backup offsite, just in case. You might think that this over-kill or that you don’t store anything worth backing up – but what about those digital pics of your first nieces first birthday? Yeah, you can live without them, but for the 10 minutes it takes to do a backup – do you want to risk the memories?

OK, back to the Anti-Virus options

You should decide if you want to pay for an anti-virus, or if you want to use one of the many free options available to you. All of these options are officially sanctioned by the Microsoft team, for your user enjoyment!

Here are two options available to you for a fee:

-Norton Antivirus 2010 – $40/year/computer According to Symantec, the makers of this a/v, this version was built from the ground up to support windows 7, so it should be fully compatible with whichever flavor of Windows 7 you use.

-Kasperksy 2010 Antivirus – $60/year/up to 3 computers Still a popular a/v choice for many, and the multiple PC licensing helps you protect your home network for a very reasonable fee.

Here are two options available to you for free:

-AVG Free 9.0 – AVG shows that they are more interested in your complete protection than they are at grabbing every available dollar you have. This is version 9, and for a free a/v, it delivers adequate protection and will provide you the peace of mind – even when your teenager is surfing the web. AVG also has a few other a/v products available for purchase if you would like to increase the level of your security.

-Microsoft security essentials – Theoretically, an a/v product built by the folks that built the OS should be uber compatible. The reviews on MS security essential are positive so far, and if the idea of having a matched set is something that you covet – this might be the right option for you.

Anti-virus options for Windows 7

Well, two fee and two free options – what’s the difference? For the most part, it comes down to how much support you are going to need. If you regularly search Google for solutions to any problems you have, you probably are going to be comfortable with AVG or MS security essentials – or any of the multitudes of free antivirus options. But if you would rather talk to a real person on the phone to walk you through any issues you have, step by step, then you should look into one of the fee services.learn more information available at,news-20703.html

Whichever option you choose, make sure you backup before you install, or risk explaining to your wife where the only digital copy of your wedding pictures went! J The price of external drives and backup media has dropped to levels that everyone should have some basic backup system in place.

Watch for a future post about your backup options!