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These antivirus recommendations are personal opinion based on my experience. I will list many common ones below in alphabetical order. This post will occasionally be updated. The last update was March 17, 2015.

One important note: Regardless of which antivirus program you use, you should never ever use automatic renewal. This will prevent accidental renewals in case you want to use a different antivirus program. Make the company earn your business; don’t be loyal to any one product.

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By default, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 has enabled settings that track you for advertising. Windows 8.1 also try desperately to have you log in to your computer with a Microsoft account. Those settings should be disabled and you should never log in with a Microsoft account because several of my customers have had trouble logging in when they used a Microsoft account to do so. Thankfully, in Windows 10 it is a lot easier not to log in with a Microsoft account. These are the steps to avoid potential problems and to reclaim your privacy. Logging with a non-Microsoft account makes it harder for Microsoft to deliver you targeted advertising. Just because it is very difficult does not mean we should willingly surrender our privacy.

Settings and pictures for Windows 10 are still being updated. Check back from time to time until this message disappears.

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I currently own the Asus RT-AC66U router and I love it. I’ve had it for over a year and it has been steady as a rock. But with this “cloud first, mobile first” (and customer last) philosophy of Microsoft, I was looking for a way to make my router block all that tracking that is in Windows 10 and trying to be in Windows 7 and 8. Block it at the router level and Microsoft can’t do a thing about it. According to Asus, the RT-AC66U router supports DD-WRT. This is a requirement. If your Asus router does not support DD-WRT, then this how-to will not help. Fortunately you don’t need to install DD-WRT. DD-WRT can a pain to install on a router. You do need to install the Merlin firmware, which you can download here.

This is an advanced how-to meant for more technical people.

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If you haven’t received a phone call from “Microsoft” yet, you will soon. If the IRS or the FBI or your electric company haven’t called you demanding you pay money now or you will go to jail or get your service disconnected, you will soon. Thanks to cheap, disposable internet telephones scammers can do what they want with little chance of being caught. It goes beyond that.

What is malvertising? Put simply, it is a web advertisement whose only purpose is to scam you or plant malicious software on your computer. Malvertising works because advertisers have no respect for you and thus have no respect for your privacy. I have some rules below for advertisers which, if followed, who immediately destroy malvertising. A new type of malvertising menace is when the malicious ad redirects your browser to a website and tells you to call a toll free number. The good ones know if you are using Windows or Mac.

What can you do to protect yourself? Know how to identify a scam.

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Website Fails to Load

I was trying to diagnose why a certain website failed to load for a customer. It was only a certain few websites. In Internet Explorer, nothing would load but the it acted like it was perpetually trying to load the website. In Mozilla Firefox, I received a message “the connection was reset”. In Google Chrome, the message “the connection was interrupted”.

It turns out to be a driver problem. I switched this computer’s network from the wired connection to the wireless one and the website instantly loaded. I would also recommend using Windows All-in-One repair and choosing every repair related to the network. Also update the problem network driver.

Microsoft is making a lot of hullabaloo about Windows 10 even going so far as to offer Win10 at no cost to anybody using Windows 7 or Windows 8. Of course, just because something does not cost more money does not mean it is free. If you are using Windows 7, you should not upgrade. Here are 6 reasons why:

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A lot of people think I dislike Apple products. I do not dislike Apple products; I prefer other products. I have no problem with the quality of Apple’s products. The customer service at Apple is excellent once you get customer service (read below). Here are the reasons why I avoid Apple products. View full article »

This is a small tutorial on how I installed Cyanogenmod on my Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 version. Many of the tutorials are confusing and don’t explain important details. First, a warning. Samsung devices are designed so that if you dare to break free from their Android system, your warranty is void. This will void your warranty. (Personal opinion: it should be illegal to void a warranty if you do not make a device defective.)

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This is a problem that can have multiple causes. In the computer I was working on, the Bamital trojan had made it impossible to do anything. The trojan would prevent you from doing anything and wanted you to pay a ransom. This was different than Crytowall, which holds your files for ransom, in that this trojan held your computer for ransom. In the process of removing the trojan, I also removed a legitimate Windows file which caused the problem.

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Windows 10 Overview and Impressions

I am currently testing Windows 10 out. Right now, there is only a beta (technical preview) available. Proper software design goes through several stages of development. Alpha is the first stage and that is internal testing and design. Beta is the second stage and that is when the program is given to other people to test it out and, sometimes, suggest ways to improve. Release candidate is the final testing stage and this is when the program is almost finished but the developer wants to root out bugs; no major design changes will no occur. Finally there is release-to-manufacturing (RTM) when the developer is satisfied there are no more major bugs. Windows 10 is still in beta. When it is finalized, I will update this post. The last edit was 5/31/2015.

The official launch date has been announced: July 29, 2015.

But first, my early impressions.

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