Saturday, 3 August 2013

What are the best hardware and software additions I can get for my computer?

With the amount of choices regarding what we really need in the tech world, sometimes it makes life easier to try any hardware or software that works to suite your various needs, instead of one which ends up coming short. Knowing this beforehand will sublimate the surprise of having to go on another endless search. Never fear, here is a short guide pointing you into a direction which may cover some possible necessities of yours.


This regards anything that is existent in the physical realm. Laptops and computers are often made with multiple USB ports so you are able to make additions to the components you have been provided.


External hard drive 

A hard drive sits within your computer to store changing digital information in a relatively permanent form.
An external hard drive works in the same way, but is a component you need to attach to the computer through a USB. By doing so, you are enabling access to data that you have stored on this disk. This allows for transfers between your computers data and your hard drive.

This is great for any person who needs:
  • Extra storage space.
  • A moveable data storage component.
  • To back up any data in case of a computer breakdown.
I recommend...
The Seagate external hard drive. I have owned one for months now and it is much better aesthetically, weighs less and feels more sturdy than the Western Digital I owned before. 

Pen drive 

Like an external hard drive, these handy 'memory sticks' are essential if you need to transport data to and
from work or any other place that you are required to regularly visit. These are much more transportable and affordable compared to external hard drives. They are more prone to going missing though, so be careful to back up any data on other storage devices and try not to leave them in a computer. This is so easily done.

This is great for any person who needs:
  • Extra storage space.
  • A moveable data storage component.
  • To back up any data in case of a computer breakdown. 
I recommend...
Kingston, they look better aesthetically than SanDisk. I find both work at around the same speed. Both are very reliable.


The modem

This is the box that supplies your internet connection through wifi. If there is anyway you are viewing this page through a dongle, 3G or dial-up without any other alternative, maybe it's best to consider getting home broadband.
This is great for any person who needs:
  • Internet for anybody that needs internet in devices that don't connect through SIM cards or by any other means.
  • A connection that is wireless, so there are no wires trawling from the phone line as I recall them being so mid-noughties.
  •  Fast connection that is more reliable and less limited to those that have an allocated amount of internet usage on them.
I recommend...
Any you can get your hand on. My household uses NetGear and this works just fine.


Once you get one of these, it becomes more than just an accessory to integrate with the laptop or to call people with. They hold tonnes of music and give exclusive access to simple apps that make everything feel seemless. There is nothing better than not having to turn on a computer and wait for it to load.
These are great for any person who needs:
  • A device to transport music around. Though there are MP3 players and other items are about, sometimes it is just more simple to carry everything in one device. This makes you less prone to losing items too.
  • To access a computer, despite having limited space to carry one with you. It is possible to write documents, edit and publish items to the internet.
  • Connecting with people abroad through Skype or Voxer and generally using the internet as you would at home or having a laptop with you.
I recommend...
An iPhone. Not because I want to promote a hipster lifestyle, but because there just aren't any others I find as useful. The organisation of the apps into folders and being able to search their name by scrolling to the right of the screen is great, this can't be done on the Samsung Galaxies I've seen, though I have not seen the 4S yet. The HTC seems just as competent as the iPhone, this is one to look up too.


Anything that you can download off the internet or from a CD, USB device or any other storage device which allows downloading of data is regarded as software.


Tune-up utilities 

 Such a great product, which really does keep your computer in working order.
  • It does come at a cost, but from their very own disk defragmenter and the registry cleaner, it is an all round complete product. 
  • What makes this product special though is the fact you are offered a 'turbo mode'. This allows your computer work at full performance speed and it really helps with slow laptops. By changing the settings you get a clear indication of what makes your computer slower and what makes it faster. 
    • For instance, in Windows 7 you have an aero mode built into the default settings making the computer's physical memory and display card work harder. This is no good if you want other areas of the system focused on more, so it is turned off in this mode. This is how you get better performance within games and load times.


Easily discovered through my searches on cleaning the browser cache and cookies. This is a must for people
who want a free option to keeping their PC cleaned.
  • Free though it may be, it doesn't come with all the clean up utilities that are offered within Tune-Up Utilities, but it is a very good competitor. 
    • For one, this program is made to run when you select it to do so, which some people may prefer. This means that you won't get real-time fixes to problems but it really is better than nothing. 
  • By cleaning temporary internet files and cleaning the system and Windows Explorer, you will find your system works a lot smoother. If you haven't cleaned your browser before, you will have a big surprise as to the speed increase you will get, depending on how old your computer is.



A great file organiser when it comes to music. I don't think I'd be able to do without it. No doubt, in the past
I've found it very hard to muster the patience and a slight bit of commitment into finding out
how to make it work for me well.
  • With the great ripping software and options, along with the neat organisation in smart playlists and task bars, it is easy to muster once you have gave it a chance.
  • Take note, it's easy to make mistakes in the iTunes program due to being able to edit and adjust the library so much. 
    • When deleting files into the recycle bin, the warning pop-up asks if you'd like to delete the file when you press delete, or if you'd just like to delete it from the iTunes view of the library. 
      • You could still have a file in your system that has been deleted from the iTunes view, but not the computer. An easy mistake to make. 

 Media Player Classic - Home Cinema

This open source media system for Windows is a very light program and is useful for playing very high quality videos. There is less jumping within movies as opposed to usage of the DrivX player and Windows Home Media (WHM) player.
  • Great free lightweight program for less CPU usage. Videos load quicker and they are very easy to navigate and add subtitles to.
  • More file support than a built in program may offer. Any that aren't supported by the built in program you have that aren't supported are likely to with this. I've never had any problem opening up any video file with this program, nor any problems with audio. It is pretty much all inclusive despite its small size.


Technology moves fast all the time and before you know it, all hardware and software may be outdated before long. However, I find having these eight different additions to my computer hardware and software are the most useful during these recent years of using my computer.

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