Should I Use a Firewall to Protect My PC?

Should I Use a Firewall

It’s amazing how little people know about firewalls – only 4% of Americans say they understand firewalls completely. Most people don’t understand them at all. Hopefully, this article can help to shed some light!

When asking yourself the question, “Should I Use a Firewall?” Our answer is pretty simple. It’s “Yes.” But to truly understand why a firewall is a necessary defensive measure on your laptop or desktop computer, here are some considerations.

Should I Use a Firewall to Protect My PC?

To understand why you should be using a firewall, it’s necessary to understand what your computer is without one. Think of it like this – your computer has an “open door” policy without any form of protection.

Essentially, it’s wide open for hackers to access any sensitive information on your computer. If you keep any records of credit cards, bank account information or passwords on your computer, it may be accessible.

This connection happens when your computer accesses the Internet. You may be slightly safer on your home network – but is that the only place you use your computer? Most people use laptops on unsecured networks in a coffee shop, airport, or on other public wifi sources.

A good firewall will not only protect you from these possibilities, but will also scan your computer for any vulnerabilities, and instruct you for files or programs that make it easier for hackers to gain access to your precious personal information.

A good firewall will perform a couple of very specific actions:

  • Outsmarts sophisticated hackers
  • Catches hackers even if they manage to get past the firewall
  • Makes you essentially invisible to hacker tools

Firewalls work as a shield between your computer and the Internet. Essentially, they monitor the constant exchange of information between your computer and the web.

Firewalls filter content to see if it fits certain standards deemed to be safe or not, then allow or disallow information to be sent, often with a warning if a security threat is found. A good firewall program will keep an up-to-date list of security threats, as they’re constantly evolving.

Basic firewalls come standard on Windows operating systems, but firewalls with additional security featured can be purchased and used instead of these basic programs. It’s recommended that you opt for this extra security.

In addition to a firewall, you should be using an antivirus program. Although a firewall can detect malicious threats, it cannot remove them. That’s where antivirus programs come in.

Together, these two tools form the perfect pair for a safe computer, and protects your information from outsiders. If your desktop computer or laptop already has viruses, Target PC has virus removal services that can turn this problem around.

Are you still wondering, “Should I use a firewall to protect my PC?” Do you need more guidance as to how to implement a firewall for protection on your PC? Get in touch with us online or call us at (440) 725-0642 for more information!

Does your computer have a firewall? What are your best practices? Share in the comments!

The Reasons for Frequent Windows Defender Updates

frequent windows defender updates

Windows Defender is a antivirus software product that strives to detect and remove malware.

At first, it was released as an antispyware program as a free download for Windows XP. It shipped with Windows Vista and now comes standard with Windows 10 with antivirus capabilities.

Windows Defender is an application that once installed, runs in the background and lets you know when you need to take specific actions.

One of the best features of Windows Defender, however, is the ability to use it anytime to scan for malware. Most people use this feature if their computer isn’t working correctly, of if they suspect a link online or on an email.

Windows Defender replaced Windows Security Essentials and is truly a great antivirus tool for a PC to have, but it’s only as good as you make it. The main reasons for frequent Windows Defender updates is that the program is essentially useless without them!

Reasons for Frequent Windows Defender Updates

Whenever you update Windows Defender, definitions of known spyware and other potentially harmful software get updated on your computer.

As you should well known, spyware is continuously changing shape and being updated. Your computer must also be constantly updated so that it can recognize security threats.

A failure to update any type of antivirus software on a regular basis is unnecessarily exposing your computer to virus problems.

As alluded to previously, reasons for frequent windows defender updates include supporting two of Window’s Defenders best features:

  • Real-time protection to threats as a user comes upon them
  • Browser integration: Windows Defender works seamlessly with Internet Explorer.

    Microsoft Edge makes it so files can be scanned as they’re being downloaded to prevent malicious software being installed on your computer.

    Unfortunately at this time, it doesn’t integrate with other web browsers, but can still scan downloaded fills for malware.

As with most antivirus protection programs, you can make it easy to install updates. Update your settings to download updates in the background or to remind you at a certain time each day to focus on downloading updates.

To get the most out of Windows Defender, don’t use it in addition to another antivirus program. In fact, Microsoft warns that if you want to use a different antivirus software from another provider, you should uninstall this program.

If it’s already too late and your computer has viruses, we can help. We offer both laptop and desktop virus removal solutions.

If you’re looking to prevent additional problems that could be caused by security threats, check out our previous article about the top 5 most common ways to get viruses on your PC.

At the end of the day, antivirus software will help extend the life of your computer much longer than without! Get in touch by calling (440)725-0642 or fill out our online contact form and we can help make sense of what’s going on with your computer right now, and how to protect it from further harm.

VGA vs DVI vs HDMI Resolution – Which Is Best?

vga vs dvi vs hdmi resolution

Are you confused by all the different display ports and options on monitors, TVs and projectors? It can be confusing when comparing VGA vs DVI vs HDMI resolution, but it doesn’t have to be!

Here’s a port by port breakdown explaining each type of resolution and a recommended application of use for each!

VGA vs DVI vs HDMI Resolution


We’re going to start by teaching you about HDMI Resolution, because quite frankly… it’s the best. HDMI broken down just means “high definition multimedia interface.”

Most modern TVs and PCs support this resolution. Furthermore, most products you would plug into a monitor of some type also support an HDMI connection. A few you might have could include:

  • Tablets
  • Google Chromecast
  • Cable box
  • Mobile Device

The main reason why HDMI connections are considered to be the best is because they incorporate both display and audio through the same cable. It’s a familiar format that most people understand, which makes it popular among customers.

In recent years, HDMI standards have been upgraded. But don’t go out and buy new cables – you don’t need them! The HDMI standards upgrade is a part of the hardware itself and cables used with lower standards equipment will still work perfectly.

To summarize, HDMI is great for general use, but other cables can be good for other specific situations.

Do you have a TV with damaged connection ports? Contact us to get in touch and get it fixed!


DVI stands for “Digital Visual Interface.” It was considered to be the standard display format in 1999… quite awhile back in the technological revolution. DVI has multiple different modes, including:

  • DVI-D (digital only)
  • DVI-A (analog only)
  • DVI-I (digital and analog)

Technically, the digital video signal passed through the cable is the same as HDMI.

The main difference between the two connection types is that DVI doesn’t support an audio signal and requires using a different cable in addition to the visual cable.

This helps to explain why it’s not something you would find on Bluray players or new HD TVs. You can, however, find it on projectors.

At this point in time, HDMI has basically replaced it, though it is good for computer monitors that lack speakers.

There are two types of connectors: dual-link and single-link. Dual-link connectors double the power of transmission with higher speed and signal quality.


VGA stands for “Video Graphics Array,” which is an analog, video only connection. You will rarely find this connection type on TVs, but can sometimes find it on projectors or old PCs.

The big tech companies (like Samsung) banded together to agree to drop support for VGA back in 2010. As such, there’s really no good use for this display type unless your PC or projector older and doesn’t support DVI or HDMI.

Do you still have questions about VGA vs DVI vs HDMI resolution or want to know what’s the best one to use for your specific purposes? Contact us online or call us at (440)725-0642 for more information!

Taking a look at your electronics, what are the most common connection types you can find? Share in the comments and see where you stack up amongst our other customers!

The Top 5 Most Common Ways to Get Viruses on Your PC

most common ways to get viruses

It’s unfortunate that wherever you turn, there’s a possibility that your computer will be overrun by viruses. The best ways to protect yourself include being cautious and installing virus protection, but even those methods are not without fault. Arm yourself with knowledge so that you can do your best to prevent viruses from ruining your PC.

The Top 5 Most Common Ways to Get Viruses on Your PC

You opened an infected email.

Most modern email clients have built-in virus scanning, but some don’t, and none are 100% effective at protecting your computer from virus-infested attachments. So, exercise caution.

Some best practices:

  • Don’t open emails from people you don’t know.
  • Even if you do know the sender, beware of strange subject lines and other warning signs
  • Use a built-in scanner to scan an email before opening it or downloading attachments
  • Get a total protection antivirus software solution to reinforce the aforementioned best practices

You’re surfing an unsafe website.

This is perhaps one of the most common ways to get viruses on your PC. It’s hard to put a finger exactly on what makes a website safe or unsafe. Some are more obvious than others, but some have threats hidden in plain sight. A good rule of thumb is that if your gut is telling you that something’s wrong, it probably is.

Furthermore, if you’re served a popup that claims your computer is infected… don’t click it! The only notifications you should trust are the ones that clearly come from your antivirus software. Beware of any and all popups, especially those that make crazy claims.

You assume that antivirus software fully protects you.

Antivirus software will protect you from many threats, but it’s not infallible. Just as people are constantly changing, so are viruses. Even if you just downloaded updates for your antivirus software, there may already be a new threat that wasn’t accounted for.

A best practice is to update antivirus software on a daily basis, and be careful when surfing the internet and opening emails.

…Or you don’t use antivirus software at all.

A lot of people mistakenly think they can just be “smart,” and avoid viruses by being extra-careful while surfing online and going through emails. The plain fact of the matter is that some things just slip through the cracks.

It’s impossible to be constantly vigilant, especially when some virus problems are hidden from plain sight, or disguised in something that doesn’t look like a threat. So instead of taking a chance, install anti-virus software. It’s more than worth the investment.

You’re not using a firewall.

A firewall is an important piece of the puzzle for protecting your PC from outside threats. Most PCs have a built-in firewall that you can activate, but there are other solutions online depending on how much protection you think your PC needs.

If you have one of the most common ways to get viruses on your PC, it’s not too late! Target PC has both laptop virus removal and desktop virus removal. For more information, use the form on our website to get in touch, or call (440)725-0642.

6 Ways to Make Your PC Run Faster

Make your PC run faster

If you’ve had your PC for more than a year or two, inevitably it will have gotten slower with use. It happens to the best of us, no matter what precautions we take. The good news is that it doesn’t have to stay that way.

You CAN make your PC run faster.

Here’s how:

Use Anti-Virus software and update it often.

The Mac clan will tell you that their computers never get viruses, but that is rapidly changing. It used to be that everyone had a PC and few had a Mac computer of any type. Thus, most viruses were designed for the masses.

The times are changing, and Mac and PC are almost equal opportunity for viruses. As such, it’s important to protect your computer with Anti-Virus software, and to download updates as fast as they come up.

As in real life, viruses mutate and change all the time. An old version of Anti-Virus software is not going to protect your computer as well as a new version. Our Desktop Virus Removal service may be of interest if your computer has a lot of viruses to fight.

Upgrade your RAM.

It’s likely that you bought a PC for what you needed at the time, not considering other potential uses for your PC (like Netflix!). There’s often room to upgrade, and if you want to make your PC run faster, one of the main things you should look to do is upgrade your RAM.

RAM is what increases a PC’s processing power, which is what allows you to multitask with many programs open and running… fast… at a time. We do hardware repairs and upgrades if you’re interested in upgrading your RAM!

Upgrade your Hard drive.

This is probably the most expensive option short of upgrading your entire computer. Maybe your PC runs alright when you’re using it, but does it take forever to start up? You may want to consider upgrading from a hard drive to a solid state drive.

A solid state drive has no moving parts, making it a more efficient drive for your computer. Though it is a new technology, they are getting more affordable at a rapid pace. We do hardware repairs and upgrades if you’re interested in upgrading your hard drive!

Close any unused programs.

Do you have a lot of programs that open at startup? Or maybe you open a lot when you’re on your PC, but don’t remember to close them after you’re done using them. One of the easiest ways to make your computer faster is simply to close any programs you aren’t using. It will free up your computer’s hardware to focus on other tasks.

Clear your internet cache.

While surfing the web, we download a lot of files… some that we don’t even realize! Every once in awhile, it’s important to clear the internet cache of all the files we don’t really need or want, and make room for new ones.

Regularly restart and shut down your computer.

Here’s an obvious tip that often goes ignored. Give your PC a break! You need one, and your computer can definitely benefit from one as well. So if you’re done with work for the day, shut down your computer.

Contact Target PC Repair with any other questions or to make your PC run faster!

What other tips have worked to make your PC run faster? Please share in the comments!


Positive and Negative Reactions to Windows 10 Release

Positive and Negative Reactions to Windows 10 Release

Microsoft released its new operation system for PCs – Windows 10 – to the public on July 29, 2015. Both before and after the release, computer users of all ability levels were praising and criticizing it.

Professional tech writers and amateur bloggers have written about Windows 10 for months. Some like it and some hate it. Their opinions are all over the internet.

We’ve gathered the most common positive and negative reactions to Windows 10 so you can look them over and come to your own conclusions. Should you upgrade your PC to Windows 10? We hope this information will help you decide.

Whenever something goes wrong with your computer, Target PC can help you. Our technicians are familiar with virtually every kind of desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone. Providing you with great service is the reason we exist. If you’re having trouble with your Windows 10 installation, call us.

Now, let’s look at the positive and negative reactions to Windows 10:


  • Is available in two versions: Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro
  • Includes 2-factor authentication for added security
  • Is free if you upgrade in the next 12 months (Except for Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1 owners – they must pay to upgrade!)
  • Introduces a new browser – Microsoft Edge – to replace the flawed and widely hated Internet Explorer
  • Includes many security upgrades
  • Brings back the Start Menu
  • Adds a new feature – the Action Center – which gathers all your notifications in one place
  • Has a new “tablet mode” that makes it easier to use on devices without a keyboard or mouse


  • Is slow to download and install – takes about an hour and 20 minutes IF it works
  • Has been impossible to install for many users
  • Deletes the games and gadgets users have used in Windows 7 (e.g. Solitaire)
  • Adds the digital voice assistant – Cortana – that is difficult to use and doesn’t work well
  • Already has a “service release” from Microsoft to fix some of the bugs in the system
  • Creates problems with the Chrome browser
  • Has unstable WiFi connectivity
  • Has unreliable audio
  • Makes errors in cut and paste commands
  • Has caused constant screen flickering for many users
  • Has caused multiple browser crashes
  • Won’t work on some laptops
  • Locks up cursor
  • Has no support for older printers
  • Reduces battery life of laptops as much as 10%
  • Creates problems with mouse, touchpad, and keyboard
  • Has a serious privacy problem in that it collects extensive data on you unless you alter the privacy settings manually using the Custom Install instead of Express Install (If you use Express Install, you can’t alter the data collection settings)
  • Installs Microsoft Edge as the default browser, and won’t allow you to change that setting if you use Express Install
  • Forces users to accept, download, and install any and every update Microsoft sends, whether you want it or not
  • Is going to receive a major update in October (probably called Windows 10.1)

So what should a Windows user do?

Whether to upgrade now or wait until October is a big decision all users have to make. This roundup of positive and negative reactions to Windows 10 can help you choose what’s right for your computer and how you use it.

Our technicians at Target PC can answer your questions about Windows 10 and upgrade your operating system if you’d rather not do it yourself.

Choosing Between a Laptop or Desktop Computer

Choosing Between a Laptop or Desktop Computer

If you’re in the market for a new computer, you may be trying to choose between buying a laptop or desktop.

Before you decide to purchase either, have a look at this list of factors to consider.


If you need a computer that can easily be transported from one location to the next, there is no contest between a laptop or desktop; you obviously need a laptop.

This is especially true when you consider weight.


For the same money you would spend on a laptop, you could get much a more powerful desktop computer.

Or, if you are working within the constraints of a limited budget, you could get a functional desktop for far less money than a laptop.


When it comes to connectivity, choosing a laptop or desktop is close to a draw.

Sure, a desktop is virtually always in a location that gets internet access. But thanks to wireless cards, you can get internet connectivity from a number of different locations.


A desktop computer will take up more space than a laptop. If you do not have a desk, or a proper place to set up a desktop computer, you would be best to choose a laptop.

Ports & Drives

Few laptops are made with CD-ROM drives anymore, although this may not be an issue for you. A laptop is also likely to have less ports. If functionality and flexibility is an issue, a desktop computer is best for you.

Screen Size

What will you be using your new computer for?

If it is simply intended for word processing and web browsing, a laptop may do the trick. A 15″ or 17″ screen would be adequate. In fact, you could even choose a smaller netbook option and still perform those operations.

If, however, you intend to work with larger video files, do any kind of design work, or play games, it is easier to connect one, two, or even three different high resolution monitors to a desktop.

Granted, you could connect a monitor to a laptop, but that would eliminate the key benefit of portability.


If ergonomics are a factor, it will be much more comfortable to work on a desktop than a laptop.

You can easily position its keyboard, monitor, and mouse to be more comfortable.

Laptops, on the other hand, vary significantly in terms of their keyboard layouts and trackpads.

Furthermore, it can be difficult to set up your laptop in such a position that you can comfortably view the monitor while typing… unless, of course, you intend to use it at a desk.


Since laptops tend to be transported more often than desktops, they are more prone drops, spills, and other accidents. If you are the clumsy type, it might be best to stick with a desktop computer.


When choosing between a laptop or desktop, give some thought to long-term use. It is much easier to upgrade hardware components in a desktop than a laptop.

The same goes for repairing or replacing particular parts.


A laptop is much more likely to get stolen than a desktop computer.

Laptop or Desktop – Which One Wins?

When it comes to space and portability, laptops definitely win. If you are working within a very small space, or you often need to take your computer with you, choose a laptop.

In virtually every other scenario, desktop computers are the better choice.

Just don’t forget to have any upgrades or maintenance performed by Target PC Repair!