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If you’re in the market for a new computer but not sure if you should get a laptop or desktop, then you’ve come to the right place.  There are definite advantages and disadvantages for both types, depending on different factors and applications that I’ll be covering in this article. The Laptop Advantage The single largest advantage a laptop has over a desktop is mobility.  Because of their compact size, integrated monitor, keyboard and mouse, and battery power, laptops can be used anywhere while a desktop PCs have to be tethered to several things to be usable.  Because of a laptop’s portability, you can do work outside of the office, play games or watch movies anywhere you want.  School use, especially college students that are in very cramped dorm rooms, benefit greatly from the compact size, integrated peripherals and portability of a laptop.Another advantage is that laptops will always include a built-in wireless (Wi-Fi) adapter to allow it to have connectivity to the internet wherever you are in your home or office.  Some laptops can even include an internal cellular modem, which is a more advanced wireless card that can connect to your cellular carrier (such as Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc..) to have internet wherever you go.  In laptops will also have integrated speakers, a microphone, a webcam (usually) and other peripherals, making them a truly all-inclusive package.  Many laptops can also run for 8 hours or more on just their battery with some going as long as 14 hours with higher capacity battery options.Laptops also use much less energy than a desktop, which can save some money on electricity.  If your power goes out, because of the battery, a laptop can run for hours so you can stay productive even if the lights go out. The Desktop Advantage Wow, laptops appear to be perfect!  Why would I ever want a desktop?  Don’t count out the mighty desktop just yet.  They have definite advantages in several areas.The biggest advantage a desktop PC has over a laptop is upgradeability.  When you buy a laptop, you’re essentially stuck with the hardware you got.  You can upgrade the RAM and hard drive or add on USB devices, but that’s about it.  On the other hand, you can usually change out and upgrade almost every single component or easily add new devices and capabilities to a desktop PC.  You can turn a lightweight unassuming desktop PC into a fire-breathing gaming beast just by upgrading some key components.Is your laptop not playing that new awesome video game you just bought, what do you do?  Well, your options are next to nothing.  You can’t upgrade the video card in that little guy.  Granted, there are some horribly expensive gaming laptops that do give you some upgrade options, but they’re usually well outside the budget of most people, and the upgrades will be costly as well.  However, with a desktop, all you have to do is add in that new nVidia or ATI video card and possibly an upgraded power supply and boom! You’re now playing that game you love, and possibly even better than a gaming console.  Another advantage that goes along with the above is the relative ease of repairing.  Laptops have almost all of their components integrated into one single large mainboard (aka motherboard).  If, for example, the network card fails, you can’t just replace that card.  It’s integrated into the motherboard.  Sure, you can add a USB network card, but many laptops only have 2 maybe 3 ports, so USB ports are at a premium.  So, to replace that network card, you have to replace the whole motherboard, which would be an expensive job.  Now on the flip side, if you have a desktop and its network card fails, even if it has an integrated network card (integrated onto its motherboard), no problem.  Just add an internal network card (aka NIC) and you’re back in business.  Windows will even automatically install it and connect you to the internet without installing any extra software.An additional advantage that a desktop has over a laptop is overall performance, especially when you look at performance per dollar.  The main processor (aka CPU), which is the brains of the computer is typically faster on a desktop than a laptop.  The reason is because in a laptop heat management can become a challenge.  If the CPU gets hot, then it has to throttle down to prevent it from melting itself.  Therefor, a laptop can’t run at full speed all the time.  Also, to conserve heat and battery power, laptops usually have relatively slow processors.  The faster the processor is, the more heat and energy it uses up.  Now in a desktop, heat is rarely an issue.  With all that air space and room for several cooling fans, and in some more extreme cases, water cooling, a desktop can sport a super-fast CPU and also will be able to run it at 100% for extended periods of time.  Some more adventurous PC enthusiasts have even overclocked the CPU in their desktop PC, which is to make the CPU run faster than its factory specifications to squeeze even more performance out of it.  This would make the CPU produce more heat and use more energy, so that practice is virtually unheard of for laptops because it would spell certain doom for that poor CPU.Desktop PCs usually cost much less for the same performance level that a laptop can offer.  Laptops have extra components and miniaturized components that make them more expensive.  Laptops also require more intricate engineering deal with the heat production of the CPU and video chip within a very small package.  Their designs are also proprietary, so every manufacturer and different model lines within a single manufacturer use completely different parts that can’t be interchanged.  Desktops, on the other hand typically use standard parts that can be interchanged or replaced with an off-the-shelf part or upgrade.  Since desktop PCs are so easy to upgrade, if it’s running slowly, you can just upgrade it, so long-term cost and longevity can be much cheaper than a laptop.So, in conclusion, both laptops and desktop PCs definitely have their place.  If portability is required, then a laptop is the way to go.  Laptops have pretty much cornered the market in that area compared to desktops.  However, if you don't need a portable PC and or performance or cost (especially long-term) is at the top of the list, then a desktop is for you.  Don’t forget to count the cost of adding a monitor to your setup, as many desktop PCs do not include one automatically (but they’re rather inexpensive nowadays).If the system’s footprint (the space that it takes up on your desk) is high on that list but you don't need something portable, then there is one other option.  There are a subset of desktop PCs that are referred to as an all-in-one (aka AIO) PC.  They’re sort of a melding of laptop and desktop technologies, but compromise in some areas.  They don’t have the portability of a laptop but have almost as much performance as a desktop PC.  They do include an integrated screen, Wi-Fi card, webcam, microphone and many have touchscreens which can be useful (among other integrated peripherals).  They don’t have an integrated keyboard and mouse (having separate keyboard and mouse can actually be a plus in some cases).  Because they don’t use an integrated mouse and keyboard, they’re footprint is much smaller than a laptop, so a very good option for a space-saving PC.We at Call Posse Computers sell all 3 types of PCs.  Contact us today and we can help you decide the best computer for your needs.  We sell both used and refurbished computer systems.  Refurbished computers are an excellent way to get the most value for your money.  Their reliability is just as good as new systems at a fraction of the cost, an especially good option if you’re on a tight budget.Visit our website at www.callposse.com, call us at (575) 527-8190 or email us at service@callposse.com and we’ll be more than happy to help you with all your computer needs.
It’s well known that online companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google collect vast amounts of data about us.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg, however.  Shopping sites and social networks keep tabs on all of your online activities while you’re using them every time you cruise the world wide web.  They’ve gotten rather good at soaking up as much data as they can and your habits, and then sell it to the highest bidder. This behavior can make it seem like protecting your privacy would be impossible.  But don’t fear, help is at hand!  There are several browser extensions that will let you know about web trackers, and stop them from snooping around your online activities, and will help you take control of your data.  We have 5 of the best add-ons for defending yourself against those web trackers. DuckDuckGo DuckDuckGo is a search engine that will not track or record your search queries, sort of the antithesis of Google.  The same company also offers a browser extension, named Privacy Essentials, that will prevent social networks and advertisers from spying on your web activities.  This is probably the easiest to use of all the extensions on this list.  You don’t need to spend a lot of time configuring the settings, because this extension will make the hard choices for you. DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials is compatible with Chrome, Firefox and Safari web browsers. Disconnect According to Disconnect, it will help you to say no to mass collection of your online activity and trackers that destroy your device performance.  Like some of the other items in this list, it will detect tracking technologies from the websites you visit and ensures that they won’t be able to keep tabs on what you’re doing. This extension will give you a lot of control of what you block and unblock.  You could block one site completely and allow another site to collect information.  You can easily find out what’s being blocked by clicking on the Disconnect button in your browser, it’ll also let you know how it’s affecting the speed of the site you’re visiting.  It will also allow you to whitelist sites and trackers that you deem safe. Unfortunately, the interface for this extension leaves much to be desired, it is still rather effective.  It’ll tackle social plug-ins, ad trackers and web analytics code like a football linebacker.  They offer it for free on PCs, and $25 (one-time fee) for mobile browsers. Disconnect is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Opera an Safari web browsers. Ghostery Ghostery is similar to Privacy Badger, but you have more control over what gets blocked, but with the caveat of making it more complex.  If you don’t mind taking a little time to configure it, Ghostery will be an excellent privacy protection tool.  However, if you don’t really want something that you’ll have to spend some time tinkering with, then you might choose one of the other friendlier options, like Privacy Badger. Ghostery can handle the code that deals with social media plug-ins, audio & video players, site analytics, user interactions and more.  Don’t like those thousands of annoying extra ads and popups that appear in or on top of websites? Ghostery will shut them down.  It will also give you a clean and clear look at what’s block and what isn’t on whatever site you visit.  You can also choose to either temporarily or permanently block something that seems suspicious, or even pause the blocking function altogether. These features make Ghostery one of the most comprehensive options available.  The best part is, like Privacy Badger, it’s free, and available for most web browsers. Ghostery is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge and Safari web browsers. Privacy Badger The company that makes Privacy Badger, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a non-profit company that is dedicated to promoting user privacy.  On way they accomplish that is by developing a browser extension called Privacy Badger.  It’s designed to stop tracking technologies that work across multiple websites.  This will hinder the ability of marketers to build up a comprehensive profile of your web surfing habits. Most technologies employed by advertisers can recognize your surfing habits not only from their sponsored sites, but even from unaffiliated sites.  For example, if you were to search for something on Amazon, that search term will not only show up in your Amazon recommendations, but will eventually make its way into Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.  Privacy Badger stops that by allowing you to set a limit on how many pages can track you.  For each site you visit, Privacy Badger will identify whatever tracking tools are being employed and will sort them out in a traffic light style interface that will let you know how intrusive each one is.  It will also automatically disable them or will limit them one at a time. However, keep in mind that stopping some trackers can also make certain features of some websites stop working.  For example, stopping all tracking abilities of a certain site may stop videos from playing because it relies on a tracker for that feature to operate.  However, Privacy Badger will allow you to override its normal behavior and allow some trackers to run and restore the functionality of the site you’re in.  Despite its power and advanced features, Privacy Badger remains easy to use.  Even better is that it’s free, and compatible with many web browsers. Privacy Badger is compatible with Chrome, Firefox and Opera web browsers. Facebook Container Extension You think Facebook is the only site of losing user data?  Think again.  It’s definitely not the only one guilty of that, but it is one of the biggest of the social networking sites, and it loves to monitor your every movement.  Did you know that Facebook can even keep tabs on your activities even if you’re not in the Facebook site?  Yes, whenever you hit that famous Facebook like button, Facebook stashes that information as well. To help stop this problem, Mozilla (the developer of Firefox web browser) has created Facebook Container Extension.  It’s designed to, just as the name denotes, contain Facebook’s enthusiastic data collection techniques.  How it works is that your personal identity on Facebook, which keeps that “like button” information gets locked into a virtual container.  It keeps that contained information separate from the rest of your web activities.  This will keep it from seeing your activities on sites outside of Facebook. One caveat to be aware of, however, is that this means that tools that you might use for Facebook that reside outside of its website such as embedded comments on an article or the ability to use your Facebook account to log into another site may not work properly or may not work at all.  But don’t you think it’s a small price to pay for keeping Facebook from spying on your all your web activities?  One more thing to keep in mind is that, since it’s made by Mozilla, it only works with the Firefox web browser.  But if you favor Firefox, then that won’t be a problem. Browser extensions can help increase your web browser's security, but they are only one piece of the puzzle.  There are multiple ways to secure your computer to prevent identity theft and malware infections.  For advice on fully protecting your computer, contact us at Call Posse Computers. Call Posse Computers service@callposse.com (575) 527-8190 www.callposse.com
We frequently are asked whether malware can be manually removed from a computer for free.  Can you get inside of your PC and get rid of that nasty malware on your own? Technically, yes, however I would follow that up with "we wouldn't recommend that!"  In this article, we will be looking at five top reasons why investing in a reputable computer professional is a good idea, and why trying to get rid of malware yourself is something you should avoid. 1.  What Are You Getting Rid Of? Even if you can identify what the original threat is, there might be massive amounts of malware that is still on your computer. Trojans, for example, carry other types of malware threats to your computer along with them, or they download them from the Internet, without you knowing about it. Although it is great that you have removed the Trojan, there can still be other malware threats on your computer. Manually removing multiple malware threats can take a very long time, and it can be extremely difficult to follow the numerous malware threats that set a breadcrumb trail up.   2. The Computer Registry, Not for the Faint of Heart If you happen to be a computer geek and have spent lots of time reading code and programming then this most likely doesn't apply to you.  However, for everyone else, that is why this is at the top of our list.  You would normally uninstall any programs you didn't want from your computer through using your control panel.  However, it isn't that easy with malware.  In order to manually remove malware, you must enter into the bowels of your computer: The Registry.  Although the process isn't that hard, you could end up frying your computer with just a small mistake.  It's like tinkering with the computer's DNA, it's best left to the professionals. 3.  How Valuable is Your Time? If you have several simultaneous malware infections, you might have hundreds of registry values, registry keys, and file modifications that you need to locate and remove if you want to manually remove malware.  Although this is a free method, keep in mind that your time is money!  The investment of having an expert handle the situation can end up being a more economical option instead of spending a lot of your valuable time attempting to remove malware manually, and possibly turning your computer into a heavy paper weight. 4.  Down the Road Congratulations!  You have just spent four or more hours manually removing a Trojan off of your computer.  In addition, you found and removed a backdoor application and adware also. However, what is going to happen tomorrow once the remnants from the Trojan start kicking in and download yet another malware app on your PC?  Is your patience really going to stretch that far?  Are you going to be up for yet another marathon to remove another viral threat from your computer? One of the biggest benefits you get from a reputable professional is not only removing malware but also can prevent your computer from getting malware to begin with. So not only will you be able to remove the malware from your computer, but it will be protected in the future as well. 5.  Be Smart, Call the Pros One of the most valuable assets that you have is your computer.  It was expensive to buy.  Trying to manually remove malware off of your computer is like trying to change your car's brakes.  Unless you happen to be an electrician, I'm sure that you would never think of trying to rewire your house's electrical system.  You would hire an electrician to handle that for you, right? Why would your computer be any different? Unless you happen to be a professional or advanced computer user, you should let professionals remove the malware for you. It isn't worth the potential disaster, hassle, and headache of attempting to manually remove malware unless you know exactly what to do.  Although trying to save a couple of dollars can be very tempting by trying to manually remove malware, it usually doesn't benefit the individual who is attempting to do it.  You will be banging your head against the wall for a couple of hours, and you could potentially damage your computer, miss other types of malware threats that are on your computer already, and leave yourself vulnerable to getting other infections.   We at Call Posse Computers can and have removed all sorts of malware infections from many computers.  Between our state-of-the-art tools and our extensive experience, we can expertly remove any traces of malware that might be lurking in your computer.  We can also offer you options for malware prevention, which will give you peace of mind.  If you would like us to remove your malware, please contact us today. Call Posse Computers, Inc. (575) 527-8190 service@callposse.com www.callposse.com

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