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How to Get Free Online Help with Your Computer Problems

Got a computer problem? Can’t find the answer? Googled it and got no joy? The web is full of help forums where you can go and post a question and hope the resident “experts” will help. Of course, at many of these sites the “experts” may not actually be so expert. However, there are some sites where a pretty good level of proficiency is maintained and here's how to find the best.

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Best Freeware Download Sites

 

Introduction

Once you use Gizmo's to find the best freeware for your purposes, you need to download it from somewhere. Generally, I recommend that you use the software developer's site but that is not always possible. In that case, you have to go to one of the many repositories of freeware to be found on the web.

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Best Free Technical Support Sites

Introduction

When compiling this list, I only looked at free third-party support sites. If you are looking specifically for vendor support sites, then click here.

Most of the sites in this category have volunteer staffing and that means the quality of answers to your questions can very widely - it all depends on the individual you get. So don't take the following site rankings too literally as your experience may well differ from mine.

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Best Windows Freeware/Shareware Download Sites

 
Recommended Sites
 
FileHippo: This is currently our top recommendation as they offer a wide collection of clean software with fast download rates without requiring a proprietry downloader. A unique and useful feature is they offer a full version history of most products.
 

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Best PC Glossaries, Guides and Tutorials

 

Look Up That Term
Come across an IT term that you don't recognize? If you can't find out what it means from one of these sites, then it's probably a misprint.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.cgi

http://pcwebopedia.com/
http://www.cknow.com/ckinfo/index.htm

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Best Sites for Scripts, Drivers and Fonts

 

Scripts, Scripts and ... more Scripts
Looking for ready-made CGI, Perl and JavaScript code for doing commonly-requested features on Web sites such as buttons, validating user input etc?  These sites have excellent collections that you can cut and paste.
http://www.scriptsearch.com/
http://javascript.internet.com/
http://www.webreference.com/

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Best PC Support Resource Sites

 

These sites provide quality resources and services for tech support professionals and advanced users.

Tom's Hardware Guide
Everything you need to know about motherboards, processors, video cards, storage devices and much more.  News, columns and message boards, plus Tom's legendary hardware guides. Resource sites don't get much better than this and it's all free.
http://www.tomshardware.com/

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Best Computer Security Sites

Computer security has become a major problem for most users but you'll find plenty of help and advice at these top sites.

Good Spyware Resource Site
The current spyware/adware/scumware plague is reaching near epidemic proportions. This free site offers an excellent set of protection/removal tools and many other resources.
http://www.mvps.org/inetexplorer/Darnit.html

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