Where do you go when you need help with a computer problem? One place to find answers is in one of the numerous technical forums on the Internet. These forums are community sites whose members help one another with technical problems. Some of these are major sites moderated by a group of experienced and knowledgeable experts and are excellent sources of free computer help. Here is a selection from the forums that I find most useful. Some are more specialized than others but all are useful places to know about. They are my personal choices and not official recommendations from Gizmo's Freeware. They are listed in no particular order.
- Tom’s Hardware Forum - As the name indicates, this forum is hardware-oriented but there are plenty of posts on other subjects, including the Windows operating system and video games.
- Bleeping Computer Forum - Good forum covering many areas of using a PC.
- MajorGeeks Support Forums - You may know MajorGeeks as a major freeware download site but it also has an active forum covering a variety of topics.
- AnandTech Forums - AnandTech is known for hardware reviews and this forum has a lot of hardware threads but there is plenty of discussion of software and other subjects.
- Windows 7 Help Forums - A lot of information about Windows 7 but there are other threads as well.
- Windows 8 Forums - This one is about using Windows 8 and 8.1.
- Windows Secrets Lounge - Forum of the well-known newsletter. The newsletter is commercial but the forum can be read by anybody and registration is free. Discussion on many subjects here.
- TechSpot Forums - General computer topics of all sorts.
- CNET Forums - A wide variety of discussion from a major tech publisher
- Tech Support Guy Forums - Forum from our top-rated free online technical support service
- Wilders Security Forums - One of the best-known sites for security information.
- Neowin Forums - Forums on many technical subjects.
In order to submit a question to a forum, you generally have to become a member. However, previous posts are usually available to the general public and you can often find that your problem has already been the subject of a discussion thread that answers your question. One thing to keep in mind when using any forum is that all members do not have equal expertise. However, it is usually pretty easy to pick out who the most knowledgeable members are. Generally, these are the moderators and the senior members with the most posts. Before using any suggestions from a forum, always back up first.
And there you have it - great places to get your computer questions answered. Of course, there are a lot of forums and if you like one not mentioned in this list, please share it with us. And don't forget our own forum.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
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