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Best Free Performance Enhancement Software

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 8/13/2009

Been googling "free performance software" to no avail? Have we got a list for you - check inside for great programs that won't cost you a dime.

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    Mass Enhancement

    Try googling “Free PC Performance Enhancement" to see what comes up in the search page. The first 50 hits or so are pure malware or just simply junk. These are companies (or sometimes just hackers) looking to capitalize on a lack of basic PC knowledge. PC Tools for example, boasts that it can remove all of your spyware and is the leader in “privacy and security". Of course, your privacy and security comes at a cost (and one that is not too cheap at that). So, let me give you the first cardinal rule of PC software in terms of security and safety:

    The only software you should pay for is a great antivirus program – and even then, no more than $50.

    That’s it – the only rule about PC safety and security. When PC geeks like to boast that their computers have tons of freeware to run that helps them out daily, they aren’t lying. There are great pieces of software out there – you just have to look! Of course, you’re here at Bright Hub, so we wouldn’t leave you hanging. In this article, I’ve compiled a list of 4 freeware programs you absolutely cannot live without.

    CCleaner

    http://www.ccleaner.com/

    I just cannot talk about CCleaner enough. If you’ve been running into a brick wall when it comes to the speed of your PC, it could have something to do with settings that are accumulating junk inside your temporary folders. When those fill to the brim, your computer starts to do some weird things – like run slower than normal, or even stop working in some cases. CCleaner is the junk cleaner that you’ve been looking for – it cleans out ALL the temporary files you could hope for and then some. As a matter of fact, running CCleaner on my computer for the first time, I noticed a significant decrease in loading times and an increase in reliability – better yet, the hard drive was cleaned up, giving me more room for my music and movies.

    Spybot

    http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html

    I know what you’re thinking: “What’s spybot doing here?" Well, in so many words, if your computer is backed up into a pool of Trojan Horses, Malware and Spyware, you may find your performance decreasing exponentially. Keyloggers and Trojan Horses don’t only decrease the speed and reliability of your PC – they are also serious threats to your safety. Using Spybot ensures that those pesky spyware companies keep their grubby hands off your credit cards and off your “shopping preferences" to bug you even more. Spybot is also incredibly easy to use and makes what could be a chore into something very easy to resolve.

    Advanced SystemCare Free

    http://download.cnet.com/Advanced-SystemCare-Free/3000-2086_4-10407614.html

    The free version of ASC functions in the same way that paid software like Tuneup does. It looks into your registry, temporary files and even in your file structure to make sure that everything is optimized. ASC doesn’t do too much outside of the scope of CCleaner, but it is more convenient for those looking for a one-click software that does it all. Furthermore, the prevention engine is able to put defenses into place that help your computer be less vulnerable than it was prior to installation.

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

    http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html

    Much like Lavasoft’s programs, Malwarebytes is a quick and easy solution to any malware problems you may be having. Hopefully, after having run everything else on this list, this final program becomes a last resort, as CC and Spybot can probably take care of any problems you may be having. The scan is considerably quicker than the Spybot engine, but then again, the program isn’t 100% free – you may be badgered from time to time to upgrade to the paid version.

    And there you have it – using these four pieces of freeware, you should be covered from all angles. As I usually recommend, make sure to always maintain a great firewall and antivirus to keep performance-sucking bugs and viruses away. PC performance boils down to keeping your computer free of clutter, and that’s exactly what the above programs help you do.