If you want to discover what your PC is capable of without installing software or getting into debt, your best bet is an online performance scanner. I know what you are thinking, “Aren’t those all just spyware and malware?" The short answer is “Usually." However, there are some in that mass of programs that will actually help you. These are rare finds, so we decided to look at three different online scanning engines that could actually help your computer’s performance more than they could hurt it. Realistically though, online scanners are only a preliminary indicator and should be followed up by a real, software-based scanner.
Windows OneCare Live Scanner
Windows 7 users need not apply, as Microsoft’s new online scanner is not yet workable on the new OS. For all the rest, you are looking at quite possibly the best online performance scanner available. Microsoft may have a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to OneCare service, but the Live Scanner online is great for diagnosing problems swiftly and efficiently. The great part is that the service runs quickly and is able to tune up and clean your computer all in one step. Running the app is easy, assuming you are running either Firefox or Internet Explorer. Other than that, you will be out of luck when running this particular performance scanner.
TrendMicro House Call
TrendMicro’s service is similar to OneCare’s service. Rather than tuning up your computer’s performance, though, it searches your files and folders for potential viruses, malware, and spyware. These nasty items have a way of sucking performance from your computer when you least expect it. As such, it is a great tool to scan the computer for viruses over the internet when using things like the Ubuntu Live CD. This allows you to better understand the problem and then go about resolving it. Also handy is the fact that TrendMicro has an extensive list of malware on their website that can be removed by downloading smaller executable files.
ShieldsUP! is less of a performance scanner and more of a general security scanner. However, open ports and non-shielded ports can result in lower performance because it is the PC equivalent of having a leaky boat; you might wonder why it is sinking. By using this online scanner and its suggestions, your ports can be closed appropriately and will probably result in increased internet speed and performance. If nothing else, it is worthwhile to run this whether or not you have PC performance problems – security problems can sometimes be hidden.
Using these scanners, the idea of a future with online scanners and online video-streaming websites is no longer a futuristic idea. It is happening right now.
Learn more ways to boost your computer's performance by reading the Bright Hub articles, Best Free Performance Enhancement Software and Ashampoo Winoptimizer 6 - Cleaning and Tweaking Windows.