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General Computer Setup (Any Suggestions?)


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#1 wishmakingfairy

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 08:25 AM

When I setup anyone's computer w/ their network and whatnot I always try to make sure they're protected and ready to hit the ground running. Since not all of them want to pay anything half the time I've tried to come up with the best possible setup so that they can turn on their computer and get right to work. Also, please understand that the people I help are generally uneducated with internet safety and whatnot and don't really have much of an interest to learn.

 

So far here is my list.

 

Security

-Windows Updates (obviously)

-Change DNS servers to comodo secure dns (or other service with a little filtering)

-Avast Free w/ Hardened Mode Turned On

-Malwarebytes

-Google Chrome w/ Ublock Origin Addon

 

Productivity

-WPS Office Free (This program recently changed a few things and doesn't start in a 30 day trial anymore)

-CutePDF

-Adobe PDF Reader

-7zip

 

Storage (Either depending on what the person uses normally)

-Google Drive

-Dropbox

 

Other

-VLC Media Player

-Classic Shell (Only For Picky Users)

-Java

-Firefox

 

If you have any suggestions for other programs, please let me know. I want to put on only programs that could be extremely useful right off the bat for most people.


Edited by hamluis, 12 October 2016 - 11:05 AM.
Moved from Gen Chat to Tips/Tricks - Hamluis.

Using ubuntu and sharing how to as well as collecting how to scripts for common programs. Feel free to ask or share ^-^


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#2 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 09:43 AM

I would say if you have google chrome with uBlock you won't need Firefox too. Also, I don't know much about CutePDF but if you already have Adobe PDF reader you won't need it. Google chrome also has a built in pdf reader.
I would try a program called unchecky. https://unchecky.com/ It can prevent extra adware and toolbars from being installed when you setup a program.

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#3 wishmakingfairy

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 10:06 AM

The cute pdf is just a pdf printer for those that can make use of it. I kind of always liked to have a second browser thats not IE or edge, just for troubleshooting reasons.


Using ubuntu and sharing how to as well as collecting how to scripts for common programs. Feel free to ask or share ^-^


#4 cmptrgy

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 12:32 PM

When I setup anyone's computer w/ their network and whatnot I always try to make sure they're protected and ready to hit the ground running. Since not all of them want to pay anything half the time I've tried to come up with the best possible setup so that they can turn on their computer and get right to work. Also, please understand that the people I help are generally uneducated with internet safety and whatnot and don't really have much of an interest to learn.

I understand exactly what you mean. I volunteered at a non-profit organization for 12 years and now at our senior center - the volunteer time is free but components, equipment etc. are not unless a family is in dire need. When I retired there more than enough family and friends who needed help on their computers. At first it was free but very quickly I turned to no freebies. I told them very politely family and friends don't "gyp" each other. It only takes 10 minutes to evaluate what needs to be done, then I inform them on an expected cost which is more than fair. I agree that so many people are "uneducated with internet security and whatnot" but most of the people I help are not technically inclined to keep that "education". I understand that though: everyone has a talent and everyone isn't technically inclined. In summary, no more free help unless the family is in dire situation and a minimum token "donation" is expected.

 

I am a simple computer user and I am a security and maintenance person. When I see what a computer has along those lines, I make recommendations based on the owner's knowledge and capabilities. Free programs are nice but it takes the owner's co-operation to keep them in order. Paid programs have their benefits but the owner still needs to understand what's going on. OK, another summary: for some of the people I help we have a quarterly schedule in which I will tune their computer up again: for those who eventually get it, they can take over. And BTW, that expected minimum token "donation" is more than voluntary on their part.

 

The programs you mentioned look ok to me and I have my list of recommended programs: I base my selections on how a computer user uses their computer and what the computer really needs. I haven't forgotten my roots when I was completely computer illiterate and keep that in mind when someone I help is computer illiterate. As time goes on, your list of recommendations will grow: good luck.


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#5 neuronic

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 07:44 PM

I would include some type of web protection or security web filtering. I doubt this can be done for free but it can prevent massive amounts of infections that originate from websites, and that download payloads from websites. 

 

I don't personally use free 'active protection' tools myself so I don't know of anything to recommend. I am interested though if anyone else has a recommendation. 



#6 wishmakingfairy

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 12:25 AM

I would include some type of web protection or security web filtering. I doubt this can be done for free but it can prevent massive amounts of infections that originate from websites, and that download payloads from websites. 

 

I don't personally use free 'active protection' tools myself so I don't know of anything to recommend. I am interested though if anyone else has a recommendation. 

Well so far the best I have is the ublock origin adon and the hardened mode for avast (quick skimming just tells me it only lets whitelisted programs install). Past that, I feel its pretty tough to have the right tools like Noscript on firefox since they can make a website unable to load certain content that the people want to see. I'll reply if I come across anything that I feel is unobtrusive enough that it would be good to deploy without issues.


Using ubuntu and sharing how to as well as collecting how to scripts for common programs. Feel free to ask or share ^-^


#7 HolyCowz

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 12:20 PM

This is what I do when helping friends and family. Almost the same as you.
I find it difficult when helping friends and family as you have to make it so they can easily do the updates and comodo winpatrol and avast in harden mode often require decisions to be made.
 
Security
---------
Avast free.(with scan settings to do a thorough scan.)
Malwarebytes
Chrome with Avira browser safety and https everywhere. ( never get any compatability problems with this set up)
Open DNS
Turn UAC to full
Turn Netbios off.
Turn off remote registry in services.
Turn off Allow remote access.
If using windows firewall I all ways put block incoming connections on
For some who are a bit more tech savvy and want extra I will install
Comodo firewall (with some tinkering)
winpatrol
Spywareblaster
Turn off windows media player network and sharing
disable network and sharing.
MVP Hosts file.
DNS client off
UPNP off
disable autorun.
Cybre ghost vpn.
 
Productivity
-------------
7zip
Gimp
Open office
No need for a pdf reader as they can be read using chrome.
I don't install video players as again chrome can play many even off line and windows can play with default player.
Gmail account if they have no email.
 
 
For storage I would recommend an external HDD and not in the cloud for a few reasons.
Not sure I was much help by I always find it interesting to compare.

Edited by HolyCowz, 18 January 2017 - 12:23 PM.


#8 britechguy

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:15 PM

I guess it depends on the user, and the version of Windows, but I no longer use a third-party antivirus but stick with Windows Defender.  It's much improved over its early versions and is the only "set it and forget it" that pretty much lives up to that description as close to 100% of the time as possible.  If I'm using free antivirus then I stick with Panda Cloud these days.  I do not like Avast free because of the need for annual updating of the license, which I've seen people skip doing (and they skip doing this sort of thing for paid products, too, even with multiple nag e-mails about impending expiration or "you're past expiration") and AVG has become a nightmare of false positives.  My biggest concern is that the user not have to do anything to maintain protection with a far lesser concern about whether detection rate is "very good" versus "excellent."

 

I always install Spywareblaster as a passive protection, which works quite well and across browsers, and Malwarebytes just in case something should ever slip by.

 

I love Unchecky and it's become a standard install and I like CCleaner as well (though I do not use nor teach users to use the registry cleaner option).

 

For the browser or browsers I install (usually Firefox and Chrome - I've never liked any of the Microsoft web browsers so far) I also install the following add-ons, when available:

  • Adblock Plus
  • Adblock Plus Element Hiding Helper 
  • Colorful Tabs (Firefox)
  • Yonge Street III Theme (Chrome) - Even with the color spash background most users find it much easier to cope with
  • HTTPS Everywhere (sophisticated and security minded users only, with SSL observatory feature turned on)
  • Ghostery (sophisticated and security minded users only)
  • DuckDuckGo Search Engine, set as default (again, sophisticated users who don't wish to have their search behavior tracked)

Ask about pictures.  If plans include significant picture taking, filing, etc., then suggest:

a.      FastStone Image Viewer (http://faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm)  This is also an editing suite.

b.      GIMP Picture Editor  (http://gimp.org/)

c.       JPEG Lossless Rotator (http://annystudio.com/software/jpeglosslessrotator/)

d.      Bulk Image Resizer/Format Converter (http://sourceforge.net/projects/dinoimages/)

 

Download and Install latest:

a.      PDF X-Change Editor [https://www.tracker-software.com/product/downloads/enduser/pdf-xchange-editor]  (my preference)

b.      OR  Adobe Acrobat Reader

c.       Adobe Flash Player

if the client will be doing a lot of work with PDFs.  I absolutely hate in-browser PDF viewers if I'm doing a lot of "serious work" with PDFs and I presume my clients will, too.

 

Ask about file searching habits.  If the client is going to Windows 7 or later and was used to searching for files based upon file name they are very likely to be quite frustrated by the differences in file search behavior, particularly file content search setting being on by default.   Suggest installing Search Everything (http://www.voidtools.com/) if they search frequently based on file name alone rather than file contents.

 

If they need an office suite and do not have and will not be purchasing Microsoft Office I recommend Libre Office.


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#9 Zone_86

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 04:17 AM

I would include some type of web protection or security web filtering. I doubt this can be done for free but it can prevent massive amounts of infections that originate from websites, and that download payloads from websites. 

 

I don't personally use free 'active protection' tools myself so I don't know of anything to recommend. I am interested though if anyone else has a recommendation. 

 

Excellent post and I would reiterate this.



#10 elizbethsewell666

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 09:40 AM

When I setup anyone's computer w/ their network and whatnot I always try to make sure they're protected and ready to hit the ground running. Since not all of them want to pay anything half the time I've tried to come up with the best possible setup so that they can turn on their computer and get right to work. Also, please understand that the people I help are generally uneducated with internet safety and whatnot and don't really have much of an interest to learn.

 

So far here is my list.

 

Security

-Windows Updates (obviously)

-Change DNS servers to comodo secure dns (or other service with a little filtering)

-Avast Free w/ Hardened Mode Turned On

-Malwarebytes

-Google Chrome w/ Ublock Origin Addon

 

Productivity

-WPS Office Free (This program recently changed a few things and doesn't start in a 30 day trial anymore)

-CutePDF

-Adobe PDF Reader

-7zip

 

Storage (Either depending on what the person uses normally)

-Google Drive

-Dropbox

 

Other

-VLC Media Player

-Classic Shell (Only For Picky Users)

-Java

-Firefox

 

If you have any suggestions for other programs, please let me know. I want to put on only programs that could be extremely useful right off the bat for most people.

These are perfect, you can also add Picasa photo viewer.






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