Easy ways to speed up your computer and start a blog

Computer running slowly? Applications constantly freezing? Check out these tips to help your computer run quickly and smoothly. Once your computer is working properly, why not start an online blog? Here's how to get started.

Easy ways to speed up your computer and start a blog

Maximize broadband speed

Even if you're only browsing the internet, a poor connection speed makes pages frustratingly slow to open and to navigate around. Watching or streaming video, or making online phone calls, will be stuttery or even impossible.

  • One of the most effective things you can do to increase your connection speed is upgrade your router (many providers will send you a new one for free). Older routers can handle a maximum of 54 megabits per second (Mbps) or less, while the latest ones have a maximum of more than 200 Mbps.
  • Wireless broadband works best when the computer is in the same room as the router: solid walls and furniture muffle the signal.
  • Keep your browser software up to date, and empty caches (blocks of memory) regularly.
  • Consider changing your broadband provider; another may deliver much better speeds.

How to unfreeze a computer

  • If one program only has locked up, go to Windows Task Manager and click on the Applications tab. You should see the status "Not Responding" against the frozen application: click on End Task to quit.
  • If no programs are responding and the cursor is frozen too, reboot your computer. Press the CTRLALT and DEL keys simultaneously and shut down when prompted. If this doesn't work, press and hold the power switch for five seconds to turn it off. Wait a minute or two before restarting.

Start your own blog

A blog — short for weblog — is a kind of online diary that anyone can read. It's one of the many ways that you can use the Internet to air your views and initiate a conversation with like-minded people.

  • Plan the content: A blog can be personal, newsy, rambling or tightly focussed on a hobby or preoccupation of your own, such as the environment, local politics or parenting. Decide on a theme, come up with an engaging title that reflects the theme and will intrigue possible readers, then gather some ideas and write some material before you "go live." That way you'll already have a direction and a tone of voice when you make your debut.
  • Create your blog: There are many free websites devoted to hosting blogs and giving you the support you require to set one up. Once you have registered, you can follow the easy steps to design your blog, adding pictures, links and, above all, a facility for readers to leave comments so that the conversation can continue.

Don't let your computer intimidate you. Follow these tips to help it run efficiently and take advantage of everything it has to offer by starting your own blog!

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