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Your PC is in danger if you use Windows 7Windows 7 Danger

You are in danger using Windows 7

Enterprise software is always difficult to replace. The high cost associated with acquiring and upgrading sotfwares often keeps corporations hooked to a particular version of a product.

This often happens after the incumbent product no longer serves the purpose, or if it exposes the corporate network to vulnerabilities.

Microsoft has finally ended support for her famous operating system called Windows 7.

That means it will no longer provide updates or any security patches for the 11-year-old operating system, and the hundreds of millions of PCs out there still using it are vulnerable or susceptible to attack.

One-third, that is about 38% of PCs, around the world run Windows 7, according to NetMarketShare. So, if you’re one of those people impacted, what can you do?

Good news, for starters: You don’t have to throw your computer or laptop out of the window(s). It’s still usable, but it’s less secure.

Also Read: Toyota to build prototype city of the future in Japan

Microsoft is warning users in a special website that they will be at “greater risk for viruses and malware” because it will no longer provide security updates or fixes.

Microsoft (MSFT) is suggesting you do one of two things:

First, upgrade your existing equipment to Windows 10. The $139 version is good enough for most PCs even some older ones that still run Windows 7.

There’s also a Windows 10 Pro version for $199 if you use it for business purposes.

To check if your computer will be able to run Windows 10, Microsoft has published a compatibility guide that will help you determine whether your specifications meet the minimums for the latest version of Windows.

For example, your PC needs at least 32 GB of hard drive storage space, 1 GB of RAM and a processor with a clock speed of at least 1 GHz. Those aren’t exactly best specs to get the best out of Windows 10.

If your computer can’t run Windows 10, it might be time to buy a new one.

Even if you missed Black Friday deals, Microsoft notes that computer prices are considerably lower than they were five to 10 years ago, when Windows 7 was in its era.

Microsoft has created a quiz to help you find the right computer.

If you’re not going to do either of these things, well, good luck to you. The internet is filled with malware that might infect your Windows 7 machine, so keep your browser updated.

Also Read: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Google Chrome said it will continue providing updates to browsers running on Windows 7 PCs until July 2021.

Microsoft also said it will provide security updates for its Edge browser for around the same time, according to a report.

Still, browser updates alone aren’t sufficient to protect your computer against hackers and bad actors.

Operating systems have zillions of lines of code, and despite more than a decade of fixes and patches, holes and bugs continue to become apparent.

Now that Microsoft has stopped updating Windows 7, those bugs will live on forever, ready to be exploited by bad actors.

This is not a hypothetical. The massive WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 left millions of Windows XP computers vulnerable to attack.

Microsoft ultimately relented and issued an emergency patch for the then-16-year-old operating system, but it has not updated it since.

Hackers exploit the most vulnerable parts of the internet, and Windows 7, with its millions of users, will quickly become one of those.

So upgrade to Windows 10 or a new Windows 10 PC. Or buy a Mac. You’ll be a lot safer when you do.

My Suggestion for people using Windows 7

The first thing I will recommend for any one using Windows 7, especially when you are using low spec PC is to quickly upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

Microsoft is still releasing updates and security patches for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. So both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is ultimately supported by Microsoft.

Windows 8 PC Minimun Requirement

  • Processor. 1 gigahertz (GHz)* or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
  • RAM 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space. 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card. Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Windows 8.1 PC Minimum Requirement

  • Processor 1 gigahertz (GHz)* or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
  • RAM 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space. 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card. Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

If you’re using Windows 8 you can get a free upgrade to Windows 8.1. Microsoft will always send a pop up notifications to you to upgrade your PC from Windows 8  to 8.1.

The upgrade file to download, to successfully migrate from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 should be about 4.2GB to 4.5GB.

Windows 10 PC Minimum Requirement

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800 x 600

When you install Windows 10 on any PC using Windows 10 PC minimum requirements, believe me, your PC will become very slow. Because the requirements is minimum.

However, if you really want to get good speed and high performance using Windows 10,  I would recommend PC with this spec.

  • Processor: 1.5 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 4 gigabyte (GB) and above for 32-bit or 4 GB and above for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 120 GB and above for 32-bit OS or 120 GB and above for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800 x 600

Try something New: Linux Distribution

There are a lot of Linux distributions out there. I can’t even think of coming up with an exact number because you would find loads of Linux distros that differ from one another in one way or the other.

Some of them just turn out to be a clone of one another while some of them tend to be unique. So, it’s kind of amazing, but that is the beauty of Linux.

Relax, even though there are thousands of Linux distributions around, in this article, I have compiled a list of the best Linux distros available for beginners right now.

Best  Three Linux Distro for Beginners

In this post, I will list the best Linux distros which are easy-to-use out of the box. You do not need to dig deeper, you can just start using it right away after installation without needing to know any commands or tips.

  • Ubuntu

Ubuntu is undoubtedly one of the most popular Linux distributions. You can even find it pre-installed on a lot of laptops.

The user interface is easy to get comfortable with. If you play around, you can easily customize the look of it as per your requirements.

In either case, you can opt to install a theme as well. You can learn more about how to install themes in Ubuntu to get started.

In addition to what it offers, you will find a huge online community of Ubuntu users. So, if you face an issue, head to any of the forums to ask for help or more importantly just Google the issue.

The issue, can’t be without solution, more often you discover that same issue, have been solved thousand times.

If you are looking for video direct solutions in no time, you should go to youtube and check out some tutorials on that issue.

Download the latest version of Ubuntu Desktop 19.10 here.

  • Linux Mint

Linux Mint Cinnamon is another most popular Linux distribution among beginners.

Linux Mint OS

The default Cinnamon desktop resembles Windows XP and this is why many users opted for it when Windows XP was discontinued.

More importantly also, now when Windows 7 operating system is discontinued.

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and thus it has all the applications available for Ubuntu.

The simplicity and ease of use is why it has become a prominent choice for new Linux users.

Download latest Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia here.

  • Zorin OS

Zorin OS is yet another Ubuntu-based distribution which happens to be one of the most good-looking and intuitive OS for desktop.

Zorin OS

Especially, after Zorin OS 15 release, I would definitely recommend it for users without any Linux background. A lot of GUI-based applications comes baked in as well.

You can also install it on older PCs, however, make sure to choose the “Lite” edition. In addition, you have “Core”, “Education” & “Ultimate” editions.

You can choose to install the Core edition for free, but if you want to support the developers and help improve Zorin, consider getting the Ultimate edition would be the best choice. Zorin OS was started by two teenagers based in Ireland. You may read their story here.

Download the latest version of Zorin OS 15.1 here.

Others Linux Distros to try on your own

  • elementary OS

elementary OS is one of the most beautiful Linux distribution. The UI resembles that of Mac OS, so if you have already used a Mac-powered system, it’s easy to get comfortable with.

This distribution is based on Ubuntu and focuses to deliver a user-friendly Linux environment which looks as pretty as possible while keeping the performance in mind.

Download the latest version of Elementary OS 5.12 Hera here

  • MX Linux

MX Linux is a product of cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS communities, they are using the best tools and talents from each distro.

It is a midweight OS designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance and medium-sized footprint.

MX Linux OS

MX Linux came in the limelight almost a year ago. Now, it is the most popular Linux distro on DistroWatch.com. If you haven’t used it yet, you will be surprised when you get to use it.

Unlike Ubuntu, MX Linux is an increasingly popular Linux distribution based on Debian with  Xfce as its desktop environment.

In addition to its impeccable stability, it comes packed with a lot of GUI tools which makes it easier for any user comfortable with Windows/Mac originally.

Also, the package manager is perfectly tailored to facilitate one-click installations. You can even search for Flatpak packages and install it in no time.

Flathub is available by default in the package manager as one of the sources.

Two methods to download MX Linux

  1.  Direct method: Download the latest version of MX Linux using ISO mirror of the country or location closer to you here.
  2. Torrent Files: Download MX Linux torrent file here.
  • Slackware

Slackware is one of the oldest Linux distribution that still matters. If you are willing to compile or develop software to set up a perfect environment for yourself, Slackware is the way to go.

Even though the number of users/developers utilizing it has significantly decreased, it is still a fantastic choice for advanced users.

Also, with the recent news of Slackware getting a Patreon page, we hope that Slackware continues to exist as one of the best Linux distros out there.

Download the latest version of Slackware ISO torrent files here.

Getting my hands on Linux distribution is one of the best thing that has happen to me in computing. I started using Linux six years ago, Ubuntu distro when I was studying for my CCNA.

I must confess to you that I have never look back or regret using it. I don’t care about virus anymore or buying malware or any other softwares to protect my PC. That is the beauty of Linux OS.

It’s high time every body reading this article that has never used Linux OS before to try one of the best three Linux distros I recommended above.

 

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OYAKHILOME OGBETA

Oyakhilome Ogbeta is a web developer and networking engineer. Oyakhilome has more than six years' experience in networking. Oyakhilome has a proven track record in networking/web applications deployment.

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