I have a new gaming laptop. What housekeeping should I do to start?

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Hi - so my laptop arrived today (woo-hoo) but I now face several questions that I do not know the answers to so here goes, and hoping that some of you can help! I am hoping that I don't do something which will affect the performance
1a) Should I stay with windows explorer or download windows edge like it is recommend to?
1b) I enjoy using Firefox on my PC, should I uninstall windows explorer and install firefox?
2) Shall I install McAfee or something else? Do people bother paying for virus protection or are there free ones you recommend?
3) How can I check how much storage I have used on the computer?
4) There were so many questions and boxes to tick - one was about Microsoft Office, default file types. I went for office open XML formats (and not open documents) - do any of these things matter really?
5) Word not activated. Should I buy office? I am only using it for powerpoints/excel/word. It is offering a trial but should i need to?
6) I said yes to onedrive - what benefit will this gain me?
7) How do I choose a different website load up screen when the internet explorer comes up?

I am sure I will have many other questions! Thanks.
 
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Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
1. I personally prefer Firefox. I think it's the only non-commercial browser, the safest one and the one with the best privacy policies. Not sure about that though.

Also beware: Windows explorer is different from Windows INTERNET explorer. Windows explorer is your file manager basically.

2. I don't like mcafee myself. I'm using ESET (paid version) which is very light on my PC, doesn't use much resources. I think there are some free virus scanners that are okay-ish but I prefer not to use them because I'm scared that looking for a free AV increases the chance of installing a virus that advertises as a free one.

Also, if you do find a free anti-virus, (almost) all of them only scan when you want to scan your PC, they don't do automatic scans or live-scanning.

3. Windows Explorer (not the browser, the file explorer), --> Go to "this PC" in the menu and you should see your drives including the total and free spac.e

4. Can't really answer to them. I don't think it matters that much but I can't say for sure.
5. That's really up to you. There's also "open office" which is simular to Microsoft Office, but I prefer the Microsoft one. You also can go for the subscription based one if you prefer, but I'm not sure which one is cheaper or better.
6. Onedrive bascially is your cloud for documents / folders/ pictures. I am using it (my brother pays for it haha) to backup my pictures from my phone. Also easier to redownload them on PC. But I also have PC files backed up to it. It's basically the same as Dropbox if you're familiar with that.
7. Since I recommend Firefox anyway :) --> 3 bars top right --> Options --> Home --> Homepage and new windows.
 
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OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
1. What you prefer. Microsoft Edge is basically another browser based on Chromium. Firefox is the last independent and security/privacy-first browser remaining and I've been using it for over a decade now.

2. McAfee is trash, uninstall without regret. You may check some free AV like Kaspersky's or go into premium paid ones, but realistically even the most expensive AV won't help user if the user himself does stupid things like downloading attachments to email from unknown source. Human is always the weakest link.

3. Explained above

4. You want apps you install for example for image browsing to be used with their main file extensions ie. JPG, PNG, BMP etc. Depends on what apps you use, you will need to figure this out a bit with experience.

5. If you are not a power user and don't need specifically MS Office, you can safely uninstall it and install Libre Office or Open Office. Both are free, are MS Office compatibile and in general you won't probably use even 10% of their "power". So really, unless you have specific needs, you don't need to buy office from MS.

6. Explained above

7. Explained kinda above, it depends on the browser.
 
"2. McAfee is trash, uninstall without regret. You may check some free AV like Kaspersky's or go into premium paid ones, but realistically even the most expensive AV won't help user if the user himself does stupid things like downloading attachments to email from unknown source. Human is always the weakest link. "

Quite severe review! However, they are offering it at £21.99 - I know that it is 'Recommended by Asus' but shall I go for this offer as that is quite cheap for 12 months yes?
 
It's up to you. I personally like bitdefender (£34.99), I find McAfee slows down the PC and isn't as effective. But saying that I haven't used it in years.

I am trying to upload an image to show you but when I click on 'Insert image' it asks me for the http address? How can i get the option to include a picture saved to my laptop please? It's £19.99 for Bitdefnder Antivirus Plus atm.
 
2) Shall I install McAfee or something else? Do people bother paying for virus protection or are there free ones you recommend?
I would not pay for virus protection as there is so much competition out there and with that free versions that are lightweight and perfect for personal use. I use Avast myself, it's free and does the work. You get some stupid pop ups now and then, but just ignore those - they are just trying to have you upgrading.

I do recommend installing something like Malwarebytes to go with your antivirus, so you can have antivirus for older threats and anti-malware for newer threats. That said, if you use common sense when surfing, the chance of you getting infected is pretty slim.
 
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I'd certainly check performance and temperatures when it arrives. e.g. the free version of 3dmark Timespy (under the 'Demo' on Steam) to check performance, and something like HWinfo to check CPU and GPU temperatures under load. Test all the keys, all the outputs, all the things that the laptop has that are meant to work, like you would any expensive product.

Hi - I am currently downloading the demo of 3dmark and will report back.
 
Hi so I used the demo of 3dmark and results as follows - hoping you can interpret better than I can (I also hope that this thread might offer some support for other new laptop users in the future!)
TimeSpy - 6168
Graphics Score - 5878
CPU Score - 8578
 

OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
I would not pay for virus protection as there is so much competition out there and with that free versions that are lightweight and perfect for personal use. I use Avast myself, it's free and does the work. You get some stupid pop ups now and then, but just ignore those - they are just trying to have you upgrading.
Man, the bunch of years I worked as IT Technician I changed one thing in the company I worked for: getting rid of Avast. It caused so many random problems, wasn't efficient at all, kept people (especially seniors) consufed by constant stream of notifications for terms they don't understand and on top of that, they did some nasty things in recent years (literally spying on users).

So I would say keep away from Avast and AVG as it's the same thing anyway.

Just my opinion of course ;]
 
@OsaX Nymloth The notifications I knew about, but it's pretty much like any other free application you use begging for money. The spying I did not know of, would you care to elaborate on that? Have they improved on that notion or is it still like that? Perhaps you also know of a free antivirus that would be a better suggestion? I have used Microsoft Defender with Malwarebytes in the past but felt Avast had slightly better security, especially when browsing.
 

OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
@OsaX Nymloth The notifications I knew about, but it's pretty much like any other free application you use begging for money. The spying I did not know of, would you care to elaborate on that? Have they improved on that notion or is it still like that? Perhaps you also know of a free antivirus that would be a better suggestion? I have used Microsoft Defender with Malwarebytes in the past but felt Avast had slightly better security, especially when browsing.
Just search for "avast spying" and you will see lots of articles on the topic ie: https://palant.info/2019/10/28/avast-online-security-and-avast-secure-browser-are-spying-on-you/

They had at least big "reveals" of their practices in last 5 years. Especially the browser add-ons they insist on installing were gathering a lot of data.

As for free ones, Kaspersky's free options seems nice, if you don't mind the connections to Russia - as far as I remember nothing was proven. Otherwise, I am not sure what currently is recommended. Microsoft's AV after all these years evolved into something not so bad actually.
 
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Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
In terms of how much malware they block I think they're all very simular, even the Microsoft AV. I think they all block between 90 and 99% of the malware out there.

I guess the main differences are the UI, the amount of notifications, and how easy it is to set it up. And the price of course.
I personally like ESET, but reviews go between 3 and 5 stars. Also, I don't know about the price since my dad pays for it :D.

I also did read not-so-positive articles about malwarebytes at some point but I can't remember what they were about.
 
'Recommended by Asus' but shall I go for this offer as that is quite cheap for 12 months yes?
No. If you remember the conversation about bloatware, McAfee is one of the prime examples. McAfee presumably pay Asus to distribute it and/or recommend it for their systems.

In terms of antivirus, you can actually stick with Windows Defender, which is very good these days. Other options like the free Avast are good (just tailor your privacy settings as you always should with any software). I never had issues with Avast.

Plenty of issues with Bitdefender though... it was great, until it wasn't and regularly black-screened the PC, having some kind of conflict with Nvidia's drivers at the time. As always, it's a YMMV thing.

I suggest sticking with Windows Defender, and seeing how it goes.

You can also use free Malwarebytes (not the premium trial, the fully free version) as a periodic on-demand scanner.
 
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Thank you the information - any tips on cleaning the screen and keyboard (and keys) on a regular basis? What do you use?
Thanks and I hope everyone is having a nice Saturday. Oh, and how do I turn the F keys so that I can minimize/maximise volume etc.
 

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