Cheap and Free Tools to Put Zip Back in Your PC

Want to speed up your PC? Who doesn't? Your PC begins to slow down 10 minutes after you pull it out of the box and start using it. A clogged Registry, a full hard disk, unnecessary programs that load on startup, and an inefficiently configured broadband Internet connection are just some of the many things that can bog down your system.

Help has arrived: We've found 15 downloads that can improve PC speed. Check out all of these cheap and free tools, and download your way to a zippier computer.

Speed Freaks

Why is your computer sluggish? The reasons are countless. You may have a clogged Registry, too many programs running in the background, or a full hard drive, for example. The following downloads can boost your PC speed by fixing these problems and more.

DTweak

If you use Windows Vista and you're looking for an all-in-one utility to improve system performance, this program is worth a try. It has just about every speedup tool you need, offering a Registry cleaner, a disk cleaner, a disk defragmenter, and a Registry defragmenter. And those are just what the program calls Daily Tools. It has many other helpful modules as well, including optimizations for your RAM and system cache, startup and shutdown, and several dozen other functions.

The program even includes a monitor that checks on the health of your hard drive. If it detects that the drive is too warm, it recommends that you do a backup.

Download DTweak | Price: $30

AusLogics BoostSpeed

Here's an all-in-one utility that takes an everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink approach to enhancing PC speed. You'll find modules for just about any kind of performance boost you can name. The Boost Internet section, for example, will optimize Maximum Transmission Units to help raise your connection speed, and it will also tweak a variety of other settings, such as your DNS cache.

The Boost Windows section promises to do everything from speeding up shutdown and startup to optimizing memory and system settings. Similarly, the program has sections for boosting the speed of Microsoft Office, your Web browser, and your network.

As with any PC speed optimizer, you'll need to check carefully to be sure the program actually boosts your machine's performance and doesn't decrease it. Nevertheless, you'll find this a very good tool for overall system speedup.

Download AusLogics BoostSpeed | Price: $25 (free trial for 15 days)

Cleanup Assistant

This simple freebie helps speed up your system by unclogging your hard disk. It finds duplicate files, cached files, and other excess items, and then deletes them for you. If you have personal files you no longer need and you don't want anyone else to see them, it will even shred those files so that they can't be restored. Cleanup Assistant is free and easy to use, so even though it may not be the most sophisticated of programs, it's worth a shot.

Download Cleanup Assistant | Price: Free

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