The Quick Version
You used to have 2 choices: get a Windows PC and put up with dreadful security problems, or get a Mac and put up with a high price. Suddenly there are machines like Chromebooks and iPads with superb security and low prices. But public perception always lags behind a fast moving industry like computers. Lots of people around you who “know” about computers will still tell you that you have to have a PC or a Mac. They will tell you that the new kids on the block will not do all sorts of things, what they actually mean is they don’t know how to do those things, because they hadn’t caught up yet. Ask proper geeks what they are giving their own family and the answer is never the Windows Laptop that every high street store will sell you (see The Mom Test).
But surely this affront to conventional wisdom can’t be right? This site was picked up by the top show in the world for computer security experts. 20,000 of them descended on the site in one day. Lots of complements, not one dissenting voice.
The world has moved on. If you stick with the old ways you could be become the victim of online scams, lose the family photo collection to poor backups or be paying far more than you need to. So find out more, start with Windows or Not?
Who is this site for?
Normal humans who want to buy a computer to use at home. Folks who want something that just works with the minimum of fuss.
Who is it not for?
Geeks, Gadget freaks and Businesses. Such people have very different requirements to normal home users. There are a million other sites for them.
The Mom Test
I asked a bunch of geek friends, what computer they setup for their own mom (a task that forced them to think carefully about security and maintenance).
Click here to find out what they said.
Who is this Guy?
I am the Chief Engineer of a company providing computer help to the home market. Every day I am picking up the pieces where people have bought the wrong equipment for their needs. I see a constant flow of bad advice coming from customers' well meaning friends and relatives and I feel compelled to put the real story out there. Hence this website.
Click here for the full answer to that question.
We just got reviewed by one of the world's top TV shows for geeks:
Here are some of the quotes:
"I’m very impressed" (4 times).
"It carefully matches your needs so you're not spending more money than you need to."
"Nothing is more dangerous than Windows"
"Print this on everyone’s napkins when your family convene"
I think they liked it!
So you want a new computer?
Getting a home computer used to be so simple... you had two choices: a Windows PC or a Mac and the Mac was twice the price, so more than 95% of computers sold were Windows. Now you're wondering if you should get an iPad, or one of those incredibly cheap $200 Chromebooks, or maybe, just maybe, you could just do everything on that smartphone you already own and love so much.
Of course you might be tempted just to get another Windows PC, because that's what you always do. But, it's worth investing a little time in figuring out what type of computer to get as you are going to be spending a lot of time with it. Along the way let's see if we can do some really cool things, like waving goodbye to viruses, permanently protecting your family photo collection and maybe even saving you a lot of money.
So settle down with a hot drink and do our 3 step program. Answer the following 3 key questions to get the right computer for you:
You might surprise yourself with your own answers!
The Key Choice
The key choice you have to make when selecting a computer is if you get Windows or one of the alternatives.
The best reason to choose Windows is because every piece of software and equipment you can think of (and a lot more besides) works with Windows - but you don't get that advantage without a stiff price to pay.
The best key reason to choose one of the alternatives is that Windows has become ground zero for security problems. Every time you hear about another computer scam affecting millions, that will be Windows (and anti-virus software isn't fixing it). Replacing your computer is your chance to leave all of that behind, get your computers infection free and properly protect yourself and your data.
Read Windows or Not? to understand the choice.
Why get an alternative to Windows?
Security: Windows has a plague of viruses and Junk Software, the alternatives have little or none.
Price: For years the only alternative to Windows was a Mac, now there are many alternatives, some much cheaper.
Usability: If you buy a Windows PC because it's what you're used to, you're going to be in for a shock It's all changed now.
You would have to be a little crazy not to have a look and see what the alternatives can do for you.
Read Windows or Not? to find out more.
Why isn't your work PC infected?
People often to say to me "But my work laptop never gets infected and that's running Windows, why is it such a problem on my home PC?".
The answer is your work PC has a particularly vicious night club bouncer at the door, called your IT department. Those folks know what a problem security is on Windows, so they lock it down as tight as they possibly can before giving it to you.
Home Windows computers don't come out of the box locked down that way, so there's a multi-billion dollar criminal industry built on scamming folks just like you.
Tablets & Smartphones as your only computer
People tend to love their tablets and smartphones, but most of them they still keep a laptop for the last few tasks they cannot do on their tablet/smartphone. Except... those things you think you can't do, actually you can. Here are the common ones that people keep telling me are impossible:
- You CAN plug in a full sized keyboard.
- You CAN plug in a bigger screen.
- You CAN print.
- You CAN create and edit your Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.