Yahoo Life is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. Some of the products written about here are offered in affiliation with Yahoo. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.
It’s a new year, so it’s time to get organized and set yourself up for success. But If your computer seems like it’s been extra sluggish and crashing a lot lately, it’s time to take care of the situation to start your year off right. You aren’t the only one feeling over-extended during this never-ending pandemic—your PC or Mac is feeling the burn, too.
Internet usage has skyrocketed by 70 percent since many of us started staying home. Think about it: you’re connected all day long on platforms like Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. Then when you’re done for the day, you queue up Hulu or spend the evening shopping online.
Your computer collects lots of data and files that quickly clog up its system with such frequent use. You also might be picking up some poor computer-hygiene habits along the way. Of course, hackers are watching all of this, too, and just waiting to pounce on vulnerable WiFi connections—and vulnerable people.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to live with a frustratingly slow computer.
System Mechanic is a save-the-day software package that improves PC performance by identifying and troubleshooting the root causes of your computer troubles—up to 30,000 of them, actually. The award-winning software clears out all the junk from your computer, fixes shaky WiFi connections, and frees up lots of storage space so your device functions like (almost) new again.
For just $4.99 a month, System Mechanic will keep a constant eye on everything going on inside your computer, and keep it running smoothly 24/7.
Wondering what kinds of problems System Mechanic addresses specifically? Here are five likely reasons your computer is under-performing right now.
Reason #1: You’re working from home
Pretty obvious one, huh? Maybe you usually go into an office or a classroom every day for work while your computer rests peacefully at home. But now your PC or Mac is under constant demand to handle Slack chats, Microsoft Office tasks, teleconferencing calls, and more—all day long. All your neighbors are probably doing the same. The nonstop activity can weigh down your broadband connection significantly.
System Mechanic has a feature called NetBooster that optimizes your internet connection and maximizes speed. After installing the software, just restart your computer, connect to WiFi, and enjoy an exponentially smoother surfing experience.
Reason #2: You’re using a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) provides a private and secure internet connection, hiding your IP address and preventing the sites you visit from tracking you—but you probably know this if you’ve already installed one. It’s wise to protect your connection with a VPN now that you’re using the internet so much, and especially if you’re working from home or shopping and paying bills online.
But a VPN has to work extra hard to route you through an additional server, so it takes a little longer than going VPN-less. This can slow your connection to a crawl. To troubleshoot a slow VPN connection, choose a server in a country closer to you, restart your router or modem, or upgrade to premium VPN services.
Reason #3: You’re Zooming a lot
Zoom is great. It lets you communicate face-to-face with colleagues, catch up with friends, and even watch live entertainment, especially during a pandemic. But Zoom also uses a lot of internet bandwidth, and if your broadband connection is already lacking, it can slow things down further and lead to glitchy video conferencing—making the name “Zoom” pretty ironic.
A few ways to speed up your Zoom connection are to disable HD video, mute your microphone (but don’t forget to unmute when you need to speak!), close other applications, and pause any downloads in progress. With System Mechanic running in the background, you’ll also have junk deletion and optimum online connectivity running on autopilot.
Reason #4: You’re watching Netflix in bed
If your computer feels like it’s going to burst into flames, or its fan makes it sound like you live on a helipad, that means the machine is overheating. This first causes your computer to slow down, and eventually leads to long-term damage. In the short term, it might even randomly crash or shut itself off.
A few ways to address an overheating computer before it’s too late are to clean out dust and other debris blocking airflow by using a can of compressed air. You also want to encourage air flow by keeping your laptop on a hard surface at all times. Plopping your laptop on the bed—or any soft surface that blocks air—while you stream shows in bed is not just a bad habit; it’s dangerous.
Reason #5: You’re full of cookies
Every time you visit a new website these days, you get that dreaded pop-up asking you to accept cookies to proceed. With all the time you’re spending online lately, your computer is collecting more cookies than a bakery window. Ok, not those kinds of cookies! Computer cookies let websites remember you, track your activity, and possibly try to sell you stuff down the road.
But cookies are essentially little digital files, and as each embeds itself one by one in your system, your computer eventually has a “belly” full of cookies and is too “full” to perform properly.
System Mechanic will scan your computer in real time and use a feature called Privacy Guardian to clear out cookies on a regular basis. Of course, not all cookies are bad—some are designed to keep your shopping cart up to date or remember passwords for frequently visited sites, for instance—so System Mechanic will also let you white list any cookies you don’t want it to touch.
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle's newsletter.