Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Windows XP is still alive and how to keep using it

We are now in the year 2020. We all know that Microsoft no longer provides official support for Windows XP since 8th April 2014. Some of us are unfortunate and still have yet to make the big leap to the new systems. Mainly Microsoft Windows 10. Our PCs are still running smoothly with older versions especially Windows XP, Vista or the recent out of service Windows 7. Of course, there is some glitches here and there but its just for the sole purpose of using it for either writing, listening to music and doing everything offline or even if its online, its just to watch YouTube.

According to market share studies, there are a lot of users who are still using Windows XP on their laptops or desktops. In this post, I will try to point out some helpful feature in helping to keep your Windows XP running.

  • Install an Anti Virus

Even though Microsoft no longer releases Windows XP security patches, you can still protect your computer. You can anytime download and install free or paid antivirus programs.

The free software is ok, but if you really want to secure your Windows XP system you should choose a paid version of antivirus. The best programs that you can use is Avast. I have tried downloading others such as AVG, Comodo, Clam Antivirus, McAfee and run on them even in search by other bloggers and websites saying, they are be used on Windows XP, the software installation says it doesn't support older operating system anymore. I may have chosen the wrong link to download but hope that's just my mistake.

In case you are asking about what happened to Microsoft Security Essentials, you should know that the software received the last updated in June 2015.

Anyway, even though Security Essential represents the official Microsoft security tool, we recommend using a better antivirus program.

  • Stop using Internet Explorer

On your Windows XP you should use either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. I would suggest Mozilla Firefox as Google Chrome also no longer supports windows xp. However, you can choose to install a lower version of Google Chrome. But I would not advice on it as some features will not be able to work. All the major tech and security companies out there urge you to stop using Internet Explorer and for a good reason.

Why? Well mainly because Windows XP will no longer receive Internet Explorer official support which means that your web browser might not offer the security support you need.

So, the best way to avoid unpleasant situations will be in using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, which will bring patches up to date. There are a lot other browsers as well, just do a search and you can find them. Or for the better, to protect your PC from malicious attacks on the internet...

  • Use VPN

You may wonder what VPN is all about. A virtual private network (VPN) is a private data network that abstracts your Internet connection so as to maintain privacy through cryptographic security protocols. In addition, a VPN hides your IP address and makes you anonymous online. Such a service can be installed on a number of operating systems and devices to secure all network traffic.

Also, if you are already installed with the Avast free or paid yearly, Avast also has the VPN feature for an additional subscription. I have not tested on other VPN services, only Avast and corporate VPN services such as Sophos Cyberoam. I have however, tested on some free VPN but they can be rather annoying because it is filled with advertisements and also you need to verify captchas everytime you want to use the VPN.

Conclusion, if you still want to use older versions of Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 (End of Extended Support is on January 14, 2020) and even Windows 8/8.1 (End of Extended Support is on January 10, 2023), Update to its latest updates, have an antivirus and internet browser that supports the system and also for additional internet surfing security, use VPN. But do take note, you can't install some of the latest software that isn't compatible with the older versions anymore.