Reasons to ditch Windows 7 and other older Windows

Computers come with an operating system where you can store files and use apps. Most of us use Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The latest version is Windows 11. But many of us are still using Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10. If you are wondering about version 9, remember Microsoft skipped that number.

Windows 8.1, 10 and 11 are all still supported by Microsoft today. But support for Windows 8.1 ends in January 2023. Support for Windows 10 doesn’t end until October 2025, although it’s recommended to upgrade to Windows 11 if your computer is able.

If you’re still holding onto Windows 7 (or earlier versions like XP or Vista), here are some reasons why I highly suggest buying a new system as soon as you can:

More vulnerability to hackers & viruses

Although I don’t think everyone using old Windows versions will be hacked, it’s certainly riskier than using Windows 10 or 11. While a Windows version is supported, Microsoft releases regular security updates to patch security holes that are found. But after support ends, security updates and patches stop and hackers and virus creators have an easier job.

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Computer likely old, slow and unreliable

The poor security with older Windows versions is what most see as the issue with continuing to use it. However, don’t forget you have a system that’s likely 10-plus years old as well. So, it’s getting old and maybe slow and unreliable. That’s also typically the longest time frame I suggest keeping a computer before replacing it. Even if it seems healthy and runs fine for you at the moment, it might not be apparent if the hard drive is starting to fail—something a computer tech can usually detect though. The last thing you want is it to die and potentially lose all your files and data, or be without a computer until you get a replacement.

Get a faster & more reliable computer

If your computer is using Windows 7 or older, it’s probably best to just buy a brand new or refurbished computer that already has Windows 10 or 11 on it, rather than upgrading the computer you already have. Upgrading depends upon the age of the computer, the specs (processor and memory), and the health of the hard drive. A computer tech like myself can give you feedback on these and provide a good recommendation.

When shopping around for a computer you might find them as low as $200, but keep in mind that you tend to get what you pay for. The cheaper the computer, generally means the slower the computer will be. Cheaper computers also usually offer less ports and are less likely to be upgradable in the future. A cheap computer (even though it’s new) may even be slower than your current computer.

I usually suggest budgeting for $500 to $1,000 for a new computer and about $250 additional if you need a new monitor, keyboard, and mouse. If this is out of your price range, I suggest buying a good refurbished computer from a trusted source for $200 or more.

Eric Geier is the owner of On Spot Techs, a computer repair and IT services company offering on-site service at homes and businesses in the Dayton and Springfield areas and also a storefront at 4732 S Dixie Dr in Moraine. For more information, visit www.onspottechs.com or call 937-315-0286.

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