Featured Freeware: Belarc Advisor

Belarc Advisor provides free analysis of security holes and hardware settings, giving PC users an invaluable resource that should be in everybody's toolbox.

Belarc Advisor is one of those tools for Windows users that you didn't know you were missing until you started using it. It's hard to understate how important this program can be, as it provides a free analysis of your machine's security weak points.

By looking at elements such as whether antivirus software and definitions are up to date, or whether all the security flaws in Windows have been patched, Belarc works quickly to inform you of what you're missing and provide links to how you can fix it. It uses the Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmark test to give the computer a score showing its overall security level and produces a report that can be viewed in a Web browser.

Not only does it analyze software and operating system components and tell you where problems are, but in its comprehensive report it tells you what your computer's physical components are: not just how much RAM you have, for example, but what kind of RAM and which slots are occupied. Simply put, the clear advice given on how to address each issue is invaluable.

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