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· 9th Generation Intel Core i9 3.6 GHz 8 Core – 16 Thread Processor (i9-9900K | Turbo to 5.0 GHz) with nVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 w/ 8GB GDDR6
· HIDevolution upgrades the 17.3″ FHD 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS Display w/ NVIDIA G-SYNC Gaming Laptop by adding Gelid GC Extreme on CPU and GPU for improved performance and optimal system temperature
· HIDevolution installed PCIe or SATA based storage–512GB M.2 PCIe x4 SSD + 1TB SSHD–ensures that you experience the fastest boot up & load times
· Installed by HIDevolution–32GB of fast DDR4 2666 MHz memory–run memory hungry applications and multitask with ease
· HIDevolution Promise: Authorized Alienware Build to Order Seller, thorough quality testing, a 1 Year Warranty, and access to our expert support staff.
Alienware has been the pinnacle of high-end gaming and workhorse machines for many, many years now. They have been at the top of the leaderboard in terms of unbelievable hardware packed into a portable and compact chassis coupled with their beautiful futuristic design makes the Alienware laptops a perfect synchronization of beauty and performance. The Area-51M gaming laptop is no exception to that rule, in fact, it takes beauty and performance to a whole new level. Sleek, elegant styling with unrivaled specs makes this extraterrestrial the king of gaming laptops!
The Area-51M comes equipped with a gorgeous 17.3” gaming panel with a 1920X1080 anti-glare IPS display that will not only make your games look absolutely breathtaking, but it will completely immerse you in whatever game you happen to be playing at the time. With a GPU up to an RTX 2080 you will never need to worry about performance ever again. The Area-51 Mis the perfect desktop replacement and arguably, the best looking desktop replacement.
It can often be difficult, when looking for a desktop replacement, to find something that fits all your needs for a gaming laptop. You are looking for something durable, portable and high performing. The Area-51M makes that decision extremely easy for you. Alienware is known for using nothing but the best of the best when it comes to build materials. The overall build quality is staggeringly resilient and will handle every bump and bruise on your gaming journey. With desktop grade hardware packed into a compact chassis with exceptional build quality and outstanding performance, you will dominate anything that gets in your way.
If you are looking for a brand new desktop replacement and you want nothing but the best that the market has to offer, then you have landed at the right destination. You will not get better performance, exceptional design and aesthetic anywhere else. You deserve to spoil yourself with the beautiful Alienware Area-51M gaming laptop. Because real gaming starts here!
Top 5 reasons to get the Alienware Area-51M
Alienware has been the pinnacle of high end gaming and workhorse machines for many, many years now. They have been at the top of the leaderboard in terms of unbelievable hardware packed into a portable and compact chassis coupled with their beautiful futuristic design makes the Alienware laptops a perfect synchronisation of beauty and performance. The Area-51M gaming laptop is no exception to that rule, in fact, it takes beauty and performance to a whole new level. Sleek, elegant styling with unrivaled specs makes this extraterrestrial the king of gaming laptops!
Here are the top 5 reasons to get the gaming laptop:
1. With the Alienware Area-51M gaming laptop you can rest assured that you are getting the best hardware in a gaming laptop guaranteed! Alienware is well known for selling their laptops with only the best hardware to ensure that their consumer is getting every single pennies worth. If you want a desktop replacement then the Area-51M is the perfect gaming laptop for you.
2. Now when it comes to the visual aspect of Alienware, there is a certain reputation that comes with the laptops. They are some of the most incredible laptops visually and the Area-51M redefines beauty. With beautiful curves and elegant edges it retains its Alienware, futuristic finesse but adds in another element of refined professionalism. No matter where you take out your Area-51M gaming laptop people will stop and stare!
3. Take your gaming on the go and use the exceptional hardware at your disposal to conquer even the most demanding work tasks or defeat the toughest opponents with ease. Programming, rendering, editing and game development is a cool breeze for your Alienware gaming laptop. No matter what you throw at this machine you are guaranteed results. Versatile, portable with desktop grade performance. Not only does this laptop replace their desktop counterparts but they absolutely destroy them. Don’t compromise performance for portability when you can get the best of both worlds right on your lap.
4. There has been an outcry by gamers to increase the upgradability in gaming laptops. Alienware have heard your cries for upgradability and have ensured that with the Area-51M gaming laptop you will be able to upgrade a whole lot more. From the CPU all the way to the GPU you can upgrade at will. You can now finally harness a true desktop grade gaming laptop. There are no limitations when it comes to the brand new Area-51M gaming laptop and you deserve power and customisation without limits.
5. The thermal technology offered by Alienware, the Advanced Cryo-Tech v2.0 optimises component cooling which would ultimately increase the longevity and overall performance of all your hardware. With all that premium hardware packed into your Area-51M desktop replacement you are going to need a premium cooling system in order to keep that beast performing for as long as you need it to. With excellent dual intake and a dual exhaust airflow design, high voltage driving fans, load balancing heat pipes, copper fin stacks and thermal control all working in unison to ensure that you get the best gaming and working performance you could ever expect!
So what are you waiting for? Browse through the awesome selection of Alienware Area-51M gaming laptops and find the one that suits you perfectly, remember, you can always upgrade if you want to! So get in touch with us right here at Evetech and get the best deal possible on the brand new Area-51M gaming laptop! You deserve maximum performance, experience the game at an Alien level!
Acer Predator Helios 300
CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H (hexa-core, 9MB cache, up to 4.1GHz)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5)
RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,666MHz)
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS (144Hz refresh rate)
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
Ports: 1 x USB-C 3.1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, RJ-45 Ethernet, SD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity: Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth
Camera: HD webcam (1,280 x 720) with 2 x mics
Weight: 5.95 pounds (2.7kg)
Size: 15.4 x 10.5 x 1.1 inches (39.1 x 26.7 x 2.8cm; W x D x H)
The standout feature of this laptop is its screen. All too often, gaming laptop screens are compromised: they’re either stuck at a low refresh rate, use a low-quality LCD panel or have too low (or too high) a resolution. The Helios 300’s display offers the perfect balance.
The 1080p resolution is ample for a display of this size. Higher resolutions can be useful for some applications – for video editing, for example – but for day-to-day use, 1080p is fine. Likewise, a super-high resolution for gaming is nice to have, but for much of the time, 1080p on a screen of this size will look decent and sharp.
You also get a 144Hz refresh rate here, so games run smoothly – so you’ll be able to game competitively. You do miss out on G-Sync, which is included in the likes of the HP Omen 15, but it’s a minor downside.
Not only is the Helios 300’s screen an IPS panel, it’s a decent quality one too. It can hit a reasonable brightness of 324 nits, it provides a deep contrast level of 1171:1, and its sRGB colour coverage is a decent 84%. Spend a little more money and of course you’ll get an even better display – but, by and large, the one here is more than good enough.
Note, however, that really serious gamers may want to seek out a laptop with a 1ms, TN-type LCD panel for the ultimate in responsiveness. You’ll compromise on image quality – and they’re not all that common these days – but they’re best for gaming.
Acer Predator Helios 300 – Performance
The spec sheet of this laptop suggests a well-balanced machine that should be able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it – and on the whole, this is the case.
Fire up the Helios 300 and it immediately feels nippy thanks to the combination of its intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. Put it to task on some heftier workloads and it will remain calm under pressure in this instance too.
In our benchmarks, the new six-core Intel processor showed just what it can do, with a Geekbench 4 score that far exceeds older quad- and dual-core laptops and even outpaces other laptops that use the same processor. This would suggest Acer’s cooling solution does a better job than some others, allowing the CPU to run at a faster clock speed for longer.
Testing the speed of the storage and things aren’t quite so impressive. While the SSD is fast enough to keep boot-up and game-loading times reasonably nippy, this is far from the fastest SSD around.
Similarly, the 1TB hard drive is very slow, although there isn’t really such a thing as a fast 2.5in hard drive these days. If you want a speed upgrade for that drive then you’ll want to opt for another SSD – you can pickup a 500GB unit that will actually be faster than the preinstalled SSD here for well under £100.
When it comes to gaming, the GTX 1060 at the heart of this laptop does a good job of getting you close to those 144fps when gaming at 1080p. Crank up the detail settings, as we did in our benchmarks, and it will struggle a little in the latest games. Nevertheless, it will still easily max out the refresh rate of the screen in titles such as Fortnite, Counter-Strike and Quake Champions, if you turn down the settings a little.
Inevitably, all that graphical and CPU effort results in plenty of heat, which the Helios 300 exhausts well. However, it’s loud while doing it. Noise levels aren’t much higher than those produced by other similar gaming laptops – but, suffice to say, you wouldn’t want to game on the quiet carriage of a train with the Helios 300.
Thankfully, in general desktop use the noice levels of the laptop didn’t seem to ramp up too much – or to too annoying a level – so day to day use shouldn’t see you disturbed.
Acer Predator Helios 300 – Battery life
As a gaming laptop, it should come as no surprise that the Helios 300’s battery life isn’t exactly its strongest feature. In the Powermark benchmark it lasted just 3hrs 45mins. That’s par for the course for a gaming machine; more portable laptops will last three times longer.
We ran the benchmark with the screen set to 150 nits brightness (about 40%), so you might be able to squeeze a few extra minutes out of the Helios with brightness set to minimum. In addition, a tweak of Windows’ other power options will help out as well. However, it’s unlikely you’ll get much more than half an hour or so by doing this.
Meanwhile, if you try to game on the battery then you’ll be looking at less than two hours before it runs out of juice – again, pretty typical for a gaming laptop.
Lenovo Legion Y730
CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H (six-core, 9MB cache, up to 4.1GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB; Intel UHD Graphics 630
RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,666MHz)
Screen: 15.6-inch, 1080p (1,920 x 1,080, IPS, 300 nits, 16:9 aspect ratio, anti-glare)
Storage: 256GB SSD (PCIe NVMe), 2TB HDD (5,400-RPM)
Ports: 2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 2, 1 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB-C Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, Mini DP 1.4, headset jack, RJ-45 Ethernet port
Connectivity: 802.11ac (2×2) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
Camera: HD (720p, 0.9MP)
At first look, the Lenovo Legion Y730 is a gaming laptop without a doubt. The Legion logo on the back of the display calls that out, as does the serious cooling vents that stick out behind the display hinge. There are two rear cooling vents and two side vents – plus a large grille on the bottom of the laptop for air intake.
The vents are covered in a plastic frame that largely detracts from the design of the Legion Y730, as almost all of the remaining parts of the chassis are constructed from smooth aluminum that feels gentle on the palms. It can get a little balmy when the computer is running and battery charging, though.
The aluminum body is mostly rigid, with minimal flex on the section that houses the internal components. There’s a little play in the keyboard deck just below the space bar, but it’s not substantial.
That rigidity doesn’t carry over to the screen so much, as the back aluminum panel can still bend and twist with ease. It’s not the type of computer we’d recommend picking up by the display, especially since the hinge shows some flex as well. Still, these are minor concerns for durability, as typical use of the laptop likely won’t see it run into such abuse.
The trackpad is just as delightfully smooth as the deck of the Legion Y730, and the separate buttons for left and right click lend to its ease of use, especially for clicking and dragging. The trackpad doesn’t wiggle under pressure, and the buttons depress mostly evenly whether we press in the middle or at the sides.
The keyboard isn’t as delightful. The keys are very soft on the fingertips, but the smoothness and lack of almost any contouring makes it hard sometimes to type by feel. It took considerably longer to get used to the keyboard than it has on others. We often find our fingers slipping over and landing on the wrong keys. It doesn’t help that the bumps on the F and J keys for finding the home row are small and low down, making it tough to find them by feel.
To its credit, the keyboard is wonderfully backlit. Every aspect of the keys is lit up, too, not just the primary symbols or functions. It’s full RGB lighting with complete per-key customization as well. The lighting is a little on the bright side, though, which is generally good. But, at night, even the lowest backlight setting is hard on the eyes.
The side and rear vents also have light strips built in. If you’re a fan of RGB lighting, it’s a neat look.
In contrast to the bright RGB lights, the screen is not so bright and can actually go incredibly dim. Though Lenovo boasts a brightness of 300 nits for the Legion Y730, we struggle to see well on the display in direct sunlight (especially when the battery settings override our brightness settings). Even indoors on an overcast day, we need to set the screen brightness to max to see easily, and that’s still with the aid of an anti-glare display – an aspect we like. Compared to the Acer Swift 5 display, which also boasts 300 nits, the Legion Y730 is noticeably dimmer.
On the flip side of that coin, the dimmest setting before just blacking out the screen entirely is wildly dark. In an unlit room at night, the lowest backlight setting paired with Window 10’s Night Light mode is incredibly easy on the eyes, which can be super handy for late night word processing. The contrast takes a big hit though, so it’s less ideal for streaming video or anything with images.
The brightness slider even has the unusual ability to turn the backlight all the way off while leaving the screen on. Shining an external light on the display showed what was on screen. We even managed to use the display in direct sunlight with the panel tilted flat. It was somewhat finicky and only useful for word processing again, but a very interesting capability nonetheless.
Aside from the underwhelming brightness, the screen is OK. The anti-glare coating is maybe the only exciting aspect. We feel the quality is good enough for video content, but there’s no HDR or high color accuracy to blow us away. No high refresh rate for competitive gaming either.
We have noticed some strange behavior on the display when one portion of the screen is bright and another section dark, specifically when there’s text in a document. We had a Notepad document open on one side of the screen, and where there were lines of text, we can see bizarre distorted ripples appearing on the Windows background to the side of the Notepad document. The ripples were always lined up with the portions of the Notepad that had text, and if we moved the Notepad, the ripples on the background would move as well. It’s not easy to spot, but it’s visible and not something the Legion Y730 scores positively for.
The amount of available inputs does earn this laptop some extra credit, though. With three USB-A ports, Thunderbolt 3, Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, and a headset jack on the left side (the only side they should be on!), it offers plenty of connections. And, most of those are on the rear of the laptop, so you can keep cables out of the way.
Intel Unveils New 10th Gen
“Up to” speeds
Your ISP can’t control your overall internet experience because your speed is only going to be as fast as the slowest segment between you and the site you’re trying to visit.
Think of your rated internet speed the same way you think of a speed limit sign. Even though the freeway sign says you can go 75 mph, you’ve got no shot of going that fast during rush hour because of the congestion on the freeway.
Your ISP will tell you that you get speeds “up to XX” because that represents the best-case scenario and not necessarily your average.
ISP hosted tests
Many of the most popular testing sites encourage ISPs to host a server on their network to help increase the chances that their users will get the fastest test results.
The problem with this approach is that unless you only use websites hosted by the company that connects you to the internet or their peering networks, it doesn’t represent the real world.
So my first suggestions is to be suspicious of any speed-testing website or app your ISP suggests you use.
Understanding the variables
There are so many variables that can impact your actual experience that have nothing to do with the connection that your ISP is providing you.
The time of day, the website you’re trying to connect to, whether you’re using WiFi or have a wired connection, the age of your modem, an old cable or how many people on your on network are currently using the same connection just to name a few.
The other thing to remember is that when you run any of these tests, you’re taking a snapshot of that moment in time, which can be extremely misleading.
You really need to run a series of tests at different times of the day over several days to truly determine your average speeds.
Single-thread vs. multi-thread testing
There are a couple different ways to test your connection that both represent real-world situations.
Most testing sites only offer to provide the faster ‘multi-thread’ test, which means it’s measuring your speeds across multiple connections, which represents a typical experience when visiting many websites.
A single-thread approach tests your speeds with a single connection, much like when you’re downloading a file or an app from the web.
When everything on your network is running optimally, both of these tests should come back with similar speeds. When they don’t, it can be an indication of a problem either within your own network or with your ISP.
Independent testing site
One test site that I know has no affiliation to any of the ISPs and also allows both single and multi-threaded testing is TestMy.Net. Their test results are more reflective of your actual speeds and far more detailed. They also offer an Automatic Speed Test that will repeatedly test your connection over a period of time and log the results.
Your results will be compared to others from the same host as well as in your city and they have suggestions to help you improve your internet speeds.
The last major Windows update broke some systems with particular antivirus software installed, and it’s seemingly getting
Earlier this week we reported that Microsoft halted updates to Windows PCsrunning Sophos and Avast’s security solutions, following user complaints that their machines were locking up or failing to boot. Since then, the list of known issues for the rogue update was itself updated to acknowledge compatibility issues with Avira and ArcaBit antivirus installed, with Microsoft temporarily blocking updates to those affected systems, too. Today, Ars Technica noticed that Microsoft is investigating compatibility issues for systems with McAfee antivirus installed, though it hasn’t started blocking the April 9 update from those PCs just yet.
Windows 7 and 8.1 computers can fall prey to the bug, along with some Windows Server installations. Windows 10 PCs don’t appear to be affected.
Affected computers either freeze outright or start acting abominably slow when you attempt to log into Windows. You can skirt the issue by booting into Safe Mode, disabling your antivirus, and rebooting your system normally.
If you need to do that, get your PC’s guard back up by activating Windows Defender in Windows 8.1, or downloading Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7. Both provide free real-time security for your computer. Alternatively, you could buy an antivirus solution from an unaffected vendor.
Some of the affected antivirus vendors have already posted workarounds or updates for the problem. Microsoft’s issue tracker for the borked update includes links to the support pages created by AV vendors about this issue.
Microsoft’s tinkering with core system components have recently caused other headaches with software that sinks deep hooks into your operating system. Windows Insider preview builds for the next major Windows 10 update, releasing in late May, suffered from “Green Screens of Death” if you ran a game with built-in anti-cheat software. Microsoft has been working with anti-cheat software vendors like BattlEye to correct the issue before the May 2019 Update’s final release.
Microsoft started having a good run with Windows 10 with last year’s April 2018 Update being the fastest growing Windows 10 version. However, all of that user confidence was shattered with the October 2018 Update, which proved to be the worst feature update we have seen since the introduction of Windows as a Service in 2015. The Windows maker had to officially pull it back after its public release to sort out some data loss issues. Even after being re-released, it continues to run into problems after problems with every new cumulative update.
With the upcoming Windows 10 May 2019 Update, Microsoft is taking a slower approach, baking version 1903 longer than usual in the Slow and Release Preview rings before offering it to the public. While most of us expected to see the public release happening this month, Microsoft said that in order to offer better performance and more stability, users will have to wait longer. You can still get it if you can’t wait for the public release, but it won’t be Microsoft’s fault if you do run into any problems.
These problems are the reason why many Windows 10 users choose to wait a little after every Windows 10 release before they install the latest versions. Microsoft released Windows 10 May 2019 Update to MSDN subscribers this week along with releasing the SDK for developers. With the public release expected in the coming weeks, like always, we will recommend our readers to avoid installing the latest update for at least the first few weeks to make sure you don’t run into any fatal flaws.
If you want to block Windows 10 1903 and avoid the latest update from surprising you with new features and possibly new bugs, there are a few ways to block Windows 10 1903 on your devices, at least temporarily.
How to block Windows 10 version 1903 temporarily on Home and Pro/Enterprise/Education devices
If you aren’t up for going through the installation process and the subsequent compatibility and performance issues, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to delay the installation process. But whether you are looking forward to the new feature update or not, blocking that update shouldn’t come in the way of your machine getting security updates.
Microsoft has promised that it will introduce a new “Download and install now” option to initiate the installation of a feature update on devices that have no known blocking compatibility issues. “Check for updates” will be used to get monthly quality and security updates. Once that happens, things will get easier. The Windows maker said that the option would show up on Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1809 by late May. Better controls will be introduced with the May 2019 Update, which will introduce the ability to pause updates for 35 days, among other options.
But until those features out, if you are dreading the release of Windows 10 May 2019 Update and don’t feel too excited about it, you can easily delay Windows 10 1903 for a few days and wait for it to get more stable.
1. Delaying Windows 10 May 2019 Update on Home
Here’s how you can delay Windows 10 May 2019 Update while still getting security updates to make sure you aren’t putting your machine at risk.
- Open Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.
- Click on Change active hours to avoid surprise restarts during your work hours.
- Change active hours helps you delay the update for just a few hours to make sure the installation process doesn’t start while you are at work. You can also delay the update for up to 6 days by clicking on “Schedule the restart” after version 1903 has finished downloading but hasn’t yet been installed. This button allows you to delay the restart and installation process for up to 6 days.
2. How to delay Windows 10 May 2019 Update for a little longer (Home)
Opting for a metered connection helps in deferring new updates for until you are ready. BUT, this strategy also poses you to security threats as you won’t receive Patch Tuesday cumulative updates. If you are comfortable with manually installing cumulative updates every Patch Tuesday, then you can use this option to block Windows 10 May 2019 Update for longer time. Microsoft says it will still download critical updates while you are on a metered connection.
Here’s how to set your Wi-Fi network as a metered connection:
- Open Settings > Network & internet > Wi-Fi.
- Change your Wi-Fi connection as a metered connection: click on the network you use to connect to the internet and toggle on Set as metered connection in the next screen.
Do note the severity of this option as most of the security updates will stay blocked. While Microsoft will continue installing priority updates, most of the cumulative updates will remain blocked. You will need to install cumulative updates manually until you toggle off the metered connection. Every time Microsoft sends a security patch, you will need to manually download and install it from the Microsoft Update website.
When you are ready to upgrade to Windows 10 May 2019 Update, you can simply go through the same steps to toggle off metered connection; until then the update will remain blocked.
3. Use the Pro or Enterprise version and want to block Windows 10 1809? Easy.
Unlike the mere mortals who use Windows 10 Home, those who use Windows 10 Pro, Education and Windows 10 Enterprise do get the ability to postpone updates without going through any workarounds or risking the security of their machines. Things are fairly easy for you as you can delay Windows 10 1903 for up to 365 days and that too “legitimately.”
- Go to Settings > Update & security.
- Under Update settings, click on Advanced options.
- Over here, you can simply choose to defer updates for as many as 365 days OR choose to delay the process until a certain update is more stable. For the latter, under “Choose when updates are installed” select “Semi-Annual Channel.”
You can always go back to these settings to get the Windows 10 May 2019 Update earlier than you have selected. Version 1903 is being currently tested by Slow and Release Preview ring Insiders and hopefully it would prove to be a more stable version that the last updates.
Windows 10’s most significant upgrade to date is almost ready, but Microsoft has now issued an important warning for everyone who wants to get it.
In a new advisory, Microsoft has warned users that they will need up to twice as much free storage on their PCs to receive Windows 10 1903, the upgrade which finally gives all users control over Windows updates. The new requirement will apply to all versions of Windows 10: Home, Pro and Enterprise.
The new minimum is 32 GB, double the previous 16 GB stipulation of 32-bit Windows 10 and almost 40% more than the 64-bit editions. For users with modern PCs this is unlikely to be a problem, but for older PCs (or users who consume a lot of storage), this could prove a more problematic hurdle with some finding they need to buy a new hard drive and migrate their data.
Moreover, Windows specialist Paul Thurrott believes Microsoft’s move will open the floodgates to far larger requirements in the near future, saying: “I’m surprised it took so long to get to 32 GB. And I see a 64 GB minimum happening in the near future.”
So if you have an older PC or simply don’t want to give up additional space equivalent to 4,000 12MP photos (source), should you just skip Windows 10 1903? In a word: No.
The sad fact is Windows 10 users need control over their updates because they have been getting worse, not better. Windows 10 updates have caused serious problems in October (deleting personal data), November (Windows downgraded itself) and February (breaking app updates) while April has proven so problematic I’m referring to it as Awful April.
So yes, you need Windows 10 1903 and yes, you may have to offload/delete some data or buy new hardware to get it. But this is an upgrade which is too important to skip. You have been warned.
WINDOWS 7 End of Life will take place on January 14, 2020, when Microsoft ceases to release security updates for the computer operating system. During its nine-year period of availability, the software has become incredibly popular with many fans opting to use it over Windows 10. Before the American tech giant cuts support for Windows 7, Express.co.uk sat down with two security experts who were eager to discuss the potential risks involved for anyone who plans to continue using the operating system.
In a blog post discussing the move, Microsoft insisted it is ending Windows 7 support so it can concentrate on “creating newer technologies and great new experiences” and has also warned of the security risks present for anyone that continues to use the 2009 operating system.
The firm said: “Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that we can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences.
“The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product.
“Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.
“You can continue to use Windows 7, but after support has ended, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.
“Windows will continue to start and run, but you will no longer receive software updates, including security updates, from Microsoft.”
To elaborate on the possible risks associated with the continued use of Windows 7 after support for the software ends, Express.co.uk spoke with McAfee’s Raj Samani and Gary Davis who jointly agreed the software will become a greater threat from hackers and other malicious third-parties once Microsoft cuts support.
Samani is a McAfee fellow and chief scientist while Davis is the firm’s chief consumer security evangelist.
In particular, Samani highlighted the computer worm Nimda that affected computers running Windows 95 to XP in 2001 and quickly spread to a deluge devices.
He recollected a patch for the malicious software debuted months before the malware was released and started affecting machines across the globe, highlighting that many computer users are content with using their device as long they continue to work.
While it is not certain malware of a similar scale could spread to those who remain using Windows 7, it does highlight the extreme risks that can be associated with doing so.
Samani explained: “The first ever paper I wrote was on Nimda, so nearly two decades ago, and I remember the patch for Nimda was published in September and the malware was actually developed the following March.
“Well, it could have been avoided if people had patched but the reason people don’t want to patch is because it already works.
“So these are the challenges that we face which is we make this assumption that security is the most important thing but actually it’s not, making sure the device is functional.
“But you know, Microsoft have to cut support at some point.”
While the McAfee fellow and chief scientist suggested similar attacks could affect users if they continue to use unsupported software such as Windows 7, he also highlighted the dichotomy a legion of critical infrastructure pillars face when upgrading their operating system.
Samani used the examples of hospitals relying on older operating systems as a case in point; in these instances a 100 percent up-time can be required which does not always allow for software updates to be implemented.
He said: “But you look at some environments like critical infrastructure, they have a demand for a 100 percent up-time and if you’re in a hospital and the nurse says ‘well I’m sorry sir we are not able to treat you because somebody is doing a Windows update’ and then you’re like well ‘come on really?’.
“We have this expectation that systems have a 100 percent up-time for certain environments, well, when are you going to update to the latest operating system?”
Further underlining the risks of using outdated operating systems, Samani used the example of the devastation WannaCry was able to cause to over an estimated 200,000 computers back in 2017.
He declared: “We can look at Windows XP as kind of the example of that [what can happen to unsupported software].
“The challenge you have with outdated operating systems is companies will end up dropping support, stop producing patches.
“And the impact of that, look at WannaCry as a great case in point.”
Microsoft is not only strongly imploring its users to upgrade to Windows 10, but the firm is also suggesting they do so on new hardware too, despite the fact some Windows 7 machines will be capable of running the new operating system.
The American tech giant will cut support for Windows 7 at the start of next year.
MyBroadband’s ISP satisfaction ratings are based on feedback from 9,781 South African broadband users between 1 April 2019 and 30 April 2019.
These ISP ratings are gathered through three speed test platforms:
To ensure a neutral testing environment, MyBroadband’s speed test servers are hosted in Teraco’s vendor-neutral data centres.
Through NAPAfrica, all network operators present at its peering points are provided with a free 10Gbps connection to the MyBroadband speed test platform.
As part of their speed test, users are also given the opportunity to rate their Internet service provider (ISP) which is then used for the ISP satisfaction ratings report.
MyBroadband April 2019 ISP ratings
The table below provides an overview of the ratings of prominent fibre, ADSL, and fixed-LTE service providers in South Africa.