30 tech myths debunked

Even for a techie, it sometimes becomes difficult to tell fact from fiction -- so here is a collection of some popular misconceptions and our explanations to help clear the air.

If you have an antivirus there is no need to worry about what you click or install: No doubt an antivirus is a must on any PC, especially those connected to the Internet, but no single antivirus program can be the digital equivalent of the proverbial impregnable fortress. When a new threat (virus, trojan, or an malware) is detected, the antivirus vendor may take anything from a few hours up to a day to come up with an update. The antivirus program will require such an update in order to detect the new threat. Besides, an antivirus program may not be as effective against spyware or other kinds of malware not classified as 'viruses'. It is a good idea to have an anti-spyware program running alongside the antivirus. An antivirus program without updates is as effective as 'no antivirus at all' against new threats. So, keep your security software updated.

Wireless Networks are unsafe and can be hacked easily: Like an open door attracts a saint, any unprotected network (wired or wireless) is a potential security hole (right from stealing your Internet connection to reading your e-mail). So long as you take enough care to use a strong encryption method you can make it as secure as a wired network and keep intruders off. All wireless devices these days support the common encryption protocols — WPA, WPA2 and WEP. Of these, WPA2 is the most secure and enable it to make your wireless network safe. To gain entry to gain entry into the network, users will have to enter a pass phrase, much like a long password.

Since my e-mail requires a username and password, it is safe: The Web page into which you input your username and password is almost always SSL encrypted, so it's safe. But the same cannot be said about the actual e-mail text you send and receive. A competent hacker in your network can 'read' the text that is 'travelling' between your PC and the e-mail server. Chances of someone wanting to do that might be very slim, but for extremely sensitive data, it might be worth ensuring your entire e-mail is secure. explaining this is beyond the scope of this article.

Gaming Gyan

Graphic cards with more RAM are faster: While more system RAM certainly helps, it is not necessarily the case with video cards. Often, a better video chipset and / or faster clock speeds are more beneficial than more video RAM. For example, a 256MB 7600GT will produce more frames than a 512MB 7300 GT. The 7600GT has a much faster memory and core speeds that see it perform better in spite of having only half the memory as its slower sibling.

Gaming experience is all about graphics: This statement is not entirely true. Gaming experience and enjoyment is a combination of many factors — how realistic and / or spectacular the game looks, the AI (how effectively the game can simulate the moves of a human opponent), the difficulty in various levels, an engaging plot and how easily you can control your actions in the game. So, choosing to play a game for mere eye candy will be an incomplete experience if you don't find the plot engaging, and neither will you relish the game if you have to turn down all effects to make a game playable on weak hardware.

The fps numbers are enough to judge a video card's performance in a game: You have finally found a video card in your budget and reviews say it can do 30fps (which seems playable) in a particular game. When you actually play the game on the card you are very likely to be disappointed to see jerky motion in parts of the game. That's because, the 30fps you read about is the average figure and the lowest fps can go up to 30 per cent lower than the average depending on the kind of game and effects. Always look for a card that does at least 50fps in the game you wish to play, at the desired resolution and detail levels. Thus, even if the lower figures are down by 30 per cent, the game is still just about playable. On the other hand, if two cards manage 100 fps and 120 fps, both of them will be equally good with that particular game. The card that does 120fps just has more reserve power for more demanding games.

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Kailas Shastry

PC World India
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