Accessories and Services Not Included, and Don’t Forget
Keep the following items in mind when purchasing your PC as they are either essential or very commonly needed for most PC users (and often forgotten until after you buy the computer and get home….kind of like buying that gadget at the store and when you’re home and anxious to use it, you realize batteries weren’t included…)
Productivity software – Microsoft Office (the most popular program suite for PCs, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and more)
Internet Security / Antivirus – an absolute must that helps protect your PC from viruses, malware, and may have other features to keep your computer, files, and identity safe.
External storage – another must-have to perform regular backups of your PC, such as an external hard drive.
USB flash drives – it is strongly recommended that you always purchase at least one USB flash drive to use to create a recovery drive for your PC in order to restore it back to the way it was when it was first purchased in case of a hard drive failure or a harmful virus infection. (Older PCs often came with Recovery Discs on CDs or a DVD, but now the vast majority of PCs do not. Using a USB flash drive in place of DVDs is not only faster, more convenient, and is impossible to get scratched like a disc, but many new portable PCs don’t even have a disc drive.)
Additional USB flash drives provide an easy may to move files around from computer to computer; however, with online storage options (which also allow you to share your files with others should you choose and are very well protected from hackers), additional flash drives may not be necessary.
Accessories – most new PCs sold are laptops, windows tablets, or hybrid/convertibles. Many users prefer to use a wireless mouse in place of the device’s trackpad/touchpad or touchscreen. I recommend a Bluetooth mouse to avoid using up a precious USB port on your device as the more portable the device is, the less ports it usually has. For a Desktop PC you may also want to purchase a better keyboard and mouse than the stock ones provided with the machine–and don’t forget to buy a monitor, speakers, and webcam with mic if the desktop isn’t an All-in-One PC.
Other hardware accessories that you may wish to buy with your PC include a new printer, wireless router or modem, battery backups (also called Uninterruptable Power Supplies/Sources), and surge protector power cords. Keep in mind that even if you already have some or all of these devices, it’s probably time to upgrade them as well even if they still seem to work fine. All of these accessories have shorter life expectancies than you would think and are quickly replaced with far superior models, especially so with printers and wireless routers and modems. Surge protectors lose their effectiveness with time and eventually become nothing more than a power strip that doesn’t protect your sensitive electronics from surges, spikes, and brown-outs.Extended Support and Warranties – while most PCs come with a one-year warranty, that warranty is quite limited and provided only by the manufacturer. These warranties don’t cover many mishaps that may occur while using your PC such as electrical damage from a surge, accidental damage, and no support for troubleshooting and virus removals.
For extended warranties, I recommend SquareTrade. SquareTrade is one of the highest-rated extended warranty provider with rave customer reviews and high satisfaction scores. If your electronic device can’t be fixed, it’ll be replaced or you can get your money back to buy a new device of your choice.
Keep in mind that most extended warranties, SquareTrade included, do not cover software support and help, such as virus removals. Consider purchasing an additional protection plan or service agreement that can save you a lot of money . Some retailers offer such services, and if not, premium software support and virus removal service agreements can usually be purchased directly from the PC manufacturer or through one of the more popular manufacturers of Internet Security and Antivirus programs.
(Yes, just because you may have purchased an Antivirus program or Internet Security suite doesn’t mean that your PC is virus-proof. If you do get infected, you’ll still have to pay to get your PC fixed by a professional.)