When you need answers fast, most people turn to the Web. Unlike reference books, however, the Web doesn’t have a table of contents. So it’s sometimes difficult to quickly zoom in on a single topic. While search engines allow you to perform keyword searches—some even categorize Web sites by their subject matter—they often don’t find the same results from search to search. Enter the favorites list.

I keep a list of my favorite IT Web sites handy at all times. Usually the sites are stored in my Internet browser, but I also keep a list in a separate document as a backup. My list includes sites where I can download drivers and utilities, sites that offer programming tips, PC manufacturer sites, general technology sites, and product review sites. If you’ve worked in IT for any length of time, you probably have a similar list. To help you add to your list—or to provide a list for you if you don’t have one already—we compiled links to more than 35 Web sites essential for the IT support professional. Download “The ultimate list of IT support links.” Here’s what it has to offer.

Keeping a workable list
To help you quickly find the information you need, we’ve divided our list of IT support links into seven categories. They are as follows.

Product reviews, IT news, editorial columns, how-to guides, etc.
These are Web sites where I hang out to learn about the latest IT hardware and software. They contain articles, columns, tutorials, and the latest IT news. An example of a site on this list would be HardwareCentral. This site has lots of hardware information including reviews, editorials, and buying guides.

Programming, Web development, scripts, etc.
Scripts are a great way to automate mundane tasks. The Web sites listed in this section provide information on scripts, programming, Web development, and similar subjects. An example of a site from our list is HotScripts.com, which is geared toward Web masters and programmers. It compiles Web programming-related information on such topics as ASP, C, Java, XML, PHP, and Perl.

Downloads, utilities, drivers, etc.
Whether you’re looking for a hard-to-find video driver or downloadable boot disk, these sites will probably have it. An example of a site from our list is Bootdisk.com. When was the last time you needed a Windows 95 boot disk but didn’t have a Windows 95 machine lying around? Bootdisk.com offers tips, tweaks, files, boot disks, instructions, utilities, links, patches, and updates for advanced DOS and Windows users.

Manufacturer support
These entries will link you directly to the support pages of major PC and software manufacturers, such as Compaq, Dell, HP, Gateway, Micron, and Microsoft. For example, we provide a link to the Compaq Support site for those of you who support Compaq equipment.

General technology
Our links to general technology sites will give you basic information about a wide variety of technical topics. For example, Whatis.com provides quick definitions of IT acronyms, file extensions, or other tech terms. It’s easy to use, quick, and accurate.

Antivirus and security
In today’s world of viruses, worms, and denial of service attacks, it’s critical to keep your network safe. The sites listed in this section can help. For example, Astalavista Group’s site offers the latest news from the IT underground.

Download our ultimate list of IT support links
You can download our list of IT support links by following this link or by clicking on the Downloads link in the navigation bar on the left of this page. TechRepublic has many useful documents, templates, and applications available, so be sure to check out our other downloads.

Our IT support links download is available both as a Microsoft Word document and an Adobe PDF file. To increase download speed, we have zipped these two files together into one file named it_support_links.zip. You will need an unzip utility such as WinZip or PKZIP to expand the zipped file. You will also need either Microsoft Word or the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view each respective document. You can download the Adobe Acrobat Reader here.

Add your favorite IT support site

While this list is by no means a complete inventory of IT Web sites, it is a place to start when looking for drivers, updates, patches, or troubleshooting information. If your favorite IT site is not listed, please e-mail us. We will periodically update this list.