By KyuRhee, Jeff Dray, and Bill Detwiler; updated by Becky Roberts
These are the links no IT support professional should be without. Although this list is by no means a complete inventory of IT Web sites, it's a good place to start when looking for drivers, updates, patches, or troubleshooting information. If your favorite IT support site isn't listed here, please e-mail us and we'll include it in our next update.
Product reviews, IT news, editorial columns, and how-to guides
CNET.com: CNET offers comprehensive product reviews and pricing information. Find out who sells that new monitor your CEO wants at the lowest price.
Computer Hope: This site offers free support to everyone on a fairly wide range of computer issues, including hardware, software, basic troubleshooting, and drivers. It's also a useful place to find links to other support sites.
Hardware Extreme: This site is geared toward serious IT hobbyists and gamers, but it has plenty of hardware reviews.
HardwareCentral: This site offers hardware information, including reviews, editorials, buying guides, and more.
PC Magazine: At "The Independent Guide to Technology," you'll find reviews, downloads, solutions, and news of the latest PC hardware and software. Participate in peer discussions.
Slashdot: Slashdot offers a one-stop shop for all things open source, including articles, discussions, and journals.
SharkyExtreme.com: Although this site is aimed at the PC enthusiast/gamer, it has lots for the PC professional, including hardware reviews, weekly CPU and RAM price updates, and handy hardware buying guides.
The Register: The Register is a British site that carries up-to-the-minute news of developments in the IT world, interspersed with some great humor, especially BOFH.
Tom's Hardware Guide: This site is a great source for reviews and guides about the latest computer hardware.
ZDNet: ZDNet offers anything and everything for the IT professional, including technology news, product reviews, and IT commentary.
Programming, Web development, and scripts
4GuysFromRolla.com: If you're looking for the most current information on ASP, this Web site is for you.
Apple Developer Connection: This is Apple's primary resource for developers, including forums, downloads, a reference library, and an area for developer support.
Builder.com: Created by developers, for developers, Builder.com brings software developers real-world perspective on topics from programming to architecture to management.
HotScripts.com: This site is geared toward Web masters and programmers. It compiles Web programming-related information on topics such as ASP, C, Java, XML, PHP, and Perl.
jGuru.com: On jGuru.com, you'll find forums, articles, FAQs, and more, all focused on Java.
O'Reilly Perl.com: Perl, Perl, Perl, and nothing but Perl. If you're a Perl programmer, this site should be on your Favorites list.
Programmers Heaven: Although this site is mainly a link database to other sites, it compiles links to some of the most useful programming and development sites on the Web.
ScriptSearch.com: This is another great resource for programmers and developers, with information on various languages and technologies, including ASP, C, CFML, PHP, XML, Visual Basic, and Java.
WebDeveloper.com: This site offers forums and articles relating to most aspects of Web development and scripting, including ASP, Java, Perl, and PHP.
Downloads, utilities, and drivers
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.
BovisTech: This site is a good resource for boot disks, drivers, Windows/DOS utilities, Config.sys files, and the like.
CPU Planet: This is a fat source of information about AMD CPUs.
Download.com: This handy site from CNET offers access to more than 20,000 Windows, Macintosh, DOS, Linux, Palm OS, Windows CE, and BeOS software downloads.
Driverguide: Need a driver? This site seldom fails to deliver a driver for anything you may encounter in the field.
Driverzone.com: Go here to find drivers for everything from printers and scanners to video cards and modems. Also look here for reviews, utilities, component manufacturer information and guides.
Eventid.net: Numerous event or error messages occur when you are troubleshooting systems, but what do they mean? Look here for guidance.
PC Drivers HeadQuarters: This site provides links to device manufacturer Web sites and prides itself on locating the latest drivers for your computer.
Softpedia: This extremely well-organized encyclopedia of software is constantly updated with drivers, games, Windows- and Mac-specific utilities, and software.
Sysinternals: At Sysinternals, you'll find advanced utilities, technical information, and source code for all versions of windows.
The Tech Spot: The Tech Spot offers game downloads, OS updates, device drivers, and miscellaneous utilities.
Tucows: This is a useful site for finding downloads of full programs, utilities, games, and mail clients. All software is rated in cows.
Virtual Dr: Wide-ranging discussion groups on this site offer help and advice, as techies of all kinds share their knowledge and problems.
WinDrivers: Go here to locate hard-to-find drivers. The site also offers antivirus updates and security patches.
Acer Product Support: Whether you have a laptop, desktop, server, projector, or a screen from Acer, you can use this site to obtain the latest drivers and product information.
Alienware: Add this link to your Favorites if you support any Alienware product.
Apple: Find product support for all things Apple: Macs, iPod, iSight, PowerMacs, MacOS, applications, and server products.
Compaq and Hewlett-Packard Support: If you support Compaq or Hewlett-Packard equipment, this link is a must-have on your Favorites list.
Dell Support: This is an essential location for those who support Dell equipment.
Gateway Support: Here's your best source of Gateway-specific information.
Intel: Need troubleshooting or upgrade advice for an Intel product? This is the place to start.
MicronPC Technical Support: Whether you're looking for information on a Millennia, ClientPro, or GoBook system, Micron's technical support site has the info you need.
Microsoft Knowledge Base: This is the best place to start you're search when troubleshooting a Microsoft product.
Microsoft Windows: Go here to find Microsoft's official site for all things Windows related.
Toshiba product support: Looking for drivers for your Toshiba equipment? Choose your regional site from the global home page and select your model from the list.
Training and certification
Brainbench: You'll find tons of online certifications for a variety of IT and business topics, including Windows, general help desk support, network technical support, Java, C, and Visual Basic to name just a few. A fee is required for some tests.
CramSession: This site offers a plethora of certification information, including downloadable study guides and online sample tests.
ExamCram.com: If you're looking for IT certification study material, this site is for you. ExamCram 2 has study guides, practice tests, and personal trainers for MCSE, CompTIA, and Cisco certifications.
InformIT: Check out this wealth of guides and articles for the IT professional.
Lotus Certification: This site is the IBM Lotus home for certification information.
BrainDumps.com: This is a great site offering information on Windows 2003 MCSE, CompTIA, and Novell certifications.
Solarisprep: Solarisprep is your online stop for Solaris training.
TESTFREE: Check out the online practice exams for many MCSE and CNE certifications on this site.
Antivirus, spam, and security
Astalavista Group: Don't let hackers, crackers, phone phreaks, or script kiddies catch you off guard. Find the latest news from the IT underground on this site.
CERT Coordination Center: This is Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute's center for Internet security expertise.
Church of the Swimming Elephant: This Web site focuses on a variety of IT security issues, offering virus information, bug fixes, tools, and a whole lot more.
Drizzle.com: This is the unofficial guide to wireless security issues—a fascinating page and a great starting point for exploring this topic.
Spam Abuse: This site has been helping the public fight spam since 1996. A good place to go to learn how to most effectively protect your organization from this menace.
Spywareinfo.com: Learn how to protect your users from the growing threat of spyware and stay informed about the latest threats and techniques for averting them.
Symantec Antivirus Research Center: This site is essential for users of Norton Antivirus software. In fact, even if you don't use Norton Antivirus, it's one of best sources of virus information on the Web.
Vmyths.com: Want to know if the latest virus scare is real? Vmyths.com offers straightforward info about computer virus myths, hoaxes, and urban legends.
AllExperts.com: This Web site allows you to ask questions of IT experts who have experience in a variety of IT disciplines, including hardware, software, operating systems, and programming.
HowStuffWorks: Go here to find detailed descriptions of how mechanical devices work, how holidays developed, how the human body works, and much more.
Whatis.com: If you need a quick definition of an IT acronym, file extension, or term, this is the site to use. It's easy, quick, and accurate.
- TechRepublic, Builder.com, ZDNet, and Download.com are part of the CNET family of Web sites dedicated to educating and empowering those in the IT field.
- Although many of the Web sites mentioned above are free, some require you to sign up for an account before you can use their services. This normally requires you to provide the site with an e-mail address. Some sites also allow you free access to only a limited amount of information but require you to pay a fee for total access.