As you roll out Windows 10 in your business, or as you begin to upgrade your home systems to Windows 10, the following are a few steps ESG recommends that will secure the OS and avoid possible performance issues. This is an evolving list.. designed to target systems that will be used in a production business environment.. we will continue to make updates as new tweaks and fixes are found for Windows 10!
Top Priorities (updated 6/2016)
The following tips should be followed on all new Windows 10 systems to prevent data loss, eliminate bandwidth theft, and reduce the risks associated with Wifi Sense:
- If possible during the initial boot-up/welcome process on the system, take the Customize Settings option (instead of Express Settings) and say NO to every option on those several pages. This will minimize the data sharing risks and prevent a number of feature-specific issues right from the start.
- Disable the ability of Windows 10 to use your bandwidth or transfer your files without your permission. http://thehackernews.com/2015/08/windows-10-update.html
- Increase the privacy of Windows 10 by opting out of allowing Microsoft to gather your data. http://bgr.com/2015/07/31/windows-10-upgrade-spying-how-to-opt-out/
- Turn off the problematic Wifi Sense ‘feature’. http://bgr.com/2015/08/03/windows-10-security-disable-wifi-sense/
Hardware Concerns (updated 2/2016)
So what type of hardware do you REALLY need to run Windows 10 well? If you believe Microsoft you can run Windows 10 on just about anything that handles Windows 7 or 8 today. However, in reality our testing has shown that performance on legacy systems with Windows 10 can render them virtually unusable. In order to function well, a Windows 10 system should ideally have:
- At least 4GB of RAM.. 8GB or more is highly recommended.
- At least 100GB of free drive space.. 200GB recommended because recent updates create more and more bloat in the Windows folders.
- A solid state drive (SSD).. traditional drives, particularly 5400rpm drives, seem to be the main cause of Windows 10 lag.
- A recent-gen Intel processor.. anything from a Core i3 and up is fine, but the newer the better. Legacy AMD and Intel chips (and chipsets) tend to have a lot of problems with stability and video.
ESG also recommends you consider the following concerns before/after a Windows 10 upgrade:
- Anti-virus creates a large number of issues if you are using free/discount products. Examples of software that has been observed by ESG to cause Windows 10 upgrades to fail include AVG 2015 (both free and paid), older versions of AVG, all versions of McAfee, and older versions of Norton. If you are not using Symantec.cloud from ESG prior to upgrading, talk to us about getting over to Symantec.cloud as it has no known issues with Windows 10. If you do not want to upgrade to Symantec.cloud, we recommend fully uninstalling your anti-virus product prior to the Windows 10 upgrade, and then reinstalling from the newest version the maker provides for Windows 10.
- Avoid using a Microsoft e-mail login if possible. There are dubious benefits to having your profile tied to an e-mail address on file with Microsoft. Many current hacking attempts on Windows 10 are using the weak security of Microsoft’s accounts in order to gain access to Windows 10 machines and steal data. As such, if your system is not part of a domain ESG recommends you take the options to create a LOCAL account on all Windows 10 machines and use this primarily. How-to.. http://www.groovypost.com/howto/create-local-account-windows-10/ and http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/5387-local-account-microsoft-account-how-tell-windows-10-a.html