Home Computer Help & Tech Support Topics

This material is archived primarily from Email tips distributed to my own home computer friends here in Ocala, dated 2015-2017. Updates to this material are scheduled for CY 2018.

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for Seniors in S.W. Ocala, FL

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Google and Gmail

Google and Gmail Seem Easier and Faster for People

I used to be "neutral" and not take sides on the best choice of home pages and email providers.

But this year I've come to recommend that anybody and everybody using a computer, tablet or smart phone should benefit by setting up a Gmail account with Google.

Google just seems to be making things faster and more simple for most computer and device users.

I notice a lot of interest among computer friends in setting free Google accounts for email, photos, and internet - and discovering the more simplified features Google is offering.

Microsoft, Apple, BrightHouse, CenturyLink and other companies are good for their OS, software and Internet access services, but Google is the name of the game now for how people connect electronically in real life.

As I talk to people about their experience "going with Google", these are the benefits that seem to be motivating the change.


Google's email system "Gmail" has a very high quota, so people rarely if ever go over their email storage limits.

You don't have to worry about company buyout changes. Old email systems like roadrunner can get complicated with changes in servers, which result in error messages and email failures. Gmail users don't have to worry about that.

Gmail also is truly mobile, so if you ever need to send or receive email from a different device or location you can do it easily anywhere you have a WiFi connection.

Gmail is never lost due to a computer crash. Your messages and your contacts are saved on their servers so if your hard drive fails you don't lose them.

Google also is built into most tablets and smart phones, so your email and phone contacts are easier to save and manage. This is why I moved my personal emailing over to Gmail and just keep my old email as a "just in case" backup.

Getting set up with Gmail is a very quick process and has many built-in security and password protections.


Google has developed the most popular photo saving and sharing setup around.

You can make it so any photos you have one your computer - or other devices - automatically get saved so you can view, edit, organize or send them more easily than in the past.

There is a direct link to go to your photos built into the main Google page on the Internet.

Google took the old "Picasa" picture management software and turned it into a free service that truly travels with you, whether you're at home, out waiting for an appointment, dining out, or traveling at a distance.

(Picasa actually still works, however. It's great for organizing pictures on your computer. The program is no longer available online, but I still keep a copy of the original setup program handy for people who want to put it on their computers.)

I also use Facebook to share photos with family and friends, but I use Google a lot for keeping photos I want to attach and send to anybody.


Google today is the fastest home page and the most widely used search page around. Setting up your browser to go to Google automatically as your "Home Page" only takes a few minutes.

If you do any research on the Internet, Google produces really fast results. They identify which links are genuine search results, and which ones are ads.

They also filter out a lot of duplicate pages, which makes it easier to find what you want.

There also are a few neat "tricks" you can use to "limit" your search request and produce more relevant websites.

Google has what they call an "Advanced Search" page, but I've figured out a few search tips that are more simple.

(I use the Google page now for most of my research, and as the main website for tutoring people on finding resources on the internet.)

You can use it with Google's Chrome browser, or any other major browser program (Edge, Explorer, Firefox).

Your Google account and Gmail address also serve as a YouTube account, so if you watch or listen to music videos you can access a vast range of good material for free.

(I use YouTube a lot myself and it's proven to be a very safe website for finding and playing audio and video material on everything from news to humor to music & media.)