Plugging In
Get the right computer setup for your genealogy needs with our complete buying guide to PCs, RAM, printers, scanners and all the other gear to rev up your research without breaking the bank.
Is your computer's hard drive filled to the limit with genealogy software, games, e-mail messages and scanned pictures? Are you getting tired of agonizingly slow Internet access? Or is that old dot-matrix printer of yours out of place in a near-photo-quality world? Maybe it's time to upgrade your old computer or even replace it with a whole new system. Or perhaps you're a holdout finally ready to get your first computer and join the plugged-in genealogy world.

Whether you're upgrading an old computer or buying a new one, you need to make a few decisions — and your needs as a family history researcher may be different from those of the ordinary customer at your computer superstore. Here are a few key questions and some advice to help you answer them from the genealogist's perspective:

Windows or Macintosh?