Microsoft Windows XP on New Computers

It's rare but the older version of the operating system is still available

Windows XP
Microsoft

Why would you want to buy a new windows desktop or laptop running Windows XP? Good question.

If you're already familiar with XP, then you won't have to learn a new operating system. Also, you won't face any compatibility or driver issues between the operating system on your new system and all of your old devices and software.

Also, older desktops or laptops running Windows XP are very cheap, and also have a lot of good applications.It's just important to take all of the security issues into consideration.

Using Windows XP on the internet becomes more dangerous every year. If you do purchase a new desktop or laptop running Windows XP, make sure to take all security issues mentioned in this article into account.

Security Issues When Running Windows XP

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April 2014, and no longer provides security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system.

It encourages users to migrate to a modern operating system such as Windows 10. Despite this, there are still some new and refurbished computers for sale equipped with Windows XP.

If you decide to buy a new or used windows desktop or laptop running Windows XP, you need to be aware of all of the security issues you'll need to deal with.

  • Vulnerable to new bugs: Hackers are constantly searching for bugs in existing operating systems. When those bugs are exploited, companies that make the operating system patch those bugs. In the case of Windows XP, Microsoft won't be fixing those bugs.
  • Incompatible drivers: Since most hardware manufacturers stop supporting Windows XP drivers, you're stuck using old drivers. That old driver software is just as susceptible to new bugs as the operating system is.
  • Old Software: Most software companies also stop supporting Windows XP, so you're stuck leaving outdated software on your computer. Outdated software is at risk for hacking as well.
  • Outdated network cards: The older a network card is, the more likely hackers have found problems with it that they can exploit and hack into your computer. This makes it especially dangerous to connect your Windows XP directly to the internet.

Does this mean that you're completely out of luck?

Not really. If you want to buy a computer that has Windows XP on it, there are plenty of ways you can use it and still stay relatively safe.

4 Best Uses for a Computer with Windows XP

Despite the dangers, there are ways you can use your new Windows XP computer or laptop while minimizing the risks.

The following are the top things you can do with a Windows XP computer.

Set Up a Data Server

A very useful think you can do with a new Windows XP computer is shove it into the closet and close the door. Just make sure that you install FreeNAS onto it, plug it into your home network, and leave it running.

FreeNAS is free, open-source software that lets you transform your computer into a data server that can share data over your home network.

Imagine a huge memory stick that you can plug into your home network so anyone connected to the network can access it. That's what FreeNAS transforms your Windows XP computer into.

Why this is a great use for Windows XP:

  • Attackers would need to get through your router security to get at your Windows XP computer.
  • You can remove all internet software from the server to further reduce risk.
  • Only running FreeNAS software, the computer will run quickly.
  • Further lock down security by only providing FreeNAS access to your home users.

Plugging your Windows XP computer into your home network isn't as safe as keeping it disconnected. So ensure that your home router security is configured to the highest level possible to reduce the risks.

Vintage Gaming Console

Photo of a man playing on a gaming computer

If you're into retro gaming, a Windows XP computer or laptop is cheap and practical.

It's ideal for playing any of your old computer games that were created for Windows XP. There are also many retro game console emulators that run great on Windows XP.

You can run these emulators to run old games for Nintendo DS, PlayStation, and even Atari.

The benefits of running a Windows XP retro gaming console:

  • After initial setup, you can disconnect it from the network for full security.
  • Retro games work great on lower performance computers.
  • Windows XP computers are cheap enough that you could set up several gaming consoles for all of your kids.

Create a Home Media Server

A photo of a man watching television.

Enable Java on your Windows XP and install simple media server software like SimpleDLNA.

It's much easier to set up a home media server than you think. And when you're done, you can just let the computer run and access your movie library from any other computer or DLNA capable TV in the house.

The benefits of running your Windows XP computer as a home media server include:

  • Only devices on your home network will access the computer.
  • DLNA software has built in security settings.
  • Store your entire movie library in one convenient place.

Cheap Ebook Reader

If you're an avid reader, a laptop running Windows XP can make for an excellent ebook reader.

All you need to read ebooks is any software that can open PDF files. You can easily install Adobe Acrobat on your Windows XP laptop.

Keep the computer disconnected from the network for full security. Just transfer new ebooks from your network connected computer to your Windows XP ebook reader using a thumb drive.

Benefits of a Windows XP ebook reader:

  • You can have more storage space for your ebook library.
  • Completely secure since it's not on the network.
  • Take advantage of the portability and convenience of a laptop.

In all of these cases, by keeping the computer completely disconnected from the internet, you'll avoid all of the risks associated with using a Windows XP computer.

Secure Your New Windows XP Computer

Regardless of how you decide to put your new Windows XP machine to use, it's important to follow some basic steps to secure it.

  • Install antivirus software: Regardless of the steps you take to secure the computer, installing free antivirus software ensures ultimate security.
  • Update all software: Even though the OS isn't receiving patches, you can improve the odds by keeping anything you install on the computer frequently updated.
  • Avoid internet browsing: Because of the risks, it's not advisable to connect a Windows XP computer to the internet. If you have to do it, avoid using web browsers if you can.
  • Install minimal software: The fewer applications you install on the computer, the lower the odds that there will be a software vulnerability that hackers can exploit.

Many people choose to throw out their old Windows XP machines. That means there's a massive market of these computers for sale. Don't let them go to waste. There are plenty of great uses for a new computer or laptop running Windows XP.