Saturday 18 January 2020

Computer tune-ups

John Connor was right. Bloody computers! We'd be better off without them. Especially the really slow ones that make funny whirring noises. Or the ones that come back in time to terminate you. Getting the blasted thing tuned up by zapping unnecessary bits and bobs, bugs and other awful things will speed your computer up no end. But it'll cost you. Especially if you go to one of the big-name manufacturers like Dell or HP. Go for an Irish company instead. For a basic tune-up by professionals (and not something you've downloaded off the web!).

Best: helpmypc.ie €39

Avoid: HP €95.54

Saving: €56.54

contact: www.helpmypc.ie or 051 338615

iPhone cover

iPhones are like catnip to little knackers on mountain bikes who swoop in to steal them as soon as you take them out of your pocket. Apart from glueing a giant big Doberman on to your smartphone, getting insurance cover is no bad idea if you are a bit of a victim. A new iPhone 4 costs about as much as a small family car, or €780 plus. Most basic phone cover policies have a €500 cap on payouts so you'll have to go for the top end cover. There are bags of terms and conditions and you'll have to pay a big wodge of an excess with most of the mobile providers like 02, Vodafone, 3 and Meteor. Gadgetinsurance.ie is cheaper and you can stick not one but five of your best toys on the policy.

Best: www.gadgetinsurance.ie premium €139

Avoid: O2 iPhone cover €155.88

Saving: €16.88

contact: www.gadgetinsurance.ie or 0818 286 456

Home phone and broadband

The price difference between some of the cheaper phone and broadband firms and the really pricey ones is getting way out of whack. For someone using 100 minutes of local calls and another 100 minutes of mobile calls every month with pretty average broadband speeds. Average monthly cost calculated by Comreg. Eircom's cheapest deal has 8mb in broadband welly versus 7mb at Digiweb. Not sure that the extra megabyte is worth over €680 per year though.

Best: Digiweb DSL Home and Talk €16.81 per month

Avoid: Eircom NGB Basic and Talktime Chatter €74.02

Saving: €686.52 per year

contact: www.digiweb.ie or 1800 28 58 28

Personal loans

There's little over 50 days to go until Ireland take on Croatia at Euro 2012. It'll cost the bones of €4,000 to do all three matches -- plus beer and skittles. Paying back a €4,000 loan over two years is going to hurt. But then again, when will you ever see Richard Dunne flattening Sergio Ramos just for laughs. Total repayment below.

Best: Ulster Bank (fixed) €4,467.42

Avoid: Bank of Ireland (fixed) €4,607.87

Saving: €140.45 over term of loan

contact: www.ulsterbank.ie or local branches

Credit card gimmick rates

On the off chance that the nice person in the call centre decides to let you switch your outstanding credit card balance to another card, there are some pretty good introductory rates. You'll feel human again for a few months... before the jaws slam shut again. On a maxed-out €5,000 card.

Best: MBNA Platinum zero per cent for 10 months, then 19.3 per cent

Avoid: Tesco zero per cent for 6 months then 19.1 per cent

Saving: up to €317.17 in first year

contact: www.mbna.ie or 1800 409510

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