HWinfo64 (detailed + has logging feature),
Process Explorer (to see which programs hog the system resources),
Download link and guide i linked above.
Autoruns (to configure which programs automatically start when PC boots into OS),
CCleaner (to clean your PC from temporary files, including registry cleaning),
MalwareBytes Premium (also protects during web browsing by blocking infected sites),
MalwareBytes has 3 versions:
Standard (after 14 day trial has ended) - good for manual scans of your system.
Trial (14 days free Premium) - adds all Premium features over Standard version (Browser Guard, scheduled scans, real-time protection etc).
Premium (costs money) - complete package (everything that was in 14 day free Trial). There's even VPN package if you're into that.
Besides those stand-alone programs, i also use web browser plug-ins to protect my PC further. What i use are:
- HTTPS Everywhere (Firefox plug-in)
- Decentraleyes (Firefox plug-in)
- uBlock Origin (Firefox plug-in)
- MalwareBytes Browser Guard (Firefox plug-in, part of MalwareBytes Premium)
- NoScript (Firefox plug-in)
Here, i'd classify all what i use, into 3 levels of complexity:
- Casual user - HWinfo64, MalwareBytes (including Browser Guard), HTTPS Everywhere
- Power user - Process Explorer, Decentraleyes, uBlock Origin
- Super user - Autoruns, CCleaner, NoScript
You can start with Casual User level applications, which include temperature monitoring, malware scan and simple web browser protection.
- MalwareBytes Trial gives you 14 day free Premium subscription, so you can test it out fully for 2 weeks, and see all the goodies it offers. Once the Trial ends, you still can do manual system scans, but Browser Guard, Scheduled Scans etc are disabled, since these are part of Premium suite. I have Premium suite in use, with my main PC (Skylake), on my missus'es PC (Haswell) and also in my smart phone.
- HWinfo64 is great for monitoring temperatures and you having a laptop, most likely means you have high temps, probably even thermal throttle, that can affect your FPS within your games.
- And HTTPS Everywhere is nice browser plug-in, to force every site you visit, to use far more secure HTTPS connection, over the old and vulnerable HTTP protocol.
I also suggest that you look into Power User level of software.
- Process Explorer would be the 1st thing i'd start learning on how to use. Since this is 10x times better than the Task Manager that comes with Win. Also, while Task Manager shows you "select few" running applications, Process Explorer shows them all. I also linked you a guide on how to understand it.
- Decentraleyes and uBlock Origin, both, essentially remove the ads you see when browsing (almost all malware can come through the ads placed on websites). For the most part, they work without any user input. But some sites may detect you using them and if you want access to a webpage, you need to temporaly disable them. Hence why i put them under this category.
But what i do not suggest you to use, are Super User level of software.
- Autoruns and CCleaner can corrupt your OS, if you don't know what you're doing. There are guides out there to understand how to use them, but i suggest that you 1st make sense on how to use Process Explorer.
- And NoScript will tank your web browser, by automatically blocking all scripts running on all websites. Though, while it does break websites from operating properly, with it, you also have an option to manually allow every single script to run. With it you'd have absolute control over each and every website and it's you who decides if the script on that website is safe to run or not. While most complex to learn, it also offers the most power over your web browsing.
Out of all those programs, NoScript plug-in for mozilla-based browsers (e.g Firefox, Tor) is the single best piece of software that keeps my PC clean of any malware. NoScript automatically blocks all scripts running on all websites. Though, while it does break some websites from operating properly, with it, you also have an option to manually allow every single script to run. With it you'd have absolute control over each and every website and it's you who decides if the script on that website is safe to run or not.