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Some PCs from budget suppliers have significant hardware imbalances: there is a tendency to skimp on the expensive parts. Although RAM is now cheap, it has been very expensive previously, and many older PCs have too little to run smoothly with security software installed. In other words many PCs would be better if they were upgraded before connecting to the internet.
RAM fits into slots on your motherboard and the upgrade potential depends on how many slots there are, how many are already in use, and the maximum memory module supported by the motherboard. No changes are required in software, though the virtual memory limit should be adjusted if is is set to manual. RAM (and CPUs) are very vulnerable to damage from static electricity, and special earthing precautions need to be taken when installing them.
In a similar vein, you may find that your new-found interest in digital photography, or music, or videos is straining your hard drive capacity.
Unless the PC has a very small case you can usually add an extra hard drive. If you do need to replace the existing hard drive instead, then you should take the additional cost of data transfer into account.
I can give you advice on upgrade potential, and give you a quote for an upgrade.more detail >> << less detail