Is your PC running increasingly slow? Does your broadband Internet connection feel more like dial-up?  Here are two possible reasons why your PC is running slowly.

1. You're doing too much multi-tasking.

Your PC has limited RAM, or Random Access Memory. RAM is the memory that your computer programs use to operate. If you run too many programs at once, you may overtax your computer's RAM, making it run like a gazelle trapped in a knee-deep puddle of molasses.

To find out how much RAM your Mac computer has, click on the apple icon in the uppermost left corner of your screen. Click on "About this Mac." The number next to "Memory" denotes how many gigabytes of RAM you have.

To find your Windows computer RAM, click on the "Start" icon, then right-click on "computer," then choose "Properties." Under "System," you'll see RAM listed as "Installed Memory."

The solution:

One solution is to limit the number of programs you open at once. When you're finished with a program, close it down completely.

If the nature of your work requires you to keep multiple programs open and it's slowing your computer, you might be able to add more RAM. Not all PCs can take additional RAM, and there can be compatibility issues, so you should have a certified PC repair technician look into it for you.

2.  There's a virus.

Viruses can affect your computer in a lot of different ways. Your computer may behave like a 5-year-old is controlling it from the inside of a bouncy castle. Or your computer screen may be filled with images you'd be ashamed to look at with your grandmother in the room. In all cases, though, a computer virus will also cause a significant reduction in your PC's speed.

Malicious virus programs run nearly invisibly in the background of your computer's operating process. Because viruses place such a heavy load on your PC's system, they usually cause legitimate programs to run slowly or not at all.

The solution:

New viruses crop up on a continual basis, and anti-virus software companies struggle to keep up. You can try running an anti-virus program on your infected PC. Most programs will quarantine infected files if they find any.

If you've already tried this method and it didn't work, bring your PC in to a repair shop to have it inspected. A qualified PC repair technician can take a fine-tooth comb to your computer to discover specific infected files that may be lurking in your PC's hard drive.

You don't have to suffer with a slow computer. Contact a professional, like those at Smart Choice Computer Solutions, to see if one of these two reasons might be why your computer is running slow.