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Recommended Antivirus and Firewall Programs for Windows 7

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 1/26/2011

What antivirus and firewall software runs on Windows 7? Why is it important to use trustworthy security software?

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    Windows 7 Security Software

    Antivirus and Firewall for Windows 7 There are plenty of firewall and antivirus programs on the market that are designed for Windows 7 but some people can fall into using rogue or fake antivirus and firewall protections. It’s recommended to only use the software that is distributed or provided by trustworthy vendors to prevent becoming a victim of fraudsters. Some people prefer using protection tools from a security company that specialized in what they offer. Below is a list of antivirus and firewall programs from trustworthy vendors.

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    Antivirus Programs for Windows 7

    Kaspersky Antivirus 2011 for WIndows 7 These antivirus programs are for personal use only because they are free of charge. Some of the listed security software vendors also offer paid or commercial editions of these antivirus applications. All of the below-mentioned programs run in Windows 7 and earlier operating systems. If you prefer using free antivirus software, check out the Top 10 Free Antivirus Comparison article.

    • Avast by Alwil – this program is quite popular due to its boot-time scanner, resident’s network and web-shield modules. It’s also known for providing good update servers even if you are a free user.
    • AVG by AVG Technologies – one of the widely-used antivirus software but recently received lots of negative feedback due to frequent false detection.
    • AntiVir by Avira – this antivirus program is one of the favorite by Internet users because it is light to use and effective in preventing malicious software. It’s also one of the free antivirus programs that continues to provide a high detection rate for years. However, the update server for free users is often a problem when using OpenDNS. For a work-around, you should read the pinned topic at Avira forums.
    • Microsoft Security Essentials by Microsoft – this program is a basic antivirus protection but has received advanced detection rating level because of its good detection and malware removal engine.
    • Panda Cloud Antivirus – this cloud-based antivirus software has received positive feedbacks from users that do not want to keep an antivirus program that requires frequent or daily updates.
    • PC Tools Antivirus by PC Tools – the antivirus program by PC Tools also provides basic and limited protection but it has proven itself in offering good prevention on malware.

    For end-users that prefer using commercial versions of antivirus programs may take advantage of support, fast update servers and useful features or functions in using antivirus software. Below are some top-notch but commercial antivirus software:

    • BitDefender by BitDefender/Softwin
    • F-Secure Antivirus by F-Secure
    • Kaspersky Antivirus by Kaspersky Labs
    • NOD32 Antivirus by ESET
    • Norton Antivirus by Symantec
    • Panda Antivirus by Panda Security
    • VIPRE by Sunbelt/GFI

    Note that Windows 7 includes the Windows Defender program that can prevent infection by spyware and other types of malware. It is still required to use a dedicated antivirus program and not to depend only on Windows Defender. Most antivirus program vendors recommend disabling Windows Defender to prevent interference and compatibility issues.

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    Firewall Programs for Windows 7

    Outpost Security Suite Windows 7 has built-in advanced firewall protection that can prevent hackers and computer worms from communicating to your computers. It’s a two-way and rule-based firewall protection that most users should continue using, if third-party firewall protection is not what they like. Firewall software helps not only in preventing intruders, spyware and worms from communicating to PCs but it also allows you to control which programs are allowed to make an outgoing and incoming Internet connection.

    Some people prefer using a third-party firewall that has passed leak tests and that provides more functions for protecting the network and PCs. Below are security vendors that provide good firewall software for Windows 7:

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    Final words

    Some people prefer using an all-in-one security protection for Windows which is recommended only if you want to maintain one program with more features and functions. It’s recommended to use standalone protection tools if you are an advanced user that is quite familiar which threats to block. Always remember to use one antivirus and firewall software only. Using more than 1 antivirus and firewall protection can cause system instability and compatibility problems.

    Image credits: Windows 7 logo by Microsoft Corporation (This vector image was created with Inkscape.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, screenshots taken by the author.