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Computer Security for an Unsafe World
What’s the first thing you should do after booting up a new computer for the first time? Besides admiring your new computer, you should make sure you have a suitable Internet security package installed and working. Many times new PCs will come with a trial license of security software, but what should you do after the trial runs out? Below you’ll find several links to some of the best free internet security software, suites that do it all and everything in between.
Do yourself – and your computer – a favor and make sure you stay protected by using one of the packages listed below.
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Free Internet Security Software
Maybe you hate the thought of having to pay for another piece of software. You just need something free that works well. Believe it or not, there are a lot of high quality free Internet security software packages out there. Many of them operate on a ‘freemium’ model offering you basic services for free while giving you the option to upgrade to more advanced options for a small fee.
Be sure to protect your computer from malware by using a malware scanner that detects both viruses and spyware. Also make sure you have a firewall installed to protect your computer from intruders. Below you’ll see sections for suites which include both malware and firewall protection, standalone malware scanners and standalone firewalls. What you choose is up to you, but be sure to properly protect your computer.
Most security suites offer anti-malware protection including anti-virus and anti-spyware scanners, along with a firewall. These free security suites are no exception.
If you are happy with your existing firewall maybe all you need is a good anti-malware application. These applications all scan for the latest viruses and malware to keep your computer healthy.
- Ad-Aware 9
- AntiVir Personal
- Emsisoft Anti-Malware - (Formerly Emsi A-squared)
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
- Microsoft Security Essentials
As you can see from the short list below, the number of standalone firewall providers has shriveled up considerably. With new versions of Windows sporting integrated firewalls and security vendors packing firewalls into their security suites, only a few standalone firewalls exist.
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Commercial Security Software
If using a free version of a security suite makes you uncomfortable or you want more control over the features offered, you may want to look at some of the commercial security software listed below.
Like the free versions, commercial security suites typically include malware protection and firewalls. One difference is the type and quantity of additional tools offered with commercial security suites.
Some of the other tools that may be offered in these suites include…
- Web filtering to ensure you don’t visit malicious web sites
- Web content filtering that allows you to set up content based rules to block unsavory sites
- SPAM Protection integration with popular email clients to help reduce the amount of SPAM you see
- Computer performance help, which can include performance utilities that will help you optimize your system.
Here is our list of commercial security suites:
- Avast Security Suite
- BitDefender Internet Security
- ESET Smart Security
- Kaspersky Internet Security
- Kaspersky PURE
- McAfee Internet Security
- Norton 360
- PC Tools Internet Security
- Trend Micro Titanium
- Vipre Anti-virus and Anti-spyware
- ZoneAlarm Security Suite
If you still want a commercial product but don’t need all the fancy features of a full-fledged suite, consider a standalone anti-malware product. Many of the suites offered above also come in standalone anti-malware versions so if you don’t see a link for one that interests you, check out the vendor’s website before making a purchase.
At this point, firewalls are commodity software – there are so many high quality free versions that there really isn’t a purpose to selling a standalone firewall anymore. ZoneAlarm – one of the early firewall vendors - still sells a ‘standalone’ firewall even though this package comes with some advanced suite-features such as anti-SPAM and a credit monitoring service.
I hope you found this roundup of internet security reviews useful to you and was able to help you decide on the best set of features that will meet your needs – whether it be a free software suite or a commercial program. Even a poorly rated application will be better than no security software at all. Although Windows 7 does a decent job protecting your computer ‘out of the box’, I still heartily recommend investing some time in installing one of the above solutions.
- Author's experience working in the tech industry for over ten years.