some very good advice.
direct copy n paste from.
In the Hot Deals section there has been some discussion about paid for software such as anti-virus programs for protecting your computer. It is probably a common belief that paid for software must be better than free software. This is not always the case. There are many programs that are free that are just as good, and some better, than any regular commercial software.
If you need proof of this then one only needs to look at Microsoft themselves as having some of the most buggy and problematic software there is/was. I know there are all kinds of views on different companies, philosophies, and legalities. My point here is to provide links to software that are free and very good at protecting your computer and as well as anything you have to pay for.
First off is Avira Antivir.
This program consistently places in the top of anti-virus testing (http://www.virusbtn.com/news/2008/09_02
) and is light on resources. Avira is quick to respond to correspondence and to suspect file inspection requests. AVG is a favorite of many but it has fallen out of favor with me due its slowness to respond to new viruses. Avira updates their database many times a day. When using Avira, I would suggest that you schedule updates for at least 3 times a day. I have mine updated 4 times a day. Now this free program is not perfect in that it will nag you to buy it every time an update occurs. There are ways to disable the nag screen but I will leave that to users to search for. The free version of this program also does not guard against other malwares such as spyware and adware. This is where the next free program comes in.
Next on the list is ThreatFire:
This program is what does the work that the free version of Avira doesn't do, namely to protect against spyware and other malwares. It is also light on resources and does not bother you with constant pop-ups about system activity. It just does its job and also auto updates each day.
If you are connected to the Internet using a router then the two programs above are what I would consider the bare minimum in protecting your computer from the filthy Internet. If you are connecting your computer directly to the Internet then a software firewall can be helpful and is in fact a must. Software firewalls are nowhere near as safe as running behind a router but without a firewall and without extensive knowledge on the inner workings of networking setup you are just asking for trouble. If you are using a router, it's best that you disable UPnP on the router so malware can't take over the router.
So the next must have program is a firewall. The built in firewalls in XP and Vista are just adequate. It is my educated opinion that you need better. A firewall will help you control your computer from contacting the outside world in ways you don't want it to also. The built in firewall in XP only blocks inbound traffic, most of the time.
My recommended firewall is Kerio 2.1.5
This is OLD software. I am not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. It may be old, and it may have a couple of bugs, but it is still the best firewall that uses the least resources and has not been exploited like Norton's has or many other payware programs. It is fairly simple to use and understand.
Now the above 3 programs are the bare minimum for connecting your computer directly to the Internet. The following free programs are highly recommended as additional protection and checks.
Spyware Blaster is an immunization program against many types of malware.
It makes it impossible or very difficult for many malware programs to take over your system, and many websites too. Update it every couple of days.
Spyware Terminator is much like ThreatFire, and many think it is better:
If installed as the primary real time protection against malwares you can expect to be bothered quite a bit with warnings. I have it installed, but as a scanning program only rather than a full time protector.
Spybot Search and Destroy has been around for a long time and is still one of the best:
It is an immunization and scanner program. I also have this on my machine. Update it regularly too and make sure that immunizations are done.
Clamwin is another freeware anti-virus program, but it is for scanning only.
It auto-updates itself regularly and is a good back up scanner to double check but Avira is still far superior.
The combination of all these programs are installed ad running on my computers right now. I have made changes in my preferred programs over the many years of my IT support business, but this is basically the best of the crop right now. I know there are other programs that are very good too but these work and are as good as it gets, free or $$$.
If you want some additional protection, use FireFox with the NoScript addon. This will help prevent websites from hijacking your browser.
Finally, nothing is perfect. I am not perfect. No software is perfect. These recommendations are from many years of experience in IT work and freeware. The biggest problem with preventing computer problems is the user him/herself. All the protection in the world will not help if common sense and some fear isn't applied to the decision to click on a suspicious link, open an attachment in an email that was unexpected, or bypassing the programs protecting your computer just because you MUST see that page or video that someone thought was going to make you laugh.
I am here to help if people want it.
The Kerio 2.1.5 firewall is not recommended for Vista, and I am not even sure if it would work at all. Zone Alarm would be a fair choice for Vista.
1.avira (very high detection rate)
2.spyware blaster (blocks malware permanently)
3.spybot snd (removes deep adware, spyware and malware)
4.hijackthis (get rid of those stubborn BHO's)
install and run those. been on this combo for 3 years not one infection.
threatfire is also a program that gets my nod of approval. i install this on all my relatives computers.