There is nothing like using free software to protect your computer, but people are constantly asking me which tools they should use on their PC to keep them safe. Most people who are not familiar with free software assume that it can’t protect their computers as well as commercial alternatives, but in many instances that is not the case.
This article has several purposes, and the main one is to demonstrate the wide range of free security software that is available for you to use. The second purpose is to find out what all of you use! After each section (anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall) you’ll see a poll that is there for you to vote on which one of the applications you use on your computer. This will greatly help people looking for free alternatives to programs because they’ll quickly be able to see what are the most popular applications.
The third purpose is to point out which programs have officially declared themselves as Vista compatible. Green text means that the software is Vista compatible.
So look through the software below and click on a screenshot if you want to see what that program looks like…
- Active Virus Shield powered by Kaspersky (Homepage) for Windows 98/2000/Me/XP
- AntiVir (Homepage) for Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP
- Avast! (Homepage) for Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
- AVG Free Anti-virus (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP/Vista
- BitDefender (Homepage) for Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP
- Clam AV (Homepage) for Windows XP
- ClamWin (Homepage) for Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003
- Comodo (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP
- Cyberhawk (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista
- PC Tools (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Anti-Spyware & Anti-Spam:
- Ad-Aware (Homepage) for Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP
- AVG Free Anti-Spyware (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP/2003
- Comodo Anti-Spam (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP
- HijackThis (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP
- SpyBot Search & Destroy (Homepage) for Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/2003/Vista
- SpywareBlaster (Homepage) for Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP
- WinPatrol (Homepage) for Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/2003/Vista
- Windows Defender (Homepage) for Windows XP, and is included with Vista
- Comodo Firewall (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP/2003
Note: Version 3 will be available in a few months with Vista compatibility
- Outpost Firewall (Homepage) for Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
- PC Tools Firewall (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista
- R-Firewall (Homepage) for Windows 98/2000/XP/2003
- Windows Firewall (Homepage) included with Windows XP SP2 and Vista
- ZoneAlarm Basic Firewall (Homepage) for Windows 2000/XP/2003
So there’s your (pretty) complete list of free security software. Remember to vote in the multiple polls that are available above because it will give people a good idea of what the most recommended software is. And who knows, maybe it will even give you inspiration to try out some new software. :)
If you’re wondering how some of the software actually stacks up in tests, then here are two articles that will help you out:
- Best anti-virus software based upon detection ratings where Active Virus Shield is at the top.
- Firewall leak test results where Comodo takes home the highest score…even when compared to commercial software.
For more free software please visit the CyberNet forum.