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Note: DO NOT INSTALL more than one Anti-Virus program and one Firewall. Only install one Anti-Virus and one Firewall on one computer. Running more than one of these at a time can cause conflicts with each other and will not offer optimum protection. UNINSTALL AND REMOVE any existing Anti-Virus and Firewall programs BEFORE installing a new one, using these respective Removal Tools: Symantec (Norton) | McAfee | Trend Micro
Protect your computer and surf the net safely using the following recommendations. Free Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and Firewall software is just as good or even better in some cases at protecting against and detecting malware threats, compared to the paid-for versions. These applications will scan and remove viruses and spyware from your computer as well as keeping the hackers at bay using a more robust Firewall than the one provided in Microsoft Windows computers.
Free ANTI-VIRUS (Choose Only One)
1. Microsoft Security Essentials – BEGINNERS
This one is a great “install and forget” anti-virus software from Microsoft. It is based on their former failed OneCare Anti-Virus, but this time they have come up with one of the best Anti-Virus software whether Free or Paid! It is a 100% free download, with free automatic updates, requires very little system resources to run and best of all it has no advertising.
Above is the detection screen of MSE which pops-up on detection ready with the recommended actions to take. Microsoft Security Essentials is recommended for beginners.
2. Avira AntiVir – ADVANCED
Anti-Vir is the name of this Anti-Virus offering made by AVIRA. It has one of the best malware detection rates, uses very little resources, has a clear user interface and lots of useful configuration options.
The only “downside” is a pop-up, like the one above, that gets displayed after every update, but this can also be viewed as a little confirmation that your software is updating!
1. MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MUST-HAVE)
Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware software is great at removing common threats. It does not have any automatic updates. Before scanning your system, always go to the “Update” tab and get the latest up-to-date definitions. It has a speedy quick-scan mode and a more thourough full-scan mode. Recommended as an important addition to your computer alongside SUPERAntispyware featured below.
2. SUPERAntiSpyware (MUST HAVE)
SUPERAntiSpyware has a dodgy sounding name but dont let that fool you, this software has one of the best detection and removal rates. It does not have any automatic updates and so it is important to manually update before every scan. This is simply done by clicking the “Check for Updates” button in the “Spyware Definitions Updates” section of the it’s Main Menu. There is a Portable Version that does not need any installation, just download to a USB Flash Drive or CD. Recommended as an important addition to your computer alongside Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware featured above.
Free FIREWALL (Choose Only One)
1.ZoneAlarm Free Firewall (BEGINNER)
2. Comodo Personal Firewall (ADVANCED)
Comodo’s Free Personal Firewall comes bundled with the option to install their own Anti-Virus, so make sure to UNCHECK THE OPTION TO INSTALL Comodo Anti-Virus. It is a powerfull but easy to use firewall with lots of configuration options and a nice user interface. Recommended and is my personal choice of firewall. Click here to see a Comodo Firewall installation guide.
3. Sunbelt Personal Firewall
Sunbelt’s Personal Firewall is 100% free, but you could easily be misled by their marketing and licensing terms: basically, it installs as a 30-day trial of their paid for version, and after that it disables the paid-for features (HIPS, some Logging, and Password Protection) and reverts back to the “free mode”. Otherwise, it uses little resources, has a simple setup and a silent “no pop-up” mode.
Free ON-LINE VIRUS SCANNERS
An online virus scanner allows you to check your system for threats without having to install the entire application and without uninstalling your existing Anti-Virus software.
Free “Virus-Specific” Removal Tools
Free Recovery Disks
When your system won’t boot or you can’t run any malware removal tool, just use these bootable recovery disks:
- Avira AntiVir Rescue System – Enables access to an infected computer by using the AntiVir Antivirus and a bootable cd.
- Kaspersky Rescue Disk – Enables you to carry out scans and disinfect machines that have been infected to the point where traditional tools do not function.
- AVG Rescue CD – Enables the rescue and repair of infected computers.
Other Free Tools
- VirusTotal – Upload a single file to be scanned for viruses.
- McAfee Site Advisor – Browser Add-On that tests websites for spyware, spam and scams so you can search, browse, and shop online safely.
- WinPatrol – Receive alerts about system changes that are being made without your knowledge.
- K9 Web Protection – Protect your children with this free internet filtering and control solution.
- ThreatFire – Detect and block malicious activity using advanced Heuristics to analyse your computer’s behaviour constantly.
- MVPS Hosts file – Replace your current HOSTS file with one containing common malicious and advertisement sites.