Anti-Malware Programs Should be Free

Based on what’s available, you should never HAVE to pay for your anti-malware app.

I’ve been a freelance technology journalist for over 15 years. I’ve written for CMPnet, AOL/CompuServe, UBM TechWeb and for a number of print publications, including a local Chicago paper that is part of the SunTimes family. I’ve looked at a boat load of malware scanners over the years; and its clear, you have to have (and USE) one on your computer. You just do… Unfortunately, there’s really no way around it.

However, just because you have to have and use one, doesn’t mean that you have to pay for it. And you certainly don’t have to pay yearly subscription fees after your initial purchase. There are a number of scanners out there that are really very good, and are free.

Any and all of these are GREAT scanners, and more importantly, they’re all free, and don’t come with any kind of strings attached, such as subscription fees for updated AV definitions. I’ve used all of these at one point or another for both Windows and Mac, and highly recommend all of these. Most scan for viruses, worms, Trojans and the like, and may even help with phishing scams.

If you don’t feel comfortable with a free solution, or prefer the additional or advanced features of a pay or subscription based product, that’s fine. In the end, you just need to find one that seems to work the best for you…and then USE it. Let it run, regardless of WHEN it wants to run its scans. Let its definitions update. The utility can’t protect you if you don’t let it scan your PC and/or let its definitions update itself. Most modern PC’s have multi-core processors. Any performance hit you take is going to be minimal, and should be tolerable. Besides, any performance hit you take is well worth the benefit you receive.

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Top 10 free apps to install after a fresh OS installation or on a new PC

A clean install of Windows 7 (or any other) is often the best way to install your Operating System. However, clean install means losing all your apps but hey, that’s not necessarily a problem because a few days ago, when I finally decided to make a clean install of my OS, I made a list of the essential free apps you may get in case you’re not sure what you should actually install after a clean OS installation or when you get a new PC. Each app has a download link so you won’t have to search for every single app. So, what did I install over my clean new Windows? Check this list…

avast! Free Antivirus is my top pick for the best free security option around and just a matter of fact, it has the same antivirus and anti-spyware scanning engine used in the paid products and it will definitely reduce the risk of your computer being attacked or infected by a virus – Download Avast! Free Antivirus

Mozilla Firefox is what I used exclusively for a long time, but I am beginning to grow into Google Chrome, as Firefox seems to be quite slower. However, Firefox remains my primary browser but you can consider getting Google Chrome as well, for speed and simplicity – Download Firefox | Download Chrome

Open Office is a free office-productivity suite that includes applications such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and drawing program, with a user interface and feature set similar to Microsoft Office. Compatibility? No worries,  Open Office can open and save MS Office documents with a high degree of fidelity – Download Open Office

Notepad++ is a great source code editor, but it also performs great as a Windows Notepad replacement. The application supports several programming languages and its features make it my favorite editor – Download Notepad++

Mozilla Thunderbird is a fully-featured, free and secure mail client, which can also act as a RSS reader. It’s easy to set up (no need to know your IMAP, SMTP, and SSL/TLS settings, just your your name, email address, and password) and customize – and it’s loaded with great features – Download Mozilla Thunderbird

Gom Player is a a clean looking video player that I’m using and recommend to everyone. It’s lightweight and I love fact that it has embedded codec system so you won’t have to search for codecs every time you cannot play a video format. However, if it happens that you need an extra codec to play a multimedia file that the player didn’t come with, the software will automatically identify what you need and it will lead you to the download page – Download Gom Player

WinAmp is my true favorite for playing music files and I believe that almost everybody using a PC knows anything about Winamp so I guess it doesn’t need introduction. Well, just for the record, Winamp has a lot of cool features which make it an extremely valuable and versatile media. You can synchronize your Media Library with your portable media player and much more – Download WinAmp

PicPick is one of the best screen capturing software that is simple enough to be used by everyone. You can capture multiple sources such as: active windows, selected areas or window, entire desktop, irregular screen regions or any other on-screen activities with just a click of a button or keyboard shortcut. Moreover, the software includes a simple image editor – Download PicPick

CCleaner is a system excellent system cleaning utility designed to help you get rid of all unwanted, residual files and registry entries such as  Internet Explorer’s temporary files, cookies, history and so much more – Download CCleaner

IZArc is a great freeware archive utility that support a huge list of archive formats, as well as access to many powerful features and tools. Moreover, it allows you to drag and drop files from and to Windows Explorer, create and extract archives directly in Windows Explorer – Download IZArc

I still have quite a few more in the pipeline but I’ll include those in a future article so check back later please.

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Top 5 Free Anti-Virus and Malware Protections

Best 5 free anti-virus and malware protection you should know (and use):

Avast!: Considering the fact that it’s a free antivirus solution, Avast! lives up to the standards of a competitive antivirus program.

AVG: Combined with other free solutions such as a firewall or an anti-spy provided by the same producer, this application might prove to be a part of a complete security solution for you.

Avira: Simple, yet very well object oriented and user friendly. Definitely worth giving a try.

BitDefender: is still one of the most valued antivirus programs, worth downloading and installing. 

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: is considered to be the next step in the detection and removal of malware.

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