Security Software Recommendations

Security Software Recommendations

By Leo Notenboom

What security software should I use? How about a firewall? And what about spyware? Should I use one of the all-in-one packages that claim to do everything? Is there anything else I need?

As you might imagine, I get questions like this all the time. As a result, I do have recommendations for security software and techniques to stay safe in various articles all over Ask Leo!.

To make your life a little easier, here’s a short version that sums it all up.

The short-short version

Most home and small business users who don’t want to think about it too much should simply:

Get a router even if you have only one computer; it will be your firewall.

Install the free Microsoft Security Essentials as your anti-virus, anti-spyware and malware scanner.

Turn on Windows Automatic Update.

Turn on the Windows Firewall when you travel.

That’s it.

Good basic protection in four steps with only one download.

Basic security software: Microsoft Security Essentials

In the past, I’ve strongly recommended against all-in-one solutions.

By all-in-one, I mean any single program, package, or “security suite” that claims to do everything: firewall, anti-spyware, anti-virus, and often much more all in a single package. What I hear from readers is that these types of suites often have problems or actually cause more problems than other alternatives.

That strong recommendation against continues – I’ve not changed my mind.

With one exception: Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).

In a sense, it’s not really an all-in-one solution like the others. It has both anti-virus and anti-spyware, but that’s it. It’s not trying to shovel in all sorts of other features that you don’t need and that often only serve to destabilize your computer. MSE isn’t trying to compete against other products with long feature lists – and as a result, it wins.
Not long ago, MSE came under fire by rating lower than some other security packages in a test published online. That happens almost every anti-malware package. It’s actually difficult to find consistent test results that point to any single, clear winner. In the case of this most recent test, I believe that the user actually had to explicitly ignore warnings presented by MSE and explicitly allow malicious software to be run.

My recommendation stands. MSE remains a solid and free anti-virus and anti-spyware package with minimal system impact that should be appropriate for almost anyone.

Article Continued Here:.

This post is excerpted with permission from Leo Notenboom.

51 total views, 1 views today

(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)

6 thoughts on “Security Software Recommendations

  1. I agree with Norbert. I also have been running the avast! Free software for approximately 10 years with 100% results. I have had a lot of problems trying other similar software, particularly with Microsoft virus and spyware programs. Gave up on trying them and stuck with avast! Free.

  2. I agree with Norbert. I also have been running the avast! Free software for approximately 10 years with 100% results. I have had a lot of problems, particularly with Microsoft virus and spyware programs. Gave up on trying them and stuck with avast! Free.

  3. I agree with the router as a firewall and to avoid security suites.
    But MS Security Essentials proved literally worthless in my tests – it didn't identify anything I threw at it. Windows Defender is also a waste of hard drive space.
    +1 for Avast Free Antivirus. The boot scanner is one of the very few antivirus solutions that actually works. Malwarebytes is another (when run in safe mode). Avast Free and Malwarebyes Pro (best $25 you can spend on your PC) is the safest that you can be now from my experience.

  4. For those of you who have Comcast, their Security Suite is identical to Norton 360 and it's FREE! I know that Norton 360 gets high marks, this is the same except it is put out for Comcast customers only. I agreed with Leo until I woke up to the Comcast freebie.

  5. I enjoy Leo's tutorials but disagree on his choice of security for your computer.
    avast! Free has been doing an excellent job of keeping my computer safe for almost 10 years. It is lighter on system resources that MSE and offer better protection.
    There are good reasons for using what already comes with your computer but, the protection of your system isn't one of those items.
    Choose avast! Free if it's your personal computer and be truly protected.
    http://youtu.be/903tiPWDd3Q

  6. I enjoy Leo's tutorials but disagree on his choice of security for your computer.
    avast! Free has been doing an excellent job of keeping my computer safe for almost 10 years. It is lighter on system resources that MSE and offer better protection.
    There are good reasons for using what already comes with your computer but, the protection of your system isn't one of those items.
    Choose avast! Free if it's your personal computer and be truly protected.
    http://youtu.be/903tiPWDd3Q

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *