*Updated December 2nd 2010*|
These threads keep popping up, so it's time to revise a snippet of my old software guide and cover the basics of keeping your PC safe, secure and shit free.
Antivirus: MS Security Essentials is the best of the lot right now with the best detection rate out of all the freebies in a recent batch of independent tests. Good use of resources, although not as light as Nod32 or Avira.
Fair alternatives include Avira (daily nag hack), Avast, BitDefender, Kapersky, Panda and Nod32.
Things to avoid would be Norton, McAfee, AVG and Sophos. You might as well uninstall them right now for all the good they'll do you.
Especially Norton, which is so dire that they have to resort to having their staff plant glowing reviews all over the internet to garner interest for this frankly terrible excuse for an AV, including in this thread. ALiasEX and malexous being two such plants. Uninstall it immediately and go for a superior free option.
Note: Unlike anti spyware software, it's definitely not advisable to try installing more than one AV at any time. They'll battle and you'll lose.
Spyware: SUPERAntiSpyware sounds frankly dreadful but it's by far the best, picking up things that none of the others notice and even weeds out trojans that nothing else seems to see. It has the option to run constantly in the background, but you really don't need that. Personally I just run a scan from time to time.
Alternatives such as Malwarebytes, Hitman Pro, Ad-Aware and Spybot are all fine but they all seem to miss some small slice of the immense catalogue of crap that is out there. If you're having a lot of problems then I'd suggest running superanti as well as one of these. Malwarebytes easily being the top of the alternative crop.
Firewall: Tough one these days, you will be fine with the OS's built in firewall and your router's firewall. Most third party software firewalls at the moment are almost pure bloat.
Things to avoid would have to be nVidia's firewall that is offered as part of the nForce motherboard software suite. Comodo, which was once great has turned into a monster and ZoneAlarm can be more trouble than it's worth.
Note: You really don't need 2 firewalls running, so you're free to disable Windows firewall should you opt for Comodo or something.
Other stuff: Peerblock takes over from where PeerGuardian left off. It's a tiny little client that periodically updates a list of undesirable IPs. Perfect for filthy pirates or simply people who enjoy their privacy.
Sandboxie is great for those little programs of questionable parentage that you might not want to let loose on your system. Comodo also has a sandbox function.
Edited by Dirtbox at 14:09:04 22-01-2012
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