Freeware Firewall or Antivirus etc. effective?

Hi All.

Just wondering if anyone knows of, or uses any freeware versions of a firewall, antivirus, antispyware, antimalware,etc.?

I've used some in the past, AVG for example, and found them suspect, though I've had pretty good luck with Spybot S&D and Malwarebytes as well as RU Botted.

I don't know of any good free firewalls since Zonealarm stopped offering theirs.


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The best free firewall in the business is the one included in your Windows OS. It also has the extremely fine attribute of NOT interfering with the basic functions of your computer - which I have found to be true of all the rest. It is also true that no one should be relying of a 'software' firewall to protect their system(s) - they just can't do the job. Get a hardware firewall and some real protection.

Virtually none of the free applications (including Malwarebytes) provide "on-access" scanning, so you are going to find the infectors after the fact. You will NOT have active protection to prevent the infection in the first place.

You can buy a lifetime license for Malwarebytes (Pro) that you can use on your current computer - and every replacement you ever buy - for a one time charge of about US$25.

With all the money people spend on their computers and Internet access, I can never understand why they go around looking to save a few bucks on protecting the investment.

I recently updated this EE Article that discusses basic protection: MALWARE - "An Ounce of Prevention..."
ButchDogAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input younghv.
Do you think that the built in firewall in XP is as good as some of the free ones?

By "hardware firewall" does that include the one built into the wireless router I'm using.
It is secured with WPA2.

What is your opinion of paid firewalls/antivirus/antispy software like Norton, Mcafee, Kaspersky?
They are supposed to offer real-time protection.

Thanks again.
The EE Article I linked to above discusses most of what you are asking - to include my recommendations on hardware and software. The whole Articles concept is to allow us to expound (sometimes too much) on our favorite topics - and include a lot more information than we could put in these question comments.

The only 'free' product I use in my repair shop is Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE); which provides on-access 24/7 anti-virus and anti-spyware protection. Combined with Malwarebytes (Pro), a basic hardware firewall (Linksys/Netgear, etc) - that I think you are already using- , and a modified HOSTS file and you're in pretty good shape.

I have completely sworn off ALL of the 'suite' type products. They try to do too much (Kitchen Sink approach) and I don't think they do anything very well.

Please click on the link I am putting just below this sentence and give my Article a read.
MALWARE - "An Ounce of Prevention..."
Simple Misconfiguration =Network Vulnerability

In this technical webinar, AlgoSec will present several examples of common misconfigurations; including a basic device change, business application connectivity changes, and data center migrations. Learn best practices to protect your business from attack.

ButchDogAuthor Commented:
Well, heck.
Shame on me.
Should have read that first.

My apologies.
Reading now...

Not a problem - Articles is still new to a whole lot of Members.
Zonealarm still has a free version of firewall.
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