Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

While there are no "best" pop-up blockers or other anti-virus/spyware software, having something reputable in place is better than nothing at all.

What's the best Pop-Up Blocker? Anti-Virus Software? Anti-Spyware Software?

As Ask Leo! has grown, and I've seen the types of problems that people are facing every day, one thing has become very clear: viruses, spyware, popups and other kinds of internet vermin (for lack of a more polite term) are serious problems. And they're problems that aren't going away any time soon.

Many of my recommendations boil down to this: run a current spyware checker or run updated anti-virus software. Regularly. And make sure they're up to date. Regularly.

But what's the best package to run?

You won't like my answer.

One of the other things that had become excruciatingly clear, especially in the Anti-Virus arena and in the Anti-Spyware arena is that there is no clear winner. There is not one software package I can point you at - or for that matter use myself - that will catch everything.

I see this situation all the time: a person who's running a name-brand respected anti-whatever package is infected. Simply running another, different name-brand anti-whatever package catches the infection and corrects it. Or not, and a third one does. Or the infection is reported, but not fixed - but is fixed by another tool or package.

It's unfortunate, and confusing for the average user. And most certainly frustrating.

"But when it comes to spyware and viruses, use something. Just about anything is better than nothing at all."

So what's a poor user to do? What package should you use?

I'm now of the opinion that, within reason, it doesn't matter. All of the major brands are about the same; they all probably catch 99% of what you'll ever care about. Popups. Spyware. Viruses. Use the one that came with your machine, or the one that you can afford, or the one that was rated highly by a magazine, or the one that your techie friend uses and can help you with.

But when it comes to spyware and viruses, use something. Just about anything is better than nothing at all.

And for the 1% that you choice doesn't catch - have a plan. Have a second or even a third product that you know you'll run to if you suspect a problem wasn't caught.

And for the 0.1% that the double scan doesn't catch? Have a plan. Have a resource to turn to - an online forum or a Q&A site like Ask Leo! or a tech friend you can turn to. You may never need them, but if you do you'll be glad you were prepared.

Article C2099 - July 5, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

July 6, 2004 9:28 AM

Best popup blockers in the WORLD are Mozilla and Firefox. NEVER EVER use IE.

Best Anti-spywares are Ad-aware and Spybot S&D...

ok Anti-virus software is Norton Anti-virus Enterprise (NOT the 2k3, 2k4, etc... they are all junks)

July 6, 2004 3:43 PM

There is another option to all these headaches. If you actually use a computer, I mean not just for email or games, you should at least look into another operating system. If you hadn't noticed on your frequent trips to anti-virus websites, there is often a field called "Operating Systems not Affected". This is really interesting because on (and I hesitate because I have not read them all but...) almost all of them, at least all I've ever read. Linux is there. Mac, Solaris, and UNIX are on about 99% of them. Mac is really, really easy to use. The others are far more powerful, and relatively easy to put on your current windows machine if you don't want to go buy a new mac. The catch is that they (Linux, Solaris and UNIX) are not a easy as Windows. It takes some time to learn. In fact, Solaris and UNIX are probably not good ideas for you if you're here. They are more for running the entire internet. Check out http://www

PS - a good idea if you might switch is to keep windows around on a partition (part of your drive) just in case you can't figure something out.

Good luck. Viruses and other problems I read about here are exactly what drove me from Windows and I've never looked back...

I also have no anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware, anti-anything. You just plain don't need it.

July 8, 2004 1:59 PM

Buy yourself a Mandrake Linux!

July 8, 2004 8:07 PM

A post script.

The BEST part of Linux is the freeness. There is NO reason to pay for linux - EVER. The only thing to pay for is tech support and there is usually a way around that. Just download and burn it, then reboot and install. I repeat my caution however...

Changing you OS is not for the lighthearted. Be sure this is what you want. A little research can save you a lot of trouble. As long as you're ready to invest the time to learn something new, you'll be ok. There's plenty of help out there; don't be afraid to ask. That's why you're all here, isn't it?

October 31, 2004 6:31 PM

Try Pop Up Blocker by Synergeticsoft

Benjamin Lindelof
November 10, 2004 1:59 AM

Best Pop-Up Blocker: Norton Internet Security. Pop-Up effectiveness combined with IE Service Pack 2 pop-up blocking: 100%

Cons: Pop-ups are used for legitimate services like AIM Express.

Best Anti-Virus Software: There will always be a delay between virii and the patches that fix them; Symantec and Norton Antivirus have shorter delays to fix new virii in my experience, compared to McAfee and VirusShield.

Cons: Subscription to Virus Definition service costs $$$

Best Anti-Spyware Software: Lavasoft's AdAware SE. Will remove 100% of the current spyware and has the shortest delay for new spyware IDs.

Above all: Nothing is foolproof if you open attachments from people you don't know. Backup your computer on CD-ROM at least once a month.

March 10, 2005 10:19 AM

Nothing is 100% fool-proof, but if you want to give that crapware a run for its $:

Antivirus: NOD32 or Kaspersky.
Anti-spyware: Adaware, Spybot, and Pest Patrol(eTrust).

Or if you are really paranoid: Just run "Knoppix" all the time.


March 15, 2005 9:24 AM

im runin 3 virus protection programs at the same time is this good or bad.this uses a lot of memory but im 100% free of viruses.i would like to use one virus protection program but dont know which one to use,im usin avg/avast/norton at the same time and usin microsoft antispy.100mb of ram all these programes are memory which i have is 480mb.

March 15, 2005 9:21 PM

Three anti-virus programs at once can interfere with each other.

March 23, 2005 10:23 AM

Oh please, people. Do u all forgot Spy Sweeper? its better than Ad-Aware!!!!!!!!

April 2, 2005 12:08 AM

are u mad jerome? i reccomend u dont use 3 antivirus programmes at an time plus 2 firewalls on at once is very bad as they can interfere with each other 3 is even worse but if u want an opinion on what antivirus to use i say norton but on the best antispyware protection antispy i say spybot search and destroy or ad aware but microsoft antispy beta is very bad it has never detected one keylogger EVER!! so only use 1 anti virus and 1 antispyware u should never use 3 anti viruses as it can interfere with each other and mess up your software

April 2, 2005 12:11 AM

yeah spysweeper is ok but it lags your comptuer to much and its not that sufficent when it comes to newest dialers and keyloggers the only thing it ever found was sc keylogger lol thats all its never found an trojan downloader for me or nothing that spybot has...

May 4, 2005 12:51 PM

People are asking what is the best anti-spyware program. Believe it or not the best one is free. It is call ad-aware. If you go to and click on ad-aware SE you can download it free. From there you just make the updates it is simple and easy to do it also works very well.

May 4, 2005 12:56 PM

Here is a little pointer. Go to You can then click on one of the links that will let you look at all of the anti-virus programs. You will get a better visual of what it will do before downloading it.

May 11, 2005 12:00 PM

Do not run more than one Anti Virus program! This could mess up your computer. If one of the Anti viruses detectes the other because of suspicious behavior it could try to attack it so you will have two anti virus trying to attack eachother there for your computer will pretty much crash. If I were you I would run Norton. It is very popullar also it has current up todates.

Michael Palma
May 22, 2005 8:39 PM

I have Windows XP Pro 2002, w/Service Pack 2. I have the Yahoo Anti-Spayware, Pop-up Blocker, and all that came with the beta Toolbar. Id this sufficient to protect my computer, or should I remove it, and use ad-aware, McAfee, Spyware Snooper?

June 2, 2005 8:41 AM

I think the first guy was not refering to 3 antivirus but three antispyware detectors and that is perfectly safe and sound advice. He is right one won't cath everything so 2 or 3 is good. As for Antivirus yes definately only have one running but stay away from the 2 most popular mcafee and norton they suck! Get the best one out ther kaspersky or try bit deffender if you like. there are a few others but on test done to see which offers the fastest updates to new virus kaspersky wins hands down and mcaffee and norton fall way down on the list!

My $0.02

June 13, 2005 2:18 AM

I dont think there is much difference between most anti-virus programs. I've basically tried all the populars ones and they're about the same. McAfee, Norton, F-Secure, Avast are the ones I recommend. If u need a good spyware then download spyware doctor cuz it kicks ass!

June 15, 2005 8:03 AM

Hi There
I would like to know what is the best anti spy blocker to use on my computer..I have windows 98 on my computer..Can you please tell what anti-spy blocker that i should use or download on the interent..Please Email me back..thanks ..I will be waiting for your response.

June 23, 2005 7:28 AM

I run Zone Alarm Pro and AVG free edition (daily scans with AVG; unless you're still running a P-II you won't even notice it's running.) I've never had a virus, because in addition to the above I practice safe surfing--and I'm online at least 8 hours a day over broadband, not just a Sunday driver. Because I use Gmail exclusively, I don't have to worry about attachments because Google won't accept them if they contain executable files, not even zipped. (There's a way around that, but I'm not tellin'.)

I scan weekly with Ad-Aware, Pest Patrol and SpyBot S&D. Of the three, Pest Patrol seems to catch the most malware, including the occasional trojan. I normally find five or six a week that get past SBS&D's resident scanner; however, since I installed Microsoft's Anti-Spyware Beta 1 (actually a program from a company they just bought) I haven't found any with the other applications. It looks as though Micro$oft has done something right. They just announced it will remain free, as well. Get it from Windows Update.

This is what works for me. Your mileage may vary.

August 11, 2005 8:47 PM

Alright now....I've heard so much sh*t about symantec that it makes me sick.I've come to realize just the other day thats all use.But I've also figured out that they do make garbage programs also.Like Antivirus 2005.Sucks.....Symantec is only good if you get the good programs.To keep your computer safe I Recomand Norton internet security, Symantec antivirus corporate 8.0+, AdAware,Registry mechanic,Partition magic,Norton GoBack 3 or 4.Un-penatrable

August 15, 2005 12:58 PM

Why Microsoft don't create anti-spyware for the old operation systems like win9X???

william isherwood
August 22, 2005 5:19 AM

I'm confused. I listened to Kim Kamando and she touted Webroot Spy Sweeper so I got it. I have now Norton security suite 05, spybot search & destroy, & and spy sweeper. My computer seems to run fine. I'm on a small boat in the Bahamas. Then I listened to The David Lawrence Show and as he suggested ran Pandas free checker which said I had over 300 items that needed fixing but you have to pay 69 bucks. Lawrence also said on his program all you need is Adaware, Spybot and MS security. All free. Isent an email to Lawrence asking if I should get rid of my paid security & he said yes. I keep everything I have now up to date. Should I leave what I have now or change? I'm happy to tip.

August 22, 2005 8:02 AM

Well, then there's no clear winner - as the article describes - it's also hard to get everyone to agree on what to do.

The bottom line for me is this: you need a good anti-virus program (Nortan AV, and I think Panda do this, as well as many others), and a good Anti-Spyware program (Webroot, Spybot, Microsoft Anti-Spyware, do this, as well as many others). It's most important that you run one from each category and keep it up to date, than it is exactly which one you choose to run.

This article may help the confusion a little:

August 23, 2005 6:39 AM

MessageLabs is by far the best!! The rest sucks!! visit

September 2, 2005 8:29 AM

hey can sum1 help me i have a problem in my pc i need a real good pop up blocker and virus protection plz help me and give the site of the download

September 6, 2005 11:52 PM


Download the following:

Antispyware programs:

Spybot-Seatch & Destroy 1.4-DOWNLOAD HERE:

Ad-aware SE Personal 1.06-DOWNLOAD HERE:

Spywareblaster 3.4-DOWNLOAD HERE:

Microsoft Antispyware beta 1-DOWNLOAD HERE:

AVG Anti-virus Free edtion-DOWNLOAD HERE:


Firefox 1.06-DOWNLOAD HERE:

All free and the best antispyware/adware/malware/trojan removers around!

Firefox has a popup blocker in it! and its a much safer browser then Internet Explorer



October 19, 2005 3:33 AM

After years of trial and error I've settled on ZoneAlarm Firewall, Norton Anti-Virus, and PestPatrol. These work for me. has good reviews for all software, and I initially chose these programs based on their recommendations.

November 16, 2005 2:12 PM

I use ZoneAalrm Security Suite, Spybot Search and Destroy, and Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta. ZA Security Suite is the best package I have used so far, in my opinion. With its customizable firewall, Anti-Virus, and Anti-Spyware. The anti-spyware isnt as good as the microsoft one but the antivirus and firewall have been able to keep my system cleaner than Norton Internet Security did.


December 5, 2005 9:30 AM

I strongly recommand NOD32 AntiVirus.The best AntiVirus i have ever seen,best and the fastest which uses low system resource,unlike norton AntiVirus....that garbage lol,it made my computer slower than ever,i have P4 with 1GB RAM PC..........and it didn't want to uninstall ! i had to format my PC to get rid of it.And for Spyware,i use SB-S&D - Ad-Aware - SpySweeper - Spyware Blaster - CounterSpy(Great and Fast).
For FireWall i use Tiny FireWall PRO or sometimes i simply use Windows FireWall.As for Registery i use Registery Mechanic and Tuneup Utilities 2006.As for pop-ups i use anything that blocks pop-ups and not annoying like the pop up blocker with google toolbar =).
As you may have noticed...AntiVirus,AntiSpyWare,Registery cleaners and FireWalls are not enough to keep your PC running fast and great.For these tasks i use System Mechanic 6 PRO & Tuneup Utilities 2006.So.......the best of the best are:


1-NOD32 =======

1-SpyBot Search & Destroy ========

2-Ad-Aware SE Professional =======

3-SpySweeper ========

4-Spyware Blaster ========

5-CounterSpy(Recomanded) ========


1-Tiny FireWall =========

Registery Cleaners:

1-Registery Mechanic ========

2-Tuneup Utilities 2006 =======

For other tasks:

1-System Mechanic 6 PRO =========

2-Tuneup Utilities 2006 =======


December 15, 2005 6:42 AM

I'm a little (or maybe a lot!) confused. I am Christmas shopping for someone who has a Pentium 3 PC with dialup internet. To my knowledge, they don't have any of these "anti" softwares installed and the computer is unbelieveably slow. Neither of us is computer saavy. I would like to get them setup with everything they need to keep their computer running properly and also something to speed it up as much as is possible with dialup. And something that is easy to use... Suggestions?

December 15, 2005 10:13 PM

I'd have you start with this article:

December 17, 2005 9:08 PM

My computer has been taken over by pop-ups that are advertising pop-up and spyware software by winfixer and winsoftware. These are the only pop-up problem I've had in months. Isn't it illegal for a company to do this. It's like extortion. The messages are fake error and warning messages that then lead to a trial of software that will only fix the system if one pays in order to get rid of the controlling task, pop-ups and spyware they themselves infected my system with. Is someplace I can report this somehow? Can I join or sign-up to outlaw tactics like winsoftware is using to corrupting our computers and extort money from us like this?

February 20, 2006 4:29 PM

Nod32 - Antivirus
Tiny Firewall - Firewall
Counterspy - Antispyware
SuperAdBlocker (1 word together) - Pop up blocker

*Remember even if the product is like a 6 in 1 security application, it doesn't mean that it's going to protect you, focus on individual packages... because software companies usually are best when focused on 1 type of software*

April 3, 2006 4:36 AM

Hi folks
ive read the artical (well bits tryed to find wot i was looking for) sorry if i missed it but i came to this site to find out the best pop up blocker to use. i found alot on anitvius & spyware & such but not wot im looking for. i use firefox web browser & i am very happy with this only i still get a few unwanted popups how can i aviod this? any help would be much apericated thanx

April 13, 2006 2:36 AM

Kaspersky 6.0 and Eset NOD32 v2.51 - Antivirus
ZoneAlarm - Firewall
spy sweeper- antispyware

April 13, 2006 2:44 AM

=========ANTIVIRUS COMPARISONS=======================================

The top rated AV software is Eset's NOD32, kaspersky and BitDefender.
- NOD32 -

Record winner of the VB100% (detect all virus on the wild) award
Has a very low usage on system resouces and lighter than kaspersky and BitDefender
Lot of custumisation features and clean interface.
Fastest scanning engine compared to Kaspersky and bitdefender.
Has File system monitor, MS office document monitor, Outlook and internet monitor.
The best in detecting new/unknown viruses by using advanced heuristics.

- Kaspersky -

One Of the best detection rates of all AV.
Easy to use and the most user-friendly interface and also advanced custumisation.
Has cummulative updates and they are hourly
Incorporates a firewall and good scan engine
Best detection rates.

- BitDefender 9 Professional -

integrates certified antivirus by ICSA Labs, Virus Bulletin, Checkmark, CheckVir and TÜV.
uses robust scan engines
Has a good Firewall and Antispam
Updates about 3-5 times in a day

In a comparative test in Feb 2006


Windows viruses :93,22% :99,84% :99,62% :
Macro viruses :98,95% : 100% :99,95% :
Script viruses/malware :92,51% :99,15% :97,58% :
Worms :97,43% :99,56% :99,53% :
Backdoors :94,68% :99,76% :98,53% :
Trojans :87,89% :99,26% :96,29% :
other malware :87,26% :97,90% :86,27% :
Other OS viruses/malware:69,40% :99,04% :88,39% :
TOTAL :93,08% :99,57% :97,89% :

On-demand detection of polymorphic viruses(FEB.06):

1. KAV Personal Pro 99,4%
2. NOD32 Anti-Virus 94,3%
3. BitDefender Prof 79,5%

ProActive detection of ITW-samples (NOV.05)

1. NOD32 50%
ProActive detection of "NEW" Zoo samples

1. NOD32 62%
2. BitDefender 49%
3. Kaspersky 32%

michael yaros
May 20, 2006 9:19 PM

I use something called AVK (antivirus kit) available at It is a combination of 2 antivirus programs, kapersky and bit defender, so it gets virtually everything, and it actively monitors even when you don't scan. Best of all, i can run it on any number of computers for one price.

May 21, 2006 9:43 AM

i use Kaspersky6... fast, light on CPU, great detection rates, loads of features other AVs dont have.

second, NOD32/BD9/F-secure/AVK.. all excelent! wouldnt hesitate recomending them! (although BD9,F-Secure&AVK use more CPU than NOD and KAV)

dont use popup-blocker,

for spyware, i use Windows Defender, PestPatrol, Ad-aware and SpybotS&D

May 21, 2006 9:47 AM

btw, great comparison Roshan... appreciate it if you give credit to your source... i'm presuming its by the look of the results

August 27, 2006 11:00 PM

Hi all! Look... I used NoD32 because i believe that's the 100% AV! It don't protected me just delete my files when they get infected. It don't protected them just deleted.... ahh KAV is the best now! Scan 100% of PC.. The NOD32 have 3leak! C:\Recycler | C:\System volume information | and other one now i don't know... KAV scan all of them ;) Virus makers! Put your viruses to these viruses and hope the victim have NOD32 :D :D :D :D I tried all of it! AVG not protect, NOD32 50%, KAV 100%, Mcaffe... dont tried. F-prot don't tried. Bitdefender too slow, and it blocked my LAN! Avast is using a lots of "plugins" :S ... ehhh! I think.. USE KAV! :) Internet security.. naturally. :) It scans slowly but very very perfectly! ;) And it protects your files not just delete them like NOD32!!! :))) It updates 3-5a day too!

NOD32 user
August 31, 2006 4:09 AM

Nice post Roshan ^^^ - good info.
My opinion? - NOD32 has the best proactive protection available. That's what Advanced Heuristics are for - to protect against both new unknown and variants of previously known zoo AND in-the-wild samples and that's what your post clearly shows.

But it's true, an update would bring all three to near on par - JMHO but isn't it much better when you've got protection from zero hour instead of needing a further update to catch the baddies, so for it's proactive detection I choose NOD32. Plus it doesn't delete my files - just the baddies ;D

Cheers :)

September 11, 2006 8:31 AM

Join their forum and discuss their Product:
Support them thru register and post there>>
welcome all bitdefender fan's>>

March 27, 2007 12:29 AM

Hey leo,

Ill keep this simple as possible. I bought a new computer and it had the free norton anitivirus program for 40 days. to renew it 90$. so should i renew it or shall i just get a free AVG antivirus program? is the free ones good or the paid ones better? thanks for your time

April 10, 2007 12:01 AM

I actually use just the IE7 pop up blocker.

Patricia Davis
December 5, 2007 9:02 AM

Whenever I close my Internet Explorer, a window pops up saying "Internet Explorer has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly.." But whenever I scan my computer w/ XoftSpySE and Norton Anti-Virus, they don't detect anything. What's wrong?

Patricia Davis
December 5, 2007 9:16 AM

Is it bad to have more than 1 anti-virus software?

Patricia Davis
December 5, 2007 9:17 AM

Is it bad to have more than 1 anti-virus software?

December 31, 2007 5:07 AM

Only ever use 1 av proggy you will get big problems if you use more than 1. I use Eset Smart Security Suite its the best on the market fir detecting new threats. 100% recommended

January 14, 2008 4:37 PM

avg not very got--mcafee only ok ish if it was free--norton stay away,make pc to slow and so many exploits to disable protection--kaspersky best on the market at moment--nod 32,very good-- this is just my opinion.and yes i have used them all quite regular.

bad robot
February 22, 2008 10:59 PM

Pretty much depends on your system, personally I stay away from all things bloatware, like symantec products but nowdays most things are pretty bloaty. Things that work for me are Mozilla ( I find it a lot more stable than ie, esp ie7), ccleaner, spybot, adaware, hijack this and avg, although with avg you have to disable the auto scheduler, other than that, they get the job done but it depends on your system, some apps conflict with others and different OS, this works for me but it might not for you, hope this helps @least 1 person out there.
P.S (If you visit pron sites and warez etc you are gonna get a lot of nasties, so you need a lot of these apps!)

Shirley Arsenault
June 3, 2008 12:36 PM

i have tried Norton McAfee and free AVG. and finally installed CA Internet Security Plus and now i'm happy.

lee johnson
June 4, 2008 3:15 PM

thanks many times over. i say ask this guy/com, they know they stuff. thanks for great pointer's that i can understand for a 2 tic's of your time. leeds u.k [complete first timer,only had comp. 2/3 mths and self taught. it's hard going but i'll get there ...scream..] thanks again.

June 29, 2008 6:50 PM

Is it ok to have Norton 360 and XofspySE at the same time or is that not the greatest idea??

July 8, 2008 9:04 AM

It may be hard to rank anti-virus (etc) ware but how about when it is freeware. I have been very happy with but there must be others - can they be ranked?

J. Y.
September 14, 2008 8:34 AM

I use Avast! antivirus and have just purchased Uniblue Spyeraser. Avast! has an antispyware provider as well but when I ran Spyeraser it did find some adware as well as a couple of Trojans. Can I leave both programs running at the same time or should I disable the Avast! antispyware provider and let Spyeraser do that job?

January 13, 2009 3:18 AM

I too use Avast Anti-Virus and am pretty happy with it - after all, it's FREE. In addition I use Comodo BoClean, Malwarebytes Free, a2Free, and finally Doctor Spyware Free. All of these are free utilities and have kept my computer free from cyber nasties. As for a firewall I use the in-built XP firewall as all other firewalls that I've tried cause havoc with Microsoft Updates and connection to the internet. Ashampoo free was the only firewall not to mess up with my computer, but, too often it would simply breakdown - its hide feature would invariably return errors in the events viewer.

March 2, 2009 1:30 PM

Most of these popup blockers can disrupt the web programs you run and the latest version of popup is java script which they dont work against. Try this one i found here its seems to work and not slow everything down

March 21, 2009 10:25 PM

Antispyware that works very well
Super Antispyware catches the stuff others can't and it's free.
Anti-virus, I swear by AVG free and it is also free

April 12, 2009 7:10 AM

i'm currently using spyzooka antispyware software and it's been working very fine ever since i bought mine.

May 7, 2009 10:48 AM

With my exp....I came to conclusion there is not antivirus or product till now which can save you 100%....Only one best solution is to avoid going to sites which are harmful to you....But we are human we still will going to sites which creates these issue and we all knows that...

At last do a regular virus scanning...backup your data...and format your machine time to time...

July 1, 2009 12:42 PM

As for me,I now use Spyware Doctor Antispyware Software. It is undoubtedly the best antispyware software that I've came accross.

July 9, 2009 11:13 PM

I also use spyware doctor antispyware software and I will agree with you that it is the best antispyware software

john n
July 17, 2009 2:42 AM

My security setup keeps me safe, Note: I do not use similar tools in succesion unless a problem persists. Most used get a "*".

*Comodo Firewall
Comodo System Cleaner (one a week)
*Avast! Anti-Virus
*Spyware Blaster
Ad-Aware SE Personal (free) -will die soon
*Free Super Anti-Spyware
Spybot S+D
That's just security / cleanup. I have alot more lol!


September 1, 2009 11:18 AM

Another level of protection is WOT (Web of Trust) a plug in for Firefox which is gives you a user rating of web sites by putting a rating icon on every link and warns you of dangerous and untrustworthy sites if you try to access a suspicious site. Unfortunately I've come across a few false positives especially due to targeting of certain religious and political web sites. Since it is user rated, sites can be given a bad rating if enough people who disagree with the views get together and target that site. So if I get a warning about a political or religious site I usually ignore it.

November 25, 2009 5:08 AM

Hi all! Since my last appraisal of free anti-virus and free anti-spyware programs (Ziggy, January 13, 2009)I'm still enjoying the benefits of Avast Free and Malwarebytes. Got rid of a few of the others - bit of an over-kill! I now use AVG Free Link Scanner, which has prevented access to a couple of unsavoury sites. I've found the forementioned programs more than capable, but best of all they still remain free. As for a fire-wall, I'm sticking to XP as others still have a tendency to stuff up my computer. Might go back to Ashampoo Free Firewall - at least it stops outgoing calls unlike XP Firewall.

Philip Humes
January 12, 2010 9:57 AM

I know some of you think that Norton products are bloatware, but that is what I use. I am the most comfortable with Norton Internet Security. I keep up on the updates and I have no problems with my machines (all three of them) with nasties. I have been using Norton for 20 years or so.

February 24, 2010 10:03 AM

I used Norton 360 and got numerous viruses but i've never got a virus with this FREE combination of software that i use.

#Zone Alarm Firewall
#Avast Anti-virus
#Spybot Search & Destroy
#Spyware Blaster
#Windows Defender
#Super Anti Spyware (only for scanning purposes)
#A-Squared (again only for Scanning purposes)
#Firefox Browser

Brian D
May 26, 2010 10:22 PM

Best popup ad blocker is Admuncher not elese even clomes close it blocks about 98% of popups ads most other popup blockers only block 15% to 20%

June 6, 2010 1:50 PM

Ok so their is no 100% security in these programs. So i suggest that you do what I have done. I have joined Bleeping Computer .com forums.

To be prepared I have Familiarized myself with navigating and setting up my profile going over their tutorials ect., so that in case an infection does get through I won't be in a panic because the nice people who are volunteers at bleeping computer will be glad to help me in assisting me with the finding and removing of the problem.
The forum also helps you deal with which start up programs and processes are wasting your ram.
It does take a little bit of study time and you will only get out of it what time your willing to give it. Don't wait until you have a problem because it does take some time to familiarize yourself to be able to get the most out of this website.

I am not affiliated with them I am a newbie 5 months experience. Bleeping gives me a piece of mind plus I hate unneccessay running start ups and processes and they have tought me how to know what is and what isn't important.

Michael Patras
June 13, 2010 5:30 PM

i use a company called invisus for my security
they use vipre for spyware and viruses and comodo for the firewall. plus malware bytes for a backup.
their customer service is the best i have dealt with.
I never had a virus make it thru to my computer yet.
If i do, i just make a call and they dig it out and repair what ever it damaged.
the price is around 100 a yr, my motto is you get what you pay for.
one more note i do like the freeware programs as well but for a backup they dont have the resources or time to take calls and spend hours linking up with your computer to test and fix any problems you have with software or bugs etc..

final note i must thank hank and alfred from the pcradioshow for telling me about this site.

June 29, 2011 11:22 AM

Could someone tell me about the free Microsoft Security Essentials? I have it, and when it scans, qiuck or full, I never get any responce, or see any results. I have Windows 7, (required for free scan). How do You turn off MSE, to run a spyware scan? Or do I have to uninstall it?

MSE is one of my recommendations here: What Security Software do you recommend? as long as it completes its scan if it reports nothing there is nothing to report. That's a good thing. You don't need to turn it off to run a spyware scan because *it* runs both spyware and virus scans.

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