Here is a list of four free Internet Security programs I recommend for those who are on a budget. Keep in mind that free software often comes with limitations, but are fully functional. Some of them require manual updating, but that is a small price to pay for great software that is free. Let us start with an Anti-Virus program:
(***Disclaimer: Never install and/or run two anti-virus programs on the same system.***)
AVG Free Click here for latest version
Upside: Here is a fully functional Anti-Virus program that has Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, E-mail and link scanners. The program is fully automatic in updating itself. It can be updated from a file too (USB drive), when you have to quarantine a system by disconnecting it from the internet/intranet.
Downside: There is no free technical support. Support for this product is sold at blocks of 15 minutes.
Next is a Firewall program:
(***Disclaimer: Before installing a firewall in Windows XP / Vista, disable the Windows Firewall in the Control Panel first. Moreover, never install and/or run two software firewalls on the same system.***)
Upside: The program is fully automatic in updating itself.
Downside: It only provides inbound and outbound protection, but does it in full stealth mode. It also requires internet access to install.
Let us now look at two free spyware / malware programs. My first choice is Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Note: I ranked Malwarebytes first only because it can be installed and run without the need for internet access (I use USB drives for installing software on quarantined systems).
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware http://www.malwarebytes.org/
Upside: It is a great malware program. It can be installed and run without the need for internet access (always download the latest version first).
Downside: You have to open the program and manually update it.
Upside: It is a great spyware scanner with a ton of features including an ‘Immunization’ feature for your internet browser. Also has ability to update itself when the program is started.
Downside: It requires internet access to install. Not a good thing if you have to quarantine a system by disconnecting it from the internet/intranet.