With viruses, trojans, malwares, spywares… abound and hackers on the prowl, the internet is not a safe place. I use the following softwares to fortify my rig.
Avast Home 4.6 (Freeware)
This lightweight yet very effective antivirus — free for home users — is serving me for about a year and I am impressed. It does not hog a lot of system resource, unlike Norton Antivirus the 2006 version of which requires at least 256 MB of RAM. What I like most is its update mechanism. Updates are very frequent and the update files are very small in size… just connect to the net and the update is just a matter of seconds. Ever since I started using Avast I have never had any virus-problem — it simply rocks! Avast also blocks trojans trying to intrude into my system. I am considering to buy the professional version of Avast which has extra features like script blocker, command line scanner etc.
Zone Alarm Pro (Shareware, US$ 49.95)
Since I remain hooked to the net for a greater part of the day, a firewall is a must. Apart from keeping hackers at bay, Zone Alarm also monitors which programs are accessing the net. Using this for more than 3 years and I am all praise about it. Zone Labs ZoneAlarm Antivirus (a combo pack of including Zone Alarm firewall and Zone Alarm antivirus) has bagged the 11th rank in the PCWorld The 100 Best Products of 2005.
Both of them feature among the top 10 most popular downloads at Download.com. According to Digit, India’s premier technology magazine, these two programs complement each other very well, that is to say, if Ad-Aware fails to detect a particularly spyware, Spybot catches it and vice versa. Apart from these two, I also use the anti-spyware included in Zone Alarm Pro.