PC security is essential to everybody, and that is why prices for antivirus and firewall software tend to go high. But while enterprises have no other choice but to pay for data protection, regular home users can save off quite some money going with free PC security software.
Yes, preventing intrusions from the web, keeping files safe and ensuring the secure transactions of online banking can be done using free applications. And I mean not demo versions of software, not trial editions, but fully functional tools that many PC users either have never heard about or just don’t trust anything that goes with a 4-letter word.
Omitting the technical details, each desktop computer nowadays should be protected by 3 crucial components making the core of integrated threat prevention. These components are: antivirus, antispyware, and firewall.
Let’s see what each of the components is meant to do.
1.Antivirus application usually monitors the system memory (RAM) and controls operations with files (such as execution and opening). Whenever antivirus sees a behavioral pattern similar to virus activity, the software either stops the process, removes the threat, or informs the PC user of the detected virus infection. It is a common misconception that a good antivirus is enough for safe online browsing and networking. Antivirus is not enough. It doesn’t matter what antivirus you’re using and what brand name stands behind it. Do not be misled by marketing promises. There are no ‘best antivirus software’ simply because each PC and user’s activity is different.
2.Antispyware does even greater job by identifying a whole lot of potential threats and cleaning the infections. Whenever you’re online, antispyware is on alert, ready to fight the spying tools. Spyware, unlike virus, acts behind the scene, often without causing any suspicion on part of a PC user. This kind of malware usually collects private data, reports it to home server, and creates the profile of your browsing activities. If you ever see unexpected pop-ups on desktop (when no browser is launched) or suspicious Windows messages, rest assured your PC is heavily infected by spyware. Most probably right now, when you’re reading this, there’s some nasty file inside your Windows system doing its job.
3.Firewall is the sentinel and the guard. It controls the incoming and outgoing connection in network ports, and therefore it is a very powerful tool, vital for strong PC security. Since Windows XP, firewall is built into the system, but generally it is a good idea to opt for a third party solution.
So setting up PC security on a budget involves usage of free antispyware, antivirus and firewall. Among free antivirus solutions you can choose from AVG (by Czech software company), Avast, Bit Defender, and some others. In the field of free antispyware the choice is limited and there are antispyware tools which are actually bundled with commercial adware and spying modules. However, SpyBot Search & Destroy is known to be a reliable solution, recommended by advanced users.
If you are worried about keeping your data safe but don’t want spend too much money on commercial software, I suggest that you look at the option of setting PC security software which is free for personal, home use.