Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Antivirus Options for Home Office

There are several free version of antivirus software available for download. They are free because they are stripped-down versions of full featured products. Companies offer the free version to get you in the door so you will order an upgrade to the paid version. It allows for the most basics systems to be protected from the thugs that attack systems all over the world.

Some good free ones are offered by AVG, avasti and Avira.  You can do a web search for the name and free to get the links directly to them.

Remember, these are stripped down versions of a full featured security application.  Most will protect you from viruses and a good bit of spyware but they will not protect you from every threat you could run into on the Interwebs.  There are other things out there like phishing sites, rootkits, etc that will not be completely blocked.  You can read the differences between the free version and the paid version on the vendor website to see what is not included.  (There should be an easy to find comparison chart on the site or you probably shouldn't use the software.)  

Also, remember to always check the status of your antivirus software on a regular basis.  You should periodically confirm that scans are running without having to kill a lot of things every time.  Plus, make sure all it’s databases and software are up to date.  You should be able to set all of that to happen automatically.  But, just like everything else in the world, you have to check on it now and then to be sure it is doing ok.

That being said, there is no reason you can’t use one of these and save the money.  At least you are protected from the most dangerous stuff. Free protection that is up-to-date and verified to be scanning is the minimum configuration that should be allowed on any network, even a network with only one computer connected to the Internet. That is still a network.

If you are using your computer to run a small business, it is always better to use a full featured [paid for] security software application to protect your data and system integrity. If you can't afford the paid versions, don't run your system without the free version, at a minimum.