PC Care

Many of these programs can be downloaded and installed for free at Download.com.  

Anti-Virus - these are currently our favorite free antivirus programs:
  • Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) - with version 2, Microsoft has made MSE2 the leader in free antivirus programs.  We still like Avast as well, and we are testing both programs.
  • Avast - a very good anti-virus program; we particularly like the boot scan, which has caught programs that load 
  • AVG comes in at third-place but is still a good antivirus program.

Anti-Malware (cleans spyware, adware & tracking cookies from your pc)
  • Malwarebytes - still one of the best, without removing cookies.
  • SuperAntiSpyware - our favorite cleaner, although it is over-exuberant cleaning cookies.  You may elect to allow known "good" cookies to remain on your system. 
  • SpyBot Search & Destroy - a good malware cleaner as well.
  • WinPatrol - a good program to prevent unwanted programs from jumping into your start-up programs, etc.

General Maintenance
  • DeFrag hard drive periodically.  A program like Advanced System Care will do this for you.  
    • Solid State Drives (SSDs) do not need Defrag-ing (and in fact, will wear them out faster).   

Registry Cleaners
  • CCleaner - some say this is the safest registry cleaner.
  • Glary Utilities - this seems to clean things a bit more than CCleaner

updated October 2011