Many of these programs can be downloaded and installed for free at Download.com.
- 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.
- 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).
- CCleaner - some say this is the safest registry cleaner.
- Glary Utilities - this seems to clean things a bit more than CCleaner
updated October 2011