Best Free Security Applications – The Hot Naked Truth!

imageWithout a doubt, the most popular question that comes my way, in one form or another is – which antivirus application(s) would you recommend?

This question is asked so often; I think it’s probably a good idea to answer it in a post every six months, or so.

My response:

Let me answer this by telling you what I run on my principal home machine. But, before I do, let’s talk a bit about Host Intrusion Prevention Systems (HIPS) since, as you’ll see, more and more security applications are including HIPS – or a combination of HIPS, and behavior based blocking components.

There’s not much point in reinventing the wheel, so I’ll go with this description of HIPS/behavior blocking, from About.com:

A host intrusion prevention system (HIPS) monitors each activity a program attempts and (depending on configuration) prompts the user for action or responds based on predefined criteria. Conversely, behavior blockers monitor and profile whole program behavior. When a collection of behaviors tips the scale, the behavior blocker will (depending on configuration) alert the user or take action against the entire program based on predefined criteria.

Though they sound similar, HIPS is application-level control (i.e. this program is allowed to do X but not Y), whereas behavior blocking is more cut and dry – the entire application is either good (allowed) or it is not. Fortunately, many of these types of products combine both.

Got that? Good.   Smile

Despite the fact that I’m provided with a free license for all the security applications I test, I have chosen to run with the following applications.

Microsoft Security Essentials (free) – an all-in-one antimalware application.

Immunet Protect – a free Cloud based companion antimalware application.

ThreatFire (free) – this application is built around a Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS), and behavior based blocking combination. I’m currently testing a new HIPS application – NoVirusThanks EXE Pro – and I’ve been more than impressed to see ThreatFire step in and prevent any system changes by NoVirusThanks – until I approve those changes.

WinPatrol (free) – another HIPS application with considerable additional functionality. WinPatrol is the elder statesman of this application class and, it just keeps on getting better. A must have application.

PC Tools Firewall Plus (free) – PC Tools Firewall Plus is advanced Firewall technology designed for typical users, not just experts.  The “plus” refers to a HIPS component. Generally, if the ThreatFire HIPS component is triggered on my machine, PC Tools Firewall Plus is triggered as well.

When the NoVirusThanks EXE Pro review is posted shortly, you’ll see screen capture evidence of this.

Zemana AntiLogger (paid) – In my view simply the best keylogger defense available.  AntiLogger includes a System Defense module that works similarly to HIPS – to protect the whole system.

As an illustration, the following screen capture shows the System Defense module blocked NoVirusThanks EXE Pro (the application I’m currently testing), until I gave permission.

image

Each of these applications has been reviewed (some several times), on my site. You can follow the links below to specific review articles.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Immunet Protect

ThreatFire

WinPatrol

PC Tools Firewall Plus

Zemana AntiLogger

Finally, additional Browser protection is a critical ingredient in overall system protection. I recommend that you read the following article here – Updated: An IT Professional’s Must Have Firefox and Chrome Add-ons.

Yes, the title of this article is more than a little off the wall. My blogging buddy TechPaul, made the point not too long ago, that manipulative key words like hot, naked, sex, boobs, nudity …….. well, you get the point – unfairly capture readers attention. I’m testing that theory.  Smile

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10 Comments

Filed under Anti-Keyloggers, Anti-Malware Tools, Cyber Crime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Firewalls, Free Security Programs, Freeware, HIPS, Malware Protection, Online Safety, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

10 responses to “Best Free Security Applications – The Hot Naked Truth!

  1. TRY

    Looking forward to your ‘NoVirusThanks EXE Pro’ review soon 🙂
    Other alternatives are BlueRidge Networks’ Appguard and Faronics’ Anti-Executable.
    Anti-executables are probably the answer to shortcomings and the less reliability of signature based AV’s, AM’s and AS’s,etc.

    Regards

    • Hi TRY,

      Should have the review on NoVirusThanks EXE Pro ready to post in a week or so. So far, I’m impressed.

      Thanks for the recommendations – I’ll check those.

      Best,

      Bill

  2. Georg Lechner

    Hi Bill,
    add
    http://disconnect.me/
    to the list for additional protection
    All the best

    Georg

  3. Jose

    Hi Bill.
    MSE: not the most effective but the most simple and no issues. My choice as well.
    ThreatFire: for a second layer application it provides an impressive performance; just hope Symantec doesn’t mess about.
    Immunet: can’t do no harm, can do good. Works along other solutions. Bit heavy on RAM but not on CPU. Worth the try.
    WinPatrol: a must have, period.
    PC Tools FW: hummm… well, it’s simple to use.
    Zemana: Sorry Bill, but I’ll take Spyshelter.

    Helpful article as always, thanks.
    Jose.

    P.S. I have a “gut feeling” about new apps; it tells me EXE Pro is a new kid on the block. If you prove me wrong I’ll disconnect from the Net and return to my huge collection of Tintin magazines.

    • Hi Jose,

      Thanks for commenting on the selection.

      EXE Pro is pretty interesting – I’m having a bit of fun with it, so far. I need to run some malware .exes through it – then we”ll see.

      Best,

      Bill

  4. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I’m a little confused, “not again!” I hear you cry. I had a look at disconnect.me, as recommended by Georg Lechner and discovered it is an anti-tracking extension. So far so good. However, listed in my Breadcrumbs Watchers Analytics Panel on that website is Duckduckgo. Breadcrumbs had no info on this, it is beta after all, so I Googled it. Turns out that Duckduckgo is a search engine that purports not to track your searches.

    I’m clearly missing something. If DDG does not track why does it watch? My general approach with Breadcrumbs is to block all watchers and to temporarily disable blocking if I need to view specific content.

    I realise this is slightly off-topic but would welcome your views. Am I getting too bogged down in watching/tracking prevention and is there a distinction between the two?

    DDG’s website is very interesting, you might want to take a look (seems similar to Scroogle).

    Duckduckgo

    Kind regards
    John