When it comes to computer security, is freeware good enough?

I’ve seen it debated that some claim freeware to be sub par from programs you buy. And some claim freeware to be adequate to normal threats of the internet.

My opinion is that freeware is generally good enough if you already practice safe internet surfing and know things about internet security.

Some of the stuff you buy may or may not be better than freeware (just depends which you buy). If you want complete insurance that your computer is safe, some people claim certain programs are a must.

what’s your opinion?

12 replies
  1. aaandh says:

    I have used AVG freeware for a few years now. I have had a couple of viris’s get through. AVG picked them up before Norton did. So i think freeware is a great tool. AVG has its freeware version…and in my opinion if their freeware was not as good as their “for purchase” products no one would ever buy them.

  2. TheHumbleOne says:

    Nothing – not the best security program in the world is enough for a careless user.

    I have a freebie on my old Pentium III with Win98. So far, so good, however, I do not open e-mail from anyone I don’t know, do not click on unsolicited links, and do not go to questionable websites. On my newer Pentium IV I use Norton 2007. If you watch the Sunday ads, sooner or later you can find a deal. I picked up a 3-license Norton 2007 for $9.99 (after rebates). Can’t beat that – and yes, I did get my rebate. In fact, I had a check from Symantec in two weeks.

    Just bear in mind that when you are online, you are open to the world and a lot of malcontents and malicious individuals who don’t have a life and are searching to make life miserable for those of us who do.

  3. Drew U says:

    As you’ve said, the BEST security is practicing safe internet usage and know what is safe and what is not. Personally, I use firefox. It is free. I have used AVG in the past, and it is great for a free anti-virus. There are other alternatives, but I have not used them. Right now, I don’t use a firewall or antivirus. I have never had a virus, I have never been hacked and have never been a victim of identity theft. I just don’t go around installing programs that are shady, or go to websites that are obvious scams.

  4. P-unit says:

    you should probably also download “spybot search and destroy” its awsome for spyware and adware.

  5. DJ_Jeremy says:

    ok..If you were to use freewares,some of them were tied up with spyware,for example: WhenU’s Weathercast @ http://www.getweathercast.com .. It is free,but it contains spyware.. Some free software is also a Adware,which pop-up advertisements on your computer..And some freeware is very slow to update,like some software for Windows Vista.

    DJ Jeremy

    *According to F-Secure,Weathercast is a spyware
    ( http://www.f-secure.com/sw-desc/whenu_weathercast.shtml )

  6. Ron M says:

    I have use free security software for quite a few years and have had no virus or spyware problems.

    So yes, I agree.

  7. MLM says:

    Freeware is good but as stated above, no security product is foolproof if the user doesn’t exercise caution. A layered defense is the best (firewall, antivirus, antispyware and pop-up blocker). Here are some free products that you can look into.

    ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
    Kerio Free Firewall
    (Note: Use only one firewall)

    Spyware Blocker

    This is free and requires you to check for and enable updates manually once a week or so. It uses no system resources. It blocks spyware before it installs.
    SpywareBlaster (inoculates, not a spyware removal tool)

    AntiSpyware Applications

    Spybot S&D (free version requires manual updating)
    AVG AntiSpyware
    Adaware from Lavasoft (free version requires automatic updating)
    (These programs can be run in Safe Mode after installation and updating)

    Note: Adaware2007 for Vista is not due to be released until August 2007)

    Cache Cleaning Tool

    ATF Cleaner (An easy program to use to clear all old history, cookies, Java cache, etc.)

    Antivirus Solutions

    AVG 7.5 AntiVirus (Vista Compatible)
    Avast Home Antivirus (Vista Compatible)
    AntiVir PE (Vista Compatible)

    ( Note: Only use one anti-virus product. Running more than one can cause conflicts thus rendering each ineffective.
    http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nav.nsf/docid/2000031316555206 )

  8. spodviznitsa says:

    Well, when it comes to computer security, i believe it’s better to stay away from anything that’s free. One of the reasons i think so is that the paid software usually have on-line support, so it can help to solve almost any problem you have. As far as security is concerned, you should have the best software.
    I choose True Sword, this software is too good and gets better everyday. And i also use Kaspersky to protect my pc.
    So, i think you can use freeware, but just if you’re a professional programmer os kind of that, because you’ll need to solve some malicious problems by yourself.

  9. Owlwings says:

    I have used freeware for many years and have found it perfectly adequate. Look closely at the people who recommend buying software. Do they have a vested interest? Do they give good reasons or are they simply afraid that NOTHING good can come of anything free?

    I use (and recommend) AVGFree, Zonealarm Free (though I will admit that there are some features in the Pro version which might be worth having), Adaware, Spybot, Windows Defender and Spambayes for Outlook. A good dose of common sense and awareness of what is involved helps too … for example, never double-click/open an email attachment without asking yourself why and who it is from. You can always save it to a folder and virus check it before opening it. Also, avoid going to sites which are very liable to try to send you unwanted stuff … porn sites, warez sites and so on … and be extremely careful about anything you may download from a peer-to-peer site! It’s really the same philosophy as you use in real life … would you eat something you found in the street? If you don’t know (or are not sure) where it’s been, don’t put it in your mouth!

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