You don’t need commercial antivirus, but beware…



Having spent a fair amount of time in the IT Security Industry, one of the questions that I get asked quite often is :-

Do I need Anti-Virus and how much is it going to cost me ...

Usually I answer “You get what you pay for ...” However the tide is turning around for the home user…

Today there are a fair amount of “cost-effective” or free Solutions that you can use. I personally have used a few different Anti-Virus Vendors over the years and do not really prefer one over the other. You only really see them when there is a problem

That said, looking around for alternatives could end up being a problem as there are so many fake Anti-Virus Programs out there, that by installing the program, you are effectively infecting your computer (Basically doing the very thing that you are paying the Anti-Virus Program to stop).

So the question arises as to where to go and what to do, and is this enough protection?

This is fairly simple to answer, it will never be enough, but it is a good start. Over the next few articles I will be chatting around other great (and free) Security Tools that you can use to protect yourself and your computer.

While I have used many different Programs over the years, here are a couple of the ones that I have used that provide good solid free Anti-Virus Solutions.

Microsoft Security Essentials:

Avast! Free Anti-Virus:

AVG Free:

Panda Cloud Security:

Martin Walshaw is an IT security consultant and has worked for big corporate clients such as Cisco. He is your everyday techie, out to confuse the world ...


  1. Great article. Thanks. It's always comforting to hear about..errrm....'protection' from a pro!

  2. Security or no security that is the question?

    Most business users (i speak from a European perpective) have some form of security system as anti-virus will stop the loss of all you treasured data. Anti-virus software is should be seen as not just protecting your machine from the odd bug, but part of a software security measure. Most small business user here are using external hard-drives to store data periodically, even a 10G USB key will do the job is your data is stored properly (essential data stored in a number of folders).

    But back to your article not everyone is using Windows and essentially as microsoft is now issuing it's own anti-virus software, inevitability an increase in updates and the loss of hard disk space in the long term. However would stick with the Microsoft anti-virus as they have the resources, the global warning system to inform them of new threats to their systems.

    As for other systems Linux, Ubuntu, Kubuntu ( etc and Apple MAC O/S systems ( users feed up with system crashes and the like.

    John St Marthe Teacher of ICT (home user of Ubuntu 8.10/Window XP/ in the near future a Mac User)


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