1. Mozilla Firefox.
Internet Explorer is the default web browser installed on every Windows machine. I hate it. I don’t use it at all because it has so many security issues and it’s slow. Instead, Mozilla Firefox 3 is a great free alternative to IE. It has security issues too, but far less than IE. It’s also faster when surfing the web.
2. Comodo Firewall
Firewalls are another essential security software you must have. It acts like a bouncer between your computer and everyone else on the internet. Infected machines often have viruses or worms that need to go online. A firewall can prevent them from dialing their mother ship as well as stop the mother ship from dialing in. Comodo is a great free firewall that is relative small and light compared to Zone Alarm. Sure, Windows has a “built-in” firewall, but again, I don’t like it.
3. AVG – Anti Virus
Continuing the security theme, you will also need some sort of anti-virus program scanning and looking out for your computer. There’s always Norton, but that’s so old and bulky. It completely takes over your system. If you have installed it, try uninstalling it. You’ll have a difficult time removing it completely. Instead, try the free Anti-virus program from AVG. You get basic virus protection as well as email scan, link scan and other useful features for, that’s right, free.
4. CD Burner XP
Does your new PC come with one of those fancy shmancy DVD burners? It should. It’s standard and if you didn’t get one, go back and demand it. Well, for those that have them, what program do you use to create your CD/DVDs? Well CD Burner XP is a nice lightweight program that can tackle disc creation like those other programs you have to purchase.
5. Spyware Blaster
Now that you have all that security software and Firefox configured the way you like it, you might want to check out Spyware Blaster. Basically it prevents spyware from installing on your machine from a malcious website you might have visited. Of course, there are many options available to you when you’re talking about spyware. Other than Spyware Blaster, you might want to look into Lavasoft Adaware (Download.com Link) and Spybot Search and Destroy. Of course, these 3 options are free.
More Free Software later.