***To-do list: independent reviews of cited programs to save you the research part of things; listings of Firefox and Thunderbird extensions that may be particularly useful(?)
This is to serve as a running list of several options for various concerns in computer security; hopefully, you'll find what you need here. You may actually discover a new program you like, as well, or decide to try something new from it.
This is by NO means a complete listing. However, it should be a good starting point for you, and I would think that you'll find at least a few things you might like. Feel free to point out any other things you feel should be added to the list - this post will be updated (with credit given) as necessary.
Note: Major companies with multiple entries in more than one category (read: Symantec and McAfee) have been excluded from this list, save for McAfee's online scanner.
Online Scanners (Internet Explorer Required)
Microsoft Protection Scan
(beta; also attempts to detect net connection vulnerabilities)
Freeware (or has a free version)
Avast! Home Edition
AntiVir Personal Edition
Trial or Commercial Programs
- I use this and personally like it.
- Thanks to CAL-cs|Denis for the suggestion!
HandyBits Scan Integrator
- detects and uses multiple AV engines (sounds like a neat idea in the event you're a multiple AV user, but I have not tried this.)
Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition 1.06
Spybot Search & Destroy
- Scroll down the program list to download (you may find other things here of interest). Be extremely careful with this program.
- Thanks to CAL-cs|Denis for the link - Be extremely careful with this program.
- Use to remove CoolWebSearch, which is infamously stubborn.
Trial or Commercial Programs
- I've had a decent experience with this one. It uses Giant just like MSAS does.
PC Tools - Spyware Doctor
(Yes, routers are good to have, too.)
(full-featured for 30 days; continues to function after expiration). Kerio will be halting development on this product at the end of this year.
(because of its lack of updates, some consider this one questionable. Their commercial version is highly rated, though.)
(Sygate was recently taken over by Symantec, in case you wanted to know.)
WindowsXP SP2 built-in
- Well, hey, it IS there, you know.
(direct download link)
(email address required - just follow through to download.)
Trial or Commercal Programs
(usually comes highly rated)
Look 'n' Stop
- Thanks to badomen for suggesting this!
(Formerly "Deer Park") - Still a beta as of present.
(Possibly based on IE?)
(Formerly MyIE2 - Pretty sure this one was based on IE anyway, correct me if I'm wrong...)
- Thanks to L`astronaut for the heads-up on Opera dropping ad support and licensing fees!
(beta; searches for temp files and such to do exactly what its name suggests. ActiveX, and therefore Internet Explorer, is required.)
(beta; checks for need to defragment and other general "housekeeping" tasks. ActiveX / IE required.) - Thanks to DMiller for these two!
Desktop Customization / Skinning
- Excellent source of wallpapers and various other materials. Please, if you use something posted there, give credit to them in the future.
- Utility used to apply themes in much the same way WindowBlinds (see below) applies themes, albeit in a different way as far as the OS is concerned. Trial version available.
- Large website that provides everything from boot screens to wallpaper to themes to be used with Style XP, above. Much of this site's content is wrapped in various things - toolbars and such - that you may not / probably do not want on your computer. I cannot speak for ease of removal of such unwanted "riders" on your downloads from here, since I did not try it.
- Commonly-used program to apply OS themes. (For other customization programs (cursors, icons, visual effects, bootskins, and so forth), please see the lengthy program listing on the left side of this page.) You can find a listing of over 3,600 WindowBlinds themes here.
- A sister site of the one mentioned above, this is a fairly large source of wallpapers on everything from landscapes to cars.
Pc Tune Up's
>>>UPDATED AS OF 5/24/06<<<