Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The World's Best Computer Security Software

The best suites currently offer superb all-in-one protection

Welcome traveler to our continuing hubs on the online security threats to your PC. In our past hubs we discussed everything you need to know about threats like spam, computer viruses, spyware and online social networks where predators spend their time hunting for children pretending to be older who they can take advantage of. Today's hub will discuss the best computer security software currently available to consumers and the differences between the best programs on the market today. We hope you find what you're looking for, happy hubbing!

If computer manufacturers have their way the days of stand-alone programs designed to protect your computing-friend from the myriad of online threats existing today will be a thing of ancient history. The increase in tools to isolate spam, detect and eliminate computer viruses, and all online threats are being designed into operating systems, e-mail programs, and most major applications today.

Today's security software programs are being sold more and more as security suites which package together programs designed to fight malware - viruses, spyware, spam - that have traditionally been sold a` la carte. The suites marketed today have also been designed with extra features like phishing detection, child filers and parental controls, and file-backup utilities to protect valuable data on your drive.

The newest class of auxiliary security protection for your computer are browser toolbars you download, most times free of charge, that check sites in an online comparison against a database of known threats and then flag any that have caused trouble in the past.

Before we get down to the meat and potatoes of this hub, there are a few key findings from our investigations and what they could mean for you and your computer we would like to discuss. Firstly, of the security suites we reviewed, the first four protect against spyware, spam and viruses as efficiently as the best stand-alone program available. And though all cost a minimum of $50 to take to the computer with you, and $35 a year for renewal fees, using one of these first four suites is usually easier and less expensive than amassing an array of similarly successful stand-alone programs.

Secondly, suites bundle in some extra capabilities you don't get by buying a` la carte product like the ability to block your kids access to certain Web sites with a filter. In addition, the more expensive suites generally add features to manage file backup and many Windows maintenance functions.

We feel stand-alone security software programs are still worth taking a look at, indeed if a computer lacks the 1GB memory we suggest to run a suite without slowing down your PC too much, they are our choice over a suite. There are even decent stand-alone programs available free of charge online, check the sidebar "No need to pay for computer safeguards" near the end of the hub.

Operating systems don't as yet provide the same level of protection provided by suites and stand-alone programs against all threats, though the spam filter designed into Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2003 and later versions will perform very well.

Well here we go out picks for the best software security suites available on the market.

* 1. Trend micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2007 This suite excelled in most categories; antivirus, antispyware, antispam and completeness of coverage and even with its $50 annual fee offers reasonably inexpensive all-around coverage for as many as three computers. The few extra features it lacks, which include an ad/pop-up blocker, file backup for your data, and Windows cleanup utilities, can certainly be obtained from other software included with your operating system and browser. Price $50.
* 2. Check Point ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 7.0 Check Point's antispyware and antivirus elements didn't score quite as well as Trend Micro's, but its antispam protection is just as good as Trend Micro's. With an annual fee of $35, an included ad/pop-up blocker, unlike Trend Micro's suite, Check Point's suite is first rate. It does lack the Wi-Fi monitor and antiphishing capability that Trend Micro includes, but like Trend Micro it can be used on as many as three computers. Price $50.
* 3. McAfee Total Protection 2007 Provides high performance and the best over-all package of capabilities, including a file backup utility and integrated security solution, although for a noticeable amount of shekels. This total package includes ad/pop-up blocker not included with Trend Micro, and the Wi-Fi monitor not included with the first two products on this list. This program does allow it to be used to protect more then one computer, but McAfee charges $10 extra per year to service each computer beyond one. Price $80.

•4. McAfee Internet Security Suite 2007 Includes high performance and the second best over-all package of features, including file backup utility and integrated security solution as its bigger brother (McAfee Total Protection 2007), and at $10 less than bigger brother. We feel this package is the better buy than its bigger brother, unless you think you need a Wi-Fi monitor, a necessary thing if you think your neighbours are hacking into your network, we guess. McAfee also charges an extra $10 per year for every computer above one you would like them to provide security for with this suite as well. Price $70.

If you don't see the suite you normally use on your PC, check out the list below, these are the other suites available that deserve an honourable mention on our list.

Microsoft Live OneCare

BitDefender Internet Security 10

F-Secure Internet Security 2007

Symantec Norton 360

Symantec Norton Internet Security 2007

No need to pay for computer safeguards

The best free security software available online doesn't perform as good as the best for-pay programs, which currently offer the best wall of protection against any or all online threats.

These no-cost programs are worth looking at as auxiliary protection, or even as your main protection providing you practice all the safe computing tips in the hub "If online security is an issue for you than the following suggestions will certainly help" and completely implement the security tools designed into your operating system, that is. A few points to mention though, compared with for-pay software with a single interface, you'll need to manipulate an assortment of programs to be effective and eventually this freeware could inevitably become be charged for.

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