Home Computer Resources
Here are some sources for free or cheap software that you may find useful. We are providing this list in an effort to help you, and we make no guarantees and accept no liability for your use of the software listed on this page. At the time this was updated (2014) each of these products was either free or under $50.
Many of the security (spam, virus, pop-up ad, spyware, firewall) programs have some overlap in what they do, so you don’t have to get one of each.
See also Microsoft’s Online Safety site.
Even if you already have antivirus software installed on your computer, check to make sure that it is set up to download the latest virus definitions updates automatically. If you have a virus scanner like MacAfee or Norton, you’ll need to renew your subscription whenever it expires in order to get the latest updates. (New viruses are discovered all the time! If you’re not updating your virus definitions frequently, you’ll only be protected from the viruses that were known when you last updated.)
- Comodo Antivirus – free forever, real-time scanning, daily automatic updates.
- Trend Micro HouseCall – free online PC scanner, scans your computer for viruses – this doesn’t continually scan new files like typical AntiVirus software does.
- Avast – Free
- AVG Anti-Virus – Free and Pro (still cheap) versions.
Popup Blocker Software
Many of the firewall programs listed below also block popup ads. In addition, most web browsers will also block popups.
SpyWare Removal Software
Removes SpyWare from your computer. SpyWare programs are typically piggybacked on software that you download, such as screensavers, music sharing programs, etc, or they can also come through email. They monitor your internet activity and send that data to someone else, generally to use in marketing.
- AdAware – Free, or Pro and Plus versions available cheap
Stops hackers from getting into your computer. This software is HIGHLY recommended if you have a constant connection to the internet, like a cable or DSL modem. Some firewalls also include virus and spam blockers. Here are a few choices:
- Comodo Free Firewall – free
- If you have Road Runner, you can download free security software at http://www.twcc.com/security. Charter Internet also has the free Charter Security Suite available.
- ZoneAlarm – available as a free download or a Pro version. The Pro version is still pretty cheap and includes popup ad blocking and email virus filtering, among other goodies.
- Outpost Firewall PRO – free 30-day trial, cheap to buy. Includes anti-spyware, and blocks pop-up and banner ads.
- UnPlug n’Pray – Disable Windows Universal Plug and Play network support.
- DCOMbobulator – check and disable Windows DCOM.
- Shoot the Messenger – disable Windows Messenger service.
- Windows Update – Free, get updates and patches from Microsoft.
- Adobe Reader – Free software for viewing and printing PDF documents.
- Microsoft Office Software Viewers – free viewers for PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and more. You don’t have to own the software in order to view the documents!
- Quicktime player – Free, plays video clips in Quicktime format.
- Google Apps – Our students all have accounts in Google Apps, which provides email (including spam and virus filtering), calendars, document storage, and document authoring (alternative to MS Office).
- OpenOffice – a free alternative to Microsoft Office.
- Chrome – a free web browser alternative to Internet Explorer
- Firefox – a free web browser alternative to Internet Explorer
- Thunderbird – a free email program
- Comodo BackUp – free backup software – protect your data with regular backups!
- Comodo Free Products – A list of all free utility software provided by Comodo.