What security software should I use?

I’m often asked what security software to use. I normally have a stock answer of a free software title such as Microsoft Security Essentials. Some time ago I bookmarked a site which had a review of security software. I looked at it today when I was cleaning out my bookmarks.

Matousec.com performs regular testing of security software to determine how well it defends against malware. It’s testing firewall effectiveness and behavior analysis of the security software. I found the results to be very interesting. In particular, most of the common commercial titles (McAfee, Norton, Panda, etc.) get very poor ratings. Unfortunately, Security Essentials is not listed. I assume this is because it uses the built-in Windows firewall and does not appear to have any behavior sensing abilities.

Normally, I don’t recommend using a software firewall. It’s not because I don’t believe they do any good. It’s because they talk too much (the built-in Windows firewall talks to you rarely). A good firewall is going to ask you if a program is okay to access the internet (for the most part). Unfortunately, most of them do a very poor job of explaining to an expert such as myself what is being blocked so that I can make a decision on whether to continue blocking the program. If it’s hard for me, imagine a less adept user?

I was pleased to see that a free solution was number one on the list.  I’ll be giving the Comodo Internet Security a test drive really soon so I can see for myself how well it works.

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