Good software is good. Free software is great. But these, THESE are the coolest free things that a geek homeboy can lock onto, ever, in my humble opinion (at least until somebody does it better, which I’m not holding my breath for).
AVG Free Edition – This free virus protection software from Grisoft is the bomb. It scans email attachments, is customizable, and absolutely does the job, I think, as well as any virus protection out there. A while back, I was on a home network with three other users. Bam! Virus smackdown. AVG stopped it cold.
Zone Alarm Free Download – This software firewall is rock solid. Getting Zone Alarm was the smartest thing that I ever did for keeping the riff raff off my personal data stash.
Spybot Search and Destroy – This spyware, malware, and adware killer is truly awesome. Seriously, you’ll be impressed. Even more impressive is that this seems to have created and continually updated by ONE guy. At least, it was for a LONG time. One man, one mission – to clean your computer. If you download this, show him a little love and donate.
Ad-Aware SE – Let me put it this way. If you get both this and Spybot, you’ve got the best 1-2 spyware and malware punch that’s free for the taking. What Spybot misses, this one will sniff out. Use it and make your computer happy.
Firefox Web Browser – Web browsing using Firefox is, well, very cool. Blocks popups, tabbed browsing, and blocks a HELL of a lot of the stuff that you pick up using IE. You almost don’t even NEED a malware sniffer if you’re using Firefox. At home, I don’t use anything else. Try. You’ll like.
Trust me on these. But if you don’t, look ’em up on Google or read up on Download.com. You won’t be sorry.