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Software / Resources
Adware, Spyware, & Security

We have not used or tested all of these products. Please use discretion when dealing with any of these companies. Note that some of these links jump to pages not readily accessible from the home page at the site.

Introduction 2. Software and Drivers
1. Adware, spyware, & security 3. Speed tests & system scans

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Please see our Advertising and Spyware pages for a discussion of firewalls, adware, and spyware.

Even if you are on a tight budget you should still have protection against malicious software. Fortunately, there is plenty of it available and for free. May we recommend the following the free packages listed below. Just make sure you update them frequently.

Zone Alarm Firewall - Protects against intrusions and malicious activity.
AVG Anti-virus - Finds and neutralalizes viruses, catches arriving viruses.
Spyware Blaster Background scanner - Helps foil "drive-by" software downloads.
AdAware On-demand scanner - Finds and cleans adware and spyware.
Spybot On-demand scanner - Finds and cleans adware and spyware.

Zone Labs

If you have a broadband Internet connection, a firewall is essential.

You must also protect yourself against viruses, adware, and spyware.

A firewall protects your computer from outside attacks. A good firewall also prevents malicious software running on your computer from accessing the Internet. Windows XP SP2 includes a firewall with basic inbound protection.

One of the most popular firewalls is Zone Alarm, from Zone Labs. Zone Alarm has received excellent reviews and it is popular with IT professionals. There are several versions of Zone Alarm, all of which excellent and well supported.

ZoneAlarm Security Suite $70 Firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-malware, instant message, and more. Our favorite.
ZoneAlarm Pro $40 Firewall only.
ZoneAlarm Pro $40 Firewall only, 30 day trial license.
Zone Alarm Free Free Look carefully on the comparison chart for the download link.

Would you allow a total stranger have full access to your computer? You may have already done so!

If you are running AdAware 5 or 6 you should update to the free version SE.

Did you downloaded some "free" software and then notice your PC is running a lot more slowly? Is Internet Explorer starting to crash a lot? Have you noticed a number of new icons in your system tray or new programs in your Start folder?

If so you may be running Spyware, which wires back to the mother ship with personal information you might prefer not to share. Ad Aware may be able to help. Spyware is included with many free downloads. It may also install itself when you are tricked into clicking on a graphic in a pop-up window.

AdAware and SpyBot are similar in function. One often finds something the other missed. Both offer free versions; the paid versions have more features.

SpyBot Search and Destroy

Rid your system of Trojans, spyware, scumware, and the like.

Spybot Search and Destroy helps eliminate spyware, adware, malware, scumware, and the like. This can help rid your system of such programs as Gator, Comet Cursor, BDE, Lop, and others that collection information from you.

Some of these programs can alter the advertising content on Web pages. Or they can create links on Web pages that direct viewers to commercial sites. Yes, your own Web page could be turned into an advertising machine for a competitor's product with some of these packages.

AdAware and SpyBot are similar in function. One often finds something the other missed. Both offer free versions; the paid versions have more features.

Spyware Blaster
Spyware Blaster

Resident anti-malware software

Spyware Blaster is a resident program that runs much like anti-virus software. It will protect you from picking up bad software. This is another effective tool for fighting malware.

Unlike Spybot and AdAware, Spyware Blaster lives in the background searching for malicious software that attempts to load itself.

  • Spyware Blaster is supported by donations.
  • Each time you run an update, be sure to activate all protection.
AVG, by Grisoft
AVG - Anti-Virus

AVG is an anti-virus program that is catching on. It works well, it is well supported, and the virus definitions are updated regularly. There are free and paid versions. Both are excellent. Support is better for the paid version.

If you are having problems with some commercial packages give AVG a look. We used the paid version AVG for years until Zone Alarm released their Suite.

  • If you have trouble finding the free version on the Grisoft site, try this link.

Win Patrol

Bill Pytlovany's Win Patrol monitors your system start-up processes. It provides a number of neat features to help prevent trouble before it starts. Free and paid versions are avaialble.

  • Decide what programs launch on start-up.
  • Monitor scheduled processes, active tasks and Windows services.
  • Ensure your file type associations and HOSTS file are not changed.
  • Monitor cookies.

Hijack This

If your system is infected with malware, Hijack This can help locate the processes and Registry keys that are causing the problem. This is a tool for the more knowledgable user so if you are the unfortunate victim of a malware attack, run Hijack This and give the log file to someone who knows how to read it.

Merijn Bellekom's Website features a number of other utilities and information as well. Note that his CW Shredder utility has been bought by Trend Micro. Merijn is a good guy so we included his animated graphic on our page.

Visit Richard's download page and find the logo at the left.
Or, click to Download a ZIP file directly.

Let's hear from one of the advertising companies:

Double Click

Visit DoubleClick's Website..
Read their Privacy Policies.
View their Privacy Choices.

Double Click serves up millions of ads per week. They track your surfing habits with "cookies" to better serve you by presenting only ads that will be of interest to you.  

Take a minute to read what Double Click has to say about what they are doing.  While many of us object to advertising there is another side to the story so please read theirs with an open mind.  

If you wish you can "opt out" from receiving cookies from Double Click.  They will replace your unique cookie ID with "Opt_Out", which signifies that you don't wish to be tracked.  Click on Privacy Choices, read the text, and then click the Opt Out button.  

Opt out of receiving Avenue A cookies

Avenue A, now named Atlas DMT, is another advertising company. If you receive one of their cookies while visiting a Website your adware blocker may announce that you are attempting to download spyware. In fact you are only getting a cookie but the message is a bit alarming.

You may opt out of receiving Avenue A cookies. Clicking on our link will take you to a page that will set a "dummy" cookie.

Pop Up Stopper

Tired of annoying pop-up ads? Pop-Up Stopper may be just the thing for you. It's free, it's effective, and it works. Paid versions are also available

Some programs block advertisements but let the pop-ups slip through. Some will allow the pop-up but block the message. Pop-Up Stopper eliminates most pop-ups, however, it does not block "static" ads.

Ad Subtract


This company's name
says it all! 

Many advertisers feel that you want to be better informed of special offers and new products and that if they track your surfing and purchasing habits they can serve you better, by not showing ads that are not of interest to you.

Of course, a large segment of the Internet community would prefer not to see any ads at all.  Ad-Subtract offers free software that can help cut down on the amount of ads you receive.  It may also reduce the ability of the advertisers to track your activities.

Gibson Research
Gibson Research
Gibson ResearchGibson ResearchGibson Research
  • Learn about Internet security.
  • Learn about spyware and adbots.
  • Run free on-line tests.
  • Find links to free software.

Do we think highly of Steve Gibson and his Website? You bet! That's why we gave it so much real estate here.

Steve Gibson has uncovered a number of security and privacy issues. He freely shares his information, plus some neat utility programs, with his visitors. Plan to spend some time reading Steve's material. It is a real eye opener!

Steve took one of the major software publishers to task for their privacy violations. Steve's article on advertising practices is a real eye opener. Over 400 "free" software packages will bombard you with ads and they may also snoop inside your machine, too.

Let Steve's amazing software report on the holes it finds in your computer's security. Don't worry, Steve's a good guy but if can break into your machine so can the crackers.  

Be sure to follow his links to other articles. If this link has moved go to to find the article. Steve was instrumental in forcing the marketers to disclose to you how they will use your private information, and whether they will snoop inside your computer.

PC Hell

The name says it all. PC Hell has a wealth of knowledge about viruses, spyware, and adware, along with instructions for removing them.

Some of the more pervasive, and more difficult to remove, software is covered here.

Symantec Website   McAfee
Symantec   McAfee
  Symantec Website  
Trend Micro Symantec Website
Trend Micro   Symantec

Several commercial products offer excellent protection against viruses, Trojans, worms, and the like. Some can now intercept attacks on messaging (chat) and some are now incorporating spyware elimination in their suites.

Trend Micro's PC-Cillin is a personal version of the heavy duty anti-virus software used by many corporations.

McAfee has long been a leader in anti-virus and networking utilities.

Symantec offers a full range of Peter Norton's products including virus protection, a computer firewall, ad blocking, content filtering, and a comprehensive set of utilities to help keep your computer running well.

These products are well regarded in the industry. They have excellent features. They also have their own quirks and shortcomings. Check the reviews at C-Net, PC Magazine, and other sources before buying

Most of these companies offer free virus and/or security scans. Look around when you get to the site to find these features. Sometimes the free scans will fix problems that you can't fix any other way.

One can debate whether the commercial packages are better than the free / paid products. If you go with one of the others we recommend buying the paid version, since the support is much better.

You may order the Linksys and other routers through this site. Use these links below and search for BEFSR41 or Router.

  Buy.Com Cognigen

If you have a broadband (cable or DSL) connection consider installing a hardware firewall, even if you have only one computer.

A router contains a form of firewall, thus providing a degree of isolation from the Internet. One popular router is the Linksys BEFSR41pictured at the left, which sells for under $50 street price. Linksys also sells a firewall router, which offers more advanced protection.

You can order the Linksys and other routers through Eagle-Wing.Net. Use the links at the left and search for BEFSR41 (for the Linksys) or Router for other models.


Check out for an amazing assortment of Windows software and information.  There are many titles you can try before you buy.  TuCows offers The Ultimate Collection of Winsock Software.  

In case you are interested, Winsock, or Windows Sockets, is related to the way Windows communicate with the Internet 

Diamond CS

Diamond CS offers several tools for prevent and curing Trojan horses and worms. They have a pretty comprehensive line of products and most of them are free, subsidized by their two main products.

  • Trojan Defence is a comprehensive anti-Trojan suite. (Commercial)
  • Worm Guard helps contain worms. Commercial product. (Commercial)
  • Port Explorer display activity for all socket connections.
  • Registry Prot monitors the Registry for changes and hacks.
  • IRC Clean combats worms that target the IRC chat network.
  • TaskMan assists with shutting down unwanted tasks that are running.
  • Console Tools is a collection of Windows utilities.
Introduction 2. Software and Drivers
1. Adware, spyware, & security 3. Speed tests & system scans

rev 02/21/05

12/1/04  /   6/27/10