Choosing an anti-virus program for Windows 7

To make sure that Windows 7 is as secure as it can be, you're going to need an anti-virus program.

If you're moving from XP to Windows 7, you'll have to get and install a new one. In theory, you can move from Vista to Windows 7 without installing a new program. Don't. Anti-virus software tends to be cranky about change at the best of times -- as well as it should! -- so plan on installing a new anti-viral program right after you finish upgrading.

Which program? Well, while there are many good free anti-viral programs, you can't just grab one and assume it will work on your updated, or your brand new Windows 7 PC for that matter.

So, instead of just grabbing an old favorite for your Windows 7 box, check out Microsoft's listing of Windows 7 anti-virus partners for companies that have already done some work in making sure their programs will work with Windows 7.

You can also check specific programs for Windows 7 compatibility with the Windows 7 Compatibility Center. As you search through this very useful site, you're going to quickly see that only the most recent versions of programs are certified to work with Windows 7 and that many of them are blessed only to work with 32-bit Windows 7 systems. So, if you're running Windows 7 on a newer, 64-bit system, like those powered by Intel Core 2 or Pentium Dual Core processors, you're likely to need to look harder for compatibile anti-viral software.

Today's Tip was adapted from Safe-Guarding Windows 7 by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.


Want to cash in on your IT savvy? Send your tip to If we post it, we'll send you a $25 Amazon e-gift card.

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon