Protect your PC with the following four downloads and services, all free. We've also chosen four great no-cost antivirus apps.
Although some like to say "antivirus is dead" because of the explosion in malware that makes signature-based desktop protection harder than ever, start-up Immunet wants to bring new life to antivirus scanning through cloud computing. Founded by CEO Oliver Friedrichs, former director of emerging technologies at Symantec, Immunet is developing what Friedrichs calls "the next-generation antivirus product" that's based on a cloud-styled antivirus platform that will work with a fairly lightweight desktop agent to block and destroy malware. "Our goal is to re-invent the antivirus space."
Who's got the biggest cloud in the tech universe? Google? Pretty big, but no. Amazon? Lots and lots of servers, but not even close. Microsoft? They're just getting started.
When Microsoft announced the death of OneCare, I had a pretty good suspicion that wasn't the last we'd heard from Microsoft about anti-virus software. Microsoft doesn't just suddenly for no reason drop out of markets. Rather they stay at it until three or four versions down the road when they finally get it right.
Amit Yoran, security consultant and former director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division, says that tools like antivirus software are effective for 25% to 40% of cyber threats. "It's necessary but inadequate," according to Yoran. A more effective approach to cyber security is to layer multiple complementary tools and solutions.
BitDefender Antivirus ($30 for a one-year, three-PC license) holds its own at dealing with malware, but its interface isn't especially user-friendly. Overall the program earned fourth place in our roundup of stand-alone antivirus programs.