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Computer Monitoring Software

Computer monitoring software helps protect your computer. PC virus protection and a computer firewall are a few protection applications available. What is the best virus protection for your system?

Computer monitoring software keeps on eye on the health of your computer, and makes sure your computer is not being used for things you don't want it used for.

Anti-virus software, computer firewalls, and anti-spyware programs are discussed on this page.

It is important to recognize that the 'bad' stuff (e.g. hackers, viruses, worms, etc.) is constantly changing and evolving; you need to be proactive and keep your protection up-to-date. Companies that are producing protective programs are constantly updating and testing their products and services to try and stay ahead of the 'bad stuff' that can happen to computers. But you need to invest your resources to protect not only your system but the data that you keep on your system (don't forget to do regular back-ups on an external hard drive of all your information).


After resisting for years, my 77 year old mother learned how to use a computer last year. She got her first computer from us (it helps to have a computer builder in the family) and we made sure she had some lessons from the local community center to learn how to operate her computer. The pc virus protection had been installed but within the first week, Mom was on the phone telling me the computer was ‘broken’. When I went over to check it out, I found that she had inadvertently ‘clicked’ the computer firewall protection off the system and had been infected by a computer virus.

It took me all day and to ensure that she could not take the protection off (now, she is NOT the administrator of her system).

Once up and running, she learned very quickly. Now, she is able to send photos to relatives overseas; she communicates daily via the internet with her friends and family; she follows her love of Opera on the internet (and actually enrolled in an online Opera history course); she doesn’t know how she would be able to do without it! She’s grown into a very good system user (although she still wants nothing to do with the hardware or software support issues).

Best Virus Protection: Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus software is a must have these days. 99 percent of the web is a great place to get information, have fun, and meet great people. However, that 1 percent can be some real nasty types. Anti-virus software will help to keep your computer safe from the majority of these people.

For any anti-virus software that you install, make sure that you configure it to run regularly scheduled scans on your computer. Simply installing it is not enough. This will keep your anti-virus software up to date with the latest virus detection, and will keep your computer nice and clean. I set mine up to update itself at 1:00 AM every day, and to scan my computer at 2:00 AM every day.

Free Anti-Virus Software

AVG (Anti Virus Group) is a free anti-virus program by a company called Grisoft. It is a free download, and is one of the top free anti-virus programs out there. I use it at home, and it is a great piece of computer monitoring software. They keep their anti-virus definitions up to date, and the software will update itself daily. If you use this, you will notice a pop up every day from them that advertises different products. All you have to do is close it. A small price to pay for a free quality program.
AntiVir -
AntiVir is another free anti-virus program that also does a great job. I use this on my laptop and it performs great. The free version is only anti-virus, but they do have a pay version of their computer monitoring software that will include spyware protection, anti-virus, a firewall, and email protection.
Clamwin -
Clamwin is a free anti-virus program that is a bit more advanced. It does not do on-access scanning, which means that it will not check files as you download or access them. You have to tell the software where you want it to scan. This is not the best for someone that surfs the web alot, but can be useful for a computer that is not online much and does not need realtime scanning.

Paid Anti-Virus Software

These anti-virus software programs are not free, and will usually charge a yearly fee to use them. These computer monitoring software programs are, however, more robust than the free ones, and offer more than just anti-virus. They are a more full featured computer monitoring software program.

Avanquest - Avanquest SystemCare Professional License Standard 5 User Pc Retail
SystemCare will keep you, your family & all your PCs secure. If you need a total security and maintenance solution for all your home PC's, then this is what you are looking for. With SystemCare Professional you will have total protection for your entire home. SystemCare provides all-in-one home network setup and management, security, tune-up and maintenance for all your home PC, printer and file sharing needs. Best of all, the license allows you to install this computer monitoring software on up to 5 PCs.
Norton - Norton 360 3.0 All-In-One Security for up to 3 Users
Norton 360 is a great all in one suite that includes antivirus, email scanning, antispyware, firewall protection, automatic backup and restore, 2GB online secure storage, and more. One subscription will cover up to 3 computers.
Panda - Panda Internet Security - 3 User
This is a full suite of software. All your computer activity will be fully protected against identity theft and you can forget about viruses, spyware, hackers, spam, online fraud and other Internet threats. You'll also be able to make automated backup copies of your most important documents and optimize the performance of your computer.


Anti-Spyware Software

Spyware are small programs that are installed on your computer without your knowledge. These programs are usually designed to intercept traffic such as which sites you visit or your surfing habits, but they can also be nastier and do things such as re-direct your web browser to sites with harmful viruses, or even take control of your computer and change settings and really mess up your computer.

Windows Defender -
Windows Defender is a free anti-spyware program that is made by Microsoft. It is a real-time program that protects your computer from spyware by alerting you to possible security threats. It will also protect you from unwanted pop-ups and other threats.
Spyware Terminator -
Spyware terminator is another free computer software monitoring program that will help to protect your computer against all the different types of spyware.
Ad-Aware -
Ad-Aware is a great application for protecting you against spyware. I use this on all my computers for real-time protection, and for on-demand scanning. I have used this computer monitoring software program for over 2 years now and highly recommend it.
ThreatFire -
ThreatFire 3 by PC Tools is a free anti-malware application that does an excellent job of threat detection and blocking. ThreatFire keeps you up to date with the latest malware by linking you to their worldwide detection map. What makes ThreatFire different is that it does not detect malware signatures, like most anti-malware applications do. Instead, it monitors your system for patterns of activity that suggest malware. When it detects a pattern, it then checks to see if the process is a known threat and will block it and alert you to the activity. This method of detecting malware based on activity allows ThreatFire to react not only to known threats, but to unknown threats as well.


Computer Firewalls

A firewall is either a hardware device, or software program that inspects traffic that goes through it and denies or permits access based on a set of rules. Here is a list of free firewalls to help protect your computer.

Commodo -
Commodo was rated by PC Magazine Online as an Editor's Choice. Their firewall is a fully functional firewall with a free lifetime license for use.
Zone Alarm -
Zone Alarm has been winning awards forever. Their software suites are some of the best in the business. Most of their products will cost you, but this one is free.

All systems need to have some level of computer monitoring software; at least, make sure that you install the best virus protection available for the price you can afford to pay (from free on up).

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Computer Software

computer software questions

Software for your system is more than the standard office type of product (such as a word processor, a spreadsheet program and more).

You also need to consider the software that operates your system and that helps it to operate efficiently (and to troubleshoot it when it doesn't run).

Make sure that you develop a working knowledge of what's available in these areas: operating systems to run your computer; monitoring software to protect your computer; utilities for managing and reporting on the functioning of components, such as the CPU and HD; benchmarking which will compare speed, BIOS and hardware details to other systems; and applications (such as a word processor) to run on your computer.

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Computer Troubleshooting

Need help diagnosing computer problems or challenges? Check out our troubleshooting page for common computer building issues.



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