15 Jul 2009
Yesterday I went shopping for antivirus software. I had learned previously from my brother-in-law that you want to protect your computer with a hardware firewall, a software firewall, and antivirus software. The hardware firewall is taken care of if you have a router. Check. So I wanted to find pretty cheap software to take care of the other two.
I previously had Zone Alarm. It was cheap, and it offered that magical firewall/antivirus combo. But little boxes popped up all the time warning of the end of the world if we opened a program. Basically I was getting sick of them.
I decided I wanted Norton. In my mind, they were the best at beating back the bad guys. With my brudda's warnings in mind ("Norton takes up all your computer's resources" - i.e., it slows your computer down), I did some research and apparently their 2009 product is a lot quicker. So I drove to Wal-Mart to analyze what they sold against Norton. They actually didn't offer Norton, so I checked out all sorts of other products. Then I went to Staples next door. They had Norton. But after extensive looking, I did not find the word "firewall" anywhere on the Norton box. I could've spent a zillion dollars on a more thorough Norton product, but I would have ended up protecting not only my computer but also the entire eastern seaboard.
Granted, the basic Norton product probably did what I wanted - I just needed the reassurance of that magic word, "firewall". I mean, in The Bourne Ultimatum, Julia Stiles says that the firewall is keeping her from logging into a government network or something. If it's good enough to keep Jason Bourne away, I need that for my computer!
I could have looked more into other brands too: Panda, Kaspersky, BitDefender, Webroot, Defender, etc., but I settled on what in my mind is the number two bad guy blocker: McAfee. I got it for $30 from Wal-Mart, and it's good for a year on 3 computers. I love it already. It hasn't seemed to slow up the computer, and when installing, it updated itself for me. And you know how you see ads or software to speed up your computer? Well, I've "optimized" mine right through the McAfee program!
If you want to pick it up, it's called McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009. The McAfee website is selling it for $39.99 for one computer license, so I recommend heading to Wal-Mart to get it cheaper. If your computer is already protected, you can hold out a couple of months for the 2010 products to start hitting shelves.