Probably the Best Free Security List in the World

Probably the Best Free Security List in the World - Page Index
1. Introduction

This article contains a comprehensive list of free security-related programs or web applications for Windows XP and later Windows PC-based operating systems. The few non-free programs on this list are included because they are of high merit (in our opinion) and lack a comparable free alternative. This list also includes links to webpages that contain security-related information.

We don't give specific recommendations on this list except for the personal suggestions of the list authors. If you are seeking recommendations then check out Gizmo's Freeware The Best Free Security Software for PC. Gizmo's Freeware also offers free personalized security advice via the Security Wizard.

We usually list a given item on this list only once, putting it where we think it best belongs. However, sometimes we list a given item more than once if we feel strongly enough that it belongs in multiple locations.

We check all links with Web of Trust. Only links that are rated by Web of Trust as green are shown as hyperlinks. Links that are rated by Web of Trust as yellow are shown as obfuscated links; in such cases copy and paste the obfuscated link to your browser's address bar, then replace [COLON] with : and [DOT] with . to change the obfuscated link into a valid URL. Links that are rated by Web of Trust as red aren't shown either as hyperlinks or obfuscated links. Links that directly link to files are shown as obfuscated links.

We usually don't test the programs or web applications on this list. We usually don't scan the programs on this list with antivirus software.

We usually don't check these keys for a given item: " Adware that may or may not be optional," " Includes software recommendations via OpenCandy," or " Nagware." We usually check key " Program that works without installation" for a given program by using only online information, not by testing the given program.

We encourage you to use the comments section below to let us know about dead links, incorrect links, links to malicious websites, links that include malicious software, incorrect or missing keys for a given item, items that could be added to the list, programs that work only on pre-Windows XP operating systems, or any other issues. You may also use the comments section to tell us about your experience with a particular program or web application. We value these suggestions and look carefully at each one.

Legal Disclaimer: Terms and Conditions for Using This Site.

Short URLs for this page:,, and

This list is maintained by volunteer editors ako, J_L, and MrBrian. 

Keys (some of these keys are usually not checked by us; see Introduction for details)

$ Not free.

Program that works without installation. May or may not be portable. Other version(s) that use an installer may also be available.

Web application.

Provides only malware detection. May have paid version(s) that includes removal.

CNet download link or other downloader with adware.

FF = Firefox, Ch = Chrome, IE = Internet Explorer, OB = Other browsers, AB = All browsers.

Image itself links to a Gizmo's Freeware "Best Free" webpage. Not a key in some cases.

Image itself links to a Gizmo's Freeware webpage other than a "Best Free" webpage. Not a key in some cases.

Adware that may or may not be optional.

 Includes software recommendations via OpenCandy (potentially unwanted).


What's New
The newest items in this list are shown in the table below.
Items added
9-1-14 Ace BackupIperius Backup FreeNero BackItUp Free
10-1-14 Diladele Web SafetyAvira PC Cleaner, #totalhashEmail Guardian, Tin Hat, Parrot Security OSit-sec-catalogmore
13-1-14 Diceware random words methodMaking Random Letter Passwords MemorableHow do I use dice to create random strings of letters and numbers?Passwordcard GeneratorHow to Create a Secure Master PasswordBruce Schneier's Strength TestPasswordcard Generator Cardtype 1MrBrian password storage method #1MrBrian password storage method #2Methods and programs for splitting a secret into multiple partsMethods of password backup and recovery using challenge questionsMyphrase: Strong and Memorable Passwords from Your Own WordsSpelling-Error Tolerant, Order-Independent Pass-Phrases via the Damerau-Levenshtein String-Edit Distance Metric, KISS PrivacyNetwork Monitor
16-1-14 Nightweb, OpenNICmore:2
18-1-14 Express Zip, 7Backup, Cookies
24-1-14 Snowden Tribute, Shield for ChromeFirewall Builder, Norton Identity SafeFireclam
28-1-14 Kahu Security, Cache Killer
2-2-14 ReadOnceAutomatic System Restore Maker, , VirtrunCrypted Cloud, Extension Defender, Yunio
7-2-14 FileSearchygrepWin, Privacy Guard
11-2-14 ChrisPC DNS switch
14-2-14 , IPFingerPrintsRandom Agent Spooferf4ubcd, pCloud
20-2-14 UnseenShazzleMailGoogle HackingHow to generate strong passwords with Google Chrome without third-party extensionsRetina Community
16-3-14 ProxyMonster, Software Restriction Policies (feature of Windows) Tutorial #2 - http[COLON]//www[DOT]nsa[DOT]gov/ia/_files/os/win2k/application_whitelisting_using_srp[DOT]pdf, MrBrian's AppLocker rules, Parental Controls (feature of Windows), Software Policy, Wilders Security thread on Software Policy, Tuersteher Light, Wilders Security thread on Tuersteher Light, Using Comodo Internet Security as an anti-executable, Process Blocker
30-3-14 RunasRob, RunasSpc, BuddyBackup, Advanced Port Scanner, SuperScan, Feature Settings Check for Desktop Solutions, Ambush IPS, SetACL, NoVirusThanks Anti-Rootkit, Event Log Explorer
2-4-14 What is a Proxy Server?, What is the difference between a SOCKS proxy and an HTTP proxy?, Shadowsocks, List of proxifiersBarbaTunnel, ReQrypt, TorWall, Torcap, BufferShield, Freenet, Comparison of Tor vs. I2P vs. Freenet, Internet censorship circumvention, List of Anonymous Networks
4-4-14 Webroot Secureanywhere (the trial version is a very good cleaning tool) $
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by MidnightCowboy on 23. August 2009 - 10:29  (31368)
by ako (not verified) on 23. August 2009 - 19:52  (31387)

Thanks MC!

by Anonymous on 29. August 2009 - 18:07  (31864)

Easy File Locker ( - "Easy File Locker is a light-weight and easy-to-use security software product that can protect your private files and folders. With its great protection, users will not be able to open, read, modify, delete, move, copy the locked files/folders, or even not be able to see it. The hidden files/folders will be totally invisible to all users and to any program."


by Anonymous on 30. August 2009 - 21:11  (31917)



by ianjrichards (not verified) on 7. October 2009 - 11:08  (34093)
by Anonymous on 14. October 2009 - 12:34  (34626)

ip blocking:
Peerblock works much better than Peerguardian. It works on vista and windows 7. The GUI and settings are identical but peerblock has incorporated a much needed signed driver, and thats pretty much where peerguardian left off.

by ako (not verified) on 15. October 2009 - 13:28  (34706)



by Anonymous on 15. October 2009 - 14:44  (34714)

IOBit 360 is also reviewed here:

The way I see it, it's "all show and no go"...

by MidnightCowboy on 15. October 2009 - 15:20  (34722)

I've actually just replied to a post in another section saying that we still need to see exactly what the target focus of Iobit 360 is before we can judge how effective it might be, or indeed where it should fit in to someone's security setup. The tiny number of samples in this Brighthub "test" tell us nothing, especially when we don't even know what they were, how old, or how they were introduced into the system.

by ako (not verified) on 15. October 2009 - 19:02  (34733)

I've done some private testing with 0-day malware. The free version of IObit was not good at blocking but scanner could remove malware quite well.

by Anonymous on 15. October 2009 - 20:15  (34736)

I've heard good things about Endian firewall (Untangle is similar). Both are free for base version.

by Anonymous on 15. October 2009 - 20:43  (34747)

Installed Avira AntiVir, then uninstalled it, when it refused to update after 30 minutes of trying various things. During the 30 minutes, the most likely reason for the failure seemed to me that their update servers are not powerful enough collectively to do the job properly, and it seemed that many others have the same trouble (2,000 Google hits for "antivir won't update"). Bye, bye, AntiVir, perhaps I will give you another go when your makers are serious about providing a proper service.

by MidnightCowboy on 15. October 2009 - 20:56  (34748)

Thanks for the feedback ako. So based on your own experience would you say it has a place as a complimentary tool?

by ako (not verified) on 16. October 2009 - 6:01  (34764)

This is indeed the problem with Antivir. However: I've been told that it will update itself on its own - but forcing it will often fail. So you could have waited one day before giving up. (meanwhile use the link above to update Avira definitions once)

by ako (not verified) on 16. October 2009 - 6:04  (34765)


by ako (not verified) on 16. October 2009 - 6:04  (34766)

Yes. It seems to me it is close to MBAM and SAS as a scanner.

by MidnightCowboy on 16. October 2009 - 8:44  (34775)

My thoughts too, plus it has the real-time protection missing from these other freeware alternatives. In terms of value at a little over 10k in use it has to be worth the system investment as a complimentary tool. I'm still advising running it as such rather than as a replacement for any other real-time software users might already have installed. It's only by getting some more feedback on this basis that we can begin to build a comparative picture of exactly what Iobit 360 finds (or not) in relation to the others.

by ako (not verified) on 16. October 2009 - 10:20  (34780)

The real-time protection of the free version is not very good. Eg. Prevx is much much better.

by aqua on 16. October 2009 - 12:38  (34786)

well that's actually true...avira updat is poor,shouldn'tt be no longer rated first.
i bet it doesn't happen that often with avast..just check the avira forum personal,and you'l find a lot of complaints.

by MidnightCowboy on 16. October 2009 - 12:43  (34787)

Unless they've changed it, the free version of Prevx has no real-time protection or malware removal capabilities, except for some minor stuff maybe? Please correct me if I'm wrong because it's been a while since I looked at this program. I guess I'm hoping that this part of Iobit 360 will improve further (bit like the AV improvements in CIS) as the software develops over time.

by Anonymous on 16. October 2009 - 19:13  (34817)

Here is a piece of software that covers a BLIND SPOT in this truly amazing list of security tools.

The MS Office documents that we e-mail out or share via memory stick,CD or DVD contain "metadata" about the author of the document. This can also happen with PDF files.

The removal of this hidden information is highly critical in the Health Care and Legal professions.

To remove this metadata a free tool like Doc Scrubber can be used.

At this stage Doc Scrubber works on Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP.

It is possible that others that review this list of security applications might know of a free alternative that works on Vista and Windows 7.

by Anonymous on 16. October 2009 - 19:17  (34818)
by ako (not verified) on 16. October 2009 - 21:07  (34826)

Thanks! Very good idea. (I'm using the Microsoft's own add-on for this.)

by ako (not verified) on 16. October 2009 - 21:16  (34827)

Yes, it removes something, but not much. But for a second opinion its quite useful. I'm presently installing it to my friends PC:s along with some free AV, like Avast.

IObit needs to keep something for the commercial version, like they have done with the heuristics.

by MidnightCowboy on 16. October 2009 - 22:16  (34829)

Agreed - thanks for your input.

by Anonymous on 17. October 2009 - 10:04  (34854)


i was wondering if you could have a look at ninja pendisk, and if it has any merit?


by Anonymous on 17. October 2009 - 11:31  (34861)

haveing printer problem.hp j4580 all in one.will not print.screen comes up with "thunking spooler apis from 32 to 64 process has stopped do i fix this.

by ako (not verified) on 17. October 2009 - 21:00  (34888)

Go to ask on our forum, please.

by ako (not verified) on 18. October 2009 - 10:58  (34928)

I'll check this!

by ako (not verified) on 18. October 2009 - 10:58  (34929)

I've added above:

The update servers of the free version of Avira Antivir are undersized. For this reason the first update may take a long time, even an hour or so. As the install package comes with very old virus definitions, one is not well advised to continue surfing without the update process being finished. One can speed-up the first update by downloading the latest Avira updates here, then double-clicking the Avira system tray icon and choosing Update > Manual update, and searching the downloaded file with the file manager thus opened. You may occasionally meet update problems also in the future, but Avira should update itself on its own approximately once a day.(As Avira has market-leading heuristics, small lags in updates are not as fatal for Avira as for most of its rivals.)

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