Probably the Best Free Security List in the World


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 "Best Free" webpages (links to them are shown in the list with ) . 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. 

Probably the Best Free Security List in the World - Page Index
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 satrow on 3. April 2012 - 23:37  (91626)

The free PCTools firewall links to PCTools Internet Security now ($$). Should the link be changed to point to their forum sticky where the direct link to FWinstall is ?

by vodomar on 4. April 2012 - 6:20  (91630)

corrected thx :)

by AnonymousD69 (not verified) on 6. April 2012 - 21:20  (91723)

Hey all I'm not sure if this has happened to anyone else before but with the new version of avast I've already had a few false positives having to do with my new laptops HP assistant software. I have also been getting periods where my system freezes up on me and this is a new laptop just got it yesterday Intel Core i7 2.2Ghz 8Gb ram 1Tb hdd. I was going by the recommendation of the editor of the best freeware list. Avast froze on my last pc as well I thought it was cause it was outdated but now on my new system freezing and finding something on a new computer as malware thats a false positive for sure. Oh and I have windows 7 64 bit now so I'm not sure what I should use as my last laptop was 32bit. might go with Outpost Internet security suit free I was hoping for a all in one and might decide to use that. I'm a bit disappointed in Avast right now but I understand that these things can happen. Just wanted to use the new version 7 I like it other then it freezes my computer.

by ako (the) (not verified) on 6. April 2012 - 22:10  (91726)

I'm sorry to hear that. You are not alone. Until now Avast has been almost problem-free, but recently there have been similar stories to yours. You could try Ad-Aware or AVG instead. I consider a new suggestion after Easter.

by AnonymousD69 (not verified) on 6. April 2012 - 23:41  (91727)

Thanks for replying so quickly, I will keep a eye open on here to hear when avast is doing better I hope it does I've been a long time fan of it. I tried Ad-Aware but for some reason it won't let me just install the free version I don't want the 30-day trial. I decided to go with Unthreat since it uses Vipre engine as well as Ad-Aware. I decided to with a company that I can use on my Android phone as well as my computer. Thanks for the assistance I appreciate your time.

by ako on 7. April 2012 - 9:31  (91739)

You are welcome. If you would like to have a very light setup you could try Prevx free (no removal), Hitman pro (scanning on startup), LUA+Tweakuac, USB vaccine and Windows firewall. I'm using it with my wife's and my parents's machines at the moment. For banking seperate LUA account.

by AnonymousD69 (not verified) on 8. April 2012 - 0:39  (91762)

Thanks for your recommendation I appreciate that and the time you took to reply so quickly. I will try that out thank you again.

by manicburp (not verified) on 13. April 2012 - 11:13  (92001)

Thank you ako :)

by Ronnie35 (not verified) on 15. April 2012 - 18:00  (92135)

My years subscription Nod 32 Smart Security is up and decided to try Microsoft Security Essentials so far i'm very impressed it's low on system resources,non intrusive and found some exploits Nod missed .

by ako on 17. April 2012 - 18:23  (92220)

You are welcome manicburp :-)

by johnvk on 21. April 2012 - 23:53  (92400)

I saw RivaTuner recommended by someone on another site. Its description sounded good. But i trust :D But i could not find this utility mentioned on this site. Anyone have any experience with it?

by satrow on 24. April 2012 - 11:21  (92518)

I've not tried it yet but it looks like it'll be worth considering adding it to the Online Scanner section:

It may be that it supplies no more information than can be found under a tab near the foot of a Virustotal scan results page though ...

"Bit9 File Advisor provides metadata (origin, size, publisher, source, etc.) on software files. You can look up metadata on up to 10 files a day. If you require access beyond this, consider our Cyber Forensics Service™ to identify, validate and understand the reputation of software files so you can better protect your users"

by vodomar on 24. April 2012 - 15:44  (92546)

See 15.18 :) thx

by BearPup (not verified) on 27. April 2012 - 2:04  (92658)

I continue to use Avast without trouble, including version 7. My problem was with Zone Alarm Free, their online installer kept failing on me, so I finally switched to Online Armour, which seems good, without being as intrusive as Comodo FW was.

Any other FW suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

by Radelen (not verified) on 30. April 2012 - 21:27  (92832)

Today ZoneAlarm has introduced its new FREE INTERNET SECURITY SOLUTION
called "Free Antivirus + Firewall"... I'm interested and probably will give it a try... I have already posted that in the "Best Free Antivirus Software" but I will be glad to have some comments and impressions about it here in your list dude!

Best regards,

by AnonymousD69 (not verified) on 30. April 2012 - 21:51  (92833)

MSE has also updated to version 4.0.1526.0 I think that's cool not sure guess no one really give it much attention. I'm happy with it going to be using the new version. They changed the background again this time and make a few adjustments its worth looking at though.

by Radelen (not verified) on 30. April 2012 - 22:09  (92835)

Yep, that's update is from Friday... I'm just confused from their vision about updates... That's the only AV which treats definitions updates like "optional"(?!) I have tried this program many times on both my home desktops (XP Pro SP3 & Vista Ultimate SP2) and I have always had problems with updates... Sometimes the definitions are almost 3 days old and the tray icon just shines green and the programs tells you - "You are safe, I'm up to date, be happy..." (?!) Moreover its results from independent labs are varying... :-/

by ako on 1. May 2012 - 7:32  (92857)

Thanks! I guess they use Kaspersky, so this is very interesting pick!

by ako on 1. May 2012 - 7:35  (92858)

MSE has gone down so much I hesitate to install it on my friends machines today. Hopefully they will start working on it again.

by MidnightCowboy on 1. May 2012 - 7:46  (92859)
by ako (the) (not verified) on 2. May 2012 - 20:55  (92925)

Thanks. All those free examinend seem to be ok.

by AnonymousD69 (not verified) on 3. May 2012 - 23:52  (92991)

So Zonealarm free antivirus+firewall uses Kaspersky's Anti-malware engine? that would be very good if that is the anti-malware they use. I guess it wouldn't be a big deal if it only updates once a day it has the full firewall feature in this one and not too much is grey'd out which is nice I think it really could be the best free protection available. I'm a fan of both Kaspersky and Checkpoint they make good security software. When I first read it I couldn't believe it so I installed it on my new laptop and its lighter then if I was using a two different security software.

by AnonymousD69 (not verified) on 4. May 2012 - 2:16  (93000)

I found a review on and it is about the new Zonealarm free antivirus+ firewall it seemed to be ok but I thought some people might want to check it out and make their own mind up on it. If you read in article apparently they don't say what Antimalware company they license and include in there software but they did say they tracked the components and dlls back to Kaspersky. Here is the article its a decent read.,2817,2403843,00.asp
I also added in a PCWorld link so you have a link to compare I found them similar for the most part.

by ako (the) (not verified) on 6. May 2012 - 11:16  (93108)

Thanks. I'm looking forward to seeing the tests!

by vodomar on 23. May 2012 - 9:40  (93881)

Google Online Security Blog:

Notifying users affected by the DNSChanger malware
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 12:00 PM

Online test in section 23.4

by vodomar on 25. May 2012 - 12:44  (93940)

AV-TEST March/April 2012: 22 home user products reviewed, only 20 got certified

by MidnightCowboy on 25. May 2012 - 14:43  (93943)

Thanks. Good result for AVG Free.

by ako (the) (not verified) on 25. May 2012 - 16:34  (93947)

I think there is now enough statistics to change my free AV choice to AVG :-)

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