Ask dotTechies: What security software (anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, etc.) do you protect your computer with?

As I am sure most dotTechies already noticed, I have started a new Ask dotTechies series in which I pose weekly questions to dotTechies. These polls are just “for fun” and informative purposes so everyone can get to know the dotTech family better. I also hope to facilitate discussion on the topics at hand.

That being said, security software is always a hot topic for computer users. I have even written an article (Prevention, detection, and cure: 9 programs that will provide the best all-around security for you and your computer – for free) to help guide users in selecting the best security software without having to pay a dime. So, this weeks Ask dotTechie is on security software: What security software (anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, etc.) do you protect your computer with?

Before I present the polls, let me clarify one thing. While there is no fine line separating the two, generally speaking, there are two different types of  anti-malware security software: “mainstream” and “sidekick”. “Mainstream” security software are ones that act as the main anti-malware protection for a user; software like this are Avira, Norton, Kaspersky, NOD32, McAfee, BitDefender, etc. Then there are “sidekick” security software that act as supplements to the “mainstream”  security software; software like this are Malwarebytes, IObit Internet Security 360, Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware, SUPERAntiSpyware, Spyware Terminator, etc.

Users never, ever want to run two “mainstream” security software on the same computer at the same time. However users can run some “mainstream” and “sidekick” security software on the same computer at the same time because the developers of “sidekick” security software recognize the fact that they need to make it so their software play well with “mainstream” security software. If the “mainstream” and “sidekick” security software will work well together totally depends on how the developers of each programmed their software; some may, some may not. Generally speaking, most “sidekick” security software work well with “mainstream” security software. Now “work well” does not mean that using both software will be exactly equivalent to only using one software in terms of computer resource usage and speed; “work well” means that the extra computer resource usage and speed decrease caused by running both software will be negligible and unnoticeable.

Therefore, because of the fact there are multiple different types of security software and many people run more than one, I have created three polls for this article instead of one: one for “mainstream” security software, one for “sidekick” security software, and one for firewalls. Feel free to only answer one or two but I do encourage answering all three.

***Note: Some of the software mentioned below have free and paid versions. The selection for the security software encompasses free and paid. In other words, regardless of if you use the free or paid version select that software brand. Also, some people may run internet security packages from one company that has all security components included. Regardless of if you run just the anti-virus/anti-spyware version of a security software or if you use their internet security package, select that software brand. Feel free to clarify in the comments below if you run free or paid versions, and if you use internet security packages or not.

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Have any comments on the topic of security software? Let us know below in the comments! (Linux users feel free to brag about how Linux (currently) gets little to no malware as compared to Windows.)

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