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Ultimate Top Five Free AntiVirus Program Review

I am a bit of a tight bum when it comes to buying software so when it came down to needing to get some anti-virus software I did a bit of research. I was using Eset but didn’t want to pay anymore so I tried a lot of free antivirus applications to narrow down the good and bad. What I am after is a great anti-virus with no extra padding.

The paid antivirus from, say, Norton and McAfee, should be worried because, honestly, no-one really needs to pay for their bloated programs anymore – and I can see that Norton and like will start using scare campaigns to make beginners think they have to buy to be protected – especially when the Microsoft Security Essentials comes out.

Here is my ultimate guide to the top 5 free anti virus programs for Windows Vista (and Windows 7). I hope the review helps you.

Avira AntiVir Personal Free Antivirus

What I like best about AviraAntiVir Personal Free Antivirus is simple to use and works great – exactly what you want and a good choice for beginner or expert users. It doesn’t try and install all the bell and whistles that big suites have which is good because you don’t need them, they just slow your PC system down.
It always is near the top of antivirus ranking sites so will stay as one of the best freeware anti virus programs you can find. I use it to scan both my internal and my external hard drives even do a rootkit scan. This version has, as mentioned, anti rootkit, as well as anti spyware and anti phishing protection on top of the usual anti virus stuff.
free antivirus review avira antivir home 9 freeThe interface changed a little in version 9 but not much. There is still the option of Expert mode that gives you many more settings, have it unticked if you are not to sure about things to make it an easy choice. There is a scheduler for scanning and updates that other free antivirus programs don’t but I can only set the scanning to be every day and just adjust the time – I don’t want or need to do a full scan every day.
And there is a nag screen that pops up definition file updates to try to talk you into buying the full version – stick with the free antivirus, it works great and if you don’t want the AntiVir pop up ad you can remove it by following  my instructions here – Turn Off the AntiVir pop up nag screen. I use AntiVir.

Avast Home Free Version 4

Review of AvastAntivirus Home Edition For Windows which available free for home and non-commercial use. Avast 4 has been around for ever it seems and version 4 was the version I tried a year ago, it is still v4 – no need to change something that’s not broken I suppose. I am not keen on the interface, they have tried to make it different, I guess, but in doing so makes it awkward, slow and actually looks dated a bit like software mp3 player. There are other skins available but most are junk (the Vista skin looks fine). A big plus is that Avast works fine with Windows 7.

free antivirus review avast homeThe software needs registration even it is free. After you download it and install in your computer you need to register it by enter your details and an email address – Avast will send you a register code to your e-mail which can be used for about 1 year. I don’t see why they need to do this except for send emails to sell some product (you could use a free temporary email address).  Avast Home Edition now has a spyware and rootkit guard now so your PC is fairly well protected.  Setting it up you can select parameters for scanning, adjust the sensitivity level for the program’s detectors when it comes to scanning downloaded files, instant messages, e-mails, and file sharing programs (P2P). I like how it goes about updating itself when the Internet connection available automatically but there is one more negative from Avast Free Antivirus, it doesn’t offer scheduling of a normal scan – you have to remember to run a scan yourself!

AVG Free

AVG Free seems to be the name that everyone thinks of when talking about free antivirus software. I used to have it installed ages back when it was version 7, once it went to v8 and now v8.5 it just got too cumbersome and slowed down my PC noticeably.

free antivirus review AVG FreeFeatures like the LinkScanner and the Search scanner as well as a toolbar just tacks over my web browsing style and slows things without giving me any benefit – useless features added to scare people and hoping they will buy the paid version. The LinkScanner is meant to scan the links on web pages and on search pages, for example you search for something with Bing or Google and it gives you a Tick saying the link is OK – I don’t need it and , really, neither does anyone else, just slows things down dramatically.

One good thing is that this version of AVG free antivirus runs well on Windows 7 and Vista. Good because a few are not compatible with Windows 7 yet, AVG is.

Microsoft Security Essentials

This will be big, a free security suite (spy-ware, anti-virus) from Microsoft – all free and for Windows 7 and Vista. At the moment it is only for the United States, Israel (English only), People’s Republic of China (Simplified Chinese only) and Brazil (Brazilian Portuguese only).

free antivirus review microsoft security essentials top 10 guideIt is a simple looking and easy-to-use free antivirus program from Microsoft and great for most people because it seems to cover all the bases. It has a tabbed style interface that allows you to get to setting, run scans etc nice and easy.

Remember that Microsoft Security Essentials doesn’t have a firewall but Windows 7 and Vista has a good one built in so that’s fine.  You can schedule a scan for whatever date and time and even when the PC is not in use – which is good because a lot of free anti virus programs don’t let you (I guess they want you to pay for the full version). If you have ever used Windows Defender you will be perfectly at home with this. This is great and here is over 100 more win7 tips and hints.

Comodo Free Antivirus

Comodo has a free antivirus, I think a stand alone program but now it is part of their security pack – still free but I am not after a whole security suite, especially another firewall. It is not compatible with Windows 7 but Vista is fine. The free antivirus program has a clean and clear look with the interface showing me an overview of the security settings,  the status of the program and the date of the last full scan.

free antivirus review guide comodo antivirus security suiteComodos free antivirus has the usual real-time and email scanner as well as heuristic scans just like most of the other free antivirus programs reviewed here. They update the virus definitions daily and automatically like it should be and it is good that I can schedule when I want Comodo Antivirus to scan my PC because this is usually missing or limited (can only have preset dates or times to scan) in free anti-virus programes.

One thing I do not like is that the Windows Security Center doesn’t detect Comodo as a valid antivirus application so then the Windows has it’s warning shield pop up in the system tray asking you to install a valid antivirus. You need to change this setting so Windows doesn’t monitor it any more. A great thing is that there is no nag screens and adverts trying to sell upgrades, good news everybody.


Out Now, Windows Vista Service Pack 2

I have just turned on my Toshiba notebook at home and it popped up saying a new Windows update is available (I don’t have it on auto as I like to see what the updates are). Anyway, the update is 343.9MB , wow big, and it says it is Windows Vista SP2, yes service pack 2.

I haven’t heard any rumours about another service pack coming up for Vista. I wonder if it will improve performance, probably not because they would want Windows 7 to look the best when it comes out soon.

Well it’s downloading now, 12% complete, so I will see what has changed and if it has made any difference for me.

Anyone out there knew there was a Vista SP2 coming out now?windows vista sp2 service pack 2 install goldcoaster

Continue reading ‘Out Now, Windows Vista Service Pack 2’


Get Microsoft Windows 7 Free

Microsoft last night started the release of free copies of its new operating system to the public in a bid to win back disgruntled Windows Vista users. Australian PC owners will be able to download the Windows 7 Release Candidate and use it for free over the next 12 months.

The 3 GByte size Release Candidate is a near to retail version and feedback will be used to iron out any remaining glitches. It incorporates suggestions made by those who tested the Windows 7 beta version earlier this year. At the end of the 12 months, users can choose to pay for the full version or have their PC revert back to its current operating system – well, reinstall your old OS again from scratch.Windows 7 RC will reboot every 2 hours when it gets down to the last few months, from March ’10 until the end in June, just to remind you to buy a real version. Still not bad to try out for a year, I did this for XP ages back.


Microsoft Australia spokeswoman Sarah Vaughan said there was no need to buy or upgrade computer hardware, as was the case with Vista, to run Windows 7 which is great news. “The first thing you will notice is responsiveness, we heard feedback that Vista took too long to boot up and there was a wait for things to happen,” Vaughan said.

She said the system would also learn and adapt to its users’ habits, such as extending the PC’s automatic sleep time if you are continually waking it up not long after it dims  but , actually, my Windows Vista does that already, it isn’t a new win7 feature at all. Also, Windows 7 users will also be able to stream photos and videos stored on their PCs to any internet-connected computer via the Windows Live website – once again this isn’t a new win7 feature, anyone with Vista and Live can do this – gee it would have been nice if the Microsoft spokesperson actually knew a little about Windows 7 rather than pointing out Vista features!.

Continue reading ‘Get Microsoft Windows 7 Free’


Dell Australias Outragous Adamo Price

Just a quick update on my previous Australian Adamo post. The Adamo price in the US is $1999 which is about AUD2900 but here Dell has decided that the base model Adamo (the 1.2GHz model) will be AUD$3700 – what! The other model is AUD$4300 – super crazy and price gouging the public I think.

Australia also doesn’t get the higher spec white model either. By the way , the $4300 model has wireless broadband internet but only Vodaphone is an option and their coverage isn’t that good.

I have bought Dells before and have been very happy with them but no Dell, absolutely no Dell, computer is worth those prices. The lesser spec Apple Air seems a bargain by comparison – well nearly.


Dell Adamo Notebook Out Now For Australia

I am not sure how many people have heard of Dell computers amazing looking Adamo notebook PC, I only heard of it the other day. Dells release date is today and you can have a look at it on their Adamo website. I think it is pronounced Ah Dah Mo.

dell adamo notebook computer Australia

The notebook looks amazing, made of milled aluminium like some of the Apple notebooks and super thin – thinner than Apples Air PC !wow! A 13.4 inch HD screen that is flat glass to the edge, a fair number of ports and includes adaptors to use them (no extra cost I think) – eSata is great, my Toshiba has it and I connect my External HDD to it (and it can be used as a normal USB if needed) and the whole thing only .6inches thin (the air was a fat .76 🙂 ) .

The packaging is very iPod like and a first I would think for notebook marketing, I am betting others start doing it soon. The outer faces of the aluminium are an etched finish and look superb. A backlit keyboard with nice scalloped keys, I wish my current notebook had backlit keys, including my Netbook. Dell say the Adamo will get about 5 hours on the battery, not bad if true.

There are a few photos around but not many, I have taken stills from the Adamo video and it’s in black and white. Actually the computer will be available in two colours as well, Onyx and Pearl (black and white really).dell adamo notebook computer unbox goldcoaster Australia

The price will be around $1,999 US, not sure about Australian prices for the Adamo, hope it is not too bad as I would like to buy one if it is cheap enough with the Australian dollar as it is. Continue reading ‘Dell Adamo Notebook Out Now For Australia’


Googles Interest Based Advertising Privacy Concerns

I just received an email from Google about a new Adsense advertising scheme that is coming out. It concerns me a little about the privacy of readers. This new system, when I checked Adsense, is turned ON by default and it set a cookie on the readers computer that tracks sites the readers visits – not just the site they are currently on – and collects information on what they are browsing so they can put adverts on ANY site that has opted in that will target the reader.

For example, you love Dogs and visit dog sites then one day you decide you want to buy a cat, you visit a cat website but the site will display Dog adverts because that is what you have been looking at. Ok, innocent and not so bad but I would want adverts related to the site I am on.

OK, not so innocent example, an adult uses their family computer (like most families they only have one shared computer) to look at bikini girl sites or maybe a fan of bloody horror movies, next, little Johnny goes online to look at his favourite website about cartoons – the ads will be targetted on the most visited sites/information – so bikini or horror ads will be shown up to the little boy.

How to stop it seeing most sites will have this turned on by default, well the person visiting must know they have to visit a specific Google page and turn the tracking off. Bad news for privacy, bad news for Google.

google - privacy gone with interest-based advertising via adsenseGoogle is trying to get out of it by saying that the sites owner must state the fact on their privacy page but come on, who would visit these pages especially seeing you don’t know you are being tracked from site to site. Google has gone too far methinks, imagine if Microsoft or a government tracked your web surfing – that is really what Google is doing. They tried with their Web History but most people don’t have Google accounts, this DART cookie doesn’t need you to have an account it will track you everywhere.

Googles original Adsense works great, the ads are related to the page you are reading and I believe that is the best.

People please opt out of these – both Website owners and Web surfers do it now. Opt out of it here – .

We’re writing to let you know about the upcoming launch of interest-based advertising, which will require you to review and make any necessary changes to your site’s privacy policies. You’ll also see some new options on your Account Settings page.

Interest-based advertising will allow advertisers to show ads based on a user’s previous interactions with them, such as visits to advertiser website and also to reach users based on their interests (e.g. “sports enthusiast”). To develop interest categories, we will recognise the types of web pages users visit throughout the Google content network [ that is a huge amount of the web remember]. As an example, if they visit a number of sports pages, we will add them to the “sports enthusiast” interest category. To learn more about your associated account settings, please visit the AdSense Help Centre at

If I have this all wrong and there is nothing really bad and privacy issues are still fine please comment and explain it to me. Maybe I just haven’t thought it through, or maybe I have thought about it too much.:)


10 Great Rapidshare Search Engines

rapidshare-search-enginesA lot of people use Rapidshare, and also Megaupload and others I might add, to share files around the world. The only way I have used them is if I have a direct link to the file I am after because how else could you find a file on Rapidshare? Well it is quite easy actually because there are heaps of sites that offer the ability to search through Rapidshare.

I have tried out a lot of them and this is my list of 10 Rapidshare Search Engines. Of course the search is only useful if the file name has the search term in it, if the file is called musica49B you have no chance of finding it. Most, maybe all use a custom modified Google search for their results. You may have a favourite so let me know please.

  • FileCrop searches Rapidshare and you can specify the range of file size – eg. between, say, 30MB and 50MB, good to help narrow down the search.
  • RapidLibrary is a good one. It searches Rapidshare but they also have a MegaUpload search site as well.
  • RapidShareSearchEngine works really well and searches are grouped , meaning similar files names are together. Well done and you can even change the look of the site if you want.
  • ShareDigger is a nice and simple RapidShare serach engine but also can search 15 other file deposit sites as well.
  • Leecha is another multi file hosting search site. This ones feature is that you can tick just the sites you want to search.
  • RapidZero is interesting. It is not a simple RapidShare Search Engine it is a forum that list all Rapidshare links (you can search the forums of course) Really, really good.
  • LoadEvery is very comprehensive with more than 20 sites to search on top of Rapidshare. Once again just tick the ones you want. They also have a LoadEveryLite for a simple interface if wanted.
  • Gappon is nice, simple and neat. Fast too.
  • TotMe is another RS search engine. They say they check 100,000 Rapidshare links everyday so no outdated links.
  • Megadownload is a good choice for MegaUpload and RapidShare files. Simple and fast.

Well that is it, 10 of the best RS search engines. There are lots more but most of the others I tried use Pop-up ads and other sneaky adverts.


Australias Day Of Mourning

It is a pretty sad day in Australia today. Our National Day of Mourning for the poor people that have been effected by the terrible, terrible bushfires in Victoria.

I am sure all people in Australia know about this tragedy and many, many around the world do as well.Not only has many people died but whole towns have been destroyed. No one can imagine what it could be like – families gone, communities gone, livelihoods gone.

There is a memorial service to honour the 209 people who lost their lives in Victoria’s bushfires  in Melbourne. I have read that thousands of mourners have gathered around at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena to remember the dead and missing. I am watching it on TV, currently a didgeridoo is being played – it has never sounded so sad to me before.

Australian Day Of Mourning for the Victorian bushfire victims

Australian Day Of Mourning for the Victorian bushfire victims

There will be addresses from political leaders, religious figures and other dignitaries including Princess Anne who is attending the service on behalf of the Queen. There will also be words from bushfire survivors and will end with a speech by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

I find it hard to imagine how much people have suffered and I hope this day is a way of showing people they are not alone. The ABC has a stunning website showing the tragedy with audio from survivors .

I have donated to the Red Cross and please, please find it in your heart to donate as well, even a few dollars can help.


A new phone, N96 or C905

I am on the hunt for a new mobile phone. Yes, it’s called a  mobile phone not cell phone in my country 🙂

Here is a view/ review (written in good old sales script) on a couple of good looking phones, not bad at all but maybe a bit too over the top for me. The Sony Ericsson c905 is a little smaller than the Nokia N96 and feels nicer in the hand. Let me know what phone you think, remember data plans are super expensive here in Australia, especially Telstras network (at least double of others) so things like the iPhone are out.


Nokia N96

Some people are looking for a phone that’s just a phone. But if you’re looking for a phone that has more tools than Inspector Gadget, then you’ve found it right here. Offering superior features and multiple applications, this phone will keep you entertained with big-time fun that’s small enough to fit into your hand.
Photo quality is fantastic thanks to a 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens, autofocus and dual LED flash. Ever wanted to share a great place with your friends, but have found it hard to relay exactly where it is? Switch on ‘geo-tagging’ to add the geographical location to any photograph you take. Friends can use this information to locate your recommended destinations while travelling or out-and-about in town.
The Nokia N96 features an FM radio and music player with dedicated music and gaming keys.Listen through your own headphones or enjoy full-bodied sound through built-in stereo speakers. Sporting an unbelievable 16 gigabytes of internal memory, you’d have a hard time trying to fill it up, but for those who like to max out their phone’s capacity, the microSD slot will take up to 16 gigabytes on top.
On the practical side, the N96 features easy email set-up with document viewer, wi-fi internet and an in-depth organiser. Speaker phone is clear, as is call quality and messaging is straightforward and intuitive.

Sony Ericsson C905

You’d curse yourself for not bringing your camera. Who would believe you without proof? Enter the 8 megapixel Sony Ericsson C905 for immediate image capture. This brilliant auto-focus camera phone takes only a second to open so you won’t miss another once-in -a-lifetime moment. With heaps of settings and the Xenon flash illuminating even the darkest environment ,your photos will be of stunning quality. Immediately send them via MMS to mobiles or email addresses to spread the wprd of your discovery!

The music player is very similar to the Sony Ericsson Walkman phones, playing a variety of file types with MegaBass equaliser and stereo Widener.The FM radio features the TrackID system which traces the artist and song title of any radio song that you like. A new innovation of this system is the “Find similar music” function to recommend similar songs to the one you have traced.

It’s certainly not lacking in communication advancements either. The Manage Message feature helps to organise your messages by sorting into Business, Follow Up, Important, or create your own categories. You can also sort by sender and store on the phone or transfer to the included 2GB memory card. Call quality is great and you can count on long battery. The phone also features GPS navigation and Google Maps. So map out where the action is and get yourself there with this image-hungry essential for any photo fan.


Forever Young, me in 70s Australia

Way, way back when I was a teenager in the seventies the big thing was skateboarding. I loved it. I loved hanging out with friends who boarded as well – I guess it was a bit of a club that the oldies couldn’t understand and maybe that is what we liked even more. Actually the recent song ‘Forever Young’ by Youth Group is exactly how I remember it to be in Australia.

Fast forward to now and I doubt I could ride a skateboard any more, well not without losing my balance but my son has suddenly and I mean suddenly is interested in skateboarding and scooters. A few friends of his have them and I am sure this was a major reason why he is into boarding – back to my ’70’s club I guess. I was thinking that maybe he wants to be in the cool club but watching him with his friends he already seems to be the cool leader type.

He asked, on the weekend, to go to a skateboard park so he can skate around and learn some tricks and hang out with the cool kids. A skateboard park, gee, where is one near our house? I had no idea. A quick internet search showed a few skate parks needing only a little drive to get to and away we went.

Well, not quite away we went… first he had to have the skate shoes that needed to be just the right look. So, of course, me being the sucker took him to a few skate shops to start looking. We went to the Globe store – absolutely chock full of the latest skate and scooter gear, my son was almost drooling as we walked in. Dad, look at this cap, Dad look at this board, Dad look at these skate shoes, Dad look at this Razor Pro scooter.

My reply was pretty much something like , “Wow that’s amazing” but at the same time my brain was saying “Wow that’s expensive!!” 🙂 I guess I am showing my age because years ago I would have loved any of this gear; now when I picked up a pair of Globe thongs (flip flops in some other countries) I can’t see myself paying $60 for them when I know they probably cost $2 to make. Another thing my son loved about the Globe store was that the front was a mini skate park. So before the store opened he could practice doing his thing on his scooter and skateboard.

We ended at a Surf and Skate store looking at more shoes and he ended up finding a pair of Kustoms that he loved. Of course they were not much cheaper than the Globes but he liked them better. The next few hours was him lacing them up over and over until he got it just how he likes. One fussy boy!

Now he has the look, the skater look – the right shoes, the right cap, the right shorts, the right t-shirt – now all he needs to be able to do is ride a skateboard 🙂

(btw, I have copied this post. I wrote it at but they locked my account so I am taking this back)

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