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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Free alternative to other anti-spyware apps

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware detects and cleans malicious software like no other. It's my first string of defense when a computer is infected with something nasty like some of the recent hoax anti-virus apps that have been plaguing people lately. The free version does not have realtime protection, so you will have to run the scans manually.  However, you can have realtime protection after a one-time payment of $24.95.

http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php

Microsoft Security Essentials

Free antivirus from Microsoft

Truly free, no trial or gimmick to hook you into a paid version later. This may become my new free antivirus of choice.  It's fairly simple and clean and seems to be much less of a resource hog. There is little to no nagging or interaction, which is usually ideal to have it do its thing silently in the background.

http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/

Spybot - Search & Destroy

Free alternative to other anti-spyware apps

 

Spybot is another widely known free anti-spyware app.  Unlike Ad-aware's free version, Spybot does have a real-time monitor option to block potential spyware attacks. 

 

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

 

Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition

Free alternative to other anti-spyware apps 

 

One of the most popular anti-spyware programs, this is Lavasoft's free version.  It does not offer realtime scanning of files, but running a manual scan does a good job of finding any spyware that may already exist on your computer.

 

http://www.lavasoftusa.com/

 

Clamwin

Free alternative to Norton Antivirus and McAfee VirusScan

 

This is the only anti-virus in my listing that's open source.

Pro: Works with Windows Server 2003 (server antivirus is much more expensive)

Con: Does not currently do real-time scanning. 

 

http://www.clamwin.com/

 

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