Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition

The best software for your Mum, Dad, Uncle, Mate or sister.

, posted: 5-Mar-2007 11:41

We all have them,
Those members of your family or your "Friends", and they will call you up and ask you around for dinner, or maybe for a drink, and while you are there you will get the

"Seeing as you are here, could you take a look at my computer there is something wrong with it..."

Apparently doctors get the same thing, except its questions about the people themselves, some of them are quite gross, so there is a definite benefit to being a Geek....

(Exception is when there are a number of virus' and trojans on the pc your looking at due to a member of the household clicking banners to dodgy sites, this can be gross or great depending on your perspective)

All of us "computer people" have to deal with them from time to time.

What I have been doing recently is reviewing different software products, and seeing how useful they are,

Most of them are probably occurring to you already, the categories are,

Firewall (single pc / Multiple PC)

Anti - Spyware / Malware




For the firewall there are two categories, Single PC and multiple PC.

Ideally a Hardware firewall is the best solution without a doubt.


Sunbelt Kerio Firewall

PC Tools Firewall

OutPost Pro Firewall

Checkpoint ZoneAlarm

Single PC recommended is:
Cost: $0 (your time)
To put it simply, Zonealarm is definitely my personal favourite, its proactive, intuitive, user friendly and plain and simple its just the best option for a single pc installation.
it has a variable "computer knowledge" setting so its ideal from absolute
"computer as an appliance, you push the button and it goes"
through to
"I really should configure up a standalone firewall machine running linux, or go buy one, but I'm too busy building the next youtube / coding / playing WoW / reading GZ blogs"

All the others that I tried were not good - all that I looked at either tried to clone Zonealarm and did a bad job of it, - especially one in particular, that was just incredibly annoying - it had no idea what the hell anything was, if I was a n00b computer user, I would not have been able to do anything because it was warning me about absolutely everything - eg,
"Application "Firefox.exe" is trying to access the internet, this could be a virus, trojan or malicious action, if you are not sure click "DENY" "

And it did that with huge flashing lights and warning bells, on the n00by setting with standard config - and its not a MS Tactic - it happened with IE, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc. etc.

constantly - I had that one outta here in minutes.

the others (a couple I haven't even listed) I don't really know what they were like as they were causing system crashes.

Multiple PC Recommendation is: Zonealarm PRO
Cost:$39.95 USD
(Download free edition, click "Trial PRO" and you get a discount)

Zonealarm Pro is great, its got all the good things about the Free edition, and then some,
most importantly, its totally happy and easy to configure for Windows ICS (Internet Connection Sharing)

It Also Has an "Anti-Spyware" component which is great.

Anti - Spyware / Anti-Malware

These days, spyware is in a majority of cases, more of a problem than viruses.

lets face it, especially when the user of the computer might be downloading those smilies, or clicking on the banner as they have won because they are the 1,000,000 visitor to the website.

In this category I haven't said a winner or loser - just purely what I recommend:

Windows Defender. great. ms product. totally seamless. install it. Free!

Spybot S&D, another great Anti spyware tool.

AdAware yet another great Anti Spyware tool.


My personal favourite, for a free great antivirus, its got to be Grisoft AVG Free-Edition.

There are a lot of different Browser offerings out there today,
but you still can't go past good old Firefox for stability, compatibility and user-friendliness - I prefer the Google version.

IE7 is pretty, and works well when its working, but they have a long way to go yet!

so there you have a quick overview of recommended installs to make your unpaid maintenance of your "Friends" computers.

Other related posts:
Internet Blackout - Support it.
Kiwicon '08
Mobile Advertising, Youtube tests adverts on its mobile portal

inane's profile

New Zealand

I'm a professional Geek, and also in my own time, I am likely to write about all manner of things on this blog.
Of late I haven't updated this place much, but I need to do some revamping and dust off the cobwebs a bit. so thats what I'll do. going to aim for a minimum of three times a week updated here to begin, then perhaps head towards every day!

Who knows! 

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