If you’re running a Windows system on campus, you need to have anti-virus protection. While our campus firewall will protect you to a degree from direct outside attacks, your computer is still vulnerable to internal attacks and malicious software you might download.
Pre-installed Anti-Virus Software
Many laptops come with an anti-virus product pre-installed, often Norton or McAfee. These are subscription-based programs that come with a free trial. After the free trial has expired, the programs will cease to protect your computer until you activate and pay for a subscription. If you have one of these and your free trial has expired, you need to either:
- Activate and pay for a subscription
- Uninstall the anti-virus software and install a free alternative.
Keep in mind that you only need one anti-virus application on your computer. A system with two or more anti-virus applications installed will often run slow, crash, and be impossible to use.
Free Anti-Virus Applications
Here is a nice article giving an overview of 9 different free anti-virus products:
Three of the most popular choices are AVG, Avast!, and Avira. They offer similar features and which one you like usually depends on personal preference.
Microsoft also offers a free anti-virus product called Windows Security Essesntials. It is fairly lightweight and integrates well with the Windows operating system. If that sounds like your style, you might want to give it a try.
Finally, there is a relatively new product called Digital Defender, which aims to be fast, lightweight and unobtrusive.
Each of the above mentioned applications offer comparable and effective anti-virus protection. For more information on each of them, check out the article mentioned above. The article also covers a few “cloud-based” anti-virus applications, but these will not work properly on the campus network because they require a constant internet connection.
These links are cached locally, so they’re fast and don’t need to sign-on to the internet to download the installer file.