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It does a fine job of detecting malware, does so without adversely impacting system performance, and does so without nagging you for renewals, upgrades, or up-sells. In the past tools have differentiated between classes of malware such as viruses and spyware.You would need a separate utility for each: one anti-virus program, and another anti-spyware.A virus is a computer program written by someone, with the presumed intent of spreading and causing grief.Like a human virus, a virus makes the infected computer “sick”: it causes poor performance, crashes, lost files and data, or more.Some programs have become as much self-promotion tools as they are anti-malware tools, bombarding you with sales pitches and upgrade offers to the point of getting in the way of your work. So to the extent that I mention specific tools below, – “let the buyer beware”.I can’t honestly predict that the tools will remain recommendation-worthy.Conversely, copying data from your computer or device to an internet server is considered an download.

A firewall is a barrier between something that is potentially dangerous and something you want to keep safe. There is a wall of metal behind your car’s dashboard designed to keep the passengers safe should the engine catch on fire. In computing, a firewall is typically a networking device – often a router – that is designed to understand network traffic to some degree.Its job is to block malicious or unauthorized network traffic from crossing the firewall into a protected network.The most common examples of a firewall are most consumer and small-business routers.Recent versions of Windows include a built-in software firewall.Spyware is a class of malware that, as its name implies, is typically designed to spy on you or your computer, silently collecting information that is subsequently sent on to others for typically nefarious purposes.On the other hand, I fully recognize that Windows Defender might not be the right solution for everyone. This is where I run into some difficulty trying to make recommendations. Tools that were once clearly free, have on more than one occasion, moved to promoting their paid product so heavily that the free version virtually disappears.

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