September 22, 2004

Web Surfing Helpers

Antivirus software

My top choice is AVG Antivirus. Follow the link, select download free version, and proceed through the various installation steps. As with any antivirus software, the key to success is keeping it up to date. You can schedule automatic updates with AVG if you like (once every 2 weeks is a good ballpark.)

If you don't want to install antivirus software on your computer but still want to test for viruses, try Panda ActiveScan. The scan process takes a long time, so I'd recommend letting it run overnight. If you're on dial-up, you may be out of luck entirely, but it doesn't hurt to give it a try.

Web Browser

Firefox is a great browser that takes up very little space, blocks spam, displays web pages more accurately for those of you who know what that means, and will look very familiar to Internet Explorer users. I've been using Mozilla Firefox for about a year now, and have received a grand total of 0 popups. Firefox also lets you open new pages in separate tabs within the same main window, which cuts down on taskbar clutter. You can download and use this instead of Internet Explorer, the AOL browser, or the MSN browser without having to change things significantly. If you want to make Firefox your default browser send me a comment and I'll create a post on it.

Spam Blocker

If you're a little afraid to try a new browser but hate those constant popup ads, install the Google Toolbar. This handy little search bar doubles as a pretty good popup blocker (not as good as the Firefox browser) once you set it to block them, but only works on Internet Explorer.

Spyware Blockers

I use Spybot, Search & Destroy to block and remove spyware, but Adaware also comes highly recommended by many. Some people even use both.


If you want to be able to read web documents in the popular pdf format, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader 6. It's useful to have even if you haven't yet encountered a pdf file because you likely will some day, possibly on this site.

Posted by Andy at 08:37 PM