The Best Alternative Security Software for Windows
Windows has always been more vulnerable to cyber threats, thanks to its popularity. However, with Windows 10, Microsoft started including a built-in security software – Windows Defender. Even though the security it offers it very basic, as of February 2018, Windows Defender scored a perfect 100% at the Real-World Protection Test by AV-Comparatives, an independent lab for testing security solutions. Yes, Windows Defender has improved a lot over the past few years and can also be configured to block Adware. But in case you think that you need that extra security for your home or office PC, here are a few products that you can check out.
Please note that none of these products completely replace an antivirus solution, these are just meant to reinforce your PC security and make sure that your system is not infected.
Even though it is designed to be a complete standalone anti-malware solution, Malwarebytes also play nice with any other traditional security suites that you have on your PC. Malwarebytes is very small in size. The entire install with databases is something less than 200MB. Malwarebytes specializes in zero-day malware – that is, security threats that have not yet been classified and catalogued into database updates. It can detect malware that is not even in its database, by observing its behaviour. Malwarebytes also prevents unwanted installations of adware, and even block websites that are known to spread malware. It also goes a step further by protecting the user from rootkits.
The free version of Malwarebytes does not provide real-time protection, but you can still use it to scan and remove malware on your PC. Malwarebytes is, by far, the most trusted program when it comes to cleaning infected PCs.
Previously known as Hitman.Pro, Sophos Clean is a malware removal solution for your PC. Hitman.Pro’s parent company was acquired by Sophos, a security company that specializes in enterprise security. Now known as Sophos Clean, the program is a simple step by step scanner that can detect any malware that may be on your PC. It also detects cookies that can be used to track you online.
Sophos Clean is simple, lightweight and can run from a USB drive. It is a no-brainer program that should be there in your software toolbox.
Another program that is similar to Sophos Clean is Emsisoft Emergency Kit or EEK in short. Emsisoft makes antimalware programs. Even though they do not beat the top ones such as Kaspersky or Bitdefender, Emsisoft has this neat program that can clean your PC of infections that not many other programs can.
EEK is a bit fat when it comes to the download size. After that, it runs database updates too, followed by a scan. It’s completely portable, has a clean and modern interface and needs the bare minimum resources to run.
Rival to Malwarebytes, Zemana anti-malware is relatively new to the scene and is a program that provides protection from zero-day malware. Zemana is much of a stripped-down Malwarebytes that offers real-time protection from malware. The free version works well as a second opinion scanner that can find malware that your antivirus has missed.
Adguard is not an antimalware solution but will help you a lot if you spend your time online browsing websites. Adguard for Windows is a program that blocks ads in almost all apps, including browsers. It also blocks any malicious website and comes with parental protection too. It also acts as an excellent tracking protection software by blocking tracking cookies, stripping URLs of referrals, and blocking anything else that can be used to track you online. And Adguard does all this without hampering your browsing experience.
For browsers, Adguard also has an extension. This extension can block ads in browsers but can be further customized to block other threats for more online security.
GlassWire is a firewall program that is not only pretty but also user-friendly. Any system needs a firewall to make sure that internet access of programs is regulated. Firewalls can also be used to block ads and malware if you can properly configure them. GlassWire just makes the entire process really effortless.
With GlassWire, you can Instantly see who or what your PC is talking to on GlassWire’s network monitoring graph, plus see what your PC may have connected to in the past, Detect spyware, malware, badly behaving apps, and bandwidth hogs, then block their connections, Monitor other PCs on your network and get alerted when new unknown devices join your WiFi. GlassWire warns you of network related changes to your PC or unusual changes to your apps that could indicate malware.
Sandboxie is an isolation software. If you do not know if some program is safe or not, then you can run them using Sandboxie. Sandboxie uses isolation technology to separate programs from your underlying operating system preventing unwanted changes from happening to your personal data, programs and applications that rest safely on your hard drive.