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Network World - Security software is a real free-for-all these days.
Sure a few strings might come attached -- some free anti-virus software and online scanners are strictly for personal use and you might need to put up with vendors regularly enticing you to upgrade for more security bells and whistles. But free and open source tools - from vulnerability assessors to packet analyzers to troubleshooting software -- can be had, and even the hackers trying to break into your network are fond of many of them.
Some might argue that you get what you pay for, but a study released over the summer by a software testing company found that free products dominate the security software market despite strong brand awareness by the leading vendors. And it's not just consumers putting free security technology to use - Virgin America airline, for instance, has embraced ClamAV for antivirus and OpenVPN for its virtual private networking.
Here's a menu of just some of the freebie security services and software, in alphabetical order. We haven't included so-called "trial software" that makes you buy after 30 days free.
AVG Free Anti-Virus 2011 Edition (for personal, non-commercial use)
McAfee SiteAdvisor software advises about unsafe Web sites:
McAfee virus removal tools for the viruses Sasser, Bagle, MyDoom, Blaster, others
McAfee Security Scan Plus scans for anti-virus, firewall, other security attributes
McAfee's Internet Connection Speedometer lets you test your computer for speed
Microsoft's Windows SysInternals trouble-shooting suite of freeware tools
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, mainly for small- to midsize businesses to check Windows for conformance with Microsoft security recommendations.
Metasploit Framework, the open-source version of what is now also a commercialized penetration-testing tool product from Rapid7
Open-source nmap, security scanner to test hosts and servers
OpenSSH secure log-in server and client for Unix, Linux, Mac OS X
Sophos free encryption
Sophos Endpoint Assessment Test to check for Windows patches, 70 antivirus apps, 40 firewall apps
Sophos Anti-Rootkit to remove rootkits
Open-source Snort intrusion detection/prevention system
Symantec's Norton Safe Web Lite to warn about unsafe Web sites
Symantec's Norton Safe Web for Facebook scans for malicious URLs
Symantec's Norton Online Family can tell you what your kids are doing online
Symantec's Norton Power Eraser detects and remove hard-to-find crimeware
Symantec Norton DNS to change your DNS setting to receive anti-phishing and anti-malware protection (Windows and Mac)