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39 free security software tools

Security tools such as anti-virus software, online scanners, vulnerability assessment tools, packet analyzers can all be had for free

By , Network World
November 15, 2010 06:05 AM ET

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.

5 awesome free tools for small businesses

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)

Avast! Free AntiVirus

BitDefender Free Anti-Spam for Mail Servers (for Linux)

Cain and Abel password-recovery tool for Microsoft operating systems

Open-source Antivirus, ClamAV

Dell Kace Secure Browser (for Firefox)

eEye's Single Asset Vulnerability Scanner

eEye's Conficker Worm Utility Scanner

Kismet, free wireless network sniffer

McAfee SiteAdvisor software advises about unsafe Web sites:

McAfee virus removal tools for the viruses Sasser, Bagle, MyDoom, Blaster, others

McAfee ePO Vulnerability scanner

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 AntiVirus for Mac, Home Edition

Sophos free encryption

Sophos Endpoint Assessment Test to check for Windows patches, 70  antivirus apps, 40 firewall apps

Sophos Anti-Rootkit to remove rootkits

Sophos Aurora Malware Removal Tool

Sophos Windows Shortcut Exploit Protection tool

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)

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