Security software

From Hobbyist Software

Security Software

NB: all recommendations here apply to Windows

One of the most frequent problems that people have with our software relates to their security software being overzealous and blocking either network connections, or the ability for our apps to save data in their settings.

There are a bunch of security apps out there with dizzying arrays of functionality. The thing they all seem to have in common is a complex set of settings and options. If you are a super-techie user, then you may want to monitor and tweak settings for each app you run. Of course, if you are a super-techie user, then you probably won't have problems configuring your security software to make sure that it doesn't interfere with our apps.

For everyone else, (including people who want their security apps to 'just work') the I recommend the apps listed below.

This why I recommend them:

  • They're free
  • They're well respected
  • They won't get in the way of applications running normally
  • They won't slow your computer down unreasonably
  • We test all our apps to make sure they work with these options (as will most other developers)

These are the apps I install on my computers and all my family's computers.


Use Microsoft's built in firewall.

Get rid of whatever other firewall you are using. The chances are that it is complex and doesn't give you anything useful that Microsoft doesn't give you for free.

Once you turn off your old firewall (I'd suggest fully uninstalling it), Windows will ask you if you want to turn on the default firewall. Do that and you're set.

Anti Virus

Use Microsoft Security Essentialls

It's free, it does a good job, and it won't slow your computer down. Better still, it won't try to get you to pay every few months by releasing a new version and trying to hide the free download link!

Auto Updates

Make sure you turn on Windows' 'Automatic Updates' (you can find it in the control centre).

This will make sure you stay up to date with the latest security fixes.

Optional additional scanner

If you want to run an occasional scan for other malware, spyware, or other bad things, then

Lavasoft Ad Aware

their main site is here

You may have to hunt around to find the real free download link - but it will be there somewhere!


I'm not a security expert, these are just my recommendations based on my experience and the feedback from various tech groups that I use. No security software will stop you from infesting your computer with spyware and viruses if you try hard enough! The main protection is just to be sensible about what applications you download and run.