Q. "My brother uses xx?? free antivirus software
and claims he has never had a problem. Why should I spend $50 to
A. Do you remember the old saying "there
ain't no free lunch"? Well there ain't. Where do you
think the spammers get your email address. Do you think they
work their butts off trying to make a good product for nothing?
They are supported by advertising! If there are no real ads on
the page then you can bet they are selling names or in fact own other
sites that will be sending you all kinds of "opportunities". You
spent perhaps $600.00 on your new computer system and countless hours creating all
the stuff on your computer. Is it not worth the $50 bucks to
protect it. I have found over the years that AVG is one of the
most popular packages out there and it just plain works. Also they are there for support should it be needed.
Don't cheap out where it matters. The paid version of
free software is "always" worth it. Sooner or later
you will have a problem - trust me - and is sure
feels good to find an expert on the other end of the phone line when
you need it.
Q. "My internet provider is Shaw Cable in Canada.
They offer a free antivirus package that sounds pretty good. Why
shouldn't I just install it and be done with it".
A. There is no reason that you should not install it. It turns out this
is McAfee. Shaw makes it available to subscribers for up to 5
systems in the home and or office. Go for it. Its not
really free. You pay for it with your subscription to Shaw so take
advantage of it. Shaw also provides
extremely good support services well beyond what I think they need to
provide. If you are having a serious problem - give them a
chance. They are quite amazing. Personally I use
Shield that is included with my subscription to
PC Pitstop. It approaches the problem in a different way and
is far more efficient than the traditional AV programs.
Q. "Many times I get email from friends that has a
bunch of stuff on the bottom offering me "free emoticons"
- for example".
A. Please please do not fall for that one.
In many cases this just installs spy- ware on your system. They
(the spies) then know where you are surfing and they can tailor the spam and advertising
to your specific weaknesses. It loads up your email box with more
useless junk. Keep your email clean and please do not pass
this crap to your friends.
Q. "What about the free or "open source"
"office" like packages from places like Apache. Or the
"free" Adobe Acrobat reader software. Surly they are not all
A. No they are not all bad. You have to be
careful and selective. The products like
Apache Open office -
www.openoffice.org from Apache is a case in point. The is a full suite of products
like a word processor, spreadsheet etc. This is an excellent
product and works very well. Also things like
Reader are a logical freebie. To create documents that are fixed
into the PDF format is yet another product this company sells and it
is quite expensive. It only makes sense that they freely
distribute the software to read those documents. PDF - means "portable
For the record I recently discovered a product from "Foxit software".
It is a PDF reader that is simple - tiny and fast. You can get
rid of the bloated Adobe reader and its constant up dates. Just
And again read the screens very carefully as you step through the
process or you will end up with stuff you don't need.
Q. "When downloading some of these "good" products I
always seem to end up with a bit more than I thought I was going to
A. Always read the screens carefully. As
the process begins they will often offer you yet another product like
the "Google tool bar" or the Yahoo tool bar. This is pretty much the last thing you
need on your screen. They has no real value other than to push all
your stuff to Google or Yahoo. It takes up space and slows things down.
Watch the tick boxes on the screen and read carefully before
installing anything - and I do mean anything. Even stuff you
have paid for sometimes gives you the "opportunity" to get a small
"The world has three kinds of men. One kind learns by reading and
another kind learns by observation. But these are rare. Most of us
have to pee on the electric fence for ourselves."
That's enuf for this month.
Send your questions to
PS. Feel free to share this link if you think it
will help somebody.
Yes my stuff is free sort of but you will notice some
advertising and yes I make a buck if you click on an ad and buy
something see "always read the fine print"