This is the first in a series of articles focusing on trying to get by with a little less.

In a time flush with horror stories of job loss and debt it would be ridiculous to think that if something breaks or is a bit old we would just mindlessly push off to buy another one. Computers are expensive, software products shouldn’t be disposable, neither should technology. Its with all of this in mind that we start a new series of articles here at the podcast aiming on getting by with less funding. Please feel free to submit your questions or comments either on this article or by clicking the email button on the page and asking a question.

If you are running a PC you NEED antivirus, but the yearly licensing for most AV programs is enough to make me stutter, fifty dollars a year? I understand that there are costs involved in owning any computer and that no machine should ever be without an AV solution. So what to Do? Enter two quick and simple software packages that do the job.

avgAVG AntiVirus:
AVG offers a free version of their larger application. The free version is limited to simply anti virus, while the paid version also includes rootkit detection, safe surfing alerts and much more. I am a huge fan of their antivirus software. People often ask why would they offer the AV for Free? Well if you think their simple software package works well you might be tempted to buy their larger offering, and they get plenty of free publicity such as this mention for doing so. But their motives aside the software does exactly what it is supposed to do. I always turn off the included browser plug-in, just because i don’t like the idea of data on my surfing habits being sent anywhere. Its not an illusion of privacy but rather i try to limit the data leaks where I can.

clamwin_logoClamwin AV:
Is my go to application for portable antivirus technology but much less useful in a production environment. There is no real time scanning of your file-system, which is debatable in its usefulness depending on the person you ask. I would prefer that in addition to blocking virus like activity on my machine the program would also routinely check to see if any of the updated definitions match anything on my machine. Clamwin not only offers the free scanner but also has a portable app version as well. I absolutely love portable apps! Clamwin is great for dropping on a machine to find out what is wrong with it and then looking around for the removal tools, but as a permanent solution I don’t often end up using it.

So there you go my quick and clean, hit or miss Tech in Tough Times opening Salvo.

Did I miss an application, do you have a favorite?