Need to secure your PC? Try the best internet security software for Windows 7. Our paid and free favorite is clearly AVG, but there are many other tools that you can try. More after the break.

Best Internet Security Software for Windows 7

The internet is something like the Wild West of old: there are no rules, and little regulation. Threats abound, from viruses to malware to spyware, and they all want to infiltrate your system. Viruses come with the intent to cripple and destroy; spyware and malware come to steal information, enslave your machine, and more. Anyone looking for the best internet security software for Windows 7 will find the following programs helpful.

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What are the Absolute “Must-Have” Features?

Internet security software for Windows 7 comes in every price range, from free to almost $100 for the most expensive packages. However, price is not always the main concern. The best internet security software for Windows 7 will include several features that shield your system from a plethora of problems, in active and defensive roles. Always have a strong antivirus program, a good two-way firewall, heuristic detection of threats, link and email scanning, and antispyware tools. Some of the newer packages have cloud security and remote online backup.

Microsoft Recommendations

By visiting Microsoft’s site, you can see some of the best internet security software for Windows 7. These companies partner with Microsoft to ensure that the software is compatible with the particularities of Windows 7. The companies listed on the website are not in any particular order, and there is no mention of how well the individual programs perform; all you can tell is that these companies have Windows 7-compatible software. However, some of the names listed are in the top ten of recommended lists elsewhere.

Paid vs. Free Software

When looking at comparisons of programs to determine the best internet security software for Windows 7, there are two main classes: free and those for which you must pay. Many of the best programs offer a basic free edition, with a better edition available for purchase. Free programs usually cover the high points of internet security, such as antivirus, link and email scanning, and antispyware tools, and generally perform well. Paid versions have more sensitive and intensive tools, along with more sophisticated detection protocols and more features.

Our recommended paid internet security software: AVG – 10/10, Great firewall, antivirus and overall protection

Best Free Software Packages: AVG, Avast, Kaspersky, Avira

Avast Internet Security

Before downloading a free program, do your homework. Remember that some unscrupulous “security” software developers will actually seed your computer with viruses and malware. Go for well-known names whose basic protection is adequate. Some of the best internet security software for Windows 7 is put out by:

  • AVG
  • Avast!
  • Kaspersky Labs
  • Avira (Ad-supported)

All of these programs come with free versions and have good antivirus, malware, spyware and rootkit protection, plus some options such as link and email scanning in some cases.

Best Affordable Software Packages

If you are someone who frequently downloads files, visits sites that could be infected, or if you have children and/or multiple machines to protect, a paid program might be your best bet for security software. According to several independent review sites, two of the best internet security software tools for Windows 7 are:

  • Webroot Internet Security Essentials
  • BitDefender Internet Security

Both of these packages score high for active and passive security functions, don’t slow your system down and are only around $50 or less.

Best Programs for Extra Features

Sometimes users want or need more features, beyond just the basics of antimalware and antivirus. If you need a program with a great firewall and options such as cloud security, online backup, parental controls, multiple computer coverage, and isolated “sandbox” features, Kaspersky Labs and Comodo Internet Security offer these and more. Kaspersky has been around for a long time and is an acknowledged industry leader, and Comodo is a newer company that has won a lot of fans in recent years. Kaspersky is $80 or less, and Comodo costs around $50.

Computer users have many options to choose from when looking for the best internet security software for Windows 7. Assess your particular security concerns and needs, read up on program reviews, and choose one that suits your wishes and your budget. Always remember to only run one security program at a time, to avoid security shortfalls or contradictions, and update your program’s databases regularly.