Bitdefender Total Security 2013 brings secure browsing to the top shelf

The bottom line: Bitdefender Total Security 2013 remains one of the best high-end security suites around. This update gives you a fully isolated Web browser for secure financial transactions.

Review: Bitdefender Total Security 2013 presents a convincing alternative to its better-known competitors. It's a strong program, with all the major tools that users expect, and some additional useful tricks in its arsenal. When it comes to efficacy, Bitdefender isn't the best in every area, but it's definitely competitive.

Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review of Bitdefender Total Security 2012.

Installation Bitdefender … Read more

Get MailWasher Pro 2012 anti-spam software for free

Sick of spam? For many users it's the bane of the e-mail experience, a time-sucking hassle that's also a major security risk: spam leaves the door wide open for viruses, phishing, and other threats.

My preferred solution is to route my domain's mail through Gmail, which offers excellent spam filtering. But that won't work for everyone. If you feel like you're losing the war on spam, consider another solution.

Today only, BitsDuJour is offering Firetrust MailWasher Pro 2012 (Windows) anti-spam software for free. That's for a three-PC license, which regularly costs $29.95.

When … Read more

AutoPilot and more in Bitdefender Total Security 2012

The bottom line: Bitdefender Total Security 2012 makes a convincing pitch as an easy Windows security option. It's got an enormous selection of features, but the best one means you'll never see another security notification again unless you get infected. However, the fact that you can get the same feature even in Bitdefender's basic antivirus suite means you ought to think twice before getting this superhigh-end version.

Review: Bitdefender Total Security 2012 presents a convincing alternative to its better-known competitors. It's a strong program, with all the major tools that users expect, and some additional useful … Read more

AVG 2011 banks on better performance

The never-ending mantra chanted by security suite vendors sounds a lot like "faster scans, easier to use, better performance," and AVG has released a new version that it says accomplishes all three. AVG Anti-Virus Free 2011, available today exclusively from CNET, looks and feels like an overall better program.

The new AVG Free has a faster installation process. It's not as zippy as the minute-long installations that some of AVG's competitors offer. I found that the program can go from completed download to ready to use in about 5 minutes. A big contributing factor … Read more

AVG Free 9 in pictures

Most of what's new in AVG Free 9 is under the hood, with the security vendor talking up speedier scan times. There's also a new identity protection feature that's free to people in the United States.

Also in this slideshow, I show an easy way to keep the AVG security toolbar from repurposing your default new tab page.

AVG: Version 9 faster, includes ID protection service

The feature-rich versions of popular security program AVG have been updated, with AVG Technologies claiming faster scan times, faster boot times, and other under-the-hood improvements. While version 8 introduced a consolidated product line, making those features work better together takes the attention of AVG Internet Security 9 and AVG Anti-Virus 9.

AVG is making some bold claims for these updates. The company is touting scan times that are "up to 50 percent" faster, based on marking files safe until their file structure changes, and boot times that are "10 to 15 percent" faster. Memory usage is … Read more

Barracuda Networks: an unsung hero of open source and a new member of Open Invention Network

I spent some time last week talking with Dean Drako, CEO of Barracuda Networks. I'd wanted to talk with Dean for some time, as I've been an admirer of the company for many years. Barracuda recognized the strength of open source, and capitalized on it, well before most people were willing to even give open source a chance.

The conversation was particularly interesting because of Barracuda's announced intention to join the Open Invention Network, as well as some research it had done on perceived customer value for open source.

I started by asking Dean, Why do you care about open source?… Read more

Wizard of WordPress, part two: When open source fails

In part two of my interview with Matt Mullenweg (see also part one) of WordPress and Automattic, we discussed the release of WordPress 2.2, including its new widgets and Ajax-enhanced interface.

I asked Mullenweg what his favorite widgets were and although he said he "doesn't like most widgets," he did call out some of the blogosphere utilities like Sphere (review) and Technorati.

No conversation with Mullenweg would be complete without a discussion of the WordPress antispam utility, Akismet -- a service inspired by the young developer's mother. I also find it interesting that while Mullenweg … Read more