Need free Anti-Virus and Parental Control software.

A friend of mine has just been given a rebuilt computer for their teenage son to use for his school work. As their son will be accessing the internet with this computer, they definitely want Anti-virus and Parental Control software installed.

Being short on cash, (the computer was donated to them, not bought) are there any really good free Anti-virus and Parental Control programs that they can download?

AVG 6.0 Free Edition is a pretty good anti-virus program, you’ll find it at

I’d second AVG. Very good (especially for the price).

I don’t know of any good free parental control software, though.

Okay, how about the free version of Outpost Personal Firewall?

Although I don’t use the feature, it does allow you to define what web content and/or sites can be viewed.

You’ll find it at

There isn’t a good parental control software, free or otherwise. Even when they’re do manage to block ‘inappropriate’ sites, they almost always also block ‘appropriate’ sites that a researching teenager would want to visit legitamately.

And even when they’re in place, they’re fairly easy to get around by routing your traffic through open proxies. If China can’t filter all the traffic coming in on their trunk lines to effectively block access to sites that it’s government finds inappropriate, your friends aren’t going to be able to filter the traffic going into their son’s computer on no budget.

If they can’t trust their kid to handle anything he finds, and they must have more control, they’ll have better luck with monitoring software, which logs everything the kid does, and then they can review the log and discuss any ‘inappropriate’ activity.


I would also recommend that they install firewall software to add some protection against unwanted hacking/cracking (let’s leave the linguistic debate elsewhere) attempts. ZoneAlarm is a very popular, user-friendly firewall product, free for personal use.

I’ve been switching between ZoneAlarm and Outpost for about a month now. I like ZoneAlarm and have been using it for an age, but am getting very fond of Outpost’s ad-blocking ability.

Thanks for the replies, I’ll pass on your suggestions.