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Free Windows Desktop Software Security List

Last updated by ako on 01 December 2017 - 22:08

Security List Index

Select a Security Category :

Browser Security
Data Rescue
Malware Removal Tools
My Choices
Network Traffic Monitoring
Not Recommended
Online Scanners
Realtime Protection
Sandboxing / Virtualization
Software and Services
System Cleaning
System Hardening and Protection
System Monitoring
System Rescue
Tests and Analysis Tools
Vulnerability Scanning

All Items
See all items in one massive list


- Discontinued or not updated recently (for at least three years). If there are both free
and paid versions, this key applies only to the free version.
- Item links to a Gizmo's Freeware 'Best Free' page.
- Item or this icon links to a Gizmo's Freeware page.
- Web application. Use of this key doesn't mean that there isn't a Windows application
also available.
Browsers: FF = Firefox; Ch = Chrome; IE = Internet Explorer; OB = Other browsers; AB =
All browsers.


This list (earlier "Probably the Best Free Security List in the World") contains thousands
of links to free security-related Windows desktop applications
and web applications, with the goal of listing everything available that's not malicious or
of low usefulness. This list doesn't include Windows desktop applications that work on
only pre-Windows XP operating systems. This list also contains links to pages that
contain security-related information. This list does not give recommendations ( except
for the My Choices page ), but it contains links to other Gizmo's Freeware pages that give

Use the Windows desktop applications or web applications on this list at your discretion.
We usually don't test the Windows desktop applications or web applications on this list,
and we usually don't scan the Windows desktop applications on this list with antivirus
software. Some of the links in the Related Links section on this page give tips on
deciding whether a given Windows desktop application or website is safe to use.

We periodically check all links on this list with Web of Trust.
- Only links that are rated by Web of Trust as green or unrated are shown as
- Links that are rated by Web of Trust as yellow are shown as obfuscated links.
- Links that are rated by Web of Trust as red aren't allowed on this list.
- Links that directly link to files are shown as obfuscated links. To change an
obfuscated link into a valid link, copy and paste the obfuscated link to your browser's
address bar, then replace [COLON] with : and [DOT] with a period.

Use the comments section below, or this (or this) forum thread, to let us know about
issues, or suggestions for items that could be added to the list.

Short URLs for this page: ,
, and .

Related Links

* All articles in security category #1
* All articles in security category #2
* Computer Security Guides and Articles (contains some articles that aren't in either
security category)
* What Else Have You Just Downloaded?
* How to Make a Quick and Easy Online Antivirus Check of a File or App Before
Downloading it
* How to Tell if a File is Malicious
* How to Tell If A Website Is Dangerous
* Best Free Antivirus Software
* Best Free Trojan Horse Scanning And Removal Software
* Introduction to Light Virtualization
* Best Free Virtualization Solutions


This list is maintained by volunteer editor ako (Antti Koponen)
(c) 2009-2018 Antti Koponen

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Submitted by jlgg on 28 January 2018 - 0:38
OK, I give up, what's an LUA?

Submitted by ako on 28 January 2018 - 21:47
There is link on My Choices.

Submitted by eikelein on 28 January 2018 - 0:59
"Least user access" or "least-privilege user account".

Submitted by DavidFB on 5 February 2017 - 7:29
I've just discovered WOT (Web of Trust) has been selling user data to third parties. Firefox has
now blocked the plugin for security violations.
I went to their web site only to face a pop-up with no exit. I searched FAQs and the Forum and
there was no mention of this.
It seems WOT has lost its status as a "security" product.

Submitted by eikelein on 5 February 2017 - 21:33
Hi all;
I simply don't understand the fuss about WOT. As I wrote in my Jan 25th. 2017 post on my blog
"WOT has a few month ago modified their end user license agreement to conform more closely
to what the add-on all can do. No surprise to me that they collect some information on the
things you search for and where you then click on. Google does that for years and nobody gives
a hoot.".
Furthermore I am of the opinion and have LOTS of experiences with my customers; they
all value WOT highly. But many people "... don't seem to see the value of WOT for the
normal non-geek end user and remain stubbornly on their negative stance towards
WOT. ".
And later in the same post: "Mozilla even tricks people into disabling or removing WOT
- despite the fact that there is no even remotely similar functionality available anywhere
Finally: "It is a shame but I have to tell my customers that they have to use Google
Chrome for their web searches if they want the advantages of WOT".
Again, AFAIK Google does pretty much the same thing (collecting information about us)
but nobody stopped using Google for searching or any of the other Google services.
If you know where there is "... similar functionality available anywhere else..." then
PLEASE, pretty please let me/us know here. With "similar functionality" I mean similar
to WOT.

Submitted by DavidFB on 9 February 2017 - 21:53
It's simple, really. A security app should not be compromising your security. All of them have
done it at some point. Mozilla is not the bad guy here. Sure you can re-enable WOT but theres a
good reason they've disabled it.
It's not that they're tracking your browsing - thats to be expected for something to give you
these results. The issue is selling that data to third parties without removing user-identifiable
information. And you don't know who those parties are. That's not security.
Google is not a security tool. I, like many others, use DuckDuckGo. It searches Google with
minimal tracking. People do give a hoot, I'm afraid. More should.
Mozilla doesn't trick anyone. They disable plugins that they discover compromise your security.
That's a good feature.
Google updates have broken WOT in search results on several occasions. I didn't see such a cry
over that.
I fully agree WOT was a great tool and have recommended it for years. As this is probably their
funding model, I doubt much will change. As I also mentioned, it's a bad sign when a companies
web site isn't behaving properly/ maintained. I've removed WOT.
There are other tools that do very similar but most of them have been bought up and integrated
with security suites. Site Advisor into McAfee, for example.

Submitted by Remah on 10 February 2017 - 0:41
DuckDuckGo is a privacy tool that accordingly removes personalised filtering of search results.
McAfee Site Advisor is still a downloadable browser extension. I expect that it continues to be
much less effective than WOT just as it has for many years.
I agree that WOT has done something bad but the main alternatives all have blots on their

Submitted by Remah on 6 February 2017 - 1:38
eikelein, you probably know that when Firefox disables the WOT extension it is possible to
enable it. But for those who don't, you might have to tell Firefox to re-enable WOT a few times
before Firefox leaves it alone.
There are two ways to get to the settings:
- Select Menu (the "Hamburger") in the right end of the toolbar; then select Add-ons
- Enter about:addons where you normally type in URL
- Select the Extensions side tab
- Find WOT in the list of extensions
- Re-enable it using the Enable button

Submitted by eikelein on 6 February 2017 - 1:41
I know exactly what you mean, thanks.
Quite a few of my customers got caught by automatic Firefox updates that placed FF's profile
folder on he dektop as "Old Firefox Data" and created a new profile without any extensions.
In some cases I could "fix" that by copying the old profile back to where FF expects it and
changing the profile.ini file accordingly.
The message that FF used to pop up about WOT was (is?) formulated in a way that my (often
elderly) non-geek customers got scared and then clicked on Remove. After that it's all too late,
WOT is gone.
Again, thank you for your remark and suggestions.

Submitted by ako on 5 February 2017 - 8:57
That's bad news. Greediness won again :(
I will drop it from the list - at least until we have more information.

Submitted by MidnightCowboy on 5 February 2017 - 9:03
This is old news now. The WOT add-on has already been reinstated to the Chrome store. See the
link below re: Firefox MC - Site Manager.

Submitted by DavidFB on 5 February 2017 - 20:28
Thanks, MC. That forum post didn't come up on WOT for me.
However, the concern expressed by Mozilla was not only what the plugin was collecting but what
WOT was doing with the information.
As other posters on the Gizmo forum observed, WOT is a "security" feature for safe surfing. In
what way is it safe if their income comes from user tracking? They've lost this user and my on-
line recommendations.

Submitted by ako on 5 February 2017 - 19:15
Thanks MC!

Submitted by howiem on 16 June 2016 - 16:34
I've been using separate sandboxes ( for each site where I do
financial transactions or conduct other sensitive functions and delete the contents of
the sandbox after use.

Submitted by ako on 16 June 2016 - 17:56
I personally have separate account for financial.
And I NEVER use admin account.

Submitted by footpatrol on 16 June 2016 - 13:56
Nice security list. it would be helpful if there were links to go to those sites too.
Since some are out-dated the years of operation might be listed along the side.
A major concern is what security etc. programs that work on a WIN7 system will still work on
WIN 10 OS. It would be nice to see a tabulated list that shows this someplace. If you are aware of
any please post and/or share in email newsletter. Thanks. [I realize time is limited]

Submitted by ako on 16 June 2016 - 17:58
I guess all major products already support win 10.
I am not personally using win10 and will not in near future.
The problem is time indeed. Would you like to join us to become co-author?

Submitted by George.J on 25 May 2016 - 13:49
What do you think about AdFender compared to AdMuncher?

Submitted by ako on 11 June 2016 - 18:06
I personally use AdMuncher. Haven't seen any comparison of them.

Submitted by joy90976 on 23 May 2016 - 20:02
Why are there so many broken links and outdated programs on this list? Seems to me it
hasn't been reviewed in quite awhile, as I clicked on many programs in the list that
hadn't been updated since 2010 or 2012. Support has ended for many programs on the
list also, due to age. One example is Xerobank, which hasn't been around since '09 or so.
I don't know about you, but I prefer products that are up-to-date on the latest threats.

Submitted by ako on 11 June 2016 - 18:06
joy90976, You are invited to become co-author of this list. The reason for inactivity is simple:

Submitted by eikelein on 24 May 2016 - 1:54
Dear joy,
Why don't you voluntarily offer to take over administration of this list?
Now THAT would help...

Submitted by J_L on 27 August 2015 - 19:45
Sorry for the inactivity guys, but we're back! Well at least I am trying to keep it up-to-date.
Feel free to add your comments, suggestions, and critiques!

Submitted by J_L on 19 January 2016 - 5:03
Sigh, life gets in the way... I think we may need a new helper for this.

Submitted by kebsojourner on 10 May 2015 - 14:03
I used Threatfire for several years but quit when it was no longer being updated. This program
has not been updated since March of 2012, should it still be on this list (HIPS)?

Submitted by MrBrian on 10 May 2015 - 17:42
The inclusion criteria for threat-fighting applications is whether the given application is
useless (or nearly useless) against current threats. I'm sure that ThreatFire is not as good
against current threats as it was back when it was maintained. So the question is
whether this low bar is not being met? In this particular case, even if the low bar is not
met, ThreatFire can also be configured to alert on single behaviors, making ThreatFire
behave more like most other HIPS.
Very soon (perhaps today) a new key called "Discontinued or inactive" will be
introduced. This key will be used for ThreatFire .
Thank you for the feedback :).

Submitted by Alan Wade on 9 May 2015 - 11:13
Does any of this software run on Windows 10?

Submitted by J_L on 22 June 2015 - 5:25
Emsisoft Emergency Kit,
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware,
Prey (Anti-Theft),
SoftPerfect RAM Disk,
Zemana Anti-Malware,
The above is actually my security setup, minus what's already in Windows 10 (system
imaging, file history, SmartScreen, Windows Defender, Protected Mode, UAC, etc.)

Submitted by MrBrian on 9 May 2015 - 13:00
Yes, some of the software should run on Windows 10. You'll have to explore each individual link
for information about Windows 10 compatibility.

Submitted by J_L on 13 April 2015 - 7:21
A new revised list is coming soon! Tell us what you think.

Pages 1 2 next ›last »

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting


Submitted by jax21es on 20 May 2015 - 14:20
I think it is a great list, though I would prefer to see some description for each tool.

Submitted by eikelein on 8 January 2015 - 23:18
Sorry, but I have to object to (seemingly) generally giving download links from
or Maybe I misunderstand the text.
These are ( or in my experience some of the worst sites
adding unnecessary download programs and wrappers that in turn then get (ab)used to
sneakily get PuPs installed.
Recommending / IMHO equals aiding the proliferation of one
of the nastiest kind of malware that currently is way too common. I have found that
almost always there are other options.

Submitted by ako on 10 January 2015 - 10:21
Nasties, that you can typically uncheck during installation, and if you accidentally install
them, you can easily uninstall them. Or is there something more serious I am not aware
of? (I yesterday reinstalled my Windows and used many times without
nasty suprises.)

Submitted by eikelein on 10 January 2015 - 11:31
Well, IMHO you only really know after you run ADWcleaner and Malwarebytes and
both come up clean.
I encounter quite often the opinion that all PuPs can be removed in Programs and
Features. Not true in my experience.
Babylon, Conduit and Searchscopes for example (there are many more) come up in
these scans ONLY and can completely ruin the internet experience.

Submitted by ako on 10 January 2015 - 20:37
Just to convince you: I scanned the PC today with Hitman Pro, MBAM and AdwCleaner. No
problems found. I am now scanning with Antivir. If it sees anything, I will report it. But I don't
expect to see anything exiting.

Submitted by ako on 11 January 2015 - 14:24
No problems here. But generally you are right. Most people probably just click, and there may be
next time when I use these services more efficient efforts to put something on my system. But
the work for changing all links is huge. Perhaps we should add some warning first.... Thank you
for your comments.

Submitted by MrWednesday7 on 10 January 2015 - 10:11
Stupid captcha feature.

Submitted by Geert on 8 January 2015 - 13:49
The link "Five (easy-to-follow) tips for strong passwords and secure accounts" is no
longer valid.

Submitted by MrBrian on 13 January 2015 - 2:24
I fixed the link. Thank you for reporting :).

Submitted by mrfingerz on 11 August 2014 - 17:35
Mitro password manager...
Privacy Badger (beta)

Submitted by MrBrian on 11 August 2014 - 23:20
I added Privacy Badger to 14.29. Mitro was already in 14.11.
Thank you for the information :).

Submitted by mrin on 2 August 2014 - 20:09
12.3 Reviews of ShowIP extension says it has spyware.

Submitted by MrBrian on 3 August 2014 - 15:58
Thanks for the feedback! I looked into it, and posted my findings at

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