Top 10 internet security systems

Choosing the right Internet security system for your computer can be the difference between keeping your computer and personal information safe, or having your computer infected with a virus and potentially losing your private information to hackers.

With the help of a list of the 10 best Internet security systems, you'll be able to keep your computer and your personal information safe as you surf online.


The 2010 version of the F-Secure Internet Security suite provides users with an updated interface that makes the software easier to use. F-Secure's software comes with an antivirus program as well as a built-in firewall to block potential incoming and outgoing threats.

Norton Internet Security

Norton Internet Security 2010 has won Editor's Choice awards from PC Magazine for its speed, detection ability and all-around excellence. This software is often pre-installed on new computers as a free trial for either 30-60 days so that users can evaluate whether they want to use it.


AVG Internet Security 9 provides antivirus, anti-malware and firewall components in one convenient package. This makes the software perfect for an all-around defence of your computer against online attackers.


Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 provides antivirus and anti-spam components along with a firewall and a "sandbox" mode that allows you to safely execute suspicious files without danger of harming your operating system. All of these components mean that the program consumes more system resources than other top Internet security systems, but it is still an excellent choice.


While Avira has had some issues with bugs and user interface problems with their Avira Premium Security Suite 9, it still provides good virus and malware protection. Avira also features a bootable rescue CD as a free download so that you can clean your system even if you can't boot it up.


Avast! Antivirus has earned a high rating from Consumer Reports and features real-time instant messaging scanning along with standard antivirus, anti-malware and firewall components. One feature that sets Avast! apart from other antivirus programs is that it has a special "lockbox" where you can store important files, keeping them impervious to virus infection from anywhere else on your system.


In addition to a firewall, antivirus and anti-spam protection, ZoneAlarm Extreme also offers parental controls for your computer along with a disk encryption utility. The sheer number of features in this software means that it takes up much more RAM than other security systems, but it's a great choice if you don't want to purchase each of these components separately.


McAfee Total Protection 2009 is often included pre-installed on new computers and features virus and malware protection. While it performs well in detecting threats, it can cause your system to run slowly due to how much memory it uses.


ESET's Smart Security system provides antivirus, anti-spam and anti-malware components combined with a strong firewall to help keep intruders at bay. It also consumes very little system resources, a boon for people who run multiple programs at once or like to play high-performance games.


Consumer Reports and PC World have given BitDefender a high ranking thanks to the program's high detection rate and its ease of use. While it can perform real-time and on-demand scanning in files and instant messages, it does not include an integrated firewall.