How I Saved $300 On Software This Year

I used to be an active follower of Microsoft Office and McAfee, but the constant upgrade cycle and payments to continue getting antivirus updates got old. So I did some research and discovered free, top-notch alternatives to these money hogs for use at home.

Instead of using Microsoft Office, I’ve switched to using Open Office. These applications replace every major feature that I use Office for (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – I don’t use Outlook thanks to Gmail and Google Calendar) and at a very agreeable price – $0. Best of all, I can save in the Office formats for when I send documents to friends and associates.

My replacement for McAfee Antivirus is Clam Win. It does everything McAfee did for me – automatic updates, regular hard drive scanning, checking my emails for viruses – without paying out the nose for updates or hogging a bunch of memory and slowing down my other programs. It’s really the best of both worlds, and it’s got a nice cost, too: $0.

In my spare time, I often set up and fix computer problems for people, and I’ve been asked if I can get free antivirus or free Office programs for people. Now, instead of telling them to burn a lot of money or else pirate software, I just set up these two programs and they have everything they need. Happy customers and happy me.

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  1. Dee says:

    Thanks for sharing your research with us.

  2. Troy says:

    Hi I just had to comment on your choice of Clam Win. I use it myself and really like it. Just keep in mind that it does not scan your files on a real time basis.

    From the site:
    Please note that ClamWin Free Antivirus does not include an on-access real-time scanner. You need to manually scan a file in order to detect a virus or spyware.

    It means that an executable can be started up with out it being scanned. I would recommend taking a look at winpooch ( It can combine with clam win and scan files as they are being accessed. As a bonus it will warn you if files try to write/access parts of your computer that spyware would access.

  3. Trent says:

    I have ClamWin set as an automatic task to scan my whole hard drive regularly. This way I don’t maintain trojans and such. I prefer this to on-demand scanning because then I don’t have to deal with much slower system responses when I actually want to do stuff.

  4. Louis M says:

    You all should try Avast anti virus. The ‘home’ edition has all of the features of the commercial version, including real time scanning, automatic updates, many scanning options, and is absolutely free.

  5. Jihan says:

    I agree with Louis M. I have not used ClamWin but I heard it was not very good for reasons such as no realtime scanning. I also recommend Avast! or AVG AntiVirus. They are both great.

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