AVG free version
AVG has been around for a decade or so, and their current product will take care of your computer with ease. I use this software myself, and load it on my customers computers for home use. It is easy to install, update, and use, and does a terrific job of keeping your computer clean. I do recommend that you buy the full version of the software for more complete protection, but you can certainly use the free version for as long as you want. The retail version is just much more robust about avoiding the infections in the first place.
Malwarebytes Antimalware (Free)
Malwarebytes Antimalware (Retail)
Malwarebytes Antimalware is quickly becoming the defacto spy ware scanner for techs in the business. There are two questions that techs ask when they come together: Who do you know hiring, and what software are you using? Lately the techs I speak to are saying Malwarebytes Antimalware.
I was a fan from the beginning, and started recommending it immediately, now people in the business recommend it to me and I just smile. This program does for spy ware what E-scan does for viruses and the like. It gets rid of it. Malwarebytes Antimalware has two versions, and I do recommend that you buy the full version. Just to be clear, the full retail version for consumers and individuals, and requires only a ONE TIME licence fee.. Their product for business requires a annual licence fee, and if you own a small business, do not skimp on your priotection. The only difference is that with the full version, you get real time protection, and automatic updates/scans. What this means is that the free version will find malware after it infects your system, and you have to update and run the scans manually to clean your system. The full retail version will detect the malware while it attempts to enter your computer instead of after it succeeds. The full version also allows you to schedule updates and scans automatically so that you do not get busy and forget.
SpyBot Search and Destroy
This little gem is actually a diamond in the rough. For individuals it provides a very easy way to install a block list that keeps your computer from connecting to known malware sites, lets you back up your registry, and has a decent spy-ware scanner. For the tech, use the advanced options and you can open a toolbox full of goodies. While this is a free piece of software, i urge you to donate $5.00 to the site while there.
This is another free gem. It goes into your computer and removes all the temporary files and recovers wasted space from your hard drive. You will be amazed at the space this frees up. I use this program to remove junk from computers before I scan them for viruses, virus scans take a long time, and scanning a gigabyte of temporary files that can be dumped is a waste of time. I consider this maintenance, and I run it once a week.