CA’s antivirus and firewall suite for free

Computer Associates International has lowered the price of its eTrust EZ Armor antivirus and firewall package. Formerly $50, the home-PCversion of the enterprise security vendor’s suite is now $0 — free for the download through June 30, 2004, including a one-year subscription to CA’s daily virus signature updates.

The offer is a collaboration between Computer Associates and Microsoft’s “Protect Your PC” security education campaign (although the Microsoft site hadn’t been updated with the download link at this writing). CA cites the ICSA Labs Virus Prevalence Survey’s finding that there are roughly 105 virus infections per 1,000 PCs per month, and a recent AOL survey that indicated that three out of five home broadband users did not have recently updated antivirus software installed, as reasons to encourage consumers to guard against Internet threats.

eTrust EZ Armor combines ICSA-certified virus protection, including daily updates to protect against the latest worms and Trojans, with a preconfigured personal firewall and the ability to control pop-up ads, cookies, and other invasive code. The company adds that its 18MB installation (compatible with Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP, but not Win 95) is designed to work without burdening PC resources.

Computer Associates is the first big software vendor to give away its antivirus and firewall programs, although freeware fans have had alternatives such as the personal-use or “lite” versions of Grisoft‘s AVG Anti-Virus and Zone Labs‘ ZoneAlarm.