I could have posted this in the anti-virus or firewall forum, but maybe this is a better place. I'm getting the impression that you can't really rely on an AV for AV protection, and although my current anti-spyware software seems very effective ... it's going to be harder in the future. That's just the trend. Many people use a HIPS. It's often touted as THE protection against malware. Recently someone on this forum stated that a HIPS would always intercept malware ! (Which doesn't seem realistic to me, but I know little about this category of software) It's been quite some time since I tried two of them (I was less computer-literate then), one being the Kerio (now Sunbelt) firewall. Aside from the slowdowns in the Kerio case: I remember being confronted with questions like: do you want to allow <x> or not ? I was often uncertain what to allow and what not. The correct response would usually have been to allow things. But in a situation like that you don't get much extra security. Are more modern HIPS much better ? I'm not a real expert, and in my past experience blocking things that shouldn't be blocked did sometimes cause problems. And what about speed ? I remember the Kerio firewall slowing down my browsing more than I wanted to accept. My computer is a few years old, but it can still handle a lot. I'm not for trying all kinds of software though ... installing and uninstalling security software doesn't help the stability of a Windows XP system.