It's the age of the Internet, and you need protection. Tiny Personal Firewall can help. Available as a download from Tiny Software's Web site, the Firewall is free for personal use and $39 for business use. (Volume discounts are available.)
Alone, the Firewall isn't a standout product, but it gets more valuable when used in conjunction with Tiny Software's Central Console product. Together, the two form Tiny's Centrally Managed Desktop Security System, which allows your company's network administrator to control the security levels of all firewall users in the company. Even better, it lets your administrator monitor activity on the company's network or an individual's desktop-meaning he or she will know who's working and who's not.
A Better Backup
Give your hard drive its very own mini-me.
Backing up your hard drive doesn't have to be hard work. Drive Image 4.0, an easy-to-use disk-cloning application from PowerQuest, creates and stores images of a hard drive or individual partitions.
Version 4.0 also fixes one of the biggest problems in previous versions of Drive Image: where to store the huge file you've created. The image file can be compressed, but it still takes up a lot of space. (My test file was almost 2GB in size.) Drive Image 4.0 lets you save that image to a CD-R and CD-RW, or multiple CDs, if necessary.
The $69.95 (street) program has a quirk: It runs in DOS, not Windows. But the latest version is compatible with all the latest versions of Windows.
Lost and Found: Get back the important files you accidently deleted with Undelete 2.0. Price: $49.95 (all prices street); volume discounts are available.
Think Quick: Automate time-consuming, repetitive tasks with QuicKeys, a utility from CE Software that lets you customize hot keys, toolbars and more. The Windows version costs $49.95; the Mac version, $89.95.
Liane Gouthro, a former technology reporter at PCWorld.com, freelances from her home in Brookline, Massachussets.