Recommendation for Home Computers

Many people are looking for recommendations for their home computers, either for virus protection or software to use. Below we have provided some of our recommendations for home computers/devices.

Supported Windows OS from Microsoft

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.1 and above

Non-Supported Windows OS from Microsoft

  • Windows XP or earlier - these operating systems (OSs) are retired and should be upgraded or replaced as soon as possible. Microsoft does not patch them anymore.

Antivirus Software for Windows

Windows Vista or 7

Microsoft Security Essentials - This is FREE and helps guard against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It also provides real-time protection for your home or small business PCs, supports Windows 7, and Vista.  Download here:

Windows 8

Windows Defender - This is a built-in application called which includes Microsoft Security Essentials.

Microsoft Office

As an employee of Jefferson Lab, if you are a licensed user of Microsoft Office, you are entitled to receive a copy of MS Office to use at home for less than $10. However, this has the following restrictions.

  • Must not be given to anyone else.
  • Can only be installed on one system.
  • If you leave the lab or JLab ends our Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft, this copy ends.
  • Only eligible if you have Office on your JLab system at work

For more information, see .


All supported Windows OS has a built-in Firewall. You can turn it on from Control Panel. We recommends turning it on. By default, once it is on, it will stop communication with other systems.