Right now I'm in charge of setting up a laptop for a guy who frequently takes ~6-month-long trips into China. When he's there, the only way the ISPs will allow him to access the internet is if he installs their programs on his computer. Some of those programs are probably not 100% clean, and others do annoyance factors like replacing the homepage or default search engine. Does anyone here have any recommendations of free/inexpensive (preferably under $50) programs, or more secure ways to configure Windows?
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Server was down? Couldn't post my message, but yeah VM seems the obvious choice. Always reload from a safe state, install the crapware when you need it. Needs a somewhat beefy computer though to not feel sluggish. I.e. not a netbook.