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Fry's free $180 Norton software bundle returns

Technically, it's free after a pair of mail-in rebates. The bundle includes Norton Internet Security 2010, Norton Utilities 14.5, and Norton Ghost 15.

This free-after-rebates bundle includes the latest version of Norton Internet Security, Norton Utilities, and Ghost. Fry's

This is an update of a deal post from back in February.

As I've mentioned before, I have mixed feelings about security and utility software. Sometimes I think they do more harm than good.

However, I have no doubts whatsoever about getting something for nothing, especially when it's a software bundle worth $180.

Fry's is once again offering Norton Internet Security 2010 (three-user license), Norton Utilities 14.5 (three-user license), and Norton Ghost 15 absolutely free--if you're willing to jump through a couple hoops, that is.

Here's the deal: If you purchase these products separately, they would run you $179.97. Fry's sells them as a bundle for $74.99. Fry's has that bundle on sale for $69.99 with free shipping and a pair of mail-in rebates knocks your total cost down to $0.

Rebate No. 1 (PDF) nets you a $45 prepaid Visa card. Rebate No. 2 (PDF) is good for a $25 prepaid Visa card--but this is where the hoop jumping comes in.

To get rebate No. 2, you need to supply proof that you're upgrading from an earlier version of "any Norton or Symantec software or another company's antivirus, firewall, antispam, antispyware, utility, or backup software product."

What constitutes proof? You name it: a receipt, the first page of the manual, an e-mail confirmation, or even a screenshot of the software's Help/About screen. It shouldn't be too hard to scrounge up one of those.

Both of these rebate offers are available until April 29, but there's a good chance Fry's will sell out before then. That's what happened last time, so if you're interested in this, act fast.

By the way, CNET gave Norton Internet Security 2010 fairly high marks, and PC Magazine awarded it an Editors' Choice. I haven't found any worthwhile reviews of the other two apps, but both products have good reputations.

Bonus deal: Calling all gamers: Valve's Steam service is offering Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Game of the Year Edition for $14.99. This is the PC version, naturally, and it's delivered via download. Find out why GameSpot called this game "a fantastic package."