Buying Anti-virus software doesn't mean you have to spend a ton to get a good product. So when it came down to needing to get some anti-virus software I had to do dome research. I was using Bitdfender and although it was doing the job I didn’t want to pay anymore. I tried a lot of free antivirus applications to narrow down what worked and what didn't. What I wanted was a great anti-virus with that didnt bog my system down.
I have never had much luck with paid antivirus from, say, Norton and McAfee. In allh onestly, no-one really needs to pay for their bloated programs anymore – When anti-virus companies like Norton and like will start using scare campaigns to frighten new users into buying their products. You can bet they are the ones that are scared.
Here is my ultimate guide to the top 5 free anti virus programs out there.
1. Avast Home Free Version 5
Review of Avast Antivirus Home Edition For Windows, available free for home and non-commercial use. Avast Anti-virus has been around for a long time. The newest version Avasst 5 has seen some makred improvements over 4. I was not to keen on the interface of 4, they have totally redesign it in 5, they have made it sleek in doing so removed what made it awkward. Another big plus is that it works fine with Windows 7.
The software is free but still needs registration. After you download it and install in your computer you need to register it by enter your details and an email address – Avast will register over the internet and can be used for about 1 year. Avast Home Edition now has a innovative spyware and rootkit guard now so your PC is fairly well protected. Setting it up you can select parameters for scanning, adjust the sensitivity level for the program’s detectors when it comes to scanning downloaded files, instant messages, e-mails, and file sharing programs (P2P). As long as you have an internet connection it will automatically update. This is what I use at home
2.Avira AntiVir Personal Free Antivirus
Avira AntiVir Personal Free Antivirus is the simplest anti-virus in this list to use and it works great – exactly what you want and a good choice for beginner to itermediate users. It takes up the least amount of resoursces that the big suites eat up and slow your PC system down.
It almost always near the top of antivirus ranking sites as being one of the best freeware anti virus programs you can find. I use it to scan my external hard drives because of its speed. This version has, as mentioned, anti rootkit, as well as anti spyware and anti phishing protection on top of the usual anti virus stuff.
The interface and icons changed a little in version 9 but not much. Running Expert mode gives you many more settings and options, but if you are unsure you should just leave it in basic mode to make things easier. You schedule scanning and updates that most other free antivirus programs don’t allow you to schedules tasks, but I can only set the scanning to be every day and just adjust the time – I don’t want or need to do a full scan every day.
And there is a nag screen that pops up definition file updates to try to talk you into buying the full version – stick with the free antivirus, it works great and if you don’t want the AntiVir pop up ad you can remove it by following my instructions here – Turn Off the AntiVir pop up nag screen.
3. AVG Free
AVG Free seems to be the name that everyone has heard of when talking about free antivirus software. I installed version 7 on my PC when I first got into computers, When version 8 released it just got too bloated. I started to notice a sersious slow down in computer
Features like the LinkScanner and the Search scanner as well as a toolbar just tacks over my web browsing style and slows things without giving me any benefit – useless features added to scare people and hoping they will buy the paid version. The LinkScanner is meant to scan the links on web pages and on search pages, for example you search for something with Bing or Google and it gives you a Tick saying the link is OK – I don’t need it and , really, neither does anyone else, just slows things down dramatically.
One good thing is that AVG free antivirus runs well on Windows 7 and Vista. Good because a few are not compatible with Windows 7 yet, AVG is.
4. Microsoft Security Essentials
This one was just released, a free security suite (spy-ware, anti-virus) from Microsoft - all free and for XP,Windows 7 and Vista. The successor to Live OneCare, It boast's both definition file and real-time defenses against viruses and spyware, and also offers rootkit protection.
It uses a very simple looking and easy-to-use interface great for most people because it seems to cover all the bases without being overly complex. It has a tabbed style interface that allows you to get to setting, run scans etc nice and easy.
You can schedule a scan for whatever date and time and even when the PC is not in use – Most free anti virus programs don’t let you unless you buy the full version. If you have ever used Windows Defender you will be perfectly at home with this.
5. Comodo Free Antivirus
Comodo has a free antivirus, I think a stand alone program but now it is part of their security pack – still free but I am not after a whole security suite, especially another firewall. It is not compatible with Windows 7 but Vista is fine. The free antivirus program has a clean and clear look with the interface showing me an overview of the security settings, the status of the program and the date of the last full scan.
Comodos free antivirus has the usual real-time and email scanner as well as heuristic scans just like most of the other free antivirus programs reviewed here. They update the virus definitions daily and automatically like it should be. It is a good thing to able to schedule a scan when I want Comodo Antivirus to scan my PC because this is usually missing or limited (can only have preset dates or times to scan) in free anti-virus programes.
Windows Security Center doesn’t detect Comodo as a valid antivirus application so you have to to tell windows to let you monitor your anti-virus in the sercuirty center. A great thing is that there is no screens or advertisements trying to sell upgrades.
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