What is the Best Free Antivirus Program?
What is the Best Free Antivirus Program? Apr 7, 2012
Most people assume it costs big bucks to have quality antivirus protection. These days this simply isn't the case, and you can get quality software for free.
We recommend you have one antivirus program for protection and have at least one cleaning-only program. Make sure you never have more than one antivirus program that gives protection, or you could run into problems. The following are the Best Free AntiVirus Programs of 2012:
Best Anti Virus Programs 2012
Antivirus Programs that Include Protection:
(Only have one installed at a time!)
Avast is our number one choice for many reasons. It has outstanding detection ratings, it's easy to use, and operates almost entirely automatically. It also comes with some nice optional features such as a screen saver that scans for viruses, and has the option for boot time scanning. The only time I don't recommend Avast is if you have a very old or slow computer.
2. Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials is our second choice, and is an excellent option for antivirus protection. MSE is also a little bit faster then Avast and works better on lower range computers.
Avira has excellent detection ratings and works well with older or slower PC's. The only downside is an annoying popup that advertises the Avira commercial edition, which can be closed but still can get in the way.
4. Panda Cloud Antivirus
Panda Antivirus doesn't have the best of detection rates, but it's very fast and low on system resources. It still does a great job at keeping viruses off your computer. The only time we recommend Panda is for people with VERY old or slow computers that are looking for fast yet decent protection.
5. AVG Free Antivirus
AVG isn't our favorite but felt like we couldn't leave them out of the guide for a number of reasons. AVG provides decent protection and usually works well on low-end computers. It's probably the most popular of the free options and isn't bad by any means. We feel that the other options listed above are slightly better, but if you like AVG, then by all means stick with it.
(Wont interfere with Protection)
1. Malware Bytes
Malwarebytes does an excellent job with finding and removing the viruses that have slipped through your protection software. It doesn't give real-time protection, but it when it comes to cleaning up your computer from viruses, it really is the best. The only thing we don't like about it is the fact that it often requires a reboot to remove the viruses, making it not very useful when running in windows "safe mode". Sometimes a badly infected computer will only boot into safe mode, in which case we recommend SuperAntiSpyware.
SuperAntiSpyware has does an excellent job at scanning and removing viruses, spyware, and malware. It also is better at removing viruses without requiring a reboot, making it ideal for situations where the user has to boot into safe mode. SuperAntiSpyware is also our program of choice for removing "Fake anti-virus Programs" or "Rogue Antivirus Software", which locks you out of the system and demands money for removal.
What is the best commercial antivirus program?
Our favorite commercial antivirus program is Kaspersky. Kaspersky really does blow every other program out of the water. Not only does it have superb detection rates for viruses, spyware, and malware, but it also is good at finding new viruses and vulnerabilities.
It's important to keep in mind that antivirus programs wont stop or remove all viruses, so it's also important to practice good browsing practices to avoid the risk of infection.
What else can I do?
If you are using Internet Explorer to browse the web, try switching to Firefox or Google Chrome. Both are more secure and less likely to let viruses slip through. Be careful what you download, and avoid installing any software unless you trust the source and the program is necessary. Avoid clicking any links in any e-mails, and run windows updates regularily. Remember, there is never a way to be totally immune to computer viruses if you use Windows. If you don't want viruses, you have two options, switch to using a Mac, or get a free copy of Linux. Both are free from all types of viruses, spyware, and malware.
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