Antivirus software is an important way to protect yourself, your friends and your coworkers. Good protection is not expensive and I’m going to show you what I think are some of the best free antivirus programs out there.
At least once a month, you hear about a new computer virus that is making its way across the Internet world. Viruses are malicious software engineered to harm your computer system, and potentially every system you come into contact with. Every time you log on without protection you are putting yourself, and those you know at risk.
Good protection doesn’t have to cost a fortune, in fact most of it can be fairly cheap. Some of the best antivirus programs out there are free, and you don’t need to spend a dime to stay safe.
This is my preferred antivirus software, as it provides good protection without eating up your resources. Their detection rates have been climbing steadily over the last several years and they now rank as one of the best in antivirus software. This program offers real-time scanning for Internet, email, and P2P. It also provides a network shield, behavioral blocker and boot scanning. One of my favorite features is the sandbox, which lets you run and test software in a safe area of your hard drive. This allows you to determine if it will harm or modify your system before you install it.
This free antivirus program is the favorite of my spouse, as it had a long standing record as an excellent free antivirus program. In recent years, it has had a few problems, which their latest release seems to have fixed by introducing a behavioral blocker. This program is rather large and has a slower scanning speed. They support their free software through advertisements, which can be removed by getting the paid version.
I’m not a big fan of Microsoft, but I will admit that they got this right. This program has fantastic detection rates, low false positives and uses very little resources. This program is very good at removing existing malware. “Essentials” is a great program for the average computer user as it requires very little interaction. This program does automatic updates and removes identified threats automatically. It runs no advertising. The scan speeds can be slow and it takes a while to quarantine or delete harmful files, but if you do the scanning while you are in bed you won’t even notice. Microsoft Security Essentials requires a valid copy of Windows and is not available in all countries.
This is a top-notch antivirus program for your computer and excels at detecting and removing malware. It does not include Internet or email scanning, if you wish for those features, then you must get the paid version. Every time this program updates, it gives you an annoying advertisement. This program is great for those of you who tend to surf high-risk sites or receive (and open) potentially risky emails. While this program may not give you real-time protection, once you have a virus it will quickly detect and isolate any threat.
This will give some basic information essential when choosing the antivirus software that works for you.
- Malware is a generic term for any malicious software. This includes viruses, trojans, keyloggers, worms and any other potentially harmful program.
- Behavioral blockers monitor existing programs for potentially dangerous activities as some programs lay dormant until activation dates or specific activity is detected.
- A lot of online email servers, such as Hotmail and Gmail, have built-in email scanners and will warn you or remove potentially dangerous attachments.
- A slow scanning speed doesn’t have to affect your choice for antivirus software. Simply set it to run after you have gone to bed and in the morning your system will be ready and waiting for you.
- Set your antivirus program to do a full system scan at least once a month. If your antivirus program has a boot scan, run that at least once a month as well.
- Multiple layers of protection are always good. Get a malware program that will run in conjunction with your antivirus to ensure you have maximum protection.
- If your program flags a suspicious file that you are not sure about, always do a web search on it before deleting it. You want to ensure that you are not going to accidentally delete something vital for a program you need.
In my opinion, these are some of the best free antivirus programs out there. They are as good as many of the commercial ones you have to pay monthly subscriptions for.
Are you protected? Without one of the best free antivirus programs on your PC, you are at risk of receiving and passing on a computer virus to your friends, family and co-workers. Don’t be a Typhoid Mary, get protection — and USE IT!