Best FREE Virus Programs VS PAID Version

Top free virus programs on the market.

The Best Free Virus Programs


The best free virus software strategy used by antivirus companies isn't dropped onto online servers out of the goodness of the developer's heart. It's a conscious marketing move, one that makes computer users aware of the software and puts a proverbial foot in the doorway so that the full package makes itself known. Even the best free option is typically stripped of key features, but it still functions well as a detection and quarantining application, which is all most of us need. Whether you make the choice to purchase the full security suite or not, there's a good chance you'll start with the complimentary version. That way you can take the software for a spin, see if it works, see if the developers have added annoying ads, and come to your own conclusions. In supporting your assessment, we bring you our own list of top free antivirus solutions, system defending software packages that can be downloaded in minutes and utilized in less time than it takes to say heuristical analysis.

Avast Free Antivirus

( Antivirus protection solutions solicit techy terms to categorize their features and show how effective the software is as a first line of defense. That one tendency complicates matters for the user. Unfortunately, the complications don't stop there because the top three or four software options have a habit of switching places as one year sweeps into the next. Still, Avast tends to stay close to the top of the heap, which makes it a good option. There're occasional ads to cope with, but they're rare enough to be inconsequential. Functionality is surprisingly comprehensive, with full real-time virus and malware protection, automatic signature updates, and a very handy fraudulent website scanner. Feature-packed, the developers still somehow manage to keep used system resources low, meaning your computer will work smoothly after Avast is installed. Antiphishing protection, browser scans, and many other free goodies accompany the complimentary edition.

Purchase Features:
Reasons for buying the full suite begin with email spam filters and conclude in a privacy shield, a feature that, arguably, goes beyond standard firewalls.

AVG Antivirus FREE Edition


( Performance figures are high and lab tested malware interception tests give the security application good reviews, but the trial status of the program is a little bemusing. First of all, there's the choice of the free edition or a one month trial of the professional version, but the installation procedure takes on a murky quality when a user tries to differentiate between the two packages. Additionally, AVG PC Tune-up demands to be downloaded and will only work for a single day. AVG Free is undeniably a powerful real-time malware detector and inhibitor but these added services are frustrating, especially if you don't realize they're being downloaded and installed.

On getting back to the free edition, false positives were low in lab tests, indicating high usability without the kind of paranoid nagging that many alternatives deliver. The interface is as clean and attractive as the modern UI used in Avast, and system scan concluded fast, all without stealing memory from low spec computers. That's a desirable feature considering the number of files users store on their machines nowadays. Extra resources include a free file shredder, good antiphishing results and an overall balanced protection grading that earns the application a sizeable number of Editor's Choice awards.

Purchase Features:
The full security software suite ups the game by incorporating shopper protection, firewall features, Ransomware protection, and anti-spyware resources. There's an annual fee for many of these services, but you do gain spam filters and an identity theft monitor, which may offset the cost.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

( you favor a set-it-and-go operating environment, one where you install software and never interact with it again unless it calls for your attention, then Bitdefender could be your antivirus partner. Known as the shy but efficient member of the group, Bitdefender offers a no-frills protection service. It delivers a bland user interface, but the idea here is that you'll rarely access the control panel. Instead, a high lab rating and low false positive detection rate reinforces the tiny resource footprint and grants the application discreet appeal. Security is high, the ads are gone, and the intrusion detection system is comprehensive. Included free service range from rootkit extermination to full HTTP scans, a free service that stops credit card scams and defines the package as a good phishing deterrent. And, as with the other application covered here, smart scanning is a standard weapon, one that searches Boot sectors and active sections of memory before resorting to a time-consuming hard drive scan. Real-time monitoring rounds out the feature set, but many other tools are available at the press of a button.

Purchase Features:
Three suites rule the roost. The Internet Security Suite protects data and incorporates a parental locking service. Cyber threats of all forms are then comprehensively defeated by Bitdefender Total Security, an all-encompassing security solution that includes antitheft features, which leaves Bitdefender Antivirus Plus to guard against Ransomware and privacy-related threats.

The software solutions covered here only scratch the surface. They're all free, all very capable and easy to use. User interfaces are easy to navigate, and the scans conducted by each application form a formidable first line of defense. Other worthy contenders in this category include free downloads from McAfee and Avira. Next in this category, second line protection aids also deserve a mention. Malwarebytes, for example, detects hidden infections and clears the Spyware and Rootkits that many antivirus solutions let through. Remember, install one and only one antivirus application, but consider reinforcing it by adding a specialized malware defender to the mix.
Mar 14, 2016
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