We are frequently asked if free antivirus software does the job, and which software suite is the best. The more well known Free Antivirus Software are: Avast, Ad-Aware, AVG, and Avira; you may know them by name, but may find yourself asking, "Are they on the 'A' list of free antivirus software? (Pun intended)." We decided to give our clients an overview of the more popular free antivirus software suites to offer assistance in the decision making process. We listed them alphabetically rather than on performance because we are aware clients have different preferences regarding which antivirus is best for them.
Avast Free: Avast offers strong all-around malware detection, a file reputation system for evaluating downloads, and hybrid update technology that pushes out updates in real time, so Avast users will get their security updates much faster than before. Avast has a fairly light touch on your computer's performance, and less-intrusive ads than the other free antivirus software.
Ad-Aware Free: Ad-Aware offers a solid level of core protection against malware across the board, and gives advanced heuristics and rootkit protection to people using the free version. Unlike nearly all of its competitors, Ad-Aware does not require you to register to use the free version or the trials of the paid upgrades; some users may find this to be appealing.
AVG Free: AVG focuses on quick scans but struggles with slowing down your boot time and too many false positives; however, a plus they offer is the first patent-pending technique for identifying fake antivirus infections; these programs wear the disguise of an antivirus, or a Web-based antivirus scan once they install on your computer, the only way to get rid of the infection is to "buy" their license.
Avira Free: Avira offers users two categories: PC protection, and Internet protection; the former protects you from threats locally, while the latter guards you against new threats from attacking you. Under PC protection, you can toggle your real-time protection, manually run a scan, or start an update. Avira does lack some features many consider basic even at the free level, and intrudes with its daily pop-up advertisement.
You might be wondering right about now which antivirus software we use for our clients' sorry folks, it doesn't start with an 'A.' DeBug uses Microsoft Security Essentials for our clients who opt for FREE antivirus protection. Security Essentials uses both definition-file and real-time defenses against viruses and spyware, and also offers rootkit protection. Along with the quick scan and the full scan, there's a Custom scan option that lets users select specific folders or drives to scan. Security Essentials allows users to customize the program by scheduling scans, toggling default actions to take against threats, adjusting real-time protection settings, creating whitelists of excluded files, file types, and processes; it is a good set-it-and-forget-it security program.
Now that you have the information at your finger tips, identify which features appeal the most to you for computer protection; the Free Antivirus Suite that offers what you need is the one you should choose. Just remember, you get what you pay for; although Free Antivirus software can be useful, purchasing antivirus leaves little to chance.