Chances are if you are reading this that you are in need of Antivirus, or more specifically free Antivirus. Not all of us have the budget to pay for the commercial and expensive products. We need antivirus that delivers the same punch in keeping your PC clean, and it’s free. There are plenty of  options, and luckily the internet is full of comparisons, reviews and tests that compares all the best free options. So relax, sit back and let  us take you through our Top 5 Free Antivirus Software.

microsoft-security-essentials-logo  We’ve been using Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) for quite some time now. Lifehacker once claimed MSE to be more than enough in protecting your PC, but as of late MSE has fallen of the bus. Holly Stewart off the Microsoft Malware Protection Centre said that Microsoft has changed its approach to antivirus and aim to share their antivirus research with other companies and establish MSE as a “baseline” for other programs to build on.

“We’re providing all of that data and information to our partners so they can do at least as well as we are,” she said. “The natural progression is that we will always be on the bottom of these tests. And honestly, if we are doing our job correctly, that’s what will happen.”

She added that Microsoft wants “everyone to do better than us because we know that makes it harder for the bad guys”.

This is what got the ball rolling here at GS in considering other free options, they are:

1. Avast!

avast

Avast has steadily been improving its detection rates over the past few years and now ranks with the some of the best. Avast has a  fairly simple interface with the most features of all the free antivirus with full real-time capabilities including web, e-mail, IM, P2P and network shields, boot-time scanning, and a behavioural blocker. Avast Automatic updates that happen as soon as the virus database or program changes. You get a browser clean-up tool, and other extra components.

Avast! really excels with its ability to catch malware and for its low system impact and general usability.

Platform: Windows
Price: Free
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2. AVG

avg

The AVG Antivirus free 2013 software is the industry standard when it comes to free, easy-to-download antivirus software. It’s exceptional at blocking malware, and the setup is painless; you can access the download and setup malware protection in under five minutes. AVG is compatible with most operating systems, from Windows to Linux to Mac OS.

The free package offers basic malware protection and is a phenomenal zero-cost option, but there is also a premium version if you want a more comprehensive Internet security system that protects your files, links, and personal data.

Platform: Windows
Price: Free
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 3. Avira

avira

Avira AntiVir is another top-notch antivirus scanner with outstanding detection rates of malware, higher than almost every other antivirus according to tests. AntiVir is still a good choice for a free antivirus scanner, particularly for high risk users.

However, AntiVir does not include web or e-mail scanning capabilities; this is only available in the paid version. The lack of an e-mail scanner is not a disadvantage, it just means that AntiVir won’t warn you of infected emails before you open them. But should you open an infected email, AntiVir will still spring into action, so it doesn’t mean that you’re not protected from email-based infections.

Platform: Windows
Price: Free
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4. Comodo

comodo

Comodo runs on Windows and Mac. The free Comodo Internet Security Premium (2013) combines firewall and antivirus, and adds a number of advanced features that techies will love. Its Behaviour Blocker earned a clean sweep in malware blocking tests, but that same technology trashed installation of valid programs.

Platform: Windows and Mac
Price: Free
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5. Panda Cloud

panda-logo

Panda Cloud is an excellent choice for average users with a simple interface and completely automated features with automatic updating and removal of malware. The detection level is generally very high, but according to the latest test data, detection of zero day threats is slightly lower. Panda has a behavioural blocker and web protection, which will certainly increase your security. Panda Cloud uses ‘cloud’ technology to provide for a much quicker release of updates as all definitions are stored in the cloud and thus the moment Panda updates their blacklist all users of PCA with an internet connection are protected from it.

Platform: Windows
Price: Free
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Summary:

Any of these 5 options will definitely protect you from unwanted bad guys trying to wreak havoc on your PC. Each one has a few unique features, but nothing that really stands out head above the rest. This means it comes down to which one is simply the strongest in keeping any form of virus or malware away from my machine. Which one can best protect me 100% while I’m browsing, receiving emails, opening attachments, copying data from a flash disk, downloading data or connecting to a friends PC over the network?

For now, we recommend Avast! Antivirus. Not only for its ability to protect,  but it’s ease of use and list of features that makes it stand out above the rest, even if its only by a few inches.

 



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