Anyone who has a computer is well aware of the risk of running it without an antivirus. The situation becomes alarming when we hear cases like Heartbleed Bug. Hackers are always active to figure out vulnerability in the systems, and take full advantage of them. Hence it’s safe to have a reliable antivirus to protect ourselves from any phishing, spyware, viruses etc.
The antivirus however comes at a cost because of the cost involved in keeping the software’s updated. However, there are many free antiviruses that are equally capable of saving you against online threats. In this article we have put up a list of such best free antivirus that you can use:
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AVAST – This is so far one of the best antivirus. It has a simple interface and is quite easy to install and use. It’s not too heavy and saves your system from being sluggish. Just hit the scan button, and it will show you if your system has any potential threats.
Avast has two paid versions as well, All-inclusive avast! Internet Security and Top-notch avast! Premier. Out of the full list of features under various plans of Avast the free plan covers the first two of the following features:
- Intelligent Antivirus with new DynaGen technology
- Anti-malware Protection plus anti-spyware & anti-rootkit
- SafeZone for secured payments & banking
- Silent Firewall against hacker attacks
- Anti-spam against phishing & scam email
- Automatic Software Updater keeps other programs updated
- AccessAnywhere access your PC over the Internet
- Data Shredder for a military-grade permanent data erasure
However, the free version has some extra features too. It alerts you about the software updates that you might have missed.
Ad-Adware Free Antivirus – This product is a combination of Lavasoft’s anti spyware powered by antivirus. Some of the features in this software are download protection, game mode, malware emulator, real time protection etc. It has a nice user interface thus quite convenient to use. It quartine the malicious features instantly at scanning and does not waits till the end.
Panda Cloud Antivirus Free – This is a light, secured, easy and free antivirus. It has two editions Free and Pro. Following are the features of Panda Cloud Antivirus. The free version comprises of the first 4 while the others come packed in the Pro version:
- Real-time Antivirus & Antispyware
- Behavioural analysis protection
- Process Monitor
- URL & web filtering
- Virtual Keyboard
- Community Firewall
- Application control, use the apps you trust
- Protection in public WiFi networks
- VIP support. Multilingual 24×7
Panda can be easily used alongside with other security tools without any conflict.
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Avira Free Antivirus – Avira Free Antivirus comes with a very high reputation of detecting any threats (as rated by independent labs). It keeps constant monitoring of your computer. The free version has an Advanced Real-Time Protection supported by cloud based technology. There is a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome which detects the safety of the website you are browsing. It also prevents someone from tracking your browsing habits. This version also keeps you protected of the Adware programs and Anti spyware.
There is obviously a paid version of the software named Avira Antivirus Pro that you can use on multiple devices. The software is backed with Network protection which means it scans your files and also the ones that you share with others. This way you do not infect or get infected with any malicious threats. This software might be initially tricky to use because of slightly complex interface.
FortiNet FortiClient – Usually this software is used with network appliances, and well known in the corporate world. But Forticlient is a free version for home users with real time protection, parental controls, firewall etc. However, there is a weakness, when you disable the parental control the anti-phishing also gets stopped. So, it’s good software to have as a second line of control.
ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall – If you are looking for an antivirus + firewall then ZoneAlarm is what your search might end. It is quite easy to use and comes packed with various functionalities. The free version however has the first 5 of the following features all of which are present in the Extreme Security version of the software. There is one problem with the free version, and that is it does not support the real time protection. New updates are done every 24 Hours which leaves you present to any real time threats. However, the paid version has hourly update feature which keeps you safe all the time.
- Antivirus/Anti-Spyware Engine
- Two-Way Firewall
- Advanced Firewall
- Privacy & Security Toolbar
- Identity Protection
- Advanced Real-Time Antivirus
- Enhanced Browser Protection
- Support – 24X7
- Parental Controls
- Threat Emulation
- Find My Laptop
- PC Tune-up
- Automatic Antivirus signature updates
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition – If you like to keep things simple then Bitdefender is the antivirus that you might be looking for. There are almost minimal to no manual controls in this software.
This antivirus is one of the best and is rated quite high by the independent testing labs. The free edition includes combination of cloud scanning and behavioural analysis that other antivirus miss. It provides a light and auto scanning facility to avoid slowing down your computer. Along with these features you also get an intrusion detection system to avoid masked malware, and an anti-rootkit feature as well.
AVG Free Antivirus – AVG is a smart and sleek antivirus which scans your email, protects your identity online also have an antivirus engine and various other features. This tool looks clumsy initially bit once you get a hang of it then it’s quite easy to use. It is considered to be one of the strong contenders amongst free versions of antivirus.
Emsisoft Emergency Kit – This is a collection of programs to scan malware without actually installing the kit. The tools are named Commandline Scanner and BlitzBlank. This kit comes with a 100% detection rate which is quite an achievement in its own self. It’s an easy to use simple dual-scan engine.
360 Internet Security 2013 – This is a new entry to the antivirus fraternity. It’s a product of Qihoo which is a Chinese company. It can be installed quickly and has an easy interface. You do not find any Spam filter, firewall etc. in this software. It does a great job at blocking the malicious websites.
Comodo Cleaning Essentials 6 – Comodo should be used when you are facing hard times with a malware that does not allow you to run full scale security product. This product has a good detection rate however it does not has real time protection, and does an average job against the rootkits.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0 – When you have given up on everything then Malwarebytes is what you should be looking at. It has an improved UI then before. The software installs and scans in the safe mode and has excellent proven results.
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