I’m a firm believer in FREE antivirus products. And though I do support and recommend some products that cost money, I am confident that the average home user doesn’t NEED to pay for antivirus software. (Now if you don’t follow safe browsing guidelines, you could be asking for trouble!) Following are my top picks for FREE antivirus products in 2010 with ultra-brief reviews for each. I wholeheartedly recommend any of these products all of them have passed the Virus Bulletin’s latest comparative and are therefore recipients of the VB100 an award that is widely recognized within the industry. All products also received either two or three stars (three being the highest award) in their advanced performance testing and in their advanced retrospective pro-active testing from AV-Comparatives for their December 2009 and May 2010 testing. My reasons for recommending the three programs below are simple:
1. They are free
2. They are effective
3. They are not known to slow down your computer (noticeably)
4. They are simple to use.
5. They all offer ‘pay’ versions, for those who feel more comfortable upgrading to something with internet security.
AVG Is my number one pick. I have an extended review on AVG 9 Free which you can read here. In short AVG 9 is rock solid, and scans 50% faster than previous versions. Nice interface, easy to use, lots of features, custom scans, automated scans and more.
AVIRA (AntiVir personal FREE)
Avira is known for having very strong detection rates. It has great features, and the backing of years of testing and industry support. It’s user interface is however lacking somewhat, and may appear slightly confusing at first.
It is somewhat of a toss up between AVG and AVAST (though as you can tell I’m partial to AVG). Avast gets five stars from CNET editors review, and “provides steadfast protection and a robust selection of features” (CNET). Avast is known for performing well, and having strong detection rates, it is also great for dealing with spyware and adware (as are all of these mentions).
Bit Defender’s scanning engine is excellent, but it only gets a honorable mention because their free edition is only an on-demand scanner. This is a good product to have in addition to one of the three I mention above.