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Best Free Antivirus - Blog

Posted on: 12-06-2013

When it comes to antivirus software, there are a few important factors:

  1. Obviously, it needs to have a good virus database, covering as many viruses (and other malware) as possible. This virus database also needs to be updated frequently, as new viruses are created. Of course, so many new viruses/other malware is created everyday that no one can keep keep up 100%. However, the bigger guys that have been around for a while are going to be your best bet here. Keep away from the new comers until they have proven themselves, no matter how cheap their software or how good they try to make it sound.

  2. Minimal false-positives. False-positives are basically like an allergic reaction, it is when the software detects something as a virus that is completely harmless. I have seen this happen with a lot of the more “obscure” software. It is almost as bad (and annoying) as it not detecting a real virus. Just because your software might detect “more viruses” than another, it doesn't necessarily mean it is better.

  3. Lastly, minimal user intervention is important. You shouldn't need to do anything to maintain the antivirus software. The software should have minimal alerts and popups. A lot of the not so good software likes to bother you quite a lot just to remind you it's there and pretend it's doing a good job. It's a bit like the guy in your office that is always hanging around, sucking up to the boss but never at his desk getting anything done. The average computer user doesn't understand what the software is asking anyway and shouldn't really have to. The best software just doesn't what it thinks is best and if you really want to change what it does, you can dig through the settings to change that option.

Anyway, I am probably getting a little off topic. The above is really following on from my post Not ANY Anti-virus Will Do, but I wanted to let you know why I chose the software I did.

And the winner is...
The best free antivirus software out at the moment is Avast Free Antivirus. Avast is an antivius software company based in the Czech Republic. Their software has won them many awards and really seems to tick all the boxes:

  • It has a strong virus database – it covers a huge amount of viruses and is updated constantly

  • It is not bloated software - It doesn't slow down your computer

  • It doesn't constantly bother you with worthless popups

  • It includes more features than most free antivirus software

I have personally (and my clients) have found Avast to be great! I always recommend it to clients with older computers that may notice a slight performance loss when using Norton and don't do anything high-risk on their computer. Avast have been around for a long time and won multiple awards and certifications for the strength of their virus definitions and quality of their software. They also have several different paid versions which start at $39.99 per year. The paid versions include most feature such as sandbox/jailed environments to access risky websites and programs without risk of harm to your computer, spam protection, phishing scam protection, and several features to protect personal details.

You can download Avast free here or read more about it here.

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