Nov
01
2010

Which is the best free anti-virus?

As with many of my blog posts my reason for writing this is due to the question What is the best free Anti Virus?being asked over and over again on many of the sites and forums I frequent.

The question is a bit of an ambiguous one as there is no clear answer to which is the “best”.

How would you measure it? Which ever detects the most viruses? Whichever has the lowest impact on system performance? Which has the most success in removing viruses? Which has the most success at stopping them infecting in the first place?

The list of measurements is endless. There are some companies that have started independent work to answer some of these. Such as AV comparitives.org and Virus Bulletin VB100 Awardsto name two. These of course test more than the free ones and still sometimes come to no conclusive answer as to which is the best.

However what we can do is take a look at the info they provide and if one of the AV vendors scores highly, check to see if they have a free version. If so then it is likely their free product is also fairly robust.

Two of the most highly regard “paid for” AV products are NOD32 by Eset and Vipre by Subelt. These are the ones I see experts in the field recommending time and time again. I have also used the NOD32 product extensively myself and found it to be excellent in all areas mentioned in the questions above.

Enough of your waffle, which is best?

Ok fair enough I do tend to get carried away.

Looking at the tests mentioned above we see the following names mentioned:

  • Avast
  • AVG
  • Avira

All received the VB100 awards in the latest round of testing and all have paid for and FREE versions

Deciding which is the best out of the 3, is from here on in, down to personal preference.

Avast! http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download

A great program with little to complain about. If I had to mention anything it would be the user interface. There is nothing wrong it functionally, but if your like me someone who like to tinker, then this is a little on the clunky side at times.

AVG http://free.grisoft.com

Another superb free Anti Virus. The only thing I don’t like about this one, is the need to re-register every year to continue using it. Not really a bad thing, but can be annoying if you install it for lots of people as you need lots of email addresses to register each copy to.

Avira http://www.avira.com/en/downloads/

This is my personal favourite. It scores highly on all tests and doesn’t require registration. Its only downside is that when it updates every day, you get a pop up advertising it’s paid for alternative. A small price to pay for a great free product.

Surely there are more than this?

Of course there are, there are loads if you search the web for them, these are just three main ones that are used and recommended by security professionals.

While these are excellent Anti Virus products, if you are looking for free tools to remove existing viruses on your system that your current AV product cannot get rid of, then here are the tools used by the experts in the field.

Note: Most of these tools should only be used with expert guidance as some can cause damaged when used incorrectly.

If you would like guidance and help removing viruses using these tools, then please post a question in our 
Anti Virus and Spyware forum
and one of our Malware Monkeys will be glad to help.

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- Techmonkey
Happy Surfing