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Free Antivirus/Spyware/Malware/Trojan Apps

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1Free Antivirus/Spyware/Malware/Trojan Apps Empty Free Antivirus/Spyware/Malware/Trojan Apps on Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:31 pm


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I've long been a supporter of AVG, but lately I've been reading several sites looking for something better.

I personally have never had an issue, but thought it might help others to share my findings on free AV programs.

Avira AntiVir Personal Edition is my top pick for the best free antivirus software if you're looking for the best protection against virus, spyware and rootkit threats. AntiVir is very light on resources and the detection rate of malware is outstanding, better than almost every other antivirus according to tests. However, there are some reservations.

First, 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 really 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. Second, AntiVir has advertisements that appear with every update, although you can disable these ads. Finally, AntiVir has a time-limited license. It is renewable, but be aware that you'll have to periodically go through the hoops. Although AntiVir had signature updating problems in the past this seems to be fixed now.

Microsoft Security Essentials is another favorite; with good detection rates, particularly for rootkits. Even more impressive is that Security Essentials has very few false positives, is light on resources and is good at removal of existing malware.

Microsoft Security Essentials is the best choice for average users because of the minimal user interaction required. It automatically updates and removes threats. No registration is needed, apart from a quick validating of Windows, and there are no nag screens or advertisements.

The main downsides are the slow scan speeds and the lengthy amount of time it takes to quarantine malware. MSE also is not available in certain countries so users there will have to look elsewhere. Note that Microsoft Security Essentials requires a genuine copy of Windows to install.

Avast! Free Antivirus is also an excellent free antivirus that many users prefer. Its detection rates are on par with AntiVir. Avast has the most features, with full real-time capabilities, including web, e-mail, IM, P2P and network shields, boot-time scanning, and a behavioral blocker. Avast is light on resources.

A good option for on-demand scanning is Emisoft Anti-Malware, formerly known as a-squared, which started out as a trojan remover but has recently included the Ikarus antivirus engine. The detection rate is incredibly high, on par with AntiVir, which makes it a very good choice for an on-demand scanner. Unfortunately it has many false positives, and the large update sizes make it unsuitable for dial-up users.

Another option I use myself would be Spybot. If you consider the number of antivirus and antimalware applications out there, how does Spybot stack up against the rest? If you look at only the Spybot application, you’ve got a relatively basic application. Toss in the TeaTimer, immunizations and the superb support and you’ve got a case where the whole really is greater than the sum of the parts.

These free programs are excellent software that provide a real alternative to the major commercial antivirus products where often times costs prohibit some users protection. If used in conjunction, you can gain the same amount of protection for a fraction, if any money out of your pocket.

Please keep in mind, these applications listed here are only ones I've read many studies on. Much of the above was even taken directly from a tech support website I frequent and trust the opinions of, otherwise I would not relay the information.


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