Although a lot of people use commercial antivirus software, such as Norton, McAfee and Kaspersky, there are quite a few free programs that perform remarkably well if you avoid the really bad areas of the Internet.
For the casual surfer these free programs can do a great job of protecting a computer from the threat of infection.
One of my favourite free antivirus programs is currently Avast Free Antivirus which is a remarkably friendly and attractive option and offers great protection.
In addition to its antivirus protection It has great malware protection too. It also includes a few free tools including a configurable sandbox and an easy to use remote assistance tool.
Some of the other free programs on this page are still good enough to install on your computer. In fact their performance is only slightly below the top performer.
Another free program is AVG Antivirus Free. AVG is one of the best-known names in free antivirus software and its latest incarnation sports a new interface that's clearly inspired by some of its competitors.
AVG is almost up there with Avast in terms of the all-important protection. And system performance is better than that of Avast so if you have an underpowered PC this may be a good choice for you.
However, not all the features on display in the panels are included in the free package. To gain access to them all you will need to upgrade to the full version of the program.
Avira Free Antivirus provides a clear and very usable front end and is among the most lightweight security suites in this brief review.
Needless to say the free version is limited when compared to the full blown version of the program.
So if you are fed up with bloated security software Avira Antivirus is well worth a try.
Another free security program worth your consideration is Panda's Cloud Antivirus FREE. It gets impressive marks for its detection rates, making it a solid antivirus candidate even though it could be lighter on system impact. However, it does lack some of the features in other free security suites.
The interface retains its gray colour scheme and so provides a usable, uncluttered view. It's also easy to navigate.
However, if you're looking for a suite that exposes a lot of security data in a visually interesting way, you're going to have to look elsewhere.
Bitdefender makes very light work of keeping your computer secured against viruses, as well as offering protection against phishing attacks, fraud and signs of suspicious activity.
The great thing about Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is that it's been designed for anyone who just wants to keep their computer secure without having to worry about the details. Once the program is installed, you'll probably never have to look at it again – everything is taken care of for you in the background, and there's no complex configuration to worry about.
So although these are some of the best free antivirus programs for you to use, the only downside about all these is they either don't or do not do to well at checking your downloaded email. This is where paying for commercial antivirus software usually pays off.
But if you are a light user of the web and do not use gambling sites etc a free version may be all that you need.
For a deeper look at antivirus options see Comparitech's Best Antivirus 2017 article.
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