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Best Three Free Antivirus Programs

Updated on October 18, 2013

If you ask me which program you need to install as soon as you get your new computer, that's an anti-virus. That's because the Windows operating system has one huge disadvantage – it is extremely prone to computer infections. And that's why the security software industry thrives. People are so scared of having their computer infected, that they are prepared to pay quite a lot for an anti-virus. But in fact, it's all a big scam. You don't need to pay $50 for an anti-virus because you can simply get it for free. Here are three free antivirus programs that I like best and that will also not slow down your computer performance because they are very lightweight.

1. Microsoft Security Essentials

When Microsoft released their own free antivirus, I was sceptical. I mean, all previous Microsoft attempts to create good security program failed miserably. But apparently this time they succeeded. Microsoft Security Essentials is my favourite free antivirus program. It’s light, fast, and it has really-really good detection rates. To tell you the truth, I switched to Microsoft Security Essentials when all other antiviruses failed to detect an infection on my computer.

Windows 8 users are in luck because their system includes a great antivirus out of the box - Windows Defender. The new Defender has nothing to do with the old, crippled software that came with Windows Vista. Now it's a lightweight, yet advance security software that does a great job protecting a computer. Basically, the free Microsoft Security Essentials is an inferior version of the new Windows Defender. So, if you're on Windows 8, you don't need to download any third party security software - you already have all you need.

2. avast! Antivirus

avast! is a very well-known antivirus. But it's free and paid editions have pretty good detection rates and run well on both fast and new computers and older slow computers. Compared to Microsoft Security Essentials, it's very feature rich and has a very intuitive interface. Unfortunately, avast has several blunders in the past and marked perfectly safe software as viruses. The false-positive had been fixed quickly, but the company's reputation did suffer.

3. Avira AntiVir Free

Avira used to be my favourite antivirus program. It used to have really-really good detection rates. However, there was a time when it missed quite a lot of infections. To be honest, that's why I switched to Microsoft Security Essentials. But now the new version of Avira has a very good detection rate. So you might consider using this antivirus. The only thing I find annoying is that every time Avira updates an ad pop-up window appears. You can get used to it, but it's still annoying.

There are quite a few other free antivirus programs available today. Not all of them are equally good, which means that you need to do your research properly before downloading one of them. In any case, these three are the best in my opinion. As you can see, there is no need to pay for an antivirus program ever again.

Check out this Microsoft Security Essentials revies

Which antivirus do you use?

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    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Hi Snurre, good suggestions ... but can I suggest Comodo Internet Security. It is really good and although there is a paid option, their free version is excellent. However, maybe not for the very novice user.

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 6 years ago

      Oneit, thanks for your comment! The reason I like MSE is that its very lightweight without compromising detection rates.

    • Oneit profile image

      One IT Ltd 6 years ago from Auckland

      Nicely done you're the first person that I've found that also recommends Microsoft SE over the other Free Antivirus Programs. I have to second your decision on that one, I install it for all my clients that get infected because they can't afford a paid AV. Best Free AV in my Opinion.

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 6 years ago

      Thanks for your comments!

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 6 years ago from The Lone Star State

      Great hub! I personally use Avast! Antivirus and it works great for me.

    • Akshat.verma profile image

      Akshat.verma 6 years ago from Delhi

      Nice and very informative hub....

      New Delhi 4:26 PM