Free Antivirus Software
Anti-virus software that's really, truly free
There are quality antivirus programs that are free. It's just a matter of knowing where to find it, downloading it and installing it. We have here a review of 7 of the leading and popular free antivirus software that can be downloaded online.
Anti-virus Review: AVG
The free version of AVG Anti-Virus is awarded the number one downloaded program on CNET's Download.com. That alone should be recommendation enough for you to stop reading this right now and going there to download and install it. Thanks for coming!
On a more serious note, while 50 million users can't be wrong, the other reviews and recommendations on this hub are worth sticking around for. Because you may have more than one computer in the house and this free version is available for single computer use for home and non commercial use.
AVG is easy to use and automatically runs and updates. They say it doesn't hog system resources, but the free version does a full virus scan EVERY DAY and it can't be switched off unless you upgrade to the paid version. So if you've got an older computer it may slow things down a little. It did for me on my desktop that was just over two years old, but since buying a new notebook I haven't seen a noticeable change in performance when I've started the computer and the full system virus scan has kicked in automatically.
AVG Free Edition can be used in Safe Mode, which is handy for cleaning a system that is unable to boot into Windows.
Installation Of AVG Anti-Virus
Anti-virus Review: a-squared
a-squared removes infections of Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Worms, Keyloggers, Rootkits, Dialers and other malicious programs.The a-squared Free Scanner scans your hard disk, removes all infections and restores your PC to maximum performance.Occasionally it is possible that a system may become unstable after removing Malwares because it already manipulated too much. So it is recommended to place detected Malwares into Quarantine first before removing them permanently.You can manually run an online update before you scan your computer. The automatic update feature is only available in the paid version.Download a-squared.
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Your virus protection should be kept active all the time to prevent threats from the internet or email sneaking on to your system.
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Anti-virus Review: Avira AntiVir
Avira AntiVir boasts more than 30 million users worldwide and have also picked up several awards. Avira AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic reliably protects your private computer against dangerous viruses, worms, Trojans, costly dialers and detects and deletes rootkits.
The product combines first-class detection rates and ease of use with a top performance that protects your computer safely and hardly burdens older PCs.
Avira AntiVir can be used in Safe Mode, which is handy for cleaning a system that is unable to boot into Windows.
Anti-virus Review: ClamWin
ClamWin is a free antivirus program for Microsoft Windows 98/Me/2000/XP. It's not only free it's Open Source. Which means programming geeks are allowed to look and even play with the code.
The program features: High detection rates for viruses and spyware; Scanning Scheduler; Automatic downloads from the regularly updated Virus Database.
It's not an on-access real-time scanner, which means you will need to manually scan a file in order to detect a virus or spyware.
Anti-virus Review: Bit Defender
BitDefender Free Edition uses the same ICSA Labs certified scanning engines found in other BitDefender products, allowing you to enjoy basic virus protection for no cost at all.BitDefender Free Edition is an on-demand virus scanner, though they suggest that if you have a permanent Internet connection (your computer is always on and always connected to the Internet, that you consider using a more complex antivirus solution (ie: get the paid version).On demand as well as Scheduled scanning. Or you can select a specific folder or file for immediate scanning.It has a Skinable interface. This means you can design your own interface. Which will appeal to the geeks who like to express themselves but the average user won't be concerned with such frivolity. We just want to keep our machines and data safe, right?Infected files can be isolated in quarantine, And you have the option of sending these files for further analysis to the BitDefender Labs.You need at least a Pentium 200 Mhz or higher processor, they recommend 128 MB of RAM Memory (though it'll get by on a bare minimum of 64MB) and at least 40MB available on the hard disk drive to install the program.Download BitDefender.
Anti-virus Review: Avast
The Home Edition of Avast is now free of charge for HOME users for NON-COMMERCIAL use.To use the Home Edition you must register it. After installation you have 60 days to use the product before you must complete registration.The registration process is very easy, and should only take a few minutes.Download Avast.
Anti-virus Review: Comodo AntiVirus
Comodo AntiVirus will eliminate Viruses, Worms and Trojans from Windows XP and Windows 2000 PC's.Features both on-demand (when you want it) and on-access (when you open a program or file) scanning, email scanning, process monitoring, worm blocking and scheduling.Detects and eliminates viruses from desktops and networks, detects and blocks intrusion by malware before they can run, daily automatic updates of virus definitions, proactive Heuristic analysis intercepts unknown threats ('Heuristics' describes the method of analyzing the code of a file to ascertain whether it contains code typical of a virus) and simple to use: install and forget (you can't get better than that!). Once installed Comodo AntiVirus 2.0 beta will sit unobtrusively in your system tray.Comodo Antivirus is free to both home AND business users.Download Comodo AntiVirus.
Not So Free. But worth the fee!
You get some extra features and functions with paid for anti-virus.
What Are Viruses?
When you first contract a computer virus (and pretty much every one after that) you will have an overwhelming urge to strangle the virus writer if you ever in the position of having the pleasure of meeting him (or her, but I'm guessing it's some young kid of the male side of the human species).Why do they do it? I don't care. All that I care about is that my computer is not working the way it should (like shutting itself down for no reason, or corrupted files).A few years ago the chances of contracting a computer virus were slim if you didn't download and open up email attachments from people that you didn't know or downloaded and opened files from websites of an unknown reputation. In fact even if I did know the sender, if it was a suspicious email asking me to open up a .exe file it usually meant that my friend had opened the virus on their computer and then sent itself out again via email to everyone in their address book.Nowadays though just merely being connected to the internet can find your computer being exposed to the risk of catching a virus.Whether it's a virus, worm or Trojan horse, the results are still the same. Something happening that you didn't want nor appreciate. Whether it be deleting or renaming files, damaging programs or formatting the hard disk. Loss of time and worse yet... DATA can be quite costly, and also heartbreaking.Even the most benign of viruses (launching nothing more than text, video, or audio messages) can take its toll by taking up system resources (using computer memory that would otherwise be needed by legitimate programs). Also bug-ridden virus programs can cause system crashes and therefore data loss.In the last decade macro viruses have become common. Most of these viruses are written in the scripting languages for Microsoft programs such as Word and Excel. These viruses spread in Microsoft Office by infecting documents and spreadsheets. Since these Microsoft products were also available for Mac OS most of these viruses were able to spread on Apple computers as well.
The importance of having up-to-date antivirus running on your computer
Unfortunately cyber threats such as hacker attacks, worms, trojans and viruses are now a part of daily life.
Unprotected computers on the Internet are vulnerable and can virus infection can result in a costly waste of time and money.
Antivirus software is a program that attempts to identify, neutralize or eliminate malicious software from your computer.
Most modern antivirus software are now designed to combat a wide range of threats such as worms, phishing attacks, rootkits, trojan horses and other malware.
It's important that you install and enable an antivirus that can connect to its developers server to automatically download and install the latest patches, fixes and updates in order to prevent the latest threats.
As well as the computer system some anti-virus programs are able to scan files after you've double clicked to open and emails that are both outgoing and incoming can be scanned as well.
Once a computer has been compromised by a virus, it is usually unsafe to continue using the same computer without completely reinstalling the operating system. However, there are a number of recovery options that exist after a computer has a virus. These actions depend on severity of the type of Virus.
An alternative to Virus prevention and virus removal is to reformat the drive and reinstall the operating system if you are infected.
The downside being that you have to reinstall all your other installed software and you need to keep constant and current back ups of all your data.
Considering the time and effort involved an antivirus seems like an easier option!
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This link http://hubpages.com/_flagship/hub/free-antivirus-software will take you to a page that has reviews and download links for 7 of the best free Anti-Virus programs.
Other Useful Links
- Virus News: Kaspersky, the makers of Kaspersky Anti-Virus, have a news section on their website that is kept up to date with current cyber threats. From basic definitions to thorough analysis. And once a month they publish the top 20 viruses in terms of impact on computer users.
- A-Z Listing of Threats & Risks: Listed alphabetically and like a spread sheet also comes with information such as Severity, Type (eg: Virus, Worm, Macro, Misleading Application, Adware, Trojan Horse) and the date that it was first discovered. You can click through on the name of the threat and find out more information such as a Summary and also the Technical Details.
- McAfee's Blog: Avert Labs are the creators of McAfee Anti-Virus as well as other excellent products which come under the same brand. They have a blog. So if you want to get your geek on, then this is one such place to do it.
- Symantec Virus Removal Tools: Leading antivirus vendor Symantec offers a wide range of free cleaning tools for individual malware removal.
- McAfee AVERT Stinger: The McAfee AVERT Stinger is designed to find and eradicate thirty different infections, including SoBig, Blaster, Klez and BugBear. The download is a simple self-extracting, self-installing file used to scan and remove these known, high-profile threats. It is not a cure-all for every virus, nor does it prevent infection (is NOT a substitute for full anti-virus protection), but rather a tool to assist administrators and users when dealing with an infected system. At less than a meg in size it is handy to have on hand for a quick fix if you or a friend is in trouble.