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Here goes the third part of the series on compared and tested and this time we picked up 5 Popular Free Anti virus softwares. Windows users and viruses are like chums, who keep playing Hide and Seek, with each other, and somehow the only tool to win this battle is, Antivirus Softwares. In this post I am trying to compare the five most preferred free anti virus softwares available on the Internet
AVG Free Edition
AVG is the well-known antivirus. AVG is available free-of-charge to home users for the life of the product. It is easy to use and will not slow your system down i.e. low system resource requirements.
Features of AVG
- Automatic update functionality, update files can be downloaded and transported to a computer which doesn’t have an Internet connection.
- The AVG Resident Shield, which provides real-time protection as files are opened and programs are run
- The AVG E-mail Scanner, which protects your e-mail
- The AVG On-Demand Scanner, which allows the user to schedule and perform manual tests
- Free Virus Database Updates for the lifetime of the product
- AVG Virus Vault for safe handling of infected files
The best things about AVG Free Edition are “Easy to Use” and “Lightweight”. Scheduler has few options as compared to other Antivirus Softwares, but sufficient enough as far as home use is concerned
Drawback of AVG
I have realized that at the time when AVG is downloading updates, it consumes the max speed of your Internet connection for itself, leaving you face a substantial decrease in your connection, but that’s just a matter of few minutes i.e. 2 to 5 minutes
Avast! Home Edition
Avast! Home Edition is the free antivirus for home noncommercial use – scans for viruses, worms and Trojans. It has a media player-like interface. Updates are incremental and frequently made available for manual or scheduled download.
- Simple User Interface-Memory test during the program startup, Simple and easy working with the scan results – actions with infected files etc.
- Standard resident protection-Generic SMTP/POP3/IMAP4 scanner, Specific MS Outlook plugin
- Network Shield-analyses all network traffic and scans it for malicious contents.
- Automatic updates
- Virus Chest – The Virus Chest can be thought of as a folder on your disk drive, having special properties that make it a safe, isolated place suitable for storing certain files. You can work with the files in the Chest, though with some security restrictions.
- System Integration- integrates with the Windows Explorer right click menu and also includes a special screen saver which is able to scan your system while your computer is not in use
- Support for 64-bit Windows
According to my experience its not as lightweight as AVG, but still is quite lightweight and smooth. Scanning the whole drive takes longer as compared to AVG.
You can download a 60 days demo, if you would like to continue free usage beyond that time, just register from the home page to obtain a free activation key by email, this key expires after an year, then again you can get a new key.
ClamWin is another free antivirus on this list. It comes with an easy installer and is open source code at no cost. The user interface is quite simple to use, being very lightweight is another virtue of this tool.
Features of Clamwin
- Scanning Scheduler.
- Automatic Virus Database Updates. ClamAV team updates Virus Databases on a regular basis.
- Standalone Virus Scanner.
- Context Menu Integration to Microsoft Windows Explorer; Addin to Microsoft Outlook.
ClamWin does not include an on access real-time scanner, that is, you need to manually scan a file in order to detect a virus, which reduces its fan-following, as compared to its counterparts
Avira AntiVir is effective protection against computer viruses. It constantly and rapidly scans your computer for malicious programs. Actions include repair, delete, block, rename and quarantine programs or files. AntiVir also features enhanced protection against unknown boot-sector viruses.
Through the permanent update of the detection engine, the protection is ensured constantly: the user can set the product to download any updates when available, thus keeping you clean and safe.
- Extensive Malware Recognition of viruses, Trojans, backdoor programs, worms, etc.
- Automatic incremental updates of antivirus signatures, engine and entire software
- Permanent virus protection, with Virus Guard real time monitoring
- Install and configuration in just a couple of steps, setup to protect your PC in minutes
- Virus protection against known and unknown threats, using an advanced heuristic system
- Scheduler where you can set the scanner to make automatic virus scans or updates on your system
- Forum and phone support, Knowledge Base with virus descriptions available on web site
You might find the configuration settings a little complex, in that case use the defaults.
Download Avira AntiVir
ThreatFire ( formerly known as Cyberhawk) is a powerful, full-featured antivirus, which saves your system from malicious programs.
It works on a different mechanism, doesn’t just react on the basis of predefined signatures which protects you with the highest level of out-of-the-box accuracy. It keeps you safe between antivirus updates so you are always protected, no matter how new the threat.
- Immediately Effective with No Complicated Set Up
- Proactive Defense against Both Known and Unknown Threats-it uses intelligent behavioral analysis to proactively hunt down and paralyze any activity or behavior that might compromise the security of a PC.
- Rootkit Scanner Seeks Out Deeply Hidden Files, Objects and Registry Keys
- Complementary to Your Existing Antivirus Software- no need to uninstall your pre existing antivirus.
- Advanced Custom Configuration Options and Rules Settings
- Virtually No Impact on System Performance
- Built-in Web Search Provides Additional Threat Details
- Continuously Improving Protection Technology with Technical Support
As it keeps training itself with programs behavior it might slow the system a little but its on lower side.
Special Thanks to Nirmal whose post on 7 Free Anti-virus Software for Windows, was a good resource
A Quick Comparison
|Name||Updates||Launch Time||Effect on Resources and System Speed||Real Time Scanning||Protection Against Zero Day Threat|
|Auto and Offline||2||Doesn’t require much resources, hence doesn’t hamper your system’s performance||Available||No|
|Auto||3||Takes much resources as compared to AVG||Available||No|
|Auto||1||Almost no impact on System Performance||Not Available||No|
|Auto||3||Slightly heavy on resources as compared to AVG||Available||No|