Antivirus software is used to protect computers from Internet hackers, viruses and malware. Titles such as Norton AntiVirus are popular but require an annual subscription fee. However, there are several free antivirus titles available, which could be better alternatives than paying for Norton.
Pros And Cons Of Free Antivirus Software
When you use free anti-virus software, you can choose from a variety of titles to find the one that works best for you. Each software title has its own advantages and disadvantages. When you are able to compare software at no cost, then you can make the right choice for your situation.
Another advantage to using free anti-virus software is you are not obligated to stick with one title while other titles are offering upgrades. If you see that a free piece of software has released an upgrade that exceeds the functionality of your software, then you are able to make the switch without cost.
Free antivirus software can sometimes be limiting. Companies will offer a functional version of free antivirus software to entice you to pay for the premium version. The key is to find the most robust free titles that focus on offering the best features.
In some cases, free antivirus titles can be unstable and cause problems with the other programs on your computer. Since software manufacturers do not offer full support for free software, finding a way to solve these issues can be a challenge.
Free Antivirus Software Titles
ComboFix is a free antivirus software title that has been downloaded over two million times. It can be programmed to do custom virus scans in specific folders, or segments of the hard drive.
ComboFix works on PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. The main advantage of ComboxFix is that it is extremely thorough in its virus scanning process. The one drawback to ComboFix is that it can be a bit complicated and take some getting used to, especially for people who are not computer savvy. Combofix can be found at bleepingcomputer.com.
Superantispyware allows you to download its free version or try a free trial of its professional pay version. There is a comprehensive support forum on its website, so downloading the product is simple.
The primary benefit of SuperAntiSpyware is that it is able to detect thousands of threats to your computer that other free titles may miss. One of the problems with SuperAntiSpyware is the free version is effective, but a bit limited. If you want the best protection this software has to offer, then it is best to pay for the professional version. The software works on Windows-based computers and can be downloaded from the company’s website at superantispyware.com.
AVG is one of the more popular free antivirus titles available. It has been offered since 1991 and is used around the world.
An AVG advantage is that the company is constantly offering updates to its virus database and upgrades to its entire software platform. The biggest complaint against AVG is that the process of updating the database or upgrading the software can cause problems such as conflicts with existing programs and system crashes. AVG is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. You can download the program at free.avg.com.
Avast! is another free anti-virus program that has been around for a long time. User feedback is often mixed on the effectiveness of avast! in preventing virus attacks.
The big benefit to using avast! is its extensive library of viruses that it updates regularly. The problem with avast! is that the free version has only a few valuable features, while the paid versions are much more effective. Avast! is available for Windows and for the Mac. The software can be downloaded at avast.com.
Panda Cloud Antivirus
Panda Cloud has not been around nearly as long as avast! or AVG, but it is quickly making a name for itself among PC users.
This software is excellent at blocking out the bigger name viruses and preventing common malware from attacking a computer. Where Panda Cloud Antivirus falls short is in keeping up with newer viruses and in protecting computers from lesser known malware. Updates are being developed to improve Panda Cloud, but it is still hit and miss on which viruses it will detect. Panda Cloud requires Internet Explorer 6.0 or better and is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. It can be downloaded at cloudantivirus.com.
Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials utilizes the knowledge of the Windows operating system creator to protect your PC.
This is a comprehensive program that uses an extensive database to scan for and remove viruses. The comprehensive nature of the program also leads to its one major issue. The Microsoft Security Essentials program is extremely slow. While it is still faster than Norton, it can slow you down every once in a while. It is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. The software can be downloaded from windows.microsoft.com.
Avira offers a free version and an array of pay versions, but it has built its reputation with its free software.
Avira can stand alone as an effective anti-virus program and offer just as much protection as Norton. The one problem with Avira is that it has a lot of reminders and notices that pop up which can get annoying. Avira is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. It can be downloaded at avira.com.
Paying for Norton Anti-Virus may not be the best solution for your computer. You will find that there are several free anti-virus titles that work better than Norton and offer you comparable protection at no cost and trial versions can be found on several Lenovo laptops.