Free Anti-Virus Software 2013

Paid-for anti-virus software is typically more sophisticated and effective than free versions, but for many users, the cost involved is simply not a viable option when protecting personal computers. This obviously makes free anti--virus software highly popular. While choosing the right application depends on the level of protection required and personal preferences, some applications are more effective and trustworthy than others. Here are some of the best free anti-virus applications currently available.

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

This software has a range of excellent features, including:

Anti-spy ware protection
Anti-virus protection
Automatic updates
Download protection function preventing infections by scanning downloads before they reach computers
Game mode
Identity Protection (U.S citizens only)
Malware sandbox emulator
Real-time protection utilising behavioural heuristics algorithms
Safe browsing scans to detect known bad URLs and malicious websites

Easy to install, this software has a user-friendly, intuitive interface and provides protection against root kits. Its threat detection is accurate, it has a negligible impact on the performance of user systems and scan modes are customisable. On the downside, it has the occasional issure with malware and rootkit removals, and the Interface contains disabled features only available with the paid-for version.

avast! Free Antivirus

This software includes features like:

Anti-virus/ anti-spy ware engine offering real-time protection (behaviour, files, mail, network, script, P2P, Web)
Auto Sandbox (isolated environment for running suspicious files)
Automatic updates
Browser protection
Hybrid cloud technologies (streaming updates, file reputation database)
Site blocking

Installation is easy and no reboot of the system is required. The interface is organised and clean, and multiple scan modes are available. Malware detection rates are excellent, but scan times can be quite long. Its rate of unknown threat detection and issue of false positives is average.

AVG Free Antivirus

Features offered by this software include:

Antivirus protection
Daily automated updates
E-Mail scanner
Identity Protection
LinkScanner Surf-Shield for essential browsing protection
Modern intuitive interface

Scans are optimised for high-speed, impact on users' system performances are fairly low and malware blocking/ removal is excellent. There are, however, a few downsides:

AVG Secure Search and AVG Security Tool-bar are bundled with the installer
Built-in PC Analyzer will check systems for errors, but clean-up requires purchase of the application
Installing software on infected computers often proves to be challenging
Interface includes disabled features requiring purchase of AVG commercial for activation

Additional Options

Other great free anti-virus software worth checking out includes:

Avira Free Antivirus
Comodo Internet Security
Microsoft Security Essentials
Panda Security CloudAntivirus
PC Tools Antivirus

As mentioned earlier, which one is ultimately the best depends on user preferences and the required level of system protection.

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