Where to Get Free Anti-Virus Software

by Barbara J. Feldman on July 16, 2007

If you are looking to get good anti-virus software for free, there are really only three companies that you should consider. The biggest and best of the free anti-virus software program manufactures are AntiVir, AVAST, and AVG. All of these companies offer a handful of different programs for your different needs, and all of their software downloads for free.

AntiVir has the program that received the highest ratings for picking up and eliminating potential viruses. The Personal Choice Classic is AntiVir’s free program, and it offers protection against viruses, worms, Trojans, expensive dialers, and phishing. It also detects and deletes rootkits. Unfortunately, the list of the things that this free software doesn’t do is longer than the list of what it does do. To check out the software and get a detailed description of what is included (and not included) in the free package, go to McAfee Site Advisor. This is the AntiVir site, and from this site, you will be able to download a free version of Personal Choice Classic.

The free program that received the second highest rating as an anti-virus program was AVAST’s AlWil program. The facts aren’t spelled out as nicely concerning which programs are free and what the differences are between the free software and the commercial software; however, if you go to the site, Avast, you will be able to download the free software. To do this, you need to go to “Products” and then select “Free software”. Read the restrictions associated with this free program. The software is intended only for home users and non-commercial use. Commercial institutions are not welcome to the free software and neither are home business users.

The other free software is AVG; this software was ranked the worst of 10 in PC world’s test of anti-virus programs. However, the software is still available as a free download, and if you want it, you need to go to AVG to get it. Besides the free anti-virus program, AVG also offers a free anti-rootkit program that can remove a type of spyware that hides in the computer’s operating system.

If you are considering getting free anti-virus protection (and if you have read this far, chances are you are) there are a couple of things that you need to know. The most important thing is that the free programs are not as good as the programs you have to pay for. Vendors of free anti-virus software might not have your best interest in mind. They offer the free virus protection to keep viruses at bay; however, they don’t offer a lot of personal protection for your computer. If you spend a lot of time online or if you have to open a lot of email attachments, consider getting a commercial program.

Another thing to consider when purchasing a free program is the technical support, or lack of technical support that you will receive. If you pay for a program and encounter problems, all you need to do is call a number and someone will help you troubleshoot for free. None of the free programs offer free technical assistance although AVG does offer some email assistance.

Another thing you need to check when you get the program is how it is updated. Viruses change all of the time, and virus protection must also change all of the time to stay ahead of the viruses. Those changes or updates aren’t automatic on all of the free software. When you are looking into the software that you want to use, find out how you will get updates. If updates are not available, you might need to download updated programs when they become available.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Where to Get Free Anti-Virus Software." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 16 Jul. 2007. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1105/where-to-get-free-antivirus-software/ >.