Using Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 without installing any antivirus is like not using any protection with an escort. Having said that, if you are still using Windows XP, you are literally asking for trouble. Windows XP is a 10+ years old operating system developed by Microsoft 13 years ago, Microsoft no longer provide crucial security patches and updates for XP. it is time to upgrade! For those into small business, you may like the 6 Free Corporate Antivirus Firewall Solutions For Small Business Commercial Use, they are free but comes with no support or slower antivirus updates.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the top 7 free antivirus by leading antivirus software maker. Remember that free is not always free, there are hidden cost. There is a saying: “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”
In this case, the free antivirus software are free because it is used by the company to gather intelligence, discover potential new outbreak, modify your browser’s search engine, nag you with nagware to upgrade and etc. Nothing is free, this includes Microsoft Security Essential, it is free provided that you own a genuine windows operating system.
Summary of Free Antivirus Features [ Comparison ]
|OS||Real-Time Protection||Browser Safety||Firewall||Ads||Blocking Test*|
*Malware Blocking Test – Test based on 1000 known viruses and the ability of the antivirus software in detecting them.
What is Cloud Based Real Time Protection?
Almost all antivirus are cloud based, files are scanned and the signatures are send over the internet for better identification. This new technology enables the antivirus software to detect 99.99% of malware before it cause problems to your system.
Summary of Independent Antivirus Lab Test [ Comparison ]
Avira Free Antivirus
Comodo Antivirus 7 Free
BitDefender Antivirus Free
Microsoft Security Essentials
avast! Free Antivirus
AVG AntiVirus Free 2014
Panda Cloud Antivirus Free
Paid vs Free Antivirus
- Paid antivirus doesn’t come with nagging commercial or secretly install toolbars on your browser.
- Paid antivirus comes with faster updates, which means better protection.
- Paid antivirus comes with better support.
- Free antivirus comes with limited features and lack of support.
Antivirus Market Share
It is not a big surprised that Microsoft is the number 1 antivirus software, since it is free and comes bundled with every Windows operating system, Microsoft Security Essential is the all time favorite.
Being number 1 means being the target by hackers and virus author. Therefore it is always good to go with the 2nd or 3rd best free Antivirus, in this case, it is Avast or AVG. Reason being that antivirus are now crowd based intelligence, the more antivirus installed means the better the intelligence gathering is. Based on the chart, I’ll avoid Panda, Comodo and Bitdefender.
Which Is The Best Free Antivirus?
I am not a big fan of free antivirus, but that doesn’t mean I do not use free antivirus. My primary workstation is protected by Symantec Norton Antivirus. As for other less important work station, I use AVG. Here are my top pick:
- AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 [ Download ]
- avast! Free Antivirus [ Download ]
- Avira Free Antivirus [ Download ]