Dec 282011

So what is the best free anti-virus out there? With so many qualified and divergent opinions supporting different paid programs, as well as several good, free, anti virus programs options, how to choose?

Every user has different user patterns and hardware. So all I can talk about is what has worked for me, over time and on different machines. And, for me, the winner at the moment is Avast! Free Anti-virus, with Malwarebytes (also free) sitting dormant on my machine for additional monthly scans.

I say this after having tested Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira, Norton, AVG and Malwarebytes. I found that MSEE lets some things through that Avast! catches, Avira and Malwarebytes are not as versatile for day to day use, and AVG, once my favorite, has gotten bloated and invasive.

So I like Avast! for being light on resources, effective as an always-on AV, and good for scans. In the end, however, what works perfectly for one user might not work as well for another. So try a few if you like, note how they work for you, and don’t be afraid to try something different.

Just remember to completely turn one anti-virus off before installing or turning on another. Otherwise they can get in each others’ way and actually let viruses in, even while seeming to work.

Next Up, Firewalls.