Not so keen on spending a fortune on an antivirus suite? Not a problem. There are a few good antivirus tools available that are free and easy to use. Really, the important thing is that your system is backed up in some manner. Free antivirus tools can be downloaded from reputable websites (make sure that these websites are secure!) or from developer sites (a better idea). Below are two antivirus tools that have been tested, are user-friendly, and will adequately protect any system from impending harm.
Avira Free Antivirus
This antivirus installs without a problem and it catches almost everything that test labs have thrown at it. You will have to set aside approximately twenty minutes for Avira to do its job, but that’s a small price to pay for a clean machine. Avira does require reboots once a virus has been caught, but, again, this isn’t a big deal considering what would happen to a system that isn’t protected against threats.
The way that this antivirus tool work is relatively standard: when viruses are caught, Avira will block these problems until you grant the program permission completely remove any viruses. One you have allowed the program to proceed, any detected threats will be eradicated. Avira won’t install anything that’s unwanted on your desktop and the program is clean all around.
Panda Cloud Antivirus
Aside from the fact that this antivirus has a fun name, it’s actually a free tool worth consideration. Panda Cloud was designed with minimalism in mind. The developers behind this antivirus tool wanted to create a program that would run seamlessly, wouldn’t take up a lot of system resources, and would scan a system as fast as possible. Panda Cloud is successful on all three accounts. A full scan takes approximately thirty minutes to complete, but you can selectively scan your system as well if you don’t have the time for a full scan. Customized scans take approximately one minute to complete, which is really impressive.
Panda Cloud managed to capture almost all malware when tested, though the program did not prove to be a challenge for some malware threats that blocked Panda Cloud from initial install. If you are just looking for an antivirus to have an run periodically, Panda Cloud is a great choice.
There are some other free antivirus choices available to consumers as well. Brand names to look for include AVG and the ever-popular Ad Aware. Both of these antivirus programs are updated and tend to be on par with the two reviewed programs above. Some consumers and reviewers will argue that free antivirus tools are not as complete or extensive as paid suites. While it’s not necessarily recommended that you protect a business network or complete home network with a free tool, all of the free tools mentioned here will work very well when protecting one system. If you own a Mac instead of a PC, make sure that the antivirus you choose is compatible. More often than not, free antivirus programs were developed for PC usage.