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Top 5 free anti-virus software

Top 5 free anti-virus software

Here are five anti-virus software that are absolutely free, but offer the same level of protection from any sort of malware and suspicious files as paid versions.

Good anti-virus software maintains your computer’s speed and keeps it safe from malware. A vital function, but not something you necessarily have to spend money on. For example, a subscription for the basic protection from Norton – Norton AntiVirus with Antispyware – would cost Rs590 for one computer for a year, but it offers nearly the same features as free anti-virus software. The basic Quick Heal AntiVirus Pro is a little more expensive – it would cost Rs999 for one subscriber for a year – but offers a few extra features such as safe mode protection and laptop tracking. There certainly are software packages that offer much more advanced features, but unless you’re actively seeking out websites that would harm your computer, the following are free software you could pick over a paid subscription.

Software Avira Avast AVG ZoneAlarm Panda Norton Quick Heal
Anti-virus Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Firewall N N N Y N N Y
Anti-phishing N N Y Y N N N
Site authentication Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
USB vaccination Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Email protection N Y N Y N Y Y
Parental controls N N N N N N N
Online/tele support N N N N N Y Y
Price Free Free Free Free Free Rs590 Rs999
Cnet rating 4 4.5 4 3 3.5 4.5 NA

This simple software will protect your computer from Trojans, worms and rootkits, which, if not dealt with quickly, would slow your computer and, in worse cases, cause it to function erratically. It comes equipped with anti-ad and spyware protection to block pop-ups, a browser tracking blocker to prevent websites from tracking your online history and a website safety advisor to keep you from downloading viruses. It can even scan network drives too, so you’ve even protected from potential threats on a shared computer.
Pros: It’s highly up-to-date virus definitions and extremely light on your system
Cons: Increases your PC’s boot time and the default toolbar might unnecessarily block some safe websites

An efficient anti-virus for your computer in terms of keeping out dangerous malwares and attacks. It boasts a quick installation speed (five minutes from download to running on your system) and, like most other viruses, does not eat up your computer’s RAM while working in the background. It also cuts down on scan time by not rechecking previous safe files and only visits them if there are any changes made to the files.
Pros: Restricts scan RAM requirement if computer is in use, offers many features, including e-mail and identity protection, that are usually only in paid versions
Cons: Installs unnecessary toolbars and search options as default and, according to some reviews, it does occasionally recognise viruses but fails to delete them

Zone Alarm
The software is known particularly for its high-performing firewall protection feature, which will block unwanted access to your computer. Besides protecting your system from malware and other intrusions, it also provides you with anti-phishing, site authentication and identity protection.
Pros: The best firewall protection software you can get free, provides Application Control to block unwanted programs from gaining access and Behavioural Scanning to identify any suspicious activity
Cons: Although a complete software, its anti-virus is not as strong as the others in the list

Panda Cloud Security
Panda Security has a very high malware and virus detection rate, making it an ideal substitute for paid version of anti-viruses. It also keeps your system resources light by keeping most of its data on the software’s server on the internet. The free version also provides USB protection, a behavioural analysis protection and site authentication.
Pros: A highly effective anti-virus both online and offline, good database of information which prompts you if any of your files or applications have a bad rating or has been compromised by a malware
Cons: A number of effective features like firewall are restricted to the paid version. Also, the user interface is slightly outdated and not as effective as other anti-viruses

Avast’s free version has been rated as among the most comprehensive set of security features in the market. At no cost, the software provides you with an anti-virus and an anti-spyware system with multiple real-time shields. It also blocks off various suspicious programs and websites.
Pros: Disables programs as soon as it detects suspicious activity, provides a browser cleanup for unwanted toolbars and ensures deleted files are unrecoverable
Cons: Adds around 10 seconds to your PC’s startup time, slower system scans and does not deal with phishing threats

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