Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Best Free Antivirus Protection Programs for Your Computer

antivirus protection programI understand how sometimes money is tight and you don’t have the extra cash to spend on nonessential things. Things like protection for your computer don’t really make the top of the list, but it is still very important. The Internet is full of brilliant ideas, research material, news, incredible software, and about everything you could imagine, but there is also a huge amount of content that can be incredibly harmful for your computer. It is absolutely 100% necessary to use antivirus and antispyware protection if your computer is connected to the internet. Even if you have your computer locked in a WiFi-proof Faraday cage with no connection to the outside world, you still run the risk of being intruded by threats like the Conficker worm that can slip onto your computer via a removable drive. You simply must have security software on your computer. So you say that you don’t have the cash to put out for virus protection? No problem! You can get reasonably good protection for your computer without paying a cent.

If you do decide to put out some money towards virus protection software, Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 and Prevx 3.0 are both great option. If you’re okay with putting out a little more money to purchase a full suite, you will get even better protection. Norton Internet Security 2010 is considered the best by many reviewers. BitDefender Internet Security 2010 and ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2010 are both also considered great options. If you really can’t afford to put out some cash for computer security software though, there are still plenty of options out there for you.

Most of the good, free products out there offer a full range of protection from malware (this includes virus, spyware, rootkits, etc). These programs will remove any malware that is already present on your computer and will prevent any new malware from installing itself on your computer. A program called HouseCall 7.1 takes a very different approach. HouseCall 7.1 will only scan your computer. It offers no real-time protection. The free edition of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware 1.36 is also a scan-only program. You have to pay if you want real-time protection. The way that programs such as these can be used is as a second opinion. It can help identify anything that your protection program might overlook.

IObit Security 360, AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 9.0, and avast! Free Antivirus 5.0 beta all offer free editions of their programs. AVG’s paid edition offers a more comprehensive type of protection, but the other two program’s free editions are fully functional.

The nice thing about using free protection services is that you can keep trying different ones until you find one that you really like. You can even install a combination of programs that will cover real-time protection and “second opinion” scanning. The only thing that I can say is don’t leave your computer unprotected. Even if you don’t have the funds to purchase a program, there is plenty of free protection out there that can keep your computer clean. Check out some of these programs below and find out which one works best for you.

avast! Free Antivirus 5.0 beta
avast! offers a very good protection program. It specializes in malware removal and rootkit removal tests. It has easy to use control settings and detailed reporting.

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 9.0

AVG honestly believes that everyone should have a free basic protection against the threats of the Internet. The company therefore offers a great free protection program that is much better than Microsoft’s free program.

Trend Micro HouseCall 7.1
This program utilizes a cloud-based malware database to quickly detect viruses and threats. It serves as a second opinion program that should be used in addition to a real-time protection program. It should not be your only anti-malware solution.

IObit Security 360
This program is easy to install and quickly scans and identifies problems, but the issue is that Iobit doesn’t remove or prevent any malware installation.

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware 1.36
With this protection program, it does a very good job of cleaning up any malware, especially those terribly annoying rogue security programs, but it is not effective against commercial keyloggers or rootkits.

Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0
With Microsoft Security, you will receive some protection from malware, but honestly a lot of the other protection programs will satisfy your computer’s need much more efficiently.

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