There are many free antivirus programs available on internet but only few of them provide good protection and support against viruses. Majority of the free antiviruses are demo version with very limited options and capability to defend against viruses and some of the free antiviruses are from unpopular and unknown sources. This article will provide you an overview on best antiviruses which are available for free and provides almost everything you need as a home user.
How we evaluated antivirus programs?
Our criteria for best antivirus include scanning speed, resource consumption, number of virus detection, ease of use and useful extra features. The test was performed on same Lenovo G50-70 Intel Core i3 with 1.70 GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD running Windows 8.1.
Avira is on the top of our list. The virus detection rate was highest among all the antiviruses we tested in the same environment which gives Avira a big advantage over other programs. It also provides great interface which really provides greater ease of use. Extra features include website safety and option to block advertisement agency user tracking. The scanning speed is not the highest and slow computer may experience even slower speed but in our view speed doesn’t matter if it provides you best detection rate and excellent protection with no cost at all.
Looking from virus detection point of view, bit defender is second to none. It provides all the basic features, and even performs scans with little impact on system performance and speed. The extra features provided by bit defender antivirus includes a secure browser and a password manager. The only problem we see in free edition of bit defender is the lack of easy to use interface. It is very hard to figure out what’s where if you want to customize or change the settings. Apart from difficult user interface, Bit Defender provides excellent protection against viruses.
The user interface of avast attracted us the most. Everything is very organized and self-explanatory with advanced configuration options and extra features which include network scanner and password manager.SE labs rated it at 94 percent overall, but in our test it performed not good as Avira and bit defender.
According to SE Labs ratings, AVG virus detection rate is improving and you can consider it as a rival to Bit Defender and Avira. In our test it didn’t performed as good as Avira and Bit defender due to lower detection rate and rapid recommendation to upgrade to paid versions. It provides a good user interface and easy to use options. AVG provides basic virus detection along with unsafe web links warnings and it can also block unsafe email attachments.
It comes pre-installed on Microsoft Windows 8.1 and 10. But if you are on Windows 7 you can download Microsoft Security Essentials for free. The detection rate was lowest in in our test due to many false alerts. It makes your system very dull during active scans and does nothing to protect non Microsoft browsers from online threats. Windows defender will give you no extra features but it does provide a good user interface.