We are going to look at some of the best free antivirus software that is currently been offered for non commercial use, (basically for home users). Most people are unaware that there are a number of companies out there that offer FREE anti-virus software and in most cases it is more than adequate to meet the needs of the home user.

As a side note there is another free antivirus program that is sometimes recommended and that is Microsoft security essentials. While it has improved over the years I would never recommend using this on a permanent basis.

Why do they giveaway Free antivirus programs

Now many people are sceptical when you suggest that the free software is actually good and not a scam but there is a method in their madness of giving software away for free. The free version is essentially their selling platform for their professional version and also generates brand awareness. By giving away their product for free they are opening up the consumer (you) to purchasing in the future when you realise you can trust products produced by them. As an example someone who has used  one of the 3 free antivirus programs below for a number of years at home may well be the first choice should they need new anti-virus software for their business computer. It is very clever marketing method but it benefits both them and the consumer in that we get good free security.

I personally run Avast on my home computer and have done for several years without issue. I have listed below what I believe are the best free antivirus programs below.

The Best Free Antivirus

Avast

avast best free antivirusI have used Avast on my home PC for a number of years and although over that time their has been the occasional hiccup with new version overall it has been excellent and why it tops my list of best free antivirus software. A new version of Avast has just been released in the past couple of weeks so as we all know sometimes a new version does not necessarily mean better so the jury is still out on the new version. Having said that if the new version is as good as the previous versions I will probably be using Avast for the next few years too.

Pros
– Light on resources even on an older machine
– Light on resources with scheduled scans
– Includes mail scanner, file scanner, network scan and more
– Scanning is one of the quickest of all the anti-virus programs I have used
– Detection rates over 97% (higher than a lot you pay for) Link to report here
– Automatic Updates
– Nice interface

Cons
-Because it is not a “security suite” there is no firewall (they do have a suite product that is not free)
-Install can install unwanted programs/parts unless the tick is removed in custom install.

Summary
Overall Avast is an excellent choice for free anti-virus software. The main pro is that it is very light on resources and very rarely slows down the computer which makes it ideal for older computers as well as newer ones. The software runs well on all versions of Windows including 7/8/8.1 and Windows 10.




AVG 

avg free antivirusI have used and install AVG in the past and had no real problems with it although personally I do find it a bit heavier on resources than the other 2 listed here. I also found that AVG was not as friendly to the older computer and caused it to lag. In all fairness to the review there has been a new version since I last tested it on an old laptop so it may have improved and aside from that it is an excellent product

Pros
– It’s free which is always a big Pro
– Relatively light on resources (previous versions were hopefully the next version will be)
– Includes mail scanner, file scanner, network scan and more
– Detection rates over 95%. Link to report here

Cons
-As it is not a “security suite” there is no firewall (they do have a suite product that is not free)
-Personally found that it is not as friendly to the older machine.
-Slower scanning than some
-It can affect boot times (slower start-ups)
-Can install unwanted programs that require payment

Summary
Despite its few negatives AVG still is a very good anti-virus program and makes it onto our list of the 3 best antivirus software. Its detection rates do seem to have dropped a percentage point or two recently but that can change relatively quickly. Keep an eye on https://www.av-comparatives.org/ for latest detection rates.

Avira 

avira free antivirusAvira is a free anti virus software program I have used in the past on occasion and is well-known for its high detection rates compared to other free anti-virus (99.5%). It is the program I go to if for some reason a system does not like avast or AVG although recent reports suggest it could and should be moving up this list.

Pros
– Its free
– Light on resources
– Includes mail scanner, file scanner, network scan and more
– Exceptional detection rates over 99%. Link to report here
– Fast
– Automatic Updates

Cons
-Because it is not a “security suite” there is no firewall (they do have a suite product that is not free)
-The interface can be difficult to navigate
-Some report frequent false positives from the program

Summary
Avira again is an excellent free anti-virus program and you cannot go far wrong with it. It will appeal to those who want the very best detection rates.

Conclusion

So there you have it three of the best free antivirus software programs that you are free to use for non commercial use. If you have another that you think should make it into the list drop us a comment.

 

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Reviewing The Best Free AntiVirus Software
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