12 December 2007

Free Anti-Virus Software

Most people who buy new computers don't realize that their brand new machine does not come with virus protection. (link to wikipedia) Some computers come with a short trial of McAfee or Norton AV, but then you are required to pay to keep the service. Personally, I believe both programs are bloated and slow your system down. Today I'm going to talk about three free alternatives that will give you the same great protections, but at no cost to you.

AVG has been around for a while and provides great anti-virus protection. The do not provide support for their free software, but they do provide regular updates to keep you on the front line of defense. AVG also received a 5 star rating from the editors of C|net.

avast! adds a few features that are not covered in AVG. As well as providing anti-virus protection for your files, avast! also protects files coming through your network and through instant messenger. This application also updates on a regular basis to keep you protected.

ClamWin is another great freeware anti-virus scanner. It provides regular updates to keep you protected, and a scheduler so you can schedule regular anti-virus checks. Unlike AVG and avast!, ClamWin does not provide resident protection. This means that you have to initiate a virus scan or have one scheduled on a regular basis to have your files checked. This can be pro or a con depending on what you are looking for in your anti-virus program.

Based off the descriptions above, you can choose the virus protection that is right for you. All are free to use for personal use and provide regular updates. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages depending on what you seek.

Of course these are not the only freeware anti-virus scanners out there, these are just the most popular of the bunch. Feel free to examine each one or research other possibilities. If you feel that I've left out your favorite anti-virus application, leave a comment so that others can read and learn about it.

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