Friday, 9 November 2012

9 Best and Free Antivirus Softwares for PC and Mobile: Review, Ratings and Updates

9 Best and Free Antivirus Softwares for PC and Mobile: Review, Ratings and Updates

This article provides the review of 9 best and free antivirus softwares for PC and Mobile present in the market. We have reviewed 9 famous free and best anitvirus softwares for PC and Mobile like Avast, Panda, Avira, AVG, Comodo, Immunet Protect, Digital Defender, Microsoft Security Essentials and PC Tools.

What is an Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software provides an essential layer of protection from a multitude of virus, trojan, worm, spyware, adware, dialer, keylogger and rootkit infections. Traditionally antivirus programs just detected viruses and spyware removers just detected spyware but nowadays the boundary between antivirus and spyware removers is unclear. Most current antiviruses have at least reasonably good detection rates of all forms of malware.

Antivirus Protection and Security

Malware includes viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, dialers, keyloggers and rootkit threats that perform malicious activities on a computer. With the huge increase in malware, antivirus software cannot keep up with detecting all of it. But using more than one real-time antivirus uses much more system resources, can cause conflicts and even reduce protection.

List of Best and Free Antivirus Softwares: Review, Ratings and Updates

1. Avast Free Antivirus for PC and Mobile Review

Avast! Free Antivirus is my new top pick for the best free antivirus software in light of recent developments. Avast has steadily been improving its detection rates over the past few years and now ranks with the some of the best. Avast has the most features of all the free antivirus with full real-time capabilities including web, e-mail, IM, P2P and network shields, boot-time scanning, and a behavioural blocker.

The new  version 6 brings even more features including an internet site ratings plugin, script malware protection and a limited (non-configurable) sandboxing feature. Although the sandbox is a very useful semi-automated security feature, the default settings involves a pop up to ask whether a software should be sandboxed for not - for the typical average user this can be slightly confusing though it can set to sandbox the software automatically. Lastly Avast is relatively light on resources.

2. Panda Cloud Antivirus for PC and Mobile Review

Panda Cloud Antivirus is Panda's successful attempt to jump on the free antivirus bandwagon. Along with MSE, it is an excellent choice for average users with a simple interface and completely automated features with automatic updating and removal of malware. The detection level is generally very high, but according to the latest test data, detection of zero day threats is slightly lower. PCA uses 'cloud' technology to provide for a much quicker release of updates as all definitions are stored in the cloud and thus the moment Panda updates their blacklist all users of PCA with an internet connection are protected from it.

Panda Cloud Antivirus has a behavioural blocker and web protection, which will certainly increase your security. However as you can simply use one of the other free AV's with a separate behavioural blocker to achieve possibly even better protection, this is not necessarily an advantage.

One minor reservation I have is that PCA seems to erroneously detect certain browser/system-related applications, for example VideoCacheView, and because of the automatic quarantine this made it a fraction bothersome.

3. Avira AntiVir Personal Edition Antivirus for PC and Mobile Review 

Avira AntiVir Personal Edition is another high quality free antivirus, and formerly the Top Pick. The primary reason I removed it from its status involved the recent controversy of AntiVir including a re-branded Ask toolbar in their installer, and a temporary spate of advertisements promoting a possible 'scareware' company. In spite of the negative press though AntiVir is still a top notch antivirus scanner with outstanding detection rates of malware, higher than almost every other antivirus according to tests. AntiVir is still a good choice for a free antivirus scanner, particularly for high risk users.

However, there are some minor reservations. First, AntiVir does not include web or e-mail scanning capabilities; this is only available in the paid version. The lack of an e-mail scanner is not a disadvantage, it just means that AntiVir won't warn you of infected emails before you open them. But should you open an infected email, AntiVir will still spring into action, so it doesn't mean that you're not protected from email-based infections. Also, AntiVir contains a rather intrusive advertisement every time it updates. Although AntiVir had signature updating problems in the past, this issue seems to be fixed now.

4. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition Antivirus for PC and Mobile Review 

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is also a decent choice for a free antivirus. Although this venerable antivirus has had some shaky results in detection in the recent past, it now offers a high level of protection. This is probably due to the inclusion of a fully-fledged behavioural blocker that is the "Identity Protection" protection. This provides a very important additional layer of protection, on the other hand though a similar protection level can be achieved by using one of the free antivirus above alongside a separate behavioural blocker. Unfortunately AVG free has grown considerably in size, has very slow scan speeds and also advertisements.

5. Comodo Antivirus for PC and Mobile Review

Comodo Antivirus from Comodo Security Solutions is another excellent program, easily one of the best free antivirus options out there. As of this writing, Comodo Antivirus bills itself as the "Best Antivirus on the Market. Guaranteed." due to its proprietary Defense+ technology. Comodo Antivirus also protects you from several threat sources, just as most of the other best free antivirus programs on this list do.

Comodo Antivirus works on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Comodo Antivirus is easily one of the best free antivirus solutions solely because of its Defense+ technology that, by default, assumes unknown files are threats instead of safe. That sounds like it might cause problems but Comodo Antivirus utilizes some other technologies to make the whole process silent but still very effective.

6. Immunet Protect FREE Antivirus for PC and Mobile Review

Immunet Protect FREE is a unique, cloud-based antivirus program, much like Panda Cloud Antivirus. Immunet Protect FREE protects your computer from bots, worms, viruses, Trojans, keyloggers, and spyware.

Immunet Protect FREE works on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. You must also be connected to the Internet at all times.

I think Protect FREE from Immunet is one of the best free antivirus programs for several reasons: you never have to update it, it has completely free telephone based support, and it can be run alongside some of the other best free antivirus tools like AVG Anti-Virus Free, Microsoft Security Essentials, and avast! Free Antivirus, increasing your overall protection! 

7. Digital Defender Antivirus for PC and Mobile Review

Digital-defender Antivirus isn't a popular antivirus program but it should be. It's certainly one of the best free antivirus software programs you'll find. It's a full antivirus and antispyware program and updates on a daily basis.

Digital-defender Antivirus supports Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

The relatively small installation size, daily virus definition updates, and full antispyware features make digital-defender Antivirus one of the better tools in my collection of the best free antivirus programs.

8. Microsoft Security Essentials Antivirus for PC and Mobile Review

Security Essentials from Microsoft is definitely one of the best free antivirus programs available right now. Microsoft is relatively new to the antivirus game but don't let that scare you - Security Essentials is a fantastic antivirus program that protects you from all sorts of malware, updates automatically, and is incredibly easy to use.

Microsoft Security Essentials supports Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Two of the biggest reasons I added Microsoft Security Essentials to this list of the best free antivirus software is because it's directly from Microsoft and also because it's very easy to see if you're computer is secure from threats: if the icon next to your clock is green, you're in good; if it's red, something is wrong.

9. PC Tools Antivirus for PC and Mobile Review

PC Tools AntiVirus Free offers basic protection against viruses and other malware. While not my favorite, AntiVirus Free is still one of the best free antivirus programs you'll find.

PC Tools AntiVirus Free works on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

The biggest problems I have with PC Tools AntiVirus Free are the reminders throughout the program that there's a not-so-free version that you should upgrade to. To be fair, you probably won't notice it since the program runs silently in the background to protect you from viruses. I probably find it annoying because most of the features available in the upgrade are included for free in some of the higher rated best free antivirus programs above.

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