SOME OF THE BEST 5 FREE ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE PROGRAMMES
How to protect your Windows computer without ever paying anything?
The title is just a title, because how does one determine which is the best software? By the actual number of infections? Rather difficult. How long the computer works without being protected? That depends on the user too! So you will find very ardent supporters of one programme or another. I can just share some of my experiences, but hey, I am no different from the rest: I have built up some preferences and then as I find something else, I change preference. Moreover, we are talking about the digital world, programmers continuously change their software and what may be the best software one day, may no longer be the case, the next.
Lets start with what already is on the new computeres:
The free Windows Defender from Microsoft, which is built into XP Service pack 2, Vista and Windows 7, is supposed to be a very good watch dog against spyware and adware, according to Consumer Reports. Make sure to programme it properly.
Furthermore, you want:
Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is free software from Microsoft and provides real-time protection for computers. MSE offers the latest technology to protect your computer against viruses, spyware and other malware, adding antivirus, rootkit and Trojan scanning capabilities. New Windows 7 computeres have it pre-installed. Make sure you programme it correctly at installation.
I have personally completely moved away from the major commercial Windows protection suites for two reasons:
So, I have started to run free antivirus software since 2006, and so far it has been working well for me. All programmes are "light", meaning they don't slow down the computer noticeable. But you can combine them with other programmes as you can read further on.
When you use Firefox, it warns you for or protects you from phishing sites, potentially malicious add-ons and annoying pop-up windows.
When you have bought a new computer it will probably come with protective software preinstalled that allows you to use it for free for a few months. Make sure you uninstall it if you want to run free antivirus software. Those pre-installed antivirus programmes have a tendency to interfere with free antivirus software and pester you into buying them. We have additional software at the disk cleanup page that will help you complete most stuff the commercial protection packages have.
After that you should at least install a independent free antivirus software package. I would like to start an open source free antivirus softare : ClamWin is an open source free antivirus software programme, meaning it is completely free and has no user restrictions. NICE!.
For protection from malicious emails, first of all: NEVER click on links in emails from people you don't know. Some are malicious emails that have links to sites that try to get private information from you. Also, don't click on links for birthday cards UNLESS it is your birthday. NOT EVEN FROM FRIENDS, as this has become an important way of luring you into clicking on links to websites that steal personal info from your computer (PHISHING). If you use Thunderbird, you can programme it to automatically delete spam, but it won't necessarily eliminate all these sophisticated phishing schemes and neither can virus protection programmes. See also Thunderbird. It is very lean on your computer, meaning that you don't notice its operation on the overall performance of your computer. I recently installed this on my computer to test is and so far I have not had any problem, but that does not mean it is good; just that I was careful.
Antivir is a commercial antivirus programme, but its basic version is free. It protects you from viruses, worms and Trojan horses. When you install the programme, make sure you don't upgrade to the commercial version if you only want the free antivirus version. The basic version has no email protection. Its firewall comes out very poorly. See: http://www.matousec.com/projects/firewall-challenge/results.php. However, the firewall is just one component, and together with Windows own firewall, I have run this programme for quite a while and taken that risk, without ever have notices any consequences. But I now run Moon Secure. Enthousiastic users claim this is the best. For me there is no way of telling to support such claim, but it is rather lean on your computer.
AVG too is a commercial protection programme which has a free version with many users claiming it is the best free antivirus software. The free version includes an antivirus, Anti-Spyware, Email Protection, Link-Scanner, and a Resident Shield (whatever that is; probably a firewall). So AVG seems more all-round than AVIRA, but for a while I ran both programmes simultaneously and AVIRA always caught the virus. At a certain moment AVG no longer ran simultaneously with other antivirus software, so I personally choose AVIRA as it was more effective; I found different forums where users had similar experiences. But that was already some time ago and things change continuously with software and their performance.
These three programmes together with wise behaviour on the internet should give you a considerable amount of protection and with this, you can get by in relative safety on the internet. Why is this important? There are many many people who can't effort the expenditure of spending a yearly 30 - 50 dollar equivalents for internet protection, or who simply don't have a credit card with which to pay for the annual subscription fees of protective software. So, if you have problems paying for or simply don't want to pay for an internet exposure programme, take the full combination of aforementioned measures and according to Consumers Report, they will give you a surprisingly degree of protection. This may not always be quite as good as some of the best programmes, but which is a great deal better than no protection at all. And they sure don't slow down your machines the way the big commercial suites do.