Free Anti-Virus Tools
Having up-to-date anti-virus protection is essential for all computer users who wish to browse the Internet safely and securely. Luckily there are some very capable free anti-virus tools available. For more information on the potential effects of viruses on your system and basic steps on how to prevent viruses, visit our virus prevention section.
PC Tools Anti-Virus Free Edition
PC Tools Anti-Virus free edition is a feature packed anti-virus tool to protect your computer against viruses, trojans and worms. The resident Intelliguard feature protects your PC in real-time and with frequent automatic updates you can be sure the scanning engine includes prevention against the latest threats.
Email scanning is turned off by default but can be easily switched back on. By providing a file guard, email-guard, frequent updates, comprehensive system scanning and community support all for free, this download is a no-brainer.
Avast 4 Home Free Anti-Virus
Avast anti-virus home edition is a comprehensive free anti-virus software suite that provides real-time protection and on demand scanning as well as anti-spyware protection and anti-rootkit detection. Avast also includes a Network Shield to protect against worms, incorporates boot scanning before Windows loads, scans incoming and outgoing emails, file sharing and instant messaging utilities.
Avast's Virus Recovery Database can also attempt to detect and repair viruses already resident on your PC. The unconventional interface, which resembles an MP3 player, may take some getting used to, however with such a feature packed free anti-virus tool, this is a minor inconvenience.
Comodo anti-virus provides all the necessary features you'd expect from a well-built and effective anti-virus application including on-demand scanning, email protection and regular, automatic updates. The Host Intrusion Protection System (HIPS) alerts you with pop-up messages whenever an intrusive spyware or virus attempts to attack your system.
Comodo also provides Incremental File Scanning which helps to intelligently speed up the identification and removal of viruses. All features of Comodo anti-virus are customisable including various scanning options which can be scheduled with ease. These scanning options include the ability to scan removable devices including network drives, individual files and even compressed files, such as zip or rar.
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
Perhaps one of the most popular and well known free anti-virus tools AVG anti-virus deserves it's reputation as being a straight forward, easy to use and effective solution to protect your computer against viruses. The program provides real-time and on-demand protection enabling users to scan individual folders, drives or the whole system.
Automatic updates are provided on a daily basis and a grey icon in the system tray provides a visual indication if the internal database is out of date. The simple interface provides two main windows, the Test Center for updates and scanning, and the Control Center which gives access to the installed components and security status of the software. There is a fully functional email scanner, virus vault and resident shield to ensure your system is fully protected against infections.
Also integrated into AVG anti-virus is an excellent anti-spyware program which provides protection against spyware, adware and identity theft plus a safe search feature to protect your search results on the Internet.
Aviva AntiVir Personal Edition
Aviva AntiVir free edition provides basic protection against viruses, worms, trojans and dialers. Email protection is not included in the free edition, however the real-time scanner should protect against potential threats. The tabbed interface is a welcome surprise to those used to tabbed browsing and the free edition also detects and deletes rootkits.
Before Installation of free anti-virus software
Before you install any free anti-virus software, make sure you are fully aware of what you are installing. Some anti-virus software may be designed to maliciously introduce viruses onto your system, so be wary.
It's always worth doing some research on any software you install to prevent any vulnerability to your system software.
Finally, if you do have a particularly stubborn virus you have identified and can't remove using free anti-virus software then go to http://www.kasperskylabs.com or http://www.symantec.co.uk which have a wealth of information and many tools which will help rid your system of hard to remove viruses. Sometimes there are specific tools available written to deal with particularly stubborn viruses.
WARNING: do not run two anti-virus programs on your machine at any one time. Anti-virus utilities operate in real-time and can conflict with each other to cause problems with your system. Also, make sure your anti-virus software is kept up-to-date to ensure maximum protection.
More Anti-Virus Information