A very common thing I hear outside of work is: “I don’t want to shell out a bunch of money for an antivirus program. Are there any free ones?”
The good and bad answer is that there are a lot of free antivirus programs available on the internet. Just be careful what you download. You may in fact be infecting your machine instead of fixing/protecting it.
Today I will talk about 3 free Windows based programs that I recommend. Hopefully this will help you find something that will work for you if you haven’t already found what you are looking for.
Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) – If you own a valid copy of windows, this one is absolutely free for download off of Microsoft’s website. The reason I recommend this one to people is because it is easy to use. It is made by Microsoft and it stays up to date along with your other Windows operating system components through Microsoft Update. When MSE first came out I was more than a little scepticle but it has really come around to being one of the best free virus protection programs out there.
AVG – AVG was the first free antivirus I used. I installed this software on so many people’s computers I have lost count over the years. Like MSE it also does a good job of protecting your computer from unwanted viruses. Over the years AVG has grown considerably in size and has suffered a bit in the speed department. But what it has lost in speed it has gained in protection by adding a behavioral component that blocks unknown programs based on what they are doing.
Avast – Avast has quickly become my free antivirus program of choice. Avast has very good protection like the other free programs I have already mentioned. What Avast has above much of it’s competition is that it is very fast and light on system resources. This is a huge plus for those people who do not have the fastest machine around. The only downside, if you can call it a downside, is that you have to register the software with a valid email address. A small price to pay in my opinion.
There you have it – 3 free options to protect your Windows operating system. They are good options instead of shelling out the cash to buy a virus program.
One very important thing to keep in mind however is that no software, bought or free, will protect your computer 100%. You can get viruses just by surfing the internet or by opening an infected file that you received in an email. The best thing you can do is to make sure you have an antivirus program of somekind in place and in most cases that is enough to get the job done.
**Disclaimer: This in an informational post, all opinions expressed are my own. No monetary compensation was received for writing this post**
Craig is a self proclaimed geek with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. Craig has been working in technology for over 10 years and involved in video games a lot longer than that! He is married to Angela, the blog assistant for Mommy Moment, and together they have 2 children.