The web can be a dangerous place. Every PC owner who frequents the web needs to be prepared to encounter hackers, phishing sites, viruses, and spyware.
The big-name security companies would have you believe that adequate web security should come at a high cost, if only to cover rolling updates on their virus definitions. These companies want to place a price on your web security and privacy.
Fortunately, many other well-known companies believe that adequate web security should be made available to everyone who needs it and at a price that is fair: Free. Below are the top three free antivirus programs as of September 2013 in no particular order.
ZoneAlarm Free Anti-virus + Firewall
ZoneAlarm keeps things simple. The user interface is clean and easy to navigate. There are minimal buttons to worry about and the ones that are included are the buttons most necessary to protecting your PC.
The program includes a certified antivirus engine, a simple and easy to use firewall, and a basic level of active browsing protection.
ZoneAlarm does have one issue that should be considered. The antivirus database, which contains the most current virus definitions, is only updated daily. The only way to upgrade to hourly database updates is through a pay-wall. This should only concern the most active of web users, so keep this in mind.
AVG Free Antivirus
AVG Free Antivirus is a solid virus protection program. The package includes a good antivirus engine, email scanning functionality, identity theft protection, and LinkScanner Surf-Shield for web browsing protection.
The AVG user interface at first seems intimidating. The interface includes a number of buttons, tiles, and menu selections. However, AVG uses a very intelligent design layout that provides easy solutions to settings or problems within a click or two.
AVG Free Antivirus has no glaring drawbacks. The antivirus engine received good reviews of its effectiveness in some industry certifications. With the vast array of free options, AVG Free Antivirus is an excellent choice.
Avast Free Antivirus
Avast Free Antivirus is an excellent antivirus program and is the antivirus that I use. The program comes bundled with a software-updating tool to track updates and a easy to use browser cleanup.
The program is easy to install and just as easy to configure. The interface is straightforward and easy to navigate, which makes the progression to your first system scan easy and fast. AVG is also very easy on your PC causing very little in the way of system slowdowns during scanning periods.
Avast Free Antivirus is also the darling of most certification systems. The program is considered to be an excellent all-around performer and should be one of your first choices when shopping for a free antivirus program.