How Trustworthy is Antivirus Software that is Free? (2)
Upon testing the different free antivirus software available on the market today, it was found that Avira AntiVir Personal came up on the top in terms of performance in malware detection and scan speed. A simple, functional security program, the Avira software offers great protection for your PC and total sanitization of your computer system in the fastest amount of time among other security applications.
Close behind Avira was Avast Antivirus Home Edition, which has a less friendly interface but has almost the same powerful thrust behind its protection and disinfection functionalities. Aside from this it has a hefty Web traffic scanning capability and less invasive pop-up ads when it is utilized. The third runner-up in good performance is AVG 8.5 Free. The AVG interface has always been user-friendly; however, its security updating is not as nifty as the first two contenders.
Fourth on the list of top-performers is Microsoft Security Essentials. This PC scanner runs on the recently canceled paid OneCare antivirus engine. At present, Microsoft Security Essentials is still not readily available for free download, but thrifty PC users can anticipate its release later in 2009. The beta version was used in the quality testing of the free antivirus programs which performed well and is eagerly awaited by penny-wise users.
Next on the list was PC Tools, but it had some issues in detecting malware properly. Apparently the makers decidedly left out protection against spyware and preferred for it not to be compared to other security applications, which made it one of the lower ranking apps during the testing phase. Comodo Internet Security came next but also had trouble in detecting malware, similar to PC Tools. The recently released Panda Cloud Antivirus, on the other hand, showed potential in detection of malicious software, but because of online approach and incomplete beta version it fell short of a good ranking.
Some supplementary products to support existing antivirus programs merited some recognition such as PC Tools Threatfire which actually performed excellently in immediate detection of software threats. The unique thing about Threatfire is that it could do the job without the signatures and detected malware based on what the malware files tried to do on the PC system. Recognition is also afforded to the ClamWin Free Antivirus which is based on open-source programming. However, it only runs scans when demanded by the user, not automatically. This may be useful as a follow-up scan to a suspicious file, but otherwise it won’t give you protection unless you ask for it.