Top 5 Free Antivirus Software 2015
Most of us understand the importance of making our computer safe with antivirus software, but not everyone realises that you can protect your computer without parting with your hard earned cash.
Most new computers come preloaded with an antivirus free trial (usually Norton – which has a terrible reputation among those in the know) and when that free trial comes to an end, people often take the easy option and sign up to that antivirus software with an annual fee. But surely your money is better in your pocket than somebody else’s? So, for the sake of a few minutes’ effort, save yourself a few quid and opt for one of the many excellent free antivirus options available. Here is a list of our top 5 for you to consider:
1. 360 Total Protection
360 Total Protection is a new contender on the market and has gone right in at the top spot. It looks good and is pretty straightforward to use. It makes use of not one but four different antivirus databases (including Avira and Bitdefender), giving you possibly the strongest virus detection and protection properties, keeping you safe from phishing and data theft.
Its sandbox feature means you can open programs whose origins you might be unsure of without running the risk of harming your computer (highly recommended).
360 Total Protection is possibly a little heavy for some, in terms of the extra functionality it brings including a system clean-up utility and online shopping protection. Others would argue that this is just another advantage, especially if the end user doesn’t already have other similar applications installed to do this for them.
Another plus point in our book is that this software is ad-free and doesn't badger you into purchasing extras.
2. Avira Free Antivirus 2015
100 million people can’t be wrong. That’s how many customers Avira claims to have and it’s clear to us why. While the Avira interface may not be the prettiest on the market, it does its job brilliantly. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can pretty much leave it alone to do what it needs to do in the background with little or no input required from you.
Avira Free Antivirus includes: anti-virus scanner; cloud protection; blocks PUA (hidden applications that are often included with legitimate software); browser tracking blocker to prevent advertising networks monitoring your online activity; safe browsing – stops harmful websites before they download onto your computer.
All in all, it’s a top option.
3. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Bitdefender looks, and is, pretty slick. It is easy to navigate and uses minimal system resources making it efficient all round. Perfect if you like the strong, silent type! Its capabilities are impressive using cloud scanning and behavioural analysis to detect threats to your computer:
- Real-time Shield prevents infected files reaching your system;
- Active Virus Control detects potential threats even from as yet unknown viruses;
- Intrusion Detection System is automatically alerted by apps that may actually be masked malware;
- B-Have automatically quarantines or deletes suspect applications;
- HTTP Scanning scans all links you access and protects you from phishing scams;
- Anti-rootkit blocks software used by hackers to gain control of your computer.
And most importantly; Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition gets excellent results from independent testing labs.
4. AVG Antivirus Free 2015
While AVG is possibly one of the most well-known free antivirus names on the market, it is also loaded with adverts and marketing gimmicks pushing customers to pay to upgrade, which you might find trying after a while. Reports say that AVG’s protection ability statistics have also dropped off over the last couple of years.
5. Microsoft Security Essentials
While some might feel reassured by the Microsoft tag, don’t expect any more than a “baseline” form of protection, but it will protect your computer from most threats quietly in the background. This was once our top recommended Antivirus due to its ease-of-use and straightforward functionality, but this year it has become outclassed by the more comprehensive packages listed above.