Monday, June 22, 2009

20+ Awesome Free Antivirus Software

Antivirus software works by scanning your computer's hard drive and memory to look for any virus. The antivirus software, once it has found a virus, will either delete it or quarantine it. However, for the antivirus to be completely efficient, it needs to be updated. Every now and then, the software will need to access its manufacturer's website to download updates. The updates provide the latest information to the software on how to detect new viruses and eliminate. An outdated antivirus is as good as a computer with no antivirus.
However, the more powerful the antivirus software becomes, the more canny the viruses get. There are those viruses which affect the boot sector of your computer's hard drive and thus Windows® based antivirus software will not work. Then you will need special solutions.
There is also one last type of antivirus software which scans your computer from a website. These are called online virus scanners and need an internet connection.
Free Antivirus Software (Downloadable)

Avast! Antivirus

One of the best. Provides all-in-one protection for the system, with auto-update and all. Has a simple user interface and above all the home edition is free! The newer version of avast! has an integrated rookit removal system. You only need to register and you will be sent a 1 year license within 24 hours. I use it and I highly recommend it. It works on on any Windows platform except mobile edition.
AVG Antivirus Free Edition
In the same ranks as Avast! and is really a good freeware. It offer resident protection, email scanner, LinkScanner and more. It auto-updates itself over the internet. It also has a safe search feature which notifies you when you visit suspect sites. Works on two platforms: Windows® and Linux. Recommended.
Avira Antivir - Antivirus
Good product with free support and has a huge virus database. Avira Antivir provides protection against viruses, dialers, rootkit and phishing. It's scanning is very fast. It is cross-platform, which means that it runs on Windows®, Linux, Free BSD and Solaris.
BitDefender - Antivirus
Another free anti-virus which is regarded as one of the best. The free version provides basic protection to its users. Works on Windows 200, XP, 2003 and Vista.
Clam AV - Antivirus
Freeware antivirus licensed under the GPL. It is mainly used to scan email attachments. It has automatic updating through the internet and the scanning is through command line. The virus database is updated several times daily according to its website. Availble for several Linux Distros.
ClamWin - Antivirus
Free Open Source antivirus software for Windows (98, 2000, 2003, XP, Vista) based upon Clam AV. It has scheduled scanning, auto-update feature, integration with Windows Explorer and with Microsoft Outlook. However, one major disadvantage with this product is that it does not have real-time protection. They might implement this in the future - but it is still a good product.
Comodo Antivirus
It is Windows anti-virus software which resides in memory and provide real-time scanning of your file while automatic updating is also included. You can have scans scheduled for specific times. Comodo Anti-virus also has host intrusion detection feature and can auto-update itself over the internet. It is very light on system resources
Cyberhawk (Now PC Tools Threatfire) - Antivirus
Cyberhawk is not a true antivirus software. It only complemends your exisiting antivirus software and provides protection against the viruses your main anitivirus software does not provide. Useful when your antivirus is not updated. It does not have a dataase but instead looks at the characteristics of the suspect program and alerts you if it has those of a virus. However, it is to be noted that it can set off several false alarms.
F-Prot - Antivirus
It is a free anti-virus software for Linux, FreeBSD and DOS. It can only be used as a personal software, not commercially. The Windows and Solaris versions are commercial.
HandyBits - Antivirus
Will combine all virus scanners available on your computer and do a meta search for viruses. Handy if all the scanners find different types of viruses. It can auto-detect all the virus scanners by itself and has a multi-lingual user interface. It is free and runs under Windows.
PC Tools Antivirus
The same protection as the best of anti-virus software. The free version allows you to have free community support, the Intelli-Guard feature plus automatic updates. Can scan downloaded emails. Provides fast updates and works only on Winodws® 2000, XP, Vista. There is also a commercial version.
Antidote Super Lite version - Antivirus
This is the cut-down version of the full version of Antidote antivirus. It though uses the same virus database as the commercial one. The last time I visited their website, they had moved off the domain. Discontinued?
Online Virus Scanners

These virus scanners do not need to be downloaded and installed. They scan your computer directly from your web browser.
BitDefender Free Online Virus Scan
Finds and deletes viruses from your computer. Installs an ActiveX control to enable this scan to be done. Needs Internet Explorer to work.
Freedom Free Online Virus Scan
Scan your computer's hard drives, Cd-ROMs, floppys and all from the web. Scans for trojans and worms.
GFI online Trojan Scanner
This a a trojan (a special type of virus) scanner which runs exclusively on Internet Explorer and on Winodws®. You need not download the software.
Jotti's Online Malware Scan
Provides file scanning services. Just upload your file here, it will use a bunch of anti-virus softwares to check for malware.
McAfee's Virusscan Online
A free virus scanner by McAfee which is online.
Panda Active Scan - Online Virus Scan
Finds and deletes viruses from your computer. Installs an ActiveX control to enable this scan to be done. Requires Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher.
PC Pitstop - Online Virus Scan
A compendium of online security tools like virus scanning, spyware detection and all. Same as Panda Active Scan as it installs an ActiveX to perform all this.
Rav Antivirus - Online Virus Scan
Same as McAfee's Virusscan Online. Discontinued?
Symantec Security Check - Online Virus Scan
Same as PC Pitstop except that it requires IE 5.0+ to work.
TrendMicro HouseCall - Online Virus Scan
A compendium of online security tools like virus scanning, spyware detection and all. Same as Panda Active Scan as it installs an ActiveX to perform all this.

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