Free AntiVirus Downloads

Are you scared of free antivirus downloads? Are you convinced they are all worthless? Do you feel the purpose is just to get you to install them so they can grab your personal information? Have you asked yourself why would they be giving it away for free if it is such a great product? I’m a network engineer with over a decade of experience and I’d like to take a few minutes to present the facts about free antivirus downloads.

First, free antivirus programs are just as effective at finding viruses as the pay-for versions. I know what you are thinking: then why give it away? The answer is, to get you hooked on how good it works so you buy the pay-for version later. The good free versions are usually timed trials that allow you to run the software for one year and then decide to buy it after that. They can also be packaged as JUST an antivirus program and if you want extras like email protection or download scanning then you have to buy the full version. You can guess that if they gave you an antivirus program that didn’t work very well, they would never get any sales from the trial versions.

Let’s be clear on something, yes some bad people on the internet do release malicious software under the disguise of free antivirus programs in an effort to corrupt your computer and maybe even worse. The same can also be said of any other computer program, bad guys do the same thing to recipe programs, weight-loss tracking programs and any other kind of software on the internet. So what is a person to do, how can I find the real stuff? One answer is to stick with well-known products from the manufacturer or some other TRUSTED websites that link to the manufacturers, like mine below.

OK, your next question is, what are the well known free antivirus downloads? Luckily they all start with the letter A and they are: Avast, Avira and AVG. So, what is so great about these three programs? Well, an independent non-profit organization that tested many of the top brands ranked all three of these programs over Symantec (Norton) and McAfee, (the report can be found at the website listed below on the download page). This organization tested the pay-for versions by putting each one on an identical computer and then infecting the computers with a virus to see if it was found. The computers were hit with over 20,000 different forms of malware and the highest ranking product was only able to find 69% of them. You would be very surprised to see where some of the big names like McAfee ranked.

OK, now you know a few things:

  • Yes, there are bad antivirus programs on the internet but if you stay with trusted sites like the well-known manufacturers page, you are relatively safe.
  • You also know that many good free antivirus downloads start with the letter A: Avast, Avira and AVG.
  • I am currently using Avast on my home computers and I really like it. It comes with a one year trial and I was also able to renew it for a second year free.