Although the world might have gone mobile, you still find the PC at the core of most businesses.
Your accountants still use Excel and your sales team still produces PowerPoint-based presentations.
As everyone knows, Windows-based PCs are vulnerable to attacks by viruses and malware, and as such they need protection.
There is some absolutely wonderful anti-virus software out there – Norton AntiVirus comes to mind as probably the best. But for the level of protection Norton AntiVirus provides you have to put your hand in your pocket – quite deeply as far as a new company is concerned.
Startups working from home and entrepreneurs feeling the pinch don’t like spending money, but this no longer means they can’t protect their computers. There are a lot of free solutions out there that do the job pretty well.
Here then, in no particular order, are some of the best free options that are currently available.
Most of them have an even stronger paid version available, but we think the free versions are good enough:
Avira Antivirus is a good option for protecting your computers.
The free option has earned high rankings in a number of surveys and as Avira has a good history with offerings designed for the PC, you are in good hands.
It’s used by millions worldwide and a range of tests have given it high ranking based on their results.
It offers a system scanner that defends against malware and offers a reputation advisor that rates how secure websites are before you visit them.
The solution is updated hourly to ensure new threats are dealt with.
To be fair, this is the one we have seen most often used by the people we know.
Avast detects viruses and malware and also offers a tool that secures your passwords.
Alongside that it offers another tool that picks off all your browsers’ unwanted extensions.
It has proven capability as far as recognizing URLs that might contain threats is concerned, so its strength lies in helping you avoid the source of malware and viruses.
It can also spot when your network’s patches need updating. Again, Windows 10 compatible.
Panda Free Antivirus
Panda Antivirus offers an extremely good level of protection.
The software updates automatically, and it has consistently scored high marks in a number of tests provided by independent websites.
It has been recognized as being better than a number of paid options, and it is particularly good at blocking URLs where malware and viruses reside.
The software’s interface has a very attractive design, but more importantly, Panda offers nice features like USB protection.
BitDefender is a minimalist solution in that it offers antivirus protection – and that’s about it!
It offers entirely automated protection, meaning that you can’t run a scan at will, but the menu does allow you to scan particular files and folders.
This is another option that has done well in independent tests.
It is light, and doesn’t use up much of your computer’s resources. Updated regularly to protect against the most current threats.
AVG Antivirus has been recognized as a leader in Windows 10 protection and so that’s an added advantage for this free solution.
It has performed well in independent tests and is especially strong for antiphishing protection.
It offers a number of other tools like the PC Tuneup component, but after a day’s trial this tool becomes redundant, which is disappointing and might put a few people off.
If you can put up with a menu pointing to things that no longer work, this delivers a very good level of protection.
360 Total Security Essential
Alongside strong antivirus and antimalware protection (which leverages five antivirus engines), 360 Total Security Antivirus offers a number of great features including secure online shopping and privacy protection.
It alerts users when suspicious programs are trying to access a computer, and it offers strong phishing protection.
Ad-Aware Free Antivirus
This is another good solution that is particularly strong at blocking problematic URLs.
Unfortunately, there is no phishing protection to this software, but it does operate particularly quickly.
In addition, it scans all downloads before they get to your hard disk and offers real-time protection.
The solution’s library of threats is updated regularly meaning you have protection against the latest issues.
With 450 million downloads to date, it’s certainly one of the most popular free options out there.
A Note of Caution
Everyone likes free things and people sometimes install multiple free solutions in a bid to cover all bases.
The problem is this is that some free antivirus solutions are not compatible, meaning they don’t work alongside each other.
So, when in fact you think you are covering yourself more comprehensively, you might actually be leaving your PC wide open.
If you really want to use multiple solutions alongside each other, some research to see what works together would be sage.
Remember, make sure that your web hosting service provider pays the due attention to security and abides by the latest and highest standards.