There’s basically no excuse for not having top-notch anti-virus software on your personal computers these days.
You have multiple well-rated — and no-cost — options to choose from, as PCMag’s latest ratings of free anti-virus programs illustrates.
The publication tested and reviewed 17 free programs and examined the results of other independent labs that have tested the programs.
The best free anti-virus software
PCMag awarded its “Editor’s Choice” honor to two programs:
- Avast Free Antivirus 2017
- Kaspersky Free
Both earned overall ratings of 4.5 out of 5 from PCMag.
Kaspersky Free stands out for getting perfect marks from four independent testing labs. Avast Free Antivirus is distinguished by its “many useful, security-related bonus features” — including a password manager — PCMag notes.
Additionally, three programs earned overall ratings of 4 out of 5:
- AVG AntiVirus Free
- Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (2017)
- Check Point ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus+ 2017
Windows computers now come with Windows Defender, but that doesn’t mean you should rely on it.
PCMag gave it a rating of 3 out of 5, noting that it’s not so much an anti-virus product as a component of Windows. The publication continues:
“And the very best free antivirus utilities offer many more layers of protection. Windows Defender doesn’t make antivirus software obsolete.”
Should you pay for anti-virus protection?
PCMag notes that paid anti-virus programs offer more protection and better protection than free versions. Whether you should pay for such protection comes down to your budget.
If a paid program isn’t in your budget, PCMag recommends trying a few of the free programs to see which you like best.
One exception is for business computers. Free anti-virus programs are often free only for noncommercial use, meaning only for use on personal computers.
What’s your experience with anti-virus programs, free or paid? Share what has or hasn’t worked for you by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.
How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes
Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.