How To Compare Free Antivirus Software

How to Compare Free Antivirus Software

How to find truthful information about free antivirus.

People spend more and more of their time online – both for work and entertainment – and this calls for certain factors to be taken into consideration. The threat of viruses and malware is at all-time high and personal information, such as addresses, bank account and card details, sensitive medical and social data and other, is particularly vulnerable to malicious attacks. Newer viruses keep popping up every day, making it essential to guard your system.
Most people turn to paid Antivirus software programs such as Norton or McAfee to protect their system from harm. However, there are plenty of decent free alternatives, which provide just as much functionality and features depending on your user preferences and needs. There are various factors to consider when choosing an antivirus suite and in today’s article we’ll examine how to compare free antivirus software.


First and foremost, you will want to look at the availability of features offered by the different antivirus programs available for free. Naturally, they will be packed with less tools and options compared to their paid versions or alternatives, but ideally, you will want to consider those that still offer various elements, such as web filtering, different scan options, network monitoring, phishing detection and/or firewall. Even if the program you are considering doesn’t have some of the mentioned features, try and compare it in terms of content against the others – does it offer more when it comes to quantity or quality?


Installing and operating your antivirus software properly is crucial to how efficient it is in protecting your system from malware and viruses. Most free programs offer default and custom (advanced) setup, which can be useful as both beginners and advanced users can benefit from the features of the suite. Always do a trial of an antivirus program before committing to it to get a feel of the dashboard, the options and how to navigate them. Some choices like Avast are known for their user-friendly interface, which makes them particularly popular as people get to experience the full benefits of their functionality. It may seem like a better idea to go for the most feature-packed antivirus solution but if its interface is not intuitive – you can end up using just a fraction of its capacity, essentially rendering it useless.

Platform Requirements

While most free antivirus software suites pack up nicely and don’ take up much memory, one important factor that determines their performance is how they affect your CPU when run in the background. Remember – this is a program that will be constantly running while you are performing your daily tasks and can significantly slow down your computer. This is true especially for people who run a lot of video and audio files that require a lot of RAM. Gamers are also prone to constant pop-up notifications and clashes if they connect to outside networks, accept files or run .exe files, key generators and install patches. Getting an antivirus program with strict parental controls doesn’t make sense for someone who is studying or working in the field of medicine, biology or even journalism as it will end up blocking a lot of the sites you need to visit to get your work done. Always consider your antivirus from the point of view of your daily needs and routine.

System compatibility

Based on your preferences for an OS (Microsoft, Mac OS or Linux) there will be different antivirus software options to consider and some will not be available across OS platforms. Before starting to consider features and system requirements, the most important thing to determine is if the software you want to install is compatible with the OS you are running.

Upgrade options

Even though most users start out with a free version of an antivirus program, statistics show they are much more likely to upgrade to a paid version of the same software rather than switch antivirus software altogether. That is, if this is an option. What’s even more – some popular protection programs offer individual feature upgrades, so you end up paying only for what you’re using, which is affordable and convenient as sometimes user behaviour and needs change over time and you need to adjust your level of protection accordingly.

Ads and Spam

Being free, most antivirus programs tend to prompt users to install unnecessary additional tools during setup as well as display ads on the dashboards, which can be a bit annoying. Avast Free Antivirus, for example, will automatically install the Google Chrome and IE toolbars unless you untick the boxes during setup. Other products, including Avira and Qihoo, show adverts, while others are bundle software from other companies, which might slow down your PC if you’re not paying attention during the installation process.

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