PC Tools Free Antivirus Review
The PC Tools utility portfolio was retired on December 4, 2013.
PC Tools Free AntiVirus is by far one of the poor choices when it comes to keeping your system safe, especially given how many alternatives are available that do more than a decent job. The free version is different than the registered “trial-pay” free version but both fail short of what is expected of an antivirus suite.
At first glance, PC Free Tools AntiVirus may seem like decent antivirus software; it offers protection from worms, viruses, and Trojans. However, it makes no mention of unearthing rootkits, or protecting from the newest threats that continue to evolve, which leaves users vulnerable to many threats.
Although the program does what it advertises, it simply cannot compare to feature-rich and intuitive rivals like AVG and Avira. Users who are looking for streamlined experience and from advanced antivirus software will have to look elsewhere. Even for a free antivirus, there are definitely better solutions out there.
PC Tools Free AntiVirus Free Edition is very user-friendly tool, which is by far its best feature. Its interface has a minimum of buttons, making it easy to use and control.
PC Tools Free Antivirus Performance
PC Tools Free AntiVirus comes with various layers of security, which include tools such as Search Defender, File Guard, Email Guard, and Smart Updates. Search Defender protects users while they surf the web by warning against unsafe websites; File Guard monitors for and blocks known malware in real-time; and Email Guard defends your PC from spyware and viruses that are sent or received via email.
At the same time PC Tools Free AntiVirus runs Smart Updates to ensure that your PC is always protected against the latest threats through frequent free automatic updates and product upgrades. In addition to these regular updates, the program includes some useful extras like phishing alerts, Web site ratings, and adware and malware protection.
Despite all of these features, however, various testing agencies and labs report PC Tools Free Antivirus to be not so effective when it comes to providing adequate malware and virus detection and protection. PC Tools Free AntiVirus has failed both of the latest tests from Virus Bulletin (for both the Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems). Based on AV-Test.org’s heuristic tests, which use two- and four-week-old signature databases to simulate how antivirus programs will handle new and unknown malware, PC Tools Free Antivirus came in last, with 33 percent and 36 percent (in contrast, Avira, the best app we tested, scored 52 percent and 45 percent, respectively). PC Tools performed well in detecting and removing existing infections, missing only one out of ten–but most of the competitor free antivirus apps got them all.
Many of the features displayed on the dashboard are available only for the premium version. This makes the free version seem as though its only purpose is for advertising of the fully-featured premium version. Users who are interested in decent features in a free antivirus package and also an effective malware protection, there are better alternatives worth considering.
Users can schedule basic full-scans and they don’t have to manually download updates, because the program automatically keeps itself up-to-date. PC Tools Free AntiVirus provides Internet and e-mail protection by thoroughly scanning your system to ensure your PC is safe and virus free.
PC Free Tools AntiVirus doesn’t offer a high enough level of protection. It has been approved by the West Coast Labs, as well as having received checkmark certifications for effective desktop protection from viruses, spyware, Trojans, and malware but it still falls short of the protection other antivirus programs.
PC Tools Free Antivirus Experience
The program has a light installation file and setup is easy and smooth. The interface is uncluttered and user-friendly. PC Tools Free AntiVirus doesn’t schedule scans by default, but it displays daily notifications if updates are available. This makes it easy to ensure you’ve always installed the latest definitions. In order to receive these notifications the Smart Update feature needs to be turned on.
The basic features of the free version are Core, Email, Identity Protection and Automatic Updates. The Core Protection feature monitors for and blocks known malware in real-time. It covers known viruses, worms, Trojans and other threats while defending against spyware, adware, bots, keyloggers and other malware. The Email Protection feature guards your PC against spyware and viruses sent or received via email. The Identity Protection feature warns against unsafe or phishing websites and displays website safety ratings in the search results. The Automatic Updates feature provides daily automatic updates and product upgrades to ensure that you are always protected against the latest virus threats.
PC Tools Free AntiVirus is easy to use for the most part, and its screens are simple and uncluttered. However, it pushes the paid version of the company’s software pretty aggressively and frequently. Most of the features on the screen are only available in the paid version, which can be a bit frustrating.
Users are given several scanning options. After the scan is completed, all the harmful files are then automatically quarantined and removed. The application generates a restoration point before it removes any data, which can be helpful in case there is an issue. You can even set the program on automated scanning by setting a time for the scan.
PC Tools Free Antivirus Pros and Cons
Although there are better antivirus solutions out there, PC Tools Free AntiVirus does what it advertises. It is simple to use and light on the system so he program is not without its merits. It also comes with a unique feature called IntelliGuard which serves as the system’s personal guard, protecting your system’s memory and process, that too in real time.
- Pros of PC Tools Free AntiVirus
- Easy installation
- Light on system resources
- User-friendly interface
- Automatic updates
- IntelliGuard feature
- Real-time protection
Cons of PC Tools Free AntiVirus
- Poor detection and removal performance
- Not equipped to catch the latest threats
- Limited features
As a whole, PC Tools Free AntiVirus secures your PC against a number of viruses and sneaky malicious programs without taking up system resources. Its limited capabilities make it more suited for a novice user who is still getting used to an antivirus program and learning what works best for his or her computing habits.