Top 5 Free Antivirus Programs for Windows

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Okay having been a fan of testing out freeware for a long time I have tried every antivirus program in this list, but was surprised to find out that PC World Magazine did a test and rated the top 5 most effective antivirus programs in their latest December 2010 issue. The issue is not online so I decided to post about the top 5 antivirus programs that have no annual or subscription cost here and provide my input along with what PC World rated them.

AVAST! Free Antivirus

imageI was surprised to see AVAST! Freeware Antivirus take the #1 slot on the PCWorld list of top 5 free antivirus software programs and they reported in testing that AVAST! though doesn’t have the best interface, did however have the most effective Trojan and virus detection score out of the five antivirus software programs reviewed.  On another note in the Top 5 Paid Antivirus programs Avast Pro Antivirus 5 ranked in 3rd place.

AVIRA Antivirus

imageYes Avira Antivirus which was the former Antivirus program that I used received 2nd place as far as Trojan and virus detection but had lower scores for performance and scanning time.  PC World did not elaborate more details on the types of tests they ran in the printed article.  The paid version of Avira Antivirus didn’t make the top 5 paid antivirus programs.

Microsoft Security Essentials

imageSecurity Essentials turned out to be the number 3 slot for free Antivirus programs but was among the highest for speed, memory footprint and interface.  It was listed that MSE 1.0 didn’t have as good malware detection as the programs holding the top 2 slots.

Panda Cloud Antivirus

imageIronically I had never even heard of the Panda Cloud Antivirus until I saw the review from PCWorld, it was an interesting program and an option for those who are unhappy with the others on the list.

Comodo Internet Security Premium 5.0

imageComodo is known for making good products and I enjoy their free backup software and firewall software, their Internet Security Premium antivirus / antispyware software was ranked #5 in the top five free antivirus programs for Windows.  Their premium product didn’t rank in the top 5 for paid antivirus programs however.

In the end I decided to stick with and use Microsoft Security Essentials myself for now, though I can highly recommend both Avira and Avast as I have used them personally before.  I haven’t used Comodo or Panda antivirus product however so can’t provide my own opinions on those.

I should note that AVG was reviewed by PC World before and even though this is among the most popular free antivirus programs available it failed to be listed as the top 5 free antivirus programs from PC World magazine.  It is possible it wasn’t put in a direct competition test however, and I am curious to know if it was tested and directly compared against the top 5 listed here.

-Dragon Bloger

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