Last Updated on April 20, 2020

Free computer protection is one of the exceptions to the rule that everything that’s free or inexpensive offers lower quality. I’ve downloaded a lot of trial antivirus programs, I tested them all and I came to the conclusion that I can have my PC protected for free, maybe with less fancy features, but who needs fancy things anyway? All I want is to keep viruses and malware away from my PC. This is not an expert review, as I’m far from being an expert in computer security solutions.

After the latest virus infection I’ve experienced, which ended up with all my passwords being stolen and with more than one month of work to get things fixed, I’m finally convinced of the utility of antivirus programs. Before that, I was so sure that viruses are harmless, so who cares if I host a big bunch of them between my files, that I didn’t bother to renew mt antivirus subscription which ended a few months ago. The cherry on the cake was that moment when I decided to uninstall my anti virus, thinking I don’t need it anyway. Within two days from this moment, the disaster landed on a huge part of my sites: the stolen ftp passwords were used to inject malware in most of my sites. My clients’ sites were also affected. I didn’t lose money on this, but I had to do free work and restore their sites in good shape. The worst thing of all was that I’ve been excluded from an affiliate network which I was working with, because of my malware-spreading sites. Although the guys from that network were kind enough to pay me the last month’s commissions, they’ve kicked me out of their business, so I had to replace all my affiliate links. And all that happened because I was too cheap to pay the bloody $50 per year to renew that antivirus.

Free Antivirus for Linux and Windows: Avira

Speaking with a friend of mine who is an IT specialist, he told me that I can have my computer protected for free. He pointed me towards Avira, an antivirus software which has a free version for home and home office use. I tried it and I can say it’s fast and efficient, it doesn’t make the computer slow too much when running in the background and the only drawback of using the free version and not a paid one is that I have to see a commercial message when I launch the virus scan. For Windows 7 users, you should know that Avira is compatible with this operating system. I don’t know if you have to get one of the paid versions to make it work with Windows 7 or if you can still use the free one.

Avira is a German company which is present in the security solutions market since more than 20 years ago. Their claim is they offer “More than Security”. This is where you can download the personal free antivirus or buy a business solution.

Free Anti Malware: Malwarebytes

Malware is an issue these days, so keeping an antivirus solution active and updated on your system is not enough anymore if it doesn’t include a malware protection module.
If you don’t want to pay, you can go for this freeware program, Malwarebytes, which has the following features:

  • Works on Windows 2000, XP, and Vista (32-bit and 64-bit) operated computers.
  • Fast scanning capabilities.
  • Ability to perform full scans for all drives.
  • Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware Protection Module. (requires registration)
  • Database updates released daily. In the freeware version, you have to manually update the software.
  • Quarantine to hold threats and restore them at your convenience.
  • Ignore list for both the scanner and Protection Module.
  • Settings to enhance your Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware performance.
  • A small list of extra utilities to help remove malware manually.
  • Multi-lingual support. These are the supported languages: English, Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian.
  • Works together with other anti-malware utilities.
  • Command line support for quick scanning.
  • Context menu integration to scan files on demand.

The full version offers real time protection, scheduled scanning and scheduled updating. If you think these additional features are a must-have, you can pay the $24.95 one time fee and get protected. That’s valid for consumers and personal use. If you need it for corporate or business purposes, you have to pay an annual fee.

So far, I’m happy with the free Anti-Malware version. I run the update every week and launch the program manually each Monday morning.