There are many free antivirus programs that can help you protect your computer, but they also vary in their quality.
In addition, free programs cannot offer all the features of a paid application. For instance, you may not get assistance if things go wrong or in case some malware sneaks past the defense. However, in their defense, free antivirus programs do come with support through online forums. Some of them, like Avast, also offer email support, while others provide phone support through paid calls and so on. In short, there are many free antivirus programs that offer excellent protection and are very capable.
360 Total Security
It is a standalone package and offers a lot of features. For instance, you can also get support for antiphishing as well as online shopping through this program. The program also offers protection from network threats and tools for cleaning the hard drive of your computer, a checker for Windows Updates and so on. The software is loaded with features and this results in a rather complex user interface. The system is also not very easy to operate and there is no proper documentation that you can use for help, if you have any issues.
However, the advantage of this free program is that it makes use of 4 antivirus engines. You can install the program and get protection from Bitdefender technology, Avira and also two other engines belong to Qihoo. However, due to the four engines used, it could take a longer time for scanning the system, though it does not affect the system speed too much. If your priority is detection rates, it is the best option.
When you install Avast Free, it also installs the Google toolbar on your system, unless you clear the checkbox. It also comes with additional ads, as it makes a scan of performance issues related to unnecessary applications and other junk files along with malware. If there is any problem in any area, it gets displayed but it will not fix them till you get the GrimeFighter, which you need to pay for. However, you can tackle this problem by setting up the interface to avoid the scan by GrimeFighter. The interface is clean and easily configurable.
Avast free is a good option for dealing with zero day malware and rarely comes up with false positives. It also does a very good job of blocking a malicious URL. The program also offers some useful additional, such as checks for a network security tool. In addition, the Software Update helps you to know about any software patches that are missing, so that you install these with one click. The best part of Avast free is that it is highly configurable. For instance, if you are not happy with the Web Shield feature, it is possible to change the way it scans by ignoring a particular URL or a file type and so on. You can also define what is to be done when the program finds some malware. It is very suitable for experienced users, as it offers a lot of configurability.
AVG runs smoothly in the background and comes with a great scheduler that automatically runs a scan at frequent intervals. This takes place when the system boots or after every week or month. You can schedule updates for a program, so that it will not take up bandwidth when you need it. The interface is great, but you need to be careful while clicking, as there are ads all over the place. The program also comes with a Turbo Scan that enhances scanning speed, as it follows the order in which the hard drive has saved the files.