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Free Antivirus for Windows

Antivirus products have become a staple of the Windows platform, and along with that come many, many companies who offer a broad array of antivirus products, and will tell you of all the bad things that can happen if you don’t give them your money.

That said, there’s a big market for paid antivirus products, but if you’re a consumer on a budget (who isn’t, really) you’ll find that many of the free antivirus products are very capable, and do a fine job. In fact, many of the free antivirus products run better and faster than other for-cost products — this is because they offer a basic, sufficient level of protection rather than ramped-up, potentially unnecessary coverage, and that amounts to less resources consumed on your PC. Your PC then has resources available to — gasp — run your programs :)

Here’s a run-down of a few antivirus products with links to their websites.

Some would argue that there’s no need for antivirus at all — if you’re careful about where you go and what you click on, you don’t need to worry. I say it’s better to be safe than sorry, and if you can get a product for free that does the job, all the better.

Now I will say this too: Don’t install more than one antivirus program thinking you’re doing yourself a favor; you’re not. When you have more than one antivirus product running, you’re going to slow your computer down — A LOT. This is because each time a piece of code is scanned, it’s being scanned over multiple times. Sometimes even the scanning engines themselves are being scanned over. This is a huge performance hit and it’s a mistake I see a lot of users make.

What are your thoughts on the free antivirus products I’ve mentioned here? Have a favorite, or have one that I didn’t cover? Feel free to share it in the comments below!

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  1. #1 by Juanita Nita Mustain on May 7, 2011 - 10:55 am

    As soon as my Norton expires (November) I will be switching over to one of the free ones. Norton 360, I’m finding out, has lots of things that I don’t need or use so why pay 80 bucks a year when I can get everything I need for free? Thanks for the heads up, Mike!