How To Evaluate Free Antivirus Programs

In these days many software providers offer free anti virus programs.  Sometimes choosing one of them can be a difficult task for users.  Often the anti virus programs attract users by offering some features which are either useless or too complicated to understand.  Many free anti virus programs will require the user purchase their services after a certain period of time.  Make sure to consider the following things when you're evaluating free anti virus programs.

  1. Validity:  Check the validity of a free anti virus program before installing it on your computer.  Most of the providers offer free anti virus programs for a specific duration of time and when the validity is over, they force the user to purchase the software via a pop up message or by sending e-mails.

  • Install and un-install:  Any free anti virus program should be easy to install and uninstall.  Most anti virus programs leave remnants behind when you uninstall them and those remnants often mess with other programs.  Make sure the anti virus program is completely uninstalled when you attempt to uninstall it.
  • System Performance:  Make sure that the free anti virus program doesn't slow down the system performance.  All anti virus software runs in the background for on-access monitoring. These services consume some CPU, which may slow down the performance of your computer or even cause it to freeze.
  • Legitimate Files:  Some anti virus programs detect legitimate files that are not infected or perform some false detection.  Make sure that your free anti virus program doesn't falsely detect legitimate files.
  • Default Settings:  Some anti virus programs change the default setting of your operation system to run their services, if this kind of change is required, ensure that the anti virus program will inform you or ask you before any changes are made.
  • On-Access Scanning:  On-access scanning means that the anti virus program is monitoring all the activity while your computer is on.  All the anti virus program services should be scanning your computer in the background to defend your computer from any threats.
  • E-mail Scanning: Anti virus programs should provide e-mail scanning features for all outgoing and incoming e-mails.
  • Spyware and Malware: Anti virus programs should be able to detect and clean spyware and other malwares.
  • Schedule Scan: Anti virus programs should include a schedule for scanning your computer on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, so that you can set the scanning time according to your convenience.
  • Malicious Script: Anti virus programs should be able to detect malicious scripts and ask for your permission before running them.
  • Virus Definition:  An anti virus program provider should release a virus definition on a weekly or monthly basis so that the anti virus program will remain up to date with new viruses and threats.
  • Anti Virus Definition Files:  Downloading the latest anti virus definition files should be easy.
  • Maintain Logs: An anti virus program should save a log of each file it deletes.
  • Technical Support: The anti virus provider should offer technical support for novice users in the event of a malfunction or other problem.
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