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How Good is Your Free Antivirus?

February 22nd, 2011

It is true that the Windows Security Essential that comes along with Windows 7 for free provide some security, however only on passing genuine validation. But on the other hand, you don’t get to enjoy all the features that come along with paid antivirus like identity theft, system performance tools etc.

What and what don’t you get from Free AntiVirus

Most of the features remain the same in most free Antivirus’ like automatic system scan, malware etc but how good it is when it does not detect viruses. You don’t get all the engine components with the free Antivirus. Some features that come with only paid antivirus are the web shield, email scanner and behavioral analysis. You can never find such features in free AntiVirus. We don’t say that all free AntiVirus are the same. For example, the free version of Avira AntiVir Personal 9 detects virus’ in a better way and the time taken is also less comparatively. Some Antivirus detects Viruses based on the behavioral statistics of your system.

Despite less protection from Free AntiVirus you will also have to adjust the ads for paid versions that pop up almost everyday. Security companies say that malware signature are very much same in both paid and free Antivirus but they also do not neglect that fact that there are some hood differences. Avast, a well known free antivirus provider says that free AntiVirus is for average users (home users) while the paid antivirus is for advanced users. You can achieve complete protection from free Antivirus by doing some home work like installing the PCTools Threadfire along with your Free Antivirus.

The interface plays a major role in your system protection and it depends upon on the security company. For example, Avast uses the same interface for both free and paid Antivirus by excluding certain features in free protection. Another Antivirus, Panda Cloud uses different interfaces for free and paid versions.

To be simple, Free Antivirus does better in scanning malware signatures but when considering about real world protection, paid versions are the best.


The effectiveness in malware detection is less in case of free Antivirus but do get some better scanning speed than from paid versions. There is not much difference in booting time however. System booting time is on an average of 40, 44 and 46 seconds without antivirus, with free antivirus and with paid versions respectively. While in case of scanning the paid versions win the race.


Virus detection based on behavioral statistics are not offered with free versions which will remove malware programs that are not yet been signed. The efficiency of free versions might be almost equal to those of paid versions but you should also keep in mind about the ads screen that often pop up, especially in the Avira AntiVir Personal edition. Overall, choosing between a free and paid version depends upon only your needs.

Fonte: i-techtalk

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