Question: What is the best free antivirus software of 2011?
Why is Avira AntiVir a respected product? There are many reasons, not the least of which is that the product is proven over time (it is currently version 9, which is a testimony to how it has evolved steadily over the years). It is available in a free version and a premium paid version, both of which have plenty of appeal.
- A free version is available (the price is paid by popup window advertising).
- AntiVir offers both antivirus and antispyware defense.
- AntiVir has many options for scanning: look for rootkits, choose specific drives, look inside passworded files.
- Offers realtime (constantly running) protection, which is good if you regularly get file attachments or constantly download files.
- The quarantine feature is presented very cleanly, with many options for how to handle the quarantined items.
- One-click removal makes cleaning viruses and malware really convenient over time.
- Has a relatively small memory footprint, so leaving the product running is a non-issue for users with 4GB of RAM or more.
- The free version has a large popup advertising window that spawns intermittently (aka “nag screen”).
- Does not uninstall cleanly in Vista.
In independent tests by malware gurus, Avira AntiVir has proven itself over the years. While no single antivirus or antispyware product catches everything, AntiVir will stop approximately 99% of infections, and will do so with a clean reliable interface. The free version, rightly so, does have a nag screen of advertising. But considering how well it works, Avira is the favorite of About.com writers and millions of users in 2010.
Five stars out of five.