Last time we discussed our approach to finding the best free antivirus programs for when your system is in need of computer repair. We stated that we would go online and find out what the consensus view is from those who actually use the products. It is these individuals who would be able to give first hand accounts with regards to the strengths and weaknesses of each application. From this information, we crowned AVG Anti-Virus Free edition Computer Repair Vancouver’s 3rd favorite choice. It is a well known and frequently used program which does a good job of cleaning up your computer. Unfortunately, it can hog system resources and slow your computer down at times.

Computer Repair Vancouver’s 2nd best free antivirus program: Avira AntiVir Personal

Avira AntiVir is another popular virus removal program. Like AVG it comes in three different flavors: Personal which costs nothing, Premium which costs about 20 pounds (about $30 to $40 dollars), and Security Suite which costs about 40 pounds (about $70 to $80 dollars). The free alternative of Avira AntiVir runs on any modern flavor of Windows (2000, XP, Vista, or 7) and protects against viruses, worms, and Trojans just like AVG. Additionally, it can treat your computer for spyware, adware, and root kit infections. The free version does not provide the components which enable web scanning, email scanning, or network scanning though.

Now what did the Web community think about Avira AntiVir? Overall, individuals stated that they liked Avira’s clean and friendly user interface; it was quite easy to use. They also stated that it did a good job of detecting viruses and the like. The advantage of Avira over AVG is that it seems very light on system resources. In other words, it can be used in the background without grinding your machine to a halt. The one major complaint about AntiVir is that it aggressively promotes its upgraded purchasable cousins. For example, when running an update, you are prompted to purchase alterative, commercial versions of the program via a pop up window.

Computer Repair Vancouver’s best free antivirus program: avast! Free antivirus

Avast! is available in three different variations: Free which is free, Pro which costs about $40 for a year, and Internet Security which costs about $70 per year. The free version, which we will be discussing, runs on any modern iteration of Windows (2000, XP, Vista, or 7). It can remove viruses, worms, and Trojans just like AVG and Avira; moreover, it has the ability to deal with spyware, adware, and root kits. Additionally, unlike most other free software, avast! has the ability to scan email (within applications such as Microsoft Outlook at Gmail), web pages, p2p programs (such as bit torrent), and internet messenger programs (such as MSN, Skype, and Google Talk). Just to top off its feature list, it also has the ability to perform scheduled scanning as well as boot time scanning whereby it looks for malicious code upon startup. Now there are a few features that avast!! does not provide free of charge. You must upgrade to a commercial package in order to make use of its firewall feature, its anti spam protection, and its script shield.

So what did everyone think of the non-commercial version of avast!? As is apparent above, one of the major strengths of this application is that it comes with a wide variety of features. In fact, according to its homepage, it requires a Pentium 3 PC with 128 MB of ram and 100 MB of hard drive space. Another major strength of this package is that, much like Antivir, it is light on system resources and is able to silently run in the background as you work on various computing tasks. Furthermore, this program has a simple, yet customizable, user interface and has a good detection rate for viruses and spyware (just like most other major software packages). The only major nuisance with avast! is that you have to register it after having used it for 60 days.

So there you have it. Computer Repair Vancouver’s 3 best free antivirus programs in are (in order): AVG Anti-Virus Free edition, Avira Antivir Personal, and avast! Free antivirus. The latter was chosen as the best as a result of its large feature set combined with its general reliability as well as its minimal system requirements. In terms of ability to remove malicious code, all programs appear to be more than adequate. Just make sure that you update whichever software package you download so that it can catch the latest and greatest problems.