Which is the best free antivirus/firewall around?

Today, you don’t need to fork out money to get a good antivirus. There are plenty of free alternatives available that’ll do exactly the same job for you, without you having to burn a whole in your pocket.

And there aren’t just one or two free options anymore, there’s actually quite a lot to choose from. Some are better than others, but it’s still worth doing your research and doing a bit of testing to see what’s what. So that’s exactly what I did.

The most commonly known free antivirus around is probably AVG Antivirus Free. It’s pretty reliable and does the job as you know it. However, there are a couple of problems with it. First of all, I hate the way that it constantly nags you that you are using the free basic version. I know! Every time I start the application’s control center I have to close the notification. Argh! Another thing that isn’t so great is that it doesn’t have a firewall included. That, ofcourse, is in the full paid version. OK, it’s not a massive problem, as you could just use Windows’ firewall, but there are applications around that provide both in one. One thing that also really bugs me in AVG Free is that when you install it, it by default configures itself to do a daily full scan. It you’re on a lightning speed computer, this isn’t a problem. But for everyone who doesn’t (and let’s face it, not all of us can afford rocket speed quad-core computers at the moment), it’s a right pain. I have to dig into the settings and deactivate it, or it just slows down my computer to a halt. Besides, if you’ve got a decent real-time scanner you shouldn’t need to do daily scans. In general, it’s good for the basic user, but there’s nothing fantastic about it.

Another one I know quite well is avast!. This, I believe, is probably better than AVG. I have used it once or twice, but the one thing I hate about it is the ridiculous interface. At least AVG has a usable GUI. The GUI in avast! just doesn’t make sense. On the posotive side, it is very easy on your system’s resources and in general it has good system protection. It’s that GUI that bugs me.

Avira Antivir is another popular one. I can’t fault it with a lot – the interface is good and easy to handle, the features are helpful. In general, it’s very good. Sadly though, the extra firewall is a paid feature, and there are quite a lot of limitations in the free version.

However, I think I’ve found a very good solution that is both free and includes antivirus and firewall all in one program. It’s called Comodo Internet Security. The free version includes real-time protection, and like I said, it combines firewall and antivirus. It’s got very regular updates so you’re never behind on the latest viruses and dangers. Also, it doesn’t constantly nag you about purchasing the paid version. It asks you about it when you first install the software, but you can tell it not to by simply ticking a checkbox. It doesn’t constantly scan your computer when you haven’t asked it to, which is great. The firewall is also really good. It isn’t over-protective, so you aren’t constantly answering questions for it, plus there is a clever Install mode which you can move it into when you are installing software.

Personally, I really like it. I personally think it is a good competitor to some of the well known paid sets of software. It just isn’t popular enough yet. Feel free to grab yourself a copy on the official Comodo website. Have a go with it.

Got any other free internet security kits you know of but I haven’t mentioned? Any recommendations you’d like to make? Just leave a comment 😉

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