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5 Best Free Antivirus Software Options

Free-antivirus-software Jessica-fee-headshot-sqBy Jess Fee2013-08-01 14:10:00 UTC

Best Free Antivirus Software

  1. Avg

    1. AVG Antivirus

    The AVG Antivirus free 2013 software is the industry standard when it comes to free, easy-to-download antivirus software. It's exceptional at blocking malware, and the setup is painless; you can access the download and setup malware protection in under five minutes. AVG is compatible with most operating systems, from Windows to Linux to Mac OS.

    The free package offers basic malware protection and is a phenomenal zero-cost option, but there is also a premium version if you want a more comprehensive Internet security system that protects your files, links, and personal data.

    Image: Flickr,Rudolf Schuba, AVG

  2. Comodo

    2. Comodo

    Comodo runs on Windows and Mac. It's a good free program for identifying viruses, but you must delete any of the viruses it detects yourself. The software automatically updates for you.

    Image: Flickr, Webtreats, COMODO

  3. Lavasoft

    3. Ad-Aware Free

    This software is an antivirus, anti-spyware service by Lavasoft. It's comparable to AVG Antivirus in terms of malware protection, and, according to PC Magazine, it's actually easier to setup. It has download protection, which means it blocks malware before it has a chance to infect your computer. It also features sandboxing, which means it stops unknown apps from running in a virtual environment.

    Image: Ivy Dawned, Lavasoft

  4. Malwarebytes

    4. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.70

    Antivirus software protects your computer from future attacks, but sometimes your computer can get a virus that is so deeply entrenched in your software that you need malware removal software to extract it.

    Malwarebytes is a phenomenal free malware extraction software. If your computer becomes infected with a virus, it can remove it for you, as well.

    Image: Malwarebytes

  5. Avast

    5. Avast Free Antivirus

    This antivirus tool also protects against spyware. One of its strongest features is "Remote Assistance," which means the software can help a third-party access your computer if it becomes infected. This software also updates itself, so you don't have to worry about updating your antivirus software.

    Image: Ivy Dawned, Avast

If you don't already have antivirus software installed on your computer, you're playing Russian Roulette with the Internet.

Antivirus software protects your computer from malware, short for "malicious software." Malware is the general term used for software that infiltrates your computer system and slows it down or gathers private information.

SEE ALSO: 5 Free Android Apps for Tethering

There are a few different types of programs you can use to protect yourself against viruses and malware. A full-scale antivirus program scans your computer for existing threats, cleans them, and then protects your computer from new attacks. Remove-only software isn't preventative, but it is essential if your computer is already infected and won't let you install a full-fledged antivirus software program.

Check out the gallery above for a list of free antivirus software. Do you love an antivirus program that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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