An Overview of Free Antivirus Programs – Part V – BitDefender Free Edition

December 7, 2007 - Reading time: 7 minutes

Welcome to the fifth installment in our series on free antivirus programs. Be sure to also see:

On the inspection table today is the free version of BitDefender. Review version: v10 (build 247)
Product link: BitDefender 10 Free Edition

First, a quick note – the free version of BitDefender lacks an “on-access” scanner. This means that BitDefender does not provide active protection from viruses – it only detects viruses when you manually scan for them. They ask that you upgrade to a paid version if you want more than just an “on-demand” scanner. For some people, this is an immediate turn-off. If you trust your online habits and are careful about manually scanning items, the free version of BitDefender may be all that you need. Read more

An Overview of Free Antivirus Programs – Part IV – Avast 4 Home Edition

December 4, 2007 - Reading time: 8 minutes

Here is the fourth installment in our series on free antivirus programs. Be sure to also see:

Up for review today is the free Avast 4 Home Edition. Review version: 4.7 (build 4.7.1074)

Product link: Avast Home Edition

Installation – Yes, Avast is indeed free, but you must register it after 60 days if you want to continue using the program. Registration is free, and the license that you receive will be valid for one year. After that, you must register again. Get the idea?

While I would prefer not to register at all, it’s difficult to complain considering that the product is free. Is the registration procedure worth it to use Avast? Let’s find out. Read more

An Overview of Free Antivirus Programs – Part III – Comodo Antivirus 2.0 Beta

December 2, 2007 - Reading time: 8 minutes

This is the third installment in our series on free antivirus programs. Be sure to also see:

Up for examination today is Comodo Antivirus. Review version: 2.0 Beta (build

Product link: Comodo Antivirus

Installation – No registration is required, though you may optionally submit your e-mail address as an ID. Even if you do not provide an e-mail address, the program is still “activated” for life. A reboot is required after installation.

Interface – I don’t think the interface will win many design awards, but it doesn’t take long to figure it out. Here is the main screen: Read more

An Overview of Free Antivirus Programs – Part II – PC Tools AntiVirus Free Edition

December 1, 2007 - Reading time: 6 minutes

UPDATE: PC Tools Antivirus has been acquired by Norton.

This is the second installment in our series on free antivirus programs. Be sure to also see Part I (AVG Free Edition).

Next on the list is the free edition of PC Tools AntiVirus. Review version:

Product Link: PC Tools Free Edition (link is now dead)

Installation – No registration required, which is nice. Reboot required after installation.

Interface – PC Tools sports a slick and shiny interface. More importantly, it’s easy to navigate and understand. Here is the main program: Read more

An Overview of Free Antivirus Programs – Part I – AVG Free Edition

November 29, 2007 - Reading time: 5 minutes

Henceforth begins a multi-part series in which I plan to install and test every different free antivirus program that I can find. Since 2002, I have switched between a handful of various free antivirus programs, but there are several available now that I have not tested.

Therefore, I have decided to document this process here in order to provide an overview of the currently-available free antivirus programs. I have currently compiled a list of seven different programs to try, but there may be more if I find others along the way. Here are my criteria:

  • The program must be “install-able” – I will not cover any online scans.
  • The program must be FREE. Upgrade paths are acceptable, but no “trialware” allowed.
  • The program must not contain any spyware. If any spyware is detected, that program’s creator will receive a virtual kick in the junk from me personally.

In the coming weeks I will post reviews on each of these programs, as I plan to “live” with each of them for a few days in order to write more “informed” reviews.

Let us begin with the venerable AVG Free Edition. Review version: 7.5.503 Read more

Make AVG Antivirus Updates Silent

November 21, 2007 - Reading time: 2 minutes

I’m ashamed that I did not notice this sooner. In my earlier post on how to make Avira AntiVir more usable, I described a way to make updates invisible.

Of course, this is also possible with AVG Free Edition, and the process is much easier. I’m documenting it here to help myself remember it in the future.

By default, AVG Antivirus will spawn a new window whenever it updates, thereby interrupting your current task (including breaking any full-screen applications). To quickly and easily prevent this from happening, launch the AVG Control Center and select the Update Manager. Read more


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