about anti virus software.
With threats and fraud on the Internet increasing at an incredible rate, we really do need to consider anti-virus software.
Do you have an antivirus? Do you need one? What's the cost? What's going on?
Let's have a look, see if we can sort this out before it's too late.
anti virus options.
So we've all heard of computer viruses, and obviously, an Anti Virus program is there to stop them getting on your machine. But what are the options?
Well, there are three options open to you.
First, Windows comes with its own, built-in, anti-virus program called Windows Defender.
Second, you could install a free anti-virus program. Yes, that's right, there are free programs that you can use.
Thirdly, you could buy an anti-virus program.
Your computer has an anti-virus program called Windows Defender built right into it.
Because Defender is part of Windows, you don't have to install anything extra and this can be a benefit in certain circumstances.
The other advantage of Defender is that it doesn't "run out". There's no time limit on it. It's there for as long as you keep your PC.
Also, it doesn't require you to do anything, since its already installed. You should check it's working properly, but other than that, there's not much to do.
Like most anti-virus programs, Windows Defender will update itself. It does this through the regular Windows Updates that you receive, so you don't really notice it. Although it's always worth checking that Windows is up to date, link to update
Windows Defender does a reasonable job of keeping your computer free from viruses and malware, but it's far from being great.
would i use windows defender?
I've no issue these days leaving a computer only protected by Windows Defender. I'll often beef up protection by using the free version of Malwarebytes as well. How to use Malwarebytes
A lot depends on what the machine is going to be used for, but yeah, Defender is OK.
free anti virus programs.
Besides Window Defender, there are many other free antivirus options out there.
Free anti-virus solutions are mostly based on their paid-for equivalents. Generally what you get is the basic anti-virus program, but without all the extra protection modules that come with the paid-for products.
Most of them will be at least as good as Defender, while some of them are much better. Which makes it worth the effort of installing them.
Free anti-virus programs do add an extra hit on your computer's performance, although I should say here that it's not huge, and you'll probably not even notice.
Another thing is that they obviously require space on your hard drive. But again, most machines have plenty of room to spare.
A lot of free antivirus programs require you to set up an account. Setting up an account is generally easy to do, mostly only requiring an E-mail address and password. No financial details for the free versions.
Finally, we have to talk about adverts. Most free AV's will advertise their paid-for cousins. That's how these companies make money, and after all, they really do have to make a profit.
So they give away a perfectly good anti-virus program in the hope, expectation, that at some point you'll either upgrade to the paid-for version or maybe buy one of their other products.
avast free anti virus.
Avast has been around for a very long time.
I've used it and still do. It works well and is installed on millions of computers out there.
One thing that can seem attractive to new users is that, with Avast, you're not required to set up an account.
You simply download and install it. Then your good to go.
Avast does, however, come with a few caveats that you should be aware of.
Like most free antivirus programs, Avast will also install "add-ons" that you could probably do without.
The most important of which is the Avast Secure Browser. When you're installing Avast, it'll also install its own web browser.
Not bad in itself, but the Avast Secure Browser then sets itself as your default browser.
This means that whenever you access the Internet, your most likely using the Avast browser. And it's slow. I mean very slow.
You can avoid installing it by unticking a couple of boxes, but you'll need to keep your eyes open to spot them.
I have a complete guide to installing & setting Avast up How to Install Avast Free Antivirus
bitdefender free anti virus.
Bitdefender antivirus free edition is another good choice.
It's much quieter than Avast, by which I mean, it's less intrusive when it comes to advertising.
Bitdefender free doesn't install any paid for or annoying extras either.
On the downside, it lacks some of the tools that Avast supplies, which is a shame.
You'll need to create an account with them to activate your free copy.
That's easy enough to do, just your name, E-mail address, and a password for your account.
The one major issue I have with Bitdefender free is that you can't update it manually. Or rather you can, but it's a bit of a palaver.
It will of course update itself automatically, so that's no great shakes. Not a deal-breaker at all.
And if you're looking for a set it and forget it solution, then this could be for you.
AVG free anti virus.
Some of you will have heard of a free anti-virus program called AVG. Maybe you've used it in the past, or are using it right now.
Possibly you've heard of it from others. And maybe you're wondering why I've not mentioned it.
AVG is the very first anti-virus program I ever installed on a computer.
Some years ago, Avast bought AVG, lock stock & barrel.
You can still download and use AVG, but what your getting is Avast. It's just re-badged with the AVG moniker
AVG free antivirus obviously comes with the same caveats as Avast.
buying an anti virus program.
The final option is, of course, to buy an anti-virus program.
And there are lots of good reasons to pay out for your PC's protection.
Paid for anti-virus gives you a level of protection that you simply can't get for free. The question is, do you really need it?
And I can't answer that question for you. Only you can decide that.
I will, however, say this, no matter which antivirus you go for, your not immune to picking up an infection of some sort.
Whether you're using free or paid for, you can still get infected.
With that said, if I'm pushed to offer my opinion on the best antivirus programs, then the answer is always the same. Kaspersky or Norton.
If you're going to pay for protection, then buy the best, after all, they all cost around the same amount, so don't mess about.
beware of auto renewal.
My one real gripe with paying for anti-virus protection is the auto-renewal option.
It really doesn't matter which company you buy your antivirus from, they all enrol you in their auto-renewal scheme.
What happens is that when you buy an anti-virus, you're buying a subscription, which is usually 12 months. After that time, you'll need to pay again for the next 12 months.
Auto-renewal takes away the hassle of doing that by automatically deducting money from your bank or card at the end of your subscription period to pay for the next 12 months.
The downside is that the price usually goes up. Sometimes double what you paid this year.
To be fair to these companies, everyone that I've dealt with, have sent me E-mails telling me what they're going to charge me and with the option to cancel. Usually around a month before the due date.
But if you miss that E-mail for some reason, you can find that you're a little short this month.
don't ignore out of date warnings.
Don't just ignore your out of date anti-virus.
I know what happens, when you get a new computer, it'll often have a trial version of an anti-virus program already installed on it, or maybe you installed one yourself.
Later you'll start seeing messages saying your trial is over, or your subscription has expired.
Your not sure what to do, so you just leave it. You ignore it. Don't do that.
Update it or remove it.
Uninstall old anti-virus programs out of the way.
When an anti-virus program is installed on your PC, it registers itself with Windows Security Centre.
Windows Security then turns Windows Defender off.
That way, you don't have two anti-virus programs running at the same time.
But here's the thing, Windows Defender, fully updated, is better than any anti-virus program that is months, or even years out of date.
And the only way to turn Windows Defender back on is to uninstall your current anti-virus program.
So if Kaspersky, Norton, Mcafee, or whatever is telling you that your subscription is over, your trial has finished, it's out of date, and you're not going to renew it, then at least get it out of the way so that Windows Defender can pick up the reins.
check windows defender is working.
If you do uninstall an old anti-virus, it's worth checking to make sure Windows Defender has kicked in.
On the Taskbar, near to the clock, you'll see an upward-facing arrowhead.
Click the arrowhead and a small window will open.
On the VIRUS & THREAT PROTECTION page, scroll down a little until you get to the Virus & Threat Protection Updates section.
Click CHECK FOR UPDATES.
The Protection Updates page will open.
Click the Check for Updates button to bring Defender right up to date.
don't have 2 anti virus programs.
You should only ever have one antivirus installed on your computer at any one time.
If you install a second AV, it'll fight with the first one, and your computer will suffer the consequences.
I've lost count of the number of machines that have turned up on my workbench, that won't start up, simply because there were two anti-virus programs trying to run.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't swap antivirus programs, change from one to another.
That's perfectly fine, do that, but uninstall the old one first, then install the new one.
Never, ever have two on your computer at the same time.
but what about windows defender?
Windows Defender is a special case. It comes with Windows, and as such, you can't just uninstall it, You shouldn't even try. You don't need to.
When a new anti-virus program is installed on your computer, no matter which one, Windows Defender will automatically be turned off. You don't need to do anything.