internet is a glorious and exciting world, but unless you're properly
protected with a good antivirus application, it can also be a dangerous
one. We've come a long way since the days of Norton, with handfuls of
excellent freeware software that can keep your computer safe from
malware just as well as their bloated, more expensive counterparts. On
Tuesday we asked you to share your favorite antivirus application,
and today we're rounding up the five most popular answers. Hit the jump
for an overview of the five best antivirus applications and to cast
your ballot for the best antivirus app of the group.
AVG Anti-Virus (Freeware and Shareware)
The lightweight AVG Free provides protection against the various nasties floating around the internet. Like many of the options in the Hive Five,
AVG provides freeware (with limitations) and commercial versions of
their software, but most users find AVG Free is all they need—though
many users prefer versions prior to the most recent 8.0 release.
is best known for its speed and small system footprint, but users also
swear by NOD32 as a comprehensive and bulletproof solution. At $40/year
for a home license, it's not free, but NOD32 die-hards claim the
pricetag is well worth it.
Avast Antivirus (Freeware and Shareware)
Available in both freeware (Home) and shareware (Professional) flavors,
Avast Antivirus is the happy home of many an AVG-switcher. Avast is
slightly heavier on system resources, but users argue its excellent
protection more than makes up for the increased footprint. The freeware
version will cost you an email address to get a free registration code
from their website.
Avira AntiVir (Freeware and Shareware)
According to many of its users, Avira
is the go-to freeware app for detecting viruses and other malware that
other antivirus apps miss. Like several of its peers, Avira is available
in both freeware (Personal) and shareware (Premium) versions, and most
people find the freeware alternative plenty to suit their needs. One
downside to Avira on install is pop-up ads enabled by default (adware,
anyone?), but you can disable the ads with a couple of clicks.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus (Shareware)
Fans of shareware antivirus app Kaspersky
point out its consistently strong ratings in malware protection as well
worth the $60 license. Kaspersky also boasts an extremely quick
response time to new viruses, earning it a special place in the hearts
and system trays of its users.