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Freeware Mission – Best Free Antivirus

by James 28 November 2008 25 Comments

And the Freeware Mission goes on! I remind you that I’m trying to install only freeware programs in my PC, except the Windows XP operating system. Today I’m going to tell you which free antivirus program I chose. Until now I was using Bit Defender, a commercial solution. Will I find a freeware alternative?


I’ve tested three free antivirus solutions: AVG, Antivir and Avast!. After some quick considerations I chose… Avast! Although it doesn’t provide e-mail scan, everything else is quite ok, including the reasonable memory usage during the real-time protection. It provides anti-spyware protection and anti-rootkit protection too, and it’s quite simple to use.

Right before my system crash I scanned everything with Bit Defender and it didn’t find any threats. Now I’m going to use Avast!, I’m curious to see if it finds something.

screenshotWell, surprise: it found about 9 threats and deleted all of them. I was quite satisfied with Avast!, it’s easy to use and goes lightly on the system resources. Bit Defender? Goodbye!

You can download Avast! from here, it’s free!

My Evaluation


Operating System

Windows All


23.1 MB


ALWIL Software

Version Tested


The Freeware Mission will continue! In the next episodes I’ll choose a free compression/zip utility and a free office suite. Stay tuned!

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If you have any trouble with this software just leave a comment, I’ll help you out!



  • Aqua100 said:

    Nobody seems to have made the obvious comment that after you have done this project, XP is gonna crash again.

    You have XP and your video software and an almost empty hard disk. Why not dualboot with a Linux distro on a separate partition, like one of the flavors of Ubuntu. The install will do the dualboot bit automatically. Then you will have a much simpler recovery next time XP crashes.

    You can test the Linux version by booting it from a cd first, to see if you like it.

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Yea, I know XP will eventually crash again. I thought about the dualboot solution that you mentioned, but I didn’t actually do it because I didn’t use Linux before and getting used to a new OS can take a lot of time. On the other hand, I’m a little bit curious to see how Linux works, so maybe I’ll give it a try.

  • Prof Mike said:

    if you’re uncomfotable with true multi-booting get andlinux it’s the best option for people who want the power of both systems without giving up your desktop

  • Prof Mike said:

    if you’re uncomfortable with true multi-booting, get andlinux it’s the best option for people who want the power of both systems without giving up your desktop

  • Mark said:

    There is a great guide for doing this right here…



  • Johnny Karp said:


    I know that guide, I’ve read it some time ago. Unfortunately I don’t agree with some of the choices in there. And secondly, it’s almost a year old now, and during that year there are a lot of changes in a lot of freeware programs, some of them became better, some didn’t. That’s why I have to go and pick the freeware programs that suit my needs and my taste.


  • Shicomm said:

    about 60% of my customers ( work in a computer store ) don’t want to pay for their a/v software.

    Since most of them are into p2p they get back to me because of virus and spyware problems.
    But not just p2p users get into trouble.
    The casual surfer get’s hit too.
    Check out this airticle:

    Quite nice to know that avg still can’t keep rogue out of your machine…
    Yes, commercial a/v software might not be as light as the free guys but there’s a reason for that…

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Thanks for the info. I know people that got their computer infected even with commercial antivirus solutions installed (some of the best ones too), so I guess the risk is there in both cases.

  • Holm said:

    Didn’t see clamwin.com very good freeware too…

  • Anonymous said:

    Have you tried comodo antivirus? It’s free too.

  • mihonkenji said:

    We shall let the independent antivirus tester to tell us in a more professional manner as to the topic shoutout ” Best Free Antivirus” to date.

    Independent tester site:
    Click on Comparatives Menu to download Latest report.

    The Best Free AV is from Avira AntiVir available at http://www.free-av.com/

    My comment about AntiVir:
    1. lightweight, low resources use
    2. daily update virus signatures
    3. extreme fast scanning
    4. Free version good enough

  • Anonymous said:

    Okay…….Going BY your report, then Avast would be the best one anyway? If you look, ALL the results that beat Avast are shareware, Avira Antivirus PREMIUM, I doubt that’s free, GData’s Antivirus Kit, I just checked is also shareware. So in the case of a free program, avast is the best

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Avast has a paid version too. I chose Avast because I tested it along with other free antivirus programs and I liked it better. There are no numbers involved, no complicated mathematics, just my opinion.

  • Anonymous said:

    it’s not free, it’s time limited 🙁

  • Spiderman4 said:

    !Hey Guys! If you want a extra Boost for you Avast or any antivirus of you choice. I Recomend you (ThreatFire) It work’s dramatically different to traditional antivirus software. look out why http://www.threatfire.com/

  • Sjoerd said:

    i was wondering about that aswell. my avast started to annoy me with an expiration date? so let’s all go to avira, or do we have a patch for that (and i don’t mean the paying for your shizzle-patch)

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Avast is free, you just need to register and get an yearly key. It’s as simple as that.

  • Anonymous#2 said:

    1. On the “it’s not free, it’s time limited”. You are mistaken. Yes, you have to register, but it is free, and you can renew it! So what’s the diff!
    2. Yes, it scans e-mail.

  • JC Bradshaw said:

    I have purposely sought out virus on the net and experimented with a variety of anti-virus free and costware on a laptop I use exclusively for testing such programs. It has been my experience that – what ever the other anti-ware programs missed – Avast! seems to find. It also appears to create significantly fewer false-positives than the others. As to the worst AV programs I have tested Bill’s and Peters’s are near the bottom. As to Avast’s e-mail capability, I must correct you as it fits like a glove into both MS Outlook and Windows Mail. The test machine running a Vista 64-bit OS.

  • Johnny Karp said:

    @JC Bradshaw
    Thanks for sharing the results of your test with us.

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  • Barbara K. said:

    I initially was creating blogs with just adsense and some plr articles but that doesn’t seem to make much money. I’d be interested in some article writing – do you outsource?

  • Johnny Karp said:

    I never thought about outsourcing, but I do accept guest posts from time to time.

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