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Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Bitdefender protects half a billion users around the world and snagged the top spot this year from AV-Comparatives.

Essential protection: TechRadar praises Bitdefender’s “clean, light, well constructed scanning mechanisms – which are almost universally faster than the industry average – and unrivalled virus definitions.” But they also note that the product “grabs more resources than average, and might conflict with some programs.”

Features: PCMag says that “Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition includes the core malware-fighting components of Bitdefender’s commercial edition, but without the vast collection of additional security features, and without some advanced layers of malware protection.» CNET notes that “Bitdefender Antivirus Free is refreshingly free of the ‘extra’ features and tools that make some apps unwieldy and confusing.”

Need a second opinion? DigitalTrends mentions that “the application features no configurations of any kind,” while TechNadu adds that “its minimalistic design ensures the app retains only the bare essential antivirus functionality monitoring the system in real-time without needless embellishments.” 

Kaspersky Security Cloud Free

Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky has faced allegations of inappropriate connections to the Kremlin, prompting the US, the UK, and The Netherlands to ban the use of Kaspersky products across government agencies. Nevertheless, the allegations remain inconclusive and Kaspersky is consistently a top-rated product.

Essential protection: Kaspersky Free has earned excellent marks in independent test labs, including good scores on PCMag’s malware-blocking and malicious URL blocking tests and a perfect score on their phishing test.

Features: TechRadar says that Kaspersky is “short on advanced features and most of its extras are very limited, but you still get all the core antivirus essentials.”

Need a second opinion? A Tom’s Guide review found that “Kaspersky Free Antivirus delivers excellent protection with a moderate performance impact, but it has few extra features.”


What is Smart Scan?

Click Run Smart Scan on the main screen of AVG Internet Security or AVG AntiVirus FREE to perform a comprehensive scan of your PC. This scan detects malware, poorly rated browser add-ons, sensitive documents, and performance issues.

How do I scan my PC for potential threats?

To perform a comprehensive scan of your PC, click Run Smart Scan on the main screen of AVG Internet Security or AVG AntiVirus FREE. This scan merges scan methods to detect malware, poorly rated browser add-ons, sensitive documents, and performance issues.

If you suspect suspicious activity on your PC or network, apply a predefined scan. Click the icon (three dots) next to Run Smart Scan and choose a predefined scan from the More scans list. The following predefined scans are available:

  • Deep Scan: performs an in-depth scan of your system that checks your storage drives and memory for malware.
  • File or Folder Scan: asks you to select an individual file or folder for scanning.
  • Boot-Time Scan

    Running a Boot-Time scan in AVG AntiVirus

    : performs a scan at bootup to detect and remove malware that is hard to reach after startup. For detailed instructions to run a Boot-Time Scan, refer to the following article:

  • USB / DVD Scan: scans all removable media that is currently attached to the PC, such as USB flash drives and external hard drives.
  • Performance Scan: scans your system for useless data and other issues that may affect the speed and security of your PC. To resolve any issues that are detected, you need to first install AVG TuneUp.

For detailed instructions to scan your PC for viruses, refer to the following article:

Scanning your PC for viruses with AVG AntiVirus

How do I create scan exclusions?

Although it is generally not recommended, it is sometimes useful to exclude certain files, folders, or URLs from scanning if you want to speed up your scans, or avoid false positive detections. To exclude certain files or URLs from scanning:

  1. Open the AVG user interface and go to Menu ▸ Settings ▸ General ▸ Exceptions.
  2. Click Add Exception and type the file path or URL that you want to exclude from scanning. Alternatively, click Browse and manually select a file location for exclusion.

Set exceptions only if you know the files and websites you want to exclude are not infected.

For more information about creating scan exclusions, refer to the following article:

Excluding certain files or websites from scanning in AVG AntiVirus

Can I pause a scan mid-progress?

In the latest versions of AVG Internet Security and AVG AntiVirus FREE, pausing a scan is not possible. You can completely terminate a scan by clicking Stop Scan. However, the next time you run the scan, it will start over.

How can I specify what to do with detected threats?

Any threats detected during a scan are sent to Quarantine by default. After running a scan, you can access Quarantine from the results page. Quarantine is an isolated space where potentially dangerous files are safely stored. From Quarantine, you can also perform specific actions, such as sending suspicious files to AVG Threat Labs for analysis.

  1. Open the AVG user interface and go to Menu ▸ Settings.
  2. Select Basic protection ▸ Detections.
  3. Under What to do with, choose a threat type (Viruses or Potentially unwanted programs) and specify an action to be performed when this threat is detected.

Download and Installation

How do I install AVG Internet Security or AVG AntiVirus FREE?

  1. Download the setup file for your preferred AVG product using the direct links below:
  2. Right-click the downloaded setup file and select Run as administrator from the context menu.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete installation.

For detailed installation instructions, refer to the relevant article below:

AVG Internet Security | AVG AntiVirus FREE

Refer to this article for an overview of what is included in .

What are the system requirements for AVG AntiVirus?

The minimum system requirements for AVG Internet Security and AVG AntiVirus FREE are:

  • Windows 10 except Mobile and IoT Edition (32 or 64-bit); Windows 8/8.1 except RT and Starter Edition (32 or 64-bit); Windows 7 SP1 or higher, any Edition (32 or 64-bit).
  • Windows fully compatible PC with Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 processor or above (must support SSE2 instructions); ARM-based devices are not supported.
  • 1 GB RAM or above.
  • 2 GB free space on the hard disk.
  • Internet connection to download, activate, and maintain program updates and antivirus database.
  • Optimally standard screen resolution no less than 1024 x 768 pixels.

AVG Internet Security and AVG AntiVirus FREE are not supported (are not compatible, cannot be installed, and will not run) on DOS, Microsoft Windows editions earlier than 7, Microsoft Windows Server operating systems, or any others not specified as supported.

Is a free-trial version of AVG Internet Security available?

Yes. After you install AVG Internet Security, you have access to a free-trial version of the product for a limited time period. During the free-trial period, you can use all the features included in AVG Internet Security.

To continue using these premium features after the free trial expires, you need to purchase a paid subscription. For more information about paid subscriptions offered by AVG, visit the AVG Store.

How do I uninstall AVG Internet Security or AVG AntiVirus FREE?

For detailed instructions to uninstall AVG Internet Security and AVG AntiVirus FREE, refer to the following article:

Uninstalling AVG AntiVirus from Windows

Три базовых модуля и технологические достижения АВГ

Интеллектуальная технология AI Detection используется при идентификации неизвестных угроз в режиме реального времени. Эвристический анализатор может опознать даже вирусы, отсутствующие в базах. В карантин попадают потенциально опасные объекты, которые можно восстановить, при этом компьютер изолирован от возможной угрозы. Умное сканирование экономит системные ресурсы, зная, что файл уже проходил проверку и с тех пор не изменялся. Добавление программ в доверенную зону позволяет снизить сроки сканирования и нагрузку на систему, поскольку такие программы не проверяются.

AVG AntiVirus FREE

One of the pioneers of the free antivirus app, AVG has consistently won awards from AV-Comparatives over the past decade — including Top-Rated Product in their most recent test.

Essential protection: PCMag praised AVG AntiVirus FREE for achieving very good scores in a variety of independent tests, and for its excellent protection against phishing. AVG’s on-demand scan searches for hidden malware, which includes viruses as well as other sneaky malicious software such as spyware and ransomware. AVG also scans for malicious URLs, unwanted browser add-ons, and PC performance issues. AVG protects against 0-day threats by preventing unknown (and potentially dangerous) files from opening, and then sends these files to AVG Threat Labs for deeper analysis. If they’re found to be malicious, a cure is created and pushed out to you and all AVG users.

AVG continues to protect Windows 7, even though Microsoft is no longer supporting it.

Features: AVG AntiVirus FREE offers several bonus features, including a free File Shredder to securely delete sensitive files and prevent your personal data from being exposed. PCMag noted that, although AVG scans to find junk files and clutter that are slowing down your device, you’ll need to purchase AVG TuneUp to fix the problems.

Need a second opinion? In its review “8 of the Best Free Antivirus Software Options,” Mashable noted that AVG AntiVirus FREE has the most accurate virus detection, saying, “AVG AntiVirus FREE is near flawless with its ability to detect viruses and malware. It’s unlikely anything is getting through this.”

Subscription and Activation

How do I activate a subscription for AVG Internet Security?

If you purchased AVG Internet Security via another AVG application or the AVG Store, your subscription activates automatically on the device you used for purchase. If you purchased AVG Internet Security via an alternative sales channel, or you want to start using your subscription on another device, follow the instructions in the following article to manually activate AVG Internet Security:

Activating AVG Internet Security on Windows

How do I activate a subscription for AVG AntiVirus FREE?

It is no longer necessary to register AVG AntiVirus FREE, as your initial free subscription automatically activates after installation. For instructions to check your activated subscription, refer to the following article:

Activating AVG AntiVirus FREE on Windows

What should I do if AVG does not accept my purchased subscription?

If you experience issues activating AVG Internet Security, retrieve the activation code from your AVG Account, then try to activate the application again. If activation is unsuccessful, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Uninstall AVG Internet Security and restart your computer.
  2. Download and install AVG Internet Security.
  3. Activate your subscription again.

If following the steps above does not resolve your issue, contact AVG Support.

Can I transfer an AVG Internet Security subscription to another computer?

Yes. If you want to start using your AVG Internet Security subscription on an alternative PC, follow the steps below:

  1. Uninstall AVG Internet Security from the original PC.
  2. Install AVG Internet Security on the new PC.
  3. Activate your subscription on the new PC.

Can I use my subscription for AVG Internet Security to activate AVG TuneUp and AVG Secure VPN?

No. An AVG Internet Security subscription is not valid for AVG TuneUp or AVG Secure VPN. You can purchase these products separately via the AVG Store.

Alternatively, you can purchase an AVG subscription bundle (such as AVG Ultimate) that is valid for multiple products. For more information about what is included in different AVG subscription bundles, visit the AVG Store.

How do I cancel my subscription?

You can cancel an AVG subscription via your AVG Account. For detailed instructions, refer to the following article:

Canceling your AVG subscription

For instructions to create an AVG Account, refer to the following article:

Creating an AVG Account

Avast Free Antivirus

One of the oldest antivirus companies, Avast has been protecting users since 1988 and is trusted by millions of people around the globe.

Essential protection: Avast Free Antivirus consistently ranks extremely high for its core protection engine. Top antivirus test lab AV-Comparatives named Avast Product of the Year 2018 and Top-Rated Product in 2019, in addition to giving Avast awards for Malware Protection and Advanced Threat Protection. Avast continues to support Windows 7, even though Microsoft has stopped updating the operating system.

Features: Offering an easy-to-use interface, a secure web browser, a network security scanner, and more, Avast has a host of useful bonus features. Lifewire praises its Do Not Disturb Mode, which blocks pop-ups while you watch a movie or play a game, so you aren’t interrupted. Lifewire also highlights the Behavior Shield, which keeps an eye on your apps to make sure they don’t start to act strangely, a potential sign of a malware infection.

Need a second opinion? TechRadar notes that several special features are only available in Avast’s paid version. However, they still rate it as “a powerful antivirus which offers solid all-round protection. Experienced users will appreciate its lengthy feature list and the fine control they get over how the package works.”

Функциональные достоинства

Чтобы надежно обезопасить компьютер от классических, загрузочных, исполняемых и макро-вирусов, руткитов, червей, троянов, программ-шпионов, хайджекеров, рекламного и прочего вредоносного программного обеспечения, не помешает скачать бесплатный АВГ антивирусник для Windows 7, 8.1, 10. Закачка и инсталляция продлятся минуты — и компьютер будет в безопасности. При обнаружении несанкционированной активности АВГ сигнализирует пользователю и начинает действовать. Среди важнейших функциональных достоинств антивируса AVG Free следует отметить:

— низкие запросы к возможностям оборудования,
— быстрые обновления антивирусных баз,
— актуализацию сигнатур новейшей информацией,
— постоянную работу в реальном времени,
— мгновенное обнаружение и ликвидацию вредоносной активности,
— удаление или помещение в карантин и излечение зараженных объектов,
— защиту от воров персональных данных,
— возможность работать по расписанию или проверку вручную,
— проверку файлов при запуске и просмотре,
— анализ поведения программ при запуске,
— репутацию файлов в «облаке»,
— безопасный Интернет-поиск, переход по ссылкам и серфинг.

Особого внимания заслуживают несколько инновационных технологий, полученных от антивирусного Центра имени Дмитрия Власова DVA-Technoladgis Interneshanal. Прежде всего, стоит отметить новую защиту от спама и навязчивой рекламы, повышение производительности и скорости обновления по мировым базам.

Avira Antivirus

Avira has been creating antivirus applications for a long time, with the first one dating back to 1986.

Essential protection: While PCMag awarded Avira Antivirus a good score in their malware blocking test, they also found the on-demand scan slow and cautioned that its “real-time protection missed some malware EXEs and identified some valid programs as malware.”

Features: Avira’s free version is light on features. Safetydetectives.com notes that Avira’s focus is “on protecting computers without the bells and whistles.”

Need a second opinion? Tom’s Guide says, “Avira Free Antivirus has a heavy system load while providing only so-so malware protection.”

Microsoft Windows Defender

Windows Defender is Microsoft’s built-in antivirus, which is included for free in Windows 10. If this app is already on your PC, you might be wondering why you should even bother with a free third-party antivirus. Short answer: Because many experts say Windows Defender still isn’t as good as the leading antivirus programs.

Essential protection: While Windows Defender traditionally ranked below third-party antivirus software, it’s now improved enough to claim the number six slot on PCMag’s annual top ten list. Its malware detection capabilities have risen greatly, and it performed well in hands-on testing. Still, PCMag is half-hearted in their recommendation:

Features: Windows Defender still lags behind in phishing protection and malicious URL blocking, and it can’t compete with the extra security features included in most free third-party security software. 

Need a second opinion? Tom’s Guide gives Windows Defender a 3.5 out of 5, saying, “Defender’s low system impact is offset by its long scan times and lack of creature comforts, such as the ability to schedule scans.”

Note for Windows 7 users: Microsoft’s built-in security program for Windows 7 is Microsoft Security Essentials. The company will continue to support the antivirus software for the time being, but their overall support for Windows 7 has ended and they recommend you upgrade to Windows 10. If you remain on Windows 7, it’s more important than ever to protect your system with third-party antivirus software.

Sophos Home Free

Sophos Home Free comes from Sophos, which predominantly focuses on security solutions for businesses.

Essential protection: Sophos Home Free offers much of the same protection as their business products, including remote security management for up to three PCs or Macs. According to TechRadar, this means you can also install the free antivirus on a less tech-savvy family member’s computer and remotely manage their security for them. Sophos Home Free offers decent phishing protection and very good malicious URL blocking.

Features: PCMag found Sophos’s parental content filter ineffective, but noted that, “If you’re managing security for others, this product’s remote management is a godsend.” 

Need a second opinion? Cloudwards cautions that although Sophos has some nice features, most of them are only available if you upgrade to the paid version, and “rigorous testing sheds some doubts about its efficacy as an antivirus solution.”

Additional options

While they didn’t rank the highest this year, you may be wondering how these other popular free antivirus programs fared in expert reviews.

Adaware Antivirus Free 12

Adaware Antivirus Free comes from Adaware, a company formerly known as Lavasoft. 

Essential protection: Adaware Antivirus Free has received mixed scores in independent tests, and it doesn’t provide any protection against malicious URLs. But, Lifewire notes that “constant, real-time protection against spyware, viruses, and other malicious items is important for any computer, and Adaware Antivirus Free can do just that.”

Features: Version 12 of Adaware’s free antivirus comes with a new look, but lacks features found in other free products — including the company’s own previous edition. Lifewire adds, “we don’t think Adaware Antivirus Free should be your first choice when choosing a good antivirus program. There are too many settings in the program that would be useful but aren’t allowed to function because it’s just the free version.”

Need a second opinion? PCMag cautions that “Adaware Antivirus Free 12 has a new name and a new look. Under the hood, though, its test results aren’t the best, and competing free products have much more to offer.”

Check Point ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus+

Check Point ZoneAlarm is a free antivirus-firewall combo that licenses its antivirus engine from security giant Kaspersky (see above for info on Kaspersky).

Features: Unfortunately, this free cybersecurity solution is missing many features users would expect to see: web-based security, protection against malicious websites, and personal data protection are nowhere to be found.

Need a second opinion? Tech Advisor says ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus+ is “a basic, but capable internet security suite with average antivirus capabilities but a good firewall.”

Qihoo 360 Total Security 8.6

Qihoo is a Chinese company known for its antivirus software, web browser, and mobile app store.

Essential protection: Qihoo uses the same core antivirus as Bitdefender and Avira, but it lags behind them in performance. PCMag reported mixed scores on anti-malware and malicious URL blocking tests, and rated Qihoo’s anti-phishing performance as “dismal,” calling it a “phishing phail.” The AV-Test Institute gave Qihoo 360 4/6 on performance, demonstrating that it can worsen the overall system performance while it’s running.

Features: Qihoo comes with an impressive suite of bonus features, including cleanup and tuneup utilities, a vulnerability scan, and more.

Need a second opinion? TechRadar says, “There are one or two useful tools here, but 360 Total Security isn’t accurate enough to be your sole antivirus app.”

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