Dec 9, 2014

The search for a great free antivirus on Windows 8

So, I just got a new laptop. It's a great little machine, a Dell XPS 13, and it came preloaded with very little software. That's a good thing if you ask me!

One of the handful of programs preinstalled was MacAfee antivirus. It came with a free one-year license, and I decided to take it for a spin. That did not last very long... I constantly noticed it eating CPU time, slowing down  my computer while eating away battery. Huh! It did have some cool features such as an online central for managing all your MacAfee enabled devices, but that just didn't help. I had to find something less intrusive.

I tried AVG, which I remember that I liked some years ago. It's still free, and it looks like it's working well, but it's just so annoying with all the sales pitch! You have to be very alert to click the right button and not end up buying and expansion or upgrade. It's like "free to play" antivirus, so it had to go, too. In addition, it feels a little overzealous with what pages and extensions it alerts the user about.

Then I went to Avast, which I run on my desktop computer. It's not bad, but even Avast's free version is getting a bit naggy. It does not slow down my computer, however, which makes it better than AVG and MacAFee.

Then finally I arrived at my current choice: Avira. It has a free edition, it does not slow down your computer, it does not nag too much about purchasing the full version, and it does a great job in keeping updated on the newest threats.  Oh, just be aware that it wants to install dropbox along with it.

All the packages I tried, all were free and had both desktop and mobile versions. If you really need a "central" to manage all your household units in one place, MacAfee is the winner. Otherwise, try Avira!

Let me know if you have a favourite of your own I can try!

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