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Protect your PC from the cyber-flu with these awesome free antivirus options

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AVG AntiVirus Free 2016

AVG Free AntiVirus 2016

Despite past fishiness regarding AVG’s privacy policy, AVG Antivirus Free 2016 remains one of the best options for protecting your computer from all manner of security breaches (for the record, AVG’s privacy concerns were regarding the company collecting and selling your search data. While it may sound disconcerting, their practices were not necessarily insidious, as its par for the course when it comes to free antivirus software, and a lot of free software in general. After all, companies have to make their money somehow). Independent testing by AV-Comparatives scored AVG AntiVirus Free 2016 as Advanced+, the highest rating for antivirus efficacy. Such a high rating should wipe clean any remaining trepidation you may have about installing the product.

AVG AntiVirus Free 2016 comes with a whole host of features and several types of available scans, including scheduled scans, fast scans, folder-specific and root-kit specific scans, and of course the full-system scan, giving you flexibility in targeting whatever virus threats need rooting out. Its malware blocking is decent as well, though, strangely, the program opens a small dialog box warning of potential browsing risks, an odd design choice as the pop-ups are less obvious than blocking the website within the web browser itself.

That said, AVG is still a fine choice for protecting your PC while on the Internet. Its anti-phishing capabilities are more extensive than what most web browser employ by default, and it has a browser cleaner that will wipe clean your browser setting with one click. You can also set AVG to prevent tracking of your browsing activity (which, yes, is a bit ironic, considering AVG’s history — pun intended).

There are some features unique to AVG, including identity protection, PC analyzer tool, and a file shredder, which overwrites files before they’re sent to the trash folder, thus preventing the original file from being restored. These perks are nice, but the PC Analyzer in particular is a lame duck without upgrading to the paid version, as it will only inform you of vulnerability issues, not solve them. Of course, upgrading will also increase your level of protection and flexibility of use overall, but unless you’re actively trying to infect your system, the free version shouldn’t let you down.

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