For those who have just bought a new computer running Windows you might be looking for a better antivirus program then Microsoft security essentials or if you are still running Windows XP, you are probably looking for a program to replace SE from Microsoft since the software will be no longer updated on the unsupported Windows XP.
The following 3 free anti-virus programs will help you solve both of these problems as they improve your security ( handy if you are completely exposed, which are primarily those who still run windows XP) or just improve your already secure operation system (Windows 8 and Windows 7 users)
Panda Cloud Anti-virus
Panda might not be the first antivirus program that pops into your head since it isn’t as well known as Avast or AVG but it is definitely just as good. Pro’s: Panda is a cloud based antivirus and is an ultra minimalist tool, just like SE the program doesn’t require much hardware something that makes it specially handy on ultrabook, low end laptops and netbooks. The software is also very well designed, intuitive and easy to use. Cons: The virus scanner isn’t as powerful as our number 2 on the list which is Avast and several users have reported that Panda isn’t protecting users well against phishing sites (mainly those using Internet Explorer to browse the web), however this small issue can be resolved downloading an addon for your browser and using Chrome or Firefox instead.
If you have been using computers on a daily basis for some time now you might have heard of Avast, it has been one of the most used anti-virus programs of all time and it is the number 1 for a reason. Unlike Panda it might not be as light weight which is really an advantage for not so powerful laptops and PC’s but Avast is definitely the one to go with if you do have a more powerful computer (mid to high end) Pro’s: This one too offers a very easy to use interface, offers real time protection, has multiple scanning tools that will analyze your hard drive, protects against malware send through mail and many more. Cons: One of the main cons is that it isn’t as lightweight as Panda, but the extra security makes up for that.
If Avast and Panda would have a child it would be called BitDefender. This Antivirus combines the best of both as it is lightweight and very powerful, offers real time protection and multiple tools to scan your hard drive, so why isn’t BitDefender our number 1? The program is unable to run if you have any incompatible software on your system and you are required to uninstall that software if you want to install BitDefender instead it also isn’t as user friendly as for example Avast or Panda
Those are the 3 best alternatives to SE, still not sure which one to download? If you have a low end or a really old computer then Panda is the one to go with as it is very light weight and doesn’t require much resources. If you have a mid to high end computer go with Avast as it is more powerful then Panda. BitDefender is really good if you aren’t planning on downloading much software and will mainly use your device to browse the web and read emails.