Brian Cryer's Web Resources

Anti-Virus Software

For protection against viruses and worms.

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Anti-virus software gives protection against viruses and worms. In order to be effective, anti-virus software should be regularly updated - otherwise it will fail to give protection against new viruses. No surfer (i.e. PC or workstation) should be without anti-virus protection. Serious thought should also be given to installing Firewall software (which protects against hackers and provides additional protection against some viruses).

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Free Anti-Virus Software (for personal use)

The following anti-virus products are free for personal use. There may be some conditions attached to their use and definitions of "personal use" may vary between products (although typically this means for personal, non-commercial, non-profit use), but check their terms and conditions:

Avira Free Antivirus
Avira Free Antivirus. Private and individual use of Avira Free Antivirus is free. Free support and signature updates. They also provide a commercial version for corporate use.
YesFree for private personal use.
CostsLicense required for commercial use.
Free for home users using their pc for non-commercial, not-for-profit work. Evaluation available for all other users.
YesFree for private personal use.
CostsLicense required for commercial use.
AVG Anti-Virus
AVG AntiVirus. Free English Language edition for private non-commercial use only. For other language versions and for commercial use, a 30 day trial version is available. Updates can be downloaded after (free) registration.
YesFree for private personal use
CostsLicense required for commercial use.
BitDefender provide free anti-virus for both Windows and Linux platforms. You can also get versions customised to your local language.
YesFree for private personal use
CostsLicense required for commercial use.
Comodo AntiVirus Recommended
Comodo anti-virus (they also provide a free firewall product), is free for desktops for both private and commercial use. XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. The free product does not support server operating systems.
YesFree for private personal use
YesFree for commercial use (but not on servers).
Microsoft Security Essentials Highly recommended
Microsoft Security Essentials (or MSE as it is sometimes abbreviated) is a comprehensive anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware package from Microsoft.

MSE is free for all users of Microsoft Windows, including commercial users in small organisations. There is a licensing limit of 10 PCs per organisation.

MSE is only for client systems (so Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8) but not Windows servers. Support for Windows XP was withdrawn in April 2014.

YesFree for personal use
YesFree for commercial use (but not on servers).

Whilst the Anti-Virus software listed here is geared towards personal use, there are many commercial anti-virus solutions. Some regard the best antivirus as being a commerical, but this is a dubious claim given that most of the free-anti-virus vendors also provide commercial versions for business use. Although paid for anti-virus ought to give better support should you encounter an issue.

If you know of other anti-virus software that you would like to see listed on this page or wish to report any errors on this page then please e-mail: feedback@cryer.co.uk.

If you ever wish to test whether your anti-virus software is working then take a look at www.eicar.org/anti_virus_test_file.htm. This site provides a download of a short and harmless file that your anti-virus software should flag up as the 'EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE'. Your anti-virus software should either prevent you from downloading the file or prevent you from then doing anything with it. If your anti-virus software doesn't block or flag it then either your anti-virus isn't working (so change it) or your system may have been compromised.

Anti-Virus Scanners

If you are after a standalone virus scanner - which will just scan your PC for viruses but will not provide any protection from new viruses then consider:

Stinger is a stand-alone executable utility from McAfee (Network Associates), that will detect and remove some specific viruses.

There are also a number of so called "on-line" virus scanners. For each of these you will need to agree to download and install their scanner component:

Note: These scanners can be very useful but are not a substitute for anti-virus software.

Other Anti-Virus Products

These products are suitable for use both at home or in a commercial environment:

F-Secure Internet Security 2013
Complete protection for home and home office PCs. F-Secure Internet Security provides a complete and easy to use protection against Internet threats. It includes antivirus, personal firewall, anti-spyware and anti-phishing. F-Secure is a very popular anti-virus product, especially in the commercial sector.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013
Kaspersky Lab is one of the world's top anti-virus companies, and well known all over the world as one of the leaders in the development of advanced anti-virus technologies. Kaspersky Lab produce anti-virus defence systems for workstations, file servers and application servers, e-mail gateways, firewalls, and Web servers for both Windows and Linux.

Related Products

  1. Serious thought should be given to installing Firewall software to protect against hackers and worms. Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 come with a reliable firewall, so be sure to turn it on (unless of course you decide to use a third party firewall product).
  2. Whilst it is not an anti-virus product, a related product worth considering is 'Ad-aware' (downloadable from http://www.lavasoft.com/products/ad_aware.php. This is a free 'spyware' removal utility that scans your system for known spyware programs allows these to be removed safely - Spyware is often integrated with popular shareware or freeware programs and installed on your system without you being aware. Another similar popular product is spybot, available from www.safer-networking.org.