If you’re downloading files from the Web, then you should be sure to protect yourself first with a good anti-virus utility. Viruses are small programs that can be contained in any type of executable file that you download. Their effects can range from mischievous pranks to serious damage of your computer.
Before you fork over $40 or so for a commercial product, check out one of the excellent free anti-virus utilities that we list below.
The programs we list here will either clean and/or scan your computer for viruses. And be sure that you check with the provider of the anti-virus program that you download for periodic updates, as new viruses are appearing all the time on the Web.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Here’s an excellent free version of Bitdefender’s commercial antivirus product. The free edition doesn’t have all the features of the commercial program, but it does offer the same powerful antivirus protection. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition features virus scanning and removal and it closely monitors your active apps and takes instant action when it detects anything suspicious.
AVG Free Edition
Here’s an outstanding freeware anti-virus utility that also offers you free monthly updates. An easy-to-use program, AVG features resident protection, an E-mail scanner and automatic healing of infected files. Note: this program is free for personal, home usage only. (For Windows).
This site offers a good roundup of freeware programs to keep your PC safe and secure against the various hazards that lurk in cyberspace these days, including spyware, viruses, spam, and more.
This is a free online virus scanner that lets you upload and scan any file up to 2 megs in size, using 12 popular anti-virus engines. The service can detect viruses, worms, trojans, and other threats.
This popular free online service lets you analyze suspicious files and URLs and check them for viruses, worms, trojans, and all types of malware. It’s handy if you want a “second opinion” about any file or URL. You can also use it to detect false positives. It’s free for personal use.
Trend Micro HouseCall
A free Web-based anti-virus tool that lets you scan your PC for viruses, spyware, worms and other digital threats. The program then displays a list of any infected files it finds and allows you to remove them from your computer.
This easy-to-use freeware antivirus utility detects over 80,000 viruses and includes a resident monitor and desktop program. Scans for DOS, Windows, macros and Java viruses. Available in German and English. (For Windows).