I am looking for a free virus checker for my Windows PC or Mac, what would you suggest?

No virus checker?  Oh dear, you are inviting trouble especially as there are plenty of free and perfectly good virus checkers out there for your PC or Mac.  Here we highlight three we regularly recommend and look briefly at the pro's and con's against the paid versions.

07 June 2016 Frequently Asked Questions  Security

Article - Antivirus

Although the latest version of Windows includes basic virus checking capability and Macs aren't so heavily exposed to virus writers, we always recommended you have something more substantial to provide additional protection.

Before looking at our suggestions it is worth considering a few of the relative advantages and disadvantages of free against paid for virus checkers.

The main advantages of the free virus checkers is ... well they are free. They also tend to be less resource intensive or invasive in how they operate but use the same basic technologies to detect and stop viruses and malicious software.

Disadvantages? Well the people who produce free checkers want you (not unreasonably) to upgrade to their paid for offering so you can expect to be nagged regularly about the benefits of upgrading. You may also be missing out on some protections or features which might actually be of use to you such as additional spam filtering and checks that web sites you are visiting are genuine and not fakes.

Finally, with the paid for offering if you have a query you can always call on their support for assistance, if you go for the free version you will have to rely on whatever the Internet can offer.

So what would be recommend for you? Well we have three suggestions which, in no particular order, are:


First comes Avast which is quick and easy to install, it doesn't nag you too much beyond registering (just providing an Email address). It also provides vocal alerts when it encounters something which can be useful if you concentrating on something else.



AVG was one of the first to offer a free version of its antivirus product and so has been around a long time with plenty of advice out there if you run into a problem. It can be a bit keen on nagging you to upgrade but the core product is solid and reliable.



Another firm favourite is Avira which is easy to use with clean and simple interface and it always scores very well in comparison tests with both free and paid for virus checkers.


Need more information?

PC Advisor has produced a comparison various free and paid for antivirus applications (including these three) and there are links to individual reviews:


Tags  antivirus security virus

Corrections or suggestions

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