- Ad-Aware, an antivirus program by Lavasoft, gives computers basic virus and malware protection via real-time system monitoring, an Internet guard that scans downloads, scheduled scans and automatic updates. However, Ad-Aware is not the only anti-malware program to provide these types of features, and many other free alternatives exist that offer nearly the same virus protection for your system.
Spybot - Search and Destroy
- Spybot Search and Destroy is a free anti-spyware and anti-malware program that contains several features for removing viruses, malware and spyware. The Spybot S&D malware scanner comes with a default mode that offers the basic features and an advanced mode for professionals and advanced users who want more control over the malware detection process. Spybot detects, looks for and removes keyloggers, adware and spyware, Trojans, malware and usage tracks, which are activity fingerprints on your system that can be used by spyware and Internet attackers. Spybot also comes with Resident TeaTimer, a utility that continually runs in the background and actively monitors system changes, such as registry changes and processes that want to start. You can set TeaTimer to automatically kill processes or be informed and deny or allow the change. The makers of Spybot--Safer Networking Ltd.--offer free forum and email support.
Avast Free Antivirus
- Avast Free Antivirus is an anti-malware program that looks for spyware, viruses, and other forms of malware. The software comes with a heuristics and behavioral scanner that detects and removes rootkits and malware based on signs, symptoms and typical behavior patterns of these infections. Avast also detects and blocks potentially unwanted programs on your system, such as keyloggers and remote administration programs. The program comes with multiple types of shields that check and scan files for threats, including a peer-to-peer program shield, instant messaging shield, Web shield and network shield. Users have several setting options, including a scanning scheduler and the ability to set Avast to run before your operating system starts.
Avira AntiVir Personal
- Avira AntiVir Personal provides basic malware protection. The program detects and removes viruses, worms, Trojans, backdoor viruses, spyware, hidden malware and rootkits. Avira AntiVir Personal allows you to perform an on-demand scan, like most antivirus programs, and set automatic scans of your system at certain times of the day. Avira's Guard module actively monitors the system for changes and actively blocks processes that could contain malicious software. Avira also allows you to select specific files and programs to scan for potential viruses and malware.
Microsoft Security Essentials
- Microsoft Security Essentials provides basic antivirus protection for users of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. This program runs in the background and provides real-time protection against viruses, malware and Trojans as well as spyware and other threats. Microsoft Security Essentials automatically downloads virus definitions and updates the program on a regular basis alongside the Windows Update program.