These are some free antivirus and antispyware programs that I find are adequate for most users, however if you want something a little more beefy, scroll down to the bottom of the page for some paid ones that I would recommend.

Some of you may be wondering as you look at this list why you’ve never heard of these companies before. The simple truth is that big-name software companies and their products are a target for hackers. Hackers will design and build malware that will avoid, attack, or disable antivirus programs like Norton, McAfee, and numerous others. The result is that these bigger antivirus programs become bloated with extra algorithms and protocols that eat up your valuable processing power, costing you time and money, and still not protecting you from malware threats. The programs listed below will keep you generally well protected, but there are still ways that viruses can get through. Check on Rogue Software and Antispyware Software for details.

KEEP IN MIND
You can have only one antivirus system on a computer at a time! If you have more than one they will conflict and cause a lot of problems. If you have an antivirus system already installed you will need to uninstall it before installing a new one!

Free Antivirus Programs

  • AVG Free: LinkAVG 150x150 Antivirus Programs
     
    • Developer: Grisoft
    • Compatibility: WinXP, Vista, Win7
    • Usage Difficulty: Easy
    • Notes: When a major update is released you will need to download a new version from Grisoft’s website. Clicking on the update link in the program itself will most likely bring you to the page for the paid version (unnecessary)

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  • AntiVir Personal: LinkAvira 150x150 Antivirus Programs
    • Developer: Avira
    • Compatibility: WinXP, Vista (minor issues), Win7
    • Usage Difficulty: Easy
    • Notes: This Antivirus will periodically show pop-up ads to get you to buy the full version, but the free works just fine and the ads are few and far between.

*Nerd’s Favorite Free*

  • Avast! Free Edition: Link Antivirus Programs
    • Developer: Alwil Software
    • Compatibility: Win98SE, WinXP, Vista, Win7
    • Usage Difficulty: Easy
    • Notes: Usage after 60 day trial will require you to register with Alwil’s website, but does not require payment. Registration lasts for 1 year before re-registration is required for a new key.

Paid Antivirus Programs:

  • A-Squared AntiMalware: Linka2 antivirus 150x150 Antivirus Programs
    • Developer: Emsi Software
    • Compatibility: Win98 (seperate download), WinXP, Vista, Win7
    • Usage Difficulty: Easy-Medium
    • Notes: Download is a 30 day trial followed by $40 license for 1 year, other plans available. For computer savvy users.

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  • Sophos Antivirus: LinkSophos 150x150 Antivirus Programs
    • Developer: Sophos Plc.
    • Compatibility: WinXP, Vista, Win7
    • Usage Difficulty: Medium-Hard
    • Notes: This antivirus is designed specifically for small business enterprises and requires registration before you will be able to download and install the program. It Is meant to manage multiple computers over a local network.

*Nerd’s Favorite Paid*

  • Avast Antivirus Professional Edition: Link Antivirus Programs
    • Developer: Alwil Software
    • Compatibility: Win9X, WinXP, Vista, Win7
    • Usage Difficulty: Easy
    • Notes: This antivirus comes with a 60 day trial period before purchase of a license is required. Pro edition comes with the option for an enhanced user interface, Peer2Peer shield and greatly enhanced web shield that will tell you if a website is attempting to attack your system. Also comes with cool sound effects!