Free antivirus software is an excellent choice for those who only need basic protection. However they don’t offer the same level protection that paid-for solutions. The most reliable free AV software will often offer high malware detection rates that are certified by independent labs such as AV Test or AV Comparatives, but they won’t come with the extra features that are usually included in premium solutions. These extras, which include threat protection for networks user profiles, VPN, password managers and parental controls can be crucial to complete security online.

In addition, free antivirus applications might not be updated more frequently than paid solutions that leaves a gap of opportunity for spickandspan malware to escape detection. The majority of free antivirus software depend on signature detection which consists of testing malware samples against strings of characters that are associated with known threats. This method is efficient when attackers employ the same patterns. However advanced hackers are using techniques which are distinctive enough to avoid detection.

Examine the terms and conditions of using a particular antivirus program. The majority of free programs are designed for private users however they may not be suitable for corporate use. Additionally, some free programs may include software that could be considered adware or spyware, so they should always be downloaded with care. Paid solutions are more likely to include warranties and guarantees that define what the user can expect in the event of an attack.