Most new computers come with a limited free trial of either Norton or MacAfee anti-virus programs. In my experience these market leaders have become bloated and rather expensive. You can get excellent AV protection for free.
You must protect your PC!
WARNING: There are many websites distributing free antivirus programs that are actually malware and/or spyware! The AV programs I have listed below are ones that are legitimate.
Here are a few good free anti-virus programs for Windows computers.
1. AVG Free Edition – This is my favorite of all the free AV programs. I have used this for years and currently have it running on my Win 7 desktop media center. I think the paid version is slightly better but the free version is excellent.
2. Avast! – I have used the free edition and I know others who have been very satisfied with it. Avast free always tells you what it is doing. While this is reassuring it can also be a bit intrusive. I suspect the paid versions are quiter and more in the background. It’s not quite nag-ware but you know it is there. Still very good AV protection.
3. Avira – I hear it works but I have not used it.
4. ClamAV – This is the open source AV engine for Windows.
5. PC Tools Antivirus Free – I have not used the PC version of PC Tools AV, but I do use their Macintosh OS X version so I know they are legit.
6. Comodo AntiVirus – has a good reputation.