These free antivirus programs offer solid real-time protection


Find an antivirus program that works for you.

Find an antivirus program that works for you.

Q: Could you remind me again of the free antivirus programs you’ve recommended most in the past?

— Dick F., Port St. Lucie

b The two free antivirus programs I’ve recommended most in the past are Avast Free Edition and AVG Free Edition. Both are solid means of real-time protection (meaning they run continuously on your system as opposed to being activated only on demand) and they are ideal for users whose typical computing sessions involve little more than email, document creation, surfing the web, streaming music and video and such.

While both programs will prompt you occasionally with upsell ads for their paid version counterparts (as do nearly all other free programs out there), they will still keep your system generally safe from most threats. They can be downloaded from the following URLs:

Avast Free Edition –

AVG Free Edition –

In addition to this, it would be advised to also install an on-demand anti-malware scanner such as MalwareBytes ( or SuperAntiSpyware ( While the antivirus programs mentioned above should catch most infections that attempt to invade your system, realistically speaking there will be times where some smaller items might pass through those defenses and these on-demand programs can be used to catch them if need be.

An ideal security setup for most home computing environments would have both a real-time antivirus and an on-demand anti-malware scanner installed simultaneously. Keep the antivirus running all the time and scan the system with the anti-malware program every week or two — this, along with careful web surfing and email monitoring, should keep you safe for most situations.

Please remember that you can’t have two real-time antivirus programs installed and running at the same time, as they will cancel each other out and leave you open to threats. So please do not install both Avast and AVG together, thinking this will double our protection — it will not. Choose one or the other only.

Similarly, make sure your system matches or exceeds the hardware specs required by these applications prior to installation, otherwise your system may considerably slow after the fact. Hardware requirements for both titles can be found at the URLs above.

Finally it should be mentioned that those with more complex computing environments, such as systems that serve as hubs for small businesses or provide hosting for other computers on a small network, should consider installing a paid version of an antivirus program instead of a free one, as there’s a good chance you will need the enhanced capabilities of a paid version to handle your security needs.

Both titles listed above offer very good paid versions and can be downloaded for trial via the links above (just browse for the non-free options available).

Try them out and see if they work for your needs or not. If not, other suggestions for paid include the following:

Kaspersky Total Security ($39.99 per year):

Bitdefender Anti-virus Plus ($29.99 per year):

Webroot Security Complete ($29.99 per year):

Untangling the web

“True random number service.” That’s the tagline to this unique and blandly designed destination, which offers visitors several ways in which to have numbers and other selected data randomly generated for them. Examples include rolling dice randomly, selecting random calendar dates, flipping random coins and more. While this seems a bit odd at first, the site’s uses are many, including substituting virtual dice for ones that have been lost for a board game and providing assistance picking numbers for the lottery or for keno, among other possibilities. Click the “Learn more” link in the main navigation menu for an in-depth tutorial. The site is free for all to use.

Eyal Goldshmid

Eyal Goldshmid

Contact Eyal Goldshmid @ [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Antivirus programs providing real-time protection


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