Now that PC viruses have been with us for 20 years, it only makes sense to remind ourselves to make sure we have some sort of Anti-Virus utility program running on our computers and that its virus definitions are uptodate. Anti-Virus programs are somewhat like insurance, you pay for something just in case something else happens. While insurance is never free in the real world, at least you can still get some free anti-virus programs. Here is a list of some of the more popular programs that are out there for free.
AVG Free Anti-Virus
Grisoft has a long history of making available a free version of their AVG Anti-Virus software and is a very popular choice for many Windows users.
The Clam AV Project is an opensource anti-virus toolkit for UNIX systems. However there are a multiple Clam AV binary packages for almost every operating system you can name, including ClamX AV for Mac OS X. Even if you have another anti-virus program, I recommend installing Clam AV as a backup.
From Comodo, the same company that issues SSL certificates for websites, comes Comodo AntiVirus. The company states it is free and will never charge any license fees. Compatible only with WindowsXP (SP2) and Windows2000 (SP4).
Computer Associates ez-AntiVirus
While not exactly free, Computer Associates is offering Vista Beta users a free one year trial of their very affordable ez-AntiVirus. This is personally my favorite anti-virus program. It does not slow down your computer like some other well known anti-virus programs and is very easy to use for novice users and experts. It is also one of the cheapest programs you can purchase.
Spybot – Search & Destory
Anti-virus developers have been reluctant to add on spyware and malware detection to their basic anti-virus programs, so if you need to cleanup spyware and malware, you need to use a separate program like Spybot – S&D. Spybot is my favorite spyware scanner and about its only downside is that you have to download updates manually.