You from most dangers – you will find the best here.
UTo secures a PC, an antivirus (AV) program is compulsory. In contrast, anti-spyware software is more “nice to have” – corresponding programs such as Spybot detect and eradicate adware and spyware that has been smuggled into the system. If you don’t want to use the money on security software, we recommend adding anti-spyware to your virus protection – if you have high-security requirements. After all, no protection tool has perfect malware detection rates. In this article, you will find recommended complementary tools in the categories of antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall, update manager, backup, encryption, and shredder.
Overview of free security antivirus programs
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The most important protective barrier to ward off malware such as viruses, Trojans, or worms is an antivirus program. Avast Free Antivirus is recommended. The program offers high recognition rates and a modern user interface. With the on-demand scanner, you can check individual files, folders, and entire drives for danger at the push of a button. However, it is unnecessary because a background monitor permanently scans the system for malicious code and intervenes before damage occurs. There is even web protection on board that examines HTTP and encrypted HTTPS traffic. It will make you safer while surfing the Internet. Ideally, the file system guard does not have to intervene, as the web protection has already filtered out malicious code in advance.
Antivirus, protection for free
Since Windows 8, Microsoft operating systems have brought an onboard antivirus with them: the Defender. The manufacturer renamed it several times in Windows 10; meanwhile, the software is called Microsoft Defender Antivirus. At its core is the Microsoft Security Essentials engine. Unlike before, the Defender meanwhile has solid recognition rates. It puts third-party antivirus tools in a difficult position – but it is still worth installing them. Because alternative programs like Avast Free Antivirus offer more functions, such as a software updater, it checks some installed programs for up-to-datedness. It informs you when an update is available. There is file system protection just like Avira, but web protection is only free with Avast. Other free antivirus tools come from AVG (belongs to the Avast group, brings a file shredder in contrast to Avast Free), Bitdefender and Kaspersky – all three include web protection.
Download: Download Avast Free Antivirus
»Download: Download Avira Free Security
» Download: Download AVG Anti-Virus Free
»Download: Download Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
» Download: Download Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
If you pick your software favorites from the recommendations above and add careful, suspicious surfing to them, you will often receive sufficient all-around protection for free. The emergency virus scanners from well-known brands are practical: Kaspersky, McAfee, Symantec, and Emsisoft offer them free of charge – without a guard, but with the tried and tested scan engines of the purchase variants, with which you can get a second opinion on freedom from viruses and clean your possibly infected system. Since there is no guard here, the use of the tools does not cause any problems. The programs do not have a preventive claim. They only need resources during their runtime, do not start them. They only use minimal (Emsisoft: several hundred megabytes) storage spaces and no CPU processing time.
The best virus protection
3. G Data
Smart Security Premium
Norton 360 Premium
- Complete list: antivirus software put to the test
You must be currently using a maximum of one (!) Antivirus program with a guard. Otherwise, there is a risk of Windows startup problems, crashes, and hangs. Several programs without a guard, on the other hand, usually do not cause any problems. Suitable secondary scanners are listed in the photo gallery above. The regular AV tools from Avast and AVG do not present any difficulties: Both deactivate their Guardian when they find another Guardian AV software- this allows you to install Avast, or AVG in combination with an existing virus protection system for additional malware checks, without this, Windows goes to its knees.
Update signature, remove malware.
If the virus scanner fails, additional software such as Malwarebytes has to run.
If the PC is virus-affected, the installed antivirus program may remedy the situation after a “signature update.” Virus signatures are a kind of fingerprint of malware: Searching hard disk / SSD files based on these hashes allows, in contrast to heuristics and behavior analysis, to identify pests and with relatively few false positives.
Before you start a manual virus scan, it is best to update your antivirus program to the latest version. In addition to the signatures, you may also update the AV components. In this case, the knowledge about current threats is refreshed, and the Motor (the engine)of the protection software. An engine specifies settings such as the file types to be scanned, for example, archives, in advance.
AdwCleaner and Spybot: remove adware and spyware
Although security programs often carry out their signature updates automatically, downloading them manually by clicking on an associated button does not harm. In addition to your main protection program, the antivirus, you should update any complementary malware-checking tools before using them: AdwCleaner removes adware, spyware, potentially unwanted programs (PUP), hijackers, and toolbars.
Download: Download AdwCleaner
»Advice: Use the AdwCleaner correctly
Spybot: Search & Destroy is similarly versatile in cleaning up and immunizing Windows. To do this, it enters web addresses in its host’s file, the pages of which are then blocked across the browser. You also edit the host’s file manually, but Spybot enters numerous web servers here and thus saves your time for a lot of configuration work. The whole thing does not cause any noticeable slowdown in surfing.
Download: Download Spybot – Search & Destroy
»Download: Download Spybot – Search & Destroy Portable
Malwarebytes and Kaspersky bootable disk
Malwarebytes is another classic malware cleanup. Its background guard costs money, so you need the extended premium version – the pure scan mode is available free of charge. The latter is usually sufficient.
Download: Download Malwarebytes
»Download: Download Malwarebytes (Mac)
For hardship cases, we recommend the Gentoo Linux-based Kaspersky Rescue Disk, which scans and cleans Windows “from the outside” from a booted USB stick; Malicious programs do not offer any resistance. The Firefox browser and a registry editor are integrated, with which you can intervene in Windows AutoStart, for example.
Download: Download Kaspersky Rescue Disk
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Prevent blackmail viruses and other malware by Antivirus
Better stay safe than be sorry, especially with extortionate ransomware. This malware encrypts files, deletes the originals, and demands a ransom for their restoration – but only with luck, the user will get access to the originals of the unusable data after payment. When antivirus programs are not yet prepared for such encryption viruses / Trojans, many of them pelted PCs past them. AntiRansomware 2021(also known as extortion virus stopper) is a COMPUTER BILD-exclusive software based on an Abelssoft purchase product that protects you. The program works inconspicuously in the background and detects unauthorized encryption. If the worst comes to the worst, the Windows application will restart in Safe Mode to protect user files. A warning then appears, and you are required to create a backup (in safe mode).
Download: Download COMPUTER BILD ransomware stopper
Antivirus: Create preventive backups against ransomware
Ideally, you should not only create backups of important files when the worst comes to the worst but rather regularly and preventively. Ashampoo Backup Pro does this automatically: the program creates backups of entire partitions and individual files. Local external USB media are suitable as backup targets; Cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive are also available.
Download: Ashampoo Backup Pro – Download the free full version
»Guide: Ashampoo Backup Pro – Free full version
Aomei Backupper Free is an alternative and well equipped for a freeware program. The software does not offer cloud storage targets but reliably backs up to external disks, and Windows restores images from them.
Download: Download AOMEI Backupper Free
By the way: Was the extortion virus stopper not used in good time, and you became a victim of extortion viruses? Or did he not prevent encryption? In this case, decryption tools from various security providers step in.
Do I need a firewall?
In contrast to virus protection programs, additional firewalls seem rather obsolete: Such protection tools were once in demand when Windows XP with Service Pack 1 did not yet have a hacking defense. However, since Service Pack 2, XP has a firewall, Windows Vista to Windows 10 controls incoming and outgoing data traffic – and has made the firewall program a bit less important. Despite its bad reputation: Windows’s solution works solidly and is sufficient, according to security experts. At most, if you mistrust the onboard function and fear attacks on it due to its spread, you will need alternative firewall software. Programs like ZoneAlarm Free Firewall or Comodo Firewall probably increase your feeling of security. At the same time, they are more accessible than the extended Windows firewall settings (Windows firewall with comprehensive security, wf. msc) and have interesting additional features and setting options.
Download: Download ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
Download: Download Comodo Firewall
»Windows Firewall: Call up settings and tips on configuration
We Have Firewall & Co.
The ZoneAlarm firewall has integrated a game mode as an extra; Comodo has a virtualized desktop for the isolated execution of unknown or critical programs. For the latter, Sandboxie or VirtualBox is sufficient.
Download: Download Sandboxie
»Virtual machines: The best tips on VirtualBox, XP mode, VMware & Co.
» VirtualBox snapshots: Throwaway Windows – experiment and surf the web without restraint
Security software recommendations here: If you are a Defender skeptical user, download another antivirus tool; Defender is automatically deactivated under Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 when an alternative protection solution is installed. In any case, load additional scanners without background monitors (such as Malwarebytes), you might get a firewall. Backup software seems more important than the latter: In contrast to firewalls, it is not controversial but is considered an important, necessary evil – which the above program recommendations automate quite well.
Download: Download VirtualBox
»Close security gaps: programs that require updates
» Protection against exploits: The best tips and tools can be downloaded free of charge
The best free backup programs
Back up data: Recommended backup tools
Even if you protect your PC from malware, it is at risk – from theft, vandalism, fire or water damage, and malware that overcomes all protective measures. Prevent data loss by making backup copies of important files: In addition to Aomei Backupper (Free) and Ashampoo Backup Pro, some freeware programs deserve a recommendation (see the gallery). There is nothing wrong with combining several backup programs.
Download: Download AOMEI Backupper
»Download: Ashampoo Backup Pro – Download the free full version
By the way, you can also get AOMEI Backupper Pro as an exclusive one-year version. The program’s free version is already extensive, while the extended version offers additional encryption compared to Aomei Backupper Free.
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