Avast Free Antivirus
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Full user review
"Outdoes many paid products. Version 5 is stellar!"
Will install on pirated copy of Windows (unlike Microsoft Security Essentials). Installs quickly. Has excellent protection. No "nag screen" on the free version, as other vendors do. Free yearly license renewal far easier to get than in the past.
Requires a yearly license renewal, which will hurt it now that Microsoft Security Essentials is free with NO renewal. Light firewall dropped from Verison 5 of Avast Free. A smidge slower than MSE. Paid versions not worth it over the free version.
Excellent protection. This has been my favorite anti-virus for sevearl years, although I am now leaning toward Microsft Security Essentials when I install on machines that aren't well taken care of. Avast is still my go-to choice when I encounter a machine where someone is running a pirated copy of Windows (all too common here in Korea), because MSE won't install on a pirated Windows machine. In all honesty, I feel more secure when running Avast version 5 compared to MSE, because Avast scores higher in detection across the board. Avast 5 even outdoes Kapspersky (one of the top paid products) these days. See results by independent labs: AV-test, AVComparatives, and so on. Unfortunately, I see Avast losing many users to MSE because of the yearly license renewal requirement. I know this because most computer techs and family members installing for clueless users end up installing MSE now, rather than chancing that the owner will forget to renew their licenses in a year.