Looking for a good free Antivirus for Windows 7? Here are 4 of the best antivirus tools for Windows 7. Also make sure to download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to get rid of spyware.

Best Antivirus for Windows 7

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A good antivirus program is integral to the health and safety of any Windows computer, especially one that will be used for web browsing or file sharing. Many businesses pay prohibitive amounts for antivirus software, but for home users, protection doesn’t have to come with a price tag. Many companies offer a free antivirus that provides basic protection, the ideal solution for personal use computers.

What to Look For in an Antivirus Program

Which program is the best free antivirus for Windows 7 varies based on what the computer is used for. A computer used for browsing the web needs a real-time scanner, which checks network data as it enters the computer system. If the computer is used for file sharing, the antivirus should have an on-access scanner which will scan files as they are accessed. Scheduled scans occur automatically on a set schedule, whereas on-demand scans are initiated by the user. Some programs may also scan POP3 emails, webmail, or instant messages.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is Microsoft’s replacement for One Care and is available for free download. The biggest benefit of MSE is that it has a very small memory footprint, so it won’t slow down the computer, even when the program scans in real-time. Real-time scanning is optional in Microsoft Security Essentials. MSE checks for Microsoft updates and continuously updates itself. It has an easy to use UI and it will run scheduled scans without reminders. MSE will assign threats to one of four of danger and users can set a separate default action for each level.

Avast Home Edition

In addition to basic antivirus protection, Avast’s home edition also offers antispyware, antispam and firewall protection. It can protect against web viruses, identity theft and phishing schemes, and is great at healing. Avast is compatible with 32 bit and 64 bit editions of Windows 7, and it doesn’t take up a lot of memory or CPU. It has a relatively short scan time, although the free version does not offer the option of scheduled scans. One of the best features of the Avast home edition is that there is a lot of customizability, including the ability to use one of the many skins available.

AVG Free

AVG Free is a popular and effective option that many consider to be the best free antivirus for Windows 7. It is amongst the very few antivirus programs that are officially compatible with Microsoft. AVG Free includes antispyware, an email scanner, and a resident shield, which works as an antivirus. There is an optional toolbar that can be included during installation for extra protection, a simply and easy to use UI, and a lot of customizable options. The scan speed for both the scheduled and on demand scans can be customized, though the faster the scan the more CPU it uses.

Avira AntiVir Personal

Avira AntiVir personal protects against spyware, malware, viruses, and rootkit threats. The AntiVir Guard protects the computer in real-time. Avire AntiVir personal does not include an email scanner, but it will scan the contents of the email as soon as the email has been opened. The UnErase tools allows for the recovery of data that was deleted from the hard drive as a result of a security breach. Avira AntiVir allows for scheduled scans and automatic updates, but a request to purchase premium protection will pop up each time the program is updated.

These four are amongst the best free antivirus for Windows 7. They each have slightly different options, which may make one better than the others in a specific area, but they are all fairly equal. The question of which of the four programs to use really comes down to personal preference more than anything else.