I know there are a lot of antivirus software suites out there but I would like to hear from the readers regarding their views of reliable "free" antivirus software. I don't think the big box stores would recommend anything so I am reaching out to this community for an opinion.

In my opinion, understanding how attacks work is more important then the software used to protect yourself with. For higher security, understanding how to implement attacks of all kinds (from social engineering, to exploiting weak cryptography) and being adept at inventing new attacks will vastly improve your security over what software can do for you.

That being said, BitDefender has scored very well in lab tests, and it's easy for most users to use. If you're a more advanced user, you might consider using COMODO Firewall. If you use it correctly, HIPS protection and auto-sanboxing provide very good extra protection without putting too much strain on the user.

I have tried numerous antivirus programs both free and paid.

The latest one which I have been using for a couple of years is Avast.

Give it a whirl and see if it satisfies your requirements.

I am using Avast on my windows machines and none on Linux but as Hiroshe mentioned, probably the best way to protect yourself is understanding how attacks work

AVG (as a company) has a very blotted copybook courtesy of the damned secure search toolbar that it loves to install all over the place, and which borders on being malware (foistware is a good word for the thing) itself IMHO.

Tryed them all, but Windows Defender seems to work just fine. So many of the ones you buy seem to drag down the system, lengthen your boot up time, and need constant attention. Want to try avast (is that the same as AVG?) as I have seen lots of good replys on this one.

I use Avast on my home PC and on my Smartphone- Works great , does not pop up lots of messages like AVG which wants you to upgrade constantly to their paid version.

commented: Agreed +5

I Suggest Use Microsoft Security Essential as your primary antivirus.

avg 2014.0.4716 is the best after i tried many AV since 2000

Choosing an antivirus depends on what you use your machine fo on daily basis From my own experience avast is the best it has always met up with my needs try and see if it suits you too

Microsoft Security Essentials backed up with Mwlware Bytes Pro. Unfortunately nothibng can protect a computer system from a dumb user.

commented: This is exactly what I use. Has worked well for me for several years. +0

I have tried many anti-virus products both free and paid. Paid anti-virus is better than free, because of added features that can protect your computer to virus.

I would definitely recommend Avast. For me Avast anti virus software is best

I got really messed over by an MBAM update last month- it deleted over 6,000 system files. I now can't read any external drives, and thus can't restore with my USB system restore. Real pain, and although tech support at MBAM said they were on it, they didn't do anything. I used MBAM free for years, and finally paid for it this year, only to have this happen.

AntiVirus 100 % free 2015 from AVG is one of the best free antivirus software programs available and is probably the best.

AVG AntiVirus 100 % free is a full-fledged antivirus and anti-spyware device, contains an email checking device, weblink checking device, planned checking choices, automated up-dates, and more. There is no need to pay for an antivirus program when one this good is just a obtain away.

We use Windows Defender on some machines, AVG free on others and have had no problems on any. We are running System 7 and Windows 8.1 currently, but had a Windows XP and Vista machine running AVG free for the last few years without any virus or malware problems before upgrading to 7 and 8.1.

in your case the best antivirus i could think of is avg 2014 or if u can bit defender but both have some side effects like in case of avg ,it blocks datas even if it is not a virus it just suspects

I'm Still using my free windows defender

Avast is really good in my opinion, at least as far as free software goes. I use it on my Android phone and was using it on all my computers at home (one Windows 7 and two Windows 8 systems). I say was because I am a big believer in Trend Micro, it has been great for me over the last few years and it keeps getting better and better.

It does pay, once in a blue moon, to check AV review and test sites. Windows Defender is non-competitive, ranks lowly because it is basic protection. Try av-comparitives for objective tests and comparisons, or "commercial" sites for somewhat subjective reviews (that is just the nature of their reviews). If you are using free, then check the ratings for such AVs. Free sometimes is not the same AV engine.

Avast is good, now features an english roboupdate voice (A bit of a RP pronuciation "ok chaps, damm jolly good what"!) as well as the previous american one. AVG is ok does the job. MSE (sorry) its always a bit late in spotting the nasty. Avira is good. MBAM is getting in to the market so is going not free, but good at removing the unseen, (what happen to Spybot?) They all want to to try n'buy. AVG is bad a tricking people into buying there product, I don't like BHO's Toolbars, site advisors this bolt on or that bolt on. As previous best defence is be very wary, cautious, and careful. The bad guy's are out to get you. So don't forget back up the precious stuff. I have seen infected PCs with everything from A to Z antivirus software installed. Not Sophos or Norton Enterprise but you want it free. Follow the rules Update,scan regularly and back up.

I use Norton (NIS) but it cost $59 per year and I use it only on my main 3 compters. I did however install the free version of Avast on another box and am very impressed so far. An enormous interface that even a toddler could navigate. Love it. And the sandbox feature is awesome.

My view is you also have to proactively outsmart the parasites as some of these sneak in and get covertly installed by the owner
For those using Comodo firewall , you can try configuring for " alert incoming connections" via firewall tasks > stealth ports
Now while online if there are a flood of alerts that describe suspect elements (whose home bases are trying to make a connection) , then run a previously unused online cloud based scanner ( current security has probably created exceptions for running parasites at your request so is effectively compromised)
The scanner will likely detect several unwanted hidden toolbars , elements etc
ready for selective removal