Small or home based businesses can save a bit of money by relying on free antivirus programs for augmenting their computer security. Granted, there are limitations to these software packages, but in a pinch these antivirus programs shine!
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 9.0
AVG is one of the free online antivirus programs that receive a ‘best of’ award year after year. It allows for automatic updates and is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7. One of the best antivirus programs around, the free AVG scanner checks for viruses, worms, Trojans and also provides link scanning. Basic? Sure, bit it gets the job done. It is limited to a one-computer license for personal use, making this one suitable for a home based small business where the commercial use takes a backseat to the personal applications.
AVG Internet Security 9.0
This for-pay version is one of the two best antivirus programs for smaller to midsized businesses. The Internet Security Suite has the potential to grow with the business and, for $44, it comes with free technical support and also identity protection. This alone makes it a worthwhile investment for the small business owner who keeps sensitive client and payment data on the hard drive.
One of the free antivirus programs designed to run with UNIX, Windows Vista and also XP and 2000, it has a rather restrictive license. Do not use this software for any business computer that does more than sending out a few emails or surfing the Internet. Even so, it can be the antivirus program of choice for the home office computer dedicated to staying in contact with potential customers. Protection against viruses, worms and rootkits makes this a powerful ally.
Avira Premium Security Suite
If your home based business computer falls outside the free antivirus program’s license, opt for the security suite option. Although not free – it retails for $54– it nevertheless is well worth the expense. This is due to its protection against bot networks and the use of a backup system that allows the business owner to protect the most critical data components against loss.
Avast! Pro Antivirus
Boot-time scanning is provided for the business owner who pays $40 for two years worth of protection. It runs on Windows XP, 7 and Vista and is an excellent idea for the home office computer that might – during off time, of course – become a computer interface for a gamer. Licensees of Avast! Distributed Network Manager need to stick with the version 4 Professional Edition rather than upgrading to Antivirus 5.0. While it is true that Avast! also features free antivirus programs, they are expressly reserved for non-commercial use.