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By Peter Zaborszky

5 Cheapest Antiviruses

Good antivirus software is essential for every Windows PC, and as it’s something that needs renewing each year, many people are keen to pay the minimum possible for something that works effectively.

Here at Best Antivirus, we’ve tested all the major antivirus products aimed at the consumer market. This top five roundup lists the cheapest effective products we have encountered.

However, creating this list wasn’t a simple case of listing five products in order of price. We decided to keep in mind the fact that cheap doesn’t always equal value. 

A cheap product (or even a completely free product) isn’t something we would recommend if it doesn’t deal properly with real-life viruses. We have tested all of our reviewed products with genuine malware threats, details of which you will find on our “how we test” page.

A good example of where cheap fails to equal value (and therefore fails to make our top five) is in the case of AVG AntiVirus Free 2013. For many years, AVG was the antivirus product of choice for people who wanted something that worked but that didn’t cost them anything.

Over the years, AVG has been challenged by other free offerings, two of which are present in this round-up. In our tests, AVG failed to deal with one of our real-life threats, so even though we liked aspects of the software, it didn’t, on this occasion, make the grade.

With this in mind, in perhaps better to view the following products as our list of the best value Windows antivirus products, rather than simply the cheapest. In our opinion, it is better to pay a nominal amount for a product that gives you confidence, than to save a few dollars, pounds or Euros on something that may land your computer with an infection and an expensive clean-up bill.

The good news is that we have identified five products that you can count on to protect your computer. A couple will cost you nothing at all, and the others are all very good value for what they provide. We would recommend reading the reviews of all five to find the one which best meets your requirements. In particular, take a look at VIPRE, which is third on our table. It’s high overall score may convince you that it’s worth opting for a cheap product instead of a free one!

NOTE: As our criteria for this round-up takes price (and value!) into account, the overall percentages for each software package are not in descending order.

Summary

Rank Provider Score Review Link

1

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.19.00 81% Read Review Visit Site

2

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 09.48.25 80% Read Review Visit Site

3

Logo 93% Read Review Visit Site

4

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 14.47.13 85% Read Review Visit Site

5

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.30.24 79% Read Review Visit Site

 

Winner – Avira AntiVirus Free

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.19.00

Positives: Perfect test results, doesn’t hassle users to upgrade to a paid version

Negatives: A little light on features, though this is to be expected from a free product

The winner in our round-up of the top five cheapest antiviruses is Avira Antivirus Free. As the name of the software reveals, this product isn’t just cheap, it’s completely free!

It’s no surprise that Avira’s product has started to overshadow the perhaps better-known AVG product as the free antivirus of choice for those “in the know.” While it is an admittedly “light” piece of software, it works where it counts, and had no trouble eliminating all of our test viruses.

Avira isn’t perfect. It’s a bit of a resource hog, and the omission of any kind of email scanning is a shame, but we accept that vendors have to hold something back to give to those users willing to pay for their commercial products.

Still, Avira is a good solution, and the vendor resists the temptation to use the product as nothing more than an advert for a chargeable product. It deserves its place at the top of this particular table.

Visit Avira


2. Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 09.48.25

Positives: Generous features for a free product, great test results

Negatives: Lots of pop-ups and hassle to upgrade to a commercial product

With a total score of 80%, Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + came fifteenth overall out of all the antivirus products we tested, but it wins second place in this “value” roundup on the basis that it’s a competent product that’s completely free.

Just like the winning Avira product, Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ achieved perfect results in our real-world threat tests. We also experienced pleasingly low resource usage during our review.

There were a few things we didn’t like: the install was a bit of a hassle, and the program interface is a bit messy. Worst of all, the vendor does seem intent on using the free product as a rather intrusive advert for its commercial products.

But if you’re prepared to accept these compromises in return for not having to hand over a penny for effective antivirus protection, Ad-Aware Free fits the bill perfectly. It’s well worth a look.

Visit Lavasoft


3. VIPRE Antivirus 2014

Logo

Positives: Almost everything: perfect performance and superb value for more than one computer

Negatives: A little light on advanced features

VIPRE Antivirus 2014 has proved a great all-rounder in our tests. As well as coming third in this round up of cheap antivirus packages, it is also second in our “ultimate round-up” league table.

VIPRE takes a different approach to many modern products. The vendor’s focus has been on producing a product that has a minimal impact on the performance on the machines it is installed on, and the software passes this test with flying colours.

VIPRE did brilliantly in our tests, and although it’s not as fully-featured as some packages, there are plenty of deep configuration options to keep the techies happy.

Most relevant of all, however, for the purposes of this round up, is the pricing structure. The single PC, one-year cost of $39.99 is average, but the real value presents itself in the other purchase options: A ten-PC package is just $59.99, and you can have a “lifetime” subscription from just $79.99. Owners of several PCs would be mad to look elsewhere.

Visit Vipre


4. TrustPort Antivirus 2013

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 14.47.13

Positives: Generous pricing, lovely interface

Negatives: Slightly slow install and scans

TrustPort Antivirus 2013 wasn’t a product we were familiar with when we began our review, but by the end we had grown quite attached to it.

Its presence in this round-up is due to some very generous pricing, especially for multiple computers. $79.95 for six machines is just over $13 per machine, which certainly lands it in the “cheap” category.

As with all of the packages in this round-up, TrustPort coped brilliantly with all of our test infections, helped by the fact it automatically suggested scanning our infected USB key.

If you’re looking for an antivirus product with a host of innovative features you won’t find it here – but really you shouldn’t expect to find this as part of a “cheap” line up. Even so, this product does represent value, and is worth a good look.

Visit TrustPort


5. F-Secure Anti-Virus

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.30.24

Positives: Well-known brand, strong technical support

Negatives: Some functionality could trip up novices.

F-Secure Anti-Virus is the only product on our top five “cheap” antivirus product round-up that comes from a really well-known manufacturer.

We were pretty happy with this product during our review, but we didn’t feel that it did quite enough to force novice users not to install one of our test threats. This is, however, a subjective criticism, and the program did at least identify all of our real-life viruses.

Where F-Secure does score very highly is in terms of value: The standard package covers three PCs by default and costs just $39.95 (or £19.95 in the UK). With most of the household-name brands charging at least this for a single PC licence, F-Secure rightly deserves its place on this table.

It’s also worth noting that F-Secure provide a truly comprehensive range of technical support options – so this is a good choice for those users who think they may need a little help.

Visit F-Secure


Summary

Rank Provider Score Review Link

1

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.19.00 81% Read Review Visit Site

2

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 09.48.25 80% Read Review Visit Site

3

Logo 93% Read Review Visit Site

4

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 14.47.13 85% Read Review Visit Site

5

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.30.24 79% Read Review Visit Site

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