There is no excuse for not having AV protection on your PC. None. And don’t say you don’t need to bother, as you have Microsoft Security Essentials installed by default. MSE has been shown to pay little more than lip-service to virus protection. You need a third-party AV service on your PC and there are lots to choose from, led by the six we look at here.
The good thing about having a free product from one of the leading Internet Security (IS) companies is that they use the same AV engine as in their commercial products. What you get in the stripped down versions is a smaller feature set. Few include spam filtering, improved firewalls or parental controls.
The free offerings from Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender and Panda all fit this bill, yet all offer basic antivirus and anti-malware protection, giving you a good chance to keep your PC free of threats which could lose you data and take a lot of time to put right.