PC Tools Free Antivirus – Is “Free” Worth It?

image You’ve met him; we’ve all met him. The cynical guy who is absolutely convinced that “nothing in life is free”, and he isn’t afraid to pass on his cynicism to you, and anyone else who will listen.

Frankly, when I hear this “the glass is half empty” approach to life, I automatically mark down the cynic’s  I.Q. by 20 points. Duh!

The Internet, for example, allows access to “free”, in a way that has changed our world. Want to learn a new language? It’s free. Want information on how to repair your car? It’s free. Want access to the largest reference library the world has ever known? It’s free. Want advice on how to repair your computer? It’s free. Want a free computer application? No problem.

Regular visitors to this site, are well aware that I am a devotee of both freeware and open source software – and with good reason.

While it is generally true that the free version of an application may not have all the bells and whistles of the paid version, assuming there is a paid version; overall functionality is rarely crippled. In particular, if you’re willing to forego a few nonessentials, a free security application will provide a decent level of protection, at no cost.

And that brings me to one of my favorite software developers – PC Tools.

Currently, on my home Windows 7 RC machine, I am running PC Tools Firewall Plus (free edition) ThreatFire (free edition), and Spyware Doctor (free edition) – this last one as a secondary malware scanner.

I’m always heartened by good corporate citizens like PC Tools (sorry cynical guy, but there are good corporate citizens), who offer free versions of their products to the Internet community, in an effort to keep all of us safer than we might otherwise be.

So, when I decided to test drive PC Tools Free AntiVirus, I was expecting to have the same great experience I have had with the various other free tools available from this security provider. Overall, I was reasonably satisfied.

PC Tools Free AntiVirus has a good reputation (shared by me), as an effective security application, based on it’s ability to detect, quarantine, and destroy Viruses, Trojans and Worms.

Having tested virtually all of the major antivirus applications, and updates, over the last several years, I’m comfortable recommending the free version of this application as a front line antivirus defender. In the time I have been testing PC Tools Free AntiVirus on my test bed systems, I have been satisfied with its performance.

This free antivirus program offers it’s comprehensive protection within an easy to use interface, and it should meet all of your requirements.

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Quick facts:

Virus, worm, Trojan protection – Protects your PC as you are working, surfing and playing

Scan and Remove – Detects, quarantines, disinfects and destroys Viruses, Trojans and Worms

Smart Updates – Automatically checks for frequent updates against the latest threats

IntelliGuard Protection – IntelliGuard protects your computer against threats in real-time

– File Guard

– Email Guard

FREE. No catches, limitations or time-limits.

If you’re looking for a free antivirus application that’s easy to navigate, then PC Tools Free Edition 6 is worth considering.

For that cynical guy out there: The free version does not include High-speed updates, or dedicated 24/7 support.

System Requirements: Windows – Vista 32-bit, XP, 2000

Download at: PC Tools

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11 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Hacked, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, PC Tools, Safe Surfing, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

11 responses to “PC Tools Free Antivirus – Is “Free” Worth It?

  1. Mr. Mullins,
    I have been a daily reader of your wonderful site since I first discovered you (well over a year ago now) and so I know that your recommendations for Threatfire and the other PC Tools programs is long-running.

    I don’t know if I am “adding to the discussion” any, but I thought I would share with your readers that as a tech, I too have been using Threatfire since it was named “CyberHawk”, and I consider it a top-drawer addition to anyone’s security profile – and I say so to my clients.

    Also, PC Tool’s Spyware Doctor is consistently ranked at the top of anti-spyware programs, and is one of the very few that I would recommend that folks consider the for-pay version. I use it as one of my ‘tools’ in my job.

    I guess the reason I decided to comment is.. folks new to your site may not realize the quality and caliber of the information you provide — it is consistently “top drawer”.

    • Bill Mullins

      TechPaul,

      Thanks for this. Glad to see you agree on PC Tools programs. I have to admit, ThreatFire is an absolute necessity, given the conditions we are forced to deal with on the Internet.

      Bill

  2. Hi Bill,

    I use ThreatFire too, on your recommendation. It runs flawlessly, alongside my free Avast Antivirus ( which I use in place of my paid for antivirus, from my ISP, which slowed my laptop down considerably).

    I also now use SUPERAntiSpyware Pro, thanks to your online giveaway. All three of these programs work together on my laptop without any problems whatsoever.

    All these are programs I came to by way of your site. Thanks Bill.

    Paul

  3. freewareelite

    Excuse me Bill,

    If I run ThreatFire, will it affect the NOD32 I’ve been running [for over 3 years] on my PC? Will the two apps crash?

    Adrian

  4. Robomaster

    I agree with you that PC Tools has good protection, but when I used it on my Compaq Laptop (Also a Windows 7 RC, Built 7100, ironically) it bogged down my computer significantly. I prefer to use Avast! Home Edition. I wrote a review here:

    http://rezogear.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/avast-antivirus/

    I would appreciate a link to it; I will return the favor.

  5. Dave Brooks

    Adrian, the two apps should get along just fine, Threatfire is considered an “in addition to your frontline antivirus app” type of program.