No matter how careful you are when using the Internet, it’s always advisable to have antivirus software installed on your computer. This applies mostly to Windows users, because while Macs aren’t invulnerable to malware, they’re just not popular enough for cybercriminals to target.
In this week’s MakeUseOf Poll, we’ll be discovering what free antivirus software our readers consider to be the best available. This was previously asked two years ago, so it’ll be interesting to see how opinions on these invaluable tools have changed during that time.
We Want Windows!
To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “Will You Be Getting Windows 10?”
Out of a total of 638 votes, 51.6% chose Yes, I will upgrade my current PC, 6.6% chose Yes, I will buy a new PC with it installed, 4.9% chose No, it looks like the same old Windows, 9.3% chose No, I use Mac OS X or Linux instead, 24.1% chose I’m not sure… I’ll base my decision on the finished product, and 4% chose Other.
There was a clear winner here, with more than half of those who voted stating they plan to upgrade their current PC to Windows 10. Microsoft will be pleased with this result, even if Windows 10 is given away for free to people already running Windows 8/8.1, as seems likely.
The 24 percent of you who are determined to wait and see how Windows 10 turns out are clearly sensible individuals who refuse to get suckered in by the hype. Which is understandable given Microsoft’s track record of delivering buggy operating systems. People will never forget Vista.
Comment Of The Week
We received a lot of great comments, including those from Kenneth Carpenter, Rama, and ed. Comment Of The Week goes to RobH, who wins a T-shirt chosen from those available through the catalog for this comment:
There are several aspects to the issue.
1. Has the underlying OS improved in terms of aspects like performance, error handling, crashes.
2. The user interface. The change delivered by Win8 is the reason it’s widely disliked. Will the shipped version of Win10 resolve that?
3. Legacy hardware support. I’ve recently put a couple of useful functioning devices on Ebay because they don’t work with my Win8 laptop – OK the zip750 hadn’t seen any action for a long time but the Epson scanner was a good piece of kit. The other aspect is the PC hardware. Will the demands on CPU and Memory be greater than the current Win7 boxes have.
4. Legacy software support. For example, I’m using Office 2007 on our household’s older desktop PCs (2xWin7 1xXP). Microsoft want to move us to a subscription model which works out more costly – at some point they’ll force that issue. In fact I wonder if they may do the same with Win10 – free upgrade but after a year there’s an annual renewal fee.
5. Microsoft’s other motivations: obviously they’d like me to be running Windows tablet and mobile phone. Are they going to follow Apple’s model of putting “inconveniences” in the way of those preferring a diverse mix of vendors?
Other OS’s don’t really figure in my calculations. My legacy of Win apps and, perhaps more importantly, my built up knowledge of how to use them imply the costs of identification of functionally equivalent replacement software, buying it and learning how to use it.
6. Cost, free (or cheap) upgrades are an incentive – but a subscription model would be a disincentive, I’d even take Win8 on a new PC if the only alternative was a subscription.
I need reasonable confidence that Win10 delivers me some benefits. I will probably take the upgrade on the Win8 laptop (especially if it’s free) – on the basis that it can’t be worse than Win8 (but I do have a concern that it will still work with my £5000 CNC machine, it was a nightmare to install the drivers in the first place).
The XP machine is scheduled for replacement so maybe I’ll be forced to buy it with Win10 (or given the “not likely!” option of Win8).
I expect to leave the Win7 machines alone until such time as the hardware needs replacement. If there’s a free or inexpensive upgrade that might pose a dilemma.
We chose this comment because it details all of the various considerations this particular reader will be making before deciding whether or not to get Windows 10. If more people thought about purchases in this way then tech companies would be held more accountable than they are at the moment. Which would be a very positive change.
Accurate Antivirus Advice
And so, it’s on to this week’s poll all about free antivirus software. We’re hoping to get a sense of what security software our readers use and would recommend to others. While there is plenty of paid antivirus software out there, we’re focusing on the free options for obvious reasons.
We simply want to know what you consider to be the best free antivirus software on the market. We have given you a set of options to choose from, but for reasons of space, there is also a blank Other option which allows you to take part in the poll even if your chosen antivirus tool isn’t listed.
Please register your vote in the poll above before taking to the comments below to explain why you regard your antivirus software of choice as being better than the competition. Remember, there’s an awesome T-shirt in it for the person responsible for the coveted Comment Of The Week.
Image Credit: Yuri Samoilov via Flickr