Avast Free Antivirus 2016 Edition

Vendors of commercial paid-for antivirus and security suites must be a pretty worried bunch right now.  Windows 10, with more than 100 million users already, comes with Windows Defender as standard and by all accounts it's a fairly good product. 
If you want something more sophisticated and powerful, but don't want to pay, you'll recall that I wrote about an excellent free offering from Sophos recently.  You'll find details at http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/enterprise-grade-security-softwa... if you need to refresh your memory.
With almost a third of a billion users, Avast is almost certainly the best-known of the free antivirus products, and the company has recently launched its latest version for 2016.  If you're currently relying on Windows Defender but you'd like something else, or if the free subscription to a paid-for product which came with your PC is up for renewal and you'd rather save your cash, check it out.

You'll find Avast 2016 at https://www.avast.com/en-gb/index and it includes a link to the free download.  The installer is a mere 5 MB, which is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web Of Trust.  But it'll download another 150 MB to your PC too, so be aware of that.
It will also try to install additional software (in my case, it wanted to give me Google Chrome).  So check the installation screens carefully, and un-tick anything that you don't want.  Apart from that minor irritation, it seems like a very nice product indeed.  And of course it's free too.

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I also recently removed Avast from my WinXP laptop. I was having problems with mini-freezes, sluggish behavior, and most recently, complete freezes before the full boot-up was finished. I narrowed it down to Avast (the freezing, that is), and replaced it with Comodo Antivirus (just the antivirus, not their Internet Suite), since I already had the Comodo Firewall installed.

The freezing was immediately gone, and now the system seems to startup, shutdown, and run a little faster.

Whats the specifications of your computer? CPU and RAM?

The specs are:
Older Compaq Presario V2000Z Laptop with Windows XP
CPU: AMD Turion 64 ML-34 single core 1.58Ghz
Ram: Total Physical = 2GB, Total Available = 1GB

The specs seem fine enough for Avast to function nicely. I had XP on a 512 MB RAM, and that caused a bit of slowdown. Avast can be a bit slow when coming across folders full of exe files, on computers with low specs, but otherwise it runs fine. Don't know what caused Avast to behave so on your system. I don't install other components of Avast though, only the necessary shields. I don't need the extras.

Avast did work just fine for many years on this laptop, although it probably did slow things down just a bit.
I presume one of the recent updates is what caused the problem (maybe one within the last several months).

Long time Avast is my main choice and recommendation for family, friends and customers. Evaluating pros and cons, I think it is one of the best free antivirus.

A tip for the ones who are annoyed with pop ups: it's possible to configure Avast for showing pop ups for just 1 second.

Personally I removed Avast free from a friend's machine it was causing issues with their back up software even after adding these to Avast whitelist.

I have also lost count on how many untech end users have been fooled by its constant pop up asking you to buy it. They purchase the software while they could of been served just fine with the free version.

I also dont like the kitchen sink approach that the software has taken into adding tweaking software etc to the app. Stick with being an anti-virus software!

If your going to recommend products from both Sophos and Avast Rob, I think you should provide the pros and cons comparison that we generally get for software that falls into the same category. It's the ability of Gizmos to assist users in sorting out similar products that really sets it apart from other freeware sites.

This will be done soon at Best Free Antivirus Software in the next major update. 

Avast has been my antivirus for years now, and I am perfectly happy with it. It's light on the system despite having several features. I also like its shields, and its web shield particularly keeps me secure. I don't mind the occasional pop-ups. For such an excellent product for free, I can tolerate a few pop-ups.

Yes, I agree that Avast is a nice piece of free anti virus......... but, the constant pop-ups forced me to get rid of it last year.
I now use "360 security"...... it's free, it works well and definitely not intrusive, ie. no pop-ups and no adds. https://www.360totalsecurity.com/en/

Been using Avast for several years and I'm really happy with it. Particularly the Root kit scanner. Downside is more and more pop ups.