Which free anti virus is best?

Hi there, im getting a new dell xps L501X, it comes preloaded with McAfee and i hear that McAfree is useless and resource hungry. I’m looking for a good free antivirus program: I’ve narrowed it down to four:

Microsoft Security Essentials
Avira Antivir

Any advice would be helpful, i dont want something that will reduce my boot times or interfere with the gaming capabilities…basically I don’t want it to slow down the computer too much.

That’s a fair summary of the four main free anti virus programs available. Of them, each has their own benefits and downsides and it’s difficult to recommend to any particular one.

Our recommendation is to try one, say start at the top with the Microsoft Security Essentials, see how it goes. If you find it does slow your system or interfere with your games then move to the next one.

Of the four, AVG and Avast! are probably the most customisable free anti virus programs so if your games need specific settings to run well, you may find they are best.

When you do uninstall McAfee, make sure you run their removal tool as we describe in our post on removing the McAfee Service Centre after you’ve uninstalled the security program through Add/Remove programs as the McAfee uninstaller doesn’t always work as well as it should.

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