PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition
PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition is free AV that distinguishes between antispyware and antivirus.
- Good worm detection, decent malware-infection cleanup
- Purposely neglects to detect spyware, poor heuristic detection
In short, there's no reason to choose PC Tools Antivirus when other free apps can truly keep your PC safe. Fortunately, the behaviour-based PC Tools Threatfire 4.5 supplemental utility is excellent — as good as Antivirus Free Edition is bad.
Unlike the excellent Threatfire, PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition, which neglects to detect spyware, allows far too many pieces of malware through for it to realistically protect any PC.
PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition does a remarkably poor job of keeping a PC safe, largely because it holds to a now-archaic distinction between spyware and other forms of malware.
In an age when a single baddie might spread like a worm, steal passwords like spyware, and allow backdoor-style remote control of an infected PC, most security vendors recognise that labels such as "Trojan horse" or "spyware" are secondary to the idea of keeping everything bad off PCs. Hence today's use of malware as a catch-all term for attack software.
However, PC Tools says that its free program will not detect what it deems spyware. And that limitation may account for its awful detection and blocking results. PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition left the door wide open for about half of the malware in our tests.
And while PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition purports to protect against Trojan horses, a common malware type, it detected only 46 percent of such software in AV-Test.org tests. It did better in detecting worms, but its catch rate of 83 percent for the self-spreading malware still didn't compare with the detection results we saw from Avira Antivir Personal, the overall leader among the free antivirus software we tested.
Unsurprisingly, the poor performance carried over to AV-Test.org's heuristic tests, which use two- and four-week-old signature databases to simulate how an app will handle new and unknown malware. PC Tools Antivirus came in last, with respective results of 33 percent and 36 percent (in contrast, Avira, the best app we tested, scored 52 percent and 45 percent, respectively). It was decent in detecting and removing existing infections, missing only one out of ten - but most of the tested antivirus apps got them all.
While PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition installs smoothly and looks relatively good, it doesn't schedule a scan by default, nor does it automatically update. The software will notify you once a day (by default) if an update is available, but to make it do the updating by itself, you will need to turn on the Smart Update feature.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Hacker hijacks thousands of publicly exposed printers to warn owners
- Britain's wartime codebreaking base could host a national cyber security college
- Kaspersky Labs says Microsoft is anticompetitive towards third-party antivirus
- Password manager LastPass now works on all your devices for free
- Netgear tweaks its home security camera line by introducing the Arlo Pro
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTClient Delivery ManagerSA
- TPScrum MasterVIC
- CCWindows AdministratorACT
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperVIC
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)NSW
- CCDemand/ Resource AnalystVIC
- CCContract - System Access Administrator - major Telco in MelbourneVIC
- TPInsights ManagerWA
- TPProject Coordinator/Junior Project ManagerVIC
- TPChange and Communications CoordinatorQLD
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPProject Manager to manage two concurrent ProjectsQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)WA
- FTBusiness Development Executive - Queensland Public SectorQLD
- CCSME in Openstack, AWSNSW
- TPPHP DeveloperVIC
- CCIT Support TechnicianNSW
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTInfrastructure Security Compliance OfficerNSW
- FTNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW