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 newsletter!
Bringing VR out of office and study spaces will serve to help it attract the new audiences it needs to continue growing
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- New study finds IT professionals lack confidence in their ability to detect and contain cyber breaches
- New ATR Findings: Hidden Cobra Targets Financial Sector
- McAfee Launches Industry’s Most Comprehensive Cloud Security Solution for Microsoft Azure
- D-Link ANZ Partners Exclusively with AVSystem for Zero-Touch Device Management in Australia and New Zealand
- Intel tells customers to stop rolling out faulty patches
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus M review: Leaner and meaner
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- Picture Perfect: OPPO prepare their boldest smartphone yet
- 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
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTApplication Support Analyst- SMSF AdministratorOther
- CC.Net DeveloperSA
- FTHelpDesk Support TechnicianOther
- FTSoftware EngineerOther
- CCUDS DeveloperNSW
- CCData Analyst =QLD
- TPSenior Technical Business AnalystQLD
- CCOracle Service Bus DeveloperNSW
- FTApplication Support Analyst- SMSF AdministratorOther
- CCERP Technical AnalystQLD
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTBusiness Analyst - Cyber Security TransformationOther
- FTSalesforce/CRM Product Owner (CSPO)Other
- FTSenior ETL DeveloperOther
- CCOffice365 SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior Digital Frontend Developer, UX & Web TechnologyOther
- TPProject CoordinatorVIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectOther
- FTInsights AnalystOther
- FTData AnalystOther
- FTQA EngineerNSW
- FTDatabase Systems Specialist - AzureOther
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- FT.Net DeveloperACT