February 9, 2023

With so many antivirus programs to choose from, is it safe to choose a free option that offers real-time monitoring?

Should I be using a free antivirus program?

There is only one real answer to this question: Do not!

1) Basic Protection

First, with free antivirus software, users usually get very basic protection.

2) No real-time monitoring

This is an important one.Some Free Antivirus Software Programs claim They will provide real-time monitoring as you use them. That means their software is running and checking for malware while you’re scrolling on your phone or computer, downloading items, or checking email.

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Computer code on screen with skull representing computer virus / malware attack.

However, free antivirus software often relies on users manual Initiate on-demand scans instead of having users sit back and safely know that if a threat arises – it will be discovered in real time and prevented from executing.

Freeware may sometimes advertise real-time monitoring, but the software may not actually work in “real time”.Also, be aware that some software will give you a free trial Advanced real-time monitoring will cease to be available after the full software.

3) Advertising

As with any free program, the company behind it usually needs to make some kind of income, so be aware of the ads that appear.

4) No customer support

With free versions of antivirus software, their companies usually don’t offer any kind of real-time help. Companies will usually direct you to their online forum or FAQ page if you have any questions.

I-SPY: Change your computer settings to stop programs spying on you

Photo of a blue tech logo.

Photo of a blue tech logo.
(Fox News)

Why You Need Real-Time Monitoring From Antivirus Software

While a free antivirus program may recognize malware on your device on your computer has been affectedreal-time monitoring can detect these problems in advance.

Real-time monitoring can scan anything on your computer while you are using it. Antivirus software, for example, can monitor emails coming in and out of your inbox, so you’ll be alerted to potential threats before you click on a malicious email.

How can I protect myself from malware?

Data breach button on computer keyboard

Data breach button on computer keyboard

How to Choose the Best Antivirus

We’ve broken down the top antivirus programs for 2022, and the most important factor if you want everyday protection before it’s too late is finding software with trusted real-time monitoring.

Our Top Recommendation, Premium TotalAV Subscription Includes real-time anti-malware protection as well as advanced artificial intelligence-powered cloud protection to protect your computer from the latest zero-day threats.

If malicious behavior is detected on PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices, TotalAV steps in and stops the process and quarantines the file that is about to cause problems. This process runs silently in the background with minimal impact on system resources.

While you might want to protect your device for free 24/7, any software that offers it for free will not completely protect your device. This puts you at a higher risk of viruses and malware because you think your computer or phone is protected.

It’s worth paying a small price to protect your personal information, data, and all your devices from hackers. Check out my expert reviews of the best antivirus protection by searching for “best antivirus” on

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