Avira and Avast both have been top in their offering for free anti-virus software. Both are equally good though Avast has a more user-friendly interface which might tip the scales in its favour for some people (think your parents).
They’ve consistently performed on par and in some tests better than the paid solutions like Norton, McAfee etc.
Avast link: http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download
Avira link: http://www.avira.com/en/free-download-avira-antivir-personal
Malware bytes’ Anti-Malware is by far my favorite software for removing those pesky spyware and malware. It fast, efficient and if your PC is infected, it’ll find it and remove it better than anything else.
Spybot – Search & Destroy:
Most of us have opened their browsers and discovered toolbars that were installed without our knowing. This is one of the better utilities that can remove this and other forms of spyware which maybe recording your internet usage and habits.
Comodo Internet Security:
Comodo has been known for offering the best free firewall for a while now. The latest version bundles together the firewall with antivirus software. You can however opt only to use the firewall.
Data Backup and Recovery:
Comodo Time Machine:
Suppose your PC got infected by viruses and now it won’t even start. And you didn’t even backup your important data! Worry not, all is not lost. Comodo Time Machine provides you the option to restore your computer to an earlier time, much like the system restore option. But it offers that every time you boot up too even if Windows isn’t starting.
It’s a great user friendly tool for when you’ve accidentally deleted important files and need to get them back. It also works for MP3 players and memory cards.
Hard disk fragmentation is the primary cause of slow PC performance. However if you’ve ever used the defragmentation utility in windows you know it’s painfully slow. This utility is designed with speed in mind. It’s also pretty efficient and has the feature to run in the background to keep your hard drives running at their fastest at all times.