PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012

PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012 has its strong points, but it was the worst of the products tested in when it came to blocking new malware. In our real-world blocking tests, PC Tools managed to stop only 57.1 percent of malware samples, placing it well behind its competition in this roundup.

On the plus side, PC Tools detected 99.96 percent of known malware from the past four months. It is also one of the best free antivirus programs at disinfecting a PC. It detected all infections on our test system, and it successfully disabled 93 percent of the infections. It removed all traces of malware in 73 percent of the cases.

PC Tools AntiVirus Free didn't slow overall system performance much. Its results were mixed when we tested scan speeds, though: Its on-demand scanner completed our tests in a sluggish 4 minutes, 51 seconds. On the other hand, the on-access scanner finished in 2 minutes, 50 seconds, the second-best time of all the products we tested.

PC Tools is easy to use for the most part, and its screens are laid out nicely. One thing I found an­­noying, however, was that it pushed the paid version of the company's software at every turn.