In our tests, PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012 did a decent job removing malware, but its real-world malware detection left something to be desired.

PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012 has its strong points, but it was the worst of the free antivirus products we have tested recently when it came to blocking new malware. In our real-world blocking tests, PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012 managed to stop only 57.1 percent of malware samples, placing it well behind its competition. Visit: Security Advisor

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. PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012 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. See also: Group test: what's the best security software?

PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012 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 AntiVirus Free 2012 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.

Download: PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012 v9.0.0.909

PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012: Specs

  • Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP
  • Intel Pentium 300 MHz processor (or equivalent) or better, 256MB RAM, 40MB free hard disk space, Internet Explorer 6 or greater
  • Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP
  • Intel Pentium 300 MHz processor (or equivalent) or better, 256MB RAM, 40MB free hard disk space, Internet Explorer 6 or greater

OUR VERDICT

Easy to use and effective at removing malware, PC Tools AntiVirus Free 2012 is a good free security product. Its real-world malware detection leaves something to be desired, however.

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