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raxo55

Best free antivirus.

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Cool, my norton subscription that came with my motherboard has run out. What to do? I'd rather not buy a subscription (for obvious reasons) so I was wondering if there are any free anti-virus(s?) that I can use. If not I suppose i'll just have to pay the money.

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I use Microsoft Security Essentials, I don't know how it compares to other products, but it's free and better than nothing.

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I use Microsoft Security Essentials, I don't know how it compares to other products, but it's free and better than nothing.

This!

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avast!, Avira, AVG and MSE are all decent.

 

What he said...

 

I personally use Avast but any of the above should do the trick and I never cease to be amazed by the millions of people who pay for antivirus when there are perfectly decent free alternatives.

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Another vote on MSE, wouldn't expect it from Microsoft but it's free, non-obtrusive, efficient, and light on resources.

 

Four points no other antivirus has hit from what I've seen (I've tried AVG, Avira, Kaspersky trial, Norton 360 trial).

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I think Nod Antivirus. Pretty sure in one of the issues there was a ladder and was in the top 5.

 

However its not free, you need to do some serial searching.

 

But other than that i would say its very good.

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I think Nod Antivirus. Pretty sure in one of the issues there was a ladder and was in the top 5.

 

However its not free, you need to do some serial searching.

 

But other than that i would say its very good.

 

Serial searching?

 

Or you could actually...you know...pay for it.

I can't believe that in this day and age people still pirate applications like Anti-virus software. Not only are there plenty of good free options, but if you want to get a paid-for one there are plenty of options for around $30-$40.

 

Personally I've had a good run with Avira Free. From my own testing a while back it had the smallest memory footprint of most of the free options. It is known to have a slightly higher false positve count though.

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I think Nod Antivirus. Pretty sure in one of the issues there was a ladder and was in the top 5.

 

However its not free, you need to do some serial searching.

 

But other than that i would say its very good.

 

Serial searching?

 

Or you could actually...you know...pay for it.

I can't believe that in this day and age people still pirate applications like Anti-virus software. Not only are there plenty of good free options, but if you want to get a paid-for one there are plenty of options for around $30-$40.

 

Personally I've had a good run with Avira Free. From my own testing a while back it had the smallest memory footprint of most of the free options. It is known to have a slightly higher false positve count though.

 

But d00d!!! Som3tim3s y00 juz dun have the POCKET MONEY to PAY for SOFTWARE you can download for FREE.

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avast!, Avira, AVG and MSE are all decent.

 

What he said...

 

I personally use Avast but any of the above should do the trick and I never cease to be amazed by the millions of people who pay for antivirus when there are perfectly decent free alternatives.

 

Free alternatives don't come with as many features and the protection is not as complete as the payed for versions. I use Norton 360 v4. This comes with the firewall, antivirus, antispyware, identity safe, online backup, real time protection and a tonne of other features. Best security suite I've used. The retail pack also allows you to install it on 3 machines so it's a pretty decent deal for what you pay.

 

If you are going to go for a free anti-virus however I would use AVG. I have it installed on my friends computers and used it myself for awhile on my laptop before switching it to Norton. It's one of the better free anti-viruses. If you couple it with a program like PC Tools Threatfire or Spybot Search and Destroy (Both are free by the way) then you will be protected pretty well.

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avast!, Avira, AVG and MSE are all decent.

 

What he said...

 

I personally use Avast but any of the above should do the trick and I never cease to be amazed by the millions of people who pay for antivirus when there are perfectly decent free alternatives.

 

Free alternatives don't come with as many features and the protection is not as complete as the payed for versions. I use Norton 360 v4. This comes with the firewall, antivirus, antispyware, identity safe, online backup, real time protection and a tonne of other features. Best security suite I've used. The retail pack also allows you to install it on 3 machines so it's a pretty decent deal for what you pay.

 

If you are going to go for a free anti-virus however I would use AVG. I have it installed on my friends computers and used it myself for awhile on my laptop before switching it to Norton. It's one of the better free anti-viruses. If you couple it with a program like PC Tools Threatfire or Spybot Search and Destroy (Both are free by the way) then you will be protected pretty well.

 

I'm going to have to disagree with you on a few points there.

 

The fact that free versions don't come with as many 'features' doesn't have to mean you are any less protected. Many of the so called features that the bloated retail anti-virus packages offer do nothing more than slow down your computer and waste space. Let's look at the features you mentioned:

 

-Firewall: There's plenty of good free options if you want a software firewall. Personally, if I was going to run a firewall in a home situation I'd opt for using the firewall that is built in to many modem/routers rather than a software firewall.

-Anti-spyware: The anti-spyware component of Nortons (and most other paid for offerings) are rubbish and an after-thought at best. Free, dedicated options like Spybot, Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware etc do a far better job

-Identity Safe: Being careful online and using common sense is a far better way to keep your identity safe than by relying on third party software. No amount of fancy software will protect your identity online if you are careless with your personal information

-Online backup: A handy tool, but Nortons are by no means the only people offering it. Once again, there are free / better paid for options around if you want online backup.

-Realtime protection: pretty much all anti-virus packages have this

 

I will say that Nortons has dramatically improved with the more recent versions (2010 for example). I'm curious to hear if you have had any issues with 360 because in my experience it slows most computers down quite a lot. I agree that it is good that you can now legally install Nortons on more than one computer- nice that companies are no longer expecting households to pay multiple times for the same software.

 

Regarding AVG- it is one of the more 'popular' free anti-virus packages, I'm not sure that this translates into being one of the best though. From a ease of use point of view maybe, but last time I checked AVG detection rates weren't at the top of the charts.

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Regarding AVG- it is one of the more 'popular' free anti-virus packages, I'm not sure that this translates into being one of the best though. From a ease of use point of view maybe, but last time I checked AVG detection rates weren't at the top of the charts.

People only say AVG is the "best" because for a long time it was the only truly free one out there, and they don't know of (or just haven't tried) any others.

 

Avast, Avira, and MSE are what you want.

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Regarding AVG- it is one of the more 'popular' free anti-virus packages, I'm not sure that this translates into being one of the best though. From a ease of use point of view maybe, but last time I checked AVG detection rates weren't at the top of the charts.

People only say AVG is the "best" because for a long time it was the only truly free one out there, and they don't know of (or just haven't tried) any others.

 

Avast, Avira, and MSE are what you want.

That's not really true. Latest virusbtn results had AVG passing and MSE failing on Apr 2010 on XP. AV-Comparatives had avast! around the same level as AVG on the recent pro/retro test and so on.

 

For some reason AVG has gotten a bad rap on these forums lately, and I think it was because of the v8 era where the program was a little buggy and sluggish. I don't think Norton 360 v4 is slow and annoying because Norton 360 v1 was slow and annoying, v4 is actually pretty damn good for the average punter.

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Regarding AVG- it is one of the more 'popular' free anti-virus packages, I'm not sure that this translates into being one of the best though. From a ease of use point of view maybe, but last time I checked AVG detection rates weren't at the top of the charts.

People only say AVG is the "best" because for a long time it was the only truly free one out there, and they don't know of (or just haven't tried) any others.

 

Avast, Avira, and MSE are what you want.

That's not really true. Latest virusbtn results had AVG passing and MSE failing on Apr 2010 on XP. AV-Comparatives had avast! around the same level as AVG on the recent pro/retro test and so on.

 

For some reason AVG has gotten a bad rap on these forums lately, and I think it was because of the v8 era where the program was a little buggy and sluggish. I don't think Norton 360 v4 is slow and annoying because Norton 360 v1 was slow and annoying, v4 is actually pretty damn good for the average punter.

 

Ah, good to hear AVG has improved since last I checked.

 

As for 360 I've had nothing but bad experiences with it (v4 included). Every person I know that has gone from 360 to a 2010 version is very happy with the results though.

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As for 360 I've had nothing but bad experiences with it (v4 included). Every person I know that has gone from 360 to a 2010 version is very happy with the results though.

Uh, the Norton 2010 versions are the exact same program with the Backup option (and maybe some other minor features) removed, aren't they?

 

*EDIT* Linky. Yup, Backup removed. And it seems 2010 doesn't "Optimize PC performance with disk cleanup" and 360 v4 doesn't "Filter unwanted email with professional-strength antispam".

Edited by tantryl

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As for 360 I've had nothing but bad experiences with it (v4 included). Every person I know that has gone from 360 to a 2010 version is very happy with the results though.

Uh, the Norton 2010 versions are the exact same program with the Backup option (and maybe some other minor features) removed, aren't they?

 

*EDIT* Linky. Yup, Backup removed. And it seems 2010 doesn't "Optimize PC performance with disk cleanup" and 360 v4 doesn't "Filter unwanted email with professional-strength antispam".

 

Yeah, I know. That's why I had a hard time understanding why one client in particular who was running 360 v4 was much happier with Internet Security 2010 (despite the fact that, as you say, it is more or less the same programs sans backup option). My own personal experiences with 360 were the earlier versions, so I'm happy to concede that 360 v4 is in fact fine (there are one or two other instances of 360 v4 I've heard of not playing nice, but these where not computers that I personally looked at so it could easily have been other issues causing the problems and not 360).

 

So to clarify- I personally have had bad experience with earlier versions of 360, but v4 should be fine.

Edited by bnew

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Regarding AVG- it is one of the more 'popular' free anti-virus packages, I'm not sure that this translates into being one of the best though. From a ease of use point of view maybe, but last time I checked AVG detection rates weren't at the top of the charts.

People only say AVG is the "best" because for a long time it was the only truly free one out there, and they don't know of (or just haven't tried) any others.

 

Avast, Avira, and MSE are what you want.

That's not really true. Latest virusbtn results had AVG passing and MSE failing on Apr 2010 on XP. AV-Comparatives had avast! around the same level as AVG on the recent pro/retro test and so on.

 

For some reason AVG has gotten a bad rap on these forums lately, and I think it was because of the v8 era where the program was a little buggy and sluggish. I don't think Norton 360 v4 is slow and annoying because Norton 360 v1 was slow and annoying, v4 is actually pretty damn good for the average punter.

 

Well that's certainly refreshing news. When I stopped keeping up to date with AVG, they were having a hell of a time with false positives. I guess that's been addressed by now?

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From the AVC page I linked, it seems AVG has been about the same or better than Avira at regular intervals since Feb 2009 as far as false positives are concerned.

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I'm going to have to disagree with you on a few points there.

 

The fact that free versions don't come with as many 'features' doesn't have to mean you are any less protected. Many of the so called features that the bloated retail anti-virus packages offer do nothing more than slow down your computer and waste space. Let's look at the features you mentioned:

 

-Firewall: There's plenty of good free options if you want a software firewall. Personally, if I was going to run a firewall in a home situation I'd opt for using the firewall that is built in to many modem/routers rather than a software firewall.

-Anti-spyware: The anti-spyware component of Nortons (and most other paid for offerings) are rubbish and an after-thought at best. Free, dedicated options like Spybot, Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware etc do a far better job

-Identity Safe: Being careful online and using common sense is a far better way to keep your identity safe than by relying on third party software. No amount of fancy software will protect your identity online if you are careless with your personal information

-Online backup: A handy tool, but Nortons are by no means the only people offering it. Once again, there are free / better paid for options around if you want online backup.

-Realtime protection: pretty much all anti-virus packages have this

 

I will say that Nortons has dramatically improved with the more recent versions (2010 for example). I'm curious to hear if you have had any issues with 360 because in my experience it slows most computers down quite a lot. I agree that it is good that you can now legally install Nortons on more than one computer- nice that companies are no longer expecting households to pay multiple times for the same software.

 

Regarding AVG- it is one of the more 'popular' free anti-virus packages, I'm not sure that this translates into being one of the best though. From a ease of use point of view maybe, but last time I checked AVG detection rates weren't at the top of the charts.

Firewall - Yep, there are free options out there for this. And some of them are pretty good. I found in personal use however that a software firewall that is fully integrated into a suite offers better protection.

Anti-Spyware - In using both a dedicated free spyware program and a suite version i have found that they work just as well as each other in the case of norton 360. I used to use them in conjunction when runnin XP but they both picked up the same things.

Identity Safe - I agree with you on identity safe. Common sense is better protection than a peice of software that stores your passwords and usernames for you. I use it for passwords and accounts that are not extremely important but i wouldn't use it for something like online banking.

Online backup - I don't use the backup features of Norton, was just stating that that is what comes with it. Personally I use Windows 7 backup to make system images and back my files up to external drives using SyncToy

Realtime protection - Yep, pretty much all anti-virus packages have this but some are better than others. While testing some of them out a few failed to pick up the threats until Performing a system scan.

 

Installing it to my laptop and desktop made very little impact actually. both machines run smoothly still and the performance hasn't changed. the only time the system will slow down is when im doing a complete system scan, but then again scanning a system with any package will slow it down.

Yeah, for instance if i had to buy multiple copies of norton 360 just to use on my computers I would be looking at around $300 just for three copies. It's good that they've gone that way. smart move.

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