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raxo55

Best free antivirus.

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It must have been a couple of years since I gave up on AVG then...

 

All those reports still show AVG as not being quite as good at Avast and Avira at detecting things, albeit only by a handful of percentage points.

 

Good to know it's not a piece of crap any more, lots of choice is always good.

 

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.

"Better" protection?

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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.

In what regards do you find a software firewall to offer better protection that a router firewall?

 

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.

Detection and removal rates for MBAM outstrip Norton easily. I service home computers for a living. I see Norton in use daily. I think it's overall a good package. But MBAM blows it out of the water for ad/spy/rogue-ware.

 

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

Same here, although Norton's Backup function isn't just online. It's set to online by default, but you can change it to an external drive or DVD drive or the like. It's actually quite good, and while it isn't necessary because as you say the built in MS backup and SyncToy do the job, it's not a bad function to include in the package.

 

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.

Agreed, Norton since 360 v3 has been far lower resource impact and got even better in this regard with v4. I still wouldn't want either on an old 512MB RAM XP computer, I'd stick with avast/avira/avg/MSE there, but any post P4 3GHz-ish 1GB+ machine on XP or 2GB+ on Vista/7 will handle it just fine.

 

And yes, the three computers on one license systems makes it far better value than it used to be.

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With the firewall i wasn't comparing it to a router firewall. I was comparing it to other software ones.

 

Fair enough call on MBAM.

Sounds like the career I want to work my way into. I work for the government at the moment servicing their systems within schools. Trying to get into a store of some kind to service and sell to the home user

 

I used to use Norton backup to backup to an external drive. It works well, but i just don't trust that as a backup of my boot drive.

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Avast! all the way now. i used to use avg but when it went to V9 (i think, it was a while ago...) it started doing wierd things and draining performance. So upgrade to Avast!, problem free and zero interference with day to day use.

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The other thing I like about MSE is that it updates through Windows Update, AVG really pissed me off when it was time to upgrade.

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I use Norton 360 v4.

<snip>

If you are going to go for a free anti-virus however I would use AVG.

<snip>

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.

Just a quick summary. I'm afraid you're wrong here.

 

1. Norton 360 is the devil. Its resource hungry, it 'hooks' all your PCs functions (with the intention of scanning them for bad things) and ends up slowing, corrupting, and often leaving your PC non-booting. That 'online backup' thing is activated BY DEFAULT if it senses you have broadband and has cost MANY a client a huge internet bill when they're on a tiny cap (eg. telstra). AND should you ever wish to uninstall it, because of the way it hooks into everything it'll often leave instability on removal. Also for 'paid software' if you scan the registry for rubbish keys, and look around where it installs its DLL's and what not, you'll find a LOT of junk left over. Combine all of that with some of the lower detection rates of the antiviruses available today, and you have a product that doesnt work as well as the free one (low detection), isnt only pay-ware, but requires a SUBSCRIPTION (rip-off), uses a huge ammount of your resources (system slowdown), and usually causes instability fairly quickly (trying to control everything).

NO EXAGGERATION, about 50% of my public sector call-outs are fixing (read: Trying the symantec removal tool or formatting) to get Norton (especially 360) off of systems. Or installing Avira or Avast to remove the nasties it missed.

 

2. I would not use AVG. In the day it was very nice. These days, its well behind. Detection rates are nowhere near the top (i think Avira still holds the crown for freeware, and Nod32\IS for payware?), it uses an odd registry hook to scan files in real time, and its 'link scanner' *cough* feature *cough* slows your internet browsing and causes significant stress on the websites server. Not to mention, compared to Avast and Avira, its about 3X as heavy on resources (thats on top of its wierd hook-scan method)

 

3. Threatfire, I cant speak for, but Spybot is a DANGEROUS tool for anyhting except a scanner and 'immunize' tool. Its 'TeamTimer' feature alerts a user to registry changes, 99% of the population have NO IDEA what they're allowing or not, and often break things when they try to install or save settings in another program.

 

 

Oh, and a little side note:

Avira is the lightest, fastest, and holds the detection rate crown.

Avast is a little heaver, but has every feature you listed for 360, except the online backup (it also has gaming mode, so it never disturbs you but goes its job!!)

Comodo is your best Firewall + Antivirus solution, however windows firewall is MORE than sufficient for most people.

 

 

Look at it purely logically, non-tech standpoint:

An 'antivirus' or 'antispyware' database isn't too complicated, all the companies are just as good at keeping a list of baddies.

The thing thats free has more users, BECAUSE its free. A virus cant have a fix untill its discovered. The more users, the faster its found.

Also, more users means more bug-reports, so more stable software.

also means a wider range of compatibility with other software\hardware.

 

People get paranoid online.

Done use Internet Explorer (chrome, Safari or Opera are the most secure atm, firefox is still high up there too)

Windows firewall (which is on by default), and a nice free antivirus (i still say avira or avast, have a loon on AV COMPARATIVES to find out), and the occasoinal manual scan and immunise with Spybot, and you're pretty set.

 

Avast! all the way now. i used to use avg but when it went to V9 (i think, it was a while ago...) it started doing wierd things and draining performance. So upgrade to Avast!, problem free and zero interference with day to day use.

Try turning gaming mode on. You'll forget its there, it'll only alert you with errors nothing else. <3

 

probably not the best, but my favourite: AVG

Why is that? It slows system performance considerably, and it shows itself as "non functioning" if you disable ANY component manually (like link-scanning)

 

I use Comodo Internet Security, 3 in one Firewall, Anti-Virus and Malware. Does the job great, but does get a bit naggy when installing applications.

You're talking about 'Defence+' a nifty little feature that looks at your installer and tells you what its changing. Risky if you say no and corrupt things, lol. If you let it access its online database it bugs you less, also just switch that component to 'installation mode' when installing and it'll allow everything temporarily.

 

Comodo also has a neat Sandboxing feature :D

 

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.

I use high on all my avira installs on all my systems. Never had a false positive.

They are a little 'unfair' on avira in those tests. It'll pop up a virus warning for, say a Network Packet Sniffer, or a password hasher tool. However if anyone read the documentation, its pretty clear.

For example, Cain and Able shows up as "PasswordCracker.Able" or something like that. Which is exactly one of its features. Its alerting you to a risk, not saying this IS bad for certain.

 

Also, its pretty easy not to have false positives when you miss so much :P I'd wager Aviras LOW heuristics vs AVG 'medium'.

 

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".

 

They're all as bad as each other. Anyone who works in the private sector will (at least I hope!) agree with me. Clients complain about slowdown or viruses. You remove Norton and install freeware, faster, detects a bunch of missed viruses, happy customer.

 

Isnt it Norton 2010 that came with a 'Gaming Edition'? If so, thats not nearly as terrible. Its designed to be low on resources, and i believe sets its priority to LOW should you use a fullscreen app. Then again so does Avast. Norton isnt free, it still has the lower detect rate, and IF the install corrupts in any way, windows SFC cant replace a 3rd parties files, so stability goes to HELL.

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I clearly don't agree with you and have explained why.

 

You have made bald assertions and blatant exaggerations to prove your point.

 

Very emotional, but no actual reason to believe you.

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I clearly don't agree with you and have explained why.

 

You have made bald assertions and blatant exaggerations to prove your point.

 

Very emotional, but no actual reason to believe you.

 

Assertions, yes, happily agree. Educated ones, but fair call. Exaggerations? Nay. Everything I have written I know for fact both from research and first hand experience.

 

If you speak of my huge level of emotion toward detection rates, thats because 1% is still thousands.

 

also, dont confuse Norton Antivirus with the corporate Symantec Antivirus. Thats a beautiful bit of software. However its detection rates are the same due to the shared database.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Norton is the devil is an exaggeration. Norton 360v4 uses sweet fuck all system resources. Seriously, I could pick out about 20 places in that post where you use language of excess (exaggeration) to make your point.

 

Have you seen Norton since the 360v2 days? It sounds like you're having the same problem with Norton as you do with AVG - no experience with the current versions.

 

How long does it take to install the complete Norton 360v4 package on a modern PC? I know it used to take 20-40 minutes with 360 & 360v2. I just did a test run - 70 seconds to install, within 90 seconds fully running. That's 360v4, not just the AV. With it running and the system running just Firefox with 4 tabs open, I'm using 1.40GB of physical memory (Win 7 HP x64). Then I uninstalled it (took 30 seconds). Physical memory usage went down to 1.30GB. Then I installed Avira Free. Took 75 seconds to install (although there were a couple more boxes to untick and Next buttons to click), and was up and running within 85 seconds. Physical memory usage? 1.45GB.

 

That's Avira Free against Norton 360v4 - the full package.

 

You appear to be running on common prejudices and no facts.

 

*EDIT* I figured people might have a problem with the above methedology, so I started fresh. Uninstalled all packages, restarted.

 

1. Install Avira Free.

2. Allow it to update.

3. Restart.

4. Ensure it's up to date and run any initial scans or whatever it needs to dp.

5. Restart.

6. Take a screenshot of the Memory tab of the Resource Monitor 2 minutes after the desktop appears. Pic (400kB).

7. Uninstall Avira.

8. Restart.

9. Take a screenshot of the Memory tab of the Resource Monitor 2 minutes after the desktop appears. Pic (400kB).

9. Install Norton.

10. Restart.

11. Ensure it's up to date and run any initial scans or whatever it needs to do.

12. Restart.

13. Take a screenshot of the Memory tab of the Resource Monitor 2 minutes after the desktop appears. Pic (400kB).

 

Oh yeah. Norton - the resource hog. Avira - the golden child.

Edited by tantryl

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OK, nice test, I concede. I had only tried up to v3. didnt expect such a huge difference. Impressive Symantec, only took 5 years *rolleyes*.

Retried AVG, still bitched when i manually disabled a single feature, and slowed both my browser and my system (my netbook) so its still out the window for me.

 

The only thing i'd like to find out is HOW norton scans files these days. Ram usage isnt so much my worry, its how it addresses the files it wants to scan. Trying it on a system like a P3 1ghz is the only way to 'real world' test that, or look up how the new engine works.

 

Still, nice, If i see any v4 or 2010 I'll leave them be :) Luckily, I'm yet to find anyone that 'keeps up to date'.

 

Oh yeah. Norton - the resource hog. Avira - the golden child.

Although you've said this in sarcasm, I just double checked AvComparatives. I'm still better protected than a Norton user and my pocket still has $100 in it. Golden child? I think so.

 

Norton is the devil is an exaggeration.

Come on, spend 5 years being a terrorist, then you promise not to do it again, and you dont consider the person evil?

Spend 5 years wreaking havok on peoples systems (slowdowns, crashes, and non-booting) and promise not to do it again.... We'll see mate.

I'm not religious, things cant pray to me for forgiveness. I dont believe one reformation means it'll never happen again.

 

and before you day it, yes, very emotional. No, I dont feel thats an exaggeration though.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Come on, spend 5 years being a terrorist, then you promise not to do it again, and you dont consider the person evil?

way to discuss things on a technical level.

 

I'm guilty of it too at times though

 

I reckon, try different ones if you can, or follow up reviews of performance (or interface usability) and decide which ones you want to use.

 

I was happy with the performance of AVG, it worked for me, but not my housemate.

 

I got p'd off with the AVG updates that require you to redownload the new version and install it. Which is why I switched to MSE, as it updates using windows update.

 

Also, you have to realise that it's impossible to test the performance of Anti Virus suites on every possible combination of hardware and software, some perform better than others under certain conditions.

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Also, you have to realise that it's impossible to test the performance of Anti Virus suites on every possible combination of hardware and software, some perform better than others under certain conditions.

Amen to that. This is one reason I would like to try norton v4 on an old P3 or the like. 'old home pc's' were always the worst to install always active apps to, which is why avira was chosen. it caused the most realworld slowdown in the day. and since it keeps topping the comparatives tests, didnt keep up with the others (as i said, only used 360 v3)

 

I concede to my overall hatred for norton being for old versions. however I would genuinely be interested in the outcome on old PCs

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I think you'll find AntiVir Premium is winning in the tests you're looking at (pro-retro) because of a feature AntiVir free doesn't have.

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@Master_Scythe - I have used Norton products since the 2004 version of it's internet security suite and I have not once had a problem with it causing my computer to not boot or slowing my system down. You have greatly exagerated the effect this program has on systems. I will admit I haven't used 360 v1-2 but i have used v3-4 and there was nothing wrong with them. An uninstallation of Norton is simple as anything. It doesn't tie itself into anything. And the online backup doesn't set automatically. I have broadband and it didn't set it up. The client using the software has to do it themselves in order to use it.

I am not doubting your first hand experience or knowledge but you seem to be dealing with people that just click on things without reading what they are then denying it. I have seen a fair few of them come through shops for service work.

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@Master_Scythe - I have used Norton products since the 2004 version of it's internet security suite and I have not once had a problem with it causing my computer to not boot or slowing my system down. You have greatly exagerated the effect this program has on systems. I will admit I haven't used 360 v1-2 but i have used v3-4 and there was nothing wrong with them. An uninstallation of Norton is simple as anything. It doesn't tie itself into anything. And the online backup doesn't set automatically. I have broadband and it didn't set it up. The client using the software has to do it themselves in order to use it.

I am not doubting your first hand experience or knowledge but you seem to be dealing with people that just click on things without reading what they are then denying it. I have seen a fair few of them come through shops for service work.

I'm sorry, but it does. I wont attack v4 as you all claim its good and no I dont have experience with it yet.

 

v3 still caused a HUGE ammount of problems, mainly slowdowns on very old hardware and it STILL had problems leaving a lot of junk behind when you uninstalled. (often things like 'javascript protection' didnt disable). But its v2&1 that caused a few non-booting and what not. BSOD's at startup fixed when i safe-mode and uninstalled norton.

 

OK, rare, but did happen.

 

but you seem to be dealing with people that just click on things without reading what they are then denying it.

Yep, sorry to say but thats 90% of end users. Some people had no issues, like yourself, more did. Some people had decent systems some had old ones. I promise you it caused just as many as i said, but yes, you're VERY RIGHT about the cause. Unfortunately thats the world. People DO click without reading.

 

Also it used to by default, enable online backups, and you could disable it during the install. But most people read "backups" not "downloads" then wonder why their bill is huge when they "didnt download anything" it was hell.

 

I'll admit v4 may be good, I'll still defend my choices purely because of detection rates, however just trust me. Anything before v4\2010, I wouldnt be using. If PURELY for the reason that there is better protection out there for free.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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@Master_Scythe - I have used Norton products since the 2004 version of it's internet security suite and I have not once had a problem with it causing my computer to not boot or slowing my system down. You have greatly exagerated the effect this program has on systems. I will admit I haven't used 360 v1-2 but i have used v3-4 and there was nothing wrong with them. An uninstallation of Norton is simple as anything. It doesn't tie itself into anything. And the online backup doesn't set automatically. I have broadband and it didn't set it up. The client using the software has to do it themselves in order to use it.

I am not doubting your first hand experience or knowledge but you seem to be dealing with people that just click on things without reading what they are then denying it. I have seen a fair few of them come through shops for service work.

I'm sorry, but it does. I wont attack v4 as you all claim its good and no I dont have experience with it yet.

 

v3 still caused a HUGE ammount of problems, mainly slowdowns on very old hardware and it STILL had problems leaving a lot of junk behind when you uninstalled. (often things like 'javascript protection' didnt disable). But its v2&1 that caused a few non-booting and what not. BSOD's at startup fixed when i safe-mode and uninstalled norton.

 

OK, rare, but did happen.

 

but you seem to be dealing with people that just click on things without reading what they are then denying it.

Yep, sorry to say but thats 90% of end users. Some people had no issues, like yourself, more did. Some people had decent systems some had old ones. I promise you it caused just as many as i said, but yes, you're VERY RIGHT about the cause. Unfortunately thats the world. People DO click without reading.

 

Also it used to by default, enable online backups, and you could disable it during the install. But most people read "backups" not "downloads" then wonder why their bill is huge when they "didnt download anything" it was hell.

 

I'll admit v4 may be good, I'll still defend my choices purely because of detection rates, however just trust me. Anything before v4\2010, I wouldnt be using. If PURELY for the reason that there is better protection out there for free.

 

anyone running v3 should have had a free update to v4 when it was released though. mine started through the automatic update system on it when v4 was released running on XP. (Admittedly v3 does not work with Windows 7 which was frustrating as all hell. The automatic updates won't apply so you have to go to the site for the install in Windows 7)

in the case of v1-2 i won't attack your experiences as i've personally never touched those versions. it is however the first i've actually heard of this happening though. did you ever determine the cause behind the non-booting problem?

 

If people read the installation instructions half the jobs coming through stores wouldn't be there >.<.

I don't think most people realise that their uploads also count towards their quota. a lot of people get cought out that way.

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I am not doubting your first hand experience or knowledge but you seem to be dealing with people that just click on things without reading what they are then denying it. I have seen a fair few of them come through shops for service work.

As Master_Scythe said, the proportion of end users who click while barely reading or not even looking at the supporting text is very high, don't have any figures though. Even I do with many things, and it is one of the reasons I stopped using ZoneAlarm in favour of the Windows Firewall and manually adding rules as needed instead of relying on acting on notifications.

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I am not doubting your first hand experience or knowledge but you seem to be dealing with people that just click on things without reading what they are then denying it. I have seen a fair few of them come through shops for service work.

As Master_Scythe said, the proportion of end users who click while barely reading or not even looking at the supporting text is very high, don't have any figures though. Even I do with many things, and it is one of the reasons I stopped using ZoneAlarm in favour of the Windows Firewall and manually adding rules as needed instead of relying on acting on notifications.

 

Yeah, figures would be hard to come by for this anyway. I do know that it is very high. I prefer to manually add rules myself. I tested out a software firewall on a virtual machine and the issesent prompting about the tiniest thing got on my nerves. In the case of the VM, i simply just clicked accept everything. I would not have done this were it an actual machine however.

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I to am an Avast user and happy with it the new version has some good features but i think if you happy to pay Kaspersky is a nice looking one i have it on my work machine and very neat features.

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As the OP was about the best free antivirus, I'll weigh in and say I recommend Avira wholeheartedly.

 

AVG started letting some nasty things through for my clients around Christmas and it has become slow(er).

 

I've never really liked Avast. I found the user interface super annoying, especially when you're trying to keep things simple for clients so they can check things themselves. I find Avira still detects more bad stuff so I don't bother with it.

 

However, with all the computers I have cleaned, I find people are overly concerned about their virus protection, but completely ignore (or have not heard of) spyware protection. 99% of the PC's I clean require mostly Spyware cleaning. For god's sake people, give your PC's a Malwarebytes scan once in a while!

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I have used Avira/Anti-Vir and its quite good, few false positives occationally buts its very secure.

 

AVG is very popular but I've alwats found it unreliable at best just my personal opinion...

 

Im actually thinking Ill try Avast with this new reformat Im doing on the main PC.

 

Tried Panda Cloud, that newish free one with the weird concept... Doesnt work my machine is riddled with crap now

 

So all in all Avira/Anti-Vir is what I normally recommend

Edited by the_13th

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