Windows 7 Which Free Anti-virus??

john3347

Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
#1
If you are contemplating a free antivirus and want some help deciding, here is a side by side comparison among several popular Free Anti-virus applications. While my personal preferences would place Microsoft Security Essentials at the top of this list and move each ot the top two down one position each, my experience generally agrees with the findings of this panel. Chect it out if you need a free antivirus application.


Can You Trust Free Antivirus Software? - PC World
 


#2
I've tried them all. As a matter of fact, I just removed a Norton trial version that was as bad as removing AOL from a PC. Geez, that was terrible. I had MS essentials on my last lasptop, and I was running Avast on my desktop with no probs.
But your anti-virus is only as good as your surfing habits, and you still need to supplement your AV with a decent ad-ware remover such as Malwarebytes.
 


john3347

Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
#3
I've tried them all. As a matter of fact, I just removed a Norton trial version that was as bad as removing AOL from a PC. Geez, that was terrible. I had MS essentials on my last lasptop, and I was running Avast on my desktop with no probs.
But your anti-virus is only as good as your surfing habits, and you still need to supplement your AV with a decent ad-ware remover such as Malwarebytes.
I had a similar experience removing Avast last week. I finally had to resort to file by file deletion and still have remnants remaining. I agree with your evaluation that safe surfing habits is the best Anti-virus , and I also wholeheartedly recommend Malwarebytes anti-malware. I use it, too. Did you use the free Microsoft Security Essentials that is currently in beta or the paid version it is replacing? I am currently using the beta and am impressed with it.
 


john3347

Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
#4
When I was becoming dissatisfied with McAfee (3 to 4 years ago), I sampled with Avast, Avira, and AVG. I totally dismissed Avast (for reasons I have now forgotten) and eventually settled on AVG, which I have now abandoned for MSE beta. I did allow Avira to remain on my Windows 2000 machine which is connected to the internet via ethernet through the network router, but is not networked with other computers sharing either the Windows Home Server or the local Home Network. Since I am no longer building, therefore not drawing bicycle frames and framebuilding fixtures, etc., that computer doesn't see much use. I run a scan about monthly and avira just does its scan and shows me the typical tracking cookies that everybody picks up from everywhere. I haven't ever attempted to actually test it as I tested some other AVs last week. My little umbrella just rides along in the notification area.
 


bayside

Senior Member
#5
Dont know why you wouldnt stick with Microsoft Security Essentials (download free from MS) and the Win 7 default Firewall. I havent had a problem since using the RC before upgrading to Win 7 64 bit from Vista.
 


RAK

Extraordinary Member
#6
Personal comparison of anti virus programs, from post to post, are irrelevant . The success or failure is totally related to the types of pages visited. For example, in my own case, I am not a game player, nor do I download pirated material.
For many years, back in 286/386 days, I ran without any protection. Since then, with more sophisticated infiltration methods and, more to the point, infringment of security and personal data, I have , over the past years, started to use anit virus measures. But, before and after, I have never, to my knowledge, picked up a virus.
In the family I have a son who blatantly downloads bad material and visits many doubtful sites. In particular, this includes the many "hacking" sites for illegal serial numbers/patches. The latter are guaranteed to plant a virus on your computer. My son regularly has to clean his computer, in spite of having paid up preventative software.

As for the various "benchmarks". The above arguments apply to those as well but, more to the point, if you browse, you will find that the order of the lists often changes dramatically from 6 month to 6 month. I do not know the background of obtaining the updated "definitions", but I would suspect they mostly come from the same source. Effectively, this means that, from the point of view of detection, they are all apllying the same criteria and information. With this in my mind, I tend to look for 1. Free and 2. Unobtrusive. I find that MSE is fulfilling both of these requirements.
 


#7
I say don't go where the bugs are. I may scan with security essentials or online with Panda Active scan once every month or two. Malware scares me a LOT more than viruses and trojans. All the AV programs are going to do is tell you you have a 1,000 threats... and they are all harmless cookies.
 


#8
Av programs don't check all the junk that loads at startup.... so they have little value to me. StartupMonitor and Autoruns are my front line defense ... I haven't had a virus in years and years.... but I do check downloads from suspicious sources on a case by case basis.
 


nika

New Member
#9
In my opinon, the free antivirus software can be trusted.
Because the false positive is common in most charge antivirus software.
 


ooydoboora

Senior Member
#10
As a matter of fact, I just removed a Norton trial version that was as bad as removing AOL from a PC.
I had a similar experience removing Avast last week. I finally had to resort to file by file deletion and still have remnants remaining.
There's the Norton Removal Tool @
Code:
http://service1.symantec.com/Support/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039
& the same thing w/Avast, simple:
Code:
http://www.avast.com/eng/avast-uninstall-utility.html
;) :)
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#11
Good info ooydoboora, knew about the norton removal tool but was unaware of the one for Avast, will definitely keep that with my other links for AV removal. Thanks again and some rep for you.
Randy
 


#12
Currently, me too prefer MSE as it is quite fast and reliable? (learn it from many sources) But I think virus definition updates comes only with Windows OS update. Is there a way to download definition updates separately like other anti-virus program?
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#13
You are correct, the MSE updates come with Windows Updates and unfortunately, except for doing a manual update, from the update tab within the application, I haven't found a way to make it update more often. I've heard some speculation about MSE and cloud computing solutions, but I've not been able to find any actual information regarding that. I do know that there has been some mention of a third party utility to resolve this, but I personnaly don't often use such utilities, but I will leave the decision up to you...take a look at this article MSE Update Utility Keeps Security Up to Date Without Windows Update - Microsoft security essentials - Lifehacker
 


#14
Ive been using Avira for along time. I was using it when it was in german only. Then again, I lived there for 20 yrs. . I had seen it in my most fav. Rag, as being the best freeware anti-virus program. It has never let me down.
 


#15
Thanks to info about MSE Update Utility
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#16
You're welcome. I would like to know if it works as advertised or if it seems to cause more problems then it's worth, as is often the case with some third party utilities. Keep us posted, if you're bold enough to try it.
 


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