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View Full Version : Is free antivirus just as good?


xxsleepyxx
06-20-2010, 8:58 PM
Or is the paid version definitely more protective and effective?

Paltik.45acp
06-20-2010, 9:22 PM
I have the Avast free version and it seems to be doing a good job of keeping my laptop virus free.

Vacaville
06-20-2010, 9:25 PM
I have the Avast free version and it seems to be doing a good job of keeping my laptop virus free.

+1 on Avast. I've been using it for the past couple of years.

ldivinag
06-20-2010, 10:28 PM
microsoft's security essentials is free and i use a lot at work to get rid of crap that mcafee enterprise version doesnt.

Doheny
06-20-2010, 10:29 PM
/\/\ Ditto. It's real good.

psssniper
06-20-2010, 10:48 PM
malwarebytes

avg

spybot

all free and good stuff

ShootinMedic
06-20-2010, 10:55 PM
+2 for Avast! I have been using it for years and have never had any problems with it.

Ricky-Ray
06-20-2010, 11:44 PM
I have been using AVG free edition since 2001. It's worked well for me.

patriot_man
06-21-2010, 12:10 AM
avg is great

i1800collect
06-21-2010, 12:15 AM
Microsoft Security Essentials (http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/)

Malwarebytes (http://www.malwarebytes.org/)

SuperAntiSpyware (http://www.superantispyware.com/)

All 3 are free and have served me very well.

Rhythm of Life
06-21-2010, 8:04 AM
Avast!

AVG is second place IMO.

Turo
06-21-2010, 8:14 AM
microsoft's security essentials is free and i use a lot at work to get rid of crap that mcafee enterprise version doesnt.

That's what I'm using, and it's done great for my roommate for a few months now. (computer science major, so I trust what he tells me.)

Brianguy
06-21-2010, 1:00 PM
AVG and Avast! are the best

Dangerpin
06-21-2010, 1:50 PM
As an IT consultant that serves many medium and small businesses I find that many companies classify the laptops they provide for workers to use at home as "home computers" and therefore feel they should be able to use AV products that are free for home use.

While I don't agree with the policy, it has shown me how home products perform, or fail to perform. Avira seems to lead the pack in false positives, which ends up causing other problems but is otherwise really good possibly even better than Avast. The downside is it ends up using a ton of memory compared with competitors. AVG is actually pretty poor at catching issues overall. Right now I'm pretty impressed with MS Security Essentials.

All that being said, I use ESET NOD32 at home and recommend the business version of it to my clients.

No AV product will catch all forms of malware. Antivirus products aren't designed to catch spyware and other malware forms. So as others have mentioned use dedicated malware scanners like Malware Antibytes, Spybot and Superantispyware for regular scanning and Combofix for cleanup of serious rootkit issues.

locosway
06-21-2010, 9:33 PM
I never understood the need for AV software. I never had an issues on Windows and I didn't run any software. My wife doesn't have any issues and she doesn't have software. Even if I didn't use Linux, I still wouldn't run AV software, I'd just keep my PC up to date and not watch free pr0n.

StephenhDMRS
06-21-2010, 10:00 PM
I deal with this a lot and yes it does work just as well as paid versions. In fact one of the major anti-virus companies(name escapes me at the moment) for medium/large businesses released an update that deleted a part of the registry that was essential for windows to run... Go figure.

Our IT department has us use free versions and I find they work just as well as Norton and such. Paid versions are just at risk of ruining things as free versions are. Stick with the listed ones above and you should be fine.

i1800collect
06-21-2010, 10:09 PM
In fact one of the major anti-virus companies(name escapes me at the moment) for medium/large businesses released an update that deleted a part of the registry that was essential for windows to run... Go figure.

That was McAfee. The update misidentified svchost.exe as a virus and instructed McAfee to delete it, which caused a lot of machines running Windows to completely fail.

Brianguy
06-21-2010, 10:37 PM
...and not watch free pr0n.
:eek:

Dangerpin
06-21-2010, 11:14 PM
I deal with this a lot and yes it does work just as well as paid versions. In fact one of the major anti-virus companies(name escapes me at the moment) for medium/large businesses released an update that deleted a part of the registry that was essential for windows to run... Go figure.

Our IT department has us use free versions and I find they work just as well as Norton and such. Paid versions are just at risk of ruining things as free versions are. Stick with the listed ones above and you should be fine.

Svchost.exe is not part of the registry. Neither McAfee, nor Norton/Symantec (who had a similar, though less publicized issue with svchost.exe some time back) have been worth a damn since the 90's. They live on because they have learned how to market and sell to the Enterprise, and have well written management interfaces for Enterprise level administration. The free versions do, perhaps work as well as the consumer versions of Norton and McAfee, but frankly that isn't saying much at all.

If you want decent basic protection, Avira and Microsoft Security Essentials will do the job. AVG is the bottom rung on that particular ladder, I'd stay off of it, personally.

If you want to step up from basic then ESET is excellent, Kaspersky is top notch if a bit heavy on resource usage and a lot of people really respect BitDefender.

NaughtyMonkey
06-23-2010, 12:05 AM
I use:
AVG Free Edition
Ccleaner
Malwarbytes
A-Squared
Spybot S&E
Spyware Blaster

There all free and its what I use and what I install on peoples computers I fix and what I used when I worked at a computer shop. So there great!

armedoffroader
06-23-2010, 7:27 AM
I've used AVG free now for years and haven't had a problem since. It updates frequently and I have it set to scan automatically every few days and am happy with it

Sinixstar
06-23-2010, 8:38 AM
I never understood the need for AV software. I never had an issues on Windows and I didn't run any software. My wife doesn't have any issues and she doesn't have software. Even if I didn't use Linux, I still wouldn't run AV software, I'd just keep my PC up to date and not watch free pr0n.

Yea- in 20 years the only viruses i've had, are ones i set off myself to see what they would do.

Then again - when somebody sends me an email that says "I love you - click here" with a .vbs attachment - i tend to not open it... go figure.
:p

wrightb
06-23-2010, 11:27 AM
AVG has worked great, except for that really annoying popup you get once every couple days to upgrade to the paid version.

Rekrab
06-23-2010, 12:05 PM
AVG is the best you can get for free. But if you're serious about protection I'd hit up something like Eset's NOD32.

NiteQwill
06-23-2010, 12:58 PM
Free: Avast!

Paid: NOD32 (low memory footprint, great scanner, excellent definition database, FAST, FAST, FAST.)

WokMaster1
06-23-2010, 4:05 PM
Avast here for 2 years now.:D

NaughtyMonkey
06-24-2010, 12:28 AM
Just never ever run Avast or AVG at the same time, my grandpa figured this out the hard way haha.

bones138
06-28-2010, 9:17 PM
I never understood the need for AV software. I never had an issues on Windows and I didn't run any software. I'd just keep my PC up to date and not watch free pr0n.

This.

the_donald_
06-28-2010, 9:21 PM
AVG free & Spybot can do the trick just fine.

JDay
06-28-2010, 9:51 PM
The top two commercial AV programs (McAfee and Norton) are actually some of the worst around. Although Norton actually made it to #4 this year, McAfee didn't even make the list.

http://anti-virus-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

sd_shooter
06-28-2010, 10:05 PM
AVG Free and no problems ever.

Citizen 14
06-28-2010, 10:26 PM
I use AVG free and spybot. I run AVG every 24 hours and all is well.

Dangerpin
06-28-2010, 10:43 PM
You might want to consider adding an additional malware\spyware program like SuperAntiSpyware or MalwareBytes to the mix. Spybot is a profile-based antimalware scanner, it does not scan every file. This makes it faster but it may miss bits that aren't part of the current scanning profile. SAS and MAB, when configured properly (in the case of SAS) and set to do a full scan will literally look at every file on the drive.

AVG only has limited malware detection as it is designed primarily for virus issues and not malware.

So you have a hole in the defences, you might want to shore it up a bit. :)