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Free anti-virus software advice please

by cobalt124
Tags: advice, antivirus, free, software
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cobalt124
#1
Feb20-11, 07:42 AM
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Having read previous threads going back to 2003, so far I am plummeting for Avast, but would like to ask members' opinion on this before I ask for Googles advice. Knowing I won't get a perfect fit, I need opinions on the best fit for the following criteria (in order):

1) Free
2) Gets installed and operates with minimum participation from (non-computer literate) user (I can suffer amending initial settings to achieve this)
3) Minimum impact on performance

Thank you for your time.
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russ_watters
#2
Feb20-11, 08:41 AM
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cobalt124
#3
Feb20-11, 10:16 AM
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Thanks. I'll hike it up the list of ones to look at.

DaleSwanson
#4
Feb20-11, 01:11 PM
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Free anti-virus software advice please

I think Avira, AVG, and Avast are the standard free antiviruses, so you should probably go with one of those. Personally, I recommend Avira.
cobalt124
#5
Feb20-11, 02:03 PM
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Thankyou, I'm having a look online now.
Greg Bernhardt
#6
Feb20-11, 03:54 PM
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I've been using AVG for years. Never done me wrong.
turbo
#7
Feb20-11, 04:20 PM
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I prefer Avast. They update threat definitions daily or more frequently. Installation is automatic and hassle-free.

I refused to keep paying for Norton AV licenses after Avast found and removed a couple of nasties that NAV couldn't even detect.
mathman
#8
Feb20-11, 04:42 PM
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Avira and AVG can be set up for daily sweeps automatically. Avast cannot. AVG and Avast check e-mail as it comes in, Avira does not. A survey I saw a while ago said Avira was better than the other two at catching potential viruses.
cobalt124
#9
Feb22-11, 06:20 AM
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Thanks for all the advice folks. I took the plunge and had a look at the lot, and I couldn't effectively seperate them in my own mind, they all seemed about equal. I've ended up choosing Microsoft Security Essentials basically for the very simple user interface, and the fast it discovered 14 risks that Norton 360 failed to. So my only doubt about this choice now is whether it is actually up to the job.
ExNihilo
#10
Feb27-11, 08:14 AM
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Quote Quote by cobalt124 View Post
1) Free
2) Gets installed and operates with minimum participation from (non-computer literate) user (I can suffer amending initial settings to achieve this)
3) Minimum impact on performance
May be not the reply you would expect but Linux would fulfill wonderfully 1 & 3. All my home computers run without Antivirus. Here is the best testimony: I have installed Linux for a user who can be classified as the worst kind of computer illiterate. After a year, without any maintenance the system is still running solid.

Try to invest sometimes in learning Linux, I hope this will pay off very well. This is what I did 2 years ago.
cobalt124
#11
Feb27-11, 08:27 AM
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Quote Quote by ExNihilo View Post
May be not the reply you would expect but Linux would fulfill wonderfully 1 & 3. All my home computers run without Antivirus. Here is the best testimony: I have installed Linux for a user who can be classified as the worst kind of computer illiterate. After a year, without any maintenance the system is still running solid.

Try to invest sometimes in learning Linux, I hope this will pay off very well. This is what I did 2 years ago.
It was somebody elses PC, so that wasn't a possibility in this case. I had my instructions and I followed them.

I wish I had the time. Last year I spent some time using Knoppix, my kids loved the "bendy windows" and the closing windows bursting into flames (so did I). This was so I could use gparted to try and save my PC which was suffering from a "boot loop". Fixed the loop, partitioned the drive but never got round to putting Linux on. Time is my enemy. My current plan is to virtualise the hard drive (playing on an old PC) over a network connection, (I'm hoping you can do that), and have the virtual machine on my new PC to mess about with when I get the chance.
KrisOhn
#12
Feb27-11, 11:24 AM
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I used to use AVG, but I decided to switch as soon as Microsoft came out with their own virus scanner, called Microsoft Security Essentials. (http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/)
It works very well as long as you have a legit copy of Windows (even if you don't it still works well ;) ), and it is free. When the scanner is running and I am using my computer I don't notice a impact on the computers performance, but that also depends on what kind of a computer you have.
All in all, the best virus scanner I've used is probably COMODO, but it can get a little annoying at times, it will try to delete things that aren't virus' if you put it on a certain setting, and the worst is definitely Norton360 where you could show it a folder where a virus is and it wouldn't do much about it. I think the best balance between those two extremes is MSE, it works great for me, doesn't get too extreme, but definitely notices when something isn't right, and it's maintained by the guys who wrote Windows, so they know what they're doing.
ExNihilo
#13
Feb27-11, 04:04 PM
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Quote Quote by cobalt124 View Post
It was somebody elses PC, so that wasn't a possibility in this case. I had my instructions and I followed them.

I wish I had the time. Last year I spent some time using Knoppix, my kids loved the "bendy windows" and the closing windows bursting into flames (so did I). This was so I could use gparted to try and save my PC which was suffering from a "boot loop". Fixed the loop, partitioned the drive but never got round to putting Linux on. Time is my enemy. My current plan is to virtualise the hard drive (playing on an old PC) over a network connection, (I'm hoping you can do that), and have the virtual machine on my new PC to mess about with when I get the chance.
When I dealt with non technical friends & relatives. They gave a precise prescription on how to fix their computer. I want Anti-A, Anti-B, Anti-C and Anti-Z. All of them must be free and updated daily. And the computer must run fast with little RAM. Then I asked "what do you do with your computer?" The answer was usually "Facebook and YouTube !". Then I reformatted their drive and installed Linux. By experience, I have 10x more headaches assisting friends using Windows.

You can practice with VM of course, I recommend Virtualbox. Try LinuxMint 10 or PinguyOS it's easier to begin. Don't bother with multi-boot at the beginning. Just use VM to learn and when you want to practice on a real machine, use an old computer as training machine.
cobalt124
#14
Feb28-11, 06:38 AM
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Quote Quote by KrisOhn View Post
...but I decided to switch as soon as Microsoft came out with their own virus scanner, called Microsoft Security Essentials....and the worst is definitely Norton360...MSE, it works great for me, doesn't get too extreme, but definitely notices when something isn't right, and it's maintained by the guys who wrote Windows, so they know what they're doing.
MSE was the chosen solution in the end, primarily because of the dead easy user interface. I've found Norton 360 acceptable over the past year, my only issue being its a bit of a resource hog. Renewal is up soon, so I may indeed be giving MSE a try shortly.

Quote Quote by ExNihilo View Post
Then I asked "what do you do with your computer?" The answer was usually "Facebook and YouTube !". Then I reformatted their drive and installed Linux. By experience, I have 10x more headaches assisting friends using Windows.
Now that makes me stop and think, because our usage is basically the same. I might try that one day (again, given the time).

Quote Quote by ExNihilo View Post
You can practice with VM of course, I recommend Virtualbox. Try LinuxMint 10 or PinguyOS it's easier to begin. Don't bother with multi-boot at the beginning. Just use VM to learn and when you want to practice on a real machine, use an old computer as training machine.
That is exactly what I have done. I am hiding my computer geekiness credentials under a bushel, possibly with good reason. Part of me loves messing around with this stuff. I partitioned the disk, put on a bootloader (XOSL) and went on to brush the dust off my old OS disks and put them on. DOS/Win 3.1, Win 98. It was trying to put OS/2 on I started using VM's, as it was difficult to install on a machine. I can't remember the details but both VMWare and VirtualBox couldn't install OS/2 by definition. So I ended up using Microsoft Virtual PC, which I think had settings for OS/2, presumably because Microsoft were a part developer of it, and I managed to install it on there. Unfortunately, in my OCD mindset, this just wasn't good enough, and I wanted it installed on a real machine, which I tried and failed to achieve. Anyway, I'm much calmer now, the therapy worked, and I'm not as obsessive about this stuff.
Chronos
#15
Mar1-11, 01:05 AM
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I like Avira, it is effective and has low overhead. AVG and Avast also get rave reviews, just never tried them.
mathman
#16
Mar1-11, 04:16 PM
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CNET is conducting a survey of its e-mail subscribers about preferences among AVG, Avast, and Avira.
Futurama
#17
Mar3-11, 03:41 PM
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AVG, Avast!, Avira, Microsoft Security Essentials.

Avira Free has some really good detection scores!

As well as an Antivirus, I suggest downloading an on-demand anti-malware. The best of the best seems to be SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes.
Sergiogeek2
#18
Feb1-12, 03:02 PM
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I like Avast pretty much because it's a complete suite, however they only use a trial version, and for day I've been getting this annoying pop-up meesage telling me it will expire. It's a free download like the others and it recognized pretty much al viruses. I think Antivirus should be free these days, I know this companies wants some profits, in that case there are couple of ones like Sytmenec or zenok that add some other features like online backup and they carge fair amounts for that.


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