Best free anti virus?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello everyone. I am not very well educated on the best way to protect my computer. Do any of you have opinions on the best free anti virus stuff out there? what is sufficient to ensure that my computer is fully protected? thank you!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Most good antivirus start out good but then turn to bloat real fast. A few years back I just switched to Windows Defender and I haven't thought about a virus in forever. Best protection is having good habits like developing intuition about what you download what emails you open and where you surf. For me viruses are a thing of the past.
 
  • #3
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I'll second Greg. Being careful on the internet is your best defence, will get you further than any security software bar a firewall. Staying away from streaming sites for cable TV, pirating software, etc. (shady stuff on the internet) will eliminate huge swaths of infections. Emails are among the most common ways for viruses to spread, be careful what you open.

As for free antivirus software, check out this thread.
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/poll-which-antivirus-do-you-use.758839/

Not all but most of the ones listed there offer free versions also. If you're a novice when it comes to computer security, you're better off paying for some of the bigger stuff which provides more protection.

I currently don't have an antivirus install on my system, just my firewall. I used to use Microsoft's Security Essentials.
 
  • #4
Borg
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+1 on the firewall. If your computer does get a virus that the antivirus doesn't know about, the AV isn't going to do anything. But a good firewall will let you know something's up as soon as the virus tries to "phone home".
 
  • #5
mathman
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You should have both - firewall and anti-virus. Most recommended free anti-virus programs are Avast, AVG, Avira. I personally use AVG because it checks e-mail and sweeps can be scheduled.
 
  • #6
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thank you so much everyone
 
  • #7
Chronos
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Two I like are bit defender [free version] and malwarebytes [free version]. Malwarebytes is not an antivirus, but, blocks other annoying stuff and is useful for repairing damage by virus that slip by your firewall and AV. Microsoft ceased support for MS Defender a couple years ago and it currently ranks near the bottom of the list for protection.
 
  • #8
harborsparrow
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What Greg said. For any Windows OS since version 7, Windows Defender and the built-in Windows Firewall is all you should need, plus (as Greg notes) some good sense about what not to download.
 
  • #9
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and malwarebytes [free version]
malwarebytes is one of the very few malware scanners I'd recommend.
 
  • #10
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Free stuff won't help you much. I am using ESET, whose real time protection is awesome.
 
  • #11
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With Avira you will get a very good protection, it's ranked as the #1 free anti-virus. I had AVG before and lagged my pc alot, and it used to be better in malware detection. Never ever use MS Defender. I recently scanned a computer with Avira, that had MS Defender installed before, and it detected 4 serious virus, including one bitcoin miner that was mining bitcoins for the hacker using this computer.
 
  • #12
mathman
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With Avira you will get a very good protection, it's ranked as the #1 free anti-virus. I had AVG before and lagged my pc alot, and it used to be better in malware detection. Never ever use MS Defender. I recently scanned a computer with Avira, that had MS Defender installed before, and it detected 4 serious virus, including one bitcoin miner that was mining bitcoins for the hacker using this computer.
The main problem I have found with AVG is that after a scan it doesn't clean up the main memory. I have to clean up afterwards, otherwise the PC will run slower. The main advantage over Avira is that it automatically checks e-mail. Avira will do it when you buy it, but not in the free version.
 
  • #13
AVG also check the email, and it's lightweight. Its "exceptions" feature is the best I think. You don't need to go to advanced setting, etc. When the warning comes, you can just choose the "exception" option. I've tried Avira, MSE, BitDefender, Ad-aware, Karspersky, but it always have flaw. AVG never disappoint me.

Anyway, I used to read PCMag Review as comparation. (AVG no.4)
http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow_viewer/0,3253,l=310934&a=310934&po=1,00.asp
 
  • #14
Greetings,
I am here to share what I think is best for your computer if you don't use "Common sense"...Before you uninstall common sense please read its features and goods:
"Common Sense Antivirus 2014(now updated:2015*)" is your brain. When they say "Bitdefender is the best" or "Kaspersky is the best," they are all wrong. Common Sense Antivirus 2014 (now 2015*)is the best antivirus. It is weak but gets stronger with Long-Term Memory technology, which nothing can surpass. It is the only "hardware" antivirus in the market. And you get all that for free! Download Link:
http://%28wait/ [Broken], it is already installed on your system!).com
That's right. It's your brain (if you haven't guessed already). Brain AV can enclose another AV, and also can intelligently scan the page for profanity and malicious hints using human-tech.
You're probably saying, "Oh, Chromatinfish, that's cute, but I need real info!"
Ok, here we go...
1) Make the most of your eye-scan technology
Your eyes are the most powerful AV scanners in the world. Search for adware/spyware or trojans and avoid them like the plaque. Avoid things like "Spy-", because most of them are trojans (Spy Sheriff). Do not purchase any software if it is a generic term (Antivirus Security Pro) or doesn't have valid https. Microsoft currently holds a list of genuine AV programs:
support.microsoft.com/kb/49500
This is very important!
2) Install AV and Companion AV
The link above will give you a list of all genuine AV (but not every genuine one). Choose one of your liking and pick a companion product.

If this is humorus, tell me
Lets get to which is better now that you have uninstalled all other AV Programs...
Fast 1 MB to kill malware tasks and terminate malware services so that you can run your affected poor dead AV is RKill.exe [Not a replacement for AV]
Then you have to download something that protects you from daily dangerous Malwares-Viruses-Rootkits-Spying (keys)-Ransom Viruses....You choose one of your liking....
I am new here.but, if you have chosen your AV, please tell me...I might be able to help you with getting it. (I have a friend working on something with tests on AV and stuff)
HINT:Most surveys are fake...Don't download setup.exe unless from the original site of the product you want...Better yet! Use ABP to know which download button is the real one.
Real Hint: Eset SS 8 all in: IS and AV and Firewall....Mbam: nothing can hide....Hitman pro (you can activate 30 days trial and do it again and again every 30 days).
 
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  • #15
AVG
 
  • #16
meBigGuy
Gold Member
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How come no one recommends looking at the tests in av-comparatives. (http://www.av-comparatives.org/) This will tell you what all the AV programs are really good at, and not good at. They all have strengths and weaknesses.

If its too complicated for some, I can try posting a tutorial on how to read their reports.

Most good antivirus start out good but then turn to bloat real fast. A few years back I just switched to Windows Defender and I haven't thought about a virus in forever. Best protection is having good habits like developing intuition about what you download what emails you open and where you surf. For me viruses are a thing of the past.
Greg - how can you recommends windows defender so strongly and so often when it scores so poorly. That you have had no issues is purely anecdotal.
It is not a quality product compared to other free AV solutions. It sits in the background and doesn't do squat. How many alerts have you had to respond to?
And, it does CRAZY cpu bandwidth things when you update windows. Its like jumping up and down to keep elephants away and saying "It works because I haven't seen any elephants". Have you reviewed the data on AV-comparatives? Are you willing to complete this sentence? "I am willing to use and recommend windows defender even though it scores poorly on comparative tests because <insert rationale here> "?

Your statement that your habits protect you is naive as all getout.

I got rooted by an adserver when my computer was unattended (for 3 hours on a popular news site) and windows defender was running (and windows IE). I contacted Microsoft as was told "we don't protect against that".
Microsoft was in no way interested in the forensic data I had collected regarding the method of attack. (but, then again, neither was the website the browser was sitting on when it happened, nor the adserver company itself.) I changed over to Avira, and firefox with adblock.

EDIT: Look at page 3 on this report http://www.av-comparatives.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/avc_factsheet2015_04.pdf

(This chart) http://chart.av-comparatives.org/chart1.php
 
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  • #17
mathman
Science Advisor
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Latest issue of Consumer Reports has an item about anti-virus software. Among free items Avira is first choice, with a warning about installation (just say no to optional stuff!).
 
  • #18
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Latest issue of Consumer Reports has an item about anti-virus software. Among free items Avira is first choice, with a warning about installation (just say no to optional stuff!).
Any yet their webpage load scripts from unauthenticated sources.
 
  • #19
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Your statement that your habits protect you is naive as all getout.
I've been working online for 15 years 70 hour weeks. Haven't had a virus issue for as long as I can remember. Guess I'm just lucky.
 
  • #20
phion
Gold Member
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Once I downloaded an executable from a person whom I trusted to play an MMO with a while back. The program's purpose was to enable our team to talk to each other while it parsed my log files in order to give queues and detailed reports of combat and other such things. Subsequently, we had some disagreements down the line, and the next thing I know my MB is fried and my computer wouldn't even turn on anymore. Fried. The funny part is I clicked "Trust" when Kaspersky alerted me to the potential nefariousness of the program I was about to install. That was the first time and longest time I had ever had to go without a computer!
 
  • #21
meBigGuy
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I've been working online for 15 years 70 hour weeks. Haven't had a virus issue for as long as I can remember. Guess I'm just lucky.
I wouldn't say "just lucky". But definetly a bit lucky. How many warnings from Windows Defender have you had to deal with? How many of those were from suspect sources (like torrents, downloads, or usenet files with exe's that you would never open)? How many suspect exe's have you seen that Windows Defender did NOT warn you about?

How do you reconcile your strong recommendations with the av-comparatives data saying Windows Defender is a "non-competitive" product (worse that all others except in false alarms)? Remember, that site is DATA driven, not opinions.

I have no problem with your personal decision to use Windows Defender, but I think it is WRONG of you to constantly recommend it as a good solution. It is way better than nothing, but that's about it.
 
  • #22
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How many warnings from Windows Defender have you had to deal with?
Very few

How many of those were from suspect sources (like torrents, downloads, or usenet files with exe's that you would never open)?
I don't torrent or download from usenet. I have a about a dozen applications I use regularly and that is it. In this golden age of online applications why are people downloading random programs?

How many suspect exe's have you seen that Windows Defender did NOT warn you about?
I don't download suspect exe's.

I have no problem with your personal decision to use Windows Defender, but I think it is WRONG of you to constantly recommend it as a good solution. It is way better than nothing, but that's about it.
Fine, I'll not say it is good. I'll just say it has been fine for me. I've used far too many AV programs in the past that all became resource hogs and bloat ware.
 
  • #23
meBigGuy
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Did you look at av-comparatives, their testing methodology, and the things they evaluate? They address bloat, heuristics, false alarms, performance, etc etc. I think it has changed the AV industry significantly. I think the vendors pay attention to the av-comparatives ratings in all categories and work to make their products better. As a result, I think most all products are significantly better than they used to be.

Also, I think it is important to note that your limited use scenario is not typical of most computer users. They are surfing many websites looking for viral videos, new flash games, cheats to make the games easier, hints, pornography, screen savers, new music, and all the things I'm not thinking of right now. Go to an average user and run Malwarebytes. It is amazing the junk they end up accumulating. (not that AV will help with all that).

There is no doubt that your operational diligence is the most important part of the equation. No AV is going to protect you against every random exe downloaded in torrent rars. No way any company can keep up with all of them. I've even kept a few that didn't set off alarms, and 1 month later they did.

Maybe I'm pressing this issue too hard (that's the way I am). I just want everyone to understand the facts.

BTW, have you ever looked at WinPatrol? I run it on all my machines.
 
  • #24
phion
Gold Member
175
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A lot of headaches can be avoided by using browser add-ons, and private trackers.
 

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