questionschallenge: best/most reliable free antivirus and…

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I like Kaspersky. I do NOT like Microsoft Sec Essentials. Norton's okay. I don't run virus checkers (as I've said elsewhere, repeatedly), but I absolutely do not recommend that for others.

I'll check back in a bit. It's been a while since I thought about this. I think a friend of mine works at Trend Micro, so that one's probably okay too (he has some basic standards).

There's a whole lot of evil bad stuff out there.

[Edit] Oh, you said "Free" and I missed that point. Antispyware for free is probably okay, but I'll have to go off and look for a bit on the other stuff.

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I run avast. They have a free version for home use and it's resource usage is nice and low.

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@publiclurker: I should have said no avast!, I've had the worst run of luck with that. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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@catbertthegreat: Are you dead set on Free for virus checkers?

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@catbertthegreat: Okay, here's a site with reviews, but nearly all of the things it reviews are not-for-free (but some are).

Oh, and putting the link in would have been ever so helpful.

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

I should add that the review site has one of those stupid popup things that you have to check "No, I don't want your stupid help" before you can see it.

[Edit] I'm leaving this link and comment here for others, but every single thing in that review is a not-for-free, so I'll keep looking. I have a friend in London who I'd ask, but he's been asleep for hours. I want to say that it's 0430 tomorrow, there.

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I've had good luck with AVG. I'm currently running MS Security Essentials and have no complaints so far. Oh, and MalwareBytes has a good one.

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@thunderthighs: Actually, if @catbertthegreat hadn't already said that the AVG had been sucking system resources, that's probably the one I'd have suggested.

@catbertthegreat: Have you looked at, or considered, Panda? I think they have a free version. Here's an excellent survey of products, including many that have a zero cost version.

http://www.pcmag.com/category2/0,2806,4796,00.asp

I see a Trend Micro House Call in there for $0.00.

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I have run AVG for years, and now MS security essentials. I also use Firefox with the No-Script a add block plus add ons.
However I find the best anti-virus solution is not software based. It is called common sense. If your girlfriend is having trouble with manga/anime websites, maybe she should not go there?

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eh not exactly "free" but still kinda free... sometimes if you go into office depot they have random sells going on where you can pick up anti virus for free.. I bought Norton 360 for 30$ with a mail in rebate for 30$ so... if your willing to wait to get your money back a month or two.. its a great deal.

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Just remembered... My last 2 cable providers have provided security suites for free. TimeWarner Roadrunner offers CA, I believe. I found it to be bloated a couple years ago but it's worth checking.

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Microsoft Security Essentials and PrevX.

I work in IT.

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@catbertthegreat: I use avira antiviral the free version, plus I have always run a version of hijackthis to pick up pesky little lurkers that and adware. I did just download a nice new free firewall too PC Toolsfirewall

all can be found at download.com

you have to configure hijackthis at first because it will read everything on your computer and think it doesn't belong but once you have done that you are good to go.

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@catbertthegreat
I understand your issues with Avast!, but have you tried the new version 5? If you choose custom installation, you choose which shields will be installed. Less of a resource hog also. Also PCTools free Firewall Plus and ThreatFire are outstanding complementary modules. If you're not running anything off-the-wall, you can set the firewall to allow "known" programs and save beaucoup config time.

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I used to recommend Avast! to most of my PC-repair clients. But now I recommend Comodo Internet Security. http://www.comodo.com/home/internet-security/free-internet-security.php

I recommend it over Avast! because the license is free for home and business use, not just home, and I have a lot of small business customers. For beginners, the firewall portion can take a bit of getting used too, but, in my opinion, the firewall is worth learning how to use. You can also just install the AV portion.

One caveat. If you put your real phone number when you register, Comodo will call you and try to sell you SSL certificates. So keep that in mind when filling out the form.

One thing to keep in mind is that almost all AV programs are good at stopping know viruses, and all of them are pretty bad at stopping unknown viruses. http://www.av-comparatives.org is the best place to go for testing data, but sadly, Comodo isn't in the test set yet.

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I would say use Spybot and Malwarebyte's Anti-malware.

Spybot offers fairly decent protection, and is very good at finding spyware. Mbam finds everything else.

I've used these two (both free) for a long while now, and never had any problems. The one time I did have an issue (it was how I actually learned about mbam) it was taken care of immediately.

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Avira has a very good free anti-virus program. I have had issues with AVG and Avast! but not avira (as of yet). The only thing about avira is that it has a nag screen that pops up every so often but it is easy to disable.

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For free AV software, I've had very good luck with Avira as well.
While Avast seems to have a better track record in general, I've never really been a fan of their software.

You can disable the nag screen in Avira.

As for paid software, I've really liked ESET's NOD32 from personal experience.

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Although I have free McAfee from my internet provider, I do not like it or use it. I have been using the paid, premium version of Avira as well as adaware. I mentioned to a techie friend of mine that I was having a few issues with the computer, and she suggested the free Malwarebytes. It found and got rid of several items not found by either of my other programs. All 3 are running now, and when the Avira paid is over, I will not renew.

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Hmmmm...I've had zero problems with Avast! In fact, I had three years worth of McAfee for free and it gave me a ton of problems. The worst was when I got a virus and it started screwing with my machine one night while I was working on my Master's thesis. I lost about two pages worth of work (not bad...triple backups, FTW!), but I lost about four hours of work trying to fix stuff. I finally got things fixed with Windows Defender (I detest most stuff Microsoft, but WD was money!)...and as WD was cleaning, McAfee piped up and said "You have a virus!"

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In my experience with the fake antivirus aka:xp antivirus2XXX, vista antivirus2xxx, most of the free antivirus solutions will not catch it. My girlfriend recently was researching a medical issue involving boils, and went to a site that had a porn ribbon on the bottom. Norton caught it trying to send the fake antivirus applet. So I am happy about Norton, although it tends to suck up resources.
On my desktop, her daughters friend was browsing and the fake antivirus applet popped up, and that computer was running Windows security essentials.

From reviews on Maximun Pc magazine, Avira is highly rated, as is Win Sec Essentials. Eset Nod32 was the highest rated.

As someone said earlier, the only good antivirus is smart web browsing, but sometimes that is not good enough.

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+1 for Malwarebytes and Spybot S&D. The only downside to Malwarebytes (I dont use Spybot anymore so I wont comment on it) is the free version isn't automatic so you don't get live protection and it's not always updated. If something quirky happens, update it and run it and you'll be back on your feet. I double it with AVG to get live protection, though it's only about 96% accurate it's better than nothing.

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I've bounced around a lot of spyware checkers. Ad-aware has always been nice, but more recently it's been a bit too intrusive for me. I've run Avast! for 5 years, and not a single problem. Also, first thing I do when i run onto a bugged computer, is install Ad-aware, run that, then install and run CCCleaner, and that will go through all of your temporary files and even your registry (if you so choose), to clean out any auto down-loaders tucked in there. Next, I install and register Avast!, then I sit down with my friend/family and give them the birds and the bees of the internet... always wear protection, and don't touch anything oozing with puss.

One Last note: Find a new anime/manga site and run Ad-block Plus on Mozilla Firefox!!!

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Thanks for all the responses. I'm going to give Panda and it's collective intelligence a try first. I doubt it will clog up her upstream connection to badly, but if it does, I'm going to give her Avira, which seems to be the most named one here.

Stopping use of those sites is basically saying to both of us, let's wait 6 months to a year or more for a sugar-coated translation to appear in our books stores and poorly dubbed videos at exorbitantly high prices to appear online for sale.

There really is no changing where we go to get our fix. The websites are fairly safe actually, they are quick to respond when they find that people are getting hit by malware.
For reference: onemanga.com mangahelpers.com haven-reader.net onepieceofbleach.com

However, I'm going to give her No-Script on her Firefox browser. Chrome seems to detect when an ad or something else is going to try to link me to a site that will download things onto my laptop, but it is not 100% accurate.

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I use Windows Defender and MS Security Essentials after they intercepted a couple of trojans that slipped past AVG (as much as I bash MS, their security software does work really well). Of course, if it's the ads that are causing your headaches, I'd say if you do nothing else, at a minimum, use Firefox w/ Adblock Plus and NoScript to disable the ads and any other nastiness that comes with them.

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i am surprised at all the non-comittal answers. look..you need a good anti virus software...there is one heads and shoulders above the rest.. KASPERSKY. its not free. but it is the best. period. bit defender is based on the same engine as kaspersky but it isnt nearly as user friendly and it costs more.if you're not a tech geek or if you cant always watch over the computer for others who arent tech geeks then invest the 40 bucks,install kaspersky and live with peace and quiet knowing the computer is safe.

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@catbertthegreat: panda is ok...but its no better than most of the other ones. do yourself the favor of using kaspersky.if you have an internet provider they probably offer an antivirus suite for free.

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@toadrib: Thank goodness you joined last month. I wouldn't think that any of previous answers from the uber geek black triangles would be a viable answer for @catbertthegreat:.

You might want to start by reading this thread.
http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/fcfe7dd7-9083-4bbf-a08f-e41b563fbc29/get-to-know-your-wooters#143

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I've heard good things of Avira, but haven't tried it myself.

My suggestion would actually be to see what paid options she might could get for free. If she's going to school, they might have an option; many ISPs offer something as well (for instance, Comcast just swapped to offering a very good version of Norton, almost all the features of 360).

Also...I'd get her using Firefox if she isn't already (or Chrome) and install Adblock Plus (And turn on the English and Japanese filters).

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Microsoft Security Essentials. Free, slim, and works.

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@emhodew:
http://www.pcantivirusreviews.com/
http://www.cnet.com/internet-security/?tag=leftColumnArea.0#reviews
every link has kapersky...rated first or second..why do you think that is?and not jo=blows web sites.credible ones.the only reason i joined was to answer that particular question.help out a frustrated guy that was getting bad advice.otherwise too many idiots on this site.

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@toadrib: No need to be a rude jerk, to the people who've been here far longer than you. That is the best way to make absolutely certain no one will listen to you.

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AVG is good but i had some problems with it when i tried to install a new version so i switched to Avira 0ctober 2009 and have had no problems even with all the torrents and such i download.

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Malwarebytes and Spybot Search & Destroy...

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I have the perfect free anti-virus for you, if you could just send me a few key pieces of information I'll be sure to install it on your system right away!

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@ncarris: Like you social security number, a couple credit cards, account numbers, you know things of extreme value...

Don't listen to this person.
Rule #1 of Internet Shopping: Don't be dumb, this is obviously a trap. If you're always overly careful there is a smaller chance of getting ripped off.

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No, it's obviously a joke.

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Avast, I used to use AVG but it bogged down my system, I also use Windows Defender.

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FWIW, just got this article...

ZDNet: 10 obscure antivirus tools worth a look
http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=32789&tag=nl.e539

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I use Avira (free version). Combining Avira with Returnil may be a good resolution.

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this is not even a hard question. Microsoft realized the irony/cynicism of selling a "secure and reliable" OS that needed a third-party security suite. Typically when they made one themselves -- Microsoft OneCare. So they ditched one care and quit charging people and provided a free suite that they don't advertise but did doesn't hog resources and works just fine. I challenge anyone to provide any kind of reliable third-party objective evidence that any security suite that you have to pay for is substantially better than the free one that Microsoft provides.

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PC Tools Threatfire + traditional AV product (MSE) would be my recommendation.

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I work at a PC repair shop. Spybot, Malwarebytes, MS security essentials are good free ones. Then we use symantec and various other stuff as we see fit.

Just make sure you don't have 2 or more programs running on auto protect at the same time. They end up fighting over which one is going to clean the system. Thus slowing your system and never eliminating your problem.

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I'm not going to take a personal stance on this (vendor relations, etc.), but I can offer this bit of customer data:

To date, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is the most popular AV title we've ever sold :-)

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Hi guys!

you might consider give a try to ZenOK Free Antivirus, good results and consumes 0,1% of your system resources.

http://freeantivirus.zenok.com/

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AVG is a good choice http://www.avg.com if you want to go free. But if you have some money better to go with BitDefender http://software.mihalysoft.com/store/bitdefender-antivirus-pro-2011/ or with IObit Security 360 Pro http://software.mihalysoft.com/store/iobit-security-360-pro/

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Just wanted to add in my 2 cents. I've never had a spyware problem that wasn't cured by one of the following:

- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- Superantispyware

In the past, I used to swear by SpybotSD, but the two above (free versions) have always, ALWAYS rescued me. I have had problems where one didn't fix it, but the other did.

Also, I can comment on @bitsdujour 's statement. I bought the full version of Malwarebytes through their store - in fact, I think I posted it on deals.woot many moons ago. :) So thank you!

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Ah, I found the link to the (long since expired) Malwarebytes sale. I was the second commenter. :)

http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/823e9c20-569c-430b-bb5c-d7eba47e572a/malwarebytes-pro-anti-malware-software-lifetime-license-feb-14-only#35

Also, for normal antivirus stuff (not the on-demand scanners, but active protection), I use MS Security Essentials and Panda Cloud antivirus, both free. Both have given me reasonable protection without being overly detrimental to my system performance. I used to swear by AVG, but one version bloated on my system, and I've never gone back.

Another reason I like these two AVs (especially Panda) is that it is easy to TURN OFF. Sometimes I open files that might be questionable, but I swear in some programs it takes an act of Congress to turn off active protection. MSSE takes a few steps, but Panda is two clicks.

Finally ... did anyone else notice that this question has the tag, "horses"? What gives, Woot!?