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Best Free Antivirus?

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Lanky Livingston

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I have used AVG in the past and been happy with it, but I was wondering if there was anything better out there I should be considering? Or should free antivirus softwares be avoided altogether? I have been using McAfee and I hate it, and was hoping to save some money.

Thanks!
 

Neophyte

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I use Microsoft Security Essentials on my home machines and am very pleased with it.
 

servumtuum

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The three big "A's", AVG, Avira, and Avast (which I use) have generally, according to reviewers and user feedback, considered the best free antivirus programs available. I have heard a lot of positives about Microsoft Security Essentials like Neo uses as well.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Ah, yes. Avast is what I've used in the past, not AVG. I was really happy with it while I had it.
 

tshile

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lanky
i work as a sys admin in the IT world. i deal with pretty much every AV product out there.

the one I recommend is microsoft security essentials. it's effective, free, and most importantly not intrusive.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials

if you have a problem with using a microsoft AV (there are many reasons you may have a problem), then the second one I recommend is panda's cloud antivirus
http://www.cloudantivirus.com

I used to like AVG and avast but it's become way over bloated and seems to not be anywhere near the quality it used to be.
 

Nobody

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I tried all the ones everyone recommends for years. And for years, I constantly had problems. Then someone told me to get Malware Bytes, Super Anti Spyware, CCleaner. All free. Haven't had a hint of a problem since.
 

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I guess I should also point out that I periodically run Malware Bytes and Spybot as well, although not nearly as much now that I am on MS Security Essentials and off McAfee.
 

Fear The Spear

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Extreme and Neo : The problem with Malwarebytes is that it does not have "real-time" protection. At least not in the free version, which is what the subject is about.
Out of all the ones mentioned, I've had the best experience with Avast.
It catches a LOT of stuff, and even warns you about shady websites that you Google, even BEFORE you click the link to go to their site. It shows "safety ratings" next to each site link. And even if you go to the malicious site, it will block it and ask you again if you really want to go there.
I like the sandbox feature, and the warning you get when you un-install it, making sure it's not a malicious program trying to un-install it, and the warning you get when you try to execute a file that's suspicious.
Avast rules. They are on top of everything that happens on the PC
 

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Fear, I know it isn't "real time". I just use it for peridoc sweeps. In my 13 years in the computer business I have discovered that no one product will ever cover you completely so I use a solid AV solution for daily protection and then augment with a few choice extras.

For example, I love Stinger for virus removal once infected. It is free and standalone so I can carry it on and run it from a USB key. I mostly use it for my customers as I can build a package around it that my management software can deliver to the local client and run it remotely to clean up the client.
 

Nobody

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Superantispyware is real time, and it catches things even Malwarebytes misses. Avast just does nothing for me, I've never liked it.
 

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James Madison

In the same vein, the laptop my wife and kids use just runs really slowly. My desktop that I don't let anyone touch but me is fine, but her laptop is horrific. It takes forever to open programs, load Internet pages, etc. I have run McAfee (though am installing MSE as I type), malwarebytes and spy hunter and get no reports back except for cookies most of the time. I also use system mechanic, which helps for a short time sometimes, but not long term.

The laptop is only a year or two old, it really should be fine. Any suggestions?
 

Lanky Livingston

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In the same vein, the laptop my wife and kids use just runs really slowly. My desktop that I don't let anyone touch but me is fine, but her laptop is horrific. It takes forever to open programs, load Internet pages, etc. I have run McAfee (though am installing MSE as I type), malwarebytes and spy hunter and get no reports back except for cookies most of the time. I also use system mechanic, which helps for a short time sometimes, but not long term.

The laptop is only a year or two old, it really should be fine. Any suggestions?
Extreme mentioned CC Cleaner - it can do a lot to help clean up the drive. Also, you've probably done this already, but have you defragged it recently?
 

Ax

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You could also have a boatload of unnecessary programs running at startup, and continuing in the background, that won't show up as spyware, malware, etc....

You could have conflicting antivirus/spyware/malware programs.

You need to check what types of programs, or games, may have been installed since purchasing.
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

Ok, Ill check out CC cleaner, thanks.

Ax, I periodically go through her computer and remove programs through the control panel. Should that take care of it, or is there something else I could be doing?
 

Nobody

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Disk Redactor is another good one to clean excess junk. When you delete stuff, it doesn't really go anywhere, you just can't see it anymore. Disk Redactor gets rid of everything you've ever deleted and wipes it clean. And it's free, just takes a while to run.
 

tshile

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In the same vein, the laptop my wife and kids use just runs really slowly. My desktop that I don't let anyone touch but me is fine, but her laptop is horrific. It takes forever to open programs, load Internet pages, etc. I have run McAfee (though am installing MSE as I type), malwarebytes and spy hunter and get no reports back except for cookies most of the time. I also use system mechanic, which helps for a short time sometimes, but not long term.

The laptop is only a year or two old, it really should be fine. Any suggestions?
Hah.
First, get rid of everything but MSE. This idea that having multiple programs helps more is a bit wrong - what it tends to do is bog down the machine. You are significantly better off finding one that meets your needs than putting together multiple different products like that.

You're also much better off keeping your computer up to date (windows updates, java runtime environment, adobe reader, adobe flash player, and quicktime are the main ones). Doing that will protect you from 99% of the junk that is out there. Your AV program is for the other 1%. You don't need 4 of them, just one.

There are many reasons it could be running slowly. First I'd need to know the specs - being 2 years old doesn't tell me much. What type of processor and how much RAM are the key factors in a laptop.

It really could be any combination of things - spyware/malware/virus, bloatware from the manufacturer, hardware that's not what you think it is, etc.

Is it running windows XP or windows 7?


Disk Redactor is another good one to clean excess junk. When you delete stuff, it doesn't really go anywhere, you just can't see it anymore. Disk Redactor gets rid of everything you've ever deleted and wipes it clean. And it's free, just takes a while to run.
Thats a scary thought. I can't imagine what little possible benefit there is to using something like this is worth the risk of it inadvertently removing something it shouldn't have...
 

Lanky Livingston

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Disk Redactor is another good one to clean excess junk. When you delete stuff, it doesn't really go anywhere, you just can't see it anymore. Disk Redactor gets rid of everything you've ever deleted and wipes it clean. And it's free, just takes a while to run.
Defragging the hard drive is a safer option, and also helps more - even if you permanently delete things, the memory blocks can still be in disarray.
 

renaissance

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Extreme and Neo : The problem with Malwarebytes is that it does not have "real-time" protection. At least not in the free version, which is what the subject is about.
This is why I mentioned the $24 license. I know it's not free, but you pay for it once and it's yours forever, including real time protection and automatic updates.
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

T, I have removed Spyhunter and Malwarebytes and McAfee, and installed MSE.

The laptop is a Toshiba, 2GB RAM, AMD Sempron SI-42 2.10GHx.

Does that help?
 

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