The Final Thread: The best free Anti-Virus?

Maximos

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So, what is it? I read about AVG, Avast, ClamWin, AntiVir, Windows One Care, and a plethora of others. Which of these takes the least resources while providing the best protection?
 
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I don't there is "a best," or at least nothing exists that all will agree with.

My vote goes for AVG, I've been using it for years. Works just fine, even with Vista x64. My second vote would be with NOD32, though I've never actually used it, it's reputation speaks for itself. The only reason AVG comes before NOD32 is due to the fact it's free.

I've used just about every other anti-virus application on the market. Everything from Avast to Norton, and needless to say the only one I still use is AVG, though I may switch over to NOD32 in the near future...

Let the endless debates continue...
- Joey
 
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How many MB RAM does AVG take? Does it have a light foorprint?

Of course. It may very be the smallest footprint application I have on my machine. Perhaps a few MegaByte's of usage at worst. The thing I like best is the ability to auto update daily and restart the application without having to restart your machine. Not to mention the ability to run scheduled daily scans. It's the only AV application I use and on a machine that's Folding 24 x 7 again, and also running Vista, I need all the free memory I can get.

Good luck,
- Joey
 

oboyco

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I've used Antivir for years and have never had a virus of any kind, even when visiting some questionable websites. Automatic daily updates and only uses about .5mb of ram when running.

I've read some comparisons and Antivir ranks right up there at the top.
 

Maximos

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Maybe I should have titled it differently...

I meant 'The best option when considering free anti-virus software'.

In any case, I just installed AVG and it seems alright.
 

l0cke

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I use Avast! but I don't really consider it necessary with the Zone-alarm firewall. But I do really like the boot-time scan which will scan your computer before windows has a chance to run.
 

QwertyJuan

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im currently trying out bitdefender... it was voted #1 this year, by some sorta something or other.... anyhow, no problems so far.

I've been using avast the last while though, and am really impressed with it... VERY unobtrusive.
 

tazman4

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I use Avast! but I don't really consider it necessary with the Zone-alarm firewall. But I do really like the boot-time scan which will scan your computer before windows has a chance to run.

What does firewall have to do with a/v, if you don't mind me asking?
Firewall isn't going to stop virii, trojans, etc..

To the OP -
Free: AVG
Pay: NOD32

just my .02
 

MrGuvernment

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That's a fact.....

NOD32. Constant updates, reliable, no false positives and really light... can't recommend it highly enough.

no false positives, how do you know??, have you scanned every last file on the net, ALOT of av prog have false positive pending how you use your computer.


depends who you ask, what sites you see for reviews, some say NOD32, other AntiVir, others AVG, but no one can truely prove they are the best, they could of had a virus / SW / MW and not known it with anyone of them, which was later removed after the company knew about it, or maybe they didnt, you never know, and with systems becoming more and more powerful, ram usage shoudlnt be an issue unless your on an older rig wih like 512 of ram or something.
 

MrGuvernment

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I use Avast! but I don't really consider it necessary with the Zone-alarm firewall. But I do really like the boot-time scan which will scan your computer before windows has a chance to run.

as said, you DO need it with zone alarm (sinxe zone alarm isnt that great anwyays as a firewall from all i hear), firewalls will stop thing coming in, but they dont stop user stupidity clicking some file, or email or some new ype of virus format being spread, or some Windows vulnerability.. et cetera.
 

digital_exhaust

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no false positives, how do you know??

Fair enough... but NOD32 hasn't tagged any games as a virus.... yet anyhow. And we can all sit here and claim that the A/V du jour is the absolute best, but I will stand behind NOD32 until I find something lighter, more up to date and reliable.

And the fact that every positive that NOD32 has caught for me has been legit says something....Honestly, the minute that AVG decided that Quake 4 was a virus, well... it made me wonder...that's all.
 

Johnx64

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Of course. It may very be the smallest footprint application I have on my machine. Perhaps a few MegaByte's of usage at worst. The thing I like best is the ability to auto update daily and restart the application without having to restart your machine. Not to mention the ability to run scheduled daily scans. It's the only AV application I use and on a machine that's Folding 24 x 7 again, and also running Vista, I need all the free memory I can get.

Good luck,
- Joey


Avg told me the other day to restart machine to finish the update process... :confused:
 

TechieSooner

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I've always liked AVG for Free.

However if you do take pay-fers into the equation, NOD32 all the way.
Just the fact it is so freakin' light on resources makes it a huge plus.
Even if Symantec (not even Norton- Corporate) was as good as it was (close, note quite), the fact NOD32 is much smaller and lighter makes me stick with it.

But for free, AVG.

Avast! doesn't have all the features (like automation).

Another NOD32 features is on-demand scanning, which works very well (although I must say slows down some flash sites... I'd rather have it scanned though!!!).

I don't think anyone here can say NOD32 hasn't had false positives. However, there is good support for it (mainly: none ever being found... if I have missed something, it would have been very few false positives).

Shell out the $$ for NOD32.
Don't know if you need their whole security package or not, still trying to decide that for myself...
 
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Avg told me the other day to restart machine to finish the update process... :confused:

Yes. Every once in awhile a critical system component for the application needs to be updated, and that does require a restart. But normally, 99.9% of the time, you should NOT have to restart your machine to process and finish any updates as AVG should automatically restart the application itself, not Windows.

- Joey
 
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nod32 is great, avg is great for being free. I have also had good experiences with panda, and kaspersky, but only avg has the free option, tried avast not my thing, I have not given clamav a shot. Those are only the windows setups, my *nix setups I dont bother with.
 
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Never tried Panda or Kaspersky, but I've read they don't work very well. As for AntiVir, ClamAV (aka - CalmAV), BitDefender, Avast, etc... I've tried them all and for one reason or another, I haven't used 'em since. AVG is the only product I've ever stuck with on my personal machines and I've installed it on dozens of computers I've built for friends, family and clients.

I need to get around to testing out NOD32. It's reputation is hard to ignore.

Just my $0.02,
- Joey
 

AMD_Gamer

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i installed AVG free and i am very impressed so far, but i want a whole anti-virus+ anti spyware package so i assume my only option is to pay for one of the products that supports this like the AVG internet security or run the AVG Free and a Free anti spyware such as spybot or ad-aware?
 
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i installed AVG free and i am very impressed so far, but i want a whole anti-virus+ anti spyware package so i assume my only option is to pay for one of the products that supports this like the AVG internet security or run the AVG Free and a Free anti spyware such as spybot or ad-aware?

AVG offers free anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-rootkit applications. But yes, I also suggest running multiple anti-spyware applications, such as Spybot Search & Destory, Ad-Aware, a2 (a-squared) and others... All free.

- Joey
 

AMD_Gamer

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AVG offers free anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-rootkit applications. But yes, I also suggest running multiple anti-spyware applications, such as Spybot Search & Destory, Ad-Aware, a2 (a-squared) and others... All free.

- Joey

i know but im talking about an all in one package
 
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i know but im talking about an all in one package

These "all-in-one" packages are simply the separate programs all wrapped up into one package. There is no difference between installing them all-together or individually. The packages are simply meant for convenience or retail purposes. But when we're talking free, it shouldn't matter. Now as for NOD32, go whatever route is cheapest, an "all-in-one" or buy them individually.

- Joey
 

YeOldeStonecat

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For FREE antivirus...AntiVir.

AVG...seriously...for the past couple of years it's barely been "middle of the pack" in detection.

Avast....bogs down your system substantially, even though it does have good detection rates....too many complaints of system slowdowns.

AntiVir is very light..and very strong in detection. Best free AV package out there IMO.
 

Redshirt #24

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Installed avast! last night on my XP/x64 rig...it hasn't imploded yet, but it is running five, possibly six, different processes all at once. (And they're all 32-bit processes...way to be "native" x64-friendly, guys.) It's okay, but it definitely slogs if you're doing a massive enough scan. Maybe it just has not-terribly-good multithreading support, I don't know.

Anybody got a spare AVG license they're not using? :D
 

JaYp146

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AntiVIR's pretty good. There's also a script out there on t3h Google that will disable the annoying pop-up message every time you load up the AV (usually when restarting).
 

TechieSooner

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AVG...seriously...for the past couple of years it's barely been "middle of the pack" in detection.

Avast....bogs down your system substantially, even though it does have good detection rates....too many complaints of system slowdowns.

AntiVir is very light..and very strong in detection. Best free AV package out there IMO.
That's my conclusion when coming around to AVG as well... Good package, but for what matters (detection rates) it seems to be getting worse.

Avast, I agree. That and the fact it lacks on features (like a schedule).

Haven't tried AntiVir, does that auto-update, auto-scan and everything? Does it do email/firewall or is it strictly AV?

Anybody got a spare AVG license they're not using? :D

Unless you are talking about the professional version... it is free.
 

rodsfree

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I personally use AVG Free.
I tried NOD32 and it wouldn't let me download my email from my ISP's mail server. It was in a constant email scan loop.

But everyone else that I've talked with that use it love's it.

I'll have to look into antivir....

I use ClamAV on an old Win2K server box - AVG wouldn't install on a server OS.
 

rodsfree

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Server OS typically means business, which is why it doesn't work ;)


I agree - But what does a [H]er generally do when the place you work at basically throws away a win2k server with a legal OS and SN on it. Dumpster Diving!!!!:D
 

enorganik

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There have been instances where there were viruses that targeted and tampered with AVG since it has been quite popular. I can't recommend it. Nod32 is so worth it.
 
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There have been instances where there were viruses that targeted and tampered with AVG since it has been quite popular. I can't recommend it. Nod32 is so worth it.

Never heard of that before. A virus targeting a particular anti-virus application. Very interesting.

But if we used that logic, we wouldn't be using Windows either, and eventually Linux (as it becomes more popular and widely used)... Or eventually any Operating System or piece of software.

Don't take that the wrong way though, just the reality of technology...

- Joey
 

Dallows

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I've seen a lot of people "complaining" that avast bogs the system down. And I seriously can't understand this. Either:

Your system sucks.
Is being bogged down by other software.
You don't know how to optimize.
Or you're just insane.

imo.

Avira Antivir is good, AVG doesn't cut it anymore.


What "automation" doesn't Avast offer... btw?
 

YeOldeStonecat

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Never heard of that before. A virus targeting a particular anti-virus application. Very interesting.

It's quite common..and has been happening for a very long time. Some of the bigger viruses out there are programmed to be able to infiltrate a system with some of the common AV products on them..and have been programmed with code designed to specifically knock out/disable services, such as real time protection, and updates.
 

YeOldeStonecat

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I've seen a lot of people "complaining" that avast bogs the system down. And I seriously can't understand this. Either:

Your system sucks.
Is being bogged down by other software.
You don't know how to optimize.
Or you're just insane.

It's much heavier....period. Some antivirus products are known to be heavier, symantec, mcafee, panda, earlier version of Kaspersky, etc. Avast is up there. No need for some typical 7 year old kid attack of "Well you system sucks"....do you have any idea how many systems some of us have installed it on? It's not one or two, or even just dozens..it's much higher than that. And many of them quite potent systems.

Add to this.....when I've installed Avast on some peoples systems after I spent time cleaning them up...the users complain of sudden slowness. I've gone back..same system, uninstalled it..and installed a lighter one like NOD32 or AntiVir...now..this is the SAAAAAM system...NOOOOOOO additional tweaks, Avast gone..lighter AV installed....that SAAAAME user says "Thank you..the speed is back"..or something similar. This is dozens and dozens and dozens of times ....not just one or two users.

Spend some time at some of the well known antivirus forum...you'll see a higher concensus of people stating that Avast is heavy. And these people are the more technically savvy.

I've worked with, installed, and supported, the majority of AV brands out there....so I have a good feel for other products to compare it against. Granted I'm biased by being spoiled by the very lightweight NOD32 and AntiVir....but still have an excellent seat of the pants feel for other products. And the knowledge to properly uninstall the other AV products..including additional removal tools and TCP/Winsock rebuilt utilities..so the systems are properly running.

Claims of the system being bogged down by other software, that we don't know how to optimize, or are just insane...are laughable.

Maybe you just "think" your system is fast..and don't know what a truely light AV product really feels like.
 

Redshirt #24

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Found a free (legit) version of AVG Professional 7.5 here (thanks to the guy over at DSLReports who found it--the promo runs until January 17), so I'm giving it a shot...right off the bat, it's definitely zippier than avast! even when just starting a full system scan. Could be the standard Windows UI AVG uses instead of the latter's fugly metallic UI skin...

(Also running 32-bit processes under x64, though. Figures.)

EDIT: an addendum of a sort: the license AVG auto-registers itself up with expires on 12/1/2008. So it's not free free, but hey.
 
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