Study names Avast Free the most popular antivirus

By on July 12, 2010, 8:50 PM
A new study by OPSWAT suggests that free antivirus applications outrank paid versions in popularity among users. While not shocking, it's an interesting discovery considering the fact that most large system builders ship their machines with Symantec or McAfee preinstalled, leaving smaller companies to rely on after-market installs. It's unclear what percentage of the usage is consumers and how much is enterprise-based.

Avast Free is supposedly the most popular software, taking 11.45% of the pie. Avira AntiVir Personal follows with 9.19%, AVG Free has 8.6%, and Microsoft Security Essentials has carved out a handsome 7.48% since debuting late last year. Below the freebies is Avast (paid) with 5.4%, Kaspersky had 4.48%, Norton at 4.24%, and ESET NOD32 claimed 3.84%.


OPSWAT combined different version numbers for each application, but most vendors have a few separate products, which makes the antivirus software chart a bit confusing. That said, things don't change much when you look at vendors. Avast leads with 19.14%, Avira has 11.39%, Symantec takes 10.06%, Microsoft claims 9.29%, while AVG is just below that with 9%.

The research firm also graphed the location of antivirus vendors. Apparently, 52% of those in the study are European, including Avast, Avira, AVG, ESET, Panda, BitDefender, G Data and Sophos. Meanwhile, 31% are located in the US, including Symantec, Microsoft, McAfee, PC Tools and Sunbelt. Numbers aside, what's your preferred antivirus and why?




User Comments: 56

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dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Avast free and Pro version is the best AV you can have. i have had Avast Pro in the past, its well worth the money. when it came time to renew my subscription i didn't have the funds. so i switched to the free. I haven't had a virus on my PC in years.

raybay said:

The trouble is that it seems to be no longer free for very long... I know lots of users who are getting a request from Avast for payment after 90 days... it is good but so are Avira and a few others.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

The trouble is that it seems to be no longer free for very long... I know lots of users who are getting a request from Avast for payment after 90 days... it is good but so are Avira and a few others.

That is interesting. I'll have to keep an eye on my daughter's laptop and our second PC because we have the latest free from Avast and it has been 90+ days but no pop-ups here asking for payments.

Guest said:

it would be a shame if Avast started charging for the free version. I recommend it to my friends all the time..

OneArmedScissor said:

raybay said:

I know lots of users who are getting a request from Avast for payment after 90 days...

Are you sure you don't just know lots of people who have confused payment with registration? :p

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

raybay said:

The trouble is that it seems to be no longer free for very long... I know lots of users who are getting a request from Avast for payment after 90 days... it is good but so are Avira and a few others.

If you get the free version then you need to register it, this will get rid of the request to buy it

princeton princeton said:

I used to use AVG but it's garbage. Switched to kaspersky internet security and haven't had a virus since.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

Avira Personal... never missed a thing! Very good and the least resource intensive one i found.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Don't know about that MSE is the best and it's free as long as you are using a genuine copy of Windows.

yowanvista yowanvista said:

Avast lacks support for x64 systems

Many features such as boot scan don't work in x64 Win7

I'm for KIS

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

yowanvista said:

Avast lacks support for x64 systems

Many features such as boot scan don't work in x64 Win7

I'm for KIS

your right there, i do miss boot scan but i have heard from a developer that it will be in the avast 5.1

[link]

Guest said:

this data does not show an accurate result of anti-viruses.

It may show the favoritism among the users of the anti-viruses but it doesn't show the best of how well the anti-viruses perform.

The only way avast or avira is popular because its free to everyone.

SSaywell said:

I use MSE but about 2 months ago my computer decided to go un-genuine, seeing as I was going to get a new laptop (hopefully coming today) I just carried on as I was. I download at lot of crap but in the 2 months I have not had a single Virus or anything, so I am currently finding it hard to see how people get them and if you have Anti Virus software there should be no reason at all to get them. I will be installing MSE on my new laptop because I have used a lot of programs and think it is the best.

treetops treetops said:

Iv tried a lot of free anivirus programs throughout the years and avira is my favorite, however you get a daily popup to buy it. Avg seems to miss alot and seems to get infected after a while. Avast just stopped working when I had xp, it started to have never ending scans.

Reloader2 said:

Eset Internet Security. Doesn't take a lot of resources or bandwidth, works without interrupting me and has kept me from getting a handful of Trojans.

Gars Gars said:

its about free AV soft, ESET is not

MSE both on work and home - works fine for me

KIS is too heavy and im too sensitive when it comes to resource hogs

i dont have pc only to run av ....

gobbybobby said:

Used to use AVG, switched to Avast, its much better and the newest version has a very nice UI. It is free as long as you register with your email address, you can register as many times as you like, registering will get rid of the popups.

LightHeart said:

Over the years I have used, Avast, Avira, AVG, McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec, and Trend. I have tested a handful of others however they didn't last long before I removed them.

I'm currently running Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and I really like it. It can be updated through itself and/or via Windows Updates. It takes up little resources, the least amount compared to the other ones I tried. When it discovers something it gives you some very good details on the malware so you understand what's going on and what actions you can take. My understanding is that it doesn't just do a signature scan but looks for programs behaving oddly. If it has information on the malware it will act and if not it checks an online database. This is the real power as the database is updated from all users, so if several users get new malware, it will report it to the database, a solution will be entered and the next users that comes across the malware will be able to get the solution.

Guest said:

I used AVG a long time ago, then it got screwed, forcing me to switch to Avast4, then 5. It's a good one, last to this very day. It normally lives longer than my OS, which I have several. I'm very happy I have found it. And I did recommend it to many of friends.

n0real said:

I like Kaspersky Anti Virus tbh, it costs some $$ but is great, KIS / KAV

UglyChild said:

Guest said:

this data does not show an accurate result of anti-viruses.

It may show the favoritism among the users of the anti-viruses but it doesn't show the best of how well the anti-viruses perform.

The only way avast or avira is popular because its free to everyone.

Duhh.. thats the point of the article.

Ive been using Avira Free, after my NOD32 ran out. Now i have Avira on 3 computers and it does the job well.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's funny how many "best" products are mentioned here. I've tried many of them; with AVG I didn't like the frequent program updates (not virus updates) and how the program advertises itself, but it was good protetion. With McAffee I didn't like it's miss rate which seems higher than others. With Sophos, I didn't care for the false positives. With Norton/Symantec I didn't like the sluggish feeling it puts on a computer. The one that I've stayed with is Microsoft Security Essentials. And I've been very happy with it in every category.

TuesdayExpress said:

I used Avast for about 6 years, and recommended it to friends and family alike. However, about a year ago I began to notice increased system load and nag screens, neither of which I welcome on systems under my care. I've switched to MSE on my home systems and on the other systems as the 1-yr free Avast licenses ran out. Couldn't be happier with MS on this one. Great & effective little app.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

I've been using Avast 5 for about 2 months now (along with PC tools Threatfire) and I am impressed with both. Both have blocked a couple things (I was testing it) I would highly recommend the free version, at least check it out because it does provide a P2P shield, network shield and good scanning options. You can even have it scan whenever the computer goes to screen saver mode.

kyosuke said:

Avast for games (paid for or illegal download + Keygens)

Avira for porn site (which surprisingly has a lower risk of viruses and after the new .XXX will be even safer)

McAfee to see the site give you a virus and then block it

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I've tried out dozens of Antiviruses over the years and most are rubbish. Back in the 90's the only one worth its salt was AVP which later became Kaspersky.

I used to recommend AVG back around version 6, but ever since 7.5 it's been overly bloated and less accurate in my opinion. I then switched to recommending Avast, but many of the people started complaining that it's asking for upgrade/purchase even after registration.

Now I just recommend Avira for free, or Kaspersky for paid.

When it comes to antivirus comparisons, these guys have always done the most comprehensive testing that I've seen.

http://www.virus.gr/portal/en/

And while the #1 spot often varies, Kaspersky is normally in the top 3.

Unfortunately, MSE crashes while going through their testing so doesn't get rated, but that's reason enough for me to put it aside anyway.

If anyone has any decent comparison sites to share, please do.

UglyChild said:

Here is a website that does AV software testing with the out-most accurate results.

http://www.virusbtn.com/index

g4mer said:

I used almost every anti-virus program there is. Now i don't use anti-virus at all

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Need AV program today, wouldn't make much sense not to protect your system. In the late 80's to mid 90's is where the need for protection started to come out more. I started with NAV Dos, then NAV Win16 move up the NS then drop that because of the lousy hosing down the system plus the pest still got on. McAfee VirusScan, NAV Corp, NOD32, Fprot, RAV, AVIR, AVAST, PC Tools AV an etc. New system run Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS including desktops, laptops and netbook have either Norton SI or McAfree. I find it strange that they don't come with MSE 64-bit since that is free from MS. But I guess marketing years fees to new customers must be huge profit shares to PC makers. I quickly remove these programs and install MSE 64-bit and sit back watch my so call fast system take off because those two AV suites make your system run slow. MSE doesn't slow you down. I use this program with IOBIT ASC Pro and that's it. For firewall I use Window 7 along with UAC feature.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

My personal experiences seem to differ from most users.

1. I love my AVG Free

2. Avira (supposedly the best) was the program that allowed malware onto my system.

3. Although a particular computer was not in my possession at the time, Avast let malware onto the machine, and was killed in the process. When you combine this with the expiring license term, I personally avoid this, "AV solution", like the plague.

4. I think M$ is sincere in its efforts about making "Microsoft Security Essentials" a viable, effective, and efficient AV solution. If some of these aftermarket software houses get trampled in the process, so be it. Them's the breaks when you cross the path of a powerful monopoly, while marketing half-a**ed products with exorbitant automatic renewal fees in the process.

LordAnarchy said:

hahahah... my little verification thing to test if I am a "human" was "krapp passed"

In any case, I have used avast for years now... 6+ with zero hits on my computer. I hated McAfee due to the high miss rate and big updates... Avast, little updates for virus definitions atleast every two days. Register with your e-mail address and bing, free for a year, and you can do it over and over every year. Easy on resources but does lack boot scan support for x64 but I was happy to read about that 5.1 update from the other poster.

Nice UI, easy to use, P2P is the tops, scans and even has a web shield to protect from online assaults Coupled to ZoneAlarm Pro, I'm running clean I recommend those who haven't tried it to try it and see why it's at the top of that list.

50-ish MB I think.. Its good and its FREE! TRY IT

Guest said:

Trust me, today the best combination is Avast 5 free plus MSE. My PC works like a charm.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

i use avast/avira and malwarebytes

Guest said:

That is not possible. Avast has and will continue to have free version. Believe me. The notification you recieve is to re-new the free license. The free license has been always for 1 year and they keep the same system now as well. All you need to do is push button "renew free" and it is done.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Trust me, today the best combination is Avast 5 free plus MSE. My PC works like a charm.

I don't know about everyone else, but I ALWAYS trust the anonymous posters on web forums.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got millions of dollars waiting for me in Nigeria.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Long Lost Relatives......

I don't know about everyone else, but I ALWAYS trust the anonymous posters on web forums.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got millions of dollars waiting for me in Nigeria.

I though you weren't supposed to run to "AV solutions" simultaneously.

When you collect that money, don't forget to remember your old cousin cranky.

julianignacio said:

I used Avast until I found MSE. It doesn't seem to be there, it's so light, but i does an excellent job. I installed it on all my pc's and have had no trouble at all. An excellent product.

princeton princeton said:

its about free AV soft, ESET is not

MSE both on work and home - works fine for me

KIS is too heavy and im too sensitive when it comes to resource hogs

i dont have pc only to run av ....

KIS is not resource heavy at all. Right now for me it's using 10mb of ram. It also is using around 1% of my cpu. OH NO! My pc is gunna come to a halt! What are you running? A commodore 64?

carolthescot said:

I've been using the Avast FREE download programme for years-it's brilliant,scans everything thoroughly and very quickly.

If wanted there is an upgrade version which there is a charge but for me the FREE programme download covers everything I require. Well done Avast that's what I say :~D

Guest said:

Avast Free is most effective and best Antivirus for Home Users.

(Imran)

raybay said:

Everybody has a story... Everybody has had some bad luck and some good luck with security software...

The great thing is that there are 87 different products, and perhaps 11 of them are very good.

It's terrific that most users have opinions on why their antivirus is the best for them.

We have a lot of very good techs on this forum, but they have never come to a common agreement on this issue.

The consensus of consumer reviews for 2010 is that Symantec is the best... yet most of us cannot stand it...

Guest said:

dear All.........

Mulai dari bulan Desember 2009 sampais sekarang, saya menggunakan "Avast Home Edition 5.0 Beta 2".

Menurut saya pribadi, untuk performa dari AV tersebut masih Oke.......... AVAST is the best AV!!!

Leeky Leeky said:

Everybody has a story... Everybody has had some bad luck and some good luck with security software...

The great thing is that there are 87 different products, and perhaps 11 of them are very good.

It's terrific that most users have opinions on why their antivirus is the best for them.

We have a lot of very good techs on this forum, but they have never come to a common agreement on this issue.

The consensus of consumer reviews for 2010 is that Symantec is the best... yet most of us cannot stand it...

From what I remember reading in the past Symantec has come a long way. I used to use it years ago, but it just got too resource hungry and started imposing on my OS' functions so I shifted at the time to Avast/AVG.

I hear though that with the 360 versions, Symantec has now got a good product thats not so bad on resources. I wouldn't use it though, as the days of it bringing my system to near halt put me off for life.

Up until getting a multi-license of Kaspersky Is 2010 last year, I used Comodo IS, and for a free product I found it to be excellent - I liked the way it kept you very imformed with what was happening.

My multi license for Kaspersky has 193 days remaining. I'm not sure I'll renew it if I'm honest, as Comodo is a very good free alternative that I quite like.

I do however agree that its all a bit personal, and you'll never get everyone to agree which is best.

Guest said:

The article forgot the best protection against badware, Linux and BSD.

Why?

Leeky Leeky said:

The article forgot the best protection against badware, Linux and BSD.

Why?

Internet security for Linux, and BSD are different, and in the minority here.

Besides which, the some of those in the listings don't really offer solutions for linux and BSD.

I remember using Avast through linux, and it was so buggy I removed it the next day.

Guest said:

Install free versions of AVIRA and AVAST in single machine. Write a simple program to solve conflicts of both. And write another program to improve the abilities of AV to detection, cleaning, automatic update system ( if you use network and one pc has Internet ) and automatic msg responder. Then you will get the best protection for your pc or for your workgroup ( not for server ).

I am using this method for my office, I used vb6 and still working it. never ever waste your money for commercial AV guards !

bugasanka@yahoo.com

Guest said:

that is not "interesting" but misleading... you havent obviously registered the software, therefore it tells you to buy it. If you register, you have it for free for one year period. After that you have to re-register every year... they do this to have current statistics of the actual USERS, not downloaders (such as Microsoft).

Guest said:

well raybay you just cant tell the difference between free registration after 90 days and buying stuff :-P

Guest said:

That's probably because you did NOT register it which is completely free and easy process and it will give you a full year and you can renew (also for free) when it ends.

systemmistress systemmistress said:

Avast problems

I had used Avast 4 for years, and when they upgraded to Avast5 and it messed up my XP machine so badly, I could not do a thing with it. So I used Revo Uninstaller, thinking it would uninstall ALL of it including the Registry, and put on Avira. I like Avira, and felt so naked without my Avast, that I bought a year subscription in February of 2010 for 1/2 price. I loved it until my machine no longer worked..which is now. I could not figure out what was wrong, so I immediately thought it was a virus, and proceeded to run each and every online scanner I could find, with clean results.

When I looked deeper, I thought it was not safe to just have a good firewall, and went to a site and made sure all my Services were secure. I don't dare put yet another anti-virus on this machine and mess things up even further until this is straightened out.

It seems that Avast 4 is stuck in Self-Protect Mode, and so Avira was never doing its job. I did not get a virus, but my machine hangs so badly that I have ytto hit the kill button for reboots. I cannot even boot into safe mode by F8. Not only that I cannot get into my partition - I am locked out by this self-protect thing..and cannot even do a clean install.

This is why I am here. This must have been the problem for over a year now., and at this point I am afraid to put my fav AV Avast back on. I have an XP sp3 machine, AMD Athlon Presario.

Any help is always wanted and I will be grateful.

Systemmistress

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