Best free antivirus software

By JudJer ยท 76 replies
Jan 23, 2013
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  1. Read the threads, but some are old. Is there a current free antivirus software comparable to Norton?
  2. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,673   +413

  3. Sunaru

    Sunaru TS Enthusiast Posts: 56   +10

    If you're talking about free antivirus software, then no. Paid antivirus have more features, but are sometimes bloated. Free antivirus such as Avast! Free Antivirus can protect your PC, but not the same way as a paid AV.
    Oksana likes this.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,028   +2,558

    This is an old , old argument. It really isn't going anywere.

    Norton used to have different products. A straight up AV program, and an internet security suite.

    Off the top of my head, I'd say any of the top three free AV products, (Avira, Avast, & AGV), are all better than Norton.

    I use AVG Free for porn, and M$E (Microsoft Security Essentials) for banking. I use Firefox as a browser, with the "NoScript" add on. That helps a bunch.

    At the moment, AVG Free is the top rated product.
  5. Wepynx

    Wepynx TS Rookie Posts: 22

    I run Avast Free on 2 computers and Microsoft Security Essentials on the other 3, along with Malwarebytes and Superantispyware, all free versions, and never have any problems with any of them.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,028   +2,558

    I wish people would catch on to the idea that both the free versions of these programs aren't actually "running". Both programs offer a scanning mode only, not active protection. You need to purchase a license to be able to "intercept" malware during a session.

    "Superantispyware" (free), is kind of nasty. It doesn't offer active protection, but won't initialize if you don't allow it to run at startup. Hence, I removed it. Kept Malwarebytes though. And "CCleaner" that's always good to have around.

    Having active script blocking in your browser, (I feel), is as important as the AV software you choose.
    m4a4 and MrBlkfx1 like this.
  7. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 863   +204

    I didn't know Norton was something you'd want to compare a AV to when looking for quality protection. I thought the only thing Norton was good at was resource hogging.While the article is old, it is still for the most part true. I would go with MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) and Malwarebytes as a supplement for scanning.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,738   +3,706

    AV's are all useless, if the user goes around clicking any link they see. If the user gets wise to the types of links/pages that will infect, AV's become apps that are hardly needed.
  9. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,673   +413

    I've heard so much bad about AVG, I personally wouldn't put it on any pc.
    I've removed it from several pc's,too.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,028   +2,558

    Like I said earlier, nothing is going to be solved by this thread.

    AVG Free is the top rated AV at the moment.

    Yeah tho I walk though through the valley of computer diseases, I will fear no evil, for AVG art with me.

    You should probably consider what others, more knowledgeable than you or I have to say about the issue, before "boldly going where it is unnecessary to go".

    AVG's footprint is a bit heavy, I'll grant you that. You do know I don't hang around safe havens like Techspot all day, don't you?

    I've used the AVG for years, even when our "in house experts" were posting crap in bold and all different colors trying to ram "Avira" down my throat. Hell, I got infected with that nagging crap, at a site that had always been safe.

    The "expert" is gone, and I've never been infected, nor have I had to reformat since I installed any version of AVG. My goodness, I've never even seen a blue screen.
    misor likes this.
  11. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,673   +413

    captaincranky, correct, nothing will be solved by this thread. On a few of the related threads in here , I was tempted to post link(s) from another forum I used to post at but I didn't .
    I myself never liked AVG when I had it which is why I went with Avast.
    m4a4 likes this.
  12. Wepynx

    Wepynx TS Rookie Posts: 22

    I know that Mbam Free and SAS Free are not "running" captaincranky, but I scan with them often enough for each to be useful to me. I'm a very careful surfer, but I use alot of software and visit alot of websites on my test machines, they never let me down ,,, yet.
    learninmypc likes this.
  13. Sten M

    Sten M TS Rookie

    DrWeb is good free AV :)
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,028   +2,558

    That's nice but, if you're going to recommend something, full disclosure is the best policy.

    To me, a program that lets things pass, only to be held in "high esteem " for finding them later, is an analog of a person creating his own problem and situations, then expecting to be praised for resolving them later.

    Every statement in these types of threads usually involves a pissing challenge, a statement of accomplishment in procedural expertise, and a pronouncement of, "purity of heart and soul"? So what? It won't be the poster using the program should that advice be taken.

    Since off site testimonials have found their way into play once again, I'll share this with you. My son's wife managed to kill that Avast nonsense, with Facebook.

    My "cranky", offbeat opinion is this, a person needs a couple of reformats to smarten them up. Trial by ordeal, that's how you learn and mature.
  15. drensmith

    drensmith TS Rookie Posts: 74

    Avast and comodo firewall here also dragon browser. all free and better than microsoft windows defender and windows firewall. anyone seen microsofts a.v. reports?.. they miserably failed
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,028   +2,558

    I think it's a pretty safe bet we have.
  17. Wepynx

    Wepynx TS Rookie Posts: 22

    I understand you captaincranky buddy, I was just stating what I use, I will use the word "recommend" if and when I recommend any software or utility. Also my friend, I maybe new to TechSpot, but I'm an old hand at forums, under another name, I've gathered a nice little record for myself, but that was then, and this is now. Have a good one buddy.
  18. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,673   +413

    I have to agree with you. I've been in other forums too & where I thought what they were talking about was gospel, but it turned out most of the members feared telling the the OP (s)he was full of crap.
    Yes, "recommend" does sound better.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,028   +2,558

    Here's my actual point. When any "senior" member states that they "use" "xxxxridsoneofmalware", no matter what language or syntax is in play, it is more than likely interpreted as an "endorsement".

    My particular exception is is with the normally, "mentioned" anti-malware FREE programs which are passive.

    All too often, I read, "I use Malwarebytes". A beginners mistaken impression is that these programs offer protection from malware. They do not. And whenever the conversation turns to free anti-malware programs, (NOT free anti-virus which offer active protection), the concept that they DON'T stop anything, should really come to the forefront, to avoid confusing, or instilling a sense of false security in a novice user.

    If you want them to actively protect you, you gotta pay. It's that simple.

    Right on cue.
  20. Wepynx

    Wepynx TS Rookie Posts: 22

    I don't claim to be an expert buddy, I just know I've helped alot of users save money and sanity, all I want to do is try to help, the same way years back, I was helped. If anyone has a problem with that, so be it. I'm very easy to get along with. Hard times and a dangerous past employment made me thankful and grateful to just want to lend a hand. See you later cc buddy.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,028   +2,558

    No sweat. I'll consider myself duly patronized, and you can take it from here.
  22. Karoline

    Karoline TS Rookie

  23. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 956   +515

    It depends on what you do. If you do go into "unsafe" stuff, then the best option is a paid anti-virus (paid version of previously mentioned I would recommend), and maybe an anti-malware to feel safer. If you go on the internet for Facebook and the simple things, then any free anti-virus previously mentioned should do (and again maybe an anti-malware to feel safer).

    I honestly have only used a free anti-virus (Avast) and besides the rare site blocked by it, it hasn't let me down once...
    T77 and Wepynx like this.
  24. Razer

    Razer TS Booster Posts: 126   +14

    As far as I know, there's no 'best' AV..
    just pick one free or paid AV then make sure you keep it updated

    here, I copy-paste several links that's always suggested for read by TS malware remover (from virus and malware removal section)

    info about malware and prevention

    How did I get infected?, With steps so it does not happen again

    Simple and easy ways to keep your computer safe and secure on the Internet
    m4a4 and Wepynx like this.
  25. MaiKat

    MaiKat TS Rookie

    I recommend you try Unthreat Antivirus, I've been using it for a while now and I'm really happy with it. It doesn't slow down my system when scanning and I haven't had a virus since I downloaded it. Try it - It's a free antivirus so what have you got to lose?

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