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Thread: Anti-virus - what is the best free option today?

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    Anti-virus - what is the best free option today?

    Congrats to me, my computer is now officially one year old! I know this because my anti-virus license that came with it, has now expired.

    I wasn't overwhelmingly impressed with it, and don't want to purchase a renewal license. In the past AVG had an excellent free version of their anti-virus. Who has the best today?

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    Clay,

    I've found AVG Free has gotten a little 'bloated', so I've switched to Avira AntiVir Personal which is free as well.

    It has an annoying pop-up screen, but luckily it can easily be disabled.

    I'm not even sure why I still use an antivirus at all, I haven't had a hit on anything in so long I can't remember the last time it happened. Just a force of Windows habit I guess.
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    I've been trying out Microsoft Security Essentials, because I've found similar bloat in McAfee VirusScan. It has a relatively small memory footprint, and has so far done a fine job of keeping me virus-free.

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    Senior Knight [AK]Nuts's Avatar
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    Hands down the best out there is Sophos. It's not available for home purchase though. Currently the Vatican, NSA, & GE all use it. I've got about 150 additional licenses available. I can probably set one aside for you... just send me a note. It comes with ZERO tech support for home users but it's bloat free and update-able forever. Let me know.

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    August Knights Founder Moon's Avatar
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    I tend to disagree on the AVG. Why? I keep it under control and have virtually no bloat. How? In services I set "watchdog" to manual which eliminates tray bloat, however I allow email scanning to run automatic which does not cause any problems or tray bloat. I do not allow it automatic updates or run times. I update and run when I feel like. I recently updated to AVG9 which seems to be the best so far but is still similar to AVG8.5. Also it has an AVG safe search addon for Firefox and it works quite nicely. In all the years I've run the various versions of AVG, I have yet to get hit. Holidays are usually the worst times and sometimes I'll find some nasties roped and hog tied in the vault.

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    Accept no substitutes. [AK]Bribo's Avatar
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    Agree with Moon. I run AVG on my kids machines with no problems.
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    Who is Nuts and Abbadon? [AK]StitchJones's Avatar
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    AVG has been a great program and has worked like a dream for me up to this point.


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    Quote Originally Posted by [AK]Squidly View Post
    OS X
    I sometimes wonder about that. The claim is that Apple is virus free, because it's a different OS. The counter claim is that because it has such low market share, no one bothers to write a virus for it. If that counter claim is true, that's not a comforting position. All it takes is for someone to decide he doesn't want to be a me-too virus writer, but really make a name for himself and stand out. And so target Apple.

    I'm not sure how these things work though. The way virus' propagate, maybe they basically can't propagate if something has a low market share - because there's not enough "hosts bodies" out there to keep the strain alive.

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    Who is Nuts and Abbadon? [AK]StitchJones's Avatar
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    With an Unix based OS you cannot drop files onto a machine and have a process that runs it cause the virus to spread and do it's damage. This is the beauty of an OS that is locked down and executes processes based on interaction from the system directly and the user that requests it. RUNDLL32 is a whore of a plague on Windows.


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    I switched to Microsoft Security Essentials too -- got tired of nag screens. Seems to be working fine.
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    OSX isn't virus proof, but times have changed. Most infections these days are written by criminals who are trying to grab credit cards, set up file shares, or bots for spamming or launching denial of service attacks. The days of some disgruntled Eastern European kiddie writing something to delete your hard disk and nothing else are mostly gone.

    However it's accomplished, Mac users don't worry about viruses or spyware.

    Whistling through the graveyard maybe, but there it is.
    The sun has fallen down
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    Accept no substitutes. [AK]Bribo's Avatar
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    As a Mac user I don't really worry about viruses, but I do run a free Mac anti-virus software package to be on the safe side. It's very innocuous and keeps a low profile. Only pops up once a month and asks me if I want to do a full system scan. It's probably overkill and I probably don't need it but it makes me feel better to know I've got something running adding an extra layer of protection.
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    I've been reading good things about the Microsoft package. The anti-virus companies can't be happy about that and are probably pushing for an anti-trust case already.
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