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What FREE Antivirus


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Hey all,

I have been going from bad to worse with Antivirus options. At first I had Norton (urggh!), then I switched to AVG Free, which turned out to be a pain as if you had something full screen, it's windows would go overtop of your full-screen app. Then I switched to Antivir (www.free-av.com) and I get ads whenever it downloads a definition update. I am now currently trying avast on 1 computer and I like the program already.

Now to the question: What do you guys recommend for a free antivirus alternative. Also, if anyone knows that a program listed does give ads, let me know.

I know NOD32 is good from what I read, well, everywhere, but it is a paid program, and I need a free one.

Thanks in advance guys,


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Norton is better than AVG? You're going to get a cartload of nasty comments about that one. I can't even begin to count the number of times that I had to reinstall Norton to fix a problem with updating.

Avast is my suggestion for a free anti-virus. It's simple, lightweight, and does a good enough job for most people. :)

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ClamWin is very good

I am trying this on one machine right now. The only issue is it does not offer real-time scanning. They are working on it for the 0.6 version.

The lack of real-time scanning is one of the reasons i love Clamwin. It doesn't bog your system down or cause problems. Ask your self if you really need background scanning? Where do the majority of viruses come from? Email and internet downloads. If you use IE and OE and aren't patched to the hilt or are lax on security (allow ActiveX, JS, etc.), then you may be better off with a background scanner, however if you use alternative clients and have security properly configured, there's far less need to have an over-stuffed A/V scanning every document/program you open.

If you use FF you can use Clamwin to scan d/l's automatically with an extension like Download Statusbar or Download Scan by pointing it to the Clamwin executable and using an argument like:

--mode=scanner --path=%1 --close

Edited by atomizer
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Clamwin is getting more popular lately - lots of ppl are talking about it (in a good way). From what I've seen, the app itself is OK, the problem is with the definitions. From the tests I've seen, it didn't get very good results (can't seem to find the link again), although that could have changed lately too...

If you're restricting your choices to free apps, there isn't a whole lot of choice though. AVG, Avast, antivir, bitdefender all have free versions AFAIK. The problem is two fold. Not only you want something a free client that's unobtrusive (like no ads), but being an AV app it also has to have decent detection rates (defs must be good) and hopefully low false positives.

Some test results (uses only the paid versions, but they should be even better then what you'd get using their free versions). AVG is 2nd last of all tested, avast is a little better, bitdefender quite good, antivir scores best of all 4.

Also, a quick review of free AVs. (not a bad review - AVG is dead last again, and antivir still top)

If you only want on-demand scanning though, there is always HouseCall.

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i found avg picks up all the files that norton 2004 / 2005 didt

like about in totaly 600 files

with virus

but i like AVG its stoped a file from running most times if there is a virus in that file :)

buts its a personal thing

what one you like to use and can use best

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I use avast! Home edition. I have it on 5 out of the 5 PC's in my house.

the other 4 are set to send me a notification of any virus activity (using the messenger service.. blocked in my firewall of course) and all update the program and virus definitions silently.

it's been one of my favorite antivirus programs i've ever ran into.

the only downsides i see to avast are....

- the update notification if you don't manualy make it silent it pops-up and tells you along with playing a .wav file. (can be turned off in settings -> sounds -> disable all sounds, and settings -> Update (basic) -> both set to automatic.. details -> silent -> all checkboxes off)

- have to re register every year for updates, but thats not a big problem.

- it's **** near impossible to download viruses and trojans LOL.. was trying to download a pack of "security tools" and avast went crazy lol.

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