General Question

susiefrown's avatar

Best Anti-Virus?

Asked by susiefrown (13points) March 16th, 2011

My Norton anti-virus that came with the purchase of my laptop is due to expire in a week. I would be very appreciative of any advice and or warnings people might have for a replacement anti-virus program. I know there are free programs to be found online, but am not too tech savvy and am unsure if this is the best route to take. Free is appealing as I am on a budget, but I know how costly viruses can be from past experiences, so don`t want to save now only to pay more in the long run. Does anyone have any suggestions for a decent program? I am also never certain if programs are comprehensive, or if there are additional safety measures I should add.
Again, I would be very grateful for any input. Thanks in advance!

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10 Answers

flutherother's avatar

I don’t know about the best but I use the free version of AVG and I have never had any problem with viruses.

josie's avatar

If you have Windows, Microsoft Security Essentials is free and is very good. Download at the Microsoft site.

Austinlad's avatar

I suspect they’re all pretty much equally effective, but MSE is free and regularly updated.

Of course, leaving the computer totally off is the best anti-virus solution.

koanhead's avatar

If you follow good security practices, then it doesn’t matter that much what antivirus you use.
Don’t run as Administrator unless you need to, don’t download unsigned/untrusted software, scan anything before you run it, disable autorun. The basics are your best protection- the insecurity of Windows as an OS is largely due to its failure to enforce these practices. Here’s a good guide to Windows security basics.

When I’m forced to administer Windows boxen I usually use MSSE as the “first level” antivirus- the one that does on-access scanning or whatever you call it. I also install ClamWin for on-demand scanning. ClamWin is a Free Software project and the virus database is very frequently updated. This may also be true of other antivirus programs outside my knowledge.
It’s a good idea to have two antivirus programs. It’s a VERY bad idea to have two antivirus programs doing on-access scanning at the same time. There should only ever be one antivirus running “in the background”. It’s ok to have one running in the background while the other does an on-demand scan.

jerv's avatar

I go with Avira. Look here and you’ll get a nice comparison that shows Avira has a top-notch detection rate.

I avoid AVG since the one virus I got was with AVG running. I don’t trust stuff that has failed me before.

bolwerk's avatar

@koanhead – I heard ClamWin wasn’t very effective. Has that improved?

MajorDisappointment's avatar

At the present time, avast is the best free anti-virus:

During the last ten years I’ve tried many free anti-virus programs downloaded
from the Internet, and Symantec products purchased at Staples with a free rebate.

I have been using MSSE and avast simultaneously for about one year now.
Recently avast is identifying MSSE virus definitions as suspicious files.
I suspect competition between Microsoft and avast has reached the point where one,
the other, or both are intentionally causing problems for the consumer, to eliminate
fair competition.

Additional information:
If you are cloning your disks, and keeping copies of your recent files on USB flash drives,
you are avoiding eventual discouragement and perhaps, a costly disappointment.
Jesus, and experienced computer buffs remember to save, externally.

GoBack disk restoration tool, Casper disk cloning tool, and USB flash drives,
have allowed me to avoid data loss, and or, operating system re-installation many times.
GoBack can be a pain, when it gets compromised, but I still use the older version,
GoBack 3, with Windows XP. It often prevents me having to switch disks and update
one of the clones I made with Casper, that I keep in the drawer. Disable GoBack first,
when making a clone with Casper.

I learned computers and the Internet through trial and errors, along with a few helpful
pieces of information from my friends. I did not know enough about computers to be
sure I received the Windows 95 operating system CD, when I bought my first computer.
I had to take it into a shop when it needed repair, twice in two years. When I bought a
Windows 98 computer as a replacement, the operating system CD came with it.
I used the CD for re-installation many times during five years of blue screens.
I learned that having two computers is as necessary for their convenient use,
as is having two legs is for walking. When one computer was down, I could use
the other to find a solution on the Internet.

Windows XP has never required a re-installation, in the way the earlier systems did.

I regularly make clones of my Windows XP disks. Whenever one failed to boot up
properly after several tries, and attempts to reclaim it, I removed the drive and replaced
it with a clone. After a few hours work, I have the latest Windows updates, and my
recent files copied back to the failed drive from my USB flash drive backups.
I completely wipe the failed drive first, before using it to make another copy,
to get rid of any root kits and such malware.

I think Windows 7 operating system is OK, from what little experience I have with it.
I am preparing to install a new Windows 7 on a Windows XP disk, soon as I find time.
I can play around with them because I have made several back up clones with Casper.
I am aware of other options, including Norton ghost and using Windows 7 restoration

If you are slumming on the Internet, use Firefox with NoScript script blocking add-on.

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bobby78's avatar

You should browse some AV forums, there a lots of less know AV’s that are amazing.

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