General Question

cyreb7's avatar

Free, Fast, Antivirus Software?

Asked by cyreb7 (222points) November 18th, 2008

I have a friend with a cheap 4+ year old laptop, and lately she has been getting these weird viruses (most of the time in the form of “antivirus software”) and I (being the one that is good with computers) have to go through the hassle of trying to uninstall the stupid software.

She is not willing to spend money on buying antivirus software, so I am hoping to find a free antivirus software she can use, to at least keep the number of viruses to a minimum. It would need to be very fast, considering her computer is really slow as it is. She is not the kind of person that will remember to press “scan” or “update” and so would need to do a lot automatically.

I am looking for a free antivirus software, that will not slow down a 4+ year old laptop, and that will do a lot automatically. I know I am kind of asking a lot, but that is why I am asking, I am trying to find out if it exists at all.

Thank you for all your help,

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27 Answers

aidje's avatar

I recommend avast!.

AVG Free seems to be quite popular.

dynamicduo's avatar

AVG is a good scanner. However I had issues with it causing my computer to become unstable, so I’ve uninstalled it since the scan and will reinstall if I feel the need to rescan. I haven’t tried other ones so I can’t comment on their stabilities.

BonusQuestion's avatar

I have been using Avast for quite some time.

jasongarrett's avatar

I’ve been pleased with AVG Free for a long time.

paradesgoby's avatar

Glary Utilities is another helpful program that keeps computers running in tiptop shape

eambos's avatar

I prefer Avast! Over AVG, but they’re both great.

To get the computer running better, I’d also suggest CCleaner and Auslogic Disk Defrag. Just download and run those free softwares and they’ll get rid of a lot of crap.

eambos's avatar

Great idea. OP asks for free antivirus software and you offer a $1200 response.

boffin's avatar

Ditto the Avast suggestion(s).....

eambos's avatar

Zone alarm pro is free for today only! It’s a great firewall and antivirus, normally $40. Get it quick!

scubydoo's avatar

I use avast and it seems to be doing nicely

joni1977's avatar

avast or mcafee

La_chica_gomela's avatar

what about spybot?

aidje's avatar

Spybot is a spyware scanner. A little bit different than an antivirus. On a PC, you want to be using both.

joni1977's avatar

Avast is great, but I must warn you, if you download the home edition, don’t be a dumb ass like me and delete everything! I couldn’t even get into my start menu. I had to do a full system recovery. Btw, does anyone know if/how I can get back all the music, photos and docs I lost in the process?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

aaaah, thanks aidge. i tend to think of those terms as the same or interchangable.

cyreb7's avatar

Thank you for all the suggestions. It looks like most of you like avast, so I will give it a shot, and if she doesn’t like it I will try some of your other suggestions.


kleinrider's avatar

AVG is a great product. Also look into getting some free spyware and malware. You can go to and these free downloads.

Sometimes you have spyware or malware and it looks like a virus.

RandomMrdan's avatar

Not sure why everyone is all about free software to keep you protected online. I can understand free software to do a task, like open office, but something to rely on to protect you is another story. I can’t recall how many computers I see come into my retail store with free anti-virus software running on it that has yet again failed.

I recommend going to and buying NOD32…it isn’t free but really, look at the cost over the course of the year. and it’s only 27 dollars a year after that, thats like 2 dollars a month people!! And they give you the most recent version of their software for free each year, where as Symantec and others will charge you more for that.

RandomMrdan's avatar

and why you’re at it, you should go out and buy a free spyware program as well…and a free firewall program, so when it’s all said and done, all that free software you’re running on that computer has slowed that 4 year old laptop down a lot.

aidje's avatar

In my experience, free antiviruses and spyware scanners (and the like) do a better job than the commercial equivalents. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to rescue friends’ computers after their networking was completely shot by Symantec products.

RandomMrdan's avatar

In my experience, you usually get what you pay for.

eambos's avatar

Not with symantec or mcaffe. It’s just annoying bloatware.

Im so pissed that I can’t use my free copy of Zone Alarm Pro on my new comp. Why the hell don’t they support 64 bit Vista?

RandomMrdan's avatar

I’d agree that symantec and mcaffee aren’t that appealing to many. But Kaspersky, Trend Micro, NOD32, and others I would rank waay above any free software to protect you.

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