What's the best free AV?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by notageek, Aug 17, 2002.

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  1. wildman
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    wildman Registered Member

    bloat: swell, puff up. Unnecessary, nothing to enhance the capability of the virus protection program. Nothing more than eye candy. I think I have figured out that individuals want AVAST to be a catch all do all program, I don't think that is practical in todays computer world, at least not for just one program.

    Thanks
    Wildman
  2. Phant0m
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    Phant0m Registered Member

    Avast! Free is the only Anti-Virus System comes even close to being complete Anti-Virus system, in comparison to other free AVs currently circulating around the net.

    Everything for features Avast! Free offers are what I consider necessity and what an AV should offer, may be for some difficult to comprehend different features offered, and it is completely configurable unlike AVG Free.

    Avast! also offers technical support, AVG Free does not (“No Technical support”) http://www.grisoft.com/filedir/presale/cmpsheets/mm_pfp_cmp_us_1_20050726.pdf

    As for bloatware, well let’s compare file-size, and you can compare features offered between AVG Free and Avast! Free…

    Avast! Home_setupeng.exe – 9.27MB
    avg70free_344a618.exe – 12.7MB


    :p
  3. RejZoR
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    RejZoR Polymorphic Sheep

    Not to mention everything is optional (providers).
    It works just fine even with default settings (install and forget), but if you want to adjust it exactly as you want and the thos extra settings come in handy.

    You don't like the spinning of "a" ball next to the clock? Turn it off.
    Don't like the sounds? You can turn them off or even record your own and use them in avast!. Don't like the update popups? Hell, you can turn these off too. You don't like your AV to be asking you for every infected file? Set Silent Mode and leave it auto Quarantine infected the files for you (very usefull when you use it kids PC to make it fully silent and automated).
    You want more thorough scanning without knowing the details? Just move the slider from Normal to High sensitivity.
    Don't like the pre-bundled skins? Download one of many different skins on www.avast.com, use skinless (Windows style) skin or even create your own.

    Removing features won't improve anything (perfromance and memory usage wise) and will only cripple avast!. When i look back to AVG and AntiVir i remember they don't have any exclusion options. Pretty dumb. Silent mode? Nope,you have to click each and every time when popup shows. Updating? Almost non existent or very limited with only one update check per day (AVG) or with completely manual updating (AntiVir). Now do you think people really want that kind of antivirus? avast! will work just fine with default settings and later when people get to know all the extra goodies they will adjust it even further exactly as they want it to. Don't know what that fature does? Read the help file and if you still don't understand, head to friendly avast! forums and we'll certanly help you explain. Thats why i see removing of features to be a very bad decision (crippling AV instead of explaining what something does).
  4. Phant0m
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    Phant0m Registered Member

    RejZoR, your right, and about removing features, because user or users sees features in software that they don’t comprehend or understand entirely, or don’t see other products alike share in common, they are quick to slap it as bloatware and quick to state it is unnecessary to have this and that…
  5. toploader
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    toploader Registered Member

    i chose AVG from day one - it's missed one or two things and it's found one or two things. i've been tempted to try the other freebies to see if they are any better but having read the feedback on these forums have decided to stick with it. however i don't rely on it 100% - every so often i use the Kaspersky online scan as a second opinion. it doesn't offer removal options but if it finds anything i remove it manually. i don't use ICQ, P2P or Messengers, only use webmail and NEVER open attachments (except if i'm using an internet cafe) so worms and viruses are not such a problem. trojans are not AVG's long suit so that's why i use Kaspersky as backup.
  6. wildman
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    wildman Registered Member

    o_O O.k., as I have stated numerous times now, I am no technical expert, but why do I read from others (and had the same experience) that AVAST is like driving your automobile with the hand break on? Why is it the one that took the longest to boot up? Why is this the one that has slowed down the function of my machine significantly? I have not experienced any of this with the other two "free" products that I have tried. It is for these reasons that AVAST is once more off my computer.

    And now for the big question: What is the purpose and function of a virus protection program? Does AVAST need everything it currently has to accomplish and fulfill that purpose and function? Anything over and above this is nothing more than clutter as far as I am concerned.

    Thanks
    Wildman
    :eek: :p
  7. RejZoR
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    RejZoR Polymorphic Sheep

    Wildman,you have some serious issues with your PC... (perfromance wise).
  8. WSFuser
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    WSFuser Registered Member

    if u just want a simple resident scanner than maybe avast isnt for you. it has a total of 7 providers and the pro version also has a script blocker and the enhanced interface which gives u even more options for tweaking. neways i think i already voted for avast, so now i repeat for emphasis.
  9. RejZoR
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    RejZoR Polymorphic Sheep

    Well you can always use just 3 basic providers (Standard,Network and Web Shields). All others are more or less optional.
  10. Phant0m
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    Phant0m Registered Member

    I not that long ago had AVG Free installed and now Avast! Free…

    AVG Free 7.0 - avast! Home 4.6.691

    I had chance to experiment with the both most recent versions of these products before I had based my opinion and faith…

    With my machine running Windows XP, I saw different regarding what one actually significantly ran my machine slower, and what AV actually took the longest to boot up...

    I also don’t see how Avast! Free is difficult considering, you install, and it uses recommended settings by default, and I find Avast! even more convenient/comprehendible when configuring in comparison to AVG ‘’limited’’ controls.

    Also for the record, I'm using Avast! Free with everything on High (…, Scan All Files) and everything working smoothly…
    Just ‘Scan All Files’ feature alone, I like to see you activate it in AVG Free and see how well she plays for Resident protection, see my Sept 17th post, http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=97942.

    When it comes down to it, we are happy to see you satisfied with whatever makes you feel most comfortable, and secure, that is all what really matters. :)

  11. FastGame
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    FastGame Registered Member

    I agree, but I think its more psychological than anything, I have a neighbor that once was that way.

    True story- My neighbor has run avast! for over a year without any problems, one day he ask me whats another good AV to try. I asked him whats wrong with avast! ? his reply was he'd read some reviews and they said avast! was a bloated hog that slowed the PC down, he told me he noticed his PC was slow and took forever to boot and open files.

    I told the guy hold on, let me see whats wrong with the PC first. I checked the PC and nothing was wrong, but I did perform a speed tweak to avast! before giving him the PC back. I told him the HD needed a defrag and I tweaked avast!. He swore his PC was zippy fast afterwards and thanked me for helping him. That was 4 months ago and he's still happy with avast! and the speed of his PC.

    His PC is a Intel Celeron 800mhz, 384mb ram, Windows XP Home.

    Oh almost forgot, the speed tweak for avast! ? I turned the blue ball off so it wouldn't spin. :)
  12. toxical2004
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    toxical2004 Registered Member

    Ok, i'll try to give you some advice regarding your question about AVs. Let's try to sum up my experiences and thoughts about those three most popular ones (and to be impartial to maximum extent):
    1)AVAST home- a)pros: This is probably the most complete AV package available for free, and works very well with the default settings. It also has nice modular architecture,which means you don't have to install features you think wouldn't be of use,for example P2P protection if you don't use it. Almost every task can be 'automated', so you won't have to fiddle with updating and maintaing it. Updates are small in size,and on a pretty regular basis (about three times a week). Detectionvise, it's not bad, and the plus is it also has (limited) spyware scanning capability.
    b)cons: avast! seems to be a little bit of a resource hog (provided you're using a 1-1.5 ghz processor, with 512 mb of ram configuration,or something like that). It also does not have ANY kind of heuristic scanning for malware, and often misses 'rare and exotic' viruses. It's 'network shield' is pretty much useless if you're using a decent firewall,since it's not a real IDS.
    So,to sum it up, avast is a decent av, and can be valuable for someone who doesn't want to set everything up manually and watch for every aspect of maintainig the program (or someone who does not have the knowledge, like eg. my grandmother..). It's the most "install and forget" you can get for free. For users who don't surf those software cracking and porn sites,and do not share files, it can easily be ideal solution.
    2)AntiVir - a)pros: extremely light on resources. Of all the free real time scanners, it has ABSOLUTELY the BEST detection rate. It also DOES have a decent heuristics (examples: it found my keyloggers log viewer [which wasn't detected by kaspersky,only the main program file] after it unninstalled it,and also i also tried with my friend who is a bit of "internet bully" to send me something from his collection of remote admin tools/exotic backdoors and such crap- and it found every pice:some by definition, and some by heuristics as HEURISTIC/Backdoor,Keylogger, so it definitely has a DECENT heuristic scanning capability!). Definitions are regular,and on a daily basis (used the beta ver with incr. VDF updating)
    b)cons: AntiVir is pretty ugly-looking program, and it feels a bit unfinished. It does not have real time mail scanning (which i don't think is too much important,since the on access scanner would catch the virus during the opening of the attachment). Most importantly, their update servers are not very reliable, and usually can't be accessed during certain periods of the day, when the traffic is high (but if you go to the internet mostly during night,it shouldn't be a problem). One more thing is that when there is a program update (the program itself,not the definitions), all the settings are back to default values every time,and need to be adjusted again; and you can exclude files only from the on-demand scan.Also, updating cannot be done automatically, only manually.
    So, AntiVir is not by any means 'a toy' program,and detectionvise,it's the most powerful of all these three (that's why i'm using it :D ), but it can be a real pain in the a** for an average user who likes 'install and forget' solutions and doesn't have much time to deal with constant updating and re-setting it from time to time.
    3)AVG- a)pros: relatively light on resources,and the settings can be adjusted quite easily (also not bad with default settings). Updates are on a daily basis and are small in size. Not very fancy-looking one (neither is antivir),but everything can be set up easily and it has almos all the usual features an average user needs.
    b)cons: Of these three, it has probably the worst detection rate. If you have read it's help files,you have probably read about it's three-way heuristic (code comparing, virtual emulation of files,and checksum checking),and said "Wow, this sounds better than NOD32!!". And all those three-way 'guessing it's a virus' things do absolutely nothing (belive me, i got many nasty crap while using it, and it didn't even report some of these stuff as being suspicious). Updates are regular,it's true,but every one contains only a couple of virus signatures, usually three of four; and of course,they suck in response times during some large outbreaks (even a days matter or so).
    As for this AV, i wouldn't recommend it to anyone,except maybe to people with dialup connections who rarely go online and surf only local news and check emails. On the other hand,it's quite simple to use,and usually everything is hassle-free regarding maintaining and updating.

    As for free,on demand scanners, i haven't tried many,but i can surely say that bitdefender's free av is SURELY and ABSOLUTELY the best, since it has really stellar performance,huge malware database,and can find practically 99% of all the crap you can have on your computer (similar to the famous kaspersky,only with no real time scanning).
    One more thing, since neither of those free av's are not very good with finding adware/spyware, they should be used in conjunction with realtime AS scanners (like spybot, or MS antispyware) to give a complete crap-ware protection package.Also, apart of that , you could use one of the free on access scanners (bd free for example),or run those online av scans,just to be sure you're still clean,or if you suspect something.
    After all this, my recommendation would be : AntiVir (if you like to manually update during night....it's not all that scary,belive me :D ),or avast! if you need a more complete, 'install to my grandma and forget' package; together with a real time AS scanner (either spybot or MS AS will do just fine)" and of course,a decent firewall of your choice. Others may advise different, so read thoroughly through all the replies, but i tried to be as impartial as possible and to give some sort of "sum-up" of the programs that are discussed about on over 5 pages of replies.
    Cheers!
  13. YeOldeStonecat
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    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

    You hardly see CAI's EZAntivirus listed....it's free for 1 year for Microsoft customers.
  14. wildman
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    wildman Registered Member

    I wouldn't say that. AVAST was the only one, repeat only one to have shown significant degradation to my computers performance. I should tell that I do use dial-up, and this plays a major part in my consideration.

    I will agree, what ever works for an individual is o.k., but do not take some ones word for it, try all of the "free" ones for a while, and then decided which one fits your needs best. This is what I did, so I think I was fair about the entire process.

    I also do not use just one program for protection, but rather a combination of six different types. There are some individuals who utilize a great deal more than this number by the way.

    Thanks
    Wildman
  15. toploader
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    toploader Registered Member

    so what's the deal on running both AVG and Antivir concurrently? should there be any conflicts? and if so why? or is it just a resource and performance issue?

    is there an option to install antivir as on-demand only?
  16. Trespasser
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    Trespasser Registered Member

    I've tried all of the top free three and by far Avast! was the best. It did use what I'd term "alot" of ram, if you totaled all the running devices associated with Avast!, but to be honest I was surprised by how light it felt on my computer (very light). I was also impressed with AntiVir (the newest version). It updated easily and the new interface was a pleasant change from past versions, but because it doesn't scan incoming email I uninstalled it after a day or two. Nothing to report on AVG other than being unimpressed (why consider AVG when Avast! or AntiVir are available). BTW, I'm on dialup, as well.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2005
  17. toploader
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    toploader Registered Member

    in answer to my own question i found this....

    extract....

    Q: I've been using McAfee's antivirus software, which came installed on my computer. Recently I was given Norton's latest antivirus program, and I'm wondering whether it makes sense to install it as well. Are there any benefits to having two antivirus programs running at the same time?

    A: Any benefits may be outweighed by potential conflicts between the programs. Symantec, the maker of Norton Antivirus, strongly recommends you run only one antivirus program at a time. The reason: "Having more than one antivirus program active in memory uses additional resources and can result in program conflicts and false virus alerts." Microsoft also discourages Windows XP users from running multiple antivirus programs.

    You can avoid the problem by making sure only one antivirus program is active at any given time. But given the fact that McAfee and Norton are pretty comparable, it's probably not worth the trouble of separately running the two programs.

    By the way, you probably don't even need an antivirus program. Most viruses arrive via e-mail, and all big Internet providers and Web mail services check for viruses before they send messages.
    *********************************************************

    i found the last paragraph interesting - you can all chuck your AV away you don't need it - it's all an illusion :D
  18. StevieO
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    StevieO Guest

  19. toploader
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    toploader Registered Member

    cheers StevieO
  20. RejZoR
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    RejZoR Polymorphic Sheep

    Well if dialup plays a major role than avast! is a clear winner with probably the best incrimental updating system. If your system has at least CPU around 2GHz, 512MB of RAM and a ATA100/ATA133 HDD drive with 8MB of cache (should work just fine on 4MB with 5400RPM) it should work the way you won't even notice it's there. If it doesn't, then it's something very very wrong with your PC.

    I really wonder what kind of "new" machine you have. Coz thats not normal.
    I installed avast! 4.6 on P3 733 (overclocked to 800MHz), 256MB SDR-RAM, 20GB HDD and it worked pretty well without any slowdowns or pauses. Works very smooth on my former AthlonXP 2400+ 512MB RAM and 200GB 8MB cache Maxtor HDD. With my AthlonXP 3200+ (just heavily overclocked old 2400+) it's completely unnoticeable and i can do a full scan while watching DivX movie and browsing the net at the same time without even knowing it's scanning my HDD.
  21. Benvan45
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    Benvan45 Registered Member

    It amazes me.......Avast is best again?? Just wonder why everybody isn't using it......!!!!!

    Pfffffffff.........

    :mad: Putin
  22. RejZoR
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    RejZoR Polymorphic Sheep

    The why everyone is not using lets say NOD32 or Kaspersky which are clearly the best? Tough question isn't it? It's called "ability of your own selection/thinking"...

    But this goes to just certain level. If avast! is slowing down a 1,5GHz+ machine with 512MB of ram, thats certanly not normal. Now it worked fine on some ancient P3 800MHz so i'd say it's not avast!'s fault but there is something wrong with that box...
  23. Phant0m
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    Phant0m Registered Member

    Interesting, after frequent checks, I notice;

    Attached Files:

  24. dvk01
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    dvk01 Global Moderator

    The best free antivirus is the one that works for you on your computer

    Some will like nad find AVG is the best, some Avast, some Antivir and some a different one

    NO-ONE can state what is best as it is subjective and depends on many things including the system capabilities and what use the computer is put to

    However IF you do high risk computer use or have important info on the computer then I would suggest that it's a false economy to skimp on av protection and you should consider the purchase of one of the ones that do have a better reputation in both tests and on various forums
  25. RejZoR
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    RejZoR Polymorphic Sheep

    Phant0m, that number doesn't mean much at all.
    Memory Usage and VM Usage is what it counts (not that Task manager would be the most reliable way to measure anything...)
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