Best free anti-virus software?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by daf, Oct 15, 2004.

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  1. daf

    daf Registered Member

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    I'm looking for the best free anti-virus software there is. After reading a few threads I can see that it's difficult to rate and say which is the best as you might like the interface more on some than others.

    That really doesn't concern me too much. I'd like to know the best anti-virus software avaliable? I understand buying one is better but not wanting to go into too much detail for what it's for, it's not possible to buy one.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Don Pelotas

    Don Pelotas Registered Member

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    Rejzor's site have some link's to to free av's. Avg and Avast get mentioned a lot here, haven't tried them though. Rejzor's Security ops . :)
     
  3. TopperID

    TopperID Registered Member

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    There are three main contenders, all with rather similar detection rates. All should give solid protection against the stuff you are commonly likely to encounter. The small percentage of stuff they let through is the rarer things that you would be unlucky to come up against in 'normal' useage (unless you live dangerously!).

    I used AntiVir/AVPE for a shortwhile after my Norton packed up and I was very satisfied with it indeed. Its detection rate has improved recently and in some tests it is well above AVG free. In other tests it is similar to or above Avast. Some people prefer the interface of Avast but my vote is for AntiVir/AVPE. It is certainly better than some non-free AVs!

    Recently many people have complained about the time it takes to connect to the AntiVir server for updates but I never found this to be an issue - and at least you do get regular updates, several times a week at the moment, unlike Norton!
     
  4. Firefighter

    Firefighter Registered Member

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    To daf from Firefighter!

    Both Avast 4.1 Home and AntiVir PE 6.28 are offering quite the same detecting rates, which are actually very good comparing to AVG 7 Free or eTrust EZ 7.0.0.28, which is not even free. Actually, there are clearly over ten not free av:s that have worse detecting rates than Avast or AntiVir.

    If you want an easy to use av, Avast is much better than AntiVir, because of AntiVir's terrible update procedures.

    AntiVir has heuristics in real time scan, when Avast has heuristics only in their email scans.

    About false positives, Avast has not so many as AntiVir, because AntiVir uses heuristics in real time scan.

    Best regards,
    Firefighter!
     
  5. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    I'd say AntiVir and avast! have the same percentage of false positives (which is a very small). The only thing thats holding me back from using AntiVir is a really terrible update system with large updates and slow servers. Everything else is designed pretty well and can compete with many payable AVs.
     
  6. TopperID

    TopperID Registered Member

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    If you are on Broadband (like me) then the download problem is no big issue - but it could be more of a nuisance on dialup, 'cos AntiVir does not have cumulative D/Ls; you must load the whole new file each time.

    Avast does require you to register with them (which is no big deal) but you do not need to do this with AntiVir.

    With regard to false positives, I configured my AntiVir heuristics to maximum (instead of medium or low) in order to catch more baddies but I did not find FPs to be a problem in day to day use (though I did have one - which was soon sorted). In any case I would much rather have a FP than a false negative which can give you far more grief!
     
  7. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    Well i agree if you have DSL,but if you pay per MB then its not so good.
    And waiting 5-10 minutes just to get response from update servers doesn't make me feel too good. I also agree with your last part :)
     
  8. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Terrible? Signature updates run to ~1.5Mb. I wait until it's after midnight in Germany, click on update -- a couple of minutes later, it's finished. Smooth as a baby's bottom. :)
     
  9. Firefighter

    Firefighter Registered Member

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    To bellgamin from Firefighter!

    Not exactly terrible, but after Avast, you just do nothing and your av is always up to date, silently and easy.

    Best regards,
    Firefighter!
     
  10. Unity

    Unity Registered Member

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    You just have to use the windows scheduled task system with Inetupd.exe and
    your system will be up to date automatically ~

    It's probably not silent , but it's easy enough ^^
     
  11. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    Yes,but cannot be comparable to fully (silent) automatic and incrimental (~10KB per VPS update) update system used by avast!. Not to mention Alwil servers are always working at max speed and response time.
     
  12. Unity

    Unity Registered Member

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    I would like to see Antivir with incremental updates too , even if my internet
    connection is not limited.

    I've used Avast! in the past , but i prefer Antivir overall (light on ressource , better heuristic) .
    It's not perfect but the updates trouble we have sometime , are ok since it's a free product.

    Anyway , just try both products and use the one you prefer ;)
     
  13. halcyon

    halcyon Registered Member

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    If you need an on-demand backup scanner, don't forget Bitdefender v7 Free edition.
     
  14. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    I don't like BitDefender because it needs to use resources even if its only on-demand. Otherwise detection is very good and its a shame that it has such a problem. I use on-line scanners instead (F-Secure,BitDefender or Trend Micro).
    For single files i use Kaspersky,Dr.Web or Jotti scanner.
     
  15. Firefighter

    Firefighter Registered Member

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    To everyone from Firefighter!

    Don't forget the best free On-Demand and "report only" backup scanner, the eScan Free, which updates it's databases everytime when you click "mwav.exe", at least when you have a broadband.

    Best regards,
    Firefighter!
     
  16. halcyon

    halcyon Registered Member

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    Firefigher,

    eScan free is indeed interesting!

    Do you know of a way to integrate it to a shell so that one one could select a folder or drive, contextual click and then do 'Scan with eScan'?

    Also, i wonder if it's possible to use it with the extended databases?
     
  17. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    It's sort of like kissing over the phone or in person -- I'd rather do it in person.:D
     
  18. wildman

    wildman Registered Member

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    :rolleyes: Yes I am the same wildman who has posted some rather scarfying remarks on the AntiVir/PE's BB (English section). I would suggest all take a look, then make up your own minds as to whether you still want to use AntiVir.

    Thanks
    Wildman
    :eek: :mad:
     
  19. halcyon

    halcyon Registered Member

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    Wildman,

    could you paraphrase your thoughts here, please?

    I tried finding your post in the forums, but there are so many (in three separate sub-forums) that it would take ages to find your particular post :)

    I'm interested, because I just installed AntiVir free as a backup on-demand scanner.
     
  20. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    This comes from a well-known AV-PE basher who sometimes does gratuitous *troll-work* on AVPE's support forums. Innuendos & FUD, such as posted above, are a specialty.

    I have used AVPE for 4 years now -- either in frontline or backup status. It has a good heuristic. Good, well-maintained, daily signature updates. Updates are non-incremental & are ~1.5MB each. The program updates smoothly when done manually, but isn't good at auto-updates. AVPE's servers can be dreadfully slow when it's daytime in Europe, but are acceptably fast after midnight, Europe time. AVPE is almost always included in tests of AVs, & usually ranks around the middle. It has no runtime unpackers as far as I know. It has a small footprint, so it works well on older machines, as well as on recent ones. There are 2 commercial antivirus programs which are essentially similar to AVPE -- H+BEDV's own commercial version, plus Vexeira. There are 2 excellent support forums.

    AVPE is FREE. Can you pay money & do better? Absolutely! Is there a better freebie? No -- but Avast is quite equal, & some say better. If you use AVPE, are you making too big a sacrifice in protection -- No, not if you practice *reasonably safe hex.* However, if you live *on the edge* you would probably be well-advised to invest in one of the industrial strength AVs such as KAV, F-secure, NOD, DrWeb, BitDefender. :cool:

    Grace & peace to all... bellgamin
     
  21. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i have AntiVir, and apart from the updates i dont like the way you have to keep checking the scanning when you scan your computer, because if it finds something the scan stops until you decide what you want to do with it. when you have decided, the scan carries on.

    if you have heuristics on high you have to know what a F/P is or you could delete something you shouldnt, having said that, i really like AntiVir and although i dont have the knowledge of others in this thread, i havent had any problems with it. if i want to make really sure im clean i'll use escan, stinger, trendmicro etc etc

    it doesnt do email scanning, but from what i've heard that doesnt matter, even if you use an email client, which at the moment i dont have. if im wrong im sure someone will put me right :) :D
     
  22. treetroll

    treetroll Guest

    I agree Antivir is a great backup AV. It has found things even NAV couldn't on my system.
     
  23. wildman

    wildman Registered Member

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    :rolleyes: My, my how things do change, or don't. Where to start?

    I first became aware of Wilders because of a negative post about AntiVir/PE. Make a guess as to whom made that post. Awh my gawd, it was none other than Paul Wilder.

    As quiet a few may know, I once was a big supporter of AntiVir/PE. No longer! why?

    AntiVir/PE has been around for some time now, and you would think they would stay up with the rest of the FREE virus protection programs as far as ease of use was concerned. No!. they have not done so. There update capabilities, or should I say lack of, has now I think become well known. This is not a new situation by the way.

    Individuals also have been asking for improvements to AntiVir/PE for years now, and while it is true none of them whould either hamper nor neccessarly make AntiVir/PE detect viruses beter, the parent company of AntiVir/PE has taken no action what so ever, leaving one to think that they don't give a damn about what the users of their product would like or want, it is take it or leave it with them. This has been pointed out before also, and by more than just I.

    If I remember, the parent company of AntiVir/PE (H+BEDV), was offered a generous means to perhaps resolve the update problem. They apparently didn't even have the politenance to respond. This was offered by Computercops I think. If any one has more knowledge of this please post. The rememberance of this is rather hazy on my part, so I don't have that much detail.

    The BB at AntiVir/PE could lead one to think that they had support, this as some of us know is not true, as the ones who answer the questions have no authority to change a thing, and for the most part are only individuals who happen to read the BB and make a decision to reply, or are moderators of the BB. Some appear to be nice people, but they have no more or no less knowledge than that of the individuals who make posts on this BB.

    AntiVir/PE appears to not allow one that many options, and has indicated by it's lack of action that it does not intend to do so any time in the near future.

    If one wants to use AntiVir/PE that is of course their right, but I think they may be able to do better or at least just as good with one of the other FREE anti virus protection programs. I for one no longe want to have any dealings with a company that shows the lack of concern that H+BEDV does. It may be good as a last resort, that would be the only time I would use it.

    Thanks
    Wildman
    :mad: :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2004
  24. TopperID

    TopperID Registered Member

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    I shall treat the above drivel with the disdain it deserves! I have seen this gentleman's(!) non-constructive rants on other forums and whilst they haven't put me off AntiVir they have certainly put me off 'wildman'.

    I entirely agree with bellgamin's comments which sum things up nicely.

    As to iceni60, you can configure the Repair option of AntiVir to delete or repair WITHOUT a prompt if you so wish. Indeed you can configure it merely to report, without it deleting/repairing at all. False positives really don't occur very often, but if you use the 'report only' option it will give you a chance to work out what to do about it at your leisure.

    Don't think it is just free AV's that give FP's, I have just had KAV 5 (which I have on 30 day trial) completely delete a perfectly legitimate program (namely 'Terminator.exe' - which acts in HP computers as part of the disc recovery system) because it thought it was a trojan! Admittedly I was using KAV's extended database at the time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2004
  25. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    edit- to wildman :)
    its a free program, i'd never make demands on a free program, so long as there wasnt anything truely malicious being done by the makers, and it does the job. if i was paying for it id agree with you. the most important thing is the detection rates, then resoures, do you agree on that or not?

    to me its like being given a good free lunch every day. then saying the foods good, but the sevice is too slow. it just sounds stupid to me.

    however, as you probably know, because i hardly ever come to this part of the forum, i dont spend much time thinking about anti-virii. so im willing to have my mind changed if you can convince me :D
     
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