Can You Trust Free Antivirus Software?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by InfinityAz, Aug 25, 2009.

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  1. Keyboard_Commando

    Keyboard_Commando Registered Member

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    ^^ on the contrary - from what I've seen. The free agenda seems pretty much alive here.

    *Prevx's help certainly give great technical support to their free version users.*
     
  2. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    While I understand the attraction of free software (especially for individuals who may be ‘budget constrained’), the selection of an anti-malware solution should be focused more upon performance than upon price, in my opinion.

    To put the discussion in perspective, it costs less than one cent per hour for a subscription to Norton Internet Security, for example. If the same subscription is used on three PCs, the cost drops to about 6 cents per day per PC. The expense of many high-quality anti-malware solutions is so trivial that price shouldn’t be a consideration in one’s choice of a product.
     
  3. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

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    No one here has mentioned anything about picking free AV's solely for the expense. But it's a fact, a lot of free AV's are simply better, hands down, than paid AV's.
     
  4. pbust

    pbust AV Expert

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    Actually, sorry to brag about this, but the complete detection ratings is the following (PCA didn't get included in the charts because it could not be tested retroactively with 2 & 4 week old signatures due to its cloud-scanning operation *).

    1. Panda: 99.4%
    2. Avira: 98.9%
    3. Avast: 98.2%
    4. MSE: 97.8%
    5. AVG: 95.8%
    6. Comodo: 74.6%
    7. PC Tools: 46%

    * http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/product/290839/review/cloud_antivirus.html
     
  5. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    It’s true: some free anti-virus products are better than some paid anti-virus products -- but, the opposite is equally true.

    While time will tell, my prognostication is that free anti-virus solutions will fall behind their paid counterparts, simply because the game is rapidly becoming more complex and thereby requiring more resources to play it and win. The business model of the free anti-virus solutions ultimately may not allow for the continued research and development that is necessary in this field.
     
  6. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Bragging is easy. Can you back up your Panda claim ?
    It's not in the link you provided.

    Just referring to av-comparatives February's on-demand test: Avira scored 99.7 %, McAfee 99.1 %. For the highest score: GDATA with 99.8 %
    I know it's a different test, but these are numbers, not opinions or claims.
     
  7. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

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    That's because you are viewing it incorrectly. The free anti-virus products are not in direct competition with paid for products to have the chance to "fall behind", in most cases, they use the exact same signatures as their paid-for counterparts.
     
  8. pbust

    pbust AV Expert

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    I'm not making it up. It's at the end of the 3rd paragraph of the same PC World article:
    The approach is intended to take advantage of the latest signatures without the need for signature-database updates--and if its excellent showing at detecting malware in AV-Test.org's zoo of half a million samples is any indication, the approach works. Panda's app produced an impressive 99.4 percent overall detection rate.​

    http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/product/290839/review/cloud_antivirus.html
     
  9. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    If pcworld magazine is the source,I hope that they know more about Panda than they do about help in this forum.
     
  10. Az7

    Az7 Registered Member

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    I see this number in that link..
     
  11. JohnnyDollar

    JohnnyDollar Guest

    You can layer it with free products though.
     
  12. Jin K

    Jin K Registered Member

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    read again !!

    also im not a panda fan or something but its detection has been improved a lot !! i have seen many generic detections these days :thumb:
     
  13. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    My apologies. I could not find it.
     
  14. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    While signatures remain an important component of the protection offered by an anti-virus product, they are diminishing in importance as polymorphic threats become more dominant. Therefore, it is capital intensive investments in advanced heuristics and reputation analyses (coupled with larger userbases) that will serve to distinguish the performance of free versus paid products, in my opinion.
     
  15. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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  16. firzen771

    firzen771 Registered Member

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  17. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    You're correct that no one here is thinking that way, but it's common in the general population. When I'm fixing computers and people need anti-malware I always offer them a free AV and also recommend NIS2009. Usually once they hear "free" the discussion is over. Sometimes they will ask if the free AV is as good as subscription products and I tell them no, but it's rare that they opt for the paid product. Often the top suites are available with rebates from local retailers which makes them very cheap, but some effort is needed to buy the product, submit the rebate, etc.
     
  18. thathagat

    thathagat Guest

    I don't get it whenever here at wilders or any where else someone with infected pc or probably infected pc asks for advice the most often advised products are....mbam,sas,cureit.....so when freebies are considered excellent for cleaning a pc that probably had a paid resident av then its quite amusing that quality free av's can't be trusted for protecting the same pc
     
  19. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

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    A signature in no way refers to the detection of a single file. Heuristics are often referred to as dynamic signatures. I'll change it to make you happy.

    That's because you are viewing it incorrectly. The free anti-virus products are not in direct competition with paid for products to have the chance to "fall behind", in most cases, they use the exact same signatures, heuristics & behavioral analysis as their paid-for counterparts.

    Microsoft - Detection the same
    Avira - Detection the same
    Avast - Detection the same
     
  20. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

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    2 great posts here. First thathagat, you are right on the money. Everyone always loves to say use Cure-it but bashes the heck out of the paid version of Dr. Web. Even if they dont like me.:'(

    Second goes to Elapsed, I have learned a lot from him and with MSE emerging on the market, free isnt considered below-average anymore. Actually this freebie is above average to most paid AVs. And the hell with rebates, it comes down to what you offer, how you offer it, and what you say it will cost me. I am really starting to thing you can be more secure free then paid. Example? Firewall-OA, AV-MSE, Browser protection-Geswall or Sandboxie.

    I really think some are going to shoot themselves in the foot and a year from now we will see a totally different scope of security software for the offerings.
     
  21. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

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    And I love the title of this thread because I am almost tempted to start one that says, "Can you trust paid Antivirus software?"
     
  22. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

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    I forgot to mention these! Thank you! Albeit they are not AV's, but still, free is no longer just a ripple in the water.
     
  23. vlk

    vlk AV Expert

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  24. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Don't know about CureIt, but the free versions of MBAM and SAS are "on demand" only. Resident protection is often the feature that distinguishes a paid product from its' free cousin. On demand scanners can only be considered secondary, not primary protection. When comparing free and paid products you have to make sure it's "apples to apples" and not "apples to oranges" (so to speak).
     
  25. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

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    Thanks for linking this, hardest I've laughed all month. Then again Symantec always tends to be amusing.

    I can't believe they ACTUALLY call out Avira, Avast, etc

    I think someone is sore from getting beaten to death in detection by free products.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
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