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Computer Talk: Best FREE Antivirus

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haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

January 8, 2011
7:15 AM

Post #8298781

I am looking for a free virus protection for my desktop which I seldom use. I heard of AVG? Any thoughts appreciated.

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

January 8, 2011
7:23 AM

Post #8298788

I've been using AVG for a couple of years now and I've never had any problems with it :>)
Christine
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

January 8, 2011
7:39 AM

Post #8298816

Back in the day, when I ran my own computer business, I got calls from several people having problems that turned out to be virus related. Several of them were running AVG.

I have used Norton for years and have also gotten virus related problems on my own system. (If you hit the virus before the update is out - it will get you - free or paid).

The risk is generated by the people you deal with because many of the virus will email itself to all of an address book on an infected machine.

The best defense against is to have a complete, updated backup of your hard drive.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

January 8, 2011
7:48 AM

Post #8298830

Thanks, I do have an updated backup. I had been using Norton and just had my computer wiped and was informed that the Norton was part of the problem with my system running so slowly. So I think I will try the Avg this time.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 8, 2011
7:50 AM

Post #8298838

I use Avast (free version) and love it. In addition I use Online Armor (firewall), also free, and gets rave reviews. I've used Avast for umpteen years and started using Online Armor about 4 years or so ago.

This past year I also started using MalWarebytes and running it on occasion to dump any spyware and such.

Shoe
(Howdy Dyson!)
Rocco
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 7a)

January 8, 2011
7:53 AM

Post #8298845

I have had AVG, Norton, and others. I switched to Avast several years ago and like it better than any of the others. I have never had a problem with Avast.
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 8, 2011
9:41 AM

Post #8298988

I also vote for free Avast along with Malwarebytes. Plus I run Spybot frequently.
detheo
Macomb, MI
(Zone 5b)

January 9, 2011
3:39 PM

Post #8301178

I'm with Jo and Shoe... Avast is great and spybot is another really good one! malwarebytes is good to.
Rocco
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2011
4:45 PM

Post #8301314

Another good program to have is Ccleaner. It is free but you can make a donation if you want. It removes all of the unwanted garbage from your hard drive. I run it every day and and it removes an average of 20mb each time.
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2011
5:16 PM

Post #8301379

I tried ccleaner and it kept erasing all my needed cookies- too much hassle- (I kept losing my Slot machine winnings!!! Not real money-)
Rocco
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2011
5:38 PM

Post #8301429

jo
When the Ccleaner page appears you can unclick the cookies box and it won't remove them.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2011
7:10 PM

Post #8301602

I'm glad you posted that tip, Rocco. I have CCleaner, too. Ran it once and had to reenter passwords and all kinds of things. So if I unclick "cookies" it won't remove my saved passwords and log-ins?

Thanks,
Shoe
Rocco
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 7a)

January 10, 2011
7:40 AM

Post #8302256

Horseshoe
Yep, unclick cookies and they will not be cleared.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

January 10, 2011
10:34 AM

Post #8302615

IE has the same option in 'delete browser history'.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

January 10, 2011
10:45 AM

Post #8302639

Thanks, perhaps I will try the Avast as I researched the AVG and several comments suggested it really slowed down their system. I just had mine revamped because it was running slow, so don't want to encounter that again.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 10, 2011
3:07 PM

Post #8303099

Thanks, Rocco. I perused CCleaner a little more and found "applications" and "Window". I guess "Windows" only applies to Windows stuff and "applications" is for others (Foxfire, etc). I unclicked cookies in both so will give it a try this evening.

Candy, yep, I gave up AVG because it turned out to be a slowdown and at some point it wasn't compatible with a Windows update (or something like that!). And if you pair it up with Online Armor you'll have a nice duo.

Shoe

careyana

careyana
(Carey) Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 10, 2011
3:37 PM

Post #8303160

Third or fourth for Avast. Had AVG on my netbook but it really affected the performance. Avast has a very small footprint and uses very minimal cpu and memory.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

January 11, 2011
4:53 AM

Post #8304023

Sounds like Avast is the one for me. I want to use this just on my desktop, which I seldom use anymore, but still want some type of minimal protection for it.
Sparks42
Lexington, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 11, 2011
6:41 AM

Post #8304212

Hi all, thanks to all of you and my old friend shoe, I uninstalled my AVG and installed the free version of Avast. Don't see much change yet, computer still very slow. I also have Spyware Doctor and fee Advance Systems Care.
Mow for a stupid question, I have never backed anything up and not even sure how to do it. Puter has often asked me if I wanted to back up information and I have said no. To back up info do you put it on a disk or flash card?
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

January 11, 2011
9:59 AM

Post #8304601

I have used some backup programs in the past and found quickly they were worthless to me and a waste of money.
So with that said, I do several things. First I have a desktop computer upstairs that is on my home network, so when using my laptop I often copy and paste updated folders to that desktop "my documents"
Every so often I backup all my file folders onto an external drive that I just plug into my laptop, that is my main backup.
I have also used a thumb drive just to backup passwords and other folders for quick reference if needed.

You should always have a backup of your files in case of a major computer problem. I learned by experience when I lost thousands of songs years due to a crash. I fortunately then had my photos backed up on disks, but now I use these other methods as they will hold a lot more information than on a disk.
Sparks42
Lexington, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 11, 2011
1:06 PM

Post #8304971

Thank you haighr, I will use a flash card, they hold so much more than a disk.. My newest one only holds 2 G B but I have one that holds 16GB.
newmexico_sky
Ranchos De Taos, NM

January 17, 2011
12:24 AM

Post #8314551

I have AVG Free and it is the BEST antivirus out there. Also, for extra protection, try Glary Utilities and Malwarebytes. My best friend is a techie/IT guy and he SWEARS by these!

http://avg.2011-anti-virus.com/

http://www.glaryutilities.com/

http://www.malwarebytes.org/
newmexico_sky
Ranchos De Taos, NM

January 17, 2011
12:28 AM

Post #8314558

Also, if you want another way to backup your computer, do a little research into partitioning the hard drive, creating an ISO image file of your OS, and storing it on the partitioned section of hard drive.
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

January 17, 2011
1:43 AM

Post #8314576

The problem with that method of back-up is that if you have a hard drive failure (it does happen) you will not be able to access your back-up file.

ROSES_R_RED

ROSES_R_RED
Mount Bethel, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 17, 2011
8:15 AM

Post #8315057

computerwisetv.com has lots of good recommendations for anti virus and spyware, and also answers lots of questions. They have a tv program in my area and are very helpful by phone, online and thru e mail.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 17, 2011
8:37 AM

Post #8315106

**Waves** I'm a Glary Utilities user, have been for about 2-3 yrs. LOVE the software. I got it as a replacement for my Norton's System Works, which i loved.

Glary is not an AntiVirus though. I can't recall what i was using... I think it was CLAM - which is an open source one.

but since Comcast offers Norton's 360 ... I went back to that. but still use Glary on all of my computers, plus my kids computers.

I first read about it in Smart Computing magazine... then researched it about, always Cnet too... and found it highly recommended.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 28, 2011
12:22 PM

Post #8335310

Been using AVG for years and never have a problem. No viruses, no slowdown in speed. I've used a bunch of things over the years (been online since the old days of bulletin boards way before the internet!) and have never found anything I liked better than AVG. Just keep it updated and set it to run a daily scan during the night while you're asleep.

Doug
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

February 5, 2011
1:53 PM

Post #8355821

Seems to be working for me so far. No problems and it is FREE!
alan_headrick
Pace, FL
(Zone 8b)

February 17, 2011
2:45 AM

Post #8376480

When I read posts like this I feel sorry for people. The problem isn't finding a good anti-virus software its a bad operating system. Your have a poorly written OS that's a resource hog then compound it with anti-virus software running in the background. Drop windows and get a free Linux distro and after getting familiar with it you'll never switch back.
kobwebz
columbia, TN
(Zone 7a)

February 17, 2011
3:00 AM

Post #8376483

AVG WORKS FOR ME, HAVE HAD IT A COUPLE OF YEARS, NO PROBLEMS WHAT SO EVER.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 17, 2011
6:35 AM

Post #8376723

alan, What is a "free Linux distro"? Is that something you can get to play around with on a Windows/OS computer to learn Linux? Can you run it on the same computer our Windows is on or how does that work?

Thanks.
Shoe

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

February 17, 2011
6:41 AM

Post #8376740

Shoe I have installed a Linux dist. before on a Windows PC and dual booted into whichever OS I wanted to use but that was a few years ago. I guess it is still possible.

Doug

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

February 17, 2011
6:49 AM

Post #8376762

As far as a "bad os" I must disagree. Most of the problems such as the one in this thread are not caused by the OS but by the operator. My Dad is a classic example. He's one of those people who will click on any popup that says you may have a virus, malware, etc. This usually just installs even more vicious code and makes matters worse. Also all those "toolbar" helpers are resource hogs and can lead to excessive problems too. I have been running some version of MS for twenty years and as long as you keep it updated and antivirus definitions up to date and scans scheduled I have not had a problem. Using a computer is not like using a TV even though society in general would like to think so. No matter which OS you use, if you go to questionable sites you are taking a risk.

Doug

This message was edited Feb 17, 2011 9:50 AM
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 17, 2011
7:13 AM

Post #8376809

Thanks, Doug. I have had very few problems over the years with virus/malware, etc, and most likely that's because of my distrust of pop-ups, certain sites, offers, etc, and from learning a great deal of knowledge in the Computer Forum here! Yay!

However, one day I might like to try Linux, just to see what it's all about and how it differs from Windows.

Thanks! And hope you are seeing sunshine over your way!

Shoe

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

February 17, 2011
7:48 AM

Post #8376873

I'm with Doug on this one too. a lot of it is the 'user' that causes problems - mostly to lack of knowledge, but that isn't always the case.

Just last summer I cleaned up 3 computers of novice users, who were clicking away and all of a sudden they were inundated with those pop ups not sure how to fix it.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

February 17, 2011
8:35 AM

Post #8376985

To each, their own but a good protection suite is well worth the minimal cost. I use Norton 360 but there are others on the market probably just as good. A sample of the features is antivirus, antispyware, bot protection, identity protection, safe web, firewall, network, browser protections, pc tuneup, auto backup & restore and elements of Norton Utilities. All for about $50 per year if purchased at discounted software stores. It is true that a lot of marginal computers will suffer performance issues with the full suites. In those instances, you may want to stay with the minimum of features such as just an antivirus. The random scans and signature updates can be annoying.

As was said above, 75% of all pc problems are caused by curiosity and the lure of freebies. People simply will not get it into their heads that companies are not in the charity business.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

February 17, 2011
8:44 AM

Post #8377010

Rose.. .i agree about using the software, keeping it up to date, and preventative maintenance.

I too use Norton's -- thankfully i get it from my ISP.

Terese
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

February 17, 2011
12:41 PM

Post #8377457

This is a subject that could go on ad infinitum- to each his own- I use totally free antivirus, malware protection, and have never had any problems. Avast completely automatically updates itself, and tells me! The bottom line is that the operator can instigate all kinds of horrors by opening things, and by falling prey to false infection ads- BE SMART and you will be safe !

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

February 18, 2011
5:59 AM

Post #8378634

Agree totally Jo.

Doug
chuck7701
McKinney, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 18, 2011
6:56 AM

Post #8378725

Micro$oft, (of which I am not a big fan), has turned loose a free virus protection - Microsoft Security Essentials. I have it on a trial run on my laptop, and it doesn't seem to impact anything. It has gotten some good reviews. Sort of PO'd the other virus protection vendors that sell licenses. I have used Kaspersky Internet Suite for almost four years, the three user version for an annual fee ($60 +/-), and have been very satisfied. It's a suite of things, virus, firewall, malware, popups, email, downloads, internet sites, etc. used to do the all free thing, but ... now I don't have use several different programs to get overall protection. I sleep better for a small fee.

Regarding the Linux distros that are out there, if you want to see how far it has come, download the CD version of Ubuntu. Burn the ISO image to a CD, and run it without having to install it on your system. It will also auto install alongside Windows in a dual boot version if you're so inclined. It's rather amazing how similar it is to any Windows version, and it is completely free, along with thousands of free apps and software. A whole other world...

The Ubuntu project is intended as the (Third World) answer to free OS and software for education to avoid licensing fees to MS and others. I have it on a 12 year old limited hardware laptop that could only run Win98, and it runs fine. More horsepower is always better, but Linux is very efficient and not a resource hog like Windows.

Ccleaner is a great program, have used it for years. Recent updates have given the user a lot more options on what to keep and delete. Rather than unchecking all cookies, you can selectively add them to trusted/save and delete all the other garbage cookies that are set for the next 30-40 years. Yes, you read correctly, look at the expiration date on some of those tracking cookies.

There is also a super set of tracking cookies which you may not be aware now, related more to the DOM code in your browsers. If you use Firefox, there is an add on that will delete these every time you exit. Just clearing the cache in IE or any other browser will not delete these. Antivirus or cookie software of most any version will not delete these pesky critters due to their location not being in the cache or normal browser cookie sites.

Back to Ccleaner and cookies. When adding cookies to keep under Options, look closely at the list of URL's to save. For example, your bank may have bank99.com, and http://www.bank99.com, and perhaps even http(s)://www.bank99.com. Save all of those and any other trusted or secure sites like banks, credit cards, slots, etc. that you log into on a regular basis which need to set cookies. Get rid of the other trash tracking cookies regularly. As one person mentioned, IE does have a similar feature in Internet Options. Also find the option to reduce the amount of cache your browser will keep on disk. The default for IE for example, is 200 MB, or a percentage of your hard drive space. Reduce that to 20-30 MB. The only disadvantage, is that if have a slow connection, or dial up, the browser will have to refresh data from sites visited and slow down. if you have faster broadband access, you won't notice much difference, although IE is always notoriously slow at displaying pages.

Another suggestion involves all those multiple pesky passwords and logins - LASTPASS - great free program. If you have just one or multiple PC's, fabulous. The vault is stored online, so you can access the account from anywhere. Set up a master account, time saver. Autologin, autofill, form filler, etc.

And I'll leave you with another great freebie out there ... Teamviewer. If you have a need for remote login to other PC's, like work and home. Access your home PC from work, or vice versa as if you are sitting in front of it. Transfer that needed file you forgot to put on your thumb drive and take with you, etc.

Chuckles
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

February 18, 2011
8:05 AM

Post #8378823

If any one thing comes out of this thread, it demonstrates an "antivirus program" is not a "complete protection program". Both AVG and Avast offer the more complete programs at a cost similar to Norton or other major players. There is a recurring theme throughout most of the computer threads of using multiple free programs in hopes of achieving the same degree of protection as a protection suite would provide. In the past, there were a lot of caveats of multiple AV programs interfering with each other where one would see the other as a virus. In the end, it is a matter of which a person feels comfortable in using. I think most of the virus research and signatures come from the same place.

steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 5, 2011
8:24 PM

Post #8409315

This question is so simple. Im embarrassed to ask it but here goes. For some reason, when I open DG I open to the Guides and Info page instead of Home as I used to and as I prefer. How do I get my computer to open DG to the Home page?
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2011
4:28 AM

Post #8409600

Are all cookies blocked on your browser?
sempervirens
Northern, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2011
4:48 AM

Post #8409618

What antivirus program would you use for a MAC or are the choices the same?

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

March 6, 2011
7:08 AM

Post #8409856

steadycam3 wrote:This question is so simple. Im embarrassed to ask it but here goes. For some reason, when I open DG I open to the Guides and Info page instead of Home as I used to and as I prefer. How do I get my computer to open DG to the Home page?


When you "go" to Daves... is it from a Bookmark? if so, you could have accidentally bookmarked it from the Guides Page. You can either 'edit' the bookmark, or Re-Bookmark it from the Home Page.


Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

March 6, 2011
7:58 AM

Post #8409946

You do not say if you must logon again each time. Usually, when you logon and save, you can chose the page you want and save to 'favorites' or some other function which your browser supports. You can remove the 'cookie' for DG info with an AV and not even be aware of the removal. My bank has a 'cookie' and if it is deleted I must go thru a verification process before logging on again.
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 6, 2011
5:43 PM

Post #8410955

Thanks guys. I think you have solved the problem. I'll let you know. Cam
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 6, 2011
7:50 PM

Post #8411120

Problem solved. I had it in my cache that way and did not want to clear my cache so I logged off DG and logged back on. Im not sure how I caused the prob but it is now solved. Thanks for your help. Cam

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