Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

Best FREE Antivirus

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

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

Saugerties, NY(Zone 5a)

I've been using AVG for a couple of years now and I've never had any problems with it :>)
Christine

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

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.

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

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.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

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!)

Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

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.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I also vote for free Avast along with Malwarebytes. Plus I run Spybot frequently.

Macomb, MI(Zone 5b)

I'm with Jo and Shoe... Avast is great and spybot is another really good one! malwarebytes is good to.

Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

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.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I tried ccleaner and it kept erasing all my needed cookies- too much hassle- (I kept losing my Slot machine winnings!!! Not real money-)

Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

jo
When the Ccleaner page appears you can unclick the cookies box and it won't remove them.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

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

Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

Horseshoe
Yep, unclick cookies and they will not be cleared.

Salem, IL(Zone 5b)

IE has the same option in 'delete browser history'.

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

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.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

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

(Carey) Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

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.

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

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.

Lexington, NC(Zone 7a)

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?

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

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.

Lexington, NC(Zone 7a)

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.

Ranchos De Taos, NM

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/

Ranchos De Taos, NM

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.

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

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.

Mount Bethel, PA(Zone 6a)

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.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

**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.

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

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

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Seems to be working for me so far. No problems and it is FREE!

Pace, FL(Zone 8b)

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.

columbia, TN(Zone 7a)

AVG WORKS FOR ME, HAVE HAD IT A COUPLE OF YEARS, NO PROBLEMS WHAT SO EVER.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

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

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

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

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

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

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

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

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

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.

Salem, IL(Zone 5b)

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.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

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

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

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 !

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Agree totally Jo.

Doug

McKinney, TX(Zone 8a)

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 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

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