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NEW THREAD! Free antivirus software article

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Techie Stuff
152 replies 65.3K views
250 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Techie Stuff
This is the discussion to link on the back of the
Please read the article first, and then come back here to leave feedback/suggestions. Thanks :)

This is a new thread for the article - to see the old one, click here.


  • just a couple of updates i think should be made to the artical

    McAfee is not well rated, and actually comes in pretty low in independant tests, it is also a resource hog and not something most people on the techie forum would recommend

    Avast - well you have already noted its now on version 6 why not update the 'title' from 5 to 6

    AVG - well it is surprisingly quite intrusive at the moment, of course future updates might make it slimmer but is still quite a resource hog compared to Avira MSE or Avast

    it also seems to miss sandboxing and noscript which are very helpful security services
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a £100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = £7 a week ~ £28 a month
    20p per product = £14 a week ~ £56 a month
    30p per product = £21 a week ~ £84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
  • A couple of points on the article regarding Macs:

    I can see very little point in using PC Tools iAntiVirus if it only scans for Mac viruses and malware. There are NO Mac viruses and hardly any malware. The main reason to have a virus scanner on a Mac is to prevent passing-on Windows malware to others.

    Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7 (aka Snow Leopard and Lion) have built-in malware detection which automatically updates without you doing anything. The latest update includes detection for one exploit that has even been released yet.
    In the Security & Privacy panel of System Preferences, make sure the 'Automatically update safe downloads list' option is ticked (it's on by default).

    All Mac malware requires user action to install, i.e. you must run an installer and enter your admin username and password. An easy way to stay safe is to never run anything that you didn't expect to download. Be wary of things pretending to be Adobe Flash Player installers as there are a couple of things which masquerade as this. They are easy to spot as they use Apple's installer program and have a white background with a picture of a red disk image with the Flash 'f' on it. The real Flash Player has its own red and black Adobe installer. If in doubt, always download it directly from Adobe's website.
  • magpiecottagemagpiecottage
    9.2K posts
    A couple of points.

    Firstly, I actually have 2 × 1 TB hard drives as backup. One live in the garage and I swap over every couple of weeks to minimise the loss if the house actually burned down (the garage is detached!).

    I use Syncback (free) to hold encrypted copies.

    I also keep critical data on its own external hard drive, leaving the computer's own for games and so on. If my main PC fails (as has happened) I simply plug it into another one.

    As it happens, the day this thread started that hard drive failed and my Windows7 machine could not "see" it. XP could see it but read it but it was possible to run a program called CHKDSK (which comes with XP) and restore it.
  • chrisup wrote: »
    There are NO Mac viruses

    People still believe this? Wow.
    I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.
    But, if the white runs out, I'll drink the red.

  • These products change in their abilities and relative strengths over time. There is an EXCELLENT site that regularly reviews not just security software, but free software for pretty much everything.

    It should be mentioned in every article on saving money on software.

    You can always type "47 best free" into google and you will usually get "Gizmos Freeware Reviews
    " as your first hit. I can't post in a direct link but anyone who uses any type of software is crazy not to check this site before buying anything..
  • People still believe this? Wow.
    The user was likely mocking those who do believe so-there are a number of them still knocking about,usually OSX diehards who are only with it for the exclusive tag,the joke was always on them anyway as they had to pay more and wait longer to get new mac parts.
    UNIX is very exploitable,the only reason it's not as infested as Windows is because the operating system has a majority userbase when compared to OSX which has a minority and has always been restricted to mac architecture.

    For AVs other than the ones most people know about,check out Coranti-it is an incredibly hardcore multi engine AV,if are not getting the paid version it is the usual sort of trial software which lasts a month but it gives the system a very deep clean and is well worth the download for a spring clean.
  • spud17spud17 Forumite
    4.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture
    You can always type "47 best free" into google and you will usually get "Gizmos Freeware Reviews
    " as your first hit.
    Surely it used to be 46, ;), it's been posted many times in the past, but won't hurt to post the link again.
    Move along, nothing to see.
  • RussJKRussJK Forumite
    2.4K posts
    For AVs other than the ones most people know about,check out Coranti-it is an incredibly hardcore multi engine AV,if are not getting the paid version it is the usual sort of trial software which lasts a month but it gives the system a very deep clean and is well worth the download for a spring clean.

    Coranti does perform well on the Virus Bulletin chart:

    I wouldn't recommend installing an antivirus just for a 'spring clean' with the intention of removing it afterwards - you'll likely be left with a slightly slower computer, as these things never uninstall well. Always best to install an antivirus on a fresh install of Windows, and stick at it - tedious but there it is.
  • Mista_CMista_C Forumite
    2.2K posts
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    In case it helps anyone...

    I get a lot of laptops come in for work running the latest AVG (with most recent updates) and missing a lot of infections/intrusions. The last two laptops with AVG I dealt with totalled 176 of them.

    To clean/remove them I have used NOD32's SysRescue booted from a network location using WDS but this can just as easily be done installing to a USB drive.

    I notice the list gives a brief explanation of Adware and Spyware. Maybe some quick updates to include other forms of frequently found Malware such as Scareware? Or maybe include the lot under Malware with a brief description for each kind?

    Not meaning to be too critical, it's a good resource but the virus/malware world moves exceptionally quick.
  • RussJKRussJK Forumite
    2.4K posts
    Agreed with Gonzo re: McAfee, and Sandboxie.

    The virus bulletin chart suggests that free Avira or Avast are more effective than McAfee, so free McAfee is just as unnecessary as paid McAfee. I know it's a money saving website, but just because a paid product is free, doesn't mean it's worth using over a free product. Most infected computers I've seen were running McAfee, and so many 'slow PC' problems have been fixed mainly by removing it and putting something better on. There may be sample bias there as IMO less knowledgeable users are more likely to use McAfee, and in turn more likely to use risky behaviour such as opening any attachment sent to them. McAfee does do well in certain aspects of tests, but it's a horrible product overall IMO and is usually only recommended by people with a financial interest in doing so.

    AVG is a very inconsistent product both in terms of speed as well as effectiveness as an antivirus; sometimes it's decent and sometimes it's not. The latest AV-Comparative suggests that AVG is currently quite light on the system: - but next performance review will probably have it slow & heavy again!

    Sandboxie is one of the most useful security products there are - essentially a buffer against infection spreading to the whole system. The only thing better for preventing infection is education/common sense, but not every virus requires the user to do something silly in order to infect e.g. you can get infected from visiting legitimate sites if they are hacked.
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