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No matter how careful you are when using the Internet, it’s always advisable to have antivirus software installed on your computer. This applies mostly to Windows users, because while Macs aren’t invulnerable to malware Are Anti-Virus Programs Necessary For Mac? Are Anti-Virus Programs Necessary For Mac? Read More , they’re just not popular enough for cybercriminals to target.

In this week’s MakeUseOf Poll, we’ll be discovering what free antivirus software our readers consider to be the best available. This was previously asked two years ago Which Is The Best Free Anti-Virus? [MakeUseOf Poll] Which Is The Best Free Anti-Virus? [MakeUseOf Poll] If you’re a Windows user, chances are you have some kind of anti-virus software installed. There are many options when it comes to anti-virus and anti-malware programs, many of which also cost money, but some... Read More , so it’ll be interesting to see how opinions on these invaluable tools have changed during that time.

We Want Windows!

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “Will You Be Getting Windows 10? Will You Be Getting Windows 10? [MakeUseOf Poll] Will You Be Getting Windows 10? [MakeUseOf Poll] With Windows 10 due to be released in 2015, we want to hear all about your intentions towards Microsoft's next operating system. Read More

Out of a total of 638 votes, 51.6% chose Yes, I will upgrade my current PC, 6.6% chose Yes, I will buy a new PC with it installed, 4.9% chose No, it looks like the same old Windows, 9.3% chose No, I use Mac OS X or Linux instead, 24.1% chose I’m not sure… I’ll base my decision on the finished product, and 4% chose Other.

There was a clear winner here, with more than half of those who voted stating they plan to upgrade their current PC to Windows 10 Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview The Windows 10 Technical Preview is now available to everyone. Some bugs aside, it does look promising. We'll guide you through the new Windows one screenshot at a time. Read More . Microsoft will be pleased with this result, even if Windows 10 is given away for free to people already running Windows 8/8.1, as seems likely.

The 24 percent of you who are determined to wait and see how Windows 10 turns out are clearly sensible individuals who refuse to get suckered in by the hype. Which is understandable given Microsoft’s track record of delivering buggy operating systems. People will never forget Vista.

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Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Kenneth Carpenter, Rama, and ed. Comment Of The Week goes to RobH, who wins a T-shirt chosen from those available through the catalog for this comment Will You Be Getting Windows 10? [MakeUseOf Poll] Will You Be Getting Windows 10? [MakeUseOf Poll] With Windows 10 due to be released in 2015, we want to hear all about your intentions towards Microsoft's next operating system. Read More :

There are several aspects to the issue.

1. Has the underlying OS improved in terms of aspects like performance, error handling, crashes.

2. The user interface. The change delivered by Win8 is the reason it’s widely disliked. Will the shipped version of Win10 resolve that?

3. Legacy hardware support. I’ve recently put a couple of useful functioning devices on Ebay because they don’t work with my Win8 laptop – OK the zip750 hadn’t seen any action for a long time but the Epson scanner was a good piece of kit. The other aspect is the PC hardware. Will the demands on CPU and Memory be greater than the current Win7 boxes have.

4. Legacy software support. For example, I’m using Office 2007 on our household’s older desktop PCs (2xWin7 1xXP). Microsoft want to move us to a subscription model which works out more costly – at some point they’ll force that issue. In fact I wonder if they may do the same with Win10 – free upgrade but after a year there’s an annual renewal fee.

5. Microsoft’s other motivations: obviously they’d like me to be running Windows tablet and mobile phone. Are they going to follow Apple’s model of putting “inconveniences” in the way of those preferring a diverse mix of vendors?
Other OS’s don’t really figure in my calculations. My legacy of Win apps and, perhaps more importantly, my built up knowledge of how to use them imply the costs of identification of functionally equivalent replacement software, buying it and learning how to use it.

6. Cost, free (or cheap) upgrades are an incentive – but a subscription model would be a disincentive, I’d even take Win8 on a new PC if the only alternative was a subscription.

I need reasonable confidence that Win10 delivers me some benefits. I will probably take the upgrade on the Win8 laptop (especially if it’s free) – on the basis that it can’t be worse than Win8 (but I do have a concern that it will still work with my £5000 CNC machine, it was a nightmare to install the drivers in the first place).
The XP machine is scheduled for replacement so maybe I’ll be forced to buy it with Win10 (or given the “not likely!” option of Win8).
I expect to leave the Win7 machines alone until such time as the hardware needs replacement. If there’s a free or inexpensive upgrade that might pose a dilemma.

We chose this comment because it details all of the various considerations this particular reader will be making before deciding whether or not to get Windows 10 Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? It's official, the new Windows will be a perfect 10. Why Windows 10? Because Windows 7 8 (ate) 9. And here is what you will find inside the Technical Preview. Read More . If more people thought about purchases in this way then tech companies would be held more accountable than they are at the moment. Which would be a very positive change.

Accurate Antivirus Advice

And so, it’s on to this week’s poll all about free antivirus software Free Anti-Virus Comparison: 5 Popular Choices Go Toe-To-Toe Free Anti-Virus Comparison: 5 Popular Choices Go Toe-To-Toe What is the best free antivirus? This is among the most common questions we receive at MakeUseOf. People want to be protected, but they don’t want to have to pay a yearly fee or use... Read More . We’re hoping to get a sense of what security software our readers use and would recommend to others. While there is plenty of paid antivirus software Why You Should Replace Microsoft Security Essentials With A Proper Antivirus Why You Should Replace Microsoft Security Essentials With A Proper Antivirus Read More out there, we’re focusing on the free options for obvious reasons.

We simply want to know what you consider to be the best free antivirus software on the market. We have given you a set of options to choose from, but for reasons of space, there is also a blank Other option which allows you to take part in the poll even if your chosen antivirus tool isn’t listed.

Please register your vote in the poll above before taking to the comments below to explain why you regard your antivirus software of choice as being better than the competition. Remember, there’s an awesome T-shirt in it for the person responsible for the coveted Comment Of The Week.

Image Credit: Yuri Samoilov via Flickr

  1. Logan W
    June 13, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Spybot ftw

  2. Hui Ting
    April 8, 2015 at 4:42 am

    I've recently started using SecureAPlus (definitely, not everyone will know about this program) but I never had any problem ever since installation. They have 10+ antivirus combined which boasts higher detection rate and this does not slow down the computer because it's all in the cloud ;) I also like the Application Whitelisting which gives me the control by ensuring that only applications that I trust are running in the computer. At least I know what's going on in my computer heh. No harm giving it a try since it's free :)

  3. Von Adam Martinez
    March 27, 2015 at 3:15 am

    For my Desktop PC, since I don't use it for my online transactions, I use the free version of bitdefender as it is lightweight and you don't have to configure anything after the installation. I also use malwarebyte along with bitdefender to prevent newly created threats from compromising my unit. I find it to be the best pair since I don't want my the bloated features present in other products, Bitdefender also doesn't have annoying ads. Running these two doesn't mean redundancy since malwarebytes doesn't run in the background.

  4. Mike Merritt
    December 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    With AntiVirus programs; you can't say that "It works for me" ... when you've run the same A/V program for 10 years and it's never bothered you - that doesn't mean that it's catching everything - but that it's MISSING all the viruses and letting them go straight onto your computer. What we need is an A/V program that says: "Oops .. I missed that virus - it's infected your computer now - Sorry" .... Ha !

  5. Mian Amir
    October 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    A few days ago i was using Avast, it was fine until my PC got some malware without any warning by Avast and now I've switched to Bitdefender. Its quite confusing picking a right av because sometimes one works and other not and vice versa.

  6. KT
    October 14, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    AVG.
    It plays better with a lot of the Firefox ad-ons I use. Avast doesn't seem to like a lot of Firefox's services (especially the AVG created ones).

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Oh, that's a strange one. Have you investigated the Avast forums to see if these are known issues?

    • KT
      October 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      I didn't think about checking the forums. The last couple Windows 7 builds/repairs I did were for non-tech savvy people and they needed something simple to keep them safe. So I just install AVG free, spybot, firefox with a few good ad ons and sent them on their way. My mother in law has been frying pcs since XP! She even toasted a Linux Mint laptop that I had to do a fresh re-instal on!

  7. A41202813GMAIL
    October 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Anything Other Than M$ Crap.

    ---

    Could You Please Show Poll Results In Reverse Order, From The Most To The Least Favorite ? - Please, Pretty Please ?

    ( Five Years And Counting )

    XPOCALYPSE, FOREVER !

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Er, maybe. You mean when you click the PollDaddy widget or when I collate the results next week?

    • A41202813GMAIL
      October 17, 2014 at 4:26 am

      Whenever And Wherever Votes Are Shown.

      Thank You.

  8. Mary Brady
    October 13, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I use paid avast! Internet Security for 3 machines and believe it to be the best antivirus software. At the time of purchase it was very economical. I had previously used the free version of avast! and was very satisfied, which is why I got the paid version. As at least one previous commenter stated, the recent avast! pop-up ads are annoying (though I realize that they are a business) but I always have ignored most all advertising online and in media.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      I guess that's the sign of a good free antivirus when you're willing to pay for an upgrade to the full suite.

  9. Julie
    October 13, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    I think Comodo is the best all a round AntiVirus program there is. It scanns the Kernal and registry and catches just about everything. I love comodo I run the free fire wall as well. Since I have been using Comodo I have not had a virus since I have been using Comodo. I have been using it now for 3 years.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      That's pretty impressive. What operating system do you use?

  10. Robert G.
    October 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Microsoft Security Essentials makes the job for Win7 Pro 64-bit, I don't need more.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      If it's working for you then screw the reviews, eh?!

  11. Marco Sarli
    October 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Panda Cloud .Never had a problem ,size and resource usage are unbeatable and has all the basics covered . If I suspect something is going on, a scan with Malwarebytes is enough.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      I must admit that isn't one I was very aware of. Looks good though.

  12. Anononononon
    October 13, 2014 at 11:49 am

    I have used avast for a long time and am very happy with the free service it provides. The only issue is the occasional need to re-register but that is a not something that bothers me personally. I have had many problems with AVG and have seen several computers that have developed serious issues that seemed to be directly caused by AVG

  13. James Howde
    October 13, 2014 at 10:50 am

    As with a lot of software it's difficult to really say what's best as you get locked into the one you use.

    I've used AVG for decades and find Avast to be over twitchy (though it's virus finding is at least as good).

    If, however, that CD of free software I got from PC something-or-other magazine way back when had contained Avast rather than AVG then I'd either
    a) regard Avast's notification level as the norm and worry that AVG wasn't finding stuff or
    b) have learnt to reign it in to a level I'm happier with.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      That's a very good point. Antivirus software is one of those things we pick and then stick with until we absolutely need to switch to something else.

  14. Larry Stevenson
    October 13, 2014 at 4:42 am

    Your best free antivirus is to start using the MVPs HOSTS file, then get addons for your web browser that block advertising. Also get SpywareBlaster, originally developed by Javacool but is now owned by Brightfort. I have NEVER had a virus in over 16 years online. I do a lot of research on a daily basis so it's not from lesser use. Ads are a distraction to my reading which is why I seek to be rid of them. They are also the primary vector by which viruses get to your computer. Feel free to email me for more info. I am an acknowledged (and published) computer security expert.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      The problem with blocking ads is you're stopping the websites you visit, including this one, from making any money and paying its writers.

  15. KM
    October 13, 2014 at 2:10 am

    This is a timely poll, I'm looking around for a new antivirus to use on a laptop with limited resources, and most AV reviews/polls and such that I always see are often years out of date.

    I am constantly seeing so many comments about how great Avast! is/was but about how it's steadily gone downhill in the way it presents/practices, that I have been completely put off even trying it out in the first place, though. The fact that there are still complaints about that in this newer poll after seeing them first crop up in older reviews doesn't give me confidence in them or where they're heading.
    Which is disappointing, because it sounded great. I'm interested to see if it'll still rank high in this, despite everyone's growing dissatisfaction. I feel like it will.

    The only program I've used in this list (Malwarebytes) is one I use as a supplementary scan every now and then, so I did not vote for it since I don't use it as a primary program, although I am perfectly happy with it.

    I hope more comments will make notes about the resource usage of these programs, as well as accuracy. In my opinion, resource efficiency is just as important as accuracy. I might even go with a more resource friendly primary/active antivirus at the cost of slightly less dependability, if it'll lighten the load on my machine (of course, supplementing with occasional on-demand scans with other programs, which I already do anyway).

    • DalSan M
      October 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      For resource limited systems, Bitdefender Free and Panda Cloud Free are highly recommended. Look at the AV test link in my previous post for surprising results in common free and paid AV software. The grading scale includes speed, virus detection, and system performance. Bitdefender and Panda are among the lightest and highest detection rate AV's available.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      I agree that AV software needs to be efficient in the way it uses resources. I've had to uninstall several in years gone by because they were using so much of my CPU.

  16. Gde Swart
    October 13, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Two of the poll options are not actually AV programs (Spybot & Malwarebytes).
    I selected Other: ESET or Kaspersky get my vote and money (Egads! This fool actually pays for AV?!)

    The "Best" is very subjective. Best at what? Besides the obvious (preventing infections) there are other considerations such as: Overall toll on system performance? Scanning speed? Fewest false positives? Understandable interface? Program size? Price? Frequency of signature updates?
    Worst of all AV is a reactive category, what might work best today could fail miserably tomorrow.

    • DalSan M
      October 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Glad you mentioned how AV software detection rates fluctuate over time to where what was a great rating AV later drops below another. The two notoriously bad AV programs that many of us hated are now in the top five in the latest AV tests: Norton and McAfee. AVG has dropped, as have Avast and a few others, but nut enough for users to really worry about. The biggest thing to note, though, is if one wants the best free or paid AV, one must keep an eye in the AV tests and change the AV software used at least twice a year...something nobody wants to do. Otherwise, pay for Bitdefender or Kaspersky as they have been in the top five for a long time now.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      We want to know the best overall package, of course.

  17. Gilbert J
    October 12, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    I use Lavasoft Ad-Aware AV for my real-time protection, Malwarebytes for "couple of times a month" scans, and Linux based AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, Comodo and Kaspersky rescue CDs for "couple of times a year" scans. Ad-Aware seems to score well in tests, and doesn't bug you constantly to upgrade to the paid version. It once let a trojan through, but then found it when it did a full scan. Since then, Malwarebytes and the Linux based scans have found a couple of P.U.P.s Ad-Aware missed, but that's been it. One minor quibble: I have found that if the computer is turned on after being off for a few days, Ad-Aware is sometimes a little balky about updating definitions. I haven't experienced this when the computer was in use every day.
    A couple of other tools to mention, "McAfee Site Advisor" and "Web of Trust" can help you steer clear of dodgy sites, and "Virus Total" will do an online scan of any URL or file you point it at.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      You clearly take your AV routine seriously, as you should!

      Thanks for the hat-tips to McAfee Site Advisor and WoT... they are good tools for those determined to lower their chances of getting a virus. We have covered them previously, but it's always good to remind people reading.

  18. iyeee14
    October 12, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I was an AVG fan, but they kept dropping features. I now just use Windows Defender or Windows Security Essentials and they have done an excellent job.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Windows Security Essentials hasn't got the best ratings as an AV, but it's clearly doing a good enough job for lots of people.

  19. Tom W
    October 12, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    I use Avast because, quite simply, I consider it the best. One reasons is that it consistently comes out on top when 3rd parties run tests to see which anti-virus programs will catch more viruses. Another reason is that it requires so few resources that I never notice it running. And, as a bonus, it comes with a pre-boot scan that's useful for catching rootkits.

    I have been growing steadily less happy with Avast, however. Not enough to make me switch (yet), but enough to lessen my opinion of it. The frequent pop-up messages are annoying. The greying-out of the free option when it comes to re-register (making it seem like that option isn't available) is underhanded. The "grime buster" that tells you that your computer needs cleaning, but won't clean it until you pay, is borderline malware. Avast today is unrecognisable to the version that I fell in love with.

    I understand that they need to make money somehow, but I don't think that emulating the scams and malware they're supposed to protect against is the way to do it. The funny thing is, if the free version didn't exist, I would happily pay for Avast. Even the most expensive version is only £30 / yr, which isn't much money at all, but none of the additional features seem all that useful to me.

    • Paul
      October 13, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Agreed - I am actively looking for a replacement for Avast because of the increase in these malware-like features.

    • Tom W
      October 13, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      If it helps, I would be looking at AVG if I was going to replace Avast. It usually ties in terms of effectiveness at stopping viruses. It is a little more resource hungry, but I'm sure nothing really noticeable on modern machines.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      That sort of scammy behavior is pretty intolerable. I suspect there are plenty of less knowledgeable computer users who have been tricked into upgrading to the paid version because of the various warnings and pop-ups.

  20. Paul
    October 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    I choose to use Avast because sites like yours tell me it is the best. I assumed you had some evidence.

    • DalSan M
      October 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      The "best" antivirus software will always change as features are added or removed, as detection rates change, or as performance changes. That is why it is difficult to always say which one antivirus software is the best. Plus, what one person likes may not be what another likes.

      Take the results with a grain of salt, and the reviews/views of other commenters when reviewing the results of the latest AV tests. http://www.majorgeeks.com/news/story/latest_round_of_av_testing_results.html

      On average, though, Avast had been the most recommended antivirus. For me, though, Panda Cloud Free is what I recommend over most others if you want fast performance and great detection rates. Keep in mind, though, AV test results will change over time, so what is recommended now may not be what will be recommended later.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      If a writer here has recommended Avast at some point in the past then yes, he or she will have had evidence of it being good. The thing is AV tools change regularly, and what is the best one year could be the worst the year after. So it's always good to keep on top of these things.

  21. firstclass
    October 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I use Malwarebytes only. All the others I find attacks bypass easily.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      I would personally use Malwarebytes alongside a full AV tool, but I guess if this has worked for you so far there is no need to change :)

  22. DalSan M
    October 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    It is sad that people still use Microsoft Security Essentials/Windows Defender when it continuously fails virtually all antivirus tests except usability. I am surprised, however, that McAfee, though paid, made it to the top five best rated antivirus software by testers. McAfee and Norton were right next to each other in the list. They both were beaten out by Kaspersky and Bitdefender. http://www.majorgeeks.com/news/story/latest_round_of_av_testing_results.html

    Panda Cloud Free was the top free antivirus software listed, and for good reason. It is very lightweight (won't noticeably slow the computer system down when running), simple interface to use, and detects most infections and possible unwanted software. This makes it one of my top recommendations, and had been for a few years. There is absolutely no reason for an antivirus software to lower the performance of the computer just by running in the background (not scanning for malware and viruses, just running the basic background services). It also cannot be hard for users to understand, navigate, and use the software. Another issue I've seen with free, and even paid antivirus software, is obtrusive, obnoxious pop-ups and advertisements (nag screens) that appear without warning, especially when in the middle of doing normal tasks (nothing worse than a pop-up interrupting me working on my school work or in class). Panda makes it minimal, and works efficiently enough to be usable on low resourced computer systems.

    I personally, though, use Comodo Internet Security because of the powerful firewall and extra features available. No nag screens or advertisements, barely allows my computer down, offers game mode, has HIPS protection, uses sandbox for questionable software, has a virtual environment to run programs and browse the internet so nothing can alter the main system, and has a pretty high virus/malware detection rate. Best of all, it's free. For everything that I do on my computer, an all-in-one solution seems best. However, I also use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to scan the computer from time to time just to be sure. Why? Because what one software doesn't find, another software may be able to detect, it's just how it is.

    As mentioned by another, there isn't any protection against user error because no matter what anyone says, there are those that will not listen and keep doing what is known to infect computers...and then whine and complain about it, saying that it wasn't their fault. Many of us have been there, done that, and easy beyond over it, but still have to deal with it. There isn't much to help these situations, other than to ask for payment to fix the issues each time.

    I'd like to see the results of this survey since what works best and what someone is used to using are very different things.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Thank you for such a comprehensive comment. Let's hope the votes and comments keep rolling in as the more people who get involved the more accurate these results will be.

  23. Brian H.
    October 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    I have never seen Malwarebytes call their product an anti-virus. It is an "anti-malware" software that claims to protect you when an anti-virus can't. I run it along side Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit and have had no issues. Of course common sense and paying attention to any messages that your computer may be telling you without just clicking through their dialog boxes is also very important in keeping your PC safe from the baddies.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      For the purposes of this poll we included a couple of programs that aren't strictly AV tools but protect your PC from malicious attacks regardless.

  24. Paul B
    October 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I use Microsoft Security Essentials but like most things Microsoft they started out good enough and then let it fade away with inattention. The best free anti-virus is just paying attention on the web. Be careful on what you install and where you go.

    • AriesWarlock
      October 13, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      I used Microsoft Security Essentials until recently, I was tired of its poor performance so I switched to Avast, and it has been very good so far.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      I cannot understand why Microsoft didn't keep up with MSE. Still, it's extremely useful as a first line of defense even if it ranks poorly against other AV software.

  25. Jerry
    October 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Bitdefender

  26. Joe
    October 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    It's hard for me to really know which one is the best. All I know is what I've used and what I assume has been keeping me safe, which is AVG Free. I used Norton way back in the day, but moved on from that long ago. But I think the number one method to keep viruses off your system is to be savvy about the sites you visit.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Indeed. In an ideal world we'd all be so careful when browsing the Web there would be no chance of getting a virus. But we all know this isn't an ideal world, and shit occasionally happens.

  27. Geoff
    October 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I have followed magazine advice and paid in the past for AVG, Avast and Kaspersky. None of these were satisfactory as they stopped legitimate operations or asked stupid questions. I now use SuperAntiSpyware and a free Bitdefender in trouble free combination. Machine runs well for 95% of the time, is scanned when I'm not around, and finds only adware cookies. I am only asked about something when it seems really serious, and I can at least choose to carry on or not.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      It sounds like you have found a good combination for your needs. I personally don't think it's worth paying for AV software. If there were no free alternatives then yes, of course, but as there are several free alternatives we can keep our wallets and purses closed.

  28. Vivek
    October 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Panda Cloud

  29. Andrew Kelley
    October 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I would say that there is really no "best" anti-virus, some may be considered better than others, but I have had clients bring in virus laden PC's for repair that have had any of the Av's listed plus a handful more, free and paid, 9 of 10 times I find that the owner was ultimately at fault for the infection, not the Anti-virus software. BHO's are notorious for being "piggybacked" in on a legit third-party software installation and the owner is totally oblivious to the actual questions and check boxes that are "pre-checked" to install this garbage which once installed can start a cascade of malware downloads. Attachments in an e-mail are another big one, many people don't think twice about opening them right up as soon as the get them, and many Anti-virus programs will not detect a virus within a zipped file unless you physically tell the program to scan it first, and never run and .exe file without first doing a scan. Habit and understanding is more of a key to remaining virus free than the actual Anti-Virus software in many cases.

    • Anonymous
      October 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm
    • Dave Parrack
      October 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      This is all very true. If we all took better care when online, and educated those around us who aren't so tech-savvy, then we'd all get a lot less viruses and malware infections. But that's not the world we live in, so surely it's better to have something installed in case the worst happens.

    • Andrew Kelley
      October 15, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      Point taken Dave, but I would still reserve the statement that there is really no "best" and at the same time in many cases the saying "you get what you pay for" rings true as well. My best advice is to choose one that has a decent rating and if it is a paid version is at a price you feel you can deal with, read up on its features and how to use them properly and hope for the best. In any case there are always computer geeks such as myself that can strighten things out and get it up and running again.

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