Which Is The Best Free Anti-Virus? [MakeUseOf Poll]

polls   Which Is The Best Free Anti Virus? [MakeUseOf Poll]Last week we asked you if you think smartphones are getting too big for their own good. Despite the lack of consensus in the poll’s results, it seems like the majority of voters think smartphones are either too big or big enough as they are. In short, we probably don’t need even bigger smartphones!

Out of 521 readers who voted, 49% think smartphones are fine the way they are right now, but any bigger would be going too far, 32% think smartphones are already too big and that companies should start making smaller ones again, and 20% think that the bigger the better, and are willing to see even bigger smartphones than the ones we have today.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

poll results 1711   Which Is The Best Free Anti Virus? [MakeUseOf Poll]

This week’s poll question is: Which Is The Best Free Anti-Virus?

Want to make some extra MakeUseOf reward points? The most useful comment on the poll will be awarded 150 points!

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 of which are completely free. We recently compared five popular free anti-virus choices, trying to find out which one is the best, but which is your favorite? Which free anti-virus is protecting your computer, or would have if you had to choose?

Didn’t see the ones you like? Tell us in the comments which one we missed. We’d also love to hear why you chose as you did!

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

174 Comments -

0 votes

Scutterman

I use Avast, and I used to recommend it to everyone. However recently they’ve gotten a bit spammy with the upgrade popups, so now I’ll only recommend it alongside AVG and only if the person I’m speaking to is currently using nothing or Norton.

0 votes

Danijel Cukari?

I don’t see nay logic in using two antivirus programs, and choice of AVG as main one supported by Avast probably isn’t best solution at all. Often two AV software finish to detect each other as threats. I’m using Avast on Win for ages never had any issues with it. Used Avast on Linux back in time too. Just switched to bit-defender for unix. AVG at its best in my opinion, is just decent and way under Avast.

0 votes

Scutterman

I didn’t make that clear. I recommend AVG and Avast as two potential options, I don’t recommend people use both. In the past I would have given the opinion that Avast was slightly better than AVG due to some research that suggested the only real difference between them was better resource usage of Avast.

0 votes

Kamil Ko

I use Avast on Windows XP PCs. I like it’s additional features (like blocking sites) and I like the customizing the settings. I would vote “Malwarebytes” but I don’t consider it as an anti-virus software – rather anti-malware or anti-spyware.

0 votes

Kris Montoya

I use Avast!along with Malewarebytes they take care of virus and spyware pretty good nothing get’s past them 2!!!!

0 votes

Kamil Ko

Scutterman – I use Norton without problems. How do you get AVG and Avast not to conflict with each other?

0 votes

Scutterman

I didn’t make that clear. I recommend AVG and Avast as two potential options, I don’t recommend people use both. In the past I would have given the opinion that Avast was slightly better than AVG due to some research that suggested the only real difference between them was better resource usage of Avast.

I’ve had nothing but bad experience with Norton. Almost every virus ridden computer I’ve had to sort out has had a version of Norton on it, most of them up to date. For smart users, it’s probably not so much of an issue because they don’t go around installing dodgy software, but if I need to recommend an antivirus to someone it’s likely they’re not a smart downloader

0 votes

Dany Bouffard

I use Avast, for everyday anti-virus for detection, but to effectively remove most infection if I or someone I know get infected I usually use many anti-virus and malware removal tools. Malwarebytes is one of them. I dont like AVG much since I had peoples that wanted to remove it and had problem to remove it at work we were replacing AVG on most computers with a corporate solution and on some computer I had to use a special tool so that AVG finally was removable. Anti-virus is usually more a matter of personal choice for peoples.

0 votes

Mike Merritt

Any time that you remove an Anti-Virus application – you should go the the developer’s site and download their own special remover app. A/V programs specifically don’t like to be erased/modified – in order to maintain their integrity against viruses. It’s a Feature – not a problem.

0 votes

Dany Bouffard

I use Avast on computer I own and recommend it to others. Its a good everyday use protection. I also use sometimes Malwarebytes. On older computer with windows XP and less computing power I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. I dont like AVG much cause sometimes its difficult to remove it. On some computers I had to use a special tool to be able to finally remove AVG.

0 votes

druv vb

I was a long time user of AVG, until it messed up with my system when a Trojan got past an infected all my DOC files, and after a scan AVG recommended to delete all files instead of repairing it. From then till now, am using Avast and am happy with it. And also for systems that are not connected to the internet, manually downloading the updates are available. The others are also good, but I usually recommend Avast to folks because its much simpler to use.

0 votes

Arron Walker

I used to use AVG, but I found it got bloated and resource heavy. I then moved over to Comodo Security, before that met the same fate. I now use Microsoft Security Essentials, and Avast together. They are both comprehensive, and lean solutions, even together, there is no real drain on resources. Since I have a weaker system, I may disable on or both while gaming, but most gamers have more power, and anyone else wouldn’t notice the strain.

0 votes

Mick Biddulph

ClamWin

0 votes

juan david gil

all hail open source

0 votes

Bernard Sullivan

I use Avast and recommend it to moderate to advanced users. For very basic users (gandma) I recommend/install Microsoft Security Essentials [MSE]. Avast does have some issues with false positives, but the overall protection is excellent. The program allows for scheduling a boot scan, which I have even used to rescue machines at the office protected by the most up to date Norton coporate edition security. My son recently had malware evade Microsoft Security Essentials at the college he attends, and after installing Avast and running the boot time scan we found and removed 5 pieces of malware that were crippling his system. The Avast interface is a dramatic improvement from their versions in the past which were ugly and unintuitive. I am using Avast on a 64 bit Win 7 installation on a Dell notebook, a dell mini 1012 with Win 7 32, a Toshiba NB305 with Win 7 32, and it performs admirably on all 3 without a significant resource hit. Avast has a slightly smaller footprint than MSE and has more options and features.

0 votes

Aditya Roy

VIPRE! Easily tops all the antivirus i have ever used.
It isn’t free but totally worth it.

0 votes

Punk Rulez

Agree 100%. Using vipre for past 3 years. Only one problem till date. Adware infection from another antivirus Total Security crap.
Pretty light on resources.
But planning to go with MSE for next windows install …

0 votes

Sukanya Sadhu

the poll is on free antivirus, but vipre is not free.

0 votes

fujimania

Avast is the way to go! Very light, has Silent mode. I used the free for a while and was worth to pay for it to get the Sandbox feature and virtual safezone browsing area :-)

0 votes

Mounir Ben

Avast free too has the sandboxing feature i think

0 votes

fujimania

No Sandbox on the free one. Check available features on Avast’s website under the Home section or after you click on the Download button!

0 votes

Mounir Ben

Just install it and you’ll see the feature under the additional protection tab.

0 votes

fujimania

Pointless for me since I already have the paid version. But if you are correct and they did add it to the free version then its great, they might need to update their website also ;-)

0 votes

Raja Pradeep

Avast is the best free anti-virus according to me. Microsoft Security essentials is also good but it’s scan speed is very slow. Avast UI is really stunning and also it has amazing features like Sandbox, Webrep (community based website rankings),site blocking and more at free of cost.

0 votes

ion popa

Does Avast provide free version with Sandbox…?

0 votes

Sokol Avdyli

On the official webpage of Avast! it doesnt seem to provide Sandbox.

But why do I have that option, even that I have a free version of Avast, I can enable Sandbox.

0 votes

ion popa

OMG! They do! “Auto-Sandbox” actually… ?

0 votes

Raja Pradeep

Yes, sandbox is available in free version…:)

0 votes

Justin69

With a doubt the best antivirus is Kaspersky.

0 votes

Keefe Kingston

For my virtual machines I use Avast!, since because they’re expendable, there is no sense of buying full blown protection for them. However, a free antivirus just doesn’t cut it for my computer. After all, it was quite an investment, and a virus is the last thing I need. Free protection is good for those who don’t want to buy one, but for those who can afford to, I’d recommend paying for one, specifically a internet security package, as that gives you good all-around protection. I use Bitdeneder Internet Security 2013 on my main computer. But as far as free antiviruses go, i recommend Avast! to everyone.

0 votes

DOMINIK KLARI?

True. People, free AVs are NOT A GOOD SOLUTION TO PROTECT YOUR
PC / DATA. But I recommend ESET. @ the end it’s up to the user’s needs and matter of choice (and budget) which one he will instal.

0 votes

ion popa

I don’t use a free antivirus right know, but I would recommend free Avast for extra features other antiviruses don’t have and good detection rate (according to independent antimalware testing organizations).

P.S. : Special mention for Bitdefender free (only romanian) edition – Autoscan, Active Virus Control, Antiphishing…

0 votes

Judy Tharp

SOPHOS

0 votes

mayasl

Kaspersky is my favorite!

0 votes

Rohan Rani

I use the free Norton Security Suite (comes with Comcast) and it’s awesome. Its basically the 360 Version. without backup.

0 votes

Moazzam Naeem

No one is better then Kaspersky antivirus

0 votes

mark rayborn

I like Sophos! the fact that they post what’s going on in the world of virus’s and malware is great. I check facebook every day to see what’s new out there!

0 votes

Eduardo Van Beest Hermse

Avast, simple to use for everybody and that’s what counts.
Keep it simple

0 votes

Eric Robinson

I use avast, the only bad thing about it are the sounds and popups, but that can be easily change on the configuration :)

0 votes

Paul Huddleston

I use a two-pronged approach , with Avast as the anti-virus to keep junk from getting on my system, and Malwarebytes to get rid of anything that gets through. Both are great on their own, but together they have done great for me and those who trust me to fix their computer boo-boos.

0 votes

Ben Wilson

I use Microsoft Security Essentials with MalwareBytes Anti Malware for manual scans on most computers. MSE never prompts me to buy anything, isn’t intrusive in the least, and is simple enough to install and let it do its thing on my tech-illiterate friends’ computers.
When it comes to VERY slow or old systems where the computer needs every ounce of its power to run the OS as it is, I install Panda Cloud Antivirus. It takes up less resources than a single, blank Google Chrome tab, though it only detects 70-75% of viruses compared to the 95-98% of most other anti-virus programs out there. Though in the cases I use Panda Cloud, the computers have little to nothing of importance on them, so I don’t really care if they become infected so much.
But above all else, Common Sense is the best anti-virus around. Free, never prompts you with notifications or ads, takes up absolutely 0 resources or space on your system, and installs instantly on all computers you use.

0 votes

Yash Desai

I dont use an anti-virus. I realize some may think this is ridiculous. However, if you are careful enough and do not download things from unreputed websites, for the most part you should be fine.

0 votes

Harshit Jain

Man something is better than nothing. Get an antivirus or you will surely regret over your stupidity.
Source: 10 years experience of using windows.

0 votes

Harshit Jain

Actually the best free antivirus is are the trial versions of paid antivirus programs. Search on google 60 day norton internet security trial and you will get premium protection for free and it is completely legal. Just get another antivirus trial after the expiry of the trial and you are goodto go. I use Norton then Norton360 then Kaspersky then Bitdefender and then the cycle goes on repeating till the next year when new versions of paid antivirus programs are released. I am always happy snd there is no tension of viruses.
You can also get 6month trials from facebook and 90 day trials. Just bing it aka search it .

0 votes

Yash Desai

its not because i dont want to pay for it, it is because i dont need it. I am careful with what i download. Also i have automatic backups in place so ill be okay incase something does manage to happen.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Interesting approach!

0 votes

Suvrojit Mondal

I am using AVG & Super AntiSpyware alongside with it. I would say the detection rate of AVG is very fair & SAS is very good too but SAS updates daily. You should also use Peerblock to block ports or http while using internet.

0 votes

Dewdad157

This site has what looks like good tests and reviews.
http://www.av-comparatives.org/

0 votes

Kenice Noel

I switched to Avast Free 6 years ago and that when I was in high school. I haven’t turned back since. Avast is fast, and from my experience my system has NEVER gotten infected since then. I used McAfee, Nod32 and AVG before avast and in my opinion the worst was McAfee. My church, family and all my friends I’ve recommended avast too have all switched and they all love it. I’d recommend Avast Free as the best choice for your free antivirus needs.

0 votes

James Graham

I like AVG still — after turning off the Identity Protection that was bloat. Glad they removed it.

For deep cleans I use a Kaspersky boot CD.

0 votes

Rich Kleven

I use Microsoft Security Essentials as the active security software and run Malwarebytes once a month to try catch anything else that is missed. I also run Super anti-Spyware monthly.

0 votes

John Rogers

I use Avast for general purpose preventative anti-virus on my computers and recommend it to others. It is a very good general purpose preventative anti-virus program, however when it comes to removing infections I usually use MalwareBytes. I have found it to be a very useful tool in my toolbox for removing unwanted malware.

0 votes

Scott Moody

Clam Antivirus. How was this one not included in the poll to begin with?

0 votes

Richard Millar

All the Anti-Virus Free-Ware is the BEST, cause it’s FREE !!!…
If you complain about the Free-Ware than “Too-Bad !” for you! !!…
You Get What Ya Pay For !!!…
Rick !… ;-)???

0 votes

stephaniet

Microsoft security essentials updated and ran full scan found ZERO viruses (useless), using Avira it found several. Avast updates whenever it wanted to without telling me regardless of my update settings. Malware is great for malware, but it doesnt cover everything. Aviras only downfall is that the popup spam for the full version is ever annoying. I had a full free year of premium kaspersky and it slowed down my system that I had no other choice than to uninstall it a mere 4 months into my year free key. AVG is good but it doesnt cover all bases. I actually recommend running a full malwarebytes scan, followed by a full avira scan followed by an AVG scan, your pc may not allow all 3 at once but downloading it to cd and running boot disk can clean up any pc in safe mode. Don’t forget to UPDATE before running your scans.

0 votes

Ted B

I haven’t had a problem with MSE

0 votes

Ted B

Been running MSE for over a year,no problems

0 votes

FredyJ

I’ve used AVG for years on machines running everything from Win 98 to Win 7 & never had any problems. My current high-end machine came with Norton free for 6 months but after 2 weeks it locked up the whole machine during its update process. I ripped it out, put in AVG Free & went back to peace & security!

0 votes

Henry Lahman

MSE is nice but I remember reading that it has the most no-identified viruses but fewest false positives

though its so maintenance free that you can literally configure it and forget about it

0 votes

y v sai madhav

AVG

0 votes

Rajaa Chowdhury

IT Security encompasses a lot of aspects and antivirus is one part of it. Also we need to understand, and argument will remain which is the best antivirus, that no antivirus in the world is fool-proof. Best is a relative term and biased towards each and every individual’s comfort level to the antivirus of her or his choice and usage, which ultimately develop a comfort level and association with that brand. For a normal home user like me, a simple firewall, with a more than decent antivirus, an anti-spyware/malware program with the habit of regular windows update and updating the applications also, should keep me more than safe, if I am not really unlucky. So, I presonally use Comodo firewall, Microsoft Security essentials and MalwareBytes Anti-Malware program. Till now, I have not face any major problem, finger crossed. I also set my windows update to automatically install updates and use the filehippo update checker to check and install the latest version of the applications install.

I would also like to highlight, that you may have the best security solution in place, but it will still be a futile exercise, if we do not practice safe browsing habits. This is the one most important security solution existing.

0 votes

Rajaa Chowdhury

Missed out on why I chose Microsoft Security Essentials :

1. More than adequate Anti-virus.
2. Simple uncluttered user interface, which is easy to understand without many settings.
3. Update integrated with windows update so automatically happens.
4. Tightly integrated to the OS security policy of Microsoft.

0 votes

Terafall

TruthfulIy,I never tried Lavasoft and AVG,so I cannot comment anything about it.
While Avira has a good detection rate but it also made a lot of false positives so I never recommend it to my friends.
Avast is great but there was one strange cases when BSOD appeared just after I installed Avast free version on my friend’s laptop,so I will becareful with it from now on.
MSE is simple to use and perfect for non-techie but in my opinion,it missed too many trojan lately
Malwarebytes is great as it always picked up what MSE didn’t found but the free version cannot do real time scanning

0 votes

Samit Tandukar

for basic users, MSE is perfect. But users who want more protection for free, I recommend Avast because it has various features like webshield, autosandbox, etc. that keeps you away from all kinds of threats and also it is very light on system resources.

0 votes

LordMikal

MSE is consistently rated in the top three for finding and stopping viruses. Easy to use and configure and made by the people who make the OS. Seems like a no brainer to me. :-)

0 votes

Jim La Fronz

Of the freebies I’ve used (Avast, AVG, and Lavasoft) I’ve preferred Avast for its frequent definition updates and relatively smaller resource footprint.

0 votes

automan 1

Used malwarebytes for years as a back-up to Norton when it missed something. Malware-bytes has usually covered the bill and then some. Get Norton free through my cable provider( which means it’s really not free).

0 votes

ksavai

I use Avast since 2 years and not a single threat makes me wonder if this is required or inbuilt bit defender is good enough.

on other note I wonder why google did not jumped on this boat. They can easily monitor everything on all computers.

0 votes

Robert Ruedisueli

Immunet has to be the best out there.

0 votes

Sueszi Kavada

I have used several different anti-virus softwares, both listed and unlisted; commercial, trial, and free. I have had problems with all that I have tried except Avast. Avast is straightforward and fast and offers a really great free version and also~nice discounts that are often offered for their pro and internet security versions; if you are a user of even their free version!

0 votes

Daniel Ooi

Microsoft Security Essentials does the job well out of the paid options and it is free!
When I tried to install on Windows 8, it said it already have Windows Defender installed.

0 votes

venkateswarlu yalamarty

ThreatFire along with Malwarebytes. Both are complementary. There is also ClamWin Free to choose from.

0 votes

RG

Malwarebytes is an anti-virus? That’s news to me and many others I am sure.

Surprisingly MSE is pretty good.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Anti-malware, yes. :) It it used as a sole solution by many people, so I decided to include it.

0 votes

Marian Cimbru

I’d bet on Avast but it seems to be weaker and weaker. Most effective, light, and free AV, now, seems to be Microsoft Security Essentials. I like the sechedule scanning and removable disks scanning option.

0 votes

Junil Maharjan

I have been using AVG for most of my life and have tried a few others but I still manage to end up with AVG.

0 votes

kent leonhart

Avast – Silent/Gaming mode.
haha.

0 votes

Tony Gonzaga

I use Microsoft Security Essentials in all my desktop PCs and my children’s laptops. It’s free and very reliable.

0 votes

Ramandeep

I don’t know why people are voting Avast. It is. Ok. But it is too much. It contains features more than required. I’ve used it but it let you control every small thing. Even when your browser is capable of securing itself and your computer, avast forcefully want to control it. When you disable even a single tiny feature in it, it’s like :( in the taskbar. I liked and at the same time hated it.

0 votes

Chaos Emperor

Avast!

0 votes

Denz Balladares

Been using avast since highly recommend to everyone

0 votes

Tug Ricks

I’m a fan of MSE, and Windows Defender now that I’m on Windows 8. It works, and does so without much effort on my part. What more would a normal user want from an anti-virus?

0 votes

sakthi vel

I use Norton antivirus and its too good.

0 votes

Victor Limbo

Avast with some tweaks to its settings. Near zero impact in system resources.

0 votes

Kenny Brannan

Used Avast for many years and never had a problem ,tried others on different machines like Comodo AVG but found spyware and spam get through far to easy so now install nothing but avast on any machines I repair and recommend it to eveyone who asks .Mine even better now I won a years full license and running Pro

0 votes

susendeep dutta

Avast is preferable as it’s free,easy to use and works better than others.

0 votes

kumar raja

Avast is my favourite and i think its the best free antivirus

0 votes

Deekshith Allamaneni

I’ve tried many AV softwares from years. At last, I’ve settled using Linux (Ubuntu). However, I use MSE on my windows (dual boot).

0 votes

Venus

The free version of Malwarebytes is NOT an antivirus at all.
It does not monitor a computer in real time.
It is a malware removal tool.

The PRO version of Malwarebytes is an antivirus.

Avast! is the best free antivirus. :-)

0 votes

Carlo Vincente

ESET Nod 32 and MalwareBytes here working superb. A high detection pair..

0 votes

Partha Barman

ESET NOD32 would undoubtedly the winner followed by Kaspersky. But it’s no free.
For free, yes Avast is a good option. Malware Bytes is an Anti Malware and not an anti virus (there’s a difference). But yes it would be the winner.

3 votes

Mayank Agarwal

Icon wise – MSE [LOL.. :P]
Detection & Elimination wise – Avira
Fastest Scanning wise – Avast
Lowest Memory Consumption wise – Avast
Additional Features wise – Avast

Out of Avira & Avast,
Avast is really a great AV suite to consider for it gives you Good Protection with Good Scanning Rate. It has the Lowest Memory footprint and gives you some additional features over other AV suites for free which you will see only in paid version of those.

I would have recommended Avira in place of Avast but it is only best for it’s detection rate. It can detect even those viruses etc. which sometimes even paid suites are not able to detect, and remove them really neatly.But it takes too long for a scan to complete especially Full Scans. I myself have tried all these suite [latest versions] except AVG and find Avast my suitable companion.

Malwarebytes is not an AV suite. It’s a Malware/Spyware etc scanner and remover.
It is best in it’s area of security.

AVG still lacks in some areas and therfore is not recommended as of now.

While MSE is Microsoft’s product so you will experience no lag performance with it but it is still lacking much behind as far as protecting your computer goes.

0 votes

Raunak Jyotishi

if you talking about free antivirus in the market avast and avg are best in whole but if just want an antivirus who do not use much of system memory than the best one is MSE but above all the best antivirus is common sense in that case u dont need any

0 votes

Blue Lee

Yea.. Panda is just save all the PCs in my company!

0 votes

carie

I too use AVAST FREE. I agree that the advert popups are a little annoying, but they are not excessive so willing to look past that. Over the years, it has served me well. Prior to Avast, I used AVG and before that Norton. Ditched Norton because of the massive updates and because it had the annoying habit of taking over my machine. AVG was great but it became resource hungry and let through a few horrid usb trojans which is why I moved to AVAST. I have probably being using AVAST for 6 years now. It works silently in the background (once sounds are disabled) doing its job. Best of all is the boot time scan which is much easier than having to start your pc in safemode. All in all, the few popups are a small price to pay for solid, efficient software that does not require a premium down payment and annual subscription.

0 votes

Dhruv Sangvikar

Avast! for me. Followed by mse… and Malwarebytes as 2nd opinion.
..I use avast on my pc. But the simplicity of MSE makes me recommend it to all my family members. Lately avast has been getting bloated and increasing the size which it new version.. :( hope it does not turn into another AVG..

0 votes

Gordon Hay

I use avast! paid for as my brother has a 3 computer licence and only uses one, but if it had to be a free one it would still be avast!, backed up with regular scans using MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware free versions. I would recommend this combination to anyone.

0 votes

Darren Charles

I use Microsoft security essentials. It is very unobtrusive and has a good standard of detection.
I might not offer all of the bells and whistles of some other free or even paid for programs but as they say, it does what it says on the tin

0 votes

john swiman

As for anti-virus programs, please keep in mind that each one has its own positives and negatives. I have used all of them including Norton and other paid programs.

Overall I would suggest that you stay away from programs like Norton due to they do have some serious conflicts with Windows.

As for which anti-virus program I personally use Avast which is easy to use and understand. There has been times that I have also used AVG but that is very rare. Finally I also have used Microsoft Security Essentials , but I find that lacking and for a company like Microsoft that can do much more in protecting their programs.

Overall my vote is for Avast.

0 votes

San

I think ESET SS is great. Never used any other than this on. that’s why i choose option other.

0 votes

Venkateshmurthy

Bitdefender

0 votes

Jenni David

my roomate’s sister earned $20699 the previous week. she is making money on the computer and moved in a $426600 condo. All she did was get blessed and try the information exposed on this web site….bit40,com

0 votes

Bill Bored

Micro$oft $ecurity E$$ential$. Set it and forget it. Nuff said.

Former Avast user before it become too bloated & “busy”.

0 votes

Zviad Mikadze

common,mse is best
no popups,intergrated to windows 8,great detection rate.

0 votes

Lisa Santika Onggrid

I run Avast for a year now and it has never given me any trouble. Back when I still used ESET, it took my resources. Avast is a little bit less intrusive, fast and frequent update and overall, nice.

0 votes

Douglas Mutay

Sound like Avast is the winning choice of most people. There must be a reason. In fact i am using it also…

0 votes

Steven Groves

I did not think that Malwarebytes was technially “antivirus” its malware remover. I do a lot of tech work and when people ask me about Antivirus programs I have always routed them to Microsoft Security Essentials. I have been using Microsoft since it was Microsoft One Care. Has worked out great since then

0 votes

Raj Sarkar

I’m find Avast to be the best. It doesn’t slow down my pc.

0 votes

Augustine Correa

I will plonk for Avast :

1. It’s ease of use and configuration make it an ideal choice for most computer users.
2. Its one of the few that offers P2P shields.
3. My pc has not been adversely affected by Virus/malware threats. Obviously these only apply to those that had been detected by Avast
4. I had used McAfee – Norton which are too resource heavy, AVG & Lavasoft detection rates were not all that it needs to be
5. Avira is on par with Avast but I found its GUI to be lacking and needed some technical skill to get its configuration in order
6. If you are an experienced technical user, I would suggest Kaspersky because its industrial strength and its got the highest Russian pedigree. But you got to be technical else you’ll make your pc so secure that you yourself wont be able to login into it :P
6 A honorable mention be made for Bitdefender ( I’m quite surprised to not see it in the list). If Avast was paid, I’d see it give it a run for its money.

Am I putting my money where my mouth is? I use Avast both on my PC and on my ICS Android phone. :P

0 votes

Nikhil Chandak

In the beginning I used Spyware Terminator (which was not good at all for removing virus) and Iobit Malware Fighter (which was good ) …………..
Then I removed Spyware Terminator and now I have Microsoft Security Essentials which is very good for removing harmful viruses and Avira , Avira removes all types of viruses which are harmful as well as not harmful . I think Microsoft Security Essentials is a very good antivirus program . So my vote goes for Microsoft Security Essentials !
In the leading names of security program are Bitdefender , Lavasoft , Avast , and Microsoft Security Essentials …….

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Danny ?one

I use Bitdefender free edition, it got a simply user interface and it’s very easy to use. He can scan for infected files, monitor all process activities in real time and is got an Antiphishing scaner.

Maximum safety. Minimum resources consumed. Zero setting. Zero downtime. The first free antivirus compatible with Windows 8.

The only problem is that is free only in Romania.

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Laurie

I have not tried others, I use the purshased AVG but for anyone that feels it’s to expensive i have recommended AVG free as a good option.

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Brian Smith

I have used AVG for years and (touch wood) not had a virus problem.

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Alan Wade

Avast has stood the test of time and proved its worth over and over.
IMO Microsoft Security Essentilas still has a way to go yet before its up with the best.

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David Wiloch

Tried them all and have always come back to Avast. Maybe it’s because they are the best. I like the talking girl also!

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delenn13

I find using a layered method is the best. Start with Microsoft Security Essentials for viruses. Then for malware, Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware does the trick. And I refuse to use any PC that doesn’t have the creme of the crop, WinPatrol, installed. It comes in handy to see what is in your start up menu and whether you need it or not. You can remove, even delay, items which makes your start up faster.

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Bill Vrahnos

MBAM,for me………………

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Rijk Zandstra

I like Panda Cloud best. It is a very light weight application, because it works “in the cloud”, so it uses hardly any diskspace and computer resources.

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James R. Celoni

I use Microsoft Security Essentials (MS calls it MSSE) on my home PCs and MS Forefront (|| MSSE Pro) on my work PCs. MSSE (like ClamWin) is really free, easy to use, not bloated, and it performs respectably and doesn’t nag.

Read what the publishers mean by “free” before you install a package; they differ. They may be free for personal use, maybe/not for education and/or nonprofit, maybe not/possibly for other work.

Thanks for all the great comments.

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Curtis C.

Avira Internet Security and Malwarebytes PRO and Comodo Firewall: All the protection you need to keep your computer secure

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Murali Menon

although AVG was my earlier choice, the way Essentials integrates with Windows and the low memory usage makes it my favourite

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Alain Gagnon

I use Panda Cloud at home…

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Altiris_Grunt

For my personal machines, I use Comodo Internet Security (free).

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sueska

Which antivirus is best depends on the needs and competency of the end user and on which antivirus program works best with their other software. If you are going for simplicity and don’t want false positives, then MSE is the best. If you want maximum security, but don’t mind an occasional false positive, I would recommend Avast or Avira. Avast requires you renew your free license annually. Avira promotes its own product with popups. AVG has an easy interface, but the install program does include an optional search toolbar. Malwarebytes should be considered as an adjunct to, but not be used as your sole antivirus protection. Not personally familiar with Ad-Aware antivirus, but since I believe in layered security would recommend using two different compatible products for adware and antivirus.

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Dee Wheat

I’ve used AVG Free exclusively for years, and it has never failed me yet. I have numerous friends who have paid various amounts over the years for antivirus programs, and every single one of them has ended up calling me to come clean the crap out of their system. If you also back it up with Malwarebytes, Spybot Search and Destroy, and Adaware, you can be as positive as it is possible to be that one of them, at the very least, will catch and annihilate any little nasties that you might pick up with far more reliability than any paid program I’ve seen.

I’ve even successfully removed the hijackers that use logos resembling AVG and Microsoft, the ones that essentially hold you hostage unless you send them various amounts of money to tell you how to remove their junk….or at least most of it.

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Ole Funch

I have been using Avast about the last 5 years, and with no problems.
I have in between tried other AV programs, but for me, Avast is the absolute best AV.

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Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo

While I like Avast a lot, I had to choose Other, because I think you shouldn’t think of your anti-virus as your entire protection, because there’s always a chance for a huge change.
I see some people saying Sophos, which is indeed a trusted anti-virus, but like some of you know, the once detected itself as a virus and hence, deleted itself. So even a well respected anti-virus like Sophos can fail.
Like I said, my choice is Avast!, but don’t stick to the opinion, as times change. AVG used to be seen as the top contender, but now people see and hate it, like they hate Norton.

I personally would recommend using Avast as anti-virus for it’s simplicity and Malwarebytes as On-Demand scan. If you want, you could keep the on-demand scanners from other companies as well, like Sophos’ virus removal tool. I think Avast and Malwarebytes are enough for most situations though.

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Lubomir

Comodo – Antivirus and Firewall all in one security center.

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Ahamed Yaseen

Finding best antivirus is really tough part … But based on my experience, i explain pros and cons of some antivirus…
Avast : It is best malware removing antivirus but detection and false positive is problem..

Avira: Detection is very good but malware removal process is not so good.

I want software like combination of both …(avira’s detection and avast malware removal…)

Avg: It is good antivirus… Its rootkit scanner is danger one . Some times, it ll corrupt os… and malware detection is o.k…

Microsoft security essential : Number of false positive is high compare to all other…

Malwarebyte : It is a very good antivirus. Malwarebyte detects most of the suspicious virus and adware … But, Real time protection is only on paid version…

Any how I am using avast , it works fine…

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Easton Wiki

I find Windows to be the most basic, easy and simple. Works great and is default in Win8. No need to download another one

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Steve Costello

I have used all the ones listed, at one time or another, but have found MSE to be the best for me for the last year or so.

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Simon

I have used Avast Free Edition for many yrs on my desktop PC, never had any problems with it. However I would get constant pop ups from my 3rd party firewall from another company constantly so decided to invest in an internet security suite – and now dont get pop ups at all.

Apparently Avira 2013 free edition is also very good. Together use with Malwarebytes Antimalware should give you excellent protection against malware. Conincidently Malwarebytes have just recently introduced an Antirootkit program which is currently in Beta. I am sure when it is finally released it will be totally awesome.

I currently use Avast Free Edition for my Macbook Pro to gether with Dr Web Light on demand virus scanner for Mac.

I have also been told that Sophos Antivirus for Mac Free Edition is also highly recommended.

I might be wrong but with the introduction of Windows 8, I have a feeling Microsoft Security Essentials has been laid to rest and Windows Defender is back on the menu.

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NotoriousZeus

The list is missing some of the most prominent ones,
1. ESET (The best cleaning/quarantine algorithm ),
2. Norton (The best evolved over the years) and
3. McAfee(Not Recommended). :)

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Yaara Lancet

As far as I know, these three don’t offer free options except for trials, am I wrong?

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nitesh4life

AVG is a better option as it is user friendly and a must tool for Home PCs.

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Joe Ingram

I have tried and tested several of the anti-virus applications listed and I prefer Avast, it seem to pick up more threats than the others. The other thing that I like about it as well as others is the fact that they are free.

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Wen Bin Kong

Windows 8 comes with its own Anti Virus :)

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Efi Dreyshner

Avira or Avast!
Love them both.

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Nancy B

I used AVG for years until I had a shop put in a new video card and he told me that it was taking up too much of my memory and switch to either Avast or Avira, as they don’t take as much room.

I’ve been using Avira for about 6 months now. Annoying pop ups several times daily either trying to get you to buy the paid version or business cards thru a company they get money from….wish you could turn that off.
I haven’t had any issues with Avira but it does take forever to run a full scan!

First year I had a computer got Norton and found it useless, then tried Spybot but part of the computer thought it was a virus.

Thinking of trying out Avast with all the positive comments here.

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ZoNi

Malewarebytes is NOT an antivirus program – this is reply from their support team regarding that question:
“Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is not an anti virus application, it may not find all viruses or worms and does not scan or check incoming or outgoing email nor interact with any email clients or email web services in any way. Our software is designed to be a supplemental protection for your PC to catch the threats that are not detected or removed by the majority of antivirus software. We always recommend that in addition to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, you also install an active antivirus and keep them both up to date to have a properly secured Windows operating system.”

Anyway, at home (Win7) I use Avast in “game mode” (completely silence, no pop-ups). In the office, I use MSSE, since it is free for small companies. Anyway, I do NOT trus Microsoft when we talk about security.

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Yaara Lancet

Point taken. I know it’s not an anti-virus software, but it’s so popular, I felt it should be mentioned in the poll.

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Robert Szubarga

I use Comodo Internet Security – free, fast, sandbox and more..

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Imya Last

Avg already 3 years also installing it to all my customers.Silent,not use much resources,do all rutines including automatic updates and scans.Tryed all kinds that we see in list and always return to AVG.

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Bernardo Delapasion

avg avg avg avg avg avg avg aavgavgavgavgvagvag

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Haval Abdulkarim

Avast is best. Safe, Friendly and Free.

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Lord Mozart

I no longer use Windows, opting to use Linux instead, so viruses aren’t a problem. However, when I did use Windows, I used Comodo Internet Security. The reason I think it’s the best free antivirus software available, is because unlike all other antivirus software, which all have a default allow architecture, Comodo uses a default deny architecture. The difference shows up when an unknown file is encountered. All the others check it against their blacklist. Obviously, because it’s an unknown entity, it is not on the blacklist, so they allow it to run. If it then proves to be a virus, the computer is infected.
Comodo’s approach of default deny uses a white list. If an unknown file is encountered, it won’t be in the white list, so will be sandboxed and sent to their labs to be checked. If it proves to be a virus, then it is deleted from the system before it can do any harm. If it proves to be okay, it is taken out of the sandbox and allowed to run in the normal environment.
As a computer engineer, I recommend Comodo to all my friends and clients, who use Windows. I’ve come across so many computers that are infected with viruses DESPITE having “good” antivirus software; paid and free.

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Rakesh Mishra

Bitdefender internet security 2013 is the best

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B Mohan Kumar

I have tried many and none of them were 100% efficient. If they were strong, they hogged a lot of memory. I have been using QuickHeal, and found it very effective, both in terms of efficient / effectiveness and reliability.

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Somaiya Ebrahim

microsoft security essentials take the award

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Ihtisham ul haq haq

Hey guys
what about NOD32!

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Yaara Lancet

Do they have a free version? I’m pretty sure it’s all just free trials of paid software.

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MagikMan

I have been using Comodo – It seems to be doing a stellar job!
http://www.comodo.com/home/internet-security/free-internet-security.php

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Kiiran Gharat

QUICKHEAL IS GOOD ANTIVIRUS

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khadiri omar

AVG SEEMS MORE POWERFULL BUT I DON’T RECOMMEND IT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE PC WITH WITH LOW PROCESSOR PERFORMANCE

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Peter Norkawich

Panda Cloud

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shreteh

Panda Cloud Antivirus

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hotdoge3

I use Avast, and recommend it to everyone.
and Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware free for spyware

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DOMINIK KLARI?

i’m using ESET. It’s the most powrefull AV and in the end it is the most used av protection of all google accounts on planet. I’ve never stumbelled on any kind of virus or trojan in my 19 yrs. experience with pc. It has the most advanced modes and ‘profiles’ of protection, depending what the user uses his/ her PC for most of the time. It has a strong and very manipulative firewall , easy to use, and again it can easy be set for users needs.
Above all that, considering the price and the level of protection you get out of this must have pc program is uncomparable to the competition.
I have also tried Norton AV and I unistal. it after7,8 months.Reason: the pc got infected with 2 trojans, AND (THIS WAS FREAKING ME OUT) IT WAS CONSTANTLY PRESENT ON MY SCREEN NO MATTER WHAT ‘PROFILE’ I’VE CHOSEN OR HAVE CONFIGURED.
Whit ESET you have no worries and it’s like it is not even there, on youre machine.
P.S,SORRY for my bad eng. writings.
Cheers

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Saeede Ahmadi

i want to learn English,help me plzzzz

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Jenny Jones

I have Kaspersky 2012(http://amzn.to/T6lG7J) because the guys down at the computer shop recommended it for me. They say it has cloud protection so they have tons more definitions than other antivirus softwares which means they can stop more viruses.

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Abba Jee

I’ve been using comodo internet security for last 3 years or so, before that i’ve been used various av, free, commercial, finally i decided to stick with comodo its free, active worth having it

0 votes

Jenny Jones

I have Kaspersky 2013 (http://amzn.to/T6w9jy) because the guys down at the computer shop recommended it for me. They say it has cloud protection so they have tons more definitions than other antivirus softwares which means they can stop more viruses.

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totseans

(Free Versions) Avast & Malwarebytes – Individually they suck, but what one will miss the other will nail it.

Danijel Cukari? Why would you even need an anti virus on linux? Unless you’re scanning a windows partition via linux.

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Darton Williams

Because you can still download a file on Linux that will be dormant until it’s transferred to a computer that it can infect. That would make it a carrier. But don’t be fooled into thinking that Linux is invulnerable to viruses and such; it simply isn’t often targeted for various reasons.

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The internet

Bit defender 2013 and Trend Micro are easily the best

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Darton Williams

I just don’t understand why malware is such a problem. In 20 years of computing (15 as an IT pro/developer), I have NEVER used any performance-killing, wait-cursor-spinning, real-time scanning on my personal laptops or desktops, which have run both Linux and Windows at various times. I’ve seen many infected PCs and know what a virus or trojan can do, and I do run complete manual scans on all my drives occasionally. For this, I currently prefer ClamAV. In all this time, I have personally had one actual, genuine piece of malware (not adware) install itself on my PC, and I knew as soon as it occurred. Common sense goes a long way toward prophylaxis.

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Abhijeet Mahida

kaspersky pure,,its the best

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Rahul Shivhare

According to me “Microsoft Security Essential” is the best b’coz i’ve been using this anti-virus for past 2 1/2 years

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Karl Tatom

I really like Kaspersky

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Garey Boone

1st and foremost common sense which is free then combine that with maybe what your isp is offering if free or if your isp doesn’t offer anything my personal choice would be avast.

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Ashwin Divakaran

Avast has my vote! It uses very little memory than the others in this category.Its Features are also outstanding which tops all other antivirus ,even some in the paid category!

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Robbie Blowe

i have used many antivirus software’s but recently i tried Avast and it performs well ,as it very light on resource , and it auto updated ,means there is problem of the antivirus gone old or not updated thus made and virus attack undetected , Avira was good then but nowdays it got so bloated that it uses a great deal of resource and it also slowed down internet browsing , whereas Panda antivirus is best at resolving a threat but its so much sensitive that even web browsing will be a pain in the ass with many sites blocked even though its a clean site, so i wouldn’t reccomend it to any one who is a hard web surfer, and coming to Avast again we are totally protected from accessing sites with malware or virus signatures as the avast web protection keeps it blocked but the good thing is it notifies you of the site’s threat and lets you choose to enter or not to enter. But even though antivirus software’s do their best to keep our system protected ,it depends on us to take care of system by not surfing wildly into any site before knowing the profile or simply downloading any file that we found in web or using too many toolbars and addons that can make us vulnerable to attacks and infestation

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Robbie Blowe

sorry please not that on the first line of my comment what i mean is there is no problem of antivirus gone old or not updated, sorry again for the typing error

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Cheryl Kissell

Avira was recently touted on your site as the best…the article also ended saying that if you use free anti-virus…you should also use Malware/bytes. Avira indicated it was conflicting software…so the author (Matt Smith on September 25, 2012) must not have had that on his machine…plus his screenshot shows he didn’t perform a scan? If he had…he would have seen it might detect…but does not fix. I’d throw the free version of Avira OFF any lists.

I was using AVG and read the article so removed it to try Avira…was I disappointed! I’m now considering Comodo Internet Security or Avast…and also putting my malware program back!