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RickR

Free anti-virus ratings

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As a companion to the Windows 10 update topic....

 

Which free antivirus is best?  PC magazine rates there here:  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388652,00.asp

 

My take:

 

- Panda is my favorite.  It runs great on older machines and is easy to set up.

- Avast is my second choice.  It seems to take more resources and requries a lot of setup steps to make it unobtrusive. 

- AVG - No thanks.  System hog.  Has let in malware before in my experience.

 

My internet provider gives a 3 computer license for Norton, and that's what I use mostly.  But for any other computers we have, Panda does the job for me.

 

What do you all use?

 

 

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Just to add a little more....Norton has worked quite well for me, and I recommend it if you can get it from your ISP for free.  It has a component that keeps your computer tuned, and that really does seem to work.

 

I also highly recommend this little utility that keeps various programs up-to-date...which is really a great help to keep viruses out in the first place.  Just run it once per week.  https://patchmypc.net/ (look for the free tool).

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I use Avast...and I use to absolute hate (I know...it's an ugly word) any anti-virus programs because all of them at the time seemed to really bog a system down no matter how many super-cool upgrades your system had.  I did bench tests and actually found that Norton and McAfee to take up any remaining system resources they could.  They left very little for other applications to use.  I don't know how they are today but I know I don't want to pay for them as I've never trusted them.  Avast is simple to download, install, and setup for free protection requiring only an email address to register on a yearly basis.  It's protected my system from attacks a few times already...and I've been using it for 7 years.  

 

Best anti-virus solution?  Stop using PCs and go online with an Atari computer ;) 

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I use Avast...and I use to absolute hate (I know...it's an ugly word) any anti-virus programs because all of them at the time seemed to really bog a system down no matter how many super-cool upgrades your system had.  I did bench tests and actually found that Norton and McAfee to take up any remaining system resources they could.  They left very little for other applications to use.  I don't know how they are today but I know I don't want to pay for them as I've never trusted them.  Avast is simple to download, install, and setup for free protection requiring only an email address to register on a yearly basis.  It's protected my system from attacks a few times already...and I've been using it for 7 years.  

 

Best anti-virus solution?  Stop using PCs and go online with an Atari computer ;)

I agree with you about Norton and McAfee, both are viruses themselves if you ask me.

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I have used AVAST and AVG in past. Currently using Avira Free Edition with the occasional scan of Malewarebytes FREE. Generally I rarely have issues even with an admitted tendency to access places and services one probably shouldn't if they are not at least somewhat PC savvy lol.  Of course a good pop up blocker (yeah I know I know) doesn't hurt as well as an alternate HOSTS file that blocks known malicious sites. I image my OS regularly in the rare event something malicious gets by everything else so I can nuke it from orbit and restore before infection very quickly. Though I have only had to do that once or twice ever, usually I have to restore for something silly I was attempting knowing full well I had a OS image as a safety net.  

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Tip: run this every once and awhile.

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/combofix/

 

 

This isn't really an Anti-virus as much as it is a remover. Deletes a lot of crap. 

 

I love comboFix but really would only run it as a last alternative to other things not fixing the issue. Of course these days the point is moot as it is not compatible with Windows 10 which I am using exclusively now. 

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I have used AVAST and AVG in past. Currently using Avira Free Edition with the occasional scan of Malewarebytes FREE. Generally I rarely have issues even with an admitted tendency to access places and services one probably shouldn't if they are not at least somewhat PC savvy lol.  Of course a good pop up blocker (yeah I know I know) doesn't hurt as well as an alternate HOSTS file that blocks known malicious sites. I image my OS regularly in the rare event something malicious gets by everything else so I can nuke it from orbit and restore before infection very quickly. Though I have only had to do that once or twice ever, usually I have to restore for something silly I was attempting knowing full well I had a OS image as a safety net.

 

What do you use to backup/image your OS?

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What do you use to backup/image your OS?

 

I used to use a bootable CD but currently a bootable USB thumbdrive with ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE. It is not even installed in Windows. Note I have always preferred a smaller boot drive for the OS for quick and easy backup / restore as well as it is best not having all your eggs in one basket. Currently my desktop is a minor 120GB SSD with FREE SPACE of 65GB. Yet this still holds my up to date and customized Windows 10 OS / MS OFFICE / Various video editing and other most used software. The final image using default settings and no extra compression comes in around 35GB total. 

 

I simply boot my PC with the Acronis thumbdrive plugged in and (for my desktop) Press F8 during post to select my boot device. This quickly loads up ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE Displaying my drives. I select my OS drive (it may appear as something other than C:/ due to Acronis setting up the order) I choose full backup option every time, select my target to save the image (I have a dedicated folder on my E:/ drive) a couple clicks and my entire OS is perfectly imaged in about 15 min (progress bar will state 8 minutes but I counted :) ) I cannot tell you how many times restoring the OS has saved my bacon. My wife uses the desktop for IT work so needless to say it must always be running properly but I DO like to tinker and take chances so I learned long ago (THE HARD WAY :P ) that I simply had to have a way to recover from disaster ASAP. It boggles my mind how I used to go through without imaging my OS. Yes you can re-install the OS but for me that always ends up being like a week long of my spare time spent updating , reinstalling all my must have programs but then days trying to recall all the tweaks , optimizations and customization to get things "just right" again. I cannot be bothered and why should I when I can have everything restored just as it was before the issue? Never again. 

 

I did do a really bad video on the procedure for a relative. It sucks but gives on the idea. You could likely find better tutorial / info. This was 3 years ago when I was still booting Acronis from CD to image Windows 7 but mostly the same info applies. If anyone does watch choose the 720p display option. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzhRaaJ5_oE

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Good info. Thanks. I have a similar setup (small SSD c: drive). I should do the same.

 

 

I tell when when disaster strikes, you cannot boot or get into OS or the day comes the drive fails and needs replacing to boot a thumbdrive, a few clicks, select the image and 15 minutes later you are back in business is a damn satisfying feeling! 

 

OH and I meant to say in last post I backup the same way my old (and only) TOSHIBA laptop using the Acronis bootable stick and an external 40GB SSD connected with an E-Sata to USB cable. Otherwise exact same procedure. Than I simply unplug the external SSD and put away for safe keeping (it was an older spare after upgrading the laptop to 60GB SSD) 

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