SOLVED What is the best free anti-virus for Windows 7?


catilley1092

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Just today starting Win 7 after being a loyal XP Pro user since 2002. I've never paid for anti-virus, and being on SS disability along with high medical expenses, I can't afford to start paying. I've been using Avast 4.8, but here lately, I've gotten a number of false positives. Always with the pagefile sys. (in XP). I switched one of my laptops to Microsoft Security Essentials, and so far, so good. I don't want AVG because there's no real time protection. I don't know anything about Avira. I was also using Ad Aware as a backup. Having only 2GB RAM, I don't need a heavy footprint to slow me down. Right now, there is a free Norton on here, but it seems at times to slow me. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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draceena

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I've been using Avast since Windows 7 Beta and have not seen any false positives yet, since you know how the program works, why not give it another try. I've also heard good things about the Security Essentials so if you want to stick with that, I think you'll be ok. I tend to favor Malwarebytes Anti-Malware over Ad-Aware but I have seen it come up with a False Positive once in awhile so it comes down to what you like to use.
 

Veedaz

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Defiantly follow draceena in using Avast free in Windows 7 the real time detection is first class, it wont slow your Computer to a crawl and the auto update is each day. Avast is not one of these apps that uses lots of resources with over the top interfaces and its not boring as it has quite a few skins to choose from, all in all its a good AV.
 

catilley1092

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I believe that I'll stick with Avast. It does update everyday (sometimes twice). Thanks to both of you for your advice.
 
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davehc

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So far, I am totally satisfied with Microsoft Security Esentials.
It uses very few resources and updates daily. Can be scheduled for a full or quick, or customised scan.
 
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I have MSE, Ad-Aware and Spybot S&D, however spybot is only run on demand (not at startup). MSE and Ad-Aware run at startup and tend to hog my CPU until they are finished and things settle down. Should I stick with one or the other? Is Spybot pretty much useless unless it is running in realtime at startup? Thanks!
 
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You can use Spybot to scan only, manually, and not start with Windows.

That's what I'd do if I were you.
 

TrainableMan

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SpybotSD creates host entries and browser entries to protect you from adware/malware sites so NO it is not useless to just run it periodically. Another program you might consider running periodically is Malwarebytes. See our recommended freeware programs.

Having two active anti-virus programs is never a good idea because of the performance issues, which definitely seems to be an issue with you.

MSE is the only active anti-virus recommended by this forum as a whole. Some of us use other active AV programs without issues but when your system is slow or getting BSODs it is often recommended to remove your AV to see if it is, in fact, detrimental to your system. So yes, I would suggest removing ad-aware and seeing if your system performance improves.
 
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catilley1092

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There are many "free" AV/Malware products on the market. MSE, Avira, Avast, AVG are among the more popular ones. With all of the bad press on it, I'd stay away from AVG, it has (on this very forum) been shown, and proven, to create BSOD's.

I'd recommend going with one of the first three that I listed above, and use Malwarebytes (MBAM) to scan behind it. No security app (free or paid) is 100% right, all of the time. There was also a well known security suite that had problems recently on their site.

I just prefer to have more than one product on hand, and suggest to others to do the same, no matter which solution you choose. MBAM is effective, and free.

And finally, no matter which you pick, the best one(s) that you choose are only as good as how you use them. Keep it/them updated, run regular scans, avoid clicking onto unwanted ads and "spam" emails. If something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

Cat
 
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