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Windows 7: Very best free protection

13 Nov 2015   #1
8th Decader

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
Very best free protection

So what's the best - and free (ie for a home user as opposed to a corporate set up)? is it Avira, Avast, Malware bytes, AVG. or something else?
I don't implicitly trust the 'flavour of the month' tests published in the PC enthusiasts' mags anymore.
I'm reasonably happy with my present protection (which I'm not going to reveal) but would value your experience of likes and dislikes, bottom line efficiency (which is what it's all about at the end of the day) to see if a change is warranted.


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13 Nov 2015   #2
HAVOC

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

I use MSE and Malwarebytes. I also practice safe browsing.
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13 Nov 2015   #3
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Panda free and Malwarebytes Premium
With a dash of Superantispyware Pro
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13 Nov 2015   #4
Zoloft

Win7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Personally I use Avast Internet Security (one step up from free) and MalwareBytes Premium. There is no "best" anti-virus, as each and every one of our habits are different. What is best for me, may not work well for you, and vice versa, if our habits differ greatly. Generally, most people will be just fine with any of the free commercial products (avast, panda, avira etc) along with weekly scans using the free MalwareBytes.
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13 Nov 2015   #5
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

I use Avast Free on my desktop and Windows Defender (Windows 8 version of MSE) on my laptop. I also use Malwarebytes Premium on both. Not sure if Avast and Windows Defender are the best but they're good enough for me.
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13 Nov 2015   #6
MoxieMomma

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1
 
 

Hi:

In addition to all of the excellent advice already provided....

A word of clarification:
MBAM Free does NOT provide real-time protection.
It is only a manual, on-demand scanner to REMOVE malware that already made it past your AV onto to the system.
Moreover, it is NOT and does not replace a robust, up-to-date, realtime AV (either free or paid).
If you want real-time anti-malware protection from MBAM to help PREVENT infection, you will need the paid, Premium version.
(There are also free and paid versions of Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, which blocks the "how" of malware by shielding vulnerable, internet-facing applications, such as browsers, from exploits and other means of malware delivery.)

There is no one "best" AV for all systems, users and budgets -- if there were, there would be only one AV on the market.
Many factors impact one's choice.
And there are many decent options.
As far as "Free" antivirus applications, though, you might find the information in this post helpful.

Personally, I think that the cost of a robust, paid AV -- which works out to pennies a day per system (or less) -- is well worth it, to avoid having to deal with popup ads, bundled toolbars and (often times) poor support and reduced functionality of the "free" versions. And the cost is much cheaper than that of trying to recover from a malware catastrophe, privacy breach or other security mishap.

In the end, no one security application can protect one 100% of the time. The first and last line of computer defense is the computer part between the chair and keyboard.

Cheers,
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15 Nov 2015   #7
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Since everyone is devoted to talk about antiviruses, I will add my comment about security instead.

My current setup is trying to lock down as much as possible what programs can do, and running with the least possible privileges required as long as possible.

Common sense is the single most important defense you can have. Being careful about what sites you visit, what things you download and what do you run is of utmost importance.
Windows Firewall was a nice surprise to me. Setting to block both incoming and outgoing connections helps preventing programs "phoning home" and limits the action of any malware that can slip though. With a proper set of rules it's very good in restricting what programs do on internet.
NAT router is common in pretty much every home connection, but it greatly limits what can reach the computer from internet, and needing almost no configuration by default.
Non-admin user account is fundamental to restrict what everything is able to do on my computer. I have 3 users accounts for myself, my main account, standard that I use for everyday things. An admin one for using when UAC request admin permissions (and only when that elevation makes sense) and a second standard account for running critically vulnerable programs, like browsers and torrent clients for further restricting what they can do.
Disabling unnedeed services and programs. Windows by default includes so many things that are rarely, if ever, used, and services with known vulnerabilities that are simply useless. I sistematically disable and remove all of them.
AppLocker is possibly one of the most effective ways to securing computers. Allowing just a handful of programs to run and blocking everything else prevents any kind of program that tries to sneak into your PC from running. Malware could reach the computer, but without running it's totally harmless. Bad point about it is that it's only available in the most expensive Windows version (Ultimate and Enterprise only). For Professional edition, there is Software Restriction Policies as an alternative.
Antiviruses could serve as a last resort to analize suspect things downloaded from internet. I find them of dubious value, and certainly only consider them when I cannot tell if something is good or not, which is a rare ocurrence. I personally use ClamWin for this purpose, supported by the online VirusTotal from time to time.
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 Very best free protection




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