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Windows 7: What's the Best Anti-virus?


18 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) SP1
 
 
What's the Best Anti-virus?

People post this question all the time here. The problem is, it's impossible to answer. Everyone has a different opinion and will answer that the program they are currently using is the best. What inevitably happens is a "mine's better than yours" slanging match that, as entertaining as it may be at times, doesn't help the original poster one bit.
The following is a basic guide of what to look for when choosing an anti-virus program. I have been reading reviews, test results, user opinions etc and gathered a lot of useful information that I hope will assist you when looking for a new anti-virus program.

Paid or Free: This depends entirely on you. Some will argue that free software is always inferior but that is not the case. There are a number of free anti-virus programs available and some of them are considered to be very high quality.

Detection Accuracy: Each program uses its own method of detection, some more effectively than others. A good anti-virus program will have a high rate of detection and keep your PC secure from threats.

Heuristics: Since new viruses and other threats appear daily, anti-virus software needs to detect viruses that are yet to be identified. Again, this varies significantly from one vendor to another. Heuristic scanning uses what is known about existing malware and what it has learned from past experience to identify new threats even before the antivirus vendor creates an update to detect it.

Scanning Speed: A good anti-virus program will not only have a high rate of detection but it will also scan for infections in a decent time frame. A high quality product can perform this task in half the time of a lesser one.

Real time Scanning: Does the software monitor data and intercept malware before it enters your system?

On Demand Scanning: This should be as simple as choosing the file/folder you want scanned and selecting the software from the right-click menu.

On Access Scanning: Each file is scanned when it is opened/accessed.

System Resource Usage: The amount of resources the software uses can have an impact on your PCs performance. Lesser quality programs may slow down your system, particularly during a full system scan.

Scheduled Scanning: A good quality product will give you the option to set up and perform an automatic scan. However, some programs restrict the types of scans that can be scheduled.

Email Scanning: Both incoming and outgoing email traffic and file attachments are monitored. High quality software will also monitor web-based email (Hotmail, Gmail etc) and instant messaging programs (Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger etc)

Automatic Updates: Automatic updates keep you abreast of the latest online threats without you having to visit the software vendors website to manually stay up to date. This means you don't have to worry about having the latest antivirus definitions. One of the biggest problems users have with antivirus software is simply keeping it up to date. Most antivirus software can be configured to automatically connect with the vendor site and download new updates on a regular basis. The program should also include an option to turn off automatic updates in case the user would prefer to update manually.

Script Blocking: The software needs to have the ability to monitor Java, ActiveX, VB and other script files and detect and block malicious activity.

Ease of Use: Quality software should simply work. Installation should be straight forward and there should be advanced installation and set up options for advanced users. Once configured and running the software should do its job silently and remain unobtrusive.
There are a number of companies that regularly test and review anti-virus software. It's a good idea to check these out as it will give you an idea of the level of performance of the software you're looking for. Keep in mind though, test results vary (for many different reasons) A program that got the top spot in one test, may not be the best in another. That's why I recommend you visit a few different sites and compare the results. A few good places to start are:

AV-Comparatives
Virus Bulletin
Antvirus Ware

If you are still unsure about a product, you can always download a trial version and test it out. Most vendors offer trials on their websites. Following is a list of the more popular software available. This is not an exhaustive list so if the product you're after isn't listed I suggest you "Google it".

Avast!
AVG
Avira
BitDefender
Eset
Kaspersky
McAfee
Microsoft Security Essentials
Sunbelt Vipre
Symantec
Webroot

I hope you found this helpful.

see also: http://www.sevenforums.com/security-...i-malware.html

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Mar 2010   #2

windows 7 ultimate 64 bit,Windows 7 ultimate 32 bit,Windows XP sp3 home
 
 

nice initiative tw33k......

one of the most comprehensive list(free security software) can be found here too ... Wilders Security Forums - View Single Post - Probably the best free security list in the world

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2
 
 

Please keep this thread as a resource for other members & guests.

If you are having issues with a particular product please either start another thread or ask your question in one of the many threads that are already open.

warning   Warning
Unsuitable posts in this thread will be removed
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Aug 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

I've been using Trend Micro Pro for over 4 years and I'm sold ! Tried moving to Avast and it was a complete disaster and almost zero support. I hear good things about Kaspersky, McAfee please just run away from this, Panda, AVG,ESET and Norton are all good as well from what I've heard ! But customer support with TM is off the hook good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 8 X64 M3 8102 / Windows 7 Ultimate X64
 
 

I am Using Microsoft security essentials on my pc's Windows XP X64, Windows 2008 Server R2 64bit, Windows 7 Pro and windows Server 2003 R2 and its working great
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

I've been using Security Essentials ever since it first came out in Beta as Morro. It has a small footprint, it's unobtrusive, and it doesn't slow things down the way other larger programs do. Having said that, I think the "best" AV program is whatever someone actually uses. Using something is better than using nothing at all.

And as a lot of forum members have said, using an on-demand scanner as a double check of your AV program is a good idea. Many people recommend Malwarebytes and so do I.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #7

Windows 8 X64 M3 8102 / Windows 7 Ultimate X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by marsmimar View Post
I've been using Security Essentials ever since it first came out in Beta as Morro. It has a small footprint, it's unobtrusive, and it doesn't slow things down the way other larger programs do. Having said that, I think the "best" AV program is whatever someone actually uses. Using something is better than using nothing at all.

And as a lot of forum members have said, using an on-demand scanner as a double check of your AV program is a good idea. Many people recommend Malwarebytes and so do I.
i agree its awesome it sonly a 50mb footprint and these days of 3gb + pcs its cool!!!
but i dont care about the foot pring anymore with 24GB ram
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #8
mw2

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

my favorite and easiest program to use is avast antivirus!

its perfect
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Someone said it best, the best anti virus program is the one you'll use regularly. They all have good and not so good aspects. Just get one and use the heck out of it! I mean whats the best of anything really it will always boil down to personal preferences. Set it up to auto update and auto scan and do it often!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #10

windows 7 ultimate X64 bit
 
 

BitDefender Total Security 2010 is what I use and it's rock solid! It gives you "total" piece of mind, but is costly though. Thankfully had it as a present, so it's free for me in a way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What's the Best Anti-virus?




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