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Windows 7: Non-cloud free anti-virus programs?

17 Dec 2016   #11

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1

Hi, @RolandJS:

I mean no disrespect and do not care to nit-pick.
But your reply about WD being "aok" in response to the OP's question about an AV could be misconstrued.

To reiterate, WD under Win7 is NOT an AV.
So, it would not be "aok" to run only WD, without a real AV.
At a MINIMUM, MSE or another free or paid AV would need to be added.

I merely sought to clarify the wording, both for the OP and for anyone else who might read the thread.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2016   #12

Windows 7 x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MoxieMomma View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
There are 2 types of updates. Program updates and virus/malware definition updates.
Do you want no auto updates, including the definition updates, or just no auto update for Program updates ?
Excellent point.
There's more to real-time protection these days than just signatures and databases.

Running an outdated security app -- free or paid -- because one does not enable real-time updates is not much better than none at all.
By the time one is infected with some of today's zero-day and zero-hour threats, especially ransomware, it would be too late.
Most popular AVs provide a means to disable automatic MAJOR program updates (e.g. from version 2016 to 2017).
But few, if any, will run for long in real time with any sort of updating capability (for program updates and especially for "databases") fully disabled.
That would be something more akin to a manual, on-demand, second-opinion scanner, not a real-time AV or security program/suite.

I'm not sure the list of criteria presented can be satisfied AND still provide sufficient protection.


OP did not include real time as in the list.

1) FREE.
2) NOT cloud based.
3) Manual updates. (NOT automatic) The system uses a dial-up modem only. No high speed internet available.
4) No extra programs (BLOATWARE). Just a plain AV program.
5) No ads

3. Manual updates is acceptable, as can be updated anytime.

4. As for Bloatware, in some free AV program, it is an option before the installation start.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2016   #13

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1

^^ Not sure what you mean.... ^^

If it's an anti-virus, then, yes it would run in real-time and provide real-time protection.
Otherwise, it's just a manual, on-demand malware scanner.

I guess that we won't know for sure what the OP had in mind unless/until he returns.

As for updates, ummm, yes, with a real-time AV providing real-time, active protection, it would be important to take real-time database updates to stay abreast of new threats.
Otherwise, running with outdated definitions could lead to both false-positives and false-negatives.
I agree with @DavidE that (at least major) PROGRAM updates ought to be configured to notify, rather than to silently install.
Most manual, on-demand malware scanners will automatically check for updates before the scan.

As for bloatware, most of the "Free" AVs contain something. In many cases, it is not possible to opt-out during install. That is one of the disadvantages to some/many of the free AVs.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Dec 2016   #14
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

I'm a simple bear so I will keep it simple.

Defender in Windows 7 at best is junk.

I use MSE.
One must keep their security programs update, what ever their internet speed is.
Window 7 built in firewall is all I use and so far it works just fine on two systems.

Of course MSE is active and so is the Malwarebytes Anti Malware Premium.
Their is a free version of Malwarebytes one can use (on demand).

So in a nutshell.

Microsoft Security Essentials (free)
Windows 7 built in Firewall (free)
Malwarebytes Anti Malware Premium (not free)

I update everything on my systems manually.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2016   #15

Windows 7 64bit
Thanks guys..

Thanks guys for the info. It is very helpful.

What I don't need is a AV program that automatically downloads/installs apps/programs that I don't need or asked for. (I had this happen with AVG free. It automatically downloaded and installed ZEN and I did not want it or asked for it)

I would like to manually update both program and definitions so I can control what goes on my system. This way I can see if the AV is trying to download/install a app that I do not want. (I manually update my AVG free three times a day)

I also understand that most/all free AV's do have some sort of ads. Perhaps I should have asked for one where the ads are not to "obnoxious"?

Now about the cloud issue. My systems is using dial-up (High speed internet is not available) my speeds are 5-6Kbs download. (pathetic, I know) So I don't know if a cloud based AV would even work with such low download speeds?

Oh, one more thing. I DO NOT use windows updates. (The last time I used it, the system crashed with NO recovery. I lost everything) I am also using Zone-Alarm firewall and have windows FW deactivated.

Can MSE be updated manually without using Windows Updates?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2016   #16

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vomacka View Post

Oh, one more thing. I DO NOT use windows updates.
Then it probably does not matter what anti-virus or security-suite you install.
Even with a robust AV/IS, such as Kaspersky, it will be akin to bolting the front door and leaving the rear door and all the windows open.

(The last time I used it, the system crashed with NO recovery. I lost everything) I am also using Zone-Alarm firewall and have windows FW deactivated.
If you are months or more out of date with critical and important security updates, then it's really moot which AV you choose.
The solution to issues with WU is to resolve the underlying cause, not to stop using it.
I might suggest looking into getting your OS updated and (if need be) repaired.
If you have also been running without an AV or any other real-time protection, then you may already be infected.

You may or may not even be able to install or run any AV, including MSE, until you get Windows updated and repaired.

Can MSE be updated manually without using Windows Updates?

MSE is probably as good as any other "free" AV. But there are better choices.

@LayBackBear can answer that direct question, but all AVs I am familiar with have the ability to manually check for updates.
But that is only for "just in time" or specific circumstances.
The whole point of real-time protection is to have it up to date with current databases and definitions and features. Your AV needs to be updating at least definitions (if not program updates) "silently" and "automatically".

If you only plan to update a real-time AV "manually" or "on-demand", then it's not much better than having no AV at all (for reasons already disscussed).
And, as mentioned, if you have not installed critical and important security patches for Windows, .NET Framework, MS Office and other MS applications, then it probably doesn't matter which AV you choose.

NO AV or other security software can protect 100% of computers from 100% of malware 100% of the time. But "unsafe hex" -- such as not keeping one's OS up to date with security patches -- will undermine even the best available software.

Sorry to sound harsh -- but it's a bit of "tough love" to save you time and trouble canoing upstream without a paddle.:)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2016   #17

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1

Hi, again...

...Sorry, I was multi-tasking earlier and posted without suggesting a strategy.

First and foremost, we need to know if you have SP1 installed (you didn't mention it and it's not in your specs). Without SP1, you will unable to proceed with most of the other steps, including running Windows Update properly or at all. {Perhaps you did mention it and I missed it???}

>>If you are not sure if you have SP1, then type "winver" (no quotes) in the Windows search box and tell us what it says or post a screen shot of the window that appears.
>>Or, for more helpful data, type "msinfo32" (no quotes), then click on "msinfo32.exe" and then, when the window opens, click "file" > "export" and save the log as a *.txt file and attach it here. See HERE.

We will go from there.

Assuming you are not already infected and if you do have SP1, then it might be good to start with a system file checker run or 2, and then a chkdsk.
If your OS and/or disk is seriously damaged, those problems will need priority attention.
Sometimes, if the OS is too badly corrupted or damaged, it's best to start over with a fresh Windows install.

But let's get the "SP1" question answered first.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2016   #18

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Well my thoughts are:

Virus database definitions would often seem to take be days weeks or months to catch up with some currently circulating malware. So on that basis it's not critical to have an auto updating AV that updates as often as possible.

I use Zemana AntiMalware - it updates definitions every 5 minutes.
Also Comodo CIS (older version) where the user can choose how often to check for updates or disable auto updates and run manual checks.
VoodooShield Pro - no update checks needed but does scan new files by uploading them to VirusTotal and blocks anything suspicious until user approved.
Threatfire - no longer supported
Spy The Spy - executable file monitor
MJ RegWatcher - realtime registry monitor

Screenshots from Comodo Internet Security Premium

If scheduled updates are disabled you can still update manually.
Non-cloud free anti-virus programs?-comodo-updates.jpg
Non-cloud free anti-virus programs?-comodo-advanced-settings.jpg
Old version is here:
Download Comodo Internet Security -

Installation Guide:
How to Install Comodo Firewall | Gizmo's Freeware

Note: I don't recommend installing unless you are an advanced user who can get to grips with configuration and settings. Also there is no dedicated uninstaller or removal tool to fully remove this product.

Also note: I do have a few other security softwares installed.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2016   #19

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1

^^ Excellent advice, @Callender. ^^

While every-5-minute updating for zero-day/zero-hour malware may be a bit over-the-top, I agree that a layered approach that adds specific anti-malware to a baseline AV is a good idea.
Ditto for a decent firewall.

For the moment, I was trying to back up the discussion a bit to the basics, until we can determine what kind of shape the system is in (hardware and OS), whether it's infected, why WU is not working, etc.
I have a feeling that the system is months out of date with security updates, may have been running without any robust realtime protection (nothing listed in the specs) and therefore might possibly be infected.

Selection of a security software approach (AV + AM + AE + firewall, etc.) would seem to be a secondary consideration (even though it was, of course the OP's original question)?

Anyway, being a bit data-driven, I would hope to see a bit of minimal information about the system in order to better guide the OP's choice...

That's just me.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

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