Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Comparison of Free Antivirus - Random Wednesday

Hello all my dear readers! :D I hope everyone is doing great. Happy Wednesday! ^_^

In Reference to this post of mine, I know I had to make the current post yesterday, but I was too busy with my finals on my head that please pardon me for being unable to post. Why am I telling and referring to my earlier post? The reason is I'm doing this comparison because there are people dicey about using which antivirus on their old systems. Though the results and verdicts I give for each post apply well on both new and old PCs, I give special attention to old ones. But don't worry, new PC users can also benefit from this post. Telling this was important since people try to search a lot for free antiviruses. My this post can help you find which antivirus is good, although I'm specific in context to the Old PCs, but I will add lines for the newer ones too so that this post can be helpful to all! :) SO let's start our today's discussion buddies! :)

So we're talking about antiviruses. With proliferation of internet, viruses and those psychos making viruses have grown in large numbers! Security is becoming a major concern for all sort of developers and everyone is trying to add certain such feature in their software somehow! (Example, Online Scanners in Web-Browsers and E-mail service Providers). The reason why you landed here and reading my post is also your security concern and with inflation already burning a PIT, leave alone a hole(LOL!) in our pockets, a free security software is like rain in the desert! haha! :D

Discussion #1 - Free v/s Paid

If we compare the free v/s paid antivirus software in general to start with, let me make it clear don't think that paid is always the best. Though the best ones are paid only, but not all paid antivirus are worth their price. For an example let's talk about BitDefender and Webroot, both are pioneers and have been on the top positions in security services since quite sometime. Both are worth the price, with Bitdefender being my personal favorite! :D Next if we talk about Norton Antivirus, the one that is preferred in many Asian countries, let me first make it clear why it receives so much attention when better Antiviruses are available - It gives away itself as a free software with new PCs, is available as trials on most widely used Tech-CDs, etc. When it comes to security, Norton is a good antivirus no doubt in that, but I hate it. The reason if it thinks something is a virus, it straightaway deletes it. Although a good practice to be secure, but it deleted certain important files of mine WHICH WERE NOT VIRUS! >_< Now I guess that's enough of the reason to hate Norton! Duh! Moreover Norton is "ssssssllllllooooowwwww" not just slow! >_< It eats up the resources as if it were craving for them! Bitdefender on the other hand manages them quite efficiently and is not much of an intrusion in your work just because all your computer resources are being eaten by something like Norton! LOL! Next if talk about the virus detection rates and security levels, certain free antiviruses such as Microsoft Security Essentials and AVG have good enough detection and security that you don't need to go for a paid version! They are sufficient in case you are not going berserk on your internet, downloading all sort of illegal stuff that might be stuffed with malware!

Verdict - It is not always that paid is better than free. Neither all paid software are worth the price. If you think your computer is at high levels of security risks, you use internet for a lot of downloading, a lot of online transactions are made through your PC, etc. go for a paid and good antivirus/total security service such as Bitdefender or Webroot. But if you are a general home user with not much of security threats, a simple everyday internet user, not much online transactions, etc. antivirus such as Microsoft Security Essentials, Avast!, AVG or Avira will fulfill your requirements.

Discussion #2 - Knowing your Use

There are certain things you need to enlist with yourself before seeing which way you need to go. First and foremost is to understand the fact - Why and for what you use your computer? For how long? How many times?

Why and What - You need to know the use of your PC. Rather is it a PC or not! haha! I mean if it is one computer for the whole family, you'll be needing to know what are their primary uses too so that you can make a better security plan. For example, if you do a lot of online shopping, I would say prefer Linux over Windows! Else, use a good firewall and Internet Security Software such as BitDefender Total Security, or Norton Internet Security. Any PC doing online transactions must be guarded by a firewall, spyware guard, etc. Next, if you do a lot of downloading but no transactions, then identify what you download. Downloading and browsing a lot of illegal stuff, which includes, Pirated Software, Cracked Games, Porn, etc. means you are at a greater risk of virus attack than others. In many online surveys, if you are a regular reader of the tech-magazines or forums, it has been seen that number of PCs being infected with virus were great for those which were used to download and install pirated games and software, and the number of infected PCs was sky-rocketing for those who used it to browse, search, and download Porn. Porn has been identified as one of the major hub of distributing the malware around the people because they camouflage in them crap and people fall for they bait! In such a case using a good Antivirus is highly recommended, although a firewall too is recommended because sometimes spyware or hackers can be watching and taking away your important data while you think you are having fun! Moreover, with social networking gaining much importance they have not been able to save themselves from the eyes of cyber-criminals. People have reported their accounts getting hijacked. So internet surfing is not safe at all. You'll need a good antivirus or firewall. Although if you are not downloading/browsing illegal stuff, a free software is quite sufficient for you! :)
How much and How many times - If you do a lot of transactions, you need a paid Internet Security, if you do that quite less, like once in a few months, then a free one like Comodo is the best for you. If do a lot of browsing/downloading, a free antivirus is fine for you. If you do a lot of UNSAFE browsing/downloading, you need a paid one! A general user requirements can be fulfilled by free antivirus such as Microsoft and free Firewall such as Comodo.

Verdict: You need to know your use of computer first before knowing the requirements of the software for yourself! The more dangerous use asks for a better antivirus. In heavy usage of risky things, Paid is a better option. For a general user, a free alternative does all good.

Discussion #3 - Microsoft Security Essentials

It takes very little effort to get going with MSE. Microsoft politely does not opt you in to the program's customer experience improvement program; you must choose to opt in or stay out of it before you can finish the installation. It also lets you choose whether to run the Windows Defender firewall, and whether to run a scan once installation is complete, although both of those are opt-out.

Microsoft Security Essentials 2 uses both definition-file and real-time defenses against viruses and spyware, and also offers rootkit protection. Along with the quick scan and the full scan, there's a Custom scan option that lets users select specific folders or drives to scan. It doesn't allow for customizing the type of scan used. For example, you're not going to be able to choose to scan only for rootkits or heuristics, as you can with other security programs. However, you can set USB keys and other external devices to automatically get scanned. The program installs a context-menu option for on-the-fly scanning in Windows Explorer, too.

Security Essentials is basically a good set-it-and-forget-it security program, but if you want more options and better results from a lightweight security option, Panda Cloud Antivirus Free Edition 1.3 is the safer bet.

I personally use MSE only, and I'm quite happy with it. It has a good catching rate so I feel protected with it. Moreover updates and regular scan prompts are good reminders to check that yes my system is fine. I like MSE, and recommend it to all! :D

Verdict: Microsoft Security Essentials will protect you, and it will generally do it well. However, its impact on system performance could be improved, and it's still a bit light in the tool belt. So it is light on resources and a good alternative if you have a GENUINE WINDOWS! :P But a bigger thing is, if you have some 1.5GHz PC with atleast 512MB RAM, only then use MSE. Else according to me, your system would give a sluggish response.

Microsoft Security Essential - Official Page to download and know more, etc.

Discussion #4 - Avast! Free Antivirus

Next, we come to talk about Avast! Free Antivirus. Avast! is a good and well known free antivirus software. Looking to compete with both paid and free security suites, Avast wants to create a unified approach to your computer security. Long gone are the days of the quirky interface. Avast is accessible and robust, with an impressive list of free features and strong, though hardly stellar, performance benchmarks. For the newer version, I mean the latest one of the Avast!, it is said that it is an antivirus with new and improved cannons! haha! :D The interface is good looking and loaded with features. Avast has improved its installation process so it's faster than before. It's not the fastest on the market, not by a longshot, but a standard installation takes about three minutes, sounds competitive to that of MSE, right?

If we consider the features, I would rather take it from CNET since they are pioneers in Tech-Reviews, so I can give you people 100% correct info from the professionals:

Avast 2012, aka Avast 7, includes several new features that directly impact your security. One of the biggest changes is a hybrid update technology that pushes out updates in real time. Because a full database update isn't required, Avast users will get their security updates much faster than before. Full database updates will also be pushed out, just not as frequently.

Another important security change introduces a file reputation system for evaluating downloads. This tech has existed for a couple of years in paid security suites like Norton, Kaspersky, and Bitdefender, but Avast is the first free antivirus to offer it. It leverages community data from Avast's enormous active user base to help determine if a file is safe.

Avast's WebRep browser add-on for instant Web site safety evaluation has been extended to work with Safari, and it will also now check for fake certificates. Faked security certificates were an unexpected problem last year, demonstrating how fragile Web security protocol could be.

Overall Avast is no longer that sluggish or slow antivirus. I don't say anything about the time taken in scanning the system though. But when it comes to the system performance as a whole, Avast! is not hampering anything! :) Light and Cool! :D

Verdict: Avast continues to push the envelope of top-shelf free security features with hybrid update tech, file reputation analysis, and more. It's independent benchmarks are a bit weak, but more than 150 million people trust Avast to keep them safe. So Avast! is a healthy choice although I still prefer MSE more than Avast :) According to me, if you have an old PC(less than 1.5GHz Processor and less than 400MB RAM), Avast is the best catch. It is because it is lightest free antivirus, as per the resource use is concerned. Although the scanning time is higher than others, but the choice is yours. A sluggish computer could be more irritating than one that's sluggish only during the scans!

Avast! Free Antivirus - Official Page to download and know more, etc.

Discussion #5 - Avira Free Antivirus

Avira Antivirus, well I used it a few years back, though no longer. No! I have no grudges against it, it is quite a good antivirus. Actually my PC is a shared family PC, so the things installed are as per the mutual consent, so I guess you got the point why Avira ain't installed! LOL! Anyways, getting back to our prior discussion, Avira is a great deal for free antivirus. I don't talk about the Internet Security though, I'm talking only about the Free version.

Talking about features, let's delve into Avira's suite! :)

The WebGuard feature, available only if you install the Avira toolbar, takes a more aggressive approach to detecting sites that could be hosting malware before they load on your computer. This is not unlike Avira's competitors. However, for the performance cost to the browser for a toolbar, search result ratings would be a nice compensation. Too bad they're not offered.

The scanner checks for virus, Trojans, rootkits, and adware. There's a generic threat removal engine, but Avira--like many security suites--is much better at preventing threats from infecting you, rather than removing ones you've already got. Did you get the point? The thing is it's real time protection that is detection of a threat that is new is better than finding some virus that has already infected filesystem.

If a problem is discovered, a one-click Fix problems button appears at the top of the Status window. Click it, and even if the fix is something as simple as reactivating a deactivated module, the program will do it for you.

Verdict: An aggressive redesign aimed at making its best-known suite more accessible than before, Avira Free Antivirus 12 combines fast scans with above-average protection for a solid security combo. If you are an old PC user, I don't recommend using Avira. Though it's light on resources, but it's minimum requirements are a bit high. So if you have a PC with processor greater than 1.7GHz and RAM greater than 728MB, only then use Avira.

Avira Free Antivirus - Official Page to download and know more, etc.

Discussion #6 - AVG Free Antivirus

The never-ending mantra chanted by security suite vendors sounds a lot like "faster scans, easier to use, better performance," and AVG has released a new version that it says accomplishes all three. Certainly, the scans are faster, it does install more quickly, and some tweaks to the interface have made it easier to view. Two new core security changes will make you safer, too.

The installation time is longest in all the Antiviruses I have discussed so far. It takes atleast 5 minutes to complete it and moreover the boot-time of the system increases after AVG is installed on your system. Though still used by so many people around the world, I don't AVG is bad, but it certainly is not the best!

The interface is goo and easy to use and understand. AVG has placed icons for its security components in a central pane. Double-click on one to access more information and basic configuration settings for each specific tool. Advanced settings are available under Tools on the menu bar at the top of the window.

AVG 2012 includes a couple of solid changes to make you safer. The first is a patent-pending technique for identifying one of the most obnoxious threats to ever reach your computer: the fake antivirus. If you're unfamiliar, these programs purport to be an antivirus, or a Web-based antivirus scan. Once they install on your computer, the only way to get rid of the infection is to "buy" their license. They're also related to the ransomware infections, which don't even bother with the effort to pretend to be an antivirus. AVG 2012 will block both of them.

The LinkScanner tool has been improved to watch out for more dynamic code, which is essential in the security game because threats are mutating at such a rapid rate. Meanwhile, premium users get the new AVG Accelerator option, which optimizes your Internet connection to speed up downloads and rendering. It currently works on two sites: YouTube, and you can see its impact when pausing and unpausing videos; and binary downloads. The accelerator protocol was developed internally at AVG.

AVG now includes a monitoring tool that automatically warns you when Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer consumes too much memory. Called AVG Advisor and in all of the AVG suites, it opens a small pop-up and asks you if you'd like to restart your browser. There's no way to "force" it to activate, although if you open up a couple dozen tabs, wait a few minutes, and then open another dozen or so, it ought to kick in.

Verdict: AVG Free 2012's renewed focus on performance keeps scans zippy, but struggles with slowing down your boot time and too many false positives. not in any case would I recommend AVG to old PC users. According to me, you must have atleast 1.9 or rather 2.0 GHz Processor and 1GB RAM to run AVG, though I recommend more than 1.5GB RAM. The antivirus is good when we talk about detection and stuff but it is a bit slow so I cannot recommend it to old PC users. AVG Anti-Virus Free continues to offer an excellent if not perfect level of security, and is well-worth a serious shot at being your go-to suite. To new ones, AVG is another interesting one, though I would say use Avira rather. :)

AVG Free Antivirus - Official Page to download and know more, etc.

Discussion #7 - Panda Cloud Antivirus Free Edition

Panda, the cutest animal around the block these days?! LOL! Why I said that? because in antiviruses, Panda Cloud Antivirus has the most beautiful interface! :D

When it originally debuted, Panda Cloud Antivirus was notable as a free security solution for two reasons: Panda traded on its reputation as a solid security suite vendor making its first foray into the realm of freeware, and the program attained its goal of freeing up system resources by putting much of the program's heavy lifting in the cloud. Now we can add a third reason to the list: it's now known as an effective alternative to the security powerhouses.

Since I haven't used Panda much, I cannot give my reviews about it, so I'm gonna resort to what is said on the internet about Panda. When you open Cloud Antivirus, the main window lets you know whether you're safe or not with a big red or green icon. Cloud Antivirus works as other antivirus solutions do, offering a Quick Scan and a Custom scan for specific folder, files, and drives, but its ancillary features are exceptionally light. You can opt out of contributing anonymous data to the cloud, but that also opts you out of automatic threat management. There's a network connection proxy option should you need it, and a reporting feature that will show you what kind of threats have been detected and removed from your computer. You can filter the report by All, Last 24 hours, Last Week, or Last Month, and there's a Recycle Bin pane from which you can recover a false positive, should you need it. The modest level of tweaks and customizations have been hidden behind an obnoxious "flipping" screen that cheesily rotates when you need to access it, but they do provide choices in a clean UI that weren't available before.

Verdict: From all that I read on internet about Panda Cloud Antivirus, it is one of the good Free-Antivirus Alternatives available and the tests reveal it is the fastest one too! It has unmatchable security and detection of viruses, the reason being Panda has been a good paid antivirus since a long time now! The reason for it not being the best alternative is that again it is good in detecting not in neutralizing since it's the free version(Paid is good at both). Moreover it provides basic protection features as a free version though Avast gives you more! :) If you have a good processor with some 1.6GHz but a low RAM like 400MB or less, Panda can run well on that too! So for old PC users, Panda is another alternative.

Panda Cloud Antivirus Free Edition - Official Page to download and know more, etc.

Final Notes and Remarks; Conclusion

Currently I'm using Avast on my one PC and Microsoft Security Essentials on the other. On yet another one I use Bitdefender though. In free antiviruses, I would say go for Avast! if you use an old PC. Go for Microsoft Security Essentials or Avira, if you are using a new PC. If you want paid protection, BitDefender is the best.

So thanks all for reading the post. I hope it helps you all decide what's the best for you. Have a great day and the rest of the week. I'll be getting busier and busier. From 21st May to 8th June I have got my final theory exams so I'll not be available much. So hope to see you all soon! :) I'll be coming here now and then to visit my visitors back, or to post if I get time. But full time availability like before will come after 8th June! haha! :D Good day! Comments and suggestions welcomed always! :)


  1. I completely agree. I've seen a zillion seamless shirts and racerback tanks
    like this for years. Now if those tops had that Athletica symbol,
    the upside down U which is the A logo type looking thing, - then sure I would say they are copying.

    camouflage backpack
    camouflage duffel bag
    camouflage flask
    camouflage knives
    camouflage tote bag

    1. wtf is your comment ullash? camouflage crap doesn't makes sense here. read before comment

    2. @Anonymous - Please don't make hateful comments here. Respect everybody! Though, @Ullash, I would like to say that you should read the article before making comment. You cannot make any comment on anything! Comments should be worthy somehow! :/

  2. Panda provides great security. You can use it instead of Ms Security Essentials. I use it so I know it. It is better than that. You are right about Avast for old PCs. For newer ones Avira is the best option currently. Don't go for McAfee(you didn't mention but McAfee ain't a good antivirus anymore)

    1. Since I haven't used Panda much, I don't know about it. Whatever I have written about Panda, I have read on internet!
      And yes! I didn't talk about McAfee due to 2 reasons, 1. It's not free, and the next - It's CRAP! LOL!
      Thanks for your comment! :)

  3. how about clamwin?

    1. Clamwin could be a choice for a Linux user. When there are so many other better antivirus for Windows already available, I don't think one would go for Clamwin. Though as I said, for Linux it is a good choice, moreover, for the developers Clamwin is a great choice to learn Antivirus Concepts! :) It's open-source, if I'm not confusing it with some other anitvirus! I guess it is the one that's got half of the Python script, right?

  4. i would love a computer without antivirus than using avg

    1. Hahahahaha!! Nicole! You hate avg that much? I'm sure it must have either slowed down your PC, or messed up your internet connection(Happened with my friends around! LOL!)

  5. Replies
    1. Really?! Well I found someone who trusts symantec! :P

    2. scott - go and sell your computer. the one who believes in symantec product shouldn't be using computer

    3. Hahahahaha! Don't be rude "ANONYMOUS" :P

  6. can i install a cooler master psu in a simple atx cabinet like that of adcom? cooler master psu got a fan above and i have no vents at the top or bottom of my cabinet. Can you help?

    1. Though it's not related to this topic, but still thanks for the comment and I appreciate you asking the question. Though I knew your answer, but to be sure I first checked some sources and talked to people before giving you the info. The answer is YES! You can install your Cooler Master PSU in a simple ATX Cabinet like that of Adcom or Intex. The thing you have to take care of is, the fan is down, I mean towards your motherboard. If you can install it at the base of the cabinet, it would be the best because the cooler master psu are designed in a way that the fan is exhaust, it takes hot air and throws it out, cooling the Cabinet ultimately. Next, if you install it above you will not have problems, and I guess in your cabinet there would be space to install PSU above only(general case I have seen in India). So the fan must face down, towards the motherboard. There won't be any problem, only that the warm air rises up, that means fan would assume that more heat is being generated so it would rotate faster and thus there would be a bit of noise. Apart from that, there would be no damage to your PSU or computer. The efficiency of the PSU will remain same! I hope it helps, thanks for the query, Good Day! :)

  7. completely agree with your remark P0rn is hub of malware

  8. I'm very happy to say Antivirus software about "Comparison of Free Antivirus - Random Wednesday" for me. Right protected you've included of the range of advanced security options – parental controls, link scanners & identity protection and etc it's great Paid Versions. I'm vary satisfied for your information, I'll change my services computers and others, And I'll back soon again when provide new information. Thanks !!!!!!

  9. All are good except panda cloud antivirus


Kindly keep the comments clean and make quality comments that would be worthy in making this blog better! :)