Antiviral software for PC's?
April 22, 2009 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Can someone suggest a robust, antiviral program for a pc's? Preferably free.

Both my wife's and my pc has slowed up and we suspect a virus. Help!
posted by tangyraspberry to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
BitDefender works pretty well. I use it.

One significant plus is that unlike McAfee or Symantec products, this won't completely clobber your CPU, nor does it take minutes to get itself started upon login.
posted by valkyryn at 1:34 PM on April 22, 2009

I hear that some people like AVG Free. I haven't used it myself.

However, if you suspect you're *already* infected, you're not looking for virus protection - you're looking for virus removal. Install anti-virus is akin to putting locks on the doors after a robber is inside.

I would suggest you go get a copy of Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware and run a scan before you install any kind of anti-virus solution.
posted by kbanas at 1:36 PM on April 22, 2009

I don't think BitDefender is free. AVG and AntiVir are free and decent enough.

I doubt any of them do as much to help as deleting Internet Explorer, though.
posted by rokusan at 1:38 PM on April 22, 2009

I've installed AFG Free on probably over 100 machines over the last couple years for friends/family/home clients with few issues (and those issue were extremely minor -- nothing like a botched Symantec or Mcafee uninstall).

Malwarebytes Anti-malware rocks.

If you really think you have a virus:

1. Backup to an external HD
2. Wipe machine with recovery cd
3. Insatll AV.
4. Scan external HD.
5. Copy files back, be happy.
posted by SirStan at 1:41 PM on April 22, 2009

Avast 4 Home is excellent
posted by mattoxic at 2:13 PM on April 22, 2009

Personally, I like Avast! better than AVG Free these days, but they're both pretty solid.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:13 PM on April 22, 2009

As a recent Mac-to-PC convert, I found Avast to be quite satisfactory, once you tweak a few settings. (I don't need a gentleman's voice announcing that my definitions have been updated every day, thanks though.) When it nabbed its first virus, I felt extremely mighty as I sent it to its doom.

Most things I read suggested AVG and Avast, but tipped towards Avast due to less CPU usage and fewer false positives. I can't speak to either of these.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:19 PM on April 22, 2009

n'thing Avast.
posted by nomisxid at 2:20 PM on April 22, 2009

NOD32 is my hands down favorite AV tool... and I rarely purchase software.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:21 PM on April 22, 2009

Echoing a lot of other people here, AVG and AVAST are pretty much the standard free antivirus programmes.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 2:25 PM on April 22, 2009

Another Avast vote here.
posted by smalls at 2:35 PM on April 22, 2009

I canceled Norton AV after it took over my system & destroyed my satellite internet connection with constant downloads/uploads. Replaced it with Avast! and have been really happy. It updates every day and doesn't use much bandwidth doing so.
posted by torquemaniac at 2:35 PM on April 22, 2009

I have been very pleased with Avast!
posted by gnutron at 3:01 PM on April 22, 2009

I would suggest the free version of AVG. Also, check with your employers and see if they offer an antivirus for their employees' personal computers as an extension of a corporate contract. Many antivirus vendors offer this as a free perk.
posted by joshrholloway at 5:13 PM on April 22, 2009

I use Avira Antivir (Vista-64) -- easy and effective.
posted by coolguymichael at 6:07 PM on April 22, 2009

After numerous problems with getting AVG to update correctly on multiple computers, I switched to Avira and I'm very happy. There is a daily pop-up but it's bearable considering the software's free.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:01 PM on April 22, 2009

I found that the later versions of 7 and especially 8 of AVG free were really crufty/slow and switched to Avast!

Great program. Don't let the name throw you off. It's super fast, updates seamlessly (and tells you when it does), and has caught a bunch of non-false positive stuff in situ as I was downloading from usenet (for some reason, it's the email module that scans usenet downloads).

Avast! has also protected me from a bunch of stuff that's been jumping onto USB drives from common-use computers at my (large bio science) lab. Highly recommended.

In conjunction with TeaTimer that comes with Spybot (I never use spybot, but TeaTimer is great) which tells you whenever something other than you wants to make changes to the registry and asks whether you want to allow it or not, I've not had any problems (not that I've had a lot of problems with viruses).
posted by porpoise at 8:37 PM on April 22, 2009

I don't need a gentleman's voice announcing that my definitions have been updated every day, thanks though.

I have to agree. My Avast!, I forced to use CHIMES.WAV. Infinitely more charming.

Note that you do need to register Avast! in order for it not to be in a 30-day nag mode. Registration is good for one year. In general I like it much better than the current AVG, which I had used for years.
posted by dhartung at 10:17 PM on April 22, 2009

SuperAntiSpyware free edition got rid of whatever hideous thing my DH downloaded along with a pic some months back. I had AVG free installed at the time, and this thing sailed past it. After trying Norton (which has been useless for years but I was desperate), Avast and a couple of other things, this was the only one that isolated and killed this thing which had imbedded itself in a Microsoft directory mascarading as a real Microsoft function. Took me a week of solid trying to find something that worked.
posted by x46 at 10:18 PM on April 22, 2009

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