best free antivirus? [merged]

guys, can you please help me in selecting the best anti-virus software available in the net ? because the only free anti virus i know is avg and i think avg is now on its paid version…what is the best free antivirus available on the net?


There are several free antivirus applications still available. Which is best is really a personal judgement and I certainly won’t stick my neck on the line and tell you that X, Y or Z in unequivocably the best.

All of the free AVs listed below feature realtime scanning, on demand scanning, right click scanning, email scanning (AntiVir doesn’t have this, but the others do), regular updates (some more so than others), scheduled updates and scheduled scanning.

My personal preferences is CAVS, as it is an antivirus and an antispyware application in one. It also includes a HIPS (Host Intruder Prevention System) module that the others don’t have. In a nutshell, the others rely on two layers - detection and removal, whereas CAVS has an additional third outer layer - prevention, detection and removal.

*** ■■■■ COVERING MODE ON ***

I should remind you that this (CAVS 2.X) is still a BETA product and you should only run this if you are familiar with and cognizant of the risks inherent in running beta software. You very well may have no errors, but the potential is there (as it is with any piece of software)


The best of the free antivirus applications are;

Comodo Anti Virus/Spyware V2.08 (this is still a BETA product)
AVG Anti Virus Free Edition V7.5
Avast Home

Comodo AntiVirus/Spyware (CAVS) BETA 2.0.8 is available from,6012.msg44339.html#msg44339

AVG Free Edition is still available. Grisoft have been bought out by Intel and a bunch of partners and they are, naturally, pushing the paid-for version. The free version is available at

Avast 4 home Edition is available from Download Free Antivirus Software | Avast 2023 PC Protection

AntiVir Personal Edition is available from

My advice would be to have a look at the four sites named above. Check out their respective support forums. Check out the frequency of updates (Comodo don’t publicise their updates but there are usually two a day, sometimes more). Check out everything you can think of and then make an informed decision.

Nothing beats knowledge - other than my wife, of course! :wink:

Hope this helps,
Ewen :slight_smile:

Avira is the best among the 4 mentioned free AVs.
There is still one problem with Avira, it generates a lot of false postitives.

You are arguably missing the best free AV which is active virus shield put out by AOL. Its powered by Kaspersky—and has the best detection rates and fastest updates according to the tests I have seen.

I had a heck of a time getting it installed until I learned the xp registered owner page can’t be left
as just the default owner.

Just google active virus shield to download a free copy.—free license is good for a year and then can be updated—not yet vista ready but a new version may soon may be. And even better—it likes the comodo firewall.

I liked Avast alot when I was using it.
Im using BitDefender now and I like it better.

Currently, I’m using Avast. Is BitDefender better than Avast? I’ll like to know more of this product.

It may just be me, but I, personally, don’t feel safe putting my security in the trust of the company who released information about a lot of it’s members for anyone to download.

But that’s just me.

I liked Avast alot when I was using it. I'm using BitDefender now and I like it better.

Are you using BitDefender 8, the free version ? It doesn’t
have a resident shieid. I’m using it as a manual scanner.

While Avast’s detection rate isn’t particularly good, its shield
does have a startup engine, much like that of Norton and Prevx1,
which can detect and remove viruses from the System32 folder
before they load and become memory-resident in Windows.
Prevx1’s one is particularly advanced. I was infected with quite a bad
malware, Spywarequake, almost two years ago, which inserted 15
files into my System32 folder. Prevx1 detected and removed 14
of them after several bootups. Avast removed the final one, also
with its startup engine. You can read my post in the Antivir forum here.

Without a startup scanner/shield, one would have to go into “Safe Mode”
(DOS in Win 95 and 98) to remove them manually from the System32 folder,
and moreover one must know the names of the viruses/spywares to look for.

Antivir and AVG, at least the free ones, don’t have this capability.
AOL’s Active Virus Shield (the free version of Kaspersky) doesn’t
appear to have it either. I note that many antivirus programs,
including some paid ones, have overlooked this very important
criteria. This is part of a “wish list” which I believe is a “must” for Comodo.

Avast! or Antivir, but i hear far too much problems with Antivir regarding updates, active guard being disabled for no good reason, etc.
Avast! is solid. Lacks some heuristics, but i’d bet the FP’s are RARE. Has more features as mentioned above.

AOL, personally, i wouldn’t touch that.

Could someone who apparently gets inundated with false positives while using Antivir\Avira tell me what they hell they are doing. This is one of those stories on the Internet that will never die, no matter what happens. Boring and not true.

I’ve been using this program for about six years now and I simply cannot confirm that story. In fact, I deny it. And yes, I have seen an occasional false positive, but I simply send such files to Avira and they swiftly correct the program\database (usually the very next update) instead of MOANING about it in forums or slandering Avira for it.

And yes, it does not have an email scanner. It simply intercepts junk when you try to open a file (in this case email attachment). No problems there.

It’s an excellent program. Good protection without wasting resources or slowing the system down (much). At the moment it is using less than 7MB RAM here. Compare that with over 70MB for an AV program\resource hog I won’t mention in this forum… (:TNG)

I had experience with AVG and Avast.

In my experience AVG slows down the system more than Avast. But On-Demand scanning of AVG is faster than Avast.

I like Avast better because it is easy to do automatic downloading of off-line updates.,7398.msg54545.html#msg54545

Never heard of irony before, have you? (hence the smiley…)

Likewise ;D

Tell me, don’t you trust people or do you have a very good memory? :smiley:

This is an interesting topic for me, as I am a student and have a low (or none) budget for software. The Comodo Firewall has become one of my absolute favourite pieces of software because it tells me what happens. I’ve learned a lot of computer security from that, but I still don’t have the full picture (far from it actually).

So, I would like to ask for opinions - what kind of protection is important except for a firewall? Is it enough with an antivirus program like avast! or Comodo, that monitors what happens, or is it important with another kind of software too? All those adware/spyware programs? What about the new Comodo BOClean software, will it be a good match with the Comdo Antivirus 2.0 and the Firewall 2.4 - or do you expect the whole kit to work really good later, when CAVS has left the 2.0 beta, CFP has become 3.0 and Comodo BOClean is well integrated?

A lot of thoughts, I hope someone can give me some advice what to choose… except for the Firewall which I will never stop use :slight_smile:

Really depends on your needs and internet habits. BOClean is a complementary anti-malware (famous for anti-trojans) to your AV. I, for one, am waiting for CFP 3 with HIPS so that I won’t need any AV, AT, AS, and so on because I’m confident (but not completely) with my minimal setup (just CPF 2.4 now, and with only 2 monitors enabled

) and my experience. Here’s a related thread:,7504.0.html

Nonetheless, this topic is about discussing the best free anti-virus, so let’s stick to it :wink:

Thanks for good info! I too use only the Firewall at this moment, but that delimits me to visit some very few and specific web sites, as well as not executing a totally unknown file. Interesting with CFP 3 (HIPS), surely a great improvement!

Can’t believe that I lost the topic so completely, it’s obvious now when I read the last post. :wink:

So on topic again - about the best antivirus software; I had an experience with avast! a week ago. A trojan infected my system, which avast! missed completely, it never reacted at all before or after infection. Luckily, Comodo Firewall saved me from a potential disaster, since the virus tried to access the internet through other programs. Of course, Comodo noticed this. I wasn’t able to remove the virus, it was a DLL file i Windows\System32 which loaded on system start. So, to get rid of it and feel secure, I reinstalled Windows XP. Not a big deal. The most important from this story is that avast! didn’t help at all this time, but Comodo Firewall did.

For the first time (but not the last I think): (S)

As I have read in other threads, Comodo Antivirus aims to prevent rather than detect. I think it’s the best way to go, even though the HIPS causes a lot of messages in the 2.0 Beta. For an interested (and a bit experienced) user it’s great and may not disturb too much, but I can imagine my parents using Comodo Antivirus - with all those prompts - they could go crazy… so with the behaviour of HIPS I think CAVS isn’t really for everyone, today. But I like the concept and if the safe database grows large, this is really the way to go. :slight_smile:

Of the four free antivirus solutions, if I would recommend a friend any of them - it would by Avira Antivir (I have hardly tried AVG though). But I think quite soon, it will be CAVS! I just want to be even more confident that it really prevents, perhaps see a test (comparation with other software) in different situations. Like many people have written on this forum, Comodo really has potential!

It’s both, but it’s apparent that prevention is its strength presently. Now that BOClean has joined the party, the detection side will be enhanced.

Depending on one’s preference, it may not be an accurate or fair generalization to be discouraged because of one failure at removing a trojan. If Avast couldn’t remove it then surely the others couldn’t have also, otherwise why would you restore to the last saviour: reformat.

Of these I have only used AVG in the past before it purchased Ewido. This was when I was inexperienced in all these security software and concepts and thought “AVG is pretty good”. It certainly isn’t bad, light, and fast and has saved me from viruses in the past. Then as time progressed, I found fewer and fewer viruses and to a long period of time, none. I later couldn’t believe it, but I discovered it slowed boot-time by a fair bit.

Well, I don’t really judge avast just because of this. It would be not only OK, but probably really good, to install it again. Now I wait a while instead to see what happens with CAVS 2.0 and BOClean (really looking forward to it!). The only reason why I would rather recommend Avira Antivir to anyone, is that it seems to be a bit more sensitive (but I personally like avast better). Also, when I tried avast, during the first boots - explorer.exe didn’t load in a while (maybe you know about that problem too). Fortunately explorer loaded as expected later.

As for the removal (which didn’t work) of the virus I got, and my decision to format instead - maybe it would have been possible to use another antivirus program, maybe not. I format very often (think we have discussed this before, Soya!), at least once a month actually. Not because it is necessary, but after trying different programs (install/uninstall) I like to start over with a completely fresh system. It also gives new configuration possibilities every time without the risk of e.g. problems with software that didn’t uninstall properly. At this very moment my system is only 20 hours old, perfectly clean, unless some spyware has come in already… protection only by CPF 2.4.

How do you mean with AVG; it’s light but still “it slowed boot-time by a fair bit”? Light on the system while running?