paid versus free?

hello, and thanks for your time. i am very new to all this and have recently had some promlems with trojan/virus detection. i use mcafee security but have recently tried some freeware which has been,imho, far better at point is this.i was thinking of uninstalling mcafee althogether and just going with freeware instead but as i am a tech dunce (hence the name)i could really do with an informed opinion on this.i have downloaded AVGfree antivirus,a-squared anti trojan,cyber hawk,spybot search & destroy and ccleaner. i was also thinking of downloading comodo firewall and just using these progammes for protection, i do not mean to come across as mean but i have very little money as i am a home carer, and i get by on a pittance for this, but even if i had lots to spend on security the macafee system i use seems to detect nothing, whats your opinion on this, will i be protected properly with the above mentioned programmes? thanks for listening and hope you can help, tech dunce.

Avg free : NOPE

CCleaner : YES

MCafee : HELL NO…

I heard that spybot is good. Never used it though. Try using Comodo firewall and you tell me whether it’s good or bad :slight_smile: . BDW There are so many good free products that gives you good protection. But people always go for “big” names and they start realizing that it’s not as good as they say it is. start with these products and guess where we end up to discuss. he he…

These are what I use

Comode FW
CAVS (beta)

What I 've used (Norton, Mcafee, ZA, Panda, Kaspersky, Avast)

I use Comodo Firewall Pro, CAVS 2 Beta, CCleaner, Spybot S & D, and Ad-Aware SE.

Hopefully as time moves on and CAVS 2 has further improved detection I will use Spybot less and less.

Currently I still find Spybot useful though, it is handy for checking and controlling startup programs, monitoring active x and BHO’s and in some cases can prevent malware altering hosts file or internet settings (many nasties can bypass this protection but still useful in some cases).

I use Ad-Aware as a quick check sometimes for some of the more common malware that my children tend to accumulate on their computers and a couple of the add-ons are handy - for example stopping windows messenger service from starting is made easy without much computer knowledge required.

I believe a many tiered approach is good:

Comodo Firewall is the best available! With HIPS being added in future it will be even better.
CAVS 2 is getting better and better though Avast and AVG are adequate free options for the time being if you don’t want to use a beta product. The final CAVS version will be excellent I think.
Spybot is worth using as is Ad-Aware.
CCleaner is great for keeping your pc less cluttered with temporary files.
I use Firefox for most of my browsing as it is generally a safer option.

Even when using all this software it is important to be vigilant when browsing and downloading: if you are thinking of downloading some free software you have found then I find it is a good idea to first do a search to see if there are any problems associated with it such as hidden malware.


Welcome, tech dunce (:WAV)

I don’t personally see any problems with that setup.

I’d use Avira Antivir myself, before AVG, but that’s just my preference. Wouldn’t recommend CAVS yet, for a casual user, as it’s still a beta product and not up to par just yet. I tried Avast! HE for a little while, but found it used a lot of resources on my system; some CFP users have reported issues in the past, though I haven’t heard of any recently. All of those - AVG, Antivir, Avast! all have annoying reminders that you’re not using the full version; you should be able to disable that on whichever one you choose, though.

a2 free will have to be manually updated; it doesn’t do automatic. That said, it’s a good product, although a bit slow, it is thorough. It’s a good backup for on-demand scanning.

I’ve used Spybot S&D in the past, didn’t have any problems with it.

Cyberhawk… I used it for a while and liked it. Then it updated (when they added rootkit scanning in their full version), and started saying that everything was a keylogger, starting with CAVS and working on thru the system to each application I ran. I didn’t feel like dealing with that, so I uninstalled… :wink: I have since seen some other users report the same thing; if this bug was reported to Novatix, they may have fixed it, and it might be a fine application now.

Hope this helps,




I see nothing wrong with your protection software although I don’t recommend AVG I have always found their detection to not be as good as some others. If you want a Free antivirus then I recommend avast! Home Edition which is free for home non-commercial use.

For spyware protection I recommend Spybot, Ad-Aware SE Personal, and Spyware Terminator.

And for Firewall I recommend Comodo.

Also Comodo Firewall Pro version 3.0.x will feature HIPS which will protect you even more!

Another free av to consider is aol-avs . It’s top of the line kaspersky 6.0 minus a few features.Just ignore the aol name and don’t install the toolbar that comes with it.Hope this helps.

Hi tech dunce,

I am also on a limited income like yourself and I believe it is possible to maintain a high level of pc security using 100% Freeware which has been thoroughly tested and is known to be free from Spyware/Adware etc.

For completely unbiased and professional advice on Freeware software, I strongly suggest you go to and read the article on the “Best Freeware Utilities”, there is also a lot of other very useful advice to read and “Gizmo” also has a very good free monthly newsletter which keeps you up to date with the latest developments in pc security and Freeware releases. Please note your privacy will always be respected and your e-mail address will NEVER be given to anyone else. This is the website I always go to first for reliable, professional and completely unbiased advice and I have always followed Gizmo’s advice on protecting my pc for Free and if I have any further enquiries Gizmo always responds to my e-mails promptly.


thanks to both Borderlinecrazy and jputting for your advice, most helpful and appreciated, all the best to you both,tech dunce.p.s. i am about to post another “newbie” question-how to properly scan a download, i know it seems childsplay but am having problems, and dont mind sounding thick if i can ultimately sort them. tech dunce. :slight_smile:

Hi tech dunce,

The usual and easiest way to scan a download is to simply download the file to your desktop and right click on the downloaded file, the pop up menu will give several options ie- you can scan the file with your Anti-Virus software and also scan it with Anti-Spyware software before you actually install the file on your pc. It is always a good idea to a perform a thorough scan of your computer immediately after installing anything at all. If you stick to only using thoroughly tested software which is kown to be 100% Spyware/Adware free and only download your software from highly respected and trusted download sites such as then you can reduce the risk of Virus, Spyware and Adware infections.

I also understand how difficult it can be coming to grips with all these computer security issues when you do not have a lot of experience with your computer. But it is really worth spending the time and effort trying to learn as much as possible about protecting your computer from all the dangers out there on the internet etc. After all you really do not want to have spend hour after frustrating hour trying to get rid of very stubborn Virus,Spyware or Adware infections which have infected your computer.

If you are a computer newbie and need to learn more about basic computer functions, try having a look at they have free tutorials available which may be of assistance to you, they also have a Free e-mail newsletter with free lessons and computer advice without all the technical jargon which can be quite confusing for anyone at all. Their motto is “Hey I’m A Newbie Not A Dummie, Just Show Me HOW!”

Any way I hope I have been able to point you to some websites which will be of some assistance to you. I really do know what it is like when you are new to computers and also have to cope with the difficulty of being on a limited income.