General Question

DominicX's avatar

What is the best anti-virus software for Windows?

Asked by DominicX (28808points) September 23rd, 2010
20 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

If I were to get a Windows laptop, what anti-virus software should I get?

That’s really the extent of my question. Good experiences with one? Bad experiences? I really have no idea where to begin.

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Kaspersky gets very good reviews. I use it, and it actually shut down my web browser once when I went to a site that was trying to infect my computer.

jrpowell's avatar

On my Windows box I just use Microsoft Security Essentials. It works well.

And using common sense goes a long way. Firefox or Chrome helps. Don’t open email attachments that don’t make sense. Run Windows update religiously. The stuff above has kept my computer safe. I think. It doesn’t act funky.

Skyrail's avatar

Another point for Microsoft Security Essentials from me. Another free AV I used before hand was Avast! but the renewal of the free license every year is a pain as I set it up for other people I’m not likely to see again when it runs out! So it’s a good anti-virus (at least from my experience) but the renewal of license thing (for a free version) was annoying.

If you’re looking to pay for one (although it’s not really needed) then I’d have a look at Eset’s Nod32, I’ve heard lots of good things about it and it was good when I used it (and isn’t as bloated as the likes of Norton, McAfee, etc.).

Oh, and pay attention to what JP said, some important information right there.

augustlan's avatar

I’m going to third Microsoft Security Essentials. In the past, I’ve used Norton, Macafee(?), Avast, AVG and one other that escapes me at the moment. Of them all, MSE has been, by far, the least problematic. Free, easy, and good.

Beastlicker's avatar

To be honest, I’ve had the most luck with Avast! Home Edition. Other things that can help is using Firefox with the addons MyWOT and AdBlock Plus. I have yet to run into a virus with that setup. Hope that helps.

Ranimi23's avatar

@johnpowell , Absolutely!
I use it to and from that point I don’t need any other Anti-Virus at all. I update it once a week and it doing the job.

tedd's avatar

ESET nod

jerv's avatar

I use Avira. A quick trip to AV Comparatives might tell you why. It also gets good reviews as it is so damned effective (99.4%; better than Norton or McAfee). I also like the fact that the antivirus part is free; you don’t pay a dime unless you want the full security suite, which I don’t since there are firewalls I like better.

jaytkay's avatar

I like Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), too.

@Skyrail the renewal of the free [Avast! ] license every year is a pain as I set it up for other people I’m not likely to see again when it runs out!

Agreed, that’s why I settled on MSE.

Norton and McAffee are even worse, with pop-ups demanding money. As far as I’m concerned, they are viruses.

robmandu's avatar

My company deploys Symantec Endpoint Protection to our PCs.

Over the last several years, I only ever recall seeing it pop up a quarantine maybe 3 times. Generally though, I’m an adherent to @johnpowell‘s advice and so that alone is the best advice: keep your OS patched and up-to-date, use a decent web browser, and don’t do anything stupid.

jaytkay's avatar

Besides anti-virus software, you can check every WWW site you visit against a list of known bad sites using DynDNS Internet Guide or OpenDNS.

It does not slow down your computer. It’s free.

Both great services. I’ve used DynDNS services for a decade so I lean towards them, but OpenDNS also gets great reviews. In my experience they work exactly the same.

YoBob's avatar

A good Linux distribution.

Might I suggest Ubuntu

YoBob's avatar

Ok, but seriously. I have a bit of a beef with anti-virus protection being sold as an ad on. I think that the product manufactures should provide these protections as a part of the OS rather than supporting the parasitic industry that expects you to shell out $$$ each month to patch up the inherently broken product you purchased to begin with.

There is a decent freeware suite by Lavasoft called AdAware that seems to work well.

ragingloli's avatar

I use Comodo Internet Security. It works great for me. And it is free.

Ivan's avatar


john65pennington's avatar

In the past, i have used Norton, Microsoft, AVg and three others. all worked okay, but nothing like the one i have installed now. it’s aggresive and fights viruses headon.

Defender Pro-15. it lets you know instantly if your computer is being threatened. it was expensive, even at WalMart, but definetely worth it.

boffin's avatar


Splender1's avatar

Microsoft Essentials. I have used them all….AVG has been great for me as well…saved me many times.

jerv's avatar

@Splender1 The one virus I ever had was with AVG on watch, so I don’t trust it much.

Now I am going to do something I forgot to do earlier and that nobody else seems to be doing here; backing my opinion up with numbers As you can see, MSE fares pretty poorly by comparison, and AVG, Norton, and Kaspersky don’t do great either. G Data is the best, and Avira makes a strong showing, but as usual, the best things are not the ones with the big marketing campaigns behind them.

Jeffinohio's avatar

I spend time working on peoples computers in my spare time. I have tried assorted AV programs, and I’d have to say that some are ok, and some are not so ok.

Norton and McAfee are too intrusive. Avast/Avira locked my system up. AVGFREE is ok, not as intrusive, but not as thorough, MSE is not bad, and I heard that Kaspersky is pretty good.

Personally, I think AV programs attract problems, or better, create a problem that it can fix so you feel as though it’s done something. I have gone 5+ years without an AV program, and have no problems.

As for Malware, I swear by Malwarebytes. But most AV programs block it, so it can be considered questionable at best, but it does work. I have never paid for AV, and don’t intend on starting. Hope this helps you.

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