Discussion: Best Free Antivirus for Windows PC


  1. Judging the latest tests, MSE is useless, AVG went to the BLOAT side, Comodo is full with false positives, Panda Cloud is described everywhere as the lightest antivirus around because the ‘CLOUD’ technology that uses but believe me it is NOT so light. Bitdefender Antivirus Free is not listed but you should add it.

    Avast is the good one, along with the two top rising antiviruses this year: Baidu Antivirus (Avira + Local engine), 360 Internet Security that uses a triple antivirus engine: 360 checksum based cloud engine, machine learning cloud QVM engine, and BitDefender local engine.

  2. I’ve been using the Free edition of Bitdefender & it has been very simple & effective. It has blocked a few suspicious websites and I appreciate that. It also provides logs of all it’s activities…. another plus.

  3. I was using Bit Defender Free Edition 2013 and found it to be very effective for my needs. However I stopped using it because of the annoying Pop Ups and constant updates that required me to restart my computer.
    I am now using 360 Internet Security 2013 Free and really like it. It is fast. light and easy on the resources, runs quietly in the background and never bothers me.

  4. As TechTarget “SearchSecurity”, Symantec, and other security oriented orgs point out, antivirus of ANY kind by itself is TODAY almost useless against rapidly evolving AV-evasion tactics of newest malware; they all suggest layering security with av, firewalling, and behavior blocking.

    As far as AV components go, those you list in terms of efficacy have fared pretty well in spotting known/test malware om my own PC…nothing is 100%, but close. I do find while using Windows Defender that it can spot and block double-zipped/compressed malware all by itself…something not even my Comodo Dragon browser can do (it stops at single-zipped).

    Running Comodo CIS suite as a whole minus only “Geek Buddy”, in such case its own AV component updates as regularly as anyone else’s, but rather than give alerts re false positives, it “semi-sandboxes” files it doesn’t recognize or thinks ‘might’ be malware; you can always check at “Unrecognized Files” and see if anything needs to be moved to “trusted files”. NOTE: I find that Comodo CIS AV seems mostly aimed at Sys32 driver files; CIS otherwise relies on firewalling and HIPS.

    I use regularly updated free manual scan backups of Emsisoft Emergency Kit, Malwarebytes, and Kaspersky TDSS Killer to see how Windows Defender and CIS are doing; I’ve yet to find anything with these manual scanners that WD or CIS didn’t.

    I’ve seen 360 Internet Security (Quihu) do very well if a little heavy for older units, and it’s always free…but it’s from China and Googling makes it sound like a risk to data security, perhaps not, caveat emptor.

  5. I have been using Avast since its version 3 till date and i feel its best antivirus and even its very low on system resources i love this antivirus and in my past 7 years or more experience i have recommended this antivirus to more than 1000 people… 🙂

  6. Avast isn’t working for me on windows 8, after login I got a black screen. Now I use AVG as default.

  7. I am using 360 Internet Security which is doing well but it is hungry. Here is what is running and its consumption.

    360sd.exe – 1,172
    360rp.exe – 19,056
    360Tray.exe*32 – 5,876
    ZhuDongFangYu.exe*32 -4,644

  8. Among free options, I’d go with MSE or Avast and Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Eset among paid versions – although I am sure some others may be equally good.

  9. The latest free version of AVG does not have the issues you claim it has. If you, however, end up installing the non-free version or the trail of that version, it will have those issues (but then, you are no longer using the free version)

  10. I tested it on my machine. And more than RAM, it consumes CPU. Much as same as Windows Defender in aggressive mode that stops computer from responding. Probably, it depends upon the mood of the antivirus. As long as it is working fine, no issues but then it decides it needs to scan the computer and uses all the CPU for it. Maybe you did not encounter it yet, but the issue is there.

  11. I love Bitdefender…..I am still in trial of the paid version but i intend to buy it….it is light on resources and has not failed me yet when it comes to malicious files.

  12. I only believe my own eyes or the tests on a website that has nothing to gain from publishing the results and according to one of those and what i saw at my dad’s, it pretty good, the last version at least.

  13. Hi!
    I have tried most of the antiviruses that are mentioned here (free, trial, paid version), i’m now using Bitdefender but i can’t say i’m happy.
    After my daughter used it to download modes for miencraft and me visiting alibaba sites, I discovered loads of trojans, ad ware, malware…etc that none of the above could detect, some are in a damn good discuise, i had to dig and google most of the things that seamed strange in task manager and most of the times it showed a big ”no-nooo” ….. some I could delete some i could only make inactive and some i could not modify at all…HELP!!!

  14. MSE is the best! No clutter on the UI, finds OpenCandy and other packed adware and does not annoy you with notices – it simply works well. Combined with MBAM the two security programs keep your system well protected.
    In the end, it’s the user who destroys their OS by ignorance or risk taking for a thrill.

  15. MSE / Windows Defender, has one significant advantage over every other solution: It doesn’t need renewal. It is generally ‘good enough’ for the average user.

    It’s biggest downside is the occasional heavy unscheduled impact on processor or disc utilization. Still, my small business and home clients with MSE no longer call me about being infected 3 months after their annual AV subscription expired.

  16. I don’t understand why so many people bash on AVG, it worked fine for me. It’s also worth mentioning that we’ll need an Anti-Malware, I’ve been using MalwareFox for that purpose.

  17. I have been using Sophos the paid version as I have several Mac’s and PC’s. I am able to remotely scan and set where each can be allowed or blocked. I was surprised that it was not included.

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