Best Free Antivirus Software


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Antivirus software provides an essential layer of protection from viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, dialers, keyloggers, and rootkits. However, don't let the name antivirus confuse you. These days every good antivirus has good detection rates for all forms of malware, not just viruses. The term malware includes viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, dialers, keyloggers, rootkits, and any other software which performs malicious activities on a computer.


Sadly, the amount of malware currently in circulation is so large that no antivirus could possibly detect all of it. Despite vendor's claims, no single antivirus solution can detect nearly all new malware. There are some products out there, including some in this review, which include technologies which are able to adequately protect a computer, but any product which relies mainly on detection is statistically doomed to fail eventually. Also, using more than one real-time antivirus at the same time uses much more system resources, can cause system errors, and can even reduce protection due to unintended conflicts. For my advice on how to compensate for these weakness of antivirus products please see my other article about How to Stay Safe While Online. Having a good antivirus product does go a large way towards adequately protecting your computer, but in this day I would highly recommend that you add additional layers to your security arsenal.


Below I have reviewed some of the most effective Free Antivirus products currently on the market. In order to make this review more unbiased, although I do of course admit that my own intuition and experience does affect my judgment as well, I came up with a particular methodology for comparing these products. This methodology is described in the following section.

Recent Changelog:

18-12-2015 - New article editor: Added products to be reviewed

Products to be Reviewed:
  • Avast Free Antivirus
  • Avira Free Antivirus
  • AVG Antivirus Free
  • Baidu Antivirus
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Free
  • Clearsight Antivirus
  • Comodo Internet Security Premium
  • Fortinet FortiClient
  • Nano Antivirus 
  • Panda Free Antivirus
  • Qihoo 360 Total Security
  • Roboscan Internet Security Free
  • Sophos Home Antivirus
  • Windows Defender
  • ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall


Methodology For Comparing Products

The main motivation behind why I came up with this particular methodology for this review is that I value system protection against real world threats above all other categories by which an antivirus is commonly judged. It does not matter to me whether an antivirus protects the user by detecting malware, blocking dangerous sites, behavioral analysis, sandboxing, or any other approach. The most important thing is that at the end of the day your system is safe from infection. Thus, that is the attitude I have taken towards reviewing these products. My criteria is entirely based on protection, not cleaning. Therefore, if you believe your computer may be infected please first see my article on How to Know If Your Computer Is Infected before continuing to read the rest of this article.


I have located reputable Antivirus testing organizations which claim to test products against situations which resemble real-world situations. I narrowed these down by further requiring that the organizations have a relatively long record of producing good, seemingly unbiased, results. The organizations I ended up with, and therefore used for this review, are:



Dennis Technology Labs

From here I looked at all tests spanning back over the last two years. However, if there were more than three tests within that range I used only the most recent three. Also, if given the choice between results from different operating systems, I chose that for the most popular operating system. At the moment Windows 7 is the most popular operating system.

Also, I only considered results if it was specifically the Free Version which was tested. This is because the results for the Paid Version of the products in this review, with the exception of Comodo Antivirus (which has the exact same protection for its Free and Paid versions), are often quite different from those for the Free versions. Many marketing teams try to cloud this difference, but for the purposes of getting the most reliable information I am strict about this. Unless it can be explicitly proven that every protection mechanism is exactly identical to the free version the results for paid products are not considered in this analysis.

In addition, I did not count it against any of the products if they were not tested by multiple organizations. As long as they were tested by at least one, within the above-mentioned period, they were considered. This criteria was chosen because there are many reasons to choose not to participate in a test. Thus, it should not be held against the product if they were not tested by multiple agencies. However, if they were not tested by any, this makes it impossible to compare them in an unbiased fashion.


Once this data was collected, I then looked at the overall results for the Free Antivirus products discussed in this review, and ordered them mainly according to the quantitative results. However, my own knowledge of the products, and the reviews and experiences of others, were also considered. The results are presented and discussed below.

Discussion And Comparison

Comodo Antivirus is my top pick for advanced users, or for Intermediate users who are okay with an antivirus software which will occasionally ask them for input. However, if you do not fall into those categories, or for any other reason find it to not be a good fit for you, then you will likely find my next pick suitable. Also, for those who prefer a complete solution, there is always Comodo Internet Security (CIS), which is also free and includes a firewall in addition to all other components which already come with Comodo Antivirus.

Firstly, I will note that I am a volunteer moderator (not employee) on the Comodo forums. However, this is certainly not the reason I chose this for the number one position. The reason I made this my top pick for advanced users or users who are okay with a somewhat talkative antivirus software, is because it is the only product which I feel confident saying that it will protect you against nearly 100% of real-world threats. This is because it maintains a white-list of known safe applications. Then, all unknown applications, which include all unrecognized malware, will be sandboxed and isolated from the rest of the system. Thus, this product provides very strong protection against even zero-day malware.

Comodo Antivirus also uses the cloud to facilitate the detection of the most recent malware, as do many other Free Antiviruses reviewed in this article. It will also analyze unknown applications for suspicious behavior, and alert the user accordingly. However, as mentioned previously, users who do not want a somewhat talkative antivirus should continue to my next pick. Also, by default Comodo Antivirus has small advertisements (which can be disabled as shown here). Also, please see my notes in the Quick Selection guide for advice on how to avoid unwanted software during installation.


Panda Cloud AntivirusPanda Cloud Antivirus is an excellent choice for average users, who may find Comodo Antivirus too confusing. It has a simple interface, completely automated features, access to cloud-based protection, and has been shown to be very good at protecting a computer. Panda Cloud Antivirus has a behavioral blocker, web protection, and access to cloud-based protection, all of which will help increase your security. The protection offered by this product is very strong. However, do note that it will auto-quarantine files which it believes to be dangerous.




Avast! Free AntivirusAvast! Free Antivirus has very good protection rates. Avast has many different protection shields, boot-time scanning, a behavioral blocker, an internet site ratings plugin, script malware protection, and access to cloud-based protection. It's arguable whether their ratings plugin offers comparable levels to Web of Trust, but the script malware protection can prevent certain browser exploits, a feature not available in any of the other free AV's reviewed.

However, do note that Avast requires a free registration to function after 30 days, and the default installation installs the Chrome browser unless you uncheck it. Also, note that the OpenCandy advertising component is integrated into the Software Updater tool in Avast. More information about OpenCandy can be read here. Thus, if a user selects this option during the install they will end up with OpenCandy on their computer. My advice would be that if you want to install Avast you should not use the Software Updater tool.


AVG Anti-Virus Free EditionAVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is also a good choice for average users. My analysis of the results, as discussed in the methodology section, does show that it does a decent job of protecting your computer. However, it appears that the above Antivirus products tend to do better. Also, it comes with advertisements (but they can be disabled).





360 Total Security is also a good choice for average users. Although it has gotten some very stellar reviews, the results I found from looking at the results from the testing agencies referenced earlier in this article show that the protection it provides is roughly the same as AVG, but certainly not as effective as Comodo, Panda, or Avast. This product uses multiple antivirus engines to detect malware. It has cloud protection, and also uses the Avira and BitDefender engines, although these are not enabled by default. For more information about this antivirus, see the separate article on this page.

Avira AntiVir Personal EditionAvira AntiVir Personal Edition is another product which has a very good reputation. However, the free version was not tested by any of the three testing organizations I referenced in my methodology. Therefore, I cannot currently recommend it above any of the previously mentioned products.

However, other comparative tests do show that it has very high detection rates for malware. Also, many users have used it and found that it is very effective. Also, Avira provides access to cloud-based protection. AntiVir is certainly a good choice for a free antivirus, but due to the lack of real-world testing, at this time I cannot recommend it above the other products in this review. Hopefully in the future they will have the free version tested by these organizations as well.



Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is another free antivirus product which has a very good reputation. However, the free version was not tested by any of the three testing organizations I referenced in my methodology. Therefore, I cannot recommend it above any of the previously mentioned products.

The engine for this product appears to be very similar the commercial product, although there are some tweaks. However, the level of protection provided has not been shown conclusively to be identical with the paid version, which is why I did not use the results for the paid version in my analysis. Bitdefender Free has both local and cloud-based definitions. Thus, users always have access to the most up-to-date definitions. It also has an effective heuristics engine, and uses a component called the Active Virus Control to monitor applications in real-time for suspicious behaviors. In addition it also has a webshield, which seems quite effective at protecting users from both malware infested and phishing sites.

The user interface for this product is very minimalist. Thus, it may be attractive for novice users, although more advanced users may be frustrated at the lack of customization. However, it has no offline installer, and it also requires registration to continue using it past 30 days. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is a good choice for a free antivirus, but due to the lack of real-world testing, at this time I cannot recommend it above the other products in this review. Hopefully in the future they will have the free version tested by these organizations as well. Also, note that if you are having trouble getting Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition to install in English please follow the steps in this post.


Please help us by rating this review

End-Note: Please note that I also looked into Forticlient , Kingsoft, and Microsoft Security Essentials. However, I found that the protection offered by these products is subpar. Thus, if you are considering using Forticlient or Kingsoft I would strongly recommend that you instead consider another of the products reviewed in this article.

Related Products and Links

Other Articles By Chiron

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Quick Selection Guide

Comodo Antivirus

Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
This has full real-time protection capability, including real-time antivirus, behavioral blocking features, cloud-based protection, and an automatic sandboxing function which protects users from nearly all malware.
The automatic sandboxing function, although not very intrusive, may be too talkative for some users. Also, by default non-intrusive advertising is enabled (although it can easily be turned off). Also, Comodo Secure DNS, which is offered with Comodo Antivirus during installation, tends to have many false positives. Thus, I would suggest that you untick the option to Enable Comodo Secure DNS during installation.
Version 6.x
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Take care to avoid the installation of unwanted software during installation. To do this use the customized installer button, which is on the lower left-corner of the screen during installation. Additional software, including a browser, an ad-blocking addon, and an option paid service which would allow Comodo technicians to help you with computer problems, are all included by default. Also, I would suggest that you untick the option to Enable Comodo Secure DNS during installation. It tends to falsely block many safe pages. Also, note that although the download page linked to above does not list Windows XP as being supported, Windows XP x32 is fully supported, although Windows XP x64 has significant limitations.

Avast! Free Antivirus

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
This has full real-time capabilities, behavioral blocking features, script malware protection, and a low rate of false positives.
Default settings require certain user interaction. It is bundled with Chrome browser by default, and if not carefully avoided during installation the user may accidentally install OpenCandy (see discussion for clarification).
Version 9.x
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Feature limited freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Take care to avoid the default inclusion of the Chrome browser and OpenCandy during the install process by using the custom install option. The attempt to install these will also be repeated at the program update if the automatic option is chosen. Quick Start Guide: Forum:
Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.x, Mac OS

Panda Cloud Antivirus

Combines a web service with a stand-alone program
High detection rate of malware, web protection, some behavioural blocker features
Detection rates of real-world malware is slightly lower
Version 2.x
32 and 64 bit versions available
Free for private use only
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.x

360 Total Security

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Contains many engines for malware detection.
Avira and Bitdefender engines are not enabled by default.
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.

AVG Anti-Virus Free

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Behavioural blocker
Slightly lower signature detection rates
Version 2013.x
32 and 64 bit versions available
Free for private use only
There is no portable version of this product available.
Forum for support
Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.x

Avira AntiVir Personal Edition

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Outstanding detection of malware
Not the most user friendly
Version 14.x
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Free for private use only
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.x

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
High detection rates, very user friendly
Lack of customization, no offline installer, requires registration after first 30 days
Version 1.x
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Free for private or educational use only
There is no portable version of this product available.

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor George.J. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.


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So, you are a Comodo fan, but you didn't put any links to download Comodo Antivirus, your #1 recommendation.

I personally hate Comodo, ever since my brother installed their firewall on my parents' computer and i had many many many problems with it.

I am puzzled by your comment about bloatware/opencandy with Avast. I have installed it on three laptops and there's no trace of Opencandy on any of them. I have found it very easy to avoid installing Chrome if I don't want it.
I find an increasing number of nag screens in Avast, and it does try to get you to upgrade - always at an alleged discount: does anyone ever pay the so called full price?
But the free version has been very effective in blocking all sorts of invasions... so I'm relucatant to abandon it for the reasons you give.

Yeah, me three. Been using Avast for years on a number of computers and nothing extra has ever been installed by itself. The popups are slightly annoying but are occasional and no real biggie. The only thing you have to watch out for, besides the Chrome install option (and even that didn't show when I installed it yesterday via is that during upgrades it's easy to click install for the paid version.

While it's not usually THE top AV solution in the various AV comparisons, it is usually ranks near the top, and has a reasonable memory footprint.

I'm here right now because i have Avast and as you say i never saw any Opencandy but the attempts at tricking people into upgrading instead of updating are ridiculous.

My problem with Avast is that when ever it detects something, i can't have it ignore the "threat" even if i click the false positive link.
Because of that, i'd have to disable Avast just so i can update a portable program that it has decided is Adware.

First I had AVG free when I had slow internet connection. Then Avast which consumed lot of Internet data. Then I switched to Qihoo 360 Internet Security. Recently I switched again to Baidu 'Free for ever' Antivirus. I liked this AV. Lots of features. I am interested to know why it is not included in this list here.

Panda Cloud Antivirus changed to Panda Free Antivirus a while back.

My system:
Windows XP (SP3)
Athlon XP 3000+ CPU (w/SSE but not SSE2 or above support)

I switched to Panda Free Antivirus 15.1.0 soon after Avira Free Antivirus ended official support for Windows XP on 08 APR 2015. So far, so good ...

Panda has so little impact on my system's performance that it's almost like having no antivirus program installed at all: my computer starts quickly, programs launch/open quickly, and files open/load quickly. How well Panda is protecting my system, I haven't a clue, but it tests very well in the various antivirus tests I've seen on the Web.

I do get one ScRegSetValueExW-related 7006 error on my Event Log each session because of Panda. Panda says that the error is normal (and not a problem) because of Panda's self-protection feature: "[Panda] has a self-protection feature included and this event appears because somebody or some program is trying to modify any of our registry keys, thus we are denying the modification." It causes no slowdown or problem that I can tell, so I tend to believe them. Avira (and Avast and AVG and Comodo) cause many, many Event log errors and warnings, so I'm happy to be down to just one.

Panda is easy to install and setup and allows the user a reasonable amount of control over the settings. Big items include customizable scans, a scheduler for scans, and exclusion lists. The Update feature is automatic, and I don't believe that it can be turned off(?); there's also an on-demand "Update now" button. I'm guessing that "updates" include both virus definitions and program updates. Major features -- Real-time protection, Process Monitor, and USB Vaccine -- can be turned on and off individually, as can many smaller sub-features. The Windows 8-ish control panel GUI seems more designed for fat-fingered users of devices with touch screens than for handsome, erudite users of "classic" desktop PCs, but it's straightforward if not very elegant. Power users will no doubt want more control, but Joe Average users with slight geekish tendencies will likely be happy enough. Also, I haven't noticed any pop-up ads or anything of that sort ... only some notes/links on the control panel encouraging me to upgrade to Panda Antivirus Pro (which adds a firewall and Wi-Fi protection).

I signed up for a Panda account, but I'm not quite sure if that's required or not -- the program seemed to work fine before I signed up. Signing up requires an e-ddress and password but nothing else, though Panda does politely ask for your name, address, phone number, etc. (which I did not provide). I haven't received any junk mail from them yet.

I've tried out most of the well-regarded free antivirus programs -- AVG, Avast, BitDefender, Comodo, Panda, and one or two others -- and Panda is clearly the least performance robbing of the bunch on my ancient machine. BitDefender is quite good while it works, but it's a bit touchy and quits auto scanning after a week or so on my machine -- though it works without a hitch (and has for over a year) on my dad's newer Windows 7 machine with up-to-date (SSE2+) CPU. Avast, AVG, and Comodo slow my computer quite dramatically, with even the simplest things (opening the Start menu or Windows Explorer or Notepad) being annoyingly delayed. I suspect that my ancient CPU's lack of support for SSE2 and above may be the problem in some of these cases, as a lot of newer software works better with, or even requires, a CPU with SSE2+ support, so users with a newer CPU may not encounter these problems.

Any comments about Amiti Free Antivirus?

Uses Clam AV engine and signatures so detection rates will be very poor in comparison to other products. Will not be featured here. MC - Site Manager.

Qihoo explains the misunderstandings, and requests for furthur investigation.

Nothing to worry about here. Innocent until proven guilty. Interestingly it's 2 other Chinese antivirus vendors that reported the issue. We already know about the competition in China among antivirus vendors, and all this has been blown out of proportions from jealousy. Even if proven guilty, it's a minor issue because the only contradiction in the results was because their own engine was enabled and BitDefender engine enabled "by default" for the product they've given for testing. Hence calling it "manipulation of scores". Weak statement :D

There is more to this than which engines are used by default. From the report:

On requesting an explanation from Qihoo 360 for their actions, the firm confirmed that some settings
had been adjusted for testing, including enabling detection of types of files such as keygens and cracked
software, and directing cloud lookups to servers located closer to the test labs. After several requests for
specific information on the use of third‐party engines, it was eventually confirmed that the engine
configuration submitted for testing differed from that available by default to users.

I hope AV Comparatives check only for those keygens and cracks that are malicious - as in having a unwanted effect on the OS and user software/connections - many keygens/cracks are actually clean.

More info at their FB page. 
Qihoo: " many popular software add-ons in China that are flagged as malware by the AV-C definition are in fact performing proper functions and not malicious ... (they) are flagged as malware by the AV-C definition ... To satisfy the security needs of both the domestic market and the need for foreign lab testing, all Chinese security product vendors make modifications to standard domestic versions for foreign lab testing to showcase the effectiveness of the basic protection capabilities of these products"
My thoughts about this: If AV-C even all considers keygens and cracked softwares as malicious, and Qihoo tweaked the settings for the lab results to find them as malicious, I'm personally offended by the first statement. Many of these cracked softwares aren't infact malicious. They are just pieces of reverse engineered code to revoke the licensing of the softwares. We're talking about ethics here, but definitely not malware. On many torrent sites popular uploaders specifically state the fact that if you certainly like a product, you should go and buy the product and the ones that they have uploaded are basically for testing the software for longer periods of time.
In my own testing Qihoo's own engine is extremely good if you are connected to the internet. When BitDefender's engine built into Qihoo is enabled, I've found that it detects patches, keygens as malicious among the one's which actually aren't malicious. However when disabled, the same isn't the case. This means that although these files can be considered safe in an average amount of cases, doing so would cost them a place at these lab results. This leads to more false-positives when BitDefender's engine is enabled, hence the reason why Qihoo hasn't turned on these engines by default during installation. They have no choice but to enable them for the lab results.  
We should add this isn't just an ethics argument. No matter what the intention or purpose of the act, it is illegal to alter the software code of copyright material where this is not permitted in the EULA and it is illegal to download it. MC - Site Manager.

I too can understand why this was done by Qihoo although many will still make an argument for it being wrong. There is also a danger that this sort of issue diverts users from the real reasons why they get infected and towards complicit reliance on test results.

When I first began servicing live customers, the folks that could afford to pay for these services were at least 75% installed with the “leading” :D commercial antivirus products, so why were they infected? The reasons of course were as diverse then as they are now but the bottom line is folks still think they can install security software and then surf the internet with impunity. Naturally they seek guidance about these products and use test results as a basis for choice. It's a pity therefore that next to no effort is made to research the methodology of individual tests to see how these might apply to their own usage habits. Take the following for instance which is an extract from one of the much lauded PC Mag tests.

“FortiClient is only the sixth product I've put through this particular test, so I can't say precisely what its score means. Still, having another product block nearly twice as many suggests that 40 percent isn't great. Do note that of necessity the products aren't tested using precisely the same samples. Rather they're all tested with samples detected no more than a day earlier—the newest samples I can get”.

Really? So car “A” fails the crash test but the wall it was driven in to was different to that used for cars “B” and “C”.

At the extreme end of this mess are the YouTube garbage in, garbage out tests where amateurs chuck a handful of URL's at something and then rate it based on the results. YouTube is entertainment folks, not a consumer testing authority.

If people believe Qihoo's actions were a deliberate attempt to deceive, they are free to use another product. I have Panda on both of my dual booted desktops and nothing nasty has bothered me yet. MC - Site Manager.

Odd, the AV comp. report stated: "As part of the investigation into Qihoo 360, counter‐accusations were levelled by the company against
two fellow Chinese security firms, Baidu and Tencent.".

"Investigations by the three labs found that all products submitted for testing by Qihoo had one of the
product’s four available engines, provided by Bitdefender, enabled by default, while a second, Qihoo’s
own QVM engine, was never enabled."

Default public AV engine is Qihoo's own, version submitted used BitDefender's = apples vs. oranges. In my book, that's cheating - entering a tweaked version of 'their' AV to be compared to stock versions of other AVs.

Not too sure if this is the right place to ask this question but here goes.

I recently downloaded the free version of "Malwarebytes Anti Exploit free" purely because of the good reputation of their free "Malwarebytes Anti Malware" which we are all familiar with.

This new offering, "Anti Exploit" is working as an add-on with my SRWare Iron (Chrome) and the only time I know that it's working is when I open my browser, a small window on the task bar tells me that it's operating.

Do any of you have experience with this ? .... and if so, can you tell me how it works ?

To me, it doesn't seem to be doing anything at all and I'm left wondering if it's smoke & mirrors.

Pleast post such queries in the freeware forum, which is the suitable place for such discussions and queries.

After your query has been answered here satisfactorily, will delete the comments, as they are out of topic.

Thanks Anupam !

Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free (MAEF) provides protection from exploits in the main web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera) and their add-ons and in the Java engine that is the basis for much web technology. The paid version extends this to other popular products and technologies including PDF files, media players, Microsoft office, etc.

I have been using MAEF because it provides a layer of protection that will supplement many antivirus products. The basis for much anti-virus protection is detecting known signatures whereas zero-day exploits have, by definition, no known signature so monitoring the behaviour of program code is a better way to detect new exploits that have not previously been detected.

I'm actually a low-risk Web user so I will be surprised if MAEF does detect anything. I would probably be better of using other products to harden my computer, Sandboxie and EMET are two good examples. But I am using MAEF because I wanted to see how it operates. Other products I have tried recently have been disappointing for not being unobtrusive (e.g. Kaspersky Software Updater) whereas MAEF's lack of visible effectiveness is reassuring given the excellent reputation of their other products. It also doesn't appear to use a lot of resources. Later in the year, I will probably give it a good run on my test system by comparing performance with and without MAEF running, and  going to websites with known exploits.

For those who aren't familiar with the terminology. Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free is designed to defeat exploits. An exploit is program code that has been written to make malicious use of design flaws and other vulnerabilities in computer systems so as to defeat your computer's security. The worst exploits are those that make use of flaws that are not known to the developer/vendor of the software. The vulnerabilities are unknown so the developer/vendor has no time to remedy the situation hence the use of the term zero-day.

I think here is three of the best free antivirus software for multi-platform, including Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS.

- Avast
- Avira

The RogueKiller website has a well structured and comprehensive article that goes into a lot more detail but is relatively easy to read if you bypass the programming examples: Making an antivirus engine : the guidelines.

I recently dumped Avast after many years simply because of the annoying advertising pop-ups. After reading the recommendations by Chiron for Comodo, I installed it and have had it running for a few days now. No problems with it except for the deceiving tactics by Comodo during the install process.
Despite selecting "custom install" and unchecking the boxes that I didn't want, Comodo ignored that and installed everything.... I had to manually get rid of geek buddy and the Comodo browser.
How can this forum recommend software that continually breaks the rules ?

Were you that annoyed with the pop-ups? I have Avast on my system, and I think the pop-ups occur only when the definitions are updated. Although their size has increased, still, I do not find them annoying. It's something I can do with, considering the fact that the antivirus is great, and free.

G'day Anupam,

When I first installed Avast about 3 years ago, everything was good.... it was quite unobtrusive and yet quick to strike on any bad guys.

In the past year or so, with the regular updates from Avast, it seems to have become bloated and whilst I was still very happy with the protection it provided, it did become intrusive , the constant pop ups telling me that there were X amount of problems/issues with my PC seemed like a ploy offered by many shonky software programs that diagnose your PC, find many problems and then offer to fix them for a fee of course !
The Avast pop up invited me to click on a button to fix the issues with my PC and instantly I was greeted with a new message advising me that it would cost for the premium features to carry out this task.
Doesn't matter how many times I declined, the pop ups kept coming.
Bottom line ?..... yes, the pop ups did start to annoy me.
I know that Gizmos site does not endorse any paid-for commercial product and I believe that the free version of Avast is pushing the boundaries here with its constant nagging to upgrade to the premium version.
Meanwhile, I have Bitdefender free version running..... it's so unobtrusive and sometimes I wonder if it's doing anything but it has detected and quarantined 6 items since I installed it about a week ago. The only thing missing from it is email scanning but that doesn't bother me.

Good day terrawarra :). The issues you post about, I haven't encountered on my system. I do get the popups though, and I simply close them.

Avast Free nowadays comes with several components/tools, like updater, etc, which perform extra work. I do not install any of these. I suspect that you have some or all of these installed, and the popups you mention, are occurring because these components are installed. In future, if you install Avast, deselect the unncessary (or all) components, and just select the shields that you want, and it should be fine.

Thanks Anupam,
I may try Avast again sometime in the future and give it another chance.
In the meantime, I'll give BitDefender a fair trial, assess the results and decide which one I want to go with.

We are indeed quite spoilt with so many quality freeware anti virus products out there.


Yes, there are good free antivirus nowadays. But, I guess it depends on individual taste, which antivirus you install on your system. I occasionally try different antivirus, but I keep returning back to Avast, since it is what best suits me. It is lightweight, provides good protection, and has boot time scan. All other antivirus that I tried, I had some issues with them, big or small. Avast suits me best.

With so many choices, you can always try different ones and settle on one which suits you most.

I dont' use Avast anymore but while I used it in the past, I don't think I had the pop-up troubles that you experience. The way you say it, it's what I feel about Avira in the past, but Avira has stopped with it's ads and stuff, and is a clean product today.

I have switched to Qihoo 360 since an year or two, and one thing I feel great about a totally freeware product like this is that, not only you get all the features for free, you don't get reminders to switch to the commercial version.