Best Free Windows 64-bit Software

 
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Windows-Security-64bit-82-58.png 7. Best Free Windows 64-bit Security and Privacy
 

 

 

Best Free Windows 64-bit Malware Scanner

The boundaries have blurred between security products so I have chosen to include all products in this category except for those that focus on removing malware which are in the next category.

Many of the applications are hybrid 64-bit applications where only the low level kernel mode drivers that interface with operating system are written in 64-bit code.

You can have more than one product installed, but you can have problems if you have more than one product enabled for real-time scanning. The same applies to email scanning.

Antivirus

Microsoft Security Essentials

MSSE or MSE has "great detection rates, particularly for rootkits. Even more impressive is that Microsoft Security Essentials has very few false positives, is light on resources and is good at removal of existing malware.MSE is a great choice for average users because of the minimal user interaction required. It automatically updates and removes threats. … The main downsides are the slow scan speeds and the lengthy amount of time it takes to quarantine malware, though in my opinion these are rather trivial concerns". (Best Free Antivirus Software)

Avira Antivir Personal Edition

Avira Antivir was formerly the Top Pick in its category. "AntiVir is still a top notch antivirus scanner with outstanding detection rates of malware, higher than almost every other antivirus according to tests. AntiVir is still a good choice for a free antivirus scanner, particularly for high risk users. However, there are some minor reservations. First, AntiVir does not include web or e-mail scanning capabilities … it just means that AntiVir won't warn you of infected emails before you open them. … Also, AntiVir contains a rather intrusive advertisement every time it updates." (Best Free Antivirus Software)

Avast! Free AntiVirus

Avast! Free Antivirus "has steadily been improving its detection rates over the past few years and now ranks with the some of the best.Avast has the most features of all the free antivirus with full real-time capabilities including web, e-mail, IM, P2P and network shields, boot-time scanning, and a behavioural blocker … an internet site ratings plugin, script malware protection and a limited (non-configurable) sandboxing feature. …Lastly Avast is also light on resources." (Best Free Antivirus Software)

Many of the protection mechanisms used by Avast rely on interactive Windows services. Support in Windows 7 and Vista 64 for interactive services is intended for use by legacy applications. This places restrictions on the information that can be sent to the user.

Antispyware

SUPERAntiSpyware

SUPERAntiSpyware (SAS) free version "does not support real-time blocking, scheduled scanning and some other features." but it is a very good on-demand scanner which won't conflict with real-time protection. "In addition to its focus on detecting and removing spyware infections, this program deals with trojans and other types of threats such as diallers, keyloggers, worms, rootkits, etc." (Best Free Trojan Scanner and Remover; also Best Free Adware-Spyware-Scumware Remover),

"The interface is simple, updates are speedy but it still installs a start-up item which doesn't actually do anything at all. The scan speed is twice to thrice that of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and the detection is less than half of it. The removal also left a lot to be desired". (Best Free Adware/Spyware/Scumware Remover)

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) "is an on-demand scanner which can be used to find and remove trojans, along with other malware such as viruses, worms, rootkits, diallers and spyware. While it will never win any prizes for its user interface, the program is intuitive and simple to use. … Other features include: multiple-drive scanning;  quick scanning; ignore list; quarantine, to hold threats prior to deletion or restoration; along with various settings to enhance performance of the program. FileASSASSIN is also included to enable deletion of locked files. Another plus point is MBAM rarely causes any conflicts with other anti-malware utilities. (Best Free Trojan Scanner and Remover)

"The interface is very simple, … The scans are very fast and detection is first class." (Best Free Adware/Spyware/Scumware Remover)

 

Best Free Windows 64-bit On-demand Malware Scanner

I have separated specialist on-demand scanners from the other products which all provide on-demand scans as well. The free products listed here are more likely to be portable scanners. Portable so they can be used in a hurry and run from a disk or USB stick to check an infected system. Free so you can detect a problem but not free to remove it. Although they usually have an option to trial the removal component before having to buy the full-version.

The scanners listed here use a range of scanning technologies which can improve your detection rates if you use all of them: cloud-based (usually require a broadband internet connection to be useful), behavioural, and signature-based.

Hitman Pro

Hitman Pro uses a cloud-based scanner that has free detection. The removal option is only free for 30 days but that 30-day period doesn't start with the first scan, it starts when you first repair your system. You can install it or leave it portable. When installed, it can be configured it to run a daily scan. The scan runs very fast. Hitman Pro identifies files that need to be checked then uploads them to Cloud Scan where five scanners are used from IKARUS, PrevX, G Data, Emsisoft and Dr. Web. On my system it only uploaded a few files for scanning. Later scans were even faster because no new files were identified. Hitman Pro can also identify tracking cookies for deletion. ('gets a quick mention' in Best Free Anti-virus Software)

Emsisoft Anti-Malware

Emsisoft Anti-Malware free version provides a 30-day free trial of the full version which then downgrades to a freeware scanner and 'does not provide other features such as file guard, behavior blocker and surf protection'. The scanner is signature-based so when it runs it will download the latest signatures. There are four scan types: Quick (it is), Smart (much slower as it scans all programs), Deep (very slow scanning all files) and Custom. (Top Pick in Best Free Trojan Scanner and Removeralso 'gets a quick mention' in Best Free Antivirus Software)

SUPERAntiSpyware Portable

A portable version of SUPERAntiSpyware which is reviewed above. It has four scan types: Quick, Critical Point, Complete, and Custom. The Custom scan appears to be the most flexible of any of these products. The Rescue Scan feature allows SAS to 'rescue' CPU cycles from malware hogging the processor.

HouseCall

Trend Micro HouseCall is an installer that doesn't openly install its malware scanner - it stores it in your user appdata\local\temp folder. So it may look portable but it isn't. It has three scan types: Quick, Full and Custom. Because it is so slow I would choose a faster scanner to intitially detect suspected infections. There are postiive reports of HouseCall having excellent detection. On the other hand there are reports of malware halting HouseCall's download and I've experienced the old problem with the scan stopping while "listing processes". As Trend Micro do not openly support their software this is a significant negative.

 

Best Free Windows 64-bit Firewall

Remember that you should never run two or more firewall products side-by-side.  If you plan to switch to one of the products below, ensure that you disable Windows Firewall and any other firewall you have installed first.

Windows 7 Firewall Control

Windows Firewall "is a common choice since it passes all inbound tests (both stealth and open port) and doesn't have many popup alerts. It doesn't require installation, so it's not likely to conflict with your other programs. And many average users wouldn't reliably handle the popup alerts of the best firewalls on the market (especially at their max settings)." (Best Free Firewall)

Access has to be defined for each application using one of four modes; out only, in only, enable all, or disable all. I suspect for many this will not offer a fine enough degree of control.

Comodo Firewall (Comodo Intenet Security)

Comodo Firewall "is the best choice for users seeking a full featured security suite. This latest release is suitable for both lightly-skilled users (still must have knowledge of installed programs) and technically advanced users. Its robust and active HIPS (or application monitoring feature), called "Defense+", matches or exceeds the security performance of pay products. Comodo allows for much control and customization for the curious or the paranoid." (Best Free Firewall)

I recommend that you read our guide, How to Install Comodo, before you install it. Comodo Firewall is one half of Comodo Internet Security which is what you are actually installing. It also includes the other half, the anti-virus component which provides Defense+ (HIPS) and Sandboxing. But you can opt of of installing Geek Buddy (22 MB) by selecting the "Customize Installer" option.

 

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Comments

by gggirlgeek (not verified) on 7. January 2011 - 10:40  (64060)

IMHO, defragmenting everyday with Defraggler is not a good idea if you use MyDefrag or JKdefrag. Nor is using any other defragmenter. It completely ruins the optimization that JKdefrag peforms by rearranging the files and filling in the much needed gaps that were set up. This actually causes more fragmentation, slower disk performance for Windows, and a lot more wear and tare on the hard drive. The author of JKdefrag says that defragmenting once a week is plenty.

With that said, I am having doubts about whether Mydefrag actually optimizes the way JKdefrag used to. Whenever it is finished I see a completely filled in hard drive with no gaps and many "space hogs" at the front of the disk. Looks like old-school Windows defrag to me! I haven't had a chance to visit their forums about this yet but I'm thinking of just using the old JKdefragGUI in XP mode, or trying to adapt it's scripts to MyDefrag format.

I have to say it's worth it. Discovering Jkdefrag might have been the single biggest boost in performance my system has ever seen. I really have no need for constant system upgrades anymore with tools like these.

by gggirlgeek (not verified) on 7. January 2011 - 11:29  (64062)

Sorry for the double post below... stupid browser addons... :( Feel free to delete one.

I must agree with others, and raise an eyebrow at the recommendation of a registry cleaner. The best way to clean my registry is also God's gift to the curious: drive imaging. Windows pissing you off? Just re-image for a brand new system.

Personally, I still use DriveImage XML because it is pre-installed on most recovery disks so I'm not left stranded. It has never let me down. And it does come in a 64-bit flavor.

Between you and me, and the world, though, I do use the registry tool in CCleaner occasionally, just out of curiosity.... This is usually followed by a re-image. :-}

by chesscanoe (not verified) on 13. January 2011 - 16:27  (64456)

On Win7x64 system I like to use Chrome browser 9.0.597 beta to read a PDF either on the fly from a web page or a PDF on my hard drive. (Chrome embeds Adobe Flash as well at a higher level than publicly from Adobe.) However I do keep a current Adobe Reader X 10.0.0 installed in case I need to use its features, which is very rare.

by SSC73 (not verified) on 14. January 2011 - 9:46  (64511)

The absolute best free PDF Reader is Nitro Free Version. You and extract images from it, drap and drop any other file on to the icon and it converts them into PDF's. It's light on resources, and for a free feature set, can't be beat. Who in their right mind uses Adobe Bloatware anymore? The only necessary adobe anything is flash unfortunately. Hopefully it goes away soon.

For more basic viewing, it doesn't get any better than Sutmatra PDF.

SMPlayer is great, VLC too.

Synctoy that someone mentioned being broken? The prefect backup solution for me.

[edit] Commercial product promotion removed

by Thom (not verified) on 15. January 2011 - 19:50  (64622)

Why would an old program that runs perfectly well on native Windows XP in Wndows 95 compatibility mode not run (at all) in Windows 7 in Windows 95 compatibility mode?

Do I have to go to Windows 7 Professional and install the WINDOWS XP and Virtual Machine components or is there another solution?

by rik on 26. January 2011 - 19:28  (65246)

I would like to apologize to everyone for not responding to comments; I have just returned home after three months in hospital.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible :)

Rik

by MidnightCowboy on 26. January 2011 - 20:36  (65252)

Please can we have the "bits". It's soup day tomorrow :D

Welcome back mate. Sadly and sorely missed. Just don't pile in too quickly and undo all the good work.

Remember, MC is watching! :D

by rik on 26. January 2011 - 21:13  (65256)

Message received and understood :)

Great to be back.

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:49  (65274)

Thanks for the information.

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:51  (65275)

The app you use is a matter of personal taste although MyDefrag is, I believe, a better choice. As you point out, using two such tools is NOT a good idea.

Thanks for your valuable input.

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:51  (65276)

I would agree.

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:54  (65277)

'Better' in a PC sense is difficult to quantify. Personally, having switched to 64 bit Windows and Linux, I wouldn't move back.

Best regards,

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:55  (65278)

Sorry for the delay in replying I have been unwell.

I have tried Foxit and found a serious bug which is still with the developers.

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:57  (65279)

You can do a better job manually although it requires considerable effort and technical knowledge. It is something I only do every 3 months or so.

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:59  (65280)

Sorry for being away, hospital is great fun :)

Frankly I never use them. I don't really trust such apps and can do a better job myself, sad as that might seem!

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 5:03  (65281)

Personally I think a VM is a far better solution although configuration can be 'interesting' :)

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 5:08  (65282)

Remember that the review is based on side by side evaluation. Frankly, this is no substitute for personal experience.

Thanks for the valuable feedback.

Rik

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 5:11  (65283)

Generally removing software using Windows features is the best approach as you point out. Sometimes this doesn't work so knowing your 'way around' the system is a valuable skill.

Rik

by rik on 28. January 2011 - 3:50  (65346)

Could you enlighten me as to how imaging your system has any impact on the layout or size of your Registry? This is a new one on me and I fail to see how it works.

Rik

by rik on 28. January 2011 - 4:01  (65347)

Choosing a browser is a very personal thing. I do use Opera for testing purposes. It is a solid, well designed, and well written application.

Many thanks for the feedback.

Rik

by rik on 28. January 2011 - 4:19  (65348)

Opera is out of its league when compared to Firefox or IE although I appreciate that choosing a browser is a very personal thing.

Comodo works fine on all the PCs I have installed it on so you might want to look at other possible causes for the problems you have.

Rik

by Jeff S (not verified) on 29. January 2011 - 23:47  (65478)

Is there a toolbar available for 64 bit internet explorer/Windows 7?, or if not is there a way to run 2 sessions of the toolbar that comes with I.E. 64 bit?

by Nickname on 30. January 2011 - 19:14  (65535)

Not knowing any of the background "area", I think I may be able to read in-between the lines - ouch painful. All the best for a swift & soothing recovery ;)

by rik on 3. February 2011 - 5:59  (65743)

I'm afraid I don't know. This query would be better answered in the site forum.

Rik

by MachineGhost (not verified) on 18. February 2011 - 6:40  (66657)

What serious bug in FoxIt Reader? I've been using it for years without problems. PDFXChange is not much of an alternative to the bloated Adobe PDF Reader. For example, PDFXChange uses a whopping 96MB of memory (91MB above baseline) just to display a 696KB PDF file compared to FoxIt at only 11MB (3MB above baseline).

Eusing Free Registry Cleaner is also as safe as CCleaner but removes far more junk over that of unsafe-to-use commercial registry cleaners. I run CCleaner, Eusing and PowerTools Lite (in that order, from weakest to strongest).

by mchldpy on 22. February 2011 - 22:29  (66947)

hey rik,
did you ever find out how imaging your system could or would clean and reset your registry... or whatever she was talking about? i don't think the first 63 sectors (0 - 62) of the ole hard drive had the mbr-
mental boot record intact any longer.

by Modou lamin (not verified) on 25. February 2011 - 14:50  (67078)

thanks for the help

by rik on 2. March 2011 - 11:12  (67303)

I can't see how it would work following a standard image and then restore. Perhaps I'm missing something?

Rik

by eikelein on 11. March 2011 - 12:15  (67782)

Most likely your legacy application contains some 16-bit code.
IMHO no way at all to run that in Vista/7 anymore.
Update to a current version that is written in fully 32-bit.

by Fz (not verified) on 14. March 2011 - 13:45  (67905)

I never had so many freezes and blue screens as I did with Comodo. System restore would freeze as well. The customer service was not at all helpful so after really doing my best with it, I uninstalled it and all the problems went away.

If Foxit doesn't work for you, try Sumatra - just as fast/faster and very small.

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