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 rik on 16. April 2010 - 4:05  (47740)

It will definitely be done by the end of May, hopefully before then.

Rik

by Anonymous on 18. April 2010 - 5:03  (47885)

I'm having a bit of an issue with Win 7 x64's behaviour with legacy 32 bit apps. Since the last Win update many that ran well initially now need compatibility and UAC tweaking, and will usually take minutes to load. I realise this is not the venue for Windows troubleshooting, but the situation has forced me to look harder for 64 bit replacements.

IgorWare makes some fine lightweight portable 64 bit freeware (http://www.igorware.com):

File Joiner (one of the 32 bit apps that is suffering from my UAC disease is HJSplit, and this is an ideal replacement).

Small Player (a tiny audio player that plays MP3, WMA, and lossless FLAC and APE, out of the box. Sound quality is excellent).

Hasher (for checksums - I'm not using it yet).

Of course these are not multifunction "killer" apps, but each one focuses on one task and performs it very well. Highly recommended, and worth a mention in any x64 "Utilities" section.

Cheers,
Alan

by rik on 18. April 2010 - 6:43  (47888)

Alan, a Utilities section is something that I had planned to add, thanks for suggesting it though.

If things that used to work fine on your PC no longer do then I suggest you carry out virus and malware scans. I certainly haven't seen any drop in performance following the latest 'Tuesday' update.

Rik

by Anonymous on 18. April 2010 - 10:21  (47893)

Thanks Rik, but I've done full scans with a couple of recommended anti-malware/anti-virus apps. It's taken hours, but nothing was found. The problem is intermittent and sometimes even the specific icons of these apps won't show in the Start Menu. This sort of behaviour is hardly stealthy! I'm guessing something about the WoW64 emulator has changed, causing these legacy 32 bit apps to behave less predictably.

Regards,
Alan

by Anonymous on 19. April 2010 - 16:23  (47970)

i believe the new version of cdburnerxp (2064) is completely X64, now.

by Anonymous on 19. April 2010 - 16:26  (47972)

http://cdburnerxp.se/download
click on the "more download options" link to get the x64 version.

by Anonymous on 20. April 2010 - 7:20  (48017)

* I {Robert D. Jewell} am sad to be the bearer of bad news, but the
* codec(s) is no longer free--'free,' as in donation ware. Because very * few donated, it now has a price attached--although at first an
* introductory price, viz (reply to my e-mail):

"Hi,

I always want to put an ‘e’ here (that’s how the word is spelled in my language, French). I’ve corrected the text, thanks.

Marketing is a mystery and finding the right price spot is art… in particular when most customers arrives with the idea that the product somehow should be free.

That said it’s much better to sell 10’000 at $30 than 50’000 at $6, considering the (inevitable) support issues associated with more orders. I’ve dealt with a dozen “can’t download” emails just this afternoon (we have nothing to do with this as RegNow handles the complete transaction and file hosting, they probably had a server glitch or something but we still get the support emails…)
Thanks,
Axel
________________________________________________________________

" What happened to the free version?
The FastPictureViewer Codec Pack was initially released for 6 full months as "donationware" with free downloads, meaning that users electing to keep the codecs on their computer(s) were supposed to make a donation, of an amount left to their appreciation, in order to support the developement of possible future versions. We had a killer product that everyone would want so web traffic would surge, everyone would love to finally see pictures instead of just blank icons, and most would give a few bucks (or more) to support the effort! At least, that was The Plan...

To make a long story short, it did not work. Web traffic did surge and people did love the codecs, but after 106,661 downloads from our server (and 117,738 hits on the post-install web page), only about 0.2% of the downloaders actually donated anything: one fifth of a percent of all users is a disappointing figure at best."
_____________________________________________________________________

>>"FastPictureViewer Codec Pack 2.1, now only $5.99"

>>Good solution at a most reasonable* price!

>>_________________________________________________________

>>*My guess is that $6.00 will bring in more total revenue than the 30 buck >>price?"

by Anonymous on 20. April 2010 - 9:16  (48023)

I don't know whether this is the correct response but I had 2.80 64 bit version which was working with my w7 pro. After updating to 3.00 it would not defrag unless I uninstalled McAfee AV then reinstall after defrag.So to avoid any conflict I thought it better to remove/uninstall FRD 3.0 & am awaiting their response before I reinstall it. Anyone else having issues with AV for this programme?

by rik on 24. April 2010 - 14:00  (48355)

Alan,

I certainly haven't noticed anything myself but I've been using mostly Windows based Linux server support tools over recent weeks. As you point out the behaviour is hardly steathly but could be caused by a number of things. I think this issue is important so I would encourage you to register and post details in the forum. I suspect others may have hit the same problem and it would be great to identify the cause and an appropriate solution.

I should mention that this issue is not without precedent. After many months of running 32 bit Windows Vista I found that certain 16 bit applications that worked fine under XP would either no longer run or take forever to load. Unfortunately, I never did get to the bottom of the problem.

Rik

by Anonymous on 25. April 2010 - 3:25  (48380)

Thanks for the comments re my problems with old 32 bit apps Rik. I've replaced them with 64 bit equivalents or removed them, and fingers are crossed for my other legacy stuff.

I went looking for 64 bit freeware to render digital TV (I have a Compro DVB-T card) and came up with ProgDVB6:

http://www.progdvb.com/download_progdvb_prerelease.html

At this stage I'd say it's not as polished as Media Center (MC) and the high def video quality is not as good. But it is easier to use, more flexible and offers a comprehensive interface for Internet TV. Also I don't particularly want to get bogged down in the latest flavour of DRM and the WTV file format when I record a show for later. ProgDVB dumps transport stream MPEG2, much more compatible.

In my experience MC doesn't play nice with other decoders and starts bitching that "the tuner isn't available". So it's really either MC or ProgDVB for a given Windows session.

On balance I think ProgDVB is worth considering as an alternative.

Regards,
Alan

Moderators comment:
Only the pre-release is free and is very much "crippleware". Link changed to point to this option.

by Anonymous on 25. April 2010 - 22:51  (48433)

My apologies. The Moderator is correct.

I made sure ProgDVB would do what I needed re digital TV and deferred exploring the rest of its functionality until later. Turns out, there wasn't much functionality remaining to be explored!

Oops,
Alan

by Anonymous on 26. April 2010 - 16:07  (48486)

Thanks for this list. I've started using Q-Dir and like it. However, it does not handle RAR archives as subdirectory yet (although it does handle other archives as a sub). However, it does get updated 2 times a month or so with new features, so this might be coming soon. I am going to try Double Commander when it comes out of beta.

Just a note on your MyDefrag review. You state that you use MyDrefrag's FastOptimize script. However, it has a three included optimize scripts: Optimize Daily, Optimize Weekly, and Optimize Monthly. FastOptimize might have been in an old version.

by rik on 26. April 2010 - 16:49  (48489)

Thanks for the feedback, the point about Q-Dir handling archives, RAR apart, is important and will be given a specific mention as it shows how flexible it is.

Double Commander is a 'work in progress.' The 'beta' label just means that they haven't finished all the functionality yet, the stuff already done is great.

Oops, I've been upgrading MyDefrag but copying across my custom version of FastOptimize. I've been found out, sorry :)

Many thanks again,

Rik

by Anonymous on 26. April 2010 - 18:22  (48493)

Outstanding information on this website! Layout is wonderful and the info overloads the senses in a good way! One thing I noticed was missing Panda Cloud Antivirus!
Its Windows 7 certified.
http://blog.cloudantivirus.com/2010/01/14/windows-7-certification/
And ICSA Labs certified as well.
http://blog.cloudantivirus.com/2010/03/16/icsalabs-certifies-cloud-antiv...
Keep up the good work!

by rik on 26. April 2010 - 18:56  (48498)

Thank you for the kind feedback :)

As far as AV software is concerned, I've stuck with the top two, Avira and Avast! A full review, much more than I can do, is available here.

Rik

by Anonymous on 27. April 2010 - 1:32  (48524)

OK, I gave DC a try. I couldn't figure out how to get tree views. Perhaps it doesn't have any. If not, then it is not my king of file manager. If it has trees, I will give it another try. However, Q-Dir will give up to 4 directories (and each directory can have multiple tabs!). The more I play with Q-Dir, the more I like it. Just wish the docs were more 'Readable'. I guess English is the author's second language, so it takes a little longer to get things from the documentation. Luckily, Q-Dir is pretty easy to just play around with and discover things.

Again, thanks for a great post on all x64 software.

by rik on 27. April 2010 - 5:16  (48539)

Glad yoy like Q-Dir. Can you explain what you mean by tree views?

Thanks,

Rik

by Anonymous on 27. April 2010 - 12:54  (48562)

I'm sure what they meant was what is called "Folders" in the standard Windows (well, XP anyway) Explorer windows. The nested listing of folders on the side of the window.
I'm a fan of "Folders", too. That is why I have been using FreeCommander. I'm not sure if they have a 64 bit version or not.

by Anonymous on 27. April 2010 - 12:55  (48563)

Sorry, not sure if tree is the correct term. A listing of the directory structure going down the side, Q-Dir does this and calls it Tree View. You can set up None (for no tree view), One 4 All 4 (So one tree for all panes) or All Have One (for a tree view for each pane).
Even Windows Explorer has this. In Organize/Layout, and select Navigation Pane. So Q-Dir calls it a Tree and Explorer calls it a Navigation Pane. But, I could not find how to turn this layout on in DC. Perhaps it has and I couldn't find, or perhaps it does not.

Thanks

by rik on 27. April 2010 - 13:12  (48565)

Hmm, I'll have a look at FreeCommander and see.

Rik

by Anonymous on 27. April 2010 - 14:45  (48568)

Very well done! I feel I have a fairly good better understanding of
some of the best quality software available out there now that
I have visited this site.

In regards to antivirus software, I have tried AVG, Avira
Antivir Personal Edition and Avast! Free AntiVirus. And in
my own personal experience, I would say AVG's detection rate
is probably the least effective in detecting malware. And
I would pretty much agree that Avira is probably slightly
better than Avast! in the detection rate department. Without
a doubt I think Avira is a first rate antivrus product.
However, in my own humble opinion, I would rate Avast!
slightly higher than Avira OVERALL because I feel Avast!
clearly is more comprehensive in protection as well as
also having more features . Avast! has some features that
not even some of the paid AVs that I used in the past
had. Moreover, I found Avast! not to be quite as intrusive
as Avira was. Avira would constantly flash "nag screens."
With Avast!, I have hardly noticed it was even running.
This is a minor issue in my mind, however, if all things
are equal or negligible, I would probably be swayed into
opting for the least annoying software in my decision-making
process.

For my own personal use, I have decided to go with Avast!.
However, after reading this report, I may decide to add
Avira as well.

Thanks so much for all the geat insight!

Joe

by rik on 27. April 2010 - 15:13  (48569)

Joe, thanks for the feedback.

Both Avast! and Avira are great applications, either should give you great protection. Currently I use Avast!, but with the (not so) recent Avira 10 I might switch. Depends :)

Rik

by Anonymous on 27. April 2010 - 15:27  (48570)

Hmmm...Rik. You've given me food for thought. I have to look into this
Avira 10, now!

by rik on 27. April 2010 - 16:14  (48575)

Before you change I suggest you check out our review. There's much more stuff there than I can produce.

Rik

by Anonymous on 27. April 2010 - 18:27  (48583)

Thanx, Rik. I think I will :)

by Anonymous on 28. April 2010 - 21:38  (48662)

This article is topnotch! You all do great work for us less knowledgeable users.

Question: I can't seem to be able to find my Network files with Double Commander. Is is possible, and if so how?

by Anonymous on 28. April 2010 - 22:03  (48663)

Does Double Commander allow access to network files? I can't see network drives.

by Anonymous on 29. April 2010 - 0:34  (48670)

Hi Joe,
As a beta tester for Microsoft Security Essentials I can tell you, you will have virtually no false positive w/ MSE and no nag screens or pop ups wanting you to buy it b/c it's free! Not to mention the fact that the download is less than 13mb. I'm excited to say that it protects @ the binary level as well and the UI is less complex than both Avira and Avast!. The editors have so smartly sandwiched MSE between Avira and Avast on this website and I applaud them for that. Security Essentials is something of an enigma in the AV world. It's flying under the radar but slowly amassing a large following. Check out the five star reviews for this 5 star gem!
http://download.cnet.com/Microsoft-Security-Essentials/3000-2239_4-10969...
Happy trails and computing!

by Anonymous on 29. April 2010 - 0:52  (48673)

I wouldn't use Avira. Google "Avira screenshots" and you'll see what I mean.
The user interface is way more complex than Microsoft Security Essentials and sometimes when it's downloading updates from their server it takes forever.

by rik on 29. April 2010 - 4:54  (48678)

Many thanks for the kind feedback.

The network drive functionality is 'under development' and having written code like that myself I doubt it will be long in coming. I'll monitor progress on this and report back as soon as it is available. I'll also update the article to indicate that this is an issue.

Thanks again,

Rik

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