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Thread: Advice on Free Antivirus Software

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    Ausphotography Veteran Cargo's Avatar
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    Advice on Free Antivirus Software

    I received a Trend Micro Premium Security licence in a package when I purchased my iMac 2 years ago and the licence expires in February, unfortunately I can't afford to renew it.
    So I am looking for recommendations and advice for free Antivirus software.
    I have been researching the available and recommended ones online and so far I'm leaning toward Avira.

    What do most of you use and why ?

    Any help and advice would be appreciated

    Cheers Cargo

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    I originally installed Sophos, but I found that it slowed my computer down a fair bit so I got rid of it and didn't replace it.
    That was 4 years ago. So far so good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    I originally installed Sophos, but I found that it slowed my computer down a fair bit so I got rid of it and didn't replace it.
    That was 4 years ago. So far so good.
    Thanks Jim That one has popped up on a few sites. So you don't use any AV software ???

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    Member formerly known as : Lplates Glenda's Avatar
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    I just checked my Choice account Cargo and AVG, Avast and Bitdefender all seem to have free versions which are more highly rated by Choice than Avira. Reading some users' comments apparently Avast does bombard you with ads. We have had AVG many years ago - recommended by a computer repairer at the time and found it fine - I now have the paid version of Bitdefender on my iMac and am happy with it.
    Glenda



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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cargo View Post
    I received a Trend Micro Premium Security licence in a package when I purchased my iMac 2 years ago...

    What do most of you use and why ?

    ...
    Are you running Mac OS X or later? If so, then it does "...have a default security program
    called XProtect built in. Oct 2, 2014..."

    This, I guess, is like what I rely on using Win 10 (Windows Security Suite).
    APART from the WSS, I have two on-demand anti-virus programs: MalwareBytes
    and SuperAntiSpyware. You can get paid versions of these (~$80/yr from mem)
    and I have found their complimentary 14-day full trials to be quite good. I don't
    know if they're available for Mac, but I'd say so.

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS: To clarify an important point:
    If the AV program is free, then it almost certainly has ONLY the base antivirus
    feature enabled. It will NOT have the firewall, [browsing] and [other] protection
    featues activated, ALL of which you SHOULD have running somehow.

    Hence my usage of WSS, and recommendation that you use XProtect as your
    basic security. These do the brunt of the security work, ELSE, you need a PAID
    suite, which I would be loth to rely on in place of the built-in protection.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 21-12-2019 at 6:12am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenda View Post
    I just checked my Choice account Cargo and AVG, Avast and Bitdefender all seem to have free versions which are more highly rated by Choice than Avira. Reading some users' comments apparently Avast does bombard you with ads. We have had AVG many years ago - recommended by a computer repairer at the time and found it fine - I now have the paid version of Bitdefender on my iMac and am happy with it.
    Hey Glenda
    The more I research and hearing from people, I think I'm going to get a paid version. Just a matter of picking the bang for my limited buck

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Are you running Mac OS X or later? If so, then it does "...have a default security program
    called XProtect built in. Oct 2, 2014..."

    This, I guess, is like what I rely on using Win 10 (Windows Security Suite).
    APART from the WSS, I have two on-demand anti-virus programs: MalwareBytes
    and SuperAntiSpyware. You can get paid versions of these (~$80/yr from mem)
    and I have found their complimentary 14-day full trials to be quite good. I don't
    know if they're available for Mac, but I'd say so.

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS: To clarify an important point:
    If the AV program is free, then it almost certainly has ONLY the base antivirus
    feature enabled. It will NOT have the firewall, [browsing] and [other] protection
    featues activated, ALL of which you SHOULD have running somehow.

    Hence my usage of WSS, and recommendation that you use XProtect as your
    basic security. These do the brunt of the security work, ELSE, you need a PAID
    suite, which I would be loth to rely on in place of the built-in protection.
    Cheers Am,

    I have had a look at the inbuilt security (I think I found it) Not sure its all set up correctly though !!
    I have a mate who is a a bit of a Windows Wizz ... I think I will barter a cuppa and a bit of cake for some basic help
    Trend Micro have been bombarding me with offers ... None suitable yet ... Reckon I might make a counter offer, worth a try

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    Ausphotography Veteran bobt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    If the AV program is free, then it almost certainly has ONLY the base antivirus
    feature enabled. It will NOT have the firewall, [browsing] and [other] protection
    featues activated, ALL of which you SHOULD have running somehow.
    A firewall is an essential element of online protection, and I have used Zone Alarm free for years. It has proven very effective, and asks permission every time something tries to access the 'net or otherwise interfere with my up/down traffic. As far as anti-virus is concerned (although I do not use a Mac) I use Windows Defender which is also very effective.


    "If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” — Jim Richardson

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Cargo. Ultimately it doesn't matter what security suite you use - but certainly see how they
    rate as there are a lot of comparisons out there, and some get pretty well panned - but that
    you have a reliable one.

    The reason I'm rather pushing the OS-built-ins is that they will (supposedly) work well with the
    OS and not have (though rare) conflicts*. - And they're FULL and FREE, unlike the >separately<
    paid versions.

    Trend, McAfee, etc must make deals with computer coys to include their software on new machines.
    Trouble is, may users don't know that the don't have to have the >separately< paid versions.

    Ages ago, there were free WHOLE suites (Zone Alarm of Bob's is one I also had), but now less so.
    (I mean, I don't know of any, and probably wouldn't use one over the OS one.)

    The reason I use the on-demand MWB and SAS (orig post) is as extra check "just in case" WSS
    does not pick up some malware. Any downloads usually get washed with WSS and one or other
    of the other two - yes, even downloaded bus timetables

    * Some months back I was lamenting in a post about the terrible effect on performance that
    Nortons SS was causing on a Win 10 machine.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 21-12-2019 at 8:19am.

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    Ausphotography Veteran bobt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    * Some months back I was lamenting in a post about the terrible effect on performance that
    Nortons SS was causing on a Win 10 machine.
    Personally, I have always regarded Nortons as a virus, rather than an anti-virus!!

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    I recommend Bullguard as one of the most fuss-free, non-invasive packages around. Shop around for a good deal on it. Bit Defender apparently shares some code with it under a cooperative arrangement and is probably similar.

    Many AV packages are cumbersome, power-sapping horrorshows. The list of bad eggs varies from year to year, but last time I looked into this it included Kaspersky, Sophos, and Trend Micro. Avoid. Norton used to be horrible but improved a bit. Avoid it anyway. Don't ever even consider the truly dreadful Mcafee.

    Be aware that Mac and PC versions may be very different. Software written for one and ported unskillfully may be great on one platform, hopeless on the other. So take my words above (and those of most other posters) with a grain of salt as Mac versions may vary greatly.

    Also bear in mind that AV software is not where your security comes from (just as air bags are not where road safety comes from). They are just an adjunct. Security comes from good hygiene and good, careful habits. (Just like road safety, which comes, in the main, from not running into stuff as a result of good, careful driving.) A careful computer user with good habits can run for decades without any AV software at all. (I am the living proof of this - and I used to deal with virus and security problems on a daily basis for a living.)

    A good firewall is essential, absolutely crucial. Luckily, firewalls are very, very simple things in concept. They say "Where is this data from? Did I ask for it?" If not, it doesn't get in. They work like doormen at a function. They say, to each packet of data, "Do you have an invitation Sir?" and only let in ones which do. Note that a firewall doesn't know or care whether the data packet is Mother Theresa or Atilla the Hun, it just asks for invitations. The built-in Windows Firewall is very basic, and as good as any other one you can buy - better than most because it doesn't stuff about trying to do non-essentials and getting them wrong. Macs doubtless have something similar. There is zero point in having a commercial add-on firewall unless you have the time and training to administer it properly. Hardly anybody does. The only time I would consider such a product would be as a professional IT specialist responsible for a number of sensitive machines and prepared to take the time to manage it properly. Fancy firewalls get more people into more trouble than there are fleas on a dog.
    Tony

    It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.

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    Member I Like to Watch's Avatar
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    Have always used AVG Free (ever since having a PC).
    < Photography is just a hobby for me. Take any of my opinions and/or criticisms with a grain of salt >

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well's Head, Tannin, esp the last paragraph.

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    Ausphotography Veteran
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    Thanks Bob Am and Tony ....
    Fortunately I have until Febuary to work something out, but I will be taking on board everything you guys have discussed and advised. It has certainly focused my thoughts.
    I appreciate the time you took to answer ....
    Cheers Cargo

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    That's a couple of moons yet, Cargo. When the time comes, just remind us and we can
    help you set it up. Basically, it'll be just ditching the present one and enabling the OS
    built-in security.

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Macs do indeed have a built-in firewall. It's turned off by default, so if the OP hasn't already done so they would benefit from going to System Preferences/ Security & Privacy/ Firewall and turning it on.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Jim. Cargo still has up till Feb with the Trend suite, which would already have its own firewall running, (so I reckon)
    it wouldn't be worth enabling the second firewall until the Trend subscription finishes.

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    Have always used Norton, I think it is worth the money
    Ross.
    Ross. Nikon D810, Nikon D300s, Nikkor 18-200, , Nikon 105mm Micro lens. Nikon 200-500mm lens

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin1 View Post
    Have always used Norton, I think it is worth the money
    Ross.
    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    Personally, I have always regarded Nortons as a virus, rather than an anti-virus!!
    I'm with bobt here. When my free license with them from a new computer ended it took me so long to get rid of all the Nortons stuff hanging around in the background of said computer. PITA. Thankfully our new computer has nothing to do with Nortons.

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