Solved Best AV Programs for amatuer users

Dell Dell 2 gb ddr2 desktop memory modul...
December 20, 2013 at 08:00:01
Specs: Windows Vista, 2.8Ghz (varies)
I'm new to the repair business & would really like someone's opinion on the best IDIOT proof Anti-Virus program. Lately I have run across something that deletes peoples desktop icons, disables AVG, Avast, McAfee and other antivirals..paid or free editions. When I ask one customer about her recent online activity she said she had tried to watch a youtube video over facebook and then was asked to restart her computer. That SCREAMS VIRUS to me. Any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Tim in Texas

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✔ Best Answer
December 20, 2013 at 11:09:51
Microsoft Security Essentials ( MSE ) +_ 2 with Windows firewall.
System requirements
Check list for installing Microsoft Security Essentials
Can Microsoft Security Essentials ( MSE ) protect me from online banking and shopping.
If you choose to use Security Essentials, please follow the steps in this thread first, especially the part about removing all existing realtime antimalware:

December 20, 2013 at 08:17:21
Age-old debate as to which is the "Best." I prefer Symantec, but lots of people like McAfee, AVG and others.

message edited by Jennifer SUMN

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December 20, 2013 at 10:35:53
Thanks Jennifer. I used to be a Norton person myself. I haven't tried them in years.

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December 20, 2013 at 10:45:53
Microsoft Security Essentials is free.
It's the simplest AV software out there, to set up and use, yet it's also decent performer.

It's as 'idiot proof' as it could possibly be.

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Related Solutions

December 20, 2013 at 11:09:51
✔ Best Answer
Microsoft Security Essentials ( MSE ) +_ 2 with Windows firewall.
System requirements
Check list for installing Microsoft Security Essentials
Can Microsoft Security Essentials ( MSE ) protect me from online banking and shopping.
If you choose to use Security Essentials, please follow the steps in this thread first, especially the part about removing all existing realtime antimalware:

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December 20, 2013 at 13:38:48
Personally I've found MSE to be too light.. It has let multiple viruses slip by and infect my computer in the past, and I don't trust it anymore to keep me protected.

What I installed instead was BitDefender Free, and I find to be even simpler to use than MSE. The entire interface is a small popup in the right hand corner, and the software automatically takes care of scanning and real time protection, as well as actions to take when a virus is encountered. You can download it here:

You've been helped by a 16 year old.

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December 20, 2013 at 13:39:28
Whatever AV you install there is always a chance that something will creep through. What one misses another might find, partly depending on when a virus is put on a data base.

Opinions vary a lot, so they don't really help too much unless you know and trust the person giving them. Read current reviews, free or paid-for versions as you prefer. Note that the pecking order is constantly changing.

I use MSE but have noticed Avast is often near the top of the list (despite it letting you down).

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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December 26, 2013 at 00:20:59
Microsoft Security Essentials
Avira Antivirus
Yet Another Cleaner
These antivirus are light ones, but much enough to protect pc and easy to use for amatuer users

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December 26, 2013 at 09:21:40
I have a lot of doubt about Yac. Apart from anything else these "fix-all" programs often cause more issues than they fix. It is not an Anti-Virus and worse than that it probably actually contains malware. See these:

There is years of experience on these forums and we have learned what is good, bad or dubious. Best not suggest this Yac program again. The other two are fine but, as you probably know, you shouldn't use both at the same time.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek

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December 26, 2013 at 10:02:26
sophos freebie will sit alongside most other similar utilities and act as useful extra safety tool. - for both Windows and Mac OS.

Download/install/update immediately and then full scan...

It will monitor in the background all the time.. Takes very little space and uses very little of the system resources.. Some of the others tend to use a lot of system resources...

I haves used M$ Security Essentials for an age; but no longer quite so sure about it - after one or two experiences with it... And there are now current articles that seem to suggest M$ SE is flagging and M$ aren't too concerned...

I put Sophos in alongside it and it found two items M$ missed; and also three items on a hard drive that was previously in my "olde" Acer laptop, when that drive was scanned via a usb-conection...; upgraded that Acer with a larger drive replacement.

Now all my Windows systems have Sophos and M$ SE for now... But still considering removing M$ and relying on Sophos - and possibly one other...

Time will tell no doubt...

Also an occasional freebie on-line scan using Trend Housecall is often useful; if only as a confirmation that all is well - or not...

Installs a wee bit of software (quite safe) and then does the job...

AVG, (and Sophos) and I think Avast offer freebie on-line scans too?

Avast is quite popular too. I did use for a long time - but then dropped it as, like many, I felt it was getting a little bloated and taking up space and resources, and the XP systems it was on seemed faster without it.....? Similarly Kaspersky - which was for long time my first call... Also both of the started charging more than a little... and M$ SE was around and free...

I avoid MacAfee like the plague... It's (or was when last I had any contact with it) a real pain to update... and slow, and not so reliable...

Many here also like Bitdefender - and there is freebie version for Windows - not so for Mac /(only purchased version for Mac). Bitdefender is high on my possibles list too...

I agree with those who point out that "no" utility will catch all viruses/pests - at any given time... Which is why it may be prudent to have two running - either at the same time; or run up the second one at very regular intervals? It comes down in the end to one's preferences, and so on...

Good housekeeping is important too; and being careful what and you download... Checking that you don't accept a range of default add-ins that many downloads offer - via the "quick" (or whatever their first option is) download/installation. Always use the Custom installation and uncheck everything else that they "offer/recommend to install as well.

A common recommendation here is also to install Malwarebytes - as it is apparently a good support to any anti-virus utility. It does get regular very positive recommendations from those here who use it; and those who are more across the whole "pests issues" than some might be.

message edited by trvlr

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December 26, 2013 at 10:15:12
It is not impossible that two particular AV's might run together in real time and I can see the argument that what one will miss the other could find. However, there is a risk that they will also end up checking each other and cause slow-downs. For that reason this is not "generally" recommended.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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December 26, 2013 at 11:54:28
Hi Derek - overall I agree fully with the accepted wisdom re' two utils running at the same time. Sophos are pretty clear/precise that there's will co-exist; and thus far I have found it to be so... Sophos "claim" they use "very" little system resources...

Neither M$ SE or Sophos have flagged up anything that might be due to the other; and I haven't noticed any drop off in performance.

Did (still do) find M$ SE taking a wee while to update itself and so on - and that is/was before I dropped Sophos in alongside; but of course one's references move on. I have win-7 and Mac OS in general use; so it all becomes relative...? Adding Sophos has made no "visble" difference to ME SE updating etc.

The XP system which I use on occasion (both M$ SE and Sophos active) is my elderly Acer Aspire 1692; fully rebuilt with no "junk" apps etc. from Acer and co. It does take its sweet time updating XP in auto-update mode; and adding Sophos hasn't made it any slower (or faster...)\

I do recall regular articles in days of yore that two or more utilities running would - and did - either cause each other to fail, or give false reports... How true is that today...?

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December 26, 2013 at 13:25:45

I think the idea that two AV's can cause issues is still generally true. However particular ones might co-exist, so if that is your experience then I'm happy to accept your judgement.

I find MSE updates quite frequently (at the very least once a day) but have noted that it has gotten bad press recently. What I'm not sure is how much of what MS have said, which was a large part of the MSE doubts, is trying to keep themselves out of the monopoly law courts in the same way as they got hammered for including IE on their systems. I've been fine with MSE but then I'm probably a lot more careful than the average Joe.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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January 4, 2014 at 05:05:18
I'm kind of lost, but I wanted to rate you #1 response. To everyone else THANK YOU TOO :-)

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January 4, 2014 at 05:35:22
fwi… Recently tried Bitdefender (freebie) on my Mac system(s)… They had Sophos running at the time; disabled it and let Bitdefender to its thing… It found several items Sophos had missed on repeated scans.

Also let Bitdefender scan a usb connected drive - which had been fully scanned (several times over length period) by both Sophos "and" M$ SE… Again Bitdefender found several items missed by both of those two previous. Also Bitdefender did "mis-identify some parts of the TrendHousecall mini-package as pests too - TrendHousecall puts a wee package in the system in order to run the on-line freebie…

Final straw re' Sophos though was that it totally screws up Chrome browser for any chatroom access… Somehow Sophos doesn't like pepper flash which is built into Chrome, and is one of the flash utils that allows access to chat rooms (and likely other areas too). Oddly Sophos didn't screw up Safari in the same way… Also felt Sophos tended to slow my Macs down a little (at least on-line). Bitdefnder seems to somewhat less inclined that way…?

A recent review (regret can't recover the link just now) put AVG and Avast "in the top few" and very close to one another and well regarded; Bitdefender was similar - and also seemed to fall between AVG and Avast in some areas according to some "tests".)

Currently have Bitdefender running on my Mac systems; may swtich my XP/Win-7 systems over too - but not definite…

But, as JohnW and Derek have observed here and in other similar posts, no one utility can really claim to be perfect and catch everything at a given time… It all comes down to time, event, and to a degree, one's own preferences etc.?

message edited by trvlr

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January 4, 2014 at 06:14:12
I haven't had any luck with Microsoft Security Essentials & I never download any software through Softpedia!! My most trusted download sites are or the programs tab @

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January 4, 2014 at 11:57:54
I would stick with Avast free. I have been putting that on almost all of my repairs at the shop for over 5 yrs and the track record is really good. A boot time scan usually finds anything that is laying in the background on your PC. I had people bring in laptops and PC's with Norton, McAfee and MSE installed and they were full of viruses. After using many different utilities to clean them they mostly decided to go with Avast free. Signing up once a year is not too much of a hassle.

You are downloading from the safest sites so that is good too.

Like many freebies, just go into Avast settings and set it the way you like which is not intrusive to you...sound off, advert pop-ups , etc...and it will be great,

HELP in posting on plus free progs and instructions

message edited by XpUser4Real

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