Choosing an anti-virus is a matter of personal preference, your needs, your needs, your technical ability and experience, features offered, user friendliness, ease of updating (and upgrading to new program release), ease of installation/removal, available technical support from the vendor and price. Other factors to consider include detection rates and methods, scanning engine effectiveness, how often virus definitions are updated, the amount of resources the program utilizes, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. A particular anti-virus that works well for one person may not work as well for another. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution
that works for everyone and there is no best anti-virus
. You may need to experiment and find the one most suitable for your needs. For more specific information to consider, please read Choosing Your Anti-virus Software
.No single product is 100% foolproof
and can prevent, detect and remove all threats at any given time. Just because one anti-virus detected threats that another missed, does not mean its more effective. The security community is in a constant state of change as new infections appear. Each vendor has its own definition of what constitutes malware and scanning your computer using different criteria will yield different results. The fact that each program has its own definition files means that some malware may be picked up by one that could be missed by another. Thus, a multi-layered defense using several anti-spyware products (including an effective firewall) to supplement your anti-virus combined with common sense
, safe computing
and safe surfing habits
provides the most complete protection.
My personal choice is NOD32 Anti-Virus
if choosing a paid for program as it leaves a small foortprint or one of the following if choosing a free alternative.
I have been disappointed with AVG ever since they made a decision in April 2010 to partner with LimeWire
and promote the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing
, a security risk which can make your system susceptible to a smörgåsbord of malware infections
, remote attacks, and exposure of personal information.
With the release of AVG 2011, there have been numerous complaints about issues and conflicts with other security tools like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Read the related discussions at AVG:
There have been reports of issues with the computer starting properly on 64-bit Windows sytems
for which AVG has had to release these fix instructions
There have also been reported problems with computers after using
new features like PC Analyzer
and PC Tuneup
which purport to fix registry errors in order to make the system more stable and various optimizing tools which can make changes to system settings.I do not recommend the routine use of registry cleaners/optimizers
as they are extremely powerful applications that can damage the Windows registry
by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable. The registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component
because it is where Windows "remembers
" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable
. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily
could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from booting properly. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks
For these reasons, I no longer recommend AVG as a free alternative.
Supplement your anti-virus by performing scans with trustworthy security tools like:
For a list of more tools, please see Bleeping Computer's:
You can also get a second opinion by performing an Online Virus Scan