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Best Free Anti-virus/spy Ware Programs?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Davexx1

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 12:53 PM

I just completed the removal of Spy Falcon and other spy ware crud from my Dell Dimension 8250 (WIN XP Home Edition) desk top PC and am about to reload it with new anti-virus and spy ware programs, fire wall, etc. I am familair with AVAST and Spybot.

What is the best combination of the free anti-virus & spy ware programs, firewalls, etc. that are available? Which programs and how many should I load and use to provide adequate protection?

Are the purchased programs better/safer than the free versions?

Thanks, Dave

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#2 acklan

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 01:03 PM

Anyone of these will fill all your needs. It will boil down to preference. I prefer AVG.

Antivirus (Run only one.)
AVG Free Edition Antivirus (I personally use)
Avast Home Edition Antivirus Freeware
AntiVir Personal Edition Classic Freeware
BitDefender 8 Free Edition
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#3 jgweed

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 01:10 PM

Let me summarise the content of many threads about your questions.

1. Recommended is having one anti-virus, one software firewall, and several anti-spyware applications on your hard drive.
2. Generally speaking, the free versions of these applications have all the essential functionality of their paid versions; the latter generally have more "bells and whistles" or additional non-essential functions.
3. Which of the many freeware applications you use is more a matter of preference; some do have easier interfaces than others, some may work better on YOUR computer. The great thing about all of them is that you can try each and make your own decision.
4. Here is what I currently use:
AVG
Sygate Personal Firewall
Spybot S&D
Ad-AwareSE
5. For security's sake, I also refrain from using Internet Explorer. Firefox, Mozilla's suite, and Opera are all very good alternative browsers.

You may wish to consult this pinned topic, which has an annotated list of applications used by BC members:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic3616.html

Regards,
John
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#4 Scarlett

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 01:14 PM

The info. at this link could prove helpful.

Bleeping Computer's - Simple steps to keep your computer secure!
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#5 Darren De Wilde

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 01:37 PM

Are browsers only a security threat when they are running or are there vulnerabilities when the icon is just sitting redundant on the desktop?

#6 Enthusiast

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 05:16 PM

Only when they are running and then only if you connect to malicious sites.

P2Ps are also a primary source of infection.

Make sure your AV program is updated daily and running whenever your computer is on. Also make sure whichever one you use checks incoming and outgoing emails.
AVG does - I don't know about the others because I use AVG.

#7 oRCaz

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 10:59 PM

I personally use Avast Home. It is a free and effective antivirus software. It can be found at here. It requires a simple free registration. However, pls be reminded it is only for home and non commercial usage. One disadvantage is that you need a bit of time to adapt to the interface. If you want to use an AV with easy and simple interface, try AVG. But i prefer Avast to AVG.

I use Ad Aware, a-squared free and MS Defender as Antispyware, coz can't find anymore good free ones other than them.

Edited by oRCaz, 14 March 2006 - 11:00 PM.

:: Orcaz signing off ::

#8 acklan

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 11:27 PM

Don't forget Spybot S&D, and run the Tea Timer real time protection.
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#9 Enthusiast

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 10:32 AM

All the following are freeware:

Freeware AntiSpyware and Security Programs

Software firewalls with freeware versions
Free Zone Alarm SE:
http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/cata...g=en&lid=nav_za


Sygate: http://www.sygate.com/

Antivirus programs - freeware (you can only use one resident anti-virus program on your computer. More than one will conflict)

AVG: http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_index.php

Avast Anti-virus freeware
http://www.komando.com/bestshareware.asp


Anti-malware freeware (You can run as many of these as you wish. Generally there is no conflict between these and you should always run several)

Ad-Aware SE Personal is a free version and it can be downloaded from our Mirror Sites in the Download section at Lavasoft website. However, please note that while the free Ad-Aware SE naturally helps you remove all spyware, it does not provide real-time memory scanning; this capability comes with the paid versions.

http://www.lavasoft.com/

Click on Adaware SE Personal in “Products” on the left side of the page

Spybot S&D: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
Be sure to enable “Teatimer” which gives you realtime protection.

Microsoft Windows Defender
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/s...re/default.mspx
This also provides realtime protection.

SpywareBlaster: http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (Win XP and Win 2000):
http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx

A˛ - Free from http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4281.html . Run it, click Search for Updates, then click Scan.


CWShredder
CW Shredder removes some variants of spyware known as the Coolwebsearch Trojan. The Trojan takes advantage of a flaw in a key component of Windows -- Microsoft's version of the Java Virtual Machine -- to install itself via popups often found on porn and illegal software (a.k.a. "warez") sites. Run CWShredder after installing, and have it look for updates. Then click the "Fix" button, and the program will both scan and fix any problems it finds. If your system does not have this kind of spyware, it will give you the good news.
Freeware
http://www.intermute.com/spysubtract/cwshr...r_download.html

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)
MBSA is an easy-to-use tool designed for the IT professional that helps small and medium businesses determine their security state in accordance with Microsoft security recommendations and offers specific remediation guidance. Improve your security management process by using MBSA to detect common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on your computer systems.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/...a2/default.mspx

Web based online Antivirus and anti-malware scans: (these can be run regardless of whatever else you are using. You must use Internet Explorer to run these.)

Kaspersky Anti-Virus Web Scanner
http://www.kaspersky.com/service?chapter=161739400#betatest


Panda Activescan
http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/co...n_principal.htm

Trend Micro antivirus and malware scan:
http://housecall-beta.trendmicro.com/en/st...orp.asp?id=scan

Trend Micro antivirus European Edition (supports Mozilla based browsers)
http://uk.trendmicro-europe.com/consumer/h...call_launch.php

Etrust Anti-virus web scanner
http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/virusinfo/scan.aspx.

online trojan scans here -
http://scan.sygatetech.com/pretrojanscan.html


Windows Security Trojanscan
http://windowsecurity.com/trojanscan
See instructions for it here:
http://www.windowsecurity.com/trojanscan/trojanscan.asp

#10 Darren De Wilde

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 11:02 AM

I think I got my infections from Limewire which is P2P based or am I incorrect?..also, can infections be contracted by opening Jpg files?..dunno if i was dreaming but I'm sure there was something about opening pics and movies that can have malicious code behind them.
I think limewire is terrible for infectious diseases for PC's.

#11 Enthusiast

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 11:06 AM

All P2Ps are sources of infection.

Anything you download can have malicious code included including web pages.

That's why it is important to have a firewall, an updated AV ap running as well as a number of antimalware aps (Spybot's Teatimer and Microsoft's Windows Defender give you realtime protection)

#12 jgweed

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 11:47 AM

The SANS Institute continues to list P2P file sharing in their list of the top twenty vulnerabilites:

http://www.sans.org/top20/#c5

The main risks arising from P2P software are:

* Remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in P2P applications that can be used to compromise P2P clients or servers.
* Viruses and bots use P2P shared folders for spreading by copying malicious files into these folders with enticing filenames.
* P2P software is generally bundled with spyware and adware software. This increases the spyware/adware infection in an organization.
* Attackers can masquerade malicious files as legitimate music or video files. When the users download these files, their system can be infected and used as a "bot".


Any file type can be used to transmit malware; however, JPEGs as of now, are one of the safest files to download.

Regards,
John
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#13 Guest_Stallcup_*

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 07:50 PM

If you have broadband connectivity, the first place to start would be to add a router. For the ordinary user, this would provide all the needed incoming firewall protection necessary. If you still want to control outgoing communication, I would recommend a software firewall which is "light" (as opposed to a heavy resource user), such as Kerio.

With regard to a anti-virus/spyware, I think the essential viewpoint is to view the programs as A) those which run real-time protection and B) those which detect and remove (with due notice that some programs do both, i.e. Spybot Search and Destroy, Windows Defender, AVG AntiVirus). Additionally, it is important to recognize that not one single program can solve the problem of malicious infection; it will require an array of programs.

Some recommendations (all freeware):

Real Time Protection: SpyGuard, Spyware Blaster, Windows Defender, ZeroSpyware, WinPatrol, Spybot Search & Destroy, and AVG AntiVirus.

Detect and Remove: Ad-Aware SE Personal, Spybot Search & Destroy, AVG AntiVirus, Zerospyware, CWShredder, Blacklight Root Kit Eliminator, A-2, and Windows Defender.

#14 Enthusiast

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 11:59 PM

A router doesn't negate the need for a software firewall, a running an updated anti-virus program or the array of anti-malware software posted in the links above, but it's added protection, especially if you change the admin password and enable the mac filters which few users do.

#15 acklan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 10:46 AM

Here is the last place (that I know of) to obtain SyGate's free verison. SyGate Personal Free Edition
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