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Leanest, least resource using, free real-time virus protection for XP?


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#1 Blaine B.

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:52 AM

I have been using Microsoft Security Essentials for a few years now.  I really like it.  It seems fairly lean, easy to use, and not very complicated at all.  It just sits there in the background not hogging very many resources.  I believe there are only two services that run for full functionality of the application.  I do not use any other real-time protection, browser/phish/link/download protection, or aftermarket firewalls.  I use the standard firewall in conjunction with Security Essentials.
 
I also use some other programs for routine manual scanning such as Spybot Search & Destroy for scanning & immunization (latest definitions, but old version 1.6,) Spyware blaster for immunization, Malwarebytes for scanning, and Super AntiSpyware for scanning as well.
 
Some of these programs also have the ability to offer real-time protection, bit I disable those features and only use the programs on a totally manual basis.  None of them are set to auto-update as well.
 
I really only desire for one programming to be running for real-time protection, in addition to the standard Microsoft firewall.
 
Anyway, Security Essentials has been working out great.  Although they have extended support for virus definitions until July 2015, the program has started warning me about XP's end-of-service.
 
To be honest,  I will still be using XP for a long while.  I have no plans to end my use of XP any time soon.
 
I really never get any virus.  I'm a very safe, educated browser.  I scan my system regularly and never find any infections or malware/spyware.  I don't download risky things or look at pornography.  All in all, I never have any problems with my system.  However, I still like there to be at least one layer of real-time virus protection.
 
My question to you is, which is an extremely lean and free virus protection program for Windows XP?
 
I downloaded Avira yesterday at the recommendation of the I.T. guy at work.  I didn't like Avira, though.  It seemed to be too big for my liking, and the whole log-in thing was a turn-off.  Also I have read that Avira has some ads and such that pop up from time to time.  I have no idea how Avast compares in that respect.
 
I suppose I can try Avast next, but I have a feeling it will be similar in size.
 
Years ago I used to use AVG but since then I hear it has become very bloated, so I have no plans to return to using AVG.
 
I just want something very small that will work with XP.  Something very basic.  Do you have any suggestions or ideas?

Edit: Moved topic from Windows XP to the more appropriate forum.~ Animal

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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:03 PM

I have avast on a old XP computer and it seems to run fine. There will be some slowdown. You can see the results of a test of different AV's here and their affect on performance. Panda Cloud Security seems to be a good option though I have had not experience with it.



#3 Blaine B.

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:39 PM

On the site you give, Avira is shown as having better performance on XP than Avast.  But this other article (http://everythingwin7.blogspot.com/2013/10/best-free-antivirus-software.html)

seems to show otherwise.  But this article is 10 months old.  I wonder what has changed to Avast in 10 months.

 

However, it also shows Avira as using less resources than Microsoft Security Essentials.  But I feel as if Security Essentials was lighter.  I'm on a fresh format and install of XP with all updates applied and Avira seemed to slow it down noticeably, even compared to before my format, running Security Essentials on a 6 year old installation of XP.


Edited by Blaine B., 27 March 2014 - 12:40 PM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:45 PM

Avira is a good AV. Every AV will have different results from month to month. You can try avast but you must uninstall Avira and additionally use their uninstall tool. Yes, MSE is very light but the detection rate is not that great IMHO. 



#5 quietman7

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 04:37 PM

There are several labs which test the effectiveness of major anti-virus programs to include AV-Comparatives.org, Virus Bulletin Comparative Tests, AV-Test.org, NSS Labs Consumer Anti-Malware Products Group Test Report, etc.

These kinds of comparative testing results will vary depending on a variety of factors to include but not limited to who conducted the testing, what they were testing for (type of threats, attack vectors, exploits), what versions of anti-virus software was tested, what type of scanning engine was used, and the ability to clean or repair. There are no universally predefined set of standards or criteria for testing which means each test will yield different results. As such, you need to look for detailed information about how the tests were conducted, the procedures used, and data results.

* Anti-virus Testing Websites: An overview of testing sites by AV-Comparatives.

Further, if you're dealing with zero-day malware it's unlikely the anti-virus testing is going to detect anything. It takes time for new malware to be reported, samples collected, analyzed, and tested by anti-virus researchers before they can add a new threat to database definitions.

BTW, I use avast! Free Antivirus on my XP machine.

My personal choice is ESET NOD32 Anti-Virus if choosing a paid for program as it leaves a small footprint...meaning it is not intrusive and does not utilize a lot of system resources.
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#6 Blaine B.

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 04:44 PM

I will try Avast when I get home.  Does it require a log-in like Avira did?  I didn't like the fact that my systems were listed on the Avira dashboard.



#7 Blaine B.

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 04:53 PM

Avira is a good AV. Every AV will have different results from month to month. You can try avast but you must uninstall Avira and additionally use their uninstall tool. Yes, MSE is very light but the detection rate is not that great IMHO. 

Is this the removal tool you speak of?

 

https://www.avira.com/en/support-download-avira-antivir-removal-tool

 

I thought that was just for viruses.  I removed Avira through add/remove programs.  I believe there were two entries.  Is further removal required?

 

I also removed Security Essentials the same way, through add/remove programs.  Do I have to do anything else for Security Essentials as well?



#8 quietman7

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 05:00 PM

I will try Avast when I get home.  Does it require a log-in like Avira did?  I didn't like the fact that my systems were listed on the Avira dashboard.

No login is required.

avast! does includes a built-in Software Updater which allow you to monitor important programs to ensure they are up to date but the feature can be a nuisance. If you don't want it, choose a Custom Install...On the Configuration screen, under Components, uncheck Software Updater and click Next. You can also uncheck all the programs you don't want to install or change the language from here.
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#9 quietman7

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 05:05 PM

Is this the removal tool you speak of?
 
https://www.avira.com/en/support-download-avira-antivir-removal-tool
 
I thought that was just for viruses.  I removed Avira through add/remove programs.  I believe there were two entries.  Is further removal required?


You are correct...that link is for the Avira AntiVir Removal Tool which can be used to eliminate major threats - see here.


Anti-virus software components insert themselves deep into the operating systems core where they install kernel mode drivers that load at boot-up and create files/folders/registry entries in various locations. It is not uncommon for some anti-virus programs to not completely uninstall itself using the usual method of Programs and Features or Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel due to the presence of related services and processes running in the background. Sometimes the uninstall works more effectively if you first stop and disable the program's service or perform the removal in safe mode so there are less processes which can interfere with the uninstallation.

* How to Start or Disable Services in Windows 7
* How to Start or Disable Services in Windows Vista
* How to Start or Disable Services in Windows XP

In many cases anti-virus vendors provide clean-up utilities on their web sites to remove remnants left behind after unintalling or for a failed uninstall so always check there first. It's best to download directly from the vendor's site to ensure you are using the most current version of the uninstall utility as it is not uncommon for third party hosting sites to have outdated versions which may not work properly.

If your uninstall was successful, then you don't need to run the vendor's removal tool.
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#10 tos226

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:32 PM

I have XP-SP3 with 1gig RAM.
Avast-free has, for me, the smallest footprint and is fast. RAM use about 35-50 meg as seen in task manager or ProcessExplorer.
Compare it to few others which need 150+ and using avast is no brainer.

I only allow to install, via custom installer, the three shields. None of that grimefighter and browser cleaner and whatever tools they got listed. Software updater - there are better alternatives. No point. No point in any of these tools.

My only objection to avast free is their annoying recent popups in the system tray which used to tell that an upgrade happened, and now they try to sell you something. Such notifications can be turned off, so it's not a big deal.

Oh, and if you have a firewall that watches over new/changed programs, emergency updates with differing filenames will require an answer.

Mail gets scanned even though it's SSL. Works very well. Not 100% sure I need it, but eliminating it, together with Web shield, only saved 10 meg so I put'm back.

Edited by tos226, 27 March 2014 - 07:36 PM.


#11 quietman7

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:41 PM

My only objection to avast free is their annoying recent popups in the system tray which used to tell that an upgrade happened, and now they try to sell you something. Such notifications can be turned off, so it's not a big deal.

Those popup alerts are intended to help generate revenue by getting folks to update to the paid version and recoup costs which allow them to continue to offer a free version.
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#12 Blaine B.

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 08:16 AM

Wow, no kidding.  Avast is extremely lean.

 

Of course, when I installed, I unchecked all of the extra stuff in the center column.  I also unchecked the three things in the left column.  Only installed the English language from the right column as well.  Perhaps this is why it is so lean.  Apparently I have the bare minimums.  I also like the silent/gaming mode!  Very quiet and unobtrusive.

 

However, there is a login required.  After 30 days you must register apparently.  Avast's online profile is very similar to Avira in terms of listing your system names/devices on which you use the Avast anti virus software.

 

I find it amusing that Avast, Avira, and Panda Cloud have similar looking website front pages.  And then Avira and Avast have similar online profiles.

 

Either way I'll probably be sticking with Avast for all of my systems live virus protection.



#13 quietman7

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:24 AM

When registering, users are issued a free license key valid for one year. At the end of the 12 months when your registration is due again, users will be prompted to subscribe to the paid version or if they decline, users can receive another free license key for the next 12 months. The free version of avast is a way of advertising for the paid version as the vendor believes a certain number of users will be satisfied enough with the program that they will want to upgrade. If avast free advertises any offers to upgrade...you can simply decline.

1. License
AVAST grants to you a non-exclusive perpetual license to use the Software and the Documentation for so long as AVAST makes the Software available, provided that you agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

3. Upgrades and Update
Upgrades and updates of the Software shall be provided to you by AVAST as long as and to the extent in which AVAST in its exclusive discretion makes such upgrades and updates available to the users of the free version of the Software.

AVAST END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT (FREE VERSION
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#14 Blaine B.

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:15 PM

Right, but I believe you must register your email address and name within 30 days.  There is some sort of countdown.  I did see the thing about the 366 day license too.



#15 quietman7

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:53 PM

Yes, you must register avast using name and email within 30 days...otherwise you are using it as a 30-day trial which means it will expire and stop working at the end of that period.

How to Register avast! Free Antivirus <- online & offline
Register for your free avast! 1 year license<- from another computer if the one avast is install on does not have Internet access
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