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Best free antivirus for Windows Vista Home Premium


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9 replies to this topic

#1 DwarvenDawn

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:23 AM

Hi, new to your site, so apologies if this is posted in the wrong section. Is there an antivirus that I can run with windows defender (I have just installed the 12 March 2018 patch from Techspot) or is it better to disable it and install different antivirus and malware programmes? I did have Avast installed but was having problems with it. (I wasn't trying to run Defender and Avast at the same time in case you wondered). Thanks in advance


Edited by hamluis, 12 March 2018 - 11:35 AM.
Moved from Vista to AV/AM Software - Hamluis.


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#2 quietman7

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 01:57 PM

Windows Defender in Windows 7/Vista is an anti-malware (anti-spyware) program intended to supplement your anti-virus program, not replace it. Although it uses the same name, Windows 8/10 Defender is not the same since it integrates both anti-virus and anti-malware protection...it provides the same level of protection against malware as Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) provides on older operation systems plus enhanced protection against rootkits and bootkits.

If you don't want or can't afford to pay, then I would recommend Kaspersky Free Antivirus, Sophos Home Free Antivirus, Panda Free Antivirus or Bitdefender Anti-virus Free Edition if you prefer not to use Microsoft Security Essentials, the free solution for Windows 7 and Vista SP1/SP2 that combines the features of an anti-virus and anti-malware scanner to provide real-time protection.

For other suggestions, please refer to Choosing an Anti-Virus Program.

Once you make a decision, remember that an anti-virus solution is not enough since most do not offer comprehensive protection...be sure to read Supplementing your Anti-Virus Program with Anti-Malware Tools.

The anti-malware protection provided by Windows Defender in Windows 7/Vista is weak, meaning it does not provide comprehensive protection and cannot prevent, detect and remove all threats at any given time.
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#3 Abzyx

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 04:37 PM

There was a similar thread not so long ago: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/637268/support-for-microsoft-essentials-for-vista-ending-april-2017/. As I mentioned in that thread, I cannot recommend Kaspersky in view of the cyberwarfare threat from Russia. Avira, Bitdefender, Sophos Home and even Microsoft Security Essentials can be ruled out because they no longer support Vista (or never did in the case of Sophos Home). My personal experience with Panda Free was nothing short of disastrous, but that was three years ago now. Avast remains the most popular third-party freeware solution for some reason.

 

As you probably know, recent versions of Avast create Group Policy registry keys to prevent you from turning Windows Defender back on, which is a good idea in my opinion. Windows Defender definitely caused false positives from both AVG and Panda while I was using those dreadful programs on Vista in the past, and Defender never successfully defended me from anything.


Edited by Abzyx, 12 March 2018 - 04:38 PM.


#4 quietman7

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:18 PM

I missed your post in the other thread. I thought Bitdefender and Sophos still supported Vista, however it is Endpoint Antivirus for Sophos Cloud which still supports that OS and it is not free. Comodo Antivirus is another option and so is SecureAPlus Freemium.
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#5 mike_shupp

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 04:09 AM

I'm using BitDefender AntiVirus Free Edition on my Vista HP system, with both Malwarebytes Free and Windows Defender for antimalware Protection.   It seems to be working well enough, though perhaps my internet usage is too tame and too limited to expose me to much risk.  And I'm a tad annoyed by BitDefender's view of obscure utility programs and ISOs as threats which need to be Quarantined, but not enough to search for something better. 

 

But anyhow, Bitdefender DOES still support Vista, and MS is still supporting Win Defender in Vista, even if  not Security Essentials. 



#6 Abzyx

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 06:04 PM

Bitdefender DOES still support Vista

 

That's not what their website says (https://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html). How long ago did you install Bitdefender? If you don't mind using a really old client version, I believe Security Essentials 4.4 would still work.
 

 



#7 DwarvenDawn

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 06:45 PM

I'm using BitDefender AntiVirus Free Edition on my Vista HP system, with both Malwarebytes Free and Windows Defender for antimalware Protection.   It seems to be working well enough, though perhaps my internet usage is too tame and too limited to expose me to much risk.  And I'm a tad annoyed by BitDefender's view of obscure utility programs and ISOs as threats which need to be Quarantined, but not enough to search for something better. 

 

But anyhow, Bitdefender DOES still support Vista, and MS is still supporting Win Defender in Vista, even if  not Security Essentials. 

 

I didn't get a response as quickly as I had hoped (as I posted late at night) and wanted to get my machine useable, so downloaded Bitdefender and have it running with Malwarebytes (but only seemed to be able to get a trial version, so that will run out soon) and Defender.

All seems to be playing nicely together.

Thank you for your suggestions  :)


Edited by DwarvenDawn, 14 March 2018 - 11:55 AM.


#8 Abzyx

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 03:18 PM

...downloaded Bitdefender and have it running with Malwarebytes (but only seemed to be able to get a trial version, so that will run out soon)...

 

If you want to install Malwarebytes Free, you must deselect the trial of Malwarebytes Premium during the final step of installation (unless they have changed something recently).

 

System Requirements

In order to keep Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition running smoothly, you’ll need a PC
with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, or 7 SP1, 1.5 GB RAM, at least 800 MB of hard disk space
(but we recommend 2 GB), and an Intel CORE Duo (2 GHz) or equivalent processor.
Software requirements: Internet Explorer 10 or higher.


Edited by Abzyx, 14 March 2018 - 03:19 PM.


#9 mike_shupp

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 06:16 PM

DwarvenDawn --

 

Interesting.  I have to admit I have no idea what version of BitDefender is on my system.  That's not quite true, but ....

 

According to the "Uninstall or Change a Program" display from the Control Panel, I've been running "BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition"  since 3/11/2017.  It;s a 293 MB program with version number 1,0.21.1109.    Which is the same version number I see when I click on the BitDefender icon on my toolbar.   When I bring up, as I just did, Bitdefender assures me I am logged in to their system, that the system is working, and that it updated today, about an hour ago.

 

That said .. when I go to Major Geeks and look for Bitdefender Antivirus, the newest thing I find is Bitdefender Online version 1.0.10.12.   Which is a 10 MB file -- an installer, obviously -- dating back to 6/29/2017.  Not exactly that new!   Going by dates on the files on my system, I suspect I installed from a thing called  Bitdefender Online version 1.0.5.14, an 8MB file  dated to  12/2/2016.  

 

And at the BitDefender website, I find a somewhat newer (02/06/2018) and somewhat larger (still about 10 MB) and unnumbered installer for a free versionm also called Bitdefender_Online, which ... You're right ... won't install anything on a Vista system.  However click on it anyway, and you'll notice the refusal note suggests Vista and XP users can  click on an OK button to look for more options.  Do that, and you'll go to a website suggesting you obtain a Bitdefender subscription -- buy something, in other words -- and then change your suscription info from say a Win 10 user to a Vista user.   Likely that's not your idea of fun, but at the bottom of the page, you'll see you have yet another option, which is to download another installer, a 3MB file named bitdefender_isecurity.exe from 02/25/2015.

 

You're following all this?  I suggest you try that bitdefender_isecurity.exe file.   I can't go any further experimenting myself because the next thing it wants to do on my system is uninstall my current Bitdefender setup, and I think that leads to more work than I want to do.  But I think it gives you a shot at a decent for free version of Bitdefender, and bringing it up to date is straightforward. 



#10 mike_shupp

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 06:45 PM

Abyxx --

 

See my note to DwarvenDawn about Bitdefender.  I'm lazy so I'm still using MS Security Essentials on my Win 7 system, but alas!   SE no long downloads update files on a Vista machine.   Thus my resorting to 3rd-party antivirus products.

 

On the other hand, with MSSE disabled, MS Windows Defender suddenly springs to life.  Which is basically an antimalware program, somewhat dated, but which continues to accept MS updates.   It's a scanner, rather than a real-time system, but much better than nothing. and it's supplememted by Malwarebytes.  Since the free version of that is also a scanner, the two programs don't come into conflict.

 

I suppose I still have ransomeware to worry about, but to be honest, anyone after me for substantial sums has more to worry about than I do ....  (Also, in a real pinch, I'll just pull the plug and reinstall everything from last month's backup.)






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