Has free-to-use anti-virus software ever failed you?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ViolentHero, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. ViolentHero, Apr 28, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012

    ViolentHero macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2012
    My next new computer will be a PC because it has more games to play. I later learned about good anti-virus software that is free to use. Instead of letting companies like McAffee milk me for my money, I'll use those. After removing a virus that hijacked my old Dell notebook, I replaced McAffee with Microsoft Security Essentials just to try it out. No problems so far but if it fails me, I'll try another good software that's free-to-use. I ain't going back to those companies where I have to pay for a subscription for updates or buy a new version. I shared my story on Facebook about my Dell Notebook and how things went from bad to good but then my ignorant uncle gave me a comment thinking that I'm irresponsible. He also told me quit complaining, buy Symantec, and accept that not everything in life is free. He and my aunt are ignorant people. To be honest, I barely remember my problems but I'm pretty sure that everything was just not up to date back at the times when my Dell got hit. I didn't open email attachments from strangers or download from websites I don't know. They just penetrated my defenses and then BAM! Also, just because something costs money doesn't mean it's better. Little knowledge to solve my problems at the time, not knowing good free anti-virus software exists, I got a Mac.

    For those of you that use Windows on a PC or installed on a Mac, do you use any free-to-use anti-virus software? Has it ever failed you? It's also possible that Symantec and anything else with a price tag can fail you too. Am I right? Also, I'm thinking about deleting my uncle and aunt from my friends list. I've known them since childhood, they are ignorant people. Should I do it?
  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    Security Essentials is an excellent package, you won't go far wrong there. AVG, Comodo and Avast are all decent too.

    Has a free AV package ever failed me? Yes, but then so have commercial packages. No AV system can ever been 100% perfect as they all play catch-up as new viruses appear.

    FWIW I'm head of I.T. in a mixed Windows/Mac corporate environment, so I've had more experience than most home users.
  3. ViolentHero, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012

    ViolentHero thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Interesting, thanks. I'll keep that fact in mind. To be honest, I'm not the biggest expert when it comes to technology but I always do research from reliable sources about whatever concerns me. Not everyone knows much but they're just... Trying to help.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that I'm also using an AdBlock add-on for Chrome and Firefox. On deviantArt, someone is placing viruses on the ad spaces of the website. The last time I got hit, a virus from that site hijacked my Dell.
  4. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    I would just use Microsoft Security Essentials and be done with it.

    And also enabling the user account controls which require a password to install software and things like that.
  5. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    I trust no Anti-Virus software, so I don't use windows as any primary OS. I use Fedora as my OS.
  6. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials for over a year now. Before that I've used Avast, and before that, paid AVG. I like the Microsoft version the best. That said, I'm very careful, and haven't had a virus since the early 90's when I was big into downloading files from BBS's.
  7. katt macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2012
    right now in HK
    yes always disappoints me before. i tried a lot of software already and AVG and Avast are the ones that are effective to me.
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    When I had Windows computers (and I had an Olivetti, Toshiba, and Sony of my own and have worked with Dells, and HP laptops), I always bought anti-virus software - even for work machines, and even from my own pocket.

    My experience was that free-to-use anti-virus software (and I had used AVG and McAfee and Kaspersky at different times) simply wasn't robust enough. To my mind, skimping on computer protection (especially when people are prepared to spend a fortune on clothes, cars, computers) was a false economy, and so I bought the strongest I could find. My computers were both for work and for pleasure, and I didn't them compromised.

    Indeed, the tendency of Windows machines to come under attack, and to crash as a consequence, and the absolute plethora of spam, malware and viruses I was subject to - despite the installation of the most robust packages I could buy, were one of the main reasons I switched to Apple for my own personal computers in 2008 (as it happens, my work universe is still mainly Windows based).
  9. Hastings101, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012

    Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    Ten years ago, when the only free antivirus programs I could find were either Avast! or AVG, yes. Within the past couple of years? Nope, Microsoft Security Essentials is fantastic.

    I can't remember the last time I had trouble with a virus on Windows. Maybe in 2005? I don't know if there's less malware being spread around now or if Windows became more secure but I haven't had any problems in ages.
  10. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    My impression is that all anti-virus software free or paid can fail you. On my W7 install I'm using Microsoft's Security Essentials. It's free.
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I take your point completely, I am talking about circa 2005-6, and I am delighted to learn that it has improved significantly since then.

    For my own personal computing, I switched to Apple in 2008, and gave my year old Sony Vaio (complete with paid for subscription to McAfee) to my brother (who now uses Kaspersky), so it hasn't been much of an issue since then for me.
  12. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    The real questions are what are the false positive and fale negative rates for free vs. paid anti-virus software, to what extent do you engage in risky computing, and are you planning to do anything other than straight up gaming on your computer....
  13. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    I don't bother with anti-virus software on my Winders XP (mal-ware magnet). You are your best security. Be smart about what links you click on and what programs you run. If problems crop up, there's a FREE and simple program already built into Windows that can clear up most problems...System Restore.

    Just safeboot and run system restore. Go back to before problems started up. I've resolved 95% of my mal-ware problem with system restore. The other 4% required registry editing and manually removing some files. 1% required a total nuking of the system and a clean install.
  14. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    I use avast (should probably switch to MSE but I can't be bothered). Never had any problems. Use common sense when installing/downloading/browsing, and if you're unsure about zipped files, scan them first. It only takes a second and it saves you hours.
  15. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Microsoft Security Essentials is by far the best. It's free, constantly updated and I've found it to be the least intrusive of all the AV software available.

    Just download and install it, then forget it's ever there.

Share This Page